Tag: Curtis Granderson

84th MLB All-Star Game

Report: Mets moving in fences at Citi Field again


Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has strongly hinted at the possibility of the fences being moved in at Citi Field again and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News hears from a team source that construction is expected to begin in a few weeks.

This will be the second time the Mets have moved in the fences since the stadium opened in 2009. After the 2011 season, the Mets brought in the left field wall from 371 feet to 358 feet, right-center from 415 feet to 390 feet, and right field from 378 feet to 375 feet. While details of the upcoming changes aren’t yet known, they will be specific to the right field and right-center field fences.

As Marc Carig of Newsday wrote last month, these long-rumored changes could be beneficial to the likes of Curtis Granderson and David Wright, who often hit balls to that area of the ballpark only to see them die on the warning track. Ideally the Mets would consider the novel concept of “moving in” better players, but assuming they don’t have that luxury from a payroll perspective, they are trying to maximize what they can get out of what they already have. These changes will also benefit the opposition’s hitters, so the Mets are apparently banking on the offensive upgrade and the potential of their young pitchers being able to tip the scales in their favor.

Fired by Yankees, Kevin Long could be a candidate for Mets hitting coach

Kevin long Getty

Kevin Long was fired as hitting coach of the Yankees yesterday after eight seasons on the job, but he might not have to look very far for his next opportunity.

The Mets fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens back in May and let go of Lamar Johnson, his replacement, and assistant hitting coach Luis Natera following the season. Upgrading the roster would be the best elixir for the offense, but Long is an interesting candidate given his history with Curtis Granderson, who hit just .227/.326/.388 with 20 home runs and 66 RBI during his first season with the Mets. Even putting that relationship aside, he’s obviously beyond qualified. It’s just a matter of whether he sees eye-to-eye with Sandy Alderson’s philosophy. There are also plenty of hitting coach gigs available at the moment.

Players are concerned their routines will be messed up as a result of pace of play changes. Well, tough.

Adjusting gloves

Jayson Stark of ESPN has a story about how players are concerned that their voices will not be heard in the ongoing discussion about increasing the pace of play in Major League Baseball. Yes, the union is involved and the union asks players about such things, but no players are on the committee which is discussing possible rules changes.

At the outset, yes, I agree: players should be at the table, not just Tony Clark. If it were just about their rights being protected, fine, let the union deal with it. But if it’s about the actual mechanics of the job, the people who do the job probably have better insight about all of this than anyone. Or at least should be in the conversation when the way they do their job is being changed.

That said, the players’ complaints, as told to Stark, don’t exactly move me. Among them:

That too much of the blame for slowing the game — and most of the responsibility for fixing it — seems to have been placed on players. Players complained that Selig has made a number of comments about how “aggravated” he is with hitters who step out of the box after every pitch and start “adjusting all the crap [they] have on.” That tone, said one player, “isn’t helping.”

I hate to break it to you guys, but you are the reason games are slow. Yes, commercial breaks are a bit longer than they used to be, but it’s the batter and pitcher interaction — and lack of action — which is what is slowing everything down. Maybe pointing that out “isn’t helping” insofar as your ego and your hurt feelings go, but addressing that is the primary way to help speed things up.

Indeed, the other things players mention as culprits — commercial breaks, sabermetrics encouraging batters to take more pitches and more pitching changes happening — deal directly with the finances of baseball, the strategy of baseball and the rules of baseball, respectively, and making changes to those things would be far more problematic than simply having players, you know, step on it a bit.

There is one funny bit here, however. One of the changes on the table — a change which is being tested in the Arizona Fall League right now — is the pitch clock, which would be visible on the outfield wall and behind home plate and which would, in theory, ensure that pitchers deliver the ball in a timely manner when no runners are on base. Curtis Granderson muses:

“You could have a situation where there are 10 seconds on the clock, and fans are yelling, ‘3-2-1,’ and messing the pitcher up. … And the next thing you know, the hitter and the pitcher are both rushing to the clock because they don’t want a violation.”

Am I crazy, or wouldn’t that be pretty cool? This is no different than “Hey batterbatter saaaawiiiiing batter!” This isn’t tennis or golf. Suck it up.

Most of the players complaints here boil down to “man, don’t mess with our routines.” Welp, sorry. Your routines are way easier to mess with than rules which would fundamentally alter the game. And your routines are the primary problem. You should totally be in the conversation dealing with all of that, probably in a more active role than you currently are, but ultimately the burden of change is going to fall on the guys who actually play the game.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 11.24.38 PM


Latest Standings

Latest Wild Card Standings

Yankees 6, Orioles 5:  For everything that was and will be said about this game — for all of the stuff about storybook endings and rising to the occasion and everything else — my biggest takeaway from Derek Jeter‘s heroics was the replay in which they showed his dad reacting to the walkoff hit.

