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nmigliore

Official 2014 New York Mets Thread

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Ralph Kiner has passed away. :(

 

The man was such a joy to have on the broadcasts and so insightful even to his last day on the job, and that was only half of his outstanding achievements -- he was a Hall of Fame ballplayer, as well. RIP Ralph. Gonna really miss his presence this season. 

 

When you make it to 91, you did well...he lived quite the full life. 

 

Last decade was clearly tough for him.  When you hear his early broadcasts, you realize how sharp he once was...he clearly started to age in that regard in the 80s. 

 

Had a hell of a baseball career until a back injury forced him out of the game at just 32 years old...his numbers from 1947-51 were pretty awesome.  He got into the Hall of Fame in his last year of eligibility, and by just one vote at that...the narrowest margin of getting in ever. 

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No doubt, re: living a full life. He also had his mind with him the entire time; his speech may have worsened but he still knew his sh!t and was always a very humorous story-teller. He used to get Gary/Keith/Ron laughing hysterically at some of stories he'd tell. It's a shame I wasn't around to enjoy his younger broadcasting years and his legendary "Kiner's Korner" although I've seen highlights of it.

 

That's an interesting fact on the Hall of Fame, I didn't know of it. Pretty crazy. 

 

Pretty cool colored photo I found on Twitter of Ralph, Bob Murphy, and Lindsey Nelson:

 

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Edited by nmigliore

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RIP Ralph... Was part of the soundtrack of my childhood listening to him and Tim McCarver call Met games. One of the all-timers. Prayers and condolences to his family.

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No doubt, re: living a full life. He also had his mind with him the entire time; his speech may have worsened but he still new his sh!t and was always a very humorous story-teller. 

 

That's an interesting fact on the Hall of Fame, I didn't know of it. Pretty crazy. 

 

He did get slower in time, and that was hard to listen to, only because I heard him in his prime as a broadcaster.  Getting old is a bitch, for everyone.

 

Poor Ralph played for some TERRIBLE Pirate teams too...that stretch from 47-51, when he was truly a beast (see numbers below), his teams went a combined 337-432...in 1952, the Pirates lost 112 games.  He was traded to the Cubs in 1953 when then-Pirate GM Branch Rickey told him "We finished last with you, we can finish last without you".

 

1947:  .313 BA, .417 OB%, 51 HR, 127 RBI, .639 SLG, 98 BB, 81 K, 1.055 OB+SLG, 173 OPS+

1948:  .265 BA, .391 OB%, 40 HR, 123 RBI, .533 SLG, 112 BB, 61 K, .924 OB+SLG, 146 OPS+

1949:  .310 BA, .432 OB%, 54 HR, 127 RBI, .658 SLG, 117 BB, 61 K, 1.089 OB+SLG, 186 OPS+

1950:  .272 BA, .408 OB%, 47 HR, 118 RBI, .590 SLG, 122 BB, 79 K, .998 OB+SLG, 156 OPS+

1951:  .309 BA, .452 OB%, 42 HR, 109 RBI, .627 SLG, 137 BB, 57 K, 1.079 OB+SLG, 185 OPS+

 

That is one friggin' beastly stretch of play.  He had other good years too, but that stretch was pretty ridiculous.

 

Sports Illustrated put out an article back in 1990...it was about players in 1990 who would've been great in the 40s and 50s, and vice-versa (as well as players who would've struggled if taken out of one era and placed into another).  Ralph was one of the players they said would've had a tough time in 1990, as they said Astroturf would've eaten him alive in the field (he was very slow and not a great fielder).  They said he would've been a full-time DH for sure.  Same article said Vince Coleman would've sucked back then...basically made it sound like without his home turf fields and other turf fields, he wouldn't have been very good. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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RIP Ralph... Was part of the soundtrack of my childhood listening to him and Tim McCarver call Met games. One of the all-timers. Prayers and condolences to his family.

 

Same here...a lot of Met fans are like us and grew up with the Ralph/Tim/Rusty/etc broadcasts.  

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Same here...a lot of Met fans are like us and grew up with the Ralph/Tim/Rusty/etc broadcasts.

