Orders From Above?
Doug Mientkiewicz signed a two year deal for $7,000,000 with the Minnesota Twins in 2004 with a vesting option that kicks in with a certain number of plate appearances between 2004 and 2005 for $4,000,000. If he fails to reach that plateau and the Mets choose not to pick up his option, then the Red Sox are on the hook for his $450,000 buyout. As of right now, has 275 plate appearances in 73 games played. The Mets have 56 games left and for a guy who hits lefties as well as righties and should be able to play just about everyday. It is not unreasonable that he would normally play in 50 of those 56 games. Mientikiewcz has averaged 3.77 plate appearances per game so far and if he continues at this current rate, he will finish the year with 464 plate appearances. With his 328 plate appearances in 2004 and a possible 464 in 2004, that would leave him just shy of 800 plate appearances with 792.
Since coming back from the DL, Dougie has hit .342/.419/.579 with four homers and eight RBIs. Yes, his OPS is a very nice .998 and he is hitting with a hot bat. Willie has been notorious for playing his hot hand and has sat Dougie in four of the last eight games. Sure there were two lefties going in two of those games, but the other two were rookie righties. I have no idea what his kicker is for his 2006 option in terms of plate appearances, but I have to wonder if that has factored into Dougie inexplicably sitting recently. Something is rotten here and I do not buy that Doug has lost his job as some papers suggested yesterday. Doug has hit since returning and with the Mets still on the fringe of the Wild Card race, the guys producing right now should be in the lineup day after day. However, it seems there are 4,000,000 reasons for the Mets to throttle back Doug's playing time to possibly make sure they have some breathing room to be sure if he comes back, it is on their terms. I certainly hope the Mets do value winning over an option kicker and this is purely speculation on my part, but only time will tell.
- Durham beat Norfolk 13-8. Anderson Hernandez seems to have awoken from his slump and went 3 for 3 with a run scored, an RBI, two walks, and two stolen bases.
- Binghamton beat Harrisburg 10-2. Lastings Milledge left early after getting ejected for arguing a call. Milledge stole a base and went 1 for 2 with a run scored. Aarom Baldiris went 3 for 5 with two runs scored and an RBI, Mike Jacobs went 1 for 4 with two runs scored, a walk, his 21st homer, and two RBIs, Brett Harper went 4 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, a homer, and four RBIs, and Bobby Malek went 3 for 3 with a walk, a double, and an RBI. Yusmeiro Petit went eight innings giving up five hits, two earned runs, one homer, no walks, and struck out seven. Vintage Petit.
- St. Lucie beat Dunedin 4-3. Andy Wilson went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a double, and a walk, Jamar Hill went 3 for 4 with a run scored, a homer, and two RBIs, Grant Psomas went 1 for 3 with a homer, and walk, and Aaron Hathaway went 2 for 4 to bring his average up to .275. Gaby Hernandez was stellar and went 5.2 innings and gave up four hits, one walk, and struck out five to bring his ERA down to 2.72 in high A-ball.
- Lake County beat Hagerstown 7-4. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3 for 4 with a run scored, Mike Carp went 2 for 5 with two RBIs, and Ryan Coultas went 2 for 4.
- Lowell beat Brooklyn 2-1. Nick Evans went 1 for 4 with a double.
- The GCL Mets played the GCL Marlins in a double header. In game #1, the GCL Marlins won 4-1 and Brahiam Maldonado went 1 for 3. In game #2, the Mets won 5-2. Kaz Matsui went 2 for 4 with two strikeouts and Daniel Cummings went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. Matt Durkin went three innings of two hit, no walk ball in which he surrendered no runs and struck out four.
- the VSL Mets beat the VSL Marlins/Nationals 4-0.
Headlines, Deadlines: no team generated more buzz over the weekend than the Mets, who chased after Manny Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Danys Baez but came up empty. Or held onto Mike Cameron and Aaron Heilman as well as BP Top Prospects Yusmeiro Petit (#15) and Lastings Milledge (#19) if you'd prefer to look at the glass as half-full, a good idea given the results of last year's Scott Kazmir-for-Victor Zambrano debacle. As the Mets gave back last week's gains and fell to last in the NL East, it's worth remembering that Manny aside, none of the other moves was a difference maker in a crowded playoff picture, and the marquee one was no bargain either, according to Nate Silver's numbers.
"I have like three hitting streaks of 10 or more games. [Ted] Williams had them of more than 300 and he hit .340 for his career. And he went to war for his country twice during his baseball career. Never put my name in his category. I just happen to have the same number of home runs."
--Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr., on being tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 14th place on the all-time HR list (Dayton Daily News)
"I got so many tools. Dominating on base paths and controlling a game. There's nothing I can't do. I think it's a disgrace to the game of baseball how they're doing me."
"If it ain't that, then give me a reason why. [Atlanta Brave first baseman] Julio Franco's older than me. And he doesn't have the numbers I have, so they let him play. I know I can outplay him. They want to see if they can destroy me or upset me."
"They know I can make a club. They just won't give me a chance. Just give me a chance to do the things I know I can do and what I love doing."
In case you were wondering, from 2000 to 2003, Ricky hit .228/.365/.330 with 19 homers, 95 RBIs, 72 SBs, and 218 walks in 348 at-bats. When I see guys like Ice Williams in the Majors still, I can see where he is coming from. I think it is clear he does not have what it takes to play in the Major Leagues at this point, but there are a lot of people who do not belong in the bigs and are there as well.
"When I come back," he said, "I want to be able to go deep into a ballgame. [I feel] a little bit better each time out. The past few weeks have been a lot better, having more of a regular five-day routine like I'm used to."
"What do you want me to do?" said Beltran, about the only somber person in a celebratory home clubhouse. "If they want to continue to boo, they can do it.
"I'll be here for seven years."
The B-Mets are holding a $200 cow milking contest between the games of a double header against the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday.