The average age of the starting nine that the Mets fielded on Sunday was 27 years old. Only two people were over the age of 30. Amazingly enough, they were able to pull out a 3-2 victory behind a solid pitching performance by Al Leiter. Leiter gave up only two hits but again walked too many people. He gave out five free passes in his six innings of work. Al's two earned runs should never have happened. Valent and Williams had miscommunicated on a deep fly ball that ended up dropping between them for a ground rule double. Kerry Wood gave up all three runs in the first inning and two of the runs were due to Kerry's first inning wildness. "I don't think I lost it," Wood said about his control. "I never had it to start." He hit Jason Phillips to score Craig Brazell and followed that up by walking "Ice" to score Victor Diaz. The Mets had eight hits on the day and Diaz and Brazell accounted for four of them. Both went 2 for 4 with two singles and a run scored each. I know it is a small body of work, but Diaz looks pretty good. Duquette has to be tempted to let him have a shot at RF or LF next year. The Mets would have some serious financial flexibility with another guy making the league minimum in their lineup. As of now, I see no reason why he should not be seriously considered for the job.
By taking the series two games to three the Mets effectively put the Cubbies in a tough spot. They are a half game up on San Francisco and one and half games up on the Houston Astros. Dropping a series in this critical point of the year to one of the worst teams in baseball with a lineup that featured only two starters from opening day certainly has to be demoralizing. The thing that makes it sweeter was the huge number of Cub fans at Shea this weekend. I was at the Sunday game and they were poisoning the entire place with the Cubbie garb. How can you cheer for a team that has the nickname the loveable losers?
During an interview Wednesday on WFAN, Russo, an avid Giants' fan, told Howe that if the Mets helped his team's wild card chances and took two out of three from the Cubs, Russo would send Howe to Bermuda.
After the Mets' 3-2 win over the Cubs yesterday, Howe was asked if he would make Russo pay up.
"Why not?" said Howe, who will have plenty of time for the trip because the Mets have already fired him. "I didn't tell him to make the offer. We'll see what he's got in him. What he is made of."
As the Mets left for Atlanta, all the rookies were going through some hazing and had to dress up in costumes. Matsui was Spider-Man and his translator was Supergirl (nice touch to get the translator involved). Craig Brazell was dressed as a ladybug, Victor Diaz was Batman, Bartolome Fortunato was a cow, Reyes, who missed last year's final trip because he was hurt, was a clown.
The bet is that he turns it on when the team is in contention -- and when he turns it on he can be an MVP-caliber player.
Why do you want a player that you suspect is not play 100% at all times? If he can 'turn it on' when a team in contention, they key is that you have to be in contention or else you will have one unmotivated player batting .114 in September. Defense and cannon arm be damned, he should not be at Shea in 2005. He has been horrendous in any month not named April or July.
They should have traded him for Alfonso Soriano, but that train has left the station and now it's too late because he has to prove he can stay on the field.
Again with this crap? If the Mets pulled this trade they would have been stuck with a SS in Matsui that will make 35 errors a year and 2b that will boot 30 a year. On top of that, his .244 road average is more along the lines of what you will see out of him at Shea. His .280 overall average is a product of his .317 avg at Arlington. Besides, you don't trade 21 year old phenoms for a 28 year old that is due to make nearly 9 million more than him in 2005.
Then he says the Mets should bring in Varitek, Matt Morris, and Paul Konerko.
Paul Konerko? Why didn't everyone else thing of that? Well because he has arguably been the best first baseman in the American League this year for the price of $8,000,000 dollars. Why would he be available for trade?
As for Morris, his K/9 is 5.86, he has given up an astounding 33 homeruns, and owns a 4.55 ERA. I like the guy and I think he was one of the premier pitchers in the league for a few years, but not any more. This move does not make much sense for the money he would be looking for. It doesn't make sense even if he is not looking for a lot of money. I'd rather had Al back for one year to bridge the gap to some of the young guns in the systems like Petit or Soler.
My thoughts on Varitek can be read here as I just wrote about this on Saturday.
He also suggests Carl Pavano, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Beltran should not come to Shea.
His rationale for not pursuing Pavano and Beltran are because the Yankees are going to be gunning them. Who cares? You have to at least try. In Yankee Stadium Beltran will not be the centerpiece of the team. He'll be behind quite a few actually. In Shea, or anywhere else for that matter, he'll be THE star and it will be his team. That is something that may tempt him to go somewhere other than the Yankees as long as the money is the same. Beltran is not worth Vlad money and someone will overpay for him, but I do not think it is a forgone conclusion that he will be a Yankee. In fact, I put the Astros as the odds on favorite to win the Beltran sweepstakes. As for Pavano, the Yankees are going to be paying a lot and trolling for starting pitching big time. Pavano may be persuaded to stay in the NL East where he is comfortable and be a part of a Met team that will be willing to pay him the money he deserves. Just because people are free agents does not mean they all want to be a Yankee. It is a soap opera over there year in and year out. It's really not stretch to think that some people do not want to get involved with that.
It's hard to argue with his logic on not pursuing Magglio due to the uncertainty on his knee, but it may be a gamble they ultimately have to make. There is too much of a need for a big all star bat in the middle of the lineup that can hit .300 and drive in 100 guys while knocking 30 homers in a year. If Beltran cannot be signed, if they decide Drew is too big of risk, or if Manny is not put on irrevocable waivers, then you have to go for Magglio and try and get creative on his contract.
He also advocates bring back Gerald 'Ice' Williams for the bench in 2005. This is where he loses all credibility for me. Has he seen him try and play centerfield or any outfield position for that matter? He has the grace of elephant trying to ice skate and cannot hit on top that. There are plenty of better options than him.