Tag: Scott Hairston

San Francisco Giants: 5 Offseason Moves Team Should Have Made

The San Francisco Giants should have made five moves this offseason in addition to re-signing free agents Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro, and extending the contract of Santiago Casilla.

A big splash for a free agent like Josh Hamilton or Nick Swisher to improve left field would have made sense. However, once the Giants completed the task of bringing back their key free agents, the budget did not allow for another big ticket item.

Thus, the additional moves that the Giants should have made are not as exciting as signing a marquee free agent, but they still would have significantly improved the team.

Let’s take a deeper look at each of the moves the Giants should have made in order of their significance for the 2013 team.

(All contractual data in this article is taken from Cot’s Contracts and all statistics are from ESPN.)

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New York Mets: Recapping Their Moves at the 2012 Trade Deadline

The New York Mets showed up as an utter failure in the MLB Trade Deadline of this season.

It’s funny how well your sports team can act as a perfect mirror image of your life at some points. The relationship of your favorite sports team and your role as a fan is entirely abstracted in that you essentially make of it what you wish.

While we like to think (and often humorously firmly believe) that our superstitious antics of not moving from a lucky spot on the couch during an important at-bat or not discussing a no-hitter while in the process of one makes a difference. All too often, we realize that it pays no matter to any substantial result.

That’s the most fatalistic way to explain to a Mets fan that, while other teams made a difference this trade deadline, our beloved Mets stood idle.

Sometimes, that’s just the way it is. Sometimes in life, you’ll sit and watch as the tides violently throw you into the water as a suave surfer glides right by as everyone watches him and you simply get no regard. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who were recently as bankrupt and lowly as the Mets were over the offseason, came out of this trade deadline with two bit time hitters (Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino), and were inches away from pulling in starting help with Ryan Dempster. Their fans realized that they cared.

Meanwhile, the New York Mets sat and watched.

“30 minutes until deadline,” explained ESPN’s New York Mets writer Adam Rubin. “So far recapping #Mets activity: Traded Omar Quintanilla to Orioles for cash.”

According to Rubin, there were many scouts interested in trading for Mets outfielder Scott Hairston.

In their final game before the trade deadline, Hairston hit his second homerun of the game to beat the Giants in 10 innings. Hairston remained on the Mets for another day.

“I’m kind of glad I’m still here,” Hairston confessed. “Like I said last night, I’m having a lot of fun playing for the Mets and this is a great team to be a part of. I admit I didn’t sleep as good as I thought I would last night. I kept staring at the clock. So I’ll get that out of the way. But I’m just excited I’m still here.” 

Well, so long as Scott Hairston is “kind of” happy to be back.

“Right now, he’s a very important part of our team,” explained Mets general manager Sandy Alderson. “And we do feel it’s important to field as strong a team as we reasonably can for the rest of the season. We haven’t given up on the season. We didn’t move players off the team for a reason. We think we still have lots of good baseball in front of us. And Scott can be part of that.”

With the addition of a second wild card team for this season, there’s an increased perception for MLB teams around the league that they’re still in contention for the current season. Right now, however, the Mets are sitting 12.0 games back of the Washington Nationals for control of the NL East.

With a winning percentage of .485 (50-53), the New York Mets are also 8.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are tied for control of the two wild card positions in the National League.

 “I think there’s a lot of value, for example, in finishing well over .500. I think there’s a lot of value in finishing over .500,” Alderson continued. “I think those things create a perception. What happened or didn’t happen on the deadline may be largely forgotten if a team is able to create a positive impression the second half of the season.” 

That doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly frustrating in the moment.

Just like I explained earlier, sports can be eerily similar to the world that we as fans live in outside of the baseball diamond. Sometimes a job can go the wrong way. Sometimes a romantic interest can spurn. It simply doesn’t matter. The tide can be brutal to those unprepared.

Recently, I’ve been watched the television show Louie written, starring and directed by comedian Louie C.K. In a fictional version of his own life, he makes situational humor at those terrible instances in which everything seems to go wrong in an individual’s life. Each episode is given the darkly humorous motif of the New York life that Louie C.K. lives, which is a perfect fit for all things New York Mets.

“It’s hard to really look at somebody and go: “Hey, maybe something nice will happen.” You just don’t—I know too much about life to have any optimism, because I know even if it’s nice, it’s going to lead to [expletive].” he explained in one episode of his show. “I know that if you smile at somebody and they smile back, you’ve just decided that something [expletitive] is going to happen.” 

While the quote had nothing to do with baseball, it had everything to with the New York Mets. The disappointment begins to pile on more and more and it begins to become too much to bear at times. Yet writers and fans like Adam Rubin and myself keep coming back for more.

 “I understand our fans are disappointed with what’s happened the last three weeks or so,” Alderson concluded on the slump that brought the Mets below .500. “But it’s not the end of the season. And there are a lot of impressions to be made over the remaining two months. I happen to think those impressions can be more valuable than a low-A prospect, below the top 30, from some organization in the American League.”

