Mets Hire Old-Timey Prizefighter Mickey Callaway As Manager

Reports indicate that the Mets have officially hired Mickey Callaway as the 21st manager in franchise history. Mickey Callaway sounds like the name of a light-heavyweight boxer from New Jersey who fought during the 1920s, temporarily retired after breaking his hand before the crash of ’29, and then triumphantly returned to the ring in 1935 taking down a heavy favorite to become a champion who inspired the American public during the Depression era.

In reality Mickey Callaway served as the Cleveland Indians pitching coach from 2013-2017 and was a prized managerial prospect. I’m actually shocked that the Mets came through and made a smart choice. This doesn’t appear to be the Wilpon choice (Manny Acta). It doesn’t represent the easy internal promotion option (Kevin Long).

The Mets actually made a decision that is being lauded by experts across the sport. Color me surprised. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the offseason. First a smart managerial signing that doesn’t have the Wilpon stink all over it. Perhaps we’ll be able to say the same thing about some future free agent signings? Pray.

In my blog last week I talked about my one concern around a potential Callaway hiring:

My only reservation with Callaway is that I assume he’ll represent a change in overall pitching philosophy for the organization. Given that the organizational pitching philosophy was supposedly a strength of our stupid franchise as recently as 6 months ago, I’m not sure if that type of change will sit well with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and the other young pitchers currently in the majors. We’ve already heard Noah Syndergaard complain about the firing of Dan Warthen and basically call the organization out for scapegoating him. I wonder how receptive these guys will be to a totally new voice that directly challenges the way they go about their business. Maybe that’s what they need.

After reading more about the guy, it sounds like he’s well respected and has a great personality. He supposedly has great communication skills and stresses “throwing strikes” which 1) wouldn’t represent a change to the organizational pitching philosophy and 2) isn’t exactly rocket science.

Former players seem to indicate that he’s more of an approachable advisor and not the kind of coach that shoves his ideas down your throat. Here’s some video of the guy speaking about the 2017 Indians.

The bottom line is I’m excited that the Mets are bringing in new blood with fresh ideas, and it makes sense that they’d bring in someone focused on pitching. The Mets are built around pitching. Let’s see if a new voice can help revive Matt Harvey’s career in his final season in Flushing. Maybe he can get something more out of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. Maybe his routines and methods will lead to healthier seasons from guys like Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

Or maybe Callaway will crash and burn. After all, he has no major league managerial experience. I do like that he has spent time working under Terry Francona. It can’t hurt that he had Tito as a mentor.

The Mets offseason is off to a good start. The Mets are finally moving their Triple-A team out of Vegas to Syracuse. The Mets fired Ray Ramirez. The Yankees aren’t winning the World Series (at least not this year). We hired a popular young coaching candidate in Mickey Callaway. It’s rare that we see one positive headline connected to this team let alone multiple positive stories in a row. Let’s keep the good news coming.

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Manager Update: Kevin Long Vs. The Really Crappy Field


I fully expected the Mets managerial search to be a farce. I assumed it would play out like everything does during the offseason in Flushing. The media will report that the Mets are “expected to speak to” or “interested in” [insert coveted coach] but they won’t land any of those candidates. Instead they’ll hire the first internal candidate to raise his hand and work for nothing. At the moment that’s Kevin Long.

And before I give an update on all the “progress” that has been made in the Mets managerial search, I want to make something clear. I don’t have a problem with Kevin Long as a candidate. He’s a respected hitting coach. He told Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy to hit the ball in the air and ideally out of the stadium, and they both became really good at that. I guess that makes him a genius.

I’m pissed because: 1) It’s bananas that the Mets would consider promoting an internal candidate after the horrendous season they just had. 2) We all assumed before Terry Collins was fired that the Wilpons would probably replace him with a loyal internal candidate. They’d promote a loyal potted plant from the clubhouse before they’d consider an external candidate who might question the way they run things in Flushing.

Anyway, here’s how the Mets managerial search has progressed thus far:

  • The Mets told the mainstream media that they were interested in former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, former Met Robin Ventura, highly coveted Astros bench coach/former Met Alex Cora, and former Mets bench coach Bob Geren.
  • Bob Geren recently said he’s not interviewing until the Dodgers playoff run has concluded, and he originally took the job out west to be near family. It seems unlikely that he’d come back east.
  • Jon Heyman reported Ausmus turned down an interview with the Mets and Ventura has no interest in the job. Double veto.
  • Now sources in Puerto Rico are reporting the most desirable candidate Alex Cora is a “99% chance” lock to be the Red Sox manager. Cora is supposedly meeting the Mets today for a sham interview. Ausmus and Ventura wouldn’t even bother going through the motions for our “highly coveted” job (LOL).

