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

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Cliff Floyd 2, Cardinal 0

The big boy broke out of his slump big time by going really deep twice last night. His 10th homerun tied him for second most in the Majors and behind only Slappy McSlaperton and Troy Glaus. More impressive than being tied for league lead, he has seven of this ten homeruns at Shea and seven of the teams thirteen homers at Shea. Glavine shocked the entire Met fandom by working into the eighth before leaving due to a Kaz Matsui error. However, like a good team does, they picked each other up. With no outs and two on base, Matsui's ego bruised even further, Roberto Hernandez came in and shut the Cardinals down. How could Hernandez have been so bad the past few years and the be so good this year while being on the wrong side of 40? Professor Rick takes a lot of crap with the entire Zambrano debacle, but when a guy like Roberto Hernandez turns it around, he deserves some credit. For all the bad stuff I've said about Roberto during Spring Training, I should send him and his family a fruit basket or something. By light years, he is the best guy in the pen with his 1.05 and mid 90's fastball.

* * *

  • Right now, Carlos Beltran is on track to strikeout 155 times this year. His previous high was 135 and he is on track to edge that out. Basically, with Beltran and his .299/.354/.486 line with nine doubles, six homeruns, and twenty three RBIs, I think he is struggling for how good he could be doing this year. I am expecting Beltran to go on a big tear and soon.

  • Cliff Floyd is on track to get a career high in homeruns and RBIs. He is on track for 45 homeruns and 122 RBIs. He will not keep this pace up, but if he stays healthy, I think he will set career highs in RBIs and homers for sure. Floyd is also fourth in the Majors in AB/HR with 11.2 out of anyone with more than seven homeruns.

  • Whoever did this should win the asshole of the year award.

    Within hours of the opening of Germany’s national Holocaust memorial to the public, a vandal scratched a swastika into one of the 2,711 gray slabs, a spokesman for the memorial said Friday.

    What can you really say about that?

  • Tunica Baby! just does not have the same ring as Vegas Baby!.

  • Stylish new design? Check. 20GB hard drive, which is detachable and upgradeable? Check. Progressive scan DVD player out of the box which requires no extra purchases to work? Check. Play all games in 16:9 widescreen with resolutions of 720p and 1080i? Check, check, and triple check. Wireless controllers? Check. Wireless Network Adapter allowing online play without any cables? Check. Gaming console gives blowjobs? Well, not yet, but Microsoft is work on it.

    HD gaming on the Xbox360 is going to be niiiiiiiice.

  • Unflappable. During Cliffy Floyd's post game interview with Matt Loughlin, Dougie Eyechart gave Floyds head a healthy dose of shaving cream. Cliffy kept on motoring despite a mound of shaving cream on the side of his head and in his ear.

  • Scott Strickland may not be much a of lock to be place on the Major League roster.

    The Mets believe he has regained his arm strength. But there doesn't appear to be strong support within the organization to return him to the big leagues. One person said it was an even chance.

  • Minaya on Steve Karsay:

    Minaya said he has not contacted representatives for right-hander Steve Karsay, who was released by the Yankees on Thursday. "We talked about it," Minaya said. "It's under consideration."

  • From Newsday:

    Left-hander Kaz Ishii (strained left lat muscle) threw four hitless, scoreless innings in a rehab start in Fort Myers, Fla., on Friday night. Ishii threw 49 pitches during the game and then threw 21 more in the bullpen with no setbacks. Randolph said Ishii would have to make at least one more rehab start before returning to the Mets.


    Minaya said he has not yet been contacted by the Royals for permission to talk to first base coach Jerry Manuel about their managing vacancy. Ex-Mets manager Art Howe has also expressed interest in the job.

    We can all collectively laugh at Art Howe having interest in the job. If he is the best they can do, they did not try too hard. But at this point, Baird has not shown himself to be a very good GM to this point, so anything is possible.

