Curtis Granderson

Former Mets Available In Free Agency

It may be every fan base, but it seems like whenever the Mets need to add players via trade or free agency, fans seem to look towards acquiring former players.  It may not be just the fans either as the Mets bucked conventional wisdom by signing Jay Bruce and Jason Vargas last year.  If the fans and organization wants to go down that road again, there are plenty of options this offseason:

Jose Lobaton – If he’s back, we may actually see fans boycott the team.

Devin Mesoraco – Other than like a one week stretch, he was terrible in every facet of the game.  There is no way he should be back in Queens next year.

Rene Rivera – He would be a fine addition on a minor league deal to work with up and comers like Justin Dunn.  If there’s an injury or two (ideally three), he could resume his role as Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher.

Lucas Duda – Fans used to debate at length whether Duda was a good or bad player.  The debate is over.  He’s now a bad player who has not much to offer anymore.

Asdrubal Cabrera – Unless Cabrera is looking to accept a utility role behind two still largely unproven young players, there would be no reason to bring him back to the Mets.

Daniel Murphy – There is a scenario in which bringing him back makes sense, but that includes the Mets moving at least one bad contract to put him at first base because his knees have made his already poor defense all the worse.  There are many other variables past that making this a non-starter.

Jose Reyes – He shouldn’t even be playing for the Long Island Ducks next year.

Neil Walker – Considering he accepted a utility role for the Yankees last year, he could be willing to accept one with the Mets next year.  If so, he could be quality depth for the Mets roster which has not had depth on their bench since 2015.

Carlos Gomez – Judging from last year, it does not seem like Gomez can hit much anymore, but he can still play defense.  The Mets need a right-handed outfielder or two, and he would be a much better option than Austin Jackson by the simple fact he’s not Austin Jackson.

Chris Young – In 2014, the Mets made a $7.25 million bet Young still had something in the tank.  They wound up releasing him, thereby allowing other teams to discover he did have something left in the tank.  That something was hitting left-handed pitching, which is something he didn’t do at all last year.

Austin Jackson – He used up all the playing time he should receive in a Mets uniform last year.

Curtis Granderson – With Bruce, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo, you could argue the Mets have no need for another left-handed hitting corner outfielder.  Lost in all of that is the fact Granderson is still a productive player who is great in the clubhouse.  It would not be the worst idea to bring him back to let him serve as a mentor to the Mets young players.

Bartolo Colon – If you want him back, you deserve to see the Mets go under .500 again.

Matt Harvey – Harvey has basically said he doesn’t want to return.  If you ask the Mets, the feelings are probably mutual.

Chris Beck – He was terrible for the Mets last year, so if you’re upgrading your bullpen, you should probably avoid the guys who were terrible for you.

Tyler Clippard – He had surprisingly good stats last year, which is all the more incredible when you consider he pitched in the AL East.  Signing him to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training is not the worst idea in the world.

Jeurys Familia – Familia is the best right-handed reliever in Mets history, and unlike the other free agent relief options not named David Robertson, none of them have proven they can pitch in pressure situations in New York.  If you’re looking to compete, Familia could be a big boost to the bullpen.

AJ Ramos – The main reason Ramos didn’t work out this year was because he was injured.  He did have surgery to repair his shoulder, but we don’t know what he will be when he is ready to pitch again.  The Mets need far more certainty than that from their bullpen.

Fernando Salas – Salas helped pitch the Mets to the 2016 Wild Card, and the thanks he received was getting over-used by Terry Collins to the point he was released by the Mets in 2017.  He returned to a slightly below average reliever last year.  The Mets have plenty of those already.

Jerry Blevins – Even with last year’s struggles, Blevins has traditionally been a good LOOGY for the Mets.  If Dave Eiland and Mickey Callaway think he can return to form, and he signs a reasonable one year deal, the Mets should bring him back.

Oliver Perez – If Brodie Van Wagenen had a sense of humor, he would work out a contract with either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, but the day before the Mets officially signs either one of them, the Mets would announce Ollie was returning to the Mets organization.

