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

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Numbers Suggest Mets Are Gambling on Zambrano

"Walk rate is probably the area in which a pitcher has the most room to improve, but a rate that high is tough to overcome," Silver said. "Very few pitchers with rates that high sustain success over a long period of time. He's not a terrible pitcher, but he isn't a guy you necessarily want to invest a lot in."

Not exactly what you want to hear.

Just in case you want to enjoy the entire article.

We Battled

I'm not sure if Art Howe said that about last nights game, but I'm sure he was thinking it.

One thing is becoming apparent, Steve Trachsel's nagging shoulder may be pretty serious. He has given up 23 runs in his last 41 innings which is good for a 5.05 era. That spans his last seven starts. Since the All-Star break, hitters are batting .316 off of him and he has a 4.82 era with a 1-4 record. On the season, his WHIP is an unimpressive 1.42. Hopefully he can turn it around, but at this point it appears as if his ERA is headed north of 4.00.

I was at a bar last night and I was waiting to get a drink. Next to me I hear some guy talking to his friend and he says "You know Kazmir is pitching on Monday?". Then that got me going and his friend who is also a Met fan says, "I do not care what happens, as long as the Yankees do not win the World Series, it was a succesful season". The fact that a succesful season for some Met fans is predicated on whether or not the Yankees win the World Series speaks volumes about the state of the organization over the last few years. It is actually depressing. The Mets front office truly knows little about how to build long sustained success for an organization. 1999 and 2000 are looking like and abberation. Click on the links below and take a look at the rosters of both teams.

2000 Mets
1999 Mets

As you can see, the Mets did not make the playoffs due to the Mets assemblage of top talent, but rather timely hitting, good pitching, excellent fielding, and yes...even some good managing. I used to point to the fact that the Mets made the playoffs very recently to illustrate some recent successes, and they were successful those years. Just not because of owners and the GM.

Franco has his recent inactivity
"I don't have a problem with anybody. What frustrates me is I'd like to know. If I'm not going to pitch, I'd like to know. It's all I ask. I'm not demanding to pitch."

From the Daily News:
He now wears removable teeth, and will consider pitching without them in the nationally televised game because they aren't entirely comfortable. "That would be a good picture with me on the mound," he quipped.

Glavine threw off a mound at a high school near his Alpharetta, Ga., home Tuesday, but worries about his control given a two-week layoff between starts. His bottom lip remains numb, causing him to drool on himself, and his left knee is sore when he runs, though not during his delivery.

"Going around without two teeth in your mouth, it's a blow to your self-esteem," he said. "But if it feels weird [when he starts against the Giants on Saturday], I wouldn't hesitate to take them out."

Great, he will be toothless and drooling on the mound for the Mets. Unreal, this is like a comedy show. It will be good to see him get back on the mound though. The Mets need him to be big.

  • MLB to start it's own channel. If you are thinking there will actually be ML baseball action think again. During the first year, there may only be spring training games, minor league games, and some international competetion.

  • In his best James Baldwin impression, Neal Musser gave up 10 runs in three innings of work. It does not really matter when the end score was, Norfolk lost.

  • The 20 year old Ambiorix Concepcion is becoming one of my favorite players in the Mets minor league system. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2001 and he is currently batting .319 with seven homeruns and forty RBIs. He also has a nice arm too.

    "Da Da Da Dum, Da Da Dum," chanted Cyclones right fielder Ambiorix Concepcion yesterday, one day after his play throwing out Matt Shepherd of the New Jersey Cardinals reached Top 10 Plays on ESPN's SportsCenter.

    It was listed as No. 3 on the show and it came as a surprise to Concepcion, who found out moments after it aired from Cyclones trainer Ruben Barrera.

    Hopefully he continues to develop as a rare outfield prospect for the New York Mets.

  • Friday, August 20, 2004

    This is Getting Silly

    The Mets sweep the double dip and when all should be good, more bad news comes out. McEwing is likely head to the DL and Keppinger is likely to be called up! And for the topper, the Mets gave Benson a two year offer with a guaranteed $12,000,000, which is a pay cut from his current salary, and two more option years. What the heck is going on? Just when things should be all rosy after Benson held the Rockies to three runs in six innings, which is the equivalent to a shutout anywhere else, the Mets lowball him. If the Mets let Benson test free agency, I will be convinced the Mets are run by a bunch of people not fit to be anywhere near the game of baseball. Right now I have a hunch that is the case, but I still hold out that little sliver of doubt.

