Monday, December 29, 2008

Mets Lifer, Volume 1: Collapse

This Christmas I had the idea that I wanted to give my dad, who's a big fan of Mets Lifer, something blog/Mets related. The result of that idea is a book version of Mets Lifer that covers all the posts of the 2007 season and is aptly titled Mets Lifer, Volume 1: Collapse.

As I was compiling the posts for print I found it surprising and enlightening to review what took place over the 2007 season because some events and some feelings that were captured in those posts surprised me as a I look at them with the past season in perspective.

One of the biggest surprises was how intense Luis Castillo played those last two months of the 2007 season when others were not pulling their weight. To no surprise the bullpen was just as atrocious in '07 as they were in '08.

Right now I'm compiling the posts of the 2008 season to create another book which will be titled, Mets Lifer, Volume 2: Deja Vu. I've found the reliving of the past two seasons has been somewhat therapeautic and it gives me hope for 2009. However, I felt the same way after 2007 so I guess we never know until September ends.

For more details on Mets Lifer, Volume 1: Collapse or to buy a copy, click here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Club Mets Offer

For 2009 the Mets are starting what they're calling "Club Mets." No it has nothing to do with vacations in the Carribean, but it doesn offer Mets fans access to some deals and benefits.

It's $19.95 for the year and gets you access to's Gameday Audio as well as some additional discounts and promotions. The MLB Gameday Audio alone is worth the price and if you take advantage of one of the other deals they offer it might be worth it.

For more info, visit

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2008 Met of the Year Tournament

You have to go over to The 'Ropolitans and check out the Met of the Year tournament that has been put together. This NCAA tourney style contest pits Mets players against each other to determine who the Met of the Year for 2008 really is. It's all based on fan voting and it's a creative and great way to decide who the award winner should be.

I think it will come down to Santana vs. Wright, but several first round matchups have Blowenweiss vs. Luis Castillo (do I have to pick one?), Heilman vs Tatis (choke vs clutch?), and Beltran vs. Vargas (that's not even fair).

Click here to check out the 2008 Met of the Year tournament.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Homegrown vs. Acquired Talent

There's an interesting debate going on over at Sully Baseball. Sully is taking a look at the age old debate of homegrown talent vs. acquired talent for each MLB team. He's just compiled his list for the Mets and there are some interesting arguments to be made.

Sully does a great job of picking a starter and a reserve for each position while also building a starting rotation and bullpen for both the homegrown and acquired talent teams. Looking down the list of Mets homegrown talent I agree with the majority of his picks except for the fact that he has Buddy Harrelson starting at SS over Jose Reyes. And I would probably start Lenny Dykstra over Lee Mazilli in center.

What's impressive is if you look at the homegrown starting rotation and you see how unbelievable these pitchers were including the likes of Seaver, Gooden, Nolan Ryan, and Jerry Koosman.

Of course the acquired talent team looks pretty appetizing with Piazza at C, Hernandez at 1B, Beltran in center, with Cone, Leiter, & Darling in the rotation. Actually the acquired team is made up of more players that played well as a Met than the homegrown team.

You have to check out the full post and read through the entire list. You won't regret it and Sully uses his comedic background to add some nice satire and sarcasm to it.

See the full list by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mets Top 11 Prospects for 2009

Baseball Prospectus has released their list of the top 11 prospects within the Mets organization. I'll give you two guesses who's number 1 on the list. Here's a hint: it's not Pedro MARTINEZ.

So surprise, surpise. FMart is listed at #1. Jon Niese is #5. And two middle infielders are listed as #2 & #3. Kunz has dropped like a lead balloon down to #10. I've got to be honest that I haven't a clue about any of these guys except for Niese, Kunz and Martinez. I guess Daniel Murphy is no longer a prospect.

Visit Baseball Prospectus for the full rundown.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bullpen Cleansing

The Mets traded Scott Schoeneweis to the D’Backs for RHP Conor Robertson. Robertson was 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA in nine games with Arizona this past season.

