From 1964 to 2008, Shea Stadium provided the backdrop for countless, defining New York Mets moments. It was not uncommon for the papier-mâché-esq, architectural monstrosity to literally shake when fans would jump up and down, dance, and cheer with hoarse, unabashed joy during pivotal games and moments.
I know this because, as a life-long fan, I myself contributed to the jeers, prayers, and hugs with fellow tear-filled strangers.
But since moving into Citi Field in April 2009, there has been little reason for fans to transform the state-of-the-art facility into a 41,922-person trampoline. Over the past seven seasons, there simply has not been an opportunity to forge lasting memories at Citi Field.
That is, until yesterday evening. Continue reading
NOTE (10:18 AM, July 25, 2015): This article was published well prior to the Mets acquiring Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson.
It’s tempting to write an article begging the New York Mets to make a big trade for a significant bat at the deadline. After all, adding one of Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Upton, Todd Frazier or Yasiel Puig would instantly address the team’s offensive problems.
But it’s pretty unlikely the Mets make such a deal. And as ESPN‘s Mark Simon astutely wrote about recently, it might not be wise for it to happen, either.
Instead, there’s a realistic alternative: the Mets could trade for platoon partners and generally helpful, but not “star”-caliber players without hemorrhaging the future. Continue reading
Posted in Op-Ed
Tagged Alejandro De Aza, Ben Berkon, Brandon Nimmo, Chris Johnson, Curtis Granderson, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Juan Lagares, Marwin Gonzalez, Mets, Michael Cuddyer, New York, New York Mets, Ruben Tejada, Scott Van Slyke, The Beanball, Three unexciting trades that would immediately help the Mets' offense
The focus in Mets-land has been on the team’s trio of young aces. And for good reason: Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard have posted a combined 5.1 fWAR, 3.05 ERA, and 5.45 strikeouts-to-walks ratio this season.
With the New York Mets’ below-average offense (ranks 20th with a 7.2 fWAR) incapable of providing necessary run support, however, even the most dominant of pitching efforts haven’t consistently resulted in wins.
Needless to say, adding a bat or two at the July 31st trade deadline is a must for the Mets. But the front office could better evaluate the extent of their offensive needs by calling up top prospect Michael Conforto now. Continue reading
Posted in Op-Ed
Tagged Ben Berkon, Conforto, Conforto Majors, Mets, Mets Conforto, Mets Promote Conforto, Michael Conforto, Michael Conforto Majors, Michael Conforto Promotion, New York, New York Mets, The Beanball
The New York Mets’ offense ranks 18th in fWAR (6.6). They’ve collectively scored the 7th least amount of runs (229), and posted a mere park-adjusted 91 wRC+.
The Mets needing offense is an understatement. And with David Wright out indefinitely, the team lacks a third baseman in the worst way.
So perhaps being linked to Milwaukee Brewers’ third baseman Aramis Ramirez is a good thing. After all, Ramirez owns a career .284 batting average, 116 wRC+, and 376 home runs.
Then again, most if not all of that production came before this season, obviously. The almost 37-year-old – and likely end-of-year retiree – has looked geezer-esq at the plate, hitting just .211, walking at a 4.4 percent rate, and sporting a pathetic 68 wRC+.
Sure, the three-time All-Star’s .215 BABIP (versus a career .291 rate) isn’t helping much. But Ramirez, who owns a career 42.3 wFA (fastball runs above average) per PITCHf/x, can’t seem to catch up with the fastball like he once did. At a mere minus-2.6 wFA thus far in 2015, Ramirez’s former bread and butter now looks more like, well, toast.
Food analogies aside, would Ramirez pose as an upgrade for the Mets at the hot corner? Continue reading
According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Milwaukee Brewers may have rejected the New York Mets’ straight-up offer of Jon Niese for veteran third baseman Aramis Ramirez yesterday evening.
With the Brewers apparent desire to throw-in the towel on 2015, Ramirez – along with Matt Garza, Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez, and Jean Segura – could potentially be had.
That is, not in exchange for Niese: a 28-year-old southpaw starting pitcher, who owns a career 3.90 ERA (versus a 3.68 xFIP) and 2.67 strikeouts-to-walks ratio.
Even though the left-handed pitcher’s 4.43 ERA (versus a 3.81 xFIP) to-date isn’t exactly dominant, Ramirez is batting just .213 with a park-adjusted 72 wRC+. Oh, and Ramirez is almost 37, and plans on retiring after the season.
This should be pretty embarrassing for the Mets’ front office.
So if there’s a consensus amongst general managers that Jon Niese’s value is so low, why hasn’t Sandy Alderson received the memo? Continue reading
Posted in Op-Ed
Tagged Ben Berkon, Jon Niese, Jon Niese Trades, Matz Promotion, Mets, Michael Cuddyer, New York, New York Mets, Niese, Niese Trades, Steven Matz, The Beanball, Why doesn’t Sandy Alderson realize Jon Niese’s value is so low?
Getting no-hit by San Francisco Giants’ rookie Chris Heston last night was another low point to the New York Mets’ season. Despite the morale blow, the Mets are still, somehow, in first place in the NL East.
But not for long.
For you see, the Mets have the ability to improve — without even making a trade — but for reasons unknown, they refuse to. Continue reading
Posted in Op-Ed
Tagged Ben Berkon, Chris Heston, Dillon Gee, Gee Bullpen, Jon Niese, Mets, Mets No Hit, New York, New York Mets, Niese, Steve Matz, Steven Matz, Trade Gee, Trade Matz, Trade Niese
In the minds of most New York Mets’ fans, the hunt for Jose Reyes’ replacement — now four seasons after his uncontested free-agent departure — is still an on-going journey. Needless to say, current Mets’ shortstop Wilmer Flores’ performance through May is doing little to inspire fans to move on.
Despite a respectable park-adjusted 100 wRC+, Flores is currently hitting .238, while only having drawn five walks over 110 plate appearances.
And his defense? According to UZR/150, the 23-year-old’s 4.8 metric ranks 13th amongst all eligible shortstops. But then again, just three games ago, his UZR/150 sat at minus-8.5. Flores also made his 8th error in dramatic fashion on Thursday, handing the Chicago Cubs two runs.
In an off-season where the Mets’ greatest need was a shortstop, general manager Sandy Alderson’s decision to knight Wilmer Flores as the starter might retrospectively seem like, well, a mistake.
But perhaps Mets’ fans — and the baseball world — should cut Alderson and Flores some slack. Continue reading