    "I think that's one of the question marks about me coming to New York, coming into the media, coming into the limelight of the big city," Benson acknowledged. "I just have to go out there and continue pitching the way I have and quiet everybody."

    He has approximately eight starts to go and Jim better get something done. Sometimes I truly wonder if this team really wants to win. There is no conceivable reasoning for some of the decisions that are made. Maybe the Mets’ brass are a collection of the smartest people in the world and every other person outside their organization is dumb because just about every move they make is a head scratcher for everyone else with no fathomable explanation. After giving up what they did to get Benson, they must resign him. If he ends up to be a 1/2 season rental in a quest towards mediocrity, I may just become a Devil Ray fan.

    I do not like retaliation, but in the case of the Closser's slide to injure yet another Met it was necessary. Right on cue Looper drilled Closser in the right leg in attempt to give him a 95 mph mega dead leg.

    "Some things have to be taken care of on the field," Howe said, "and we took care of it."

    Retaliation for someone hitting a homerun = bad
    Retaliation for putting one of your players in the infirmary = good

    David Wright continues to prove why everybody raves about him. He broke the 2-2 tie with a two run homerun in the top of the ninth inning to allow Stanton to get a rare victory. Stanton notched his first positive stat of the year and registering his first win. Congratulations to the Stanton family.

    In some more good news, Vicky Z is most likely out for the year.

    Clearly, Zambrano is feeling pressure to validate the controversial trading of Scott Kazmir. When Zambrano left Denver, he was in tears, believing he had let people down, and said, "Tell Mr. Duquette I apologize, I'm sorry and I'll be back as soon as I can."

    Although no apology is necessary by Victor, Duquette is the bonehead who made the deal for damaged goods, it is nice to see that he at least cares.

    In some breaking news, Wilpon is unhappy with the team's play. But he needs to look no further than a mirror and his own leathery face to lay the blame.

    Scew you Wilpon

    Wilpon on the trades:
    "Those moves weren't made necessarily for a push [this season]," Wilpon said. "They were made for the franchise and the future"

    Then he would need to explain why Benson's offer was something they know he will turn down and why they brought in a pitcher with a cranky elbow. Shit just does not add up. Maybe it is just a cat and mouse game and that was an initial offer, but the Mets do not exactly instill confidence in me in regards to their 'plans' for the future.

    According to Newsday:
    Notes & quotes: Kaz Matsui took batting practice and played catch with Jose Reyes yesterday in Port St. Lucie, and it is likely Matsui will start taking ground balls at second base shortly, a source said yesterday.

    Cameron is now ten stolen bases and four homeruns away from reaching 30/30 for the first time in his career.

    The Mets have pushed back to seven games out in the Wild Card. While I still believe the Mets chances of them making the playoffs are as likely as their front office making a move that resembles being somewhat intelligent, it must be noted that the Phillies are seven games out of the Wild Card as well. Chalk the Phillies up with the Astros as two teams that are having much more disappointing seasons than the Mets. Both of them were picked to win their respective divisions by many publications and together they sit a combined 28.5 games out of first. How Larry Bowa still has a job is a miracle to me.

    Ripley's Believe it or not stat of the day:
    The Mets went 55 innings without making an error until David Wright had a bad throw in the sixth inning of Game 2

    * * *

    If anyone ever actually checks out the blogs of note on the blogger login page, then you may have already checked this one out. I sometimes click on some if the title actually grabs my interest. Prison Pete is supposedly a guy from jail who writes letters to his friend, who in turn posts them onto the blog. I say supposedly, because you never know who is doing what on the internet and if anything is true, but it sure seems to be true. It is pretty interesting reading to get some idea of what this guy does on a daily basis and the things he runs into. He really will not get into why he is in there. The only thing that is known is that he is going to be prosecuted on the State and Federal level and that he used to be computer programmer. He has been incarcerated for eight years now and it looks like he is in doo doo up to his knees as he may get another seven years piled onto his sentence. Anyway, if you have time breeze through it, it is pretty interesting.

    Thursday, August 19, 2004

    Nothing But Admiration

    You have to admire Kaley's optimism. I just cannot look past their sub .500 record, and for them to finish the year at a .700 + clip, they would have to make some miraculous turnaround and play like a completely different team than they have been all season. Shit, they'd have to play like a completely different team than they have been in the past three years. I would be on Kaley's bandwagon if the Mets had Reyes, Matsui, Piazza, Orber, and Zambrano fine and dandy. Health is the key to a magical run, but that is something that is eluding the Mets right now, and that is an understatement. Even the people who are on the active roster are banged up. Cameron's pinky is going to need off season surgery, it hurts to watch Floyd simply run much less do anything like running into a wall chasing a fly, Leiter has a torn labrum, and Trachsel is experiencing shoulder soreness. If that was not enough, the manager is class A jerk off. I've never seen a manager so counterproductive to winning. He has single handedly lost a good number of games for the Mets.

