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Jim Furtado
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Mets Newsbeat

Friday, November 20, 2015

There will be three games on Opening Day, not just one

Royals fans can wash down their hot dogs with the tears of Mets players.

Major League Baseball and ESPN just did something kinda cool. Rather than give us the one “Opening Day” game on Sunday night followed by a bunch of day games the next day, this year we’re going to get three games on the Sunday which opens the season and it’s going to get going at 1PM Eastern.

Here’s the schedule — for ESPN anyway — for Sunday April 3 and Monday April 4, just released:


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2015 at 07:34 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: espn, mets, opening day, royals

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Interview with former Mets prospect Jeff Grose: Part 2 |

This interview with a former Mets minor leaguer illustrates the differences between approaches then and now. It used to be sink or swim in baseball. Prove that your arm could take the work or get out.

Mets360: You had thrown a fair amount of innings by the time you were 21, and of course this was during a less-evolved era in terms of caring for pitcher’s arms.

GROSE: We always went out to pitch a complete game. The relief pitchers, at that time, were usually pitchers who had gotten shelled earlier in a series or a guy who couldn’t crack the starting rotation. So we wouldn’t want to hand the ball to one of them in a close game. I would say that on average I threw around 130-150 pitches a game. We were taught to pitch to the corners and if we were ahead in the count, to get the hitters to chase a bad pitch. I still cringe when watching a game when a pitcher throws a fastball down the middle or gives up a hit on an 0-2 count. My first full season in Tidewater, 1976, I was having trouble locating my curve. I was getting hit pretty hard so I decided to start throwing a slider. I had a good one; however, I should have eased myself into throwing it, as that was when I hurt my arm for good. I found out years later, after I struck out 18 hitters in 9 innings in the men’s over-30 World Series, that it was a torn labrum. I had surgery; however, there was so much scar tissue from years of abuse that I would never throw pain-free again.

Interview with former Mets prospect Jeff Grose: Part 1.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2015 at 06:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: interviews, mets, minor leaguers

Monday, November 16, 2015

With teams more willing to take a risk, Zack Wheeler remains attractive . . . but Mets aren’t actively looking to trade him | Newsday

“We’re not actively shopping Zack by any stretch,” Ricco told Newsday. “But as with the other starters, if something came up that we thought made us better, we’re going to talk about it.”

Judging by the reaction of rival executives, the Mets could find themselves with plenty to talk about should they dangle any of their dynamic young pitchers. That includes Wheeler, even though he likely won’t be ready to pitch in the big leagues until July.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2015 at 06:37 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, zach wheeler

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Scott Boras says Harvey’s innings limit was misunderstanding - NY Daily News

Misstep, misunderstanding. Tomato,  tomahto.

It was all a big “misunderstanding.”

Uber agent Scott Boras, who started a firestorm in September over Matt Harvey’s innings limit, threatening that the Mets would be putting the right-hander in peril if he was used too much down the stretch, is now happy with the way things worked out.

“I think there was a misunderstanding,” said Boras, who made his annual appearance at the GM Meetings on Wednesday. “Matt never, ever said anything about not throwing in the playoffs. He was always going to throw in the playoffs and our plan included him throwing in the playoffs.

“We were all baseball players, we know you pitch in the playoffs,” Boras continued. “The Mets came to us and Dr. (James) Andrews with a plan to pitch in the playoffs, it was executed and turned out well. “

Jim Furtado Posted: November 12, 2015 at 06:29 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets, scott boras

Monday, November 09, 2015

Mets GM to miss meetings because of ‘medical procedure’ - NY Daily News

Baseball’s general managers meetings kick off Monday in Boca Raton, but Sandy Alderson won’t be in attendance.

Assistant GM John Ricco said Monday that Alderson remained back in New York to undergo a medical procedure, though he wouldn’t say whether it was related to last week’s incident in which Alderson passed out during a press conference.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 06:29 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sandy alderson

Harper: Mets can maximize Matt Harvey’s value with trade - NY Daily News

Harvey to the Red Sox for Xander Bogaerts would give them a dynamic, 23-year old shortstop who likely will be an All-Star for years to come.

Harvey for Mookie Betts is an even more enticing thought, bringing back a 23-year old center fielder with speed and power.

And no, to the many Mets fans on Twitter who demanded both for Harvey, there’s no chance. In fact, one American League GM said the Sox value Bogaerts and Betts so highly that they may not see three years of Harvey as enough for either one.

It should be noted, though, that Boras also represents Bogaerts, and he’s four years away from free agency.

In any case, the pertinent question is whether now is the best time to trade Harvey, and four out of five of scouts/executives I polled said it made more sense to wait another year.

