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

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Random Saturday Tidbits

The Mets lost despite homers from Cameron, Floyd, and Hidalgo. Glavine unjustly gets saddled with another loss. Who cares anymore? I just assume the Mets will collectively suck when Glavine takes the mound.

  • I'm not sure what Pitcher Abuse Points are, but it sure does not sound good. The Mets have four pitchers in the top fifteen and two out of the top six.

  • Interesting Quotes:

    "He (Kazmir) was lights out," the GM said. "I mean lights out. He threw everything for strikes, and he's a good athlete on the mound. It's easy to sit back and say, 'How the hell did they give up on this guy?' But the Mets know their players better than anyone else."

    Umm...too much credit. Really, too much credit.

    "He's one of the premier lefties in all of minor league baseball," said the scouting director. "If that's all they could get for him, they should have called around, because I know we would have given up a lot more for him."

  • I would love to know which team's GM this guy is. I sure an curious as to what is the 'a lot more' he is referring too.

    "I would not be surprised at all if both those guys are on our staff sometime in 2005."D-Rays GM Chuck LaMar on Jeff Neiman and Scott Kazmir

    In all fairness, the same article that produced those quotes also had this:

    A major-league assistant GM who's on the fence about Kazmir said that Mets did a good job keeping his innings low and creating a "buzz" around him.

  • Cedeno on St. Louis fans:

    "The fans here, they know how important it is to cheer for the team," Cedeno said before the game. "They're really unbelievable every day. It's amazing.

    "They don't know how to boo here. They come in, enjoy the game and understand the game."

    Roger, why the hell would fans boo a 70 win team that has arguably the most potent 3, 4, & 5 (and now 6) combo in the league? Try playing there for two consecutive last place seasons while fans watch the front office continually shoot themselves in the foot. Cedeno is a dumb ass. Mets fans would be cheering too if the Mets were in the same position. It is not like the team often gives them a chance too cheer very often. I think the term frustrating best describes this team.

  • Kaz was sporting some new goggles. But I guess you can call them the anti-rally goggles. He still managed to make a key error. Actually it should have been two errors on the play, but the official scorer was feeling good. Maybe he just got laid.

    Kaz had 116 errors in 1156 games in Japan. I'm sure the scoring is pretty much the same so it is not like he was getting free passes. When you take his error totals and estimate the number of errors he would commit for playing every game in a 162 game season, you come up with 16. Now, that is much better than what is going on right now. In the 108th game he has already committed 23 errors. It is safe to assume that he will eclipse the 30 mark which is horrible. I still think he is not this bad. Is it mental? Is SS just too hard in the States for him? Either way, something has to be done. It is quite debilitating. The Mets cannot afford to give away outs to a team of St. Louis' caliber or any team for that matter.

  • I hope Larry Walker had trouble getting a flight to St. Louis. That is one scary ass lineup. It is a wonder what a good GM could accomplish if they just put their mind to it
  • Friday, August 06, 2004

    David Wright Rules

    SIX RBI's! The dude had four coming into today. Obviously the news of his two good buddies getting traded is not affecting his play. He was 3 for 5 overall with two doubles and a homerun while leaving no runners on base. I could have used some really bad titles like The Wright Stuff or Wright is all Right, but I'll leave those to the newspapers.

    "It was a good at-bat," Wright said. "I was down in the count and battled. It was a breaking ball. I relaxed and it felt good."

    Um, too much hanging out with Howe after that battled comment.

    It was good game overall for the offense and a lot of different people contributed. Victor threw a ton of pitches (62 strikes and 52 balls) in 5 1/3 innings, walked three, K'd seven, and gave up four earned runs. The last runs he gave up were not helped by the error, so I'll give him a pass. I will reserve judgment since I did not visually see the game since I was at work. My overly optimistic friend who thought Benson looked great in his first appearance said Zambrano looked good too. However, I'm not sure he is the most reliable guy since he convinces me every year the Mets are going all the way. If anyone actually saw the game, let me know how he looked, I am pretty damn curious to get some unbiased views. I will say this though, I was following the game on CBS Sportsline and there were a lot of swinging strikes on balls below the strike zone which was from this hard sinker I presume.

