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

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Kaz #2?

"No one said a thing to me," said Phillips. "But if it's true, I have mixed emotions. I don't know anything except the New York Mets. It will be like the first day of college. 'Where do I stand?' ... At least someone wants me."

Omar is going to corner the market on disenfranchised backup catchers. Jason Phillips for Kaz Ishii? Giving up Jason Phillips is really no big deal, but how much does Kaz Ishii help? I’ve posted about Matt Ginter a few days ago and Kaz Ishii does not help in any way but with depth. He has never topped 172 innings, so if you are looking for the gift of innings, do not look here. With him and Zambrano at #4 and #5, it will seem like a walk parade for two games in a row. Kaz's BB/9 have been 6.19, 6.18, and 5.13 the last three years. His IP/S is 5.5 for his career. I'm not seeing how he helps above and beyond Matt Ginter, but he does add some more depth. With him and Victor on back to back days, a seven man bullpen becomes utterly necessary and Ginter should be in it. The move, while not a bad one, only gives depth, but not an upgrade over the current options besides being more of a known quantity. However, the trigger needs to get pulled. Having Ginter as the long man allows him to spot start so the Mets keep Pedro fresh and the Mets keep all their prospects.

Perfect situation? No, but he's a decent #5 guy.

* * *

  • Kris Benson had a solid start going five innings, posting a 0.60 WHIP, and four strikeouts. The 10 inning tie did not feature many other special things besides Victor Diaz going 2 for 4.

  • The NY Daily News says the Mets returned RHP Francisco Campos to Campeche of the Mexican League. So much for my bullpen prediction. I suck.

  • According to the NY Times, the Mets are talking with Billy Koch.

    A person familiar with the situation said the Mets had had some discussions with Koch, but that they were very preliminary and that the Mets needed to do some more work researching Koch before signing him. Reports out of Blue Jay camp had Koch's fastball clocked at a weak 88-89 mph this spring.

    Under 90? Jeez. He's still worth a flyer though. Billy has fallen far, very far. He used to pump in into the high 90's.

  • Roberto Alomar is set to retire from baseball. Is he a Hall of Famer? Roberto is a career .300 hitter, with a .371 career OBP, 2724 hits, 1134 RBIs, 210 homers, and 474 stolen bases. I think he should be in and it is shame how much he has tarnished his imaged since his MVP type season in 2001.

  • The Nats looking to add some more punch?

    Right field? Austin Kearns is winning over Wily Mo Pena by about the same distance as Secretariat won the Belmont. He has not only grabbed it with both hands, he has stuffed it into his back pockets.

    Kearns hit safely in the first 10 games he played this spring — 14-for-38, .438, four doubles, a homer and five RBIs. Pena is hitting .114 with one double in 35 at-bats and 15 strikeouts.

    The article mentions the Reds will be interested in taking some of their surplus pitching in the form of Zach Day or Livan Hernandez.

  • Phil Sheridan thinks it is time for Fehr and Selig to go.

    t is good that Bud Selig and Donald Fehr were in the room when Mark McGwire damned himself and his records with silence on Thursday. It is good that Selig, the commissioner of baseball, and Fehr, the union's leader, saw the scene with their own eyes.

    That is where their stewardship led baseball, to a hearing on Capitol Hill that will leave a permanent stain on the sport. And that is why any future for Major League Baseball shouldn't include Bud Selig or Donald Fehr.

    If they have any concern for baseball, they will resign. Both of them. As soon as possible.

    How can anyone trust these two again? Eleven years ago, their inability to reach agreement on a labor contract resulted in the cancellation of the World Series. Since then, their tacit approval of steroid use by players led the game into its current quagmire.

    I do not blame Selig. He did a lot of good for the game and this falls squarely on the MLBPA's shoulders as they fought for the lax testing and were against invading the player's privacy.

  • Mike DeJean is a militant nut.

    DeJean named the corner, though not every resident is as obsessed with camouflage as Ginter.

    "We're the worst, or the best," DeJean says, referring to himself and Ginter. He keeps a photo of his $40,000 camo truck in his locker. Looper and Strickland are merely pledges in the fraternity Kappa Delta Mossy Oak.

  • Friday, March 18, 2005

    *Warning* Steroid Talk *Warning*

    A few quick hits from the congressional hearings, or as much as I listened to which was up to the players testimony. I missed what I heard was the best part in the Bud Selig, Don Fehr, etc. grilling.

