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

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Changes Are 'A Coming

Brian Cashman's job is rumored to be in jeopardy, and it should be. The Yankees are fourth in the league in runs scored, which was to be expected, but there are only five teams that have allowed more runs and the Yankees have given up more runs than they have scored, which was not to be expected. With the Yankees recent acquisitions in the off season, they were expected to have pitching strength for some odd reason. However, Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano were being severely overrated and Carl Pavano was severely overvalued and Randy Johnson keeps getting older.

Now, Bernie Williams is taking his weak arm and bad bat to bench since he is ailing and Tony Womack will be moving over to left field with Hideki Matsui moving over to center. While Hideki is not a bad fielder, his major drawback is actually getting to balls. The outfield the Yankees will be running out night after night will be extremely sub par defensively though possibly better than any outfield with Bernie in center. Robinson Cano is getting his shot at second base in lieu of the Yankees having absolutely no depth on a team that costs more than Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay combined.

The Yankees also revamped a bullpen that desperately needed fixing. They added Felix Rodriguez and Mike Stanton after adding Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill the year before. Between the $32,420,000 that paid for all the players that have pitched in the Yankee bullpen this off season, exactly two guys that were on the opening day have a sub 4.38 ERA. Overall, only three guys have a sub 4.38 ERA. Now, Steve Karsay and his $6,000,000 is supposed to be designated for assignment and eventually released after an injury riddled Yankee tenure. All of a sudden, the Mets bullpen does not look to be in such bad shape. Mariano may be a infinitely better than Looper, but you still have to get to him.

To compound their bullpen problems, Randy Johnson is taking his 3.74 ERA, his 8.93 K/9, and his team high six homeruns allowed (tied with Jaret Wright) to the DL. Carl Pavano is struggling with a 4.24 ERA (at least Javier Vazquez made it to the All Star break pitching well). Jaret Wright is on the DL with his 9.15 ERA and his 2.29 WHIP. All those shiny new acquisitions for the Yankees will cost George $30,086,482. In 2006 and 2007, they all just get more expensive.

Eventually the Yankees business plan of buy and trade for as many expensive players as you can and disregard the need for role players or team chemistry was going to back fire. The bad news for Yankee fans is that there farm system is devoid of significant talent and talent close to helping out. Also, next year's free agent crop is decidedly worse than this past off seasons. Basically, help is not on the way. What you see on the field for the 2005 Yankees is pretty close to what will be seen on the field for the 2006 Yankees. If this team does not turn it around, 2006 does not figure to be much better and 2007 does not look rosey either.

Since the Yankees started buying championships, they have strangely managed to not actually win one. The 2000 Yankee starting lineup in the World Series:

Knoblauch dh
Jeter ss
Justice lf
Williams cf
Martinez 1b
Posada c
O'Neill rf
Brosius 3b
Vizcaino 2b

The days of Yankee teams looking like that intentionally are very, very over until George is out of power. I fully expect the Yankees to climb their way out of fourth place, but they will continue to look like an old team for rest of the year and until they overhaul this mess. Good luck.

* * *

  • Minaya's acquisitions paid off big time last night. Pedro turned in his usual gem and the Mets won on Beltran's moon shoot that would have been out at any of the old school stadiums in the 1900's.

  • "If he goes four for five every night," Doug Mientkiewicz said, "I won't care if he doesn't walk all season."

    In the eighth inning, Jose Reyes was up in the count 3 - 1. The Shea faithful started exploding and chanting "walk, walk, walk, walk". Simply classic. Of course, he did not walk, but the entire stadium and the team let Reyes know his goose egg in the walk column is not going unnoticed.

  • Floyd made a sliding belly-flop catch of Pat Burrell's looping fly to end the sixth inning, and Martinez did a little shimmy with his arms raised in the middle of the infield as the Mets left the field with their 1-0 lead intact in what ended up a 5-1 win.

    "I was just trying to let Cliff know that I was bouncing off the mound, to see a big monster like that hit the floor," Martinez said. "The ground was shaking, so I was bouncing."

  • Who’s hot on the Mets?

    1. Cliff Floyd
    For the week: .409, 2 HR, 9 RBI
    Floyd continued his Mets MVP season, increasing his hitting streak to 17 games in the series finale against Washington. That's the longest streak in the majors this season and seven shy of the franchise record shared by Mike Piazza (1999) and Hubie Brooks ('84). 5 points.

    2. David Wright
    For the week: .474, 1 HR, 4 RBI
    Wright increased his career-high hitting streak to nine games Sunday against the Nationals with an RBI single that tied the score at 3. His two-run homer against Atlanta's Horacio Ramirez last Monday capped a five-run inning in the Mets' 5-4 win. 3 points.

    3. Aaron Heilman
    For the week: 1-0, 2.77 ERA, .146 OBA
    In a down week for the Mets, Heilman started both of the team's wins that book ended a four-game losing streak. He limited the Braves to one run and two hits last Monday. Atlanta went on to top Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine to take the series. 1 point.

    Current leaders
    Cliff Floyd 13 points
    Jose Reyes/Pedro Martinez 5 points
    Victor Diaz/Aaron Heilman 4 points

  • Looks like the black away jerseys are not very popular.

  • Kris Benson (strained right pectoral) had no setbacks during a bullpen session Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., after pitching three innings in a rehab game Friday. It's possible Benson could start for the Mets on Thursday afternoon against the Phillies, although manager Willie Randolph wouldn't commit to that Monday.

    "Benson had a good session today, but we haven't made a decision on when he's going to pitch," Randolph said.

    Kaz Ishii (strained left lat) also threw on the side Monday in Port St. Lucie and Randolph reported "no discomfort."

  • Johnny Damon may well choose to retire than play for the Yankees. While he did say it was definite, he mentioned there are only a few teams he would actually like to play for after his current contract is up.

  • Steve Karsay is expected to be designated for assignment and he is expected to be picked up by another team.

  • This Week in Quotes from Baseball Prospectus is out.

    "I told Ken [Kendrick, Diamondbacks Managing General Partner], 'Don't make this mistake. You'll regret it.’... Arizona has a golden opportunity here, but it is up to them."
    --agent Scott Boras, on Arizona's failure to meet his signing demands for draft choice Stephen Drew (Arizona Republic)

  • After being lauded as the best all around player in baseball for his hot week of baseball to start the season, Hideki Matsui has calmed down quite a bit. He is batting .255/.339/.418 with three homers, eighteen RBIs, and no steals. Strangely enough, the Mets have left fielder who is putting up a .375/.433/.638 line with six homers, twenty two RBIs, and three steals. A healthy Cliff Floyd is better than Hideki Matsui any day of the week. While Floyd is getting a lot of positive press for his hot start, you see the term Mets MVP tossed around. However, if this was Matsui hitting this hot, you'd hear best player in baseball and MLB MVP tossed around.

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