    However, if I were a hitter and I knew he throws a lot of balls, and most of his strikes were balls out of the zone that batters fish for, why even swing at all? That is probably and oversimplification of the situation, but I saw a few people go down 0-2 on two balls out of the zone.

  • Pitch fest 2004 featured almost 200 pitches after four innings of play. There was 192 pitches thrown to be exact and it took about 1:50 to play less than half of the ballgame. I'm sure the fans were comatose by that that point of the games considering their team was down by seven runs. The slew of errors certainly did not help matters. All tolled, there were five errors and three by the Mets. By the time the game ended, 348 pitches were thrown.

  • Jose Parra will begin rehabbing in Double A- Binghamton

  • Kendry Morales has been granted citizenship in the Dominican Republic. Since the Mets signed Soler without even seeing him, I say what the hell? Sign Morales too. It is not like the Mets have many switch hitting 1B/OFs in their system. The fact that they just signed a Cuban defector should count for some brownie points.

  • The Cardinals are the Mets next opponent. The Mets go to the wonderful city of St. Louis to play the best team in the NL. At least they are struggling right? Oh, what’s that? They are 12-4 since the All-Star break? Not exactly fantastic odds when the Mets really need to rip off a pretty good winning streak to climb the NL East ladder.

    Game 1 is Morris vs. Glavine
    Game 2 is Williams vs. Benson
    Game 3 is Marquis vs. Leiter

    The Mets are throwing out three pretty damn good arms, let's see what they can do. With Houston looming in the distance as the Mets next series, they need to avoid rolling over and playing dead this series. Isn't it annoying when I point out the painful obvious?

  • Anyone notice that his stats aren't really that bad? I know he has only seen limited playing time but still.

    But really weird thing is that ChiSox picked up the same two guys this year around the trading deadline that they picked up last year.

  • This article is dumb.

  • Thursday, August 05, 2004

    Scott Kazmir Double-A Montgomery (Devil Rays)?

    It is painful to see Scott Kazmir Double-A Montgomery (Devil Rays) on the Prospect Hot Sheet. It is painful like walking in on your girlfriend cheating on you with the transvestite from next door.

    I think BA said it quite well in their latest offering:

    Memo to Mets: you just traded one the best prospects in baseball for a just over .500 pitcher with a strikeout to walk ratio of barely more than 1:1. Memo to Met fans: Don't think about this trade for too long or blood will start to come out of your ear.

    I could not agree with them more. Matt Peterson I could take...Justin Huber I could take....Ty Wigginton I could take…Jose Diaz I could take...but every time I think about this one, I get so pissed off so I'll just drop it. I have said he is expendable before, but in a Zito like trade. Shit I'd take Kazmir for Zambrano, but Carlos fucking Zambrano.

    BA also suggests that with Kazmir gone, Petit may be the strongest candidate for #1 prospect. He has made leaps and bounds this year and the Mets top five prospects looks really bleak until they sign Humber. It is looking dark down on the farm, but I cannot complain too much about the system. It did produce Reyes, Wright, Wiggie, Moreno, and Phillips over the past few years so the Mets are enjoying the fruits of their scouting success somewhat.

    BA also had this on the deal:

    After the Mets inexplicably dealt him for Zambrano while barely being on the fringes of contention, word came out of New York that Kazmir might break down and might be nothing more than a reliever. He might be Ron Guidry, too, and no lefty in the minors can match his stuff (mid-90s fastball, hard breaking ball). Between Kazmir and 2004 first-round pick Jeff Niemann (still unsigned), the Rays finally have some pitchers to build around.

    I said I'd stop talking about it, but here I am. I am still talking about the Kazmir deal. For all the crap the Rays organization has taken over the years, they have something good going on. They have a big three possibility with Dewon Brazelton and above mention two prospects. On top of that, they have Upton, Young, Crawford, Baldelli, and Huff amongst others. D-Ray fans actually have a reason to cheer. I'm glad the Mets could help. This one still hurts the morning after the morning after the morning after the morning after. I can see it now, Kazmir 21 years old pitching against the Yankees in 2005 and taking them to the mat while Zambrano is handing our free passes like it is going out of style.

