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Archive for the ‘Mets’ Category

The Wil-Ponzi Scandal

The Wilpon family seem to be on the hook for paying back money in regard to the law suit coming from the people who  lost money off Bernie Madoff scandal. For years, there has been rumors circulating that the Wilpon family lost a large sum of money from Madoff. The Wilpons have denied that they are broke as a result of Madoff.   Now, they are looking to sell off part of the team to get money to pay off the lawsuit. Good Bye Jose Reyes!

http://mlb.fanhouse.com/2011/01/29/fanhouse-tv-steve-phillips-on-mets-bernie-madoff-scandal/

Sandy Alderson can run a team on a budget. But, this definitely changes the equation. This scandal will live on for a long time and rumors will circulate all year long.  Huge uncertainty will have the players answering questions about this. Bad situation for not only New York, but for the organization moving forward. The Mets have alot of money coming off the books after the season. Who knows if they will have money to spend.

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Did I just wake up from a great dream? It’s been almost two months since the 2010 season ended, and the Mets organization has transformed the organization from the top down.   Some of the great franchises in the game (such as Yankees and Rays) use a group of bright front office personnel to make those important decisions for the franchise.   A great front office can really help new skipper Terry Collins be successful. An example of this can be borrowed from a quote from Joe Maddon from the TBO (where number crunching data gave Willy Aybar a rare start):

“I cannot take credit for that,” Maddon said. “This is something we do back at the office, and we really crunch numbers and do so many things. Willy came out on top versus Greinke.”

The thing that sticks with me with the Mets hiring of Sandy Alderson as GM is that their will be a deliberate culture change with this organization.  This new direction will not always make the moves that will be popular, but will be part of their master plan. For example, instead of making a big splash in free agency at a player such as Cliff Lee, they will use the open market to fill in the roster with valuable players for the end of the pitching rotation, and position players who can supplement the existing position players.

With the team looking toward the future , it’s no secret that with the Mets All-star starting SS Jose Reyes will be moved. Especially since he has a track record of being injured often, and his attitude and work ethic has been questioned at times.

The Mets front office has clearly looked at what Jose Reyes brings to the team from a numbers perspective. In 2010, he continued to show some pop from the middle infield position with an OPS+  above 100.  However, his production also includes a low 300 on base percentage and failure to take a lot of walks for a lead off player. From a defensive perspective, Jose Reyes has been below average :

  • Rtz  – Total Zone Fielding Runs above average -4
  • RtzrD – Total Zone Fielding Runs above average  on road -5
  • Rtzhm – Total Zone Fielding Runs above average  on road 1
  • RF/9 – Range factor per 9 innings 4.16 (lg avg 4.31)

I would think the Mets would take a package for Reyes that begins with a SS of the future, and a couple of young arms. Tejada played SS in the minor leagues and could have a year two follow up on some of his quality play he began to show in his first year in the majors.

To be clear, the Mets defense did help the pitchers (who gave up almost 100 less runs as the season before) . The Mets defense  not exceptional, but one of the better defenses in the National league. Moreover, from a defensive perspective the UZR showed they are at the bottom at 2B.  They played a wide array of representatives working second base  last season with Castillo (74 games), Tejada (50 games), Cora (47 games), Arias (13 games) and Hernandez (10 games).

One player who could be a nice bench player to be in the mix to fill the holes for the Mets in 2011 is Willy Aybar.  In 2010, Aybar took the field only nineteen games at 1B,2B,3B due to Rays middle infield log jam. Over his career Willy Aybar has shown some pop, and could provide some needed offense up the middle.

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Logic Restored For Mets

The Mets didn’t just make a regime change on Friday with the hiring of Sandy Alderson as their new general manager. The Wilpon’s have brought on board what will amount to a installing a complete new blueprint on how the organization moves forward. It will consist of a team of a thinkers led by Alderson who will use sound decision making and consider long term impact  when making decisions. One with a methodology and a plan. If you can build a successful franchise on a strict budget, you can do magic with some payroll flexibility. Gone are the days of building the core of the franchise via free agency and handing out bad contracts as far as number of years and dollar amounts.  Back are the days when the organization builds the franchise from the bottom up.

