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

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Pure Lunacy

Ginter traded in favor of keeping Heredia and Hernandez. In case you wanted to be reminded of how bad Roberto Hernadez and Felix Heredia have been, click here and click here.

Feel free to vent here.

Die Yankees Stinken Wie Schweine

This site is running on fumes at this point, this upcoming season is more than welcome and long overdue. We survived the first off season it was a great one, the readership has exploded from twenty people to twenty four people. I can smell the fear of the other Mets sites.

Another baseball season is upon us, and the Yankees will again make a feeble attempt at world dominance. Baseball fans will once again be treated to the $200 million Yankees taking on the $30 million dollar Devil Rays and the $48 million Blue Jays almost forty times in 2005. This year's team could be the worst team money can buy in my opinion. The 1992 Mets previously owned that title, but they were a mere $1 million above the second highest payroll. These Yanks are $80 million above the next highest payroll. It's World Series or bust for them, and I do not even foresee a division crown in their future in 2005. This is the year the Red Sox dethrone the Evil Empire from atop their AL East perch. Beating them in the playoffs was great for them, but taking first in the AL East will be the topper that might finally give George a heart attack.

I hate the Yankees, and that is well known, but there is there really any better way to start the season off? I'm not crazy enough to think the Mets vs. the Reds would be a marquee match up and no other two baseball teams have a rivalry on the same, but if you are going to generate a buzz over baseball, this is certainly a way to do it. Last year it was the Yankees vs. the Devil Rays, this season is the Yankees vs. the Red Sox. With the Bostonians still hung over from taking the World Series and the Superbowl, it should be interesting. You could not have scripted it better if Schilling had been able to start, but Wells vs. Johnson should provide plenty of fireworks. Two 40+ year old lefties going at it and Wells has never been one to shy away from a big game (as long as you do not count game 5 of the 2003 playoffs).

* * *

  • The roster is taking shape:

    Randolph and the Mets' front office pared the roster down nearly to its final 25 on Friday night, optioning Heath Bell to Norfolk and reassigning Luis Garcia, Ron Calloway and Jose Santiago. Bartolome Fortunato suffered a sore lower back in Friday's game and will either be optioned or placed on the DL.

    Randolph said he will carry seven relief pitchers with the bullpen consisting of right-handers Braden Looper, Mike DeJean, Roberto Hernandez and Manny Aybar along with lefties Felix Heredia, Mike Matthews and Dae-Sung Koo. The one wild card is that Matt Ginter could still stick, likely in place of Aybar, if Kris Benson does not appear ready to start the season.

    We knew Bell was going, but too bad for Garica though. I'm on board with giving him firstbase at Norfolk if he will accept in favor of Craig Brazell.

    Three lefties? BRILLIANT! Heredia comes north and chalk up a few losses because of it. Keep up the great work on making the roster Willie. If Ginter gets released in favor of keeping Heredia (who pitched better when he had no feeling in his hand), Aybar, or Hernandez (who may not post a sub 4.50 ERA and 1.70 WHIP), it will certainly be puzzling.

    "Am I surprised? Deep down, no," Bell said. "Part of me knew. Willie told me that I did make the team, but since I did have options that's the business part of it. I'm being sent down, but I'll be back."

    As Steve from The Eddie Kranepool Society said, “THE GUARNTEEED CONTRACT IS MIGHTER THAN THE SWORD”. The guaranteed contract is mightier than the more talented player with an option. Why even have a battle if you know the players with options are going to lose? We could have sorted this bullpen out a month ago with the exception of Matthews making the team. Only the Mets would carry two LOOGYs.

    The honeymoon is officially over for Willie. He gets good marks so far since he has not actually done anything wrong, but you can believe that people will not be taking much pitty on him once the season starts, especially when he is running Hernandez and Heredia out there to get shelled nightly. Anyone think those two will be Franco and Stanton version 2.0? The fans and the New York media will be anxious for results after having the best off season in Met history. Will the winning carry over? I think so, but Willie and Omar seem to want to make winning as challenging as possible. Though you will not find any "experts" who actually like the Mets chances outside of my new favorite Joe Sheehan, it does not bother me because the Mets are good enough. What bothers me is the way the Mets conduct their business when it comes to setting a roster. It would be nice if the best man would actually win. They should however, win in spite of this minor gripes I have.