Ralph, Tim, Rusty, Steve Zabriskie, and Fran Healy- those were the guys I grew up with watching the Mets on TV, and Bob Murphy on the radio. But Ralph was THE guy. My all-time favorite baseball commentator. And Kiner's Korner... Always loved watching Kiner's Korner after games. They don't make 'em like Ralph Kiner anymore. The world is worse off today than it was yesterday.

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Rodney signs with the Mariners, 2 years and $14 million. So that ends that.

 

Right now a reunion with K-Rod looks like the best option. I don't see any better reliever -- that is healthy, anyway -- out there (besides maybe Ollie but we would never sign him).

Edited by nmigliore

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Ralph, Tim, Rusty, Steve Zabriskie, and Fran Healy- those were the guys I grew up with watching the Mets on TV, and Bob Murphy on the radio. But Ralph was THE guy. My all-time favorite baseball commentator. And Kiner's Korner... Always loved watching Kiner's Korner after games. They don't make 'em like Ralph Kiner anymore. The world is worse off today than it was yesterday.

 

Yep, I remember all of these guys too.  I heard a clip from Vin Scully about Ralph, and I didn't realize this, but he said Kiner was one of the first players to make the successful transition from former player to broadcaster.  And because he HAD been a former player (and a very good one at that...when he retired, he was 5th on the all-time HR list), players had a tremendous amount of respect for him.  Apparently many of them considered it a real honor to come on Kiner's Korner. 

 

What's funny (and sad) is seeing the players I grew up watching now working with the Mets.  Hernandez, Darling, Ojeda...I was a teenager when they were playing with the Mets, and I truly remember their playing days like they just happened.  It's still weird to see them aging, a little chubbier than they used to be, doing Met broadcasts.  I don't think I'll ever get used to it entirely. 

 

 

Rodney signs with the Mariners, 2 years and $14 million. So that ends that.

 

Right now a reunion with K-Rod looks like the best option. I don't see any better reliever -- that is healthy, anyway -- out there (besides maybe Ollie but we would never sign him).

 

You can definitely make arguments both for and against signing Rodney.  My guess is if the Mets truly had a chance to contend, Sandy might have gone for it. 

 

I get the feeling K-Rod's not coming here either...think Sandy's going with stopgaps now. 

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Interesting developments on the Drew front. Francesa was probably right when he said they offered him a contract. 

 

 

The Mets are willing to offer three years to free-agent SS Stephen Drew, Sandy Alderson told a group of season-ticket holders Thursday at Citi Field, but so far that has not been necessary.

However, Drew’s agent, Scott Boras, is seeking an opt-out clause after the first year of the deal, which the Mets view as a deal breaker (Rubin, Feb. 6).

 

http://metsblog.com/

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Interesting developments on the Drew front. Francesa was probably right when he said they offered him a contract. 

 

 

http://metsblog.com/

 

Mets are being used here...basically Boras is hoping Drew has a big enough year that he can say "soyonara" after one season, but if he stinks, well, then the Mets are stuck with him for two more years.  fvck Boras. 

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Metsblog is wrong on that first note, for what it's worth. They misinterpreted what Sandy said last night. 

 

re: the 1 year opt-out: There is almost no upside and so much downside for the Mets in such a deal. If he has a good year, he bolts; if he sucks or gets hurt, the Mets are on the hook for a 2nd and possibly 3rd year. The Mets would never entertain such a deal.

 

I'm still sticking to what I think is a fair deal: 2 years at $10-11 million per, 3rd year based on Drew staying healthy; that or up the value to $13-14 million per over 2 years but with no chance of a 3rd year. I think either of those deals would be very fair. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Metsblog is wrong on that first note, for what it's worth. They misinterpreted what Sandy said last night. 

 

re: the 1 year opt-out: There is almost no upside and so much downside for the Mets in such a deal. If he has a good year, he bolts; if he sucks or gets hurt, the Mets are on the hook for a 2nd and possibly 3rd year. The Mets would never entertain such a deal.

