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

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Yankee Mystique Has Left The Building

The Yankees are no longer a team that people fear coming into town. They actually look forward to facing them at this point. Friday morning, after losing three of four to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Yankees sat in the AL East basement. May 6th, the Yankees were in last place. They still have some health issues going on and too much talent to be this bad, but realistically, what are the chances the make it to the postseason or take first place back?

In 2002 through 2005, the Yankees performance after the first 29 games looked like this:
Year   Wins   Losses
2002 18 11
2003 23 6
2004 16 13
2005 11 18

Here is how the Yankees fared to finish the season in 2002 through 2005:

Year   Wins   Losses
2002 85 48
2003 78 55
2004 85 47

If you average out each finish, the Yankees averaged 83 wins and 50 losses. If the Yankees can manage to turn this horrible start around and win the rest of the games at a .624 clip, they will finish 94 and 68. No less than 95 games got the wildcard in any of the past three years in the American League, though if the Yankees finished with 94 wins in any of the past three seasons, they would have made the playoffs anyway.

However, is it logical that the Yankees will suddenly turn it on? Can they just win the rest of the season as if they were the successful Yankee teams of 2002 through 2004 who won consistently from end to end? Not really. This team does not have the rotation depth to make that type of turnaround. Steinbrenner is looking at the successes of Jose Contreras and John Leiber and getting ready to fire someone, though he is probably directly to blame. They still have injury concerns with the starters they have and there are still question marks with Carl Pavano who has an BAA of .300+. The Yankees may hit solid stretch of games, maybe even eighty games at a .600 clip, but they will hit a rough stretch again. The Yankees are in serious, serious jeopardy of not making the playoffs in 2005. At this point, they need to be near peferct and do not have room for error. What started off as a slow start that people had expected them to play out of has become a deep hole. The Yankees would have to play .600 ball for the next 35 games just to hit .500 in win % for the season. The Bronx Bombers certainly have their work cut out for them and it is going to be funny to watch, but right now, 90 wins and the playoffs looks like an uphill battle.

* * *

  • Some ridiculously good looking blogger was quoted in the paper today in regards to George Steinbrenner's horse that is destined to lose. Here was the entire quote:

    I definitely route against Steinbrenner’s horse in the Kentucky Derby. The entire thing is a trickle down effect for me. If George and the Yankees are getting beat and beat badly night after night, his only solace right now is that horse. Steinbrenner is not used to losing, so if his horse can spit the bit too, it can only mean good things for any of us waiting for the demise of the Yankees. If that horse fails, he’ll turn his full attention back to the Yankees and try to save a sinking ship that has too many holes. Specifically, he’ll start looking to waste whatever chips he has left in the minors and throughout the organization to improve this year’s flawed, mega-million dollar team and further dampen their future. Basically, we just sit back and enjoy the show.

  • The next time the Brewers take their pedestrian winning streak up against Victor Z and the Mets, they'll get shut down again. Aside from the bullpen's best effort to lose the game in the ninth again, the Mets were firing on all cylinders. I loved Willie's out of the box night in which he moved Cameron up to the #2 hold and Matsui down in the lineup. While I liked it, I'm not sure why he is so reluctant to move Doug down into the 8th spot since he clearly is the one that should be there. Minor details, but Matsui is just not doing that bad that he needs to be there. I also liked how he was sticking with Bell in the ninth inning. Though it did not work out, I like the decision to go with Bell who was just sitting people down. Scary thing is, as I was yelling at the TV that I like the move, Fran Healy said that HE liked the move. I immediately took a shower after that.

    Anyone else think Mikey might be locked in? He is just punishing the ball and sent two no doubters over the fence. Wright and Cameron knocked balls over the fence as well and the Mets are on track to hit 189 homeruns this year. In 2000, they set the club record with 198 homers. As of now, Carlos has not even hit is stride and the Mets will make a run at that club record and for 200 homers and possibly get it for the first time in club history. If they do hit 200 homers, I can guarantee that they will be in the playoffs this season. The pitching will come around, and if they can continue to hit, they will be successful.

  • The Brewers better hold onto their bratwurst and knockwurst, Pedro is coming into town to send them from a seven game winning streak into a two game losing streak.

