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

Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Right Track

Jon Heyman wrote an optimistic article about the Mets and it is one that I whole heartedly agree with.

The Mets had me worried for a while. From early reports, it appeared they were planning to invite a parade of Art Howe-like retreads for interviews, and frankly, without getting personal, some of the names sounded like punch lines.

But things seem to be turning around in a hurry. Whether it be Omar Minaya's early influence or merely the odds of finally getting one right, the Mets appear to be on the verge of getting one right.

The more that I read about Rudy Jaramillo, the more I like him. The more I read and see what Omar Minaya is planning for the team, the more I like him. I believe he has a concise plan and I love the fact that he is not basing his search on the manager with the biggest name, but the one that is best for the team. I know Jim Duquette got treated unfairly, but Omar seems to be better. Whether it is because he has enough clout to stand up to the Wilpons or whether it is because he is just better, he is moving this team in a direction that they are not used to going. The Mets are on the way up and it starts with the coaching staff. Mets fans have a reason to be happy about the moves being made and I still think the Mets should start their turnaround with a new manager and start from scratch. I still believe that bringing in a recently fired manager is not the way to go about it.

* * *

  • Rudy Jarmillio has reportedly said he is only interested in the managerial opening.

    "I came here specifically for the manager's job. That's the only thing I've discussed," Jaramillo said.

    Asked whether he would return to the Rangers as hitting coach before accepting a job as Mets hitting coach, Jaramillo said, "Yes, I would probably return to Texas."

    I still think anyone could be talked into anything. If he has a good relationship with Minaya, he may come. Besides, if he does not get the job, it would be because Valentine is the manager and not because they chose Randolph over him. I just do not think Willie is going to get the job. "I think he'd be a very good manager. He's pretty even-keeled personality-wise" said Derek Jeter. That is all I need to hear for any reasons not to hire him. The Mets could use a manager with a bit of a fire.

  • According to Bonds' trainer, he used Steroids in 2003.

  • The rumors continue to swirl around Mike Lowell. The article points out that Trot Nixon could be a centerpiece with a deal with the Marlins. The Marlins are looking for a left-handed batting outfielder and the Red Sox would not mind dumping him. The only hang up with that is that he was just signed to a three-year, $19.5 million contract. That is not all that different in terms of dollar value from Lowell and he is making exactly as much as Cliff Floyd. The Red Sox would have to eat some cash in that situation, but I'm still crossing my fingers that the Mets can spin Floyd into Lowell somehow.

  • Todd Helton is getting sick of losing. However, anyone thinking he'd be a good pickup or trade target just needs to look at the seven years and $119.3 million remaining on his contract. Away from Coors he is still a good hitter, but not the monster that he is at home and not worth the money.

  • The Hot Corner is Heating Up

    Norm has returned. The Shea Hot Corner is back. Stop by and check out his recap of the last month or so of activity.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    Tigers Play Hardball

    As I wrote yesterday, Baseball America said one team is very close to pulling out from their negotiations with their first round pick. I thought the obvious choice would have been the Diamondbacks and their pursuit to sign Stephen Drew, but once again I was wrong. The Tigers have pulled out of negotiations with the #2 overall pick, Justin Verlander.

    "We do not have any interest in signing Justin at this point," Tigers scouting director Greg Smith said. "We're extremely disappointed, but we've made an organization decision not to sign him. We're going to turn the page."

    Their window to negotiate is still open, but it does not look good. None of the remaining first rounders are looking to back down from their demands and the negotiations all seem to be one sided. The Tigers offered him more than a $3.35 million dollar major league contract, which he had turned down.

    If he doesn't sign, Verlander will become just the fifth player taken with one of the top two picks in the 40 years of the draft to not come to terms. The others were Pete Broberg (No. 2, Athletics, 1968), Danny Goodwin (No. 1, White Sox, 1971), Tim Belcher (No. 1, Twins, 1983) and J.D. Drew (No. 2, Phillies, 1997). The Tigers have failed to sign just one first-rounder, Detroit high school first baseman Rick Konik, the 14th overall choice in 1966. Konik never played professional or college baseball.

    Verlander not signing is definitely an uncommon occurrence for draft pick as high as him, but I like the fact an organization took a hard stand when they felt their players demands were just too high. It is not my favorite team, so I'm glad it was not the Mets setting the example. The cycle has to stop somewhere and maybe this is the catalyst for the Phil Humber and New York Mets negotiations that sets them straight and lets them come to a reasonable compromise. At this point Verlander looks as though he is headed back into the talent pool for the 2005 draft. Baseball America had listed out the top prospects for 2005 a bit ago.

