Saturday, April 19, 2014

Davis Traded; Once Again Mets Don't Get Major League Player In Return

The Ike Davis Saga came to an abrupt end just before the Mets took on the Atlanta Braves at GHMP last night.

There is no great surprise that Elvis pulled the trigger on a deal including Davis, but the timing was a bit of a surprise to me. I do believe Davis will have a better career than Duda, mainly because I have never seen anything remarkable from Duda, and with Davis, we did witness a lot of power and a solid glove at 1B.

My take on Davis' failures over the last two seasons boils down to one thing, and one thing only: the Sandy Alderson mantra of taking pitch after pitch stifled Ike's aggressiveness, and Davis has to be aggressive to be successful. Howard Johnson first put this thought in my head last year when he said that Davis needs to be aggressive, and under Alderson's tight-fisted rule, it was detrimental to Davis' production and progression. I agree with what the former Mets 3B surmised.

Another problem I have with this trade is that the Mets (as of yet) didn't get back a Major Leaguer. What they did get back, like in most all of Alderson's trades, is another "prospect' - this one is a 26 year old relief pitcher named Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Usually a player to be named later isn't a starting big league player, but according to some accounts, this player will be significant. Unfortunately, that came from the Mets brass who can never be trusted.

As Alderson said:

“There were a lot of positives for Lucas,’’ Alderson said. “Ike has done some great things here in New York, 32 home runs one year. But we think Lucas has the same potential, might be a little more effective against left-handed [pitchers]. I think he can play first base well. This was a close call.’’

~ Kevin Kernan NY Post ~

 I tweeted last night that I am sick of the Mets getting nothing but "prospects" for major leaguers, and 213 Miles From Shea reminded me that they did get Buck for RA Dickey. Two things though:
  1. Buck was the throw in
  2. Buck was traded midway through the season (with Marlon Byrd) for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera.
...not quite Major League talent in my book.

I am really pulling for Ike to go on to have a wonderful career. Yes he was frustrating with some of his strikeouts, but he played a solid first base, and is the only true power hitter this team had. Yes, they do now have Granderson, but I don't expect the big power numbers to be the same in Flushing as they were in the Bronx. 

Either way, the Mets management wants nothing more on this team than droids; players that aren't permitted to think, and must just go by the book of Sandy. 90 wins? I think not.

Sources: Ultimate Mets Database, Kevin Kernan NY Post

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Cleaning Out Junk Unearths A Forgotten Mets Moment

Having been a Mets fan now entering my 42 year, I am constantly remembering the bad old days of sub .500 baseball, the near misses of 1973, 1988, 2006, 2007, and 2008, and the wonderful run of 1986.

I am also fortunate enough to remember my youth listening to Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner keep a young boys interest whether on TV or radio.

With the final piece of the Mets Trinity joining the Mets broadcast booth in the sky, I am left with many fond memories.

Not boring all with my personal memories, I have one little bit of memorabilia that I came across today.

Mrs. metsfan73 had me laboring in cleaning up, throwing out, and getting rid of much "junk" that had accumulated over the almost 21 years of our marriage. So, for most of this afternoon I spent shredding unnecessary papers, mail, bills, etc of yesteryear - when I came across the wonderful poem by former Met third baseman Ed Charles. 

Charles penned this wonderful tribute to Ralph Kiner in time for Ralph Kiner day on Saturday July 14, 2007...just before Tom Glavine earned his 298 Major League win.

One Moment in Time

A Tribute to Ralph Kiner
By: Ed Charles
Life to us is just a moment in time
When we sing our songs and write our rhymes
When we audition for a role upon life's great stage
Then act out the scripts as written on the page

But some might resent the way the scripts were written
No one prefers the role of a loser snake bitten
We would like a role that brings honor and fame
Not some little bit part that belittles our name

For life to us is just a moment in time
Welcome to the big stage without a nickel or dime
We dream lofty dreams like others before
Then set out to achieve them like the ones we adore

But oft-times some of us misread our scripts
And meet with failure for our bumbling little slips
We replace the original scripts for those of our own
Putting our trust and fate in a destiny unknown

For life to us is just a moment in time
A personal struggle to keep our heads above the slime
A daunting task that beclouds our days
Until the curtains are drawn upon our plays

For the songs that we sing and the rhymes that we write
Are but spiritual reflections of our souls in flight
Some soar gracefully and some are like wingless birds
Grounded and stage frightened for frail are their nerves

But you Ralph Kiner are as composed as one can be
Nothing could sway you from the goals that you set for thee
For you aced your audition with a bat and a glove
Then astounded us with spiels about the game that we love

You kept us in touch with the Glory Days of yore
When character not steroids were the hallmark of a pro
When egos were kept in check by codes of conduct
And ostracism befell those who dared act up

So today we pause to celebrate your climb
From the boondocks to Shea to this moment in time
And to say with affection how grateful we are
That you chose baseball and big Shea to fashion your star

For you are an original, a beloved New York Met
A Pirate and a Hall of Famer, as good as they get
For your moment in time is a mighty fine show
And today the Mets family wanted to tell you so

For now you are a legend like Mays and DiMaggio
And all honors upon you today we admiringly and proudly bestow

As usual, the Glider knew exactly what to say. The only difference is the Glider had it right almost 7 years ago. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Niese Numbness: To NY For MRI

As has been reported all over the Twittersphere this afternoon, Mets (believed) opening day pitcher, Jon Niese is headed back to NY for an MRI because of a "dead arm" - believed to be caused by discomfort in his triceps on his left pitching arm.