    So when the three-time Cy Young Award winner takes the mound here against the Brewers at Miller Park tonight, it will mark the first time he has ever pitched in the land of beer, brats and Bob Uecker.

    The land of beer, brats and Bob Uecker? Milwaukee sounds like a pretty damn good place.

  • Davis on Piazza's homers:

    "None of those had a chance," Davis said of the long homers. "I went straight to the umpire and asked for a new ball. That's all you can do."

  • Jose Reyes, walk machine? What are the chances he takes his third walk in four at-bats after going all season without a walk?

  • Woulda, shoulda, coulda...they suck.

  • The kid has the right attitude:

    "It's something new for me," Diaz said. "I've always been a starter. But I'd rather be on the bench in the big leagues than starting in the minors. I know I can learn more being up here."

    Diaz said he would take extra pre-game batting practice to keep his swing sharp. He also planned more pre-game outfield work to get accustomed to playing left.

    "I want them to be confident putting me in left or right," Diaz said. "I'll get myself as ready as I can be."

    Note to Valent. You have become useless and buried deeeeep on the bench. Is a demotion in order to get him some at-bats?

  • We all know it is early in the season. Piazza was batting .198 with two homers on May 4th and the scourge of the team. A big two games later, he is batting .242 and with five homeruns, which is tied for second on the team and is tied for second in RBIs.

  • 2005 OPS leaders on the team with players over 50 at-bats:
    Cliff Floyd         1.096
    Victor Diaz .973
    David Wright .869
    Carlos Beltran .799
    Doug Mientkiewicz .717
    Jose Reyes .714
    Mike Piazza .707
  • Friday, May 06, 2005

    I'm A....

    I'm a toe-sucking biscuit who loves to megafuck Ed Kotch.

    I went all these years and had no clue. If you have nothing better to do, click the above link to see what you are. Hopefully you don't megafuck Ed Kotch.

    * * *

  • John Sickels has been appearing every now and then on NY Fansites. He stops in to talk about the Mets first three draft picks of '04.

    I'll save you some time, they are good. Humber and Hernandez, in particular, are really good. One thing stood out though, he had this to say about Humber:

    If all goes according to plan, he should be ready for Major League action sometime in 2006. I don't think he will turn into Aaron Heilman.

    At this point, would it really be that bad? Heilman has done the impossible and begun to endear himself to Mets fans and reporters alike. In a 2 - 2 tie, he came in with the bases load and two outs in the fifth inning with two outs, and saved the day. He showed balls the size of Looper's enormous head and finished the day giving up only one hit in 3.1 innings. Heilman is actually a go to guy that I look forward to taking the mound. What's next? The Yankees in last place? Oh, they are. Life is good. Life is good.

  • "As much as I say I'm going to be smooth out there, it takes time to make some adjustments," said Cameron, who was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. "I'm trying to be as smooth as possible."

  • Good stuff. Pretty much sums up how I feel.

    have to confess that watching George Steinbrenner's zillionaires struggle this spring has given me much more pleasure than the Sox's uneven early-season defense of their title.

    When Kevin Brown was spinning a nifty eight-hitter with one out in the first against the D-Rays on Tuesday, I was positively bouncing off the walls, calling friends, alerting them to the 15.7-million-dollar man's latest disaster. In getting blasted by Tampa Bay, Brown fell to 0-4 with an 8.25 E.R.A. Most pitchers would have been mercifully pulled after being lit up for six runs in the first, but you could almost see Joe Torre saying, "Nope, you're gonna earn some of that money today, Big Fella, by taking one for the team."

    What can Brown do for you? Well, to sum it up, he can break his non-pitching hand in a late-season tantrum, get shelled in a Game 7 loss and allow opponents to hit .380 against him to start 2005.

    Read it.

  • No pressure Victor. You just have to face the hottest team in baseball who owns a seven game winning streak and your starting rotation spot is becoming seriously in jeopardy.

  • Hmmmmmmm.... The D-Backs really do not need this guy. As the article pointed out, if they do not sign him, they have six picks in the top 85 in a draft where there is a pretty good amount of talent deep into the draft. There may not be many superstars, but it is deep talent wise and the D-Backs get the first pick ensuring a possible superstar in Alex Gordon or Justin Upton.

