Welcome back. I’ve missed you.
The first matchup of our Final Four pits No. 5 Eddie Coleman against play-in winner No. 8 Anthony DiComo.
Vote for your favorite below.
There’s a thin line between being funny and being cocky.
After a stunning upset, where the No. 8 seeded – and play-in game winner – Anthony DiComo knocked No. 1 seeded Adam Rubin out of the tournament, the Final Four is set.
Voting will resume tomorrow. Here is the updated bracket…
Our final vote to determine who moves on to the Final Four. Today is #1 Adam Rubin versus #8 Anthony DiComo. Vote for you favorite!
And here is the updated bracket…
In yesterday’s vote, #5 seed Eddie Coleman of WFAN handily beat out #4 Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger.
Today, #2 seed Steve Popper of the Bergen Record takes on play-in game winner and #7 seed Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal. Vote for you favorite below!
In yesterday’s matchup, #3 David Lennon was the first reporter to move into the Final Four, beating out #6 David Waldstein.
Today’s matchup: #4 Andy McCullough, Star-Ledger vs. #5 Eddie Coleman, WFAN. Vote for you favorite below!
For the past few season, while I’ve penned this blog, spring training was usually spent guessing, posturing and wondering who was going to make the Mets opening day roster.
And it wasn’t only me. Most blogs were filled with talk of “Who will make the team?” and “Which players won’t make the cut?”
This season, though, I don’t get the same vibe. And I think I know why.
Outside of the always-up-in-the-air bullpen and the battle for second base, everything seems in place. There are no fringe players trying to make the 25-man roster. There are no has-beens over-performing in Port St. Lucie, challenging the younger guys for a spot. The roster – for the most part – is set in most fans eyes.
And I think that credit should go to Sandy Alderson & Co.
For the last few years, many fans – including myself – loved to second-guess each and every Omar Minaya move. I remember being dead-set against Fernando Tatis the first season Omar signed him. He surprised pretty much everyone, and had a great year.
But now, I trust Alderson and his brain trust. I don’t have to second-guess his moves. He’s made them all right, so far: cutting Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo. He (working with Terry Collins) has kept the players that might have a chance to make the team with the big club, getting at bats and being able to show their talent in the field.
But I’m not worried about who will end up on the team come April, because I trust the moves Sandy & Co. will make. I’m sure they’re going to make the right call for the arms coming out of the pen. They seem to have made the right call on who will be completing the infield.
Everything is falling nicely into place. It’s a lot less strain on my Mets-psyche as spring marches on and I’m ready for baseball to start, without much hesitation.
Thanks, Sandy. My blood pressure thanks you, too.
Here’s today vote: #3 David Lennon vs. #6 David Waldstein. Vote for your favorite!
And here is the updated bracket, as Brian Costa beat out Mike Puma to get into the final bracket…
Yesterday’s results: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com captured 78.57 percent, defeating Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
In today’s play in game, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal takes on Mike Puma of the New York Post. Voting ends at midnight.
Here is the first round of matchups for the 2011 Mets Media Madness tournament.
You can vote for your favorite Mets reporter to have him advance into the next round. Vote closed at midnight tonight.
Today’s matchup: Andy Martino vs. Anthony DiComo. Vote below!
Here’s the official dispatch from the Mets…
FLUSHING, N.Y., March 21, 2011 - The New York Mets today announced that they have released lefthanded pitcher Oliver Perez.
The 6-3, 205-pounder had one year left on his contract.
"As I said during the winter our plan was to bring Oliver to Spring Training and give him a chance," said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. "After trying him as a starter and out of the bullpen, we felt that we needed to move in a different direction. Terry and I met and I went to Jeff (Wilpon), told him my recommendation and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership."
Perez went 0-5 with a 6.80 ERA in 2010 after going 3-4 with a 6.82 ERA in 2009. Overall, the lefthander is 58-69 with a 4.63 ERA during his nine-year major league career with the San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates and Mets.
“On Friday, the Mets appeased an angry public by releasing Luis Castillo - and sources say that Oliver Perez, another unpopular player with a generous contract, will likely soon follow him out of town.”
I was discussing this with Randy from (Read) The Apple the other day. If Castillo and Perez aren’t on the team in 2011, who will become the scapegoat? (Because, yes, Mets fans need to hate someone – or something.)
We both agreed that Francisco Rodriguez is next in line for Mets fans hatred. Carlos Beltran – still because of 2006 – is likely next on that list.
Only three players remain within the Mets organization, and one of them will start the season on the disabled list.
Here’s the official release from the Mets regarding Luis Castillo…
The New York Mets today announced that they have released 35-year-old second baseman Luis Castillo.
The 5-11, 191-pound switch-hitter had one year left on his contract.
"This was baseball decision," said Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson. "I met with Terry (Collins) and made a recommendation to Jeff (Wilpon) and Jeff approved on behalf of ownership."
Castillo was acquired by the Mets from the Minnesota Twins on July 30, 2007 for minor league catcher Drew Butera and minor league outfielder Dustin Martin.
He has a .299 career average over 13 major league seasons with 194 doubles, 59 triples, 28 home runs, 443 RBI and 370 stolen bases.
Happy trails, Slappy Castillo.
