Win Mets DVDs: Longest Tenured Met

we all know that as of 2012, the longest tenured Met, going into the past, is David Wright.  What we don’t know, yet, as who on the 2012 Mets will be the last player to no longer be a Met.  Let’s find out who you think it is.

 

A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions is allowing me to reward one person with a NEW YORK METS 50TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTOR’S EDITION DVD SET. All you have to do is write me an email to contest@ceetar.com with which current Mets player you think will be a Met the longest going into the future.  I don’t need an explanation, although you’re welcome to give one.  I reserve the right to penalize you for stupid answers like Chris Young.

 

Answer has to be a current Mets player on the 40 man roster.  I’ll also pick two runner up entries to receive a copy of NEW YORK METS 50 GREATEST PLAYERS DVD also by A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions.  Entries must be received by first pitch on Friday September 21st.

 

There is no prize, years from now, on ultimately being right with your answer, although if you make note of it and Twitter is still around, I’ll at least give you props for it.

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Your Questions, My Answers

I’m out of the country starting last night through September 30th, so I requested some Twitter questions to make a quick and easy post.  This is that post, submitted for your enjoyment while I tour Amsterdam, Munich for Oktoberfest, and Prague.

 

 

That’s an easy one.  I learned from the best.  If you don’t know, Ted routinely does a Friday Twitter Q&A at Tedquarters.  I wonder if Metsopotamia is big enough for TWO Q&A posts this Friday.  To truly make this ridiculous, I’m going to schedule a tweet to this post for Ted on Friday in hopes of getting the Internet stuck in a recursion error.

 

Amusingly, I had responded to a question by Emily Ragle on this earlier in the week.

She asked: “#craftbeer fans: Do any of you actually have a favorite beer? I can’t ever choose, and it’s the most common question I’m asked.”

So my response will be the same one I gave her: It depends on my mood and the season.  Right now for example I recently had a Founders Cerise, which is a delicious Michigan cherry fermented ale, and it’s the first thing to come to mind.  I’ll be in Oktoberfest in eight days though, and Oktoberfest/fall is still my favorite beer season, so that would get a nod if someone asking was looking for recommendations.  Visiting Hawaii two years ago I discovered a Toasted Coconut Ale at Kona Brewing Company that I absolutely fell in love with.  If you’d asked me before visiting the isles, I would’ve told you I didn’t like coconut, and now I love it.  I actually created a similar homebrew recipe for it, and it’s recently become available on the mainland in bottles and called Kona Koko Brown.

But this question is misleading.  Paul asks for my favorite beer of all time, and I haven’t yet experienced all of time yet.  I’ve been drinking craft beer for less than 10 years, and there are some really amazing beers that just haven’t been thought of yet.  So unless I stumble upon a TARDIS, I’m going to reserve final judgement.

 

More beer questions?  I thought I wrote a Mets blog?  Fittingly enough, Eno Sarris was talking about IPAs on Twitter recently so I had this answer readily available as well.  It’s Sixpoint Resin.  “Whatever flames upon the night. Man’s own resinous heart has fed.”  The beer is 9.1% alcohol and a whopping 103 IBU.  (International bittering units.  103 is extremely high) It comes in a nifty narrow green nanokeg (can) that I once heard someone describe as fitting perfectly among shampoo bottles in the shower.   IPAs can be a sore point for people that want to like more beer but find it daunting.  The bittering often turns people off, and is definitely an acquired taste.  A good IPA that I like to recommend is Flying Fish Hopfish; I find the malt in it balances the bitterness extremely well and makes for a delicious beer that’s not too harsh.

At least ‘ballpark’ is a baseball word, from the Banner Day winner.  This is a tough one.  At Oktoberfest beer is only served in liter-sized steins, called Maß and pronounced ‘mas.  These go for nearly 10 Euros, which as of this writing goes for about $12.8 since the Euro is doing it’s best 2007 Mets imitation and collapsing.  Plenty of beer in New York City is $5 for a pint, plus a dollar tip, so the prices doesn’t even seem bad.  Still, drinking liters of beer in one sitting in one tent is probably a poor way to see Oktoberfest, Munich, or Europe in general.

