Category Archives: Columns

Muddled Notes and Thoughts from Port St. Lucie

“You do realize it’s a spring training game, right? Like, it’s a meaningless game. Half the players aren’t really trying. They’re just working on stuff, their pitches, throwing strikes, watching the baseball. That kind of stuff.”

“Yeah. I know. But they’re all meaningless games, when you think about it.”

* * *

Here are the privileges of having a press pass in the Mets’ spring training complex: Continue reading

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Meet the Mets: Mike Pelfrey

Meet the Mets: A series of haphazard, preview-type posts focusing on particular Mets, leading up to the 2012 season. Here’s the first one. It’s about Mike Pelfrey. Continue reading

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Email Question: Ruben Tejada and Terry Collins?

I haven’t listened to all of the podcasts in their entirety, so maybe this is an issue that you’ve talked about already, but what’s up with all of this Tejada hate out there about his show up date? My understanding is that it’s been affected to some degree by a visa issue, but I had to stop after reading about 5 comments on Metsblog on the post about his projected arrival today. People are already branding him as acting entitled to the SS position and questioning his devotion and drive, simply because he will show up to spring training on time or perhaps a day late due in some part to a work visa issue.

– Evan, via electronic mail

We did briefly address this topic — Ruben Tejada’s on-time arrival to Mets camp — on the Mostly Mets podcast. Ted Berg addressed it last week as well, so I’d recommend that post.

But I do want to address the principal players, Ruben Tejada and Terry Collins, with regards to their roles in this non-story story a little bit further. Continue reading

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Pick One: Dillon Gee or Jeurys Familia?

Here’s the question: If you’re the Mets and you can have just one, Dillon Gee or Jeurys Familia, which pitcher do you take?

I posed the same question on Twitter yesterday, and as expected, a majority picked Jeurys Familia. It seemed to be an obvious choice for many: Familia is a top pitching prospect, ranked in the top 100 on most prospect lists this winter. Familia throws hard, he’s young (22), exciting, and coming off an impressive season in the minor leagues. Dillon Gee, on the other hand, is going to be 26 in April, looks to be in his mid-30s, lacks a blow-away fastball, has inexplicably decided to spout awful facial hair, and is coming off an unimpressive season as a fifth starter on a poor major league team. It seems that the live-armed prospect, Familia, should be taken over the known mediocrity, Gee, and the choice should be instantaneous. And this is exactly what my gut is telling me when I think about it.

I also think my gut is wrong — or at least hungry – as it so often is, and Dillon Gee is the better pick. It’s not anything against Familia in particular, who is and remains an excellent pitching prospect. I’m just starting to suspect that baseball fans, particularly myself, have begun to overestimate the value and potential of all pitching prospects, even the excellent ones. Continue Reading

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2014 Mets Power Rankings: Pre-Spring Training

The Mets certainly appear to be rebuilding biding their time this 2012 season. So let’s concentrate on the future by keeping track of the present. Thus, the 2014 power rankings, a weekly or every-other-weekly feature where we track the rising and falling stock of the 2014 Mets in the 2012 season. The question: Who is the most important player to the 2014 Mets?

For a player to be eligible for the 2014 Mets power rankings, he must be:

  • In the Mets’ organization
  • Under team control through at least 2014
  • . . . and that’s it

You all voted two weeks ago. Here are the initial rankings, prior to Spring Training 2012: Check out the list.

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What if the Mets Never Traded for Johan Santana?

This post is inspired by Aaron Gleeman’s review of the Johan Santana trade over at Baseball Prospectus earlier this week, as well as Ted Berg’s earlier look back at the same trade. Basically, the idea is that the trade hasn’t worked out ideally for either side — none of the four players the Twins acquired developed into stars, while Johan Santana is now racking up medical bills and not pitching and taking up a lot of payroll for the Mets. Nothing is awesome and no one is happy.

But let’s look at the trade through a different lens: What would the baseball universe look like had the Johan Santana trade fallen through? How would the paths of the Mets and Twins differ? That is: Would the Mets really be better off had they never traded for Johan Santana?

My guess is the Mets would actually be worse off, while the Twins would be better off. Here’s how I see it playing out in hindsight: Click Here to Continue Reading

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The 2014 Mets Power Rankings

So this post presents an idea for an on-going feature during the 2012 season: The 2014 Mets’ power rankings, a list of the most important players to the 2014 Mets. Not that we’re giving up on 2012 already, but . . . well, you know. The Mets certainly appear to be rebuilding biding their time this season. So let’s concentrate on the future by keeping track of the present. Thus, the 2014 power rankings, a weekly or every-other-weekly feature where we track the rising and falling stock of the 2014 Mets in the 2012 season.

For a player to be eligible for the 2014 Mets power rankings, he must be:

  • In the Mets’ organization
  • Under team control through at least 2014
  • . . . and that’s it

These rules mean that both major and minor league players are eligible for the rankings. For example: Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada are eligible, as are Jeurys Familia and Matt Harvey; David Wright is not eligible, as his contract expires after 2013.

Which actually brings up the next point: These rankings are the 2014 power rankings, and not the 2012 or 2013 power rankings, because 2014 is when the Mets should solely be a team of Sandy Alderson’s design. As of today, they have no players under contract for 2014, and the team’s only payroll commitments are $8.5 million dollars in buyouts for Johan Santana and Jason Bay. That makes 2014 the target date in which we’re interested. If a player is on the 2014 Mets, it’s because Alderson wants him there.

Now, I have an idea for how the preliminary rankings should look, but I’m going to throw the vote out to the crowd first. There’s a poll at the bottom of this post, with the names of the 28 players. I’ve put the names in alphabetical order in an attempt to avoid swaying anyone’s votes, then added my own comments about the players in an attempt to sway your votes. But let’s see what y’all think: Read through, or don’t read through, and then vote for the five players you think will the most important for the 2014 Mets at the bottom. And please remember that pitchers get hurt: Continue reading

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Pre-Preseason-Preview-View

Today is January 17, a full month before the Mets’ pitchers and catchers are to report for Spring Training. It’s still far too early for a season preview, and too soon for a spring training preview – but is it too early for a pre preseason preview view? Probably. But the Mets’ 40-man roster looks set, and barring a trade and a few inevitable minor league signing, the Mets are ready to go for Spring Training. One can even see the beginnings of the Opening Day roster. Here is a very early look at the 2012 Mets: Continue reading

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The Mets Managerial Index

So this post began life awhile ago — I wanted to evaluate Terry Collins’ first season as manager of the Mets in a more objective manner, and I decided I wanted to do so by comparing Collins with other managers of the Mets.

Anyway, fast forward to now, and I still can’t make much of a case either way about whether Terry Collins managed the Mets well or not. I don’t know enough about managers and what goes on behind the scenes. So that totally failed. But I did learn a whole bunch of things about the tendencies of all the Mets’ managers, so I’ll share those nuggets here. Who bunted a lot, who didn’t, who used pinch hitters, who didn’t, all those sorts of things — and we’ll check out where Terry Collins falls in each category. Here’s what I’ve learned about the Mets’ managers: Continue reading

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From the Archives: Strangled by Reality

Some posts develop over days, starting with some clicks on Baseball-Reference and evolving into research projects and complex posts. Yesterday’s post was that type.

This post was the exact opposite. All emotion, no facts, published late at night and maybe poorly thought out. But it might be my favorite.

Originally Published December 5, 2011 Continue reading

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