  • Jim Bunning, who is a Hall of Famer turned senator was very insightful in his portion of the hearing.

    "It's not their game. It's ours. Many more were before of them, and many more will come after them. We need to do whatever we can do to protect the integrity of the game"

    'Tis true. The players tend to think they are bigger than the game and think it is nobody's business but their own. However, last time I checked, the fans make the sport. No fans, no sport. There are people alive today that have been watching baseball for longer than some of these players have been alive.

    One crazy thing Jim Bunning said was to wipe all the records out that were steroid assisted. Though it is impossible to find that information out, it was really the first time a prominent baseball player has said it publicly. He said to go ask Henry Aaron and Roger Maris if they would they like their records compared with the new records? He demanded a need to return the integrity to the game. Being an old timer who is in the Hall of Fame and obviously very successful, it was interesting to hear. He also said if you get caught, you should be out of the game. Period. No second, third, fourth, or fifth chances. He said when he was playing, no 150 pound second baseman could hit the ball 425 feet to right center. He said the only guy who could do that when he played was Mickey Mantle. He has a really hard time believing that baseball says the abuse is down to 1%. Though, in the today's players defense, they work out more, the stadiums are geared towards hitters, the strike zone has been made smaller, the mound was lowered, the research and game preparation is unparalleled, expansion waters down the pitching, etc. Most differences between the two eras benefit hitters as well. Home runs + scoring = cash. That accounts for a lot of the chances and that accounts for a lot of what happened though no one is naive enough to think that accounts for all of it.

  • Another huge part of it was comparing MLB's regulations to everyone else’s. The new agreement specifically states that the after the first positive result, the player will receive a 10 day suspension with the name being made public or up to a $10,000 fine with their name withheld. Though there were assurances that a player’s name would be made public and the player suspended, the other clause is in there. In football, you get suspended 25% of the season with no pay for the first offense and 50% of the season for the second offense with no pay. In Virginia, if a student athlete is caught using steroids, they get a two year suspension. The Olympics is two years for the first offense, then for life.

    Henry Waxman, who is a congressman from California suggest there be one standard for all of sports. As good as that may sound, that will never happen. I guess the question is, when it comes to illegal substances, do you think the government should be able to strong-arm a standard in regards to this? We are not just talking about cheating like with a corked bat, but breaking laws. To me, it is clear they have to govern themselves and have a third party involved like suggested later in the hearings.

  • Chris Van Hollen had made a good point during the hearings. He made a reference to chewing tobacco and how baseball players spoke out against it like Hank Aaron and others. Although like Schilling said it is debatable how much PSAs work, they still took a stance. It seems that when it comes to steroids, mum is the word. No one will talk about this topic. Ben Davis bunted against Schilling during a no hitter in an attempt to try and spark something to win a close game a few years back, he draws ire. A player steals with a his ten up by 10? Forget it. He gets plunked. A player corks, it's a big deal. Players do roids, it's a blip on the radar and everyone knows nothing and it's a MINOR problem.

  • McGwire turned the waterworks on in his opening statement, refused to talk about the past, and basically admitted his guilt by pleading the fifth. He then said he could be a spokesperson for the anti-steroids campaign. Then, when asked if using steroids was cheating, he said that was not for him to determine. What? So let me get this straight, he is and x-player and has no opinion on whether taking an illegal substance was cheating? We know it was not banned by baseball, so in baseball's eyes it was not, but he has no opinion on the topic and I'm not curious why. If he says yes, then he is basically saying he cheated. Patrick McHenry did not miss a beat after McGwire volunteered himself to be a spokesperson for the cause. He asked how he could be a spokesperson. He ask if he knew someone who took them or if he knows the effects first hand to be able to speak on the topic. McGwire said that he accepted his attorney's advice to not answer this issue. Fine, but by saying that, there is no need to answer.

    Really though, McGwire was useless. That's not for me to answer or I do not want to comment on my steroid laden past...that is all that came out of his mouth. Mark Souder ripped into him too. He said imagine if the Enron people said we do not want to talk about the past or Richard Nixon said he does not want to talk about the past. Granted they are different levels, but you use the past as a stepping stone. You cannot pull a Giambi and say we are trying to correct a problem we cannot speak out specifically and do not want to investigate because we are looking towards the future. Souder then asked how is congress supposed to pass legislation or make changes if the past is not discussed. I agree with him in principal.

