Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Spring training autographs: Collin McHugh and Miguel Batista

I got a couple more signed cards back in the mail on Saturday.

Signed Collin McHugh 2012 Topps Heritage Minor League card from my collection
Signed Collin McHugh 2012 Topps Heritage Minor League card from my collection

Collin McHugh made his major league debut for the Mets last season, and he ended up with a very ugly line of 0-4 with a 7.59 ERA for his rookie season. He really wasn’t that bad every time out – he threw a two-hit shutout over seven inning against the Colorado Rockies on August 23rd. I’m not sure how good of a chance McHugh has to make the 2013 Opening Day roster, but I’m sure he’ll make the most of it.

Signed Miguel Batista 2012 Topps Update baseball card from my collection
Signed Miguel Batista 2012 Topps Update baseball card from my collection

I liked Miguel Batista when he pitched for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. (I liked everybody that played for the Diamondbacks in 2001.) I liked Miguel Batista when he was pitching a shutout on the last day of the 2011 season after Jose Reyes pulled his “bunt & bolt” stunt. I didn’t really like Miguel Batista last year – especially when I was watching him get rocked on Edgardo Alfonzo bobblehead day last July when I was hoping to see Matt Harvey instead.

This year, Batista is spring training with the Colorado Rockies as a non-roster invitee. I hope he makes it, if only because there aren’t many active major league ballplayers left who are older than me.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Late night ramblings: flying bats, milestone home runs, rumored blockbusters and more

The Newark Bears lost to the Lincoln Saltdogs on Friday night by the score of 9-0 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Friday night, I watched the Lincoln Saltdogs defeat the Newark Bears 9-0 with my friend Bart. It might have been my last Bears game of 2012. Although I hope to make it to at least one game during Labor Day weekend, recent stories about the financial picture surrounding the Worcester Tornadoes leave me with some concern about whether the series will be played.

The only exciting part of the game came in the ninth inning, when Lincoln’s Matt Forgatch lost his bat and it went flying towards where we were sitting behind the visiting team’s dugout. We both ducked, and fortunately the bat landed a couple of rows behind us.

So I missed seeing David Wright‘s 200th home run (though I did get to see it among SNY’s postgame “highlights” when I got home.) At least I was spared watching the Mets lose to the worst team in baseball (mostly – I was home in time to see the bottom of the ninth inning.) Saturday is Mike Piazza bobblehead day, but even with R.A. Dickey scheduled to start for the Mets, I don’t feel like spending the time or money to go into Queens for the game.

After the game, Terry Collins sounded every bit as defeated as his players. “I’m going to tell you something: I walk through that locker room every day and I look at those names up there and I see good players…Dave Hudgens and I sat this morning — shoot, 11:15 this morning, we’re talking, trying to come up with a game plan, trying to come up with a new theory, with something that’s going to unlock the hit box. We haven’t found it yet.”

Although I was impressed with Collin McHugh‘s performance on Thursday, it wasn’t enough to help him stay in the big leagues. McHugh was sent down Friday to clear a roster spot for Jeremy Hefner, who returned from paternity leave. All because Collins must have a second left-handed reliever because he’s become obsessed with platoon matchups.

A tip of the cap to Jon Springer of Mets By The Numbers for noticing that 1970s Mets reliever Bob Myrick passed away Thursday after suffering a heart attack. He made his debut the year that I was born.

But the big baseball news on Friday was a potential blockbuster trade between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. According to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes, the Red Sox would send Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto for pitcher Rubby de la Rosa, first baseman James Loney, pitcher Allen Webster, infielder Ivan De Jesus Jr. and outfielder Jerry Sands.

The four Red Sox players are owed a combined $262.5 million after this season. If reports that L.A. will assume most of those costs prove true, former Mets general manager Omar Minaya is suddenly going to look like a fiscal conservative by comparison to  Ned Colletti.

My friend Bart, who has been a Red Sox fan longer than I’ve been alive, wasn’t happy about the idea of trading Gonzalez. But to get rid of Beckett and Crawford – and the money that they’re owed – while bringing back prospects, he liked the rumored deal just fine.

I tend to agree. Theo Epstein handed out some awful contracts during the later years of his tenure in Boston, and now Ben Cherington will get a do-over if he can pull off this deal. I’m not sure what the Dodgers are thinking. Is it really worth taking on Beckett and Crawford to get Gonzalez?

Before the Dodgers traded for Hanley Ramirez, I wonder if Sandy Alderson could have packaged Wright, Johan Santana and Jason Bay and sent them to L.A. to get a do-over of his own.  It would have hurt to see Wright go, but with each passing day I’m becoming more convinced that he’s going to leave for a team that gives him a better chance to win once he hits free agency.

Posted in Uncategorized

Brilliance amid futility

Collin McHugh in His Major League Debut
Collin McHugh in his Major League debut Photo credit: slgckgc

First, the good news. Collin McHugh had a brilliant major league debut Thursday afternoon, filling in for Johan Santana. He followed another strong start by Matt Harvey on Wednesday night.

Now, the bad. The Mets scored a grand total of five runs in four games against the worst pitching staff in baseball.

Apparently Daniel Murphy is going to take the brunt of the blame for the team’s offensive futility. He’s getting sent to the bench this weekend because he’s “flat out of gas” according to Terry Collins.

What about the rest of the lineup? They all look like they’re out of gas… except for the ones that look ready for the glue factory.

Sandy Alderson publicly acknowledged that changes are needed. “We need an infusion of players, productive players,” he told WFAN radio talk show host Mike Francesa on Wednesday, according to MetsBlog.

Let’s see what the 2013 New York Mets roster looks like… but if David Wright doesn’t get some more help, next year’s probably not going to be very fun.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets prepare for December’s Rule 5 draft

Yesterday, the New York Mets added seven minor league players to the 40-man roster to shield them from December’s Rule 5 draft.

Reese Havens

Players are eligible to be taken in the draft if he is not on a Major League 40-man roster and:

  • signed at 19 or over as part of the 2008 draft class or earlier
  • signed at 18 or younger during 2007 or earlier.

The Mets added lefthanded pitcher Robert Carson, righthanded pitcher Jeurys Familia, infielder Wilmer Flores, infielder Reese Havens, outfielder Juan Lagares, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and outfielder Cesar Puello to the 40-man roster.

Chris Walendin‘s tpgMets blog has a list of the minor leaguers in the Mets’ system who can be selected in the draft.

Some of the more interesting names on the draft-eligible list: Continue reading “Mets prepare for December’s Rule 5 draft”