The Mets recently signed a pair of bullpen options to minor league deals. Both are past their prime but could potentially be lighting in a bottle snags.
Jose Valverde is the one who was most recently a closer, however, he didn’t find a job at all last year until well after pitchers and catchers reported . He was good for a short string of starts and then unraveled again and was not heard from the rest of the season. The potential quality is more tantalizing than Kyle Farnsworth. Farnsworth is a hard-thrower. He always has been. It makes him very good when he gets the ball past people, but he doesn’t consistently get the ball past people.
Both could make the roster out of camp or both may be cut or assigned to the minors. Both are former closers and could step in is Bobby Parnell isn’t 100 percent heading into the seasons. The bright side is that last year we brought in a guy in LaTroy Hawkins who may have had even less upside than these two. Now Hawkins is closing for Colorado. So you never know. I’s always felt it’s best to bring in a bunch of cheap gambles in the bullpen and mix in farm system guys. You’ll find that last year’s failure can be this year’s stud and vice versa when it come to the bullpen. He’s hoping we have more studs than failures.
The Mets are done with major signings, but there is still some space to fill out with smaller signings. For instance, the Mets shored up the bench by bringing back Omar Quintanilla. That’s not the piece that will win the World Series for the Mets, but it at lest makes them as good as they were last year. There is also some talk about adding some names to the bullpen mix, such as former Cardinals closer Mitchell Boggs.
In 48 hours since the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America announced their Hall of Fame elections, they have already made a change in advance of their 2014 vote for the class of 2015.
The reason I didn’t vote for Maddux, Thomas, and Biggio was I was certain they would get in without my vote (I was wrong to worry about Glavine getting in and also Jeff Kent staying on the ballot). Since, I only had 10 votes to get people in, I felt justified, if saddened, to leave those players off the ballot to give chances to others.
However, that issue has been addressed. In 24 hours, the IBWAA reached consensus on expanding the vote to a maximum of 15 players per ballot next year. I can only tell you that greatly helps the situation.
By a margin of 56-48 the @IBWAA has voted to raise the candidate-limit in its 2014 HOF election to 15. Consensus by email in 24 hrs.
— IBWAA (@IBWAA) January 8, 2014
The final vote was 56-48. There was a vote shortly before the latest round of balloting for the vote upcoming in 2014, but IBWAA founder Howard Cole said that there was limited response to that vote. Now with only a few less than the casted Hall of Fame votes (104 ballot expansion votes vs 113 hof votes), the group has made a decision.
In contrast, the BBWAA created a committee to review whether to bring the question of expansion to 15 to the Hall of Fame last month. The jury is still out.
I was one of the 56 in favor of expanding the vote. Just as with the 10 person limit, you don’t have to fill in 15 total names. If you don’t think there are 15 hall of famers on the list, you don’t have to use all 15 slots. However, times change and the current unload of very talented players on the last few ballots, and the next few, may require some wiggle room.
This is the good thing about the IBWAA. They are willing to approach change. They are willing to enact change. I understand trying to keep our voting process similar to that of the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. It was a close vote on whether or not to increase. Adding more slots could lead to more players getting elected, which could lead to watering down the honor. I get that. But I don’t think weathering the storm or muscling through the backlog is the right idea. The IBWAA will now never be able to debate Don Mattingly as a player, he fell off the ballot this time through, only catching 4.42% of the ballot. If I had 15 slots, I might have voted for him (out of a pool of Kent, Tim Raines and Alan Trammell). That one vote would have kept him on to debate another year.
The IBWAA currently uses the same formula to induct players into our hall of fame as the BBWAA uses to induct players into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. 75% of the vote gets you in, 5% keeps you on. I was in favor of either increasing the number of names that could go on the ballot, or decreasing the threshold where a player falls off the ballot to 1%. I think the ballot increase was the better option.
Now for the next part of this article, we’ll need the results from the IBWAA election.