    Top 10 Prospects, 2005 Draft
    1. Justin Upton/ss/Great Bridge HS, Chesapeake, Va.
    2. Cameron Maybin/of/T.C. Roberson HS, Asheville, N.C.
    3. Alex Gordon/3b/Nebraska
    4. Jeff Clement/c/Southern California
    5. Tyler Greene/ss/Georgia Tech
    6. Wade Townsend/rhp/Rice
    7. Luke Hochevar/rhp/Tennessee
    8. Mike Pelfrey/rhp/Wichita State
    9. Stephen Head/1b/lhp/Mississippi
    10. Troy Tulowitzki/ss/Long Beach State

    Verlander would immediately become the top pitcher available in the draft and may be the biggest name outside of Justin Upton. With the Mets picking 9th next year, this development definitely affects them in a big way. One would assume that Justin is going to scare off a lot of potential suitors in 2005 again, but he will have less leverage knowing it's the majors or the highway for him. This year he can at least attend school again and pitch for his college team at Old Dominion but next year it is sign or do not play.

    The thing that is curious about all of this is that these playes are going to get paid. If Justin Verlander was offered a major league contract in excess of $3.35 million, he would have been offered a signing bonus of around $3.5 million as well. By him passing up this oportunity means that he has to wait another year for his payday and another year to reach the majors. By holding out for more money he it is just prolonging the time it will take him to reach the majors and effectively shortened his prospective major league career by one year. If he does become a solid major league pitcher, it would behoove him to sign sooner so he can become a free agent sooner and hit his big payday. This squabbling over a million or two just does not make sense and seemingly hurts the players more in my eyes. He actually loses leverage in his negotiations for next year since he cannot return to school and he also risks having a bad year in college or even injury.

    Rudy Still Getting Rave Reviews

    His old players are behind him, maybe this guy is just the Mets are looking for.

    "He's a Hall of Fame hitting coach," said Alex Rodriguez, who had Jaramillo as his hitting coach during his Rangers tenure. "Any capacity the Mets would use him in, he'd do a great job."

    "Best hitting instructor in the business, bar none," raved Incaviglia, who's now the hitting instructor for the Tigers' Double-A affiliate. "He's head and heels over everybody else. He's really intelligent inside. Outside, he has the look of a grinder. He's one tough son of a [gun]."

    Although any endorsement from Alex Rodriguez is not a good one in my book, he seems to be a truly viable and cheap candidate. That is just what the Mets are looking for.

    Asked whether Jaramillo can manage, Incaviglia replied, "Absolutely. He will be a great manager. He has passion and intelligence for the game. He's one of the most organized people I've ever been around. Somebody will be getting a real good manager."

    That fact alone that someone thinks he is intelligent is good enough for me. Howe was lacking that quality and that is a major trait I'd like in a manger of the Mets. On top of that, he seems to be a player’s kind of guy that people get behind. If he can bring cohesiveness to the clubhouse instead of unrest and players calling him grandpa, then I think that is a great step to motivating these Mets players. To manage in New York, you have to be a straight shooter and Rudy does not seem to have a problem there. I guess we will see soon enough to what extent he will be involved in the organization.

    * * *

    Some actually hot stove stuff going on:

  • The Marlins are looking to deal Lowell.

    The Marlins would prefer to trade Lowell but that would have to happen before Nov. 1, when he becomes eligible for free agency if the team has not yet reached a deal to build a new stadium.

    The Marlins are $30 million short of the financing they want for a new ballpark. The four-year contract Lowell signed Dec. 3 will change drastically if the Marlins fail to get that final chunk of money by Nov. 1.

    If the stadium financing is completed in the next 17 days — which seems unlikely — Lowell, 30, would be locked into the final three years of the contract.

    But if the Marlins fail to reach a ballpark deal by Nov. 1, Lowell would hold a $7.5 million option to return to the Marlins in 2005 or become a free agent

    I wonder if he has a first baseman's glove. He'd sure be welcome at first base in Shea.

    The Marlins are prepared to move left fielder Miguel Cabrera to third base, where he is more comfortable, and use the baseball winter meetings in December to seek a left fielder, preferably one with power from the left side of the plate.

