Stick A Fork In Him
Pedro is done. He's in the twilight of his career. I mean have you seen his 2004 numbers? They were very un-Pedro-like. It is all downhill from here, his K/9 were down, he gave up a lot more homeruns in 2004 than in 2003 and 2002 combined. His ERA was the highest it's been since in his entire career. His BAA was up as was his SLG and OBP. His K/BB are out of control and not very Pedro-like. I really do not care if he is one year removed from Cy Young Award numbers, stick a fork in him. His best days are behind him.
But that Tim Hudson, that Tim Hudson is something else. He's going to be the ace of that Braves staff and the stud of the NL East. He'll be commanding $12 to $14 million per year when he hits the free agent market after the 2005 season and will be the crown jewel of the off season.
Pedro Martinez has outperformed Tim Hudson in 2002 and 2003 and it is arguable that he was better than Hudson in 2004. When you take into account where Pedro pitched half of his games and the fact that Hudson posted a better ERA by only 0.36 and gave up less homeruns while getting beat in just about every other pitching category, it really looks like Pedro had a better year in my opinion. Hudson's 103 K's in 188.2 innings is fugly. Besides, Hudson's 2004 season looks strangely like this certain familiar player's 2003 season.
I can safely say Pedro could not put up those numbers in a wheelchair.
If you missed Peter Gammon's article on the Mets yesterday, check it out. Here is a an excerpt from it:
Ron Shandler's "Baseball Forecaster" has a stat he uses to rate "dominance," a pure stuff indicator. Here are some of the pitchers switching leagues: Johnson (11.1), Clement (9.5), Martinez (9.4), Danny Haren (8.5), Wright (7.8), Wade Miller (7.6), Pavano (5.8), Mulder (5.6) and Hudson (5.0).
Tim was never a hit and miss guy and relies on his ability to get groundball after groundball and he will never be able to dominate like Pedro Martinez does. When Pedro had a down year at 32, people say he's done and the Mets overpaid. I'm just not so sure of that. Huddie will be commanding similar money for a guy who has only pitched one year that could be considered spectacular. He will also turn 31 in the summer after he signs his big upcoming contract and I can predict that the team that signs him will not have negative press written about their newest purchase. If Hudson is anything but the Hudson of '03, then I sure hope his deal gets the same overpaid tag that Martinez got. Even on Pedro's worst year in terms of BAA, he was still .006 points lower than Hudson's career BAA. Over 13 years, Pedro has a ridiculous .209 BAA.
I'm putting a bet out there that Pedro will put up better numbers Hudson in their first exposure to the National League. I'll even bet that he outperforms Hudson over the next four years. He is the best pitcher in the NL East and has a lot of gas in the tank. Tim is good, but he cannot dominate like El Diva and as Gammons said in his article, El Diva will be contending the Cy Young award in 2005.
The secondary reason to be relieved: no more Sloane. This man is a menace. Sloane somehow found time to carry on a many-week campaign to negotiate praise for himself, too (yes, David, you did well, not counting all the folks you annoyed along the way). His e-mails were like spam, trumpeting every solitary offer, including the $33-million Mets bid that actually annoyed him.
The e-mails were barely worth reading after awhile, except for amusement's sake. Like the one where he threatened to cut anyone off who called him while he was attending a Joe Cocker concert.
Admittedly, that's the one e-mail where I actually learned something: Who knew Joe Cocker was still playing?
Take that Sloane.
"Defense is an important part of the game," Hernandez said. "I think this is a better fielding infield than we had in '86. HoJo [third baseman Howard Johnson] had a wild arm and [second basemen] Wally [Backman] and [Tim] Teufel were marginal, so I'd say this is better than '86.
"I think David Wright was a little nervous last year and had some jitters and this year, especially with Mientkiewicz at first, won't get all nervous. It's not going to be a problem. I think the only thing you have to worry about is [Kaz] Matsui turning the double play. Otherwise he'll be fine, and [Jose] Reyes is fine. No one is perfect, so it's always good to have a guy over there who can save you."
HoJo? Under the bus.
Backman? Under the bus.
Teufel? Under the bus.
That's one of the reasons I like when Keith calls games on TV. They guy just tells it like it is and he knows what he is talking about.
"I think it's unbelievable," Wright said. "Just the aura of him defensively over there can boost the confidence of a young infield. You're absolutely conscious of having a guy like Mientkiewicz at first base. There are some balls you try to catch and throw real quick and now you know you can just throw it in the vicinity and he'll scoop it up."
"The most important thing is that I'm not hurting my hamstrings anymore," said Reyes, who missed nearly three months last season with a torn hamstring before a fractured fibula cost him seven weeks later in the year. "I have no worries. I feel so good. I'm not worrying about anything.
"He [Shilstone] told me a lot of things to do and now I know my body better. I'm doing a lot of stretching and core stuff. Now I know my body so I'm just going out there and having fun. It's been a huge asset during the Winter League. And now we have three switch-hitters [along with Matsui and Carlos Beltran] atop the lineup, and we can run. Watch out because we're going to steal a lot of bases."
If he is healthy all year with the addition of Beltran, they are going to wear down those base paths. The Mets already finished fourth in the NL with 107 stolen bases and led the majors with a 82% SB% and now that Milwaukee, who led the NL with 138, lost more than half of their stolen bases, the Mets are going to make a big push to lead the league in swipes. The Mets have four guys who have the ability to steal over 30 bags and two of those guys can steal over 40 bags. Throw in Cliffy and Wright, who have the ability to steal 20 a piece, and you have a team that could make a serious push for 200 swipes. The last two teams to come close were the 2002 Marlins, who swiped 177 bags, and the 2001 Mariners, who swiped 174.
As for Ordonez, it appears the Tigers are making an all-out effort to sign him, with the Detroit Free Press saying an offer was made that could be for five years and between $50 and $70 million. His agent, Scott Boras, said Thursday he had made a counteroffer.