 

I'm still sticking to what I think is a fair deal: 2 years at $10-11M per, 3rd year based on Drew staying healthy; that or up the value to $14M per over 2 years but with no chance of a 3rd year. I think either of those deals would be very fair. 

 

That's actually overpaying pretty significantly...Drew's missed a ton of games the last three seasons, and hasn't been great to boot, but Boras seems to think he'd be doing the Mets a major favor by having him sign with them.  Boras thinks he's getting one over on the Mets with a deal like the one he wants.  Anyone can see through that crap. 

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The going rate on a win this winter has been in the $6-7 million range and going up; Drew projects as something between a +2 and +3 win player in 2014. You do the math. There is an easy case that 2/28 is a very reasonable deal, if it avoids having to commit a 3rd year. Whether the Mets have the cash for it is another story, granted. If you can get him for 2/20 or 2/22 that would be even better, of course, but I don't see why he'd take that without a 3rd guaranteed year or an easy vesting option for a 3rd year.

Edited by nmigliore

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The going rate on a win this winter has been in the $6-7 million range and going up; Drew projects as something between a +2 and +3 win player in 2014. You do the math. There is an easy case that 2/28 is a very reasonable deal, if it avoids having to commit a 3rd year. Whether the Mets have the cash for it is another story, granted. If you can get him for 2/20 or 2/22 that would be even better, of course, but I don't see why he'd take that without a 3rd guaranteed year or an easy vesting option for a 3rd year.

 

Projections, please...the guy has played in 289 out of 486 possible games the past three years.  Based on that I can "project" that he'll play about 90-100 games next year, or average roughly that in the next three seasons.  Next year that could mean 60+ games of Tejada and/or Quintanilla.  Doing the math, he's not worth $14 mil a year. 

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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He was worth about +3.5 wins last season. In 2012 he was a wreck after returning from a severe ankle injury that required surgery. In 2011, before having said ankle injury, he was performing quite well (92 wRC+, +1.7 WAR in 86 games). He was fantastic in 2010 (113 wRC+, +4.7 WAR) and decent in 2009 (+2 WAR in 135 games). He's not actually injury prone when you look at his career in total; sure he missed some games this year (not that it held him back), but the missed time in 2011-2012 was due to an awful ankle injury, not little dings here and there. When he's been healthy, he's been an above average player, and he generally HAS been healthy outside of the ankle surgery that ended his 2011 early and clearly still effected him in 2012.

 

I wouldn't expect him to maintain his 2013 level performance, even if he stays completely healthy for 150+ games, but regression to something between +2 to +3 wins is pretty fair. Steamer and ZiPS see him as a +2 win player while Fangraph Fans are more optimistic and have him a little over +3 in just 132 games. Even if you take the low-end of that (+2 wins), it's worth $13 million in this market: 2 wins (multiplied by) $6.5 million market rate of win = $13 million. 

 

What exactly would YOU give Drew? What do you consider fair for him? I think you're greatly undervaluing the rise of a cost of a win in today's game. 

 

And hey, Drew may not even that much given that it's February and he apparently lacks other suitors. I'm just saying, something in the 2/26 range to avoid giving him a 3rd year actually does make sense when you consider market prices these days. No matter where he goes, I'd be shocked if he didn't get at least 2/20.

Edited by nmigliore

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I'm thinking right about 2/20.  I can live with that, but not much more. 

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I think he could return to Boston for that kind of price: 2 years, $10 million-ish per. But to go elsewhere, such as here, I just think it'll either cost a 3rd year of some sort -- either guaranteed or through an attainable vesting option based on health -- or giving him more value over those 2 years at the expense of a 3rd year, such as 2/26ish. That's all I'm saying. I'll take 2/20 or 2/22 with a vesting option or straight 2/26 (no option) at this point; anything less, if possible, would be even better, of course. 

Edited by nmigliore

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He really just should go back to Boston, but supposedly they want to make him a utility infielder. 

