Tuesday, July 17, 2018

S.I. Yankees: Pizza Rats Win Seventh in a Row


Slide Past Brooklyn Cyclones Into Second Place.

Staten Island Yankees: Richmond County Rats Gnawing Through Competition.

Don't look now, but the Pizza Rats are winners of seven in a row, and nine of their last ten games.  They've not only found their way out of the McNamara Division cellar, but have gnawed their way into second place just 1.5 games behind the first place Hudson Valley Renegades.

On Monday, they completed a three-game sweep over the West Virginia Black Bears at the Ballpark at St. George.  Yankees reliever Drew Finley finished what Roansy Contreras started.  Contreras faced 23 batters through seven full innings of work, throwing an economic 86 pitches with 57 (66%) going for strikes.  He allowed one unearned run on just three hits and a walk, while fanning eight.  For all his efforts, though, he walked off to a participatory no-decision.  Drew Finley was easily the luckier of the two, earning his second victory of the season despite surrendering two earned runs over the final two frames.

Finley's mates came to his rescue with a five run outburst in the eighth inning.  After trading runs in the fourth, the Bears and Baby Bombers remained tied through seven.  Leading off the home eighth, Staten Island third baseman Andres Chaparo greeted incoming reliever Conner Leoprich with a home run to left.  Three doubles, a base hit, a walk, a passed ball , one one wild pitch later, and the Yankees owned a 6-1 lead, an route to a 6-3 final.  Second baseman Jesus Bastidas went 2 for 4, with a double, runs scored, and two RBI.

The Rats now take their show on the road where they haven't fared very well.  They'll be looking to improve upon their 5-7 record away from the pizza shop starting with a series against the Lake Monsters up in Burlington, Vermont.

N.Y. Mets: Jacob deGrom Suddenly Becomes an Urgent Matter

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET

So Much for Wishing Upon an All-Star

New York Mets: Jacob deGrom's Agent Fires Precautionary Shot Across Bow of S.S. Wilpon; Issues Club Pay or Trade Ultimatum.

Jacob deGrom's agent has spoken.  He told the Mets in no uncertain terms to either sign his client to an extension, or trade him.  I was still somewhat conflicted over the matter as recently as last night's Sunday night METSian Podcast.  But thanks in part to Jacob's agent (Brodie Van Wagenen) my mind is now clear.

Do I want deGrom traded?

No.  Why would I?

Long hair or short, he is an Amazin talent in the midst of his prime years as an athlete.  Jacob leads MLB with a 1.68 ERA and 2.32 FIP.  He's presently allowing a career low 6.6 hits per nine innings while averaging a career high 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.  Now in his fifth season with the club, he owns a 2.78 career ERA through 126 starts and 804 innings pitched.  Throw in winning a pennant, and suffice it to say his body of work already qualifies him as an all-time great Mets hurler. 

But with regards to any potential contract extension, what exactly does deGrom's agent have in mind? After all, Jacob is now 30-years old as of June.  Not old by any stretch, however, he's no spring chicken where it concerns long-term monetary commitments.  At first glance, it appears deGrom and his agent have no leverage.  In fact, the Mets maintain institutionalized control over deGrom for another two years.  Thus, the Mets front office presently holds the high ground.  They can do nothing if they chose, albeit with great folly.  Otherwise, deGrom's potential annual number means little to me.  However, the Mets should not pay deGrom a single penny beyond the age of thirty-five.  Said another way, I'm open to a three-year extension.  But anything more is completely out of the question.

There's a saying that life's the least popular decisions wind up being the best decisions.  Therefore, I do believe it's in the Mets best interest to trade deGrom, and do it now.  His worth is at an all-time high, to date.  The longer they wait, the less they can expect in return.  A contending club with talent to spare, knowingly receiving and elite pitcher replete with low cost certainty and two years of institutional control makes for a intriguing, if not a very motivated trade partner - the exact kind of trade partner the Mets need at this very moment.  Therefore I say strike while the iron is hot, lest it cools offs by the Winter Meetings.

I further my argument with words once spoken by the great Branch Rickey: "...through quantity comes quality."

The Mets have spent the last two seasons making abundantly clear their need for young players upon which to build a new sustainable competitive future.  Hence the reason Omar Minaya is serving a third tour in Flushing.  But even he can't replenish the farm system soon enough.  That's why at this very moment the most effective way of acquiring both quantity and quality is by trading (reluctantly) the gifted Jacob deGrom.