    Finally, I will really drop it and hopefully speak to this topic for the last time. Once is enough. Rick Peterson said he can fix Zambrano in ten minutes. Now, I have no idea who the Devil Ray pitching coach is, but apparently he is really dumb and bad at this job. Kazmir may still be a prospect and question marks, but Zambrano is 29 and has plenty of his own. The Mets may be the first team in history to trade this highly touted of a prospect on a guy with mediocre career numbers and hunch that this guy has some flaw that only Ricky P. can solve. I can safely say that no other GM makes this deal. Look, the guy is leaving the AL East which has a few teams that knock the ball around and is coming the NL into a pitchers park. Just by the law of averages the guy is going to put up better numbers. Shit, he may even be able to post sub 4.00 ERA without anyone even changing anything. AL East lineups have better 1-8 lineups than just about every team in the NL and then you throw in the pitcher's spot in order and you got better numbers for Victor. Taking Zambrano out of that environment is going to help him more than Peterson will.

    Would you dump your young, hot girlfriend for an older woman who is about to get plastic surgery and MAY be hotter when she is done? Shit no.

    Kazmir in 2005 will make some noise.

  • Doug Davis looked like Cy Young out there for the first six innings last night. The Mets offense has a penchant for making bad pitchers look exceptionally well. Then I hear Ted Robinson comment that Davis has stuff working tonight. Does he really have his stuff? Or is it that the Mets cannot hit the side of barn. They are very very streaky. Also, Ted brought up the fact that the Mets are leading the majors with pitchers per game. That is not exactly and enviable tidbit.

    After Dougie shut them down for a bit, the Mets managed to pull it out thanks to some timely bad Brewer defense. One step at a time I say. First catch the Marlins, then catch the Phillies, and then we'll see about the Braves. For some reason, I just cannot give up.

  • I was talking to my friend last night about the Mets. He said that if he had to choose an MVP for year to date, he would have to choose Mike Cameron. At this point, I'd have to agree with him. The positive impact he has on the team's ERA and the hits he takes away compiled with leading the team in homeruns and being a great clubhouse character makes him the top candidate in my book too. He is gold glove candidate that is about to shatter his personal single season home run mark. His previous high was 25 and he is on pace for 35. Aside from one atrocious month of May, which was partially due to injury, he has done exactly what the Mets signed him for and expected to do. In some areas he even exceeded expectations.

  • Reyes starting at short stop last night? Will wonders never cease? I think Duquette is trying to do some damage control and appease the fans by doing something they have been loudly clamoring for.

  • What do the Mets need bad? Really bad? I'd say a young left hander in the bullpen who can hit 92/93 mph on the gun. I'm thinking someone that can hold lefties to a .180 BAA and could hold all batters to a .226 BAA. A reliever that you would have for a few years that would only cost the league minimum. Oh, that is right, they had him. He was moved to clear room on the 40 man roster for some cagy veteran presence.

  • Has anyone noticed that Paul Konerko has 28 homeruns and is on pace for 44 homeruns this year? The White Sox were trying to pawn off his $8,000,000 contract this year to anyone who would take him. I think they are glad they held onto him.

  • One amazing feat that happened this year was Ivan Rodriguez hitting .500 for the month of June. His OBP was .542 and his OPS was 1.274. Not too shabby.

    * * *

    Now let's see what Victor can do tonight. Hopefully he'll shut everyone up and prove us wrong.

  • Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    Back In Business

    I’ve been out of commission for a bit with PTDS (Post Trade Deadline Syndrome). I am still trying to recoup from the madness. Although I am a day late and a dollar short and I’m sure this has been tons written about this past weekend, I offer this:

    With the flurry of trades on Saturday, the one move that obviously shifts the balance of power heavily is the Scott Erickson to Rangers for the infamous player to be named later. This move has serious playoff implications for the AL West as it now gives the Rangers some more ballyhooed veteran presence on their staff to go with Kenny “The Gambler” Rogers. I can feel the A’s shaking in their boots.

