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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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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Casey at the Pen

A rain delay anecdote

Due to the nature of the New York Penn League schedule, I only get one chance to see the Brooklyn Cyclones each year (technically three if you count individual games). When rain threatens to cancel one of those games, I have no choice but to tough it out and hope things clear up. In 2013, that didn’t work out so well. 2014’s second Cyclones game in Lowell was shaping up much the same way.

The nice thing about the rain is that it keeps the binder people at bay. You know the ones, lining the railings before games with binders filled with cards to be signed by the dozen. Do people actually buy those things? I don’t understand it, but they must make enough to justify being there. Except in the rain. On this day, there were only two or three people waiting by the dugout, so I slipped in on the off chance that someone might show up on the other side of the railing. That person ended up being Casey Meisner.

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Dear Binghamton Mets, It’s Not Too Late to Fix This

Seriously, just say no to bad team names

I go to about 10 Binghamton Mets games each year, all on the road. As such, some amount of team merchandise is a must for me in addition to the usual big-league Mets gear. The problem with the Binghamton Mets though is that they have no real identity beyond being a Mets affiliate with a boring dark blue base color. After the New Britain Rock Cats moved to Hartford and changed their name to the Yard Goats, the solution to that problem seemed clear. The team didn’t move, but 2016 would be the last year for the Binghamton Mets.

Some people weren’t too happy with the “Yard Goats” name, but it was actually quite brilliant. It has the requisite animal name while also being an obscure railroad reference, making for easy and interesting mascots and graphics with some sort of tie to the area’s history. The merchandise was a big hit, partly due to the use of the colors from the long-departed Hartford Whalers. Like the Yard Goats and other minor league teams, the Binghamton club had a naming contest and selected six finalists. Would they be odd, quirky, clever, or endearing? Um…

Bullheads. Gobblers. Rocking Horses. Rumble Ponies. Stud Muffins. Timber Jockeys. No, I’m not hurling insults at the team for picking bad names, those are the names selected as finalists. Can you imagine wearing any of those across your chest? All hope is not lost though, we might be able to pull a Boaty McBoatface and sneak in a better name while keeping a nod to the fan choices.

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