Are the Mets making the right call to pass on Maddon?

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Joe Maddon surprised a lot of people yesterday by exercising his option to get out of the last year of his contract to manage the Tampa Bay Rays. By doing so, he instantly became baseball’s most talked-about free agent.

Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon immediately shot down the idea that his team would be pursuing Maddon.

New York Post sports columnist Mike Vaccaro to echo the thoughts of many Mets fans when he wrote:

As of right now, immediately, it really doesn’t matter what promises Sandy Alderson made to Terry Collins. Because as of right now, immediately, Alderson has it within his grasp to make a move that would be the first legitimate game-changer on his watch as general manager of the Mets.

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Bloggers name Trout & Kershaw as MLB’s best in 2014

Baseball Bloggers Alliance logoYesterday, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance announced that Mike Trout won his third consecutive Stan Musial Award, which is given to the most valuable player in each league. On the National League side, Clayton Kershaw took the honor after winning the BBA’s Walter Johnson Award earlier this week.

For voting results, awards history and additional details, check the Baseball Bloggers Alliance press release.

Baseball card of the day: 1999 Just Minors Jorge Toca autograph

Jorge-Toca Jorge-Toca-B

I wasn’t paying that much attention to Major League Baseball or the Mets in 1999, so I don’t remember how much prospect hype Jorge Luis Toca was getting in his first year of U.S. professional baseball.

Looking at Toca’s minor league numbers, I imagine that at the very least Binghamton Mets fans were very happy to have him on their team. In 75 games, Toca hit 20 home runs and posted a .308 batting average, .384 on base percentage and .584 slugging percentage. At the Triple-A level in Norfolk, Toca improved his batting average to .335 but saw his power numbers dip – just five home runs in 49 games, with a .500 slugging percentage.

I wouldn’t have been in any rush to run John Olerud out of town to open up a spot at first base, but I know I would have been interested in finding out what Toca could do at the major league level, particularly with 40-year-old Rickey Henderson serving as the Mets’ primary left fielder.

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Mets news & rumors: Kevin Long and Michael Cuddyer

Curtis Granderson (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Curtis Granderson (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

The New York Mets hired former New York Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long on Thursday. He got credit for helping Curtis Granderson put together some of the best offensive seasons of his career while with the Yankees.

The Mets are undoubtedly hoping that hiring Long and bringing in the right and right-center field fences will help Granderson return to All-Star form. I don’t know that I’m buying it, but why not stay positive? (Oh, yeah… Long is the third hitting coach the Mets have employed in 2014. Sooner or later, somebody’s going to have to start blaming the players if they don’t hit.)

NJ.com’s Mike Vorkunov put together a list of six things you should know about Long for those who are curious about the Mets latest hitting coach.

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Juan Lagares could win his first Gold Glove award

Juan Lagares (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Juan Lagares (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

New York Mets CF Juan Lagares is a finalist for a Gold Glove Award, along with Washington’s Denard Span and Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton.

If Lagares wins the award, which is determined by advanced defensive statistics as well as voting by National League players and managers, he will be the third Mets outfielder to achieve this distinction.

Carlos Beltran and David Wright were the last Mets players to win a Gold Glove in 2008.