2013 New York Mets Payroll: Where the Money is Going

Moments ago I read this post that was featured on Mets Blog. The post was written by Chris Walendin, and it shows where the $102.2 million the Mets are spending this year is going. I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t know most of this, but it’s still sad to read about. The amount of money on the 2013 New York Mets payroll attributed to players who aren’t on the team or active is appalling. If anybody has been wondering (I haven’t been) why the Mets have been so awful, look no further.

The New York Mets are paying their outfield (not an outfielder, but their entire outfield) $3.2 million. That’s actually laughable. Starting pitchers are receiving a combined $8.6 million, and the bullpen just $5.5 million. In regards to the pitching, thank God the Mets have Parnell and Harvey making next to nothing. Without those two, the bullpen and starting rotation would be a complete and utter disaster. Ever heard of the saying, “You get what you pay for“? Yeah apparently it’s true guys.

The infield is the only area where the 2013 New York Mets payroll actually makes any sense. Mets infielders make a combined $24.6 million, which is very respectable. However the infield total pales in comparison to the whopping $39.2 million on the disabled list. I get that nearly all of that is from Johan Santana, but still…wow. Let’s not forget that $21.1 million of the Mets payroll is simply not on the roster any more (screw you Jason Bay). To quote Chris Walendin from his post (which I highly recommend you check out), “the Mets are paying 25 guys $41.9M to play baseball for them, and 6 guys $60.3M to not play baseball for them“. Hopefully the 2013 New York Mets payroll serves as a guide for the future. They can call it, “The 2013 New York Mets Payroll: How to Construct a Violently Disappointing Baseball Team“. Catchy right?

Jayson Werth’s Gift to the Mets

Mets pitcher Scott Rice

Photo courtesy of Michael G. Baron

The Mets were given a gift yesterday by Jayson Werth. Scott Rice looked like he was about to blow it, but amazingly enough Werth decided to swing at the 3-0 offering. The following 6-4-3 double play got Rice two outs he needed badly. I will give the 14 year minor leaguer some credit though because he struck out phenom Bryce Harper to end the 8th inning. Anything but smooth sailing, but hey the man did his job.

Yesterday’s 2-0 win over the Nats was refreshing. I had almost forgotten that pitchers not named Harvey or Niese could win ball games for the Mets. Dillon Gee looked pretty good through 5 2/3’s innings, and compared to his previous two starts he looked downright fantastic. I wrote a post back in February about my expectations for Gee coming into the 2013 season, and I stand by what I wrote. Dillon Gee is never going to be your staff ace, but do I think he can contribute as a third or fourth starter? Absolutely. Let’s not forget that Gee didn’t pitch at all in the second half of 2012. I think by the end of 2013 most Met fans will be satisfied with Gee.

No offense meant to Mr. Aaron Laffey, but man am I happy to hear he won’t be making another start. Shaun Marcum threw five innings today in Port St. Lucie, and will apparently be ready to go on Saturday. This is great news, and hopefully he doesn’t experience any setbacks. I feel like you can never be to sure with somebody as injury prone as Marcum is, so I guess we’ll see how he continues to progress this week.

I’m not sure if I can say enough about the start that Matt Harvey has put together this season. 4-0 with 32 strikeouts in 29 innings, and a 0.93 ERA. We are watching the beginning of something truly special here. Joel Sherman of the NY Post recently compared Harvey to the pieces of Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte. Now if Travis d’Arnaud could just stop getting injured, and Zack Wheeler could find the plate. I’m slightly concerned about d’Arnaud’s ability to become the backstop of the future for the Mets because he can’t seem to stay on the field. At least we have a scorching hot John Buck for now.

Last week was a strange one with snow-outs happening in both Minnesota and Colordao. Both were discouraging stops on a road trip that just needed to end. I found the weekend series with the Nationals to be more pleasant. Let’s hope that feeling sticks around for the upcoming series with the Dodgers.

New York Mets: The First Week of the 2013 Season

So we’ve made it through the first two series of 2013 New York Mets baseball. All I can say so far is that it has certainly been interesting. While the Mets haven’t hosted the most talented ballclubs thus far, it’s still been quite encouraging to see them get off to a good start. After an exciting walk-off win today they stand at 4-2 heading into a ten game road trip where they will face the likes of Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Colorado. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some aspects of the Mets play through the first six games of 2013, and disappointed by others.

