Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why the Mets need to get Bourn

Jackson Walsh
MM Correspondent

Following Scott Hairston's two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs, the Mets real only hope is the primed free agent Michael Bourn. The Mets have been reticent due to enjoying the thought of a number 11 first round draft pick.

But the Amazin's can have their cake and eat it too if they get the ruling they are seeking, that acquiring a top free agent like Bourn would not effect their ticket number in this upcoming draft. Then they get another outfielder to fill a piece of the jigsaw puzzle and perhaps another young prospect to give the team a little more hope for future seasons.

Normally, a team can't argue having their draft pick used in a case like this. The difference here is that the Mets finished with the tenth worst record last season. That earned them the number 10 pick. Major League Baseball awarded that spot to the Pittsburgh Pirates as an extra draft pick for compensation. Only the top ten picks are secure when a team signs a free agent like Bourn.

There is no guarantee that Bourn would answer the Mets call, yet it would transform the outfield rotation (Duda-Nieuwenhuis-Baxter) and add on to the reserves (Cowgill, Brown). A contending mark for Bourn is far off, yet being the only player wanting a big league contract, it just might be the only alternative

Friday, January 25, 2013

Shaun Marcum is Officially a Met

                        The Mets are  hoping that Marcum is a valuable addition to their pitching rotation.

Shale Briskin
Assistant Editor

Rumors yesterday of the Mets signing free agent veteran right-handed pitcher Shaun Marcum to a one-year contract have become a reality. According to Anthony DiComo of, the Mets have indeed reached an agreement with Marcum that will include a one-year contract worth $4 million. It will also include performance-based incentives.

The addition of Marcum now solidifies the Mets' 2013 Opening Day rotation, which will also include Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Johan Santana and Dillon Gee. Zack Wheeler figures to be a part of the rotation as well sometime this year. The Mets have yet to name an Opening Day starter.

Marcum will fill the void left by R.A. Dickey after Dickey was traded to the Blue Jays in December. Marcum is not expected to be an ace for the Mets, but rather an innings eater. Marcum has averaged 173 innings in the last three seasons. He threw 195.1 innings with the Blue Jays in 2010, 200.2 innings with the Brewers in 2011 and 124.0 innings last season with the Brewers.

In 2012, Marcum only made 21 starts due to injuries. He finished the season with a 7-4 record and a 3.70 ERA. His name in the summer was floated in potential trade rumors, but he did not end up getting dealt.

Marcum was originally drafted by the Blue Jays in 2003 and made his MLB debut in September of 2005. After going 3-4 with a 5.06 ERA within 21 appearances in 2006, Marcum had a breakout season in 2007 with a 12-6 record and an ERA of 4.13.

Marcum had another good season in 2008 with a 9-7 record and a 3.39 ERA in 25 starts. However, he struggled down the stretch and was sent to the minor leagues in August. He returned to the Blue Jays in September and left his final start of the season with pain in his elbow. As it turned out, Marcum would need Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of 2008 and almost all of 2009 because of it.

Marcum did not make an appearance with the Blue Jays in 2009, but made five total minor league starts before being shut down for the year. In 2010, Marcum was the Blue Jays' Opening Day starter following the trade that sent Roy Halladay to the Phillies.

 He notably allowed the 600th home run of Alex Rodriguez's career on August 4. On the positive side, Marcum finished the year with a career high 13 wins and a 3.64 ERA.

In 2011, Marcum was dealt to the Brewers in exchange for one-time prospect Brett Lawrie, who is now the Blue Jays' third baseman. He ended up having an even better season as the Brewers' No. 3 starter with a 13-7 record and a career best 3.54 ERA.

