Blue and Orange 2014 Mets Preview

March 31st, 2014

Okay, so other than a live blog, I haven’t written anything since last year’s Mets preview. And there is no guarantee that I will write anything between this Mets preview and next year’s Mets preview. But what the heck, I still own the domain and web space here, so why not throw up this year’s version of the Mets preview? Here is one man’s look at how the 2014 New York Mets might look this year, breaking down the 25-man roster, along with a few other players along the way.

The Superstar

1. David Wright (Last Year: 1)

There is no point doing a countdown for this year’s team from worst player to best, because everybody knows who the best player is. David Wright remains awesome. He had that random dip from 2009 to 2011 where he was merely slightly above average, but whether that was due to Citi Field being way too pitcher-friendly, or because he was hiding an injury that was hindering his production, or whatever the reason, he is right back to being the perennial MVP candidate he was from 2006-2008. He may not stay at this level very much longer, but Mets fans should appreciate Wright for who he is, probably the best position player in team history.

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Blue and Orange Opening Day Live Blog

April 1st, 2013

Every year, I have had a yearly tradition to get together with my friends Joe and Travis to watch the Mets’ home opener together. This tradition dates back fourteen years, all the way back to 1999, when Joe and I attended our first Mets home opener together. We used to go to the game every year, and then as home opener tickets became harder and harder to obtain, we at least vowed to get together to watch the game. In recent years, even with the abundance of available home opener tickets, we have still been watching at home, no longer quite as motivated to make it out to the ballpark as we used to be.

Unfortunately, this year has changed. Joe has to work, and Travis has family responsibilities, so our yearly tradition has been broken. So what am I to do? Certainly not go to work; I haven’t worked during a home opener in thirteen years, and I’m certainly not going to start now. No, I’m still going to take the day off, but instead of spending it with close friends, I’m going to spend it with the entire internet. Besides, who cares if I’m spending the nicest day of the year to date in my dark basement watching TV and writing about it o the internet? I have three TVs down here, each of them tuned into a different game. It’s the one day of the year Mets fans have even a twinge of optimism, so let’s do this thing.

Keep checking back throughout the day for updates from the Mets game, the Yankees game, and whatever else I can find on MLB.tv worth watching. I mean, who knows how long I will want to keep blogging, so take advantage while you can. We start at 1 and go all day.

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Blue and Orange 2013 Mets Preview

March 31st, 2013

Let’s face it. There isn’t a whole lot to look forward to with the Mets this year. After you get past the first five or so players, it starts looking pretty ugly. For all the work Sandy Alderson has done in building the future for the Mets, he hasn’t really done a whole lot to build much of a present. Granted, he’s hamstrung to a degree by bad contracts and a low payroll, but you look at some of the players on this year’s team and wonder if there has to be somebody better out there. Nevertheless, this isn’t about what could be or what should be, but about what is. It may not be pretty, but this is the roster Mets fans are going to war with, hoping to clear the 70 win plateau this year.

For this year’s BlueandOrange.net preview, we’re going to count down the players 1 to 25, just to get a feel for what we’re dealing with this season. This won’t include players on the disabled list, so Johan Santana won’t be included (spoiler alert: Santana won’t throw a single pitch all season). It also won’t include players likely to make an impact in the second half, like Travis d’Arnaud and Zack Wheeler. This is the opening day roster, 1 through 25, with #1 a guy who will be around for the next eight seasons, and #25 a guy who you probably won’t even remember was on the team come May. Let’s see what we got here.

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Johan Santana 2008-2013

March 29th, 2013

Well, that turned out to be pretty disappointing, huh?

Actually, I’m not sure that’s fair. It’s hard to call Johan Santana’s time with the Mets disappointing because he did give Mets fans two indelible highlights. There was his season-saving, complete game shutout of the then-Florida Marlins 2-0 in Game 161 of 2008. Nine innings, nine strikeouts, only three hits and three walks allowed, and complete domination from start to finish, on three days’ rest with a knee that would require surgery. Sadly, as amazing as it sounds, that start will go down as the next to last September game Santana will pitch in his Mets career.

And of course, there was the no-hitter. Sadly, I wasn’t watching the game live. I was at an awful wrestling show in Rahway, New Jersey, a wrestling show I had regretted attending even before my friend texted me to let me know Santana was taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning. My friend Grim and I then huddled around my phone, following the MLB At Bat app as it ever so slowly updating us as to what was going on in the game. When Santana recorded the final out, I stood up and yelled out a cheer…as Big Van Vader was stalling outside the ring in his match with 2 Cold Scorpio. I got some looks.

Unfortunately, that’s all Mets fans really have for Johan Santana, a few isolated moments. He only pitched one complete season for us out of six, and that was his first season. He finished third in the Cy Young voting that year, perhaps robbed of an award he would not have deserved by a bullpen that blew seven leads for him. That was the season capped off by Game 161, which feels so long ago by now. It doesn’t help that the Mets promptly lost Game 162, overshadowing Santana’s gutsy pitching performance, and really putting a damper on a fine season by Santana.

After that game, things went downhill quickly for Santana. He threw 166 innings in 2009, before bone chips in his pitching elbow ended his season. He threw 199 innings before anterior capsule surgery ended his 2010 season, and his 2011 season as well.

He returned in 2012, and for a few months, if you squinted hard enough and pretended, it was like Johan was back again. He didn’t throw as hard, but he was as smart and tenacious as ever. Everything culminated with the no-hitter on June 1, but after that, things took a steep trip downward. Santana had an 8.27 ERA in his last ten starts, allowing 45 hits and 18 walks in 49 innings, and amazingly, 13 of those 45 hits were home runs. Santana was always a flyball pitcher, but this was extreme, even for him. Something wasn’t right. I don’t know if something happened in the no-hitter, but considering his latest injury is another tear of his anterior capsule, I think it was something that was bound to happen at some point regardless.

