Thursday, September 27, 2012

RA Dickey is Better Than You Think

Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted out this afternoon that RA Dickey is officially the front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award after notching his 20th win of the season today. Dickey is currently .01 points behind Clayton Kershaw in ERA. He leads the league in strikeouts after recording 13 K's in his victory this afternoon. And he's currently tied for the lead in wins with the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez.

But even with all those achievements, Dickey is better than even what those numbers can say.

Dickey has recorded these league-leading totals with one of the worst bullpens in baseball finishing out many of his games. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 4 separate occasions where Dickey left with the lead and then had it blown by the infamous Mets' BLOWpen.

On top of that the anemic Mets offense has forced Dickey to lose several games where he has given up 2 runs or less because the Mets couldn't muster any support for their ace.

Add all that up and not only do you have a Cy Young candidate, but a pitcher that has achieved greatness with little to zero help. How many wins would Dickey have if he was on the Nationals or the Braves or even the Yankees? A case could be made that he might be pushing 24 or 25 wins.

Dickey has accounted for nearly 30% of the Mets wins this year, more than any other starting pitcher in baseball. He's the hands down Cy Young favorite, but beyond that his season is one all baseball fans should take notice of.

Fear the Knuckler.

Mets King of Hits: David Wright

David Wright has set the Mets record for career hits. His name is likely the most popular one in the Mets record books. He's the face of the franchise and now deservedly the icon of the record books.

Normally this type of feat would require much jubilation and celebration, but the perceptive Mets fan views this new achievement with trepidation.

Could the new batting king of the Mets record books be gone next year?

It's quite possible. The feelings of good tidings and great joy now will soon fade into contract negotiations and the memory of teams that never lived up to expectations.

Whether or not you like David Wright, there's no arguing he is the New York Mets. Just a Piazza, Hernandez, Strawberry & Gooden were icons of years past for nearly a decade David Wright is what most people associate with this team.

So in consecutive years could the Mets lose their two most identifiable players in Reyes and Wright? Yes. It's very possible.

Should they let that happen? I say no. An argument can be made that the money used to pay Wright could be used more efficiently elsewhere. The key word there is COULD. You know what you're going to get from Wright. A .300 average, 20+ HRs and 90+ RBI with an above average fielding 3B. Could a better and more affordable option be in the farm system or gotten through free agency? Sure, but Bobby Parnell COULD save 30 games next year. It's possible, but not probable.

If you look at the iconic Mets names I listed above, none of them spent their entire career with the Mets. In fact, none of them spent the majority of their career with the Mets. None of them retired as a Met. Should that mean something to a team struggling to even have a winning record? Yes.

Wright gives the Mets an icon. Something the crosstown team has had in spades. It gives us a player to call our own. It may not translate into an increase in W's, but no one player can.

If the Mets lose Wright, they will lose their identity. They should make every effort to avoid that, but the real question is will David Wright want to stay?

Can't say I'd blame him if he left, but it would set this team farther back than you think.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Ike Davis Fallacy of False Cause

If you're not familiar with the term, fallacy of false cause is an economic term that's defined as the logical fallacy of arguing that two events that are correlated (that is, happen at about the same time), are assumed to have a causal connection. In other words, one event causes the other.

It's a fallacy that is often used by armchair GM's like myself. For instance, we say that since someone got married and now their home run totals are down, the player's married life is effecting his power at the plate. Logically, that's probably not the issue, but it makes for good sports fodder.

With all that said, I am now admittedly stating an argument that should be considered a fallacy of false cause. Here it goes: The Mets were better when Ike Davis was awful.

Ike Davis hit his 30th home run of the year last night and did so by having a multi-homer game. Since mid-June, Davis is batting over .270 and is leading the team in home runs and RBI over the same stretch. His second half turnaround is remarkable after most people, myself included, had written him off as a guy who needed to be sent down to the minors.

All that being said, over the same stretch of time the Mets record is nearly 20 games under .500. When Ike Davis was batting a miserable .170 for the better part of the season, the Mets were an above .500 team. Beyond that, David Wright was batting in the .320's when Davis was awful, but since Davis' turnaround Wright has been batting closer to .250.

Why? How does this happen? When Davis couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, there were plenty of games where the Mets needed his bat to protect Wright in the order or come through with an extra base hit in a close game. So now that he's hitting better shouldn't Wright see improved numbers because of a little protection in the order? If Davis is hitting more home runs and driving in runs shouldn't that translate into more W's?

One would think so, but one would also be wrong.

The Ike Davis Fallacy of False Cause is the perfect example that baseball is a team game and the Mets as a team are in need of much retooling. One player cannot swing the pendulum of losing in the opposite direction. A greater collective force is needed to change the tide.

I'm sure true baseball people realize this and see that the Mets can't just go out and get BJ Upton and think the Mets troubles are resolved. There's a greater force at work here.

