June 14th, 2013 by Lou
How do the Mets suck? Let me count the ways…
- Since the 2012 All Star break, the Mets record is 52-85 (.380)
- Against the NL East this season – 9-18 (.333)
- Against the Central – 5-12 (.294)
- Against the West – 3-6 (.333)
- Ah, thank God for the AL – 7-1 (.875) Too bad the Mets did not move to the AL instead of the Astros
- Lowest winning percentage against an NL team- the Phillies at .167 (1-5)
- Next lowest winning percentage against an NL team – the Marlins at .273 (3-8)
- Best winning percentage against NL team – .667 (2-1) against the Padres and Cubs (could change this weekend of course)
- Worst month – So far, June at 2-7 (.222) April .400 and May .444
- Worst day of the week – Tuesday at 2-9 (.182)
- Second worst day of the week is Saturday at 2-7 (.222)
- Best day of the week is hump day at 6-4 (.600) – the only day of the week the Mets are over .500.
- Extra innings 3-5 (.375)
- When scoring first – 15-11 (.577)
- When not scoring first or at all – 9-26 (.257)
- Shutout – 2-3 (.400)
- One run games – 8-11 (.421)
- Series sweeps – 3-5 (.375)
- Vs. Right Handed pitching (decisions) – 15-26 (.366)
- Vs. Left Handed pitching (decisions) – 9-11 (.450)
- In the friendly confines of Citi Field – 13-20 (.394)
- In everyone else’s confines – 11-17 (.450)
- At night – 15-20 (.429)
- Day - 9-17 (.346)
- Doubleheaders, played one, lost both games
- Losing streaks – two six game losing streaks – April 25-30 and May 10-14
- Winning streak – five games from May 26-30 (included Yankee sweep) – since the sweep the Mets are 2-10 (.200)
The Mets simply suck this season, anyway you shake it. In Mets history, they (and we) have endured 17 seasons where the team had won less than 70 games. That does include three strike shortened seasons but in each of those, the Mets were under .500. 2013 could very well be the 18th season where 70 wins is too much of a goal. At their current rate, the Mets will win 63 to 64* games this season unless something drastic happens between now and the end of the season.
Something drastic could be that Mets hitters wake up and figure out how to get on base and to drive runners in. Maybe a trade will be made, involving some of those pitching jewels in the farm system to bring in some real Major League quality hitters to protect David Wright. But no matter what happens, we need to write off 2013. If the Mets can win 70 to 75 games this year, that could be all we can hope for to feel somewhat positive heading into the off season.
*Formula (current winning percentage X total season games ) .393 * 162 = 63.6
June 3rd, 2013 by Lou
It is now a third the way through the season (54 games). Is there any reason to think things will get better?
1983 was a trying year for the Flushing Metropolitans. That club did not win 70 games (68-94). But there were bright spots that at least made you think better days were ahead. It is hard to imagine that there are any bright spots with the current club, especially after sweeping the Yankees then being swept by the worst team in baseball, the Miami Marlins.
Darryl Strawberry came up from AAA in ’83. He won the rookie of the year award in only 122 games. The following season, the Mets won 90 games with Straw in the lineup and a rotation of young talented arms including Dwight Gooden (also won rookie of the year). They finished in second place, a tremendous improvement from their previous season when they finished dead last in the Eastern Division. (That was sixth place back then.)
Could we see similar improvements moving forward in 2013?
Here is one thing to consider under the positive category. Currently all minor league affiliates of the Mets are boasting winning records and are leading or in contention within their respective divisions. I know that we should not take too much out of a minor league team’s record but considering that the Mets system has been down for a number of years, I consider it a positive.
The Mets have a lot of young pitchers with very good arms throughout their system from double A down. Of course Zach Wheeler is at AAA Las Vegas where pitchers go to die but he is doing quite well there. The talk is Wheeler could be promoted within the next couple of weeks. And maybe if Travis d’Arnaud can stay healthy once his foot heals, he could make his major league debut after the All Star break.
There was another change that occurred after the 1983 season. They changed managers. Frank Howard (who replaced George Bamberger midway through the season) was removed as manager and Davey Johnson was hired. The best era of Mets baseball coincided with that move. The Mets would become the dominant team in the National League for the next seven seasons (at least from a win-loss perspective). Could a similar change happen this off season? I say yes.
