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Thoughts on the Yankees & Mets after the Tanaka signing

Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Yankee Stadium (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

On Wednesday, the New York Yankees signed Rakuten Golden Eagles star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract.

Tanaka’s signing marks the end of the Yankees’ shopping spree, which included a seven-year, $153 million contract for center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, a five-year, $85 million deal for catcher Brian McCann, a three-year, and a $45 million contract for outfielder Carlos Beltran.

The moves were necessary because the Yankees are coming off of their worst season since 1992, and their farm system has no players who are ready to provide significant help at the major league level.

The Yankees’ projected 2014 payroll currently stands at $210.8 million, with eight players signed to contracts with an average annual value of more than $10 million. While they should be competitive, they are by no means the favorites in the American League East. And they can’t really spend half a billion dollars every off-season, can they?

Continue reading “Thoughts on the Yankees & Mets after the Tanaka signing”

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Frustrating weekend leads to roster shakeup

Miami Marlins fans must love seeing games against the New York Mets come up on the schedule.

The Marlins, who have the worst record in Major League Baseball, have won their last five in a row against the Mets — including two this weekend. Eight of their 18 victories — 44 percent — have come at the Mets’ expense.

Saturday’s 20-inning affair was bizarre enough to take some of the sting away, but today’s loss wasn’t.

Ike Davis flails at a pitch on Saturday (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ike Davis flails at a pitch on Saturday (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Sandy Alderson has finally been moved to action. Rick Ankiel paid the price on Saturday when he was designated for assignment, likely signalling the end of his major league baseball career. Ike Davis, Robert Carson and Mike Baxter earned tickets to Las Vegas on Sunday.

On one hand, I feel bad for them. Davis and Carson were friendly and personable on the brief occasions when I’ve met them. Baxter sacrificed his body to give us the highlight of last year’s season.

Even Ankiel, who probably never should have been here in the first place, evokes some sympathy – he’s basically been told that he’s not good enough to do his job any longer. But it’s been clear for a while that they don’t belong in the major leagues.

On the other hand, I’d like to ship out most of the rest of the roster along with them.

The Mets starting pitching has been fine and David Wright is our All-Star (even though he’s probably not going to be the starter unless the Kung-Fu Panda strains something reaching for the buffet table.) Daniel Murphy has mostly been solid, Juan Lagares has shown flashes of promise, and that’s about it…

The Mets are 24th in runs scored, 20th in home runs, 27th in on-base percentage, and 27th in slugging percentage. Their offensive struggles are a team issue, and whoever Alderson calls up from Las Vegas (believed to be Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin) is unlikely to have the talent to significantly improve the situation.

It’s been a frustrating weekend, and the roster shuffling has the feel of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Even so, I’m not ready to give up on them. Tomorrow night, I’ll probably be annoyed that there’s no Mets game to turn on at 7 p.m. Maybe I’ll even get out to another game on this home stand. (There’s a concert after Friday’s game, so there will be a second chance at entertainment if the Mets can’t provide it.)

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Ike Davis and his latest tale of woe

Ike Davis
(Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

“Everything that can go wrong for me right now is going wrong.”

Ike Davis, responding to reporters who asked about a ninth inning fielding play which helped the Reds send the Mets to their latest defeat.

Way to take responsibility, Ike. Does anybody other than Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins still think that Davis is going to work through his troubles at the major league level?

I hope the extra few days are only needed to gain a “better understanding” of the alternatives to Davis at first base.

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Photos from Mets Banner Day 2013

Well, the less said about this weekend’s Mets games, the better. But I do want to share photos of some of my favorite Banner Day entries:

Winning Banner

This was the winning entry in the Banner Day contest. It’s a simple, well-crafted and well-executed idea – the home run apple even raises and lowers – but I thought that the other finalists (and some that didn’t make it to that stage) showed more cleverness.

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Johan Santana & the World Baseball Classic

Johan Santana wants to pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, his friends tell ESPN New York.

Johan Santana's 2008 Topps World Baseball Classic insert card
Johan Santana’s 2008 Topps World Baseball Classic insert card

Never mind that he last pitched on August 17th, 2012 and finished the season on the disabled list.

Never mind that Santana has thrown a grand total of 117 major league innings since the end of the 2010 season.

Santana wants to represent his country in Bud Selig‘s grand global marketing event, and Venezuela GM Carlos Miguel Oropeza tells  El Nacional newspaper, “The case of Santana is vital for us.”

It doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea from the perspective of a Mets fan who wants to see Santana pitch for the Mets this summer.

Continue reading “Johan Santana & the World Baseball Classic”

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Win projections, arbitration figures and weird baseball card photos

FanGraphs published statistical projection for the 2013 New York Mets that predicts that they will win 68 games this year. I’m sure it won’t shock anyone to learn that the ZiPS system doesn’t like the Mets’ offense much beyond David Wright. It probably will come as a surprise that it doesn’t like the Mets pitching staff at all – even the starting rotation.

Landon Powell's 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball card
Landon Powell’s 2009 O-Pee-Chee baseball card

In actual Mets news, Sandy Alderson signed catcher Landon Powell to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training today. Adam Rubin believes Powell will be Travis d’Arnaud’s backup in Triple-A Las Vegas to start the season.

I mention the signing only to have an excuse to show Powell’s rookie card from the 2009 O-Pee-Chee set – some photo editor at Upper Deck at the time had an odd sense of humor or a dearth of photos to choose from.

Finally, Daniel Murphy and Ike Davis exchanged arbitration figures with the Mets on Friday. Davis is seeking $3.7 million, and the Mets offered $2.825 million. Murphy asked for $3.4 million and the Mets offered $2.55 million.

I’m not usually inclined to worry about baseball salaries, but it is worth noting that Murphy – long considered a “young and cheap” player – is not going to be either much longer. And Davis, who will be eligible for arbitration three more times, might find that he doesn’t fit the Mets’ budget before he reaches free agent status.

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