What should David Wright’s extension be worth?

Right now David Wright in mired in a deep slump. In his last two games he is 0-6, and in his last five games he is 4-19. He’s seen his batting average drop from a respectable .415 to an abysmal .390.

Wright has been sensational this year, and he is showing the baseball world really how hard it is to hit .400 for an extended period of time. Wright has been at .400 or close to it for most of May. The lowest Wright’s batting average has been after a game this year was .361 which was on April 27th.

With all of Wright’s hits and his great contract he only has five home runs this season. If you extrapolate that for a whole season, he would hit 26 for the year. They aren’t great power numbers, but if you can hit .340 for a year with 26 home runs, that’s phenomenal. In addition to his great offense, Wright is playing some of the best defense of his career, defense at is on par, or even better, to when he won back-to-back Gold Gloves in 2007-2008.

After this year Wright has a club option on his contract for $16M with a $1M buyout. If he is traded he can void his option. This means next year Wright would be the same as Jason Bay, so maybe for that reason alone the Mets should bump up his pay. Wright’s last contract was signed back in 2007, which if the Mets don’t trade Wright this year, will be  a seven year $71M deal.

By the start of the 2014 season Wright will be 31 years old. He still is under team control for another year, so there is no rush to give him an extension, but if the front office hasn’t started thinking about one they should probably start doing that.

So what type of extension would you give to a 31 year old, captain of the team, who has all these awards and honors? The correct answer is, probably more than what they offered Jose Reyes.

It’s uncertain how much Wright will be looking for, but the six year $100M contract that the Washington Nationals gave Ryan Zimmerman might be the jumping off point. Before this season started the Nationals locked up Zimmerman until at least 2019, paying him $126M until then. There is also an option for the 2020 season for $18M.

The common answer from Mets fans about Wright’s extension is “give him whatever he asks for”. For all that’s he done during his nine seasons here, it’s hard to disagree. Locking Wright up has to be a priority of this team. Trading him really isn’t an option right now, unless you can get a ridiculous amount for him.

Right now I would give Wright a six year $115M extension. It looks like he is going to have a monster year, which will jack-up his asking price a bit, but it’s not out of the Mets price range and they should be willing to give it to him. The deal would lock up Wright through his prime, until he is 36. The only thing the Mets have to worry about is that all these crazy contracts being handed out might get into Wright’s head. But I don’t think he is that type of player.

Jenrry Mejia: Starter or reliever?

The Mets pitching has more than one problem right now. After placing Miguel Batista on the DL, they only have four starters, and their bullpen is ranked as one of the worst in the league. With all the pitching problems the Mets may be looking for some changes. They could look outside of the organization, but for a team that is looking to cut back on costs, they’ll most likely stay within to fix the problem. And if the Mets farm system is known for anything, it’s their promising young pitchers.

Between Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, and Zack Wheeler, the Mets have a bright future for their pitching staff. One name that is often forgotten from the list of prospects is Jenrry Mejia, who missed most of the 2011 season after having Tommy John surgery.

Now Mejia has started to make his comeback a year after having the surgery. He’s made two starts at single-A St. Luice going 11 innings, giving up three runs, eight strikeouts, and two walks. He then got moved up to double-A Binghamton yesterday for a start, going three innings, giving up one run,  three strikeouts, and no walks. Mejia was only pulled after the third inning because he was on a pitch count.

According to Adam Rubin, the Mets may be looking to move Mejia to Triple-A Buffalo in order to get some work as a relief pitcher. After being moved to Binghamton it’s unclear whether he will stay there and what his role will be. With Mejia coming back from this major surgery, the Mets need to pick whether they want to use Mejia as a starter or a reliever.

Looking at the young arms the Mets have, putting him in the bullpen might be the smarter move. With Harvey and Wheeler looking to become fixtures in the rotation soon, there might not be room for Mejia in the rotation.

Where there is room for him is in the struggling Mets bullpen. Mejia still needs more time in the minors before the Mets can bring him up, but they need all the help they can get right now, and quick. And with the fading confidence in Frank Francisco as closer, the Mets may want to think of Mejia as the potential 9th inning guy.

I’ve always been a fan of having a strong bullpen and trying to put your efforts there, but I saw Mejia as a starter before the surgery. Now, with more arms in the farm system, I think it would be wiser to move Mejia to the bullpen.