The man watched his son kick ass for 40 years. And on the occasion of the last big hit his son will ever have, he reacted as if it was his first. He jumped out of his seat with a big smile on his face and whooped it up. It was just wonderful

It spoke to me more than anything else anyone has said about Derek Jeter these past few weeks has spoke to me. It explained more about the guy than any of the people reaching beyond their grasp to try to explain the guy have managed. People have tried to figure out why Jeter is who he is and why he has been what he has been these past 20 years. It’s a thing we’ll never know for sure because Jeter doesn’t, to his credit, open up like a book to everyone. But if we had to guess, I’d say the answer to it is somewhere in his dad’s reaction. Some bit of grounding and normalcy and good damn sense that a great many star athletes don’t have surrounding them from the youngest of ages because they’re star athletes and, in this day and age anyway, they’re treated differently.

Derek Jeter’s dad looked like a guy cheering on his son’s first goal in kindergarten soccer. And in that there was something absolutely beautiful.

Red Sox 11, Rays 1: Rusney Castillo and Christian Vazquez each hit their first ever big league homers. Vazquez had four hits and drove in three. Allen Webster had a solid start. The Sox’ season ends with a visit from the Yankees. Jeter will likely DH a bit during the series, but that’s all. What a weird, ignominious ending for both of these teams.

Pirates 10, Braves 1: The Pirates trounce the Braves, who could almost literally be seen checking their October vacation reservations on their smart phones during the game. Pittsburgh is one game behind the Cards for the Central with three games to go. The scoreboard watching between the two of those teams will be about the most meaningful baseball played this entire weekend.

Tigers 4, Twins 2: Homers from Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and a win from Max Scherzer despite not having his best stuff. Best sign for the Tigers: three innings of bullpen work from three pitchers. Nine batters faced, nine batters retired. The Tigers maintain their two-game lead with three to play. Seems pretty safe as long as they don’t just totally woof away the weekend.

Mets 7, Nationals 4Nationals 3, Mets 0: The split. In the first game, Matt den Dekker singled home the go-ahead run off Tyler Clippard in the eighth. Curtis Granderson had three hits in the Mets’ 15-hit attack. In the nightcap, Gio Gonzalez allowed one hit in seven innings while striking out 12. Not a lot of offensive fireworks here, as the Nats’ three runs scored on a bases-loaded walk, a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch and a fielder’s choice. The Nats play another doubleheader today, this time against the Marlins. I’ll be flying to Washington this afternoon to meet up with a good friend and she and I are going to take in the nightcap. I will not wear my Braves gear to the game out of respect, but nor will I do my usual When-in-Rome thing and buy Nats gear because, man, a dude has to have standards. I think I’ll wear my Columbus Clippers cap, to be honest. And root like hell for the Marlins, because I am nothing if not a man animated by spite.

Marlins 6, Phillies 4: The Marlins win ensures that the Phillies will finish in last place for the first time in 14 years. Good effort, fellas. They now go on to play the Braves who may actually be a bigger disappointment than the last place Phillies. I’d say this is the World Series for both of these teams, but they’re both so terrible that it’s more like a lame spring training game on March 25th when everyone is just tired of the routine and they all want to break camp,

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 5: Two homers for Logan Morrison as the Mariners stay alive, albeit in critical condition. The A’s lost, so Seattle remains two back with three to play. Seattle has three against the Angels. The A’s have three against the Rangers.

Rangers 2, Athletics 1: Of course, the Rangers beat them here, courtesy of a walkoff homer from Adrian Beltre. They stunk all year, but in the second half of September, the Rangers have come alive. They stand ready to spoil the A’s season just like the A’s have spoiled the Rangers’ past couple of years. If they do it, boy howdy, that’d be something.

Reds 5, Brewers 3: Speaking of spoiled, the Reds did that to the Brewers, officially eliminating them from playoff contention. Jay Bruce went 3 for 4. Brandon Phillips homered. Yovani Gallardo gave up ten hits in five innings. And like that — poof — it was gone. Quick — someone ask Jonathan Lucroy if he still thinks the Brewers are better than the Cardinals.

Royals 6, White Sox 3: Three runs across the eighth and ninth innings for the rallying Royals. Eric Hosmer was 3 for 5 with a couple driven in. James Shields gets the no-decision and the Kansas City pen does its usual three scoreless innings thing.

Giants 9, Padres 8: The Padres made it interesting, scoring five in the seventh to take the lead, but the Giants roared back with three in the bottom of the inning to seal it. Either way, the Giants clinched the playoffs yesterday with Milwaukee’s loss, so it was going to be champagne, win or lose for San Francisco.

Joe Panik’s extreme night: 5 hits, 0 runs, 0 RBI

Joe Panik Giants

Giants second baseman Joe Panik had an odd game last night against the Diamondbacks, going 5-for-5 while scoring zero runs and driving in zero runs.

He’s the first player with zero runs and zero RBI in a game with five or more hits since Adam Kennedy in August of 2009. And the only other times that happened within the past 10 years were Aaron Miles in 2008 and Curtis Granderson in 2005.

Panik has hit .327 in 56 games for the Giants as a 23-year-old rookie, but it’s come with just one homer and 14 walks in 214 plate appearances. Of course, empty batting average or not the Giants will happily take a a .369 on-base percentage and .766 OPS at second base after previously being so desperate at the position that they used Dan Uggla there for four games.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $50,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.