25 September 2016 – Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets

The Phillies are bad and we all feel sad

Fernandez 16 jersey hanging in the Mets dugoutThe season is drawing to a close, which means it’s time for my annual pilgrimage to Citi Field. With just over a week left in the regular season, the Mets were in a tight race for a Wild Card spot. But that would not be the big story of the day.

It was 9am and I was standing on the train platform waiting to begin the 2 hour trip to Citi Field (after the usual 4 hour drive the day before). Checking Twitter, I started seeing cryptic tweets. Boating accident. José Fernandez killed. Confirmed.

José Fernandez was due to start the next day against the Mets. At 24, he had established himself as one of the game’s top pitchers. You would rather miss him in the rotation with a playoff spot on the line, but not like this. Never like this. How can this be real?

The Marlins would cancel their game that day. The Mets however would play on with a Fernandez 16 jersey taped up inside the dugout.

Box Score

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2016 Mets Debut Autographs

Not dead yet at the waiver trade deadline

It’s been a while since I updated this, so… How about that wild card race? The second NL wild card spot seems to be about as popular as hosting the Olympics, with teams stumbling over themselves in an apparent effort to avoid being the winner. The Mets made their case by calling up loads of prospects (Matt Reynolds, who finally played in a game, plus Ty Kelly, Brandon Nimmo, and Seth Lugo), picking up James Loney to fill in for Lucas Duda, and, with the trade deadline looming, adding Justin Ruggiano, who was pretty terrible before quickly hitting the DL. As trade deadline mania hit its peak, the Mets seemed to be out on everyone. In the end, they walked away with 2015 trade deadline bridesmaid Jay Bruce, dealing second baseman of the future Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell for yet another corner outfielder. Herrera was clearly never getting a shot with the Mets and Wotell was expendable, so at least the price was right. And Jon Niese came back. For Antonio Bastardo! But he’s terrible now, even in small doses. At least he’s not starting! Yeah, about that…

Shockingly, Jay Bruce failed to turn into Yoenis Cespedes and an injury-plagued Mets team went a month without back-to-back wins, calling on T.J. Rivera, Gabriel Ynoa, and Josh Smoker in the process. The real Yoenis Cespedes, however, came off the DL and once more carried the team back into contention as starts went to Seth Lugo, newly called-up Robert Gsellman, and banished-to-Binghamton Rafael Montero. Justin Ruggiano even joined in on the fun before another DL stint ended his season. Even a start from Jon Niese can’t derail this club now, as they stand within striking distance of the second wild card at the waiver trade deadline. The rosters are set to expand, but even that might not be enough to keep 25 healthy players on the Mets’ active roster for very long.

Neil Walker Asdrubal Cabrera Alejandro De Aza Jim Henderson
3 April 2016 3 April 2016 3 April 2016 5 April 2016
Antonio Bastardo Rene Rivera Matt Reynolds* Ty Kelly*
8 April 2016 30 April 2016 18 May 2016 25 May 2016
James Loney Brandon Nimmo* Seth Lugo* Justin Ruggiano
31 May 2016 26 June 2016 1 July 2016 30 July 2016
Jay Bruce T.J. Rivera* Gabriel Ynoa* Josh Smoker*
2 August 2016 10 August 2016 13 August 2016 19 August 2016
Robert Gsellman* Fernando Salas Gavin Cecchini*
23 August 2016 1 September 2016 11 September 2016

*MLB Debut
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2016 Mets Draft Class Autographs

From a Dunn deal to the invisible Hand

Full list of 2016 Mets draft picks

For the first time in the Alderson era, the Mets took a pitcher with their top pick. Sadly, Justin Dunn has no certified autograph cards, so the top spot will remain empty here until (hopefully) 2016 Bowman Draft. Supplemental pick Anthony Kay will have to stand in for the time being, but there’s nothing after that until Christian James in the 14th round. And after that, the only picks who have signed cards did not sign with the Mets – Carlos Cortes, Rylan Thomas, and, for the second time, Jordan Hand. After two years filled with picks who signed in Leaf Perfect Game, 2016 is a bit of a let-down. All the more reason we need this Mets prospect autograph drought to turn around and get us some ink from these guys.

1 Justin Dunn 1s Anthony Kay 2 Peter Alonso 3 Blake Tiberi
4 Michael Paez 5 Colby Woodmansee 6 Chris Viall 14 Christian James

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10 Types of Mike Piazza Memorabilia Cards Worth Owning

Celebrating a Hall of Fame Cardboard Career

Over at Beckett, Ryan Cracknell covered some great Mike Piazza cards, from gems to oddballs. The list is heavy on older cards (Dodgers) and autographs ($$$) and a bit light on memorabilia. Which is a shame because Piazza has one of the richest memorabilia checklists of any retired Met. Now that he’s enshrined in Cooperstown, you’ll probably want to add some of his memorabilia to your collection, so here’s a list of some good options to start with.

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Player Spotlight: Jenrry Mejia

Stomp you later, Jenrry. Stomp you later forever…

Plenty has already been written about Jenrry Mejia’s stunning fall from grace and far more will be written needlessly. Ted Berg sums things up nicely without any of the sanctimonious moralizing that hacks and blowhards rely on in place of actual discussion about performance enhancing drug use in baseball. As tends to be the case, what we know is dwarfed by what we don’t know and what we don’t know that we don’t know. In the end, it’s a sad story with many questions and few answers.

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Player Spotlight: Bobby Bonilla

It’s July 1st, do you know where your $1.19 million are?

It’s that time of year again – Bobby Bonilla gets his annual paycheck from the Mets and the entire world laughs at the team for a move that actually saved them money in the (Madoff-fueled) long run. What seems like a massive waste now actually made good fiscal sense at the time, at least as much as can be expected from an ownership group heavily invested in a Ponzi scheme. In cards though, Bonilla is the model of efficiency, managing the rare three-way solo appearance in bat, jersey, and patch cards. And none from his time(s) with the Mets.

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