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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wall Street Journal: The Grand Old Mets

If anyone has reason to hope the Republicans win the November presidential election, it’s the beleaguered Mets.In the franchise’s half-century history, a striking trend has emerged: When a Republican is president, the Mets tend to win. When a Democrat is in the White House, they usually lose. (The Obama years have been especially unkind.)Since the Mets began play in 1962, Democrats have held the presidency for 23 years—and the Mets have had losing seasons in 19 of them. Conversely, in the 28 years in which a Republican has been president, the Mets have had 19 winning seasons. (Longtime baseball writer Marty Noble, of Newsday and other publications, has noted this trend a couple of times over the years.)

bobm Posted: October 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, mets

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   1. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: October 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4252458)
I told you the Mets suck.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: October 03, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4252471)
That's funny. I definitely think of the Mets as Democratic (a generally incompetent organization, symbolizing the downtrodden) and the Yankees as Republican (tradition-obsessed, born into privilege, devoted to maximizing the advantages of the rich). I suppose those images of the parties are from before the Tea Party made the Repubs more populist. Still, I bet the Mets' fanbase is more Dem and the Yanks' fanbase is more Rep, although maybe it'd be swamped by various demographic factors, I dunno.
   3. GregD Posted: October 03, 2012 at 12:59 PM (#4252473)
That's funny. I definitely think of the Mets as Democratic (a generally incompetent organization, symbolizing the downtrodden) and the Yankees as Republican (slick, tradition-obsessed, ultimately soulless, devoted to maximizing the advantages of the rich). I suppose those images of the parties are from before the Tea Party made the Repubs more populist. Still, I bet the Mets' fanbase is more Dem and the Yanks' fanbase is more Rep, although maybe it'd be swamped by various demographic factors, I dunno.
Just by observation, the Yankees have a lot of fans among the many hundreds of thousands of Upper Manhattan and Bronx Dominicans, who are not famously Republican in their tendencies.

I always thoughts Mets did well with the Brooklyn diaspora out on Long Island, which was generally, esp among Italians, Republican, though trending less so.
   4. Gamingboy Posted: October 03, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4252506)
I think this is oversimplifying it a bit. I've always thought of the Yankees as being "old New York" (People who's families have lived in the city for 50+ years, generally Republican but with the occasional Keith Olbermann thrown in) and people from the immediate neighborhoods (the "Upper Manhattan and Bronx Dominicans" that GregD mentioned), while the Mets are more Brooklyn, Long Island and New Jersey areas that have, at least in the last few decades, been more Democratic. That's the vibe I've usually gotten, anyway.

Also, it seems to me like Yankee fans are almost always Giants fans and Mets fans are almost always Jets fans.
   5. HowardMegdal Posted: October 03, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4252514)
So The Emerging Democratic Majority was really about the Madoff scandal. Who knew?
   6. Mayor Blomberg Posted: October 03, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4252531)
and the last NYY World Series championship with a Republican in the White House was 1958.
   7. GregD Posted: October 03, 2012 at 01:50 PM (#4252539)
The Yankees have won each year that Kentucky won the NCAA basketball title. 7 for 7 with this year a chance to make it 8 for 8
   8. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: October 03, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4252560)
Mr. Wilpon, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL, and move it in about 20 or 30 feet.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:15 PM (#4252807)
So this makes the Pirates Harold Stassen?
   10. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: October 03, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4252902)
Offseason prediction thread:

What happens with Dickey? Traded, extended, or nothing.

What happens with Wright? Traded, extended, or nothing.

Do the Mets make a significant move for a good outfielder, either via free agency or trade?

Does Ike Davis get traded?

Do the Mets attempt to upgrade at 2B or Catcher despite having guys who have had seasons of averagish production at those positions in the past?

Does Bay make the Opening Day roster?
   11. The District Attorney Posted: October 03, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4252950)
What happens with Dickey? Traded, extended, or nothing.
I'll say traded.
What happens with Wright? Traded, extended, or nothing.
Extended.
Do the Mets make a significant move for a good outfielder, either via free agency or trade?
They trade for a couple ex-prospects whose organizations got tired of them, hoping that it's "buying low." I don't see the Mets putting down big money for the FAs who will be available. And although I'd love if they traded for a potential impact OF, I have not heard word one about it.
Does Ike Davis get traded?
Probably not.
Do the Mets attempt to upgrade at 2B or Catcher despite having guys who have had seasons of averagish production at those positions in the past?
No.
Does Bay make the Opening Day roster?
Yes.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: October 03, 2012 at 06:31 PM (#4252985)
I'd guess Wright gets extended, Dickey gets traded in July, and Davis sticks. A move at 2B or catcher is adding a crappy backup catcher, they add a RFer but it's someone like Nate McLouth, Bay makes the club because their first 4 outfielders are left-handed and they can't afford Scott Hairston or Andres Torres.
   13. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: October 03, 2012 at 07:12 PM (#4253075)
I think both Wright and Dickey get extended. The organization seems to want to get it done, and both players seem inclined to stay.