  • The injuries have already started with the Mets and there is no way Omar can spin this as a non-issue. These might not be a big deal, but the fact is too many people are not healthy going into the season. People are guaranteed to go down and Mets can ill afford another injury riddled season. Someone up stairs hates the Mets.

  • Why Met managers do a weekly show with Mike and the Mad Dog is beyond me. It just gives these two Met bashers a forum to ask dumb questions.

  • BK Kim contemplates retirement?

  • Jayson Stark predicts that the Twins will win the World Series in 2005.

  • Billy Beane is now part owner of the Oakland A's after the sale of the franchise was completed. The A's were bought buy a billionaire real estate mogul and now have the third richest ownership group in baseball.

  • One of the best parts about the baseball season returning is Jayson Stark's Rumblings & Grumblins column.

    Great Spring-Awful Spring (Florida Division)
    • GREAT SPRINGS (HITTERS): Andruw Jones, Hideki Matsui, Travis Hafner, Brandon Inge, Albert Pujols (no whiffs in his first 53 AB), Pat Burrell, Jose Reyes.

    • AWFUL SPRINGS (HITTERS): Carlos Delgado, Bernie Williams, Vernon Wells, Johnny Estrada, Vinny Castilla, Milton Bradley.

    • GREAT SPRINGS (PITCHERS): John Smoltz, Johan Santana, Brad Lidge, Kris Benson, Miguel Batista, Jeremy Bonderman, Josh Beckett, B.J. Ryan, Daniel Cabrera, Joe Nathan.

    • AWFUL SPRINGS (PITCHERS): Roger Clemens, Paul Wilson, Josh Fogg, Victor Zambrano, Cory Lidle, David Weathers, Ismael Valdez, Jim Mecir, Cal Eldred.

    Good to see Reyes and Benson get their due and Delgado having an awful spring, but bad to see Zambrano being on of the worst pitchers out there.

    I think Leiter should be in that awful group as well.
  • Friday, April 01, 2005

    Five Reasons Why The Mets Can Beat Everyone Else

    I'm not creative enough for any April's Fools jokes, but I'm sure there will be plenty around. Here are the five reasons I think the Mets can win this division. Things obviously have to go right, but it is certainly possible. The NL East is the most competitive division and the Mets are in it.

    1) Steals: Like how customer service, big hair, and Def Leppard went out with the 80's, so did the art of stealing a base. The Marlins have been trying to bring it back in style, but the Mets could possibly steal more bases than any team that did not have Ricky Henderson or Vince Coleman stealing 100 bases on it. The Mets will be turning singles into doubles all year and causing fits for the other team. The pitcher is going to be distracted with the speed on base and that is a good thing.

    2) Drill Sergeant Willie: Willie has had them in shape and ready to go. Willie may be a lot of things, and some are good and some are bad, but one positive is that he gets the team prepared. From day one, the Mets were working hard. Harder than they have since I've been following them in Spring Training. His no nonsense approach to making the most out of Spring Training could prove invaluable for a Mets team that seemed to lack fundamentals and concentration all too much over the past three or four seasons. They lacked a well disciplined team and I'm not referring to grooming habits. Guys getting caught smoking pot, people drinking or partying nights before games, mental errors, etc. seem to be a thing of the past. This Met team should be sound and while some teams may need a few weeks to get going because their spring was lax, the Mets will be firing on all cylinders.

    3) Hungry: They want it. They want to prove that they are a good team. Pedro and Carlos did not come here to collect a check, they want to win (well, maybe 60% win and 40% collect a check). Pedro is a competitor and Beltran is a guy in his prime who is one of the best in the game. Their desire is going to rub off much like the bad attitudes of players rubbed off during the Mets second half meltdown in 2004.

    4) Coaches: This is arguably the best coaching staff the Mets have ever seen. Not necessarily in terms of the manager, but coaches. There are guys who could be managers coaching first base, coaching third base, and being the bench coach. Rick Peterson is a pitching guru and he has had a full year to start implementing his pitching program from the major league level all the way down through the minor league level. Even the bullpen coach is a highly respected individual who Pedro Martinez does not hesitate to call his white daddy and attributes a lot of his success to their work in Los Angeles.