Complete 2014 voting results are as follows:
Player Name, Votes, Percentage
Greg Maddux, 111, 98.23%, Tom Glavine, 100, 88.50%, Frank Thomas, 95, 84.07%,Craig Biggio, 89, 78.76%
Jeff Bagwell, 78, 69.03%, Barry Bonds, 65, 57.52%, Roger Clemens, 64, 56.64%, Barry Larkin, 57, 50.44%, Tim Raines, 56, 49.56%, Curt Schilling, 42, 37.17%, Jack Morris, 36, 31.86%, Mike Mussina, 36, 31.86%, Edgar Martinez, 33, 29.20%, Jeff Kent, 27, 23.89%, Lee Smith, 26, 23.01%, Alan Trammell, 25, 22.12%, Mark McGwire, 16, 14.16%, Fred McGriff, 13, 11.50%, Larry Walker, 13, 11.50%, Sammy Sosa, 8, 7.08%, Rafael Palmeiro, 6, 5.31%
Don Mattingly, 5, 4.42%, Moises Alou, 2, 1.77%, Eric Gagne, 1, 0.88%, Luis Gonzalez, 1, 0.88%, Mike Timlin, 1, 0.88%, Armando Benitez, 0, 0.00%, Sean Casey, 0, 0.00%, Ray Durham, 0, 0.00%, Jacques Jones, 0, 0.00%, Todd Jones, 0, 0.00%, Paul Lo Duca, 0, 0.00%, Hideo Nomo, 0, 0.00%, Kenny Rogers, 0, 0.00%, Richie Sexson, 0, 0.00%, J.T. Snow, 0, 0.00%
This article was going to be about the dire straits that I would need to navigate to fit the list of deserving candidate down to 10. With the recent decision up that to 15, it actually makes the process bearable.
First here are the guys where we go, “Oh that’s cute, he got a vote.” For some it’s a capital offense to waste a vote, but I don’t mind someone substituting a marginal hall of famer for Mike Timlin. There’s a case to be made for everyone else who got a vote. Some are better than others, but there are cases to be made just the same.
Jack Morris failed to be elected in his 15th and final year of eligibility. Now it’s up to the veterans committee, of which the IBWAA currently has no analog, to vote in Morris.
That leaves 16 players on the ballot, with seven guys who may require votes hitting the list next year; Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Gary Sheffield, Brian Giles, Nomar Garciaparra, and Carlos Delgado.
That’s 23 potential names, but at least I won’t have 22 to cut down to 10 as I did this year. I’m not going to debate all the entries at this point; that can wait until December. But I won’t be voting for Sosa or Palmeiro next time around. Since both of those players were disciplined for performance enhancing transgressions (Sosa’s corked bat and Palmeiro’s failed drug test) they fall to the bottom of the list. I think they’re hall of famers, but they’re not getting my vote until I clear the ballot of other quality athletes.
Next year, I will vote for the front runners. I feel Randy Johnson should be the first unanimous inductee. If I had had 15 votes this year, I would have bestowed that honor to Maddux, but as possibly the best left-handed pitcher ever, I can’t think of anyone else better for the honor than Johnson. Since the only reason Maddux didn’t go in with 100% of the vote was the 10 vote limit, I have all the faith in the world Johnson is going to hit that mark. Unless there’s a bird lover who withholds his vote.
Tomorrow we find out if Mike Piazza makes it into the hall of fame or not. But if he does, what hat does he wear?
It’s not a decision to be made today, and the Cooperstown Hall of Fame has the final say.
But this is what’s on the Hall’s webpage. It’s not encouraging for Mets fan.
A Dodger’s hat.
I feel like he’s said he wants to go in as a Met. And he should, he got the World Series berth as a Met and his career defining homerun record as a Met. Hall, please give Tom Seaver some company.
Also Craig Biggio‘s plague should either have that flower thing on it, or he should be depicted in a pine tar smeared batting helmet.
And if John Olerud had made the Hall he should have a batting helmet on his plaque, because of course.
Here’s the good news. I was invited to join the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA.com) with a free lifetime membership and now I get to vote in their Hall of Fame vote.
The bad news is they only have 10 spots on their ballot and I have 21 guys I want to nominate.
So first of all, thanks to the IBWAA for the invite. I highlighted them as an alternative option to the Cooperstown Hall of Fame (or the physical hall, or BBWAA Hall of Fame, I’d like not to call it the real Hall of Fame) in a piece I wrote for my previous job.
In that same piece I advocated a tiered hall of fame that also included the “further consideration vote.” The jist is that first ballot hall of famers can get one of three golden tier nominations (only first year candidates), other hall of famers get one of up to 10 silver tier nominations and any who are boarderline or come with questions can be one of your remaining slots up to 15 total nominations. (so 2 golden, 8 silver leaves 5 bronze or further consideration slots).
