...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jason turns 30!

My brother Jason turns thirty years old today.  Happy Birthday J!  I wish I had a 30 year old whisky to report on. I REALLY wish I had a 30 year old whisky to report on.

In lieu of that here's my list of the Top 30 Mets since 2/22/82, by Wins Above Replacement (Fangraphs verson), and stay tuned for blackmail pics at the end...

Kris Benson doesn't make the list
but that's because he's trapped somewhere in his wife's cleavage.
1. Dwight Gooden - 52.9 WAR - Dr. K sits easily at #1.  Everyone will always ponder what could have been, but we should also embrace what was.  During Gooden's 11 years on the Mets (1984-1994), Clemens was the only pitcher in the majors who put up comparable stats.  No one in the NL even comes close.

2. David Wright - 39.3 WAR - With two years left on his contract, Wright could pull into the #1 spot with back-to-back All-Star level seasons.  Can he do it?  Absolutely.  Will he?  It would be great for New York baseball if he did.

3. Darryl Strawberry - 36.6 WAR - During The Straw's eight years on the Mets (1983-1990), only Henderson, Boggs, and Raines put up better offensive numbers league-wide.  Originally from Crenshaw (LA!), Darryl was the son of Ruby Strawberry.  Not a joke.

4. Jose Reyes - 33.4 WAR - His Mets career over much too quickly, Reyes is their all-time leader in triples (99) and steals (370), and is so far ahead of the second place guy (the Mook) that I don't foresee anyone passing him.

5. Carlos Beltran - 30.9 WAR - His high ranking is largely helped by his glovework.  He put up the best fielding stats of any NL centerfielder from 2006-2009.

6. Edgardo Alfonzo - 30.7 WAR - Wow, I forgot all about this guy.  Like the two gents immediately above, he combined great fielding stats and great offense.  If not for a rough 2001, he may have been challenging Darryl for the #3 spot on this list.

7. Mike Piazza - 30.2 WAR - He called a press conference to announce that he was NOT gay.  Sounds like Terrell Owens maneuver.  Otherwise, he's the best hitting catcher in the history of baseball.  His abysmal fielding stats during his Mets career keeps him from challenging The Straw at #3.

8. Keith Hernandez - 27.0 WAR - Baseball-reference.com says that his nickname was Mex.  Was it because he did not look anything like a Mexican?  His .297 BA is third best behind Wright and Olerud.  And he was the best fielding first baseman in the National League during his career.

9. Sid Fernandez - 26.4 WAR - Now we're talking.  El Sid has the 3rd lowest Hits-per-9-Innings ratio IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY.  Only Koufax and Ryan sit above him.

10. David Cone - 24.8 WAR - A superb pitcher who really should have gotten more notice when the Hall of Fame voting occurred in '09.  He sits low on this list due to his limited Mets career.  Had he started as many games as Gooden, he'd be in 2nd place.

11. Howard Johnson - 24.0 WAR - This list would be incomplete without the man who played 3B, SS, LF, and RF, went 30/30 three times, kept a sculpted beard, put up the best offensive WAR in the entire majors in 1989, and hit the seventh most sacrifice flies in a single season ever while leading the NL in homers in 1991, all while he was running an international hotel chain.  HoJo.

12. Al Leiter - 22.5 WAR - A very good pitcher who hasn't stopped talking since he retired.  Could have won the 1998 Cy Young had he pitched the full season.

13. John Olerud - 19.3 WAR - Statistically, probably the best hitter in Mets history, but only played 3 seasons for them.  Wish they'd picked him up sooner then held onto him longer.  Should have gotten more respect in the Hall of Fame voting this year.

14. Mookie Wilson - 16.8 WAR - Mooooooook.  Next to Reyes, he's the Mets historical speedster. His hitting wasn't terrible and he was decent with the glove, but quickly faded into oblivion in 1989.