  • Frank Thomas, Curt Schilling, and Rafael Palmeiro were much better. Schilling did come off as a player's association crony, but he was big on letting the MLB fight it's own battles and letting the system work. Fine, I can take that. Raffy put up some good ideas and actualy imparted some opinions! Frank was live via satellite and was good by default. He really did not do much, though he was not really addressed by congress.

    Sammy Sosa was useless. He did however say that he loves "beisbol" and that "beisbol" has been berry berry good to him.

    Everyone thought Canseco was a joke, and he was. Jose even brought up the "B" word, which is blackballing. He still cannot face the fact he was not any good anymore. What he was saying was predictable and contradictory to his statements in his book.

    Book: Steroids are good
    In Front of Congress: Steroids are bad

    What was with Schilling's Pete Rose looking hairdoo anyway?

    Metropolitan's Wrap-Up:
    I missed the meat and potatoes of the entire thing by missing the commissioner and Don Fehr, but I saw enough. I think their policy needs to be harder which was painfully obvious to everyone. They need to make the first offense a tough one, and not a slap on the wrist. Congress did not need to get this together, it was just a lot of sensationalism with bringing in parents of kids who died, players, etc. It was a lot of representatives who loved to hear themselves talk and it was a humungous waste of money. It was a media circus. The basic premise is good of course, but was this really necessary? Give the plan a year to work and see how it shapes out. If you still have problems then, then go for it.

    No records should be stricken from the books if they were steroid aided. I've written on here that people have been cheating since baseball started and you cannot say one person's version of cheating is better or worse than another. Hall of Famers have cheated before and people have always been trying to get that competitive edge. Try and solve the problem going forward and move on from it. It will be remembered as the time with juiced up players, but nothing could ever be proven that it does help or helped anyone break any records.

    Lastly, this is the governments business. Should they have gotten involved to the extent that they did? Not just yet, but they have a vested interested and I'm not talking about the youth of America. Young kids doing steroids will not change just because major leaguers stop or talk about it. Like Schilling said, you'll need to administer testing with stiff penalties as a deterrent, but this really was not the focus. In fact, I'm not sure what the focus was about besides people loving to hear themselves talk, but one thing that came through loud and clear to me is that baseball is a billion dollar business that effects the economy and the communities surrounding the teams. Teams use public funding for stadiums and benefit from tax exemptions from the government. If they are willing to take those benefits from the government and the people, they have to be accountable and do have a civic duty to perform. The Nationals got $400 + million stadium approved by a DC Council. Are you going to sit there and tell me they have no right to be interested? When baseball does not receive aid from the government, then they can have all the privacy and lax steroid use they want. However, a lot of people have vested interest in the game and cleaning it up can never be a bad thing. The fans deserve better and everyone deserves better. I could give a crap that people did it in the past, but going forward, act like you are serious about solving the problem.

  • Five Reasons Why The Mets Can Beat The Marlins

    The Mets and the Marlins are similar in the fact that their two biggest concerns are their bullpen and their rotation health. Who finishes above who will largely depend on which team fares better in those two areas.

    1) Health: The Marlins have Josh Beckett, AJ Burnett and Al Leiter who have each spent time on the DL over the past few seasons. In 2003, all of the Marlins current starters innings added up and averaged out come too 124.1 innings. In 2004 they averaged out to 163.2 innings. Not one of their current starters registered 200 innings as the D-Train came the closet with 197 innings. The next closest person was Al Leiter who did not even reach 181 innings in 2003. This will become a large problem for the Marlins at some point during the year. The durability is not there and there are three guys with Victor Zambrano size injury concerns. If Beckett or Burnett go down again it will be trouble. Big trouble (see #5).

    2) Bullpen: Amazingly enough, I found a team that has a worse bullpen than the Mets on paper and on paper, the Mets bullpen looks very bad. I think the Mets bullpen will perform better than expected, but much to the chagrin of Marlin fans, their bullpen may be worse than expected and they are expected to be bad. Guillermo Mota could be dominating, but he's never been a full time closer before. He only has five career saves, but he's good so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. The rest will be put together by the following:

    Tim Spooneybarger? Matt Perisho? Antonio Alfonseca? Todd Jones? Jim Crowell? Frank Castillo? Bryan Corey? Bart Miadich? Travis Smith? Nate Bump? John Riedling?

