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Bobby Cox, New York Mets Face Off For The Last Time

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The New York Mets are certainly no stranger to Bobby Cox. The Atlanta Braves’ skipper has managed to win 192 of 352 games played against the Mets. Tonight will be the last time the Mets start a series against the Braves with Cox as their manager as he will not return for the 2011 season.

He begun managing in the New York Yankees farm system back in 1971. He finally made his way to the big leagues in 1978 as the Braves head coach. 

In 1982 Cox would become manager of the Toronto Blue Jays. He spent four years there and during his final year in 1985 he led the Blue Jays to first place in the AL East. In the ALCS the Blue Jays let a 3-1 series lead over the Kansas City Royals slip away. After that the Blue Jays decided to let him go as their manager.

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New York Mets: Call Up OF Lucas Duda, SP Jenrry Mejia

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Updated Post: 3:10 pm

According to multiple sources via twitter including Kevin Burkhardt and Steve Popper, it is now official that Jenrry Mejia will start for the Mets on Saturday in Chicago against the Cubs.

Original Post: 11:15 am

Last night word surfaced that the Mets have begun their September expansion of the roster by promoting LF Lucas Duda and SP Jenrry Mejia.

The 20 year old Mejia was 2-0 in six starts at AA Binghamton, and posted a 1.32 ERA. In one of those starts Mejia pitched a complete game-shutout. Mejia was then promoted to AAA Buffalo recently and after one start is 0-0 with a 1.12 ERA. He pitched eight innings allowing five hits, struck out nine and walked one batter.

Mejia started the season with the Mets major league roster where he went 0-2 with a 3.25 ERA in 30 relief appearances. During that span he struck out 17 and walked 15 batters.


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2011 New York Mets Contracts: Coming Off the Books

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With the 2010 season seemly over for the Mets, it’s time to look to the 2011 season and who will be coming off the books.

Jeff Francoeur—2010 salary $5M: He seems to be a fan favorite, but that doesn’t make you a major league ball player. Francoeur has shown signs of improvement at the plate and has a great arm in right field, but I just don’t see him having a place on this team in 2011.

John Maine—2010 salary $3.3M: After five seasons with the Mets his tenure in New York is almost definitely over. He blew out his shoulder this season for the Mets and his career could possibly be over. Hopefully he makes a recovery and is able to catch on somewhere else though.

Pedro Feliciano—2010 salary $2.9M: He is a free agent at the end of the season and it’s still uncertain if the Mets will bring him back. Feliciano has been with the team for eight years and has been one of the best non-closer relief pitchers in Mets history. The price tag for him might be a bit much, but I have a feeling the Mets will bring him back.

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Who is the Most Responsible?

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On the New York Daily News‘ website, they had a poll asking whose fault it was that Mets’ season has spiraled out of control. They gave you four options:

  • The Wilpons have steered the team into the iceberg.
  • Omar Minaya’s personnel moves have been dreadful.
  • Jerry Manuel’s in-game decisions make him seem clueless.
  • The players that haven’t been able to win.

So, they are telling us we can only pick one?

The biggest problem for the Mets is that it isn’t one thing. There is no quick fix for the Mets. They need a complete overhaul.

First off, the Wilpons are in no position to be running a major league ball team. Their finical and legal problems are holding the team back from completing deals that they need to do. It’s hard to judge whether it’s Minaya’s fault, or that of the front office. He can’t make a deal without first getting the approval by the owners. So, who knows what happens behind closed doors? I don’t think the Wilpons will sell the team, but they could hand ownership responsibilities over to a different person until they are able to collect themselves.

Minaya gets the brunt of the ridicule because he is the one who assembled this team. Like any GM, he has made some bad moves. Difference is in New York they are under the microscope more and usually for a lot more money than other teams, i.e., Oliver Perez. I’m actually not even that mad at Minaya. He did make some good moves in the offseason. R.A. Dickey, Hisanori Takahashi, Rod Barajas, and he still deserves credit for trading for Johan Santana and Angel Pagan back in 2008. Though he is not the team’s biggest problem, I think it’s just time to move in a different direction and let him go at the end of the year.

The Mets have a ton of talent on this team, but they can’t take what is on paper to on the field. To me, that shows that the problem is with the coaching staff. I’m not one for blaming managers for the team’s problems, but in this case I will. There has to be something that Manuel is doing wrong. Of course, none of us know because we are not there in the Mets clubhouse playing with them, but you get the feeling something isn’t right. Manuel, as well as Howard Johnson, need to be gone in 2011. The only coach I would keep is Dan Warthen because the Mets pitching has been outstanding this year.

Now, onto the guys who actually make it happen on the field. It’s been painful to watch the Mets’ offense go up to the plate and back to the dugout like clockwork. We’ve been watching games that are routinely 1-0 in the seventh inning, with no sign of life in the batting order. You can do whatever you want with the front office and coaching staff, but when it comes down to it, the players need to perform, and they aren’t doing that. It may just be time for a complete overhaul of this team, keeping only the cornerstones of the franchise.

