Michael Wilbon Says Jacob deGrom had Cy Young ‘Hijacked’ for Him

18 Nov

Jacob deGrom Michael Wilbon

Michael Wilbon is somehow now even more cranky about Jacob deGrom winning the NL Cy Young award.

The “Pardon The Interruption” co-host went on another bizarre tirade against the Mets ace and all of baseball on Thursday, when he accused analytics of “hijacking” baseball and allowing deGrom to win the award, despite nearly being the unanimous choice (29 of 30 votes) for the award.

“You know, Tony [Kornheiser], I’m not with these people. I don’t respect their judgment, actually, because I don’t value what they value,” Wilbon said. “I value winning the damn game more than the ERA! And therefore, it is analytical hijacking. These people have hijacked baseball, they want to impose their will and tell you what’s important. I don’t share most of, maybe none of, their values, and it’s absurd.”

Wilbon and the San Diego Union-Tribune’s John Maffei (who placed the Nationals’ Max Scherzer first and deGrom second in the Cy Young vote), are receiving a lot of heat for putting so much emphasis on wins. But baseball purist that I am and missing the days of 20-game winners, I’m just of the ilk that wins should matter…somewhat, because they display both achievement and mettle. Then too, it’s just incredible when you look back and see how continuously inept the Mets offense was almost every time deGrom pitched. Still, I could care less that deGrom came one vote short of winning the Cy unanimously, I just wanted him to win it period. Because he deserved it. And while wins do matter (I’m on record hoping for deGrom to at least reach double-digits in wins), deGrom did not ‘hijack’ anything, he won on merit and that alone.

Mets Finally Give Up On Rafael Montero

3 Nov

Rafael Montero

Once a rising star in the New York Mets organization, right-handed pitcher Rafael Montero was outrighted by the team Friday and elected to become a free agent.

Montero, 28, missed the entire 2018 season after suffering a complete tear of the unlar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right elbow during spring training.

This just goes to bad scouting, because Montero rarely if ever displayed the type of talent needed on the big league level to be considered a possible ace of the future.

Doug Melvin Leads Search For New Mets GM

20 Oct

Doug Melvin

Here is the latest breakdown of where things stand headed to the second round:

The Favorites

Doug Melvin: The Brewers senior adviser served as the club’s GM from 2002-15 and was still leading Milwaukee’s front office when key moves occurred that helped form the foundation of the team that played Game 6 of the NLCS on Friday. Among those moves: acquiring reliever Josh Hader in a trade with the Astros. The Brewers reached the playoffs in 2008 and 2011 with Melvin as GM.

The 66-year-old Melvin was also Rangers’ GM in the 1990s, when the club reached the postseason three times. Melvin has a deep background in scouting and player development and is known throughout the game for his easygoing demeanor.

Melvin clearly has the experience, but the Brewers haven’t won a championship in like forever. And at 66yo, does Melvin have the ability to handle all the rigors of the job?

Peter Alonso Is Tearing Up The Arizona Fall League Too

18 Oct

Peter Alonso

The Arizona Fall League kicked off this past week, and after an incredible 2018 season, New York Mets first base prospect Peter Alonso picked up right where he left off.

After finishing the minor league season tied for the league lead with 36 home runs, Alonso added one more long ball to his resume with a first week two run home run.

In total for the week, he hit .500/.556/.750, and along with the home run he added a double, six runs scored, four RBI, two walks, and two stolen bases.

Unless, God forbid, he gets injured, don’t be surprised to see Alonso’s name on the Mets 2019 Opening Day lineup.

Are The Wilpon’s Holding The Mets Back From Finding A New GM?

17 Oct

Fred and Jeff Wilpon

The Mets have already been turned down by Twins general manager Thad Levine, and former Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington also did not interview.

Sources have pointed to the poor reputation the Mets have around the league with candidates knowing they are not an easy team to work for, and just how much power the general manager actually will hold. The Wilpons are known for being involved.