Going back the past 20 years, this franchise has not really been run with sound thinking. In the glory years the organization was built around youth and pitching with GM Frank Cashen.  Moreover, Cashen always had the ideal that you never sign a pitcher for more than 3 years contract.  Now, the game as surely changed with that way of thinking in the market place. However, it shows you that back in the day that there was some thought given out how you hand out the money to key resources in your organization.  Over the past few years with Omar, it always seemed they went for the headlines rather than an organizational fit. They overpaid in the dollar figures and number of years given to contracts. It seems they never performed due diligence either.

I am excited for the N.Y Mets organization, and am proud they have finally realized that important changes needed to be made. Better late than never. Hooray for the Fans!

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The final rosters do not have to be finalized until Sunday afternoon, but looking at what we know today, here’s how I see it in the NL East:

Pos Mets Marlins Braves Nats Phils
C Barajas Baker McCann Rodriguez Ruiz
1B Jacobs Sanchez Glaus Dunn Howard
2B Castillo Uggla Prado Kennedy Utley
SS Cora Ramirez Escobar Desmond Rollins
3B Wright Cantu Jones Zimmerman Polanco
LF Bay Coughlin Cabrera Willingham Ibanez
CF Pagan Maybin McLouth Morgan Victorino
RF Francoeur Ross Heyward Harris Werth
OF Catalanotto Carroll Diaz Bernadina Fransisco
OF Matthews Jr.
Bonofacio Hinske Morse Gload
IF Carter Helms Infante Gonzalez Dobbs
IF Tatis Lamb Thurston Guzman Castro
C Blanco Paulino Ross Nieves Schneider
SP Santana Johnson Hudson Lannan Halladay
SP Pelfrey Nolasco Lowe Marquis Hamels
SP Maine Sanchez Jurrjens Stammen Happ
SP Perez Volstad Hanson
Hernandez Kendrick
SP Niese Robertson Kawakami Mock Moyer
RP Rodriguez Nunez Wagner Capps Madson
RP Igarashi Sanchez Moylan Olsen Baez
RP Feliciano Meyer Saito Bruney Zagurski
RP Mejia Veres Medlin Clippard Durbin
RP Calero Hensley Reyes Burnett Bastardo
RP Figueroa Pinto Chavez
Bergmann Lopez
25th Adams Barden Conrad Batista Ransom
  • Mets: Beltran, Reyes, Takahashi, Nieve, Tejada, Santos, Escobar, Murphy, Parnell, Green, Dessens, Muniz
  • Braves: Freeman, Hicks, Sammons, Boscan, Schafer, Young, Proctor, Venters, O’Flaherty
  • Marlins: Badenhop, Richar, Davis, Luna, Murphy
  • Nats: English, Martis, James, Walker, Spier, Orr, Coste, Taveras, Maxwell, McDougal, Wang, Detwiller, Duncan, Bruntlett, Flores
  • Phillies: Blanton, Lidge, Romero, Valdez, Guzman, Hoover, Brown, Wise

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As the Mets had one of their worst offensive seasons in team history in 2009 scoring only 671 runs,  with only 95 HRs. As, compared with 799 runs and 172 HRs the previous year.  We have former Mets executive Tony Bernazard to blame,  but when David Wright goes yard to the right side for the first time in a while (inside edge database reference).

With a new approach at the plate  instilled by hitting coach Howard Johnson,  along with added muscle, we expected a big bounce back from Wright.  The Citi Field dimension change sure helps too. Ike Davis is not too far away either .

Some other Tape Measure Blasts:

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It has certainly been a curious case, for  free agent Jason Bay, in his first time on the free agent market.   He had been offered big money by the Red Sox to lock him up with a franchise that is certain to be in the mix for post season play for many years to come. But, it seems for Jason Bay its not about the money. For some reason, he does not want to take residence in the New England area.   The Red Sox have moved on as well, signing Mike Cameron as a suitable short term replacement.