Frank Cashman brought in Johnson to manage the Mets for the 1984 season. He had been managing triple A Norfolk (then known as Tidewater) and won a championship. Could Wally Backman (a player under Johnson’s Mets) become this generation’s Johnson? I think he could. Most of the time, Backman has managed minor leagues teams to success. That being said, the Buffalo Bison had a losing season last year and the Las Vegas 51s are just three games over .500 today. But Backman appears to have the smarts and compassion to be a very good baseball man at the major league level. My concern is the Mets will not promote him because of some issues in Backman’s past. Yes, Wally has been known to get a bit crazy at times. However, if the Mets do not give him the opportunity, someone else will and the last thing you want is for Backman to come to Citi Field with another team, a winning team.
I do not blame Terry Collins for the mess in Flushing but he is a part of it. He makes a lot of questionable calls and overuses guys in the bullpen all the time. Collins is a good developer but I am not sold on him being the guy in charge when the Mets finally turn the corner which we hope is sooner than later.
It is hard to be positive about these Mets. They have been very bad for the last five baseball months. From after the All Star break last year to today, the Mets record is 50-80, thirty games below .500. So I do not blame any Mets fan for being overly pessimistic. Yes there are good players on the horizon but most of them are pitchers. And while pitching is the name of the game, a team must score runs consistently if they want to win consistently. You can blame Shawn Marcum for giving up four runs in the 6th or 7th inning but does he or some of the other starters ever get the luxury of pitching with a lead. Zach Wheeler can come up and pitch lights out but unless he and Matt Harvey throw a shutout every time out, it’s likely they are not going to win.
One of the big problems facing GM Sandy Alderson is the lack of offense in the Mets system. That’s why they traded RA Dickey for Travis d’Arnaud. But the one bugaboo regarding the phenom catcher is his health and we have already seen why. Yes, it was an unfortunate accident that he was hit in the foot with a foul tip but there are some players where injury seems to find them no matter what.
Brandon Nimmo is one to watch. He is very good hitting outfielder at Savannah however he is not an immediate answer still being at least a couple seasons away. Alderson is going to have to consider trading some of that young pitching to get offensive help for the major league club. It could happen this season, not to really help the outcome of this season but to be an answer for the next couple of seasons. Perhaps a Keith Hernandez type deal is a good comparison.
Hernandez was brought in by Frank Cashen in 1983 (much to the depression of the all star first baseman). Hernandez helped the Mets get a little better in the second half of that ’83 season but clearly his impact came in the following five campaigns culminating in the club’s last world championship in 1986 and another division title in 1988. That is the kind of trade (or trades) that Alderson is going to have to make. You can continue to build the farm to a point but there comes a time to pull a trigger or two and get some major league ready offensive players in here.
As I have stated, I am willing to wait five years from when Alderson took over. I like his approach. He has done a fantastic job of correcting a completely dysfunctional farm system if not an entire organization. But the clock is ticking and fans need to see improvement with the parent club. The sooner the better.
May 31st, 2013 by Lou
The Mets have won five in a row and swept the Yanks in the home and home subway series. So what’s next?
The Mets go from a wild fun environment to a ballpark that will seem like a wake as they open up a three game set in Miami. The Marlins are the worst team in baseball with a record of 13-41. With a five game winnings streak, it would be easy to think the Mets can make hay in Florida but they better remain focused and do the things they have done the last five games or disappointment is sure to occur.
It’s likely there will be more Mets fans in Marlins Park this evening than those who root for the Fish. It would be very easy for the Mets to let down after such an energizing series. The Mets have won five games in a row, their longest winning streak of the season. In fact it is their longest winning streak since May 5th through 9th of last season when the Mets won five in a row from Arizona and Philadelphia. The Mets have not won more than five games in a row since April 21 through 27 of 2011 when they won six in a row. So before we start counting chickens, let’s realize the Mets still have a lot to prove.