They start the year with 2 new starting outfielders, but no one that a WFAN caller would call 'significant'. Bay is around as the 4th/5th outfielder. The starting infield stays intact. There's a new catcher in a 60/40 job share with Thole.
   14. dr. scott Posted: October 03, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4253185)
Wow, if this gets out Obama could take Georgia if Chipper can pull enough votes.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: October 03, 2012 at 10:53 PM (#4253353)
Offseason prediction thread:

What happens with Dickey? Traded, extended, or nothing.

Nothing.

What happens with Wright? Traded, extended, or nothing.

Nothing.

Do the Mets make a significant move for a good outfielder, either via free agency or trade?

Yes, but we will quibble on whether or not he's really "good."

Does Ike Davis get traded?

No.

Do the Mets attempt to upgrade at 2B or Catcher despite having guys who have had seasons of averagish production at those positions in the past?

No. They'll bring Shoppach back.

Does Bay make the Opening Day roster?

No.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4253370)
It's New York City,, and as such I would expect that both fan bases skew heavily Democratic. That said, the Yanks probably have a higher percentage of Republican fans, as their fan base seems to skew wealthier.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4253377)
What happens with Dickey? Traded, extended, or nothing.

Extended through age 40 at a reasonable price. (Great season but the guy's still gonna be 38 next year.)

What happens with Wright? Traded, extended, or nothing.

I'm going with nothing. Mets will try to extend, won't like the price. I don't follow the media -- does Wright really want to stay? does he think the Mets will be good soon?

Do the Mets make a significant move for a good outfielder, either via free agency or trade?

Hard to see -- or maybe it depends on what you mean by "significant". They won't sign Hamilton and I don't see them paying the prospect price to get somebody close to that class. Or Upton. But somebody like Swisher is possible.

Does Ike Davis get traded?

I'm just not seeing the logic. The Mets have no incentive to trade him unless they get a great offer and no team has an incentive to make the Mets a great offer.

Do the Mets attempt to upgrade at 2B or Catcher despite having guys who have had seasons of averagish production at those positions in the past?

Not a clue. I don't recall there being much available at 2B and C though so it may be a moot point.

Does Bay make the Opening Day roster?

Probably which is OK as long as he's not in the opening day lineup. But does anybody really care?

Oops I have to take some of that back. Napoli is an interesting idea for the Mets -- catch 80-100 games, 1B against RHP for 40 games and interleague DH. I wonder how the Mets feel about his defense. Teams can get hung up on needing a "good" C for a young staff.
   18. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM (#4253402)
They do nothing with Dickey, nothing with Wright (though I wouldn't be surprised if they extended him), pick up a couple 2nd or 3rd tier outfielders, keep Ike, keep Murphy at 2nd, try to upgrade at catcher but probably don't, and either cut Bay or pick up the vast majority of his contract and trade him.

But does anybody really care?

The average Mets fan does, and he very much does not want Bay to be a Met. I'd keep him around if I were them and hope he can be useful against lefties, but I don't expect them to.

Does Ike Davis get traded?

I'm just not seeing the logic. The Mets have no incentive to trade him unless they get a great offer and no team has an incentive to make the Mets a great offer.


The logic is that they have 2 players for one spot. There's no reason to be optimistic that Duda's bat can justify his glove in the outfield. So if they were to make the decision that they're done treating Duda as something other than a 1B, it would make sense to look into trading one of the two. Even though it wouldn't exactly be selling high, Davis has more trade value than Duda at the moment, so trading Davis might make more sense.

   19. Dog on the sidewalk Posted: October 03, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4253403)
Also, I wish "something other" was still around here, so I could see if I could get him to admit he was wrong about Murphy.
   20. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:33 AM (#4253443)
It's New York City...


