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

Friday, March 25, 2005

Five Reasons Why Everyone Else Can Beat The Mets

I'm not naive enough to think the Mets don't have some serious question marks and as I see it, these are the top issues.

1) Wet Behind the Ears: I was exchanging some hate mail with a Yankee fan a few weeks back and I was telling him how his manager got exposed in the playoffs last year. I thought Torre made several bad moves, though I cannot recall what they were, and mentioned that he was exposed after his bench coach left for the Devil Rays and Zim was the real brains behind the operation. Then he responded with a notion that escaped by grasp until that point in time. Torre's bench coach last year is our manager this year. Maybe Randolph had nothing to do with it, and maybe he did. The Mets did surround him with some great, great baseball people this off season, but it is his team. Is Randolph going to get the job done? Is Randolph going to be a competent manager? Did he really learn anything at all from Torre besides silly rules like moustaches only and how to sit on the bench motionless and do nothign? His experience may come into play at some point.

2) The Black Cloud: The injury bug has been around Shea seemingly forever. Last season five of their current eight position players had significant injuries and everyone was on the DL for a long period of time out of the bunch but Cameron, and he should have been. Then you turn to the rotation and the obvious injury concerns with Victor "I didn't ask to be traded for Kazmir" Zambrano. Then there are concerns with the senior citizen, Tom Glavine, and Martinez and Benson have had significant time off in the past few years due to injury as well. Nothing scares me more than the health of this team as there are a lot of question marks on all fronts in terms of health.

3) OBP: Last season the Mets were the second worst team in getting on base and posted a .317% team OBP. If they plan to win games this year, it starts there. I believe the pitching will be there and the bullpen will be better than last season's, but they lost forty eight games by two runs or less. As aggressive as this may be, they need to collectively raise that about .023%. If that happens, and there a men on base for Beltran/Piazza/Floyd, the Mets will be successful.

4) Protection: One of the biggest concerns and the biggest reasons I advocated getting a guy like Delgado, and was always for Magglio, is because Beltran is your newest investment and the best offensive player on the team right now and to be effective, he needs people producing behind him. Piazza was in the .260's last season and may not play 130 games this year. Floyd certainly cannot be counted on to be there 150 games a year and cannot be counted on to provide adequate protection if he hits like he did in 2004. David Wright may turn into that player, but he will not be there anytime soon after the season starts since Willie is leaning towards experience. If Beltran is getting pitched around, teams have to pay. Making them pay will be the hard part.

5) Pressure: Playing in NY is always pressure. However, after signing the two best free agents available and after trading three of your top five prospects to win now you are sending a message. If the All-Star break comes around and the Mets are a struggling club, the firestorm will be big. Will it be warranted? Maybe, but Omar was clear about building a team for next season and beyond, which he has done. The pressure will be big to put up some results and I think the Mets have a lot of players that can stand up to the challenge.

* * *

  • If that team is the Mets, who currently have Braden Looper in that role, Urbina said, "We'll see if they trade me there," adding, "I love New York. I love the pressure."

    There is a whole lotta smoke around the Urbina situation.

  • Brian Bannister is quite the businessman.

    An art major at the University of Southern California, Bannister is as adept at snapping photos as he is at hurling a 93 mph fastball or his patented "snap hook" curve. His owns Loft 19, a state-of-the-art studio and hosts photo shoots for clientele that includes ESPN The Magazine.

    He is not a bad pitcher either.

  • Heath Bell just made the team.

  • From the NY Post:

    The Mets have made calls to Colorado to inquire about backup catcher Charles Johnson. The 33-year-old Johnson is likely to be released at the end of camp, but the Mets are interested in having him be the backup catcher.

  • ESPN goes around and gets some quotes on Bonds and McGwire from some reporters around the nation.

    Rob Parker, The Detroit News

    "I'm not bothered by the steroids issue and because there were no rules on the books before December 2003, it's impossible to go back in time and penalize people. Would I rather people not use steroids? Sure. People talk about integrity in baseball, but there is no integrity. This is the same sport that kept blacks out until 1947. If you want to talk about asterisks, let's go back and do that prior to 1947. It's the most ridiculous witch hunt I've ever heard of. If we got past the omission of blacks in baseball, we can get past this."

    "First-ballot Hall of Famers, both of them. It wasn't against the rules of their workplace. There are 20 guys in the 500-home run club. Everyone was playing with the same rules, and nobody else hit 500 home runs. Barry Bonds is the greatest player of our lifetime, with or without steroids. He won three MVPs as a stick figure. … I don't think they were cheating. Something has to be against the rules for you to be cheating. Despite their size, these guys climbed through a loophole."

    Interesting read, but I agree with the above two. Making a statement by not voting for them on the first year is everyone's right, but how is it cheating if you did not break any rules?

  • And so it begins.

    Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui were among a handful of New York Yankees players randomly selected for steroid tests by Major League Baseball, the New York Post reported Friday.

    Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield, who testified in the BALCO grand jury hearings, were not among those tested by members of baseball's drug testing program Thursday at the team's spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., the newspaper reported

    Shouldn't Giambi and Sheffield get tested every time there is testing? Call me crazy, but Jeter and Matsui are not on roids. Check 'em fine, but baseball has a good handle on who may have done steroids.

    "It's not a comfortable feeling, but what can you do?" Jeter told the newspaper.

    Derek, you just took a wiz in a cup. You did not get a rectal exam. Give me $18,000,000 per year and I'll pee in anything anyone asks me too. That invasion of privacy argument the players and the MLBPA use is crap. You want to the enjoy the life of a ballplayer? You can ahere to a few rules.

  • You have just entered, the spin zone.

    Zambrano has makings of ace
    Mets right-hander just needs to work on control

    Just needs to work on this control?


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