Q and A: – Radar Guns, Matt Cerrone, Brant Rustich, Jay Horowitz, Terry Collins

Conrad Youngren asked:

Mack, I have a technical question that’s been bugging me. Maybe you know the answer or can find out. (I’d prefer that to a guess 🙂 ) The Velo number that appears in the upper right of the SNY screen after every pitch–what EXACTLY is that? Is if an instantaneous velocity? If so where (at the mound, at the plate, in between–they will be different) or some average velocity over the 66 feet? A cop I know says his gun is “peak reading,” that is it captures the highest speed and holds it even though still training on a decelerating target. If THAT’s the case, the speed shown would, I think, be the pitcher’s hand, not the ball at all. In any case is the velocity measured the same way year to year and park to park? Thanks.

Good question…
I thought I’d reach out to some of my Mets friends and see what they thought the correct answer to this is:

Matt Cerrone/MetsBlog:  –  “I have no idea. Never even thought to ask… Also, I was always taught (by scouts) not to care about the number, but to care about the relative range and consistency and variance between each type of pitch on that given day by that pitcher… because guns, distances, etc., vary so much.”

Brant Rustich/NY Mets: – “The radar guns lock on the peak velocity which is right when the ball (object) leaves the pitchers hand.The stalker guns can be read unlocked like if a police officer wanted to read cars and what not. I’m not entirely sure what the exact drop of velocity is of the ball when it gets to home plate, but its about 9% I believe or so. I suppose I could look up an old physics equation and figure it out. Like 100mph out of the hand turns to 91-92 or something at 60 feet because of resistance.”

Jay Horowitz/NY Mets: – Mack: I am not a technical wiz, but it is measured from hand and each park is different.


Jose asked:

Hey Mack, you seem to go both ways when it comes to the Mets. Do you believe in this team, or not?


You’re not the first one to accuse me of that… and, sometimes it’s about the baseball team too!
First of all, I decided a few years ago that, if I was going to be a good Mets writer, I had to stop being a fan. You have to approach this objectively, though I did decide that the primary theme would be positive things, especially about the kids.

I believe in this team, and I especially believe in Mr. Alderson and Co., but I am not a big fan the current ownership. I was the first three Omar years, but not now.
Look, investments have risks and the recession wiped out a lot of us. I write sports because I no longer own radio stations. I lost most of what I had in the 80s and threw away the rest ten years ago in high risk investments. Shit happens. I can live with it because I did it to myself.
The Wilpon family intertwined their personal investments with their ownership of the team, and the fans will now suffer because of it. In the past, they just fielded teams that didn’t have enough to go all the way. Now, they don’t have the money to compete in the division, no less the league.

I try to write realistically. I have predicted the Mets to not make the playoffs for the past three seasons. So far, I’m batting 1.000.
Enjoy this year. It’s for grins.


Joseph Polini asked:

Do you think Terry Collins was the best choice for the Mets job at this time? It does seem to me from what I’ve heard that the players seem real upbeat about him so far….



I think Terry Collins is the perfect manager for the 2011 Mets.
In my opinion, he was a better choice than Wally Backman. Collins brings the same personality without the hand grenades.

Was he the best choice? No. Joe Torre would have been better, but he wasn’t available.
Many feel that Collins is the perfect “interim” manager during these difficult times when the owners are broke, the team is handcuffed with contracts, and three new VPs have to be paid.
I expect TC to be the manager for 2011 and 2012. Beyond that will be determined on his W-L record.


Cutnpaste: – Jon Niese, Stefan Welsh, Mets Sale, Jeff Francoeur, Jay Horowitz


Photo by Michael G. Baron


Jon Niese:

Though Collins hasn’t announced his rotation officially, beyond Mike Pelfrey starting opening night at Florida, it is likely Niese would be second and R.A. Dickey third, splitting up the right-handers. Dickey is scheduled to make his spring training debut today against the Cardinals, and will have followed Pelfrey and Niese in succession.Niese, who struggled with control during his August and September skid last season, is determined to throw more strikes this spring.


Stefan Welsh:
Stefan Welch 1B (Mets) – Welch hasn’t really shown the power to fill the first base position. He certainly isn’t going to yank the first base job from Ike Davis. He did club seven homeruns in just 40 games in the Australian League, a vast improvement with his eight homeruns in 133 games in the Florida State League, with parks that are not friendly to power hitters. On the down side he hit only .201 in the Australian League, whiffing 42 times in 40 games. He is 6′3″ and only 175 so at some point he will fill out and the power numbers should improve.


Mets Sale:
In this weeks’ news, we delve a little deeper into how the trustee overseeing the lawsuit against Wilpon and company came to determine that the Mets’ owners should be held responsible even when they too saw their accounts go to zero. At issue is the fact that the Mets’ owners pulled out more than their initial investment prior to the news breaking that Madoff was one of the biggest scammers ever. On Thursday, the Mets’ owners will get to attack the methodology that the trustee in the case is using to try to get $1 billion from the Mets’ owners Their opponents will be the trustee, Irving H. Picard, and none other than the Securities and Exchange Commission. Stay tuned because this could be a big week in determining what could happen with the Mets.


Jeff Francoeur:
The good and the bad about the 2011 Royals is sitting in front of his corner locker, taking his shoes off. This may sound like a strange way to think of Jeff Francoeur, whose career with the Royals now spans two spring training games, but this is a man who was on baseball’s scrapheap and is largely looked at as a placeholder for better times, and he even has the talking points down.


Jay Horowitz:
Mets vice-president of media relations Jay Horwitz is, self admittedly, “a little bit of a schlump.” He’s wrinkled, he’s baggy, he’s disheveled. His glasses are slightly crooked. His head is a bit large for his shoulders. He talks with a thick New York accent. He’s lost or broken at least 10 BlackBerries over the past couple of years, including two that plopped into the toilet. .”There’s no question that Jay is great at his job,” says David Wright, the Mets third baseman. “But he definitely has some screws loose.”