NEWS & VIEWS: Jeff Wilpon’s Big Boy Hat, Wilmer Sits, Baxter Plays, Vic Black, David’s Comeback, and Jimmy Does Math!


I had to laugh, Mike. On Tuesday Jeff Wilpon visited a firehouse with David Wright, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler. There must have been a lot of, “Careful, Jeff, get down from there! No, you CAN’T slide down the pole. Jeff! Please! Give the man back his hat. What now, Jeff? Sigh. Sure, you can try on his raincoat. What? You want to ring the bell?”

The guys at Engine 54 and Ladder 4 were awfully kind to Jeff Wilpon during a recent visit. On a serious note, Matt Harvey summed it up, "It's something we're very honored to be here for and support. What they've done, it's tremendous."

The men at Engine 54 and Ladder 4 were awfully kind to Jeff Wilpon during a recent visit. They let him try on a big boy hat! On a more serious note, Matt Harvey summed it up, “It’s something we’re very honored to be here for and support. What they’ve done, it’s tremendous.” We agree.



A new picture to use, we can retire the hardhat shot.


I don’t know what’s up with Travis d’Arnaud (.159/.239/.238) — and I’m not officially worried — but there may be value in a real backup catcher who Collins isn’t afraid to play. Terry has a tendency to run guys into the ground, and that would be a big mistake with d’Arnaud. Is Anthony Recker the right guy for that role? They might need a 40-50 game backup.


I’m not totally against using Recker for that. He has pop, and to find a backup who can totally hit is almost impossible. I rather have the flawed Recker than the flawed Thole, as an example.

But I’m not convinced that pitchers like to pitch to him. Anthony is never going to morph into a fantastic hitter, so if that’s a problem, we have to move on.

He doesn’t have to be Jerry Grote, but he has to at least have the confidence of the pitching staff.

Another factor in Recker's favor: He's handy to have around in the event of blowout loss.

Another factor in Recker’s favor: He’s handy to have around in the event of a blowout loss.


Well, FWIW, supposedly Marcum petitioned Terry to have Recker removed from the lineup. So, yes, that might be an issue. OTOH, Recker’s CERA stands at 3.30, compared to Buck’s 4.06, so the (limited) statistics don’t support the notion he’s a huge liability. Hard to tell from where we sit.

I am not a hitting expert, but technically speaking, Wilmer Flores (.211/.256/.289) looks weird at the plate. It’s unorthodox. He covers the outer half, but he gets eaten alive inside. What are you seeing?


Nothing. He hasn’t been playing, which I find maddening.


Well, Turner got hot. [Reaches for bottle.] What’s your impression of big Vic Black? You like him?


His delivery reminds me of Henry Owens, another converted catcher who threw hard. Owens had a brief effective career before he blew out his shoulder.

I wonder how many bullets are in that gun.

At age 27, for AA Binghamton, Henry Owens flashed a staggering 16.5 K/9 rate, striking out 74 batters in 40 innings. The wing did not last, alas.

At age 27, for AA Binghamton, Henry Owens flashed a staggering 16.5 K/9 rate, striking out 74 batters in 40 innings. The wing did not last, alas.


I don’t love math, and I’m not the guy who is going to run an in-depth statistical study. But the other day I looked at the Mets lineup and wondered, “How many career at-bats are we looking at here?” And I wished I could compare it to other lineups over the course of a season. In many ways, team average age probably tells you most of that at a glance, but with a degree of noise. For example: Andrew Brown isn’t young, but he doesn’t have a ton of experience (he’s 29 with 256 career ABs), Mike Baxter is 28 with 325 ABs. So I took a random game, 9/10/11, and did the math for the Mets and the Yankees (top 8 in each batting order):

  • METS: Young, Lagares, Murphy, Duda, Turner, den Dekker, d’Arnaud, Quintanilla. Total career ABs: 6,527. Yes, if Wright were healthy, that number jumps by 5,000. Out of that starting eight, Quintanilla, Young, and Duda all hover around 1,000 ABs. The highest, Murphy, is at 2,183.
  • YANKEES: Gardner, Rodriquez, Cano, Soriano, Granderson, Reynolds, Ichiro, Nunez. Total career ABs: 41,461. If Jeter were healthy, that number jumps by 10,000. Every player in the starting 8, besides Nunez, has 2,000 ABs, four have more than 5,000. It’s not their first rodeo. Three guys, not counting Jeter, had more career ABs than the entire Mets lineup.
  • Conclusion: Mets averaged 816 career ABs per starter. Yankees averaged 5,183 each. That’s a pretty wide gap.