    Since there is a shortage of them, I wonder if they would take back Cliffy with the Mets throwing in two million per year. It's just a thought, but is it really that unreasonable to think of that happening?

    In some more Marlins personnel news:

    Shapiro also debunked a recent report out of New York that said Pavano was not interested in pitching for either the Yankees or the Mets.

    "Obviously, both New York teams are going to be strong possibilities for Carl," Shapiro said. "He's really looking at the totality of factors that would play in his decision. It's an unbelievably mature and sophisticated way to look at the process.

    "Of course, paramount is going to be compensation, but Carl is exploring all the options to really take advantage of the position he's put himself in by winning 18 games [in 2004] and pitching at a high level of performance over the last several seasons."

    At least he admitted that the most important factor is money and not the schools.

  • The woo-ing begins as Beltran showers Steinbrenner with some love.

    "When I see an owner who cares about winning, I like it."

    Carlos, he's demented too. That has to count for something.

    Then he showers some love onto the Cubbies:

    "Of course," he said before Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, in which Houston trails St. Louis two games to none. "I feel good hitting in that ballpark. It's a great hitter's ballpark. You could see that from their lineup. Almost every one of those hitters hit more than 30 home runs.

    "It's fun to play over there. The fans are good fans. The ballpark is sold out every day. I'd like to see what's going to happen in the off-season."

    The guy's team is down 2-0 in the playoffs, let him concentrate on that.

  • Magglio Ordonez has just hired Scott Boras as his agent. Magglio apparently terminated his relationship with Tom Reich and Adam Katz to join forces with evil incarnate. The Mets have historically had little to no working relationship with Scott Boras, although I have no idea if Omar Minaya has any relationship with him whatsoever. Many people want Magglio no where near Shea in 2005, but I think he could play a vital role in this team's climb back to respectability. The obvious choice would be to reel in Carlos Beltran, who's agent is also Scott Boras, but I just do not think it is likely since he is hooked on the idea of playing for team that actually has a commitment to winning. Scott Boras is also the agent of JD Drew and officially has the market cornered on top tier outfielders this off season. That would certainly mean they are all due for a big payday. This is definitely not good news for the Mets and their free agent pursuit this off season.
  • Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Counter Offer

    The Mets have given Kris Benson and his agent a counter offer in an attempt to ensure him and his wife will be around Shea Stadium for a while.

    In other Mets news, the Mets have made a counter-offer to pitcher Kris Benson, a three-year deal with a vested option for a fourth season for a deal that would pay the right-hander in excess of $20 million.

    I guess the real question is what does 'in excess' mean. If it is in excess of $20 million, but less than $21 million, it's a good offer. It is anything over $7,000,000 per year, then it is a bad deal. Benson is certainly due a raise to his $6.1 million dollar 2004 salary, but is still a sub-.500 career pitcher with a career ERA of 4.28. He was streaky after he came over from the Pirates and suffered from dead arm late in the year. The most positive thing to take away from the season is that he finished with over 200 innings. I think the Mets should retain him, but for a fair price. No other major league team would offer Benson $8 million per year and neither should the Mets. That being said, if the offer is between $6.5 and $7 million, then the Mets did a good job considering Benson knows he has the Mets bent over a barrel.

    * * *

  • Anyone want some Phil Humber news? Me too, but there is none. So I'll offer some related news. Apparently the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have offered Jeff Neimann a major league contract. Neimann and his agent have responded with a counter offer and that is where the negotiations stand. It is 100% clear that Neimann will get a major league contract at this point if he does sign. The remaining question is for how much will he be inked for. Justin Verlander, Phil Humber, and Jeff Neimann are all waiting to see what each other does, and once one signs, they will all be seeking similar deals. These three are definitely in collusion.