Scott Schoeneweis is gone. So is Heilman. So is Mota. So is Joe Smith. Call it a cleansing. Call it a purging. Call it a Christmas blessing.

The Mets bullpen will look nothing like the bullpen we had last year or the year before. It's about time.

I'm sure Conor Robertson isn't exactly Dennis Eckersley, but still I can't believe the Mets got someone to take Blowenweis.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blowenweis for Marquis? Am I Dreaming?

Jon Heyman of is reporting that there are talks going on between the Cubs and Mets for starting pitcher Jason Marquis.

Heyman feels the Mets should send reliever Scott Schoeneweis to the Cubs, who are offering to pay a portion of Marquis’s $9–million salary in 2009, after which he will be a free agent.

Sure that's what Heyman feels, but how do the Cubs feel about it? If they're willing to take Blowenweis straight up for Marquis, you gotta pull the trigger on that one.

I'll even drive Blowenweis all the way out to Chicago to seal the deal. Keep it up Omar. Bring us some more arms.

A Mets Lifer Christmas Wish List

K-Rod, Putz, and a very distant Aaron Heilman. Christmas appears to have arrived early this year for Mets Lifers. But like any good human being, we're never satisfied with what we have. Here's a Christmas Wish List from Mets Lifer:
  1. Sony Blu-Ray DVD player - The Dark Knight on Blu-Ray. Sick.
  2. Rafael Furcal - I'm dreaming of a white Christmas with Rafael Furcal at 2B. Do you really think he wants to play for the A's? Doesn't he know that guarantees that he'll be traded at the deadline in one of the next 2 seasons. A Reyes/Furcal tandem up the middle would be unreal. It might just be a dream, but hey, it's the holidays.
  3. Derek Lowe - The Yanks want him. The Sox might want him. The Phillies want him. We can't let the Phillies get him. If he's reasonably priced, the Mets should make a pitch for him. He eats up innings, usually is healthy, and has big game experience. If he's not available an affordable Jason Marquis will suffice.
  4. Flip Video HD Camera - Have you seen this thing? It's the size of a soda can, records HD video and is under $200. 
  5. A Traded Scott Blowenweiss - Addition by subtraction. Last year it was Guillermo Mota. This year it's Blowenweiss. Maybe Willie wants him in Milwaukee?
  6. An Omar Minaya Surprise - I'm not talking a Matt Wise type of surprise. I'm talking a John Maine surprise or Carlos Beltran surprise. Minaya has a knack for picking up players nobody wanted or nobody thought Minaya could get. Those types of deals have gotten the Mets Beltran, Maine & Oliver Perez. I have a feeling another one of those moves is in the works. Who doesn't love a little suprise for Christmas?

Two Putzes in One Trade

So long Mr. Heilman. Nice to see you go. The Mets jettisoned one Aaron Heilman yesterday along with a number of other players in a 12 player deal with the centerpiece being the Mets acquisition of JJ Putz.

According to the team press release, the Mets have acquired RHP J.J. Putz, RHP Sean Green, and OF Jeremy Reed from the Mariners in a three-team trade. Additionally the Mets have sent Aaron Heilman, Endy Chavez, Jason Vargas, Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera and Maikel Cleto to the Mariners, while sending Joe Smith to the Indians.With Putz and K-Rod the Mets now have a duel closers and are starting to implement the very strategy we outlined here at Mets Lifer just a few days ago in this post.

It's great to see that Omar and the Mets are addressing the biggest issue first before doing anything else. We all know how desperate the team is to get some bullpen help, and they've arguable just gone out and gotten the best two relievers available. I'll be sad to see Endy Chavez go, but that's for purely sentimental reasons.

On a side note, the Mets now have possibly the two players with the worst names in all of baseball: Putz and Argenis.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Huge Improvement

The details need to be ironed out, but when all is said and done the Mets have reached a deal to sign Francisco Rodriguez as their new closer. The terms of the deal are evidently 3 years for $37 million.
The amazing thing is the Mets got the guy they wanted, at the price they wanted, and for the amount of years that they wanted. Wow. How things change in a matter of months. Remember when KRod was going to have a bidding war for him and the Mets were going to have to shell out whatever he demanded?

