Depressed Mets Fan

Building character since 1962

Posts Tagged ‘Phillies’

Phillies sign Raul Ibañez, Mets don’t really care

Posted by jmkraft on December 12, 2008

Sure, the Mets had been linked to Raul Ibañez for some time, and sure, it would have been an nice story for the native New Yorker to come home and open up Citi Field in left field. 

But while the Mets are hardly starved for cash, Ibañez would have been an expensive solution to a problem that can be solved very easily. In fact, it might not even be a problem at all. While many are wary of leaving left field to a combination of Fernando Tatis/Daniel Murphy/Nick Evans, keep in mind that the Mets were getting excellent production out of this position last year.

Even if Omar Minaya desires an upgrade at the position, there are plenty of other more than adequate outfielders on the free agent market. I’m a big fan of signing Juan Rivera, who could be this year’s best free agent bargain. Rivera has been hidden on the Angels bench for much of the past few seasons, and he provides the right-handed power that the Mets have been looking for. In 2006, with the Angels, he hit .310 with 23 HR and 85 RBIs in 124 games. 

Then, there is Ibañez’s fielding. I didn’t realize what a bad fielder he really is, but Matthew Artus of Always Amazin’ does a great job of summing it up:

Yes, Ibanez can hit. He put up a .293/.358/.479 in 2008 with 23 HRs and a BB/K ratio of 0.58 in 707 PAs. And both Bill James (.278/.343/.448 with 22 HRs and a 0.57 BB/K ratio) and Marcel (.277/.342/.461 with 21 HRs and a 0.51 BB/K ratio in 617 PAs) project numbers in that neighborhood for Ibanez’s 2009 season. So he’s consistent. Then why not sign him? 

Because he’s dead weight in left field. That’s a big statement, considering most teams hide their worst defender in left field as its the least busy position on the field. But Ibanez is at the bottom.

Of players with over 500 PAs this season, Ibanez put up a -17.1, ranking last among left fielders in average BIS and STATS rating (as provided by Justin’s Stats). For perspective, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun led left fielders with 500 ABs, posting a 9.1 rating while Fernando Tatis (-3.1 in 306 PAs) and Daniel Murphy (-1.3 in 151 PAs) kept their defense in more respectable areas than Ibanez.

So the only reason to be upset about the Phillies signing Ibañez is the fact that he’s on the Phillies, which means that he will take Pat Burrell‘s place as Met Killer.

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Mets sign K-Rod

Posted by jmkraft on December 9, 2008

Not a huge surprise here as the Mets seem to have finally come to terms with closer Francisco Rodriguez. The great news here, besides having acquired the pitcher who set the Major League record for saves in a season, is that the Mets did so at a bargain price. inking K-Rod to three years and $37 million. There are few things to be thankful for in regard to the current financial crisis, but this is certainly one of them. 

Now it’s time to go out and get a supporting cast. I’m not talking about just a set-up man, I want to see a whole new crew of bullpen pitchers brought in to compete for jobs in Spring Training. Let’s hope Omar learned from what the Rays and Phillies did with their bullpens last year.

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Welcome

Posted by jmkraft on December 9, 2008

For some time now I’ve been trying to come up with a new twist on a Mets blog until it hit me. Why not use the angle that is so natural to me, writing about the Mets from the point of view of a depressed fan who has been disappointed for his entire life? I’ve been writing about the Mets for a while, first on NLBeast.com (let it rest in peace) and then on my personal blog. I quickily discovered that no one really wanted to read that, so I decided this might be a better idea. Being the cynic I am (thanks a lot, Mets), I’m fairly sure the same will be true here. 

So yeah, I’ve been a Mets fan my whole life, and I’m none the better for it. The Mets last won the World Series the year I was born, and I’m pretty sure that will be last time they win in my lifetime. And I don’t plan on leaving the Earth for some time, thank you very much. I’m pretty convinced that the Mets have, in fact, ruined my life, conspiring with the Jets and Knicks to make me the sarcastic, depressed person who I am today.

But in all seriousness, I do love the Mets, and I love to write about them. More than loving the Mets, I love the sport of baseball, and I’ll write about more than just the Amazin’s when I’m so inspired. I’ll also slip in some other sports, perhaps, because there’s only so much I can write about Francisco Rodriguez in the offseason. 

In terms of how I approach the sport, I consider myself a pretty balanced fan. I’m a fan of sabermetrics and loved Moneyball like everyone else, but I do believe that scouting is still an important aspect of the game. I think John Schuerholz put it well in his autobiography when he said that no team would ever sign a player, no matter how good on paper, without watching him play the game. But at the same time, numbers don’t lie. 

I generally respect Omar Minaya and the team he’s put together, but I do think it has a number of significant faults. The Luis Castillo signing was a significant mistake, for one. Not concentrating enough on the bullpen was another. But I think Omar is a good judge of talent, and I have faith that he’ll put together a competative, if not dominating team this year. And the deal he pulled off for Johan Santana was incredible. If I had to pick a GM who I most admire, though, it would have to be Andrew Friedman of Tampa Bay, who did so much with so little. I’m a pretty big Theo Epstein fan, too.

I hate the Philadelphia Phillies with every bone in my body, but I respect the job the organization did in putting together a World Championship team. I even count Chase Utley as one of my favorite players for his old-school approach to the game of baseball. Don’t worry, one of my other favorites is David Wright (I know its cliche, but seriously, he’s already one of the best Mets ever and I don’t buy the argument that he’s not clutch, he presses at the plate because he gets no support so much of the time).

Let’s move on to the medium of blogging. Blogging is the future (and part of the present) of media, and like it or not, blogs will eventually have to become part of the mainstream sports media. I believe that bloggers should be given more access, and I also believe that bloggers should hold themselves to the same standards as print journalists. It’s a two way street. 

In terms of a day job, well, the current economic crisis has me sitting on the sideline for now, but in short, I have two career interests, sports and politics. Separate, they are each great. Together, not so much. 

My hope is that this blog somehow contributes to the great collection of Mets blogs out there already. Seriously, the Mets are lucky to have so many quality blogs writing about them. But there is always room for more opinion, and Mets fans have never been accused of being quiet (see: response at Shea Stadium to Rocker, John). But hey, that’s why I love this team that ruins my life.

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