    5) The Future Cornerstones: Though Reyes has not walked much this spring, he has looked absolutely amazing. Stealing bases, scoring runs, and being a pain. If he could get on base at a .350 clip ever, he would be a lock to lead the league in steals. However, we are not at that point yet, but the kid has talent. A healthy year means a lot to the Mets. Jose has 140 hits and 18 BBs in his career and have 80 runs scored. David Wright has a five tool talent to learn from in Carlos Beltran and a hitting coach in Rick Downs who seems to be imparting as much knowledge onto the youngster as he can on how he approaches hitting. Jody Gerut had a great rookie year and a great outlook, but suffered the sophomore slump despite his outlook. Wright has a similar outlook but was more heralded than Gerut and I think he can pick up where he left off. If these two continue improving the Mets will be in the hunt.

    * * *

  • Fran Healy would love this article. If Healy does 80 games this year, you'll hear him talk about a division in Japan 80 times. Travel just simply makes this a horrible idea. Sure they can just camp out there for month and keep playing teams within that division, but I just do not see it happening.

  • In case you missed it, Adam Rubin did a great job with a scouting report on the 2005 Mets.

  • ESPN had the top selling Jerseys of 2005 in an article yesterday.

    (Alphabetical order)
    Carlos Beltran, Mets
    Barry Bonds, Giants
    Miguel Cabrera, Marlins
    Roger Clemens, Astros
    Eric Gagne, Dodgers
    Nomar Garciaparra, Cubs
    Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
    Derek Jeter, Yankees
    Randy Johnson, Yankees
    Pedro Martinez, Mets
    Mark Prior, Cubs
    Albert Pujols, Cardinals
    Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
    Ivan Rodriguez, Tigers
    Curt Schilling, Red Sox
    Jason Varitek, Red Sox

  • Dan Perry takes a look at at if Spring Training actually mattered. (too bad it doesn't)

  • The legend of Sidd Finch.

  • Alright, I know I promised no more complaining about roster moves until the start of the season, but I cannot help myself. I've complained about the mere thought of this before, but now the pure lunacy has become reality.

    "Now starting in centerfield for the Norfolk Tides, Gerald "Ice" Williams!!!"

    The crowd roars and talks about this hot prospect. Ummm..not quite. In case you are curious, the Mets already have three capable and legitimate prospects that can actually bring back value in a trade or help on the Major League level at some point. The outfield should be comprised of Angel Pagan, Wayne Lydon, and Victor Diaz, but now "Ice" will be working in and usurping at-bats. Good stuff right? Those guys do not need all the at-bats they can get, "Ice" does.

  • If the question was posed to me, would I rather have Heath Bell at AAA waiting for his shot with Heredia cut, or Bell and Heredia on the ML squad, I'd take the former. Being that I talk about Bell daily, that says a lot about my disdain for Heredia, who I think everyone but the opposition hates. Thanks to the Daily News, we have this:

    Meanwhile, Felix Heredia - obtained from the Yankees for Mike Stanton and $975,000 - is in serious jeopardy of not making the club and may be released, despite a $1.85 million contract.

    Though it is April Fool's day and this could be a really, really unfunny joke, I think it may actually happen. Winning should be valued over his $1.8 million contract. If the Mets have any intentions of winning, it starts with not having Heredia on the team since he is a loss waiting to happen.

  • 'I wouldn't have gone there, anyway,' said Higginson, who had included Florida on his no-trade list.

    Screw you Marlins.
  • Thursday, March 31, 2005

    F-in Ponderous

    David Lennon does a great job breaking down the bullpen situation this morning and the seemingly uphill battle for Heath Bell.

    Manny Aybar, signed as a minor-league free agent, has held opposing hitters to a .135 average, with a 1.69 ERA and 11 strikeouts, allowing only five hits over 102/3 innings. The 40-year-old Roberto Hernandez has a 1.80 ERA, Bartolome Fortunato a 1.00 ERA, and Matt Ginter, who started yesterday, has not allowed an earned run in 14 innings.