    Last season Baird traded for Jason Grimsely, despite being in last place. They gave up a solid, hard-throwing prospect Denny Bautista to get Jason. Then, he handcuffed himself in the Beltran trade by not going for the best available talent and picked up John Buck and Mark Teahan since he was stuck on the idea of getting a third baseman and a catcher. Justin Huber turned out to be the best pickup he made last year, and that was only done out of Mets own stupidity. The Royals need to look at upgrading their GM and not place the blame on their manager.

  • Floyd on the fans call for a curtain call.

    "I didn't know what to do," he said. "I didn't. I went for a curtain call, I grabbed my helmet, I was all flustered. You know, I just play man. Superstars get curtain calls."

    Ah, one day Cliffy will learn Met fans treat everyone like superstars if they are performing. I do not think there is any fan base more desperate to cheer than Met fans after the disappointments they have been saddled with.

  • Jim Duqquette, a wanted man?

    Major League Baseball has asked for and been granted permission to speak with Diamondbacks general manager Joe Garagiola Jr. about its vacant vice president of operations position, the first step in a process that could lead Garagiola into commissioner Bud Selig’s hierarchy.......Jim Duquette, the senior vice president for baseball operations with the Mets after being replaced as GM by Omar Minaya this year, also could be a candidate.

  • Clint Barmes is batting .400 so far this season. Home, he is batting .458/.506/.806 with six homers and eighteen RBIs. Away, he is batting .333/.373/.476 with one homer and six RBIs.

  • Pedro v Mulder. Nuff said.
  • Friday, May 13, 2005

    Ah, The World Cup of Baseball (aka World Baseball Classic)

    Bud Selig has finally gotten his dream of a World Cup and he has successfully taken another step to further garner international attention for the best sport in the world. In theory Communism works and in theory, this World Baseball Classic a great idea.

    • This will be a 16-team tournament will be held during spring training of 2006
    • Player participation will be voluntary and Major League clubs will not be able to block any of their players from participating
    • The teams will start play in four four-team pools that will play round-robins in different countries
    • Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China are in one pool
    • Puerto Rico, Cuba (for now), Panama and likely Italy are in another pool
    • The United States, Canada, Mexico and likely South Africa are in another pool
    • The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia and the Netherlands are in another pool
    • The two teams in each pool with the best records would advance to the second round, another round-robin
    • The four outright winners of those pools would each advance to a single-game semifinal
    • The winners of those games will meet for a winner-take-all
    • Special guidelines, to be determined by a tournament committee, will limit how pitchers can be used, probably with rules on specific pitch limits and required rest for both starters and relievers

    All this sounds well and fine and they seem to have things in there to appease team owners and the MLBPA, but there are some things that will definitely detract from this series. Specifically, all of the best of the best will not be participating, much like when the Major Leaguers go to Japan to play the Japanese All-Stars, which are their best of the best. Baseball America did a great job musing about what the lineups could theoretically look like, but the chances of all the top tier talents playing is nill. A Venezuelan team missing Johan Santana, a Dominican team without Vald Guerrero, and a Canadian team without Eric Gagne or Rich Harden would just be a disappointment. The players having a chance to play for their home country should lead to a pretty good turnout and a lot of players playing winter ball certainly leads people to believe the foreign teams should have plenty of starts, but only time will tell how well received this will be by the players themselves.

    Another problem is when it will be played and the addition of pitch counts and pitch limits. Being played during the spring when a lot of players are still getting into shape and will not have hit their stride, this might look more like an exhibition series than a tournament for world bragging rights. As for the pitch counts/limits, it is a necessary evil in a sport that is more business than game at this point to ensure these pitchers will stay healthy and will not be throwing 120 pitches a game during a time they would be limited to 60 or 80 pitches. How it all plays out will be interesting to see, but if Mark Prior and Johan Santana are deadlocked in a pitchers duel and have to leave at 80 pitchers in the sixth, the game will lose creditably.