    In a recent letter to the Diamondbacks, Boras attempted to restate Drew's allure as a special player on par with the skills of a young Alex Rodriguez or Miguel Tejada, but Kendrick said such comparisons are "clear speculation."

    Dealing with Boras is probably a horrible experience, but having him continually compare his unproven players with superstars has to be grating. For every one guy that is highly touted that succeeds, twenty fail. He does a lot of his clients good, but he does plenty bad. I bet Kevin Millwood wishes Mr. Boras was not his agent.

  • Eric Junge continues to look sharp starting for the Tides despite losing the game 1 - 0 to Charlotte. Craig Brazell and his newfound plate discipline also started in left field and that certainly bears watching. If he can be a big bat off the bench and play 1st and a COF spot, he could slate to help the Mets out at some point this year as a left handed power bat off the bench that Eric Valent used to be.

  • Yusmeiro Petit is human. He gave up three runs and seven hits in three innings.

  • Who wants to bet Mike Piazza has a day off to "rest" on Saturday? Yesterday, he played a day game after a night game, which is not something he normally does, especially on a game that was relatively meaningless. Willie, clearly looking ahead, will be giving Piazza his rest on Saturday when Pedro pitches and it will be chalked up to Mikey just needing a day off again since he played X amount of games in row. They will repeat that it just keeps falling this way. Does anyone care if El Diva has a personal catcher? Shit no. As long as Pedro keeps pitching the way he is, no one will care one iota, but to keep denying it is pretty funny. When reporters were grilling Piazza on the issue for Pedro's last start, he was getting pissed. He will continue to get pissed every time it happens. Why put him through it?
  • Thursday, May 05, 2005

    Michael Kay is a Douchebag

    Nokes pointed this out in the comments section for those of you who do not listen to the Michael Kay show, and I hope no one does. He said Micheal Kay had all the keys to fixing the horrible Yankee team that is being plopped on the field night after night. In addition to sending Giambi to Oakland (for some reason Billy Beane would want him) and fixing the bullpen, he suggested the Yankees trade Andy Phillips and Bubba Crosby to the Mets for Mike Cameron.

    Kay exhibits a complete lack of reasoning day after day. How this could even be suggested by a person that calls himself a sports expert is beyond me. Mike Cameron, with two years of an affordable contract left, for two spare parts and absolutely no help for the Mets this year or in the future makes sense to him? The funny part is, you know he thinks he is absolutely brilliant for hatching this foolproof plan and “realistic” trade proposition. Unreal. ESPN needs to wake up and get a real host for his time slot. Do Yankee fans actually listen to him and like him?

    Who's Batting Eighth?

    The Mets have a few problems that have surfaced so far in 2005, but one of them is a good problem. Victor Diaz has played better than the Mets could have hoped, despite a large skid, in place of Mike Cameron and now has been placed on the bench. He has showed Omar that trading Cameron may not have much of an effect on the team and may very well make the team better if he could get good value in return for the gold glove center fielder. However, when Mike Cameron returns to the lineup, Willie will have another problem that is a good one to have. With potentially productive players throughout the lineup, he has the unenviable task of figuring out who takes the number eight spot in the lineup.

    The Candidates should be Doug Mientkiewicz and....umm...Doug Mientkiewicz. Doug has put up .222/.317/.378 line so far this year and should have been there while Victor Diaz was still starting on the team. Dougie can be a good offensive player, but right now, he is hurting. Though he should be the only candidate, I have a feeling that Willie will slide David Wright into that spot and waste his production instead of putting him where he can drive in more runs. Last night, he was slid down into the seventh spot with Chris Woodward batting ahead of him yet again and that speaks volumes about what his intentions are today. He is hell bent on Wright earning his chops or someone else hitting rock bottom forcing him to move him up. All in all, it should be interesting to see what Willie does when Cammy returns to the lineup today.

