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

Saturday, September 11, 2004

The Streak Ends At One

Despite homeruns from Wright, Hidalgo, and Keppinger, the Mets fell 8-5 to the Phillies ending their win streak at 1. They continue to live and die by the homer as all the runs scored were off home runs. Leiter was vintage Leiter throwing 96 pitches while walking four in four innings. He gave up eight hits and now owns a 3.21 ERA. In Al's last four starts, he has thrown 21.2 innings while giving up 17 runs and walking 15. He has also given up 28 hits in that span. It is hard not to look at Leiter's and Trachsel's second half numbers. It is a really cause for concern. Even Glavine has posted a 4.86 ERA putting 90 runners on base in 53.2 innings. He has also struck out only 23 batters while getting tagged to the tune of a .313 BAA. The Mets need to get younger in their rotation in 2005. A Glavine, Leiter, Trachsel trio in the rotation for 2005 could be a train wreck. The Mets had meaningful games for large part of the season and in 2005 they may have no meaningful games if their age keeps showing. Sometimes teams have to walk away from players. If the Mets had a young rotation they could afford to have a geriatric or two, but not three.

The only thing keeping me going is Wright and his 11th homerun. The numbers he'd put up over an entire season at age 21 is mind boggling. A top three of

SS Reyes
2B Matsui
3B Wright

is certainly something to look forward too, but Reyes health is too big of an x-factor.

  • Jeff Francis wins Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. The odds are that Jeff goes on to have a solid major league career, or he would if he was not pitching in Colorado. Since 1981, only five picks have not made a major impact on the game and all players picked have had long major careers. I'm giving Jon Rauch and Rick Ankiel passes since they are only 25 and still developing. Both have the talent to hang around the league for a while and I already wrote about Ankiel here, so no need to go into that again. As for Rauch, there really is no precedent for 6-11 pitchers. Randy Johnson did not post his first dominant season until he was 29 after he learned to garner some control. Johnson walked 120 at 26, 152 at 27, and 144 at 28 before cutting it down under 100 at 29. I'm not saying Rauch will be another Randy Johnson, but he certainly has the talent to be a good player.

    Baeball America should be happy with their track record. They picked the likes of Doc Gooden, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, Gregg Jefferies (twice), Eric Chavez, Joe Mauer, Josh Beckett, Manny Ramirez, Jose Canseco, Frank Thomas, etc and there is no reason to think Jeff Francis will not follow suit.

  • ESPN Power Rankings has the Mets listed in the #27 spot with only Mariners, Royals, and D-Backs behind them.

  • The word shilack comes to mind when describing Javier's outing last night. He gave up eight runs in 2 1/3 innings. He is 13-9 with a 4.94 ERA. Schilling came through for the BoSox and they are now only 2.5 behind the Yanks again.

  • Does Hidalgo look like a good 2005 signing anymore? His average continues to fall though his power numbers remain pretty high. He is now batting .248 with the Mets with a .324 OBP. His 19 homeruns over 71 games as a Met would certainly look nice over a 162 games, but as some fantasy buffs have warned, Hidalgo is streaky, streaky, streaky. The Mets need consistency. With much uncertainty to who could provide consistency outside Wright in 2005, the Mets need to make sure that anyone they sign/re-sign will be able to provide that. Hidalgo is not that guy. You cannot hold onto Floyd and Hidalgo unless Floyd unless Floyd moves to first which does not seem likely.

  • I kind of like this idea. Catchers know the game and Cary would be in the Mike Scocia kind of mold.

  • In some notes from NJ.com:

    The Mets were waiting to hear news from Los Angeles, where pitcher Victor Zambrano was scheduled to have his right elbow examined by orthopedic specialist Lewis Yocum. The pitcher has already been examined by orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., who found nothing structurally wrong with the elbow.

    This is good news.

    The Mets announced they had purchased the contract of outfielder Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk. Diaz batted .292 with 24 homers and 94 RBI for the Tides and is expected to join the club in time for today's game.


    * * *

    Today is an important day for a number of reasons. Since I have the inability to write with any eloquence and would not do it justice, you can read about remembrance here.

  • Friday, September 10, 2004

    In Case You Missed It

    Jim Caple had a funny as hell article on the Yankees request for MLB to issue a forfeit in favor of the Yankees. This was requested after the Devil Rays failed to make the first game of a Labor Day Double header due to hurricane Frances. Some quick quotes:

    Hurricane Frances killed at least 10 people in Florida, knocked out power to six million, dumped 12 inches of rain throughout the state and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.

