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

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Tomorrow...4:00 EST....Be There

What's better than watching the Major League All-Star Game? Watching David Wright and Yusmeiro Petit in the Future's Game on Sunday. Tomorrow, July 11th at Minute Maid Park in Houston the game will begin at 4:00 p.m. (EST) 3:00 p.m. (CDT) and will be televised live on ESPN2. Petit will play for the international team and Wright will be playing for the American team. This is a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of these two and I'm going to take advantage. I want to actually see for my own eyes what Petit is all about.

Damn, I'm ass backwards. I had to fix this post. It's 4 PM EST and not 2 PM EST. I'm losing it.

I Got 99 Problems But The Mets Ain't One

Sorry, that was really bad. I was feeling a bit ghetto fabulous after I purchased my new Mets hat, but I'm sure Jay-Z would pop a cap in my ass if he read that title.

By the way, I hate to take all the credit for the Mets recent hot streak, but it looks as though I may have too. For the past two years, three other guys and myself have been doing a baseball pool at work. It is two Met fans vs. two Yankee fans. The rules or how we were scoring is not the point. We were losing 90-63 and just getting abused. The prize for being ahead at the all-star break is that the winning team goes to their team's stadium with the losing team buying tickets and having to go to the game. The end of the year prize is just cash. After getting spanked royally, they gave us and out that would cost us less money in the end since we had virtually no shot of catching up, we just had to admit defeat. So I swallowed what little pride I had left and accepted defeat at the hands of two Yankee fans. Ugly ones at that, but I think they all are. Anyway, the day we admitted defeat was June 25th, 2004. Since the day, the Mets have gone 9-5 and have surged to 44-31. That is a winning % of .643. Some people thought it was Hidalgo, some thought Reyes, some thought it was Kaz's hot streak, Wiggie's recent tear, or Cameron's home run stroke, but that is not the case. Nope, it was me. You can all thank me now and send money, Mets tickets, or beer if you would like, but that really is not necessary. The Mets kicking some butt is payment enough.

  • Now to the game. Jae Seo stealing a base? He must be trying to get on my good side. That charlie hustle move is ok in my book. Ty "David Who?" Wigginton hit a homerun and game winning double, Cameron's homerun, Matsui's clutch 8th inning double, Valent's two run single, and the Mets winning 6-3 in a great comeback victory. The resilience of this team is just amazing. They do not give up, no matter what. Oh, by the way, that was a big win without Piazza in the lineup.

    "I think it starts from the minute we walk through the clubhouse door," Wigginton said. "I think everybody expects us to win. I didn't get that feeling last year."
    -Yeah, I feel that way too and definitely did not get that feeling last year.

    "My first steal ever," Seo said. "The home run is next." (I love it)

  • I do not know much, but I see one major thing that Ty has stopped doing. He stopped fishing after breaking balls. To me, that is the difference maker for him. That is one of the major reasons he is a better hitter of late. He stopped giving himself that disadvantage and having a glaring weakness. A breaking ball outside was his arch nemesis.

  • Scott Kazmir is due to make is AA debut today against Bowie. I'm feeling a good start from him. I just do not think AA can handle his nasty-ness.

  • Norfolk won 8-1 over Scranton. Randy Keisler continues to be impressive and went seven innings with only giving up one earned run. In the victory David Wright went 2 for 5 and is now batting .322, Victor Diaz went 3 for 5 with a dinger and three RBIs, and Prentice Redman went 2 for 4 with two doubles.

  • The Mets scouting Derek Lowe? Man, that is desperate. I'll take Seo and Ginter over that Boras bum.

  • The Big Unit interested in the Mets? Newsday seems to think he would approve a trade to the Mets. The thing that interests him the most about staying in the NL is so he can win his sixth Cy Young, which would not happen if he moved the AL. He is due $16,000,000 in 2005 and due roughly $24,000,000 total between 2004 and 2005.

  • Is anyone else sick of Fran Healy repeating himself? If I have to hear how a power pitcher supplies all the power when batter makes contact with a fastball I'm going to lose it. I repeat myself on this repeat myself on this blog often enough, but I do not get paid to do it. He gets paid to make the same comments day after day. Fran Healy seems like a nice guy, but enough already.

  • "One would think that the entire baseball universe is in New York and Boston," said Theo Epstein, the Red Sox' 30-year-old general manager. "I know that's not the case, because neither team has won the World Series since 2000."

    Umm, Theo, you have not won the WS since 1918. I'm pretty sure you are not at the center of the baseball universe, though it may seem that way.

    The Mets are anyway for your information.

  • The blockbuster between the Cards and Phillies is not happening. The deal proposed sending Morris and Kline to the Phillies for Millwood and Palanco. The Cards rejected the proposal.

  • Friday, July 09, 2004

    The Dynamic Duo Strikes Again (and not in a good way..)

    Damn, that was tough loss to swallow. The short of it is Kaz is still on fire, Cameron is too, Piazza is still cold, Hidalgo is still hitting, and Reyes picked up a couple of hits.

    Why in hell does Howe trust Stanton and Franco so much? Enough already. Stanton did not get charged with the earned run, but shit, was anyone surprised when he let one of the inherited runners score? That is what he has done all season. Stanton does not give up and earned run himself, but lets his inherited runners score too often. Franco in the 9th? I know he has a .111 BAA for lefties and Abreu and Thome are both lefties, but he is one of the last people I trust. I cringe when he steps on the mound. I am sick of the importance placed on the lefty/lefty match ups. Too much emphasis is placed on it. If you are going to play the numbers and matchups so much, then you should at least take note that Abreu is batting .429 against Franco in 14 at-bats, Thome is batting .286 against Franco in 7 at-bats, and Burrell is batting .500 against him in 4 at-bats. Shove your lefty vs. lefty matchups where the sun don't shine and start trusting Parra and Moreno more.

    With first place on the line, I'm disappointed the Mets did not get the win as is everyone else. It was an ugly game offensively in which both teams left 40 combined people on base. It was depressing, I'll leave it at that.

    On the Game:

    "It's not satisfying," Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd said. "I don't care. We felt like we should have come in here, the way we were playing, and won them all. We lost two tough ones."
    -I like to see players sweat out every loss. Cliff plays every game like it is an important one, and in this division it may be.

    "Obviously it's a tough way to lose," Franco said. "I didn't do my job."
    -Thanks for painfully pointing out the obvious. Way to ruin my night you waste of a roster spot.

    * * *

    Where the hell is everybody? I'm doing my part, I bought my Sunday package tickets and go to about 20 games year. The Mets are currently ranked 18th in the majors in attendance. They average 28,945 people per game which totals up to 1,157,815 through 40 home games. That is good for 50.4% of capacity at Shea. The Mets will not even get to 2,500,000 for home attendance this year. For a team that is in the largest market in the world, that is not acceptable. Their pals across town are on pace to draw nearly 4,000,000 people this year (3,800,000 of them are inbred). I do expect the Mets' figures to go up a bit if they keep up their current ass kicking pace, but they only have small market teams behind them in terms of attendance. All of the so called large market teams are leaving the Mets in the dust.

