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

Saturday, June 26, 2004

The Subway Series

Friday was definitely anti-climactic. Espn went through all this trouble for this graphic and the game got rained out.

The good news? The Mets did not lose. The bad news? The still have to make up the game. It will be played as part of a double header on Sunday. I hope this extra day off helps them in some way by letting them regroup a bit. I'm sure Al's arm could use the extra days rest at his advanced age. The way I look at it, it can only spell success for our Metropolitans. I figure this is an advantage for the Mets anyway. The Yankees are an old team, the oldest in the majors in fact, and the Mets got younger, faster, and more athletic this off-season so they will be more energized for the second game of the double header. Oh wait, they are just as old as the Yankees.

I’m actually feeling better today about the Mets chances for some strange reason. Halsey, watch out. THE METS ARE COMING TO LAY A HURTING ON YOU BIATCH! JUST LIKE THEY DID TO THAT OTHER YANKEE ROOKIE LEFT HANDER CLAUSSEN LAST YEAR! Ummm, I forgot. Claussen shut them down at Shea last year while I watched the game stupefied wondering what I did to deserve this torture. Today's game is actually hauntingly similar to last year. The veteran Met lefty vs. the Yankee rookie lefty. I remember saying, "there is no way the Mets can manage to lose this one". Then Glavine proceeded to get lit up for eight runs and did not even make it through the fifth. That was last year, and this is a different team. Besides, what are the chances that it happens twice in two years the Mets. I mean it cannot happen again....right?

  • More good news? The hottest damn team in baseball, the D-Rays, are going to put the smack down on the Marlins this entire weekend. They got of to a good start and won on Friday so the Mets made up a 1/2 game in the standings for doing nothing.

  • If that was not enough, Manny and the Red Sox made the Phillies wish the 10 run rule was employed in the majors. Actually, the Phillies never batted in the 9th, so maybe the did call the game due to the 10 run rule. They'll probably blame the rain, but it's obvious to me what happened.

  • Carlos Beltran had two of Houston's three hits tonight in their loss to the Rangers.

  • David Wright was 1 for 4 with another homerun in the Tides loss to Scranton. That makes three in eleven games (I think, I’m too lazy to check). He is batting .341 so far. Also in that game, Erickson stamped his one way ticket out of town. He gave up four earned runs (seven total runs) in six innings of work. Amazingly his ERA still went down after that performance.

  • Scott Kazmir went five innings surrendering two runs, struck out five, walked three and allowed four hits in his start on Friday. He did not get the win though, but did bring his ERA down to 4.50. He looks like he is regaining form and hopefully will see some AA at some point in July.

  • Yusmeiro Petit gave up four runs and took his second loss of the season. He pitched better than his line dictates. He had one bad inning that he gave up all of his runs. He still K'd ten and only walked one. He is making a habit of double digit strikeouts. I have no idea how many games he had double digit K's in, but I'm guessing it is a lot. I know he's done it in last three or four games.

  • The ESPN Rumor Mill suggests that Jacque Jones may be sacrifed for pitching due to the glut of outfielders in Minnesota. When ask by by the St. Paul Pioneer Press if there were any potential deals in the works, GM Terry Ryan said, "none of your business." Classic. How do you not like Terry Ryan?

  • Randy Johnson needs four more strikeouts to reach 4,000.

  • If for some strange reason you do not go to The Raindrops often, then you may have missed this funny ass link yesterday.

  • Friday, June 25, 2004

    Not Feeling Quite So Confiedent

    I had some more anti-Yankee stuff to post, but I could not bring myself to do it. Not after the embarrassing games of the last two days by the Mets. If the Mets do well this weekend, the post will make it’s way onto the blog.


    The Mets are continuing to hurt themselves with leaving men on base, having no men on base for Piazza, and too many costly errors. When the Mets make and error, it is not like they create a leak in the boat, they create a gaping hole in the hull. They make errors in fabulous fashion. It is hard for me to get all over Cameron for this one, because he has been hot lately and has come a big in a few spots of late. Yeah, he went 0 - 4 with three K's and an error that allowed and eventual four unearned runs in, but people are going to have games like that. It happens to everyone. However, this has to be the worst time to have two demoralizing defeats. With the Yankees on the horizon, the Mets cannot keep shooting themselves in the foot. If they play like this against the Yankees, the scores may start to look like they are for football games. It's hard not think they will be downtrodden after these two games, but they need to have confidence and play with some conviction. They are one game under .500 now and need to avoid falling any further under. Just Wednesday, the Mets were one game over .500 and I was feeling pretty good about things. While I still feel good, I am bit more skeptical coming into this series with their play of late. They seem to relapse every so often into the team that everyone predicted they will be and this is not time to relapse into erratic play. It has been frustrating these last two games, but this how the Mets have been. Hot and cold on and off.

    Glavine must walk away frustrated as usual after he puts forward another good start. The Mets fail to give him any run support and he is forced to pitch a game with no mistakes if he is to walk away with the victory. It might be nice if the Mets can just put up five runs for him in the second inning and give him a chance to win. I cannot even put blame on the bullpen here. Yeah Bottalico did not do great and Stanton did actually did get the job done, but the sun had other plans for the Mets. Just an ugly game that really needs to be left behind. The Mets need to somehow rip of a five game streak to put them three or four games over .500. This continual hovering around mediocrity is going to feel frustrating after a while. If it is this frustrating to the fans, it must be a ton worse on the players.

  • Mike Piazza is on fire. Another three hits on Thursday brings his average up to .319. I can only hope he spanks the Yankee pitching so he can show them who the real Mr. New York is.


  • Jose Reyes hit his first homerun on Wednesday for the Mets first two runs. He is batting .143 and hopefully can get it going soon.

  • Floyd is pretty hot as well. After his three hit day, he is up to .294.

    Does anyone else see a problem with this? The three and four batters go 6 for 8, and have no runs scored or no RBIs. That is exactly what the largest problem is to me. The Mets need to get people on base in the one or two hole. I realize I'm stating the obvious, but that has been a huge ongoing problem and something the Mets cannot do.

