Tag:David Wright
Posted on: February 7, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 8:40 pm
 

Wright 'feels' for Wilpons in Madoff fallout

WrightStar third baseman David Wright, the second-most tenured member of the Mets' major-league squad, feels terrible for owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon in the wake of the Bernie Madoff scandal, he said Monday to the New York Post.

"I’ve become very close with the Wilpon family over the years," Wright said. "They’ve done a lot for me. And I feel for them, just having to go through this. ... It’s got to be tough. Especially when you’re talking about having your family go through this in such a public way. You feel for them."

The Wilpons are being sued for $1 billion by Irving Picard, the trustee assigned to repatriating Madoff victims. Picard contends the team withdrew $300 million in fictitious profits while the Wilpons argue that should be offset by their $500 million loss. However, the central issue at hand is that these fictitious profits are fictitious regardless. As a result, the Wilpons may be forced to sell their entire team although they are hoping a proposed plan to sell 20 to 25 percent of the team will suffice.

But while Wright is concerned for the future of his bosses, he's focused on something more important.

"Getting down here and playing baseball you don’t have to listen to every day what’s going on in that situation," Wright said. "It’s almost like once you walk across these lines; it’s almost like a sanctuary."

Bill Veeck, the former crackpot owner, would be proud of that statement. He once said: "Baseball is almost the only orderly thing in a very unorderly world.  If you get three strikes, even the best lawyer in the world can't get you off."

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2011 7:01 pm
 

Mets batting order revealed

Terry Collins revealed his batting order to ESPN Sunday, with the first six spots etched in stone.

The skipper also promised that there would not be significant adjustments on a day-to-day basis.

That means, for a large percentage of Mets games, the lineup will kick off with:

SS Jose Reyes
CF/RF Angel Pagan
3B David Wright
RF/CF Carlos Beltran
LF Jason Bay
1B Ike Davis

There's two more spots up for grabs, but those will change depending on who wins the second base and catcher's roles. Josh Thole is expected to pair with Ronny Paulino behind the dish and the batting order could change depends on who starts. Paulino would make sense in the No. 7 spot against left-handers, for example, given his prowess against them.

The second-base job is less clear, with Luis Castillo, Ruben Tejada, Luis Hernandez, Brad Emaus and Daniel Murphy all battling for playing time. Murphy appears the heavy favorite and would likely bat seventh against right-handers with Thole eighth.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 5, 2010 6:28 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 12:33 am
 

R.I.P. Mets: Team handicapped in payroll

RIP All eyes will be on eight teams starting Oct. 6 for yet another chapter of postseason baseball. As the sports world waits for the crowning of a new (or as the Yankees hope, repeat) champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. First up, the Mess -- er, Mets.

Since coming one game away from the NL pennant in 2006, the Mets have morphed into a squad of underperforming and overpaid players with controversy dogging the team every step of the way.

Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon cleaned house as the 2010 season handed New York its second straight losing season. General manager Omar Minaya, despite a deal taking him through 2012, was shown the door along with skipper Jerry Manuel (the two are shown with Jeff Wilpon in the below picture to the right). The only problem? Minaya's maneuverings will handicap his successor for at least one season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

You name it and it happened in New York. Johan Santana fought off rape allegations prior to the season, posted his worst strikeout rate since 2001 and then went down with a shoulder injury that renders him questionable for 2011. Francisco Rodriguez also had his own problems with women, striking his (now ex-) girlfriend's father and being placed on the disciplined list. His return to the Mets is highly questionable even as he posted one of the better seasons of his career.

Neither Jason Bay or Carlos Beltran had lady troubles but they had injury troubles, with Bay's first year of a four-year, $66 million contract ending with just six home runs before a concussion ended his season. Beltran angered ownership by having unsanctioned knee surgery prior to the season, returning for an unsavory second half that has prompted calls for his trade.

Jerry Manuel, Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya Meanwhile, the onerous contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo just wouldn't go away. Perez constantly refused assignment to the minors and eventually became a mop-up reliever who only pitched on the road... all for $12 million. Luis Castillo spent the season becoming a bench player by the time for the low, low price of $6.25 million.