    Don't wait for Enter Sandman or For Whom the Bell Tolls-type songs to come blaring over the PA system when any one of those guys run onto the field. Only three guys, including their Closer Mota who was not exactly solid after coming over from the Dodgers with his 4.81 ERA in 33.1 innings, had a sub 4.00 ERA. Jim Mecir, Guillermo Mota, and Antonia Alfonseca. So let's review. No starter has pitched over 200 innings and only two of the starters pitched over 180 innings in the last two years with a bullpen that only had three guys with a sub 4.00 ERA. I see big problems. Really big problems.

    3) Pro Player Stadium: No doubt Carlos is a masher and will do some damage, but his homefield will be playing against him. The SkyDome could be deemed cozy in comparison. It's almost 20 feet longer right down the line, 10 feet deeper in the power alleys and the wall comes to 404 feet about 10 feet to the right of center before jetting out to 435 feet. Opposite field becomes tougher for the big guy too. Overall, he is coming from an AL East with three stadiums tailor made for lefties and another that he called home that was pretty fair to hitters and was domed to boot. In the SkyDome and Camden yards, he hit 22 of his 32 homers and average 1 every 12.4 at bats. Everywhere else he hit one once every 18.5 at bats. He'll hit some, but they will not be as easy playing in an NL East with two pitcher's parks, a presumable pitchers park in RFK as many football turned baseball fields are spacious, and Turner Field, which is a pitcher's park but very close to neutral. Carlos, you are not in the AL East anymore.

    4) David Sloane: The man is sleazy and cursed. The Mets had enough bad karma lately and David Sloane and the way he does business with the pettiness he seems to exude can only mean bad karma for the Marlins. Not only that, he just helped fuel the Mets fire and desire to beat the Marlins every chance they can.

    5) Lack of pitching depth: Right now, their fifth starter is Ismail Valdez. Yes, he of an ERA north of 5.00. If he is your fifth starter, then that tells me there is depth problem. Yes, it is ONLY their fifth starter and by far not a big point right now. He'll be skipped when he can, but what happens when (not if) someone goes down? If Ismail Valdez is your best choice at #5, the sixth option will be downright scary. What if two go down?

    Yes, I know the Mets are in this boat too.

    * * *

  • Joe McEwing was unceremoniously cut loose from the ball club yesterday. Sure you would have liked to see a trade, which is better than getting released, but this way, he picks his own ball club and the Mets do not have to get some 29 year old high A ball guy in return that they will never use and most likely cut anyway. It will work out better for Joe McEwing to play for Tony LaRussa who still has Joey Mac's shoes on this desk. Weird, I know.

    "You know, you get back from the park, you're go upstairs and you say, 'We'll meet in the lobby.' Now there's no one to do that for David. I remember reading that [former Dolphins coach] Don Shula used to go for a walk every night with his wife. Every night. Then she died, and he had to walk alone. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's hard."

    Uh, yeah, it sucks. But fortunately the dude's not dead.

  • WTF? I'm LOL'ing because the Mets only have two prospects in the top 100 according to FoxSports? OMG, no love to Humber? IMHO Dan Perry has his head up his ass. I thought he was JK, but when I found he was not, I was ROFLMAO and I was like L8R GF.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  • Why do players insists there are not interested in the hearings? If it was happening in my workplace, I sure would be.

  • Newsday says the Mets are eyeing Redding, have no interest in Munro, and are very interested in Billy Koch.

    Redding - No, is he really much better than Ginter? I think it is debatable whether he would even present an upgrade.
    Munro - Good choice to stay away, but a minor league contract could not hurt.
    Koch - Worth a shot. His fastball flies as straight as can be and not so fast, but you never know.

    The article also mentions the Nationals as a potential trading partner but that is not happening anytime soon.

  • My two cents on the steroid hearings later...

  • Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Real Men Wear Skirts / Traschel Redux

    What's that you say? They're kilts? They sure look like skirts to me.

    It's St. Patricks day. The only day when it is acceptable for grown men to put on skirts and wear knee high socks and look eerily similar to Catholic school girls but with beer bellies and facial hair. Once a year a select few take their plaid skirts to the dry cleaners and drink until they forget the cool air breezing by their bits and pieces. So in honor of them, go drink some beer and eat some potatoes.

    * * *

    "This is not what I expected when I left last week to go to New York for X-rays," Traschel said in a statement released by the Mets. "I thought I would get a shot and be back. At least they know what the problem is. There is no doubt in my mind I'll be pitching again before the end of the season."

    Out for at least three months? If the Mets had some sort of guarantee he would be back in three months, his spot could surely be held down. However, there is no guarantee and back injuries are very, very tough to come back from. These are the types of the things that could linger and just be a big pain for rest of your life. Traschel may of pitched his last game as a Met, or at least that is how Omar is going to most likely play it. He simply cannot be figured in their plans at this point. His $1m kicker with 160 IP in 2005 is out the window as is his $7m option for 2006.

