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 Blake Chadwick
The 2009 baseball season is one to be forgotten as a Mets fan. Injuries, lackluster play, and an overall mediocre ballclub plagued Queens for 6 months. The biggest mystery surrounding the season was arguably David Wright’s odd numbers. Outside of a concussion late in the season, Wright played the majority of the season with a few baffling statistics. For a guy who hit 25+ HR’s and 100+ RBI’s in each of his first 4 full seasons, he dropped way off the map in 2009. Was it the adjustment to Citi Field? Was it seeing less pitches due to other stars being injured? Nonetheless, his 10 HR 72 RBI output to go along with a career high 140 K’s and his first sub .900 OPS “helped” the Mets to 92 losses and a 4th place NL East finish.
Fast forward to 2010. The Mets are 10 games over .500 at the end of June and only a game and a half out of first in the NL East. Reyes, Santana, and Niese are healthy. Beltran is almost back. But most importantly, David Wright has once again found his swing. 14 HR’s and an NL-leading 63 RBI’s heading into the month of July to go along with a .311 avg and a career high OPS of .941. He has overcome his early season struggles in which he dipped to 5th in the batting order and looked to remain on last season’s track. He is back to the 3 hole and paces the team on a nightly basis. There is no question the Mets hot streak over the last month and a half directly coincides with Wright’s hot bat. The Mets will always have question marks until they can return to the promised land that is the World Series. However, as we enter July and teams begin to make their second half push, the Mets can say for now, all is Wright.
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
So your AJ Hinch and you take a look at the NL West standings and realize your team is 12 games under .500 and already 11 1/2 games back in the division race in mid June. What’s the main problem? As usual with teams struggling, it’s the bullpen. In this case, a bunch of nobodies in the form of Daniel Stange, Blaine Boyer, Juan Gutierrez, Esmerling Vasquez, and my personal favorite former Mets prospect bust Aaron Heilman. To make matters worse, the closer is Chad Qualls who has a measly 75% conversion rate and is 12 for 16 in save opportunities. So as this team blows saves almost as often as Pujols homers, they need to make some changes. Unfortunately for this club, Heilman might be their best bet. A converted starter while in the Mets organization, Heilman tortured Mets fans for 6 seasons and never living up to his expectations as a 1st round pick. He was 22-33 with 9 saves and an ERA close to 4.
In 2010, I guess it’s safe to say he’s the “crown jewel” of the D-Backs bullpen. He’s 2-1 with a 2.83 ERA, a WHIP of 1.26 and 6 holds. Flashy numbers I know. He also leads the team in appearances. Now with Chad Qualls having an ERA hovering at close to 8.5, I think it’s safe to say a change is imminent. So as a fantasy player, knowing a closer is about to become available, do you jump at the chance? Do you rush to the waiver wire for AARON HEILMAN?! Well you can’t blame AJ Hinch for giving it a shot as his team needs stability and Heilman has been the most consistent arm he’s had. So it looks as if for the forseeable future, the 9th inning will belong to Mr. Heilman. Some people might follow Hinch’s lead and give him a shot, but don’t but see surprised if he comes back to bite like a snake in the grass.
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.