Unfortunately for him and the Brewers though, Marcum struggled mightily in the 2011 postseason. He was 0-3 with a 14.90 ERA in three starts. Marcum got shelled in all his starts and gave up a grand slam to Paul Goldschmidt in his only postseason start against the Diamondbacks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The World Baseball Classic: Why David Wright, Johan Santana and other players should avoid it

Photo courtesy of NY Daily News

Frank Gray

The concept of the World Baseball Classic is not a bad one, in and of itself. It allows baseball to spread popularity of the sport around the world. That exposure is huge for Major League Baseball. It allows them to attract the very best from other countries to play in America and it helps TV ratings.

This is all understandable. To this point, it makes sense that MLB should only want the very best of their players to represent their countries; the better the athlete, the better the competition, the better the games, the better the ratings and popularity levels.

With all that said, baseball does not need to grow in other countries as much as MLB is protesting that it does. According to the International Baseball Federation, there are 118 countries throughout the world that play professional baseball. This includes the dozens of countries in the WBC. MLB has branched out to these countries where the sport is most popular. They have repeatedly played their season games in Japan, Puerto Rico and Mexico, just to name a few.

Does that mean the sport couldn't use more growth? Absolutely not. Globally speaking, baseball is not always even a top five sport in television ratings, with Cricket, Soccer, American Football, Basketball and the Summer Olympic Games all ranking higher at various points this past year than our beloved sport of baseball.

Therefore, it is in the MLB's best interest to have their best players on the biggest global stage; the WBC. However, is it the best thing for the players? The answer isn't immediately clear. There is always the risk of injury when a player will play extra games for another team and not the initial team of which he is signed.

That, of course, means he will be impacting his contractual teammates, their clubhouse, their environment and their rhythm for an extended period of time, not to mention the player's rhythm own as well. While there is no hard evidence that links an injury curse to the WBC, it is always a relevant possibility.

Whether it is national pride or professional ego, playing in these games is tempting and prestigious for players. They get national recognition and are embraced as heroes. Some, like Oliver Perez, have actually parlayed their performances in the WBC into large MLB contracts.

Still, others seem to be effected negatively by the extra effort. Take the face of the Mets franchise for example, David Wright, He hit 33 home runs the year prior to the WBC and just 10 the year of the WBC. That 2009 season is also the debut of Citi Field, so this could be a coincidence, but there are others.

Jose Reyes, for example, had a dismal 2009. He only played 36 games and was shut down due to a calf injury in May. In addition to Reyes, Carlos Beltran's downward spiral with the Mets began after his appearance in the 2009 WBC. He only played 81 games and hit 10 home runs in that 2009 campaign. The next few years, he spent nursing the same ailments that would repeatedly be re-aggravated.

One more example would be Carlos Delgado. In 2009, he played in the WBC and was subsequently shut down in May of that season and would never play a Major League game again..

While other teams can claim the same type of horror stories with a few of their players, it is not wise for anyone in the Mets organization to take part in the WBC. They are not in a position where they have the type of depth to make up for a major player going down to injury or could afford the hit of a major player having an underachieving year.

Johan Santana (if healthy) and David Wright have both confirmed they will participate in this year's festivities. While it can be debated how much good or bad they can do for their national rosters, it can be certain that their MLB team can't afford taking the chance.

If the Mets don't wish to step in because they are contractually covered, the mantle of responsibility falls on the player. They have more to risk in being accountable to their everyday teammates and fans than their national teammates should something go awry in this WBC.

When it comes to the WBC, for the good of the players, the team, the fans and the health of the clubhouse, the players must resist the temptation and just say no.

Monday, January 21, 2013

David Wright and his eventful winter

Wendy Adair

The news has been announced that David Wright is engaged to long time girlfriend and Ford Model Molly Beers, first of all, congrats to the happy couple!!  Second of all, Wright has always been known for his privacy, so it should be interesting to see how public their engagement and wedding festivities become, after all, celebrities in New York are always under a microscope.

Wright has experienced a lot this winter, first of all, his mega extension making him a Met for eight more years.  The yearly salary means a lot less to him than the commitment that the Mets made as far as how many years he would be retained as their unofficial captain and face of the franchise.

