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

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Good Times

With Carlos Beltran retiring to the lineup, it seems like a good time to look back at Richard Justice and his general stupidity and bitterness. If you remember, Richard Justice had written a few articles completely making fun of the Mets and taking some digs on Met fans during the negotiations and basically saying Beltran would be/is nuts to go with the Mets because Houston is a far superior team.

No matter what happens this weekend, whether he stays or goes, he has made it clear the last two months were about nothing else (money).

If he was concerned with winning, he wouldn't be talking to the Mets.


If Beltran signs with the Mets, he will have revealed himself to be a fraud.

The Mets are about nothing.

The Mets are a bad team with a stupid front office. Despite throwing millions at a few high-profile free agents in recent years, they aren't close to being competitive.

They're promising they'll do things right under new general manager Omar Minaya. But even if Minaya is allowed the autonomy his predecessors never had, the Mets are years away from being competitive.

All the Mets can offer Beltran is money. That's apparently all that ever mattered.

There are a few more gems in there, but it is really funny article. How someone who would call themselves a baseball expert could actually think the Astros had a brighter future and a better team in 2005 than the Mets has an IQ of a pile shit. As it stands now, the Mets are one game over .500 and 2.5 games out of first place and has the third best home record in the National League and the Astros are fourteen games under .500 with a .360 winning percentage. They are more than a Carlos Beltran away from competing. Jeff Bagwell is done and Biggio will be 40 next season and the Astros have farm system that was given a D for impact potential and a D for depth by Baseball America. On top of that, there are rumblings in Houston papers that they would be willing to trade some of the grade D farm system for this season further damaging their already bleak future.

In repeated articles he mentioned that if Beltran was concerned about winning, he would only be looking at the Yankees, Astros and Cubs. Maybe that list should have been pared down to the Yankees and Cubs. The reality is, the Mets were moving in the right direction in spite of their bad seasons and were on the up and up and have potentially the best, under 30 core of players on the horizon with Beltran, Diaz, Wright, and Reyes already on the major league squad. If you were going to bet on a horse for the long term, would it be the aging Yankees and Astros with bad farm systems or the Cubbies and Mets? The answer seems elementary this Met fan and Beltran did make the right career for the life of his contract and in my opinion.

Sure the Mets were 66-95 in 2003, in 2002 they were 75-86, and were 82-80 in 2001 after consecutive years on the playoffs and would seem like a team going in the wrong direction if you did not pay attention to farm systems, young players, and baseball. Sure the Astros were in the playoffs five times the last eight years, with divisional championships in '97, '98, '99, and '01. Sure they finished 2nd in 2002 and 2003 and the only losing season since 1991 was in 2000 when they went 72-90 and the Astros were one game from the World Series last year, but it was clear by their current team and their farm system they were D-O-N-E, done.

Then he proceeds to write things like this:

When Beltran signed with the Mets, I praised McLane for not going any farther with Beltran. I'd like to have that column back. If you're going to go so far with one guy, if you're going to hinge your off-season on one guy, why quibble over a no-trade clause and a few dollars at the end? The contract had already reached outrageous levels.


2. The Mets -- OK, so they overpaid for Beltran and Martinez ($172 million combined). They finished second in the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes. Don't go getting picky on me. They already had a decent core of players and all they did was add the best free-agent starting pitcher and the best free-agent everyday player. They're not yet a great team, but if management gives new general manager Omar Minaya the freedom to do his job, the Mets will again be what they should be very quickly.

I know most of stuff was said out of bitterness and pettiness, but it is still funny to see how contradictory he can be.

* * *

  • A day off and the Mets gain a half a game on Florida and Atlanta. The entire division is at least within 4.5 games of first place. No other division has the last place team within single digits of first place.

  • Minor update:
    • Hagerstown beat Lakewood 12-5 behind another stellar performance by Gaby Hernandez. Gaby went 5.2 innings, gave up five hits and one walk, while surrendering one run and struck out six batters. He is now 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA. Is he the best prospect from the 2004 draft that the Mets took? Carlos Gomez went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and one RBI. Dante Brinkley went deep on 2 for 3 day in which he scored two runs, knocked in two RBIs, and walked twice.
    • Norfolk lost to Pawtucket 12-2. Brazell and Garcia both went deep for the Tides only two runs. Two of the lefty options in the pen the Mets had in the minors took a big step back after rough outings and giving up a combined twelve runs in two innings. Mike Matthew gave up seven runs in 1.1 innings and his ERA ballooned up to 12.10. Steve Coyler took his sub 3.00 ERA and gave it back by giving up four runs in 0.2 innings and bumped his ERA up to 4.91.
    • Binghamton beat Trenton 12-5. Mike Jacobs pushed his batting average over .300 with a 4 for 4 game with four RBIs. Matt Lindstrom went four innings giving up two runs and seven hits.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 4-3 and Humber pitched 5.2 innings, gave up seven hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out three.
  • Stephen Drew is a Diamondback. There is a chance the deal could still fall apart on some details still being ironed out, but it looks like it is done. The Drew deal is identical to the one rejected in April and Boras and Drew seriously wasted a lot of time to get nothing done, but The D-Backs got their guy and solid player.

    Weaver inked as well for a straight bonus offer instead of a major league contract and since Boras did not win and get more money for his guys, one has to wonder how this will affect this upcoming draft and his clients. Will they be more apt to take realistic deals instead of holding out for the unrealistic and underserved dollar amounts while wasting development time?

    Although it is hard to see a top Boras client signing early, it will be interested to see if it does have an affect on Pelfrey, Hochever, etc. One thing is clear though, this muddies the situation for the Mets draft. With Brandon Lyon's arm problems and the B-Backs having two first round picks next week, Craig Hansen could be off the board on the first pick since the D-Backs could be skipping Justin Upton. This increases the likelihood that the Mets will be taking a prep outfielder or a college starting pitcher in my opinion.

  • Wright is good. Not only is he wildly talented, but the kid gets how to be a leader and will be the face of this franchise and not Carlos Beltran.

    It always seemed like the Mets didn't get along with each in other years. Is that still the case now that they've changed the team so much? -- Marie O'Neill, Atlanta, Ga.

    Not at all. The Mets may not order a table for 25 when they dine. But they are a far cry from the old Red Sox teams -- 25 players, 25 cabs, according to Frank Duffy, the Sox's former shortstop.

    They seem to fit together, and it seems they try to fit together. With John Franco gone, there is no recognized leader in the clubhouse. But different players have assumed different roles. And there are several players -- notably Doug Mientkiewicz, David Wright and Carlos Beltran -- who seem to touch everyone with, respectively, their perseverance, respect for the game and professionalism.

    Ramon Castro provides humor and Mike Cameron provides energy. And the youth of Wright, Jose Reyes and Victor Diaz is good for the veterans.

    Cameron and Cliff Floyd treat Wright like their little brother. Wright always makes a point of involving the three Asian players. There is universal respect for Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. Marlon Anderson is quiet and effective. And the bench players -- Anderson, Miguel Cairo and Chris Woodward are treated like regulars.

  • Cario is definitely a solid citizen.

    "I signed here to be a utility player," the diplomatic Cairo said the other day. "That's the job that was open."

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