    Phil Humber has asked for a major league contract with the Mets to the tune of $6 million dollars and a signing bonus of $3.5 million dollars. To me, a horrible presedence will be set if any of these three get major league contracts. I still maintain that they are reserved for guys like Mark Prior. When you look at a guy and offer a major league contract, they should look like once in lifetime talents, not once ever one or two year talents. Verlander, Neimann, and Humber are very solid talents and top prospects, but are asking for too much. If Tampa caves and signs him to a major league contract, the Tigers and Mets are basically left with no leg to stand on unless they want to squander their picks and pass on them. During a chat at Baseball America Allan Simpson had been asked if Humber or Neimann could end up with a major league contract. He had responded, "It's possible, but I doubt it. I think the only two players who might end up with major league contracts are Jered Weaver and Stpehen Drew". If these three guys get major league contracts, then it would stand to reason that one to four college pitchers will be looking for similar deals every year. That is the leverage everyone is going to use. Weaver is certainly going to get one and if Neimann gets one, Humber and Verlander will most likely get one. On top of that, Stephen Drew would get one if he does sign, although that does not look likely. That is five major league contracts in the first round this year. They have every opportunity to get the most they can out of a once in a lifetime opportunity, but it is the owners that eventually cave and set the standard for the following seasons. Unfortunately, due to the system, they are presented with little choice when the alternative is lose your high pick and do not make your team better.

    FoxSports.com has an update on all of the major league teams' first draft picks. Obviously nothing new on Humber, but they did say this:

    When he's pitching, Humber sports a low-90s fastball and a curve that could one day become a devastating out pitch.

    Ah music to my ears, but I think we already knew that since Humber has confidently referred to his curveball as the best in the country.

    Also, BA has some nice coverage on the unsigned draft picks and Kendry Morales. They said that Kendry's agent is hoping he'll be signed by the end of the month. In terms of the unsigned draft picks, BA said that one team has threatened to pull their money off the table in negoations with their #1 draft pick and spend it elsewhere. I'll bet that it is the D-Backs. Their negotiations with Stephen Drew have looked pretty painful thus far and they need cash like a crack whore needs another hit. They are in debt to the tune of $170+ million in deferred cash and have to find a way to strengthen their rotation and bring back Richie Sexson and Danny Bautista. Good luck boys.

  • Omar Minaya has announced some housekeeping.

    Mets General Manager Omar Minaya made the following announcement regarding the team's 2005 coaching staff:
    Bench Coach Bobby Floyd and Bullpen Coach Nelson Silverio will be re-assigned within the organization; Don Baylor will not return as the club's Hitting Coach, but is still under consideration for the team's vacant Manager's position; and Third Base/Infield Coach Matt Galante and First Base/Outfield Coach Gary Pettis will not be returning next season.

    In addition, Mets Head Trainer Scott Lawrenson will not be coming back for the 2005 season.

    Rick Peterson will remain with the team as the Pitching Coach in 2005.

    Also according to the Daily News:

    The Mets' relationship with team doctor Andrew Rokito and NYU and the Hospital for Joint Diseases also will be scrutinized. The team signed a three-year deal before the 2002 season that paid them roughly $4 million. At the time, the Mets left behind popular doctor David Altchek and the Hospital for Special Surgery for the more lucrative bid.

    I think this was all well known already. Changes had to be made with 'Mr. Windmill' Matt Galante and the team’s doctors and physicians.

  • The Mets intend to reach out to Bobby Valentine to gauge his interest in returning. I'd rather start fresh with someone that was not just recently fired from the team. While this might be the most favorite choice of all the fans and most media, it just does not seem right to me. It will cause unneeded friction between grumpy veterans and the coach and could be a divisive clubhouse move. Wrong or right, that is what may happen. I think they can find a great fit outside of Valentine and should pursue other choices.

    Now the A-Rod has endorsed Rudy Jarmillo, is he tainted? I just wish people in the Yankee organization would stop making comments on the Mets managerial search. First Torre on Randolph, now this.

  • More Yankee trash being forwarded around via email...funny thing is, the #1 name very reflective of their own team. A horrible attempt at humor all around. However, I'm sure some brainless zombie Yankee fans got a chuckle out of it. Oh their day will come alright, I'm just not sure when.

    Knowing the Yankees have the YES network, Here are the top ten names of the
    new Mets Network

    10. HAHAHA Network - The Humanly Abysmal Network (said three times, fast)
    9. The FOOL Network - Frankly Out Of their League Network
    8. The MAYBE network - Mets Are Yesterdays Bums Everyday Network.
    7. The BAD Network - The Bad And Defeated Network.
    6. The WHY Network - Worst, Humiliated but not the Yankees Network
    5. The WINNER Network - The Wilpon Is Never, Never, Ever Right Network
    4. The MAGGA Network - The Mets Aren't Gunna Go Anywhere Network
    3. The FLU Network - The Flushing Loser & Underachievers Network
    2. The WUNY Network - The Wait Until Next Year Network

    ...and the Number ONE name for the new NY Mets Cable Network is
    1. The WOTMEB Network - The Worst Obnoxious Team Money Ever Bought

  • Words cannot express my disappointment in the Red Sox losing the first two games with their big guns on the mound. Yesterday I went into defcom 5, now I am just straight panicking. The Red Sox chances at this point look horrible. But I'll try and keep the faith and my finger off the button.