Personally, I see Harvey and Wheeler in the rotation, and Familia and Mejia in the bullpen. However, it’s going to take a while for them all the reach the majors, but with struggles of the pitchers right now, I’m hoping they can get up here soon.

Citi Field to host the 2013 All-Star game

After much talk, many rumors and speculation, the 2013 All-Star game will officially be at Citi Field.  Alongside Mr. Met, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Commissioner Bud Selig, Jeff and Fred Wilpon, made the announcement  at New York’s City Hall that the Summer Classic will be held in Queens. The last All-Star game that the Mets held was in the 1964. It is the longest All-Star game hosting drought in baseball. The second longest drought is this year’s site for the All-Star game, Kansas City, who last hosted the event in 1973.

It’s the 9th All-Star game in New York, which is the most for any city. The last All-Star game in New York came back in 2008 at Yankee Stadium. Selig said the festivities will be a five day event, including the Home Run Derby and Fan Fest.

Fred Wilpon said he’s been dreaming of hosting this event, and that is very meaningful to him. Also, the Mets finical problems did not affect the decision for the Mets to host the All-Star game. Selig had great faith in the Wilpons overcoming the finical problems they had.

Joe Torre even got up and talked about the honor and privilege of the All-Star game. Even though it is an exhibition game, there is a lot of pride and enjoyment that goes into playing in the game. The All-Star game use to be a one day thing back when Torre was a player, and now it’s more of a festival and a celebration.

Selig said there is an increasing amount of competition for teams to host the All-Star game. The Mets being chosen makes the most sense out of any other team though. It addition to not being given the event for the past 48 years, they have a new ballpark that will provide a great setting for the All-Star festivities. David Wright  said that if the Mets are awarded the All-Star game it gives the world a chance to see the new stadium and for the Mets to show it off.

For me, I didn’t get a chance to get down to Yankee Stadium in 2008, but a bunch of my friends did. It’s pretty much a dream come true for baseball fans. I’ll  obviously have to do everything I can in order to make it to all five days of the festivities next year.

One thing I’m very interested in seeing is the Home Run Derby. Everyone knows that Citi Field is a pitchers park, even after the fences were brought in and lowered. Right now Citi Field ranks 27th in the league in home runs per game. Personally, I don’t think it’s going to matter much and players are still going to be able to hit a ton of home runs, but it’s certainly a topic of conversation.

Hosting the All-Star is an honor that has been long overdue for the Mets. There was probably the belief that if you’re going to hold the All-Star game in New York, why give it to the Mets when you could just give it to the Yankees. But now the Mets are the hosts and it’ll be very exciting to be a part of. Hopefully it doesn’t take another 48 years for it to return back to Queens.

Andres Torres quietly proving Alderson right

David Wright is on fire right now. After a four hit effort last night he’s hitting .402, which is tops in the National League by almost 30 points. All eyes are on Wright right now, which if you’re Andres Torres, that might be a good thing.

Torres has played in 11 games since returning from the DL and he’s been nothing short of terrific. He’s reached base in every game he’s played this season and has failed to get a hit in a game only three times. He’s had three multiple-hit games and seven games with an RBI. He’s also only struck out five times (three coming in one game) in 53 plate appearances.

Torres has looked like the player he was back in 2010 when he help the San Francisco Giants win a World Series. After Torres went down in the beginning of the year and Angel Pagan was off to a good start, fans were ripping this trade apart. When the Mets called up Kirk Nieuwenhuis as Torres’ replacement, some people were saying that Torres is just a fifth outfielder and when he comes back he’ll only be a back-up. Now Torres is making those people look pretty stupid.

The credit in bringing Torres aboard goes to Sandy Alderson, who pulled off what I thought was a great deal; Pagan for Torres and Ramon Ramirez. So far it’s looking like if the Mets traded Pagan for Torres straight up the would have gotten the better end of the deal.

So far this season here are the lines for both players:

Torres: 12 G, 42 AB, 9 R, 13 H, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 10 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, .310/.442/.452
Pagan: 31 G, 132 AB, 15 R, 36 H, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 BB, 14 K, 6 SB, .273/.304/.447

So Pagan has played in more than twice the number of games that Torres has played, yet Torres has more RBIs, almost twice the number of walks and even if you double his number of strike outs it’s still less than Pagan.