With all those initial candidates dropping out, here is the rumored list of confirmed interviews:

  • Super Joe McEwing apparently doesn’t believe in defensive shifts and possibly evolution and vaccinations (both unconfirmed).
  • Manny Acta has a horrendous 372-518 career managerial record and flopped in stints in Washington and Cleveland. He was also a former coach on Willie Randolph’s Mets staff so he’s basically an internal candidate. Pass.
  • Mickey Callaway is seemingly the only desirable external candidate (other than Cora) coming in for an interview. Mickey is the Indians pitching coach and a respected managerial prospect. My only reservation with Callaway is that I assume he’ll represent a change in overall pitching philosophy for the organization. Given that the organizational pitching philosophy was supposedly a strength of our stupid franchise as recently as 6 months ago, I’m not sure if that type of change will sit well with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and the other young pitchers currently in the majors. We’ve already heard Noah Syndergaard complain about the firing of Dan Warthen and basically call the organization out for scapegoating him. I wonder how receptive these guys will be to a totally new voice that directly challenges the way they go about their business. Maybe that’s what they need.

Just in case you lost track, that leaves Kevin Long as the only candidate to actually interview so far in this “extensive” managerial search. I see the Long promotion as inevitable. That being said, it’s almost pointless to debate the next manager since all managers suck eventually. Joe Girardi won a World Series in 2009 and Yankees fans seemingly don’t like him. Joe Maddon won last year and everyone is complaining about his decision making in the playoffs this year.

These managers are all replaceable. Ten years from now in this age of big data and automatization, one robot baseball manager will be able to do the job of four humans anyway. And even the robot skipper will still screw up challenges and bullpen decisions in big spots and be hated by the fans. As long as the Mets don’t re-hire Ray Ramirez as the next manager I’ll be fine with the decision. Let’s just focus on adding talent to the roster.

The One Where The Yankees Win It All


People have been asking me since late September if I’m excited for the MLB playoffs. I’ve basically been telling everyone the same thing. I ain’t excited for the playoffs because I’ve seen this damn movie before. This is a goddamn re-run. This is the one where the Yankees win it all. I’ve sensed the impending doom for a while now. It’s like when Yoda senses a disturbance in the Force. Last night’s upset victory for the Yanks confirmed that my pessimistic baseball Jedi sense is on point. Dark times are coming for Mets fans.

I have no doubt that God was watching last night’s game on his soft ass sofa with his stupid Derek Jeter jersey on meddling in every way possible. We all know the man upstairs is a die hard Yankees fan. He’s proven that 27 times. Things like that don’t happen by chance. I was hoping he might miss the game because perhaps he’s preoccupied with the impending threat of nuclear war or one of the other horrible things going on in the world right now. Nope. He clearly tuned in.

I honestly should have bet all my money on a Yankees 2017 World Series win when the odds were better. I saw this coming long before the bookies in Vegas had a clue. The warning signs for this run were there all season. We blinked and the Yankees went from “rebuilding” to immediate World Series contenders. MLB decided to usher in the new juiced ball home run era, and the Yankees conveniently called up Babe Ruth reincarnate (Aaron Judge) and one of the best hitting catchers the league has seen in years (Gary Sanchez).

I wrote the following on July 3rd:

If Daniel Murphy winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Aaron Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.

The truth is I should have replaced “if” with “when” because I was having nightmare prophetic visions of Judge hoisting the World Series trophy back then.

The most obvious sign of this inevitable run was when the Yankees played a three game set against the Rays at Citi Field in September and that random Mets fan gave the thumbs down that went viral. The Yankees won that game, adopted that thumbs down as their rally symbol, and basically locked up the World Series all while cuckolding the Mets in Flushing.

I’ve survived the Yankees winning before, and I can do it again. Still, it would be nice if their World Series win happened in a new and exciting way. But we’ve all seen this movie before. I’ve seen the episode where the Yankees take a dump on the mediocre Twins in the first round (2003, 2004, 2009, 2010).

I’ve seen the episode where the Yankees upset the heavily favored Cleveland Indians (1996 ALDS) and go on to win it all. I was sitting around rolling my eyes a week ago as people questioned the decision to start Trevor Bauer in game 1 and Corey Kluber in game 2. They actually debated it like this choice mattered and these games weren’t already predetermined.

