A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Adios Spring Training

The Sports Illustrated Baseball Preview is out and they have selected the Mets as the favorites to win the 2009 World Series. This is a promising thought considering that the last two years have been abysmal for the organization and its fans.

I think the Mets have an awesome chance at winning the World Series and making the last few years seem like ancient history. That being said, the Phillies are top dog until they are taken down. I do the Mets taking them down as they did have a winning record against the Phillies last year.

Examining the roster that Omar Minaya has put together, this team is extremely well rounded. I have some concerns at certain positions but find me a team that doesn’t. It’s going to be a good year with a great team in a great stadium!

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Here are my picks for the division winners:

NL East: New York (plus pitching, defense and offense)

NL Central: Chicago (no solid competitor)

NL West: Arizona (Dodgers pitching took a big step back)

NL Wildcard: Philadelphia (too much offense and great bullpen)

AL East: Boston (unmatched depth can handle)

AL Central: Minnesota (plus pitching and defense with a solid Offense)

AL West: Anaheim (it’s the AL worst again)

AL Wildcard: Cleveland (offense should terrorize & team has two aces)

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My favorites for post season awards are as follows:

NL MVP: David Wright
Tons of rbi opportunities along with golden boy status should make this one easy. Only Pujols or Howard can take it from him.

AL MVP: Mark Teixeira
He’ll have the lineup around him to put up huge numbers assuming the pressure of New York doesn’t affect him too much

NL Cy Young: Johan Santana
This should be his fifth Cy but he was robbed by Bartolo Colon and the pen shouldn’t cost him 7/8 games again this year.

AL Cy Young: Roy Halladay
He’s got the best stuff in the AL and he’ll have to bring it every time out pitching in that division.

As for the ROY and MOY, it’s hard to say who’s so I won’t even waste my time.

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Hernandez is the 5th starter thanks in part to his not imploding during spring training. The starting rotation consists of Santana followed by Pelfrey, Maine, Perez and Hernandez, who will get called up April 11th. It’s a very solid staff with a good mixture of pitching types.

The bullpen is going to consist of K-Pod, Putz, Green, Feliciano, O’Day, Parnell and Stokes. Parnell and Stokes surprised many with their stuff this spring and finalized the near total overhaul of the bullpen. It has a great mix of overhead and sidearm throwers with a lot of hard throwers. There is also a significant reserve in the minors should anyone falter.

Jerry Manuel has set the lineup with Daniel Murphy batting second. This should give him an opportunity to excel. His growth and an decent year from the Delgado/Castillo would make this an extremely dangerous lineup.

The bench currently consists of Jeremy Reed, Marlon Anderson, Ramon Castro, Nick Evans and Alex Cora. If I were Marlon Anderson, I would not miss anytime. Nick Evans has brought his power stroke to camp this year and has shown me that he belongs.

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Seeing Orlando Hudson and Will Ohman sign on the cheap really irked me. Especially Hudson, since he gives the dodgers and awesome DP combo and would've been an improvement over Castillo.

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Ya think so?

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She is sexy and I can’t wait for the first date!

Friday, February 20, 2009

the season is almost here

It is time to be excited. Baseball is in the air.

Pitchers and catchers reported and for at least a few weeks, hope and excitement are abundant. Everyone is hoping for the continued development of the kid they saw last fall and for just another good year from their aging stars.

Things wont pan out the way most hope, but it’s always good when you get that first whiff of baseball on a cold February day.

Well everywhere except in one place. It’s amazing how this A-Rod story has trumped everything baseball in Tampa Bay. That’s a good thing too because it helps some people avoid the spotlight (Girardi, Matsui, Mariano, etc).

I think the happiest guys are AJ Burnett, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira. They are after thoughts despite signing some of the most insane contracts ever signed in baseball (this will change as we get further into the season and Burnett shuts it down after stubbing his toe on a door).

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Livan Hernandez is in the fold and this effectively has ended the Pedro Martinez era. I can’t say that I’m excited about Livan. He eats innings but his best years are behind him. I hate to see Pedro go since he can be of some use. It wouldn’t be much use around here though.

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Buying tickets for games this year is going to be a joke. The brokers have swooped in have snatched everything up. That in addition to the fewer seats is going to spike the prices and cause a lot of fans to have a long distance love with the Mets.

Seeing the Mets promoting Stubhub, I can’t help but to think that they have taken the seats and have thrown them on Stubhub themselves. I’m sure that they love to turn the lovely profit Stubhub usually provides. I believe this more now that the Giants have fluctuating ticket pricing.

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Can we keep Mike Pelfrey off the golf carts?

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I’m tired of hearing this “team to beat” crap from the players. The Phillies are the team to beat because they won the World Series and they will remain as the team to beat until they are officially eliminated from an opportunity to win the World Series.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A-Lightning-Rod

Alex Rodriguez is a guy who has two amazing abilities. He pounces on fastballs in a snake like fashion. He also does incredibly stupid things.