    Playing With A Purpose

    A little competition never hurt anyone. Jae Seo and Aaron Heilman are taking advantage of their opportunities and have pitched better than every pitcher not named Pedro Martinez. Victor Zambrano's opportunities are running out at this point and if he feeds off of the competition and footsteps behind him, great. At this point, Zambrano needs to state his case for belonging in the majors. Randolph could not, in good conscience, throw Heilman and Seo aside with pitchers seriously underperforming and not making much money. Ishii is costing the Mets about $1.5 million and Zambrano is making $2.1 million. Either one could get demoted to pen without the Mets thinking twice about money. Glavine is the only guy who is safe due to the immense amount of cash he is owed.

    Another person playing like a fire is under this ass is Victor Diaz. Cammy's presence in the dugout might lit a fire under him and enabled him to break out of his slump with two hits, including an opposite field bomb on night when the elements were favoring the pitcher. Throw on top of that Victor looking like a real, actual right fielder and making two very nice catches going back into right center and some other nice plays in which he had to cover a lot of ground to get to. But my favorite part of Victor's night was after his homerun, he got back to the dugout and with the camera panned in on him, he gave a wink. The kid knows he belongs here and he is comfortable. He acts likes he has been here for a few years and not a few games. He must have made a good impression because Willie said he'd rather have him at AAA getting his at-bats, but he is still with the club for now. We'll see where he is when Kaz Ishii comes back off the DL.

    You could also lump Cliff Floyd into this category too. Not only did he overtake Darryl Strawberry to become the owner of longest hitting streak for a left handed Met hitter, but he continues to be the go to guy for the Mets. He went two for four with another homerun and two RBIs. As if that were not enough, he continued to make sparkling plays in the field and robbed a potential two run homerun in the seventh inning. You think he wants to prove to Mets fans he can play, prove everyone wrong who was apprehensive in regards to trading for him, and prove himself to Omar who wanted to trade him?

    As for Floyd, he's been nearly flawless, and his 2-for-4 performance, along with two RBIs, extended his hitting streak to 20 games. Floyd delivered a run-scoring single off Randy Wolf in the fourth, and crushed a 410-foot homer in the sixth that landed at the base of the right field scoreboard.

    "He's the best player in the universe right now," Wolf said. "He took a pitch up at his eyes and hit it out."

    Right now Cliffy is third in batting average with .391, tied for first in homers with eight, and second in RBI's with 25.

    * * *

  • Another whiny bitch asking to be traded to the Yankees.

    The Yankees hope to land Astros ace Roger Clemens by the July 31 trade deadline. He has an oral agreement with owner Drayton McLane that allows him to be traded to the Yankees if the Astros are out of the race.

    But what if the Yankees are out of the race by the trading deadline?

    Paul White also runs down the list of this season's biggest disappointments up to date. I'd agree with them for sure, but the Yankees one game out of last place should be up there as well.

  • Would you trade Victor Diaz for Jeremy Affeldt?

    Who closes games for the Royals when Jeremy Affeldt returns from the disabled list? Does Affeldt step back into his old job? Does he shift to a new role to accommodate rookie Ambiorix Burgos?

    Or does he become a central figure in trade discussions in the club's ongoing pursuit of a youthful power-hitting corner outfielder?

    The Royals aren't saying.

    With Cliffy and Cammy locked up for 2005 and 2006, it would certainly help the Mets, though I'm sure a lot of people will kill me for this. Affeldt, who is still 25 years old and under control for three years including 2005, could set up and be insurance to close for Braden Looper, who officially started to worry me last night. Giving up two homers in the ninth with a 3-0 lead is a scary thing. Looper has now given up four homers in twelve innings and gave up five in 83.1 innings in 2004. I do think a trade for Cammy should be pursued first, but if the Mets cannot get solid value in return, something has to give between Cliffy, Cammy, and Victor. If the Mets can get talented youth in return for talented youth, I'm behind it.

  • Worst title of the day goes too.....

    Marcus Hayes of Philly.com.

    Mets should issue a flash-Floyd warning

  • Make sure to tune in to the Yankee game for the battle of the decade. The battle for the bottom of the AL East. If the Yankees lose, they will be dead tied for the AL East basement.
  • Wednesday, May 04, 2005

    Tom Terrific

    What does 7.04 represent?