The 102 win, 22 game win streak, 2016 AL pennant winning Indians did not show up for this series and the Yankees took advantage. They rocked the future 2017 Cy Young award winner Corey Kluber in both of his ALDS starts. There’s not much else to say about it.

 

The highlight of the series for a loser Mets fan like me was when the Yankees blew game 2 in extra innings and Joe Girardi failed to challenge that stupid controversial foul tip/hit by pitch. I knew it was pointless for me to even get excited about the loss, but it was still entertaining to see Yankees fans lose their shit over one bad managerial decision and an umpire missing a call. They reacted like they had never experienced adversity and a devastating loss before. Uncharted territory for Yankees fans. Par for the course in Flushing.

If you want to know what to expect next here’s a hint. Everyone will pick the Astros to win because they are a better team. But they won’t win. Then it’ll probably be Yankees vs. Dodgers for the whole enchilada. Talk about a historical re-run.

What’s my gameplan now that the Yanks are in the ALCS? Watch the games, keep a precise tally of all the game altering breaks that go in the Yankees favor so I can complain about them to anyone that will listen, and continue to poke my Derek Jeter voodoo doll. Happy October Mets fans!

Mets Finally Give Fans Ramirez’s Head

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My earliest memories of watching the Mets start in the mid-90s. I can honestly say that today’s firing of Ray Ramirez is one of the most significant moments for the Mets franchise in my lifetime and that is a depressing reality as a sports fan folks. When you find yourself celebrating the firing of the head athletic trainer of your favorite baseball team in your cube at work like your team just won game 7 of the World Series, you may need to consider finding a new team or sport to spend all of your time watching.

I mean sweet Jesus Christ I’m not even kidding about the Ramirez firing being a franchise history highlight. Off the top of my head and in no particular order I can think of the following notable highlights in my lifetime:

  • The 1998 trade for Mike Piazza.
  • The Robin Ventura 1999 NLCS Grand Single (and the demoralizing series loss to follow).
  • The 2000 Subway World Series (and the demoralizing series loss to follow).
  • The 2001 Piazza post 9/11 home run.
  • The 2006 Endy Chavez NLCS catch (and the demoralizing series loss to follow).
  • The 2015 World Series game I attended where Noah Syndergaard threw at Alcides Escobar (and the demoralizing series loss to follow).
  • Mr. Met flipping off the fans in 2017 (and the demoralizing season to follow).
  • And now the firing of Ray Ramirez (and the demoralizing offseason to follow).

What else is there? I’m actually a little disappointed in the Ramirez firing because the Ray Ramirez Opening Day boo tradition is one of three annual certainties for this franchise: The Ray Ramirez Opening Day boo, the Mets win on Opening Day, and then the demoralizing season to follow. Three certainties. Without the joy that comes from the Ramirez boo all we really have is an Opening Day victory and six months of pure misery.

And we all know that this is being orchestrated by the Wilpons as a distraction. They will do anything to distract the fans and scapegoat their employees. Now the fans will move on to Mike Barwis. Terry Collins is just another scapegoat.

In the span of one week we saw a tell-all article published in the media revealing that the front office and Jeff Wilpon have wanted to fire Terry for years due to his incompetence and the only person saving him has been Fred Wilpon. Then after the public smear job Terry was fake fired. And today the Mets announced Terry will be a special assistant to the GM. Soooo our incompetent manager was promoted to assistant GM. Makes sense.

The Terry Collins fake firing/reassignment is a classic move for teams with inept ownership. It’s the signature move of James Dolan and the Knicks. It just gives fans a new frontman to blame.

Now I see fans and the media actively debating who the next manager will be like it matters.

The Mets need a manager to excite the fans? Who the hell cares about the manager? Joel Sherman in the Post already reported that the Mets are cutting payroll and will be dumpster diving for talent yet again this offseason:

“The payroll is not going up. The expectation is it is going down. One person familiar with the team’s thinking believes it could drop as much as $20 million to, say, the $135 million range.”

If the Mets don’t raise the payroll they might as well name their Gatorade cooler as the next manager. At least an inanimate Gatorade cooler has a championship pedigree given that it’s involved in almost every championship celebration. Coolers also have nerves of steel. Players smash water coolers with baseball bats in a fit of rage almost every season and the cooler is back the next day ready to rock. Terry Collins, Ray Ramirez and the rest of the staff couldn’t even manage to keep Yoenis Cespedes hydrated this season. That’s the job the water cooler was born to do. Then we can have the Mets manage the bullpen based on Twitter polls, and we should be all set. Can’t be any worse than Terry’s bullpen management.