Even with this five game streak including the Yankees sweep, the Mets still find themselves nine games out of first, seven games under .500. It will be a herculean effort just to get back to the .500 mark. But the schedule is on the Mets side as they face the Marlins in six of the next nine games. In between they play three against the Nationals in Washington. The Nats are having their issues this season, just at the .500 mark when everyone had predicted they would run away with the NL East.
Shortly we will see if the Subway Series really was a catalyst to better things for the Mets or if it was a temporary bump and soon the Mets will return to reality. I am hoping for the former but we’ll see.
Hey Yankee fans. You cannot have it both ways. You praised your team of castoffs as they stormed to the top of the AL East. Now that the Mets won all four games, you say these players aren’t really Yankees. That’s weak, very weak.
Rivalry week concluded with the Mets sweeping the Yanks in four games. How did some of the other more popular rivalries go?
The Cubs from the north side of Chicago defeated the south side White Sox three games to none but one game at US Cellular was rained out and has yet to be rescheduled. The Dodgers and Angels split the Freeway series with both clubs winning their two respective home games. The Oakland A’s won their series with the Giants winning three of four. The two revolution cities of Boston and Philadelphia split their four games with both clubs splitting two games at their respective homes. Tampa Bay swept Miami in the Florida series and the Cardinals won three for four from the Royals in the I70 series. Baltimore split with Washington in the Beltway Series going 1-1 in each other’s ballparks.
May 30th, 2013 by Lou
For only the third time in inter-league history, the Mets have defeated the Yankees in the season series.
Regardless of what happens in this evening’s finale of the Subway Series, the Mets have clinched the series by winning the first three of the four game home and home set, the first of its kind. Four games between the two New York clubs is the fewest played since 1998 when the Mets only played a three game home series against the Bombers at Shea Stadium. Every season that followed through last year, the Mets and Yankees have played six games, three in Queens and three in the Bronx. (How come we don’t say “the” Queens?)
The Mets did not win a Subway Series until 2004. That was the last season Art Howe managed the Mets. And if you recall, it was an awful season. But at least when the Mets played the Yankees, they won most of the games, four in fact. While losing the series at Yankee Stadium two games to one, the Mets swept the Yanks at Shea.
The Mets did it again in 2008, winning all three games at Yankee Stadium. One was a memorable makeup game on a Friday afternoon when Carlos Delgado hit two home runs, one a grand slam and the other a three run shot, driving in a Mets record nine runs. The Mets won the opener of the day-night two stadium doubleheader by a score of 15-6 but lost the Shea nightcap 9-0. The Mets again won four of the six games but just one at home.
Tonight, the Mets have a chance to do something they have never done. That would be to not lose a single game to the Yankees in the season’s Subway Series. The Yankees swept the Mets once in 2003, winning all six games.
All time the Mets are 3-8 in the Subway Series with six splits.
Many of my Yankee fan friends are already throwing around excuses that the Yankees are injured, that all their stars are not playing. Funny how I heard none of this as the Yankee fill ins managed to reach the top of the AL East.
May 29th, 2013 by Lou
In last night’s win over the Yankees, it was the first time in the illustrious history of Mariano Rivera that he blew a save without recording an out. That is truly amazing.
It was also the fourth time that the Mets defeated Mariano since inter-league play began in 1997.
The other wins against Rivera…
July 10, 1999, at Shea Stadium – Matt Franco singles to right scoring Rickey Henderson and Edgardo Alfonso to give the Mets a 9-8 win.
July 7, 2001, at Yankee Stadium – In a scoreless game in the top of the 10th, Mike Piazza drives in Desi Relaford to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Two more runs would score off Rivera. Armando Benitez preserves the 3-0 victory.
May 19, 2006, at Shea Stadium – David Wright singles over the head of Johnny Damon scoring Paul LoDuca who had doubled, giving the Mets a 7-6 victory.
May 28, 2013, at Citi Field – Lucas Duda singles to right scoring David Wright with the winning run. Wright had singled in Daniel Murphy with the tying run.
Hey look, I’m not gloating. When you consider the career Mariano Rivera has had, to only have beaten him four times in 92 games is unbelievable. I don’t even want to know the number of saves he has had against the Mets.
