NEWS & VIEWS: B-b-b-b-b-Beltran and the Metssssss, Lee Elia Likes Bad Words & Hates Cub Fans, Hunter’s Flip, Puig’s (Bat) Flip, & More

Mike:

Carlos Beltran is back in the postseason with the Cardinals again, and he is a free agent at the end of the year.

CarlosBeltranWallpaper-1

During 2013 I’ve read so many newspaper articles and blog posts about the possibility of Beltran rejoining the Mets that I’m starting to think we might be the only ones who have never discussed the idea. Well, today seems as good a day as any, and here is what I think.

Yes, I believe Carlos Beltran will return to the Mets.

Right after pigs start flying.

Jimmy:

Signing Beltran seems so depressing to me, I can’t even go there. And believe me, I’m a big fan. He was tremendous. It makes no sense for Carlos to pick the Mets, and little sense for the Mets to go in that direction.

Mike:

Caught this tweet a few days ago from Rob Cast of Amazin’ Avenue.

Rob Cast @RobCast

10/11/13, 12:34 PM

The 2013 #Mets had a 3:08 avg. time of game, the longest in their 52-year history. The prior high was 3:03 in ’00; shortest was 2:24 in ’76.

That night I started watching a 1-0 Tigers/Red Sox game that went roughly 4 hours. Notice I said started. I get that longer games can add more commercials in the short-term, but this is a real problem for baseball. With replay the 5 hour game could become commonplace. What time are games going to start and end?

Other than Cubs fans, fans have jobs, and they just won’t have enough time in the day to follow the sport.

Warning, the following analysis by Lee Elia is on the money about those Cubs fans, but not safe for work or appropriate for children.

Jimmy:

Wow, nice find, Mike. Lee Elia. Who knew he had that kind of command of the language?

This is my favorite photo from the playoffs so far . . .

1380219_10202324860581555_42047078_n

 

Mike:

I get everyone else being excited, but why is Hunter standing on his head? You would have hoped he was pulling for the Tigers.

Jimmy:

Speaking of which, I’m amazed that Mike Carp — our Mike Carp — is only 27 years old and playing first base for the Red Sox. There was a time when some Mets fans I knew were genuinely excited about Mike Carp; he was going to be the answer to the team’s 1B question for the next 10 years. It’s fascinating how these guys reemerge.

Mike:

The Red Sox did a good job of using Carp carefully and they got some decent production. But Mike Carp is never going to be the answer to any 10 year questions, except one:

Who was Mike Carp?

Jimmy:

By the way, do you recall the long and tiresome debates between the virtues of free agents Jason Bay and Matt Holliday? It was pretty much a toss-up at the time. Obviously, the Cards made the right call, as they so often do. One lesson, I think, is that fans can go overboard looking at home-away splits. It’s a useful statistic, but I would not rely on it too heavily. A player is a player is a player.

Mike:

I do remember that stuff, but I never got into it much. I have to admit, I didn’t want either player and I was wrong on Holliday. My lesson learned is the one you cited, I was way too concerned about the Rockie thing.

Jimmy:

Did you see Puig’s bat-flip triple? That was hysterical. To his credit, the guy had the talent to watch, preen, pose . . . and still make it into third base standing up. He’s an exciting player.

Puig

Mike:

It’s like watching Jordany Valdespin with talent.

Jimmy:

Two more quick playoff-related thoughts. 1) I could see Daniel Murphy on that Cardinals team, and that’s a compliment to both Murphy and the Cards; 2) Maybe it’s not just the Mets, because it sure seems like everybody is taking a ton of pitches in today’s baseball. Less and less is happening, per pitch, than ever before. It might be sound strategy, I don’t know, but it feels like baseball’s version of “clutch & grab” hockey.

Mike:

One component is strict pitch counts. Teams know if they can make any pitcher throw enough pitches they can get him out of a game. A strategy designed to protect pitchers created a new offensive approach.

Jimmy:

I was a little frustrated with Joel Sherman’s recent piece, highlighting the importance of young pitching in the playoffs. He framed it as “good news for the Mets,” but failed to point out that the Mets passed in recent drafts on two of the very players he highlighted: Sonny Gray and Mike Wacha (not to mention Jose Fernandez) in order to pick up high school talents, Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini, who might be able to help the team in 2017. Sherman is correct that young pitching has become the name of the game, but false in the assumption that the Mets have enough of it.

Mike:

It’s all relative. Whatever you might think about our pitching prospects, they sure seem less bleak than our hitting prospects. In that regard I would consider it good news.

Just give him a few more years: Mets 2012 1st Round Draft Pick, Gavin Cecchini. The  hope is that he'll fill out.

Just give him a few more years: Mets 2012 1st Round Draft Pick, Gavin Cecchini. The hope is that he’ll fill out.

Overall, as we have mentioned plenty in the last couple of weeks, we are purposely moving our young talent at a more deliberate pace than other organizations. This is a problem in the short-term as it is a factor in the annual crappy teams we have fielded. Beyond that it becomes muddier for now.

Eventually these guys have to come to the major leagues or they become minor league free agents. So the CBA ensures that even Sandy can’t keep them down on the farm forever.

 

 

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24 comments

  1. RAFF says:

    The Elia Rant is Breathtaking! . A couple of Academy Award performances come to mind, in comparison. It’s as if you took Bogey’s portrayal of the Psychotic unwinding of Captain Queeq in The Caine Mutiny, and mixed it with Colonel Jessup’s seething defiance in A Few Good Men, as delivered by Jack Nicholson – Except for the fact that Elias’ rant is 100% Extemporaneous- Straight from the hip-And apparently delivered without the aid of any performance-enhancing substances. Stuff like this is what makes America’s Pastime worth watching.

  2. Patrick Boegel says:

    Remember when it was somehow Jose Reye’s fault that the Marlins came to play the final day of the 2007 season? Not as if the other 161 games in which there were no shortage of Mets disastrous performances.

    My favorite thing about the fans faux offense to the stylings of a Puig or a Reyes is that it really comes down to when they are your guy, love it. Most of the fans who complained about Reyes simultaneously revered the brash and utterly disrespectful 1986 Mets.

    Give me more Puig’s and less chatter at firstbase between my team’s player and the opposing firsbasemen, I hate that.

    As for the players reactions, I think it was Deadspin or someone that had a hilarious take on the Cardinals manufactured offense of Puig showing all their lack of respect for the game.

    It is the freaking playoffs, have a heart beat.

    I grew up watching the Redskins with their fun bunch and assorted Touchdown shenanigans, the 1984-86 Mets (when they had a pulse before putting on diapers).

    If Brian McCann was as passionate about winning as he was about making sure Carlos Gomez rounded the bases appropriately perhaps one year he would see his team advance out of the NLDS.

    • It’s interesting you mention this, because I was wondering how Puig would have been perceived by Alderson & His Ilk. I’ve already theorized that they would have ruined a young Jose Reyes, or, more likely, just passed on the opportunity to sign him. Doesn’t fit the mold they seek. Which is really my big issue with “the approach” brand of coaching and thinking. The old saying was, “You don’t get off the island by walking.” And I wonder if there might be a cultural bias in the NY organization against a certain type of player. Bigass can of worms I’m reluctant to open.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        From an approach at the plate perspective absolutely they were mortified and terrified by Reyes existence the moment they arrived. Sandy had to do the whole two step maneuver when Reyes was hitting close to .360 the first four months of 2011.

        From a mustard perspective, it does not get much spicier than Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, Dave Henderson. All players that Alderson had. They were all Sandy men. Guys he either drafted, or acquired, in the Rickey case one he traded and then realized was a huge mistake.

        Though I do suspect that with Henderson while he liked the Base on Balls, the did not enjoy the I’m the Greatest persona. Though probably had to realize that with Canseco etal, swallow pride.

    • Michael Geus says:

      What I see with Puig is a lot of fans who really like him and an equal amount of fans who already have a problem with him.

      That combination is great for the business of baseball.

  3. What about those Tigers? They are such a formidable club, yet on the verge of their third consecutive fold in the playoffs. I wonder if Leland is done over there.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      That is the one downfall of the thump and romp type of offense is how do you adjust to scratch and claw when you need to?

  4. Eric says:

    Sox are batting .133…up 2-1 in series…. wow.

    Cabrera is Hurting— 7 gane series,….. you need to get out of town before Cabrera or Prince “blow up”…Sox might do it, but I come back to the .133….and Fister, Scherzer, Sanchez and Verlander. NO…they’re not tearing it down or sending Leland home any time soon— they could just as easily sweep the next three and the series too.

    Great Baseball!

    • Didn’t say they were tearing it up. But Leland didn’t bring in a LHP against Big Papi. I just wonder how patient folks are going to be if they fall short a third postseason in a row.

      Wait, not “fall short.” They are under-performing. Again. It’s not insane to start looking at the manager, wondering if Billy Martin might be a better fit.

      I’m not advocating, or predicting, but I have to believe that some folks are beginning to wonder.

  5. Dave says:

    3 1/2 hour games are a major problem in baseball. Game lengths have been steadily increasing since the mid-70s. Obviously, the main reason is the increased number of pitching changes. The ’76 Mets led the NL with 53 complete games. Seaver, Koosman and Matlack all averaged close to 8 innings per start that year. Also, at least In my memory, Seaver and Koosman both liked to “work fast”. This combo made for alot of 2 hour games.

    On the other end of the spectrum, in game 4 of the ALDS this year, the Rays used 9 different pitchers in a 3-1 game. All those pitching changes contributed to the 3:50 game length. Not sure how baseball can regulate this problem.

    A secondary reason is the extended “re-sets” by batters between pitches (adjusting gloves, arm pads, etc). I’m not sure when this started, but Jeter and Bernie Williams were prime examples of long “stepout” guys.. An extra 5 seconds between each pitch adds up by the end of the game. The MLB can and should put batters (and pitchers if necessary) “on the clock” to keep the game moving.

  6. IB says:

    My sense of it is that David Wright, Murphy, Harvey and a couple of other guys on the team, who play the game with quiet dignity, would not allow that kind of Puig bullshit on their team. Puig belongs in LA. There’s plenty of major leaguers who can help this team who don’t offend the senses

    • You know, this might not be a fair comparison, but I managed and played in a men’s hardball league for 8 years, ages 38-up (at the time). Brought two different teams to tournaments in San Antonio and Orlando and local venues. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t very good, but we had a great time. Each off-season, I’d turn into the GM, tweaking the roster 2-3 players a shot. One thing I re-learned, year after year, and remembered from my youth: It takes all kinds guys to make up a team. The loudmouth, the egotist, the solid star, the asshole, the intellectual, the criminal, the whiner, the tough guy, and so on. It’s the beauty of sports, the range of guys who come together and put on the same uniform. As long as they play hard during the game, and generally support each other as teammates, it’s all good. You mostly learn how to accept, tolerate, and appreciate the differences.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        You just described the 1986 Mets to a tee!

        Some even played duel roles.

        I remember being sick to death of the complaints of fans in 1999 and 2000, then in 2006 about how those Met playoff teams did not have the same fighters mentality as the 1986 team. But it is equally annoying when people dismiss that team as not disciplined or whatever. I mean I am sure things could have been “reigned” in a touch, but overall you win, you win it.

  7. Eric says:

    I was amazed at the “pull” on Lackey—- he was throwing great in a 1-0 game. The batter-hitter match was not a big deal at the time–especially given the game he was pitching—he was smoking them!

    The idea that a front line pitcher is going great…….that I pull him KNOWING that I will then need 3-4 situational guys to be PERFECT as well…… why not just stick with a top of the rotation hammer when he’s throwing great?

