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

Monday, September 27, 2004

More Tuesday Tidbits

Sorry, I have a meeting today, so I do not have much.

  • If you want to put yourself in a depression after such a good weekend for Met baseball, look no further than this new piece by Peter Gammons. He addresses ten upcoming issues in baseball and #1 relates to our very own New York Mets and their coaching conundrum. Here is a scary excerpt:

    There is nothing wrong about wanting to be in on some of the decisions, but GM Jim Duquette should be in charge. Players should not be involved. They don't need the PR guy, who once tried to tell Bobby Valentine how to answer questions. By being in the middle of this choir, does (Jeff) Wilpon realize that baseball executives in other cities tell stories of how one of your scouts boasts that he has more power than the general manager (without the hard work) and how many times some of us have been told by scouts and executives all around the game that that scout is "doing a number" on the GM?

    Do you realize that by leaking the Art Howe firing story that you lost respect across the industry because of the humiliation of a very good man and because you allowed someone to think that it was a good PR notion?

    It is as if the Mets post ideas on their Web site -- Should Art Howe be fired? Should Mike Piazza catch? Should Al Leiter's option be exercised? -- and wait to see how the vote turns out before making decisions. For instance, they would never have made the Nomar Garciaparra-Orlando Cabrera-Dave Roberts-Doug Mientkiewicz deal because it wouldn't have been initially popular.

    A truly scary piece that I pray holds no shred of truth. Unfortunately, I think we all know better. Jim Duquette is nothing more than puppet which was something that was echoed when the Mets took the interim tag off Jim's title. Given the ability to operate freely like Theo Epstein does, Duquette would presumably do a very good job and would have most certainly not dealt Scott Kazmir. However, until the Wilpon's get a clue that they are not baseball people and should not be involved in decision making and that they need to give full power to Duquette and not superscouts and whoever else chimes in, the Mets will be destined to be the joke that they have turned into. The fact that Mets even concern themselves with the media in terms of their personnel moves is a laughable situation since it is widely known that the NY media is full of a bunch of guys that have trouble tying their shoes in the morning much less what is best for the a baseball team. It is hard to be an optimistic Met fan when you know the team is run by people that are completely incapable of running a ball club. It is a scary thought, but sometimes I get the feeling that this team will never good got for an extended period of time because of the incompetence of the people running the show. Maybe what the Mets need more than Lou Pinella is a general manager who could stand up to the Wilpons and rest of his cronies. Unfortunately, Duquette does not have enough clout to do that and still be employed. A guy like Billy Beane or Brian Sabean would certainly fit the bill, but there are no guys out there that are available that fit that description. Buckle up for ten more years of mediocre baseball at best.

  • Buster Olney has joined my ever growing shit list for the media. In an article about the every shaping playoff races in both leagues, he had this to say about our Mets:

    That they dropped two games to the Walking Dead of Shea Stadium over the weekend was inexcusable at this stage of the season.

    Why don't you go write another Yankee book and hang yourself. I will liken this to idea that you are the only person that can say something bad about your family. I can say what I want about my brother/mother/etc., but the second someone else does, I'll give them a pop in the mouth. Buster also seems to miss the fact that this past weekend has actually been nothing like watching the Walking Dead of Shea Stadium. There has been youth induced excitement around this team this weekend with the arrival of our double play duo to go with David Wright and Victor Diaz. This weekend has done more to rejuvenate Mets fans than anything lately.

  • I am actually happy the game got rained out so that Aaron Heilman will get another start this season. As frustrating as he has been, he has put together three decent starts in his only three September games. He has only four games this season so far and could be decent trade bait this off season and every start helps.

  • Victor Diaz getting some love in the Post today.

  • According to the Post, Russo will pay up.

    The WFAN duo of Chris Russo and Mike Francesa said yesterday they would pay up on the bet to send Howe to Bermuda.

  • Newsday asks if the Mets should bring back Hidalgo? The answer is an obvious no.

  • Floyd is finished for the year and most likely finished as a Met. After the way he gutted through the end of last year and left with a standing ovation from the Shea faithful, it's hard to believe it's come this far. No one wants to see him in a Met uni next year.

  • Lastings Milledge and Yusmeiro Petit were ranked #3 and #5 respectively out of the top 20 in the South Atlantic League.

    Lastings Milledge
    Milledge often gets lost in the discussion of the SAL's great prospects because he played just 65 games at Capital City. He began the year in extended spring training after breaking a finger during a bunting drill and also spent about a month in the high Class A Florida State League.

    He made an impact during his time with the Bombers, though, hitting with authority for the first time with a wood bat and helping lead Capital City to the league championship series. He struggled in the playoffs because of the only flaw in his game: his over aggressiveness at the plate. While Young and Stewart project as slightly better hitters, Milledge was the league's best five-tool player. He showed above-average tools across the board.

    "The ball just jumps off his bat," Greensboro manager Steve Phillips said. "He had the best bat speed in the league. He's a double threat because
    of his power and his ability to lead off and make things happen on the bases."

    Yusmeiro Petit
    One of the surprise stories in the minors this season, Petit finished second in the minors with 200 strikeouts in just 139 innings and completely shackled Sally League hitters, who batted just .159 against him. Righthanders were useless against him (.138) as he showed uncanny command of his fastball, slider and improving changeup.

    His 89-92 mph fastball seemed to explode on hitters with late life, and he used it aggressively. Petit's delivery, featuring a lower arm slot and good extension, gives him plenty of deception. Hitters rarely got good swings against him.

    "I thought he was the best pitcher in the league," Epperson said. "He was 91-92 late in the game, it had late movement and he threw it downhill. His slider was outstanding and he had phenomenal command. For me, it wasn't even close. The numbers don't lie with him."

    I think the Blade got the shaft. He should have made the top 20.


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