  • Wednesday, October 13, 2004


    If you have a life unlike me, you probably have not been to AnnaBenson.net in while and did not notice the site is updated. I figured since we will be seeing Kris around Shea for a few more years, it would stand to reason that I should try and get to know her a little bit better.

    Unfortunately the only thing I came away with from going through the entire website is that her measurements are 36, 24, 34 and that one of her favorite links is PiecesOfAss.com

    This is what happens when the news is slow. I cannot wait for the hot stove to heat up. Why can't this season just end already?

    * * *

  • The Mets have only had two guys top 40 homeruns in one season and they were both catchers. As for 30 homeruns, only twelve Mets have eclipsed that plateau. Mike Piazza has done it the most by hitting over 30 homeruns four times. Darryl Strawberry, HoJo, and Dave Kingman all passed the 30 mark three times while Todd Hundley had 30 or more two times. Overall, a Met player has only eclipsed 30 homeruns 21 times since their first season in 1962. Frank Thomas was the first Met to eclipse 30 homeruns and he did it in their inaugural season. Is anyone sleeping yet?

  • This is a classic dig on Greg Ostertag from MSNBC.com:

    Greg Ostertag of the Sacramento Kings broke his hand in a fall at his home. Doctors advised him to refrain from any activity in which he might exert himself, which means he's cleared to play basketball.

  • Rich Hammond from the LA Daily news thinks that Odalis Perez may find himself signing with another team in 2005. He suggests that LA may not even be interested in trying to retain the services of most significant left handed starter on the market. This will be interesting to watch because he'd sure look good in a Mets uniform to supplant the loss of another left hander in tne Met rotation. He gives up quite a few long balls, but has a low 90's fastball and has a good K/BB ratio (4.08 in 2002, 3.07 in 2003, and 2.91 in 2004). If the Mets can pick him up, I'd be a HUGE fan of trying to dump Trachsel and bringing in Matt Clement or Daisuke Matsuzaka. I'm still a firm Believer that Trachsel's $5,000,000 per year and option for 2006 is great for a team not looking to take a big chance and is looking for a solid and reliable starter. The Mets would ultimately most likely have to overpay to get any big name in NY because of the debacles that have gone on throughout the last couple years. I guess we will all find out how good of a salesman Omar Minaya is.

  • Dan Wheeler on getting traded:

    "The Mets did me a favor when they traded me," he said. "It seems strange that they couldn't use me and here I am on a playoff team. I never understood it."

    The trade was strange to me too. I did not think that Wheeler was not useful, but I guess they thought Adam Seuss was a better fit for the organization even though he will not sniff the majors or hit AAA for that matter.

  • The Mets get the OK to interview Willie Randloph. However, they receive empty threats from Joe Torre in response to it.

    "I just hope to hell it's more than just, 'We have to interview minorities and stuff and he's right across the river, so let's do it,'" Torre said last night. "That's hard on Willie. You can't think it's just going to be one of those things, because then you're not prepared for the interview."

    Joe, not sure if you noticed, but you are in the playoffs. Keep you face in your own plate and mind your own business. The Mets will choose who is best for their team. If for some reason they choose Randolph because he sat next to you this year, then so be it. The last thing anyone wants to read is crap like this from your mouth. If Randolph does not want to go, he has that freedom to not go to the interview. Besides, they could have interviewed Don Baylor right after the season to fulfill that requirement.

    Bob Brenly, the former Diamondbacks manager who led the team to the World Series title in 2001, said he called Minaya a week ago about applying for the job, but hasn't heard back yet.

    "I don't know if that means I have no shot," Brenly said, "or if it means he is swamped and hasn't had a chance to get back to me yet."

    Don't stay home and wait for the call Bob.

    Kirk Gibson has an interview set up next week to interview for the job and Dodgers field coordinator Terry Collins was given permission to interview for the job as well.