What also is very telling  of a player’s fielding ability is UZR and UZR/150:

Torres: 0.5 UZR, 9.8 UZR/150
Pagan: -4.3 UZR, -21.1 UZR/150

So… yeah obviously Torres is a better fielder than Pagan, which is something that was to be expected.

The one compliant you can make about Torres is that he isn’t stealing enough bases right now. The Mets are dead last in the National League right now with only 12 total stolen bases. Torres, who is suppose to be the Mets biggest stolen base threat, has only attempted three times and was only successful once. Now some of this probably has to do with his Achilles injury and him not wanting to push it too far, but eventually Torres needs to get back on track.

I’m a big Torres fan so watching him out perform Pagan makes me happy. Torres just needs to keep doing what he’s doing at the top of that batting order and eventually people will start to take larger notice.

Daniel Murphy showing signs of improvement

When Miguel Batista starts a game for the Mets there really isn’t much hope. Running him out there looks like a sign of giving up a game in my eyes, so I almost didn’t even watch the game on Tuesday night. But the Mets in comeback fashion defeated the Phillies 7-4. They were once down 4-0 in the game, then the Mets rallied with a four run seventh inning and a two run ninth inning, and then Jon Rauch came in to earn his first save as a Met, locking down an important win for the Mets. The Mets completed the sweep last night, busting out the bats with a 10-6 win. The win moves them to 18-13, which is fifth best in the National League.

There were a number of things impressive about last night’s win; the bullpen, Lucas Duda’s two two out hits against left-handers, David Wright with his bat, his glove, and his base running. One thing that stood out the most for me with watching Daniel Murphy. Not at the plate, were he does most of his work, but rather in the field. Last night Murphy looked like a real second baseman. A real really good second baseman.

It’s no secret that Murphy hasn’t had an easy time at second this year. It’s really his first time playing the position on a regular basis. He’s made five errors out there already this year and has an UZR of -4.8. But last night he didn’t look like that fielder. He made a number of nice plays out there ranging up the middle and making the tough throws across his body.

One thing about Murphy is that he always looks very mechanical. He really doesn’t glide over to make plays, everything looks like it’s a struggle. But as long as he makes the plays, that’s a non-issue. His work with Tim Teufel looks like it is paying off, and Murphy’s work ethic is impeccable.

Now I know it’s one game, and when he makes a bad play again we’ll all be thinking there is no hope for him, but it looks like he is showing signs of improvement. In the end Murphy is on this team because of his bat, not his glove. He will win more games hitting, than lose games because of his fielding. But I do think Murphy’s glove will keep improving as he goes along. He has good range, a strong arm, and a solid glove. The errors he has made have been due to inexperience at the position.

On a side note, I was really upset that the Mets didn’t retaliate in someone against the Phillies last night. With the dirty slides of Shane Victorino, and Ty Wiggington taking out Josh Thole, I figured they would have done something to show that aren’t taking this abuse lying down. They did do a lot of retaliating with their bats, but I feel like that isn’t enough. But after the absurd suspension of Cole Hamels for hitting Bryce Harper, who knows how the league would respond to it.

D.J. Carrasco called up; Bobby Parnell drawing interest

Well the Mets ended their four game losing streak last night with Johan Santana on the mound. He gave them seven solid innings of work, and the bullpen managed not to blow the lead in their two innings of work.

The Mets are 14-13 this year despite having one of the worst team ERA’s in the league. They are currently ranked 24th in the league with a 4.48 team ERA. Their starter’s ERA is 4.34, 23rd  in the league, and their bullpen’s ERA 4.83, 28th in the league. They also have a -30 run differential, which is second worse in the league. When you look at how bad their pitching has been, it’s kind of amazing that they are a game above .500.

Yesterday the Mets sent down the rarely used Jordany Valdespin to bring up some bullpen help in D.J. Carrasco. He suffered an ankle injury which forced him to miss all of Spring Training but has come back from the injury nicely in the minors. In nine innings of work he’s given up one run on three hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.