  • IT LIVES! Dan Wheeler made his first appearance since June 11th. This was also only his 3rd appearance in the entire month.

  • This tidbit is from Mets.com.

    General manager Jim Duquette said that Jae Seo would make his next scheduled start. ... Scott Erickson is making his last rehab start Friday night for Triple-A Norfolk and Duquette indicated that he needed to show something more than he has been showing. The Mets have until Monday to decide what they want to do with him

    Nice, give Erickson his walking papers. Anyone that has a higher ERA than Aaron Heilman has no place in the organization anymore. Especially when they person is pushing 40.

    The same article notes that Vance's injury is a bit more serious than originally thought and he could be out for bit. Not to fear, the Wilson/Phillips catching combo is still in existance thanks to Tom.

  • Orber Moreno has been recalled from his unsuccessful rehab stint. I guess these last two games necessitated this move even if he was not ready. Tom Wilson was also recalled from AAA Norfolk and designated Gerald Williams for assignment.


  • Matsui's consecutive game streak ended yesterday. He has appeared in 1,213 consecutive games bettween Japan and the Majors. He definitely needed to sit. I actually give credit to how for doing what he thought was right and not paying attention to the records. It was clear Kaz needs to regroup. He only has one extra base hit in his last 66 at-bats.

  • Luis Ramirez, who plays for the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, set a minor league record by striking out 12 straight batters. A recorded previously held by Tom Seaver. I say congratulations and screw you at the same time.

  • The Beltran sweepstakes in finally over. The Astros came out of nowhere and snagged him. The Astros weren't in many rumors over the last few weeks, but they certainly made things a bit more interesting in the NL Central. The A's give up Mark Teahan and Mike Wood, who both go to the Astros, and they receive Octavio Dotel and one million in cash from the Royals. The Royals receive Jack Buck, who is highly touted catching prospect in addition to the Teahan and Wood. So in the end, Baird finally gets his 3b/C combo. I like this deal for the A's even though people are down on Dotel lately. Dotel has nasty stuff and still only has a 3.12 ERA, .213 BAA, and a silly 12.98 K/9. Also, the A's really did not give up too much. Teahan was completely expendable with Chavez at third and only really broke on the map this year as big time prospect. He still is no David, Wright, Andy Marte, or Dallas McPherson, but he had a tremendous year at AA and turned some heads. The 24 year old Buck was batting .300, with 12 homers, and 35 RBIs in AAA and is not too far off being major league ready if he is not already. The Royals really did not make out half bad although he still should have gone for best available at any position. I think he tied his hands with his request, but it worked out so what do I really know?

  • Now that Beltran is off the table. The next big prize is Freddy Garcia. The Mariners have cooled off their desire to move him quickly so things could cool off considerably in the Rumor Mill with the one and only big prize off the table. This is one boring year for the Rumor Mill.

  • SIGN HUMBER ALREADY! Oh, not sure if i forgot to bring it up, but Humber was a 2nd team All-American this year. Congrats.

  • Thursday, June 24, 2004

    Meet Me by the Flagpole After School

    I got some mail from a Yankee fan after yesterday's post. It was quite interesting.

    LOL – Your analysis of the Subway Series is one only a delusional Mets’ fan could have. That same delusion leads you to believe that you are better off with Jose Reyes than Alfonso Soriano or that Vladdy’s back problems made him only worth a $30 mil. bid. Mediocrity never looked so good. The Mets are a .500 team on their best days and that's in a division where your record puts you 2.5 games out.

    PS I love how you rate Kaz over Jete. LMFAO And Cammy wouldn't even make the Yankees' roster let alone start in front of Williams and/or Lofton.

    I thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule of watching the Yankees win championships in an attempt to make our meager Met fan lives a little brighter. Too bad what you said is nonsense.

    Problem #1: That same delusion leads you to believe that you are better off with Jose Reyes than Alfonso Soriano :
    This again? I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but if I must, I must. Soriano is hitting .288 and is on pace for 21 homeruns and 17 stolen bases. On top of that he is due to make close to 8 or 9 million in arbitration this year and is 28 years old. Also, away from the friendly confines of his home park, he is batting .243 with a pedestrian four homeruns. Shea would not be kind to the much over-rated Soriano. Keep him out of Queens.

    Jose Reyes is a full seven plus years younger. He just turned 21 recently and costs the league minimum. Only a fool (cough, Steven Phillips, cough) trades a player of Reyes' talent and age for a guy who is over-rated, more expensive, and way older. The argument could be made that Reyes has to stay healthy to prove his worth, but he as to be given a chance to prove that. In addition, Reyes is far superior with the glove. Only a person who has not watched Reyes play would make this type of comment. This one is no-brainer.

    Problem #2: Vladdy’s back problems made him only worth a $30 mil:

    Did I ever say this? Nope. Look, I wanted Vlad to be Met as much as the next guy, but I also would not mind dating Cameron Diaz. Problem is both are/were not going to happen. The Mets may have missed the boat, but to them, it was clear he did not want to be in Baltimore so they thought they could swoop in and surprise everyone. It did not work out. Vlad's proposal brought him up to 15 or 16 million a year if he managed to get 400 at-bats a year, which is easily done even if you spend some time on the DL. He would have gotten paid. The Mets made their offer, and if Vlad was interested, he could have negotiated. In case you are not familiar with that term, I'll help you out.

    Pronunciation: ni-'gO-shE-"At, ÷-sE-
    Function: verb
    Inflected Form(s): -at•ed; -at•ing
    Etymology: Latin negotiatus, past participle of negotiari to carry on business, from negotium business, from neg- not + otium leisure -- more at NEGATE
    intransitive senses : to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter
    transitive senses
    1 MANAGE : to arrange for or bring about through conference, discussion, and compromise

    There was no conference or discussion. The Mets would have most likely upped their offer if it was made clear he wanted the privilege for playing for the blue and orange.

