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

Monday, August 16, 2004

It's Monday, It's Raining, and I Have to be at Work

The Mets finished their home stand 4-2. Not much to complain about there and when facing Randy Johnson with a depleted lineup, it was almost a foregone conclusion that you will not win that game. The 14 K’s backed up that thought as well. The Mets had little chance to win that game no matter how good Steve Trachsel pitched with a lineup that featured only two starters from opening day and I'm not sure Phillips can actually be classified as a starter at this point. The Mets DL list keeps growing a larger after Kaz Matsui finally went on the disabled list after pointlessly taking up a roster spot for a week when he was unable to participate in games. Now with the Mets having three extremely large cogs on the disabled list, their quest towards .500 is going to be a bit tougher, but they will get there. One good bit of news is the promotion of Craig Brazell to the majors and he should first see some action in Colorado. This is a great chance to see what type of contribution, if any, that he can make. Hopefully he shows the Mets something and being that he is a left-handed bat and a first baseman he can be vital in 2005. If he proves useful, he can allow the Mets to chase a top tier right fielder and top tier bullpen talent and would make Floyd expendable by bringing in another lefty bat into the lineup. I know he has a .260 something average in AAA, but if he can supply some power and keep his BA in that neighborhood, that may be enough. It would certainly be more production than the Mets have gotten when someone plays first this year. When Piazza plays there he has produced little to nothing, Phillips has not hit no matter where he plays, and Valent is the only one who resembled a productive first baseman this year and he is an outfielder.

The thing about Brazell is this, if he can represent a reasonable facsimile of a major league first baseman it gives the Mets another option. The only two guys that could be labeled as difference makers that are available for first base next year are Richie Sexson and Carlos Delgado. However, in Richie Sexson's case, the D-Backs almost have to bring him back for the same reasons that the Mets need to bring back Kris Benson. For the amount of talent they gave up for Richie, they need to make good on that deal and resign him since his biggest contribution this year was breaking some bulbs on the centerfield scoreboard after hitting a mammoth homerun. Sexson's best seasons came as a Brewer and he played half of his games in a hitters park, but still put up almost identical numbers on the road. The bottom line is that Sexson, while being the best 1b free agent at season's end, looks like he will be a Diamonback next year because they need him bad. They need him really bad. As for Delgado, the price tag and the age may not be the smartest move for an already aging franchise. In 85 games this year he has 19 homeruns, so the power is still there, but he is only batting .236. He has six straight 30 homerun/100 RBI seasons coming into this year so the talent is there, but let’s face facts that he will be 33 next year and this money is better spent elsewhere. The time is now for Brazell to prove his worth despite the fact that many think that he serves little to no usefulness as a full time starting first baseman. His complete lack of plate discipline is his biggest knock. His lack of patience may not matter if the Mets can build a strong lineup and have a Brazell batting 6th or 7th while knocking in 25 homeruns, hitting .250-.265 while playing good D. Doing that just may be enough to round out the lineup. Brazell may never be an all-star, but he certainly may be a contributor in the line of Ty Wigginton while possibly even getting to the 30 homerun plateau down the line.

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  • The USA Men's basketball was downed by the Puerto Rican basketball team this weekend. They are 0-1 in Olympic competition this year and suffered the first Olympic loss since the creation of the Dream Team back in 1992. Maybe international competition is catching up, maybe it is because there is no burning desire to win. The Argentinian beat the USA team in the World Championships in 2002 to knock them out of the tournament and the Italy team beat the US this year in the prelims. Now the Puerto Rican team beat the US badly. The score was 92-73 and I do not care if there was no Shaq, KG, Jason Kidd, or Tracy McGrady, this team still has the most talent on the court. There is still Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Allan Iverson, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Richard Jefferson, etc. No other team has someone that can defend a guy like Tim Duncan who is probably the best basketball player at the Olympics. Problem is, they play this game much like the All-Star game. They do not seem to care and it resembles more of a one on one pick up game rather than an organized basketball game. The other teams routinely use plays, set up picks, and move without the ball much better. Basically they beat the US with fundamentals rather than skill. The NBA has changed quite a bit and the style of play that they US team employs is very indicative of that, but the reality is, that the US team is not dominant anymore. They still may move on to win the gold medal, but who really cares? I enjoyed when there were college players more. For the reason I love the USA Baseball teams in the Olympics and watching the likes of Ben Sheets and Roy Oswalt bring home the gold on the Olympic stage, I'd rather watch amature players for Basketball in the Olympics. It is much more gratifying than watching the NBA squad underachieve in the quest for the gold. I guess the main problem with that idea is that players never stay in college long enough to actually make it to the Olympics as an amature. In the past when the top talents hung around for 3 for 4 years, the US had a chance to field a much better team than they would nowadays. Since the landscape of the college sport has changed as drastically (if not more) as the NBA game, I guess we are destined to watched a bunch of B-level stars that don't really care or portray the image that they actually want to win this for their country.