    All in all, this is a good idea, but the way today's game is the business it has become, it will be tough to play this tournament out like it should played out. I for one am excited about the prospect of an über Dominican team taken on an über American team and watching a possible Venezuelan team with an outfield of Melvin Mora, Bobby Abreu, and Miguel Cabrera with a staff that has Johan Santana, Carlos Zambrano, Freddy Garcia, Kelvim Escobar, and Francisco Rodriguez. Of course this could turn out to be a great idea and better than expected while generating some excitement while every country collectively roots against the US in hopes they fail much like I hope for the Yankees to fail every season, but it could also a water down, over hyped product just the Major League All Star game. For now though, I'll remain optimistic.

    * * *

  • Here are the highlights from Rob Neyer's latest chat wrap:

    Nick (Mission, KS): Do you hope that the Royals will be relocated to Oregon?

    Rob Neyer: It's one of my dreams, right up there with world peace and free cookies for everybody.

    Paragon (Hoboken): Rob-- Nobody likes you.

    Rob Neyer: Mom? Is that you? :-(

    Neyer also thinks Danny Kolb days as a closer are numbered. I said it when it happened, but this deal is far too similar to the Kazmir/Zambrano deal with the Braves having giving up Jose Cappellan for Danny Kolb.

  • Willie on Koo walking Corey Patterson on four pitches during Wednesday's game:

    "He can't do that. That's for sure," Randolph told reporters. "That's not why I brought him in."


  • From Newsday:

    Strickland could be back up soon

    After the Mets' relief corps struggled in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Cubs, manager Willie Randolph commented, "Every day you're learning something new about your bullpen."

    What the Mets are discovering is they seem ready for another readjustment, and that could mean the promotion of Scott Strickland. The right hander hasn't pitched in the majors since Tommy John surgery in 2003, and he struggled with both a dip in velocity and the absence of a decent slider in spring training. But Strickland has improved at Triple-A Norfolk, where he was 0-1 with a 1.23 ERA and four saves through Wednesday. Opposing hitters were batting .200 off him, and most importantly, he has been healthy so far.

    There also is a deadline looming. If Strickland is not promoted by Sunday, he can opt for free agency, and the Mets have been reluctant to lose pitchers without giving them a two-week test drive first.

  • Glavine stinks. However, he is optimistic that Pedro's advice will help him. I'm not sure anything short of deal with the devil will help him at this point.

  • Pedro salsa dancing with Jim Duquette? I'd pay to see that.

    While Martinez's good-natured zaniness includes activities like cranking up the clubhouse stereo before Wednesday's series finale at Wrigley against the Cubs and doing a meringue, or maybe salsa, with assistant GM Jim Duquette — see, Willie Randolph's rules do have some flexibility — Beltran's leadership is more likely to include sitting with Jose Reyes and talking baseball.

  • Jorge Toca has not hit more than eleven homeruns in a season since 1999. In 2005, he was off to a hot start with eight homeruns, but it looks like Toca had some help. He got nabbed for steroids and will be serving a suspension.

  • Thus far, early returns have been good on the Royals' Joe McEwing (.333 in 42 at-bats), the Dodgers' Jason Phillips (.295, 21 RBIs), the Astros' Dan Wheeler (1.98 ERA) and the Brewers' Ricky Bottalico (2.25 ERA).

    Most of the others, though, have fared not just poorly, but disastrously. The Tigers' Vance Wilson is hitting .167 in 18 at-bats, the Pirates' Ty Wigginton is at .200 with just two homers and six RBIs and the Rangers' Richard Hidalgo is batting .168 with four homers.

    On the mound, the Marlins' Al Leiter is 1-3 with a 6.67 ERA, the Dodgers' Scott Erickson is 1-3 with a 7.26 ERA and the Reds' David Weathers is 2-0 but has a 5.68 ERA.

  • So far, the Mets are balking at the idea of moving Cammy and his proven bat from the lineup. While I'm fine with keeping Cammy, let's not go crazy about his bat. Right now, Victor Diaz may be a better offensive player and while Cameron is hot, he has a career average of .249 and hit under .260 the past three season and under .240 in two of them. Cammy works the count and gets on base possibly the best out of the entire team, but I think Victor should be able to pitch in offensively. If the Mets can get a reliever and help build the farm system up with a top tier talent, they need to look at it.

    The Padres, Yankees, Rangers, Astros, and Orioles have shown interest in Mike Cameron. Can someone say bidding war? Being a two year pickup, the Mets can really turn dealing Cameron into a positive. Listen now to offers and let the bidding begin in a month and see how far people take it.

  • Q&A with Douggie.

    Q: Where's the medal?

    A: In a safe deposit box (in Miami). The infamous safe deposit box.

    At least he has a sense of humor about it.

  • Baseball America lists out the top prospects for this upcoming draft. Craig Hansen's stock just keeps on rising.

    The Mets should be able to steal a top tier player in the ninth spot in this upcoming draft, which is much, much stronger and deeper than last year's draft.

  • Scott Strickland had a forgettable night out of the bullpen after he failed to get an out and gave up three hits, a walk, and an earned run. He took the loss as Norfolk fell 2-1 to Louisville.

  • Lastings Milledge got is second homer of the season in St. Lucie's loss to Fort Myers.
  • Thursday, May 12, 2005

    John Sterling is a Hack

    The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankees win! The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankees win!

    If you have the unfortunate luck to sit by a Yankee fan at work who listens to the sad and dull commentary of John Sterling, you probably heard that yesterday. You would have probably also heard the term "Bam-Tino" shouted out as Tino went deep.

    I simply have never heard such a hack before. The stupid "The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankees win" crap probably started after big victories or exciting victories. However, it has now become something done after every win, as it was yesterday. On a day in which your $44 million dollar investment got bashed to bring his BAA up to .316, his WHIP up to 1.56, his ERA up to 4.80, and giving up his tenth homer in eight games, you would think the mood would be more somber. After all, the Yankees had the game locked up after the fifth, so exciting was not the word for this game. Sterling continually uses his stupid catch phrase even if they are beating up on a 100 loss team and have the division locked up at the end of the season.

    As far as his "Bam-Tino" thing, that may be more annoying. What kind of hack is uses that type of corny shit? I could not begin to imagine a seasoned veteran like Gary Cohen using such things. What is more disturbing, when Sterling does guest appearances on WFAN, people basically give fellatio on the phone because it is such and "honor" to speak with a hack who uses catch phrases like he is calling highlights on Sports Center. Sterling needs to know when to use his excited voice and a blasé, oh look, the Yankees hit another homerun to be up on the Royals 10-2 voice, which I do not think exists at this point. He needs to save his shitty "The-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e Yankees win" for a game that actually has some excitement in it. I have not heard many announcers around the league. The few that I've heard on MLB Game Day Audio or XM Satellite Radio are bad, but John Sterling has the dubious distinction for being far and away the biggest hack and worst announcer.

    * * *

  • This was definitely the email of the day.

    While Heath bell was pitching to Derrek Lee, Fran Healy said:

    "What a match up this is: Derek Bell vs. Derrek Lee"

    And on a side note... In the 2nd inning, Victor Zambrano hit a batter, threw a wild pitch, walked the pitcher, and balked. THAT WAS ALL IN ONE INNING. That's just unbelievable and it's hard to believe that it's ever happened before.

  • Are Zambrano's days numbered? Logically, the Mets could not send Heilman out of the rotation when Ishii comes back, but the Mets are rarely known for logical decisions.

  • This has to be the best title of the day:

    Erickson on hot seat?

    The guy has a 7.26 and has not done well since the 90's, so yeah. I do think it is safe to say he is on the hot seat.

