Preview: Mets at Rangers June 26, 2011

New York Mets (38-39) at Texas Rangers (41-37) 3:05pm

Dillon Gee (7-1 3.21) vs. Derek Holland (6-2 4.69)

TV: SNY             Radio: WFAN

What to watch: The Mets can win the series today and get to .500 in the same game. It would be a big psychological victory for this team if they can do it. Gee will have to stay focused pitching in front of a big contingent of friends and family near home today. His last start against the A’s was the worst of his brief career going 4 innings and allowing 4 runs.

Holland has a winning record this season, more because of the great team he plays for than his own performance. The league is hitting .275 against him and his 1.46 WHIP isn’t anything to brag about. So the Mets have a chance to put up some runs today if Gee can keep them in the game.

Mets 14 – Rangers 5 June 25, 2011

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Mets put a beat down on the Rangers today right from the start. They put up 3 runs in the first inning and never let up. Jon Niese was pitching really well going 5.2 innings and allowing only 2 runs when he was removed for a rapid heartbeat. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about his condition in the next day.

On offense, everyone was killing today. They had 17 hits and 2 walks in the game. The amazing thing is that they scored 14 runs without a home run in a hitter’s park. Lucas Duda was the star going 4 for 5 with 4 RBI’s with 3 doubles.

The Mets and Rangers play the rubber game of the series tomorrow. The Mets can get to .500 with a win tomorrow too.

Box score

Preview: Mets at Rangers June 25, 2011

New York Mets (37-39) at Texas Rangers (41-36) 4:10pm

Jon Niese (6-6 3.70) vs. Alexi Ogando (7-2 2.66)

TV: Fox             Radio: WFAN

What to watch: The Mets are going to have a tough time today against Ogando. He was in the bullpen last season but he’s been pitching really well as a starter this season. He’s stumbled a couple of times including against the Yankees when he allowed 6 runs in 1.2 innings on June 14. Otherwise, he’s had some great starts.

Niese really stumbled too in his last start against the Angels when he allowed 4 runs in 4 innings. He’ll be looking to get back on track in a tough park for pitchers this afternoon.

Rangers 8 – Mets 1 June 24, 2011

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  Mik...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Mets couldn’t get anything going on offense and Mike Pelfrey put them in hole by giving up 3 runs in the first inning. That’s a combination for a loss, which the Mets did tonight. It’s clear that the Mets aren’t even close to the class of team that the Rangers are right now. The Rangers completely overpowered the Mets and outplayed them in every facet of the game.

Surprisingly, Pelfrey recovered from his early trouble and stayed in the game for 6 innings and  allowed 4 runs. I was expecting Pelfrey to completely fall apart after giving up 3 in the first but he didn’t.

On offense, the only player that had anything going tonight was Jason Bay. He was 3 for 4 with 3 singles and raised his season average to .241.

The Mets will be lucky to leave Texas with one win in this series. They look like the JV compared to the Rangers.

Box score

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Mets Receive $25 Million Bailout From MLB

The modern MLB logo was first used in 1969.
Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times revealed the existence of a $25 million loan from MLB to the Mets last November. Under pressure from a $1 billion lawsuit by the trustee for the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme, the Wilpons reached out to their old friend, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, for a line of funding to keep the Mets operating for a short time.

The loan was so secret that Selig didn’t even tell the other owners that he was providing a bailout to the team one of the highest payrolls in the league and one of the priciest front offices as well. Selig finally told baseball’s executive committee in January about the existence of the loan. A Times reporter asked Fred Wilpon yesterday if he received financial assistance from MLB. Wilpon said he didn’t want to talk about team finances and dashed away quickly. When Wilpon was told that the Times found out about the secret loan, the team issued a brief statement to the media:

We said in October that we expected to have a short-term liquidity issue. To address this, we did receive a loan from Major League Baseball in November. Beyond that, we will not discuss the matter any further.