Anyone else get the feeling he’ll catch on with the Phillies (with Chase Utley’s knee issues) and come back to bite the Mets in the butt multiple times this season? No? Just me?
Voting starts Monday.
Here are the hats the Mets will be wearing in honor of St. Patrick’s Day today…
That is the scariest Mr. Met I have ever seen.
I didn’t think they could design uglier hats than the ones they’ve worn the last few years, but, they’ve proved me wrong.
Spring training stats mean nothing, so why not take a look at some of the more peculiar numbers…
Check out the spring training stats here. Any good tidbits I missed?
Mets fans are realists. They know that an NL East title is unlikely this year, what with the Phillies having acquired every big-name pitcher except Koufax and Gibson. All we—er,they—really want at the moment is a stable franchise that doesn't need overdraft protection at the bank and a season that doesn't feature another strange calamity that leaves everyone around the league shaking their heads. To be a Mets fan is to cling tenuously to sanity, desperate for nothing as much as 162 games of normalcy.
Second paragraph: One member of the Mets’ organization said that the team is ready to shut down the rehabilitation schedule for Santana if he does not feel comfortable after what is expected to be a simple session of playing catch.
Give me a break, MSM. You’re worse than some bloggers out there with these headlines and crazily sourced info.
I’ve been having a hard time lately. When anyone asks me “Who’s your favorite Met?” I answer – without hesitation – David Wright. But is Mr. Wright my favorite Met? I mean, he’s Top 3, no doubt.
But what about Ike Davis, or R.A. Dickey? Jose Reyes obviously deserves mention. And I have a Carlos Beltran shirt.
So I asked my Twitter followers who are their favorite Mets. Here are some of their responses…
Who is your favorite Met? Let me know in the comments!
This post was sent in by friend of The ‘Ropolitans, Mr. Aaron Schuldiner. It was his headline, not mine. Enjoy!
Here’s one man’s breakdown of this Spring’s battle for the second base job:
Pros: Castillo is the most experienced of the bunch by a wide margin. In fact, he’s got more than ten times as many big league at-bats as any of the other major candidates. Also working in Castillo’s favor is the $6 million that he’s owed in 2011. Given the current financial situation of the Mets, you can bet they’re not eager to eat his salary.
Cons: Castillo had a lousy season in 2010, and let’s be honest: the fans absolutely hate him. Would the Mets risk further alienating a fan base that’s already unhappy with the direction of the team? Probably not, unless Castillo has an incredible Spring. Even then, it would be a tough sell. My gut tells me he’s only around because the brass is hoping a big Spring would make him tradable. Seems like a long shot to me.
Pros: The Mets will be thrilled if Emaus’ impressive plate discipline at the minor league level (69 strikeouts, 81 walks between AA and AAA in 2010) translates to the big leagues. Emaus had a .397 OBP in the minors last season, while David Wright’s .354 OBP was the highest among Mets regulars. Helping Emaus’ case is the fact that, as a Rule V draftee, he’d have to be offered back to Toronto is he fails to make the cut.
Cons: The minor league numbers are good, but Emaus has to prove he can do it against big league pitching. Also, the jury is still out on his defense.
Pros: Turner, who the Mets claimed off waivers last May, hit .333 for the Bisons in 312 at-bats. He also posted a .390 OBP and had 34 extra-base hits. The organization, especially Ken Oberkfell, really likes Turner’s potential.
Cons: You have to figure Turner is a long shot since he still has minor league options. Turner hit .308 over the last two seasons at AAA, but looked overmatched in two very short stints (a total of 17 at-bats) in the majors in 2010.
Pros: The last regime had a lot of faith in Murphy’s bat, and made every effort to find a place for him in the lineup. You have to respect Murphy’s willingness to play wherever the Mets ask him to in order to get at-bats. He’s got much more punch than Castillo, and is probably more major league-ready at the plate than Emaus or Turner.
Cons: A serious knee injury cost Murphy almost all of 2010, so it’s going to take some time to determine whether or not he’s at full strength. It’s too early to tell if Team Alderson has as much faith in his bat as Omar Minaya did. Murphy looked clumsy in left field and at first base, so I don’t know what would lead anyone to believe he has the footwork or agility to play second base.
Ruben Tejada/Chin-Lung Hu
Tejada and Hu are long shots to win the job, though it’s not inconceivable that either could make the roster as a utility infielder.
Hu, the MVP of the 2007 MLB Futures Game, has already impressed everyone at camp with his glove. And while he doesn’t pack much punch at the plate, his presence on the team would grant Gary, Keith, and Ron an endless supply of Abbott-and-Costello one-liners. Hu’s on second? Maybe, as a backup.
Ruben Tejada’s chances aren’t quite as good. Terry Collins has expressed his desire to get Tejada regular at-bats at shortstop for AAA Buffalo, which makes sense to me. Getting him ready in case the team decides to trade Reyes is a smart move.
My best guess is that Brad Emaus will be playing second base and batting seventh on Opening Day, but I do reserve the right to change my mind a few (hundred) times between now and then. I think Hu makes the team because of his slick glove, and Murphy sticks around because of his versatility and offensive potential. Turner and Tejada end up playing in Buffalo, and Castillo gets cut.