  • The Yankees five game winning streak is cute and all, but despite winning five in row, they are still 6-4 in their last ten and still seven games out. Boston is 8-2 in their last ten and 7-1 in their last eight and Baltimore keeps on winning and is 6-4 in their last ten. On top of that, the Yankees rotation is still very, very scary and the Red Sox still have Schilling and Wells on the DL and just got back a sharp looking Wade Miller. It's a long season, and it will still be a long season for the Yankees despite this streak.
  • Wednesday, May 11, 2005


    We all know Jose Reyes is still very young and working on his game to become the catalyst for the Mets for the next ten years. However, Greg Maddux exposed Reyes at, after at bat. He swings at just about everything and cannot lay of the low breaking/off speed pitch that almost bounces in front of the plate. Why any pitcher gives him anything to hit or any fastball is beyond me. He has a clear deficiency in his game and it will start to handcuff the Mets if he continues to be run out night after night. His numbers are bad, but he has really been worse than his numbers are showing. In the first two series, Jose was hot and hit .393/.393/.607. Since then, in 27 games, Jose has hit .217/.244/.313. Furthermore, If you take out his 4 for 5 game he had on May 2nd, he is hitting .191/.219/.291 in the other 26 games. Those numbers would qualify as horrendous.

    As of now, a logical choice to try out in the leadoff spot is Mike Cameron. We all know he does not have the average of your typical leadoff hitter, but his OBP is more than any current Met leadoff option and he will steal bases. While Cameron is less than ideal, Willie needs to make a move at some point. Reyes has tons of talent, but he will continue to get exposed at the top of the lineup and continue to be in a tailspin unless he changes his approach. Reyes will not have many fastballs to hit from here on out if opposing pitchers are doing their research.

    * * *

  • The Mets blew their chance against Maddux last night and now have to try and take the series while going up against Mark Prior, who has been spectacular since coming off the DL.

  • Note to Pedro...Mets vs. Yankees are a big deal.

    "I thought I ran away from all the garbage you guys write about," the pitcher said. "I thought once I left the Red Sox, it was over with. A game is a game and that's it. Tom Glavine against the Yankees. (Bullpen catcher Dave) Racaniello against the Yankees. It's the same."

    Martinez was told that the Yankeees-Mets games really were a big deal.

    "Really? Since when?" he said. "They're not Red Sox games. You want to make it up. It ain't going to work."

    He'll get the clue when the stadiums are sold out and rocking with drunk New Yorkers.

  • From NJ.com:

    The Mets are keeping an eye on reliever Scott Strickland, who is 0-1 with a 1.42 ERA in six games at Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander has missed virtually all of the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery and was sent down during spring training to improve his arm strength. "We've got some options," said Randolph. "We want to see how it plays out."

    I can no longer defend Manny Aybar and his days are numbered.

  • Also from NJ.com:

    With 12 homers in the first four games of this trip, the Mets went into last night's game leading the National League with 43 homers. But, thanks to Kris Benson, the Cubs moved past them with a four-homer night. Roger Craig holds the franchise record, giving up five homers in a game on May 4, 1963.... Maddux's 10 strikeouts were his most in a game since the 2003 season.

    Thanks Kris.

  • Last night was the first shutout loss the Mets suffered all season.

  • From the NY Times:

    Randolph hinted Heilman, who has thrived since pitching coach Rick Peterson switched him to a three-quarters delivery, might even go to the bullpen.

    "It's caused a real consideration in how to put together our staff when Ishii comes back," Randolph said.

    Another possibility is demoting Victor Zambrano (2-3, 5.63 E.R.A.), who has minor league options. Because Zambrano has less than five years' major league experience, the Mets do not need his permission to send him down.

    Strangely enough, there were discussions about actually skipping Aaron Heilman, who has been the Mets second best pitcher. Very, very, very perplexing. Why the hell was it even an option to skip his start and not go with the five man rotation? Some things Willie has done so far are out there.

  • The Giambi saga continues. This has officially become the worst signing in the history of baseball.

  • Brian Daubach? Under the bus.

    Just want to say: Way to go, Brian Daubach! The Red Sox were crazy not to keep you on the roster. Keep up the good work. -- Bob R.

    Yes, Bob, Daubach is hitting .368 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs for Norfolk. Of course, he's 33, so it's like congratulating a high schooler for getting good grades on a sixth-grade math test.

