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

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Epic Battle of the 47's

Last night was the battle of the lefties that wore 47 on the back of their Jersey's. One did not make it through two innings and the other went six innings. One gave up six runs the other gave up one run. Luckily our #47 was the better of the two. Glavine threw 100 pitches for six innings, seven hits, one run, one BB, and four K's. In a night in which Richard Hidalgo got a rare rest, the Mets tee'd off for nine runs which beats their total runs in the four game series against the Padres. Zeile, Williams, Floyd, and Cameron each had two hits and super stud David Wright went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. What can you say? The dude is good. He is now batting .299 on the season. The unbelievable part is some callers on WFAN were calling for the Mets to keep Wiggie and trade Wright as he is unproven. Wiggie is decent, but he is no Wright. Not many people are upset about losing Wiggie anymore. All around a solid 9-2 victory.

Jae Seo goes tomorrow against Odalis Perez and Kris Benson goes against Kaz Ishii on Sunday. Just what the Mets need, two more lefties. I think the Mets have faced every lefty in the league in the past few weeks.

How finally used Stanton and Franco as they should be used, in blowout games where even they could not possibly blow it (although Franco gave it the old college try).

Mike Cameron inches closer to 30/30 with one more stolen base. He needs two homeruns and nine stolen bases.

Tom Glavine inches closer to 300 wins with his 260th win. He can do it, but it will be close. If Moyer can pitch until he is 41, Glavine certainly can.

  • I was over at The Raindrops checking it out and as I was reading the comments. Someone demanded to see what Al Goldis and Bill Lively looked like.

    the last thing wilpon wants is for some radio host to affect his ticket sales. maybe he'll get pissed off and fire someone. at this point, i want this whole goddamned front office nuked-- duquette, the superscouts, leiter, franco, glavine-- every one of em.

    Posted by sean at August 27, 2004 05:29 PM
    and while i'm pissed off and ranting... what's up with these "superscouts"? these guys seem to have enough say in this organization to affect one of the biggest trades this team has made in years, yet they lurk in the shadows. who ARE bill livesy and al goldis? has anyone ever seen their faces? read an interview with them? are these guys now the decision-makers with regard to player evaluation? and if that's the case, why even call duquette the gm?

    i want answers!

    Posted by sean at August 27, 2004 05:36 PM

    Then I came to thinking, what in hell do these guys look like. We've read about them but we couldn't pick them out of a lineup of AARP members. So, here you go, the men in running the joint:

  • Not to awe-inspiring. Just old chubby men.

  • Anyone remember this tidbit from this article?

    Kazmir has also provided fodder recently for some who want the Mets to offer him up as trade bait for an established bat, like an Alfonso Soriano for instance. Wilpon shot down that idea as well, much like the way he dismissed Jose Reyes trade rumors earlier in the week.

    "There are only 29 other clubs interested in him [Kazmir]," Wilpon said. "But he's not going anywhere."

  • Cuba won another gold medal in baseball by defeating the Aussie team.

    Stupid statement of the day:

    "I hope the Americans come to understand that it's not just one
    country that rules the world in baseball," Australian catcher Dan Neilsen said. "The United States had the same chance as Cuba had, and it didn't qualify. I hope it's a wake-up call."

    The Americas participated in two qualifying pools with the tops two teams going to the Olympics:

    Bahamas, Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico are playing in the A-Pool. Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, Panama and USA are playing in the B-Pool. The top-two teams will qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    Now the American team won three consecutive games by beating their opponents by a combined 20-0 score. Yes, they did not even give up a run. Then, somehow an 0-3 Mexican team eliminated TEAM USA in a quarter final round. Mexico won 2-1 in the playoffs only to succumb to Canada in their semi-final match. Now, I know these tournaments cannot go on forever, but any team and can win on any given day. How bout they remove this x-factor and have the best teams go by earning it. Double elimination comes mind or maybe not allowing teams with no wins to make the playoffs adding more rounds for upsets to happen. If you are holding the Olympics once every four years, I do believe they should make the qualifying rounds as fluke-proof as possible. Yes, the United States had the same chance as everyone else to make it, but these teams are not devoid of talent. They can put together a miracle day and beat anyone. Mexico finished 1-4 and the US finished 3-1. Something does not sit right with me on that one. The finals should have been held between the two teams with the best records period end. If a winless team can make the playoffs, why even play any games prior to the playoffs? Regardless of all the garbage, the USA team does not win gold every Olympics. When they beat Cuba in 2000, it was an upset. They are not the gold standard for teams, just a solid team.
  • How exactly did the Aussies make it? By beating South Africa three times in row in best of five series. Not exactly as hard as the road traveled by the USA team. Look, it is obvious other countries are gaining skilled players in baseball and that is awesome, but Team USA was one of the two best teams in the America's again this time around. They still outscored opponents 22-2 and those two runs came at the worst time. I do not think they need a wake up call, they still look pretty good to me. The term shit happens comes to mind in regards to the USA's early exit and it is as simple as that.

