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February 28, 2007

Play Ball

I know many fans could care less about the Grapefruit League games that begin for the Mets today, but I'm not one of them. I always feel a sense of excitement at the start of exhibition games that, in all honesty, is way out of proportion to what's really going...

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February 27, 2007

Hope and Hype in the NL East, Conclusions

Last week I previewed the other teams in the National League Eastern Division, primarily concentrating on the pitching staffs. I thought it was important to take note of the fact that all of these teams, including the mighty Phillies, have some huge question marks heading into the 2007 campaign. While...

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February 26, 2007

The Professor

When I read Steve Popper's Rick Peterson article on NorthJersey.com today it reminded me of why I can feel optimistic about the pitching this season: When Oliver Perez arrived in New York last season, he admitted that he was lost. The simplest solution was for Rick Peterson to provide a...

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Wallace Matthews Should Stick to Boxing

Once again, Wallace Matthews pens a ditty that guarantees he will never be considered for the writer's wing of The Baseball Hall of Fame. Granted, the story of the Mets oldsters has not quite been played up as much as the non-issue of the failing romance between the Highlander's left...

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February 25, 2007

Old Time Mets - Jesse Gonder

Editor's Note: We will publish a post from Barry Duchan every Sunday covering some aspect of Mets history. - M.S. In 1960 and 1961, Jesse Gonder was a good hitting young catcher in the Yankee organization who had no chance of making a team that already had 2 of the...

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February 24, 2007

Hope and Hype in the NL East, Part 4

We continue our quick looks at the NL east with a preview of the one team that has no chance of competing for the division title this year. Washington Nationals Two years ago, in their first season in Washington, the Nationals managed to ride the enthusiasm of their fans to...

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February 23, 2007

Blog Link: Chip Andres

With so many new faces in camp this year it's tough to keep up. Joe from Metstoday.com answers the question, "Who Is Chip Ambres and Why Do We Care?" About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of...

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Hope and Hype in the NL East, Part 3

We continue our quick looks at the NL east with the self-appointed division favorites from down the turnpike. Philadelphia Phillies Last year the Phillies played to their predictable pattern of the last few years -- after playing bad enough to fall out of the race they played well enough to...

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February 22, 2007

Hope and Hype in the NL East, Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to do some comprehensive previews of the other NL teams this spring, but work and being in the process of buying a house haven't allowed me that much time. Consider this a "Preview light" (with 40% less calories than regular previews, it's a favorite...

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February 21, 2007

Hope and Hype in the NL East, Part 1

Jimmy Rollins is shooting his mouth off again and I'm supposed to get worked up about it. Sorry, I just can't. Maybe it would matter if the Phillies hadn't spent the last six seasons wallowing in mediocrity. They were supposed to be the team to end the Braves streak of...

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February 20, 2007

Increasing the Odds for Pitching Prospects

In yesterday's post I took note of something Joel Sherman wrote on the difficulty of developing pitching prospects into major league pitchers. I believe it's important to be realistic about these kids, but I also feel that the true health of franchises going forward will be measured by their ability...

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February 19, 2007

What's the True Value of That Prospect?

Joel Sherman had an interesting piece on his spring training blog yesterday entitled Be Cautious About Prospects, where he threw a little cold water on the gaudy expectations local fans have for Mets prospects Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber and Yankees wunderkind Philip Hughes: In 2002, the top pitching prospects...

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Welcome Flushing University

I'm in the process of writing today's post which I promise to get up some time this afternoon, but I'd like to take a minute to welcome a new web site to the fold. Flushing University launched last week, featuring some excellent writers on the faculty that you're already familiar...

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February 18, 2007

Trades from the Past: Ken Boyer

Editor's Note: We will publish a post from Barry Duchan every Sunday covering some aspect of Mets history. This piece was originally published in September 2005. - M.S. A couple of days ago, I read an article about how Ken Boyer should be considered for the Hall Of Fame. I...

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February 17, 2007

2007 Bullpen Preview: Marcos Carvajal

Although I don't expect Marcos Carvajal will pitch for the Mets in 2007, he is another intriguing addition to the system-wide pitching depth the Mets are trying to develop. I thought fans might appreciate learning a little more about him. Marcos Carvajal was originally signed by the LA Dodgers as...

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February 16, 2007

Short Stops

Extension for Lo Duca With no catchers to speak of in AA or AAA, the Mets have no reason not to offer an extension to this gung-ho team leader. Certainly, an additional year (2008) with a team option for a second (2009) is a no-brainer. In spite of John Thompson's...

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And So It Begins...

I honestly can't tell you why I get so cheered up on the day that pitchers and catchers report to camp. Intellectually, I realize that the start of the season is still a long way off, and that I will be bored with spring training games long before they start...

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February 15, 2007

Great Expectations

I am a sports pessimist by nature. As Wellington Mara once said, "Hope for the best and expect the worst," and that is pretty much how I live my sports life. My glass isn't just half empty, it is shattered into a million little bits. My pessimism is self-preservation at...

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The Fifth Starter

As tomorrow's official reporting date for pitchers and catchers approaches, some of the candidates for the rotation have already shown up. Needless to say, they're all getting attention from the press, as the rotation battle shapes up to be one of the more intriguing story lines of spring training 2007....