Let that be a lesson: Sign for lots of money with the Mets and expect that things will go very, very wrong for you.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

All was not lost in the Big Apple, however. Franchise star David Wright rebounded from 10 home runs in the inaugural season of Citi Field to bash 29 and cement his status as one of the best players in the game today.

Wright found a new person to throw to across the diamond as the Mets imported rookie Ike Davis after Mike Jacobs flamed out. Davis was promoted aggressively, debuting on April 19 and tossing up a .264/.351/.440 line in 601 PA, contributing 19 home runs. Along with Davis, youngster Josh Thole established himself as a permanent starter with the Mets. Thole will enter 2011 as the starting catcher and while he has no power to speak of, has enough contact and plate discipline skills to stick as a starter.

Meanwhile, Angel Pagan took the opportunity that Beltran's injury afforded him and ran with it to the point where many feel the switch-hitter should play center field with Beltran shifting to left in 2011. Pagan finished at .290/.340/.425 with 37 stolen bases in 633 PA.

The Mets also benefited from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, originally signed as depth but exploding for a 2.84 ERA in 26 starts and one relief appearance. Dickey, at 35, has one more year of club control and should have a rotation spot locked up next season along with Jonathon Niese. Niese, 23, posted a 4.20 ERA in 30 starts in his first taste of full-time major league action.

HELP ON THE WAY

The Mets lost the services of Dan Murphy all season, but he should be back in action for 2011 and could be valuable to the Mets coming off the bench. While Murphy was slated to start at first base for the Mets in 2010, Davis (photo below, left) now has that position sewn up, and Murphy can't impede on Jason Bay's haunt. Thus, Murphy is learning to play second base and should compete for the position next season although it's more likely Murphy ends up a jack-of-all-trades, filling in all over the diamond.

More encouraging than Murphy's return is how well set-up the Mets seem to infuse young pitching into the team. Dillon Gee captured the hearts of headline writers across the nation while Bobby Parnell flashed heat that may make him the club's next closer. In addition, Jenrry Meija put aside an idiotic attempt to put him in the bullpen to return late in the year as a starter. Mejia may or may not open 2011 in the rotation, but his inclusion on the big-league roster will happen at some point in 2011 and put him on the fast track towards being a top pitcher.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Mets will always expect to contend, especially with a payroll that will have no trouble clearing $100 million. Even if the Mets are spendthrifts, the 2011 payroll is already on the hook for at least $108 million guaranteed, although that's in actual payroll, not Collective Bargaining Agreement-payroll, used for the luxury tax, that calculates a contract's average annual value and not actual salary earned.

This mark is achieved using guaranteed salaries only, which means the payroll will take off once Jose Reyes' $11 million option is exercised and arbitration payouts roll in for Mike Pelfrey and Pagan -- plus the litany of other holes that need to be plugged. So yes, the Mets and its fans will expect to contend for a division crown. And really, with the talent on the team, there's no reason not to expect to be in the thick of things. Unfortunately, logic dictates that the Mets will finish around the .500 threshold, and expectations behind the scenes will reflect that.

With so much money committed to injured, questionable or dead weight players, the incoming general manager will be forced to hold the status quo with an eye towards a big impact and transition in 2012.

Ike Davis SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Even though the new general manager will have his or her hands tied for the most part, there are still two areas that need to be addressed if a dream season is to happen. The first is to get a capable second baseman and slot Tejada in the minors. There are three free-agent second basemen that could pan out include Bill Hall, Orlando Hudson and Juan Uribe. All are coming off solid seasons and will be affordable.

With Santana out for at least the first half, the Mets need to go after a solid starter to plug the breach behind Dickey, Niese, Pelfrey and likely Dillon Gee. The Mets shouldn't go crazy for a replacement, but could absolutely find a solid pitcher on a one-year deal. Jon Garland has done this in recent years and keeps throwing up value. Other names include Chris Young, who dominated for the Padres down the stretch after missing much of the season to injury.

Lastly, the bullpen needs to be addressed. Whether Francisco Rodriguez ends up back in Met threads or not, the Mets have no surefire options behind him unless one counts Bobby Parnell who should set up next season. Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi are set to be free agents, while the rest of the relievers are flotsam.