So, what to do in 2011? Well, first off, if the ownership wants to show anything to the fans of this team, they need to fire Minaya, Manuel, and all other coaches not named Dan Warthen. The replacement manager comes down to the three people; Joe Torre, Bobby Valentine, and Wally Backman. I’m a big fan of Backman, but the other two have much more experience than him, which would be important for this team. However, Torre will always be a Yankee to me, and I feel like Bobby V had his time here and they shouldn’t go back to him. So, I would go with Backman as the Mets’ manager in 2011.

Next comes down to the players. Big contracts like Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Francisco Rodriguez will try to be moved in the offseason. Beltran will have the most value, but like Perez and Castillo, and if they were to move Beltran, they would have to eat a large portion of his salary.

He’s due to make $18.5M next season, and though it looks like he is starting to get back to his old form, many teams would not want to take that risk. They would probably have to eat $10M or even $15M of the last year on his contract to get back anything good in return.

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The End of Larry “Chipper” Jones

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Yesterday news broke that Atlanta Braves third baseman Larry “Chipper” Jones had torn his ACL and would require season-ending surgery. Recovery time for the surgery is about six months, so if all goes well, Jones would be ready in time for the start of the 2011 season.

However, even before this injury Jones was contemplating retirement at the end of the season. This injury may change things around in many ways.

His agent BB Abbott said, “It’s not something he’ll decide immediately. He’s going to need to hear everything about the injury and rehabilitative process. He’ll probably make his decision from there. I can assure you it’s not something that’s going to be a knee-jerk decision.”

Jones could look at this injury and think that he’s had a great career, and coming back for an injury like this at age 38 will just be too much. The fact that Bobby Cox won’t be returning to the Braves next season might make the decision to retire easier.

On the other hand, Jones might not want to go out like this. An injury ending his season, without having being able to fight for the playoffs or say goodbye to the fans might just be too hard for him to walk away from.

For what I know of Jones, I think the latter case is more likely. He is such a fighter and a great ball player that I don’t think he’d want to go out like this.

Jones had always dealt with injury problems throughout his career, so I was figuring he was going to get hurt at some point down the stretch. But to see an injury to him like this, even for a Mets fan, I feel bad for him.


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Mike Pelfrey: The Puzzler

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If I had to sum up the Mets’ 2010 season so far in one word, it would be enigmatic. The season has been full of enigmas. How can the Mets play so well at home but so dreadful on the road? How can the Mets play so well in May and June, but so badly in July and August? How is it that Jason Bay a consistent 30-plus HR, 100 RBI player, can just be lost at the plate? Where did this Angel Pagan player come from? R.A. Dickey? These are all very puzzling events from the season, however, I think the one of the more intriguing enigmatic stories of 2010 is Mike Pelfrey. 

Pelfrey started the season looking like the 1A the Mets needed and expected him to be when they drafted Pelfrey with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 amateur draft out of Wichita State. Pelfrey started out the season 9-1 with a 2.39 ERA. Since Pelfrey won his 10th game (Note: All the following stats are excluding Pelfrey’s most recent start), he clearly hasn’t been the same. Since Pelfrey won that 10th game on June 25th, he is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA. In only one of those games, Pelfrey managed to get out of the fifth inning. After looking at some splits, I saw some eye opening stats. Pelfrey, in his first 14 appearances (13 starts and one save), had a BAA (Batting Average Against) of .246, a BAbip (Batting Average of balls in play) of .281, a Swinging Strike rate of 17 percent, and threw about 15 pitches per innings.


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Carlos Beltran: The Right Move

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First off, I’d like to welcome myself back from my weekend vacation without Internet or cable. I was unable to watch any of the games or do any sort of reporting, but it’s OK—I’m back now. From looking at the final score of these games, it seemed like the Mets were in all these games. This seems to be a reoccurring theme for this season: The Mets are just one hit or pitch away for getting a victory, but they fail to get it.

This team’s “collapse” seemed to start about the time Carlos Beltran made his return. I don’t think it’s because of Beltran—it would be crazy to think that. However, Beltran isn’t the same player he use to be, you can just see it. Right now, he is not the best center fielder on this team—that title belongs to Angel Pagan.

With the Mets trying new things, like bringing up Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada and letting go Alex Cora, they should try moving Beltran to right field. At this point, it would be the best thing for him and the team.

I’m sure Beltran won’t be happy about it, but he needs to do whatever this team needs him to do. If he doesn’t want to, he’ll be wearing a different uniform.

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Alex Cora: More Than Just a Bench Player

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The New York Mets released Alex Cora on Saturday, putting an end to Cora’s two-year stint here in New York. It wasn’t a easy move by the front office, but it made sense. Cora is batting just .209 and his vesting option for 2011 was approaching.