 

I think Boras is trying to force some kind of control of these negotiations when he really doesn't have much.  I think the Mets can get him at their price...it's getting into mid Feb and there doesn't seem to be much of a market developing for Drew.  Admittedly I'm not sure what the Mets' price is, but I'm guessing it's probably not 2/26...probably closer to 2/22.    

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Where did you read that, re: utility infielder? I can't imagine Boston paying him $10 million or more for 2 years to be a utility player; that doesn't make any sense, especially when they can get a compensation round draft pick by letting Drew sign elsewhere. If they do resign Drew that likely means Middlebrooks is the odd man out with Bogaerts at 3B, Drew at SS.

 

My hope here is that Boston is just mildly interested in bringing Drew back and rather have Bogaerts at SS with a compensation round pick (which will fall somewhere in the 30-40th overall range) in their bank.

 

Regarding the price: Who knows if they even have the money to do 2/26, I'm just saying I'd do it if it meant avoiding a 3rd year altogether; Drew is probably a liability by 2016 and I wouldn't really want to be paying him $10 million plus at that point, hence my preference for 2 years. But I agree, I'd bet the Mets are thinking closer to 2/20 and 2/22 right now. If that somehow gets it done, sweet, but I'm not betting on it.

Edited by nmigliore

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From Peter Gammons, for whatever that's worth, re:  utility infielder talk:

 

http://metsblog.com/mets-rumors/stephen-drew/stephen-drew-rumors-red-sox-make-a-two-year-offer/

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ESPN's David Schoenfield has the Mets going 73-89. 

 

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/44047/ranking-the-teams-24-through-19

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So pretty much every projection system has had the Mets between 73-77 wins:

 

Steamer (77 wins): http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=Standings

Clay Davenport: (77 wins): http://claydavenport.com/projections/PROJHOME.shtml

PECOTA (74 wins): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/fantasy/dc/

ZiPS (very rough estimate based on their WAR depth chart - 74 wins): http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/2014-zips-projections-new-york-mets/

David Schoenfield (73 wins): http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/44047/ranking-the-teams-24-through-19

 
On average that is 75 wins. I'm a little more optimistic, but not by much. This is still a sub-80 win team for me. Curious to see where Vegas puts their over/under.
Edited by nmigliore

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All the more reason why Sandy better friggin' get out of meek and passive mode in 2015, even if it's not all his fault.  2014 wasn't supposed to be 2013 all over again, but in a lot of ways it's going to be.   

 

Was listening to Evan on the WFAN during lunch...there's been some suggestions here and there about naming left field Kiner's Korner, or giving Kiner a retirement circle along with the retired numbers (like they did with Shea).  I kind of like the Kiner's Korner idea.  But I'm thinking if the Mets give Kiner a retirement circle, the probably should give one to Bob Murphy as well.  So I'm more liking the left field concept.

 

Evan also says something that rung true to me, about CitiField still not feeling like the Mets' home field.  Maybe it's because the Mets haven't been any good since moving to CitiField, maybe it because it's called CitiField (I do hate those corporate names), maybe it's because the Wilpons completely misread their fanbase (there's a surprise) by initially making Citi more of a shroud to the Brooklyn Dodgers than the team that actually plays there, but it still doesn't feel like the Mets' ballpark the way Shea Stadium did, despite its vastly superior technology and amenities.  Maybe a playoff appearance and some big postseason moments change that.  But it still feels like a place the Mets just happen to play in.       

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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K-Rod going to the Brewers on a 1 year deal for a little over $3 million. Would've been a nice stopgap signing for us.

 

I would seriously sign Oliver Perez at this point. He won't get more than 1 year. He has no apparent interest. I understand this has next to no chance of happening, but he's seriously the best healthy reliever left. Since moving to the bullpen in 2012: 82.2 IP, 10.67 K/9, 3.16 ERA, 3.14 FIP

 

Oliver Perez, Somehow A Potential Bargain (Fangraphs)

 

Actually, why stop there, even? Ollie won't cost much, so throw in one of the rehabbing closers, Ryan Madson or Joel Hanrahan. 

Edited by nmigliore

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Ollie ain't happenin' nmig. 

 

I have no idea where Sandy's going for bullpen help at this point. 

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