Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Random Thoughts: Jim Leyland, the World Series & Yankees ticket prices

Jim Leyland announced Monday that he would not return as the Detroit Tigers’ manager in 2014. At age 68, he might be ready to retire from the game… or maybe he’ll find the “fire” and turn up in a dugout somewhere in a few years. I kind of hope that he does – Major League Baseball is just a little bit poorer without Leyland in uniform.

I hope that in some alternate universe, Leyland is getting his Detroit Tigers team ready to take on one of his old teams, the Pittsburgh Pirates. I wish I could watch that World Series, because the Boston Red Sox vs. the St. Louis Cardinals does nothing for me.

Carlos Beltran plays against the Mets in 2012 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Carlos Beltran plays against the Mets in 2012 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I know a segment of Mets fans is rooting for the Cardinals so Carlos Beltran can finally get a World Series ring. Beltran is a great player, one of the best hitters in Mets history. But I can appreciate his skill without being willing to root for his team – still the home of 2006 nemeses Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.

I’m nominally rooting for the Boston Red Sox, because it would make my friend happy if they won. But rooting for the Red Sox since 2007 kind of feels like rooting for the Yankees North.

Meanwhile, the actual New York Yankees are demonstrating some common sense. The team announced Monday that they will cut ticket prices in some sections for 2014, and 96 percent of the ballpark will have ticket prices that either stayed the same or went down from this year’s costs. Maybe that will help slow the ticket sale declines…

Mets ticket prices are so complicated, I have no idea if they are going up or down next year. Both teams need to worry about putting a better product on the field.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Matt Harvey, undefeated no more

Matt Harvey finally lost today, although he only gave up one run on five hits and a walk over seven innings.

Matt Harvey pitches against the Miami Marlins on June 8 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Matt Harvey pitches against the Miami Marlins on June 8 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

I’ll be honest – I’ve never been interested in his win-loss record. The Mets are 8-6 in games he starts, and 16-31 in games someone else starts – those are far more illuminating numbers.

The Mets couldn’t do anything against Adam Wainwright, but I’ll have to leave it to people who were able to watch the game this afternoon to judge whether that had more to do with Wainwright’s skill or the Mets’ lineup’s lack of it.

It seems telling that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny decided to intentionally walk Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the bottom of the seventh inning with the potential tying run on second base to force Terry Collins to pinch hit for Harvey, though.

At least they were able to get the game in so the fans who were able to go to a Thursday matinee and willing to brave the weather could enjoy the pitchers’ duel.

And then there’s this whole Cougar Life story – can I forget I heard about this one?

Tomorrow, Shaun Marcum will try again for his first win of the season. I’m assuming that Anthony Young‘s 0-13 start to the 1993 season is the worst in Mets history, so Marcum’s got a way to go before he makes the record books.

On the bright side, Marcum has pitched really well in his last few outings and even the Mets’ lineup should be able to manage a few runs off of Edwin Jackson.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

For one night, the Mets were better than the best team in baseball

Citi-Field-Night-IMG_201209The Mets snapped a three-game losing streak tonight that seemed to last a lot longer thanks to rainouts, off-days and general malaise. And they beat the team with the best record in baseball to do it.

Dillon Gee continues to make a strong case to remain in the rotation after Zack Wheeler is promoted. After giving up a home run to Allen Craig and a double to Yadier Molina in the sixth inning, Gee rebounded to strike out David Freese and Jon Jay to escape further damage. Earlier in the season, that inning probably would have turned into a big Cardinals rally. Tonight it didn’t.

The defense and bullpen actually provided support for the Mets’ starting pitcher, unlike last night.

And though Mets hitters struck out 12 times and managed just six hits, three of them were home runs, and three were bunched during the first inning.

Weather permitting, Matt Harvey will take the hill tomorrow afternoon against Adam Wainwright. Maybe the Mets can put together a winning streak, and fans should be treated to an excellent pitching match up either way.

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New look lineup, same old Mets

Day one of the New York Mets’ revamped roster didn’t go so well.

Mets' leadoff hitter de jour, seen here in a photo from Saturday's game, had two of the team's five hits Tuesday night. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Mets’ leadoff hitter de jour, seen here in a photo from Saturday’s game, had two of the team’s five hits Tuesday night. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

It started off well enough with two first inning runs, but the Mets couldn’t take a commanding lead against rookie St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Michael Wacha. They got just three more hits all night.

Daniel Murphy, playing his first game at first base this year, made a costly error and Jeremy Hefner made some pitches that were a little too easy to hit, and that was the ballgame.

But for good measure, Kirk Nieuwenhuis botched a catch of a ball hit to right field, Greg Burke gave up too many hits, Josh Edgin walked the first batter he faced to force in a run and David Aardsma showed signs he could give up just as many home runs as the recently demoted Robert Carson, if allowed the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Wacha – who was taken seven picks after Gavin Cecchini in last year’s draft – earned his first major league win. (Cecchini is hanging out in extended spring training, waiting for the Brooklyn Cyclones to begin their season next week.)

And in Las Vegas, Ike Davis is 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout in his first three plate appearances.

It feels like this season is just another step backwards in the process of re-making the Mets. Davis, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee have all been disappointments to one degree or another. Daniel Murphy is one of the few who had been having a good year, but it’s clear now that he doesn’t factor into the team’s plans. If he did, why move Murphy from second base  just to be a placeholder with Davis in the minor leagues?

At least Jordany Valdespin made it through a whole game without doing anything infuriating, and he even contributed two of the team’s five hits.

Hooray for little things, I guess.