  • Both Anderson Hernandez and career AA guy, Prentice Redman missed hitting for the cycle by a triple. Petit rebounded nicely from his last game and went four innings, gave up three hits, one run on a homerun, one walk, and struck out two. Matt Lindstrom pitched two innings in relief and gave up no runs.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    The Metro Channel Is Useless

    "The only difference in the lineup for our customers is that the Metro channels will not come back on," said Mark Harrad, a Time Warner spokesman. The Cablevision-owned Metro channels provided traffic, weather and entertainment programming and were used as spillover stations when sports games overlapped. "We had contended that the service had very little value for any of our customers and was taking up valuable channel space."

    I really have not been following the saga that has been the battle between Cablevision and Time Warner. I just know that they are back on the air. I've partially been ignoring it because I know that since I'm in Cablevision country, I will run into this problem next year. However, one thing that I did gain from all these articles that are out on the topic is that Jim Dolan is dumb piece of shit. Why he continues to peddle that dumb Metro Channel that no one watches and no cable carrier besides Cablevision actually wants is beyond me. He continually has tried to piggy back this channel off his more lucrative channels that have sports on them and have something marketable.

    Back when the Yankees, Nets, Mets, and Knicks were all on his channels, he could force people into carrying the Metro channel. Now, there is no reason for anyone to pay for the Metro Channel just to appease Cablevision. Next year, when Time Warner and Comcast come a calling for Cablevision to carry the new Mets Network, who thinks it will not be a cluster fuck? MSG, FSNY, and the Metro channel will be three of the most unmarketable channels out there. The only things that people might want to watch are the Knicks and the Rangers, but the channels will simply not be worth much. Neither basketball or hockey is a big revenue draw on TV and my concern next year would be that Dolan will be holding Time Warner and Cablevision hostage. Basically, Dolan will tell them, I'll carry your Mets Network, but you need to carry and overpay for my trio of shitty networks. Get ready for more problems with the Mets on the TV next season.

    * * *

  • Aaron Heilman deserves a ton of credit for starting the game and going 5.1 innings and only giving up two earned runs. The guy sat through two long rain delays and that is something you just do not see often with how pitchers are coddled these days. The Mets, who are now leading the National League with 43 homers, hit another three again last night. Heath Bell also got a high leverage inning in the eighth despite pitching 2.2 innings on Friday and another inning on Sunday. He now has a 3.0 K/BB, 8.10 K/9, a .235 BAA, and a 3.38 ERA. He really seems to be sliding into an important set up role at this point that will be shared with Mike DeJean.

  • Pedro looks like he will get a start in the first Yankee series. The best news about this means that the disaster known as Tom Glavine 2005 will miss the Yankee series and spare us Mets fans from an automatic loss.

  • From the NY Post:

    Kaz Ishii (strained left lat) threw three innings in a simulated game in St. Lucie yesterday, tossing 45 pitches. His next step will be a rehab start, probably on Friday.

    Though Aaron Heilman has pitched well and Kris Benson is now back in the rotation, Randolph said it's unlikely that Ishii would go to the bullpen when he comes back. Asked about the possibility of the struggling Victor Zambrano heading to the pen, Randolph replied, "That's a good question, but we haven't thought about that yet."

  • "I'm thinking of suing the Mets and Mayor Bloomberg," Sean said. "Both of them are turning me into an alky. I never went to the bar as often as I do now because of the Mets and the anti-smoking law."

    "And so they've forced me into bars like someone looking for a drink in a speakeasy during Prohibition," he said. "Plus, I'm a nonsmoker. So before Bloomberg was elected, I could never last in a smoky bar more than two innings before I coughed my way out the door. Now with Bloomberg's anti-smoking law, the air is so clear and sweet I stay and drink for the whole nine innings! Even extra innings! So I figure Bloomberg and the Mets oughtta pay for my alcohol rehab bill."

    He was just joking, but is it really a stretch to see someone in this law-suit happy country to actually sue the city and the Mets?

  • Greg Maddux gets the privilege to lose to Kris Benson and the Mets tonight.

  • Jae Seo continues to pitch solid and went six innings for Norfolk while giving up four hits, two walks, two runs, and struck out six.