    Problem #3: I love how you rate Kaz over Jete:
    I'm guessing that was sarcasm. Your wit is astounding. For starters, I did not rate Kaz over Jeter, they were EVEN. But really, Yankee fans need to let go of this idea that Jeter is Superman. He is completely average this year and not even the best shortstop in his division. He is behind A-Rod, Tejada, Garciaparra, and soon to be behind BJ Upton. On top of it, he gets paid $18,000,000 to do it. Talk about getting your money's worth.

    Problem #4: Cammy wouldn't even make the Yankees' roster let alone start in front of Williams and/or Lofton:
    Now this is just the silliest thing you wrote. Cameron would not start in front of Lofton? I fell of my chair when I read that. Also, Bernie has not done anything since 2002 and getting $12,000,000 to do it. Steinbrenner would LOVE to dump Bernie’s bloated salary and would take Cammy (as you affectionately refer to him) in center any day over those two who really make playing center and adventure every time the ball is hit to them.

    Problem #5: Excessive use of LMFAO and LOL:
    Once is too many for either. I'm sure you would have also loved to use OMG, UR, WTF, and IMO if you could have. Would it have really have killed you to type the entire thing out? I mean you took the time to send me the email, just go the extra mile.

  • Now to last night’s game. First four guys up to face Jae Seo, three hits and one walk. Luckily Hidalgo's arm prevented the Mets from being three runs down in the first by gunning Jiminez getting too greedy. Nowadays the Mets feel like they need to spot the other team runs to give them a chance. While I like the sporting attitude, I think they better re-think their strategy. Seo definitely did not bring his A game, or any game for that matter. He was lucky to make it though five innings only giving up four runs. The Mets were able to make up the runs but could not come away with it in the end. The game should have been tied up fifth. Matsui singled, Reyes walked, and Piazza , who is just absolutely locked right now and punishing the ball, doubled off the wall in center. However, the runners held to see if it would have gotten caught. When it hit the wall, Matsui took off and Matt "The Human Windmill" Galante waved him in only to get nailed at the plate. Now, in the Galante’s defense, Griffey made a perfect play off the wall, a great throw, and the relay throw was great. On top of that, Matsui should have been able to make it home from second anyway. With Floyd coming up next, it may have been prudent to hold him at third if he was not in a position to make it home without incident. I agree with Howe on this one, he should have been halfway. That is just basics. The Mets did eventually tie it up in the 8th only to lose it in the 12th inning on Casey's two run shot of Franco. Casey just destroyed the Mets last night. This is a tough one to lose especially since the Mets had a man on third with one out in the bottom of the ninth. Masui struck out on would be ball four in the dirt and Reyes grounded weakly to the pitcher. Hopefully they can get this afternoon's game so they can stay above .500.

  • Is it just me or does Matsui have the most mechanically unsound swing you have ever seen? Everything I was told not to do as a kid, he does. When he swings and misses the ball, the guy spins around in a circle. I'd love to see film of him in Japan to see how his swing looked there. I would venture to guess it looks more sound than it does here.

  • Orber and Strickland got tagged for a total of five runs in two combined innings of work. Regardless, it is good to see them pitching.

  • Lastings Milledge went 2 for 5 with a double yesterday in Capital City's victory. He is now batting .325. It is becoming apparent that he can hit, it is also coming apparent he does not like to walk. He has four walks to thirty K's in 30 games. But you know what? I don't care, this kid can play and he's still young.

  • The Beltran to Houston rumors that involves the A's as a third team is heating up in California and in Houston. Also ESPN insider has a list of 10 teams that may be interested in Beltran's services. They list out the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, A's, Padres, Mets, Dodgers, Cubs, Marlins, and the Angels.

  • In a piece of bad news for the Mets, Kenny Williams responded to the notion that contract talks between Magglio and the White Sox were dead. Williams said "the door is not closed. It's not closed on our part, it's not closed on his part. Print it."

  • Tim Hudson is perfect example why the DH sucks. Not only does the DH take some managerial skill out the game, but it keeps talented people from using all of their abilities. In 1997, Tim Hudson's last year at Auburn University, he hit for a .396 AVG, 1.110 OPS, 21 doubles, 18 homeruns, and 95 RBIs. Now I don't know much, but I do know those numbers are better than most positional prospects that come out of school every year. Also, anyone that watches him in inter-league match-ups knows he does not look like a pitcher when he swings that bat.

    It should also be noted that in 1997 he went 15 - 2 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, and had a 12.9 K/9. All that and he was still drafted in the 6th round and 185th overall. What does a brother have to do get in the first round?

  • Wednesday, June 23, 2004

    New Rumor

    Another team has possibly snuck into the Beltran sweepstakes. The Astros seem to have what is needed to get a three team deal done. Beltran would go to the Astros, Octavio Dotel to the A's, and prospects (Mark Teahan & possibly Joe Blanton) to the Royals. This deal is certainly interesting and the Astros represent a team that has a closer to spare since Brad Lidge may be better at closing games than Dotel anyway.

    I think this deal has some wheels to get done.

    Let's Get Ready to Ruuuummmbbbbllllllleeee!!!!

    It is upon on us. This is where the rubber meets the road. The #1 pitching team vs. one of the top offensive teams. Bragging rights are once again up for grabs as the Mets play the team everyone loves to hate, the $185,000,000 machine, the Yankees for a three game set this weekend.

    The Mets will be traveling into that horrible excuse for a ballpark, Yankee Stadium. If there was not so much history there, it would have been torn down years ago. I've been there many a times as a kid and I was there last year by way of losing a baseball pool to some friends. As bad as Shea is perceived to be (I happen to not mind it), Yankee Stadium is not far behind. The Mets can only improve on their 0-6 record against the Yankees last year since I have serious doubts about that being pulled off two years in a row. I mean, without Benitez to screw it up, the Mets will win at least one.