  • Did anyone catch this amazing race? It started off bizarre enough as the entire crowd was booing so loud, they could not start the race. The locals were upset that their own Kostas Kenteris was not in the race and they were letting it be known. He was not in the race because he missed a drug test and was "involved" in a motorcycle accident. However, once the race got started it was a dominating performance by USA. Shawn Crawford took gold, Bernard Williams took silver, and Justin Gatlin took bronze completing the sixth time the United States has taken all three medals in the 200m.

    Bernard Williams on the booing preceding the race:
    "It was like 'Showtime at the Apollo," said Williams, an amateur comedian. "I was waiting for the Sandman to come out."

    That quote is definitely a gem.

  • Ichiro Suzuki (as of last night anyway) was on pace to hit 257 hits this season, which would tie him with George Sisler for the all-time record of hits in one season. This one is going to go down to the wire and should be exciting to watch.

  • In St. Lucie's loss to Palm Beach, Mike Piazza and Scott Strickland made appearances. Scott when one innings surrendering no earned runs and struck out two. Piazza went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and one double.

  • Kazmir gets his next start tomorrow against Mark Mulder. This is going to be his first big test in the majors. Hopefully he'll stick it too Mulder.

  • Aarom Baldiris had his first big day in Binghamton. He went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a double and two RBIs.

  • Friday, August 27, 2004

    The Mets Deal Wheeler to Astros

    Dan Wheeler is now Houston Astro. Wheeler who was decent long man was dealt for minor league outfielder Adam Seuss. Adam turns 24 on Tuesday has not played a day over A-ball. Mets.com alludes to the fact that this opens a roster spot for this Saturday's pitcher. I liked Wheeler after last year and although he was disappointing this year, I did not give up on him. This is just another silly move by the Mets that makes little sense. Releasing Gerald Williams or not picking up Buchanan would have been the smart moves, but once again we fans are resigned to scratch our heads.

    We've Had Our First Defection

    Eric has jumped ship, SaberMets is now SaberSox. I guess all of us left are like the band members playing their instruments as the Titanic goes down.


    Ever see in the movies how they have to put a horse out of it's misery when it breaks it's leg or gets injured? The horse is helpless and suffering and cannot get up, so they plug a round of lead in it's head. That is how I feel about the Mets right now. Someone please put them out of their confused misery.

    "There ain't no light at the end of the tunnel."
    -Cliff Floyd

    "I don't know even why you come in here to talk to me," Howe said. "It's the same story."

    Some good news:
    "[Free agency] is just a backup plan. I've waited six years to go to a team that I would definitely want to be on, and this is it. If it works out, I'm all for it,"
    -Kris Benson on re-signing

    The Mets dropped another game to the Padres getting swept in a four game series at Shea. During the series they average 2.5 runs per game while surrendering 6.5 runs. That is not too good for the kids keeping score at home. The object of the game is get more runs than the opponent. It would have been worse had it not been for some late inning heroics in yesterday's game (can you even call them that?) by Eric Valent and Mike Cameron. Valent had a solo homerun and Mike Cameron hit is 28th in his quest towards 30. Is anyone else concerned about Traschel? His second half is pretty scary and his ERA is up to 3.96 and barreling down on 4.00. In August he is 1-3 with a 5.46 ERA and a .331 BAA. This is the reason why I thought the Mets should keep their options open in regards to his option. Keep your options open at all times. Do not paint yourself into a corner.

    At this point, the Mets are 59-67 and falling fast. Piazza is not expected back for another week and Matsui is not due back until mid-September. The Mets fabled quest towards .500, which has always been the goal for me in regards to this team, looks really bleak. The Mets would have to play eight games over .500 to get there. There just is simply not enough major league caliber starters taking the field on the daily basis to make a run at it. If you ask me if it is possible, I'd say emphatically no. Sure anything is possible, and I can win the lottery, but the Mets getting back to .500 has about the same odds as me winning the lottery.

    Mike's attempt at a positive spin:
    However, do we really want them to reach .500? It would be nice, but if the season ended today, the Mets would hold the 10th pick in the draft. Why is that good?

    Teams are awarded compensation in the form of draft picks based on the type of free agent involved. A team losing a Type A free agent gets the first-round pick of the team that signs the player, as well as a supplemental pick. A team losing a Type B free agent receives only the signing team's top pick. In both cases, a team selecting in the top half of the draft rotation cannot lose its first-round pick. The loss of a Type C free agent provides a team a pick between the second and third rounds.

