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

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Parity Running Amuck

Prior to the games on Wednesday, out of the sixteen NL teams, only four of them are considered out of the race for the division lead or the wildcard. Montreal was 14 games out, Pittsburgh was 11 games out (prior to their nine game losing streak, they were considered in the race), Arizona was 8.5 out, and Colorado was 12 out. Every other team was within at least 4.5 games out of first and 2.5 games out of the wildcard. Only one team, the Cardinals, was 10 games over .500. Even that just happened with Tuesday's victory. At this point no team in the NL projects to win 100 games and the NL West could be won with 85 wins and the NL EAST is not too far off that mark. Even more bizarre is the fact that out of the four teams out of the race, only two are expected to have a fire sale. Pittsburgh will get rid of what it can and Colorado will just about let everyone go. Arizona is only really dangling Steve Finley and the Expos are only dangling Tony Armas Jr. To add to the mysteriousness of the season, the Reds are expected to put some of their players on the block at some point, and they are currently tied for 2nd place (although falling fast). The teams that are currently still jockeying for playoff positions really will not have a large talent pool from the NL or the AL in which they can bolster their rosters. Many teams will end up looking toward injured players to recoup and make a return to the lineup or get back to form. All twelve teams that are in contention now will most likely not keep hanging around, but nine or ten of them sure can. The NL should be interesting right up until the last few weeks of the season.
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  • I knew that Mets game was going to be tough yesterday. Sabathia was an absolute monster hitting 95-97 on the gun at the stadium regularly. He is a tough lefty to hit. I do not mind losing this game, but the way we lost it was ugly. Once again the Mets managed to look like a junior varsity team. My girlfriend and I had gone to the game and she was telling me how she actually thinks less of Piazza after watching him at first. In her mind, Piazza is this hall of fame catcher that looks like a bumbling fool at first with grace of Rhinoceros trying to ice skate. I do not exactly disagree, but I do not completely agree. For me it is not easy watching Mr. New York struggle in any aspect of his game because he is a fall of famer and one of the only players that have given the Mets legitimacy over the last few years. I have eased off Piazza of late and chalked it up to a learning process. We need to get him as much practice as possible so he can look a bit better out there and have people not cringe when a ball is hit or thrown his way. This is very much against my previous thoughts, and tomorrow I will probably think differently.

    Mike Dimuro is officially on my shit list. He may start getting death threats from me soon. He was the ump that called two balks against Trachsel and made horrible calls at first which added to Ginter's rough outing. Ginter should have had a much better game, but due to Mike Dimuro's inability to do his job in any capacity really hurt him. The calls did not lose the game, but it sure made it uglier. This guy looks like he has something against the Mets. Also, good job Art when you let him have it. I hope you said some nasty things about his mother.

    It is a good thing Yates got some work in. He got shelled, but he needs to get in the swing of things. I believe he can be effective coming out of the pen.
    * * *

  • David Wright went 2 for 4 with his first AAA home run, and double. Someone forgot to tell him AAA is supposed to be HARDER than AA. Although, if you take a look at our AAA staff it may be very easy to disagree. Pat Strange did his best Aaron Heilman/Scott Erickson impression by giving up 9 runs, 5 of which were earned. Too bad because he was doing well in his return to the rotation. Hopefully he can pick up the pieces and rebound. Getting shelled builds character anyway, right?
    * * *

  • Binghamton does not seem to be missing Wright or Redman too much. They continued their offensive onslaught to beat Akron 10 to 5. Justin Huber was the star at the plate with a 2 for 2 night, a double, his 6th homerun, and three RBIs. Matthew Peterson takes the hill tonight and I'm expecting a big game from him.
    * * *

  • I was reading a Peter Gammons Column where he pointed out Barry Bonds' K/BB ratio. I am mostly familiar with the Mets stats, so I was unaware of just how astounding his K/BB ratio was. Yeah, we all know he is barreling down on 700 homeruns, but he is on pace to strike out a measly 30 times against 227 base on balls. His K/BB ratio is 7.5, and the next guy in line is Rafael Palmeiro with 2.50. On top of that craziness, he is on pace to ONLY have 130 hits this season due to the fact that he is on pace for 344 official at-bats. Out of those 130 hits, a whopping 35% of them project to be homeruns. Can Barry hit 100 homeruns if someone pitched to him like a normal slugger? I took Frank Thomas as an example. He is tied for 2nd in the majors with 55 BBs. He projects to have 516 official at-bats. At Barry’s current average of .377, that works out to be roughly 195 hits for Barry. At his current rate of hitting homeruns, that would be about 68 homeruns. It would not get him to 100, but it would sure put Hank Aaron in trouble in 2005.

    Obviously Barry is the main reason a lot of people are trying think of ways to make the intentional pass more inconsequential. Whether it be by limiting the number of free passes or having a base runner move up a base if there is one on at the time of the IBB, there have been many suggestions. You really get into a dicey area with any possibility suggested. However, when the guy that gets affected by the IBB the most speaks out on it, it speaks volumes.

    "That's the problem with baseball nowadays—everybody wants to change it...Don't change the game. It is what it is."
    --Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on the possibility of altering the current intentional walk rule (FoxSports.com)

    I could not agree with Barry more. Besides, if you want to eradicate teams intentionally walking him, get players to play behind him. Sexson is on the market next year and pick up a Jacque Jones type outfielder. You think if it is Bonds #3, Sexson #4, and Jones #5 people would be giving him a free pass? I'm not too sure about that. I blame the team more than I blame the system for walking Bonds so much.

    Just as a tidbit, in 2001 when Barry hit 73 home runs, a ridiculous 47% of his total hits were home runs.
    * * *

  • If you want a good laugh, click here. Bill James and Rob Neyer had made a formula in the book The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers that could provide a idea who is basically leading the Cy Young race as this point time. Check who is first in the National League.
    * * *

  • Out of the 176 people that have enough at-bats to qualify for a batting title, the two with the lowest averages are Mike Cameron @ .204 and Jason Phillips @ .211. The 174th person on the list is batting .219, which is one 3 for 4 game away from Jason to overtake him. Good luck guys.
    * * *

  • How good has Matt Ginter been? In his seven starts, he has only allowed more then 3 earned runs two times. Two of his games he held opponents to 1 run, and shut the opponent in two others (albeit one was a rain shortened 3 inning outing). I just cannot figure it out though. I've seen him twice in person and every start but one on TV. He just does not have overpowering stuff that looks like it would get the job done, but he throws strikes and gets results. He throws a fastball and slider primarily and I keep waiting for him to blow up and he never does.
    * * *

  • No-mah is piiiiiiiiisssssed.

    ``Everyone assumes I'm someone different, or I'm trying to do something different, but people have been assuming what I'm like for so long now,'' he said, ``so apparently what I've done over the past eight years obviously means nothing. What counts is the end of last year or the off season. Apparently eight years don't count, but I think they count - they count somewhere.''

    The idea that he prolonged his recovery amazes him.

    ``It's never been in my nature, it's never been. Why would I do that now?'' Garciaparra said. ``You're here for a week, and that's all I hear. I'm playing and I'm still hearing that I'm doing something wrong. And jeez, I haven't even played for a few months.

    ``I can't win - 21 ABs (for Pawtucket) but no, `You're faking it' and `Cmon, what are you waiting for?' Then I come back, they are still going to say `See - he sucks. He's not good. You were bad last year, you're bad this year.' It's a no-win situation. They should just be glad I'm back.''

    I think it is safe to say he will test the free agent market.


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