Also with last night’s victory the Mets are now 12-12 in one run games against the Yanks and marked only the eighth time the Mets beat the Yankees in a series against 23 losses. This year is the first time the Mets play a two game home and home series against the Yankees for a total of four games. Both New York clubs played a single three game set the first two seasons of inter-league play at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium respectively. Every year since they have played two three game sets at each others ballpark for a total of six games. All time against the bombers, the Mets are 38-54 (.413) during regular season play.
May 28th, 2013 by Lou
If the Yankees-Mets game is rained out tonight, when will it be made up?
It might be one of those day-night, two stadium double headers within the next couple of days. Because when you look at the schedules of both New York clubs, there is really not a good common off day to make up the game.
Both clubs are off on June 10th but the Yanks are on the west coast and are not going to fly all the way back to New York for one game then hop on a plane and head back. Monday June 24th is a possibility because the Yanks have an off day in the midst of a nine game home stand. The problem however is the Mets schedule. If the Mets agree to host the make up game on that date, they would lose an off day creating 29 straight days playing 32 games. That’s because two previous rained out games are being made up during that stretch.
September 16th is another possibility but it sets up a long streak of games for both clubs without a day off too. I guess another idea would be to play on the Thursday of the All Star break when all teams are enjoying their last day off before the second half begins. I’m doubting players would be happy regarding that possibility.
I guess the best thing would be for the rain to stop and the game to get played tonight.
May 23rd, 2013 by Lou
Now that the Mets are ten games under .500 and going nowhere fast, I have some questions?
1) Did Sandy Alderson ever intend for the 2011-2013 Mets to be competitive or was it just lip service knowing the territory that he would be working in?
2) Does David Wright regret resigning with the Mets knowing as a free agent he could have gotten top dollar from good baseball teams, including the Yankees?
3) Is it time to consider trading Ike Davis, admitting as with most of the draftees under the Minaya era, there really are no superstars among them (excluding the lone Matt Harvey of course)?
4) Are the Mets still a completely flawed organization, stemming (stem spelled backwards is Mets you know) from the fact that the Wilpon family is truly incompetent as an owner of a major league franchise?
5) Why don’t the Mets do the right thing for their fans and drastically lower ticket prices? Has anyone noticed how many empty seats there are at Citi Field? (I know, that’s two questions really.)
When GM Sandy Alderson took over for Omar Minaya, he kept the talented John Ricco as assistant GM. He also brought in a front office dream team of Paul DePodesta (the inspiration for the fictitious character Peter Brand in the movie “Money Ball”) and J.P. Riccardi. Since that time, Alderson and his staff began the task of dismantling the team, keeping the better Minaya era players like Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, and R.A. Dickey plus others. Of course they resigned David Wright, the only true superstar to grow up a Met since Darryl Strawberry. The rest of the tasks regarding the major league club have been to bring in stop gap players that have mostly failed at every turn. Alderson has been able to weather the Bernie Madoff storm, wait for horrendous Minaya era contracts to expire, and to show he and his staff have poor ability to build a bullpen. For three years in a row now, the bullpen has demonstrated they cannot stop inherited runners from scoring and usually add more fuel to the fire. Matt Harvey looks like an absolute number one starter in the making but Omar Minaya drafted him, not Alderson. Bobby Parnell, with that new knuckle curve, is also coming into his own as a premier closer but alas, also a Minaya era prospect. Now in fairness, the bullpens under Alderson and Collins have been completely overworked because their starting pitching has been so thin. You wonder with a solid group of starters, would the relief corps signed by Alderson have fared better.
No one disputes the talent of the Mets front office. This group of baseball men have completely rebuilt the Mets farm system. From the depths of the major leagues, the Mets system now ranks above the middle of the pack in growing talent. And this should improve moving ahead. The problem however is none of their draft picks and other recruits through trades are ready to be promoted to the major league club (Zach Wheeler for Carlos Beltran could be close though). But make no mistake—the organization is now full of talent (mostly pitching). While everyone talks of pitching prospect Wheeler, there are a number of other pitching studs at the lower levels. There is Noah Syndergaard obtained in the RA Dickey deal along with catcher Travis d’Arnaud. There is Rafael Montero and Logan Verrett who are wowing them at double A Binghamton and many other live young arms throughout the system. Brandon Nimmo may be the center fielder of the future and if he can stay healthy, everyone agrees the Mets will be set at the catcher’s position for years with d’Arnaud. Clearly, a major effort has been put forward by the Alderson team in reconstructing how the organization works from top to bottom. That’s a good thing but it gets lost when watching the product currently running around on the major league field. When you look at the most successful teams of late like the Cardinals, Giants, and Braves, they all have extremely strong farm systems.