Neither team's fanbase is limited to the five boroughs.
   21. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4253594)
I kind of want the Mets to sign Melky Cabrera to play in the outfield even though it will never happen and he might be a colossally bad fit in NYC. I don't see a cheaper way to maybe get All-Star level production.
   22. dr. scott Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4253634)
Turns out steroids are cheaper, but you have to buy the right masking agents too. This is not a place to pinch pennies. Let others learn from Melkys failures.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4253642)
Is there any chance that they package Dickey w/ Santana in order to un-burden themselves of Johan's contract, or have their cash problems abated enough that they don't have to do that?
   24. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4253654)
Johan's only got one more year on his deal. If they really need to slash payroll, it will start in 2014.
   25. zack Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4253664)
They trade for a couple ex-prospects whose organizations got tired of them, hoping that it's "buying low."


Isn't that the right move at this point? Plenty of pennant winning teams have been built that way. Obviously it needs to mixed with some more traditional moves as well.

God damn does this team need an outfield, and Niese to finally turn the corner.

At least Matt Harvey looks like a star. Familia and/or Wheeler could be pieces for the 2nd half. Robert Carson and Collin McHugh look interesting as short relievers, anyone know anything about them?

Flores looks like the only hitting help for years, and he's 20. God damn does this team need an outfield.

   26. Ravecc Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4253670)
They’ll try to extend both Dickey and Wright, don’t know if they’ll succeed.

They’ll keep Ike, Murph and Thole (and little Ruben, too). I can see a straight platoon between Duda and Bay, but they need a CF in the worst way, and probably a RF too.

They do have a set rotation: Dickey, Santana, Harvey, Niese, Gee, with Wheeler, Familia, Mejia, Hefner and McHugh in AAA (wherever that may be). They need to re-tool the bullpen – Francisco and Parnell should be the only ones with set roles in ST, with Edgin and Carson fighting for jobs. Rauch, Acosta, Ramirez, Byrdak, flotsam, jetsam – all should be let go.
   27. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4253675)
Isn't that the right move at this point? Plenty of pennant winning teams have been built that way.
I'd like to see them make a bigger trade for a good, established starting OF; I think they have the resources to do that. But yes, it might help to look through the recent prospect discard pile. It's certainly something that the prior recent Mets regimes did not do often enough.

Melky sounds like a pretty great idea, actually. The intenseness of the beating he's taking (not letting him participate in the playoffs after he's served his time? really??) is so intense that you might be able to get him at half price or something.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: October 04, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4253676)
Johan's only got one more year on his deal. If they really need to slash payroll, it will start in 2014.


What do you mean by this?
   29. Ravecc Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4253723)
Who would be good CF targets? Obviously they can’t afford Upton, Hamilton, and I’d rather see Den Dekker K 250 times than get Victorino. Dare they get Pagan back? Hope Torii Hunter can still play CF, and do it for cheap?

The only ex-prospect I can see freely floating around is Lastings Milledge. Hah.
   30. JJ1986 Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4253728)
What do you mean by this?


Sorry that was unclear. Their payroll should be fine for this year (they might not be able to add much, but they don't need to dump anyone right now). And because of the incredibly low commitment next year (2014) (about $5 million) if they do add or extend anyone they can do it so that the money for this year is lower and then it increases after that.
   31. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4253765)
Who would be good CF targets?
In terms of the OF, Justin Upton is always the dream. Otherwise, my free association from a month ago:
KC needs pitching more than hitting; maybe we deal them pitching for Alex Gordon. Toronto called up their big CF prospect Anthony Gose, so maybe they'd part with Colby Rasmus. Maybe Cincy thinks Jay Bruce is a .250 hitter who isn't progressing. Maybe a Jacoby Ellsbury, or less excitingly, a Corey Hart. I don't like these guys as much because I don't think they're really defensive outfielders, but I bet Brandon Belt, Logan Morrison and Carlos Quentin aren't considered untouchable by their teams.

(I know we're not going to get any of those guys for Jeremy Hafner, but I'm suggesting a "big" trade where we give up significant players.)

Maybe get a current infielder like Chase Utley or Hanley Ramirez and move him to OF where he probably should be anyway. Bring in a Matt LaPorta or something, see if a guy whom you can probably get for a song and who tears up the minors every time he goes down there will finally hit for you. (Travis Snider would have been good. J.D. Martinez has played badly enough that even the rebuilding Astros might no longer be interested.)
I think Bruce hit like 20 homers since then; I don't think he's a realistic target anymore. (And not all those guys are CF, natch.)
   32. Ravecc Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4253790)
Justin Upton will require Wheeler and Flores, plus, and they might have to throw in Jeff Wilpon’s Learjet.