I wish I could vote like that, because this ballot is stacked. If we can vote in five players this year, we’ll about break even when the next class comes in, otherwise the water level rises as we drown in legitimate candidates.
As it were, a vote among the membership to raise the limit to 15 votes did not pass, so I need to hack down my list.
Here’s the 21 finalists; Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire, Jack Morris, Mike Mussina, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling, Lee Smith, Sammy Sosa, Frank Thomas, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Barry Larkin.
Larkin is listed last as he’s a name that is not in the IBWAA hall, but is in the Cooperstown hall. IBWAA instead has Mike Piazza inducted, while the physical hall does not.
For further reference, here is the IBWAA’s vote from last year http://ibwaa.com/ibwaa-selects-piazza-in-2013-hall-of-fame-vote/
Welcome back everyone. I’ve been off working two jobs and then moving to a new job that will pay me the same as when I worked two jobs. Also there was a month of holidays.
But I’m gonna try my darndest to keep this website current as a new year’s resolution. I’ll be working on getting more posts and some video commentary out as well. Joe hopefully will be able to chime in once a week or so. We’ll see.
I wanted to talk about the moves made by the Mets this offseason each time a new one went down, but, alas and alack, I never found time to sit down and pound out some content.
So without further ado, a long overdue view of the New York Mets second season signings. (more…)
So has the Mets bench been a position of strength or a piece of sh**?
It’s a little hard to say, because at so many positions, you can’t tell where the bench ends and the starters begin.
One positive note has been Anthony Recker, who the Mets traded for to be their starting catcher. He’s done admirably as a spot starter and the Mets have a winning record when he does start. He seems to have a late key hit in him in those games, though the rest of his at bats are only so-so. The Mets may want to bring in a veteran guy to mentor Travis D’Arnaud, but they may not make it a huge priority because of Recker.
Justin Turner is a super sub and contrary to what my co-writer Joe thinks, I think he’s best that way. If the Mets retain him, he can fill the role Joe McEwing held for the Mets for years.
But middle infield depth is pretty rough for the Mets. The Corners are pretty great though. Josh Satin, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis would make a solid platoon.
The outfield was terrible for most of the year and that meant the bench guys were even worse. It was Marlon Byrd and the cast of thousands. The starting spots have been pretty settled, especially with the departure of Byrd and the Addition of Matt Den Dekker. Still, outside of Andrew Brown the position still isn’t strong off the bench.
So, in my mind, there’s not enough pluses overall to keep the bench from becoming a piece of Sh**!
It’s time for another segment of POS. Today we’re going to talk about those two guys that play up the middle behind the pitcher, 2nd base and shortstop. As of right now, the whole team is starting to sound like the “Whose on first” routine by Abbot and Costello and as we all know What plays second and I-don’t-give-a-darn plays short. But let’s look at the actual players.
We have Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Omar Quintanilla, Wilmer Flores, and Ruben Tejada. Now I have to say this, Murphy and Turner should be the starters and 2nd and Short respectively, the other guys, ummm, I’m sorry but they just suck. This area of the in field is obviously just plain S#!T.
Murphy, I will say has had a break out year putting up the numbers he has this season. No one was expecting him to be this kind of player. I think it might have been the beard. Hell, he was a great first round pick for me in my fantasy league.
Turner is a great bat off the bench and has proven he’s a good fill-in starter, however, he should be an everyday starter. I think the Mets have underutilized Justin since. I have a funny feeling if given the chance to play a full season, he will produce numbers that will help win games and provide the defense that is needed in the SS position.
As for Omar, Wilmer and Ruben, combine all three and you barely have one all-around good player. Ruben we know was never going to be the answer to filling the void of Jose Reyes after the Mets never resigned him, but we were expecting just a little more production out him then what he gave. Omar on the other hand, has given that little boost in offence we needed in SS position. Still, just not enough produce in the bottom of the line-up where both of them have been put since the year started. Lastly, Wilmer. Yes I know we just brought him up from the minors to fill in for David Wright, but I just don’t see anything special in him that will keep him around in the big leagues long enough. Every time I watch an at-bat from him, I just don’t see any kind of drive in his eyes saying “Yes. I’m here. My time to shine.” Also, his number from just the few games he has played were quite bad.
Aside from Murphy (which I think will be at second for a little while longer) and making Turner the permanent SS, we have a huge hole behind the mound. Because if a starter goes down, we don’t have a comparable back up.