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

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Back, but not happy.

I leave for ten days and the entire place is in shambles when I get back. Granted they were on a downward spiral when I did leave, but I place the blame on everyone else and most of all Willie.

I leave and Manny for Beltran rumors fly, Anderson Hernandez finally gets called up, and Gary Carter gets named the manager of the year in the Gulf Coast League and while that might not sound like much, it is something Willie cannot hang is hat on. For me, managing at any level is more beneficial than being a third base coach or a bench coach for the Yankees and no position player has more of knowledge of baseball than a smart catcher in my opinion and no, Fran Healy is not a smart catcher.

Manny for Beltran? Let us review.

1) Mets need a masher
2) Manny and Beltran's contracts would basically off set each other
3) The Mets do have another gold glove centerfielder
4) Beltran has a lot to prove he can earn his cash while Manny will basically do what he is being paid to do

Sounds like a intriguing deal and you are not sane if you are not in the least bit tantalized by this, but no way. For me, bad year aside, he has the ability to be one of the top five players in baseball. The guy can do it all and I think has some massive power potential that will start to come out as he gets older and move bulky and less of a speedster. The guy is just too young to give up on and too talented. I think the Mets should go for Manny, but not at the cost of Carlos Beltran. Beltran is and should be a cornerstone. That is not to say if you asked me again in two years I would not be singing a decidedly different tune, but right now I'm sticking to my no go on the Beltran for Manny rumor which is probably only that, a vicious rumor.

Anderson Hernandez is finally up with the big club and should be given an everyday job now that the Mets are struggling just to get back to .500 and they need to figure out what this guy is. With Kaz's resurgence it certainly makes sense for the Mets to give him another go if no better options present themselves. Sure it is risky hanging your hat on just forty nine September at-bats, but the Mets do not have many other options. Anderson Hernandez's good year aside, everyone would like to see him do it again and prove it wasn't the friendly hitter's league in AA and a hot streak in AAA. If he does well, the Mets should feel confident in bringing Kaz back with the knowledge they have some great insurance. If they get a good year out of Kaz he walks away in 2007 then Anderson Hernandez can solidify his job and assuage everyone's fears with doing his thing in 2006 proving to everyone he can be a Major League starter while refining his game.

Ah, how I long for a head coach not named Willie Randolph. Sure there are rumors flying around that Lou Pinella will be relieved of his post at the end of the year but why must the Mets always think they need to do things on a grand scale. The may not be able to produce many prospects, but they seem to be doing a good job producing managerial candidates in Ken Oberkfell and Gary Carter. Carter got valuable experience that Willie never had and one year in the Major Leagues will not help Willie. Randolph needed about five years of seasoning and should have taken that managerial job in the Yankees farm system because that seems like it would have been the best option and set him up for perhaps a better start to his managing debut in the bigs. This team has problems and Willie is a large one, however, the Mets are between a rock and a hard place. This is the third manager they would be canning early and if he gets demoted (will never happen in a million years), he will be the second high ranking Mets demoted in as many years.

The Mets unfortunately have little choice but keep him or else they look like a knee jerk organization that is too volatile for someone worthwhile to come to. Yes, I know you are saying that is how it looks now, but they need to look like they have control which would be very contrary to reality. Sure they can put Carter or Oberkefell on the bench next to Willie and the other on the staff somewhere while letting them have a lot of input, but that seems like it will be a case of two many hands in the cookie jar. It's clear Rick Downs needs to be relieved of his duties as well and Howard Johnson seems like prime candidate for his replacement. An ideal situation puts Oberkefell or Carter as the manager with the other as the bench coach and Howard Johnson as the hitting coach, but we all know the Mets would rather see them go be successful elsewhere. The Mets are truly in a pickle with Willie. This is not a case of being on the hook for money, this is larger than that and I think the Mets are committed to him anyway. The next logical case is upgrading his staff and the Mets need to get someone in there that can help this situation and one of the guys below may be able to do that.