Let’s start with positive aspects of what I’ve seen so far…

John Buck has been phenomenal. John is off to an 8 for 19 start, with two homeruns and eight RBIs. Buck was a mere footnote in the trade that brought the organization prospect Travis d’Arnaud, but has proven himself to be a valuable veteran presence so far. On another note, Buck is exactly the type of player that the Mets have ridden to hot starts before, and I don’t expect him to continue this scorching pace all season. Nor do the Mets need him too, seeing as most expect to see Travis d’Arnaud sooner rather than later. For the time being I am very happy to watch John Buck tear it up.

The Mets starting pitching has been solid too. I think a lot of people who don’t follow the Mets were surprised to see Jon Niese starting on Opening Day. I wasn’t. This guy has essentially flown under the radar for a few seasons now, and is ready to emerge as a front end starter. He hasn’t wowed anybody statistically with his two starts this season, but has been reliable and consistent. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Jon Niese has now pitched at least 6 innings in his last 22 starts. What’s not to like? Dillon Gee took a step forward by showing us his health problems from last season are behind him. He threw 6 and 1/3 of three hit baseball against the Padres, but was the tough luck loser. Even Jeremy Hefner allowed just 1 earned run through 6 innings in his first start. I’m going to forget about Laffey’s 4 and 1/3, 10 hit start versus the Marlins today because hopefully he won’t be in the rotation much longer. Whether it’s Marcum returning or Wheeler later in the season, I don’t think (fingers crossed) Laffey is part of the New YHome of the New York Mets: Citi Fieldork Mets rotation in the long term. The starters have done their job. The Mets have been given every opportunity to compete in each game so far. That’s really all you can ask for.

Moving on to what I haven’t really liked so far…

The Mets defense has been lackluster. Follow the link to this video for my general reaction whenever the ball is hit in Lucas Duda’s direction. Yeah, you get the point. Ruben Tejada has been pretty awful at short so far too. Four errors through six games is just plain bad. I’m not too worried about Tejada in the long term though, just a disappointing first week. He looked a lot better at the plate and in the field today.

I get that it’s still super early, but I’ve been pretty unimpressed by LaTroy Hawkins. He appeared today and got the job done, but allowed an earned run in each of his first two appearances for the ballclub. Everything I’ve read suggests that Hawkins is a great guy in the clubhouse, and I don’t doubt that. I would like to him shape up and pan out as a veteran presence in the bullpen this season.

Overall I’m just thrilled to have some New York Mets baseball back again. We have plenty more to come, and whether the outcome is good or bad I’ll be looking forward to it.

The R.A. Dickey Hangover Effect: Coincidence or Reality?

I read a pretty interesting post today titled, “Missing Dickey Most: Guy After Him”. This was an article featured in the Wall Street Journal by Michael Salfino. The main argument that Salfino has is that the Mets not only gave up the NL Cy Young Award winner this off-season  but essentially gave up a second ace pitcher. No he wasn’t talking about Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee, or even Johan Santana but simply any Met pitcher who threw the day after Dickey against the same team. The pitcher to start the next game after R.A. Dickey last season posted a 2.38 ERA. That is even better than what R.A. actually did himself, hence Salfino’s argument that the Mets have lost two Cy Young winners this winter. Regardless of who threw the next day, all of their numbers are incredible. Heck, even Jeremy Hefner had a 2.16 ERA when throwing after Dickey! I suppose Dickey’s knuckler threw opposing lineups off so badly that they couldn’t even regroup 24 hours later.

While I find this statistic interesting, I’m not sure I totally buy into it. The sample sizes are relatively small with the highest being a 42 inning sample. I also think that when guys like Jon Niese and Matt Harvey are dealing, they’re dealing with or without R.A. confounding opposing hitters the night before. I did think this was a very thought provoking post written by Michael Salfino though, and I think you should check it out on your own. I guess that numbers don’t lie, but the optimist in me is hoping that this is more of a coincidence than it is a reality.

Shea Stadium: The Best Games Ever Played

Shea Stadium plateThe first baseball game ever played at the beloved Shea Stadium was on April 17, 1964 and many more were played until the ballpark’s demolition in 2008. There’s no arguing the fact that some pretty awesome Mets history was made inside the confines of Shea Stadium. I was lucky enough to receive The New York Mets Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD set as a gift recently. I was pretty excited to check out what games they had included in the set to commemorate such a great baseball stadium. If you haven’t come across this DVD and are a fan I strongly recommend you do so. Anyway the games included in the set were:

1969 World Series Game 4 vs. Baltimore – This is a pretty awesome game, and I can’t argue with the choice here. Tom Seaver pitches 10 innings in the win. How often do you see that kind of stuff anymore? You don’t, that’s right. I think you have to include at least one game from the 1969 World Series in the set.