 

We will be there for 15 days, not including the plane travel days.  Three days in Amsterdam, Nine in Germany, and four in Prague.  Three of these will feature long train rides, and four of them with some extended family of my wife’s, which will probably raise the average amount I drink if what I’m being told about my German in-laws is true.  So let’s measure pints, because we’re American and it’s a decent enough beer measurement.  Given all the great beer and beer halls and the like around Europe, I suspect I’ll be drinking every day and mostly beer.  I’m going to guess three pints a day on average, with the travel days and jet-lag days dragging the average down.  So I’ll figure 45 pints of beer.  Feel free to weigh in over or under in the comments.  Assigning a, probably low, 200 calorie value to a beer, that’s 9000 calories which I’ll need to run ~50 miles on treadmill when I get back to burn off.

 

Yay, Mets questions!  When I started planning this trip early in the year, before the season even started, I knew there was a possibility I could be missing some big baseball games.  Clearly that’s not the case, and the way the Mets are playing right now is frustrating.  7:10 starts are 1:10 am starts in Germany however, so I imagine I’ll check in in the morning while checking email.  I’m sad there are only three games left, the final series in Miami, that I can watch though, and will probably click open a boxscore to see if David Wright has collected the hits needed to pass Kranepool for most in franchise history, if R.A. Dickey collected a win, or just to see who had a good game.

Greatest team ever, obviously.  Baseball is the greatest sport ever, with the possible exception of Calvinball, so the best team ever would have to be a baseball team.  New York is the greatest city in the world, so clearly the best team would be located in that city right?  The designated hitter is an abomination, eliminating the transplants from Baltimore, the Yankees.  The Giants and Dodgers have now played more games in California than New York.  The Mets, born of New Yorkers’ thirst for National League baseball, are clearly the greatest. Q.E.D.

 

 

Everything I’ve read about Oktoberfest suggests I’ll have lots of stories.  I suspect I’ll even tell some of them, probably at the non-Mets blog Garden Variety New Yorker, where I tend to post stuff I think should probably stay off a Mets blog.   I’m sure if I have WiFi here and there I’ll be tweeting the occasional European observation and picture.  I bet Jeff would appreciate a picture of the traditional Bavarian beer maid carrying way too many Maß of beer as well.  I’ve heard great things about Prague, and clearly it’s Beltran’s fault I’ll eventually have to leave there.

 

Thanks for the questions everybody.  I’m scheduling this for Friday morning, and by then It’ll be afternoon in Amsterdam and I’ll have just arrived.  I’m probably sitting on a rooftop bar at the hotel looking out over the city right now.

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Excellent Citi Field Virtual Tour

The scoreboard display after a 2012 Mets victoryDarren from The7Line posted this excellent time lapse youtube video of him entering Citi Field before the game, circling the concourse, settling into his seat and then flashes through the game and departure.  It captures visiting the ballpark from a fan’s perspective very well, I only wish he’d picked a winning game or at least spliced in some of the Mets Win! scoreboard graphics.

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Hope For Next Year and Ticket Contest Winner

Congratulations to Amanda for winning the final pair of Mets tickets this season.  Thanks to Seatcrew, the no-fee ticket marketplace, for providing them.

 

Let’s break down some of the optimistic submissions on what in 2012 we should be thankful for looking forward, starting with Amanda’s (and many others) response.

DAVID WRIGHT!!! :)

 

Yes, he hasn’t had a great second half, but David Wright is worthy of at least one smilie face this year. He’s having one of his best season ever, is playing great defense, and is about to become the franchise leader in hits.  Don’t go anywhere David.  Ever.

Todd writes:

It’s a toss up between Matt Harvey and Ike Davis. I really feel that Matt Harvey is going to be the future ace of the team, with a little more grooming he and Dickey can be on of the best 1-2s in the bigs

I already mentioned Ike Davis.  Matt Harvey has definitely looked good though.  It’s a pretty limited sample size, but it’s hard not to dream on what this power pitcher can do for us next year.  A couple of people mentioned the rotation.  It’s definitely looking like a strength for the 2013 Mets right now.

 

Those were the big responses.  As much as that highlights some optimism, it also accents the places the Mets need to improve: bullpen and outfield.

 

 

 

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Can We Talk About Chris Capuano?

Chris Capuano was a Met last year, as you may remember.  He wasn’t a particularly good pitcher, although he had his moments.  After 66 innings in 2010, Capuano came to the Mets healthy for the first time in a while and had a pretty good first half before tailing off in the second.  The Mets correctly assumed that Capuano would get too much money for a near replacement level starter and didn’t retain him, but what he has become this year has been anything but average, although he does again appear to be tailing off in the second half again.

 

Perhaps this ‘change’ is simply him being comfortable with his body one year removed from surgery, but he’s got basically the same K/BB as last year.  He’s got a career low ERA even after a sub-par second half so far.  He’s throwing much more pitches in the zone, but actually getting less contact on them, and much less contact outside of the zone. It certainly seems like he’s setting up hitters better and keeping them more off balance. He’s allowed less hits overall, and less home runs.