    In case you were wondering what they have done in the past:
    2001 2,658,330 fans / 15th in the league / 58.8% capacity
    2002 2,804,838 fans / 7th in the league / 64.5% capacity
    2003 2,140,599 fans / 16th in the league / 49.1% capacity

    The most they have ever drawn in one year is 3,055,445, which was back in 1988. They have sadly only crossed that 3,000,000 mark twice, while the Yankees do it habitually. I guess you can blame the owners for putting a crappy product on the field in the past or the fact that Shea is not exactly a paradise, but whatever the reason, the Mets draw like a small market team. That should not happen. In my opinion, they should be drawing about 2,800 people annually if not 3,000,000. There are plenty of people around here to go to games.

    * * *

    Remember these!

    Those white hats were brutal. Besides trading for Piazza, dumping those white hats was the best decision they've made in the last twenty years!

  • In Norfolk's 3-2 victory over Scranton, Wright hit another homerun and Pat Strange pitched a good game. Strange went six innings surrendering two earned runs.

  • Milledge continues to be a monster. He went 3 for 5 with his eighth homerun and is batting .337.

  • Apparently Solir is not an option this year. Jim Duquette is viewing him more as a long term investment at this point and is still on the lookout for pitching

  • Newsday suggests that Craig Brazell and Jeff Duncan may figure into a deal for Kris Benson along with Wigginton.

  • Duquette on the status of unsigned first-round draft pick Philip Humber: "We've had dialogue, but I wouldn't say there's been a lot of negotiation."

    Jeez, sign him already. Throw the guy $3,000,000 and be done with it you penny pinching losers. It is important to get him working with Peterson. The sooner he gets signed the better.

  • When the Millwood for Estrada deal went down, a lot of people (me too) were thinking the Phillies got a steal from the Braves. It turns out the Braves where smarter than most people thought. Millwood has 5.15 ERA and Estrada is an all-star with a .333 BA and 48 RBIs.

  • Bob Smizik from the Post-Gazette in Pittsburgh suggest that GM David Littlefield should wait and try and get David Wright for Kris Benson. . When hell freezes over Bob. Not happening. We'll die with Ginter, Seo, and Erickson before Wright is Pirate. Why do people even have this as a thought in their head? He does say he is unavailable but he follows that by saying that may change. Yeah right. Stop trying to push your trash off for actual prospects. If Suppan got the Pirates Freddy Sanchez, there is no way you receive the top position prospect for a spare underachiever with a hot wife.

  • The Yankees, Red Sox, and Angels seem to be the most interested bunch in the Randy Johnson deal. The Angels have many more prospects than the Yankees and Red Sox combined. I guess at this point it is up to Randy if he will actually waive his no trade clause and to what team?

  • Thursday, July 08, 2004

    The Mets Sign Soler

    The Mets quietly signed Cuban defector Alain Soler last night.

      His defection from Cuba last November didn't get the attention like those by Jose Contreras or El Duque Hernandez, but some baseball people think he is good enough to step into the Mets' rotation in a month or so and make an impact in a pennant race.

    He throws a fastball around 93 to 96 mph and a splitter 88-89mph with a plus changeup. He is only 24 and has plenty of tools for Rick Peterson to work with. Duquette continues to impress me with this shrewd moves.

    David Who?

    Wigginton is sure making it hard for Duquette to make any internal 3b moves. He is on fire and poked another homerun last night and was 2 for 5 overall. Is there a need to bring Wright up while the team in on fire? Not really. Unless a trade necessitates the move, let Wright develop more. Wiggie is very dependable right now and that should not be disturbed while he is tearing it up and placed in a reserve role. Wright is definitely the future, but Wigginton is playing like he is the now for the time being.

    Wiggie’s homerun (and two RBIs), Floyd's homerun, Cameron's two homeruns, Trachsel's RBI single & pitching performance, Hidalgo's missile to the plate, Kaz's 3 for 4 night which brings him up to .270...Is life not good? The Mets are ONE game out of first place and things are really tight between the Phillies, Braves, Marlins and the Mets. It should be a great race until the end.

    Everyday Hidalgo is making look like a bigger idiot than the day before. I cannot say it enough how wrong I was about this guy.

  • I used to not like when Keith Hernandez called games, but now he is my favorite Mets color commentator on TV. The man may come off on conceited, but he speaks the truth. He brings a lot of baseball knowledge and honesty to the game and I like it.

  • David Wright seems to be out of his slump following a homerun and three RBIs yesterday and 2 for 3 performance last night in Norfolk's 4-2 victory over Richmond. Now he is batting .321 and looking like the best position prospect in baseball in my humble opinion. Oh, in good news Bob Keppel had a scoreless outing. Albeit it a rain shortend two inning outing, but a scoreless one nonetheless.

  • Matt Peterson pitched well for Binghamton in their 12 - 9 victory over Erie. He went six innings, surrendered five hits, two earned runs, two walks and eight K's.

  • This is what two people that were not Mets fans wrote on the CBSSPORTSLINE.COM message board last night.

    1) i love it. no one wants to give the mets credit for breaking out of their funk and contending in july. great. keep it up. no one gave the marlins a chance last year either and they beat goliath(the yankees). the mets have solid pitching and WILL get another quality starter. you can't say the pitching is a fluke because they have lead the majors in ERA all year.

    the next 22 games for the mets are very telling for them because it is ALL against the nl east.

    2) by the way. the mets are up on philly right now 10-0 in the 5th inning. after they get their obvious win tonight, they will only be 1 game out of first place with yet another game to go against philly tomorow. i'd watch out nl east fans. i think you guys wrote the mets off just a little to early this year!!!!!

    These two seem like intelligent human beings, no? It is nice to see people other than Mets fans to acknowledge they are actually good.

  • ESPN stole my title from yesterday. I go to the website and sure enough, on the MLB page Movin' On Up. I think I'm going to sue those bastards.

  • Anyone know Mike had this venture out there?

  • Big trade rumor between the Phillies and the Cardinals. This rumored deal proposes that the Phillies would send Kevin Millwood and Placido Palanco to the Cardinals for Matt Morris and Steve Klein. Morris is definately and an upgrade over Millwood at this point, but nothing scares me since the Mets are now a juggernaut.

  • As much as I hate the enemy, I have to say that David Bell is the kind of guy anyone would want on their team. He just gives the impression he plays hard 9 innings a game, 162 games a year, which a lot of players do not look like they do. You can count on his defense and you can count on his bat. He may not be superstar but the kind of guy that plays great below the radar and gets the job done.


  • Pointless Exercise

    For lack of anything better, I'm going to make my mid-season picks for MVP and CY Young, ROY for each league.

    National League:
    MVP - Scotty Rolen is the consensus so far for best first half performance. Rolen has 18 homeruns, 80 RBIs, 1.037 OPS, and .346 batting average. Oh, he is leading all 3b in fielding % and second to Beltre in zone rating. He has the heart of Rudy but has a lot of skill on top of that. This maybe the obvious pick, but it is obvious for a good reason.

    CY Young - Now this one is not so clear cut. Glavine would be in this category, but his team hates him and would rather save their runs for Keith Ginter. There are several legitimate candidates, Carlos Zambrano, Ben Sheets, Jason Schmidt, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson. My underdog pick is Ben Sheets, but I just do not think he will have the wins to compete in the end and have too many losses on top of that. However, I just think it will be everyone's favorite mullet toting southpaw will take it home. I was leaning towards Schmidt as my choice, but I just have to stick with Randy. His WHIP is .86, his BAA is .183, his K/9 is 10.06 and he is 10-6. He has few more loses than the other top candidates, but he started off 3-4 and has gone 7-2 since. I do not anticipate that he will rack up many more losses and he just flat out dominates. He is on his way to lead the league in K's again. On top of it all, he broke the 4,000 K barrier and is as strong as ever.