In March, Wright will be part of Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.  In 2009, Wright played a pivotal role in Team USA and their road to the semifinals where they lost to Japan.  The walk off single (it was really a double) that Wright had against Puerto Rico to propel them to the semifinals was absolutely awe inspiring, especially considering the "anti clutch" label that Wright has been unfairly labeled with in past years.

                                                                                                    Alan Diaz/AP

The WBC was a roller coaster ride for Wright, two days before this walk off hit, he was kneed in the head by a member of Team Netherlands and was doubtful for a few days but his performance and heroics against Puerto Rico lifted the whole team.

The following night during a seeding game in the pouring rain, Wright fouled a pitch off his foot and hurt his toe, at one point, it was actually very plausible that he had broken his toe, he hobbled around the rest of the game and in the clubhouse after the game.  X Rays were taken and were negative but he played the semi final game against Japan and after the loss, headed back to Port St Lucie Florida to fnish Spring Training with the Mets.

Wright had a down year in 2009, but to blame it entirely on playing in the WBC would be irresponsible, a new home field, teammates going down left and right to injuries and dealing with his own aches and pains likely played a role in the down year. 

Over the course of the 2009 season, it was revealed by Jerry Manuel during his weekly radio segment with Mike Francesca on WFAN radio that Wright was playing with a strain behind his right knee that most fans did not even realize, Wright played it down, true to form, but again, it could have been part of the equation.

The Mets can only hope that Wright stays healthy throughout the tournament and in 2013, but I am sure that all eyes will be on him for how he handles his engagement, new contract and his participation in the WBC.

Again, congrats to David and Molly and Lets go Team USA and the New York Mets!!

Mets give Feliciano minor league deal

After his tenure with the Yankees, to which for the most part he was battling a left shoulder injury, Pedro Feliciano was signed with a Minor league contract and an invitation to Spirng Training Monday. The Mets were responsible for all of Pedro's major league pitching experience where he went 22-19 with a 3.31 ERA. in 89 appearances from '08-'10. Given his lack of pitching experience, and the fact that he is recovering still from a year or two of injury, the minors may just be what fits the 36 year old closer.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Johan Santana: Why He and the World Baseball Classic Are Not a Match

Shale Briskin
Assistant Editor

When the 2013 World Baseball Classic rosters were announced, only one Met was listed on a team roster for his respective country. That would be David Wright, who will represent Team USA once again.

However, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN, Johan Santana has recently expressed interest in participating in the World Baseball Classic, which is something that would definitely not benefit the Mets.

Santana will not even be allowed to participate unless a WBC committee approves of his participation by determining whether he is healthy enough to pitch or not.

Santana would be wise to skip the World Baseball Classic again. He is recovering from the lower back injury that ended his 2012 season in August. In fact, Santana has had a season-ending injury for the past four consecutive years, which includes 2011, when he missed that entire season. At 34 years old by Opening Day, it does not seem like Santana's overall health will be improving this year or in the future.

With this being said, participating in the World Baseball Classic would be a big injury risk for Santana in the Mets. His value to the Mets certainly outweighs any value he could have for Team Venezuela, which already has Felix Hernandez and Anibal Sanchez leading a strong pitching staff.

If Santana were to get hurt during the World Baseball Classic, it would have a significant effect on the Mets' upcoming season. This would mean someone like Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia, or Collin McHugh would have to fill in Santana's spot in the rotation for at least a few weeks.

Zack Wheeler of course could be the best option available if Santana gets hurt, but it would not be of the Mets' best interest to rush Wheeler into the major leagues. He could use some more time (possibly one or two months) developing and fine tuning his pitching in the minor leagues before getting called up to the Mets. The Mets would likely try to avoid such a situation from having to occur.