  • There is coverage of the new Mets Network everywhere, but the best things that I've read are these:

    For Time Warner's 2.3 million local subscribers and Comcast's 790,000 subscribers, the Mets network will be available on expanded basic cable.


    Industry sources said the Devils, with one year left on the team's MSG/FSNY contract, have already had "informal" talks with representatives of the Mets network. Also, the Jets, sources said, are interested in a programming relationship with Mets TV

    This better mean something good for the fans, I just do not see how it could not.

    Note to Wilpon: Lowering beer prices like Moreno did when buying the Angels would be a nice show of good faith to the loyal patrons that have sat through two last place finishes and one fourth place finish.

  • From BA:

    Boston vs. New York: Red Sox in six. Curt Schilling, bad ankle and all, is the surest thing among starters remaining in the playoffs. After he beats Mike Mussina tonight, the Yankees rotation goes all downhill from there.

    Just like me, insert foot in mouth. I thought this game was a slam dunk. I'm officially in DEFCOM 5, Schilling may not even be able to pitch in the rest of the ALCS due to his ankle injury.

  • Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Just Say No to Yes!

    According to NYFansites, the Mets deal for their new network seems to be done deal. The Mets have followed suit from their cross town rivals and have taken the steps to develop their own TV network. The despicable and deplorable YES network truly paved the way for this new Mets network despite spewing out Yankee propaganda 24 hours a day. How many times can one watch film of Derek Jeter and Paul O'Neil? I don't know, but what I do know that this is a great thing for our Metropolitans.

    Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. said Tuesday they have agreed to form a New York regional sports network that will broadcast the majority of New York Mets baseball games beginning in the spring of 2006.

    The channel will carry 125 regular season games as well as pre-season games. The great part about this is that they will most likely carry Mets affiliate games and we should certainly see some Binghamton, Norfolk, and Brooklyn games at least, if not a taste from all teams at all levels. The news comes out just in time for the Mets to pursue free agents this year and Wilpon has no excuses for not trying to bring in some top tier free agents. With the Mets only being committed to about $68,000,000 after this season ends, they will have plenty of cash to upgrade their team without laying themselves out too thin. Hopefully Wilpon will spend some greenbacks and push the threshold of whatever payroll limitations he has due to the fact of boat loads of cash he should receive in 2006 from the Mets Network. The other tremendous upside from this could be a new stadium for the Mets. This could generate enough money that could get the Mets' wishes of a new stadium and Mayer Bloomberg's insistence that the stadium be completely privately financed.

    My only problem is I have to hope and pray that Comcast comes into my area of North Jersey. I have Cablevision today and I have no idea what kind of deal, if any they will work out. I would assume they would carry the channel as it is beneficial to them, but I'm sure there is going to be plenty of bad blood since the Mets are leaving MSG and Fox Sports. After they leave, Cablevision's MSG Network and Fox Sports New York will be just about worthless rendering it impossible for the Dolan's to get any money from networks carrying the channels.

    Who's Your Daddy?

    Jim Caple from ESPN's Page2 was the first writer to completely blow the top off of this story. I thought his dad was Paolino Jaime, who was an amateur ballplayer, but what do I know. That comment has been blown way out of proportion and has become somewhat annoying. I guess the worst thing about the entire who's your daddy daddy thing is that it has become the hottest fad for Yankee fan's t-shirts. Poor unimaginative fans cannot even think up of their own sayings. They have Boston Sucks! shirts in response to the Boston fan's Yankees Suck! (on the front) and Jeter Swallows (on the back) t-shirts. I mean, can't you come up with something better? Riding off Boston's imaginative coattails is no way to live. Yankee fans, like drones, all repeat the same things: 1918, 26 World Championships, the curse lives, etc. I want the Yankee fans to put their collective heads together and try to come up with something on their own instead of waiting for Pedro to say something silly or Boston fans to come up with their own slogans. The only reason Pedro made that daddy comment is undoubtedly because some stupid NY reporter asked a bonehead question. The Yankees have owned him this year so my guess is that a reporter asked something like this:

    Reporter: "Pedro, what do you think about the fact that the Yankees have treated you like a red-headed step child this year?"
    Pedro: "What can I say? I tip my cap and call the Yankees my Daddy."