Everyone knows by now that he has been implicated as testing positive in MLB’s 2003 steroid sampling.

I can understand why the guy would do it. He is hungry. He wants to put up the best numbers ever and become a baseball immortal. To do that you need a physical advantage and the steroids do that.

In the end his image is tarnished and who knows if he’s going to the HOF. I do know that he will become a baseball immortal. It’ll probably along the lines of Pete Rose rather than Hank Aaron.

This is the Yankees problem and I don’t feel bad about the Mets not making a push for him in 2000. This guy is an rbi machine but the trouble is too much. I would’ve hated dealing with stripper-gate, Madonna-gate, and now this fiasco. He’s like TO but with a better attitude.
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Jason Stark had this interest bit about Fernando Martinez in a recent article.

“He looks to me like he can be a young Bobby Abreu… His discipline at the plate is good. He worked counts. He hung in against left-handers. He did a lot of good things. He may be 20 years old, but he doesn’t look like it, the way he handles himself. He really plays under control.”

This is always good to hear. Seeing the Rays bring up Evan Longoria and Cole Hamels becoming a superstar so fast give me hope that we may have another Reyes or Wright. I just hope this guy can stay healthy (he left DR because of a swollen elbow).

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

our second place team

"We like our team," Minaya said. "I'm ready to go with this team. We addressed our priorities, and our team today is better than it was at the end of last year."
-Omar Minaya at the Oliver Perez press conference

I don’t know if I’m being a tad extreme but I find something wrong with this statement. The Mets are still flawed and I worry about this team’s direction.

I appreciate what Omar has done to shore up the bullpen. It will improve with K-Rod-Putz replacing Wagner-Heilman/Sanchez and just improved health. That being said, the Philly pen is slighty better.

The starting staff is a big question mark. Johan just came off knee surgery. Maine had shoulder surgery. Ollie is a Dr. Jeckyl – Mr. Hyde. Pelfrey just came off a career high in innings pitched (Verducci Effect). Redding-Garcia can’t be counted on for much considering their past and age. That rotation isn’t better than the one in Citizen’s Bank Park.

The Mets offense finished among the best in the NL last year but I felt that it was a mirage. The offense was not clutch. I don’t know if I can expect much of an improvement from Reyes, Wright, and Beltran. Everyone else is pretty much a question mark. This offense doesn't compare to Phillie's.

I don’t get how management feels that it’s done. The team has holes! There is talent available at low cost. There is a cash cow of a new stadium with pricey seats. Yet the payroll will match that of last year.

Because of this attitude, the Mets will be looking over their shoulder at the Braves. Our New York Mets are a second place team.

Monday, January 05, 2009

happy new year

With the New Year here it can only mean one thing:

We’re only a few weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting!

I’m excited about the work done by Omar Minaya in reshaping the bullpen but I’m still very nervous about the status of our rotation and downright feel like crap when I think of first base.

Scott Boras is a douche bag and hearing his name associated with your team is always a downer. It especially sucks for us because he’s the man we’re going to have to deal with if Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez (hopefully both) put on the orange and blue. I would like to have both in the fold considering that the only production that is a lock for 2009 is that of Johan Santana.

Mike Pelfrey is expected to grow, but the same was thought of John Maine and Oliver Perez heading into 2008. I would hope that he matches his 2008 production at a minimum. John Maine isn’t instilling confidence coming off surgery while John Niese is just a rookie pitcher.

We’ll need both pitchers in the fold to help offset that uncertainty. Lowe is a lock for 200ip and a decent era. Ollie is a head case, but there is no denying that he can pitch and win. Another important factor to consider with them both is their (I think) nonexistent injury history (this is why I say no to Ben Sheets).

As for first base, I hate Carlos Delgado. I also hate that Mark Teixeira isn’t going to be a Met. The Mets should’ve signed him and moved him like they did with Beltran (they signed him and moved Cameron). Now there is no real option at first beyond 2009and it is going to suck.
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I’m sure most of you have gotten some correspondence from the Mets for 2009 home games. Here’s your new seating chart. I already miss the simplicity of Shea.


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Pat Burrell signed a good contract with the Rays and I like the move for them. His home/away splits were balanced and he should bring value to them especially as a DH. Thank god he’s not in the NL East anymore.
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The Cubs signed Milton Bradley to a 3 year deal. Bad move since he’s always hurt and liable to explode at any moment.
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JC Romero is going to sit out 50 games. Did his roids use save his career and turn him around in Philadelphia?
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I'm loving the site redesign by ESPN. The old design was a mess and was due to be replaced.
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I wonder where some of these guys like John Smoltz will end up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Prospect Analysis

Baseball Prospectus has released its review of the Mets Top 11 Prospects. Some people will find it disheartening that the team has no 5 star can’t miss prospects in the system. Others will say that the Mets have drafted poorly or are running a depleted system.

