Review: New York Mets The Complete Illustrated History

If you’re a Mets fan, and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this, “New York Mets The Complete Illustrated History” by Matthew Silverman is a must-have coffee table book. It’s a large book filled with huge pictures of the Mets from 1962 through the 2010 season. If you’ve read any of Silverman’s other books, you know that he’s one of the foremost authors of Mets books. You can see the complete list of books he’s written on his website.

Of course, there’s extra attention paid to the teams from ’62, ’69, ’73, ’86, and 2000 as there should be. There are so many images that I’ve never seen before. Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan together with Gil Hodges was a great picture. I always think of what could have been when I see pictures of Ryan.

Some of the images that really jumped out at me were:

  • Tug McGraw
  • Willie Mays celebrating in the locker room after clinching the NL East in ’73
  • Seaver when he got the news he was traded to the Reds in ’77
  • Doc Gooden in ’84
  • Lenny Dykstra’s walk off homer against the Astros in game 3 of the ’86 NLCS

The thing I like about books like this is that you can pick it up and read through Silverman’s rich description of a season or two. Or you can even go through a decade in an afternoon and get a great feel for the era. The late ’70’s and early ’80’s will be depressing though.

The World Series teams are the most exciting to read about. I particularly love to read about the build up from the abyss of the early ’80’s to the Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter trades, and Doc and Straw coming up to the team. The build up to something great was so clear and palpable.

Overall, it’s a great book to add to your collection if you’re a Mets fan. If you know someone that’s a Mets fan, this is a guaranteed hit as a gift. You can purchase the book at Amazon. It’s listed at $19.80 as of the writing of this post.

I did receive a promotional copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.

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Video: Mets Fans Thoughts on Opening Day

Citi Field at Night
Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a good video from opening day 2011 by Dexter Henry of BackpackBroadcasting.com. He does a great job of capturing the mood and the thoughts of Mets fans about this season.

The fans are excited about opening day but have reservations about the team’s prospects for this season, as do I. Pretty much every fan I’ve talked to from my friends to people I work with are cautiously optimistic. I think everyone expects the Mets to be around .500 this season. Although I’ve talked to a few people that are expecting much more like frequent commenter here TD. He’s expecting around 88 wins this year.

Check out the video below and the link to Backpack Broadcasting above for some good videos on the local NY sports teams.

 

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Lost My Mets Hope Springs Eternal – Spring Training Magic

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29:  Sandy Alderson poses f...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I was incredibly impressed with the response to my last posting. The traffic was tremendous and I can only assume, especially since there were only five comments, it was because there is a silent majority of Mets fans out there who are thinking the same thing. This is the first Spring Training in history (at least in my history) where hope is not Springing eternal and here’s why…

For me, this Spring Training started out as any other. The players showed up, most in great shape, Terry Collins proved pretty quickly that he runs a tight ship and I am a huge fan of Sandy Alderson. He’s the only person qualified to handle this unique mess.

One thing bothers me though…. The current ownership group was exposed for flat out lying to the fans by stating their Madoff losses would have no effect on the team. At the same time we are finding out the exact opposite from the traditional media.

The NYTimes reports the Mets lost $50 million last year. They stand to lose an additional $50 million this year. Forbes has shaved off $100 million in worth from the Mets in 1 year. The Mets, now valued at $700 million, minus $500 million of which is debt, means the Wilpon’s have a team worth $200 million to them. Continue to lose $50 million a year and the team is worthless in 4 years.

As Mets fans do you accept that? Do you accept being a worthless, potentially last place team in the largest media market in the world?  Oh yeah, you also compete with the NY Yankees so many of those paying fans are never coming back.