Curtis Granderson One Game Away

Mets fan favorite Curtis Granderson is just one game away from his team going to the World Series. If it happens, this will be the second straight year and third out of the last four years his team went to the World Series.

Note, that’s team because Granderson was left off last year’s World Series roster.

After going 1-for-15 in the NLDS and NLCS combined with eight strikeouts, the Dodgers would leave him off the World Series roster in favor of Brandon McCarthy, who was added to the roster despite not having pitched in nearly a month.

As luck would have it, McCarthy would appear in just one game that series. He was the pitcher who took the loss in the back-and-forth 12 inning game two after surrendering a two run homer to George Springer.

Instead of the commanding 2-0 series lead heading to Houston, the series was tied 1-1. The Dodgers would lost two of three in Houston before losing the series in seven games.

Tonight, even though he is nothing more than a pinch hitter, Granderson has the opportunity to exact some measure of revenge for the Dodgers leaving him off the World Series roster last year. Judging from how the Brewers have utilized him, he will then have a chance to have an impact on the 2018 World Series.

Here’s hoping he gets that chance, and here’s hoping one of the best human beings to ever don an MLB uniform finally wins that elusive World Series ring.

No Grandy Finish For NLCS Game Turner on a Dime

In many ways, Game 2 of the NLCS was decided by a couple of former and well liked Mets.

In the top of the eighth, with the Dodgers down 3-2, Justin Turner hit a go-ahead two run homer off Jeremy Jeffress.

The Brewers would have their chance to respond in the bottom of the eighth.

With one on and two out, Dave Roberts pulled his left-handed reliever for Kenta Maeda, and Craig Counsell countered by sending Curtis Granderson to the plate. Granderson put a charge in one, but the ball would land harmlessly in Yasiel Puig‘s glove.

While there were many, many other factors which influenced the final score, when you boil down this game, the difference was Turner’s ball left the yard, and Granderson’s didn’t.

In some ways, it’s great to see some popular former Mets in the postseason, especially Granderson. In other ways, it is a reminder how the Mets once had the talent to be a World Series contender. That talent is still contributing in some fashion to teams on the cusp of going to the World Series.

It’s now incumbent on the Mets to find their next Turner and Granderson to get the franchise to the point where Turner and Granderson currently are.

MLBPA Applauds Domestic Violence

Similar to the Roberto Clemente Award, the MLBPA has the Marvin Miller Award. The Marvin Miller Award is given to the player their peers “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.”

Each team gets to nominate a player, and we have seen upstanding players win this award including Curtis Granderson, who has won it twice. Unsurprisingly, he was nominated again for the award this year.

There will be some stiff competition for this award, but it will not include Steven Matz, who not only donates time a money to the FDNY Foundation, but he also takes an active role with the Special Olympics.

Now, the Mets candidate for the award will be Jose Reyes.

That’s not a joke.

The Mets really chose Reyes to be their candidate for this award. For those who forgot, which clearly includes the Mets players, Reyes is alleged to have grabbed his wife by the throat and shoved her into the sliding glass doors. After hotel security contacted police, Reyes’ wife was taken to a local hospital to be treated for injuries to her neck, thighs, and wrists.

This is who Major League players “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.”

Congrats to the players for taking their time to admit to us all they have no issue with domestic violence, and better yet, they believe players who commit violent acts against their wives need to be recognized as role models.

Well done.

Trivia Friday: Former Mets To Win NLCS MVP

With the Dodgers and Brewers beginning the NLCS, there is a chance, and in the case of Curtis Granderson, a remote one, that a former Mets player could take home the MVP award.  If Granderson does do this, he will be one of eight former Mets who have been the NLCS MVP.  Can you name them?  Good luck!


Justin Turner Daniel Murphy Marco Scutaro Mike Hampton Livan Hernandez Randy Myers Orel Hershiser Mike Scott

2018 Mets Season Ends On A Sad Note

Perhaps more than any season, there is a sense of sadness which washed upon me when the 2018 season ended.  Perhaps, it was because my father is another year older, and I have yet to truly experience the Mets winning the World Series with him.  Maybe it is because my son follows the game a little bit more and he is starting to become attached to some players, and those players are up in limbo.