    A) Tom Glavine's K/9.
    B) The length of my junk.
    C) Tom Glavine's ERA.
    D) How much I make an hour.
    E) Victor Zambrano's BB/9

    In Tom's six starts, the Mets found themselves behind in three of them after the first inning. The Mets have been outscored 7 - 1 in the first inning of all Tom's starts this year. Coming into yesterday's game, opponents had a line of .385/.543/.615 in the first inning. That 1.158 OPS is absolutely silly to see come at the expense of Tom Glavine.
                  AB     HR    RBI   BB    AVG   OBP  SLG
    Inning 1 26 1 8 9 .385 .543 .615
    Innings 2-3 43 0 5 6 .233 .327 .256
    Innings 1-3 58 0 8 11 .276 .386 .328
    Innings 4-6 46 3 10 5 .370 .407 .587

    Tom failed to make it out of the third inning in two of his six starts and did not complete at least five innings in three of his six starts. I wonder if Tom has any early retirement plans in the near future?

    In reality Tom deserves a pass for a slow start. Some guys are struggling early that you know will right the ship a bit. Jamie Moyer is someone Met fans can look toward for some hope on why this soft tossing lefty could just be having a slow start. However, Tom has looked completely horrible. Since his arrival at Shea, Questec has been the focal point on perhaps why Tom Glavine is having a lackluster run as a Met. It could be, but the simple fact is umpires are simply not calling balls off the plate strikes with regularity these days. His performance hinges solely on the umpires calling his type of game. If Tommy is not getting balls off the plate called strikes, then he has no shot. He does not have the stuff at this point to rise above and keep himself in the game. He seems like he can no longer fight a tight zone and has lost a bit of his pinpoint control that is basically allowing him to serve up batting practice.

    One thing that is a problem with him right now and has been for the last two years, is that he cannot pick up the team. When Reyes was doing his best Kaz Matsui impression last night kicking balls around, Tom does not really have the ability to pick the team up with a big K in those situations. Glavine is now leading the team in walks and has Victor Zambrano beat by a healthy five walks with 4.1 more innings pitched. Tom Glavine also leads any Met pitcher on the MLB roster in WHIP and ERA. The only guy who had higher numbers is no longer with the team.

    Whether or not he turns it around is something we'll have to wait for. Judging by what he is showing and his age, it is scary. He simply is not 30 years old anymore. Like Randy Johnson and any other guy hovering around 40, at some point, you will lose it. At some point, you will not be able to compete on this level. You basically just hope that this loss of ability to compete in the majors does not happen while he is playing on your team. He is basically looks like a fifth starter now. If he gives you a good game you are excited. If he gives you innings, you are excited. However, not much is expected from him when he takes the mound. He was hitting 88-90 on the gun last night which should make his off speed more effective, but it did nothing. Zambrano can rest easy knowing he is no longer the worst pitcher on the staff.

    * * *

  • How about Beltran's arm? Twice last night of what I saw, he threw strikes on a fly to David Wright. One on Rollin's double in which he took a big turn heading towards third, and one on a Mike Lieberthal bluff to tag up.

    Then in the third, the nailed a Philly runner to prevent the Mets from having a 9 - 0 hole to climb out of in the top of the fourth.

  • Anyone see the pre-game on MSG? What the hell is up with Brett Myers' smile? The thing looked like it was surgically implanted in his face.

  • Cliffy has to have one of the fastest hands in the game. The guy gets the bat through the zone so fast and his absolutely punishing the ball. He now has the 2nd longest hitting streak in Met history for left handed batters.

  • What is the deal with Wright batting behind Meintkiewicz? Doug is slumping right now and it creates an imbalanced lineup, which would have been Willie's only excuse to put Doug there. Minor thing, but enough is enough. Get Wright higher in the lineup whenever you can. When Piazza sits, which is a lot, you can move him up. I've seen enough of Woodward getting the nod or Doug getting nod over him in the sixth spot. Unreal.

  • Kris Benson will be a welcome site on the mound on Thursday.

  • Jose Reyes finally did it, drawing a four-pitch walk in the ninth inning for his first walk of the season. But since it came at the tail end of a 10-3 thumping, the Mets did not get him the ball or the base, as manager Willie Randolph had said they might do.