    Schmidt would win it now if I had to choose, but I think Randy will be the most dominant in the end. It should be damn close between these two but Schmidt's health has to factor in too. He has had elbow problems on and off over the years. Clemens, too me, is not as dominant as Schmidt and Johnson right now.

    ROY - If Matt Holliday did not have the Coors effect so bad, I'd pick him. Alas, he does. Kahil Greene just does not look like he'll have the all around numbers. So who is left? None other than our very own Kazuo Matsui will win in part by default. There are slim pickins in the majors for outstanding rookies. But Kaz should cross the plate 100+ times, hit around 15 homeruns, steal close to 30, knock 60 RBIs, smack 40+ doubles, and hit for a .275ish average. Those numbers are really not that bad.

    American League -
    MVP - This one was tough. I mean really tough. Right now Pudge means so much to that team and is doing it all. He leads entire league in batting average while being a catcher. That is a feat never done before if he can sustain his current output. Also, he is the most responsible person for the Tigers impressive turnaround. But Vlad is putting up triple crown numbers for a contender with a .345 average, 20 homeruns, and 71 RBIs. But, in the end, Vlad is a quiet clubhouse guy, and we know Pudge is not. Pudge has been the definition of leader the past two years. To me, Pudge is the Tigers right now. If he can lead the league in BA for the entire year, while getting the Tigers to 70+ wins, he gets the MVP. I just think Pudge has less to work with in Detroit than Vlad has in Anaheim and has been the epitome of MVP so far this year.

    Michael Young gets my honorable mention. He is my underdog pick, but there is just too much competition right now with big name players for him to skip away with it. Texas is tied for first right now after finishing last the few seasons while losing the best baseball player this off season, someone has to be responsible.

    CY Young - This one is a two horse race right now. Mulder is pitching great, he's 6-0 at home, 11-2 overall, and has a AL leading 2.95 ERA. However, when the last man is standing, Curt Schilling is my guess to finish with prize at the end. I just look at what he has done at home in that hitter's park. At Fenway he has gone 7-0 with a 2.48 ERA, which is impressive. Overall he is 11-4 with 3.08 ERA, a K/BB ratio of over 4, and is looking like he'll finish 2nd in K's. He is the ace of that Red Sox staff. Schilling is a big game pitcher and I have to bet on him. That is the only thing he needs to cap off career and I think this year he will get it.

    ROY - This one is a bit tougher than the NL. Lew Ford, Bobby Crosby, and Joe Mauer will all have impressive numbers by the end of the year. Mauer's got an uphill battle since he missed about 50 games with an injury. But so far he is looking solid. He should catch up in the homerun department and surpass in the average department. Although Crosby has been on fire lately and looks like the best bet, I am picking Mauer. Ford has been absolutely great as well, but Mauer is a special talent. He had never played a day above AA before getting called up to the majors. I am expecting huge things from him the second half, and at 21 years old, he is a treat for baseball fans to watch over the next 15 to 20 years. He is hitting .315 now, but I am guessing he will finish with about 18 homers, about 30 doubles, .400 OBP, and a .320+ average. Let us not miss the fact that he has a .994 fielding %, a CS% of .500, and a CERA of 3.75. The complete package has to be considered. He is wise beyond his years and once and lifetime talent for the team that drafted him. It will be only fitting that he gets ROY, and it will be deserved.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2004

    Movin' on Up

    Kaz has been looking better and better lately. I know a lot of people have been on his case this year, including me, but I’ll give credit to him. He is playing good ball. He went 3 for 5 yesterday and ran the bases great yesterday. In the fifth inning, he read a bloop single by Piazza perfectly and went from first to third when most people would have been halfway to second. I do not want to get too excited about his play of late, but I kind of feel like a light bulb went on for him. He was making mental errors and that is something that can be corrected by just thinking more, keeping your head in the game. Also, Ted Robinson pointed out in the game that he looks much better from the right side. When they were replying his hit in the fifth, his head was down and his swing actually looked good. It looked like a textbook swing. It is also easy to lose his accomplishments this year because of the errors and the low batting average. He is on pace to walk 70 times (although he has slowed down on walks after the first few weeks), smack 46 doubles, steal 24 bases (they are coming more frequently and could top 30), and score 108 runs. He is showing flashea of him becoming the player they thought they would be getting when they first signed him.

    As for last night’s game, if they were in little league, the game ball should have gone to Matsui. He scored two of the Mets first three runs (both times knocked in by Hidaglo), ran the bases well, and picked up three hits. He really sparked the team last night offensively en route to a 4-1 victory, which is what Duquette envisioned from the start. Now if Reyes can get it going, those two could terrorize opposing teams. Leiter was the other star of the game and pitching with vengeance after he decided he wanted to return for 2005. He went seven innings, surrendering one run on three miniscule hits. The Mets closed it back to within two games of first place with two more to play against the Phillies before they tackle Florida this weekend. Let's see what these 2004 Mets are made of.

  • On WFAN this weekend, I heard some caller make a comment about acquiring Benson. He was asking what are the possibilities for the Mets taking on an unwanted contract of Jason Kendall and basically pick up the two for basically nothing in a salary dump by the Pirates (NYFansites also wrote a bit about this the other day as well). The Pirates would clear a lot of money between the two players this year and do not have to worry about Kendall’s huge contract for the next couple of years. Now, I have mixed feelings about this. The only position that we can potentially upgrade at this point is catcher. With Wright looming in the minors, and Wiggie’s solid play, 3b is spoken for. The reasons I like this trade is because he is a career .300 hitter and has hit over .300 for six of his nine pro seasons. He is also an on base machine hovering around .390 for a career for his OBP. He is a legit hitter for sure and is a very solid fielding catcher. The reasons it is bad may out number the positives. He had 64 homeruns through his first eight major league seasons and only has two this year. The Mets have a few catching prospects between Hathaway, Huber, and Jacobs as well as Phillips, Wilson, and Piazza at the major league level. It pushes Piazza to first full time which has its negatives as well as its positives. This biggest problem is obvious. Money. He is due 10 million in 2005, 11 million in 2006, and 13 million in 2007. If he was picked up, they would also pick up 1.5 million in deferred salary as well as some of the signing bonus deferred. Now, if this was ever done, Pittsburgh would almost certainly be picking up some cash in the trade. Problem is, how much? They need to pick up almost half to make sense at this point. Paying Kendall 50 millions dollars over the next 3 ½ years is not the best move just to get Benson without giving much up. Taking 25 million would be too much when this is not a position of dire need in the organization. To me, this move would not be the best way to allocate money. Bad idea.

  • Jeff Duncan was demoted to AA Binghamton.

  • Norfolk beat Richmond 6-3 last night. Wright was 1 for 3 with his fifth homerun and three RBIs, Vance Wilson went 2 for 4, Vic Diaz went 2 for 4, and Heilman pitched six innings of one hit ball. Hopefully he does something to increase his trade value.

  • Capital City got blasted 15-4 by Asheville despite Lastings Milledge's big night. He went 4 for 5 with a solo homerun to bring his average up to .333. He may be the next Bomber pomoted to St. Lucie.

