Hey guys, enjoy the first video segment of many coming from the writers of Second Half Push. Today’s video addresses a potential call up of Marlins’ top prospect, Logan Morrison. That could mean some interesting moves and shifts going down in South Florida. Also, exciting Mets’ news as Carlos Beltran is coming off the DL and could be activated VERY soon. Find out about the Cliff Lee trade rumors, and how Philadelphia plans on replacing Chase Utley.
Click here to see how I plan on filling my fantasy hole at second base
Enjoy the video and give us your comments, we would really appreciate it!
By Ivan Berliant
Well thus far the New York Mets are running through interleague play. They’ve posted an 8-1 record against A.L. teams this year including a 5-1 record against the “dominating” A.L. East with an unblemished 6-0 record in A.L. parks, maybe there is something to this DH debate afterall. As the surging Mets(12-2 over their last 14 games) head to Yankee Stadium to take on their cross time rivals, we at Second Half Push want to know how you think this series is going to play out. Our obvious biases are saying the Mets will take at least two of three, but here’s the logic:
- The Mets have the benefit of using a DH, most likely Chris Carter, and don’t have to account for late inning strategies and pitch counts. Carter has been the designated hitter in the first four of five games on the interleague road trip ,while jacking two 3-run home runs on consecutive days in the process. The kid can hit, and it’s nice to get another power bat in the line-up.
- The Yankees just lost two of three at home to another N.L. East team, the Philadelphia Phillies. Yes, we know it is the Phillies, but these aren’t the same Phillies that have dominated the N.L. East for the past few years. Their hitting has been dismal and injuries to their offensive catalyst, Jimmy Rollins, has derailed the production thus far. Not to mention Chase Utley is slumping worse than ever ( yes I said it!). Their only win came from the pitching duel between Roy Halladay and C.C. Sabathia, where if it weren’t for an uncharacteristic performance from one of the league’s perfect game owners, there might have been a New York sweep.
Face it Yankee fans, we’re hot. We’re finding ways to win and all of our players are contributing. There’s not doubting this series will have the excitement and ambience of the post-season, and I think we are all a little anxious for it to begin.
So who’s taking it? The Mets or the Yankees? VOTE on our interleague poll!
By Ivan Berliant and Blake Chadwick
Starting Friday night, our beloved New York Mets are set to head to the Bronx to take on cross town rivals, the Yankees, for the second Subway Series of the year. The Mets took two of three at home in the last meeting which sparked a nice little run only conceding a 2-1 Friday night victory due to a KEVIN RUSSO 2 rbi hit. I have a conspiracy about interleague play, it was created for the sole purpose to stir controversy amongst NL and AL purists. The DH reigns supreme in Interleague play. The only person who might hate AL vs. NL more than anyone is Chien Ming Wang. As we approach the halfway point of the season, this is a huge test for the Amazins’ as they sit only a 1/2 game back in the race for the NL East.
Get Ready Mets’ fans
For those of you who follow this rivalry, or know anything about baseball for that matter, know that there is no love lost between these two teams. Yes, usually our time is spent trash-talking the Philadelphia Phillies and to a lesser extent the Atlanta Braves, but we always enjoy some good ol’ fashion Yankee bashing when we have the chance. This Subway series should be a another rabble-rouser between arguably some of the most obnoxious fans in the game, and personally, we love it. We don’t know what gives us the inherit right to be obnoxious loud-mouths, but as Mets fans we fully embrace our duties and intend to carry out tradition.
To see what’s in store for the next series check out this article published today in the New York Post, a Yankee fan brought a vuvuzela to last night’s game against Philly. The picture says everything.
Subway Series History
When interleague play began in 1997, the New York Yankees and New York Mets met for the first time in franchise history. Here’s a brief history of the Subway Series from when interleague play was estabished.
- 1997 (June 16-18th): Yankees win two of three at Yankee Stadium.
- 1998 (June 27-28th): Yankees win two of three at Shea Stadium.
- 1999 (June 4-6th, July 9-11th): Mets and Yankees both win two of three at home.
- 2000 (June 9-10th, July 7-9th): Yankees win four of six
- 2001 (June 15-17th, July 6-8th): Yankees win two out of three in both series
- 2002 (June 14-16th, June 28-30th): Mets and Yankees both win two of three at home
- 2003 (June 20-22nd, 27th-29th): Yankees win all six games
- 2004 (June 26-27th, July 2-4th): Mets win four of six, sweeping the series at Shea Stadium
- 2005 (May 20-22nd, June 24-26th): Mets and Yankees both win two of three on the road
- 2006 (May 19-21st, June 30-July 2): Mets and Yankees both win two out of three at home
- 2007 (May 18-20th, June 15-17th): Mets and Yankees both win two out of three at home
- 2008 (May 17-18th, June 27-29th): Mets win four of six, sweeping series at Yankee Stadium
- 2009 (June 12-14th, June 26-28th): Yankees win five of six, sweeping series at Citi Field
- 2010 (May 21-23rd): Mets win two out of three at Citi Field
The Yankees lead the series 43 games to 32. In 2000 the clubs met up an additional time as they played the first ever Mets vs. Yankees World Series. The Yankees won four games to one and celebrated their 26th championship in front of Mets fans at Shea Stadium. Not something we at Second Half Push like to remember, but hey it was the only time we actually watched a team we like play for a championship.