Just as Rubin continued to tweet the lineup for the Matt Harvey-Tim Lincecum matchup, and just as I simply had to stop in the MLB apparel store near Laguna Beach and dish the necessary $25 for a retro Mets snapback simply because I was infatuated with the Mr. Met logo on it.

As sports fans, that’s just what we do. We’re the most reliable consumers out there in the market.

If there’s an episode of The Newsroom on HBO that I don’t like, there’s a pretty good chance I just say forget about it and discontinue my interest in the show. Their ratings may go down if enough people agree with me, and eventually the show could be cancelled if the network no longer wishes to support.

For a teams as established as the New York Mets, however, there’s virtually no chance that they’ll be leaving Major League Baseball.

Alderson may be replaced as the GM one day, David Wright may follow the suit of Jose Reyes and leave for free agency, Scott Hairston may be traded over the offseason for one of those low-A prospects we were hesitant about, but there will always be the amazin’ New York Mets playing ball for fans in Queens.

That’s a fact about sports that we just have to learn how to accept.

So the Mets did virtually nothing this offseason, and there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll finish exactly where they are right now: middle of the pack. They were unable to bring in relief help, they were unable to bring in batting help, and they were unable to bring in another starter to help an injured rotation.

Earlier this month, I was adamant that this was one of my favorite New York Mets teams since 2006. That team went on to play the Cardinals in the NLCS, only to lose on a Carlos Beltran strikeout. The memory haunts me to this day.

While I was assured that this team would do me better, leave me less crippled and without the heartbreak, sometimes you just have to wonder.

“Then again, when’s the last time that anything good happened?”


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2011 New York Mets: How Long Will the Scott Hairston Experiment Last?

Amidst the recent bullpen shakeup after the New York Mets respectable 4-5 start to the 2011 regular season, questions arise as to how fourth outfielder Scott Hairston will continue to fit himself into the Mets future plans.

As Jason Bay continues to make strides in his return from a bad back, his arrival could prove detrimental to Hairston’s playing time in the Mets outfield.

Struggling to begin the season and a witness to non-roster invitee Willie Harris nabbing a majority of the left field playing time, Hairston is now apart of a four-man bench while hitting just .071 with seven strikeouts in 14 official at-bats.

Posting those types of numbers would make anyone wonder why his spot on the roster couldn’t be given up to a minor leaguer ready to prove himself in the low-pressure opening weeks of the baseball season.

Guys like Nick Evans or Fernando Martinez could be better options off the Mets bench over the 30-year-old Hairston, but it’s still too early in the season to give up on him ever finding his power-stroke.

It’s apparent he hasn’t lost his touch for the long ball as he went deep a few times in spring training, but until this point in the season, Hairston has failed to show the same power potential a player like Evans or Lucas Duda could bring to the Mets bench.

Hairston obviously fits on the bench as the lone righty power option to foil the power we’ve seen in Daniel Murphy’s bat, but if that stroke doesn’t materialize from Hairston, Collins’ option to make a strategic decision will no longer be effective.

But, again, it’s just too early to throw in the towel on Hairston and judging his Met career off just 14 at-bats would be thought as ludicrous by most fans.

To be honest, they gave Gary Matthews Jr. 58 at-bats to prove that he wasn’t worth the time and effort needed to bring him to New York, so Hairston still has plenty of time left in his Mets career.

As the team continues to grind their way through the month of April, Hairston will be given plenty of opportunities to prove his worth as a lifetime .734 OPS hitter in Collins’ fluid lineup card.

But once again, the inevitable question will be brought back up: How long will this Scott Hairston experiment last?

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New York Mets Finally Have Their Fourth Outfielder? Team Signs Scott Hairston

Earlier in the week, it was announced that the Mets had signed Willie Harris to a minor league deal. It had appeared that he had a pretty clear path to making the Mets roster.

That, however, is no longer the case. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, an organizational source has confirmed that the Mets have signed outfielder Scott Hairston to a minor league deal.

Hairston now appears to be the front-runner for one of the last spots on the Mets roster.

Last season, Hairston batted .210 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI for the San Diego Padres.  In parts of seven seasons in the majors, Hairston has played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland Athletics in addition to his time with the Padres. Hairston is a career .245 hitter with 68 career home runs and 25 career stolen bases.

While these numbers may not seem great, if we look at Hairston’s 162-game average, we see a pleasant surprise. This average still show that Hairston still puts up .245 batting average, but it would come with 20 home runs and a .435 slugging percentage.

Hairston also has shown the ability to play numerous positions in the field. Hairston has played over 100 games in both center fielder and left field. In addition, he has played 86 games at second base.

He is one of five members of his family to have played in the major leagues. His grandfather Sam played with the White Sox, his uncle John played for the Cubs, his father Jerry played for the White Sox and Pirates, and his brother, Jerry Jr., currently plays for the Padres.  There is extensive baseball knowledge within his family, which bodes well for any player.

Hairston serves as a great low-risk/high-reward addition to the Mets. He should make the Opening Day roster, and he has the ability to contribute off of the bench.

To read more about the latest Mets information check out Mets Gazette.

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