    Not to say he has had a lot to work with. He cannot make players not get injured, but he just exacerbates the problem. His use of the bullpen and how/when he subs in players is just a criminal. I'm sick of looking at that stupid wry smile he is always wearing on this dumb mug. When he is standing in the dugout, he just looks dumb and very clueless. When the Mets do well it is in spite of him and not because of him.

    The Mets have 45 games left. They are sitting at five games under .500. The main goal for everyone should be 25-20, which is better than they have played all year. That is a .556 winning percentage and that would bring them to respectability. I wish I can hold out optimism like Kaley, but at this point I'm in 2005 mode. Just get back to .500 so you look like you made some very good progress. The Mets will assuredly get more wins in 2004 than they did in 2003, but anything less than .500 is a disgrace for this team, injuries or not. They won 66 in 2003 and 81 wins would be a 15 game swing which is very good. They can get there, but the fact remains, they have only been three games over .500 for one day this season. To think they would somehow figure a way to win 32 out of their next 45 games to get into the Wild Card hunt would be nothing short of amazing. I do realize they aren't called the Amazins' for no specific reason, but for me, Amazing would be .500. I'd take that in a second at this point.

    The Mets have two quality starters in Kris Benson and Al Leiter taking the mound today against Shaw Estes and Jeff Fassero, who are both lefties. It is well documented the Mets complete lack of success this year against lefties and it is clear that the Rockies and Mets both have seriously depleted lineups. It would nice to see the Mets start bucking the trend of losing to lefties and losing all together and take two today. That would put the Mets at 3 games under .500 while they head into San Francisco to take on one of the hotter teams in the league. The Giants were riding a six game winning streak and have won 7 of their last eight and could very well sweep the Mets. After that the Mets head to San Diego to play the Padres who are 1.5 games off the Wild Card lead and then to Los Angeles to play the NL West Leader. It is imperative the the Mets take this series and take both games today. .500 never looked so difficult.

    You Have Entered the No Spin Zone

    "It sounds like from the symptoms, it's a new condition," Duquette said. "He was complaining about some soreness in the back of his elbow where the tricep meets the elbow."

    You a doctor Jim? It sounds like it's a new condition? It may sound like that to you, but to me it sounds like you have your head up your ass.

    The post actually wrote this:

    One potentially encouraging sign is although Zambrano will almost assuredly head to the 15-day DL, the pitcher doesn't think he's seriously injured. Zambrano's agent, Peter Greenberg, spoke with his client yesterday and relayed that Zambrano said he does not believe it's anything serious and expects to return this year.

    How is it encouraging that he is going to be heading to the 15 day DL? On top of it, that is all we need, another player playing doctor on himself. He may not be injured, but the fact remains that this does not look good. The Mets traded for a guy who's elbow hurt. Then during his third start he leaves with elbow pain and is headed to the DL.

    If it looks like shit, smells like shit, and tastes like shit, then it must be shit.

    The Dialy News has a different opinion on this one.

    Victor Zambrano's elbow condition is unrelated to but potentially more serious than the injury he was battling when the Mets obtained him from the Devil Rays on July 30.

    Fortunado will take Zambrano's place. I could not help but laugh at this NY Post comment:

    Fortunato, who turns 30 next week, is a fireballing right-handed reliever who posted a 2.52 ERA in Triple-A and a 3.68 ERA in three games with Tampa.

    Perhaps most important, he doesn't have any elbow issues.

    Sad but true.

    Orber will most likely not be back this season.

    Two bits of good news:

    Peter Greenberg, agent for Jose Reyes, said they will try to use this offseason to find a suitable training regimen for the injury-plagued infielder. The Mets have been stymied in their myriad attempts to keep the 21-year-old phenom healthy.


    Scott Strickland will start throwing BP. Yes, when good news is a middle reliever is going to start throwing BP, shit is bad.

    Hey at least Traschel is nice and healthy and pain free. Oh wait, spoke to soon. On top of that, Leiter's arm is always ready to fall off and Benson does not exactly have a great health history. And I wonder why people laugh at the Mets.