After signing a two year deal last year, Carrasco struggled for the Mets, posting a 6.02 ERA in 49.1 innings. The Mets are hoping he’ll be able to bounce back and provide some much needed bullpen help. Carrasco also has the ability to start games, and with Miguel Batista in the rotation now, he’s spot should be available after his next start. Or the Mets could use the two for some sort of disastrous combination.

Speaking of bullpen, Bobby Parnell is drawing interest from teams. Parnell is one of the few members of the bullpen who is performing well. Trading him would create a hole in the struggling bullpen, so it wouldn’t be the smartest move for the Mets unless they got some bullpen arms in the return.

The Mets bullpen is definitely a problem right now. I don’t think Carrasco will bring any relief to the problems, but you never know. Right now the Mets can’t afford to lose Parnell, so trading him, unless it is a great deal, should be out of the question.

Given all the bullpen’s  struggles they do have good arms. I think the bullpen woes steam from all of arms falling into a funk at the same time. Before the season started I saw the bullpen as the strength of the team and they started out the year proving me right. Guys like Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Tim Byrdak will be fine. I really like Manny Acosta and feel like he is just going through a bad stretch right now.

This team’s pitching is better than what they are showing right now. Eventually they will bounce back, but for now it’s ugly to watch.

Why Is Jordany Valdespin still up?

When the Mets re-activated Andres Torres from the DL they had a choice of either sending down Zach Lutz or Jordany Valdespin. They picked to send down Lutz, who didn’t do much in his eight at-bat stint, collecting just one hit and striking out five times. It’s not like Valdespin had earned the right to stay in the bigs. He’s had just five at-bats and has been hitless in all of them.

Valdespin is on the roster in place of the injured Ronny Cedeno, so he’s intended to be the back-up short stop. Of the nine innings Valdespin has played so far, he’s played seven in left field and two at second base.

The problem I have with Valdespin is there is no room for him on this team. He is also a left-handed hitter, and we all know the Mets have plenty of those. Now that Torres in on the team, the Mets are carrying five outfielders, so a spot for Valdespin would be hard to find. In the infield the only spot would be short stop or second base. Justin Turner is already the back-up second and I don’t see Ruben Tejada needing a break anytime soon. He is a young player who is performing well, so there is no reason to take him out.

They need to bring up a slightly older player, who can handle being a the bench for multiple games. Valdspin is still young and needs to be getting at-bats. He can’t be on this team getting an at-bat once every week.

With the two left-handed pitchers scheduled to pitch for Arizona, the Mets would be wise to send down Valdespin in favor of a right-handed bat. Valdespin has too much talent and too much to work on right now to be sitting on the bench doing nothing.

 

Andres Torres versus Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Well the Mets certainly had an interesting series in Denver this weekend. They got smoked in the first game losing 18-9, they were down twice in the second game but won 7-5, and today after blowing a 4-0 lead for Johan Santana, they won in extra innings 6-5 in spite of the bullpen’s worst efforts. As a typical series at Coors Field, the offense enjoyed the visit, and the pitching did not (except for Johan).

Now the Mets will had to Houston to take on one of the worst teams in baseball. If you’re the Mets the goal has to be to sweep, but they need to win at least two out of three. And as interesting as the series in Denver was, the series in Houston will be interesting for a different reason.

After the game today the Mets optioned Zach Lutz back down to the minors in order to make room for Andres Torres. He’s been on the DL since April 6th with a strained right calf, an injury he dealt with during Spring Training, and re-injured on Opening Day.

When Torres went down it was definitely a blow for the Mets, but Kirk Niewenhuis made the situation much better. He came in and immediately had a positive impacted on the club. Now Torres, who was suppose to be the center fielder and lead-off hitter for this team, comes back to see a guy who is thieving in the role he left.

The Mets need to decided three things now between Torres and Kirk: 1) who will play center field 2) who will hit lead-off and 3) where will the other player hit in the line-up. The whole situation is made easier by the fact that Jason Bay is not in the picture. If he was, then Terry Collins would have a much bigger bag of problems. He will have to deal with it eventually, but for now he can put it off.