In all seriousness though, I feel like the Mets will just turn over the manager gig to Kevin Long or something. They’ve already announced that Dan Warthen has been fired and that Kevin Long and Glenn Sherlock will return. Who the hell decides the makeup of the MLB staff before actually hiring the new manager? That’s the most ass backwards approach that I’ve ever heard. No matter who we end up hiring, I’m sure the process will conveniently last the entire offseason and prevent Sandy from adding any meaningful free agents.

P.S.

Jacob deGrom got a new haircut. The long locks are gone. I hope you like it because it’s going to be the most significant change to the Mets pitching staff this offseason.

P.P.S.

The Mets went from “five aces” to “worst in team history” in two years. We were in the World Series in 2015 and now we’re picking 6th in the 2018 draft. That is as Mets as it gets. Meanwhile the Yankees play in the Wild Card Game tonight and have Aaron Judge (aka Babe Ruth 2.0) ready to lead them on a deep playoff run. In case you haven’t seen this movie before, it plays out something like this: The Yankees go on to win 3-5 World Series rings over the next 10 years and the next time the Mets make the playoffs 1 in 5 people will own a self driving car.

Mets Finally Promote Stud Prospect Dominic Smith

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I tweeted this at 11am. Six hours later the Mets did exactly what I said they’d do. The Wilpon playbook is so predictable, and this was the obvious move to make to distract from the Jay Bruce trade scandal.

The next page in the Wilpon playbook says that Sandy Alderson needs to make a statement refuting the media reports that indicated the Bruce deal was purely a salary dump and that the Mets passed on a better deal with the Yankees.

Check. The next page in the playbook says the Mets’ front office needs to anonymously smear the Yankees in the media.

Looks like the Mets covered all the bases.

By the way, it goes without saying that I’m extremely pumped to see the debut of the Mets number two prospect. Dominic Smith is supposed to be awesome. The scouts say the guy has OBP skills, pop, and provides Gold Glove caliber defense at first base. He also used to have a Pablo Sandoval body type as evidenced by that old picture above, but supposedly he’s in much better shape nowadays.

One thing I did notice in the picture above is the incredible tattoo that Dom has. Is that Jesus teaching him to swing a baseball bat? Is at an Angels in the Outfield tribute? The Mets sure as hell could use some angels in the outfield, infield, and especially the bullpen. It’s nice to see that Dom has a strong relationship with God. He better pack his damn rosary beads when he leaves Vegas because he’s going to need help from the man upstairs if he has any hope of surviving in a Mets uniform. From Ray Ramirez undoubtedly exacerbating Dom’s first minor injury to Terry Collins inevitably doing something that hurts his confidence, there’s no shortage of ways for the Mets’ organization to stunt his growth. But I hope and pray that Dominic overcomes all those obstacles and turns into an awesome Met. I’m rooting for him.

P.S. Dominic Smith is the last highly rated prospect in the Mets’ farm system. That’s it. The cupboard is bare. We may not have one top 100 prospect on next year’s MiLB list. Remember when the Mets let scouting director and analytics guru Paul DePodesta (aka one of the original Moneyball guys) leave the organization to work for the Cleveland freaking Browns? Maybe they should’ve made a lucrative counter offer to try and hold on to him. Considering the farm system has run dry, it seems he may have been the brains behind the scouting operation.

The Mets Are Still Lying To Us

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Last night the Mets traded Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians for a relief prospect named Ryder Ryan. Ryan is a converted infielder and was drafted in the 30th round of the 2016 draft. He’s currently getting lit up in Single-A. The guy isn’t even a top 30 rated prospect in Cleveland’s system. It was reported after the deal was announced that the Mets may have passed on receiving two better prospects from the Yankees for Bruce solely because they refused to eat some of Bruce’s salary in a potential deal.

This trade has hammered home the reality that the Mets continue to deceive all the fans. The front office can’t even be trusted to complete a trade deadline sell-off that is in the best interests of the franchise. It’s pretty clear that the primary motivation for the Bruce/Duda/Reed deals wasn’t to acquire the best quality prospects in return. The primary goal was to maximize salary relief and take whichever young players we could get in the process.

The Mets media can try to spin this trade deadline with all the positive headlines in the world:

These headlines won’t hide the reality that the Mets front office can’t be trusted as long as they continue to be handcuffed by the Wilpons.