    As if all that happened was not enough. Insult to injury has officially taken place. Kazmir is going to make his much anticpated major league debut against Seattle. Miracles can happen when you do not baby your prospects.

    * * *

  • Loiaza already done? Yankees may trade the All-Star to Texas.

  • Bowa's long overdue exit soon to be reality?

  • Wednesday, August 18, 2004

    Rockie Mountain High

    Unfortunately I will be busy today. That is a good thing since I do not have to think about Victor Zambrano leaving in the 2nd inning with a sore elbow. Is it serious? Who the hell knows. I do not think it is ever good when your brand new pitcher has the leave the game with any type of arm soreness. The Mets lose 6-4 to add to the problem. Life is not good if you are a Mets fan at this point. Zambrano is questionable for his next start.

    From the Post:
    Of course, the irony is hard to miss with Zambrano, acquired in a deal involving prized lefty Scott Kazmir on July 30. To now sum up, the Mets surrendered a prospect who some feared would eventually get hurt for a pitcher who already was hurt and now is again.

    By the way — just in case you had even the slightest doubt — last night for Double-A Montgomery, Kazmir allowed one earned run in seven innings, striking out seven. Tampa GM Chuck LaMar even hinted yesterday that a pre-September call-up is possible for the phenom.

    The Mets knew he had tendonitis when they brought him over but were not concerned with it. It seems they pick and choose when they want to ignore players past injuries for their own convenience.

    "They said it couldn't get worse, but it can sometimes," Howe said.

    I was in a good frame of mind, I went to a bar to eat wings, drink beer, and watch the game. My friend and I were marveling at the movement on baseball and how great he looked. Then disasters strikes. Zambrano gets hurt and leaves the game, and we leave the bar before we blow chunks everywhere. It was just that kind of night. Very, very bad. I seriously hope this is not a serious injury or something that will plague him over the years. The Mets right now look dumber than they did before and that ain't easy.

    Hey I wonder if the same doctor who advised the Mets on Vlad's back was the same guy who checked out Zambrano's elbow.

    Floyd on last nights game:
    "I don't know, bro, it was just one of those nights," said Floyd, who struck out four times for the third time this season. "He was getting me out on junk. Tonight, he had my number.

    "And if we lose him [Zambrano], our chances get dimmer and dimmer. Everyone knows pitching is the key. But we're going to lose a key guy. And it's asking a lot for a callup or a guy from the pen to fill in. Zambrano will be tough to replace."

    * * *

  • I really love this idea. Moving Floyd to first frees up an outfield spot for a nice #3 hitter to plug in and gives the Mets and affordable left handed first baseman. This is a very very good thing. I was surprised though. After Floyd's injury back in Montreal I figured he never move back there.

    "We'd consider it but we haven't even talked about it," Duquette said. "If it's something we thought would be good for the team, he's always been open to playing some other positions."

    "Anything to help us, just not now," Floyd said. "It's something I would rather do, if they're going to do it, in spring training so I get a chance to learn it and not hurt our pitching staff and not hurt our team."

  • In Baseball America's Daily Dish column on 8/16, Gabby Hernandez got some love.

    Righthander Gaby Hernandez continues to impress for the GCL Mets, tossing a five-inning no-hitter Saturday against the Expos in a 2-0 victory. The game took just 1 hour, 4 minutes, as Hernandez struck out nine and walked one. He's just 2-3, but he boasts a 1.18 ERA in 38 innings and has allowed just 21 hits and nine walks while striking out 43

    It is not often a guy in short season A-ball or Rookie level ball gets any ink, but to to be in the GCL and get some attention is really rare. Gabby certainly deserves it though. He is one of my favorites in the Met system for no other reason than he is destroying that glorified high school league.

  • MOFO Sports has interview with Scott Kazmir. The kid does not sound like a scorned woman, he actually comes across very mature. Here is a small excerpt:

    MS: If this trade was made for an All-Star, say a Barry Bonds or Tim Hudson, would the trade have been easier to swallow than being traded for Zambrano?

    SK: Yeah, I think it would make it flattering if Barry Bonds was in there and not Victor Zambrano.

  • Dan Rosen believes Hidalgo has what it takes to survive in New York. Since coming over he has hit .267, smashed 15 homeruns, knocked in 33 RBIs, and scored 32 runs. Over the course of a year, I do not think I need to point out that his totals so far averaged out to a full season would leave him with more than 40 homeruns. Pitching friendly Shea has not been a problem for him because most of his shots would get out of any park. He does not hit many that just squeak over the fence. Once again I will take this opportunity to bring up the fact that I was horribly wrong and doubted this deal when it first happened. I just thought he was going to be another useless player on a team that has too many of those. Doggie wants to stay and it looks like Met management wants him back.