There are also the limitations by ownership with regard to spending and the analytics staff despite insistence to the contrary.

“No young general manager wants to go to the Mets,” one source said.

The search will continue this week according to a source, and the current pool of candidates is primarily those who have been around the game a long time and are searching for their first job. Only one candidate can be considered a rising executive.

Hey, we haven’t won in 32 years with the only common denominator during that time being Fred and Jeff. So it’d be no surprise if finding a new GM would be difficult with those two in charge.

Mets Considering ‘Outside-The-Box’ GM Hire?

29 Sep

Sandy Alderson
Geez, I hope not:

The Mets have a three-headed ownership group, with also Wilpon’s son Jeff, the club’s COO, and his brother-in-law Saul Katz, but the elder Wilpon seems to make many of the key calls; he picked Sandy Alderson eight years ago for the job. The younger Wilpon has been soliciting advisers for “outside the box” candidates, and they have considered agents, TV people and others, and according to a source have reached out to at least one prominent agent, Casey Close, though he would seem to be a major long shot based on the assumption he’d have to take a major pay cut while enduring much more job uncertainty (and perhaps stress). Close did not return a message. Andy Martino of SNY first mentioned Close as a person of interest.

GM roles require a lot of knowledge on MLB rules, roster changes, minor leagues, team finances, contracts, etc. Yeah, a veteran agent will have some experience at some of that, but I’d much rather have a guy who’s already working himself up the ladder to be a GM one day (i.e. an Assistant GM) if I’m going to hire a novice.

No, David Wright Doesn’t Belong On Mets Mount Rushmore

25 Sep

David Wright
Sorry, but it’s true. While everyone gets sentimental about upcoming Wright’s retirement, the reality is that without a World Series championship, a major award or enough clutch moments during his Met days, I just can’t put Wright ahead of Seaver, Gooden, Koosman and Strawberry. It goes without saying that Wright is on everybody’s Top 10 Greatest Mets list, but Top 4 just wouldn’t be right.

David Wright Calls It Quits

14 Sep

David Wright

For more than two years, David Wright had one goal in mind: to play for the Mets again. He thought his neck and shoulder problems were behind him after multiple operations and that another operation would alleviate some of the pain stemming from a chronic back condition. But as he moved through his protracted rehabilitation, he grudgingly realized that his body could not keep up with his desire to play.

“Those three combined, it’s debilitating to play baseball,” he said.

So in a tearful news conference Thursday afternoon, Wright — the Mets’ captain and longest-tenured player and one of baseball’s most admired figures — announced his plan to leave the game after one more start on Sept. 29 against the Miami Marlins, the penultimate game of the season. Wright last played in a major league game on May 27, 2016.

“Physically, the way I feel right now and everything the doctors have told me, there’s not going to be any improvement,” he said.

Wright will come off the disabled list on Sept. 25, the beginning of the final home stand of the season, and start at third base four days later. Given the state of his body, Wright, 35, was unsure how much he could play in that game or if he would be available as a pinch-hitter on the other days.

Sad in a way, because he’s a lifetime Met, seemingly such a great guy and when you think that if not for these series of injuries and set-backs over the years, he was on his way to a Hall of Fame career. But for as long as the possibility of ‘David Wright coming back’ lingered over the Mets and for his lifetime health and future, maybe it’s just best for the Captain to hang it up.

$$$ Is Holding Back David Wright’s Return

7 Sep

David Wright

Yet he keeps putting in the work, determined to get back to a major league field in a Mets uniform, maybe even this year. That may be optimistic, given his miniscule production in the minors so far, though with the minor league season about to end he is due to join the Mets for moral support during their upcoming road trip. A return to the team as an active player would be a great story and would draw fans to Citi Field during a September with little else to play for.