    If the Mets pick in the top half of the draft, they cannot lose their first round pick if they chase a type A free agent that has been offered arbitration. At worst they can lose their 2nd round pick. IF the Mets could manage a run at .500 and actually get there, that may leave them with the 16th pick. At this point there are 16 teams under .500 and 15 is the cut-off for not losing your 1st round pick. It comforts me to know, the Mets have a top half pick pretty much locked up because the likelihood of run is slim to none. So at this point, I'd rather draft the lowest possible pick and make a run at Stephen Drew now that it is apparent that he may not sign with the D-Backs. I do not like a system that does not allow the worst teams to pick up the best talent, but people may pass on him again due to monetary demands. His brother scorned the Phillies and played in the Cape Cod League, and he may do the same if it is not given what he wants. The Mets could certainly afford it and may get lucky as they have in past drafts with Milledge and Kazmir falling into their laps.

    * * *

  • David Wright seems to be settling in more. He went 0-2 in yesterday's game, but still managed to walk twice. Next year we could be looking at a .300 BA, 20 homers, 80 RBIs, 80 runs scored, a .400 OBP, and 15 stolen bases. It's a shame that his arrival is overshadowed by negativity surrounding the team. He is the lone bright spot this year as Reyes was last year.

  • Who Does not hate Francesa? I sure do, but the funniest thing is this:

    "Change the personality of that team," Francesa demanded.

    Personality? Francesa has the personality of Eor after a lobotomy on the radio. Maybe it would be easier to talk if Jeter's junk was not in your mouth, but that is just a thought.

  • This was one bright spot to an otherwise dismal day.

  • Petit will be headed towards AA-Binghamton. Yes, the Mets have promoted a 19 year old to AA and I like this move alot.

  • Add Bartolome Fortunato to the list of ailing Mets. The reliever, obtained with injured Victor Zambrano on July 30, experienced shoulder discomfort during an appearance Monday. Fortunato said he had an MRI that revealed inflammation and that he may not pitch this weekend.

  • The D-Backs have 72 hours to sign Drew.

    "If there were classes on Friday, he would be attending," Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin said in an Associated Press report Thursday. "If he and the Diamondbacks do not come to an agreement, he will attend class on Tuesday."

    Baseball America says it is more politics than anything.

  • Lastings Milledge went 2 for 3 with one run scored, a double, a walk, and four RBIs. He is getting a walk a night these days and is batting .342. Cap City bear Columbus 12-11 and continues their torrid play. In that game, Blake Whealy also hit his 21st homerun.

  • Victor Diaz in center field? Believe it. He played CF for a bit in the last night's Norfolk game. To continue a bizarre trend, he also walked TWICE!!!
  • Olympic Update

    Beach volleyball is far and away the best sport in the summer olympics.

    Thursday, August 26, 2004

    To Demote or Not to Demote

    From Baseball America's latest Prospect Pulse:

    The Mets have moved two of their top remaining prospects, outfielder Lastings Milledge and righthander Matt Lindstrom, back to low Class A Capital City to help the Bombers make a playoff push. It's business as usual for the Mets, who demote players more than any organization in an attempt to win in the minor league playoffs--especially at short-season Brooklyn.

    Milledge hit .235/.319/.432 in 81 at-bats in a brief callup with high Class A St. Lucie, and his nine walks in 22 games matched his total in 52 games with the Bombers, where he has hit .322/.373/.593 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs.

    "He has tremendous bat speed and is a real good athlete," said an area scout with an AL club. "(The Mets) depleted their system and traded a lot of their top guys--I mean, I thought Kazmir had big league stuff last year--so Milledge is probably their top guy."

    That business as usual line is classic. I know some people have serious problems with this but there are two distinct arguments here.

    What is more important, 1) player development or 2) winning minor league pennants while demoting guys who are clearly above that league to help you do so. There are two sides of the argument. Which one are the Mets on?

    1) As far as player development goes, that should always be the #1 priority for prospects. The minors are not for winning, they developing talent for the major leagues. If you do happen to win along the way, it is a nice bonus and would probably be indicative of a strong system at all levels and it should be. You should not win pennants because you have high A ball and AA players on a low A or short season roster. For me, if you have a player and you want him to work on developing plate discipline, you can have him do that. Specifically tell him to not swing at the first pitch and start taking some pitches. Their numbers may suffer and it may hurt the team and their record, but the player rounding out his game is more important in the long run. In terms of pitching, a player can learn a new pitch while getting smacked around. For instance, if Jae Seo ever decides to learn a curve ball, there is no better place than at AAA to start trying it out. Seo may get tuned up for a few starts by throwing it more than he should, but minor league numbers and the team records should take back seat to player development. To take some valuable playing time away from some of your top prospects against better competition in which they can improve their games against is perhaps not the smartest idea. You also displace players on the lower levels and perhaps stunt their current growth while the sit on the bench or get demoted as well.