All in all, it would be wise of Santana and in the best interest of the Mets for him to not participate in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The Mets owe Santana $31 million this year and it would not be good if all that money to waste due to an injury suffered in the World Baseball Classic that could have been easily avoided.

Hopefully, Santana will give into his personal desires and put the team over himself this year. He will be playing this year for a future job in 2014, so if he is healthy and effective on the mound, there's a much better chance of him finding a new contract next offseason.

For more information on this subject, please click on this link.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Daniel Murphy: A Secret Weapon for the Mets in 2013 & Beyond

Photo courtesy of Alex Gallardo/AP

Jordan Panitch
Mets Menu Contributor

Throughout the last decade for the New York Mets baseball, second base has accumulated the least amount of production. The Mets tried out innumerable options at second base in their recent history, including Luis Castilo, Brad Emaus, Damon Easley, Luis Hernandez, Alex Cora, Jose Valentine, Anderson Hernandez, Kazuo Matsui Miguel Cairo, Robert Alomar, etc, all of which have failed to continuously produce.

An even more notable stat is that with the exception of Luis Castillo, no Met second basemen has ever remained on the roster for three consecutive years. It has been a bad situation. This statement pretty much sums up the frustrating situation the Mets have had in their recent history at second base. 

It has been way too long since they had "that" guy. That guy at second base that can produce at a consistent bases season after season, and providing a spark for the team with strong defensive abilities. Thankfully, one of the biggest out-takes from the disappointing 2012 season showed the Mets that they have found that guy. His name is Daniel Murphy. 

In 2008, Murphy entered his first year with the Mets. He did not get much playing time, but he did hit for an impressive .313 average in 49 games and 131 at-bats. There was one problem though, he looked lost playing left field. He posted a .962 fielding percentage, but besides the errors, he looked lost out there. The Mets did not have confidence starting him every day.

He landed a bigger role in 2009 due to the injured Carlos Delgado, and Murphy got a shot at showing what he could do at first base. He opened some eyes, and surprisingly looked very comfortable there. in 101 games at first base, he posted a .989 fielding percentage with only 10 errors. Between first and a few other miscellaneous positions, Murphy played 155 games in all in 2009, with a .266 average with 12 homers. 

He did not play during the 2010 season at all due to injury. When he returned in 2011, he was having a breakout year. He played 109 games, and hit a very impressive .320 before suffering a season-ending injury. Again, he did not have a position that defined him. He did not play more than 54 games at one specific position, switching between first, third, and second. 

A big question loomed before the 2012 season. The team didn't have a second basemen. They team put that position in Murphy's hands. He had another great offensive year, posting a .291 average in 156 games with 6 homers and 65 RBI's. Along with David Wright, he made a huge contribution to the Mets first half surge. 

Defensively, he started to look more comfortable throughout the season, but still struggled at some points. He had a .974 average with 15 errors at second base.  Many people believe he will never become a great player because of his continuous defensive struggles, but when his season is looked at in two halves instead of one, it is much easier to see that Murphy is on the right track. He had 9 errors before the break, 6 after.

 It is also important to take into account that second base was Murphy's unnatural position, and 2012 was his first year playing there for a full year. It was quite obvious that early on in the year, he was very uncomfortable there, but as the season moved on, he became much more adept to playing the position, turning double plays very efficiently with Tejada, making his routine plays, and even by the end of the season, he was making phenomenal plays, and at some points looking like a gold-glover. His experience at multiple positions has come in handy in the past and can be an asset to the team in the future as well. 

Many people think he is great trade bait for the Mets, but they're wrong. He's a keeper. His 2012 performance shows he really can become a great, key, consistent player for 2013 and beyond. Maybe we will see him in an all-star uniform come July, who knows??