    But the Yankees suffered the worst brunt of the hurricane, by far. Frances inconvenienced them for a whole day.


    We played the night Alex Rodriguez's limo broke down on the Major Deegan. We played the night Jason Giambi cut the cheese on the team bus and everybody had to get out and walk the rest of the way. We played the night Ruben Rivera stole Joe Torre's hubcaps.

    And the Devil Rays can't get to the airport on time?

    Read the entire article, Pulitzer Award winning stuff.

    Tim Keown's article was another funny short write up on the Yankees forfeit request.

    “Nice Field, Bad Team”

    I took my New Joisey accent and my New Joisey good looks to Colorado for the past few days visiting some family right outside Denver. While out there I wanted to check our Coors Field and see it in all of it’s glory while scouting Clint Hurdle. Coors Field did not disappoint. I was at Camden Yards last season and I actually thought this was nicer. We went into downtown Denver early before the game to check it out. I wanted to see what the city was all about. Turns out, there is not as much to do as I had thought although the city was really beautiful. We did drink beers and eat at the Rock Bottom Brewery which was really good. The taster of all the beers was great and food was very good bar food. After we ate we walked around the 16th Street Mall some more and then we decided to head towards the stadium since there did not seem to be much else to do. We got to Coors Field an hour early which turned out to be a great decision. We got a chance to walk around and check the place out. They had a batting cage which mimics you going up against pitchers like Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, they had a speed pitch, a game called Painting the Corners in which you were pitching to Barry Bonds and location was the object of the game, they had bat engraving, they showed you how they carve a bat from a block of wood, they had the anatomy of a glove and showed you every component that went into the glove, and the place was just amazing. The rocks, the fountain, and the landscaping in centerfield was awesome and that led into the Colorado bullpen contributes to what I think is the nicest bullpen in the majors. It puts Franco's tomato plants to shame. There was food a plenty to eat and lots of choices. Their hotdogs seemed to be longer than foot longs (Denver Dogs, Chicago Dogs, New York Dogs, etc.) they had bratwurst, burritos, BBQ (pulled pork, brisket, chipotle BBQ burger, etc.), their own micro brewed called beer call Sandlot which was great, sushi, wasabi pees, a taco salad bar with a ‘chef’, and lots more. They also had some crazy elevator attendants and in stark contrast to Shea, nice ushers. Our seats were actually in the Club 1 section which had waiters and waitresses waiting on you and if you went back to the concession yourself, you’d be in the comfort of an enclosed glass area that is air conditioned and very reminiscent of a hotel lobby. For me, the best place to hang out was behind left field. This area was very similar to Eutaw Street in Camden Yards which was just an open area where you can see the field and has lots of food vendors, beer, and other stuff to do. But the best thing about all of these new fields is that you can watch the game from wherever you are. If you are on line for some food or walking around the concourses everything is open and you see the action on the field.

    While at the game I got to see what looked like Matt Holliday assisting a Barry Bonds hit over the wall as it looked to bounce off his glove and over the wall, Jeromy Burnitz made me think I was at Shea in 2002/2003 by having his bat slip out of his hands and fly behind the first base dugout hitting a fan and following it up by striking out, a Mark Sweeney grand slam, almost another Barry Bonds homer, a Burnitz two run jack to take the lead, and the eventual almost implosion of Shawn Chacon. Chacon came in with a run lead, gave up a run and loaded the bases before striking out the last batter and jumping up like he won the World Series. Coors was a great experience and good times.

    Colorado as a whole was great. I got to play golf once in Evergreen and that certainly gives you a bit more for you money. While we were playing about five Elk came trouncing around the course and were a site to see. That is not something you see to often. At one point they were standing in the middle of the fairway on my approach shot and I had to wait until they got out of the way. I also got to hike around Alderfer/Three Sisters Park, went to St. Mary’s Glacier, and went to the Red Rocks. I wanted to get to the Hanging Lake, but there was not enough time and three days was definitely not enough. You could spend a week there and not spend a dime because all the hiking and all the site seeing is free. Colorado is a great experience and I’ll be looking forward to going back. It is not often you wake up to dogs barking and Elk bugling.

