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Welcome to Old Backstop's Mets Blog, unadulterated opinion ... for better or worse.

Updated: 2017-11-27T07:47:21.631-05:00


Is Mike Piazza Done?


Piazza's bat speed is not slow, and if you think that then you aren't watching closely enough.His bat speed is still fast enough to drive a ball 450+ feet, so that isn't the issue. The issue is clearly his pitch recognition. Watch for it next time he is up.Piazza is not a "guess hitter", he is a reactionary hitter. He sees the pitch and then reacts to it. He has said so himself many times. His

Rick Peterson is the Savior/Devil


Why does everyone have to be hot or cold with stuff like this?Rick Peterson isn't going to drastically change people in a few weeks, and the difference he makes is going to be quite small. There's also the chance that for every 2 guys he helps he may hamper another.If Victor Zambrano cannot be fixed, it doesn't mean Rick Peterson is a failure, and if Kaz Ishii throws a gem, IT DOESN'T MEAN RICK

Lee, Mientkiewicz and Olerud


With the Florida Marlins winning the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes (complete with a 64 million dollar invoice), let's quickly shift gears and breakdown the three obvious next choices to man first base for the Mets in 2005. Anyone who claims that this is an easy decision is fooling themselves. Given any of the three, I can probably put together a nice little argument that would show the other two

Open Letter to Carlos Beltran


Recently, MetsBlog asked readers to send in letters to Carlos Beltran in an attempt to woo him to join the Mets. You can get more information on that at The following is the simple letter that I sent in: Dear Mr. Beltran, I’d like you to consider the New York Mets this off-season when you make your decision on a new team. No team could possibly need

Omar, Would you Like a Menu?


As Omar Minaya nears the end of the Offseason Buffet line, there are several different approaches he can employ. To fill his empty plate, he can go for the star players (Filet Mignon, Lobster, and Escargot), he can go with the most reliable and safe options (Lasagna, Chicken and Salad) or he can try to get creative and catch lightning in a bottle by matching risky exotic dishes and some cheap

Su Nueva York Metropolitano


Welcome! Or should I say Bienvanidos? When the Mets hired Omar Minaya to become their General Manager, a little voice in the back of my head warned of a massive influx of Latin American players. In all honesty, I am surprised I have not seen an article on this topic yet. Could it be that journalists are afraid of being politically incorrect? I doubt I am the first person to think of it. Is it

5 Headlines We Don't Want to See


Here are 5 headlines that Mets fans do not want to see this offseason: Juan Gone a Met; Third Time is a Charm 243. That is the number of games Juan Gonzalez has averaged per season over the last three years. He has missed 62% of his games since 2001 and has chronic back problems that have to frighten any GM. Next season he will be 36-years-old and you have to wonder what he has left in the tank

Todd Helton at Shea


Todd Helton has been a popular name among Mets fans lately in potential trade scenarios. As opposed to discussing contract details at this point in time, I am going to break down how Helton might perform playing for the Mets in the NL East. Helton has been a reliable machine for the Rockies since he was called up at 23 years of age in 1997. Over the last 7 years, he has played in at least 152

10 Cynical Questions


The following are 10 questions that every New York Mets fan should be asking this offseason. 1. Why are the Chicago Cubs so willing to part with Matt Clement despite fantastic stuff, a solid ERA (for a hitters park) and high strikeout numbers? 2. If Al Leiter is supposedly "done" why are the Phillies, Yankees and Indians all getting in line to make him an offer? 3. Is Magglio Ordonez the

Your Move Omar


With the hot stove season just around the corner newly appointed General Manager Omar Minaya is getting ready to hit the free agent market. Let's review the facts: Owner Fred Wilpon wants a winner. The sooner the better. The Mets are strapped with some aging vets that can't be easily shed. Minaya has good ties with many Latin American players (and coaches). The Mets have money to spend,

And Then There Were 2


Wally Backman is (wisely) turning his full attention to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jim Leyland has little to no interest in managing the New York Mets. Neither Jim Wriggleman nor Terry Collins was ever a realistic candidate. That leaves Mets fans with only two options: Willie Randolph and Rudy Jaramillo. There is also the possibility of hiring Jaramillo as the new hitting coach to work under

Willie Randolph: The Upside


Over the past month I have heard quite a few things about why Willie Randolph should not be our next manager. I have to admit, I agree with more than a few of those reasons. On the other hand, it's very possible that Willie has more to offer than meets the eye. Although I do not think he is a lock for the managerial position, let's talk about some of Willie's positives as if he had just landed

Getting on Base


31.7% That is the frequency in which the New York Mets reached based in 2004. In all of Major League Baseball, only two teams got on base less frequently: The Montreal Expos and Arizona Diamondbacks. Mike Piazza lead the Mets this season with a .362 on-base percentage (OBP). In comparison, the Boston Red Sox had a team OBP of .360. With the rise in popularity of Sabermetrics you might think

Who Wants to be a Met?