    "The opportunity is there for a few guys," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We'll see who takes the bull by the horns."

    By take the bull by the horns he means gives up the fewest bombs (sorry Aaron, don't get your hopes up).

    The NYPost figures Omar to look to make a trade.

    As he did on Tuesday, Minaya reiterated that the options are internal (i.e., Matt Ginter, Jae Seo, Aaron Heilman, Francisco Campos). But the Mets are hunting for pitching. The problem is, this time of year, their options are limited. Available arms include Colorado's Shawn Chacon, Texas' Chan Ho Park, Boston's Byung-Hyun Kim (who still has not topped 85 mph this spring) and possibly Kansas City's Brian Anderson.

    I shudder at the thought of the Mets further depleting their farm system with only four genuinely solid prospects that have a lot of value. I full heartedly think the Mets have a chance to make some noise this year, but it will be close and I would definitely classify them as a team on the cusp. They are a team on the cusp that has a bright future and that cannot be lost in a hunt to get back a mediocre starter.

    Bob Klapisch said in a recent Chat Wrap on ESPN that trading Cammy is a final option.

    Ricky (Albuquerque, NM): Hey Bob, with Trachsel going down, is Cameron back on the trading block for a SP? Go Mets! Oh thanks, by the way

    Bob Klapisch: The Mets will give Ginter a long look. Then they'll give Jae Seo on more audition. If all else fails, they'll look to make a trade (involving Cameron) but that's a final option.

    Out of the above names, only Chacon should cost some premium talent. I certainly hope Omar is smart enough to know when to hold and go with what he has rather than do something rash. Losing Petit or Milledge right now would be a dumb move as any pitcher they pick up would most likely be marginally better than their current options. Other GMs know they would have the Mets by the proverbial balls in any transaction. Why not go for the gold? Why not insist on their top prospects or nothing at all? You definitely get the feeling that if Zambrano had been lights out this spring, things would be a little more relaxed about this situation. Depth is the key here and that is what is lacking. You never want to be on your backup option before the first pitch of opening day is even thrown.

    * * *

  • Rob Neyer had listed out five guys who should fall off the cliff in terms of their production from 2004 to 2005. Al was one of them.

    Al Leiter


    That projection looks a tad simplistic, and you might be wondering why everything's the same but the ERA. Well, most of Leiter's fundamental numbers didn't change much from 2003 to 2004, so it's hard to predict a big change from 2004 to 2005. You might also be wondering why the big jump in ERA. There's a simple explanation: In 2004, Leiter was extraordinarily lucky. To compensate for his aging stuff, Leiter has been working around hitters; thus, 97 walks in 174 innings last season. But he avoided a bloated ERA by allowing only 138 hits; his .218 batting average allowed ranked fifth in the National League, between Cy Young candidates Roger Clemens (.217) and Carlos Zambrano (.225). That won't happen again, and in 2005, Leiter will be a profoundly ordinary pitcher.

    He also listed Doug Mientkiewicz as one of the players most likely to improve. However, hitting .245 would be an improvement over last year so I cannot get too excited about that vote of confidence by Neyer.

  • You can watch the steroid hearings today online at C-Span.org if that strikes your fancy. It is on C-Span 3.

  • Pedro was pumped.

    "Without a doubt, when you see a hitter like Delgado, you get more pumped, you get more blood flowing if you're pitching in a real game," said Martinez, whose last outing was a simulated game in Port St. Lucie.

    The pitcher also denied staring down Delgado, who had fouled off a pair of good 3-2 pitches before swinging through a fastball.

    "I was looking at a fan who was talking some (trash)," Martinez said.

    Whatever. Despite the havoc the weather has played with his schedule, Martinez -- who reached 94 mph on the radar gun yesterday -- looked as ornery as ever on the mound.

    Right, staring down a fan.

