Monthly Archives: November 2010

Former Mets Eligible for the Hall of Fame

The 2011 Hall of Fame Ballot was released recently. For posterity’s sake, and partially for my own amusement, here are former Mets of note that are on it:

  • Roberto Alomar, 2B, 2002-2003
  • Carlos Baerga, 2B, 1996-1998
  • John Franco, RP, 1990-2004
  • Lenny Harris (?), PH, 1998, 2000-2001
  • Al Leiter, P, 1998-2004
  • John Olerud, 1B, 1997-1999

Pinch hitter enthusiasts: Now is your chance to make a case for Lenny Harris.

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Perpetually Pedro

Here’s something you probably already knew: Jose Reyes is currently the longest tenured Mets player. Reyes made his debut back in 2003, as a teenager, and presumably 2011 will be his ninth consecutive season in a Mets uniform. This is sort of crazy.

But this is also a half-truth of sorts. Reyes has been on the Mets consecutively since 2003, but Pedro Feliciano made his Mets debut a year earlier in 2002 — when Rey Ordonez was still the Mets shortstop — and has never pitched for another major league team. Feliciano did, however, spend all of his 2005 on sabbatical, pitching for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan’s Pacific League. Due to that he only holds the claim for longest tenured member of the New York CitiBank Mets in spirit, though it certainly feels like he’s been in Queens forever. Feliciano has become another unnoticed part of the Flushing landscape, like those Men In Black flying saucers and the endless auto body shops on 126th Street.

Feliciano’s non-title of longest tenured Met is in jeopardy, as he is currently a free agent. The Mets offered him salary arbitration, with the deadline to accept or decline being Tuesday night. If Feliciano accepts, he will probably make somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million dollars for 2011. If he declines and signs elsewhere, the Mets will receive an additional draft pick next season, as Feliciano has been classified as a type-B free agent. The Mets and Feliciano can continue to negotiate even if he rejects their offer for arbitration.

More importantly, however, this impending decision has led to my new favorite parts of free agency: minor free agents negotiating through the media over holiday weekends. Continue reading

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About That UZR Stuff

Well, [single season UZR] doesn’t, unfortunately, represent hat a player did, as I explained above. In order to estimate that, you still have to do some regression. How much, I have no idea. I really don’t.

So, can we just add up a player’s offensive RAR or WAR and his defensive UZR (or DRS) Nope. That is adding apples and oranges. Does everyone, including [Fangraphs], do it? Yup. Are they doing it wrong? Absolutely.

- MGL, The Book Blog

I think what MGL is saying here is this: The fielding numbers we all love so much, like Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved, might and probably do overestimate (or underestimate) a player’s contributions with his glove in single season.

Or, what he’s saying is just this: Fielding is hard to measure. Take it with a grain of salt.

For example, Angel Pagan registered plus-15.1 runs saved by UZR this season. But, as said above, it is more likely that Pagan actually saved something closer to 10 or 7.5 runs, and UZR failed to measured his fielding correctly because is not a perfect system. In an imperfect system, everyone and everything is more likely than not to be closer to the average than initially measured — If you’re trying to guess people’s height by looking, and you decide one man is seven and a half feet tall, is it more likely that you underestimated or overestimated his height? Same idea here.

It works the other way, too. David Wright, on the other hand, registered minus-10.6 runs at third base — it is more likely that he was actually 7 runs or 5 runs below average than the full 10.

But when you go on Fangraphs and look at their Wins Above Replacement numbers, Pagan is given full credit for 15.1 runs, and Wright has all 10.6 runs subtracted. The 25 run gap in fielding between the two is probably smaller than it appears, shrinking the 8 run gap between the two in WAR. MGL says there is a better way of doing this — we just don’t know what it is right now. So just, take it with a grain of salt and all that for now.

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A Look at the Mets Roster

James K over at Amazin’ Avenue takes a look at the Mets roster as currently constructed. The team seems middling, as always.

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Bill James on the Mets New F.O.

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The Terry Collins Experience

Terry Collins, the new Mets manager, is energetic. On a leafless and gray November morning, that’s what I took away from the press conference at Citi Field. Energy.

Collins’ speech consists of amplified, rapid-fire bursts — he spit out thirty-seven words within the first ten seconds of his opening remarks: “Well-thank-you-all-for-coming-and-obviously-this-is-a-huge-day-for-me-and-I’d-like-to-certainly-start-out-by-thanking-Fred-and-Jeff-Wilpon-and-Saul-Katz-for-allowing-me-this-tremendous-responsibility.” For comparison’s sake, Andre 3000 drops just four more words within the first ten seconds of his rap on Outkast’s “B.O.B.” Collins’ machine gun delivery, loudly projected from his generously listed 5’9“ frame, is made even more impressive as he occasionally takes the time to stress two syllables in a single word. Pitching ROW-TA-tion. Jim LEY-LAND. If Napoleon was raised in Michigan on a strict diet of Red Bull and amphetamines, he would probably wind up sounding something like Terry Collins.

“My intenseness comes with I think there’s only one way to go about playing this game,” Collins said, somewhat intensely. “But I will tell you something. I have been around Tommy Lasorda. Lou Piniella. Jim Leyland. And excuse me if they’re not intense … I believe to manage this game you’ve got to have some intensity and some desire.” Collins was sometimes funny, occasionally prone to head-scratching managerspeak — “And some guys, when they don’t like it, or if you say something about it, especially at the major league level, you become too intense” — and seemingly very aware of how he is portrayed in the press. But mostly he just seemed thrilled, and maybe a little surprised, to have the another managerial job. Collins never paused his session with the writing press to do an overly enthusiastic set of jumping jacks, but it also did not seem outside the realm of possibilities.

It was difficult not to notice a contrast between the boundlessly energetic Collins and the somewhat restrained man who hired him, general manager Sandy Alderson, both in terms of energy levels and volume. This was apparently intentional. Click Here To Continue Reading

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Berg on the Angry Manager and Angry Fans

There seem to have been two types of Mets fans for the past two weeks. On one side, there were the fans who reasonably trusted that the new think tank would pick the best manager. On the other, there were the mindless, slobbering, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who clumsily pushed for Wally Backman with their hairy, over-sized primate hands. Both positions were equally valid. I simply happened to fall into the first group.

That said, Terry Collins is probably the most difficult choice for the fanbase as a whole. He has some of the personal drawbacks of Backman, only without the same cult of personality around him. He has experience, but most of it involved late season collapses and clubhouse tension. He was possibly the least popular choice the Mets could have made.

This, of course, won’t stop people from interpreting it as the Wilpons meddling. The Mets pick the least popular candidate, but still get bashed because Collins and Sandy Koufax and a Wilpon are all buddy-buddy-buddy.

But I’m going to stick with trusting Alderson and Co. until they prove me wrong. I’ll assume they know more about picking managers than I do.

I’ll have more thoughts on Collins tomorrow or Wednesday, probably after the press conference.

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