    "I like the fans. I like the people here. They're all nice"

    Hidalgo has yet to feel the wrath of the Met fan's boo fest. They boo loud and they boo often. He has been lucky enough to avoid such Cedeno-like treatment.

  • How is Ty doing? Not too good. He has six hits in forty five at-bats which is good for a .133 BA. He has had only one XBH, which is a double, and has eight strikeouts. Ty has almost as many walks as hits with five. His OBP. is almost .100 points higher than his batting average which is a positive. I have no doubt he will eventually succeed there and do well, but I will say the Mets traded him when he had his highest trade value.

  • If you have never read/heard this rant, it is a must. Check it out, it is very amusing..and sadly mostly true.

  • Derek seems to have a little spring in his step....a little too much spring in his step if you ask me.

  • Michael Phelps won two more gold medals on Tuesday bringiing his medal count to five. There are three gold medals total and two bronzes. He is easily the most decorated swimmer at this year's Olympic games.

  • Ben Sanchez thinks very highly of Rick Peterson.

  • I think the Cubbies now own the longest drought between achieving a championship out of any American sport. A US fencer has won gold for the first time since 1904. Now the Cubs have to try an improve upon that 1908 number.

  • Franco is still cranking out babies. Congratulations to the Franco clan, now retire so you can spend some quality time wiht your new kid.

  • Mark Teixiera hit for the cycle last night in the Rangers victory last night. His day at the plate allowed Scott Erickson to win for the first time in two years.

  • David Walstein suggests Reyes may be too tough.

  • This is a pretty damn funny tidbit from the Mets Farm Report.

    Hot Prospects: Norfolk's newest outfielder Ozzie Timmons is in a groove. The 33-year-old was recently signed from the Atlantic City Surf of the independent Atlantic League and is hitting .391 with two home runs and five RBI in six games since joining the club.

    Hot prospect? Can a 33 year old be labeled a hot prospect? Us Met fans lead a tortured life. We truly do.

  • The D-Backs intend to sign top pick Drew and will make it a top priority to bring back Sexson.

  • According to Mets.com Infielders Brett Harper and Jeff Keppinger along with outfielder Wayne Lydon and catcher Joe Hietpas will play on the Peoria Saguaros. Norfolk pitching coach Randy Niemann will serve as the pitching coach and there will be four pitchers to be named at a later date coming from the New York system. I hope Humber is one those pitchers as well as Soler and Pettit. I am a bit surprised that Lastings is not going to get a shot or Aarom Baldiris. I'm fine with Harper going, but Hietpas and Keppinger are strange picks indeed. I guess this speaks volumes of how little the Mets have now after trades and promotions.

  • Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    First Base Quandry

    After the comment section from yesterday's post, I got to thinking. For most of the year I was just assuming that Mike Piazza would man first base with Phillips or Valent sneaking in there when he gets behind the dish or is taking a day off. However, in light of the recent hoopla surrounding his assumed migration back to full time catcher, I decided to look at the options for next year. There are definitely a few directions that the Mets may take.

    Now it is not a foregone conclusion that Mike will be a full time catcher, but one thing is becoming apparent, he will not be splitting a substantial amount of time between the two positions. He is most likely going to catcher or first base with smidge of the other one thrown in. It is clear to me, he is less of a liability behind the dish than 1B. As Peter Gammons pointed out in his chat rap and something most of us already knew, the team's ERA is lower when he is behind the plate than any other catcher for the Mets over the past few years. His catcher ERA over the years was 3.87 in 2000, 4.05 in 2001, 3.84 in 2002, 3.97 in 2003 and 4.02 in 2004. His CERA was lower than the team ERA in every year but this year. Even with his low CS% he is still a more effective catcher than people give him credit for. He can always sit against teams like the Marlins or he can play first and hope nothing gets hit to him or no infielder bounces a throw over to him over to him.