 

I guess you could attribute some of that to defense, although the Dodgers defense doesn’t seem particularly awesome, just better than the Mets. Seems a big jump to attribute just to that. His FIP is better, but his xFIP is worse. (Although it’s hard to trust a stat that says fielding independent and yet gets better when fielders make plays) Is this an indictment on Dan Warthen and the Mets staff? Was there an adjustment to be made that he was unable to figure out with the Mets?  I know Ron Darling mentioned on the broadcast one day that he worked with Capuano a little last year on some things, and while it’s cool that he’s helping out, it seems like a bad sign that the broadcaster is helping out the pitchers on the side.  This wouldn’t be the first pitcher that struggled here and succeeded elsewhere, although maybe that’s true of every team and it just seems like it’s more with the Mets.

 

This is just piece of evidence against Dan Warthen’s tenure as pitching coach continuing.  With all the young pitchers the Mets are going with, I’d really love to have a brilliant coach that can really nurture these guys and get the best out of them.  I don’t believe Dan Warthen is that guy.

 

 

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Ike Davis Charity Event, Help Fight Kids’ Cancer

Join Mets’ First Baseman Ike Davis and teammates for an exclusive benefit music concert withBillboard #1 Country Artist Lee Brice at City Winery. All proceeds will benefit Solving Kids’ Cancer and the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative.

 

Looks like lots of Mets players are going to attend, as well as WFAN’s Evan Roberts…and there will be booze, and guest bartenders and giveaways.

 

Click here to  buy tickets.  Looks like it’ll be a fun time.

 

As per this tweet, you can also make a donation directly:

“Make a $10 donation to the Ike Davis Foundation by texting “IKE” to 32020 proceeds help @SolveKidsCancer @TeamSarcoma”

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Mets Ticket Giveaway via Seatcrew

It’s time for the final (from here) Mets Ticket giveaway from Seatcrew.com, The free social marketplace where fans buy and sell tickets without surcharges.

 

This week we’re talking about two tickets to see the Mets play the Phillies on Monday September 17th to start out the final homestand of the year.

 

To be eligible you have to have a seatcrew.com account as well as follow Ceetar on Twitter.

 

Instead of the normal prediction contest, let’s do something different.

 

Tell me what event or player from the 2012 Mets gives you the most hope for the 2013 season?

 

Send your answers to
contest@ceetar.com
with the subject line ‘Optimistic Mets Fan Giveaway. My choice is going to be Ike Davis.  He started so slow, but the adjustments he made and the power he contributes looks to be invaluable for the Mets going forward.  You’re welcome to reuse my answer if you like.  I’ll pull a random name from the hat on this Monday morning, so you have until Midnight on Sunday the 9th to get your answer in.

 

I’ll announce the winner and then give you my thoughts on the submissions and the future.

 

You can follow Seatcrew on Twitter, or like them on Facebook here.

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A Thought On Mets Payroll

Look, no one has any idea what the payroll is going to be.  Sandy Alderson has clearly stated they haven’t finalized numbers yet, and that he’s prepared for a number of different options.

 

It’s Sandy Alderson’s third year, and he’s going to start feeling some pressure to not just point this team in the right direction, but actually get them to take a step or two.  The Wilpons have always seemed willing to invest in a plan that makes the Mets better.  They haven’t exactly shied away from spending money in the past, and the recent drop was in part due to plummeting revenues as well as financial messes.  These last couple of years are obvious exceptions to the willingness to spend money, but they DID invest more money by buying minority shares.  This was always the plan, and it stands to reason that if needed the Wilpons could manage at least a slightly higher payroll if need be.  Maybe that’s not the case, but it’s really impossible to say as we’re not privy to that information.

 

Combine those two and I suspect Sandy Alderson will pitch a plan with a slightly higher payroll, depending on if he can acquire the pieces he’s targeting, and that the Wilpons will approve that.  Alderson will be selling it as a probable way to make the Mets better, which will also increase revenue if it works out.  This isn’t to say the Mets payroll definitely increases; If the players Alderson wants that would increase payroll are not available, for any number of reasons, he’s not obligated to raise the payroll just because he has the green light.  Which is part of the reason he’s not going to tell us what the target numbers are.  (Another part being it hurts his negotiating position with free agents if they know exactly how much money he has to spend)

 

It actually makes sense to spend a little in 2013.  Barring Johan Santana returning to Cy Young form, or Jason Bay making a run at the MVP, both players come off the books after next seasons freeing up a lot of money.  It’s probably reckless to spend it all at once, and there’s no guarantee that there will be enough quality players the Mets need to acquire available to spend it.  Spend a little bit above budget in 2013 with the expectation that it’ll come down again in 2014 with all the money coming off the payroll.  While the Mets have a lot of money owed next year, they’ve got virtually none of it committed to future years.  Spending a little this off season is not going to create a logjam of contracts or leave the Mets unable to get out from under a pile of unproductive players.