    * * *

  • What is going on with Placido Palonco’s cheeks. He looks like he is storing some acorns for winter in those puppies.

  • The Yankees official protest from this Sunday’s loss to the Mets has been denied. Suck it Torre.

  • Now there are rumblings that Beltran could be dealt yet again by the trading deadline a-la Ciff Floyd in 2002. That would certainly be interesting and if they do not make up some games in the central, that could become a reality.

  • Overpaid and Underproductive

    Every team in baseball has a contract or two in which people are not living up to their end of the bargain. People that just do not give their teams their money's worth for what they are getting paid. Whether it is an off year, injury shortened year, or decline in skill, there are various reasons. God knows, the Mets had their share of them over the past few years. Between Vaughn, Burnitz, Alomar, Cedeno, Bonilla, etc, we could have had a new stadium built instead of paying those bums.

    Also, the list was getting REALLY big so I have to limit it to position players making over $7,000,000, relievers making over $5,000,000, and starting pitchers making over $7,000,000 (you lucked out Derek Lowe)

    Kevin Appier - 2004 Salary $12,000,000 (from the Angels) and $300,000 (from the Royals)
    ERA - 13.50
    G - 2
    IP - 4.0
    The Angels cut him last year and are on the hook for the entire load. The Royals signed him to a no risk contract, so you really cannot blame them for taking a chance for the league minimum. However, added together, $12,300,000 makes him a cool second place to Vaughn for the most useless person for the money.

    Andy Ashby - 2004 Salary $8,500,000
    He is getting paid an awful lot not to play. But judging by his 5.18 ERA last year, maybe that is the best thing that could happen for the Dodgers.

    Jeff Bagwell - 2004 Salary $16,000,000
    Avg - .271
    HR - 11
    RBI - 39
    While his numbers would not be bad for a guy making $5,000,000, he just is not getting paid to drive in 80 runs and hit 20 homeruns. I realize his body is failing him and he has been well worth his money over the years, but this year his contract looks like dead weight for the rest of the way.

    Brett Boone - 2004 Salary $8,000,000
    AVG - .232
    OBP - .299
    RBI - 34
    XBH - 22
    He Really struck into stardom with his 2001 season. He actually followed it up with two more excellent seasons, though not as good. Now he completely fell off the table this year.

    Kevin Brown - 2004 Salary $15,714,286
    ERA - 4.13
    K/9 - 5.36
    HR - 10
    He is one guy I thought would be nasty. His W/L record is good, but if he was not on the Yankees, I’m guessing his numbers would not look so pretty. Also, you take those couple of early games against Tampa Bay out and he has not been too strong at all. If that was not enough, his back problems have resurfaced.

    Roger Cedeno $5,375,000
    He is an honorable mention and a special exception to the list. For all the pain and suffering he caused me, he deserves to be here. $1 is too much for Cedeno.

    Jeff Cirilo - 2004 Salary $7,100,000
    AVG - .214
    HR - 1
    XBH - 2
    RBI - 6
    AB - 56
    G - 22
    Do I really need to say anything about this guy? He looked like the real deal at the time he signed his contract with the Mariners. Yes, he played for Colorado, but still batted .325, .288, .321, and .326 in his last four years in Milwaukee prior to playing in Colorado. But now, he is just a complete waste of money.

    Bartolo Colon - 2004 Salary $11,000,000
    ERA - 6.57
    HR - 26
    BAA - .303
    His problem now-a-days is that he still thinks he is a power pitcher. He throws 93 down the middle and judging by the HR total he has surrendered, it is not working out and he is not trying to make adjustments. He's got to be breaking some kind of record this year for most homeruns allowed. Talk about a $48,000,000 mistake.

    Jose Contreras - 2004 Salary $9,000,000
    ERA – 6.10
    BB/9 - 4.64
    HR - 18
    The thing about him is that he has a good K/9 and a decent .BAA. The thing that kills him is the astronomical amount of homeruns he gives up. Astoundingly 27% of the hits he surrendered were homeruns.

    Carlos Delgado - 2004 Salary $19,700,000
    AVG - .227
    RBI - 32
    HR - 8
    He was injured so that factors in to his home run total being low. Fact is though, that he did not do much when he was healthy. He is getting paid an awful lot of money to be nonexistent. This is his walk year too, not looking good for Delgado.

    Darren Dreifort - 2004 Salary $11,400,000
    ERA - 4.00
    Look, he really is not doing that bad, but he is not getting paid that much to be a middle reliever. But LA has no one to blame but themselves. His best year was in 2000 when he went 12 - 9 with a 4.16 ERA. Is that really worth a monster contract?

    Darren Erstad - 2004 Salary $7,750,000
    BA - .277
    HR - 2
    G - 47
    Part of Darren's contribution was he defense in centerfield. Because he played all out all the time, his body has started to call it quits. Now he's a first baseman that cannot stay healthy and has no power. Angels are on the hook for him for a few more years and he only gets more expensive.

    Jason Giambi - 2004 Salary, $12,428,571
    BA - .245
    HR - 11
    Games - 58
    RBI - 32
    Jason's body does not look like it is going to cooperate with him. On top of that, he has a heavily back loaded contract so he will just get more overpaid as the years go on. In 2008 he is due 21 millions dollars. Yankee fans have a lot to look forward too.

    Shawn Green - 2004 Salary $16,666,667
    BA - .248
    HR - 10
    RBI - 38
    Can the real Shawn Green please step forward. 2003 is not looking like the aberration that the Dodgers were hoping it was. This year Green is hitting .030 + points lower and on pace for the same RBI and homerun total. Weird.

    Rusty Greer - 2004 Salary $7,400,000
    Rust got paid $14,400,000 to not play the last two years. I thought Rusty was a good player and had some solid years in the late 90's, but injuries has have plagued him throughout the new millennium.

    Mike Hampton - 2004 Salary $12,975,288
    W-L - 3-8
    ERA - 5.56
    BAA - .326
    WHIP - 1.80
    Someone should tell him he is not in Coors anymore.

    Chipper Jones - 2004 Salary $15,333,333
    AVG - .218
    RBI - 34
    HR - 12
    2B - 8
    G - 60
    The Braves own him until 2006 when his price tag reaches $18,000,000. Good luck.

    Steve Karsay - 2004 Salary $ 5,000,000
    Well, it is not that Steve has not performed good, he has not performed at all.

    Billy Koch - 2004 Salary $6,375,000
    ERA - 5.24
    WHIP - 1.78
    Gets paid too much to throw 93 mph fastballs down the middle of the plate. He used to throw in the high 90's and has not figured out how to throw without his fastball of ole. He needs to reinvent himself quickly.

    Matt Mantei - 2004 Salary $7,000,000
    ERA - 11.81
    BAA - .354
    HR - 5
    IP - 10.2
    W-L - 0-3
    BS - 3
    S - 1
    He is the poster boy for why player options are not a good idea. Make it mutual at least. The D-Backs could have dumped him at the end of last year. The guy has a live arm, too bad he cannot stay healthy.

    Mike Mussina - 2004 Salary $16,000,000
    ERA - 4.88
    K/9 - 5.95
    BAA. - .299
    Nothing can justify his bloated salary this year. (His ERA went up to 5.20 after last nights drubbing by the Tigers)

    Denny Naegle - 2004 Salary $9,000,000
    He is getting paid a lot of money to not even pitch this year. Shit, he's been getting a lot of money to not pitch for the last seven years.