    Reyes had a rough night in the field and Randolph said he's likely to rest him tonight. "He's been playing a lot," Randolph said. "His legs looked a little heavy tonight."

  • Don't look at #13. To think, he was basically a throw in.

  • Good stuff.
  • Tuesday, May 03, 2005

    Changes Are 'A Coming

    Brian Cashman's job is rumored to be in jeopardy, and it should be. The Yankees are fourth in the league in runs scored, which was to be expected, but there are only five teams that have allowed more runs and the Yankees have given up more runs than they have scored, which was not to be expected. With the Yankees recent acquisitions in the off season, they were expected to have pitching strength for some odd reason. However, Jaret Wright and Carl Pavano were being severely overrated and Carl Pavano was severely overvalued and Randy Johnson keeps getting older.

    Now, Bernie Williams is taking his weak arm and bad bat to bench since he is ailing and Tony Womack will be moving over to left field with Hideki Matsui moving over to center. While Hideki is not a bad fielder, his major drawback is actually getting to balls. The outfield the Yankees will be running out night after night will be extremely sub par defensively though possibly better than any outfield with Bernie in center. Robinson Cano is getting his shot at second base in lieu of the Yankees having absolutely no depth on a team that costs more than Toronto, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay combined.

    The Yankees also revamped a bullpen that desperately needed fixing. They added Felix Rodriguez and Mike Stanton after adding Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill the year before. Between the $32,420,000 that paid for all the players that have pitched in the Yankee bullpen this off season, exactly two guys that were on the opening day have a sub 4.38 ERA. Overall, only three guys have a sub 4.38 ERA. Now, Steve Karsay and his $6,000,000 is supposed to be designated for assignment and eventually released after an injury riddled Yankee tenure. All of a sudden, the Mets bullpen does not look to be in such bad shape. Mariano may be a infinitely better than Looper, but you still have to get to him.

    To compound their bullpen problems, Randy Johnson is taking his 3.74 ERA, his 8.93 K/9, and his team high six homeruns allowed (tied with Jaret Wright) to the DL. Carl Pavano is struggling with a 4.24 ERA (at least Javier Vazquez made it to the All Star break pitching well). Jaret Wright is on the DL with his 9.15 ERA and his 2.29 WHIP. All those shiny new acquisitions for the Yankees will cost George $30,086,482. In 2006 and 2007, they all just get more expensive.

    Eventually the Yankees business plan of buy and trade for as many expensive players as you can and disregard the need for role players or team chemistry was going to back fire. The bad news for Yankee fans is that there farm system is devoid of significant talent and talent close to helping out. Also, next year's free agent crop is decidedly worse than this past off seasons. Basically, help is not on the way. What you see on the field for the 2005 Yankees is pretty close to what will be seen on the field for the 2006 Yankees. If this team does not turn it around, 2006 does not figure to be much better and 2007 does not look rosey either.

    Since the Yankees started buying championships, they have strangely managed to not actually win one. The 2000 Yankee starting lineup in the World Series:

    Knoblauch dh
    Jeter ss
    Justice lf
    Williams cf
    Martinez 1b
    Posada c
    O'Neill rf
    Brosius 3b
    Vizcaino 2b

    The days of Yankee teams looking like that intentionally are very, very over until George is out of power. I fully expect the Yankees to climb their way out of fourth place, but they will continue to look like an old team for rest of the year and until they overhaul this mess. Good luck.

    * * *

  • Minaya's acquisitions paid off big time last night. Pedro turned in his usual gem and the Mets won on Beltran's moon shoot that would have been out at any of the old school stadiums in the 1900's.

  • "If he goes four for five every night," Doug Mientkiewicz said, "I won't care if he doesn't walk all season."

    In the eighth inning, Jose Reyes was up in the count 3 - 1. The Shea faithful started exploding and chanting "walk, walk, walk, walk". Simply classic. Of course, he did not walk, but the entire stadium and the team let Reyes know his goose egg in the walk column is not going unnoticed.