    2) Winning is something that is infectious. One of Kazmir, Wright, and Peterson's best memories were winning their hig A ball championship. The idea that instilling a winning attitude and giving a player a taste of what playoff pressure and competition is about can only move them forward while building character. If a player has won at mostly every step of their minor league career, they come to expect winning. They develop a desire to win and strive for that all time. I know you are thinking who does not want to win, but until you do, you do not know what it feels like and may be complacent. Winning is addictive and once is not enough. For a chance to give your players this unique experience of a playoff atmosphere is just as valuable as the 60 or 70 at bats or three or four starts they would be missing against better competition. It only better prepares them for the future even if you are demoting players that are above the competition. The experience will be a lasting one.

    Which is right and which is wrong? I tend to think somewhere in the middle. It is not as simple as you just do not do it or you do it. There are some instances when it is OK and some when it is not. Lastings is 19 and is ahead of schedule anyway. Give him a chance to win something in professional ball this early in his career. For a guy like Lindstrom, he needs to keep moving. He took two years off to go on a Mormon mission so he is behind schedule as is. He is getting demoted to low A-ball when a AA call up may have been more warranted for the rest of the season. He turned 24 in February and had a 5-5 record, with a 3.77 ERA exhibiting good control for a flame thrower in high A-ball. For me, he is not getting younger and with his power arm he has no room to be demoted. After holding his own for Cap City, he should have been given a chance to show his ability in AA. He should be fast tracked until a level proves to be too much for him. He'll be 25 and heading into spring training in 2005 with only a few appearances in high A ball and does not look like he’ll reach AAA until he is 26. That is counter productive. A guy that old that still has a lot of potential considering he can get the ball near 100 mph and has good control needs to be moving onward and upward at this age and does not need to be hanging around low A ball. He still has good stuff and projects as a back of the rotation starter.

    In addition to the demotion of those two recently, the Evan MacLane demotion earlier in the year has been much maligned. He had proved he can pitch at Cap City with a 2.39 ERA and was rewarded by being demoted to Brooklyn. I believe the Mets demote players for the playoffs for all the wrong reasons. They have everything screwed up. Although Milledge's demotion makes more sense, I'm sure they did it for all the wrong reasons. Aarom Baldiris played the entire season at St. Lucie. If he was eligible to be demoted to the Cap City squad, I’m sure he would have. With the recent organizational moves of the Mets, it's hard for anyone not to be critical of anything they do. Until they prove that they have a clue, this kind of stuff will not stop and shouldn't stop. This organization proves they are clueless day after day. Their priorities are not where they should be.

    * * *

  • If this does not make you want to lose your lunch, nothing will. Although some people are more optimistic , I'll believe it when I see it.

    The article does mention that Durkin has signed which is some bit a good news. He was signed for $800,000, which is more than the initial $750,000 the Mets offered, but well below his $950,000 demand.

    "The tools are all there," said the righthander, who added that he has thrown 96 mph and averages in the low 90s. "I'm confident I'll be able to bounce back."

    He was a pre-season All-American selection by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper as well as ranked in the preseason by Baseball America as the nation's 18th-best junior professional prospect. At San Jose State he compiled a 4.49 ERA, while going 8-5, going 110.1 innings, giving up 101 hits, walking 49, and striking out 103 in 2004, which hurt his draft position. He only allowed four homers in those 110.1 innings. His 2004 season was a huge disappointment after post ERAs of 2.76 and 2.60 in his first two seasons. Matt was previously drafted in the 10th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of San Jose's Willow Glen High in 2001 and was a projected first round prior to the 2004 season. He has a fastball that ranges between 92-94 mph.

    Now Humber needs to be brought in. Although, if I were him, another year a Rice would be looking mighty nice right about now. He can have one more year of no worries at school, beer, and college girls, or he can sign with an inept franchise that will most likely trade him for some pitcher with a career ERA over 4.00 and that is either injured or not going to resign.

    On Humber:

    "We haven't really had any significant discussion," Duquette said. "We're still quite a bit apart."

    Humber and agent Michael Moye are waiting to see what other pitchers taken in the top six picks sign for before agreeing to a deal. As long as Humber doesn't go back to college baseball this year, the Mets retain his rights until next June's draft.