What about Bourjos? (yes, Andres Torres has left me obsessed with a capable centerfielder.)
   33. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4253798)
What about Bourjos?
I'm sure it's possible, but DiPoto has repeatedly said that Bourjos will be a regular next year. Since that's kind of a weird thing to emphasize about a non-rookie who is currently sitting on the bench, I deduce he's serious about that plan.
   34. depletion Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4253846)
Ravecc, what's with the Victorino hate? I think he'd be a good pickup at the right price. He kills LH pitching. I also think they should consider moving Daniel Murphy plus X for a good outfielder, and then put Ronnie Cedeno at 2B.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4253856)

I think they will re-sign Dickey - it's a completely logical thing to do and there's unlikely to be an unreasonable bid out there for him.

I am more torn on Wright. It is really hard to know what you are going to get with him even next year, let alone over a long-term contract. And someone will offer him a lot of money that the Mets are going to have to match, or come close to matching, to keep him.

Trading Davis would be selling low on a guy with real upside, and Duda is not a guy you move someone to make room for. They should either just keep them both or trade Duda for whatever they can get.
   36. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:38 PM (#4253876)
Maybe get a current infielder like Chase Utley or Hanley Ramirez and move him to OF where he probably should be anyway.


Welcome to Bizzarro Mets...
   37. Conor Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:39 PM (#4253879)
God damn does this team need an outfield, and Niese to finally turn the corner.


I think that happened this year. Made it through 30 starts, and finally made it through September at a high level, pitched to a 112 ERA+. Outperformed his FIP and xFIP for the first time ever. I don't really expect much more out of Niese.
   38. The District Attorney Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4253890)
I hope I'm wrong about Dickey getting dealt, but although I do think he likes it here, I think he's still going to ask for a whole lot of money -- I mean, he'll probably be the reigning Cy Young -- and I think that, pretty much entirely because of his birthdate, this front office will be skeptical of giving it to him.

I'm not sure I can ever again endorse us signing yet another non-superstar OF in his 30s. Certainly the guy who'd make me reconsider is not Shane Victorino. (Unless it's real cheap.)
   39. Conor Posted: October 04, 2012 at 12:52 PM (#4253901)
Without knowing the payroll constraints, it's hard to figure out what I think the Mets should do. If the payroll is going to be $95 million for the foreseeable future, then even something like extending Dickey and Wright, which should be no brainers, are a little harder.

If the Mets were either running a payroll of 130-140 million (and the reality is they should probably be able to go even higher than that, especially in the next few years with the new tv deal), or at the very least were capable of doing so, then I'd say they should re-sign Dickey and Wright, even if the combined value was around $35 million per year.
   40. Ravecc Posted: October 04, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4253966)
what's with the Victorino hate


I'm a Mets fan.

   41. zack Posted: October 04, 2012 at 04:04 PM (#4254361)
I'm not sure I can ever again endorse us signing yet another non-superstar OF in his 30s. Certainly the guy who'd make me reconsider is not Shane Victorino. (Unless it's real cheap.)


Limited to guys who were signed to be starters because I don't want to find every damn Marlon Anderson I had forgotten about, and age is baseball age of their first season as a Met.

So without further ado, I give you 15 years of Mets outfielder aquisitions! This is going to hurt:
Free Agents-
Jason Bay: 30
Carlos Beltran: 28
Gary Sheffield: 40
Moises Alou: 40
Sleepy30: 30
Mike Cameron: 31
Karim Garcia: 28
Roger Cedeno: 27
Tsuyoshi Shinjo: 29, 31
Rickey!: 40

And the trades:
Andres Torres: 34
Frenchy: 25
Ryan Church: 29
Xavier Nady: 27
Shawn Green:33
Richard Hildago: 29
Darryl Hamilton: 34
Jeromy Burnitz: 33
Joe McEwing: 27
Matt Lawton: 29
Operation Shutdown: 31
Brian McRae: 30
Bernard '1996' Gilkey: 29
Lance Johnson: 32
Jurassic Carl: 24
Alex Ochoa: 23

Looking through the list, I think the trades might actually be worse than the FA signings, and I'm not sure the under 30 players did any better. If I were going to try and draw conclusions, I would say the Mets should:
-Only sign OF age 40+, and only for one year
-If an acquisition does somehow have a good or great season, trade them immediately
-Get a ####### medical staff
-Draft something other than speedy OFs and RHP, because the homegrown alternatives aren't any better

Oh, and advice to any FA outfielders: stay the #### away or your career will be ruined

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