There is the sadness with David Wright leaving.  He was the most beloved Mets player in history, and he was arguably the best position player this organization has ever produced.  He was a Met for his entire career, and he ended his career the right way – on the field.  Unfortunately, that career did not end with him winning a World Series.

Past Wright, there are question marks about some other players.  Is this the last time Wilmer Flores ever wore a Mets uniform?  Are we just waiting for him to shed tears when he is wearing another team’s uniform?  Could we have already seen the last of Travis d’Arnaud?  How about Juan Lagares?  With him in the last year of his deal, he is certainly more tradeable, and there should be savvy teams lining up to acquire his defense.  Is he just destined to go somewhere else where the will be able to finally put it all together?  Will a new General Manager come in and opt to start a rebuild that would likely begin with trading Jacob deGrom?

Honestly, will Yoenis Cespedes ever be able to play again?  He has only had one of the two heel surgeries he needed.  Whenever you see a report on him, no one seems to be able to pinpoint a date he can play next year.  At some point, you have to question if he will ever really be able to play.  That seems like such a big departure from the larger than life figure he has been since joining the Mets.

Really, when you look around the 2015 Mets team we loved so dearly has been slowly trickling away.  Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia were traded away this year.  Addison Reed, Lucas Dudaand Curtis Granderson were traded away last season.  Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson, and Daniel Murphy are distant memories.  Bartolo Colon is off making goofy barbecue ads in Texas.  Sandy Alderson, the man who orchestrated it all, “took a leave of absence” because he is battling cancer.

What we have left is good, really good.  We have seen Brandon Nimmo be the player the Mets hoped he would be when he was drafted.  After concerns about his shoulder, Michael Conforto was once again Michael Conforto in the second half.  Amed Rosario figured things out in the second half of the season, and Jeff McNeil seemingly came out of nowhere.

We watched deGrom reach a level we never thought possible making him a sure Cy Young award winner.  Zack Wheeler went from enigma to ace.  Steven Matz actually made 30 starts.  Finally, Noah Syndergaard seemed to return to form as the season drew to a close.  This is reminiscent of the pitching of 2015, pitching which led the Mets to a World Series.

Looking at it, the Mets had the best ERA in the majors in the second half (2.97), and they had the best record in the division in the second half (38-30).  When you combine the finish with the start, you can see there is a World Series contender somewhere in the fabric of that clubhouse.  In order for that to happen, the Wilpons are going to have to go out there and get the pieces necessary to put this team over the top.  If they were to do so, it would be the first time since they signed Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran in 2005, and added Billy Wagner and Carlos Delgado the subsequent offseason.

Making bold moves like that to this core WILL put this team over the top, especially since Mickey Callaway and his staff grew during the season and showed they can be a coaching staff who can win you a World Series.

There’s a hesitation there.  After Madoff, no Mets fan can really be assured this team is going to make the bold moves they need to take this roster over the top.  Whatever hope you had was dashed when Jeff Wilpon told us all it was really Sandy Alderson who refused to spend and limited the size of the analytics department.

Thinking back, you realize this is partially why Wright retired without a ring.  Sure, the Shea Stadium days were different.  The Mets did add the aforementioned players, and they did make the Johan Santana trade.  But after that?  Well, it was Madoff and always finding themselves one or two players short.  After all, the Mets traded for Kelly Johnson in consecutive seasons partially because the team believed Eric Campbell, and his major league minimum salary, was part of the solution.

In the end, this is a really likeable team.  Watching Nimmo, Conforto, Rosario, deGrom, Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and the rest of this Mets team, you can’t help but like and root for these guys.  They are what makes being a Mets fan great.  We don’t want to see deGrom, who looks to take up Wright’s mantle as the next great Mets player, leave Flushing without a ring.  That can’t happen.

In the end, the ending of the 2018 season was a sad one.  Hopefully, that sadness will quickly subside as the Mets go forth and seize the opportunity that is here.  Hopefully, the 2019 season is going to be the year we finally see the Mets win another World Series.  I hope so because I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll have to celebrate it with all of my loved ones.