    Rob Nen - 2004 Salary $9,000,000
    I have no doubt he would perform if he could actually play. But he has not pitched in a major league game since 2002. It looks like his elbow called it quits early. To bad too.

    Hideo Nomo - 2004 Salary $9,000,000
    ERA - 8.06
    W-L - 3-10
    BAA - .308
    The Dodgers are happy this is the last year of his contract. I think it is safe to assume he will not be wearing Dodger blue in 2005.

    Chan Ho Park - 2004 Salary $13,879,164
    ERA - 5.80
    G - 8
    BAA - .286
    HR - 13
    I think it is safe to assume he was a bust. I'm not sure he will ever turn it around.

    Tim Salmon - $ 9,900,000
    BA - .224
    HR - 2
    RBI - 18
    G - 35
    XBH - 6
    OBP - .289
    That non-production is costing a lot of money. Between Erstad, Glaus, and Salmon, they
    are paying a lot for guys to be injured.

    Mo Vaughn - 2004 Salary $15,000,000
    Sure insurance is picking up 75% of his salary, but he still ranks as the most overpaid player in my eyes.

    Bernie Williams - 2004 Salary $12,357,143
    BA - .277
    HR - 11
    RBI - 30
    I know people may not agree with this one, but Williams is showing signs of his age in the past two years. He is no longer the player he used to be. He is on track to knock in only 61 runs. Also, anyone that has seen him make and attempt to play centerfield knows he is not as swift as he used to be. He has definitely not earned his money for the last two years.

    Mike Cameron did not make the list since he is making $4,333,333 on his back loaded contract. Kaz only was making $5,066,667 as well. Don’t think I was paying hometown favorites by letting them slide.

    *I'm sure I missed a bunch, but I had no idea the list was as big as it was.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    So Close....

    dThe game last night started off so well. The Mets capitalized on an error and scored three runs before the Phillies even got up. Floyd hit a two run homerun and Hidalgo followed him up by breaking a met record for consecutive games with a homerun. He hit is fifth homerun in as many games breaking the old record of four. Then Glavine came out and really did not have his best stuff. He gave up six runs in his first two innings of work. Even worse, the first two runs did not have to happen, but Glavine failed to cover first on a potential double play started by a nice play by Piazza. When does Glavine make mental errors? Any other year, I'd be pretty down and out by this point, but these are not the Mets of yester-year. In the fifth inning, the Mets battled back (damn, I'm sounding like Howe with this battled stuff) and scored two more in the fifth to bring the game to within one run on a Cliff Floyd single. Then I started believing in some magic. Could the Mets fight back again? I was sure the seventh inning was the inning. Reyes lead off with a single and made it to second on passed ball. Then it happened. Kaz lined out to Polanco at second base and he doubled up Reyes as he had no time to get back. Piazza then (and obviously) single to right field with no one on base and no chance to tie the game with anything but a homerun. Then Cormier came in, who is Floyd's arch nemesis. I do not know the numbers, but he got his first hit off him this year. Then Floyd K'd looking. With six more chances, and Wagner healthy and looming in the bullpen, my hope for the game started to wane. Worrell shut the Mets down in the eighth and Wagner befuddled them in the ninth. It was a tough loss, but made tougher to swallow by the first inning mental error. Glavine did gut out rest of the game and actually began the seventh inning before getting removed after giving up a leadoff single. This was the first game he surrendered more than four runs, but he still has not gone less than six innings in any game this year. That streak looked to be in serious doubt in the second inning. I give him credit for sticking it out and saving the bullpen in an important week. You wanted to get a win with your ace vs. their fill in, but that did not happen. The Mets are still set up nicely in the series and should rebound. Leiter goes against Wolf today, let's see if Leiter can come up big.

    The only minor problem I had with last night’s game (and it was a minor one) was Howe pinch hitting for Phillips and using Cameron. I know Phillips has not been hitting good, but he is a fastball hitter. I do not care what Cameron's history was against Wagner, the dude has not swung a bat in almost a week in a game. Then he has to face Wagner who is one of the most unhittable pitchers in the majors? Did he really have a chance? Phillips would have probably K'd too, but the move was perplexing nonetheless. Leaving Phillips in would have most likely had no outcome on the game, but a head scratcher anyway.

  • Vance Wilson went 1 for 3 with a homerun for Binghamton last night. He will most likely surface by the Marlins series this weekend.

  • My worst fears came true. Scott Erickson had his second good outing in a row. He went five innings and surrendered only one run. Even worse, Wright is still cold as ice and is now batting .307. He is in a mini-funk right now. Brazell did managed to pound his 19th homerun in the loss.

  • Scott Kazmir pitched his second scoreless outing in a row. He went six innings, gave up five hits, no runs, one walk, and K'd three en route to a no decision. His ERA is now down to 3.42. Looks like Scott is back on track and will hopefully make a AA appearance sometime this month.

    * * *

  • A strange rumor has surfaced. The Marlins may be interested in Nomar's services for the rest of season. The Red Sox would certinaly have some interest to get some starting pitching in return in the form of Brady Penny or Carl Pavano. Pavano is certainly an interesting name in this as he was traded to the Expos by the Red Sox for a guy named Pedro. The Red Sox camp is keeping quiet on this one.
      ``I don't want to comment on any trade rumor,'' Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. ``It's not fair to Nomar or any other player and it only fuels further speculation.''

    Ha, that is great. Too little too late for that comment Theo. You probably should have used it in the A-Rod negotiations that went so well.

    This one seems highly unlikely to get done, but a rumor nonetheless.

  • You know, I hate to keep harping on this, but I'm sick of hearing how intelligent the front office baseball people for the Yankees are. Yes, they put a great team together that won a lot of games that was part home grown and part free agency from 1996 to 2000. Then 2001 came around. The main philosophy has been turned around too develop no talent and buy everything. That is fine to do, but c'mon, is it really that hard to target the biggest prizes off the off-season and throw cash at them? They have made their share of mondo mistakes and bad decisions but are still looked upon as utter geniuses. Their money allows them to cover up their errors. Was Mondesi a waste of money? How has Contreras worked out for them? How does Giambi's silly contract look right about now? How did Chris Hammond work out? How has Steve Karsay pitched? How about not offering Clemens arbitration for shits and giggles since it costs them nothing but yields a possible big return? How is their $3,000,000 dollar pinch hitter/back up center fielder doing? Has John Leiber been the steel they envisioned? Was Sterling Hitchcock a great pick up? How did that Jeff Weaver deal work out? Did they not cut Todd Zeile last year without even trying to get something in return? The Expos picked him up a few days later, I believe they may have parted with a B Level prospect for him. How are all those BLOATED contracts on aging players going to look in another year or two?