 

The Mets need to get better, and Sandy Alderson has suggested that the roster won’t look the same regardless of what the budget is.  It’s probably more set than it seems.  The infield and starting pitching look pretty good, and the bench is certainly passable with guys like Hairston and Baxter and even Turner and Cedeno.  Whatever does happen with the budget, we can probably count on Sandy Alderson doing everything he can to make this team much better next year.

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Ike Davis Has Been Really Good

Ike Davis had barely a full seasons worth of games under his belt before he missed almost all of last season with an ankle injury.  For someone that inexperienced maybe it’s not surprising he got off to such a poor start.  His second half has been amazin’ though, so it definitely gives you hope for next year.

 

Across the first third of the season Ike Davis was playing very badly.  He’d had a hot streak to end April and a couple of good games in a row to end May, but they didn’t last long.  On June 8th he finished the day batting .158.  This would represent the low point for Ike Davis on the season, and perhaps in his entire career.  If you recall this was during the time period that more and more of the fans and media were calling for Davis to be sent down to the minors.  The Mets had given him a vote of confidence to stave off the endless questions about demoting him, but even that was starting to wear off.

 

Then he had a nine game hitting streak including six RBI against the Rays, two home runs, and seven walks.  He did not have another multi-strikeout game again, something he’d been doing frequently, until a June 25th game against the Cubs in which he was fanned twice.  However, he also homered in that game for the Mets only run.

 

Since the start of that streak on June 9th (through September first when I’m writing this), Ike Davis has been awesome.  Specifically he’s been smashing the baseball as hard as anyone in the game.   He’s hitting .270/.336/.573 in those 71 games.  If he’d put up that slugging percentage for the entire year, he’d be 6th in all of baseball.   Granted this is picking and choosing endpoints, but 71 games is nearly half a season and represents a sizable chunk of Davis’ major league career.   He’s hit 20 home runs in those games, something that equates to 46 home runs over a full 162.   You’d like to see him walk a bit more, especially since as teams catch on that he’s hitting the ball as well as any slugger in the game the pitchers are going to make further adjustments to avoid giving him hittable pitches.  If he can lay off these pitches he’ll end up with more walks.  Hopefully it doesn’t take him two months to re-adjust next time.

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The Mets Won! Notes from the game.

I ended a Citi Field drought Saturday by making it out to the park for Mike Piazza bobblehead day.  You can check him out in my new header image.

 

I was finally able to have the Steak Sandwich from Pat LaFrieda.  It was delicious, as confirmed by a billion other people at this point.  Also confirmed by others, but worth posting here for completeness’ sake, the beer selection.  No new beers available, despite rumors/hopes that other Sixpoint nano-kegs would be present, but you do get Sixpoint Sweet Action, Brooklyn 16oz cans, and three pints of the mass produced variety.

The Mets won, which was nice to see.  They even scored three runs!  The crowd, understandably, was dead.  There was no Lets Go Mets chant until the 9th inning, and the scoreboard barely prompted us to cheer.  There was an annoying bunch beyond us that wanted to scream for long periods of times when Dickey struck someone out..mercifully R.A. Dickey only struck out two.

 

Realizing my chances were running low, I got a Carvel Sunday in an ice cream helmet, so I could add the 50th anniversary helmet cap to my collection.  The ice cream hit the spot too.

 

Finally met Andrew Vazzano of The Ropolitans at the Read the Apple tailgate.  I’m slowly working my way through most of the more well known bloggers.  Who’s next?

 

Tejada made a really neat jump and fake on a throw to third from Scott Hairston.  It kept Greene from taking an extra base on the throw, and although it’s a play that should probably be made on most chances, it’s still nice to see the Mets putting in the right effort and execution on the fundamentals.

 

Blog Notes:

There will be one more Seatcrew.com ticket giveaway in early September.

I’ll be out of the country for the second half of September.  Likely without much internet or time.  I’m probably going to schedule a bunch of baseball and beer related posts, so keep an eye out for that.

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