Standing room only at Mets opening day 2014.

Bought me some tix to opening day, expect some vids and posts soon.

A possible batting order

I was driving around this morning (I do my best thinking while driving) and I had a thought about how I’d set up the batting order. The most interesting thing is also the first thing.
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Bullpen rankings

This weekend I’ll start my bi-weekly bullpen rankings.

Later this week and next week, I’ll sound off on replay, the qualifying offer and the Met’s fifth starter.

Bullpen help

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.

Why John Lannan is a great signing

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.

But the best small ticket item the Mets brought in is John Lannan. (more…)

Hall of Fame Fallout-IBWAA

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.

First off, however, congrats to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas and Craig Biggio. I only voted for one of those players, but wholeheartedly support each of their inductions.

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.

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.

Lifetime member

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.

http://ibwaa.com/ibwaa-selects-four-in-2014-hall-of-fame-vote/

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.

Not Encouraging

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.

LA state of mind?

Piazza in a Dodgers hat?

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.

Stephen Drew Versus the Other Options

So, Stephen Drew is still available and the Mets still need a shortstop. Why haven’t the Mets moved on this?

Is Drew worth it?

The answer is yes for a one year deal, and no to any other deal. (more…)

My IBWAA 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

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/

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A Review of the Mets’ Offseason (So-Far)

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…)

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