    For the record, I do agree that putting him at AAA does no harm to the team. Should they need him, he's a short hop away from Shea and can be brought up and ready for action the next day. However, it still does not make sense since he seems to embody what you want from reliever. A hard throwing guy who throws strikes.

    "We'll keep watching the competition and see how it plays out," Randolph said. "It's really hard. Sometimes your hands are tied. But you still want to get the best guys coming out of the gate and you want to keep as many assets as you can."

    Willie is being a bit contradictory here. We all know that if they want to bring the best relievers out of the gate, Bell would be there. However, if they are interested in stockpiling assets, they will be put Bell at AAA and use guys they would have had to otherwise release on the MLB squad and see how they work out. As Vinnie from No Joy in Metsville lined out the other day, the Mets' love affair with Roberto Hernandez is certainly a curious one. He turned 40 in November and has had he ERA rise every season since he was 34. He certainly has not been making people miss either.

    1999 8.47 2.65 .245 .332 .295
    2000 7.49 2.65 .272 .331 .423
    2001 6.12 1.77 .266 .336 .390
    2002 6.75 3.25 .300 .345 .449
    2003 6.75 1.05 .263 .385 .466
    2004 6.99 1.52 .297 .379 .473

    He also notched 18.0 and 17.8 pitches per inning pitched in 2003 and 2004. Throw on top of that a 1.73 WHIP in '03 and 1.67 WHIP in '04 and you have Michael scratching his head. It is tough for us common fans to know how good a guy has looked in Spring Training. The lack of TV coverage and not really knowing what hitters a pitcher faces make it really tough to gauge the difficulty of their opposition. Players can put up gaudy numbers due to the lower competition they face, and if James Baldwin can put up a sub 1.00 ERA, anyone can.

    Rick Peterson's mantra is that if the player has the tools, he can work with him. The idea as I understand it, is that Roberto is keeping the ball down, which is something he was not doing in recent years contributing to his precipitous decline. However, given his age and what he's done in the past few years, he seems like the anti-ideal reliever. He comes out and walks people, gives up hits, and throws a lot of balls. Also, why has only professor Rick found this issue out and no one else? He is the only guy that can help Hernandez keep the ball down? They are basically banking on a 40 year old to significantly turn around a decline.

    Fans, columnists, and everyone's grandmother second guess moves. Whether they are roster moves, trades, in game decisions, substitutions, whether a player is pulling his head out, who to sign, who not to sign, etc. Do fans know more than the GM, manager, etc. at some times? I'd have to say an emphatic no way. This is their job and their life.

    However, when you see a guy like Art Howe make confounding move after confounding move, like using Orber Moreno instead of Franco and Stanton while it was clear they were not getting the job done just to try something new, pulling Piazza in the 8th inning of tie games for a defensive replacement, horrible use of the bench and pen, and many more things you just wonder. Sometimes things look so blatantly obvious to us, and yet the opposite happens time after time. I'm not naive enough to think I can do their job, but some things are certainly confusing, no? Do we know nothing sometimes, or do they know nothing sometimes? As fans, I guess we have to have faith based on the assumption that know what's best and they what's right.

    This concludes my complaining about the roster and other moves for the remainder of the off-season. Thank you.

    * * *

  • One thing in David Lennon's article that stuck out in my mind is how he said Heath Bell touches 98 MPH on his fastball. Has anyone seen it clocked over 91 MPH? I haven't. If he does, I had no idea he can throw that hard.

  • Pat Borzi says Kaz Matsui has the look of a #8 hitter. There is no doubt he has, but there is also no doubt he has tremendous skill.

    But what about Matsui? Is it possible that he could be dropped to the bottom of the order if he does not start hitting? Matsui has proved adept at situational hitting in recent games, collecting all five of his spring-training R.B.I. since his return. But he still walks less and strikes out more than a leadoff or No. 2 hitter should; he has only two walks in spring training and 13 strikeouts, the second most on the team and one more than Andres Galarraga had before he retired.

  • "David's basically a rookie," Randolph added. "We've all got to earn our chops."

    Does anyone else hate this quote much as I do? Don't you have to earn yours as a manager too? What's more important anyway, "earning chops", or winning ballgames?