    That type of question is similar to what they ask the losing boxer after he is gushing blood from his head. “So how did it feel what he was beating you unconscious?” I mean what they hell should he say? It will all not matter in week or so as the Red Sox are taking down the Evil Empire. The epic battle of good vs. evil will begin tonight. Some may think the Yankees have the advantage because they are the most successful sports franchise and the Red Sox have failed to register a World Series victory in 84 years, but I say they are due. Odds are, they will eventually win one. The Red Sox have the better all around team in my opinion and you can throw out Derek Jeter's intangibles because even they will not help the Yankees. Curt Schilling takes on Mike Mussina tonight for game one and the gloves are coming off.

    "How's my fist taste!"

    "I'm not sure I can think of any scenario more enjoyable than making 55,000 people from New York shut up," said Curt Schilling.

    Me neither Curt, this series is going to be a heated one.

    * * *

  • Three days from now Omar Minaya will interview the Mets' second managerial candidate, Rudy Jamarillo. I just think it is a foregone conclusion he will be in the organization in some capacity. As to whether it will be hitting coach or manager, I do not know. Also, I am not one of the notion that a relative no namer will not be accepted by NY Met fans. The media may make a stink about it, but they make a stink about everything non-Yankee related. If the man is the right guy to for the Mets' job, then so be it. Passing on someone for name recognition only is not the way to run a ball club.

  • Robin Ventura has announced his retirement. He will forever be remembered as the young upstart that charged Nolan Ryan and got his butt handed to him by a guy about 20 years older. Robin will always be regarded by Met fans for his three years of service with them as he was part of one of the best fielding infields in modern baseball. In my opinion, he also registered his best season of his career as a Met. In 1999 he hit .301/.379/.529 with 32 homeruns, 120 RBIs, and 38 doubles. That was a career high in RBIs, AVG, Doubles, and SLG as well as his second highest OBP and homerun total.

  • The Phillies are set to interview Don Baylor today. Philadelphia will then interview Charlie Manuel tomorrow and Grady Little on Thursday.

  • If the Mets are interested in interviewing Kirk Gibson for the job to manage their major league ballclub, GM Dave Dombrowksi will not stand in their way.

    “We wouldn’t stand in the way of career advancement,” Tigers President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski said Monday. “If they call and want to speak with him, of course we’d let them.”

  • Ding dong the witch is dead...well, one of them at least. The Atlanta Braves take their usual spot after the first series of the playoffs, which is their couch. The Astros bashed them in game five and continue their torrid play. At least 54,000 fans show up in Atlanta to watch the drubbing. That was the first time in the playoffs they registered over 41,500 fans in this playoff series. At this point I'm feeling an Astro vs. Red Sox series.
  • Monday, October 11, 2004

    Sherman's Plan

    Joel Sherman has his master plan of what moves the Mets should make in the off season. Jason at Always Amazin covered it this weekend as well.

    Sherman's Plan:

    Mike Piazza to the Dodgers for Shawn Green
    I'm not against this, but I do not see why the Dodgers would pull the trigger on this one.

    Cliff Floyd and Kaz Matsui to the Mariners for Bret Boone and Eddie Guardado
    Look, I like Everyday Eddie, but Matsui is going to be a solid player and much better than Boone will be in 2005. Yeah, Boone is gone after a year, but this makes the team much older and worse in my book. Eddie and the Mariners have a mutual option on his contract anyway, s0 he may become available.

    Tom Glavine to his home-state Red Sox for Doug Mientkiewicz and Trot Nixon
    No way the Sox even entertain this idea. The only way Tommy gets traded is at the deadline. With a very palatable $6,000,000 option for 2006, he becomes attractive to a contender since they have him for another year and do not have to take on too much salary.

    Victor Diaz, Aaron Heilman and Vance Wilson to the Pirates for Jason Kendall and $13 million
    They'd give Kendall away for a bag of balls just to rid themselves of his contract. This is too much.

    Sign free agents Tino Martinez and Magglio Ordonez
    Magglio would sign a $5,000,000 dollar contract for one year? What the hell is Sherman smoking. In the same article that he says Delgado is worth a three year ten million dollar contract, Mr. Consistency is only worth a one year five million dollar contract with incentives. This has as much chance of happening as Giambi actually getting a start for the Yankees at first base in the playoffs. Magglio will still command big money, but I agree, he should be signed. As for Martinez, I'm not against the idea at all if it is for one year.