1986 NLCS Game 3 vs. Houston – This game comes from one of the greatest series in Mets history, and baseball history. Lenny Dykstra goes yard in the bottom of the 9th to give the Mets the win. There’s nothing to not like about including this game in the set. This is such a monumental series in the history of the franchise so I feel like this game’s inclusion is just a given.

1986 World Series Game 6 vs. Boston – Need I say more? If you’re not going to include this game on the Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD then why even bother? This is the best game ever played at Shea Stadium.

1999 NLCS Game 5 vs. Atlanta – Ahhh the old Grand Slam single game! Although this series culminated into a disappointment for the Mets, this game itself was a pretty amazing one. 15 innings of playoff baseball is tough to top, so I say this one belongs on the list as well.

September 21, 2001 vs. Atlanta – Piazza goes deep in the 8th inning to ultimately win it for the Mets in this one. The larger significance of this game is what puts it on the list. This was the first major event to take place in New York City following 9/11. I think the emotional implications this game had make it worthy of its spot in this set.

May 19, 2006 vs. Yankees – Okay, this game is the one I really think you could make a case doesn’t belong in the Essential Games at Shea Stadium group. I’m not saying that watching David Wright get a game winning hit off of Mariano Rivera doesn’t bring a humongous smile to my face, because it totally does. I’m just saying that this is a regular season game. I have watched this game multiple times because who doesn’t like seeing the Mets beat the Yankees? I just think that if one of these games had to be cut, this would be the casualty.

These are really all awesome games in Mets history. I think that you can make a fair argument that these are the best six games ever played at Shea Stadium. However, in a future post I’d like to offer a few alternatives that I thought could have made the list. Admittedly I was only old enough to see the games from 1999, 2001, and 2006 at the time they were played. I think there are probably a handful of older games that could have been added to this DVD that I have never seen before.

I want to know your thoughts on The New York Mets Essential Games of Shea Stadium DVD set! What do you think of the six games they included? What games did they ignore that deserve to be remembered as some of the best at Shea?

Matt Harvey’s Winning Attitude is Something the Mets Need More Of

I absolutely loved seeing this quick write up Adam Rubin did on Matt Harvey. He seems totally locked in on the upcoming season, and I’m glad to hear that. Ever since Matt Harvey debuted last season I have loved his attitude. He seems like a true gamer, and I’m hoping that his winning attitude is something he can bring to the Mets for years to come. He seems like the kind of guy that will be a leader on this team, and I think that is awesome.

Although I’m sure that Harvey understands the position the Mets are in entering the 2013 season, it doesn’t seem like he is buying into the notion that the Mets will not be contenders. Matt was quoted in Rubin’s piece saying, “I’m here to win this year. I don’t want to look ahead to the next couple of years. I want to win now. And that’s my job”. What is not to love about this guy? Let’s hope he continues to show us the electric stuff he did late in 2012, and begins to delve deeper into games as the season progresses.

Dillon Gee Will Surprise Mets Fans in 2013

Hear me out on this one! I think that after Jon Niese the Mets most reliable pitcher in 2013 will be Dillon Gee. Who knows what we can expect from Johan? I do think that Matt Harvey will be exciting to watch, and I look forward to watching him mature as a starter. I just have a hunch that Dillon Gee will be super reliable this year.

His 6-7 record, along with a 4.10 ERA posted in an injury shortened 2012 is misleading in my opinion. I’m not saying that Dillon Gee is primed for a 20 win season here, but in 17 starts for the Mets in 2012 he really only had two starts that you can say were bad. Dillon Gee has never been hyped at all in his baseball career, but I’m optimistic about his 2013 season. Sky Sperling over at Razzball agrees with me that Dillon Gee will have a surprisingly good 2013 season.

Welcome to Mets on Deck: We Are Excited to Get Started

Mets on Deck has appeared before over the course of the last five years, but never really stuck due to busy schedules and a lack of time to write. Hopefully this revival will be the one that sticks. We are a father/son team who love the New York Mets. We hope to write some of our own pieces and share some from other Mets blogs around the web. Check back over the course of the next few weeks and we will hopefully have a more polished site with content as well.