The Mets have some real problems. Of course, we'll have plenty of time this off-season to talk about what the Mets should or should not do and pretend we know how to fix this team and who they should pick up. That is sometimes more fun than the season when a team has been as disappointing as the Mets have been over the last few seasons because every team theoretically can have a chance. That is they have a chance if they were run well. The Mets are run no better than teams like the Royals, Pirates, or Reds, but the difference is they have cash. Can you imagine in what horrible shape a team would be in a mid to small size market with the management the Mets have had over the recent years? Scary to think but as long as the Mets can spend, they can band aid some errors and try and buy their way out of it and they will be flexing their spending muscles this off-season.

* * *

  • What present do I see what I get back? A 2005 Post-Season invoice from the New York Mets. $630 for two tickets at the bargain price of $295 a piece plus $40 handling.

    Full payment must be made through mets.com or with this invoice to Shea Stadium by September 16th 2005.

    Ooops.

  • I'm probably a bit late on this one, but in case you missed it, Team USA finished seventh and went 3-4 after a 4-0 start. Brian Bannister finished with a 1-2 record in three starts and had a 9.69 ERA in thirteen innings. He gave up eighteen hits, fourteen runs, five walks, and had a .333 BAA. Lastings Milledge had a strong Team USA showing and posted a .302/.348/.581 line with three doubles, three homers, six RBIs, two walks, and two stolen bases in four attempts.

  • Mark Teixiera is looking towards the long term.

    Teixeira, 25, went into Tuesday's game with the Los Angeles Angels hitting .295 with 106 runs scored, 41 home runs and 132 RBI.

    Pujols got his contract after three amazing seasons and Boras is going to be pushing for something bigger and better for his client.

    Teixeira met with the Rangers immediately after last season and told them he would be willing to switch positions if it would help the club. That offer expired many midnights ago.

    "I think I'm a first baseman for the rest of my career," Teixeira said.

    The Rangers are fine with that. Teixeira has not only fulfilled offensive expectations but, despite being drafted as a third baseman, has developed into a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman.


    A-Gone may not be the guy that helps them turn it around, but I think he will help.

    That does not bode well for Adrian Gonzalez, who hit .338 with 18 home runs and 65 RBI at Triple A Oklahoma but has been confined mainly to designated hitter at the major league level. He has been used in 26 games at DH, including Tuesday night, and only eight at first base.

    We'll see how Omar attacks this, but if the Rangers are looking at giving Teixeira a big raise, he will need to clear payroll and get some cheap pitching.

  • Jae Seo cannot win.

    "Pretty much the team knows my feelings about being a starter," Zambrano said. "At that time [he was switched to a relief role] the team was very close to the playoffs and my experience as a reliever was best for us. But I'm very focused on being a starter."

    Willie Randolph indicated that no one outside of Martinez, Glavine and Benson should feel secure.


  • LHP Scott Kazmir starts tonight against the Red Sox. In his brief big-league career that began midway in 2004, Kazmir is 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in six starts against Boston. He has 33 strikeouts in 33 innings.

    This year he has a combined six starts against the Red Sox and Yankees (2-2, 2.95). In his past three starts, twice against Toronto, and once against Baltimore, Kazmir is 2-0, 0.45. Five times this year he left games with a lead but didn't get the win.


  • The Mets pony up some cash.

  • Mike Jacobs can rake.

    After Mike Jacobs had launched home runs of 440 feet against John Smoltz and then 460 feet against Tim Hudson a day later, Cliff Floyd and Gerald Williams were sitting by their lockers the other day discussing the Met rookie.

    "He's special," Williams said.

    Floyd echoed him, adding, "Special, I know."


    But do the Mets consider him a first base option? Eleven extra base hits and fourteen RBIs in twenty games this season is undoubtedly impressive.

  • The Mets may suck, but if they can help keep Carlos Delgado out of the playoffs, that is something to hang your hat on.

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