The Mets need to go out and find someone with a history of closing but who is open to setting up as a way to minimize Rodriguez so his $17.5 million option does not vest. That includes players such as Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Kerry Wood, J.J. Putz and Koji Uehara.

2011 PREDICTION

The Mets could surprise prognosticators next season if the new GM clears out the chaff and brings in depth at second and the bullpen. So much went wrong for the Mets that you have to bank on a regression to the mean making the club better. The Mets should hover over .500 and if just a few things break in their favor, could contend for a postseason spot.

-- Evan Brunell

Join MLB Facts and Rumors at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday to chat live during the Rangers-Rays game!

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Posted on: September 25, 2010 12:41 am
Edited on: September 25, 2010 12:44 am
 

Mets, Phillies in tiff over slide

David Wright
Next time Phillies second baseman Chase Utley sees the Mets' David Wright sliding toward him, he should jump. Of course, if Ruben Tejada had used that technique, the latest beef between the teams could have been avoided.

Wright took exception to a slide Utley made Friday night in an attempt to break up a double play. The slide resulted in Tejada, the Mets' second baseman, being knocked over, and Wright implied that the Mets would be going after Utley on the basepaths in the future.

"He's a second baseman," Wright told MLB.com. "He knows what it's like to turn a double play, and he knows the difference between a good, clean slide and a slide that's late. That's a better question for him. But if he doesn't mind guys coming like that after him, then everything's good.

"We'll move on, and we'll reevaluate the way that we go into second base."

The trouble is, the replay shows that Tejada, a 20-year-old rookie, stayed planted on the second-base bag instead of jumping to avoid Utley. A second baseman trying to turn two gets the benefit of the doubt if he leaves the bag to dodge a sliding runner, and even if Utley's slide was on the late side, Tejada could have avoided him.

Even Tejada didn't complain about the slide, saying "it's baseball" and noting that Utley asked whether he was OK after the play. Utley declined to comment.

Hopefully Wright was just frustrated after a loss and there won't be any carryover from the play this weekend. Because it's Tejada, not Utley, who appears to be the one who should take a lesson from the play. Next time, jump.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: July 3, 2010 1:19 am
Edited on: July 3, 2010 2:37 am
 

Hart deserving of votes in NL All-Star race

Corey Hart Now that the reaction to the latest voting of AL All-Stars is complete, we turn to the NL ...

It's hard to disagree with Albert Pujols at the top of the first base rankings. He's second in the NL in OPS, but not all that far behind Votto and has both the name recognition and defense working for him. But that Votto ranks fifth in voting indicates that not many may be fully appreciating Votto's season. After all, Troy Glaus and his .260/.364/.458 line ranks third.

Votto is at .314/.416/.579 with 19 home runs -- tied with Pujols among NL first basemen -- and has Glaus beat in almost every counting category: triples, runs, RBI, stolen bases, strike outs. The two are tied in doubles with 13 apiece, and Votto is the second-best fielder at first according to UZR/150. Glaus? Dead last. We can't even point to a big market or popular player here, really, as Glaus is in his first season with the Braves after not playing much of 2009 and Votto's more exciting given he's 26 and Glaus is on the wrong side of 30. Interesting.

At second, Chase Utley led the voting which was no surprise, but since he's out for eight weeks with surgery on his thumb, he won't be starting. The logical replacement is in fact, second in the 2B rankings with Martin Prado garnering just over 1.5 million votes. Impressive for a relative unknown, but Prado absolutely deserves the nod -- he's leading the NL in batting average at .333.

Third base has another Phillie, Placido Polando, just barely edging out David Wright. Unfortunately for Philadelphia, Polanco is shelved until late July so Wright will toe the third-base line in the first inning. The voting is close, here though: Polanco leads everyone with just under 1.5 million votes while fifth place belongs to Casey McGehee at one million. It's anyone's game between Polanco, Wright, McGehee and Chipper Jones along with Scott Rolen.

Really, it's down to Wright and Rolen as the deserving candidates. Wright playing for New York will carry him to the finish line, but he's in a virtual dead heat with Rolen. Rolen has flashed more power than Wright on the year but only barely, and Wright holds the same slim edge in UZR/150 fielding.

