The trade has officially happened. It took all weekend, but R.A. Dickey is off to Canada. The Mets have dealt the Cy Young winner, but it looks like it was actually a smart move. The Mets are notorious for making extremely bad deals, however, General Manager Sandy Alderson has vowed to change that and it looks like he has. While Dickey was a fan favorite, no one was sure how much longer he be in the National League. As a member of the Blue Jays, he will be in the American League and will not be required to hit.
The Blue Jays have made it clear that the plan to compete this year and adding Dickey was a great move. They now have a solid rotation after that mega deal with the Miami Marlins in which they received Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle. While the Mets, on the other hand, are not quite ready to compete in 2013, but are making steps towards building a playoff team for years to come. First they locked up David Wright for the rest of his career, which was probably the best move they could make and instead of just letting Dickey walk, they received two great prospects in catcher Travis d’Arnaud and pitcher Noah Syndergaard. In addition, the two teams switched catchers the Mets sending Dickey’s primary catcher Josh Thole and the Blue Jays sending newly acquired John Buck. This is a great move for both teams and I am so happy the Mets are finally doing something right.
After an underwhelming season, the Miami Marlins traded all the stars they acquired just one offseason ago. The Marlins were moving into a new ballpark and wanted the baseball world to take them seriously again. The franchise had not been competitive in almost a decade, when in 2003 they won the World Series. Owner Jeffrey Loria decided the best way to get noticed was to spend a whole lot of money on every top free agent in the winter including batting champion Jose Reyes, pitcher Mark Buerhle, and closer Heath Bell. Bell had a horrible season and was traded to Arizona at the end of the zone. Midseason, the Marlins started to unravel and traded away Hanley Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, and Omar Infante. However, the shocking trade was the one that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, and pitching ace Josh Johnson. In return, the Blue Jays sent troubled shortstop Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez, and other prospects. However, at the Winter Meetings Escobar was traded to cross town rivals Tampa Bay Rays. It doesn’t sound like the Marlins will even have a full team for the 2013 season.
Wow, the Miami Marlins are looking like a quite a different team compared to a year ago. Last year owner Jeffrey Loria was all about spending lots of money on free agents to go along with the brand new ballpark. They acquired Heath Bell, Mark Buerhle, and Jose Reyes in the offseason. After a deplorable season, Bell was traded away to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It now appears that the other two major signings are gone as Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes is taking his talents out of South Beach and out of the country all together! Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, and Joe Buck have all been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Marlins received in exchange troublemaker Yunel Escobar, and two top prospects, Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria.
Wow, it seems like the Marlins did not get much considering they are trading two pitching aces as well as one of the best shortstops in the league. I cannot say that I am completely shocked by the move, but I did not expect the Marlins to dump everybody on one team considering the bloated contracts some of these players were given. Maybe it is because I was secretly hoping for Reyes back in Flushing to happen. Yunel Escobar was on the trading block after he got in major trouble for writing a gay slur on his eye black. It seems that the news must be true as left fielder Jose Bautista tweeted, “It’s a good day to be a blue jay!” This just goes to show you, you never know in the game of baseball.
It was an awful game that most players and fans will never want to talk about. However, Terry Collins did not give up on his team and made one of the craziest moves to ever be seen in Mets history. The Mets were down 8-0, DJ Carrasco had just given up a home run to Rickie Weeks (who was hurt so that is quite embarrassing) and decided to drill Ryan Braun. It was pretty obvious that it was intentional. Braun has not been well received by other ball clubs. This was his fifth time being hit in this young season.
He seemed pissed, but he took his base and DJ Carrasco was ejected by the home plate umpire. Now this is where Collins shines as a manager. David Wright was set to lead off in the next half inning and instead of putting Mr. .400 in danger and possibly have him get hurt, he decided to pull him before any retaliation could be set in motion. Wright was livid about the decision. I do not think anyone has ever seen Wright get that emotional in public. He is normally the even-tempered, happy go lucky guy who leads by example. However, this was not the guy we saw last night. Wright exploded when he found out Collins was going to pinch hit for him. “He’s not getting hurt in that game tonight,” Collins said. “Believe me, I’m not accusing them of anything. I just know what might have taken place and I was trying to avoid it.” Can you blame either side? If the Brewers did retaliate and we lost Wright we should just kiss the any hope good bye. This team needs Wright for his offense, defense, and just over all threat. He has proven to be as good as he was during his 2006-2008 seasons when he destroyed the league. However, I understand why Wright was upset. If someone was going to get hit, he wanted it to be him. “I probably should have picked a better spot for it, but in the heat of the moment I got my stuff on and Terry kind of got me at a moment where I was upset with the situation and got me at a moment that I was pretty hot,” Wright said. “It wasn’t directed at Terry at all. He did not want anyone else to take a hit that was meant for him. The two have since made up and say they have the upmost respect for one another. This is the type of passion the Mets need if they even want to be relevant. David Wright just shows how valuable he is to this team. Let’s put it this way… Jose Reyes asked to be pulled on the last game and sat with a smile, David Wright was so angry that he was taken out of the game that he flipped out on his manager. Hmmm, maybe this is why one is still here and one is in South Beach.