Mets’ fans vs. Yankees’ fans: “Fan Flair Challenge”
Well we don’t quite know the reach or extent of this blog, but if you happen to be in New York this Friday, June 18, the Mets and Yankees are hosting a competition for the most hardcore of fans. This ain’t your mama’s ‘Office Space‘ flair we’re talking here, this will be a contest between some of baseball’s diehards who have been placing pins on paraphernalia before the Marlins were even a conception. Joba Chamberlain and Mike Pelfrey will be judging the event at Madison Square Garden, and the winner will win VIP-in satdium tickets to an upcoming game. What do you have to lose New Yorkers? Most of you are decorated from head-to-toe in your teams gear all the time anyways, might as well try to win some insanely expensive tickets to an over-priced park while you’re at it. To find out more information on the event click here.
*Information used for Subway Series history was gathered from Wikipedia, yes I know! But it was verified from an interleague timeline between the Mets and Yankees found on Google.com!
By Blake Chadwick
No, this is not referring to Britney Spears top hit in the late 90’s. This is all about Omar Minaya and his pitfalls as GM. We here at Second Half Push have endured Minaya’s reign as GM, and we are close to the breaking point. After a few years of solid work, it has all been downhill since those Marlins knocked out the Mets two years in a row on the last day of the season. Questionable signings, *cough* Oliver Perez *cough* as well as a rash of injuries have put him squarely on the hot seat. Let’s flashback to the year 2005, when Minaya was in his first season running the show in Queens. Mike Jacobs was a young bopper who only played 30 games for the Amazin’s but still managed to hit 11 HR knock in 23 RBI’s and hit .310. The Mets feeling the need to bolster their lineup with a veteran presence, shipped Jacobs in the offseason to the hated Marlins for Carlos Delgado.
On paper, this looked good for the Mets. Let’s check reality. Jacobs went on to hit 69 HR’s in 3 mostly full seasons with the Fish including a 32/93 outing in 2008. While those numbers aren’t gawdy, they are serviceable. At close to $300,000, the pricetag is somewhat tough to beat. So after 99 career HR in his first four and a half seasons, Jacobs might have hit his proverbial peak. The Marlins got all of their value out of him by shipping him to Kansas City for current Marlins closer Leo Nunez, a guy that now garners more fantasy points than any of the previously mentioned players. Anyways, Jacobs fell off in the second half of last season and was subsequently released by KC. So what does Minaya do? He signs Jacobs as a potential starter at 1B in 2010. At a salary nearly matching his entire 3 year stint with Florida, he was investing in a guy that seemed to have begun regressing. Well, Omar did it again. In 2010, Jacobs has just 5 hits in 24 at bats and only 1 HR. He was expected to fill the void left by Dan Murphy when he went down with injury in Spring Training. Definitely a fantasy nightmare. He was shuttled down to Buffalo, the Mets AAA affiliate, within a month. The silver lining for us Mets fans was obviously the premature call up of blue chipper Ike Davis. Jacobs almost has certainly no chance of being recalled, let alone re-signed for next season. So even though there wasn’t a tremendous financial hit, this has to be seen as a definite bust by the Mets. While Ike Davis will make most forget about this blunder, will Omar Minaya even have the chance to correct his mistake(s) in the future?
By Ivan Berliant
The Philadelphia Phillies are six for their last 19 games, they’ve only scored 40 runs throughout that span and Chase Utley is in a slump (5-37/2 RBIs/0 HRs in his last 10 games) some would argue is the worst of his career.
Mets’ and Marlins’ fans couldn’t be happier.
No one expected at this point of the season that all five of the N.L. East teams would still be in the hunt for first place, with only six games separating the first-place Atlanta Braves (33-25) from the last-place Washington Nationals (27-31).
For those of you in South Florida who actually went to Roy Halladay’s perfect game (and did not buy a ticket afterwards), you might have seen the lone highlight of the Phillies’ horrible stretch, and one could argue that the lack of production from one of the league’s most threatening lineups might even overshadow Major League Baseball’s twentieth perfect game.
While the rest of the N.L. East and its fans rejoice for the serendipitous circumstances presented to us, I’d like to believe our distaste for the Phillies and their fans still lingers.
So I’d like to present my top three reasons of why “Philly sucks,” and maybe after I’ll have you chanting “Suck it Philly.”