When Brian Cashman acquires a pitcher like Sonny Gray, you know he’s making a decision that he believes to be in the best interests of the franchise. Same thing goes for Theo Epstein. You know when Theo makes a deal he feels it fits into his grand plan.When Sandy makes a decision it is impossible to determine whether he’s making the choice because it’s part of his plan or if he’s compelled to make said choice because of the Wilpon influence.

The recent lies have exacerbated my skepticism of Sandy and the Mets front office. The Mets have lied to us about:

The Trade Deadline In General

The trade deadline came and went and in the end, the Mets failed to execute a successful full sell-off of their impending free agents. Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera are still here. Alderson attributed the failure to deal Cabrera/Grandy to the lack of a market for position players. He’s right to say that the market for position players was limited. Teams were clearly focused on acquiring relief and starting pitching.

That being said, are we supposed to believe that the Mets had zero opportunities to trade these guys for anything? The White Sox ended up trading outfielder Melky Cabrera to the Royals for two prospects (one of the prospects was 13th ranked in their system). The White Sox agreed to pay half of Melky’s remaining salary to facilitate their deal with the Royals. In mid-July the Mets leaked that they were willing to eat salary at the deadline to secure better prospects, but then they didn’t absorb one penny when they shipped off Bruce and Duda.

I’d like to believe Sandy when he says that he explored every possible trade scenario, but we all know it’s bullplop. The Mets refused to eat salary and instead watched plenty of comparable position players change uniforms for a superior return (e.g. Howie Kendrick, Eduardo Nunez, Todd Frazier, J.D. Martinez, and Melky Cabrera)

The Returns for Duda and Bruce

The Mets traded Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, and Jay Bruce for five minor league relief prospects and so far Alderson has gave the fans/media the impression that he was very happy with the return. But was it the best possible return?

It was widely reported that the Yankees had interest in Lucas Duda. In mid-July, Sandy Alderson went as far as to say that he would consider a deal with the Yankees. Then the Mets traded Duda to the Rays for a relief prospect (Drew Smith, 30th ranked in their system). Shortly after the Duda deal it was reported that the Mets refused to trade Duda to the Yankees. As I mentioned above, last night after Bruce was traded we heard similar news that the Yankees wanted Bruce and offered a superior deal but the Mets passed. If those reports have even a shred of credibility then how can we possibly believe that Sandy made the trades with the Rays and Indians for the right reasons?

The AJ Ramos and Reed Deals

 

I had similar concerns with the return in the Reed trade. Addison Reed was one of the top commodities available at the deadline and the Mets traded him to the Red Sox for relief prospects Jamie Callahan (23rd ranked), Gerson Bautista (28th ranked), and Stephen Nogosek (18th ranked). On the surface the deal makes sense. The Mets lack high upside relief arms in their system and their 2017 bullpen has been bad. But it was also reported that the Mets may have passed on acquiring a better quality prospect from the Red Sox in favor of quantity. Why? Did the Mets target relief prospects for the right reasons? I don’t think so.

I think the Mets acquired AJ Ramos to create the narrative that they’re improving the bullpen for 2018 when in reality Ramos is just a replacement for Addison Reed. The Mets have no intention of making a contract offer to Reed who has been one of the top relievers in baseball over the last two seasons. They’re just going to let Reed walk, and they won’t be signing any viable relievers in free agency because they never do that. The 2018 bullpen will be Familia, Ramos, and a revolving door of relief prospects that we picked up at this year’s trade deadline. Maybe the new young arms will pan out. Maybe they’ll get lit up. But one thing is certain. There’s no way the Mets will invest any money in bullpen improvements this offseason.

Conclusion = No Hope

From David Wright’s health status (he’s not healthy), to the reason for the delay of Amed Rosario’s big league promotion (Super Two cutoff? Refusal to bench highly paid veterans?), to the real motivation for wanting to pick up Asdrubal Cabrera’s contract option (he’ll be cheaper than any other free agents at third base), the list of lies just goes on and on.

Is there any hope? Nope. Not really. Don’t expect the Mets to make the right decisions in the offseason either. Not with the Wilpons running the show. All we can do is enjoy watching the kids play for the rest of 2017 and hope that somehow the young pitchers magically heal and dominate once again in 2018.

Alderson Goes Full Costanza, Buys At The Trade Deadline

I think it’s fair to say that the Mets organization is approaching George Costanza territory. Almost every decision ever made by this franchise has been wrong. Ultimately that has led to a life full of misery for every single fan. So what is Sandy Alderson doing? He’s going full blown Costanza mode and doing the opposite. The Mets suck. They have no chance of making the playoffs this year. Teams like that sell at the trade deadline. But not Maverick. He’s buying baby!