If anything, Jacob deGrom's agent may have unwittingly helped the Mets along by eliminating any potential front office struggle.  The Mets now run less risk of appearing typically wishy-washy.  On the contrary ... they no longer need to seek out potential suitors.  Instead, they now have the luxury of pitting the field against one another.

Look no further than Baltimore and how they completely mismanaged their most valuable asset.  Knowing all along they weren't going to meet Manny Machado's ask, they failed to trade him two years ago, and again last year.  Should they trade him this season, they'll be receiving only a fraction of what they could have recovered had they acted previously with any sense of timeliness and conviction.

Lesson being think long, think wrong. 

Time is of the essence, act with conviction, sell high, maximize the return.

Monday, July 16, 2018

N.Y. Mets: The All-Star Game Break, Kinks, Dings and Dents METSian Podcast

From the desk of:  HEAD-BUTTING MR.MET

Jacob deGrom

Apparently, John Heyman is reporting the Mets are in "excellent financial health."  To that I say, lies!  Sam, Rich, and I discuss this very matter on Episode #14 of a Metsian Podcast.  I want to know whom or what is the source of his information?  Is someone within the organization intentionally leaking sponsored gibberish?  If not, who then is feeding him this nonsense?  I'm not sure what he knows.  I, however, cite highly credible sources and documented facts suggesting otherwise.

We also conducted a compare and contrast regarding the respective business models of N.L. East rivals Washington, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, versus that of the Mets.

As the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the $65,000 dollar question remains where do they go from here?  You would think the Triumvirate of Flushing has formulated a plan by now.  We'll see ... in the meantime wdonned our Metsian general manager's caps and discussed each of our plans for moving the club forward.

We answered the question asking what type of person do we want serving as next general manager of the New York Mets.  After which, we failed at finding few kind words while haranguing over the bullpen and Mickey Callaway's performance, to date.

A recent Yoenis Cespedes sighting ~ why buying out Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Jason Vargas makes sense ~ why is Jose Reyes still on the team ~ what we need to see transpire in the second half of the season ~ and much more.

All-Star Memories: 
  • Bo Jackson; Fred Lynn; the 1999 All-Star Game and All-Century Team celebration at Fenway Park; the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field; Dwight Gooden performance in 1984; four Mets selected to 1975 All-Star Game and Jon Matlack earns victory in relief; Lee Mazzilli hits home run in 1979 All-Star Game at Seattle; and this year's selection of pitcher Jacob deGrom.

We close out the podcast reminiscing over Mets uniform #14 worn by the venerated Gil Hodges.

Showtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes


Sunday, July 15, 2018

N.Y. Yankees: Much Machado About Nothing

From the desk of:  BLAME CARLOS MAY

"He's a bluffin' bluffer ... Bluff!" - Ed Norton

New Yor Yankees: Why is Brian Cashman even remotely interested in acquiring Manny Machado?

... And why are the Red Sox seemingly expressing interest, for that matter?  At least Manny is a somewhat better fit with Boston than here in Bronx.  The Red Sox are unlikely to intrude on Xander Bogeart's space.  But depending on your opinion regarding Rafael Devers and Eduardo Nunez manning third base, acquiring Manny Machado might be worth investigating - for them.

But if you're an older Yankees fan, this may wreak of the 1980s all over again.  For the moment, though, this appears to be nothing more than scuttlebutt.  Otherwise, I just can't see the Yankees being serious about acquiring Manny Machado when they have Didi Gregoreous, Gleyber Torrez, Miguel Andujar, and a seeming glut of young emerging talent already in hand.

What the Yankees need is a starting pitcher.  Everyone knows that.

But this is just a theory: Brian Cashman is sly like a fox, and knowing how Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowsky ran the Tigers and the mess he left behind at Detroit, perhaps Cashman is merely driving up Machado's price in the hopes Boston Sox both depletes their farm system, then fail in retaining the looming free agent.

Then again, the Yankees trail the Boston Red Sox by 4.5 games heading into the All-Star break.  And neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox want the end the season hinging on a one game Wild Card playoff.

No wonder Yankee fans sound as if they're in a panic ...