And you say you don’t love math!


11120712-largeHa, got me. So for the third consecutive year, we’re rolling out Mike Baxter. I don’t care if he’ll run through a wall for you — and he will, that’s been proven — it’s just so lazy that he’s still getting ABs with the New York Mets. Is this like Little League? Did he tell Collins that his grandparents flew in for the game, and can he pitch?


Yeah, Baxter started yesterday, and I was really hoping to get another look at den Dekker. Can’t we just give Baxter a coaching job in Brooklyn or something as the reward for the catch?

Zachary ticket 001Hey, check out the ticket from the game. Number seventy-one in this year’s Mets All-Star Series, Pat Zachry. Whoever picked that is a genius. Everything about yesterday’s game screamed, “Pat Zachry!”


When David Wright first tweaked his hamstring, all the so-called adults in the room let David decide if he could play or not. An abnegation of responsibility. It didn’t work out. Now with 17 games left, he’s eager to come back, like a puppy with a tennis ball in his mouth standing by the back door. No minor league games to test things out, the return would be at the major league level — and the risk is real, possibly turning a minor injury into a chronic one. Can’t anybody stand up to our most important player and say, “Yeah, thanks, but no.”


I’m trying not to react to the noise around the situation, so far nothing dumb has been done. But in the end, common sense must prevail. I would worry, but when have the Mets ever mishandled an injury situation?


And one more time . . . the heir apparent.

Can you say “Trust Fund”?

Jeff HatJeff HatJeff HatJeff HatJeff HatJeff HatJeff HatJeff Hat

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  1. Patrick Boegel says:

    Jeff looks so natural and comfortable in that picture.

    • James Preller says:

      If Jeff had half a brain, he would step aside. Nobody wants his picture. It should be about the players and the firemen. Would Jay Horowitz be in this shot? Of course, Jeff’s ego is on display here; he thinks he hit a triple.

  2. RAFF says:

    You gentlemen-bloggers deserve a doff of the cap and a sincere Thank You. The fact that you can bear witness to the daily insanity and incongruity of what the Mets do- Day after day, year after year, in-season and off-season- and STILL maintain the ability to express real shock, indignation, and outrage is a testament not only to your writing skills, but your humanity. As for the rest of Mets Fandom> The empty seats are like grave-markers, and the surviving Mets-Nation has become disconsolately numb.

    • RAFF, you are welcome. We’re grateful you come by and read our blog so consistently. One struggle we have is that we sincerely don’t want to be negative every day of the week. It gets old. So we keep watching games, enjoying baseball, and seeking the positive. We love the New York Mets. We long for the compelling story to be ON THE FIELD. That said, sometimes you step back, look at what’s going on with this team, another lost September, and scream.

  3. Hojohifive says:

    Jeffy should just gas up the Mercedes and go follow Phish instead of having ANYTHING to do with The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club.

  4. First, thanks for the link back to my post of Jerry Grote. I appreciate it. Second, I have to admit I haven’t even bothered to watch a Mets game on T.V. in over two weeks. In fact, whenever the ESPN ticker scrolls across the bottom of the screen, I flinch every time I even see the word Mets in it. I know it’s going to be more bad news. As Septembers goes, this is one of the all-time worst I can remember since I first started rooting for this team in 1974. They’re worse than just simply bad, they’re boring as hell.

    • Patrick Boegel says:

      Now there is a topic to count down the hours until other teams sell their playoff tickets.

      “Alex, I will take Mets’ Septembers for $1,000″.

      Two of my favorites from the book of morbid curiosity as a fan, 2004 and 2009. Digging deeper into the annals of catastrophe, there is also 1992.

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