Nov 07

Mets Matters: Duda To Play Outfield In Japan

It’s not surprising Lucas Duda was invited to play in the MLB All-Star tour in Japan, but what is head-scratching is he’ll play in the outfield, where he failed miserably with the Mets.

Make no mistake, this isn’t to be interpreted as a move toward returning him to left field. Won’t happen, said GM Sandy Alderson.

Duda started 223 games in the outfield, and last played left in left last April after Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson were injured.

It was a good idea at the time to play Duda in the outfield because the Mets were hoping Ike Davis would be able to play first base, but we know how that turned out.

WRIGHT UPDATE: The Mets announced David Wright’s continued improvement in the rehab of his left shoulder. Wright was examined at the Hospital for Special Surgery and is scheduled to resume baseball activities in early December.

As of now, Wright is expected to be ready for spring training barring any setbacks.

Wright’s season ended early because of stretched-out ligaments in his shoulder. Wright has built up the strength in his shoulder, but the ultimate test will be after he swings a bat.

It will only be then if surgery is to be ruled out.

METS INTERESTED IN RAMIREZ: Reports out of Chicago say the Mets are one of several teams interested in trading for All-Star Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexi Ramirez.

Ramirez made the All-Star team last season, and hit .273 with 15 homers, 74 RBI and 21 steals.

Ramirez is signed for $10 million in 2015 with a $10-million team option for the following year.

 

Nov 06

Hodges Belongs In The Hall

It’s time Gil Hodges went to Cooperstown.

It’s that time of year when the Hall of Fame ballots come out, and recently the Hall of Fame released ten candidates from the Golden Era (1947-72). Joining Hodges, who is in the running for consideration for the ninth year are: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, executive Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills.

HODGES: Hall worthy.

HODGES: Hall worthy.

Unfortunately, I only vote in the annual balloting and not on this committee. Otherwise, I would vote for Hodges and Kaat.

I’m not a big believer of comparing eras because the conditions differ from era to era. I look at it as how that player fared in his time, and The Boys Of Summer aren’t the same without Hodges. Very few players transcend eras, such as Babe Ruth.

He hit 370 homers with 1,274 RBI despite missing two years serving in World War II. Using today’s stats, he also had a .359 on-base percentage and .846 OPS. Hodges averaged 29 homers and 100 during his 18-year career – which included the Mets in 1962 and 1963 – but never once struck out 100 times. He also won three Gold Gloves.

Of all the great Hodges stories, the one that stands out most was when fans in Brooklyn went to church to pray for him during the 1952 World Series.

Hodges was known for his quiet dignity, best exemplified when he walked out to left field to remove Cleon Jones from a July game in 1969 for not hustling.

There was no argument from Jones and neither hashed it out in the papers, either. Can you imagine that today, in any sport? Many Mets followers said the incident sparked their pennant run.

To this day, Tom Seaver chokes up when he talks about Hodges, calling him the key behind the 1969 Miracle Mets’ championship run.

Here’s hoping Seaver chokes up again when Hodges’ name is finally called.

Nov 05

Mets’ 2015 Promotional Schedule

The New York Mets today announced the popular weekend promotions Free Shirt Fridays, Saturday Concerts and Fireworks and Family Sundays will return in 2015. The Mets also announced that single game tickets go on sale Friday, November 21 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/Tickets and (718) 507-TIXX. Tickets start at $11.

Highlights include Opening Day vs. the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 13 at 1:10 p.m.; Weekend series vs. the Boston Red Sox August 28-30 and the Subway Series vs. the New York Yankees on the weekend of September 18-20. An exclusive presale for Citi card members starts Monday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Mets.com/CitiPreSale. Fans are also encouraged to utilize their Citi ThankYou Preferred Card on all Mets offers throughout the season as they will receive 2 points for every dollar spent on all dining out and entertainment purchases.

Free Shirt Fridays – Designs below

On the following Friday dates, all fans will receive a uniquely designed Mets themed T-Shirt:

·         April 17 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 1 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 15 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.)

·         May 29 vs. Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 12 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.)

·         June 26 vs. Cincinnati Reds (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 10 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 24 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.)

·         July 31 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 14 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.)

·         August 28 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.)

·         September 18 vs. New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

·         October 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m. – Fan vote for shirt design)

 Saturday Post-Game Concerts – June 27, July 25 and August 15

Three Saturday home games will feature post-game concerts: June 27 vs. the Cincinnati Reds (time TBA), July 25 vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers (7:10 p.m.), and August 15 vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates (7:10 p.m.). The 2015 Mets Concert Series headliners will be announced in the coming weeks.

The performances will begin approximately 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game from a stage in the outfield behind second base.  Admission to the concert is included in the price of the game ticket.

Fireworks – April 18, August 1 and September 19

There will be three fireworks nights in 2015 following Saturday night games on April 18 vs. the Miami Marlins (7:10 p.m.), August 1 vs. the Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) and September 19 vs. the New York Yankees (7:10 p.m.)