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February 14, 2007

2007 Pitching Previews: Summing It All Up

I mentioned yesterday that I've been having some difficulty writing a piece that ties a bow around all of the pitching previews that I've spent the last five weeks of my life working on. This whole thing really began as just a way to satisfy my own curiosity and have...

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February 13, 2007

Putting It in a Book

Editor's Note: This is Dana Brand's first contribution to this blog. - M.S. Over the past year, I've written a book to see if I could figure out why I cared so deeply about the New York Mets. I don't think I found the answer to my question, but in...

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Although I have to confess that I have my own doubts about the Mets heading into 2007, I can't shake a sense of optimism as the start of training camp approaches. This amuses me, because almost 40 years as a Mets fan has made me into quite a pessimist. Yet...

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February 12, 2007

Chan Ho Park Scouting Report

I contacted Geoff Young, who authors the excellent Ducksnorts blog, and asked him if he would be kind enough to give Mets fans his impressions on Chan Ho Park from last year. Here is what he had to say: Park was a tremendous surprise last season. He did a great...

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The Depth Charge

As I commented on December 1, right here on Mike's Mets, there was very little tinkering left to do with the non-pitchers. In fact, Omar only made one further move by signing David Newhan to a contract, which deposited the son of LA Times sportswriter Ross Newhan on the 40-man...

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February 11, 2007

My Polo Grounds Memories

Editor's Note: We will publish a post from Barry Duchan every Sunday covering some aspect of Mets history. - M.S. Before Shea Stadium was built, the Mets played 2 full seasons at the Polo Grounds, which was right across the river from Yankee Stadium. I went to a handful of...

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February 10, 2007

2007 Bullpen Preview: Chan Ho Park

Yesterday, the Mets signed Korean right-hander Chan Ho Park to an incentive laden 1-year contract. The guaranteed money is only $600,000 -- chump change in today's MLB -- but the incentives for innings pitched could raise the deal to a reported $3 million. Although Park's agent feels that Chan Ho...

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February 9, 2007

Chan Ho Park: $600K of Insurance

I have to admit that reading the rumors of Chan Ho Park signing for $3 million earlier today gave me a little agita. Then I read this in the Post's Mets Blog: The Mets have agreed to terms, pending a physical, with righthander Chan Ho Park, according to a person...

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Don't Park Those Previews Just Yet, Mike

Written by yours truly yesterday: Okay, we're serious this time. No more previews. We'll wrap up the pitching with one more article summing everything up. Today's news: When pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie in six days, the Mets will have another starter in the mix. Chan Ho...

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February 8, 2007

Feeling the Love

I received the following email from someone who read my post from earlier today: calling devaney a "soft tosser" as your continually do in your write up is nonesense. i sat next to a scout in florida for 2 of his starts in 06 and the guy had a gun...

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Four Other Names for You

While it's impossible to cover ever pitcher in the Mets system that has a chance of contributing to the major league club in 2007, I have tried to be fairly comprehensive in the pitching previews I have written for the past month. Between eight rotation and 15 bullpen previews, I...

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February 7, 2007

2007 Bullpen Preview: Other Candidates

For over a month, we've been previewing many of the pitchers whose contributions will have a big influence on how far the Mets go this season. We started with 8 candidates for the bottom 4 rotation spots in early January, and then profiled 15 pitchers who will be competing for...

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February 6, 2007

2007 Bullpen Preview: Billy Wagner

Billy Wagner was taken in the first round of the 1993 draft by the Houston Astros out of Ferrum College in Virginia. He settled in as the Astros' closer midway through the 1996 season, and quickly became one of the game's top firemen. In November of 2003, he was traded...

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February 5, 2007

Dodging Bullets

I wrote a piece on Saturday criticizing the annoying proliferation of supposedly analytical baseball articles that really are nothing more than ill-informed opinion pieces. I won't recap what I wrote two days ago, the full post can be found here. I'd like to point that what I labeled the "bullet...

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February 4, 2007

Memories of Steve Chilcott

Editor's Note: We will publish a post from Barry Duchan every Sunday covering some aspect of Mets history. - M.S. There are certain names that make Mets fans cringe whenever they hear them. Scott Kazmir is the latest as in "How can the Mets trade Scott Kazmir, maybe the best...

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February 3, 2007

Lazy Analysis

With the internet, we are exposed to the "expert" opinions of many more analysts than back in the stone age days when I was growing up. Sadly, exposure to more baseball stories often doesn't translate into increased value for serious baseball fans. Instead, on respected sports web sites you can...

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February 2, 2007

Hats Off to MLB

At the risk of being accused of grumpy old man disease, let me say I like to consider myself a baseball purist. I hate the designated hitter. I much prefer a well-placed sacrifice bunt. I love the late-inning double-switch. I smile at that first trip to the mound, especially if...

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2007 Bullpen Preview: Jorge Sosa

Jorge Sosa was signed as 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic by the Colorado Rockies organization in 1995. He spent six unproductive years as an outfielder in the Rockies system before Seattle took him in the minor league draft and moved him to the mound in 2001. He had some...

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February 1, 2007

Back in the Saddle

First of all, sincere thanks to all of you who passed along your best wishes and/or advice on the new home. Lisa was really touched when I showed her all of the comments. She also saw your email, Al, and promises to hurt me really bad if I try painting...

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