    Look, I know they make a lot of good decisions, but they make mistakes like everyone else. However, no one seems to notice their mistakes and only seem to praise their successes. There are probably more blunders, but I just cannot think of them. The point is that they have money more than supreme baseball intelligence. Most other teams would not be able to afford to have $7,500,000 on two set-up men (They are paying most of Hammond's salary in Oakland and Karsay has not thrown a pitch) not even playing for the team and going out to spend another $6,500,000 on Gordon and Quantril to fill a hole vacated by them. Now their bullpen is one of their strengths because they can pay money to coverup mistakes. They were paying for Hitchcock and Contreras (about $14,000,000) to not even start for the team in 2003 and were able to still run out Mussina, Clemens, Pettite, Wells, and Weaver every fifth day. How many teams would have Contreras and Hitchcock in the rotation because they could not afford to go get guys to step in for the dead weight? Now Contreras is struggling so they are looking to add more payroll and another starter and push Jose to the bullpen. Their bullpen alone will cost much more than the devil rays entire team! Did the Yankee brass have Giambi pegged correctly? His mammoth contract and creeky knees seem to qualify as a bust of enormous proportions. He is not the player he was in Oakland and is probably the most overpaid player in the league right now. Money is allowing them to band-aid their problem, not intelligence. Their unprecedented spending spree in the recent years has ballooned their payroll bigger than Mo Vaughn's check at Dunkin' Donuts. There is no end in sight either. They are paying another $12,000,000 to Williams next year and another $3,000,000 to Lofton next year. If any other team had that situation, they would have to eat it up and run one of those two out every day. But instead of having two overpaid and aging players, they will most likely try and spend another $15,000,000 to land Carlos Beltran. Are the Yankees highly intelligent or extremely lucky to have unlimited resources? Probably a little bit of both, but certainly not the unheralded brain trust that everyone portrays them to be.

  • A special Kudos to the tremendous spot on reporting of the NY Post. They had a breaking news story that Dick Gepherdt was chosen as John Kerry's running mate. Too bad it was actually John Edwards. Really, shouldn't someone do their homework a bit better than that? Did they make a guess on the lead story of the day?

  • Monday, July 05, 2004

    You've Been Served

    What an unbelievable game to complete the sweep of the Yankees. The Mets gave up the lead twice and took it back both times on clutch homeruns. All this despite Stanton's best efforts to assist his old team for the second night in a row. The Mets found a way to overcome his extreme lack of skill. Wiggie hit two dingers, one of which was the game winning RBI in the eighth, Hidalgo continues to punish pinchers, and Seo pitched a great game. The Yankees actually doubled the Mets hits with 16 and managed only five runs. A key to the game was the Mets pitching only walking two and the Yankees staff walked seven. Vazquez threw a ton of balls and had 113 pitches in five innings and walked five people himself. He did not have his best stuff and was lucky to only give up four runs. The game had some controversy for the second day in row (the first being the bases loaded looking strikeout from Franco to Posada on Saturday night) when in the eighth inning Posada was hit with a ground ball that ricocheted off Piazza. Torre then disagreed and played the rest of the game under protest. I say screw you Torre, he was out. Deal with it.

    Kaz had a good day at the plate reaching base 3 out of 5 times walking twice and getting one hit while adding a stolen base. That was the good part. The bad part was he added another error and showed off his wet noodle arm again. He could not throw out Jason Phillips from the hole between SS and 3B on his best day. He does a good job getting there, but has virtually no chance of actually completing the play. Every time it happens, I think about Reyes' cannon arm making the play. I know nothing will be done this year, but something better get done next year.

    Piazza actually made a good play in the field, I was astonished. He turned a DP that he started and finished. He made a nice place to field the ball at first, made a nice throw down to second base and got back to the bag to receive the ball from Kaz. The double plays really saved the Mets today and proved to the difference in my eyes.

    Oh yeah, Jeter would not stop touching every person who touched second base. It was so noticeable that even my girlfriend pointed it out to me. You draw you own conclusions from this one.

  • After the loss today, you kind of new of how the Yankee fans would take it.

    Yes, these are things I heard.

    "What happened in 2000?"
    "These games did not matter"
    "We'd rather beat Boston, they are in our division"
    "You'll be watching football come October"

    There were more, but these were just a few.

    Yes, I know the Yankees have officially shut down until October according to their fans, but I do not buy it. No player wants to lose any games, especially ones of this nature. Just by the sheer crowd involvement any player who has any type of competitive edge gets pumped. Obviously the Philly series coming up this week is more important for us, but these are still huge. There is no way the Yankees wanted to get abused by the Mets and have them score 27 runs in three games on their staff. Please, when the Yankees swept the crappy 2003 Mets, they were sounding a bit different than "these games did not matter anyway". If they did not matter, why did so many Yankee fans even show up? Cause they do matter. Besides, this series should teach them a few things. For all the money spent on their team, their pitching is in big trouble, their defense is shoddy, and their cleanup hitter disappears when people are in scoring position and is hitting .213 in such a situations. A-Rod had a forgettable 0-10 series at Shea and Yankee fans are already complaining about him on WFAN. That last thing I need to hear are complaining Yankee fans. They have gotten whatever they wanted wrapped up and given to them. Fact is, they just have trouble admitting that the Mets are a pretty good team this year. The Yankees losing to the Mets cannot possibly have been due to the Mets being good, but the Yankees not playing hard or not caring. The Mets are two games out and have played over 80 games. Everyone keeps waiting for the pitching to start going downhill, but they may be waiting for a while. The Mets are good, and they will be around playing for something in September. This team just has to make you feel good and are better than they get credit for. They may not be the most sexy roster around, but they are proving to be really effective.

    Oh, and I know all Yankee fans are not like this, but the bad ones give EVERY Yankee fan a bad name.

  • Mike Piazza and Tom Glavine will be making an appearance at the All-Star game and both are well deserved. Our two representatives are future hall of famers and it feels good.

  • The Mets are two games out of first with thirteen games against the Marlins and Phillies coming up. Put or shut up time has come with Glavine, Leiter and Trachs all going in the four game series starting today. I want to see a tie for first place by Wednesday morning.

  • Al Leiter is continuing to dominate. He has won his last two decisions and is 3-0 in his last five decisions. His ERA is now down to 2.12 and is coming off two big wins against the Yankees and the Reds in which he gave up three runs in 13.1 innings. He has not always looked pretty doing it, but he has been getting it done in a major way.

  • I can officially say that I was wrong about Hidalgo. While I had my reasons and what I thought to be a reasonable argument, I was way off. Whatever is going on, I like it. In around 70% less at-bats with the Mets than he had with the Astros, he has already hit more homeruns, almost double in fact. He has drilled seven over the wall in sixteen games including homeruns in four consecutive games which ties a club record. On top of that, he is hitting a nifty .351.

  • Ever since the Mets let Denny Walling go, the Mets have found their stroke. In 17 games since Don Baylor getting the job, the Mets have scored six runs or more 14 times. They are 11-6 during that stretch and have reached double digit runs three times after only reaching double digit runs twice in the previous 63 games. On top of that the Mets have hit 20 homeruns in their last seven games. The Mets still hold the league lead in ERA. So, if they can both keep both ends going they should finally put .500 behind them.

  • Tom Glavine lost his last two decisions after surrendering no more than two earned runs in both games. He is now 7-5 with a 2.16 ERA. The Mets must not like him too much. He just cannot catch a break. Over his last ten starts, he has only surrendered more than two runs, twice and has only three wins to show for it. He has to be frustrated at this point. I'm sure after the recent offensive onslaught he is hoping they saved some for him.