    I look upon this time a year like I look upon punched in the face. Yankee fans walk around Shea and yelling things like "26 World Championships", "I had no idea New York has a Junior Varsity Team", or "Jeter is the best baseball player on the face of the Earth". Now, I like trash talking as much as the next guy, but let’s get original here. So yes, I will be tormented yet again...unless, the Mets can manage to win some games. Nothing shuts a Yankee fan up as much as the Mets beating them. They may go back to their usual senseless banter, but just like Met fans, they do not want to lose in the subway series. I have to say, I feel pretty good coming into this weekend. I like the pitching math-ups that I see so far. Let's look at the rundown of each team.

    Tale of the Tape

    LF - Cliff Floyd vs. Hideki Matsui: Hideki is hitting .192 for the month of June and cooling off at the plate. Overall, He does have thirteen homeruns and is batting .283 to Cliff's seven homeruns and .285 average, but he has 104 more at-bats. They both are around the same value in the field, so that aspect cancels itself out.

    Edge: Cliffy. Hometown scoring? Maybe, but I'll take Cliff anytime over Hideki.

    CF - Mike Cameron vs. Bernie Williams: Their offensive stats, except for average are pretty much similar. Cameron also has the base running over him as he has eleven steals to Williams' zero. However, despite the .042 point difference in the average, Cameron's defensive prowess trumps anything Williams has over him in the BA department.

    Edge: Cameron, by far.

    RF - Richard Hidalgo vs. Gary Sheffield: No need to go into depth on this one.

    Edge: Gary and his gold teeth....or are they platinum?

    3b - Alex Rodriguez vs. Ty Wigginton: Hmmm, let me think about this one. I do not think I need a detailed explanation as to why I feel the way I do. I love Wiggie's hustle and all, but....

    Edge: Alex "I'm probably pretty sure it will work out for the best" Rodriguez

    SS - Kaz Matsui vs. Derek Jeter: Jeter must be happy there is finally a shortstop who is worse than he is in the field. Coming into today, their batting averages were only .006 points off and their OPS is were .029 off. I had a tough time with one since Matsui beats Jeter in runs, stolen bases, walks (double the amount), OBP, doubles, and errors (obviously not a good thing). Jeter has a more homeruns (double the amount), and has been better in the field. On top of that he has these intangibles as well as his extensive knowledge of knowing how to win according to Yankee fans.

    Edge: Even. Yeah, any other year Jeter would get the nod, but I really just cannot do that this year based soley on past performance. He just has not been the Jeter of old (which was over-rated anyway). As bad as Kaz has been, Jeter has been right there every step of the way. Jeter has 25 XBHs to Kaz's 25 XBHs. It is too close to call.

    2b - Jose Reyes vs. Miguel Cario: Yeah, Cairo is putting up decent #'s right now, and Jose Reyes has only played three games since coming back from injury, but......

    Edge: Jose Reyes, rust and all.

    1b - Mike Piazza vs. Jason Giambi: My how the mighty have fallen. After leaving Oak-town, Giambi has not put up those triple crown numbers that we all have been accustomed too. Jason now sports a .246 average. All around, Piazza is now better offensively than Giambi. Giambi does have an edge in the leather department, but nothing that will sway me from my decision.

    Edge: Mike Piazza is now the #1 1b in New York despite his fielding deficiencies which he will be improving upon as he gets experience.

    C - Jason Phillips vs. Jorge Posada: Contrary to popular Yankee fan belief, Posada was NEVER the best catcher in New York...until now.

    Edge: Posada

    I will not go into the DH since it is associated with fake baseball in my book. On top of that, Piazza and Giambi are most likely going to be DH-ing while Clark and Valent/Zeile play 1st.

    Now by my calculations, the Mets have an advantage at four of the eight positions, with the Yankees having the advantage in three of the eight positions, and a tie at the shortstop position. How can this be when the Yankees have the best record in baseball while the Mets are struggling to stay at .500 if they are a better team when broken down by position? I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is that I am extremely biased, but I do not think so. The Yankees do not do it for me.

    Now for the pitching match-ups.

    Friday - Al Leiter vs. Jose Contreras. Leiter is 2-2 with a 2.14 ERA and Contreras is 4-3 with a 6.18 ERA. Also going against Contreras is that he has given up an astounding 15 homeruns in 51 innings. Is there really a debate even to be had?

    Edge: Leiter. We al know Leiter is a big game pitcher and we all know Contreras has not been a big game pitcher in his limited service in the majors. The only thing that scares me about Leiter against the Yankees is that Leiter has been getting into trouble all year and pitching his way out. If he gets into trouble against the Yankees, they will pounce all over him and he will not be able to cover his mistakes.

    I will say that I am happy for Jose and his family. I think it was horrible what they had to go through and it is great that they are re-united. His family in America may be the X-Factor on Friday.

    Edit:It appears that Al Leiter will be facing Brad Halsey instead according to CBS Sportsline. Edge still goes to Leiter.

    Saturday - Steve Traschel vs. Brad Halsey: Halsey was 6-2 with a 2.52 ERA before he was called up from AAA. After getting called up, he pitched well in his only start against LA, going 5.2 innings and giving up only two runs for his first victory in the major leagues. However, he has not played in an inter-league game between the Mets and Yanks before. It tends be a bit like a playoff atmosphere the way the crowd is into it. Although Trachsel has been struggling of late, he is still a very consistent veteran who knows how to pitch. Smart money is on Trachsel

    Edge: Traschel.

    Edit:It appears that Steve Traschel will be facing Jose Contreras instead according to CBS Sportsline. Edge still goes to Traschel.

    Sunday - Matt Ginter vs. Mike Mussina: Fact is Mussina has not pitched well this year. He is 8-4 with a 4.58 ERA and has allowed 164 base-runners in 90.1 innings. On top of it all, righties are hitting .295 off him and lefties are hitting .294 off him. Matt Ginter, while still unproven over the course of an entire year, has been successful in his small sample size. Also, in his carreer he is 0-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 8.1 innings vs. the Yankees. Ginter has pitched to the tune of a 3.38 ERA and has a 1.31 WHIP in 38.2 innings. Ginter has kept righties to a .261 average, but lefties are doing rather well with a .289 average, which is not good when the Yanks can throw two or three lefties and two or three switch hitters. Can Ginter handle this big game? I think so, Ginter showed everyone something when he pitched so well in his first ML start against Roger Clemens.