    Before I get into who is available, it must be taken into account what areas the Mets need to lay some cash out for. The Mets need to sign an outfielder or two (they may choose to bring back Hidalgo, dump Floyd, and sign someone else, just sign Hidaglo and keep Floyd, or keep Floyd and sign a someone besides Hidalgo), find someone to man first base, re-sign Benson, bring back Leiter or find another starter to replace him, and do an overhaul in the pen by bringing in 2 to 3 players. Now for who will be out there and who may be out there: (x = team option)

    David Segui
    Tony Clark
    Eric Karros (I'm surprised he is not in Norfolk right now)
    Brad Fullmer
    Carlos Delgado
    Greg Colbrunn
    Richie Sexson
    Robin Ventura
    Julio Franco

    x-Rafael Palmeiro
    x-Travis Lee
    x-Tino Martinez
    x-J.T. Snow

    Craig Brazell
    Eric Valent

    So as you can see, the pickings are very slim. There is only one really good decision out of the entire lot of them in Richie Sexson, and I gave my opinions on his situation yesterday. Delgado's risk is too large and the only name that I really like on the list in terms of return on the investment is J.T. Snow. He will not give you the power you would like from a corner infield position, but he will give you and OK bat with an excellent glove. However, the chances of J.T. Snow's option not being picked up is slim to none. He is a relative bargain and I know he is old, but it is not a permanent solution and would be a one or two year stopgap until something can be figured out. I have no idea what his option is for 2005, but if it is an exorbitant amount, it may be declined. It also may be declined if they are looking to snag one of the big time free agent first baseman in Delgado and Sexson, but he looks like he will be back in San Francisco. First base is not a position of strength in the off-season and the Mets are going to have a difficult time finding out who to plug there on a full time basis. If the Mets fail to bring in one of the big time guys, it may very well end up being a Valent or Brazell platoon much to the chagrin of many Met fans. The reality is there just is not the plethora of first baseman out there like there are outfielders, which clearly is a deep talent pool this year. Jim certainly has his work cut our for him this off-season to fill the many holes that he has and the shortage of available talent to do it will not help the situation.

    * * *

  • School is in session. Jason Stark sheds some light on waivers and how they work. This has always been sort of a gray area for me, and if it was for you, then wonder no more.

  • I cannot take credit of this one. This showed up in Maxim Magazine's Found Porn section. For those of you who do not frequent the magazine, the Found Porn section features items that are in everyday life they have some innuendos behind it. This month some reader had sent in a baseball card. I still cannot believe this is the name this guy went by.

  • The Yankees have signed Shane Spencer to a minor league contract.

  • Gary Payton is threatening to quit after being traded from the Lakers to the Celtics.

    "It's about respect," Payton told the Press-Enterprise. "[The Lakers] didn't respect me. Why should I respect them? They used me so they could get other players," Payton said, adding that "Boston is going to lose out on this. They ain't going to get nothing."

    Raise your hand if you feel bad for him. No one? I didn't think so. You should have signed a no trade clause if you did not want to be traded. Just because someone does not want you, does not mean they do not respect you. They just think you lost a step and suck now. I just have hard time giving this guy any pity after the Lakers loaded up with geriatric stars to make a run an win the title. I just see no fun in that.

  • The Seattle Post Intelligencer Reporter give Ichiro some ink. It's easy to forget about Ichiro since he in the AL and on a bad team, but the he is the real deal Japanese player ulike a certain someone on the Mets team. It points out some of his accomplishments including breaking the record for the Most hits during the first four years of a players career with 840. The interesting part is that he did not just break it, he is going to shatter it. There is still plenty of baseball to come being that it was August 11th when he broke that record.

  • The New York Post points out Cameron's quest for 30/30. He is just slightly off the pace for stolen bases and is projected to swipe 27 bags. However, judging by the way he tried to swipe third on Sunday against Randy Johnson, I think he'll be giving himself the green light a bit more often in hot pursuit of this. He would be the first Met since 1991 to accomplish this. HoJo was the man who knocked in 38 homeruns and swiped 30 bags that year. HoJo accomplished that three times during his Met career.

  • Apparently I have no idea what I am talking about and the Mets could be held liable for tampering. The article does point out that Steinbrenner had done the same thing with Johnson in June and was not fined, but I guess the either the Yankees are above the law or the Diamondbacks are not cry babies like Kenny Williams. The bottom line is, Duquette's comments were on local radio station and they were vague and harmless. And the complaint about an anonymous source is utterly ridiculous. I mean, how many writers make up these anonymous sources. Shit, the other day Jason Stark made up a source when some anonymous scout said Fortunado, who is a 29 year old AAA reliever, projects to be a number #2 starter. The ridiculous part is, how many times do you here quotes or things said from front office people saying, "boy, I'd like to him on my team" or "who wouldn't want him on their team". Quit the crying.

  • I posted a Newsday link that had this before, but here it is again. In case anyone lost count, here is the breakdown.

