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

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Chicks Dig the Long Ball

In 2004, the Mets hit 185 homeruns, which was good for 8th in the league. However, that was the 3rd highest total in the history of the Mets and the apple has not been worked that hard in while. Not bad for a team that blew and completely folded in the second half. Their 185 homeruns were up 61 homeruns from 2003 when the knocked only 124 homeruns, which was good for 2nd to last in the NL and good for one of the most painfully boring Met seasons to watch. The most homers a Met team has ever hit in one year in franchise history was 198 in 2000 (6th in the NL) and the second highest total was 192 back in 1987 (3rd in the NL). The only other time the Mets topped 180 homeruns was in 1999 when they hit 181 homeruns and finished 9th in the NL.

Not only were the 2004 Mets 3rd in team history in homeruns but they were 2nd in team history in doubles with 289. With all of that, they were only 12th in runs scored in team history. One would think more runs would have come out of having one of the best XBH seasons as a team in Met history. It was feast or famine for them. They were completely ineffective with runners in scoring position. Every game, they seemingly had one big scoring chance and if they did not convert, the game was basically over. The Mets were 2nd to last in terms of batting average and they were 3rd to last in on base percentage with .317 when compared to the rest of the majors in 2004. I could not find the stats with runners in scoring position, but I know they were close to last in that too if not dead last. When you do not get many scoring chances and you are horrible at converting those rare chances into runs, then you have issues. Despite being 15th in the majors in homeruns, they were 26th in runs scored.

The Mets were seemingly one hit away from countless games this past season. I'm going to state the obvious and say that the Mets need to add one big bat and one capable one this off season. They need to get a player to plug into the #3 slot to drive runners home and get one base. By trading for Zambrano and Benson the Mets made a statement that they were going to be competitive in 2005 and they can be. However, if they go through this off season again without getting someone that can drive in runs, then it is just another failure this off season. A stop gap guy like Jermaine Dye with John Olerud at first will not cut it. If Met fans are subject to another anemic offense for another year, they will not have much steam heading into 2006 to debut their new channel. They need to try and make a splash and generate some excitement. In 2004 the team was still eighth in the majors in ERA and was just incredibly unlucky when it came to keeping key players on the field and healthy. As Omar likes to say, at then end of the day either Beltran, Drew, Ordonez, or Sexson needs to be in a Met uniform next year. Walking away empty handed is a huge mistake. If affordability is a concern then they must at least land Sexson and work out a deal for Guillen for left and that may provide the most bang for the least amount of buck.

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  • Want some depressing info? Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire (twice), and Sammy Sosa (3 times) all single handedly hit more homeruns than the 1981 Mets (57 homeruns and 7th out of 12 teams in homers) and the 1980 Mets (61 homeruns and 12th of 12 teams in homers) in one season. Actually in 1980, Mike Schmidt was only 13 homeruns behind the Mets as team when he belted 48 over the fences.

    The only Mets to have led the league in homeruns were Dave Kingman in 1982 with 37, Darryl Strawberry in 1988 with 39, and Howard Johnson in 1991 with 38.

  • According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, teams may be reluctant to offer JD Drew more than the $10,000,000 per year that Scott Boras is likely to request. I guess the real question is if you can snag JD Drew for $9,000,000 per year for five years, do you make that deal? This is the first time in his career that he played in over 140 games. He's got perinial .300, 30 homers, and 100 RBI capability. If he can be a bargain is he worth the chance for the bad luck Mets?

  • Octavio Dotel does not figure into returning to the A's at this point. With Arthur Rhodes being able to move back into a 7th or 8th inning role and Ricardo Rincon returning for another year combined with the injection of Huston Street and Jairo Garcia to the bullpen, they have the making of something pretty good. They would have four capable relievers, two of which are lefties. Everyday that goes by seems to increase the possibilities of Dotel being shown the door in Oakland due to the salary he may command. The A's may be better suited to hold on to Dotel until the mid-season trading deadline to try and maximize his value but if Beane may need the extra $2 M+ to fill the rest of his team up he may have no choice but get rid of him this winter regardless if the deal is the best he could get.

  • Scott Boras, the agent for Adrian Beltre, says his client had "the best season ever by a third baseman." Boras and his staff took Beltre's numbers (48 HRs, 121 RBIs, 104 runs scored, .334 average) and looked for players at any position who had a season like that at age 25. They found five: Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth.
    -- Orange County Register

    Adrian Beltre has not exactly been the model of consistency over the years. He had his second best year at the age of 20 and followed that up with three disappointing years before his monster year in 2004. He was completely frustrating to the Dodgers, so much so they almost traded him this spring. Does anyone remember how close he was to becoming a Yankee? Tremendous numbers or not, anyone that pays Boras' ransom for this player has to be a bit scared. The numbers he put up in that pitcher's park are astounding, but it is hard to ignore the few years before.

  • In the don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out category, the Mets released relievers Grant Roberts and Jose Parra.

  • The Yankees are interested in Al Leiter's services.

    The Yankees know that Leiter can handle New York, given the lefthander's success with the Mets the past seven years. Leiter, who will become a full free agent once the Mets decline his $10-million option (the deadline is Monday), could strike back at the Mets by joining his original team, the Yankees.

    Strike back by joining the Yankees Al, be my guest.

  • The trade deadline may move from July 31st to August 15th.

    If the trading deadline last season had been on Aug. 15, the Mets would probably still have Scott Kazmir in their organization. They would probably be boasting one of the top minor league systems in baseball. And their executives would not have spent the past three months defending their ability to evaluate players.


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