Still, some of the players in the dugout were not happy to see him go. Cora may have been a bench player, but he was a leader on this team. He may have not gotten a lot of hits, but when he did they seemed to be in important situations.

Omar Minaya has known Cora for more than 20 years, and he gave the news to Cora in person. He said that Cora was a clubhouse leader and he respects him a lot. Minaya also knows that one day Cora will be a manger or work in the front office, so he’ll have to cut players himself one day


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Evaluating Omar Minaya’s Mets Career

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With the recent news of Fred Wilpon saying Omar Minaya’s job is not in jeopardy, it makes me wonder, should it be in jeopardy in the first place?

After looking through all the transactions Minaya did for the Mets it’s not a simple yes or no.  

Minaya came in after the 2004 season after a couple of dreadful seasons that most Mets fans have erased from their memories under manager Art Howe.

It was at a time where not many players wanted to be associated with the Mets.

The Mets were once again the laughing stock of the league, and although they were situated in New York, no one wanted to sign.

In came Minaya—he made a splash.

On Dec. 16th 2004, Minaya signed All-Star, Pedro Martinez.

Although this signing might not have made such a big splash on the field, it changed the players outlook of the Mets, now players not only didn’t mind signing with the Mets, but wanted to sign with the Mets.  

About a month later, after fighting with the Evil Empire for his second prize, Minaya won, and signed Carlos Beltran—who just came off a fantastic showing in the playoffs.

Once again, the Mets were relevant, and people wanted to come to the Mets.

Minaya also attempted to sign Carlos Delgado, but wasn’t quite successful. Delgado said he didn’t want to play for a team the didn’t compete.

The Mets finished the 2005 season 83-79, and were back on their winning ways. After the 2005 season, Minaya got his man trading two minor leaguers and Mike Jacobs for Carlos Delgado. 

 Let’s fast forward to the 2006 trade deadline.

Duaner Saunchez who had a .223 BAA in 49 games, got in an accident in a cab and Florida and was out for the season.

Minaya traded Xavier Nady to the Pirates for setup man Roberto Hernandez, the same reliever Minaya let go in the off-season, and left handed starter Oliver Perez.

At the time the trade looked great, the Mets got their setup man, a starter, and had Endy Chavez to replace Xavier Nady in the outfield.

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Mets Bloggers Round Table: Post Trade Deadline

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This will be the first edition of the Mets Bloggers Roundtable where we will discuss the past Saturday’s MLB Trade Deadline. We were able to interview and ask six questions to five awesome Mets Blogs (and also Brandon Lee ). Here’s a list of the blogs:

Michael Baron

Kerel Cooper

Michael Ganci

Mack Ade

Frank Gray

Question #1: First impressions now that the deadline has passed?

  • MB— As difficult as it is to digest, I am a firm believer that not acquiring a guy and trying to make a run was the right move. Even if other teams were willing to help offset the cost of the incoming contract, I think it would have been foolish to trade away top prospects for a playoff run that just might not be in this team. Yes, a guy like Dan Haren can help in the coming years, and if there was a move to be made, I believe Haren was the guy for that very reason, but unless the Mets were closer to either the Braves or the Wild Card lead, I think they made the right move by standing pat.
  • KC— I’m not really surprised the Mets didn’t make a deal. Omar Minaya is not known for making trade deadline deals. I think the current roster is good enough to make it interesting and stay in the race but I don’t think they have enough starting pitching to ultimately make the playoffs (I hope I’m wrong).
  • MG— I’m not surprised. I don’t think anyone expected the Mets to make a splash. All the Mets did was nothing, which is becoming the mantra for the Wilpon family.
  • MA —I didn’t expect the Mets to acquire one of the big guys that was out there simply because I didn’t think the Mets had enough prospect talent in their system to pull it off. What surprised me was the reduced degree of talent needed to get the cream of the trading market.
  • FG— As an observer of the Mets, I was actually not surprised. As a fan, I was very concerned for their season and saddened by their silence. I had hoped that they would make some type of move, but I expected them not to, as it has been Minaya’s way not to do so. I felt that it hurt the players more though, to “stand pat” as Omar has referred to it as. In their quotes and tones, you can hear a sense of distraught and defeat to an extent. They seem like they are tired. Again, that is just judging by player’s reactions
  • BL— The first thing I said was, “Of course the Mets didn’t make a deal.” I was kind of upset by this but then I realized it really didn’t matter. For me if they didn’t add Cliff Lee , Dan Haren or Roy Oswalt , then it didn’t matter. The Mets wouldn’t be able to add anyone significant after that that would put them over the top. I don’t think Ted Lilly or Brett Myers would have been that big of an improvement over Hisanori Takahashi. Though I think they are better pitchers, I don’t think deal for them would have made the Mets a playoff team.


Question #2: The Mets did nothing obviously. Does that mean they won’t contend for this season?


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