If the New York Mets learned anything from Jose Reyes’ departure from Flushing, it was to not let their true superstar walk in the same fashion after having an incredible season. Reyes had one of the best seasons he has had in a few years minus the injuries that continue to overshadow his talents. He is a better than average fielder and was almost impossible to get out last year, leading to him winning the Mets’ first ever batting title. Much debate is still discussed over the way Reyes ended the season when he took himself out of the game after getting a bunt single to protect his lead in the batting champ standings. Well, none of his accomplishments (including the love of the New York fans who came out with signs every day for their beloved shortstop) could get the Mets to give him the contract he wanted. Most Mets fans have moved on from the loss by trying to rationalize that Jose relies so much on his legs and after having so many injuries he will be unable to produce at this level for the full length of his contract with the Marlins.
Now for Mr. Wright, the man of this team and capturing the love of all New York fans. It might be for his movie star good looks, his humble attitude, or his ability to produce this year on a team everyone laughed at. So far, Wright is having an unbelievable season and if there was no Matt Kemp, he would be in the NL MVP discussion. He is batting .400 right now. This is the same guy who has been off ever since getting clocked in the head by a Matt Cain fastball. I know I am not alone when I say that my heart stopped when I saw him laying on the ground. However, he appears to have finally found his groove again, just in time to talk a contract extension. He desperately deserves a raise and to retire a Met. He does so much for this team on and off the field. He represents them at charity events, he keeps a clean image, and he is a leader to all the young players trying to find their way in the major leagues. Even after Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, said he was not a superstar he still stayed loyal to his team and refused to bad mouth anyone. Well, he sure seems like a superstar to me. There seems to be much hope that Wright will be brought back for a long-term contract. General Manager Sandy Alderson said that there are absolutely no plans to trade Wright this summer. Well, if they learned anything from Reyes, it would be that if you have no intention of keeping the player around then you should try to get something before they walk. This is very encouraging news for Mets fans who all want their captain to stay. Wright is the good ol’ boy who grew up a huge Mets fan and is living out the dream of being their star third baseman. Doesn’t that sound awfully familiar of a cross town rival shortstop?
Who would have ever thought that after the opening series of baseball, that the New York Mets would be undefeated and the New York Yankees winless? Let’s talk about the surprisingly good news first.
Maybe it is a little too earlier to get excited, but this is three more games than anyone had predicted this team to win all season. After an offseason that involved losing its superstar and fan favorite shortstop Jose Reyes to the Miami Marlins, who are 1-2 by the way, financial woes thanks to its owners getting wrapped up in the Madoff scandal, and making absolutely no big moves in free agency, it looked like this team should just accept last place with the little bit of dignity that it had. So to have this type of start has definitely brought a few smiles back to Mets’ fans. However, do not expect it to last. I mean the Braves looked like a mess out there. They were missing their key player, Chipper Jones, they had no offense going the first two games, and they had some mental errors out in the field. This is good for the Mets’ clubhouse who could use confidence from anywhere. Their best player, David Wright, is red hot right now. No one can get him out, while they have not seen pitching this solid since the late 1980s. Maybe it has to do with the return with the spark plug, Johan Santana, who looked like he had not missed a day a few days ago on the mound. You gotta love that this team is giving fans a great effort and making it worth while to watch them. They have already surpassed all expectations thus far.
Moving on to the other New York baseball team, Those Damn Yankees!! What is going on with them? The Yankees opened their season in Florida against division foe Tampa Bay Rays. They still have yet to win a game. Some blame it on faulty managing choices by Joe Girardi which seems to be the case. In the first case in which Mariano Rivera blew the save, Girardi brought in five infielders, he took out Nick Swisher and replaced him with Eduardo Nunez for defense? On the second game, Derek Jeter was only used as a DH? Not to mention, the Yankees did not have great pitching. Their ace CC Sabathia gave up a grand slam, Phil Hughes gave up two runs in four innings while reliever Boone Logan also gave up a home run. Today’s game had to be the worst. Yes, Hughes and Logan did not pitch all that well, but where was the offense? The Yankees could not buy a run, they were shut out. I am sure the Yankees will turn it around soon, but this is not a good look for the most expensive team. They are paid the big bucks to hit the ball out of the park, to leave the other team scoreless, and to make all the right decisions in the chess game of managing.
The weather is warmer. The sun is coming out longer. People are finally out of hibernation. This can only mean one thing. Baseball is back!!! America’s favorite past time is finally back on television and it is being kicked off with a great matchup. The reigning World Series Champions are in Miami to play in the brand new Miami Marlins stadium. However, both of these teams look much different from a year ago. The champs are with out a very key member of their squad. Who could that be? The one and only Albert Pujols who signed an obnoxiously large contract with the Los Angeles Angels in the offseason. That is clearly a huge blow for the Cardinals who really cannot replace all that Pujols did for that team. However, the home team looks like a whole new group of guys. The biggest change is that former New York Mets favorite, Jose Reyes, signed with the Marlins after not being given an offer by his former team. This is probably around the time that the fan’s hatred for the Wilpons was at its greatest. This huge signing forced the Marlins’ former shortstop Hanley Ramirez over to third base. Other notable signings for the Marlins include pitcher Mark Burhle, reliever Heath Bell, and of course new manager the ever unpredictable Ozzie Guillen. As I sit and watch the Marlins play for the first time together, I have to be honest, they appeared to be better without all the bells and fancy names. They are making mental errors that go back to knowing the fundamentals of the game. Hopefully, it is just a case of jitters and will not be a problem all season because they are in a tough division with some serious competition.