    In reality, the Mets should have figured out a way to get Adrian Gonzalez. Whether they would have needed to throw in Yusmeiro Petit, Vic Diaz, or whoever, they should have found a way. They traded away their top two pitching prospects, they might as well have thrown in their 3rd best pitching prospect. With Texiera and Gonzalez, something has to give unless Texiera is going to be a permanent DH or shift to the outfield. I cannot think of a better fit for the Mets right now than a slick fielding, .300 hitting, 21 year old first baseman with pop in his bat. I’d rather have seen the Mets not pick up either Zambrano or Benson and use the other arm for Gonzalez. This may be just wishful thinking on my part, but I can dream can’t I? Rumor had it that Cliff Floyd was almost dealt to the Rangers as well. I’m sure with two years left on his contract, the Mets would have netted a very positive return on Cliffy if he was packaged up with some future pitching help for the Rangers. I mean, Benson may not even re-sign and the Mets now just forced their hand. They will pay whatever Benson asks for since it is paramount that the Mets ink him or else they just gave up Wiggie, Peterson, and Huber for a 60 game rental for a fourth place team. Not only that, but this move potentially blocks the Mets from getting either Clement or Pavano who would have been the cream of the crop in my estimation in terms of free agent pitching. They are already what they hope Benson will be. The Mets are banking on Benson being the next Clement or Pavano in being a guy who ‘figures it out’ at the end of their 20’s and puts their electric stuff to good use. It was just a weird day.

    The Mets went from having a top ten farm system to falling into the mid 20’s presumably. With the fact that Wright and Moreno and are in the majors and Huber, Kazmir, and Peterson are now jewels of other teams systems, the Mets are left with no blue chippers until Humber signs. My, my, what a week will do. I’m still not sure how to feel about this one and will reserve judgment because these are deals that will not be able to be tagged as a failure or success until the unknown quantities are made known. I can see how Peterson was expendable being that Humber, Durkin, and Gabby Hernandez are very much along the same lines as each other, but the Kazmir deal is very shocking. Power lefties are difficult to come by, but for some reason, the Mets were not as enamored with him as they have led one. I’m not totally against moving top level minor league talent, but if you move one of the biggest names in the minors, you may want to get something more in return than Zambrano who may end up being gem, but shouldn’t the Mets be done looking for diamonds in the rough and maybe get some proven talent. You can talk to me about Zambrano’s BAA and his mid 90’s heater, look at his WHIP.

    Here is a look from a Daily News article (or was it Newsday…does it really matter?):

    The big picture is the Mets’ assemblage of arms with Benson, Zambrano, Fortunato, the recently signed Cuban prodigy Alay Soler, and the No. 1 pick Phillip Humber. In the No. 1 pitchers park in baseball, this has always been the staple for Met success, going all the way back to Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan.

    Here’s the way one scout summed it up yesterday: “This is one time the Mets made the best of their hyped prospects and traded them at the height of their value. The Yankees have been doing that for years.”

    I hear where they are coming from. Rick Peterson was on WFAN stating a large part of the reasoning behind the deals. The Mets brass felt that their window to win would be as soon as 2005 and 2006. Realistically, they figure that pitchers coming up through high school to the majors need about 500 innings before they reach the majors. Matt Peterson was figured to be MLB ready by 2007 and Kazmir may have been major league ready by 2006. However, a rookie pitcher would most likely need a year or two of seasoning before they will be really effective. So by that logic, Kazmir would not be an impact until 2007 at the earliest and Matt Peterson would not be a huge impact until 2008 at the earliest. By the organization’s estimation, that was just too long. They Mets still have some decent arms and Humber and Petit would still be considered amongst the most promising in all of the minor leagues so they still have some arms in the stable. It is an interesting outlook and a truly bold move on the Mets behalf. The truth of the matter is, this will not be registered as a success or failure until Peterson and Kazmir actually reach the majors and make an impact. We may not have to wait too soon for that to happen as the Devil Rays may have Kazmir in the majors in September 2004 and in the rotation in 2005. I still feel like they could have netted better pitchers with the talent they gave up, but Rick Peterson and Jim Duquette feel like these guys have the tools and are at a point they would wish Kazmir and Peterson would be at the height of their career. So they decided to go with proven with upside vs. unproven with upside. The Kazmir deal really floored me. The Mets truly had a love affair with Zambrano and it will be interesting to see how effective he will be and the numbers he puts up in 2005 after a chance to work with Rick Peterson. But to give up on a guy like Kazmir who could pitch in the majors right now in a relief role is strange. I do not believe Kazmir was as far away from the majors as they are saying. If they had other reasons fine, but do not pass on BS. There are plenty of good arms on the market in the off-season that would not have cost them Kazmir who are better than Zambrano at this point.