  • Floyd made a sliding belly-flop catch of Pat Burrell's looping fly to end the sixth inning, and Martinez did a little shimmy with his arms raised in the middle of the infield as the Mets left the field with their 1-0 lead intact in what ended up a 5-1 win.

    "I was just trying to let Cliff know that I was bouncing off the mound, to see a big monster like that hit the floor," Martinez said. "The ground was shaking, so I was bouncing."

  • Who’s hot on the Mets?

    1. Cliff Floyd
    For the week: .409, 2 HR, 9 RBI
    Floyd continued his Mets MVP season, increasing his hitting streak to 17 games in the series finale against Washington. That's the longest streak in the majors this season and seven shy of the franchise record shared by Mike Piazza (1999) and Hubie Brooks ('84). 5 points.

    2. David Wright
    For the week: .474, 1 HR, 4 RBI
    Wright increased his career-high hitting streak to nine games Sunday against the Nationals with an RBI single that tied the score at 3. His two-run homer against Atlanta's Horacio Ramirez last Monday capped a five-run inning in the Mets' 5-4 win. 3 points.

    3. Aaron Heilman
    For the week: 1-0, 2.77 ERA, .146 OBA
    In a down week for the Mets, Heilman started both of the team's wins that book ended a four-game losing streak. He limited the Braves to one run and two hits last Monday. Atlanta went on to top Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine to take the series. 1 point.

    Current leaders
    Cliff Floyd 13 points
    Jose Reyes/Pedro Martinez 5 points
    Victor Diaz/Aaron Heilman 4 points

  • Looks like the black away jerseys are not very popular.

  • Kris Benson (strained right pectoral) had no setbacks during a bullpen session Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., after pitching three innings in a rehab game Friday. It's possible Benson could start for the Mets on Thursday afternoon against the Phillies, although manager Willie Randolph wouldn't commit to that Monday.

    "Benson had a good session today, but we haven't made a decision on when he's going to pitch," Randolph said.

    Kaz Ishii (strained left lat) also threw on the side Monday in Port St. Lucie and Randolph reported "no discomfort."

  • Johnny Damon may well choose to retire than play for the Yankees. While he did say it was definite, he mentioned there are only a few teams he would actually like to play for after his current contract is up.

  • Steve Karsay is expected to be designated for assignment and he is expected to be picked up by another team.

  • This Week in Quotes from Baseball Prospectus is out.

    "I told Ken [Kendrick, Diamondbacks Managing General Partner], 'Don't make this mistake. You'll regret it.’... Arizona has a golden opportunity here, but it is up to them."
    --agent Scott Boras, on Arizona's failure to meet his signing demands for draft choice Stephen Drew (Arizona Republic)

  • After being lauded as the best all around player in baseball for his hot week of baseball to start the season, Hideki Matsui has calmed down quite a bit. He is batting .255/.339/.418 with three homers, eighteen RBIs, and no steals. Strangely enough, the Mets have left fielder who is putting up a .375/.433/.638 line with six homers, twenty two RBIs, and three steals. A healthy Cliff Floyd is better than Hideki Matsui any day of the week. While Floyd is getting a lot of positive press for his hot start, you see the term Mets MVP tossed around. However, if this was Matsui hitting this hot, you'd hear best player in baseball and MLB MVP tossed around.
  • Monday, May 02, 2005

    Every Game Counts

    In the first 25 games, we have all seen a division that is probably going to be a dog fight the entire season. The NL East crown could conceivably be had with 86 to 88 wins. I see a division that is as evenly matched as there is from top to bottom. The Marlins entered into Sunday's action with a 2.28 ERA and they will eventually hit a bad stretch and they will come back down to Earth and fall back into the division. When all is said and done, this division will be won in the last two weeks of September.

    That brings Willie and Omar to their quandary. The Mets cannot afford to not put their best foot forward day after day. There is going to be a small margin for error for any team in the NL East. That means making some tough decisions with Ishii and Benson making their way back to the rotation. Heading into the season, with Trachsel, Zambrano, Benson, Glavine, and Martinez, the Mets seemingly had one of the best and deepest rotations in the National League. A few injuries and a head case later, things are not looking quite as rosy as they did heading into the season.

