Posted in Baseball

Mets baseball cards of the week: 2016 Opening Day team set

It’s been a little while since we last talked baseball cards… a few new sets came out, and I even have two new 2016 Mets partial team sets to show you.

I’d really been looking forward to Topps Heritage, since this year’s set is based on one of my favorite classic Topps designs. Now that I actually have most of the cards in hand (thanks Stubby!), I find myself with mixed feelings.

So let’s save that for another day and focus on the product that wildly surpassed my expectations: Topps Opening Day. It’s been years since I actually bothered getting the Mets team set from Opening Day… the cards are almost identical to the ones from the Topps flagship set, but you don’t get all of the players because Opening Day is less than half the size.

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Except this year, I noticed half of the Mets in Opening Day aren’t in Topps Series One. Steven Matz and Lucas Duda will undoubtedly turn up in Series Two, most likely with the same image. Matt Reynolds and Ruben Tejada? Your guess is as good as mine… I could easily see Tejada getting bumped or digitally transformed into a Cardinal. (The better question is: “where’s David Wright?” but he did miss all but 38 games last season and is in Series One, so I’ll cut them some slack.)

(Tejada also has a pretty nifty super short print photo variation in Opening Day that I’d been planning to get, but the Mets released him before I had the opportunity and it has kinda killed my motivation. There are also super short print photo variations for Noah Syndergaard and Reynolds according to the Cardboard Connection’s gallery.)

So Reynolds’ first Mets baseball card (not counting autographs in Heritage and Spring Fever) was motivation enough for me to pick up Opening Day this year, but the set’s strength is in its inserts.

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Opening Day gave us Mrs. Met’s first baseball card appearance, as well as two cards commemorating the Mets’ playoff success last fall. (There’s also a less interesting Matt Harvey card in an insert set dedicated to teams’ alternate uniforms, but the Mets wear their blue alternates often enough that seeing Harvey in the home jersey that he always wears isn’t very exciting…still, what’s one “miss” in a product that’s so much better than I expected?)

In actual baseball news, Matt Harvey weathered a health scare, Bobby Parnell got released by the Tigers, Philip Humber retired after learning he wouldn’t make the Padres’ roster and Jeff Francoeur managed to make the Braves roster.

We’re just days away from baseball games that count…I’m looking forward to caring enough to watch more than one game a week. 🙂

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Watch ex-Mets OF Jeff Francoeur get pranked by his Triple-A teammates

In case you haven’t seen it already, watch this video to see how Jeff Francoeur’s El Paso Chihuahuas teammates played a month-long prank on him.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Some sleep-deprived thoughts on the Mets’ Thursday night victory.

David Wright (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I watched the New York Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 last night…. and by that, I mean to say I sat in front of a television set that was broadcasting the game and I actually saw at least two-thirds of it. 😉

(I’m glad the Mets only play about 10 games a year in the Pacific Time Zone… it’s the one good thing about the schedule that makes them play the Marlins, the Braves & the Phillies about a million times each.)

  • David Wright looked like an All-Star – he hit his 192nd career home run, tying Howard Johnson‘s Mets home run total which is the third-best in franchise history, he doubled to drive in the first run of the game, and he set a new team record for career walks. (Wright may have done other awesome things while I was “resting my eyes,” too.)
  • Chris Young held a fairly anonymous Dodgers lineup to two runs on six hits in 6.1 innings. This is a great performance for a fourth or fifth starter, but no matter how well he does, I don’t completely trust Young on the mound. I keep waiting for those fly balls to start flying out of the ballpark, or for the inevitable injury to occur.
  • The Mets announcers still love Jeff Francoeur. I’m not sure why it came up, but Gary Cohen and Ron Darling actually spent time discussing whether Francoeur would be a good mid-season trade target for the Mets. (Unless I just dreamed the whole thing, which is possible. Please let it be a baseball-inspired nightmare – I saw enough media-fawning and Frenchy-flailing in 2010.)
  • Bobby Parnell got the opportunity to close, and he seemed to do ok. (I don’t actually remember him pitching – just that he was going to come in, and that he got Bobby Abreau to fly out to end the game. Unless that was a dream too – Bobby Abreau can’t really still be playing, can he? Oh, he is – the box score confirms that this actually did happen.)

I think I’ll DVR R.A. Dickey‘s start tonight and watch it Saturday morning.

Posted in New York Mets, Uncategorized

Random Thoughts: Gold Gloves, managers, minor league free agents & Jeff Francoeur

Baseball award season started this week with the announcement of the Gold Glove awards. Derek Jeter won his fifth, igniting a firestorm of criticism because the only things he had in his favor were his fielding percentage and his reputation.

In the National League, Albert Pujols took home the Gold Glove at first base even though at least one columnist thought Ike Davis should have won instead.

Most of the arguments focused on the use of advanced fielding statistics – UZR and Plus/Minus. I’ll admit that the traditional fielding percentage stat is virtually useless since it rewards players with limited range because they are less likely to be charged with errors. But at least it’s easy to explain – (putouts + assists) / (putouts + assists + errors).

UZR and Plus/Minus have to be better metrics of actual fielding ability, but until somebody can explain exactly how they are figured I can’t understand why their proponents expect to see widespread adoption.

Besides, you don’t really need anything more than your own eyes to see that Derek Jeter’s range has greatly diminished or that Ike Davis is a really good first baseman.

Continue reading “Random Thoughts: Gold Gloves, managers, minor league free agents & Jeff Francoeur”