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.


I May Be Wrong, But… Matt Cerrone, Jeff Wilpon, Matt Garrioch, Oliver Perez, R.A. Dickey, Kai Gronauer, Kirk Nieuwenhuis

1. Some posters may grow older, but never wiser. I paid a visit to one of my old stomping grounds, NYFS, and found a particular post interesting. It was about Matt Cerrone, of www.metsblog.com  and I couldn’t believe how many of the many loyal posters there think Matt doesn’t know what he is doing. I’ve always had trouble with haters online, but knock Matt Cerrone? Isn’t he the guy that gives most of you morning cup of Mets stuff?

2. Jeff Wilpon seems to be getting a little soft on the loss of Omar. He’s been quoted as saying he misses him and would welcome him back in some capacity. Listen, firing someone can bring you a lot of guilt. I fired people who thought they were my friend. One eventually hung himself in his mother’s bedroom. I haven’t held a job in the radio industry for over  ten years and I still have a minimum of three nightmares a week about that subject. Change is sometimes inevitable and people need to move on without each other. Stay away, Omar.

3. Matt Garrioch, over at www.mlbbonusbaby.com , listed the top 20 international kids signed in the off-season and none were Mets. I expected Elvis Sanchez to be on this list, but I guess Matt wasn’t high on him. There easily could have been a drop off in signings this past off-season, what with all the turnover of brass and scouts. Seven of my top ten Mets prospects came out of international signings, which speaks for its strengths, and the weakness of past Mets drafts.

4. the Mets looking for a minority partner means only one thing… they’re out of family moolah. My first minority ownership was with Specter Broadcasting. Why? Because the original owners came close to running the company in the ground. This is really good news for Mets fans and could be the first step in someday being returned to operating as a big-market team. Hats off to the Wilpons for recognizing the problem.

5.Oliver Perez will compete for a job in spring training as a starter, not a relief pitcher He’s coming off the Mexican League fully stretched, and he will go against Dillon Gee, Chris Young, and Pat Misch for the 4th/5th slot. Chris Capuano will begin ST out of the pen, per Terry Collins.

6. Congrats go out on the 2-year deal for SP R.A. Dickey. The best news about this is the fact it isn’t a 3-year deal. Dickey’s earned this, and even if he fails as a starter, would make a nice addition out of the pen. We all know that both Jenrry Mejia and Matt Harvey are slotted for 2014, but that’s a long way away and anything can happen. On paper, there is no better potential SP5 than Dickey.

7.  I see that Captain Kirk and Kai Gronauer have both been invited to be part of the Mets spring training roster. This will be Kai’s first entrance into the sacred clubhouse and I’m thrilled for him. I’ve contacted him for a response, which, if received, will be in my next posting.

8. changing web site is a real pain… I’ve contacted SportsSpyder and hopefully, they will include my new site soon. We continue to work on the new site, which will change to a real domain site sometime in the next 30 days. My name is owned by some other site, so we’re going to change it eventually to MackBaseball.com …  I’m sorry to put all of you through this, but it’s a necessity for me to accomplish my long term goals as a Mets writer.

9. Could the announcement by the Wilpons have worse timing? We’re less than 20 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting and the last thing Sandy Alderson and Company needs is this kind of media distraction. It must be really bad to throw a press conference about this now. I’m sure the players and coaches will all be a little testy if questions come their way about this crap.