So let’s address the questions now. My vote is for Kirk in center. Now I don’t think he is a better fielder then Torres, they are both very, very, good. The reason I go with Kirk is that Torres is coming off the injury, and in left field he wouldn’t have to cover as much ground, thus easing him back into action. Torres should reclaim his position as the team’s lead-off hitter though. Now there is the question of where to bat Kirk. There is really no easy answer. The line-up will probably look something like this for tomorrow:

Torres (S) – Tejada (R) – Murphy (L) – Wright (R) – Duda (L) – Davis (L) – Niewenhuis (L) – Thole (L)

The problem is that there are four lefties at the end of the line-up. Also, Kirk has to adjust from being a run manufacture to a run producer in that number seven hole.

The thing I don’t understand is hearing people not wanting Torres to come back into the line-up and that he is a fourth outfielder. First off, he hasn’t even really played this year so you have to give him a shot. Second, these people clearly didn’t watch Spring Training, and forgot all the great things he was doing down in the Florida. I know if doesn’t count, but you have to give him some credit. I even read somewhere that they should play Mike Baxter in favor of Torres.

It’s weird to see all his negativity towards Torres’ return when he will bring three things to the table that the Mets have been lacking; speed,  a right-hand bat, and defense. Anyway you look at it Torres returning to the Mets line-up is a good thing. The real question will be what to do when Bay comes back. I’m sure at this point most Mets fans would rather have Baxter than Bay.

Did new delivery cause Mike Pelfrey’s injury?

On the field yesterday was a pretty good day for Mets fans. We got to see Jose Reyes return to Citi Field, saw a great pitching match-up with Josh Johnson and Johan Santana, saw Reyes go 0-4, and most importantly the Mets got a win. It was a very exciting and well played game, a classic pitchers dual.

Off the field the Mets had some problems. It’s seems the injury bug is back at Citi Field and it has claimed its first two victims. The first was Jason Bay who was placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured rib. He suffered the injury in the second game of the doubleheader against the Giants on Monday when he tried to catch a fly ball and dove or fell or tripped or whatever he didn’t to make him look like an idiot. In any event he dropped the ball and since he doesn’t know how to hit a baseball the Mets would take any excuse to put him on the DL, fractured rib or not.

The other injury is more upsetting. It was suffered by Mike Pelfrey, who was off to a great start in 2012. In three starts this year he’s gone 19.2 innings,  13 strikeouts, four walks, and an ERA of 2.29. He was placed on the DL with soreness and swelling in his elbow. Adam Rubin than reported that he has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, and could need season-ending surgery.

The injury comes at a bad time because for the first time in a while Pelfrey actually looked like the pitcher everyone hoped he would be. Everything was clicking and the idea of him Santana, R.A. Dickey, and Jon Niese together in the rotation got Mets fans very excited. If all of them could produce up to their potential, it could be one of the best rotation in the NL, and it was looking like that was the case.

I have to wonder if Pelfrey’s new delivery motion had anything to do with the injury. Pelfrey was now rising his arms over his head before he pitched, which was giving him more downward power. It may have just been too much power, causing extra stress on the elbow, which led to the ligament tear.

The injury reminds me a lot of Chris Young last year. He got off to such a great start and then an injury ended his season. This time however, Young could be the guy coming back to replace the injured pitcher. He still needs more time to get ready though, after missing all of Spring Training. He did recently pitch a 60-pitch bullpen session, but it will be at least another month before Young is ready to come up to the majors.

While Young seems like the obvious choice to replace Pelfrey’s spot, the team needs to find a filler until he is ready. The Mets called up Robert Carson, who in previous years has been a starter, this year has been pitching out of the bullpen at Binghamton.

Pelfrey’s next start would have been Friday, so the Mets need to make a decision of who will take his spot until then. On the roster right now it’s looking like it will either be Carson or automatic-game-forfeiter Miguel Batista. They could also go in the more likely path of calling up Chris Schwinden, which would be the better option. Schwinden made four starts for the Mets last year, who had a rough first start, but then threw some three solid starts for the Mets.

Hopefully Pelfrey’s injury isn’t as serious as it seems, but it doesn’t look that way. Right now in my mind I’m figuring his season is done. This does open the door for Young to come back with he is healthy, and we all know how good he can pitch. In any event, this is bad news for the Mets and Pelfrey, who finally looked like he had found his groove.

Is this version of Josh Thole here to stay?