Murphy's  production should allow him to become a long-tenured, and a possible franchise player for the Mets organization, and hopefully he will be playing a large role in  helping the Mets bring a world series trophy to New York. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How the 2013 Baseball Hall of Fame Shutout Will Affect Mike Piazza's Eventual Induction

Shale Briskin
Assistant Editor

Not seeing Mike Piazza getting inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this year was very tough for me to endure. He was my childhood hero growing up, back when I really started following the Mets in 1998 at the young age of 7.

Arguably the best hitting catcher of all time, Piazza redefined the offensive standards at the position throughout his career. His 427 career home runs are by far the most of any catcher, with 396 occurring while behind the plate. His .308 lifetime average, .922 career OPS, 12 All-Star Game nominations and 10 consecutive Silver Slugger Awards (1993-2002) would prove that Piazza is indeed a genuine Hall of Famer.

The 2013 Hall of Fame voting process was rather unique, simply because of the "Steroid Era" and how the players of that generation would be looked at due to possible steroid usage. Some writers with Hall of Fame votes, such as Howard Bryant and T.J. Quinn of ESPN did not even turn in ballots, while others simply didn't vote for Piazza because of speculation that he may have used performance enhancing drugs at some point in his career.

The fact of the matter is that there is no legitimate PED or steroid evidence against Piazza. He was not mentioned in the Mitchell Report and never tested positive for any substances. The only real speculation of possible steroid usage has come from this article famed writer Murray Chass wrote in 2009. Other than that, there really isn't any concrete evidence that proves that Piazza indeed used any performance enhancing drugs.

With all this being said, it's inevitable that Piazza will eventually get inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He got 57.8% of all votes on his first ballot this year. This means that he is in great shape to be elected in the near future. The only question now is when will it happen?

Piazza's future on the Baseball Hall of Fame will actually be affected by the status of other eligible members at least as much, if not more than his own credibility and all the negative "Steroid Era" rumors he has been tied to. The next few years will include quite a few worthy players that played at the same time as Piazza in the 1990s and 2000s.

Here is a breakdown of all the remaining and upcoming eligible members for the Hall of Fame.

Remaining Eligible Players Through the 2013 Ballot (Year of Eligibility in 2014 in parentheses):

- Jack Morris (15th Ballot and Final Year of Eligibility)
- Don Mattingly (14th Ballot)
- Alan Trammell (13th Ballot)
- Lee Smith (12th Ballot)
- Mark McGwire (8th Ballot)
- Tim Raines (7th Ballot)
- Edgar Martinez (5th Ballot)
- Fred McGriff (5th Ballot)
- Jeff Bagwell (4th Ballot)
- Rafael Palmeiro (4th Ballot)
- Larry Walker (4th Ballot)
- Craig Biggio (2nd Ballot)
- Barry Bonds (2nd Ballot)
- Roger Clemens (2nd Ballot)
- Mike Piazza (2nd Ballot)
- Curt Schilling (2nd Ballot)
- Sammy Sosa (2nd Ballot)

Notable First Year Players on the 2014 Ballot

- Tom Glavine
- Luis Gonzalez
- Jeff Kent
- Greg Maddux
- Mike Mussina
- Kenny Rogers
- Frank Thomas

Notable First Year Players on the 2015 Ballot

- Carlos Delgado
- Nomar Garciaparra
- Randy Johnson
- Pedro Martinez
- Gary Sheffield
- John Smoltz

Notable First Year Players on the 2016 Ballot

- Ken Griffey Jr.
- Trevor Hoffman
- Billy Wagner

Notable Players on the 2017 Ballot 

- Vladimir Guerrero
- Manny Ramirez
- Ivan Rodriguez
- Miguel Tejada

The recently retired Chipper Jones will be eligible for induction starting in 2018.

As shown here, the 2014 and 2015 classes are quite loaded, when combined with all the holdovers from previous years. It will be very difficult for voters to decide on who should be inducted and when. The fact that no one got inducted this year will make the next few years that much more difficult for the baseball writers.