  • Is Ginter going to be a guy that steps up this year and surprises everyone out of the bullpen? He's pegged to be a long man, but he may very well end up setting up Looper when all is said and done. The guy has been great and throws strikes. With a new pitch added to his arsenal, he has three offerings instead of two and is much more dynamic than he was in 2004.

  • "If Monday comes and I'm ready, then I'll be ready," Cameron said. "If not, then I'll still be ready."

    There's the real Cammy.
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2005

    Deadman Walking

    The Mets win again, but Heath Bell gives up two runs. That could have been his ticket to Norfolk since this regime seems to favor old retreads like Roberto Hernandez. Out with the new and in with the old. That is the long standing mantra of the New York Mets.

    The Mets are tied with the Blue Jays for the best winning % out of every Major League team this spring. The only other NL East team over .500 is the Atlanta Braves at 13-12. I love Spring Training, but I'm done with it. The lack of televised games and games on the radio is driving me nuts. You have to hear from your friend who has a cousin Vito who lives in Miami and is in the witness protection program who has a bookie in Tampa who has a illegitimate son in St. Lucie that is the Spring Training ball boy that relays what happens.

    The Season starts on Sunday and I'm officially on board with the idea that Mets can take this division after this spring. Their offense looks like it is really going to click and they will be tearing up the base paths. You know Martinez will be great, Glavine should be solid (even if he regresses a bit), and Benson will have a breakout year. The last two are somewhat of mystery as to what they'll bring, but it's fair to say they will win some games out of the #4 and #5 spots in the rotation. The mysterious bullpen will be mysteriously effective.

    * * *

  • Best headline of the day goes too (drum roll....)

    Martínez and Zambrano Are Sharp and Efficient

    Zambrano and efficient in the same sentence?

    The day's bigger surprise, however, was the performance of Victor Zambrano, who did not walk a batter over seven simulated innings on the same field.

    He did not walk anyone, but gave up five runs and twelve hits.

    The Mets hope Zambrano's effort will carry over to Sunday, when he is scheduled to pitch their final exhibition game, in Washington, and to his first regular-season start, on April 8 in Atlanta.

    I'll actually be in DC rooting Victor on. Hopefully he puts it all together. We all know spring means nothing and as long as he is working and learning and making his innings count towards making him better in the future, I'm ok with him getting shelled. However, we are not actually sure if he is actually working on anything or doing really bad.

    My favorite coverage of Victor's game was from the NYPost:

    On the plus side, Zambrano did not walk a hitter and struck out four. On the minus side, he allowed 12 hits in five-plus innings and hit Fernando Lunar twice in the same at-bat (game rules were such that the player was not automatically awarded the base).

    "I'm ready for the season," Zambrano said.

    Ready? Fernando Lunar must have soiled his undies after he had to stay in there after getting plunked twice.

  • Barry Zito was kind enough to show SI.com some inside photographs from Spring Training. However, some things were just not meant to be seen. Thanks Barry...

  • From Newsday:

    David Wright was the lone starter to make last night's trip to Viera, and still batted sixth.

    You think the papers are going to have fun with Wright batting at the bottom of the order?

    In all seriousness, if no other starters are in there, why not move him up to #2 or #3 to get as many hacks as possible?
  • Tuesday, March 29, 2005


    Willie, Willie, Willie, Willie. Earn your keep? Earn your spot in the order? David Wright is your second best hitter. Why he needs to be a crusty veteran for you to understand that is beyond me. Some highly intelligent individual already put his two cents in, and it was not to bat Wright eighth. Doug Mientkiewicz has a career high of fifteen homers in 150+ games. Wright smacked fourteen in 69 games. Someone explain to my why his has to earn a place higher than eighth? It seems he made a pretty solid statement in 2004. Reyes seems to not be held to the same scrutiny.