So has Alderson simply provided lip service to eager Mets fans wanting a winner today in Flushing? I think to some degree he has. Now it is true he has not had much to work with in terms of finances. But there was more money available this past winter since the Wilpons were cleared of wrong doing in the Madoff scandal by the courts. Not signing Michael Bourne, who could have been a nice fit for the Mets, was telling. The Mets past on Bourne because they were too afraid of losing the 11th pick in the amateur draft this June. That tells me the front office is more concerned about building the farm for the betterment of the long term than it did about competing in 2013. But again in fairness, at least by his Cleveland statistics, Bourne has done nothing to make any Mets fan feel the team would have been better off today with him.
Typically when a new general manager takes over a ballclub, it takes five years to turn things around. That was true when Frank Cashen took over the Mets in 1979. His teams were awful through the ’83 season until they turned it around in ’84. The only difference back then was there were no sports talk radio and a gazillion cable sports channels to harp on how bad the team was 24-7.
This is the third season under Alderson. So putting our overly optimistic hopes aside (the Mets were really never expected to be that good this season anyway), I’m willing to let Alderson and his staff continue what they have begun. One thing I will say about Alderson, he could not care less what we fans or the media have to say. He has a plan and he intends to carry it out. All we can do is hope he is right. As badly as I want the Mets to win now, the reality is they can’t, the talent level is simply not good enough. And if I must wait another two seasons for the Mets to finally become contenders again then fine, as long as they can consistently compete each season thereafter. That is something that has eluded this franchise for a very long time.
How often do you wonder if David Wright regrets resigning with the Mets?
David Wright, drafted by Steve Phillips in 2001 as compensation for pitcher Mike Hampton taking his kids to Colorado schools, is a home grown Mets super star in the same mold as Tom Seaver and Darryl Strawberry. But unlike the two former Mets stars, Wright will likely play his entire career wearing orange and blue. Tom Seaver was sent away by an ownership group unable to understand the future of baseball. Darryl left on his own accord because he was unable to grasp his own future. Wright on the other hand wanted to stay and ownership recognized the lashing out that would have occurred from an already disgusted fan base had they let him leave. Make no mistake, the deal had to get done from both sides.
But here we are again in the midst of yet another abysmal Mets season. Wright continues to show why he is the bright shiny star of this franchise. No, he’s not having a career year but he is playing just as consistent as his baseball card indicates. He’s the guy always driving in the runs or getting on base and flashing spectacular leather at third (Wright was robbed of the gold glove last season and everyone knows it). Wright wants to win and he wants to do it as a Met. I really admire that but you have to wonder if he has some regrets. He’s thirty years old now and not getting any younger. Does he imagine what it would be like if he could play on the Giants, Cardinals, or Reds beginning at the trade deadline this season with a legitimate shot at winning. I for one would not blame if he did. He could have had his pick of any team come this November, even the evil empire across the pond (oh God, no). Thankfully for us Mets fans that cannot happen now.
Honestly, I think Wright is loyal to his own detriment. He is the New York Mets and even though the Mets are mostly a bunch of losers, Wright exemplifies what all Mets fans want their team to be. You know what? More than for me and all Mets fandom, I hope the Mets do turn it around and win for David. His devotion and ethic is a model for any ballplayer. Wright deserves a ring and hopefully he will wear it one day.
As far as trading Ike Davis goes… who would take him? For the second year in a row, Davis has started out absolutely awful, batting under .150 with four home runs and nine runs batted in. That is horrendous for a first baseman, especially when the Mets outfield combined is powerless. The Mets cannot trade Davis right now and it’s possible he will bounce out of this as he did around this time last season. Davis had a spectacular second half after a miserable start a year ago. It was assumed his bad start was the result of missing almost all of the 2011 season with a severe ankle sprain then contracting Valley Fever the following spring. Davis had a terrific spring this year but once the season started, it was spring 2012 all over again.
