Kansas City Royals fans are on the verge of celebrating their team’s first trip to the World Series since 1985. San Francisco Giants fans and St. Louis Cardinals fans are hoping that their teams will be the one to represent the National League.
Mets fans get to talk about outfield dimensions, who could be the team’s next hitting coach, whether certain players won’t be offered contracts to save money, and if a former GM will land a job with the New York Yankees. Fun stuff.
Letting Jordany Valdespin and all of his drama go is one of Sandy Alderson‘s best moves of the off-season.
Scott Atchison, Jeremy Hefner, Omar Quintanilla and Justin Turner are all players who contributed to the Mets to the best of their limited abilities, and I’m sad to see them go.
MLB Trade Rumors’ Matt Swartz projected that Atchison would have made $1.3 million through arbitration, while Quintanilla would have earned $900,000 and Turner would have made $800,000. Neither Hefner nor Valdespin had reached arbitration eligibility, so the Mets could have paid each of them around $500,000.
Total gain thus far today: five 40-man roster spots and approximately $4 million.
Despite rumored meetings, I don’t think that’s going to help put Curtis Granderson in blue and orange next year. (And if an aging, one-dimensional player is going to require a three- or four-year deal, that’s not really a bad thing.)
But the 2014 Mets are no better tonight than they were this morning, and they’ve cut loose two players in Turner and Hefner that I did enjoy having on the team.
The next two weeks are probably the swan song for this blog. The domain renewal is coming up, and I don’t really feel the same enthusiasm for baseball that I did when I began.
I could still change my mind, but I’m having a hard time imagining what I might find to say about the 2014 Mets that anyone would want to read and other commitments will keep me from going to more than a handful of minor league games next season.
I do want to thank everyone who stops by to read Random Baseball Stuff, and I appreciate the friends I’ve made because of this blog.
Niese turned in another poor showing, though he did battle to keep things from getting worse. Still, Opening Day pitchers are not supposed to walk four batters and give up six hits in under six innings. And why is it that none of the Mets pitchers can really get in sync with Anthony Recker?
Then in the ninth inning, umpire Lance Barrett gave us another example of why baseball needs instant replay in the ninth inning. He botched the call on Darwin Barney‘s line drive that was apparently caught by Juan Lagares, ruling instead that Lagares trapped it. The Mets compounded the weirdness and blew a chance at a triple play when Justin Turner touched second to force Nate Schierholtz before the team could try to record outs at home and third.
The end result was another Mets’ loss, their 39th of the season. After the game, the Mets made a change in their bullpen… but Greg Burke really hasn’t been a problem lately. If the team is going to improve, they need more major league caliber hitters in the lineup. Hopefully some of the guys already here are able to step up their games… because there doesn’t seem to be any outside help on the way in the immediate future.
Outfielder Rick Ankiel is Sandy Alderson‘s latest reclamation project. The 33-year-old former pitcher will become the 954th player in Mets history tonight, and the eighth to wear number 16 since Dwight Gooden left.
Keeping in mind the dangers of looking at a small sample size, Ankiel does offer an advantage over the Mets’ other center field options, especially considering his defense:
But considering the little fact that the 2013 Mets are a fourth-place team going nowhere, they’d probably be better served by running Jordany Valdespin out there against right-handed pitching instead of Ankiel. (And I say this as someone who is not very fond of JV1’s showboating.) Maybe he would show that he can hit well enough to be a fourth outfielder or a utility player on a good team.
Instead, we’ll get to see Ankiel try to hang on a little longer. Maybe we’ll at least get to enjoy some highlight-worthy defensive plays.
At least Juan Lagares will still get to play against lefties… until Terry Collins changes his mind.