In Jason Bay, you are talking about a player who was not the all world prospect coming up through the minor leagues. However, a light went on in the end of his minor league career which led to his recall with the Padres before suffering a beamed ball just a few at bats into his Major League career. The following season Jason Bay and and Oliver Perez were the young major league ready talent sent to the Pirates for Brian Giles.  In Pittsburgh, he became a productive player and an all-star for the Pirates. But, there was not enough talent around with Bay, and it was clear he wanted out to play for a contender. He got his wish when he was traded to the Red Sox in the last minute Manny Ramirez trade.

Its not clear what type of fit Bay is looking for. His agent is not doing him any favors as he could have signed near his hometown in Seattle, but negotiations dragged on and the Mariners looked elsewhere and acquired Milton Bradley.

Will he go back to Mets? This is  a team that traded him away early into his minor league career. He is clearly one of the best bats left in the market, with Matt Holiday the only other comparable player. From what has transpired this off-season with Bay,  he comes off as sort of a player with some baggage. In the end, he will go with the money. That either takes him to Mets or the Cardinals (if Holiday talks break down). Forget Boston, that train has left the station.

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For one of my NL only fantasy squads, how to approach the availability of several top tier starting pitchers was something I wrestled with leading up to the auction draft this April.  With Santana available, I knew he would go for some big money. The thing I kept kicking around was would I be better off getting a pitcher who might be close to the talent of Santana, but would go for a price that would save me some money.  For the money saved by going for the lesser talent, I could use that money to help me go after an additional top tier pitcher. I thought this plan might work. Peavy was coming off an off year. He was rumored to go another team in trade rumors. We all  knew last year he was just not the same pitcher pitching away from Petco Park.  I figured I could save about $10 in the draft by going with Peavy as my top pitcher, rather than Santana.   Then, I could use that $10 to add to my budget for a second pitcher, as I just dropped Scott Olsen prior to the draft at $12.  I had targeted one of my favorites in Ricky Nolasco as that second pitcher.  At the draft, the numbers came close to what I expected on this plan. I saved $8  by going with Peavy ($31) over Santana ($39). I used that money to get Nolasco at $24

Its only three starts into the season, but it appears as if I might of been better at going with Santana as he has been dominant so far on the season. Here is the numbers compared so far on the year:

Player Park K BB ER H
Santana
Great American (Cincinnati) 7
4
1
3
Santana Dolphin Stadium (Miami) 13
1
0
3
Santana Citi Field (N.Y.)
7
0
0
5

Santana has 27K’s on the season, and only one earned run.

Player Park K BB ER H
Peavy
Petco Park (S.D.)

8
2
3
7
Peavy Petco Park (S.D.) 10 0 3 7
Peavy Citi Field (N.Y.)

5 4 3 6

Peavy has been good, but not great. He lucked out in his third start and got some good run support for his second win. His pitching  performance away from Petco has began by looking a lot like last year .

Player Park K BB ER H
Nolasco

Dolphin Stadium (Miami)

6
0 5 7
Nolasco Dolphin Stadium (Miami)

2 2
4
7
Nolasco
WAS
4
1
2
7

Nolasco started off good in his first start, and it looked like he might be in line to continue the good pitching shown in his second half of last season. But, later in the game he got lit up by the Nationals, but the Marlins run support gave him the win.  He has continued to look bad in the next two starts and the Marlins brass is trying to figure out what Ricky’s problems so far are on the season.

A lesson to be learned here. If you have a chance to get that special pitcher. Go for it. As, Santana is showing that he is that good. The bullpen blew alot of his wins for him last year, costing him a Cy Young. Unfortunately, for the most part, the voters look mainly at the pitchers wins, and don’t drill down enough on the pitching peripherals. Again, its only three starts, but the comparison here is worth following to see how this plays out over the season.

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