There have been murmurs of sending Davis down to the minors. Then we wonder who’s on first and I’m not referring to Abbott and Costello’s routine either. There is no pretty answer here. I guess you can put Daniel Murphy at first then play Jordany Valdespin at second every day to see how he fairs on a day to day basis. John Buck could play first but unfortunately d’Arnaud is still injured and is not expected to make his way to Citi Field to at least after the All Star break. Lucas Duda can play first but he’s not exactly Lou Gehrig either. Then what mediocre bench player with no pop in his bat plays left field on a regular basis? No easy answers.
I am not saying the Mets will not send down Davis. But since there is no real desirable option, the Mets might as well keep Davis playing and hope that it finally clicks. But there is more and more talk of Davis heading to Vegas. Perhaps out in the dessert with Wally Backman, Davis can figure some things out.
The Wilpon Mets… are they just incompetent?
We see the Pirates have a very nice season so far. Look at the Cleveland Indians now in first place in the American League Central. Even the Cubs who were suppose to be bad for a while; they have one more win than the Mets. Why is it taking so long for the Mets to get better? Are they just a flawed organization? (Yes the Bucs are having a nice season but their road to success was far worse than what the Mets are going through.)
The Yankees were supposed to be awful this year. How come the signings of castoffs made by Brian Cashman are all working out and once again Sandy Alderson’s are not? Is there magic in those Yankee pin stripes or is Cashman just a shrewder GM then Alderson?
As I said earlier, I think Alderson’s goal all along was to rebuild the Mets. His stop gap measures have mostly failed and I really wonder if it bothers him too much. But since he has not spent a whole lot of money, the fans will continue to believe the Wilpons are cheap and out to fleece the Mets’ faithful. I honestly do not believe that to be true but I have to admit the Wilpons at times do seem clueless. The Wilpons took a lot of heat for not adorning Citi Field with more Mets stuff the first year it opened. Many fans complained it did not feel like home. And while I completely understand and support the tribute to Jackie Robinson in the Citi Field rotunda, could it have hurt to put a statue of Tom Seaver out on the plaza?
Plus we read the rumors that Jeff Wilpon was making baseball decisions too. There is nothing worse than an owner getting involved with baseball decisions. Don’t bring up George Steinbrenner. When George made baseball decisions, the Yankees won nothing. It was Gabe Paul and Al Rosen who built the late 70’s dynasty and it took George’s suspension to allow Gene Michael and Bob Watson to build the core that won five World Series since 1996 and who are is still leaving their mark on Yankee Stadium.
If the Wilpons want to work on getting the front office of the year award (if such a thing were to exist), one thing they could do, and this relates to my last question, would be to significantly trim ticket prices. No one wants to pay the cost of Mets tickets to see the product currently on the field. The front office may quietly complain of the Catch 22 that without people coming, where do they get the money the fans expect them to spend. My response would be that nobody is going now as it is. Would it not be a good idea to offer reasonable prices all over the park to show a sign of good faith and to entice fans to come out to the game? At least it would offer some good will to the concession franchises at the ballpark. These entrepreneurs must be just steaming that they paid to open businesses at Citi Field.
As for me, I have not yet attended a game this year. I will at some point but I have no burning desire to trek over the GW Bridge battling traffic the whole way, shell out twenty bucks to park and then watch the Mets make like the Bad News Bears again.
Patience is still in order. If we want a team like the Giants, Braves, or Cardinals who compete every single year then these are the growing pains we must endure. With another miserable season underway, we have to hope the front office sticks to their plan of building a winner. Rome was not built in a day as they say and the Mets will not be built in a few seasons.
I hope that 2013 is like 1967 or 1983. Those were bad years but the Mets showed there were pieces on the horizon and the following seasons proved to be fruitful. Perhaps Matt Harvey is this generation’s Tom Seaver and Travis d’Arnaud could be the new Darryl Strawberry. We dream of a rotation of Harvey, Zach Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, and Jon Niese (maybe if he gets his act straightened out). But right now it’s just a dream.