    Edge: Mussina. Mussina has been a lot better since he got out of that pesky month of April and brought his ERA down from an astronomical level to a much better level. Although it still is not good right now, he has been better of late. His high win total is partly due to the team he plays on so I cannot rely on that. However, his crusty veteran status pushes that match-up against Ginter to an even status.

    As for the bullpens, the Yankees have a pretty clear edge. No need to depress myself with the gory details. The Mets need to make sure they are not trying play catchup in the eighth inning.

    I think the Mets have real good chance to not only go into Yankee stadium and not only hold their own, but knock down the front door, punch their mother in the uterus, and take two of three. The Mets are riding some energy right now and hopefully these three games against Cincy will get Reyes some more much needed at-bats so he can terrorize the Yankee pitching. Also, I really like these pitching match-ups. You could not really ask for a better three to face though no one on the staff scares me. I've seen Vazquez enough to know we can beat him and with Brown injured, that staff is weak. If the Mets can stay hot against Cincy, look for good things this weekend.

    * * *

    Cameron is on fire. Another three hits last night and he missed the cycle by a homerun. His average is up to .223. It was just a great victory. The Mets went down by three runs in the third, came back to tie it in the fourth, and then tacked on three more runs. Just like a bad loss with demoralize you and perhaps make the team take a turn for the worse, a good victory like this can catapult you on to much better things. They are playing with some fire and on a mission to put .500 behind them instead of falling below it, then above, then below, etc.

    The other bright spots on the day were Piazza's 2 for 4 effort in which he blasted his 16th homerun, Floyd's 2 for 4 day in which he hit his 7th homerun, and the bullpen pitching five scoreless innings to finish the game out. Ginter got knocked around a bit, but the team picked him up. You have to love this victory, the Mets creped up a game on Philly and are 1.5 in back of them and 2.5 behind the Marlins. Life is looking good.

  • CBS Sportsline is giving the Mets some notice. They still are only number 18 in the power rankings, but hopefully they will continue to move up some spots. After they knock around the Yanks this weekend, they will have no other recourse than move them up.

  • Pinella made the guarantee that the Devil Rays would not finish in last place this year, so far he looks like he is keeping his promise. Although it did not look good in the beginning, twelve wins in a row will certainly put you into a good place. The Devil Rays are now one game under .500 and holding tight in third place.

  • The B-Mets can't seem to figure out they are supposed to play worse when their best two players get promoted to AAA. They won again 3-2 over Norwich and are now a comfortable 5 1/2 games ahead in first place. Justin Huber continues to pick up the slack with a 3 for 4 effort which included a homerun, a double, and two RBIs. He now has seven homeruns and is batting .295. He keeps this up, he may have an appearance on the Prospect Hot Sheet and he should see AAA at some point this year. Matthew Peterson went seven innings, only gave up three hits, two earned runs and struck out five, but left the game with a no decision. He is still having some control issues and he walked four, but this is his second solid start in a row and he looks to be back on track. The win went to Blake "The Mop Up Man" McGinley who is now 7-1 with a 2.87 ERA. Seven wins for a relief pitcher at this point in the year is unreal. He also K'd four, walked no one, and surrendered no hits in his two innings of work.

  • In Capital City's victory, Lastings Milledge went 2 for 3, with three runs scored, a double, a homerun, and one RBI. He is batting .322 and well on his way to breaking back into the top 25 for the Prospect Hot Sheet instead of getting honorable mention.

  • Norfolk was the only Met affiliate to lose. It could have been a clean sweep for all teams, but Yates could not hold on to it and surrendered the winning run. Bob Keppel started the game and went six innings and gave up more runs than innings pitched, so you can get the idea that he did not do well. But there were some bright spots. Jeff Duncan continues to hit and went 3 for 5 bringing his average up to .271. Danny Garcia picked up a couple of hits, Vic Diaz hit his 10th homerun, Brazell hit his 18th homerun, Redman picked up two hits, and David Wright got two more hit and is hitting. 353. Wright is just unreal, he is having quite a hot streak that extends all the way back to the second half of last season. He is begging to be promoted to the majors, but he thing is, you do not want to rush Wright, and Wiggie is hitting the ball hard himself. So right now, there is not a need to bring him up especially when the Mets are hot. Decisions, decisions for Duquette, but this is a good problem to have.

    I have no idea how Diaz is handling right field, but I'm starting to think it was worth a chance to let him try right field before they got Hidalgo. Maybe he is a disaster in right for all I know. But when they brought up Gerald Williams, maybe Vic Diaz should have been called up for some ABs.

  • According to NY Fansites, the Mets have signed Gabriel Hernandez. He was one of the top high school pitchers and was rumored to be possible problem to sign due to the fact he was intent on attending college. This is good thing for the Mets to get him inked and in a uniform. The Mets arms in the minors just got deeper and that is never a bad thing.

  • Roberto Alomar wants out of Arizona. With the emergence of Scott Hairston at 2b and Alomar's poor performance in the first fourteen games, he is due to see no playing time at all. Hairston is a 20 homerun threat at the 2b position and is likely to to be mainstay there and a very productive one at that. Roberto also needs 313 hits to reach 3000, which once thought to be well within reach is starting to look at bit out of reach. Alomar is going to need to find someoneo that will take a chance on him after his 3rd terrible season in row. It is amazing how much he has fallen from his MVP type 2001 season.

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Hot Damn

    The Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet has come out as it does every week. Yusmerio makes his highest appearance yet. This kid has got so much ink in the last few weeks it is crazy. David Wright has assumed the usual spot on the list as well. Lastings Milledge got special mention as well.

    4. David Wright, 3b, Triple-A Norfolk (Mets)
    Only the stolen bases have slowed down at Norfolk as Wright has hit a pair of jacks to go along with a .345 average and seven runs scored in eight Triple-A games.

