Posted on: December 11, 2012 2:58 pm

Class, My Ass

Actually it should read Classic, my ass.  I felt that my application of artistic license was a better title.  This blog is about the World Baseball Classic, which is rapidly approaching, and my perspective as a fan and a fan of the Mets.  Don’t stop reading if you are a fan of another team and just happened to stumble across this piece.  It applies to you and I will enlist your input at the end. 

2009 was the last WBC, which someday in the future it may be referred to as WBC II, if Commissioner Allan Huber Selig’s plan comes together.   Selig speaking at this years Owner’s meeting was quoted as saying “ This is important.  This is going to be the biggest World Baseball Classic we’ve had.  If we do our work properly, you won’t recognize this sport in five years.”

Hopefully, you are not naive enough to believe the intent of the WBC is to globally showcase baseball to ultimately develop a World Series in the literal sense.  Selig and the 30 team owners are not the Christian missionaries of 400 years ago spreading the Gospel among the heathens of the New World.  The 16 teams scheduled to participate in March of 2013 know what baseball is even if many of them relegate it to minor status in their culture.  The WBC is about money. 

MLB is the organizing foundation of the WBC and profits from the sale of merchandise to the participating countries including the sale of its season telecast package on the MLBN (network).  These profits generate 20-25 M dollars of revenue for each team annually.  This year MLBN will telecast all the games from the venues in Taipei China, Japan, Puerto Rico and the US.  The MLB revenues to the 30 clubs are expected to reach 50 M in 2013.  This will make the Commissioner and owners happy.  This windfall revenue will also drive player salaries going forward, making players and agents happy.  The most important component to the industry of baseball, fans, will not share in the revenue windfall but will see the cost of going to a ballgame increase as team salary budgets climb to new heights.

Assessing collateral damage takes us back to 2009 and the fallout which may be

MLB’s cost of doing business.

 The Mets had 11 players from the 40 man roster spread across the International spectrum. 

Jose Reyes, (Dominican Republic) missed 126 games in 2009.

Oliver Perez, pitched for Mexico.  His two outings lasted 6.2 inns. And he gave up 7 earned runs.  When he returned to the Mets after 16 days, the undisciplined Perez had gained weight.  He went on to make 14 starts for the Mets and pitch to a 6.82 ERA, 1.92 whip in 66 inns.  Unfortunately Perez had signed a 3 yr. 36 M contract less than a month before the WBC.  His total contribution to the Mets under that contract was 3-9 112 inns, 6.81 ERA and whip of 1.99.

Carlos Delgado, Puerto Rico.  Despite a history of chronic hip weakness, Delgado played in the WBC.  25 games into the season went on the DL and had career ending hip surgery.

Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico. Played a total of 81 games in 2009 as the result of a knee injury.

Francisco Rodriguez, Venezuela.  K-Rod closed 5 of his teams 7 games.  Team manager Luis Sojo, who was a low-level minor league manager for the Yankees, twice used him more than one inning.  If he had done the same with Mariano Rivera, the Yankees would have fired him.

JJ Putz, United States. Saw his ERA jump from 3.88 in 2008 to 5.22 by late May.  His last three outings were 1.1 inns. 9 hit allowed and 7 ER.  He had elbow and forearm surgery and missed the rest (110 gms) of 2009.

David Wright, United States.  Was kneed in the head and was removed from the game with dizziness.  2009 was by far the worst year of his career to that point.

There is not an absolute cause and effect relationship between the WBC and the subsequent injuries and poor performance.  But the risk of introducing players into a playoff atmosphere after only two weeks of spring training is unquestioned.  The Tigers are another team who had players injured.  Please let me know of the collateral damage that your team may have suffered fueling Selig’s egomania.

Posted on: August 13, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:45 pm

The NY Mets and Tomorrow

I thought that this might be entertaining.  Some players need no further comment as to their placement, with others I offer my opinion.  All the players that have made the big club this season and their status, as I see it, for 2012.



Johan Santana, Not going anywhere with his contract and unknown status.