  • Brian Bannister did not get a loss, but got banged up for Binghamton. He went 5.1 innings, gave up five runs, six hits, two walks, and struck out two. His ERA is now 1.60.

  • Lastings Milledge is making a run at the Mendoza Line. He went 2 for 3 to bring up his average to .197.

  • Gabby Hernandez is having some trouble with low A ball, but is still doing impressively for a kid his age. He got a no decision in 5.1 innings against Hickory and gave up eight hits, three earned runs, one walks, and struck out three.
  • Monday, May 09, 2005

    Cat Fight

    Ah, cat fights between managers and players is becoming all the rage lately. First it was Schilling and Pinella.

    A day after Boston pitcher Curt Schilling used the word "idiot" in criticizing Lou Piniella, the Tampa Bay manager held a team meeting and fired back.

    "The problem is when you're playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there's problems," Schilling said on a Boston radio station Tuesday. "This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, 'This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.' They (Rays players) said that on the field."

    "Forget how the game is played? I have forgotten more baseball than this guy knows," Piniella said.

    "On the idiot subject, I'm appalled he would actually say something like that. I had a meeting with my team and to a man they denied it. He's questioning my character and integrity and that is wrong. He's never played for me, never really spoken to me, so he really doesn't know what I stand for.

    "If I were Curt, I would be really embarrassed at the cheap shot he took and get the story correct. I'll tell you I've always admired his pitching ability and competitiveness, but I can honestly tell you I've lost a lot of respect for him. I'm looking forward to talking to Curt myself and get this matter cleared up," he said.

    This one was close, but I give round one to Lou Pinella.

    How many times does a player go after a manager? Schilling may lead the lead in trash talking and senseless jawing at this point. He was non stop in the off season talking about the slap heard around the world and now he's causing a rift between him and Pinella.

    Not to be outdone, Lloyd McClendon and Kris Benson rolled up their sleeves and went at it.

    Benson battered: It's considered bad form for a manager to criticize a player from another team. But that didn't stop Pittsburgh's Lloyd McClendon from questioning the character of Kris Benson.

    "(Benson) had great stuff for us," McClendon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story published yesterday. "But he didn't have the heart of a lion. They'll find that out in New York."

    McClendon remains upset with comments Benson made during spring training. The right-hander said he had learned more about pitching in his few months with the Mets than he did in six seasons with Pittsburgh.

    "They're misinterpreting what I said," Benson said. "It was more talking about the positives with the Mets than anything negative about the Pirates. But that's typical. There's nothing else to talk about there."

    The Mets don't play Pittsburgh until July 8. Benson doesn't plan to speak to McClendon until then — if then.

    "Maybe he'll finally be fired before that," Benson said.

    Maybe he'll be fired before that? Good stuff, I think Benson wins this round. But more importantly, I hope Kris gets fired up by McClendon's questioning his drive to succeed. Maybe this will be a catalyst to get Benson going? We all know he has no performed up to his lofty expectations, but he did have arm injuries in all fairness.

    * * *

  • In game in which the Mets lost in the ninth inning on a bad call, they should have been out of it a long, long time ago. The Mets were out hit 17 - 5 and all five hits were between Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron. The fact they were in it by the ninth inning is amazing enough, so this loss is not one that was tough to swallow despite the seemingly botched call by Dana DeMuth.

    "I felt like I threw the ball well enough to either throw a shutout or give up one run," Glavine said. "But it didn't happen."

    Here is where it gets silly. Though I did not see him pitch, to think he had shutout stuff and gave up eleven hits, is silly. Maybe there was an inordinate amount of bloops and seeing eye hits, but some credit is owed to the hitters. They are the ones who did things with tough pitches and they are ones who got the hits. They may not have gotten solid contact all the time, but Glavine is pitcher who relies on defense and not strike outs, these days will happen. You may not have looked as bad as you had in the past few starts, but you were still bad.

  • Yesterday was the first was the first time I saw Derrick Turnbow pitch. The guy is pretty sick. He pounds the zone with a 97/98 mph fastball and has a sick off speed pitch that he froze Cliff Floyd with. Danny Kolb who? That deal will look like a great one with the promising Jose Capellan ready to possibly ready to contribute late this season or in 2006.