No Parking in Brooklyn: Don't Mistake The Message

Negotiating any vehicle through Brooklyn requires the visual sense of a spider, with all eight eyes each simultaneously transfixed on the streets, student and reckless drivers, clueless pedestrians wearing earplugs and faces buried in their phones, entitled bicyclists, cavernous potholes, idiots suddenly swinging open car doors, bouncing balls and a kid undoubtedly chasing it, and the confusing menagerie of traffic signs advising motorists what they should/should not do, or which way to go.

I'm not even going to bother with those who've moved out to New Jersey and Pennsylvania then come back to Brooklyn and forget how to slow down; the ones that break-out in a rash at every stop sign and red light.  Otherwise, most people behind the wheel seemingly do a fairly decent job of processing the overwhelming stimuli offered by our streets ... although some not so much.  

Of course, I'm being kind ...

In any event, road trips - no matter their purpose; how short or long in duration - must come to an end.  Since we would all like to arrive at our destinations safely, perhaps the best way of achieving that end is by driving courteously and obeying the rules of the road.

But that's when, and potentially where, one adventure ends and another begins.  Finding a place to park is not only akin to digging for urban gold, but even the most transient prospecting poses great potential danger.  In a city where the battle for space is fierce and without end, sometimes boundaries aren't so apparent, but rest assured one exists and will be defended in Revolutionary-like manner.  The message sounding throughout Brooklyn for long remains loud and clear.  It matters not what corner of the planet any given citizen of Earth may come from, or what language they may speak.  Through vehicular conditioning - like a red stop sign - Brooklynites have applied international standard upon the following two words that when joined together form an undeniable motor vehicle exclamation.  I'll admit, some do a better job of conveying their message than others.  But the message is nonetheless clear.

However, that doesn't stop people from taking liberties.  They will, and do, but at their own risk.

This Means You!

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Brooklyn Cyclones: Thor Drops Hammer on Pizza Rats


Season Series Tied 4-4

Yankees    1
Cyclones   2

Brooklyn Cyclones: Thor Giveth, and Thor Taketh Away.

We all know New York City rodents aren't skittish around people anymore.  But those Pizza Rats from Staten Island may have come off just a little too damn cocky during their most recent visit to Coney Island.

I'm sure Noah Syndergaard isn't too pleased with himself, either.

Making a rehab assignment start for the Cyclones, Syndergaard issues a walk to the first batter of the game, who then disrespectfully steals second base.  With one out, a solid base hit by Staten Island backstop Josh Breaux puts runners on the corners.  Syndergaard fans the next batter, but then unleashes a wild pitch allowing Pizza Rat Alex Junior to scurry home.

After which, Thor drops his hammer.  He allows the Rats just one more hit in the fourth, and fans six through his final four innings of work.  All told, Syndergaard pitches five innings, allows one earned run on just two hits, walks one, and strikes out seven.  He faces nineteen Pizza Rats, throwing 71 pitches with 46 (65%) going for strikes.

It's a good thing too, because the Cyclones were limited to a pair of runs on just five hits by Staten Island starter Roansy Contreras and reliever Shawn Semple.


  • Brooklyn ties the game at one in the third.  Third baseman Brian Sharp draws a lead-off walk, and is advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Manny Rodriguez.  Sharp then scores on Jose Miguel Medina's double to left.

The game remains locked at one through the seventh.

  • Catcher Nick Meyer leads off the bottom of the eighth with a single back up the middle.  Brian Sharp's sacrifice bunt successfully moves Meyer to second base.  After Manny Rodriguez looks at strike three, Jose Miguel Medina singles home Meyer with the go-ahead run.

Reliever Kevin Smith faces ten batters pitching the final three innings for Brooklyn.  He earns his second victory of the season after limiting Staten Island to no walks, just one hit, and striking out four.

With only their second victory in their last seven games, the Cyclones snap a five game losing streak, and avoid falling below par, instead improving to 12-11 on the season.  Although they remain three games back of the Hudson Valley Renegades, Brooklyn slides back into second place past Aberdeen.

Brooklyn also evens the season series against Staten Island at four games apiece.

The Staten Island Yankee Baby Bomber Pizza Rats Baseball Club fall to 10-13 on the season.

The teams head back to Richmond County and the St. George Rat Den for Monday's series finale.