The Mets came out of nowhere yesterday to trade for the Marlins closer AJ Ramos. They gave up two decent prospects. The Mets sent the Marlins their 9th ranked prospect, pitcher Merandy Gonzalez (because who needs young pitching depth) and 22nd ranked prospect OF Ricardo Cespedes (who I assume will turn out to be better than our current Cespedes because #MetsLuck).

All joking aside, I understand why Sandy would make a trade to improve the bullpen. He’s already looking to next season, and AJ Ramos is an incredible addition to the roster and under control for one more year. A reliever on a one year contract is Sandy’s favorite thing in the world. He LOVES it.

The move is also savvy as hell because Sandy basically eliminated the primary competition for Addison Reed on the trade deadline bullpen market. He knew that most of the teams competing for a playoff spot were calling the Marlins for Ramos and the Mets for Reed. So he decided to snag Ramos. Brilliant. Now most teams will be forced to call the Mets for Reed assuming they all can get over the frightening possibility that Terry Collins has destroyed Addison’s arm over the past two seasons.

There’s one thing that’s bothering me about the fan reaction to the trade. I’ve seen so many fans and bloggers tweet some variation of the following:

“Wow we got Ramos! Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins, and Drew Smith in the 2018 bullpen should be a big improvement.”

Ummmm first of all it’s insane to factor Drew Smith (the minor league pitcher we just acquired for Lucas Duda) into the 2018 bullpen blueprint. He’s 23 years old and pitching in Double-A. Pump the breaks on the Drew Smith 2018 Opening Day bullpen predictions. Second of all, Familia, Ramos, and Blevins don’t represent an improvement. Addison Reed will be gone. Ramos will replace Reed. That’s not a net improvement. So while I appreciate Sandy being proactive and starting to address the 2018 bullpen, I’m not patting him on the back until he actually improves the pen by adding new talent.

The bottom line is the trade deadline clock continues to wind down and Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Addison Reed are all still here. Wake up Maverick! Drop the Costanza act. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Mets Trade Future MVP Lucas Duda


The Mets officially kicked off their trade deadline sell off by sending Lucas Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange for Duda the Rays sent the Mets the 30th ranked prospect in their farm system (per MLB Pipeline), pitcher Drew Smith. The experts certainly weren’t kidding when they said the return for Duda would be limited. Jesus Christ.

This kid Smith is 23 years old, can throw 96-98 MPH, and has pitched at Triple-A this season. I was hoping to get a couple of prospects in return for Duda, but I can understand why his value is limited. He’s an impending free agent, there were only two teams reportedly competing for his services (Rays and Yankees), and also the supply of power hitters is at an all-time high thanks to the new juiced up baseballs. So I suppose this is the best we could do for ol’ Lucas.

I love how every conversation about Duda ignites a goddamn fiery debate amongst Mets fans. Half the fan base says he sucks and half the fans love him and spend their days defending him on Twitter. You know what I think of him? He was fine. He was aight. I liked when he would go on one of his signature home run hot streaks. But I’m not crying and losing sleep over his departure.

You know when I will lose sleep? I’ll lose sleep the second he signs with a new team in the offseason and transforms into an MVP candidate. You know that’s coming. If you’re a Mets fan you know how it works at this point. Mets dump underappreciated long-time player who wants to stay with the team. Then the player becomes an MVP candidate. The transformation is not based on anything logical. We’ve all watched Duda for years now. We’ve all looked at his stats a million times. We know what he is. In his career he’s been an above average hitting major league first baseman with some pop, decent OBP skills, and an average glove at best. But we also know what those stats mean once a player leaves the Mets. Zilch.

Justin Turner is still leading the league in hitting this year with his .365 average. Daniel Murphy still hanging around right behind Turner with his .340 average. How is this possible? It’s just God’s anti-Mets voodoo magic. I can’t wait to see if the streak continues and Duda magically goes from decent player to megastar the second he sheds the cursed orange and blue jersey. Remember his back woes? They’ll “magically” disappear now that he’s escaped the wrath of Ray Ramirez.

I’m imagining Duda transforming like the Beast at the end of the Disney movie. The second he pops on a new uniform sparks start flying all around him. He inexplicably floats into the air and then is slowly lowered back to the ground. By the time he lands his back injuries are healed, and he’s developed extra power, elite contact skills, and a Gold Glove.