Jason Bay, Contract and he hasn’t played up to it.

David Wright Still has a reasonable contract and club control.  He is, even with the offensive fall off an upper echelon third baseman and has age on his side.

Jose Reyes, Extraordinary ability when healthy and one of the top players in the game at those times.  What looked like a 140 million dollar, 7 year deal has likely dialed down into a 5-6 year 90-100 M contract.  The Mets have to do what it takes and that may mean going beyond their comfort zone to ink Reyes.  The NL East is the toughest division in the NL and arguably in baseball.  The two teams in front of us have a balance of excellent pitching and hitting, with the Braves also adding quality young players like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.  The Nationals will become that constant threat sooner than later with Stephen Strasburg on the mend and Bryce Harper working his way up, add in others like Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Jordan Zimmermann, rookie 2nd baseman Espinosa and Michael Morse.  As reprehensible as I consider Jeff Loria the Marlins periodically put together unsustainable winners.  With their pitching and a new stadium opening next season, they could be willing to spend some to produce a winner.

Reyes’ ability to drive this team and to draw fans is financially why the Wilpons will sign him.

Daniel Murphy, baseballs Philip Nolan.  There is an account of Murphy being asked by a journalist as to what was his position? Murphy responded “I hit third”.  Murphy is currently hitting .320 and fourth in the NL but will fall short of being listed among league leaders as he doesn’t have enough PAs.  Not long ago I suggested that Murphy be groomed as a catcher.  Jade reminded me of the hits on both knees and common sense filled in the rest of the blanks on what was wishful thinking.  Murphy has been in a learning curve going back to PSL 2009 when he was the new LF’r.  He will be 27 at the start of next season and perhaps revisiting the OF would be a wise move.  As the line up card would look next year Murphy would be on the bench.  The ability to play an adequate OF added to his resume of his more than adequate play at 1st  and 3rd, and his ability to play 2nd<sup> </sup> enhance his opportunities to do what he does best, step in to the batters box.  Murphy is not a free agent until 2015, but I can imagine the number of phone calls that Alderson will get over the next 3 years from all 29 other teams that will include the name Daniel Murphy.

Josh Thole is included as a keeper more of by way of backing into it as opposed to earning it.  Thole has not shown much improvement in his game offensively or defensively.  Essentially he is here because options are poor or expensive and he is young and inexpensive.

Ike Davis, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell.

Mike Pelfrey, probably next to Reyes there has been more words written on this board about Pelfrey than the next two players.  Pelfrey is a keeper because he will be a reasonable 5-5.5 M.  There are no better options.  He will give us 200 innings.  Slotted middle- back in the rotation he will possibly find a psychological comfort zone and exceed expectations.



R.A. Dickey, despite turning 37 I think that the Mets will make an effort to resign Dickey in the off season, but may have to contend with other clubs.  The 5-11 record belies the 3.75 ERA and 1.28 whip.

Angel Pagan, The Pagan of 2010 was a sure handed player that was offensively having his best season, the criticisms regarding his instincts and focus were forgotten and he became a fan favorite.  This year is raising doubts that last year was an indicater that Pagan had taken the step up to full time player.  His errors are next to worse in the league and his offensive game has regressed.  Pagan is 30 and is arbitration eligible, at 3.5 M this year he would likely ask for and get an increase of 4.5 to 5 M.  The Mets have to question if he is still a starting CF or would they be offering arbitration to a 4th OF’r.  The free agent market doesn’t present great options either.

Ronny Paulino will be 31 early next season, he is still arbitration eligible for 2012 and coming off a 1.3 M contract could be a solid candidate for an offer from the Mets.


Ruben Tejada is either going to be on the bench or will continue with Buffalo

Lucas Duda also has a chance to make the club in a bench role.

Nick Evans returns to Buffalo as does Mike Nickeas


Tim Brydek, Jason Isringhausen, DJ Carrasco, Ryota Igarashi, Manny Acosta, Mike O’Connor.  Some may be offered minor league contracts. 

Willie Harris

Scott Hairston                                                                                                                   

Category: MLB
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