The problem is that Wright is due $27 million across 2019 and 2020. And if he’s playing, the insurance stops. It’s not a ton of money, relatively speaking, since the eight-year, $138 million contract Wright signed in 2013 peaked in annual value from 2014 to 2018 before dropping off for the final two years. The price tag is reasonable for a productive player, and maybe Wright can be that again. But it’s probably a longshot since he hasn’t played since May 2016 and he’ll be 36 in December. Cash that could be put to use elsewhere – let’s say re-signing Zack Wheeler after next year or going after another free agent – isn’t cash you want to use for sentiment.

In a lost season, does seeing David Wright come back for a few at-bats on the big league level, matter anyway? Other than some sentimental value, not really. The Mets need to be transparent and just admit what’s really going on.

2018 Mets Have Been Horrible On Defense

5 Sep

Mets Defense
No surprise here, you see it in almost every game. The Mets just don’t seem to prioritize defense:

A bad bullpen, a weak offense, and a ton of injuries hurt the New York Mets in 2018. One of the bigger problems we sometimes forget is how bad this team is on defense.

Whether you like or not, defensive WAR is a quick way to measure how skilled a player is with his glove. Although it’s not the end-all, be-all it does give us a reasonable estimate.

Right now, the Mets have only four players with a positive WAR on defense. I’m not convinced it will change either. In fact, one is close enough to go down to zero or even fall into the negative range.

The four men who have been above replacement level on defense are catchers Devin Mesoraco and Kevin Plawecki along with Todd Frazier and Juan Lagares. Lagares has missed most of the season, but we can safely assume he’d put up a nice total due to his history as a plus defender.

The Mets Are Not Calling Up Peter Alonso This Year

29 Aug

Peter Alonso
And the kid is not happy about it:

Maybe David Wright will be the reason to go to Mets games in September. Peter Alonso will not be.

Assistant general manager John Ricco delivered the news Tuesday, saying the slugging first baseman will remain at Triple-A Las Vegas for the remainder of the season.

The Mets have multiple reasons to leave him in the minors. They have stated they would like Alonso to hone first-base defense, and there are also 40-man roster considerations. Alonso is not on the roster and not yet eligible for the Rule 5 draft, so the Mets are preserving a roster spot by not calling him up.

Additionally, the Mets have a surplus of first basemen. Jay Bruce is expected to see a lot of time at the position as he returns. Wilmer Flores and Dominic Smith also will have turns, and the Mets did not want Alonso riding the bench.

Yeah, doesn’t make much sense to call him up if he’s hardly going to play.

Mets Sticking with Dumb Plan of Playing Jay Bruce at 1st Base

25 Aug

Jay Bruce
Jay Bruce is back and apparently healthy. Yet, the Mets being the Mets, have to find some way to screw things up and in this case, it’s making a guy whose played the outfield for 99% of his long career, play 1st base:

As the Mets evaluate their options for next season, manager Mickey Callaway said Bruce is a possibility to become the team’s full-time first baseman in 2019 if he can show proficiency at the position over the next five weeks.

Bruce is expected to begin receiving action at first base in the coming days.

This makes no sense on so many levels. For starters, the guy playing 1st base most of the time now, Wilmer Flores, is doing a pretty good job. Secondly, Bruce just got back from a couple of months on the DL. I know that the season is over, but with all the able footwork required at 1st base combined with Bruce’s recent history of foot injuries, is playing him at first for the rest of the season really a good idea?

Then too, the Mets have Peter Alonso waiting in the wings to be there future 1st baseman–some are saying that Alonso’s 32 minor league homeruns this year warrant a call-up to the big leagues now. Lastly, not only does Bruce not seem too excited about playing 1st, but the idea that Brandon Nimmo or Juan Lagares are ready to be full-time starters in the outfield just doesn’t seem fitting considering the former’s streakiness at the plate and the latter being so injury prone. But of course, as we’ve learned over the years, leaving well enough alone just isn’t in the Mets modus operandi.