Here we go Mets faithful - only a week into spring training and the Mets are already being bitten by the injury bug, which for most Mets is the DL bug.

Niese was slated to be the Opening Day starter in Flushing against Strasburg and the Washington Nationals. Bartolo Colon was/is expected to be the day 2 starter, but he is also not participating today due to tightness in both calves.

It boggles the mind how players can be injured before games have begun. More bothersome is the fragile health of Jon Niese.

As Bill Price tweeted:

The Bitter Bill is accurate in his tweet. Niese has been oft injured in his relatively short career. Just last year alone he had: 

  • A partially torn rotator cuff
  • Left shoulder tendinitis
  • Lower right leg contusion
What better way to deal with this news than to run a poll? Feel free to provide your belief. Poll is located on the left hand side of blog.

Source: Fox Sports

Friday, February 7, 2014

Remembering Ralph: Tribute To A Mets Legend

The Mets baseball universe came to an abrupt stop...pause if you will, when we learned of the passing of Mets broadcasting legend Ralph Kiner.

Kiner, along with Lindsey Nelson and Bob Murphy, formed the famed Mets broadcast team from 1962 - 1978 - an amazing run by the broadcasting team, and an amazing era for Mets fans.

"Hello everybody, I'm Lindsey Nelson": Nelson was the first to leave the trio when he left after the 1978 season. In 1988 he was elected to the National Baseball Hall Of Fame. Nelson passed away June 10, 1995 at the age of 76.

"Back with the Happy Recap": Bob Murphy's broadcasting career with the Mets lasted an amazing 42 years (1962-2003). Murphy, who split time between radio and TV, was another Mets icon. Murphy always painted a positive picture of the game, and as a fan listening, Murphy was  like listening to your grandfather talk about the game while you were sitting at his feet on the front porch. Like Nelson, Murphy was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1994. Murphy passed away from lung cancer on August 3, 2004, shortly after his retirement.

"Hello, everybody. Welcome to Kiner's Corner. This is....uh. I'm...uh": Ralph Kiner. Just saying the name draws a multitude of emotions. The two most prevalent emotions that come to mind are: his Kinerisms and his knowledge of the game and his ability to tell stories of yesteryear. Kiner, like Murphy and Nelson, was a Mets mainstay, with his tenure being the longest. Kiner was with the Mets from day one in 1962 until last season. Over the last many season's Kiner would appear periodically on Mets broadcasts. It was great listening to Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, ultimate Mets fans, just listen in  awe as Kiner told of the days of times past. Even at the age of 91, Kiner could still see flaws in a players swing at the plate. The man was a PhD in the art of hitting. 

With Kiner's death yesterday, at the age of 91, a chapter in Mets history is closed. Unlike his broadcasting brethren (Nelson and Murphy), Kiner is the only one not elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, which is a crime. Although he earned enshrinement to the Hall as a player, Kiner has been overlooked for his remarkable announcing abilities which is a crime. He is broadcasting's Gil Hodges.

I was fortunate to have grown up listening to the trio, and I remember how bummed I was when Nelson left, opening the door for Steve Albert. Murphy, Nelson, and Kiner were the Mets Trinity. For those reading this post who were too young (or not yet born) to have spent your summers listening to and watching the Mets Trinity, you missed out. Gary, Keith, and Ron are awesome, and possibly the best in the game right now, but they are not (yet) the Mets Trinity. That's how special the original Mets broadcasters were.

Ralph is now in God's broadcast booth, probably telling God the tales of time spent with starlets and baseball stars from the 1940's.

Rest in peace will be sorely missed.


  • "All of his saves have come in relief appearances"
  • "All of the Mets road wins against the Dodgers this year occurred at Dodger Stadium."
  • "If Casey Stengel were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave."
  • "Kevin McReynolds stops at third and he scores."
  • "On Fathers Day, we again wish you all happy birthday."
  • "Solo homers usually come with no one on base."
  • "The Hall of Fame ceremonies are on the thirty-first and thirty-second of July."
  • "Tony Gwynn was named player of the year for April."
  • "This one deep to right and it is way back, going, going, it is gone, no off of the top of the wall."
  • "Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water. The other third is covered by Garry Maddox."

Sources: Baseball Almanac

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Happy Days! Fonzie To Coach In Mets Minor Leagues

Edgardo Alfonzo, arguably the best second baseman in Mets history, and in my opinion one of the smartest ball players this team has ever had, has been hired to be a coach in the Mets minor league system.

Fonzie, who played with the Mets from 1995 - 2002, was used in many capacities while with the Mets. He was a SS in the minor leagues until Mets signed Cuban defector Rey Ordonez. Once with the parent club, Alfonzo switched between 3B and 2B, never complaining and always playing well defensively.