Wheeler On, Wheels Off Offense and Bullpen

Zack Wheeler was back in San Francisco to pitch against the team who made him the sixth overall pick of the 2009 draft.  Like he has to most teams in baseball this year, especially in the second half of the season, Wheeler showed the Giants why he was drafted that high.

Even with him yielding two doubles over the first six innings, the Giants never truly threatened Wheeler.  Really, it wasn’t until the third triple of the game that Wheeler faced any real danger.

Brandon Belt would lead off the seventh with a double, and he would move to third on a ground out to shortstop.  It was a slow hit ball off the bat of Austin Slater, one which shortstop Jose Reyes made zero attempt to charge.  Therefore, even with the ball being hit to Reyes’ right, Belt would be able to advance.  This was important as Chris Shaw would hit a fly ball to center that easily scored Belt.

That run caused partially by a lackadaisical play by Reyes would be the dagger in this game despite Wheeler pitching seven innings allowing just the one run on four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.

The reason why this was a dagger was that no Met other than Jeff McNeil could do anything against Giants starter Andrew Suarez. For his part, Suarez allowed no runs with just two hits, no walks, and five strikeouts.

Of course, it didn’t help that Reyes was starting for the red hot Amed Rosario because Rosario needed an emergency root canal.  It also didn’t help Michael Conforto was sitting and Devin Mesoraco was in the lineup as Kevin Plawecki went on paternity leave.

In the top of the eighth, the Mets would get their chance with Brandon Nimmo, who was once again curiously hitting in the bottom of the lineup again, hit a one out double.  Slater would have a difficult time fielding the ball in right, but Nimmo was unable to take advantage and get to third as he was already decelerating as he approached second.  It wouldn’t matter much as Reyes popped out, and Conforto would ground out to end the inning.

If there was any hopes the Mets would get back into the game, it was all dashed in a horrific bottom of the eighth with the Mets needing four relievers to record three outs.  Robert Gsellman did not record an out while allowing a homer and another hit.  Daniel Zamora relieved him striking out Joe Panik and Alen Hanson.

Rather than go to the bullpen to face Evan Longoria, Mickey Callaway ordered him intentionally walked to allow Zamora to face Belt.  Belt would crush a pitch off the right center field wall which would have been a homer in any other park.  At AT&T, it was a triple.

Drew Smith didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced leading to Jacob Rhame, who was called up for the 10th time this season, striking out Gregor Blanco to finally end the inning.

All told, the Mets went from a 1-0 deficit to a 7-0 loss.  It was an ugly loss in every way, shape, and form.

Game Notes: After hinting during Spring Training, Todd Frazier was finally tabbed as the leadoff hitter.  Former Met Curtis Granderson was traded to the Brewers.

Meet the Mets Fan: Meek Phil

The Mets Fan

My name is Phill. You may know me as . I enjoy spreading funny memes on . I’m currently 20 years old and a senior in College.

How You Became a Mets Fan

I’ve been a Mets fan for as long as I can remember. My mom would take me to Shea stadium when I was little and I fell in love with the game.

Favorite Mets Player

My favorite Mets player ever is David Wright and I know that’s a generic answer. My second favorite is probably Curtis Granderson because of how nice he was.

Favorite Moment in Mets History

My favorite moment in Mets history was when I attended Game 2 of the 2015 NLCS and saw Curtis Granderson rob a HR. It felt like our year but it wasn’t.

Message to Mets Fans

My message to Mets fans is, As long as the Wilpons own the team don’t expect any success. Don’t blame the manager, don’t blame the GM(s), don’t blame Garbage players for being garbage. Put all the blame on ownership and nothing else.

Proud Dad Moment

Yesterday, equipped with his Spider-Man hat and Todd Frazier shirsey, my son played in his first ever t-ball game.

I guess technically it was “scrimmage” at the end of his t-ball camp, but to me, it was his first game, especially when the camp was split into two teams.

Well, top of the first, my speedy lead-off hitter began his baseball career hitting a leadoff homer:

With that sweet left-handed swing leading off the game, I did let my mind wander to Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto because, well, I’m a proud dad.