“In my experience,” said a GM, “his value wouldn’t be that much greater three years from free agency rather than two. In this case, his value could be even higher next year, after a second year back from Tommy John. But if you want to maximize the return on him, you do need to make a decision at that time.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 09, 2015 at 10:01 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, tradecasting

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Sullivan: The Worst Division in a Decade

The NL East vexes me … I’m terribly vexed.

If you look at winning percentage outside of the same division, then the NL East slides into fourth-worst. At .428, it’s no match for the 2002 AL Central’s .412, but it does dip past the 1999 AL Central’s .439. I feel like I don’t need to keep hammering this. The division was bad. It was probably the worst in 10 years. In the season ahead, it’s likely the Phillies and Braves will once again struggle. The Nationals will lose some personnel, and the Mets could lose both Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes. It’s way too soon to try to forecast how the division will play in 2016, but the probability is that the best team in it will benefit from a relatively soft schedule.

In case you’re curious about the other side, the NL Central was strong, but it ranks tied for 11th in the interleague era. It was the strongest division in two years, since the 2013 AL East. The No. 1 strongest division was the 2002 AL West, with a very slim lead over the previous season’s AL West. (In third place: a different season’s AL West.) In fact, the top nine divisions all come from the American League, but that’s not a total surprise, given the AL’s run of league superiority. This is of little consolation to the Reds and the Brewers, who are looking up at their rivals and wondering what hope they have. If there are two teams in baseball that could stand to try to start over, it would be those. The Brewers have arguably already begun.

Just for the sake of a few closing thoughts: Over the 19 years, the AL Central has never once been baseball’s strongest division. This past year was the first time in the window that the NL Central ranked No. 1. And this was the first time that the NL East ranked No. 6. A year ago, we saw more parity between divisions than we had since at least 1996. There was very little spread in divisional quality. This year was a bounce-back in that regard. Or an anti-bounce-back, depending on your perspective on parity. There was less parity, basically. That’s all.

So, we’re coming off a recent first for the NL Central. And we’re coming off a recent first for the NL East, which was just the worst overall division baseball has seen in a decade. This has all been a reflection, but in the process of writing this, I saw that the Mariners and Rays completed a six-player trade, so now it’s officially time to look ahead. Contained within is information about the 2015 baseball season. That season won’t be bothering you anymore.

JE (Jason) Posted: November 07, 2015 at 09:10 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: barves, marlins, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Friday, November 06, 2015

Were the Mets Ever Really in It?

A look at the World Series from a probability-added perspective raises some questions:

  1. Did the Mets *really* contend?
  2. Was Sally Perez the best choice for MVP?
  3. How big a deal was Murphy’s game four error?

Quick answers, in reverse order: big deal but not the biggest; i’m leaning “no” but remain open-minded; not as well as they seemed to at the time.

J-Doug Posted: November 06, 2015 at 03:53 PM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, sabermetrics, world series

Bill James Online: Fleming: Royal Revolution

The higher the strikeout rate goes, the more the pendulum of value swings away from the quality of contact, and towards just making contact.

This is what the Royals are capitalizing on. What makes the pitchers on a team like the Mets so good is that they can count on getting a lot of strikeouts. The Royals took that away from the Mets: they didn’t give the Mets pitchers easy punch-outs. They said: “If you want to get out of this jam, you better make plays.” The Mets didn’t, and they lost the series.

The Royals are winning because they’ve hoarded players with a skillset that isn’t historically valuable, but it is valuable in the current contexts of how baseball is played today. The value of contact correlates directly with the strikeout rate: the Royals have found themselves with the most contact-prone team in baseball, at a moment when it actually matters.

That’s one trend that the Royals are vanguard on. The other is their bullpen.


bobm Posted: November 06, 2015 at 08:00 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals

The Mets Were a Bad Defensive Club | FanGraphs Baseball

No, your eyes weren’t lying to you.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 06, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, sabermetrics

Thursday, November 05, 2015

‘World Series’ Ratings Hit 12-Year Game 5 Viewership High

People must have tuned in to see Joe Buck’s beard!

The final scores are in, at least for one of the big games last night, and you have to call it a home run for Fox. With an audience of 17.2 million watching the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets 7-2 in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, the net saw the highest Game 5 viewership since 2003. That Game 5 between the New York Yankees and the Florida Marlins snagged a crowd of 19.9 million. Let’s add some more history to that and note that the victory brought the Royals their first World Series since 1985.