    Since Jose Reyes made his major-league debut with the Mets on June 10, 2003, he has had a lengthy medical history:

    Aug. 31, 2003 - Injured left ankle sliding into second base.
    Sept. 5 - Placed on disabled list.
    March 14, 2004 - Strained right hamstring during spring training.
    April 4 - Placed on DL retroactive to March 26.
    April 30 - MRI revealed hamstring had not yet healed. Recovery also slowed by back pain.
    June 19 - Activated from 60-day DL.
    July 5-8 - Strained left shin.
    Aug. 10 - Aggravated the injury running out a triple.
    Aug. 13 - Placed on DL with a stress fracture of the left fibula.

  • Monday, August 16, 2004

    It's Monday, It's Raining, and I Have to be at Work

    The Mets finished their home stand 4-2. Not much to complain about there and when facing Randy Johnson with a depleted lineup, it was almost a foregone conclusion that you will not win that game. The 14 K’s backed up that thought as well. The Mets had little chance to win that game no matter how good Steve Trachsel pitched with a lineup that featured only two starters from opening day and I'm not sure Phillips can actually be classified as a starter at this point. The Mets DL list keeps growing a larger after Kaz Matsui finally went on the disabled list after pointlessly taking up a roster spot for a week when he was unable to participate in games. Now with the Mets having three extremely large cogs on the disabled list, their quest towards .500 is going to be a bit tougher, but they will get there. One good bit of news is the promotion of Craig Brazell to the majors and he should first see some action in Colorado. This is a great chance to see what type of contribution, if any, that he can make. Hopefully he shows the Mets something and being that he is a left-handed bat and a first baseman he can be vital in 2005. If he proves useful, he can allow the Mets to chase a top tier right fielder and top tier bullpen talent and would make Floyd expendable by bringing in another lefty bat into the lineup. I know he has a .260 something average in AAA, but if he can supply some power and keep his BA in that neighborhood, that may be enough. It would certainly be more production than the Mets have gotten when someone plays first this year. When Piazza plays there he has produced little to nothing, Phillips has not hit no matter where he plays, and Valent is the only one who resembled a productive first baseman this year and he is an outfielder.

    The thing about Brazell is this, if he can represent a reasonable facsimile of a major league first baseman it gives the Mets another option. The only two guys that could be labeled as difference makers that are available for first base next year are Richie Sexson and Carlos Delgado. However, in Richie Sexson's case, the D-Backs almost have to bring him back for the same reasons that the Mets need to bring back Kris Benson. For the amount of talent they gave up for Richie, they need to make good on that deal and resign him since his biggest contribution this year was breaking some bulbs on the centerfield scoreboard after hitting a mammoth homerun. Sexson's best seasons came as a Brewer and he played half of his games in a hitters park, but still put up almost identical numbers on the road. The bottom line is that Sexson, while being the best 1b free agent at season's end, looks like he will be a Diamonback next year because they need him bad. They need him really bad. As for Delgado, the price tag and the age may not be the smartest move for an already aging franchise. In 85 games this year he has 19 homeruns, so the power is still there, but he is only batting .236. He has six straight 30 homerun/100 RBI seasons coming into this year so the talent is there, but let’s face facts that he will be 33 next year and this money is better spent elsewhere. The time is now for Brazell to prove his worth despite the fact that many think that he serves little to no usefulness as a full time starting first baseman. His complete lack of plate discipline is his biggest knock. His lack of patience may not matter if the Mets can build a strong lineup and have a Brazell batting 6th or 7th while knocking in 25 homeruns, hitting .250-.265 while playing good D. Doing that just may be enough to round out the lineup. Brazell may never be an all-star, but he certainly may be a contributor in the line of Ty Wigginton while possibly even getting to the 30 homerun plateau down the line.