    Tom Glavine and Victor Zambrano's combined numbers:
    GS   W   L    IP   H   HR   K/9   BB/9   K/BB   WHIP   ERA
    10 2 6 53.1 68 6 6.75 5.57 1.21 1.89 5.74
    Add in Kaz Ishii and see what we get:
    GS   W   L    IP   H   HR   K/9   BB/9   K/BB   WHIP   ERA
    13 2 8 72 78 8 6.75 5.75 1.17 1.72 5.50
    Now lets add in all starting pitchers not named Pedro Martinez:
    GS   W   L    IP   H   HR   K/9   BB/9   K/BB   WHIP   ERA
    20 5 11 114 113 14 6.55 4.50 1.46 1.49 5.05

    Not pretty. What's clear to me right now is that the Mets looked deep heading into the season and now are looking like they just have a stockpile of end of the rotation starters that are completely inconsistent. Victor Zambrano has hit rock bottom with his absolute inability to find the plate with his 5.81 BB/9 and his newfound lost ability to miss bats which made him such an attractive target for the Mets to acquire. The Mets were well aware of his control issues, but he has seemingly regressed.

    What to do with Victor is another issue in itself. At this point, it makes no sense to run him out game after game so he can get shelled and not keep the Mets in the game. The Mets basically have two options. Send him to the bullpen or send him to the minors to work on his starting game or work on being a bullpen arm. Such a public admission of failure with the Victor Zambrano project would be a media disaster, but the fact is, it was not Omar's move. Omar took this team over and has to work what he's given and win ballgames. As of now, Victor Zambrano will not be one of the best five pitchers the Mets have once everyone comes back healthy. Zambrano will have about three more starts to show some life before his job will officially be in jeopardy.

    In 2001, Steve Trachsel was sent down to the minors after hitting rock bottom himself. Looking quite useless with a 1-6 record and a 8.24 ERA, he clearly needed some work. While there, he pitched a no hitter for the Tides, regained some confidence and some feel on how to pitch. He finished out the year on a solid note and since 2001, he is 39 - 34 with a 3.73 ERA. Would it work for Zambrano? Who knows, but it sure cannot hurt. The Mets had less invested in Trachsel and he was a free agent signing as opposed to Zambrano who has come here under different circumstances. Will the Mets do what needs to be done? The hardest thing about making a mistake is admitting you made one. The Mets public admission that it was a mistake would be demoting Zambrano to the pen or to minors, but that might be best for Zambrano at this point instead of sending him to the wolves every five days while he just does not have what it takes to get the job done right now. Luckily, or unluckily for him, he will get a few more chances to prove himself, but when Ishii and Benson come back, Zambrano should be the odd man out. If Heilman gives another couple of solild starts, Omar needs to make the difficult decision.

    * * *

  • Matt Lindstrom is struggling a bit at AA. In a 15 - 6 loss to Erie, Matt gave up seven runs in three innings and surrendered seven hits and five walks. He is 0 - 2 with a 6.27 ERA.

  • Mike Cameron went 1 for 3 with a base on balls and two runs scored. He is batting .300 so far in his rehab stint.

  • Can we all collectively laugh at the Bronx Bombers? The Yankees had their first losing April in fourteen years. They are now 0 for May with a 10 - 15 overall record. They are 7.5 games behind the red hot Orioles and at some point, everyone has to stop saying it's early, the Yanks will catch on. It's a long season, but they do not look good so far.

    And can everyone finally stop saying Cashman has any skill as a GM? They have a bullpen that costs more than the entire Brewer and Devil Ray team and yet, they need relief help. What a joke the Yankees are so this year.
  • Sunday, May 01, 2005

    Nuff Said

    Victor Zambrano between spring and now.
    W  L  G  ERA  WHIP  BB/9   H/9  H SO BB
    4 3 10 6.38 2.29 8.72 11.91 56 38 41
    His BAA in spring was .306 and his BAA so far this year is .327. The honeymoon is officially over. Ten games since coming back from his injury and he has shown exactly no signs of improvement. Hitting Guillen twice in the same game after he had an 0-2 count is inexcusable. The man truly has no idea where the pitch is going once it leaves his hand. Scary, truly scary.