1) The Fans– I’m sure Marlins’ fans would say that the only fans worse than Mets’ fans are the Philly faithful, and I would agree. The one difference between our obnoxious natures is that you won’t find Mets’ fans forcibly throwing up on a police officer and his daughter.
2) The Lineup– Let’s face it, the Philadelphia lineup strikes fear into the hearts of pitchers in the National League, and for a few weeks a year usually the American League as well. You can’t help but to hate that your main rival has the competitive advantage from a personnel standpoint, I guess that’s why this present slump has been such a pleasant surprise.
3) Fantasy Busts– This year’s draft was particularly rough on me, not only did I draft a Philly player, but I drafted three! Thinking Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez would take me to the promise land in my 14-team H2H Yahoo League. With the exception of Utley (prior to the slump), the other two have been very disappointing. You would think that Utley and Rollins will still have pretty good years, but Ibanez seems to of lost that sweet stroke he had at the beginning of last year. So not only are the Phillies usually killing me during the regular season, this year their killing my fantasy expectations.
By Blake Chadwick
Alright picture this nightmare scenario. Your favorite team, in this case we will say the New York Mets, have a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th on the road vs. division rival and widely despised Philadelphia. There are 2 on and 2 out with Ryan Howard at the dish. The caveat is you own Mr. Howard. To make things even more spicy, your opponent has Mets closer, Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez. On a 3-2 pitch, Howard JACKS one to deep right field sealing the deal with a walk-off 3 run HR. So fantasy wise, your now golden. Your opponent blows a save and you add a HR, 3 RBI, a run and an inflated OPS in one swing. You pump your fist with excitement as that play put you over the top and won your weekly series. After a few minutes, you realize you just went ballistic for not only a Phillies win, but a Mets loss. A walk off nonetheless against one of your chief rivals. This brings up the point, does fantasy baseball ruin ones love for the game? For me, it definitely can get in the way at times and forces me to snap out of it. Sometimes, the numbers crunch and statistical analysis overtakes simple balls and strikes. I would love to hear how this affects others. The best remedy is to go out to the ballpark and soak it all in. Before you buy your tickets, just make sure your ace is on the hill.
We all know Francisco Rodriguez has a knack for making the ninth inning interesting, but c’mon K-rod, you’re going to give us a heart attack over here. As I watched our over-paid closer walk Gaby Sánchez of the Florida Marlins last night to put two men on with two outs, you couldn’t help but get a sense that baseball’s perennial prima donna, Hanley Ramirez, was either going to do one of two things…
A) Make the Mets work for it in the bottom of the ninth– Watch Omir Santos hit a walk off base hit against the Marlins for a 2-1 victory on May 29, 2009. These Mets fans are priceless by the way.
B) Send this thing into extra innings– we all know how much of a beast Hanley is, and being a Mets fan this might be a little sacrilegious, but you can’t help but be in love with this guy. Additionally, Marlins’ closer Leo Nunez has been the only dominating force in that rather weak Marlins’ bullpen. Nunez was in line for some work at the bottom of the ninth against Reyes (1-2), Pagan (0-4) and Bay (2-4).
Luckily for Mets fans, K-rod was able to record the last out of the game with the help of gold-glover David Wright, who made a fabulous play to get the lackadaisical speedster Ramirez out at first. But occurences like this for Rodriguez are not sporadic and yes every closer runs into some trouble from time to time (even the great Mariano Rivera blew two saves earlier this season after coming off a hip injury, one of which to the Red Sox), but you can’t help but be concerned that K-Rod is not the closer we invested $37 million in to. For that matter he’s not the closer I invested my 9th round fantasy pick in to either; at the time Heath Bell of the San Diego Padres was still available as well as San Francisco Giants closer, Brian Wilson. Both, have been noticeably better than the Mets theatrical closer and both combined have the same number of blown saves (3) as K-Rod. Rodriguez additionally has a lose on his belt from a May 12 contest against the Washington Nationals, where Roger Bernadina hit his second homerun of the game (and the season for that matter) to put the Nationals up by two runs in the ninth. So I asked myself this question…
Why do Mets fans, or baseball fans for that matter, think K-Rod is so good?
And all I could come up with is that Mets fans are holding on to false pretenses, a delusion of grandeur. We want to believe that our closer now was the closer from the 2008 season that recorded a historical high 62 saves while posting a 2.24 era, instead the next year we got 35 saves and a 3.71 era. He was most definitely not the savior our front office projected, and although our bullpen got better from the disastrous previous year, we still aren’t the dominating force we thought we’d be with the acquisitions of K-Rod and J.J. Putz. Basically he was given 08′ money and in typical fashion, Mets fans are forced to watch another overrated under-productive player not live up to the hype. We’ll see how many more close calls or blown saves K-Rod has left in the tank, but until that next tying or winning run crosses the plate at the hand of number 75, I will do what every Met fan is doing the day after a close win against the Marlins–take a breath and proceed to talk trash to the first fish-fan I see.