    In Peterson We Trust?

    Rick Peterson’s fingerprints were all over these deals. He has been infatuated with Victor Zambrano and has heavily factored into the Benson deal. He wanted to give up the Mets two most prized arms for major leaguers who have yet to distinguish themselves besides having ‘tools’. He also had an obvious heavy influence on the draft. Matt Durkin was selected as the second pick despite a player like BJ Szymanski being available. BJ is a toolsy outfielder with a tons of ability and upside. Durkin is a guy who no one is high on but was a highly touted pitcher in his first two years of college but not really any longer besides the fact the Mets already had a deep farm system in terms of pitching. A pitching coach is going to favor pitching, but at some point, other needs have to be addressed. The Mets would have gotten a few quality arms without Durkin and that pick may have been served better to strengthen other areas like the outfield. After these two deals and the second pick of the draft, I am left wondering if Peterson has too much influence. It is good to respect his views on things, but he is kind of looking like pitching coach and GM. I’ve been drinking the Peterson Kool-Aid, but right now I’m scratching my head. Does he have too much say at this point?

    All of the above crap aside, the one thing that is certain is that the Metropolitans need to bolster their offense in some large way in the off season. The fact that they will be five starters deep will hardly matter if they cannot score enough runs to support them. The bullpen was partially addressed by getting Fortunado in the deal, but he is a question mark as he is 29 and still in AAA. He is still a long way off for being something to bank on and the Mets need to grab a stud so Looper has a legitimate set-up man that can be counted on. The Mets are not far away and if they show the cajones in the off-season that they showed when they made their deals this past weekend, they can make some noise. By mortgaging out their young guns, they poised themselves for a 2005 run at the title by putting together one of the more imposing rotations 1 through 5 in the league. If they can put together an imposing offense and solid pen, the Mets may have a shot at good things.

    The moves they made are a far cry from horrible, in fact they may actually end up being good, but right now they are kind of head scratchers to me. I thought Benson was not 100% necessary at this time and Zambrano could have been had for less. If Benson was not picked up, Peterson could have been a centerpiece in the Zambrano deal with more added to it.

  • Anna Benson is already proving to be quite the quote machine. I think she’ll provide a few gems over the course of time Kris will be a part of the Mets.

    “Each Player has his own ritual, and Kris’ is no sex when he pitches,” she said in May/June issue of Player Magazine.

    “I hate it . There’s no scientific proof that sex is going to hurt your pitching performance,” she continued. “I like having sex with Kris. We’ve had some issues and pretty nasty fights over the issue.”

  • Beltran to stay in Houston? Well he is sending out signals he may be open to the idea.

    "I don't want to sign here if it means they have to start getting rid of guys," he said. "If they sign me, they have to sign Lance Berkman, too. If they sign me, they have to sign Roy Oswalt and Adam Everett. Those guys are our team. I look around our clubhouse and see a lot of good players. If we stay together, we can win."

    It would certainly be a coup for the Astros to steal him from the clutches of the Evil Empire or the Boston Red Sox. Maybe Beltran to the Yankees is not as automatic as widely believed.

  • Houston may be interested in Don Baylor for their managerial position. However, a promotion from hitting coach to manager on the Met is not our of the realm of possibilities.

  • RIP Bob Murphy.