This leaves me with mixed thoughts. The good memories include a sublime 2008 season, a dominant performance to stay the Mets’ execution one day, and the first no-hitter in team history, along with approximately 74 other starts, most of them good, some of them great. The bad include two whole missed seasons, three other seasons cut short due to injury, a few poor starts after the no-hitter, and $137.5 million of mostly dead money over the course of six years.

I’m not going to go so far as to say the $137.5 million was worth spending. That money failed to help the Mets move any closer towards a World Series championship, or even a playoff spot. Not all of that is Santana’s fault, of course, but for a team whose owners quickly learned they were a lot poorer than they realized, to have that much dead money on the team’s ledger undoubtedly hurts quite a bit.

But if you asked me am I glad Johan Santana was a Met? That answer is an unequivocal yes. Santana starts were always an event. Every Santana start brought the promise of the team’s first no-hitter, until he delivered on that promise last June 1. He was a great pitcher through and through, one who made the team more fun to follow when he was healthy than it was when he was hurt. He didn’t quite achieve the brilliance in New York that he had in Minnesota, and he didn’t push this team over the hump towards a world championship like Mets fans were hoping on February 2, 2008, but it was still a treat to witness his greatness while we had the chance.

Also, in case I didn’t make this clear earlier…HE THREW THE FIRST NO HITTER IN METS HISTORY. No matter what, his legacy as a New York Met is secure, even if things didn’t go according to plan.

Jerry Manuel is a liar

February 18th, 2011

Manuel responded on television, saying,  “We allowed the fewest baserunners and then threw out the most base runners. So there you go, Ozzie. But what you got to do Ozzie, you got to teach me how to tweet so I can get back to you. You don’t have to put me on blast.’’

David Lennon, Newsday

Leave it to Jerry Manuel to pull this website out of retirement.

Let’s start with the obvious: if the New York Mets had allowed the fewest baserunners in baseball AND threw out the most base runners, I don’t think Jerry Manuel would currently be an analyst for MLB Network. It’s also safe to assume that Sandy Alderson would still be working in the MLB front offices, the Mets would be the defending World Series champions, and would be generating so much money, Fred Wilpon wouldn’t have to explore selling the team because he’d be making a mint off of ticket sales and merchandise right now. Right off the bat, this one doesn’t come close to passing the smell test.

And of course, Jerry Manuel is wrong. The Mets did not, in fact, allow the fewest baserunners in baseball last year, or any year in which he was the manager. Take a look at the tables below. First, we’ll start with the 2008 Mets.

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Chris Carter Non-Tendered

December 3rd, 2010

Per Adam Rubin on Twitter, the Mets have announced that Chris Carter has not been tendered a contract for 2011.

We’ll deal with what this means for the 2011 Mets tomorrow.  I know a lot of you love the guy, so this thread is for you to say goodbye.

The Minaya Years – 2005 Outfield

October 6th, 2010

Now that Omar Minaya is officially out as the Mets’ GM, this is no longer a pre-post-mortem, but a mere post-mortem on the career of Omar Minaya and the job he did as Mets GM.  What were his strengths, what were his weaknesses, and what were his patterns, and how can the next GM improve upon his performance.  Let’s take a look at the first outfield he constructed, the 2005 Mets starting outfield.

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Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel “relieved of duties”

October 4th, 2010

Mets fans, meanwhile, are merely relieved.

Seriously, not to piss on their graves or anything, but Minaya and Manuel very clearly needed to go.  I’ll talk more about Omar as the weeks progress as I continue to look at the Minaya Years, but it was clearly beyond his capabilities to build a successful baseball team on a consistent basis.  He simply was not the right man for this job, and was a perfect example of the Peter Principle at work.

Jerry Manuel…I think this blog has made its feelings clear on Jerry Manuel, but yesterday’s game really demonstrated why he’s not a very good manager.  Taking David Wright and Jose Reyes out of the game in the top of the 9th inning of a tie game, so they can get a standing ovation as they walked off the field, really showed a lack of priorities.  The game went an additional five innings before it ended, and perhaps if the Mets had their best hitters still in the game, it would not have lasted as long.

Really, I can think of no better way for the 2010 season, for the Jerry Manuel era, and for the Omar Minaya regime, to all come to simultaneous conclusion than by Oliver Perez giving up a HBP and three consecutive walks to give the Nationals the victory.  I think that pretty much sums it up.

The Minaya Years series will continue tomorrow, and as news breaks regarding potential successors, we will discuss it here at Blue and Orange.

The Minaya Years: 2005 Bullpen

October 1st, 2010

Part two of our look at Omar Minaya’s various teams will look at the 2005 Mets relief corps.  In case you missed yesterday’s post, this is an objective look at the various moves made by Omar Minaya to try to find what we can learn from his moves, both good and bad.  I started with the 2005 starting rotation, now I am going to take a look at Omar’s first bullpen as the general manager of the Mets.

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The Minaya Years: 2005 Starting Pitching

September 30th, 2010

With Omar Minaya’s days as general manager numbered, I thought now would be as good a time as any to try to take an objective look at the various Mets teams he has assembled during his days as GM.  This isn’t another excuse to tear Minaya down, it’s a way to look at what he did, to identify his good moves and his mistakes, and how future Mets GMs may learn from them.  In order to give a thorough examination for every aspect of the teams he has built, I am going to be breaking each team into small parts, and from there piecing these small parts together until we have a big picture.  The first thing I am going to examine is Omar Minaya’s 2005 starting pitchers.

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