Last year MLB provided about $40 million in assistance to the Texas Rangers. That was because the owner and team were in bankruptcy. The loan that the Mets received isn’t far off in dollar value and is very telling about the state of the Mets finances compared to where the Rangers were last year.

The issue that concerns me is that the Wilpons haven’t been forthright, whatsoever, with the fans and the media about the real situation. Last year the Wilpons said the lawsuit didn’t have any financial impact on the operations of the Mets. It has. Last month the Wilpons admitted that they’re trying to find a minority investor in the team but there was no issue with operations. Last week the Wilpons arrived in Port St. Lucie and reiterated that the Mets had no financing problems.

The owners haven’t been forthcoming with the fans about the real situation with the team’s finances. Going forward, we have to take everything they reveal about the finances with a grain of salt. They’re being careful not to lie about it, but they’re certainly not talking about the true nature of the problem that this caused for the team.

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Nolan Ryan and Saber-Metrics Go To The World Series

Texas Rangers owner Nolan Ryan holds up the ALCS trophy as the Rangers beat the New York Yankees 6-1 to take game six of the ALCS at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas on October 22, 2010.  It will be the Rangers first trip to the World Series. UPI/Ian Halperin Photo via Newscom happens when you take a bankrupt baseball franchise, a part owner who was arguably the most successful pitcher of the 60’s and 70’s and team him up with the youngest General Manager in history who is a self proclaimed Saber-metrics Geek?

You get a team with a $50 million payroll heading to the World Series.

You have to admire the fusion of ideas from the 60’s, 70’s and today. Nolan Ryan, arguably one of the best pitchers ever to play the game, current part owner and president of the Texas Rangers, brings a belief that pitchers should not be subject to pitch counts and should pitch deep into games as in decades past.

Jon Daniels, youngest GM in the majors, brings the saber-metrics revolution to the Texas Rangers. Sabermetrics, the statistical analysis of a players future potential, enables many small market teams to identify potential low cost talent and explains why small markets teams who implement saber-metrics are able to compete with teams in larger markets.

It’s an interesting combination and although Nolan Ryan has taken some credit for turning the Texas Rangers around due to the emphasis on pitchers going deeper in games, Jon Daniels, super sabermetrics geek, is now a hot commodity and a highly sought after GM.

Teams that are able to blend the traditional game of baseball with a true understanding of saber-metrics will be the most successful teams in the game. Hence, why the search for the Mets next GM is so important.

I’m still dabbling in the world of Saber-Metrics myself but wonder if a GM with a true understanding of Saber-Metrics would have signed the likes of Gary Sheffield, Oliver Perez, John Maine, Pedro Martinez, Luis Castillo, J.J. Putz, and the many other players who didn’t pan out as planned.

In a day and age where you can easily calculate a player’s “VORP” or “Value Over Replacement Player” the decision to sign or drop a player should be a lot easier for any GM to make and, thankfully, the Mets have narrowed down the field of potential GM’s to two people who both understand sabermetrics. Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes.

But in the end, it still feels like it’s down to only one person, Sandy Alderson, and that decision felt like it had been made three weeks ago. Sandy Alderson is the only candidate who brings that blend of old school & new school baseball mentalities that has catapulted the Texas Rangers to the World Series. So the question remains and seems an easy one to answer…

Will the Mets follow the Texas Rangers game plan?

Forbes 2010 Baseball Team Values

The annual Forbes list of baseball team valuations lists the Mets as the third most valuable team in MLB. They lost 6% from 2009 and stand behind only the Yankees and Red Sox.

Forbes came out with their annual list of team values yesterday. The Mets are listed as the third most valuable team in the game behind the Yankees and Red Sox. That’s not a big surprise to any of us. What is interesting is that the Mets declined in value by 6% from last year, the only team in the top half of the league to do so.

You can still see the 2009 list of values on Forbes’ website. The Mets fell behind the Red Sox by losing value. The heavy debt from Citi Field and the poor season certainly are to blame for the devaluation. Continue reading “Forbes 2010 Baseball Team Values”