  • Kenny Williams thinks that Jim Duquette is guilty of tampering.

    In reference to Ordonez, Duquette told the station: "It's a good name. I like that name. We'll be watching him. I wish he were healthy for the rest of the year. He's a proven hitter that'd look nice."

    Williams claims are utterly preposterous. For GM to mention that he likes a name and says that he will be watching a player who is destined to become a free agent, is quite frankly stating the obvious. Magglio has been one of the most consistent hitters over the years and the fact that Duquette expressed interest is not tampering but rather a forgone conclusion. Tampering would occur if the Mets maybe started calling Magglio's agent and sending Magglio flowers with wish you were here cards. The fact is that Duquette answered a silly question on a local radio station. Get over it Williams and start concentrating on those Indians and how the hell you plan to compete in a division that is starting to look pretty difficult over the next few years.

  • Franco is no fan of Howe. But in related news, NO ONE is a fan of Franco.

    "It's been three weeks," Franco said yesterday. "There has to be some place I can pitch."

    Umm, really, there isn't. Unless the Mets are down by 10, Franco should not be in the game. He should take a page out of Pat Hentgen's book and gracefully step down.

  • I wish I had paid access to Baseball Prospectus. They have an article on our lowly Mets. Rational Exuberance: Meet the Mets: A Decade Without a Plan is a title that certainly peaked my interest, but it's probably for the best that I do not read it or a explicative laden post may ensue. I'm sure I do not need any more fuel to the fire.

  • Jeff Keppinger responded well to his promotion to AAA. Jeff went 3 for 3 with one walk in Norfolk's 2-1 loss to Indianapolis. Jeff finished his short stint with Binghamton with a .362 average. Neal Musser took the loss although he did not pitch too bad. He surrendered two runs in five innings. He is now 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA.

  • There were roster moves galore over the weekend. From the promotion of Brazell, Keppinger, and Delgado all the way to Aarom Baldiris. Aarom when 1-4 with a double and an RBI in Binghamton's 6-5 loss to New Hampshire.

  • On Saturday an incredible 6 of 8 games where postponed in the Florida State League including two games for St. Lucie as they were tapped to play a double header.

  • On Saturday, Scott Hyde improved to 3-1 by going five innings, surrendering three hits, one run, walking four, and striking out six. He brought his ERA down to 3.45 in the contest. Brooklyn won 4-3 over New Jersey.

    On Sunday the Cyclones were victorious 3-1 over Aberdeen behind a stellar pitching performance by Michael Devaney who improved to 3-0. They went seven innings and allowed no earned runs which brings his ERA down to 1.79. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, and three doubles in the game. Tyler Davidson went 2 for 3 with one run scored, and two RBIs.

  • There is little at the Olympics more gratifying than watching Kerri Walsh and Misty May play beach volleyball while absolutely terrorizing and dominating opponents like they smacked up the Japanese team the other day. It was like watching high schoolers beat up on elementary school students. Walsh is 6-2 and a complete monster at the net. She was a blocking, spiking and all around intimidating against her opponents. Walsh and May are the anti-Mets at this point. They are setting the standard for excellence in their sport rather than being the example of how not to play a sport.

  • Did anyone know handball was an Olympic sport? I sure as hell didn't.

  • The USA is third for the total medal count with eight, but only has one gold medal to show for it. The only gold medal came after Michael Phelps won the 400m individual medley.

  • The Iraqi soccer team defeated Costa Rica to move to 2-0 in soccer.