    5. Yusmerio Petit, rhp, Class A Capital City (Mets)
    The Mets compare him to a righthanded version of Sid Fernandez, and with 35 strikeouts in his last 18 innings with just five hits allowed, his results are starting to resemble El Sid's minor league dominance as well.

    Will Anyone Step Up and Take Beltran?

    Avkash over at The Raindrops pointed to a Baseball Prospectus piece in which Kevin Towers said he is not interested in acquiring Carlos Beltran. While that may be smoke and mirrors, there have not been many articles or anything much at all alluding to any impending trades. So much silence after Baird telling everyone it is open season on most of his players is strange. Everything surrounding Carlos Beltran has been cold as Gerald "Ice" Williams. The Times has an article speculating that the Yankees are more interested in aquiring pitching and not really interested in Beltran as their #1 priority. Another problem for the Yankees acquiring Beltran is that they did not grow any hot prospects that are close to the Majors on trees in the last few weeks. Any trade Baird accepts with the Yankees would have to be one out of desperation and because of an extreme lack of interested trading partners with anything of any worth. Dioneer Navarro and Eric Duncan just will not get it done. Besides, when the Yankees starting rotation ERAs look like this:

    Javier Vazquez 3.43
    Kevin Brown 4.13
    Mike Mussina 4.43
    John Leiber 4.83
    Jose Contreras 6.18

    They have more pressing concerns. With only Alex Graman, Brad Halsey, Tanyon Sturtze, and Dovan Osbourne as their other options right now, I'd say they are looking a bit thin in that department. That staff impresses by name mostly and they certainly have not been performing to the level that people thought they would. Also, the Yankees are fourth in runs scored on offense, but 15th in ERA. Only the Yankees would have the logic to bring in more offense. Hey, I guess if you score 10 and they only score 8, you win!

    So where does that leave the Royals GM? Well, he had alluded to the fact that if his 3b/C combo that he desires does not materialize, he will then be taking the best offers possible with the best talent involved.

    Baird must be steaming at Boras since he has been the reason for any lack of interest by major league clubs with his insistence that Beltran will test the free agent market and not even think about negotiating with anyone prior to that. Most GMs that were interested were scared off for a 1/2 year rental that they have zero chance of signing. However, that 1/2 year rental could bring a certain small market team a sandwich pick and 1st round compensation pick along with some other goodies (I'm will be actually going somewhere with this).

    There are only a few remaining clubs with interest.

    The Red Sox remain an interested party. However, there seem to be a few roadblocks with them. One would be the fact that they already have three outfielders. Unless they plan on trading Damon, it would seem Manny would be moving to DH with Ortiz now 1b full time and Millar riding some pine. That is an option, but whether Manny would be happy about that is another question. The other problem is that the Sox 3b/C combo of Kevin Youlkis and Kelly Shoppach is not exactly exciting. Youlkis is holding his own in the majors with a .271 average, three homeruns, and fourteen RBIs. He is showing that he has 20+ homerun power with 80+ RBI ability. Shoppach is not doing great at AAA sporting a .245 batting average and 10 homeruns. A catcher that has 15 to 20 homerun power is certainly appetizing as well. That deal, while not that strong, may be enough to get the job done by providing them two serviceable major league talents, but just not ones that have star potential. More importantly, would the Red Sox trade two of their top three prospects only to see Beltran wisked away to the Yankees while they are left with a more barren farm system than before?

    The Cubs are still an outside shot, but they would be ones that would have to wait more toward the trading deadline. They could become players once Baird gives up his quest for a 3b/C combo and they can offer up some arms. Their system is pitching rich and they can also deal Corey Patterson who certainly has some upside. He got off to a really bad start but has picked up of late and has his average up to .267 and has knocked in eight homeruns. With weak offers being presented, this one may have a shot to stick.

    The Yankees are still trolling around. If they cannot land a pitcher, they may turn their sites on Beltran. Although everyone else but me thinks that if Steinbrenner wants him, then he'll get him, I just do not feel that way. Boston can put a better package together surrounding Youlkis and Shoppach to prevent the Yankees from getting him. The Yankees would have to do some serious convincing that any of their packages would be worth enough to pull the trigger.

    The Marlins are a long shot but have mentioned some interest in the past. They have some talent in their system, but would most likely have to part with Jeremy Hermedia or Jason Stokes as a key cog in the deal. Outside of catcher Josh Willingham, they are heavy on pitchers and outfielders at the top of their system. In addition, they got Koch as the set-up man so they are presumably no longer interested in Contreras in that contrived three way deal proposed a few weeks back. They would also be a team that would have to wait more towards the trade deadline since they lack the prospects in the area the Royals are looking for. However, with the return of Burnett, they may also be willing to trade one of their starters, although that would certainly be a desperation move by the Marlins, which I do not think they will get too. If they learned anything from last year it is that pitching wins championships with a dab of timely hitting.

    The Dodgers are also an interested party. They are having nightmares of last year's lack of offense and want to put it as far behind them as possible. If they did acquire Beltran, he would most likely displace Dave Roberts, who is their left fielder who swiped 22 bags, is hitting .295, and has a .387 OBP. The Dodgers have a deep system with a lot of live arms and could put together a good package if necessary. That package could include part of what Baird is looking for which would include a major league ready catcher in Koyie Hill. It may not be exactly what Baird would be directly looking for, but the Dodgers can put some talent together and have one of the best systems out of anyone.

    Here is where my real assesment of the Beltran situation ends.

    That brings me to my admittedly warped suggestion. This one would be pretty off the wall but hey, is it REALLY that impossible? The Mets make a bid for Beltran. Why would they do that? I can here everyone saying, "They just got Hidalgo you idiot". Yes, they did, but I can name someone that would be very interested in Beltran's services. I am proposing a three way trade with the Mets, Oakland, and the Royals. Yes I read this article. But who cares? Now this deal only works if Baird is still getting the cold shoulder from all the GMs and nothing attractive has materialized. The Mets can give them a package made up of Wiggie and Phillips plus prospects since Wiggie and Phillips do not exactly have star power. You can put Huber in for Phillips if they so prefer and want someone with a higher ceiling. Also in the deal, the A's can send 3b prospect Mark Teahan, who they will not be needing with Chavez holding down the fort, to the Royals. The Mets then send Seo or Ginter to take Zito's rotation spot, they include Prentice Redman, and someone else who has a high ceiling. The Royals send Beltran to the A's by way of the Mets so the Mets can provide some salary relief and take on some of that burden. So here is how it shakes out.