    Doug is the perfect guy for the 8th spot. He works the count and takes a walk, but will not be wasted power production at the bottom. He has a career high of 74 RBIs and a career high of a .450 SLG%. Wright hit 40 RBIs in 69 games and had a .525 SLG% in the first half of his rookie year. He will get better, much better. Who should be more towards the meat and top of the order? Understandably, Mike Cameron cannot bat eighth. We all know this. Reyes batting eighth for a guy who is anxious at the plate and does not work pitchers, will be ill suited for that spot. Kaz could fit the bill, but he looked like he was ready to breakout in the 2nd half of '04. If Willie puts Wright out there in the 8th spot, it will be one of life's greater mysteries. The Mets lineup is improved, but not good enough where a guy who can hit .290/.360/.550 with 30 homers should be in the 8th spot. These are the New York Mets and not the New York Yankees. Someone may need to remind Willie of that.

    If he is going to take this approach with possibly the second most talented player on the team, I wonder how he will approach lesser prospects? Is Willie going to give young kids like Heath Bell a chance? Or will he favor less talented vets simply because they are vets. Age should not matter. Experience should not matter. What the player can contribute right now should matter. The Yankee Way © does not allow chances for young player to break through. I sure hope Willie does not engage prospects in that fashion going forward and I sure hope I'm overreacting and Wright will be moving up as soon as he starts stroking. However, this move makes no sense. People were wondering if Willie can actually manage, but he flunked his first task of writing up the line-up on a piece of paper.

    * * *

  • "It tastes like ... burning" - Ralf Wiggum

    Dan Perry has the ten burning questions of 2005. Guess what? I have answers to all of them.

    1) July
    2) No
    3) No
    4) No
    5) Indians
    6) Pretty good. The A's will finish in third place with lots of promise. Harden is a stud and Zito is still there. The rest will fall into place between Blanton/Meyer/Haren/Cruz or whomever steps up for the last three spots. Let's not forget, the A's did it with a Big Three for while without any significant help from the last two spots until '04 when Harden stepped up. They need one player out a pretty talented three to be that guy.
    7) No
    8) Yes
    9) Clint Hurdle
    10) 2nd place, wildcard

  • Eleven innings is all Pedro is getting this Spring. Hey, at least he is saving some mileage on his arm. Between Matsui's back and Pedro's back, Wilpon better spring for some top notch mattresses. What in the hell is going on here?

  • "I was up there at the plate [yesterday]," Floyd said, "and it was kind of hard for me to remember [that] I can put weight on this. You know what I mean?"

    I think it is fair to say everyone can visibly see this.

    "We're going to win," he said. "We're going to expect to win and we're going to win. People say, 'We're going to win, I think.' I'm not saying, 'I think.' "

    That's what I like. None of this "we'll give it our best stuff". We are going to win.

  • Philly.com is doing series of articles on the NL East.

    "Then I get to the Mets and I'm looking at the front page. I wasn't used to looking at the front page with the A-ranked free agents," Minaya said. And he laughed again.

  • Baseball America does a mid-season check on college's top prospects. Ricky Romero was a big mover and jumped to the head of the class for left handed pitchers. Alex Gordon has a disgusting .437/.574/.873 line with 30 runs, 7 homers, 21 RBIs, 11 SBs, and 20 BBs to 10 K's. The D-Backs will have to think long and hard about Justin Upton and Alex Gordon and who they take.

  • Baseball Prospectus predicts the win/loss records for each team. We all figured the NL East to be tight, and so does BP.

    Team W - L
    Phillies 90 - 72
    Braves 82 - 80
    Marlins 81 - 81
    Mets 81 - 81
    Nationals 74 - 88

    They have no teams winning 100 and the Red Sox have the most with 99 and take the division from the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Yanks get the Wild Card. Is there any way they miss the playoffs all together? Nope, but I can dream.
  • Monday, March 28, 2005

    Metsgeek.com Is The New Black

    I've heard that brown is the new black, pink is the new black, black is the new black, and I've even heard that Mr. Metrosexual, Alex Rodriguez was the new black. Nope, all wrong. Metsgeek.com is the new black.

    I'll be writing in both places with the editorial/analysis pieces up at Metsgeek.com and I'll still be here posting as well. Here is a little conversation I had with my friend when discussing the new site:

    Mike: Yo, the new site launches on Monday. I've been writing a bunch of shit for it and it is pretty damn good. I'm pumped.
    Webb: Is that why your site has sucked?

    I think that pretty much sums the everything up.

    * * *

  • Classy stuff.