  • Baseball America goes over the top first and third baseman in College baseball. The Mets will certainly be eyeing up the top two at either position and will get their choice of least two of them at the minimum.
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Plan Z

    We all knew the Mets may had a potential health problem with the rotation. However, we did not think it would be with Steve Traschel. He was counted on to be a healthy mainstay at the end of the rotation with eyes towards Zambrano, Benson, and Martinez as the ones to monitor. The Mets had a deep rotation so they could sustain a loss of one of their pitchers. However, losing one this early and the one that was counted on for health raises some large concerns. With Steve Traschel having a serious ailment, the Mets need to look towards Aaron Heilman, Jae Seo, Matt Ginter, and Francisco Campos. A rotation with Martinez, Glavine, Benson, and Zambrano is not bad with a Ginter/Seo/Heilman/Campos as the #5 guy. After all, he'll be skipped when he can and just expected to do decent job and not get killed and give the Mets a chance win every once in while. Now, if another pitcher goes down, there are problems. Big ones.

    The new, more aerodynamic Matt Ginter has new life and is probably considered the favorite at this point. I know that Campos got shelled yesterday, but one bad outing does not ruin his chances although it certainly hurts them. He is still an intriguing guy and will get an extended look because he represents a rather low risk. I think we all know Heilman does not have a chance to make the fifth the spot in the rotation. Everyone would have to get injured before they will trust him again. Jae Seo does not have a vote of confidence from his pitching coach, and this is a big negative for him and probably too big to overcome. That leaves the hairless wonder. The perception is that Matt is not very good. However, he actually did pretty decent job, just not when he faced the Yankees.

    Non-Yank Starts
    Yank Starts

    "I used to throw it just for show," Ginter said. "On fastball counts now, I can mix in the change-up. I think it'll help a lot. I'm trying to get to the point where I can throw that or my slider at any given time."

    Yeah, he's not All-Star, but we are talking about a guy to give you some good innings and a chance to win every fifth day. He can keep the seat warm until something else is figured out or someone else is ready and provide a reasonable facsimile of a Major League pitcher. You can accuse me of cherry picking numbers, but he fared pretty well in the twelve starts not against the Yankees. If you tell me the fifth starter will keep you in the game 75% of the time, I'll take it. I'd rather have Traschel at #4 and Zambrano at #5, but that's not happening anymore. Ginter started fourteen games and only got knocked out three times without finishing at least five innings and left before the fifth two other times not related to his performance. He got knocked out early two times vs. the Yankees and once in Cincinnati. He left one game early because of rain against Philly, and left another game against Philly after pitching one inning and leaving with a sprained ankle. He may not go as deep as you'd like, but his 10 no decisions are partly the offenses fault as well.

    Things may not be perfect, but no need for the panic button yet.

    Actually, click the button. It will make you feel better and take your mind off things.

    I know this will be a hot topic, but why not let Yusmeiro see what he can do the rest of Spring training? Why not give him some decent innings? Maybe he'll shock everyone.

    "At the major league level I know I need to make more adjustments," Petit said afterward.

    Though the Mets seem convinced that Petit should start the season in the minors, Randolph grew animated when asked about Petit's chance of being the club's fifth starter. "That's a young kid, I don't know," he said. "I'll tell you what: he has a lot of poise. I like the way he went out and threw the ball today. He's been on fire in winter ball and done real well, I understand."

    Spring Training is for learning. Letting him see what he has can do no harm. Getting knocked around and leaving spring with high ERA and knowing what he has to work on is the worst thing that can happen.

    "At the major league level I know I need to make more adjustments," Petit said afterward.

    He's not a dummy.

    * * *

  • A nicey nice look at David Wright.

  • Baseball America give the NL an overview today.

    Quick Take: Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez can't solve all of the Mets' problems by themselves.
    In The Spotlight: 2B Kaz Matsui and SS Jose Reyes. They were supposed to give New York a special double-play combination but they mostly provided heartache instead. Reyes played in just 53 games last year because of leg injuries, while Matsui looked rather ordinary. Now they've traded positions. They almost certainly have to be better in 2005, but how good can they truly become?
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Enough Already

    The Denver Post had an article that was pretty disturbing.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks hope to ride Troy Glaus' bat into the playoffs, only after filling his wife's saddlebags with $1 million for equestrian expenses.

    In each case the money grabbed the players' interest, but the perks helped close the sale.

    "She's accomplished in her field," Arizona lead general partner Ken Kendrick said of Glaus' wife, Ann, at the signing news conference, "and we wanted them to both know that we respected that and realized how important she was in the process."

    You respect that she rides horses and wanted her to know how important she was in what process? Because she let Troy sign there for $11.25 mill per year for four years? You are kind people at the D-Backs. Get this guy behind and closed doors and ask him off the record if he cares that she likes to straddle large animals. As if $45 million is not enough for Glaus' wife to have her own hobbies. You can say what you want about Carlos Beltran's Ocular Enhancer, but it actually pertains to baseball. He did not get a perk that included $500,000 for Carlos' wife to get her nails done over the life of the contract.