I pay no mind to negative talk. These same people have attacked the Mets minor league for as long as I can remember (Generation K maybe?). These same people have failed to realize that the team has produced talent. It hasn’t produced many of the superstar prospects that scouts drool over, but the talent is there. There was doom and gloom two summers ago when Omar drafted all those relievers but our system still managed to produced enough talent to land Johan, Church, & Putz. That being done while keeping our top prospect, Fernando Martinez.

We haven’t had many cant miss prospects come in and contribute, but you can attribute that to not sucking for a while, Humber’s injury, Kazmir’s trade, and the negative attention Milledge couldn’t avoid.

In the end I don’t worry and neither should you. Kevin Goldstein would agree with me. The article can be read here free of charge.

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Rumors of a Luis Castillo trade are floating around. I would be amazed if Omar can move this guy. Its easy to sign a guy to a bad contract. It’s nearly impossible to push on to someone’s payroll.

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Fred Wilpon hasn’t been called Freddie Coupon in a while. After getting swindled for a nice chunk of change, is the nickname due for a comeback?

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I haven’t heard much about this, but I wonder how the new stadium will “play.” Shea has been a pitchers park and the Mets have always seemed to benefit due to that. What’s going to happen if CitiField proves to be a Citizens Stank Park or Enron Field?

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The Buffalo Bison have a new logo in town (behind the bills) and a new manager.

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I secretly pray for Minaya to sign Teixeira and spin Delgado to the Angels for a decent prospect.

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The pitching situation is getting interesting. I hope the Mets don’t things on the cheap and sign based on talent. When you miss the playoffs two years in a row by less than three games, a 5th starter matters. Things could’ve been different last year if Kyle Lohse made those 17 starts by Figueroa, Neise, Vargas, Stokes, and the immortal Brandon Knight.

There are too many question marks this year outside of Santana and signing both Lowe and Garland/Perez (who sounds better when you factor his age) would ease some worries. Sheets would be nice but after years of glass players crapping out, I must say pass.

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Furcal may be coming back east. Thank god Glavine isn’t here to give up a leadoff homerun to him.

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Adios Argenis Reyes and Bling Bling Burgos. I liked Reyes, but sometimes I thought I was the only one in the fan club.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good bye Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux called it a career this week. It was a rather low publicity send off when you think of the treatment Roger Clemens got as he retired (all three/four times). He deserves a lot more attention if you ask me considering he was the best pitcher since the expansion era. Yea I said it, expansion era.

I know a lot of people will think of Koufax, Carlton, Martinez, etc. I like to think that Maddux is the best because of what he did with what he had for how long he did it when he did it.

Look at his numbers and try to find someone comparable. You may or may not. I look at his stats and see someone who is 5th on the all times win list during the era of steroids, five man rotations and specialized bullpens. To have done it while topping out at maybe 92 mph is amazing. I will never forget the time he had a 76 pitch complete game against the Cubs in 1997. He only threw 13 balls!

I hate that his career took a back seat because of his low profile personality and how that douche Clemens roided his way into the spot light. Maddux will have the last laugh though when he gets that 100% vote into the hall 5 years from now.

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The Mets have traded Scott Schoeneweis to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Conor Robertson. I personally thought Scott got a raw deal here considering he was signed as a lefty specialist but was used in a different role. He in fact faced more right handed batters than lefties while here. He did have some moments of failure against lefties in key moments (Jody Gerut), but his problems were magnified by an injured knee last year, Willie Randolph, and our bullpen injuries woes this year.

Conor Robertson is nothing to be excited about. This move was about clearing salary and clearing the air of the 2008 stench. The Mets ate $1.6m of his salary and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets Delgado out in a big spot next year.

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Scott Proctor was non-tendered by the Dodgers and I hope Omar takes a look at him. He can be effective but made the worst move a reliever can make: he became one of Joe Torre’s guys and practically warmed up every single day of the season.

Daniel Cabrera is also an interesting non-tender. He has electric stuff but his erratic stuff turned off the pitching starved Oriole’s. I didn’t think that was possible. Omar struck gold in that Baltimore cave once, can he do it again?

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The Yankees have officially won the AJ Burnett sweepstakes. Uh, congratulations? Burnett has great stuff (his “stuff” got us Al Leiter). Too bad he is 32 years old and is extremely injury prone. By the contract runs he will have at least 5 trips to the DL.

I don’t get it. He’s had three 200 ip seasons and only one was not in a contract year. In his career year of 2008, he had a 4+ ERA.

This seems like another Pavano-ish contract for me (maybe even worse, Pavano isn’t surly). He can pitch but his best friends in the stadium will be the Yankees medical staff.

The smarter money would’ve been Ben Sheets who has shown his great stuff consistently and only sought a short term deal.