P.S. – The Mets didn’t pick up one dollar of Duda’s remaining salary in an attempt to try and improve the return they received from the Rays. Shock of the century.

Judge Cranks Homers As Harvey’s Arm Muscles Melt


I watched the home run derby, and as a baseball fan I loved it. Who doesn’t like watching sluggers mash homers? As a Mets fan however, the derby has me depressed. Yankees freak slugger Aaron Judge was crowned the winner. There wasn’t a single young Mets slugger involved in the derby (because other than Conforto they don’t exist). Michael Conforto may be an All-Star, but knowing Terry Collins he’ll have him sitting on the bench collecting dust when we kick off the second half.

Meanwhile Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Sano, Cody Bellinger and the other young sluggers that competed in the derby absolutely tore the cover off these juiced up baseballs. Leave it to the New York Mets to build a franchise around young pitching right before MLB secretly alters the baseballs with the intention of ushering in a new long ball era. MLB is about to launch a reboot of the 90’s steroid era (hopefully without the steroids) and the Mets have a bunch of injury prone pitchers in their mid to late 20s primed to get lit up.

Speaking of injury prone pitchers, Newsday reported that Matt Harvey’s arm muscles are disintegrating.

“Only after Matt Harvey went on the disabled list did doctors discover that the muscles behind his right shoulder were roughly half the size of those on his left.” WHAT?!?!?!?

That sounds like a joke that I would write to exaggerate the incompetence of the Mets medical staff. But that’s not a joke. It’s happening in real life. The muscles in Harvey’s shoulder are literally wasting away and our medical “professionals” didn’t even notice!!! I’m no doctor, but I kind of assumed that the Mets would be extra cautious with Harvey considering he was coming off major surgery. I figured they’d conduct MRIs more frequently or occasionally use their eyes to look at his arm to see if one shoulder is HALF THE SIZE OF THE OTHER.

Oh well. That’s life as a Mets fan. If Harvey is smart he’ll get through next season as quickly as possible and sign a short term deal with some other team. He needs to get his arm the hell away from Ray Ramirez and Jeff Wilpon before it’s an actual puddle of soup on the floor.

Other Stray Pessimistic All-Star/Mets Notes:

  • Watching Aaron Judge makes me miss Noah Syndergaard. I want our enormous star pitcher back. He was the most exciting player in New York. Now the media would probably award that distinction to Judge, but I’d like to see what Thor has to say about that. I want to see Thor and Judge matchup. Based on his lat recovery timeline it doesn’t sound like that’ll happen in 2017. Oh and speaking of Thor, I saw that Dan Warthen said he might consider using Syndergaard out of the bullpen if he returns this season. That’s the least intelligent thought I’ve ever heard. I guess Warthen has atrophy of the brain.
  • I miss the energetic, healthy, and inspired Yoenis Cespedes. I wish he was competing in the home run derby. It’s pretty obvious that he’s slumping right now, and there’s no way his legs are 100% healthy. I’m having a tough time staying motivated as a fan so I can only imagine how difficult it is for Yo and the rest of these guys to stay motivated and focused in the clubhouse. I hope his reoccurring leg injuries are temporary issues and not a case of METS disease starting to take root deep inside him. The media is already starting to print articles questioning Cespedes’ work ethic and motivation.
  • Jay Bruce deserves to be an All-Star. I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where the Mets re-sign Bruce in the offseason primarily because Conforto needs to play a corner outfield spot everyday and also money (duh). But I’m not having a hard time imagining a scenario where Bruce is traded at the deadline, finishes this season with career highs in all major offensive categories, and then goes on to sign with a rival and put up three straight 40 home run seasons. There have been plenty of articles printed showing that Bruce has embraced the new “fly ball” approach that has contributed to the increase in homers across the sport. It’s the same approach that Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy embraced, and we’ve all seen how they have transformed from mediocre Mets to MVPs. It’s the Kevin Long philosophy. I can easily see Jay Bruce joining the club of former Mets that catapulted their careers to the next level (in a different uniform).
  • I keep reading articles that say the Mets shouldn’t expect to receive a significant return in trades for any of their impending free agents. If the Mets can’t get a good return for Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, and Lucas Duda then the league must be colluding against them. I understand supply and demand, and I understand that the trade market may be flooded with teams looking to sell. But the Mets should be able to score some nice chips for Reed and Bruce. Reed’s been one of the best relievers in the sport over the last two seasons. Teams should be lining up for him. Sandy blew the offseason. He better not screw up the trade deadline sell off. And the cheap ass Wilpons better eat some damn salary so we can score better prospects in the deadline trades.