  • Today Aaron Heilman goes against Jon Leicester. Not exactly the marquee match ups that people come to the park to see.

  • Carlos is on fire.

    Beltran had three hits yesterday for the second straight game, the first time he has done that this season. He has raised his average 27 points the last two days, from .283 to .310.

  • Matt Durkin had his first rough outing of the year. He gave up eleven runs in 3.1 innings. Durkin was quoted as saying that he thought he had good enough stuff to give up one run or maybe even shutout stuff.

  • Justin Verlander won the first battle between himself and Phil Humber. Verlander continues to be nasty with his 4-1 record and his 1.50 ERA. Justin found a way to give up only run run, despite walking six batters. Humber gave up three runs despite allowing one less baserunner, but one of the hits he surrendered was a three run homer.

    Lastings Milledge and Shane Bowman continue to be invisible.

  • Scott Stricland cannot be far away from a promotion. So far in 6.1 innings, he has a 1.42 ERA and has only given up four hits and one walk. With six relievers on the club and Victor Diaz seemingly up for the fourth outfielder spot for good, Eric Valent could possibly be demoted to make room for Scott Strickland. Though he is the only left handed power hitter off the bench, he has been one of the biggest dissapointments on the team so far this year. Being that he has options, he can and should be sent down to get some hacks and work on hitting.
  • Sunday, May 08, 2005

    Where are Koo?

    I'm entitled to some horribly named posts too, no? Mr. Koo looked like he would be one of Willie's main go to guys in the start of the season after he was ran out to the mound in three of the first four games. Despite having a solid 5.87 k/9 and 3.52 ERA, he's only totaled 7.2 innings, which is good for sixth most in the bullpen and there are only six people in the bullpen right now. While Koo has held lefties to .091 BAA, righties have had considerable success against him with a .389 BAA.

    Being the only lefty out of the pen, it looks like Willie has him pegged for a lefty specialist, which is something I hate to see. I think match ups are overrated and I hope Koo gets a chance to prove himself as a guy out of the pen. With me liking Aybar than most, I think the Mets could have six guys out of the pen that are good, but Koo needs to get more work. Mr. Koo deserves a real shot to be a productive piece of the pen, and I hope Willie gives it to him.

    * * *

  • Pedro gives up a season high five runs, but strikes out eleven en route to his fourth straight victory. He has a 7.0 k/bb and 11.34 k/9. He has a .68 WHIP and .145 BAA. The homer happy Mets knocked four over the fence for the second night in a row and Carlos Beltran went off with a two homer game. As of now, Carlos is on pace for a line of .296/.350/.504 with 31 homers, 42 doubles, and 115 RBIs. Now if he would only start stealing bases.

    Cammy continues to endear himself in the 2nd spot and Kaz Matsui continues to bury himself deeper in the bottom of the lineup. Roberto Hernandez saves his first game since Noah built the arc...life is good right now. Only one baseball team in New York is over .500 and they for once, are not the Yankees. 17-4 leaves the Mets 2.5 games out of 2nd place and poised for the sweep of the formerly hot Brewers if Glavine was not pitching today. Hey, there's always a chance the Mets win by way of a slugfest.

  • I'm starting to associate baseball with boobs. Not that it's a bad thing, just a strange association. Every time I go to Pro Sports Daily's rumor's section, I see this:

  • "I think it's fair to say that when you're with a big-market club, you have the ability, if you choose, to go after guys who are more difficult to sign," said Minaya, who added, "I've always had a great relationship with Scott."

  • Some Q&A with the always candid Cliffy.

    Q: You're playing as if you have a chip on your shoulder after the off-season trade talk.

    A: That's why I didn't go to the [off-season] caravan. When you go to spring training, you want a clear mind. I thought it was best for the team and myself to chill.

  • The conspiracy theory is put to rest.....for now.

  • Lastings makes his appearance back in the lineup for St. Lucie.