    Not much will get me too happy in September, but this is one thing that will. Signing this blue chipper and shipping him to the AFL.

  • Piazza may be back by the end of the week. However, he will be playing first. This only adds credence to my argument that Brazell should have gotten some time at first while Piazza was gone. Now he has played a full year at AAA and the Mets should have given him a 10 game look to see what he could have done. Do they really think they are still in the playoff hunt? Let the kids play. Now they will play Piazza a lot at first so they can get an idea of where he will be in 2005. Brazell better be ready to ride the pine.

  • Scott Strickland will pitch for St. Lucie tomorrow and Jae Seo will pitch for the Mets against the Dodgers on Saturday in place of Aaron Heilman. I'm kind of surprised Strickland was not added to the Cap City roster or the Brooklyn roster for the playoff push.

  • The D-Backs and Drew do not look like they are made for each other. Drew is expected to go back to school and start attending classes. Hey, maybe the Mets can snag him with their compensation pick next year from Kris Benson. I'm sure Drew will fall back in the draft again due to his demands.

  • Wednesday, August 25, 2004

    This Is Getting Comical

    The Mets optioned Heath Bell to AAA Norfolk to make room for the newest Met, Brian Buchanan .

    "We've been battling through a period here and maybe Buchanan can provide us with some offensive spark, especially against left-handers," general manager Jim Duquette said. "We'll see if he provides some extra pop."

    Look, I'm sure he is a nice guy, but do we need more people on this team that have no future here? Let's get some ABs for Vic Diaz and keep Heath Bell up to see what he can do. This is just ridiculous. Good, now we have a worse version of Shane Spencer. Anymore castoffs want to join the Mets?

    Yes I realize Bell and Diaz will be up on Sept. sometime, but I'd rather have them here now instead of giving more time to useless pieces.

    Baseball America Showing Some Love for Some Farmhands

  • Baseball America had some things to say about Victor Diaz, Gabby Hernandez, and Evan MacLane in their new Daily Dish:

    Right fielder Victor Diaz went deep twice as Triple-A Norfolk defeated Charlotte 5-3 in 15 innings. Diaz, who came over to the Mets with righthanders Kole Strayhorn and Joselo Diaz from the Dodgers for outfielder Jeromy Burnitz last season, is hitting .290/.326/.498 with 23 homers in 126 games. Diaz was moved from second base to the outfield this season and has responded well to the new position.

    This is pretty good to see him get some attention and for them to say that he is responding to right field pretty well. Maybe he'll end up being in right or left field next year. I guess we'll have to see if he plasters some pitching in September.

    Some of the best news in the Mets system is coming in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, where righthander Gaby Hernandez, a fourth-round pick out of a Miami high school, continues to throw well. Hernandez struck out eight in six shutout innings, giving up two hits, in a 4-2 win against the GCL Dodgers. He lowered his ERA to 1.09 and has 58 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 49 2/3 innings as a pro.

    Really, no one from the GCL league gets mentioned much at all. He has been mentioned twice (that I know of) already. Hopefully he can turn into a steal. You have to love that K/BB ration though for a kid coming out of high school no matter what league he is in.

    Another Mets farmhand, lefthander Evan MacLane continues to dominate the short-season New York-Penn League. Of course, since MacLane, 21, was 5-2, 2.39 with low Class A Capital City in the first half, it makes sense that he would be pitching well with Brooklyn, facing generally less-experienced players. He struck out 10 in eight shutout innings Tuesday to move to 5-2, 2.18 with an impressive 58-5 strikeout-walk ratio in 62 innings. The Cyclones, 35-27, have a one-game lead in the McNamara Division.

    This is something Avkash at The Raindrops was critical about when Evan MacLane was demoted. It did not make too much sense then and sure does not now. He should not be in Brooklyn, but it is nice to see him get some attention. This was definitely added to the Daily Dish after yesterday's little dig here to prove their point further. At this point, you cannot argue with them, but I do not think it is always that cut and dry...but in this case it is that cut and dry. He should be in Cap City.

  • The good people at Baseball America also had this gem:

    Scott Kazmir's major league debut sure was fun to watch, wasn't it? Unless you're a Mets fan, of course

    They are just letting the Mets have it. I really want to try and forget about it, but it's hard not to get pissed when people keep writing crap about it. I guess this is going to happen after each good start, so I better get used to it.

    Putting Your Best Foot Forward

    Injuries have obviously killed the Mets this year. But yesterday's lineup was comical.