To start the 2012 season the Mets have seen some positives and some negatives. David Wright has came out of the gate swinging a hot bat, then he broke his pinky, missed three game and when he came back he picked right back up where he left off. Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey are throwing quality starts every time they go out there, and Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco are looking like a very solid 8th and 9th inning combo. The negatives are the Mets middle of the order. Between Ike Davis, Jason Bay, and Lucas Duda, they’ve only driven in a combined 17 RBI. Matt Kemp already has 22 by himself.

One player who may be surprising people with his hot start is Josh Thole. He’s hitting .371 with a .476 OBP. And though that OBP is help slighting by the fact that he sometimes hits 8th in the order, Thole has been hitting in the number 7th spot for most of the game this year. Also, three of his 13 hits are doubles, so he isn’t just slapping the ball and finding holes. When you look at his catching stats the number that stands out is three passed balls. Of course he does have to catch the knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, which was one of the major reasons he had 16 last year.

Right now Thole is hot, but I believe he has potential to be this kind of hitter. He’s a guy who can make contact, and hit the ball through the holes. A batting average around .310 isn’t something unreasonable for Thole.

I feel like a lot of people don’t like Thole because he isn’t very flashy at the plate. He’s not going to get up there and crush the ball. But the Mets really don’t need that. They have enough guys in the line-up who can drive the over the fences.

Thole will never be this highlight reel of a player. Since he’s come up I’ve consistently compared him to Jason Kendell, and that’s just the player he’s turning into. The problem is he is playing in New York under this huge media spot light. If he can’t hit .300 and he doesn’t hit any home runs, people will be wondering why he is on the team.

After his performance last year of hitting .268, many people wanted him out of Queens. But maybe the Mets have just been spoiled by good hitting catchers in recent years. Going from Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza, and Paul LoDuca, that’s some big offensive numbers to follow up.

Thole will never be this type of power hitter, so he needs to focus on being a gap hitter and getting on base. If he can keep it up with his extra-base hits, I think more fans will be stratified with his performance.

Thole is off the a hot start, and his .371 batting average will come down. But the important thing is he is showing people the potential of what kind of hitter he can be. He showed us a bit in 2009 when he first came up, and now he’s trying to remind us all again. Overall, Thole has help the Mets get to a record of 8-6, which isn’t too bad considering Davis and Duda are doing pretty much nothing. Wright will come down a bit from his hot start, and hopefully by then Davis and Duda will find their swings. Now I’m not saying Thole will hit .371 for the year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he stays near the top of the list for batting average for the next few months.

Mets to do right thing when they honor Jose Reyes

There’s no question Jose Reyes was one of the greatest players in Mets franchise history. He’s the all-time leader in stolen bases, runs, triples, and second in hits and at-bats. He played for nine seasons in New York and provided a spark and energy that no other player in the game brought to the table. The Mets and Reyes parted ways last Winter, as he took his talents to South Beach and signed with the division rival Marlins. For me, I felt like Reyes wanted to stay, but the front office didn’t have the money, nor faith in his ability to stay on the field.

Reyes will make his return to Queens on Tuesday, but will look much different than what Mets fans remember. Aside from missing his signature dreads, he’ll be sporting the vibrant Miami Marlins uniform. He will be playing his first ever game in Queens as a visiting player and a rival. The Mets have chosen to honor Reyes career in New York before the game.

Many fans have a problem honoring a player in a rival uniform. He is the enemy now, and any sort of respect or gratitude the Mets want to show him, that’s up to the fans. Personally I disagree with this. I think there is nothing wrong with a little five minute video tribute before the game, honoring one of the greatest players in franchise history. I think it’s a classy move by the Mets and it shows they are thankful for all that he’s done.

The way I look at Reyes is that he is only the enemy from first pitch to last out. In between those times Reyes is an opposing player who we wanted to strike out every time, and throw him out every time he attempts a stolen base. But when he’s not on the field sporting that gaudy uniform, he is one of my favorite all-time players.

If the Mets are choosing to honor Larry Jones this year, why wouldn’t they honor Reyes? Although I think they should do a bit more for Larry considering he’s retiring after the season, it’s still the same concept; honoring an opposing player on a rival team for his contributions to the teams franchise. Because whether you like it or not Larry has done a lot for the Mets/Braves rivalry, which was one of the best in sports at one point. If I’m in the stands I would give Larry a standing ovation in his first at-bat at Citi Field this year, and give him an even bigger one for his last one.