We all think that payroll is being freed up for major acquisition’s but it really looks like payroll is being freed up to cover losses. When you lose $50 million a year you’re not going out and signing any big free agents. The Mets just don’t have the money and since they’re already awash in debt they can’t borrow and spend their way out of this predicament. Continue reading “Lost My Mets Hope Springs Eternal – Spring Training Magic”

Mets Forbes Value Down, Ticket Sales Awful

Gulf Coast League Mets
Image via Wikipedia

It’s a bad time to be trying to sell a piece of the Mets. The 2011 Forbes MLB valuations are out and the Mets are down 13% from 2010, the biggest drop of any team. On average, team values increased by 7%. So the Mets are down 20% from the average team. Forbes noted a $6 million operating loss by the Mets last year and a 25% reduction in gate receipts in their valuation.

Throwing dirt on the Wilpon’s grave, Forbes also noted today that the Mets 2011 ticket sales are frighteningly dismal. They cite a report at MLB offices noting that the Mets have only sold 600,000 tickets so far and are projecting 3 million for potential buyers. The author writes that this translates to only 7,000 season tickets sold to date. That’s hideous!

I have to think the Forbes report will impact the sale of the a minority stake in the Mets. It’s been well reported that the debt against the team is heavy and a lower valuation of the asset is just what the Wilpons don’t need right now. I still think that they’ll have to relinquish their majority ownership at some point in the future.

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The Mets Report Thanks You for 2010

New York Times Square New year celebrations in...

Image via Wikipedia

We had the best year ever here at The Mets Report thanks to all of you that read the site and especially those that chose to engage in commenting on our opinions about the team. The site has been running in some form since 2007 and it’s continually growing and branching out in directions that I never imagined when I began. The readers are what makes this whole thing work for us and we’ll never lose sight of that. We appreciate your visits and comments immensely.

I would also like to take the time to thank the great writers that have contributed to The Mets Report this year. There have been occasional contributions in the past but it’s never been close to the level that we had this year. The pieces that were written added a new dimension to the site with their richness and diversity. The benefit to the site has been immeasurable.

I would like to thank, in no particular order: David Daniels, Doug Gausepohl, Gabe Aguilar, John Wenk, Clayton Caldwell, MetStatHead, and Nick Migliore. Their contributions have enriched this site tremendously and I look forward to their opinions on the Mets in 2011.

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Happy Holidays 2010 Mets Fans

Twilight over New York, NY
Image by Grufnik via Flickr

I hope all Mets fans have had a good year and are able to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Thanks for reading The Mets Report this year. All of us that have been writing this year appreciate your support and comments.

Let’s wish for a positive future for the team. And a season without Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo.

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Mets 2010 Scorecard – Part 2 Offense

charts 2
Image via Wikipedia

In Part 1, we discussed a few of the hitting statistics that the Mets front office should be evaluating. Here we will look at some more stats that are important to the team’s future success.

These statistics are a bit more involved and really give insight into the team’s offense compared to the National League Top 5 Average (t5a). Here we will review simple stats such as RBI, BA, and OBP, as well as more difficult stats like SLG and OPS. Each of these stats is very important in measuring the success of the team and the efficiency of the offense. The more runners on the base paths the better the opportunity for scoring runs.

So let’s get at it!

Hitting YTD NL Top 5 Ave Variance % Variance
RBI 625 729.4 -104.40 -14.31%
BA 0.249 0.264 -0.02 -5.68%
OBP 0.314 0.336 -0.02 -6.55%
SLG 0.383 0.423 -0.04 -9.41%
OPS 0.697 0.756 -0.06 -7.76%
BB 502 582.8 -80.80 -13.86%
SB 130 114.4 15.60 13.64%
AB/HR 42.7 31.3 -11.40 -36.42%
XBH 434 504.2 -70.20 -13.92%

RBI- Runs Batted In is a count of the number of runs scored throughout the year when the outcome of an at-bat results in a hit or walk. This number does not include runs scored on errors. The number of runs that are batted in helps to determine the score of the game as well as how productive the team is with runners on base. Continue reading “Mets 2010 Scorecard – Part 2 Offense”