Carlos Beltran, Matt Clement, Carl Pavano, Magglio Ordonez, Mike Lowell, Adrian Beltre, J.D. Drew, Magglio Ordonez, Brad Radke, Carlos Delgado, Derek Lowe, Kevin Millwood, Pedro Martinez, Orlando Cabrera and Armando Benitez. These are just some of the marquee free agents that will flood the 2005 market, and this does not even include the dozens of quality players that some teams will be looking

The Minaya Era


This past week, the New York Mets hired Omar Minaya to head up baseball operations. Jim Duquette was retained, but demoted to the role of assistant to Minaya. In conjunction with the removal of Art Howe and his staff, this move makes a strong statement about how ready the Wilpons are to make a change. The demotion of Duquette came as a shock and surprise to many, but not Old Backstop (See my

Pitching versus Hitting


Some people will always tell you that pitching is the key to winning. Others will tell you that you cannot win without scoring runs. Others still will tell you that neither is more critical than the other and a balance is required. What exactly is the truth and how does it apply to the New York Metropolitans? Let's take more of an in-depth look at pitching versus hitting. In particular, let's

Assessing the 2004 Mets for 2005


It's time to take a long hard look at the current Mets and begin formulating a plan for 2005. Like most Mets bloggers, I am going to imagine that Jim Duquette may actually read my blog and take my advice seriously. There is no need to dicuss David Wright or Jose Reyes. These guys will be here next year and their positions are clear. The same holds true for Kaz Matsui and Mike Cameron. Both guys

Is the writing on the wall for Jim Duquette?


Jim Duquette has made a number moves in his short tenure as General Manager of the New York Mets and thus far and one would have to say that up until this past month the majority of them have been pretty good. It's easy for a general manager to dump veteran players for prospects at a trade deadline, so he cannot be given too much credit for collecting players like Vic Diaz and Kole Strayhorn.

Mike Cameron: Mentally Challenged


Mike Cameron is the kind of guy that cares so much about doing the right thing that he actually spirals into a helpless mental state when struggling. Cameron's current struggles are mental (and have throughout his career, too). As far as athletic ability goes, he's near the top of the MLB food chain. He can scale fences, has significant power in his stroke, can make diving catches, tracks balls

The Silver Lining: 10 Reasons to Stay Positive


I'm usually very pessimistic, to the point of absolute negativity, but I'm going to try and draw positives from the Braves series (in which we dropped 2 out of 3). 1. The Mets scored 27 runs in three games against 3 solid Atlanta starters. If nothing else, this shows the Mets are capable of scoring runs. I will take the 10-8 losses ANY DAY over the 6-1 losses we kept seeing last season. 2. Mike

Miscellaneous Game Notes


I'm going to focus on some things that haven't already been blasted across the papers a zillion times. Everyone knows that Glavine pitched well and that Matsui was 3-3. I'm going to discuss some randomly less-covered items. Karim "Abdul-Jabbar" Garcia When the game starter I found myself annoyed that Karim Garcia was in the lineup. I have to admit, the "ex-Yankee who got in a bullpen fight in

2004 Season Introduction


Today is the day. For the first time in 2004, the New York Mets will take the field in a regular season game. For some, this is the readministration of a drug: The need for a Mets game to be on television every night. The security blanket of knowing you can tune in on any given evening and watch a member of your favorite team fouling off pitches, missing low and away or running down that routine

5th Starter Race: Results are In


Current Mets 2004 Rotation The Mets have made their decision on how to handle the bottom of the rotation to begin 2004 and frankly, I am surprised. In all of the analysis and scenarios I broke down, I never expected what the Mets did. In what can only be described as a combination of veteran experience and youthful exuberance, the Mets decided to make young fireballer Tyler Yates the 4th

Old Backstop's Take on the 5th Starter Race


It seemed only a week ago that Met fans bragged about their 5th starter competition, with all 5 of the contestants being somewhere between sharp and dominant. Several of the hurlers even had an ERA under 1. Everything was milk and honey, and picking the 5th starter seemed like a win-win decision. Enter reality ... Grant Roberts Grant Roberts began pre-season as the "favorite son" in

Mike Piazza: Defensive Liability?


I'm growing very tired of unenlightened baseball fans citing Mike Piazza as a poor defensive catcher. Almost all of Piazza's defensive criticism stems from his mediocre (at-best) ability to throw out baserunners, but this stat has been proven to be somewhat iconsequential, especially in light of other aspects of the position. 1. CERA (Catcher's ERA) Piazza's CERA is considered low. CERA is not