Now some people would ask, “when will the Mets honor Jimmy Rollins?” In his case, it’s a little different. He’s a guy that has gone out in public and insulted the Mets and called out their team. Larry is a guy who has never said anything wrong or done anything wrong on the field. The only reason Mets fans hate Larry is because he destroys the Mets. Also, Larry is one of the greatest hitters of all-time, while Rollins simple isn’t. Who knows what will happen when Rollins decides to retire. Though he did make the rivalry more fun, there is a lot more hate and a lot less respect for him compare to Larry.

I was at the game where Mike Piazza made his return to Shea Stadium wearing a San Diego Padres uniform, and the Mets did a similar thing. Even after he hit a home run, fans gave him a standing ovation and he gave a curtain call. After his second one, things were slightly different, but you get the point. Of course Piazza’s situation wasn’t the same as Reyes’ because he was at the end of his career and his level of production had dropped.

Piazza and Reyes are on the same level in my opinion. While Piazza is held a bit higher and is a lock for the Hall of Fame and to have his jersey retired, both he and Reyes dominate the Mets all-time statistic board. And after Reyes retires the Mets will have to think real hard about retiring number seven.

I’m going to try very hard to get down to Citi for the game on Tuesday so I can show my support for Jose. He is still one of my favorite players, and I still have all the respect in the world for him. It’s going to be painful to see him not coming out of the first base dugout, but the Mets are a different team now. Letting go of Reyes showed that the Mets are ready to move in a new direction and start a new chapter of their franchises history. Though Reyes was an all-time great, they never won a title with him and in the end his price tag was more than what the Mets could afford to give him. That being said, I think it would be wrong of the Mets not to honor one of the great players in their team’s history on his first game back to his old ballpark. And they should do it again on his last game there, for whichever team that may be for.

First Mets-Phillies meeting of the year

After David Wright went down with a broken pinky on Monday against the Nationals, the Mets lost two games in a row after winning their first four games. They had a much needed day off yesterday to collect themselves and to get some rest. Now the head to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies for a three series. The 3-3 Phillies are a different team this year compared to years past. This isn’t the same dominating team that was by far the best team in the National League anymore. They are a team with a very strong pitching staff… and that’s about it.

While the Phillies pitching staff is still the best in baseball, they have a lot of holes in their team. Without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the line-up, the offense is the weakest part of the team, which is a strange thing to think considering how dominating it was just a couple years ago. As a Mets fan I look at their line-up and I’m not concerned at all. The Mets line-up can out hit the Phillies line-up, pretty easily if I may add. The Mets bullpen is also better than the Phillies, and this is something I thought before the season even started.

Where the Phillies really separate themselves from the Mets is their ridiculous starting pitching. It’s led by the three-headed ace monster of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels, and then finished off by rookie sensation Vance Worley, and Joe Blanton who for a number five pitcher isn’t too bad.

In their first series this year the Mets will send R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese, and Mike Pelfrey against Cliff Lee, Vance Worley, and Cole Hamels, respectively. Almost every time the Mets play the Phillies this season the Phillies will have the advantage in the starting pitcher match-up. In order to beat them, the Mets will need to score early, play small ball, and work the starter to try to get into the bullpen.

I fell like the Mets and Phillies are similar teams. They both have mediocre offenses and good pitching. It’s just the Phillies are a playoff team, while the Mets are a .500 team. But somehow it’s still exciting when the Mets play the Phillies. Even though the Mets and Phillies have been on the opposite ends of the spectrum as far as success in the past few years, they still have a heated rivalry. It’s either a really exciting close game, or the Phillies will win in a blow out. That’s generally the two categories they usually fall into. The level of talent on the two clubs have been far apart the last few years, but a combination of the Mets building a better team and the Phillies getting older, they are starting to come closer together.

The Phillies have the second oldest team in baseball, only behind the Yankees. Their age is starting to catch up to them and the talent on this team is slowly declining. They are no longer the huge threat that they once were. When the Mets use to play the Phillies there was a lot of concern heading into a series. Now I have the feeling that if the Mets can put some runs on the board, they have a good chance of winning.