His Mets statistics are impressive, batting .292, knocking in 538 runs, clubbing 120 HR's and hitting 212 doubles in 8 years.

I always felt Alfonzo was an intelligent player who you never saw make a "dumb" play. He positioned himself well in the field, as proven in 1999 when he committed only 5 errors in 712 chances (.993) and being a member of one of the greatest infields in Major League history (Ventura 3B - Gold Glove, Ordonez SS - Gold Glove, Alfonzo 2B, and Olerud 1B).

As reported by Adam Rubin, Alfonzo will

"likely will work as a roving instructor."

I have always stated that Alfonzo would make a great coach. He was a quiet leader on the solid Mets teams of the late 1990's and early 2000's . As I stated from an earlier post in 2009:

"I have always stated that Alfonzo would make an outstanding coach someday. He would be able to help not only the Latin players, but all players..."

and from 2008:

"This player was the most selfless player I can remember, showed shades of brilliance, power, versatility, and was the classiest individual on a talented team. The classiest Met I have ever had the pleasure of watching, day in and day out - Edgardo Antonio Alfonzo.'
'That all being said, Alfonzo was, other than Keith Hernandez and Rusty Staub, the smartest ball player to have worn a Met uniform. I never witnessed him make a "dumb" mistake. He always knew what to do in any given situation.' 

 Given the opportunity, I can see Alfonzo possibly managing in the minor league level before working his way up the ladder to hopefully one day be coaching (or managing) the team in Flushing.

Happy Days for Mets fans, Fonzie's back.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mistreated Former Met Plans To Retire

Former Mets left fielder Jason Bay last week indicated there is a great likelihood that he will file for retirement from Major League Baseball.

Shi Davidi tweeted:

"Jason Bay says while he hasn't filed any papers yet, he can't see a scenario in which he comes back to play, so he's essentially retiring."

Bay was much maligned in his brief Mets career, which spanned from 2010 - 2012, and frequently was unfairly treated.

I have never retracted my statements from the 2009 off season where I believed that Bay was the right fit for the Mets. I always felt he was underrated defensively and he did play a solid LF for the Mets, while battling injury and incessant scrutiny from NY media and Mets fans.

While always liking Bay as a stand-up individual and honest person, I wasn't always in Bay's corner towards the end of his career with the Mets, resorting to calling him Puddle. I just felt Bay was beyond repair in NY and was in dire need of a change a scenery. I rooted for Bay to do well with Seattle, which he did not accomplish, being released by Seattle after 68 games last year.

Bay always played hard, and never ran from the press. He always handled himself with professionalism and class to a sometimes hostile New York press. He would sit at his locker well after games until all questions were asked and answered.

Sometimes it isn't always about the numbers put up on the scoreboard; baseball players can transcend that, and Bay was/is the type of character who did this with his professionalism and class. 

He had his difficulties, battling through concussions and other injuries, but be always played hard and faced the music when he didn't perform well.

Most of today's athletes can learn a lot from a quality person like Bay.

Though his days in Flushing weren't among the best, he was also unfairly vilified; I never believed Bay took the money and ran, no,  but I wish he had had a more substantial existence in Flushing.

If Bay does decide to retire, which seems likely, baseball will lose out on a quality individual who was never appreciated in his years here in Flushing.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

As Winter Meetings Begin Are Ike Davis' Days As A Met Numbered?

The Major League Baseball Winter meetings commence Monday (tomorrow), December 9, 2013. With the meetings getting under way tomorrow, will Sandy Alderson look to move one or more players?

Andy Martino reported that the Mets will actively be seeking to move discombobulated first baseman Ike Davis. The Mets believe Duda offers more...more errors, more useless hits, and more headaches? Duda has never shown he is a power hitter, and Ike showed much power his first two years. I am not saying Ike shouldn't be traded, no, I am saying I would take Ike over Duda everyday of the week. He has much more power, and is a much better glove. Yes, he strikes out too much, and has shown a complete breakdown at the plate as of last year, but he can be corrected.

Howard Johnson observed Davis recently, and was upset by what he saw of his former protege. Johnson brought up some very good points, the main one being that you can't expect a power hitter to let good pitches go by just to run a deep pitch count. A power hitter must be aggressive, and Ike is conflicted at the plate. Welcome to Money Ball and OBP.

Alderson does not want his players thinking, just to accept Sandy's philosophy on blind faith. Funny, HoJo played pro ball, Elvis didn't. It is believed that Marlon Byrd wasn't wanted back because he instructed young players to be aggressive at the plate...not an Alderson philosophy. I do have a problem with this because I want my hitter being pro active at the plate, especially with runners in scoring position. A walk with a runner on second is useless, while a single should score the run. 

There is a happy medium between super aggressive and long pitch count theories. There are times for a batter to be aggressive (runners on base, seeing the best pitch to hit, etc,) and to be  patient (making a pitcher work, tiring a pitcher out, making him throw your pitch). 

I am torn about Ike Davis. I would like to see him corrected and corrected as a Mets player, but a change of scenery might be what he needs. All I know is that I don't want Duda at 1B.