Posted in Baseball

Monday news & notes: Andrew McCutchen, Vic Black, Hisanori Takahashi

Here’s a few things that caught my attention over the weekend:

Andrew McCutchen makes an impression

Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen warms up before an exhibition game between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2010 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen warms up before an exhibition game between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2010 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

During the course of the Major League Baseball season, most teams send their players on visits to various children’s and veterans’ hospitals. And to those of us watching the clips on the news, it sometimes seems like those events are just photo ops to get positive publicity for millionaire athletes and their teams. But that overlooks the impact those visits can have on the people in those hospitals.

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

47 days until spring (training)

There are 47 days until New York Mets pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie for spring training.

Hisanori Takahashi 2010 Topps Chrome autographed card from my collection

Since 1962, 14 Mets players have worn #47. Jay Hook was the first, Hisanori Takahashi was the last,  Tom Glavine was the most famous and Joe McEwing was the most versatile. But the player I associate with #47 is 1986 Mets closer Jesse Orosco. Who can forget the sight of Orosco’s glove flying up into the air as he celebrated getting the last out of the 1986 World Series?

GM Sandy Alderson made a bit of news yesterday, signing minor league free agent infielder Omar Quintanilla (as first reported by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.) The move was widely panned by Mets fans, but for the sake of my own sanity I’m going to pretend that Quintanilla was signed to back up Reese Havens, Jordany Valdespin, or whoever else might be playing the middle infield positions for the Buffalo Bisons this year. (At least until Quintanilla ends up on the major league roster, anyway.)

ESPN New York also reported the oh-so-exciting details of the contracts given to new Mets relievers Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch. If any of the beat writers start keeping track of the number of games Rauch finishes because of his modest contract incentives, I think I’m going to end up pulling out what’s left of my hair in frustration.

The Mets have their winter blood drive scheduled for Thursday – all donors will receive a voucher for a pair of tickets to a game in April.

In hobby news, Nick Diunte profiled Chris Potter of Chris Potter Sports (the guy behind the private autograph signings I seem to be plugging just about every month.)

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Hello & Goodbye

Say "sayonara" to Ryota Igarashi

They might be a little bit late, but Sandy Alderson finally delivered some Christmas presents to Mets fans hoping for a pitching staff makeover.

Chris Capuano is a former All-Star who was fairly average in 66 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers last year. He’s guaranteed $1.5 million and could earn more through incentives.

What does it say, though, when the team’s press release about Capuano’s signing mentions that he is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and talks about his two Tommy John surgeries?

At least I can stop thinking about DJ Carrasco or Oliver Perez being potential default candidates for the starting rotation now.

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Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets Autograph of the Week: Hisanori Takahashi

Hisanori-Takahashi

A star pitcher for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, Hisanori Takahashi was an afterthought when the Mets were putting together their roster this spring. I saw him make his major league debut, but I was paying more attention to Jenrry Mejia and Ruben Tejada that April night.

After that rocky start, Takahashi emerged as a reliable long-reliever. He held that role for the first six weeks of the season, until Jon Niese suffered a minor hamstring injury. Takahashi started in Niese’s place on May 21st and shut out the Yankees for six innings.

He pitched another six shutout innings against the Phillies on May 26th, one of the few games I attended that the Mets won. Takahashi remained in the rotation through the early part of summer, but as National League hitters became more familiar with his unconventional delivery his effectiveness diminished.

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Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

Random Thoughts: Charlie Samuels, Hisanori Takahashi & Oliver Perez

It’s been another strange day in Mets land.

The Charlie Samuels story is getting ugly and bizarre. I woke up this morning to read allegations that he bet on baseball and may have been stealing from the Mets. Tonight, The New York Times reports that Francisco Rodriguez was staying with Samuels for a time after his common law wife obtained a restraining order against him this summer.

Continue reading “Random Thoughts: Charlie Samuels, Hisanori Takahashi & Oliver Perez”