  • From what I've seen, Jose Reyes is getting under too many balls. He is not hitting as many balls on the ground as he was in 2003. His ratio is close to one to one so far this year (17 ground balls to 15 fly balls). Last year, he was hitting a bit above 1.5 ground balls to 1 fly ball. Until he heats up, he should be trying to hit balls to the left side of the infield but instead he is hitting fly balls or grounders to the right side. Strangely enough, he still has that uncanny ability to hit with runners in scoring position. He is hitting .364 in such situations. I have no doubt he will catch on, and when he does the hits will come in bunches.

  • Trachsel is 7-2 with a 1.59 ERA at home and is 1-4 with a 7.88 ERA away. He has also surrendered only two homeruns at home and ten home runs on the road. Weird, very weird. I know Shea is a pitcher's park, but c'mon.

  • The Mets are ranked 28th in the league in fielding percentage, but the Yankees are not far ahead holding tight at 24th in the league in fielding percentage. In addition the Yankees being one of the worst fielding clubs in the majors, they are 18th in the league in ERA. How does a $180,000,000 team have two tremendously large holes? I'm not sure.

  • Kaz Matui's first five homeruns were all hit in the first inning leading off games. On Friday he managed to hit two in innings other than the first. It was beginning to look like quite a bizarre streak. Oh, he also went 3 for 4 on Saturday and 1 for 3 on Sunday. Hopefully he responds to comments made by Donald Trump who was on ESPN's Budweiser Hot Seat and called Kaz out by name as being a bust. Although, any comment Trump made should be discredited as the said there should be a money cap in baseball and that Steinbrenner and the Yankees are good for baseball in back to back sentences. I know he is buddy, buddy with George, but can you be more contradictive? Maybe that hairspray seeped into his brain. I mean the biggest bust in New York is Georgie's own Jose Contreras and not our very own Kaz.

  • I have to say, that I am very happy with Duquette so far. He has had a plan, stuck to it and improved the team without doing anything to jeopardize the future. His win now and rebuild philosophy has strangely worked out. His ability to shed dead weight for decent returns last year, his free agent signings that did not cost any draft picks and his strengthening of the team this year without giving anything up has put the Mets in a great position. A chance to compete this year with the farm system to help succeed and sustain success in the future. He will really put his stamp on the team with whatever else deal he works before the trade deadline and the free agency 2005 period. He can really put the Mets in a position to actually steal some limelight away for the Bronx by making some noise.

  • This tidbit was noted in Friday's game. Shea is actually the fifth oldest stadium in the majors. With Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Yankee Stadium, and Dodger Stadium the only older venues. Anyone see a pattern? Three out of the four older stadiums are almost national monuments and Dodger Stadium is actually in very good shape with the renovations that were made over the years.

    Note to Bloomberg, screw any plans for a West Side football stadium, and hook the Mets up.

  • Look, I'm big enough of person to be able to admit when I wrong, which is all to often lately. Here are the last three things I was wrong about:
    1) Hidalgo has turned out to be a good acquisition. Whatever it was, change of scenery or Don Baylor's expertise, he is hitting the ball and hitting it far.
    2) Don Baylor seems to be working out quite well. I had made the statement that I was unsure hitting coaches have as much as an impact as pitching coaches, but it seems that I was way off on that one.
    3) I had said that Abe Simpson had claimed he invented the question mark, but it was indeed Dr. Evil.

  • In one of the bizarre happenings while I was gone, Scott Erickson had managed to give up no runs in 7.2 innings of work. This can only mean bad things for us Met fans. One more good outing and his address may be 123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Flushing, NY 11354.

  • Prentice Redman was moved down to AA again to make room for that hot-prospect Gerald Williams. Just plain ridiculous. I'm not sure how this is positive for the Mets organization in any aspect. I realize he cooled off a bit after his torrid start, but he still deserves to be at AAA and not AA. He is turning 25 this year which is way to old for AA. If he is considered a prospect in any form, he needs to be at AAA at his age.

  • Matt Peterson pitched well while I was away. He went 5 innings, giving up two earned runs on nine hits, walked only one, and K'd eight against Trenton on Sunday the 28th. He followed that up in his next start this past Friday. He went 7 innings, surrendered three hits, no earned runs, three walks, and K'd five. It was one of his better outings of the year and it is always good to see guys in pitch counts go deep into the game. His ERA is now down to 3.21 and looking good.

  • Kazmir had a sharp game against Vero Beach. He went six innings, gave up three hits, no runs, walked three, and K'd five. His ERA is now 3.89 and is dropping faster than Matt Ginter's is rising. It is FINALLY looking respectable and has lost that ugly 4, 5, or 6 in front of the last two numbers in his ERA.

  • Probably some of the best news while I was away was Yusmeiro Freakin' Petit getting called up to St. Lucie. In his first game against Vero Beach, he did not fail to impress. He picked up where he left of and went four innings, giving up NO hits, NO runs, walking three, and striking out nine. This guy needs to be fast tracked with his ex-Cap City teammate Lastings Milledge. He is emerging as the best Mets pitching prospect with all the success he is having. He may not have the best stuff in the system but how can you argue with results?

  • Here is an interesting look at things by Ed Tsunoda from NYFansites. He speculates that the Mets may bring up Wright as soon as today. He also suggests that Brazell should brought up as well. While I like the idea of bringing Brazell up since he is an unknown quantity, the Mets are two games out and playing some of their best ball of the season. I would agree that he cannot do much worse than Phillips at the plate and would add legitimacy at the 1st base position that we have not had in while, but this is not the time to try something new. Bringing up Wright would certainly be a bold move and is much more plausible than a Brazell promotion. It does make sense that you bring him up after the Yankee series so he is not exposed to that pressure cooker. However, there are crucial series coming up against the Phillies and Marlins for a thirteen game stretch. That is not exactly experiment time unless a trade necessitated the move with spaces to fill at third and first if Wigginton and/or Phillips is/are moved. Unless a trade is made, I cannot see them bringing up two rookies to play vital roles unless a trade is made. Too much is going on and Wiggie is not proving to be a liability at this point. Wright has also cooled down a bit which certainly is not helping his situation. But Wiggie to the Bench and Wright to 3B makes no sense right now. If Wiggie goes cold as ice, I may change my mind later.

  • Wright and Petit are becoming fixtures on the prospect Hot Sheet. However, if you check out #17 Adrian Gonzalez, he is one of Duquette's worst non-moves. He was offered by the Marlins for Armando Benitez last year, but they wanted to get Jason Stokes instead. Stokes was the higher rated prospect at the time, but more so based on the fact that Gonzalez was injured. Gonzalez actually had the higher ceiling, but instead the Mets got Jason Anderson and Anderson Garcia. WOW!!! The guy we missed out on is hitting .423 with 31 RBIs in his last 20 games and has gold glove caliber talent with the leather. The Mets were scared off by his wrist injury. We all know how the Mets now feel about damaged goods. It's a shame too because the Mets could have had a tremendously young and talented infield for a good decade to come. Hindsight is 20/20, but this move looked like a no brainer at the time. This was a non-moved that aggravated me at the time.
    * * * * * *

  • There was some All-Star madness that went on. Jason Giambi with a .239 average is the starting first baseman. I know the fans vote him in, but really. Let's get real. There is surplus of first baseman in the National League, but an obvious shortage in the American League. David Ortiz and Travis Hafner are much better, and Ortiz may start anyway since Giambi is having severe health issues. It is disappointing to me when the fans vote this ridiculous. There are always controversies, but some are just really lopsided. Jeter is another one. He was waaaaaaaaaaay outplayed by Guillen and Young, and is starting ahead of them. Shit, even Tejada was better and he did not even make the team. It was not like there were no other options, there were plenty. I just wish people would vote on who actually deserves it this given year. Another silly thing is that Tom Gordon has been selected. I just do not think middle relievers/set up men should be on the all-start team unless they are doing something that was never done before. K-Rod and Gordon made it and are both middle relievers. This is just my opinion, others may think I'm wrong, but that is too many middle relievers. To me, I just think starters should take the bulk of the pitching spots and closers the remainder with possibly one set-up man. There were others that had similar if not better numbers than Gordon who did not make the team. I mean Foulke was better and he was closer who was left off all together. Just another silly Torre pick.