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  • The USA Men's basketball was downed by the Puerto Rican basketball team this weekend. They are 0-1 in Olympic competition this year and suffered the first Olympic loss since the creation of the Dream Team back in 1992. Maybe international competition is catching up, maybe it is because there is no burning desire to win. The Argentinian beat the USA team in the World Championships in 2002 to knock them out of the tournament and the Italy team beat the US this year in the prelims. Now the Puerto Rican team beat the US badly. The score was 92-73 and I do not care if there was no Shaq, KG, Jason Kidd, or Tracy McGrady, this team still has the most talent on the court. There is still Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Allan Iverson, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Richard Jefferson, etc. No other team has someone that can defend a guy like Tim Duncan who is probably the best basketball player at the Olympics. Problem is, they play this game much like the All-Star game. They do not seem to care and it resembles more of a one on one pick up game rather than an organized basketball game. The other teams routinely use plays, set up picks, and move without the ball much better. Basically they beat the US with fundamentals rather than skill. The NBA has changed quite a bit and the style of play that they US team employs is very indicative of that, but the reality is, that the US team is not dominant anymore. They still may move on to win the gold medal, but who really cares? I enjoyed when there were college players more. For the reason I love the USA Baseball teams in the Olympics and watching the likes of Ben Sheets and Roy Oswalt bring home the gold on the Olympic stage, I'd rather watch amature players for Basketball in the Olympics. It is much more gratifying than watching the NBA squad underachieve in the quest for the gold. I guess the main problem with that idea is that players never stay in college long enough to actually make it to the Olympics as an amature. In the past when the top talents hung around for 3 for 4 years, the US had a chance to field a much better team than they would nowadays. Since the landscape of the college sport has changed as drastically (if not more) as the NBA game, I guess we are destined to watched a bunch of B-level stars that don't really care or portray the image that they actually want to win this for their country.

  • Kenny Williams thinks that Jim Duquette is guilty of tampering.

    In reference to Ordonez, Duquette told the station: "It's a good name. I like that name. We'll be watching him. I wish he were healthy for the rest of the year. He's a proven hitter that'd look nice."

    Williams claims are utterly preposterous. For GM to mention that he likes a name and says that he will be watching a player who is destined to become a free agent, is quite frankly stating the obvious. Magglio has been one of the most consistent hitters over the years and the fact that Duquette expressed interest is not tampering but rather a forgone conclusion. Tampering would occur if the Mets maybe started calling Magglio's agent and sending Magglio flowers with wish you were here cards. The fact is that Duquette answered a silly question on a local radio station. Get over it Williams and start concentrating on those Indians and how the hell you plan to compete in a division that is starting to look pretty difficult over the next few years.

  • Franco is no fan of Howe. But in related news, NO ONE is a fan of Franco.

    "It's been three weeks," Franco said yesterday. "There has to be some place I can pitch."

    Umm, really, there isn't. Unless the Mets are down by 10, Franco should not be in the game. He should take a page out of Pat Hentgen's book and gracefully step down.

  • I wish I had paid access to Baseball Prospectus. They have an article on our lowly Mets. Rational Exuberance: Meet the Mets: A Decade Without a Plan is a title that certainly peaked my interest, but it's probably for the best that I do not read it or a explicative laden post may ensue. I'm sure I do not need any more fuel to the fire.

  • Jeff Keppinger responded well to his promotion to AAA. Jeff went 3 for 3 with one walk in Norfolk's 2-1 loss to Indianapolis. Jeff finished his short stint with Binghamton with a .362 average. Neal Musser took the loss although he did not pitch too bad. He surrendered two runs in five innings. He is now 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA.

  • There were roster moves galore over the weekend. From the promotion of Brazell, Keppinger, and Delgado all the way to Aarom Baldiris. Aarom when 1-4 with a double and an RBI in Binghamton's 6-5 loss to New Hampshire.

  • On Saturday an incredible 6 of 8 games where postponed in the Florida State League including two games for St. Lucie as they were tapped to play a double header.

  • On Saturday, Scott Hyde improved to 3-1 by going five innings, surrendering three hits, one run, walking four, and striking out six. He brought his ERA down to 3.45 in the contest. Brooklyn won 4-3 over New Jersey.

    On Sunday the Cyclones were victorious 3-1 over Aberdeen behind a stellar pitching performance by Michael Devaney who improved to 3-0. They went seven innings and allowed no earned runs which brings his ERA down to 1.79. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, and three doubles in the game. Tyler Davidson went 2 for 3 with one run scored, and two RBIs.

  • There is little at the Olympics more gratifying than watching Kerri Walsh and Misty May play beach volleyball while absolutely terrorizing and dominating opponents like they smacked up the Japanese team the other day. It was like watching high schoolers beat up on elementary school students. Walsh is 6-2 and a complete monster at the net. She was a blocking, spiking and all around intimidating against her opponents. Walsh and May are the anti-Mets at this point. They are setting the standard for excellence in their sport rather than being the example of how not to play a sport.

  • Did anyone know handball was an Olympic sport? I sure as hell didn't.

  • The USA is third for the total medal count with eight, but only has one gold medal to show for it. The only gold medal came after Michael Phelps won the 400m individual medley.

  • The Iraqi soccer team defeated Costa Rica to move to 2-0 in soccer.