Mesoraco, Lagares Come Up Huge

Heading into the game, there was much said about how Dave Eiland challenged or disrespected Noah Syndergaard in his saying Thor hasn’t accomplished much at the Major League level.  During the broadcast, it was discussed, and Ron Darling said as a player, he would have taken it the wrong way.

Whatever the case, Syndergaard seemed motivated by it in the first inning as he struck out the side while needing just 15 pitches.  You got all the more excited seeing Syndergaard knocking home Devin Mesoraco from first after he had drawn a leadoff walk against Jaime Garcia giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.  For a moment, it seemed as if things would go rolling on from there, and we would see the Syndergaard we saw prior to the lat injury.

Instead, we saw the Syndergaard we have seen all this season.

In the third, he allowed a one out single to old friend Curtis Granderson, who was playing his first game against the Mets since being traded to the Dodgers for Jacob Rhame last year.  After Josh Donaldson popped out, that should have been the end of any prospect of danger.

Instead, we got to see some of Granderson’s knowledge from his playing time with the Mets.  He would put himself in scoring position stealing a base, and he would hold at third on a Justin Smoak single.  It wound up being a terrible throw from Juan Lagares, but he charged the ball hard, and Granderson, being perhaps well aware of Lagares’ arm, held on third.  It didn’t matter because after Syndergaard plunked Teoscar Hernandez with a pitch, Yangervis Solarte hit a two RBI single.

On the single, it is quite arguable any other second baseman but Asdrubal Cabrera gets to that ball, but he didn’t leading the the Blue Jays taking the 2-1 lead.

Seeing how the Mets have played of late, this was a real danger sign.  Fortunately, the Mets offense would finally break out.

Beginning with a Jay Bruce double, the Mets would quickly load the bases for Syndergaard, who tied the score with a sacrifice fly.  Amed Rosario then nearly hit one out with the ball hitting the top of the fence and bouncing in instead of out.  In any event, it was a two RBI double giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.

It should be noted Jose Reyes, who started because with the left-handed pitcher on the mound, Wilmer Flores started at first and Adrian Gonzalez sat, somehow did not score from first.  Really, he did not score from first on a ball which was nearly a homer to one of the deeper parts of the park.  At best, this was shades of Timo Perez.  At worst, this is a player who no longer belongs in the majors.

Lagares would make sure both Reyes and Rosario both scored as he slashed a two RBI single to center, and even with Donaldson cutting it off, he would get to second ahead of the throw.

A Cabrera double after that, and the Mets not only had a five run inning, but they would also have a 6-2 lead. In the fifth, the Mets would add the runs needed to make this the laugher the Mets desperately needed.

Gonzalez, Rosario, and Brandon Nimmo would hit consecutive singles first scoring Mesoraco and later scoring Gonzalez.  After that Lagares hit an infield single to third allowing Rosario to score.

When Gonzalez pinch hit for Syndergaard that inning, it was the end of Syndergaard’s night, but really, he was going to be pulled after the fifth anyway.

As noted earlier, Syndergaard labored through the third, and he would do the same in the fifth needing a Hernandez double play to get out of the inning.  Overall, Syndergaard needed 103 pitches to get through five.  He walked an uncharacteristically high two batters.  While he’s been effective, he has not yet been Syndergaard this year.

Perhaps in an effort to save the bullpen a bit, Mickey Callaway had Seth Lugo pitch three innings before having Rhame close it out.  Lugo was dominant allowing just one hit while striking out four.

Finally, in the eighth, the Mets would put a capper on this game.  Lagares hit a leadoff triple, and he scored on a Luis Guillorme RBI single, his first RBI.  After a force out, Mesoarco hit his second homer as a member of the Mets expanding the Mets lead to 12-2.

All-in-all, a pretty good night for the Mets.  Mesoraco could not make an out going 2-2 with three walks, four runs, a homer, and two RBI.  Lagares was just as good going 4-5 with two runs, a triple, and three RBI.  Really, in a game like this, you are going to see everyone contribute somehow, and that’s what the Mets did.  The only hope now is the team left some hits in those bats.

Game Notes: The Blue Jays have never beaten the Mets in Flushing going 0-12.