  • The Tigers managed to hit three walk off homeruns in three consecutive games on July 26th, 27th, and 28th. They are five games under .500 and giving the fans in Detroit reason to tune in or go to the park. Actually, Pudge is making it impossible for Detroit fans to not pay attention. He is batting .376, 10 homeruns, and 57 RBIs. Unreal for a catcher who is at that age when they are supposed to slow down. He is 32 and looking as good as ever with the bat and earning his money this year.

  • There were rumors that Garciaparra may be traded for Matt Clement and end up in Chicago. If the Red Sox are going to compete, they need Nomar. The Red Sox no doubt need pitching too, but a healthy Nomar is what they need more. I know his road numbers are a bit down in the recent years and a bit off his career averages, but he is still a vital part to this team. They are 7.5 games behind the Yankees and are ranked fifth in the league for ERA while the Yankees are ranked eighteenth. If they improve their staff, they better do it without losing Nomar and go for a mid level guy like Aramas, Benson, or Oritz (Russ or Ramon).

  • According to ESPN, Ordonez signing an extension with Chicago is a not only a possibility, but something that looks like a strong possibility. With the recent trade in which the White Sox gave up outfield prospect Jeremy Reed and catcher Miguel Olivo for Freddy Garcia, it seems that losing Ordonez to free agency is no longer something that the White Sox can afford. With only departure of stud prospect Jeremy Reed, Joe Borchard is the only guy left ready to step into the majors in 2005. The White Sox would most likely not feel great about an outfield with Rowand, Lee, and Borchard with no one to fall back on. Also, I believe the White Sox will make a bid to reatain Freddy Garcia. They offered Colon 10 or 12 millions dollars this past off-season, and I see why they would not put up the money that would keep Garcia intact for 2005.

  • It is certainly worth noting that beers are 100 to 150 pesos in some bars in Cabo San Lucas, which is less than $1.00 to $1.50 US Dollars. Most other tourist type places that I've been too in Mexico gouge the tourists a bit, but life is good in Cabo.

  • I think it is safe to assume that both the A's and the Astros are happy thus far with their recent trade. After Dotel's first outing in which he gave up four runs, he has gone four innings, with seven K's, two three surrendered, one walk, and no runs given up. He will certainly give them some stability in the late innings, which is what they were direly searching for. Carlos Beltran is batting .286, with four homeruns, and seven RBIs in eight games.

    I have a feeling that Dotel will have more of an impact to the A's outcome than Beltran will to the Astros outcome though.

    The jury is still out for the Royals package of Teahan, Buck and Wood. Oddly enough, Freddy Garcia brought back a better package of players than Beltran did. This is the exact reason that Baird made a mistake for tying his hands and looking for two specific positions instead of taking the best available. That sure may come back to look like a dumb move.

  • ESPN is all about praising the job Tony Clark has done with the Yankees. Comments like "what a great job he has done this year..." blah, blah, blah. Look, TC also did a good job for the Mets last year as well, but no one heard a peep about that. Just because he puts on pinstripes, he is automatically better in ESPN's eyes. The guy actually hit homers at a greater pace last year and basically has an identical average thus far this year. I understand the baseball world revolves around the Yankees in terms of media coverage, but I do not have to like it.

  • The Rumor mill has gone wild since I was away.
    • The Cubs are interested in Uggie Urbina.
    • The Rangers are interested in Danny Bautista.
    • The Rangers, Yankees, Padres, Red Sox, and Cubs are all interested in Steve Finley.
    • The Yankees are interested in Randy Johnson, but to bad their two best trading chips, who are Cano and Navarro, are second rate prospects. They are not fooling anyone and Johnson is not going anywhere. Suck an egg Yankees.
    • The Yankees and White Sox are interested in Andruw Jones. But once again, the Yankees have no juice to get this deal done and I cannot believe the Braves are willing to part with Jones for anything short of a huge return in talent.
    • The Mets, Orioles, and WhiteSox are interested in Ramon Ortiz. However, the Mets indicated that they will not give up too much to get him and the Angels may be looking for a lot in return. A match does not look likely for the Mets.
    • They have Wigginton on the block going to the Pirates or Reds possibly. They have pitching they may part with and holes at 3b. Dan O'Brien from the Reds said no talk has taken place, but there have been rumors about the Pirates and the Mets making a deal although it looks as though Wiggie will not be enough.
    • The Red Sox and Yankees are interested in Ben Sheets. This one is the most laughable one. They Yankees do not have jack shit to get a talent as good and as young as Sheets. You have a better chance of seeing me on a dance floor than to see Sheets in a Yankee uniform this year. Besides, Melvin quickly shot down those rumors saying he is a big part of the future.
    • The Mets, Yankees, and Phillies are interested in Kris Benson. The Phillies are intriguing because they have some solid talent in the minors and might overpay to keep him out of the Mets hands. Benson will certainly be moved, it just boils down to who will overpay the most for him. I do not think the Mets will, so it may be down to the Yankees and Phillies on this one.
    • The Rockies may be interested in a salary dump to get rid of Preston Wilson's $12,000,000 salary in 2005 for Kenny Lofton who is only due $3,100,000. The talent is not equal in the trade, but the Rockies have been trying to dump Wilson for years and not many teams would be willing to take on the entire chunk outside of the Yankees.
    • The Red Sox and Cardinals are interested in Frank Catalanatto.
    • The Red Sox and Yankees are interested in Jamie Moyer. Could Moyer be reunited with the Red Sox? Most likely not. Bavasi says he is staying, and since Moyer is a 10-5 guy he only goes where he wants. Oh, did I mention? The Yankees have nothing of value to give up.
    • The Rockies are dangling Jeromy Burnitz in front of the Rockies. His low salary and high output make him a nice target. However, he comes with a huge buyer beware tag as the Coors effect comes into play heavily in his numbers. His hitting over .100 points higher at home and has ten homers at home compared to six on the road.
    • The Red Sox are interested in John Olerud.

  • Sunday, July 04, 2004

    Holy Crap

    The Mets were 4-4 while I was away, but a sweet 4-4. Life is good. On the verge of sweeping the Yankees and two games out of first place.

    After scoring double digits on the Yankees two days in row I'm pretty happy. I was fortunate enough to be able to watch Friday night's game in which the Mets laid a spanking on the Yankees and I was fortunate enough to not watch Saturday's game. I would have had a heart attack with the back and forth all day. Also, my TV would have had taken a beating after Franco went 3-0 to Posada in 9th inning with the bases loaded. I have quite a few things to catch up on since I missed the entire week, but not sure when I'll get to them. I'll be at the game today and doing something at night.