    "They made everybody feel a part of it," Glaus said. "If the situation is right and I feel good and my wife feels good about it, then we were going to do it."

    Not only do teams have to sign players, but now they have to sign players wives! Why don't we find out how other GMs feel about it.

    Said one National League general manager, "I thought we were getting away from that kind of (expletive deleted)."

    The deleted expletive starts with an "s", ends with a "t", and rhymes with shit.

    I know this is about stroking ego as much as it is saving players $20,000 on airline tickets or $40,000 on courtside tickets that they can obviously afford, but it's ridiculous. I'm not sure players are going to figure out that this kind of stuff turns people off the game. It really does for a lot of fans. When fans see strikes, contract disputes over a million dollars when the player is making tens of millions, Latrelle Spreewell saying he cannot feed his family (he's coming off a 5 year, $ 61,900,000 contract), and A-Rod having a clause that says he always needs to be the highest paid player and no one can sign a contract larger, people get disgusted as they have to figure out where the money is going to come from to put their kids through school. Maybe it will come from not going to games and buying $5.00 hot dogs and $7.00 beers to pay for Troy's wife to ride horses?

    "I had an opportunity to go to Texas this year," he said. "They were going to win. They don't have as good a chance as this [Cubs] team, but they're going to win. Those are tough decisions.

    "It was a longer deal [they offered]. Three years for about $8-9 million, vs. one year for $2.5 [to return with the Cubs]. But again, I've made enough money. You can get caught up in the money thing.

    "The bottom line is that even bench players make more money than 99 percent of America. You got to be careful what you say about that. We're very blessed in all regards."

    It really a screwed up time with these athletes. Gary Sheffield signs a contract with money deferred without interest, then he complains about wanting more money in the form of interest on his deferred money. Let's not forget he signed his contract just last year and brokered it without an agent. Frank Thomas routinely complains about the money he makes when he signed a long term deal with White Sox for a specific dollar amount agreed upon by him. He has actually termed the deal "embarrassing" while totally ignoring his own behavior is actually what should be embarrassing. Someone should explain to him how the economy works. Guys like Todd Walker are refreshing, and I'm sure I'm not alone that I'd like to hear a bit more of Todd Walker than Latrelle Spreewell in sports.

    * * *

  • Edgerrin James is not a happy camper, but he did put up this great quote:

    "Man, we're like The Jackson 5," James said. "To everyone on the outside, it looks like we're tight as hell. We're out there, on the playing field, making it all look so effortless, and all the [expletive] running perfectly. Then we go home and it's Jermaine's in this room, Tito's in another and Randy ain't talking to no one. When you get up close, it's all dysfunctional."

  • When it rains, it pours.

    Anyone have money on the Cubbies making taking the World Series?

  • Let's think outside the box here guys. If Traschel goes to the DL, you have Ginter, Heilmann, and Seo to choose from. I can say two of those guys can adequately keep the #5 seat warm for a few starts. However, this tidbit form the Daily News peaked my interest in giving someone else a shot.

    Top prospect Yusmeiro Petit, who was reassigned to minor-league camp last week, tentatively was slated to start today as Trachsel's replacement.

    If Kazmir taught you anything, give this kid a shot. I'd bet he can do just as good as the aforementioned three. What's the worst that can happen? He does his best Aaron Heilman impression and goes back to AA.

    NorthJersey.com says it could be Petit of Humber:

    Yuseirmo Petit, a 20-year-old right-hander who is one of the top two pitching prospects in the organization along with Philip Humber, will get the call today if Martinez opts for a simulated game.

  • "What's different this spring is that I feel I should be here," Bell said. "I was never drafted, I've never really technically been a prospect, so it's always been an uphill battle. I kind of feel like some other guys have gotten more opportunities than I have. I get maybe one opportunity and I fail just that one time, or don't impress somebody that one time, I don't get a shot for a while."

    If a 0.00 won't open managements' eyes, I'm not sure what will. You cannot do much more than that.