Compared to last year’s World Series Game 5 between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants (a series the Bay Area team won), last night’s game was up 37% in total viewers. In the adults 18-49 demographic, Sunday’s winning game got a 5.1 rating, which was up 55% over last year’s October 26 game. The 2014 World Series went to seven games, with the final match-up getting a 6.6 rating on October 29 after what had been a record-low series. Up against the seven games of 2014, this year’s World Series bopped up 6% in total viewership — even with two fewer games.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2015 at 11:33 AM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball is dead, fox, mets, royals, television ratings, world series

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Terry Collins, Mets agree on two-year extension, sources say | Newsday

Collins is not a good tactical manager. I’m still shocked that he let Harvey talk him into staying in the game. I’m even more shocked that he also left him in after he served up a leadoff walk.

Now, Collins has been given the opportunity to chase another championship, and to do so on his own terms. Sources told Newsday on Tuesday that Collins, 66, agreed to a new two-year contract that will keep him in the Mets’ dugout through the 2017 season.

The deal officially will be announced Wednesday at Citi Field. According to, it is worth about $3 million total, which would be a modest raise for Collins, who last season made a little more than $1 million. It represents a reward for Collins, who spent the first four years of his Mets tenure helping to oversee a rebuilding project that led to lean times on the field.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 04, 2015 at 05:39 AM | 42 comment(s)
  Beats: managers, mets, terry collins

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Let’s build a Scouting Report on Lucas Duda’s arm

You’ve got an opinion on the Eric Hosmer play. Y’know, the one where he broke from third on a ground ball that didn’t get out of the infield grass and scored the tying run in the ninth inning of the World Series? Y’know, the one where if he would have been out, the game would have been over but he wasn’t and now the Royals are world champions? That’s the one. You’ve got an opinion on the Hosmer play, I’ve got an opinion on the Hosmer play, and even if you say you don’t have an opinion on the Hosmer play, well, that’s your opinion.

Zach Posted: November 03, 2015 at 07:34 PM | 47 comment(s)
  Beats: eric hosmer, lucas duda, mets, royals

TomoNews: Kansas City Royals destroy the New York Mets to win the World Series

You have got to see this Taiwanese animated video summarizing the World Series. It’s worth the 30 second commercial.

Monday, November 02, 2015

One Inning, Two Decisions, One Champion (Baseball Prospectus)

A few batters later, Hosmer had his own choice, and he decided to go home. Third baseman David Wright fielded a groundball with one out, looked at Hosmer, but with third base unoccupied (Wilmer Flores somewhat sheepishly ran over to cover, but he was going to be far too late to matter) Hosmer was able to hold his pretty-good lead off the bag and leave as soon as Wright fired to first. It was going to be close. Lucas Duda misfired. The throw wasn’t caught. Hosmer scored. “Brilliant baserunning!” Joe Buck said.

· Was it?

· Does it matter?

Davo Posted: November 02, 2015 at 02:39 PM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: baseball prospectus, mets, royals, world series

Slate: The Mets’ Anti-Gay Daniel Murphy Lost His Team The World Series. Good

This is a real article that was actually written by someone.

“I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.” [...]

Of course, Murphy has every right to hold these beliefs, which earned him praise from such luminaries as the Westboro Baptist Church. He does not have a right to expand on them without discipline. Had an MLB player said something bigoted about a black or Jewish player, the league would have reprimanded him. Instead, it took no serious action against Murphy, effectively ratifying his views as reasonable and harmless.

Esoteric Posted: November 02, 2015 at 01:13 PM | 84 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, wtf

Why a Royals scouting report was start of the Mets’ demise (New York Post)

“Make [Lucas] Duda throw the ball. Make [Travis] d’Arnaud throw the ball,’’ was presented to every Royals player.

Davo Posted: November 02, 2015 at 10:42 AM | 151 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, scouting reports, world series

Even by championship standards, this Royals team is special | The Kansas City Star

Every championship is sacred.

Every champion is remembered fondly, but this one is different even by that high standard. Some of that is in wiping away two decades of losing, and some of that is in the way they attacked every day, every game, every inning, every pitch. Kansas Citians bought more tickets than ever before, and spent more time watching on TV than ever before. Following this team became more than a pastime, and more than a habit. It is now an addiction.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2015 at 07:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Royals Run to a Crown No Longer Out of Reach - The New York Times

Congrats to the Royals fans!

Jim Furtado Posted: November 02, 2015 at 07:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Metstradamus: Dead and Lucky

Well-said remarks in a rare snark-free post:

The Mets played a baseball game that started on November 1st and stretched into the wee hours of November 2nd. In a season that started with a roster that was … maybe … good enough to win 83 games, that’s pretty damn good. They just ran into a buzzsaw at the end. A buzzsaw that has been waiting for this after Salvador Perez popped out to Pablo Sandoval last season. They absolutely deserved it, even as the Mets handed it to them. I knew defense would kill the team. But I didn’t think it would kill them in the World Series. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. ...