If I were to predict what would most realistically happen in future elections, I would say that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas will all get inducted on their first ballots in 2014. Maddux and Glavine are two of the greatest pitchers to ever live and by far two of the best throughout the 1990s. Thomas was one of the best hitters in the 1990s and has 521 career home runs. None of these three players have ever had any performance enhancing drug rumors tied to them, so it's pretty much inevitable that all three will be enshrined a year from now.

Craig Biggio could join them as well, being that he got 68% of all votes this year and fell just short of induction. Jack Morris is on his final ballot and could possibly get more votes, although a future induction through the Veterans Committee is more likely to occur for him.

As for Piazza, he could possibly get inducted in 2014. However,with Maddux, Glavine and Thomas all shoe-ins for induction, plus Biggio likely to get more votes, those four players could push Piazza back another year.

The last year in which the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) elected three players in the same year was in 1999, when George Brett, Nolan Ryan and Robin Yount all got inducted. The BBWAA though has not elected four players in one year since 1955. Joe DiMaggio, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Bill Terry were the four inductees that year. This history could even work against Biggio in 2014, which means he could get pushed back from induction as well.

As for 2015, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez will both get inducted that year for sure, as they were two of the very best pitchers of their generation. John Smoltz could also be inducted right away, but he's not as much of a definite first ballot inductee compared to Johnson and Martinez. If Smoltz does not get inducted in 2015, the chances of either Biggio or Piazza getting inducted will certainly rise. If Piazza does get inducted in 2015, that would be great, but if not, there are still many years to go.

In 2016, Ken Griffey Jr. is a shoe-in for a first ballot induction, being that he was one of the best overall position players in the 1990s. He has no links to possible steroid use as well. Trevor Hoffman is very deserving for the Hall of Fame as well, but it's not certain he will be inducted on the first ballot.

Thus, it would be fair to predict that if Piazza is not inducted in 2015, 2016 will be his year. If he is not surrounded by Johnson and Martinez for his induction, Griffey and Biggio will probably be the two players in his induction class.

All I'm really trying to say is that if Piazza's induction does not occur until a few years from now, it will not be due to possible performance enhancing drug rumors like it was this year. The upcoming Hall of Fame ballots will simply be loaded with deserving players and the automatic inductions of some of these players will simply push Piazza back by default. Furthermore, history has proven that it's rare now to see the BBWAA elect three players in one year, and extremely rare for four or more players to get inducted in the same year.

Be patient fellow Mets fans! Piazza will get inducted within the next three or four years. How it all plays out though beginning a year from now will be very fascinating to see.

I was planning on going to Cooperstown again this summer to see Piazza's induction, but with not even one new person getting inducted this year, I will postpone my trip until 2014. But when Piazza finally gets elected, I will look forward to seeing you in Cooperstown because I would not miss his induction for anything in the world.

New York Mets Offseason: Projecting the Starting Outfield

Alex Bouraad
Mets Menu Contributor

As you all may know, the New York Mets have an outfield predicament. While they may have young, up-and-coming talent by the names of Matt Den-Dekker and WIlmer Flores, fans are stuck looking at what the outfield should be on Opening Day 2013. 

While some other parts of Mets farm system are very promising, like the pitching prospects, the outfield has a long way to go. If the season started today, the starting outfield would most likely be Mike Baxter in LF, Kirk Nieuwenhuis in CF, and Lucas Duda in RF. 

Let's start with Mike Baxter. Mike Baxter or the hometown kid, will always be known as the man who saved Johan Santana's no-no. Baxter is definitely not the answer for a playoff contending team. While he is a solid fielder, his offense is just not good enough for a playoff contending team. In 89 games last year, he only hit for a .263 AVG with three home runs.

Next is Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Even though he has a crazy last name and his style of play is entertaining to watch, he should not be considered the solution in CF. He is just simply not fast enough and does not have a quick enough first step to patrol a solid center field. This brings up an interesting point, because of Nieuwenhuis deficiencies in the field, will this cause Sandy and Terry to fast track a young prospect by the name of Matt Den-Dekker to the majors in time for opening day?