    Joel Sherman's
    2005 Mets Lineup
    1. Jose Reyes, SS
    2. Jason Kendall, C
    3. Shawn Green, RF
    4. Magglio Ordonez, LF
    5. Bret Boone, 2B
    6. Tino Martinez, 1B
    7. David Wright, 3B
    8. Mike Cameron, CF

    All in all, one of his less crazy articles. And he miraculously says that Soriano at Shea would be a bad idea. However, the fact that the Mets would only have two guys under 30 in the starting lineup is cause for concern. This team 100% needs to get younger and he is suggesting for the Mets to actually get older and bring in more over the hill, past their prime veterans. All these moves are Steve Phillips specials and makes the Mets older, slower, and less athetic.

    * * *

  • Newsday has a Keep 'em or Dump 'em link. Go ahead and vote. These are the results to far:

    Mike Piazza
    43.8% KEEP 'EM (1612 responses)
    56.2% DUMP 'EM (2066 responses)
    3678 total responses

    Cliff Floyd
    18.8% KEEP 'EM (691 responses)
    81.2% DUMP 'EM (2978 responses)
    3669 total responses

    Kaz Matsui
    72.1% KEEP 'EM (2635 responses)
    27.9% DUMP 'EM (1021 responses)
    3656 total responses

    Mike Cameron
    86.2% KEEP 'EM (3132 responses)
    13.8% DUMP 'EM (503 responses)
    3635 total responses

    Al Leiter
    55.4% KEEP 'EM (2020 responses)
    44.6% DUMP 'EM (1628 responses)
    3648 total responses

    Tom Glavine
    58.9% KEEP 'EM (2150 responses)
    41.1% DUMP 'EM (1500 responses)
    3650 total responses

    Richard Hidalgo
    50.6% KEEP 'EM (1841 responses)
    49.4% DUMP 'EM (1798 responses)
    3639 total responses

    Steve Trachsel
    79.3% KEEP 'EM (2881 responses)
    20.7% DUMP 'EM (754 responses)
    3635 total responses

    Kris Benson
    86.7% KEEP 'EM (3142 responses)
    13.3% DUMP 'EM (481 responses)
    3623 total responses

    Victor Zambrano
    79.9% KEEP 'EM (2901 responses)
    20.1% DUMP 'EM (731 responses)
    3632 total responses

    Braden Looper
    88.8% KEEP 'EM (3204 responses)
    11.2% DUMP 'EM (406 responses)
    3610 total responses

    Mike Stanton
    24.8% KEEP 'EM (896 responses)
    75.2% DUMP 'EM (2721 responses)
    3617 total responses

    Ricky Bottalico
    53.1% KEEP 'EM (1912 responses)
    46.9% DUMP 'EM (1691 responses)
    3603 total responses

    John Franco
    8.3% KEEP 'EM (304 responses)
    91.7% DUMP 'EM (3342 responses)
    3646 total responses

    Jason Phillips
    41.8% KEEP 'EM (1507 responses)
    58.2% DUMP 'EM (2097 responses)
    3604 total responses

    Rick Peterson
    81.5% KEEP 'EM (2941 responses)
    18.5% DUMP 'EM (666 responses)
    3607 total responses

    Matt Galante
    33.0% KEEP 'EM (1193 responses)
    67.0% DUMP 'EM (2418 responses)
    3611 total responses

    I was a bit surprised that more people were in favor of keeping Leiter than Piazza. I'm not surprised that the 'Human Windmill' Matt Galante has worn out his welcome and that no one but John Franco's relatives want him back. Also, why is Hidalgo warranting more votes to get kept rather than dumped?

  • Pavano extends the finger to Steinbrenner according to the NY Post:

    The Yankees and Mets can scratch Carl Pavano off their free agent lists. Pavano, who fired his previous agents at IMG and is said to be shifting to Ron Simon, has privately told friends he has no interest in pitching in New York. He is said to favor staying in Florida (if the Marlins get a stadium deal approved) or, failing that, staying east (as in the Orioles or Red Sox). Pavano is perhaps the best free agent pitcher out there.

  • In Baseball America's What Makes a Closer article, they take a quick look at some minor league closer prospects. At one point they list some players to watch and one is rather interesting.

    Others To Watch: Jeremy Harts, lhp, Pirates; Danny Reuckel, rhp, Expos; Jose Diaz, rhp, Devil Rays; Jeremy Accardo, rhp, Giants.

  • Baseball Prospectus tells us what we know already. The free agent market is operating inefficiently.