Fireworks will be launched from Citi Field’s roof and the centerfield grass, providing a 360-degree experience for fans throughout the ballpark.

Saturday Premium Giveaways

At the following Saturday games, the first 15,000 fans will receive the following premium giveaway items:

·         May 2 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Jacob deGrom Garden Gnome presented by Gold’s Horseradish

·         May 16 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fedora

·         May 30 vs. Miami Marlins (Time TBA) – Beach Towel

·         June 13 vs. Atlanta Braves (7:10 p.m.) – David Wright Replica Jersey

·         July 11 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (Time TBA) – Juan Lagares Bobblehead presented by Geico

·         August 29 vs. Boston Red Sox (7:10 p.m.) – 1986 World Series Championship Bobblehead presented by Caesars

·         Oct. 3 vs. Washington Nationals (7:10 p.m.) – Mets Fleece Blanket

Family Sundays

Every Sunday home game is “Family Sunday” at Citi Field. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Mets Plaza, adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, there are Mets featured family-friendly activities including kids inflatables, face painters, balloon artists, entertainment and a postgame Mr. Met Dash when kids 12 and under can come down onto the field and run the bases, weather permitting.

The following is the complete list of promotions on Sundays.  Promotional items will be given out to the first 15,000 fans.  All Sunday games are scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m.

·         April 19 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – David Wright Schedule Poster presented by Citi

·         May 3 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – MLB Network Tote Bag

·         May 17 vs. Milwaukee Brewers (1:10 p.m.) – Zack Wheeler Magnet Card

·         May 31 vs. Miami Marlins (1:10 p.m.) – Kids Sunglasses

·         June 14 vs. Atlanta Braves (1:10 p.m.) – Cap giveaway presented by Nathan’s Famous

·         June 28 vs. Cincinnati Reds (1:10 p.m.) – Lucas Duda Growth Chart Poster

·         July 12 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (1:10 p.m.) – Jersey Drawstring Bag

·         July 26 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (1:10 p.m.) – Curtis Granderson Wall Decal presented by Citi

·         August 2 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – Player poster

·         August 16 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (1:10 p.m.) – Travis d’Arnaud Magnet Card

·         August 30 vs. Boston Red Sox (1:10 p.m.) – W.B. Mason Toy Truck

·         September 20 vs. New York Yankees (1:10 p.m.) – Player Wall Decal

·         October 4 vs. Washington Nationals (1:10 p.m.) – 2016 Schedule Magnet (all fans)

Times for Saturday and Sunday games may change, subject to Major League Baseball’s national broadcast agreements with FOX and ESPN.

Nov 05

Mets Release 2015 Uniforms And Caps

As if they didn’t have enough already, the Mets released their 2015 uniform jerseys and caps. Remember, this is for the concession stands.

Here are the jerseys:

Mets 2015 jerseys.

And, here are the caps:

Mets 2015 caps.

Be the first on your block to collect them all. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).

ON DECK:  Mets’ 2015 promotional schedule.

 

 

 

Nov 05

Lagares Wins Gold Glove Award

If Juan Lagares were as good with his bat as his glove, he would be a star. No, make that a superstar.

LAGARES: Gold Glove winner. (AP)

LAGARES: Gold Glove winner. (AP)

Seriously, he’s that good, and it became official around baseball last night when he won the Gold Glove Award, presumably the first of many.

“I’m very happy and excited,’’ Lagares told ESPN. “It’s a very special honor to win a Gold Glove for the Mets. I’m proud to win one this early in my career.’’

He’s the Mets’ third Gold Glove center fielder, joining Carlos Beltran and Tommie Agee, and the first to win the award since Beltran and third baseman David Wright in 2008.

He’s got a way to go to break the franchise record of six by Keith Hernandez. Other Mets to win are Ron Darling, Rey Ordonez, Bud Harrelson, Doug Flynn and Robin Ventura.

Among the “new’’ statistics, runs-saved is one of the most important for a defender, perhaps the most important. In that category, Lagares was second among outfielders with 28, impressive considering the leader, Atlanta’s Jason Heyward, played in 372 more innings and saved only four more.

Although he improved at the plate, the Mets still want him to improve his on-base percentage and cut down on strikeouts, and if he does so he could be a proficient leadoff hitter.

He’s got the defense down, said manager Terry Collins in a statement released by the team: “It’s to the point that I’m shocked when Juan doesn’t catch every ball hit to the outfield. He makes everything look so easy. After some of his catches, I would turn to my coaching staff and say ‘How did he do that?’ ’’

The answer is talent.

Championship caliber teams are built up the middle, and the Mets are on their way with Travis d’Arnaud behind the plate, their young pitching staff and Lagares. The double-play combination is a work in progress.

Lagares is one of two Mets finalists for regular season awards. The other is pitcher Jacob deGrom for Rookie of the Year.

Those awards will be announced next week.

 ON DECK: Mets’ 2015 uniforms.