At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins is less than 500,000 behind leader Hanley Ramirez despite barely playing at all through the voting period. Troy Tulowitzki was a strong choice to start and currently ranks in third place with his long-term injury hampering his progress. If he hadn't gotten hurt, it would have been an interesting race between HanRam and Tulo.

At catcher, Yadier Molina has done absolutely nothing with the bat but is truly gifted with the leather. He has 1.6 million votes, edging out Brian McCann -- who leads all qualified catchers in OPS -- with ageless Ivan Rodriguez nipping at McCann's heels with 1.3 million votes. Carlos Ruiz is also over the million barrier, but is injured. Rod Barajas rounds out the voting.

Really, at catcher, it comes down to what you think is the most important. Offense or defense. It's a debate that has skewed to defense in team structure lately, but that was coming off an offensive-infested era.

In the outfield, Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward and Andre Ethier each have over two million votes apiece, and all are deserving candidates. Also extremely deserving are Jayson Werth (4th in voting), Corey Hart (unranked), Josh Willingham (unranked) and Colby Rasmus (14th). Heyward will miss the game with an injury -- even if he comes off the disabled list in time, as he says -- so Werth will probably slide into Heyward's spot.

Rasmus leads all outfielders in OPS, but was neither a minor-league phenom or someone who made waves in his rookie year last year, so it makes sense that his name isn't quite well-known yet. But it will be.

It's true that many feel Corey Hart (pictured) is a flash in the pan, but is that really a reason not to vote for him? His production is in the bank and irrevocable, and he was one of the league's best hitters. To have him unranked is a disservice, and here's hoping he at least shows up in the final vote.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: June 29, 2010 2:06 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 4:41 pm
 

Pujols leads voting, but should he?

Albert Pujols In what should be the most difficult decision among National League All-Star voters, the pick has more or less already been made.

Although online voting ends on Thursday, Albert Pujols' lead in first base voting makes it more or less impossible for him to be passed in the voting. Pujols leads Ryan Howard at first base by nearly 2 million votes in the latest numbers released by Major League Baseball . The teams will be announced on Sunday.

Chase Utley seemingly has second base wrapped up and the outfield of Ryan Braun, Jason Heyward and Andre Ethier also seems pretty much safe, as does shortstop Hanley Ramirez.

Third base is a little more interesting, as Placido Polanco leads David Wright by fewer than 23,000 votes in the tightest race and another example of Phillie ballot-box stuffing.

Yadier Molina leads Brian McCann in catcher voting by fewer than 200,000 votes.

As for Pujols, he's the easy choice at first base -- a choice most have made. He's probably the best player in the game, but he's not having the best year in the game -- or even among first basemen.

OK, this is splitting hairs, and it's by no means a mockery if he's the All-Star starter, but you can make a compelling case for two first basemen over Pujols: Joey Votto and Adrian Gonzalez. The three have pretty similar numbers, so any of the three is a solid choice, but the point is the gap shouldn't be so wide. It should be a tough decision. According to the voters, it's just not.

Here's a look at the first basemen in six categories: BA/OBP/SLG, HR, RBI and WAR (wins above replacement, an advance stat that takes defensive into consideration.

The King
Albert Pujols .305/.420/.542 16 52 2.6

The contenders
Adrian Gonzalez .306/.399/.544 16 50 3.3
Joey Votto .312/.415/.559 16 51 3.3

The usual suspects
Ryan Howard .296/.352/.517 15 50 1.4
Prince Fielder .256/.385/.463 15 44 1.8

Not that far behind
Troy Glaus .268/.373/.472 14 56 1.2
Adam Dunn .276/.366/.559 17 43 2.1
Aubrey Huff .296/.385/.512 12 42 2.3
James Loney .294/.346/.429 5 40 1.0
Ike Davis .264/.340/.442 9 37 0.9
Gaby Sanchez .302/.373/.474 8 39 1.9
Adam LaRoche .254/.342/.469 12 41 0.8
Garrett Jones .281/.352/.446 10 33 1.3

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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