    The Mets receive Barry Zito

    The Royals receive Ty Wigginton, Mark Teahen, Jason Phillips or Justin Huber, and Bobby Keppel (this also frees them to move Randa and Santiago, whom Kevin Towers is interested in). The Royals get some major league help right now and some guys that have a good upside.

    The A's receive Carlos Beltran + Cash, Jae Seo or Keith Ginter, and any two of the following - Prentice Redman, Victor Diaz, Tyler Yates, Royce Ring, or Aaron Baldiris (may be best suited for 2b).

    The Royals receive the least in the deal, but this is only contingent up on them not really having many other choices. People are falling out of the Beltran lottery everyday.

    Wishful thinking on my part? Absolutely. Rational? Not at all. I know what people are thinking. No way we get Zito for an abundance of spares, but I do not think everyone is useless. If a team can get some quality major leaguers in return, that could be invaluable. Check out the Sexson deal. Overbay turned out to be a stud, but the deal was based off of quantity and that deal is much better than the Royals seem to be on track for in return for Beltran.

    I think the A's would always love to add a bit more pop into their lineup. Dangling Beltran in front of them may be too large of a temptation. Also, it is not like Zito has been lights out and they would not be missing him as much as they would have in the past years. On top of it all, the A's can offer Beltran arbitration, which he will most assuredly not accept, and they will get a late first round pick and sandwich pick. That adds more to the return on the Zito trade in terms of prospects.

    We would be giving up Wigginton, Phillips or Huber, Seo or Ginter, and two or three prospects. Is six or seven players really worth it for Zito? I think so, if it could be done. Most of these guys do not figure in the long term plan anyway. Also, most of them are ready to step in at the major league level immediately or very soon.

    The bottom line is this, whoever does end up making the trade for Beltran, may end up getting steal. If that happens, I'd like to see if the Mets can spin that to benefit themselves even though they have no desire to place him on the team. They may be able to put a reasonable package together due to their depth in the minors coupled with the fact they have a few guys on the major league roster that are expendable and ready to step into action right away.

    Man, after that convoluted trade proposal I feel like Bob Klapisch or Jon Heyman.

    * * *

  • The Mets currently lead the league with a 3.52 teams ERA. The second place team is the Chicago Cubs and they have a 3.72 ERA. Rick Peterson is a miracle worker. I would bet not many people would have put money down before the season that the Yankees, Cubs, Astros, A's, Dodgers, Marlins, Phillies, etc. would all be sitting behind the Mets in that stat column.

    ...Now if they could only score some runs. Mets are currently ranked 28th in that category, though I anticipate that will change soon. They are poised to move up some spots now that their lineup has finally taken shape.

  • An excerpt from John Sickels' article on the top ten possible promotions.

    David Wright, 3B, New York Mets
    When teams contact the Mets about possible trades, the name brought up most often is David Wright, the subject of our recent Down on the Farm profile that you can access by clicking here. The Mets don't want to give him up, and would likely only do so as part of a blockbuster deal. Wright was promoted to Triple-A last week, and is hitting .346 in seven games. In my opinion, he is ready for major league action, both offensively and defensively, and would make an impact as soon as he gets an opportunity. If injuries or trades intervene, that will happen soon. If not, he'll have to wait for September.

  • Mike Cameron has not only been contributing great hits, but he just contributed a great quote.

    "Don't twist this all up," he said, "but I heard he's (Reyes) unbelievable at shortstop. I'd love to see him. But right now, that's not going to happen, unfortunately."

    No need to twist it all up Mike. It's perfect the way you laid it out.

  • David Wright and Yusmeiro Petit made the futures All-Star Futures roster. This game matches US prospects vs. International prospects throughout all minor league levels. Petit is sure making a name for himself quickly. The game is on July 11th and will be televised by ESPN2. At his current rate, Wright just may not even have a chance to be on that team.

  • Good to have Reyes back, not sure what this pose was all about though.

  • The Mets are heating up this summer.

  • According to ESPN, the White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees and Mets are still interesting in Freddy Garcia. The Yankees still remain the most interested party.

  • Monday, June 21, 2004

    The Sweet Smell of .500

    Does .500 have a smell?

    Yes, the Mets are once again .500. It feels great. They have been actually putting more runs up this week having three games with six runs or more. Yes they may have been facing inferior pitching, but my glass his half full.

    Today was slooooooooow until the fourth inning when it all picked up. Hidalgo hit a two run blast that was a no doubter off the bat. Hidalgo also added another hit later that was ripped to the third baseman and too hot to handle. Valent added a two run double in the fourth inning, Wigginton went 2 for 3 with an RBI, and Piazza added an eighth inning blast for his 15th of the year to top it all off. Traschel went six innings surrendering one run, but clearly did not have his best stuff and was lucky to come away with such a good outing on paper.

    Yes Hidalgo got his first Met hit in a big way. Yes, I was and still am not sold on him. However, with his two rips, I went from being cold on the deal to lukewarm. I hope he can keep contributing.

    The Mets must be reading my webpage, they did exactly what I said they needed to do. They are entering this upcoming week .500. I feel like they are going to do well in this next twelve game stretch. I'm feeling a 6-6 two weeks which will set them up for a big divisional stretch and in striking distance to do some damage. I have got to say, for some reason I feel positive about things. I like the way the Mets continually refuse to roll over and die. After a dreadful stretch between the Twins and Royals, they come home and take care of business. What is not to like? Oh, and before you read this, I hope you are sitting down. The Mets are 2.5 games out of first. The Marlins lost and the Phillies won, so they are tied for first with the Mets in sole possession of 2nd place and Reyes is back in action. Life is good for Mets fans. I cannot see how anyone can be complaining at this point. I look at the other teams in the division and I say why not?

