Die Yankees Stinken Wie Schweine
This site is running on fumes at this point, this upcoming season is more than welcome and long overdue. We survived the first off season it was a great one, the readership has exploded from twenty people to twenty four people. I can smell the fear of the other Mets sites.
Another baseball season is upon us, and the Yankees will again make a feeble attempt at world dominance. Baseball fans will once again be treated to the $200 million Yankees taking on the $30 million dollar Devil Rays and the $48 million Blue Jays almost forty times in 2005. This year's team could be the worst team money can buy in my opinion. The 1992 Mets previously owned that title, but they were a mere $1 million above the second highest payroll. These Yanks are $80 million above the next highest payroll. It's World Series or bust for them, and I do not even foresee a division crown in their future in 2005. This is the year the Red Sox dethrone the Evil Empire from atop their AL East perch. Beating them in the playoffs was great for them, but taking first in the AL East will be the topper that might finally give George a heart attack.
I hate the Yankees, and that is well known, but there is there really any better way to start the season off? I'm not crazy enough to think the Mets vs. the Reds would be a marquee match up and no other two baseball teams have a rivalry on the same, but if you are going to generate a buzz over baseball, this is certainly a way to do it. Last year it was the Yankees vs. the Devil Rays, this season is the Yankees vs. the Red Sox. With the Bostonians still hung over from taking the World Series and the Superbowl, it should be interesting. You could not have scripted it better if Schilling had been able to start, but Wells vs. Johnson should provide plenty of fireworks. Two 40+ year old lefties going at it and Wells has never been one to shy away from a big game (as long as you do not count game 5 of the 2003 playoffs).
Randolph and the Mets' front office pared the roster down nearly to its final 25 on Friday night, optioning Heath Bell to Norfolk and reassigning Luis Garcia, Ron Calloway and Jose Santiago. Bartolome Fortunato suffered a sore lower back in Friday's game and will either be optioned or placed on the DL.
Randolph said he will carry seven relief pitchers with the bullpen consisting of right-handers Braden Looper, Mike DeJean, Roberto Hernandez and Manny Aybar along with lefties Felix Heredia, Mike Matthews and Dae-Sung Koo. The one wild card is that Matt Ginter could still stick, likely in place of Aybar, if Kris Benson does not appear ready to start the season.
We knew Bell was going, but too bad for Garica though. I'm on board with giving him firstbase at Norfolk if he will accept in favor of Craig Brazell.
Three lefties? BRILLIANT! Heredia comes north and chalk up a few losses because of it. Keep up the great work on making the roster Willie. If Ginter gets released in favor of keeping Heredia (who pitched better when he had no feeling in his hand), Aybar, or Hernandez (who may not post a sub 4.50 ERA and 1.70 WHIP), it will certainly be puzzling.
"Am I surprised? Deep down, no," Bell said. "Part of me knew. Willie told me that I did make the team, but since I did have options that's the business part of it. I'm being sent down, but I'll be back."
As Steve from The Eddie Kranepool Society said, “THE GUARNTEEED CONTRACT IS MIGHTER THAN THE SWORD”. The guaranteed contract is mightier than the more talented player with an option. Why even have a battle if you know the players with options are going to lose? We could have sorted this bullpen out a month ago with the exception of Matthews making the team. Only the Mets would carry two LOOGYs.
The honeymoon is officially over for Willie. He gets good marks so far since he has not actually done anything wrong, but you can believe that people will not be taking much pitty on him once the season starts, especially when he is running Hernandez and Heredia out there to get shelled nightly. Anyone think those two will be Franco and Stanton version 2.0? The fans and the New York media will be anxious for results after having the best off season in Met history. Will the winning carry over? I think so, but Willie and Omar seem to want to make winning as challenging as possible. Though you will not find any "experts" who actually like the Mets chances outside of my new favorite Joe Sheehan, it does not bother me because the Mets are good enough. What bothers me is the way the Mets conduct their business when it comes to setting a roster. It would be nice if the best man would actually win. They should however, win in spite of this minor gripes I have.
Great Spring-Awful Spring (Florida Division)
• GREAT SPRINGS (HITTERS): Andruw Jones, Hideki Matsui, Travis Hafner, Brandon Inge, Albert Pujols (no whiffs in his first 53 AB), Pat Burrell, Jose Reyes.
• AWFUL SPRINGS (HITTERS): Carlos Delgado, Bernie Williams, Vernon Wells, Johnny Estrada, Vinny Castilla, Milton Bradley.
• GREAT SPRINGS (PITCHERS): John Smoltz, Johan Santana, Brad Lidge, Kris Benson, Miguel Batista, Jeremy Bonderman, Josh Beckett, B.J. Ryan, Daniel Cabrera, Joe Nathan.
• AWFUL SPRINGS (PITCHERS): Roger Clemens, Paul Wilson, Josh Fogg, Victor Zambrano, Cory Lidle, David Weathers, Ismael Valdez, Jim Mecir, Cal Eldred.
Good to see Reyes and Benson get their due and Delgado having an awful spring, but bad to see Zambrano being on of the worst pitchers out there.
I think Leiter should be in that awful group as well.