    Jeff Kepinger 2b
    Vance Wilson C (yes! Vance batting 2nd)
    Gerald Williams LF
    Richard Hidalgo RF
    Mike Cameron CF
    David Wright 3b
    Jason Phillips 1b
    Wilson Delgado SS

    When you field a team like that, there is basically no shot you are going to win. The Mets only mustered four hits and one run off of the Padres. I do not care if Gerald Williams is hitting .313, he should not be batting 3rd. I do realize he scored the only run, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. There were only three legitimate starters in the field yesterday for the Mets and one of them almost went down. Hidalgo was attempting to make a play in the field and had appeared to hurt his leg. It would be truly scary if he went down. Howe obviously was sitting Valent because a lefty was on the mound. Art continues to do this crap and puts an inferior product on the field because of his precious manage by the book matchups. Valent should have been at first or left and should get a chance to bat against lefties. You have to figure out what you have there. The Mets are going no where now is the time to see what Valent can do. I’d rather see Brazell at first instead of Phillips and Valent in left instead of Williams. That is my choice for fielding a different lineup that does not seem as depressing. Also, I would have had Garcia or Keppinger at SS instead of Delgado. Aren’t they the utility men of the future? To what end does it service to play players like Williams and Delgado who serve no long term purpose on this Met team? It was clear that lineup would not have gotten it done, so the Mets should be busy assessing what they have and what they will need for 2005. In a few days Victor Diaz will be up from AAA and he will be taking some of these at-bats that are going to Gerald Williams and I am looking forward to it. There is not much to look forward too, but that is one thing I am excited about.

    Every game that Benson pitches decent and gets nothing for it is just one more reason for him to test free agency. But hey, at least the Mets will get a compensation pick and sandwich pick for what they gave up right?

    * * *

  • The White Sox are mulling post Magglio options. News about his knee seem to be getting worse by the day.

  • Randy Johnson may still be pitching for another team this summer, although unlikely.

  • Jeff Francis is the 2nd highly touted and highly anticipated lefty to make his major league debut in three days. Luckily he will be pitching on sea level today, but good luck pitching a mile high.

  • In some good news, Cliff Floyd, nailed on the right elbow Monday night, did not play but pulled a couple of homers to right in batting practice.

  • Orber Moreno was moved to the 60 day DL to make room for Heath Bell on the 40 man roster.

  • Kazmir quotes:

    "He's a No. 1 guy," said Martinez, the former Yankee. "Not to rub it in to the Mets, but he's got great stuff. You can see that. When things got tough out there, he didn't get flustered, he didn't fall apart. It's just a great pickup for the Devil Rays."

    "You don't see too many lefties hitting 96, 97," Boone said. "Very rarely does a lefty throw that hard."

    "He's electric for being so young," Tampa Bay catcher Toby Hall said.

    Howe said the negative reaction to the deal was not necessarily coming from fans, but had been concocted by the news media. Asked why fans seem to oppose the trade, he said, "The fans do because you write it."

    Um, no Art. We all have two eyes and brain. We deduced the crappiness of this trade all by ourselves. Way to sell us short you waste of a manager. Anyone that bats Gerald Williams third should be drawn and quartered.

    On the trade:

    "I hated to lose a guy like Kazmir, but I liked to get a Zambrano," Peterson said. "This is not a three-week trade. Zambrano is eight games over .500 and was third in the American League, or whatever, in batting average against. Unfortunately, there were some things we didn't know at the time we made the trade. But the way I looked at it, we have control of him [Zambrano] for the next three years."

    You had control of Kazmir for six years.

  • Let's see if Matt Durkin can sign today. It would be a bit of good news in an otherwise rather depressing time to be a Mets fan.
  • Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    You Just Have to Laugh

    This post from Tom was classic. I could not help but crack up at this:

    Now tonight, Aaron Heilman will make his 2004 debut against Jake Peavy. About 3 hours after Heilman debuts, Scott Kazmir will pitch for Tampa against Seattle. In typical Mets fashion, Heilman will get roughed up, and Kazmir will throw a 2 hit shutout.

    Not quite, but pretty damn close.

    Monday, August 23, 2004

    It's Official

    ....It's official that Kaz is moving to second base and it is also official the Mets front office is stupid. Any shadow of a doubt that I held out is gone, they are boneheads

    Jim Duquette says Kaz has been talked to about moving to second base and he accepted the move.

    I'll just ignore this. Besides, he was far away from making an impact on the ML roster and his arm could not shoulder the load. It was one game yes, and one game does not make a season. But he topped 100 pitches and kept his velocity up although he had some control issues. But I'd rather have a 20 year old lefty fireballer with control problems than a 29 year old righty with control problems. Now if you excuse me, I'm going to drown myself in the toilet. It was ironic that he made his debut tonight when we had a certain someone make their 2004 debut for the Mets with drastically different results.