  • "I feel like I'm in the best situation I can be in right now for my career, and I'm going to go with it. I'm not going to live in the past. I don't even know if I'd have a shot with the Mets this year. I definitely look at this as a positive."
    --Devil Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir (St. Petersburg Times)

    Nah, even if you were on the team and there was a spot open, they'd be looking to the Baldwin's and Erickson's of the world. That is the curse us Met fans have been saddled with. Although, maybe Omar will prove me wrong and not put Roberto Hernandez on the team instead of Heath Bell and Galaraga will have to earn his spot over Luis Garica.
  • Monday, March 14, 2005

    Predicting the Bullpen

    Up for the bullpen is Manny Aybar, Heath Bell, Machado Campos, Mike DeJean, Bartolome Fortunato, Matt Ginter, Aaron Heilman, Felix Heredia, Roberto Hernandez, Dae-Sung Koo, Braden Looper, Blake McGinley, Juan Padilla, Grant Roberts, Jae Seo, Scott Stewart, and Scott Strickland.

    Those are the guys who have legitimate chances in my eyes of taking a spot. Of course, there are some givens there, but this is what I predict.

    Braden Looper
    Mike DeJean
    Felix Heredia
    Heath Bell
    Machado Campos

    With Willie stating he's likely to start the year with a six man pen, which I think is a mistake, and with Strickland and Roberts starting the year in AAA, here is how it may shake out.

    Roberto Hernandez has been impressing the Mets and could take the last spot too, but I think that he'll be reassigned to AAA to start the season since no one else will want him. Campos is on loan and I think they will give him a try to start the year off rather than just lose him. After all, if he does bad, they just give him back to the Mexican League or release him and bring up Fortunato, Strickland, Roberts, Ginter, or Hernandez later. He's done nothing to specifically hurt his chances much and I think the Mets would rather try him out than lose him. He could serve as a long man or spot starter as well being that he was a starter in the minors.

    Bell has been the Mets best reliever hands down and if he's not on the team, it will truly be a mystery.

    Heredia will be there. They have 1,800,000 reasons to put him on the team as long as he actually has feeling in his left hand.

    Koo will get his shot. The funky delivery and all. While Stewart has a shot, he has not pitched much better and is not getting $400,000. The guaranteed money will award Koo a spot in the pen and Stewart will be at AAA with Hernandez hoping he gets a shot later.

    That's how I see it shaking out right this second and that's not to say that is how I think it SHOULD shake out. Of course Campos could end up with a 25.00 ERA and everything goes out the window, but the Mets will need a long man and have control over Ginter, Heilman, Seo, etc. and have the luxury of keeping them in Norfolk another year. The fact that they lose Machado or have to put him on the team will play a factor with his chances to stick with the club despite him not being perceived to have a very good chance.

    * * *

  • Chris Woodward continues to impress and is starting to look like a lock to back up our very own fragile shortstop.

    "I wanted to play in the National League if I wasn't going to start," Woodward said. "In the American League, if you're not starting, you don't get in there. With Milwaukee, I had more of a chance to start, but here, I have a chance to win. I haven't had a chance to win in five or six years."

    AL baseball sucks.

  • What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you already told her twice.

    Moore threw the headset of a phone at Gooden during an argument, and it hit him in the head, said Laura McElroy, the public information officer for the Tampa police. Gooden responded by punching Moore with his fist, and she called the police, McElroy said.

    "Basically, there was a bruise starting to form on her face, which was consistent with the story she told," McElroy said. "We arrested him and charged him with one count of domestic battery."

  • David Sloane's distant cousin flappy just keeps going, and going, and going...

    "The chemistry here is what we were searching for in New York," Wilson said. "The guys get along, they razz each other, we play the game to have fun. I fit in better over here, I think."

    Vance, get over it. Really. Oh, by they way, nice starting rotation, hope everything works out well for you over there.

  • Luis Garcia and Victor Diaz smashed some bombs on Sunday in the Mets victory over Vance's Tigers.

  • Rickey Romero lived up to his billing as a big game pitcher. Cal State Fullerton was ranked #3 coming into a three game weekend series against #1 Tulane. Brian Bogusevic came into the game with a 0.90 ERA, a sub 1.00 WHIP, a 4.43 K/BB ratio, 9.3 K/9, and a .187 BAA. Ricky Romero came into the game with a 4-0 record, 1.93 ERA, .155 BAA, 12.54 K/9, 0.89 WHIP, 4.82 H/9, and 3.9 K/BB. Bugusevic went six innings, struck out 9, and gave 6 ERs on 10 hits in 6 innings. Romero went 6.1 innings, gave up three hits, one run, and struck out 4.

    Romero is now 5-0, with a 1.83 ERA, .151 BAA, .88 WHIP, and a ridiculous 4.72 H/9.