Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Binghamton Mets, Uncategorized

Mets autograph of the moment: Omar Quintanilla

Yesterday’s mail brought a signed baseball card of former New York Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla.

Quintanilla will never be remembered for the stats on the back of his baseball card – he has a .220 lifetime average with 8 home runs and 74 RBI in 402 major league games over nine seasons.

Now he did have his moments, with the odd game-winning hit here or there… but on-field accomplishments are only one reason to appreciate a baseball player.

When I remember Quintanilla, I will think of the times he signed autographs for fans at Citi Field on days when the “better” players wouldn’t even stop long enough to wave. And I’m not the only one who remembers Quintanilla for his fan-friendly attitude.

When I posted a photo of my signed card on Twitter yesterday, I got this response:

Best of luck to Omar Quintanilla on the Albuquerque Isotopes this year.


I got to watch my first full Mets game of the season last night, aided by a timely rain delay that allowed me to get home from a meeting before the first out was recorded. And the Mets cooperated by getting that first loss of 2015 out of the way.

There’s been a lot of griping about the batting order Terry Collins has used over the first two games of the season, and I admit it’s not the one I’d write down if I were filling out the lineup cards. I’ll chalk up the lack of offense in the first two games to facing great pitching, but if the struggles continue in Atlanta I’m going to be concerned.

I also wasn’t thrilled with the botched rundown play in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sure, it didn’t cost the Mets a run… but it was bad fundamental baseball – what exactly were the Mets working on in Port St. Lucie for the last six weeks?

Allan Dykstra plays for the Binghamton Mets in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Allan Dykstra plays for the Binghamton Mets in 2011 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Congratulations to former Mets farmhand Allan Dykstra, who was called up by the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday when 1B James Loney went on the disabled list.

Posted in Uncategorized

Topps Update gives Mets cards to Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bobby Abreu & Jacob deGrom

Topps Update baseball cards were officially released this week, marking the traditional end of the collecting season that started when Series 1 came out back during spring training.

I wanted to pick up a couple of packs when I stopped in Target this afternoon, but they hadn’t made their way to the retail shelves yet. So I’m left looking at the pictures of other people’s cards online instead,

(I’m not likely to see one of these in person anyway.)

Continue reading “Topps Update gives Mets cards to Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bobby Abreu & Jacob deGrom”

Posted in Uncategorized

Mets make minor moves

Signed John Lannan baseball card from my collection
Signed John Lannan baseball card from my collection

The New York Mets announced that they signed former Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannan to a minor league contract on Saturday.

Lannan, 29, is expected to compete with Jenrry Mejia for the fifth spot in the starting rotation and allow prospects like Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom more time to develop in the minor leagues.

I like Lannan – he pitches fast and gets ground balls, so he’s basically the anti-Daisuke Matsuzka.

However, Lannan had a bad year in 2013. Two separate trips to the disabled list with a knee injury limited him to just 85.1 innings last year, and he did not enjoy a lot of success with the Phillies when he was able to take the mound.

Sandy Alderson seems to have learned a lesson from his experiences with Shaun Marcum and Chris Young – Lannan has a minor league deal and will have to earn his way onto the major league roster. It seems like a nice low risk, moderate reward signing to me.

The Mets also brought back Omar Quintanilla on a minor league deal, which seems like a signal that Ruben Tejada will open the year as the starting shortstop. With Justin Turner non-tendered, the only other player on the Mets’ roster with shortstop experience is Wilfredo Tovar. Quintanilla is likely to either win the backup role outright so Tovar can get regular playing time in Triple-A, or compete with Tovar for that roster spot.

If someone like Stephen Drew was a realistic option to take the starting job away from Tejada, there’d be no need for Quintanilla – which was probably the reason he was non-tendered earlier this off-season. I really would have liked the Mets to spend the money on Drew since they don’t have any legitimate shortstop prospects in the upper minors, but Alderson can only work with the budget he’s given.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @PaulsRandomStuf on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Uncategorized

Mets careers of five players, including Justin Turner & Jeremy Hefner, likely over

Justin Turner poses for a photo with me during a Mets Social Media Day event in 2012.
Justin Turner poses for a photo with me during a Mets Social Media Day event in 2012.

Today is Major League Baseball’s deadline day to tender contracts to players under team control for the 2014 season.

So far, the New York Mets have cut ties with five players.

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.

Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals were busy turning some of their spare parts into Doug Fister, a very serviceable starting pitcher.

Hopefully Alderson has a plan that goes beyond slashing payroll and drafting players who won’t reach the majors before Amazon’s delivery drones seem practical.

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. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Jumbo Mets baseball card update

About a week and a half ago, I posted a gallery of some of the oversized baseball cards the Mets use in the Today’s Topps Lineup display at the top of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.

Here’s an update from Sunday’s game:

Today's Topps Lineup for June 30, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Today’s Topps Lineup for June 30, 2013 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

For those who are curious, neither Eric Young Jr. nor Josh Satin have cards yet, but Omar Quintanilla finally got one.

Omar Quintanilla lineup card

I found it interesting that they did have a card ready for Zack Wheeler‘s first home game. Looks like they used a spring training photo.

Zack Wheeler lineup card