Omar got it done.

Whether you like this move or not, you cannot argue the fact that KRod is the best closer on the market. I guess you could argue otherwise, but the facts remain the same that he holds the record for most saves in a season, he's playoff tested (and approved), and he's just turning 27 years old in January.
A young, hard throwing, proven closer with a career ERA under 2.40 and 587 K's in 451 IP. What more could you ask for?

Ok, I could ask for more and I actually I'm going to right now, give the Rockies Heilman & Feliciano for Huston Street. Are these two guys really that valuable that we wouldn't ship them off in an instant? I'm done with Aaron Heilman experiment and right now the Mets have two lefty specialist in their pen with both Feliciano and Blowenweiss. Make the move and unload the dead weight.

The Mets need another arm or two in the bullpen and as our good friend from Bugs & Cranks, Brad Bortone, previously commented getting a guy like Jason Marquis for the rotation would be a nice addition.

But the important thing is we have a closer. That's step 1. Way to get it done before Christmas, Omar. Christmas came early.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Meet the K-Rod

The Mets had dinner in Vegas last night with Francisco Rodriguez. Details of the meeting are under lock and key, but the feeling is the Mets will make an offer to K-Rod this week.

Let the bargaining begin.

I still feel strongly that the Mets should sign K-Rod AND another closer. I think having a two-headed closer rotation would be a huge asset for the Mets. Whether they go get Fuentes, Hoffman, or Street, I don't care. Just give me to guys with a closer mentality to secure those 8th & 9th innings.

All I want for Christmas is a closer and the disposal of Luis Castillo. Please Santa, please.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Future of Bullpens

It's no secret that I think the Mets should sign K-Rod. I like him. He's young. He's a proven closer.

However, I've also come to think that the Mets should also sign/trade for a guy like Huston Street or Chad Cordero or even Trevor Hoffman in addition to K-Rod.

Here's why.

I think the closer position in baseball will experience the same change that the running back position is currently going through in the NFL. Previously, in the NFL you needed one marquee running back for your team to be successful. Think about it. You had Barry Sanders, Walter Payton in past decades. You have Clinton Portis, Tomlinson and Sean Alexander in more recent years.

But look at the position now. Now teams are finding success by have a core group of RBs (at least two) that can split carries and be inserted based on the situation that best suits their strengths. The NY Giants have proven this to be successful based on their Super Bowl Run last year and current winning streak this year by using a 3-headed running back tandem of Jacobs, Ward & Bradshaw with Jacobs being the central back.

Even Tomlinson is splitting carries with Sproles for the Chargers. Look at the Titans with LenDale White and Chris Johnson. Or the Jets with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.

This is what I think is going to happen over the next several years with the closer position. You will no longer have one closer who carries the load for your team. Instead you'll have multiple relievers with closer-type mentalities and velocity who each bring a different advantage.

That's why the Mets should be looking at getting multiple closers. The old rule used to be that you can't bring in your closer until the 9th inning. But what if the heart of the order is up in the 8th inning of a tight game? Why not bring in K-Rod to pitch the 8th and then have a guy like Huston Street come in and close out the 9th?

This would allow managers to play the lefty vs. lefty/righty vs. righty game and throw some surprises at opposing teams as they can't be certain who will be coming in to pitch the 9th so they can't save that righty specialist pinch hitter because the Mets might wait and bring in the righty closer to pitch the 9th.

This new scenario would also cut down on some of the pressure of the closer and the mid-relievers as you're now asking your mid-relievers to just get you through the 6th & 7th and then your closers can take over the 8th & 9th.

No one has really tried it yet, and with the bullpen struggles the Mets have faced over the past two seasons I think it's time for the club to try something different because what we currently got ain't working.