    Floyd should miss a couple of games after getting hit in the elbow by Jake Peavy. I know he has the injury prone tag, but bad things do seem to happen to him. With the bad luck he has, he fits right in with the Mets.

    I'm too pissed to discuss much Mets, so I won't.

    * * *

  • This is from Jason Stark's Wild Pitches column:

    On Adam Dunn's August 10th home run:
    Fortunately, Dunn's mighty homer off Lima didn't break any windows or cause any concussions. According to an HOK architect who helped design the park, it landed on a street named Mehring Way, a ridiculous 535 feet from home plate.

    Then it hopped along for another 200 feet or so and came to rest on a piece of driftwood on the banks of the Ohio River. Which, according to local geographers, meant it was hit in Ohio and came to rest in KENTUCKY.

    That is crazy. It is not too often that a baseball will traverse two states before finally laying to rest.

  • Jonah Keri from Baseball Prospectus believes he has a better way to build a baseball team. One large component is using the four man rotation. I just do not think that is possible these days over a complete season. The interesting part of this idea is that it will only add around 55 innings a year if the starter is averaging six innings a start. Can starters throw 25+% more innings over the course of the year in four man rotation? I'd say some can, but the number of pitchers who could is small. In modern baseball, the chances of this happening are nil. The last time a player had 40 or more starts was Charlie Hough in 1987. There are not many workhorses in the league these days in the rotation to have many teams assemble a four guys that can make this happen. Some teams could find the talent, but maybe 1 or 2 would be able to. However, even if you could find four starters that could do it, the other parts have to be assembled in the pen as well. The idea of a four man rotation is also predicated on finding a bevy of reliable relievers on your team that can routinely go multiple innings if needed. It is tough enough to find three quality guys to pitch one inning out of the pen much less three that can go two innings reliably. Keri does reference the fact that more scouting will need to be employed and teams would have to explore the depths of their farm systems in search of starters languishing in lifetime minor league rolls that may be of some use.

    He does mention of stripping all labels such as closer or set up man which I hold heartedly agree with. Too many times you have your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th best reliever pitching in the highest leverage situation only to hand the game over to you highest paid and highest skilled reliever IF he makes it through it. Most of the closer's opportunities are not in tight situations as many of the set-up men. Also in the bullpen he advocates dumping lefty-lefty/righty/right match ups which I simply deplore as much as he does. Art Howe would role over his grave if he read that one (I know he's not dead, but I can pretend right?).

    It is a pretty good read although I feel he kind of dumbs it down a bit. The idea that it is just that easy to assemble the type of team with players than can perform in the roles he defined is not going to happen. At least not for every single major league team. You would be hard pressed to get one or two teams to assemble the type of quality players to fill Keri's ideal roster. The game of baseball has been around a while and for better or for worse has progressed to where it is now and will most likely stay the way it is. There is far greater emphasis on pitch counts and innings pitched and with the rash of pitcher's going under the knife and not being able to shoulder the load. The idea of squeezing more out of them would prove to be rather tricky and something that would completely buck the trend. I am for managers and GMs bucking trends especially when there is room to improve. I do think he brings up some good ideas in terms of a four man rotation. I think teams can simply skip the fifth starter spot more than they do. If you have pitcher that can give you 40 starts like Schilling, I think you should use him that way. Those extra five or six games he starts is certainly better than passing them on to some fifth starter whose ERA is over 5. Also if a team is making a playoff push and they have four quality and relatively capble arms, it does not seem harmful to do a four man rotation for a certain stretch or half the year even in some cases.

    The White Sox who have had just horrible success with their fifth starter and have some relatively youthful arms in their rotation would be a prime candidate for the four man rotation experiment at least for a portion of the season. Their top four starters would certainly have more success pitching on short rest than whomever is playing the role of their fifth starter on that given day. However, instead of trying that direction, they have been searching for fifth for the past two seasons. They had one temporarily in Schoeneweis, but he got injured. A four man rotation may have been their best shot of the playoffs and keeping up with the Twins.

  • Buyer beware? Adrian Beltre is certainly having a career year at age 25. His career batting average coming into this year was .262. He has never hit more than 23 homeruns prior to this season and has not driven in more then 85 runs. His highest batting average was .290 at age 21. Beltre was signed as an undrafted free agent from the Dominican Republic and began playing Rookie Level ball at the age of 16. Not only did he play rookie level ball at 16, but he hit .307. He has a career minor league batting average of .307 and made the jump from AA to the majors at 19 and has stuck in the Dodgers lineup. After his 2000 campaign when he was just 21 and hit .290, knocked 20 homeruns, and drove in 85 RBIs, he only reinforced what the Dodgers thought of him. That was that he was going to be a superstar. Coming into this year, he did not post a BA higher than .265 since the 1999 and 2000 seasons at 20 and 21 years old. Beltre was seemingly going backwards and becoming an enigma of sorts.