Will The Nationals Drive A Dagger Into The Mets’ Heart? Yes. Duh.

Steven Matz pitches a gem, Curtis Granderson hits a clutch pinch hit game-tying two run homer in the top of the 9th inning, and then the Mets bullpen blows the game. Oh and Yoenis Cespedes injured his leg on the final play of the game. A bullpen implosion combined with an injury to a key player is the least shocking outcome imaginable. It has been the theme of the 2017 season. The Nationals are going to bury the Mets over the next few days. The Mets haven’t done one thing this year that would lead me to believe they can compete with an actual contending team.

Sunday’s game marked the midpoint of the 2017 season. After 81 games I can say that I am suffering from the worst case of fan fatigue that I’ve dealt with in my time as a Mets fan. It became obvious early in the season that 2017 wasn’t going to be fun, but there have been a number of factors that have made this year particularly brutal.

Same Old Story: First and foremost, this season we’ve seen the exact same groundhog day bullshit that Mets fans have been dealing with forever. Ray Ramirez claims another injury victim every other day. The injuries have been both random and attributable to Wilpon-related ineptitude. Mike Barwis has these guys training like professional weight lifters in the offseason and as a result many of the players have been straining muscles. Same story, different season.

Terry Collins still can’t manage for shit. He’s killed half of the relievers. He spent a large part of the season trying to bench our only All-Star Michael Conforto. He’s garbage.

The Wilpons didn’t let Sandy Alderson spend a little extra cash to add necessary reinforcements to the bullpen and rotation in the offseason and the team has suffered as a result.

We’ve seen our mascot flip off fans, Asdrubal Cabrera demand a trade because the Mets failed to notify him about a position switch, and our top prospect Amed Rosario continues to waste away in Triple-A while horrendous Jose Reyes is still allowed to start day after day.

The list of embarrassing stories linked to the Mets’ franchise this year has been lengthy, and at this point I’m numb to it.

Success In The Bronx: The second factor that’s killing me is the instant turnaround of the Yankees organization. The Mets were great in 2006. Then they floundered for the better part of 7 years. The length of a “rebuild” can vary. I’ve seen franchises turn things around in a few years. I’ve also seen teams take closer to a decade to return to a place of respectability. Some organizations stink forever. In the Bronx it took 10 minutes.

We heard the word rebuild thrown around by Brian Cashman and Co. last year. I blinked and now the Yankees have the best player in baseball. Aaron Judge is like a player that scientists created by extracting a partial DNA sequence from Giancarlo Stanton and then filling in the gaps with Babe Ruth DNA. The Yankees are rebuilding and who shows up? Only the biggest freak in the history of professional baseball. The Yankees have instant stars in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and now Clint Frazier has been called up. There’s obviously a pretty good chance that the league will figure out Judge at some point, and he’ll have to adjust. But right now it looks like the freak is going to hit 50 homers. Each and every long ball he hits raises my blood pressure to unsafe levels.

Goddamn Daniel Murphy And The Nationals: The number one factor that is absolutely killing me is the success of Daniel Murphy. Oh what’s that? You think I should get over it? Screw you. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever get over the fact that the Mets made it to the World Series thanks to their young arms and the bat of Daniel Murphy and then they told their playoff hero to get lost. I will never forget that Daniel Murphy was a decent player for the Mets, went to our top division rival, and transformed into an MVP.

I don’t think Murph has hit below .330 since he’s joined the Nationals. He’s a batting champion contender once again. He’s an All-Star again. His success and the Nationals success coupled with the deterioration of the Mets young pitching staff is plaguing my nightmares. The Mets had a World Series roster, and they unnecessarily tinkered with it. They changed the damn formula. They let their star bat depart for nothing. The only way I can forgive the Mets for that sin is if this team wins a World Series in the near future.

And if Murph winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.

Bottom Line: The 2017 Mets are toast. They should start trading the impending free agents immediately. That would be the smart move, but we all know the Wilpons won’t allow the team to go into a proper sell mode. They’ll half ass it, trade one guy like Jay Bruce, and then call up Tim Tebow to sell tickets in September and continue to embarrass the loyal fan base.

Obviously I’m not “giving up.” Will I keep blogging and watching? Of course. But am I optimistic? No. It kills me that this team is buried in the standings in July. But like all die hard fans I will always tune in to watch. No matter how much the Wilpons infuriate me or how hard it is to watch our rivals succeed, I’ll never quit watching this stupid team. It’s my stupid team.