    The Americans pressured much more at the start of the first half, and Eddie Lewis scored in the 59th minute off a feed from Landon Donovan. Some Mexican fans responded by chanting "Osama! Osama!"

    Is it not enough that they have owned the USA team in Mexico with a record of 0-22-1? How about some humility? A little bit of Modelo and a lot of Tequila leads to crazy Mexicans cheering for terrorists.

    Anyway, 100,000+ fans were in attendance at the game. After it ended, they all climbed into one pickup truck and drove home.

  • The Mets beat up on the Nationals behind the pitching of relievers on the bubble. The best part of the entire game was Cliffy. He is tearing up pitching and is running for once in a way that not making Met fans cringe. Floyd looks fluid and fast. Twenty stolen bases does not sound so out of the question the way he looks now and the way he is gliding around the bases. I think there will be a few teams at the end of the year that will be wishing that had taken Floyd off the Mets' hands when they had the chance.

    It seems right now that the Mets languishing in the mid to high 600's in total runs could be a thing of the past. This offense looks like it could have some nice chemistry this year.

    The last time they topped 700 runs was in 2000 and I expect them to do it this year again.

  • Kevin Czerwinski tries to add some clarity to the bullpen situation. Scott Stewart, Scott Strickland, and Orber Moreno were reassigned and Strickland is free to walk if he so chooses.

    "The bullpen you leave with on April 1 is notoriously not the same bullpen you have on May 1. So maybe there might be some way we can push the out back later in April. But who is to say the Milwaukee Brewers won't call tomorrow and say, 'We want to put you in the 'pen or have you compete for a spot'? I just don't know. This is my free agent year, and I have to be on the mound if I'm healthy."

    Tough decision for the Mets. You hate to lose him because you know how good he was, but they do not seem to think he is 100% ready and maybe do not think he will ever regain his mid 90's fastball.

  • The Rays may use their surplus of relievers to bolster their team. They are still in need of some bats.

    Ongoing trade talks could affect the look of the staff. It might mean parting with LHP Trever Miller, RHP Jesus Colome, RHP Jorge Sosa, RHP Travis Harper, RHP Lance Carter or even closer Danys Baez to acquire the hitter the Rays need.

    Am I too crazy in thinking Jesus Colome could be netted for Eric Valent?
  • Sunday, March 27, 2005

    On The Bubble

    "They're on the bubble," explained Mets GM Omar Minaya of that foursome, "so we want to be able to see them."

    Jose Santiago, Manny Aybar, Bartolome Fortunato and Mike Matthews will take the mound in the Major League game so they can get an extended look. I'll pulling for everyone not named Felix Heredia to step up and make them push Heredia out the door.

    * * *

  • Zambrano needed 89 pitches to get through four innings, and one American League scout who has watched Zambrano extensively said he thinks the right-hander is hurting. If so, he has not told the Mets, and Peterson believes it is just a case of mind over matter for his pupil. Zambrano is coming back from a flexor tendon strain, and part of the rehab process is learning to pitch again in games, which could be causing his inconsistency.


    More problems. According to one scout, Victor Zambrano's "arm angle is all messed up . . . he's got to be hurt." While Zambrano's velocity is down a touch, his control is way off.

    Control way off? This is news?

    Player G G W L R ERA IP Ks BB OBA

    Zambrano 4 3 2 1 13 7.62 13.0 11 13 .321
    Kazmir 4 2 1 0 3 1.42 12.2 9 6 .229

    I'm not crying over spilt milk, but I'm just sayin'.

  • The NY Media blows something out of proportion? Nah...

    He can't walk, he'll be OK, he'll miss his start, he'll start on Tuesday.

  • This is one stat I missed:

    Reyes is hitting .327 with eight stolen bases and four extra-base hits this spring. Once a notoriously free swinger, Reyes has struck out once in his first 57 plate appearances.

  • The Marlins are looking to add some depth to their outfield with Detroit's Bobby Higginson.

    Aguila's hopes of making the team could hinge on a rumored deal that could bring Detroit outfielder Bobby Higginson to the Marlins.

    Expected to be either traded or released by the Tigers, Higginson, 34, has batted .273 for his career, but just .246 last season with 12 home runs and 64 RBI in 131 games.