Much work needs to be done.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are We There Yet? Awaiting the End of Another Mets Season

Are we there yet? Someone please tell me we're almost done with this Mets season. Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get worse, it does. I don't know why anyone goes to Citi Field these days as the Mets can't seem to ever win a game there.

I just want this season to be over.

Football has my attention. I'll do anything to distract me from this Mets baseball season. Yet I still find myself checking the score, watching an inning or two, and of course getting irate and frustrated at what I see.

Let's just stop. Only play games where Dickey starts so that he can get the 20 wins and Cy Young award he deserves. I don't want to see the kids play because I've been watching them play for most of this year.

For Mets fans, the off season is the highlight of the year. It's where hope lives and possibilities are endless. Let's move on to whether the Mets will sign David Wright. Will they trade Duda, Murphy or Davis? Can they sign an Upton brother? What on earth will they do about the bullpen? Will Terry Collins really be back?

Those are the important questions. Those are the things we're concerned about. Not seeing Bay strikeout again with the bases loaded. Not watch Duda lumber around in left field. Not see Valdespin swing and miss at balls out of the strike zone. None of that matters.

The young arms are nice to see, but all they can do is ruin their chances because when spring training comes around no one really remembers the 3 scoreless innings in relief when the Mets lost 6 out of 7. But they will remember you giving up 6 runs in 3 1/3 innings.

It's a sad commentary. Frankly any commentary on the Mets of late is sad so let's just stop. Get Dickey his Cy Young and pack it in. It's time for us disappointment addicts to move on.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Results Show that Terry Collins Needs to Go

19 and 38. That's the Mets record in the second half of the 2012 baseball season. If their current ways continue, they will hold the record for the worst second half record of a team that was over .500 before the All Star break.

That's a .333 winning percentage. Only the 1983 Angels have a .333 record after the break when they were above .500 before it.

If you can somehow stomach watching a game, you can see this team is beyond pitiful. Anemic isn't even a word to describe the offense. Emaciated might be better but still not strong enough. To a man every single Mets player looks awful with runners in scoring position.

The pitching has been relatively decent, but the product on the field is far from even being average.Add all that up and it signals Terry Collins demise.

Here's a guy who prides himself on getting his team ready to play every game and that "never give up" attitude. Terry may still have that attitude, but his players aren't personifying it. If we look at the Terry Collins era, a second half collapse seems to be the common theme. Each of the last three years the Mets have turned early season surprise success into total meltdown come August. This year was just the most egregious demise.

You should blame the players. You should call out the coaching staff. No one is innocent on this team. They all should be shamed by the outcome, but when a ship continues to hit icebergs on every journey, you have to think that captain might not be in control.

I really like Terry Collins, but something tells me he's more an executive cheerleader than a guy who can get what's needed out of his team. Players like him. He likes players. He's a guy with solid character, but sometimes you need to sacrifice those nice things for quality results.

The Mets and their fans are at a point where we need to be focused on results. Leave emotions, niceties and loyalty at the door. W's are what we long for.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Still Remembering 9/11

Every year I plan on writing a post about 9/11 and how baseball was one of the binding elements in the New York area after the horrible events on that September morning. But each year, I go back and read a post from Brad at Bugs and Cranks and realize I don't need to say anything else because this post is almost a mirror of my point of view.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to get an autographed photo of that famed Mike Piazza home run swing during that first game after 9/11. It's in my office and is a constant reminder of how huge that moment was not just for a Mets fan or a baseball fan but for New York as a whole.

So as we all reflect on what this day has come to mean, I hope you will take a look at Brad's post.

Monday, September 10, 2012

So Long Lex Luthor

Good riddance. There's a lot of talk about Larry Jones' farewell tour and the applause he's gotten on his rocking chair tour through the majors. The only reason I would be cheering is that I'd never have to see Larry Jones again.

I saw tweets yesterday and heard commentators talk about the Mets fans giving Jones a farewell applause. Why? Why on earth would we celebrate a man who did nothing but terrorize our team for the better part of 2 decades? Would Superman pay homage to Lex Luthor's death? Would Batman shed a tear for the Joker's demise? Was Zach Morris giving credit to AC Slater when Kelly Kapowski dumped him? No, no and definitely no.

Larry Jones is our arch-nemesis. Ding dong the witch is dead. This is a time to be jubilant. Not for respect. I honestly wanted the Mets to hit him in the back on his final at bat and then tip their cap to him as waltzed down to first base.

That's a farewell.

Freddie Freeman appears to be quickly filling in the shoes Larry is leaving behind so it looks like the Braves will have a Mets killer in training to annoy us for the next 20 years.

I will openly admit, Larry Jones is a hall of famer. He's one of the best baseball players I've seen in person. He's a competitor and a legend.

But don't let the door hit you on the way out Lex...I mean...Larry.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Box of Mets Cereal

Sure it's kind of old. Probably stale, but who wouldn't want a box of Mets cereal from 2000 with Piazza, Leiter, Alfonzo and Franco on it. Ok, I could do without Franco too.

It can be yours. Just head over to to place your bid.