15. Dave Magadan - 16.5 WAR - Got his rookie card!  It'll be worth a fortune!  Really only had one good year, in 1990, which was also the only year he stayed healthy.  Was third in the NL in BA and second in OB, while flashing the best first base glove in the league.

16. Kevin McReynolds - 16.0 WAR - Was a hell of a power-tandem mate with Strawberry.  Finished 3rd in MVP voting in 1988 when he stole 21 bases without being caught a single time.

17. Ron Darling? Yes Honey. - 15.8 WAR - The third of the great multi-cultural starting trio of Gooden-Fernandez-Darling.  Put up almost the exact same WAR numbers between 1984-1988 as the other New York Ron (Guidry) had during the same period.

18. Lenny Dykstra - 14.4 WAR - Extortion and chewing tobacco.  Wound up finding his swing in Philadelphia.  Though his numbers swelled so high so quickly that...well, far be it from me to make behavioral assumptions about a someone guilty of sexual harrassment, sexual assault, indecent exposure  (at age 48), fraud, grand theft auto, and identity theft.  And his trainers named him multiple times in the Mitchell Report.  According to Baseball-reference.com, one of his nicknames was Dude.

19. Gary Carter - 13.2 WAR - Kid!!!  Too bad he's listed underneath Nails.  He only had four healthy years with the Metsies, thus the #19 ranking.  Thankfully in the Hall of Fame, though.  The player most closely statistically comparable is Johnny Bench.  That's always a nice thing.

20. Rick Reed - 13.1 WAR - Really?  I guess so.  He was actually the 15th best starter in the NL during his years on the Mets.  And a two-time All Star with tremendous pitch control.

21. Robin Ventura - 12.9 WAR - He played for both NY teams, but the first thing I picture is him getting punched in the head by Nolan Ryan.  He had an exceptional year in 1999 and always flashed a good glove.

22. Bobby Jones - 12.6 WAR - Another Met I under-appreciated.  Reed put up the better numbers, but Jones spent more time on the team.  Was probably at his best during his great 1994 rookie year.

23. Bret Saberhagen - 12.1 WAR - A tremendous pitcher that everyone forgets about.  He came to the Mets after his prime, but in 1994 he logged the greatest Strikeout to Walk ratio in the history of the game.  Even better than the marks set in the 1880s when it took NINE balls to record a walk.  Saberhagen struck 143 and walked 13.

24. Todd Hundley - 12.0 WAR - The Man Who Came Before Piazza actually put up huge numbers in 1996 and 1997.  His 41 HRs in '96 still stands as the team record.

25. Tom Glavine - 11.6 WAR - At the end of a great career, Glavine put up five solid seasons for New York, including 2004-2006 which matched some of his better seasons with the Braves.

26. Bob Ojeda - 11.1 WAR - Was the fourth member of that great mid-eighties rotation.  Put up some tremendous numbers in '86, when was the fourth best pitcher in the NL.  Without him there would have been no championship.

27. Johan Santana - 10.9 WAR - He'd better get his ass further up this list.

28. Bernard Gilkey - 10.5 WAR - Yes, we're getting into Bernard Gilkey territory.  His 44 doubles in 1996 is still the team record.  He was actually had the third best WAR in the NL in '96.  He put up a decent '97, then was gone in '98.

29. Wally Backman - 10.5 WAR - It's easy to forget that he only played three full seasons, then played small chunks of six other years.  His highlight was also 1986, when he hit .320, which would have been 4th in the league had he had enough plate appearances.

30. Frank Viola - 10.3 WAR - Two great years for the Mets, in 1990 and 1991.  Arguably the best in NL pitcher in 1990.  It's a pity he went to the Red Sox after that.

Honorable Mentions:
Angel Pagan:  Not only will he crack this list by late May, he could make it into the top 20 with a decent season.
Bobby Bo: #31
Pedro: #33
John Franco: #35
Tim Teufel: #44
Mike Hampton: #56

Happy B-Day JK!  See you soon.

That's J on the right.
On the right again.
And now on the left.