A Good Night for Baseball
What a night of baseball. Randy Johnson throws a perfect game against the Braves! The icing on that cake is Met-killer Larry Jones (some know him as Chipper, I am not one of those people) struck out three times. In lesser news the Marlins got mauled. What does this add up to? I’m getting there. The Metropolitans managed a 2 out rally in the 9th inning to score 2 runs in ninth inning off ex-Met (and ex-generation K-er) Jason Isringhausen to win the ballgame. Once again Bottalico throws up goose eggs going two innings, lowering his ERA to a stellar 0.84. Although Botallico had some spectacular defense in the form of the re-born Jason Phillips who made an unbelievable diving catch on a failed bunt, then threw the ball to 1st to double up the runner off the bag at first. I really have to say, that I am really impressed with Botallico thus far. He reminds me of David Weathers, but good! (I still love Tacklebury though). The bullpen continues to shut the game down when they take over. Glavine didn’t have his best stuff, but kept the Mets in the game, which is all you can ask for. Good to see the Mets not giving up, smiling, and going out there and executing.
Did the Mets just win the World Series?
Here is what it all adds up to….2.5 games out of 1st place! Now, I am not delusional. If the Mets do climb into 1st place, they are going to have trouble keeping that spot because they simply lack depth and are involved in too many close games. It takes a toll on a team to play so many close games and always in pressure situations throughout the year. We are halfway through May and the Mets were ASSumed to be battling it out for last place. Granted, Montreal is only 5 games behind the Mets, but the fact is, the NL East was going to close. No team looks head and shoulders above the rest so far. This begs the question, are the Mets buyers or sellers?
Here is an excerpt from the NY Daily News:
Special scout Al Goldis has been sent to watch Pirates ace Kris Benson, who is a free agent after the season. Goldis was in Houston over the weekend, but is said to be heading to Pittsburgh to eyeball Benson this week.
The Mets also have their sights on Freddy Garcia of the Mariners, and are continuing to closely monitor the status of the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano and the Royals' Carlos Beltran. Former hitting coach Dave Engle, who is now a scout in charge of the AL West, was in Texas over the weekend, and although he wasn't specifically there to watch Soriano, he will file a report on him.
But the Mets are trying to put many lines in the water and are looking all over baseball for something to juice up the team. General manager Jim Duquette and assistant GM John Ricco have made numerous calls to try and find a deal for a pitcher and a hitter, but at this point it's just
Of course, the Mets will be competing with the Yankees, Red Sox and several other teams for these players
What should the Mets do? Let’s face it, this is no World Series team. There are too many x-factors with an old staff and young guys who cannot seem to stay healthy. Just about every starter has been injured. The idea was to get younger and faster and bolster the team through the minor league system. With that being said, picking up Garcia, Soriano, and Especially Beltran will prove to be too costly and go against what the team is trying to work for, which is long sustained success. Those three players will undoubtedly be getting some teams in a bidding war for their services. However, Soriano’s team is in 2nd place and would have to fall off the side of the earth in order for him to shake loose. Those teams will surely demand very highly touted prospects like Kazmir, Peterson, and Wright. I doubt they will go for a Victor Diaz, Aaron Heilmann, and Royce Ring deal. Benson, however, may be had for a decent price. If they can somehow pry him from the Pirates for a Craig Brazell and Aaron Heilmann type deal, so be it. There are a somewhat respectable people in our system that are expendable. While I do believe that a WS appearance is out of the question, a trip the first round of the playoffs may not be.
My suggestion on which direction to go would be to try and acquire Benson. I do believe he can be had for B level prospects. Pirates got rid of lot of players last year and only received one impact player in Oliver Perez and one decent prospect in Jason Bay (Freddy Sanchez and Bobby Hill don’t thrill me). With that in mind, Aramis Ramirez and Brian Giles had much more trade value than Benson does. Using those trades as a measuring stick, Benson will be a reasonable and sound pick up that gives us a lot of depth down the stretch in our rotation. As for picking up a bat, Reyes will be just like picking up bat at the trading deadline. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. A lot of these close games we had over the first 34 games were without Reyes in there and only having Floyd for 6. One could reason that the Mets are at least 2.5 games better over the course of those first 34 games with a full lineup. Do they really need a big stick? They just got Floyd back who fits that bill, Phillips was struggling big time, and he looks to be coming around. With the addition of Reyes and the team coming to together, I think we may just be one quality starter from getting us to the playoffs. We just want to make some noise this season, the Mets don't have the bench depth and are a few more than 2 deadline moves away from winning the WS. I believe that even with Garcia and Beltran (can we really have 3 Garcia's on one team?), this team will have trouble making it deep into the playoffs, if they make them at all. If this team can manage to create a winning atmosphere, post a huge turnaround from last year, retain pitching depth in the minor leagues, and have a few impact position players on the horizon, we will be in much better shape to attract big names in the off season. 2004 is not the Mets year, but 2005 will begin what I hope to be long string of successful years if the Mets play their cards right. They will still be under 100 millions dollars giving them financial flexibility to do whatever is necessary to put them over the hump and have a solid foundation to build on. I just hope they do not get caught up with this idea that they are 1 or two players away.