I believe that this will happen. Matt Den-Dekker has been on the minds of Mets fans for years; a speedy but very steady fielder in center with some pop in his bat. Den Dekker's career fielding percentage is a whopping .988. This guy is the future center fielder of your New York Mets.

Finally, we move on to Lucas Duda. While Duda had a rather disappointing 2012 with the big club. including a visit to Buffalo, he could be a potential mainstay in one of the corner outfield spots. His power numbers have not yet translated to Major League level, with only 15 HRs last year, but I believe that Lucas Duda can and will be a consistent 30-40 HR hitter.

While we never know what lies in the future, I believe that your New York Mets Opening Day outfield will be:  Lucas Duda in RF, Matt Den-Dekker in CF and in LF will be Kirk Nieuwenhuis  to start the season.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guilt by Association

So, like everyone else, I was very disappointed yesterday that Mike Piazza did not get elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And what was the reason? We all know that he has the stats during his career to be considered for the Hall. So, why didn't he get in?

 Piazza has been put in the group of players who played during the so-called "steroid era" and it's just not fair. Where is the evidence that Mike was a cheater? Was his name in the Mitchell Report? Did Mike show obvious physical signs of steroid use?

The answer to all of these questions is "no". In our country, we are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. With this result, Mike Piazza is considered guilty until he eventually gets voted into the Hall of Fame. This is not how we are supposed to view people in America. I know that Mike will eventually get voted in - he's just too good not to have that elite distinction.

He is arguably the greatest offensive catcher of all time. It's just a shame that he has to be included with a group of players that everyone knows cheated. And hopefully, when Mike Piazza's plaque is unveiled in Cooperstown, he will be sporting a Mets cap. The people who are allowed to vote for these Hall of Fame players need to take a long hard look at the process in general.

Maybe the voters need to include others, like broadcasters and current Hall of Famers who would be willing to take an objective look at the whole thing. The writers alone should not be the sole voters - it's leaving out many more qualified individuals who could look past the suspicions and rumors to elect players worthy of the Hall and what it is supposed to represent. Mike Piazza will get elected someday - - and that day will be a wonderful celebration for the man who lifted our spirits after September 11th and showed leadership and passion for the game.

Thank you, Mike for all that you did for the Mets and the fans. You are already a Hall of Famer to us.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Baseball Writers leveling the playing field, but lets be realistic....

There is no question that PEDs have played a role in MLB for many years and that careers of these players are geared towards two things, championship rings and Hall of Fame votes.

Well the HOF induction fiasco earlier this week has a lot of Mets fans very angry, Mike Piazza was not elected in to the Hall of Fame, but to be fair neither was Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.  The common thread with these players is that they are linked to illegal PED use. 

I will not get into who used or did not use what, it really does not matter, baseball is sending a message that drug use will not be tolerated and that players who are caught with failed drug tests will pay dearly for their enhanced performances.

The game of baseball has changed a lot, the players are putting more pressure on themselves to outslug and outplay their predecessors because it has become all too common to call today's players "soft" and "entitled" due to the money that they are getting paid.  To the point that stints on the Disabled List for anything other than a serious injury brings out the worst in a team's fans.  Players feel the need to take injections to help injuries either heal faster or just relieve the pain so they can play every game as the fans expect.

Mike Piazza will forever be in Mets fans hearts for his impact during his years in New York, most notably in 2011 after the terrorist attacks shook New Yorkers to their very core.  His clutch HR to win the first game back in New York after 9/11 will never be forgotten by any fan alive to witness or read about what that HR meant to New York.

The Hall of Fame inductions and its baseball writers votes will always have its rules and traditions, but barring true impact players from the Hall of Fame because of PED's taken, especially for innocent reasons, needs to change, these players deserve the recognition.