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

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Who's on First?

How could I forget to mention! Piazza is only going to catch 2 to 3 times a week according to a conversation that Howe had with Piazza. Piazza seemed to be open and OK to the idea, which is a big step for those in organization in favor of this move.

I guess this had a lot to do with the need of getting some more production out of 1st base. Phillips not being able to get near .200 has sort of necessitated this move. Him and Piazza were supposed to split 1st and catching, but it seems as though his time has run out. Zeile is not the long term solution at 1st and this Valent experiment was only for 1 game. However, if Valent ends up looking good at 1st and gets a few more chances, I'm sure things will change quickly. At this point, Howe is trying to field what he deems the best lineup. If that means Vance behind the plate and Piazza at 1st, or Piazza behind the plate and Valent at 1st, then so be it. It is amazing to me how quickly Phillips has become a non-factor.

Mr. Met's Take:
I think Piazza skills behind the plate go way beyond his deficiencies of throwing the ball to 2nd base (which he has looked slightly better at this year). When I watch a game with Piazza behind the plate, you will be lucky to see a pitcher shake off a pitch. While he is catching, the pitcher does not need to worry about what to throw or where. Piazza takes care of that does fantastic job calling the games. The teams ERA is lower, and has been historically, when he is catching. As long as he wants to be behind the plate, let him be there. Stay the course with him playing 1st when there is a day game after the night game. We need to keep him in the lineup, hence the reason for this move in the 1st place. I also believe there are larger ramifications to a move that is more full time. If the Mets fail to land Beltran or Ordonez to bolster the outfield, the Mets need to acquire a big bat. Unfortunately the only ones out there will be Delgado, Sexson, and Glaus. Glaus would block David Wright, who I believe can play right now in the majors. Glaus also has a history of knee problems. He has not been able to stay healthy in the recent years. He may be the cheapest of the 3, but also a worst fit. That brings us to Delgago and Sexson. They are 1st baseman. Any permanent move with Piazza stifles our flexibility in regards to them. I do understand that Piazza can be moved back to catcher next year, but I would hardly think that would be the Mets front office’s thought process. Once the move happens and becomes more permanent, there is no turning back. We will see how things shake out, but I like Piazza behind the plate.

A Pitching Match-up for the Ages

Last night was tremendous victory. Floyd hitting a grand slam, Piazza adding to his all time homerun record for catchers, Trachsel giving up 3 runs and STILL Getting the victory, Bottalico going two scoreless innings, my boy Moreno going another shut-out inning, and finally, and perhaps the most important, the Mets continue to add insurance runs late in the game. I feel like this team is starting to play with some confidence. They are not backing down to the top pitchers and taking them down, which is good, because we have a few more top tier pitchers coming down the pipe.

Yes, the Glavine vs. Johnson masterpiece is nothing compared to what is going to take place tonight at 7:05 PM. Our very own James Baldwin takes on Houston's favorite son (or I guess second favorite son to Clemens) Andy Pettite. If you thought Glavine's masterpiece against Johnson was impressive, you should be in for a treat tonight. Part of me wants Baldwin to get reamed so he will be gone from my life forever, and the other part would want to see an easy game, Mets win 7-3 and see the Mets continue to roll and be giant slayers. However, there is a happy medium. He gets shelled and the Mets, in turn, shell Pettite. I must admit, the Mets are finally getting some key hits of late. Their offense has been looking better and I've seen some things that I've they have not been doing this season with any consistancy.

We have seen stolen bases, as well as people stretching singles into doubles, and basic fundamental baseball and hustle. All this stuff adds to a more productive offense and pressuring the opposing pitcher, which is a change from the early goings. Also, we are seeing some intensity. A huge change from last year in watching Alomar sullen all the time, Danny Garcia plays balls to wall from start to finish. That type of play in infectious. It rubs off on everyone. The Mets need to play hungry. They are the butt of many, many jokes and it would be nice if they stand up for themselves, and show everyone that they are a good team.

Mets are 2-0 with Cliff Floyd back. Let us see if they can win out the rest of the season (knocking on wood).

News Notes:
Leiter will definitely miss his next start. He does indeed have tendonitis and has gotten a cortisone shot for the injury and is due to make his next start against Colorado. Mr. Met wonders if his game where he threw almost 130 pitches has anything to do with this. I guess we will never know.

There is news on the Grant Roberts front. He has cleared waivers and is expected to report to AAA Norfolk within 72 hours to begin to try and find out where is fastball has gone. However, it is not that simple:

The Mets and Grant Roberts are feuding over surgery for the reliever, who cleared waivers yesterday after other teams apparently were scared off by his shoulder problems. Roberts was getting wheeled into the operating room in Cincinnati to have his frayed labrum examined when the Mets ordered the procedure stopped, said an insider. "We expect Roberts to report to Norfolk within 72 hours," the team said in a written statement.

I can only say good luck Grant, as he is a personal favorite and I would like nothing else than to see him succeed.

Vidro signs! I think this is good news for baseball. Expos become more enticing to buy, and if they can sign Cabrera as well, it will indeed help baseball get out of this quagmire.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Addition by Subtraction

After what I would call a defining victory taking the final two in Arizona against Webb and Johnson, the Mets head to Houston. Down in Houston, they will continue to face tough pitching. We'll see how it goes, but with BP Baldwin taking the mound on Saturday, it could get late early. If they can come out of this series taking 4 of 7 from Arizona and Houston, that could become a catalyst for some positive things in the future with 3 win-able series coming up.

If Leiter cannot start on Sunday, it will be interesting to see who they bring up. The rumors are Ginter, which I would kind of be interested to see how it works out. The former 1st rounder has not lived up to expectations in Chicago, but does have plus stuff and has major league experience. Hopefully the Mets can get lucky for once and have some transaction work out in our favor.

So, with Pettite and Clemens taking the hill, there will be many ex-Yankee players in Houston. Weathers, Stanton, Garcia, Spencer, Clemens, and Pettite. Too many in my opinion. We'll see if our ex-Yankees can out perform their ex-Yankees.

Addition by Subtraction. That is the phrase of the week. Hopefully the Mets brass will follow the releasing of Ricky Guitierrez up the release of more retreads. Why have they put Erikson on the 60 day DL? Just release him already. Baldwin has a career ERA over 5! That does not seem to be a trend ending anytime soon. Release him. Gerald Williams? Prentice Redman at AA, and doing well. He also did well there a few years ago. He has NOTHING Left to prove. He should be developing at AAA as he needs to face some better competition to further himself. He's about 24, and Williams is well over 30. What point does it serve to have him on the team? Wilson Delgado, cut him!!! No need for him. He is Ricky Guitierrez part II. They actually demoted Chris Basak from AAA to AA (he's back at AAA to cover Danny Garcia's 2b spot) to make room for Delgado. I do realize that there are such things as organizational players, but these are not them.

And so it begins

The first post...wow.