What I’ll remember this season for most is that this is the season that my wife jumped on board. I’ve been with her for 20 years and this is the first year that baseball seduced her. There were short dances with the likes of Rico Brogna, Mike Piazza, and Todd Pratt. But this was the season that had a seat with her name on it. There has to be something special about the 2015 Mets to have convinced her to climb on board with both feet. My guess is that it was a combination of Wilmer Flores’ tears and the presence of the parakeet. (She doesn’t care much for raccoons.) She trolled a couple of Braves fans in September by asking out loud … with two outs in the ninth of a Mets loss … “Are the Braves going to even make the playoffs?” It came off as innocent curiosity, only to find out later that “yeah, they were being annoying so I decided to stick it to them.” That, along with the day that she asked me why the American League has a DH were the moments that I knew my wife was going through an autumn transformation.

Why this year? Why not 2000 or 2006? Why was this the year that my wife dove in and washed herself in blue and orange? Well if you believe in the mantra of “things happen for a reason”, then maybe it was because her support was more needed now than ever before. It’s been a trying month for me for many reasons. Reasons that made it impossible for me to enjoy this playoff run as much as I should have, or would have. But those things … those reasons will eventually, hopefully, wash away with the tide of life. What will stay with me always is my wife staying awake for the late innings. Spending her work days exhausted in the name of baseball and, of course, in support of me and my lunacy. Making sure my N.L. East Champions shirt was washed frequently as it was 7-0 to start the playoffs (so of course I had to ride it until the end). Scouring the city for Mets cupcakes to buy for me. Taking a pitcure of a Mets bear in the window with an apple for a nose and a crutch to match the one Ruben Tejada has in the name of cheering me up. (It worked.)

JE (Jason) Posted: November 02, 2015 at 07:29 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: 2015, good news, lolmets, mets, postseason, world series

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Hard times for the Mets

Baseball is not sweet. Baseball is not a good guy. Baseball is judgmental, a tough dad. Baseball is tougher than manganese molybdenum. Those who ignore this and want to cling to its sweetness—a sixty-six-year-old manager getting into the World Series for the first time after more than forty years in the game, a beloved team captain hitting a home run in a winning cause after painful struggles with physical disability, a local kid pitching in front of his mom and dad—will get their heads handed to them later in the evening. Never mind what’s happened, baseball says, Go and be perfect again tonight.

Zach Posted: November 01, 2015 at 06:48 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, mets being mets, royals, world series

Matt Harvey is the Mets last hope to keep World Series dream alive | Politi |

Of course, if the team doesn’t player better defense and the bullpen continues to misfire, even a great performance by Harvey won’t be enough.

“It seems like when he has a below-average Matt Harvey start, he comes back the next start a lot better,” Mets captain David Wright said. “He’s seen this lineup, he has seen kind of what they’re all about. And I know he’s one of the best at making adjustments, so I’m sure he’s gonna go in with a good game plan and go pitch like Matt Harvey can pitch.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:41 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: matt harvey, mets, royals, world series

Jeurys Familia blew the Mets’ lead, but he had lots of help | New York Post

How much will Murphy get in free agency?

“For me, in my mind, it’s still the same. Every time I go in to pitch I just want to get the hitter to hit a ground ball with the first pitch I throw,” Familia said. “That’s what I tried tonight, every time I pitch. It doesn’t matter if I have men on base. I don’t try to put pressure on myself. I just want to believe in myself. I know I can do it.”

He got the grounder. Murphy made an error. Tie game. Familia got another grounder. That one, by Mike Moustakas, got through to right field cleanly. Royals up, 4-3. Salvador Perez went line drive to right, 5-3 Royals. Finally, the horror inning ended with an Alex Gordon double play.

“For me, I just try to forget and move forward,” said Familia, who tied the Mets record with 43 regular-season saves and then racked up five more in the postseason before blowing saves in Games 1 and 4. “It doesn’t matter what happened. I tried to forget, move forward.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:38 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Sleight of hand works for Royals, too, as they capitalize on Mets’ goofs for 3-1 Series lead | The Kansas City Star

Trailing 3-2 on Saturday, a Royals team that for 13 months has thrived on the sorcery of the comeback conjured yet another on decidedly slim pickings:

Walks to Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain; a tame grounder by Eric Hosmer that magically bypassed the glove of second baseman Daniel Murphy; and a Mike Moustakas single to right just past the groping Murphy.

Sal Perez made it 5-3 with the only emphatic hit of the inning, and, shazam, the Royals’ comeback recipe was punctuated by a six-out shutdown from closer Wade Davis.

“It’s just kind of how the ball bounced today,” Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. “It kind of rolled right for us.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 01, 2015 at 08:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mets’ successful challenge helps shift momentum - NY Daily News

Take two. “Momentum? Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.” ~ Earl Weaver

Jim Furtado Posted: October 31, 2015 at 08:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, royals, world series

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