    * * *

  • Next stop for me in terms of baseball fields is going to be PNC park and Citizen’s Bank Park in 2005.

  • I come home and what do I find? I find a rare Met victory. Benson pitches six solid innings and stops the gapping wound that has become the New York Mets. Some things still stay the same though, David Wright is a stud. Good to see him at the number three spot in the order.

  • Yusmeiro Petit is a super stud with his blister shortened 4.1 inning dominating debut in the playoffs.

  • From NJ.com:

    Two baseball officials familiar with the proceedings said that Benson's agent, Gregg Clifton, asked the Mets for a three-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $27 million, with a buyout and an option on a fourth year for $10 million. The Mets won't give him that, but Benson said they had agreed on the framework of the deal in terms of three years with an option on a fourth.

    A middle ground of three years at $22 million with a $2 million buyout and a $9 million option seems reasonable for both sides. Benson said he didn't want to "break the bank" and leave the Mets unable to sign a big hitter, but he also didn't rule out going the free-agent route.

    9 Million a year? No thanks. Three years at 22 million is palatable I guess, but the fact is he is a sub .500 career pitcher with a career ERA of 4.32. Not only that, how many times in his career has he topped 200 innings? I am not against resigning Benson, but only if it is for the right price.

  • This was a bit a good news while I was gone.

    The Post has learned, and the Mets may be emerging as one of the leading candidates for his services.

    I have no idea if he is really good, but only costs the Mets money. Worth a shot if you ask me. The article also mentions that the Yankees are one of the other top teams in the running.

    My only question is this, if you were able to sign with any team, would you sign with the Yankees as a guy who would have to work up through their farm system? Fact is, the Yankees use their prospects as trade bait. If Kendry signs with the Yankees, he can be rest assured he'd be dealt. At least not signing with the Yankees allows him to control which team he would like to be on.

  • Monday, September 06, 2004

    Another Labor Day Weekend, Another Year of Meaningless Baseball

    I do not have much time today so I'll sum up everything pretty quickly.

    Trachsel still getting touched up for some runs bringing his ERA to 4.13 is bad.

    David Wright hitting his tenth homerun and batting .294 in 42 games is good.

    Gerald Williams still hogging at bats is borderline grand larceny.

    The Mets putting out a lineup with three starters batting under .230 and five batting under .253 or under is ridiculous.

    I will make one bold guarantee for Monday. I guarantee that the Mets will not lose.

    Sunday, September 05, 2004

    Sunday Tid Bits

    "I can honestly say [that], professionally, this is the most embarrassed I've ever been, the most frustrated I've ever been," Piazza said. "I don't know what to say. Embarrassed, frustrated, dumbfounded."

    I think it is safe to say the Mets are in a free fall. Their losing streak is now a season-worst eight games, also matching the longest winless streak of Howe's two-year regime. They've lost 13 of their last 14 overall. They need seven more wins to top last year's win total. They need to go a paltry 7 - 21 from here on out to accomplish that feat.

  • According to the NYPost:

    Duquette said the Mets have interest in Cuban star Kendry Morales, though it didn't sound as if they'll be major players for him. Superscouts Al Goldis and Bill Livesey attended Morales' workout this week

    You have interest, but you do not think you'll be major players for him? I hope that is just GM Speak for I really cannot or do not really want to comment on a player that is not on my team sort of deal. The Mets could use a 21 (or maybe 24) year old 1B/OF that would not cost them any prospects. With the money Wilpon made off of us fans for such a shitty product the last three years, he needs to lay out the cash whenever he can upgrade the organization. I want to see Morales gift wrapped with Humber soon.

  • Over his last six starts, Leiter's ERA is 5.97. Raise your hand if you think it is a good idea to bring him back.

  • Howe on the clubhouse situation:

    I've got control," Howe said. "We're not winning. That's the bottom line. We've got to figure out what we can do, if anything, to resolve that."

    Umm, you may be the only person in this universe who thinks you have control of this team.

  • After picking up five hits last night, Ichiro is on pace for 268 hits. He is closing in on the record and his .379 average is inching closer to the improbable .400 number. He is absolutely locked in right now. Seven of his last nine games have been multiple hit games and he is batting .654 over his last six games.

  • How much to the Mets trust Petit? A lot I guess. Yusmeiro Petit will get the nod in the opener Wednesday in Manchester.

  • Click here if you want to take you mind off of baseball.