  • Heilman got dinged up again against Pawtucket last night. He surrendered four runs in 5.1 innings. Despite that, Norfolk was victorious 6-5. David Wright got off his 3 game hitless streak in a big way going 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, a walk, and his second AAA homerun in six games. Every day that goes by, you have to like that kid more and more. The thing about him is he knows himself so well and is never content with where he is. If you read anything on him, he knows he may not be the most gifted athlete in the game, so he knows he has to work harder to become the player he wants to be. He continually tries to improve himself and is getting better and better at every level he moves up. Let us not forget this kid was playing high A-ball at St. Lucie when last season ended. Now, he is in AAA with a pretty good shot to see the big leagues very soon. A .272 hitter coming into this year for his minor league career and was rated in the top 25 of all minor league players by most minor league scouts and publications. Starting with the Arizona Fall League last year, he just put on the after burners. There were the stories that he worked too hard at home which affected his play, but whatever the reason, it has all clicked. He has batted around .350 for the AFL, Minor/Major League Spring Training, AA, and AAA combined since the end of last season which is almost 600 ABs. He has put himself into super prospect status, more so than before. You would be hard pressed to show me a better all around prospect that is as advanced as he is.

  • What else can you say about Yusmeiro Petit? He pitched another game in which he got into double digit strikeouts for the Capital City Bombers. He is just flat out impressive. He struck out 11, walked only one, gave up one hit, which just happened to be a homerun and is now 9-1 with a 2.10 ERA. He is just the model of consistency every time he takes the mound. Oh, the other 19 year old phenom Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 to bring his average up to .314. Life is looking good in the minor league system.

  • Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th homerun on Sunday. He has had his share of injury problems over the last four year, but he is a hall of famer if he never plays the game again. He broke into the big leagues at 19 years old and smacked 16 homers and 61 RBIs that year. Unbelievably, he hit .300 the next year with 22 homeruns and 80 RBI's and struck out 81 times to 63 walks. Before he even turned 30 he hit over 100 RBIs seven times, over 130 four times, and over 140 three times. In his last four years in Seattle he averaged 52 homeruns and 141.75 RBIs. He was the game of baseball for the span of eight or nine years. He made eleven consecutive All-Star appearances between 1990 and 2000. He won 10 consecutive gold gloves playing center field for the Mariners between 1990 and 1999. It is a shame his body let him down after the 2000 season. He should have eclipsed 500 homeruns in 2002 and been barreling down on 600 instead of just surpassing 500. Nothing he does can take away what he did for so many years in Seattle. A lot of people today forget that and seem to miss the fact we are watching one of the best baseball players ever to step on the field.

  • Sunday, June 20, 2004

    Creeping back to Mediocrity

    The Mets played yet another game down to the wire. They are certainly making a habit of this and playing some exciting baseball. Yesterday's victory brings them to within 3.5 games of the first place Marlins and they now have sole possession of 3rd place with the Phillies 2.5 games ahead of the Mets in second. So far, they are doing exactly what they need to do. If they can win today and complete the sweep of the Tigers, they will once again be at .500 with the struggling Cincinnati Reds up next. Cincy has lost two in row and is 3-7 in their last 10 games. With the Yankees looming on the horizon with baseball’s best record, the Mets need to do as much as they can with these last four remaining games and try and be 1 or 2 games above .500 prior to Friday nights' action.

    Cameron was the star once again having the walk off hit for the second night in row. He is now up to .214 and looking like a completely different hitter. The Mets certainly got some help in the form of an Omar Infante error in the 8th on a ball hit by Jose Reyes who certainly provided that needed spark. On the ground ball hit to Infante in the 8th he was able to hustle to 2nd base on the error, which eventually led to the game tying run. Reyes also collected his 1st hit of season which set the stage for Cameron's eventual winning run in the 10th. Leiter went today and clearly did not have his best stuff. He allowed two runs in the 1st inning but closed the door and did not allow any more runs despite getting into trouble on a few occasions. His control problems are persisting and he walked four in six innings of work while striking out four. Out of his 123 pitches, 71 were strikes and 52 were balls.

  • Scott Kazmir was dominant in his start on Saturday for the St. Lucie squad. He went six innings surrendering four hits, no runs, two walks and K'd seven bringing his ERA down to 4.64.

  • Neil Musser continues to impress in Binghamton with a six innings, one run performance. He is now 7-2 with a 3.27 ERA.

  • No thanks to Scott Erickson, Norfolk walked away with a victory on Saturday night 7-6 vs. Pawtucket. He gave up four earned runs in seven innings of work, which actually lowered his era from 8.00 to 7.20. Victor Diaz contributed with his eighth homerun of the season in a 2 for 3 performance with three RBIs, two runs score and a double on top of it all. Redman continues to hit in AAA with a 3 for 5 day with 1 run scored, 1 RBI, and two doubles. Wright was hitless for his third day in row.

  • Newsday thinks Duquette may be targeting Barry Zito. I think everyone is targeting Barry Zito, and if they could pull this off, Christmas would certainly come early. I just do not see it happening and if there is shot of it happening, it would most certainly be in the off season.

  • Joe Morgan thinks that the Yankee success is about more than just money. While that might have been true in 2000 and years prior, now it is primarily about money. They have more double the Mets current payroll and double just about every team outside of the Red Sox and the Angles. Is it just me here? They just outspend everyone and take on huge contracts that no one else can and outspend anyone on big name free agents with no end in sight. Despite the 180,000,000+ dollar payroll, they are suspected to add another 20 - 25 million next year. To me it's all about the money. Thankfully, despite all the resources and all-star lineup they still are no lock to win it all this year.

  • Kevin Brown still might miss the first Mets series. He was due to possibly return on Saturday I believe, but that seems in doubt now. I can only hope we are lucky enough for him to miss the Mets the first time around.

    Let's go for the sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!