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      Even more perplexing given that Avila and Infante are a combined 3 for 29 off of Lackey for their career, Avila being hitless in 11 atbats.

  8. Eric says:

    All of this about Bat Flipping?….. I’ll take a Left Fielder who does that 30-35 times a year!

  9. IB says:

    You make a valid point(s). But, it seems a fine line to me, where it doesn’t take much to have an erosive effect on the squad. Hasn’t Mattingly benched Puig a couple of times for lack of hustle/discipline ala Gil Hodges? Time will tell.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      Reality is, the results will dictate the discipline. Had he stared and then either got stuck going into 2nd or thrown out in a mad dash to make it to third you could make the case his teammates would be disappointed. But the dude made up for his possible embarrassment in the middle of the play. He got into 3rd standing up. Basically, if he has that kind of motor in his step, he can live with the consequence. Certainly one could argue that if he was running at least at a jog he might not have broken a sweat on his standup triple and his heart rate may have been around 85 BPM.

      In the end, I doubt very much he will style the next one unless he knows he absolutely tattooed it.

  10. RAFF says:

    FIrst- as to the “POSING” – ie The Batter Flipping the bat and watching his home run and all the rest of the gesticulations of Self-Grandeur- I couldn’t give a crap. And I also don’t mind if the pitcher makes a mental note of the occasion, and PLUNKS the guy at a time and place of his choosing, whether it’s later in the game or at some future date. It’s all baseball. Furthermore- the POSING isn’t solely relegated to the “Puig-Like Antics” of Puig and various others, some of whom have already been mentioned. Umpires regularly SHOW UP PLAYERS and “BANG ‘EM Out” in theatrical fashion on; Called 3rd strikes, plays at the plate, and out calls at the bases. But the umpires act in the same PRECIOUS fashion as the pitchers whenever a player has the effrontery to question their judgment. And Pitchers REGUALRLY raise their arms in victory, or fist-pump a strikeout, or, in the case of the Tampa Bay Rays- Assume the Archer’s Pose of shooting an Arrow- It’s all part of the game. . Second- as to the questions which have arisen regarding “SITUATION BASEBALL”, specific to Managerial Moves. Leland Simultaneously VIOLATED One Situational Orthodoxy by Allowing the righty to pitch to Ortiz, but He closely adhered to another Orthodoxy by electing NOT to pitch around Ortiz, since a walk would have PUT THE WINNING RUN AT THE PLATE. Last night, He back-tracked by bringing in the lefty to pitch to Ortiz- A different situation, granted. The point here is, Managers Play “Hunches”. Hopefully, their hunches are based upon information they have which doesn’t necessarily appear in clean statistical regressions— The so-called Sabermetrics, which we’ve been brow-beaten into accepting as Incontrovertible- as some kind of baseball version of NATURAL LAW. I’ll leave it at this- for your consideration> On the 25th Anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s historic Walk-off Homerun against Dennis Eckersley of the A’s> Is there some Situational Baseball Axiom, Some piece of Statistical information, Or ANY logical defense for Lasorda to turn to Gibson, who was crippled and judged unable to play, and say “KIRK – GRAB A BAT. YOUR IN” ?????

  11. Eric says:

    Enough— I want young Horses to Play like young Horses… you live with the mistakes of youth….you don’t Squash them. There is evidence that Puig’s mistakes have been costly at times….. but Puig has been a great force. I’ll take those mistakes from MY 22 year old star.

    • My two cents: When I first read Eric’s comment, I thought it was obnoxious. “Enough.” Now it seems like I’m not the only one. There’s one rule here: Don’t pee in the pool.

  12. IB says:

    ENOUGH? ENOUGH?? This comment board has gotten too big for it’s britches. Bye.

    • Michael Geus says:

      IB, I hope that last comment is only in reference to this thread, your comments are always appreciated here.

      To all, both Jimmy and myself welcome debate and ideas, and many times we will all disagree. Let’s never be dismissive of alternate points of view, none of us have all the answers.

      Thanks.

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