    Then came 2004. In 118 games, he has shattered his previous high of 23 homers by 15 and has 38 and counting. He already has topped his career high in RBIs and is only two runs away from topping that one also. His AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS have all obviously increased over his career averages with the production he is laying out. However, the real issue is how much is he worth? Beltre always had the ability and still had age on his side being that he is only 25. As disappointing as he was, he was still young so the Dodgers held out hope. The year he is having is of superstar proportions. Is he worth a mega contract with something of equivalent value that Miguel Tejada had received, or are people going to be skeptical that Beltre will regress as he has done before? Beltre's contract this time around is going to be his best shot at breaking the bank. His next contract should take him at least until he is 30. He is primed to begin a stretch run of 6 or 7 amazing years if he can keep it up and will most likely try and maximize his opportunity. Is he worth eight million per year or 12 million per year? Or should he still be considered a risk?

  • 14 games in 14 days

    Coming into Sunday's action, David Wright was hitting .372 for the month of August after batting .256 for the month of July. Out of nineteen games in August he has a least one hit in fifteen of them. He has also belted four homeruns in August so far. The good news for Met fans is that it will only get better. He still has only walked four times on the season and stole one base. We all know that the type of plate discipline and the ability to lay off pitches will translate into more free passes for David. We all know he proved he can steal on the minor league level and as soon as he gets confident in his skills and ability to read major league pitchers, I'm sure he will swipe quite a number of bases once he figures it all out. When Reyes shakes this injury bug, life will be good on the left side of the infield.

    The Mets dropped this series in San Fran and now sit eight games out in the wildcard with San Diego and LA heading into town. They begin a stretch in which they play fourteen games in fourteen days. For a battered team, this is going to be very, very tough. On top of that, the Mets having flown out of San Fran after the game had ended should have arrived in NYC in the early AM this morning. Luckily Aaron Heilman will be nice and rested for his first start in the majors for 2004 because the rest of the players should be plenty tired. The Mets will have to gut this two week stretch out if they hope to finish this season on a high note.

    Ginter on Barry's homerun off him in the first inning:

    "It didn't make it to the water, though."

    Classic. Ginter really did pitch well after he settled in from the first inning. He continues to keep the Mets in the game and give them a chance to win every time he takes the mound. I still maintain he would have been a fine fifth starter.

    * * *

  • Shockingly the Boston Red Sox have suddenly closed the gap in the AL East to 5.5 games. Riding a six game winning streak, the Red Sox, with some help from the Angels, have just made a race that was supposed to be over a bit more interesting. The Yankees were supposed to be in cruise control waiting for October to start, but it seems like Boston has other plans.

  • The San Diego tribune brings up a fantastic memory from the 1994 strike year. Not only did it assist Atlanta in it's flawed division title record and the Expos chance a playoff and world series appearance, it screwed Tony Gwynn from getting any chance at .400. Greedy bastards.

  • The Post reports that Kris Benson has rejected the Mets' offer of two years and $12M along with two team option years. The two sides will talk more next week.

  • An excerpt from Newsday:

    Magglio Ordoñez might not be the best Mets target after all. Word is his knee condition is quite serious. Reinsdorf is a fan and might try to keep him with an incentive-laden deal now.

    Better start thinking of Plan B.

  • In the Daily News' minor league report they already tell us what we already know, Petit is the #1 arm in the system. However, the interesting piece of the article is when they speculate that Humber will be one of the pitchers to be named later chosen to pitch in the AFL when/if he is signed.

  • NYFansites reports that Matt Durkin may be coming to NY to sign on Wednesday.

  • Brooklyn beat New Jersey on Sunday with Ambiorix Concepcion going 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a double. He is now batting .317 on the season. Mike Swindell, who started the game for the Cyclones, went eight innings giving up only on hit and one walk.

  • Lasting Milledge went 2 for 6 on Sunday during a double header for Cap City. He had a two homeruns and four RBIs and continues to draw walks. The Bombers took both ends of the double dip.

  • Victor Diaz went 2 for 5 with his 21st homerun during a double header on Sunday. The Tides won both games with Pat Strange and Bobby Keppel both throwing solid games. Keppel has seemingly turned it around after a dismal start to his 2004 campaign in AAA.

  • Brad Meyers, the Mets 14th round pick has decided to go to college and not sign with the Mets.

  • Scott Kazmir makes his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays against the Seattle Mariners. He will go against fellow rookie Bobby Madritsch. Tonight’s game should be interesting.