Thursday, April 21, 2011

Change in the Mets?

With a new GM and a new manager in the mix will this be a better season for the mets or will it be the same? Last year the mets struggled down the stretch and have gotten off to a bad start this year. Offseason pickups Chris Young and Ronny Paulino are injured and David Wright is off to a bad start. The only players producing are Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. (Who are both in contract seasons.) Starting pitching is yet another question. Also second base is a problem. So it is still early but are we looking at the age old quote "how bout next year".

Monday, March 29, 2010

The return of the chocolate italian ice

Well, we're all here at Spring Training for our fifth year in the last six. Tradition Field is now Digital Domain Park, and the chocolate italian ice has returned to the lineup along with refreshing tangerine. We have been to three games thus far and haven't seen a ton to get excited about, but we're having fun anyway. We arrived Thursday night and went down to Jupiter on Friday to take in a game against the Marlins. Nelson Figueroa started and got shelled for seven in
2 2/3. Jennry Mejia got hit around a little, but the Mets came back to tie the game, which ended in an 8-8 tie. The next day we went to DDP to see the Mets take on the Nats. We saw Hisanori Takahashi give up his first runs of the spring and , despite a double, home run and stolen base from David Wright, the Mets lost 7-5 in 10 innings. Yesterday's game was packed with Cardinals fans. The Mets lost 10-5 and Pelfrey was knocked around pretty good. He claimed afterwards that he was working mostly on his secondary pitches. Today is our final game. It is at home against the Marlins. We have had a great trip and we will be sorry to go, but are excited that real games will be beginning in a week. I love this tradition and hope to continue it in years to come. I just hope they keep the chocolate italian ice, it's a winner!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's in store for Daniel Murphy?

If my name were Daniel Murphy, I would have a complex. On the one hand, he was given the first base job with no real competition after an average (at best) 2009 campaign. The Mets brought in their best first base resource to work with him personally (The great Keith Hernandez). They did all of this and then brought in Mike jacobs to compete for a position. They also have former 1st round pick Ike Davis hanging around as they have all but annointed him as the 1b of the future.

Daniel Murphy is batting .121 this spring, while Ike Davis (who yesterday was assigned to minor league camp) has torn it up to the tune of .480, 3 hrs, and 10 RBIs. Both Jerry and Omar have indicated that they would have no problem bringing him up, if the situation presented itself later in the season. So if Ike Davis is the 1b of the future and maybe even near future, where does that leave Mr. Murphy? He has played 2b before, but by all accounts, his experiment there in AFL 2008 was a disaster. We know what he looks like in the outfield, so that is not an option either. If he were to play an entire season at 1b with best possible scenario type results, which would look something like .290, 18-20 hrs, and 85 or so RBIs, what would that mean going forward? Are the Mets trying to develop him into a valuable trade chip, or are they developing him so that Ike becomes the trade chip?

These are all questions that will likely be answered this summer as the 1b drama continues to unfold. Whatever the result, I guess these are okay problems to have. My suspicion is that by the middle of July, the chants of I like Ike, will be ringing down in Flushing like it's 1952.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Seaver vs. Ryan

I love this match-up. It is the sexy strikeout numbers and no-hitters of Ryan against the unmatched consistency and excellence of Seaver. I not only had the privilege of watching these two greats on television for years, but also saw each of them pitch in person.
Nolan Ryan is the lifetime strikeout king with almost a thousand more than the next closest pitcher (Randy Johnson). He also had seven career no-hitters, the last of which was in 1993 at age 46. He pitched for 27 seasons and pitched at a high level. On the other hand, he had a lifetime winning percentage of only.526 and never won the Cy Young Award. He won 20 games 0nly twice and had the most walks in major league history.

Tom Seaver pitched in the same era and while he didn’t have the strikeouts or no-hitters that Ryan had, he was quite the power pitcher in his own right. He managed to win three Cy Young Awards, win twenty games five times and be named to twelve all star games. He had a winning percentage of .603 during his twenty seasons toeing the rubber. Seaver also had a career ERA of 2.86.

Ryan had the longer career and the huge strikeout totals, but one question comes to mind with him. That question is “was there ever a time during his career when people would say that he is the best pitcher in baseball.” I think the answer to that is no. While Ryan was compiling his records, the likes of Vida Blue, Gaylord Perry, Jim Palmer, Steve Carlton and yes Tom Seaver were winning the annual Cy Young award. Nolan Ryan is an amazing story and was a dominant strikeout pitcher, but this comparison goes to Tom Terrific.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Willie, Mickey and the Duke

This is an interesting comparison for me. I have never seen any of these greats play, however I have seen quite a bit of highlight reel and talked to enough people that saw them play that I am going to give it a shot. While numbers don't tell the whole story, they do tell some of it.
My sense is that, while this was a heavily debated topic on the streets of NY during the fifties, that this is statistically a two horse race. Duke Snider was an amazing Hall of Fame player, But Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle were a leg up on that. Obviously Willie had a longer career than either of the other two. It would be interesting to try and project Mickey's stats over a similarly lengthy career, but he suffered from many nagging injuries, some of which were self inflicted.
From a power standpoint, Willie had more Home Runs, but Mickey had more Home Runs per 100 ABs. While they were all considered outstanding Centerfielders, Willie garnered twelve gold gloves to Mickey's one and Duke's zero. Their career batting averages were within a few points of each other.

I think that after it is all said and done, that Willie wins it by a nose over Mickey with Duke in third place. What are your thoughts??

Monday, February 9, 2009

Keith vs. Donnie, the Great Debate

It's a close call both were terrific fielders as well as leaders, but I have to tip my cap to Keith. His broadcasting acumen adds to his resume and continues to cement his status as a true NY legend! What do you think?