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

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cow-Bell Guy told me to "Shut the F*** up, you do not know who you are messing with."

Hmmm...this is certainly an interesting little story that I got from Vinny's No Joy in Metsville page.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am a self-proclaimed diehard Mets fan. I have just returned home from tonight's game and I have a horrid tale to tell. I do not know if you are aware of the Cow-Bell Guy, who walks around the stadium banging a cow-bell in people's ears. I enjoy going to Shea many times throughout the season (while I am not a season ticket holder, tonight has been my 14th game this year, and I have the ticket stubs from every game but tonight's to prove it.) and I have been bothered on many occasions by the Cow-Bell Guy. I have always believed that fans are able to enjoy the game without interference from external harassment and tonight when I sat just one row away from the aisle and the Cow-Bell Guy banged the bell right in my ear, I decided to tell him how I felt. In verbatim, I said "Cow-Bell Guy, shut up, I don't want to hear your bell." What I did not know is what would happen. Much to my surprise, the Cow-Bell Guy told me to "Shut the F*** up, you (meaning I) do not know who you (I) are messing with." I replied, "You're just some guy walking around. You do not mean any more than I do." A police officer from the Reserved Section behind me came down, restrained the Cow-Bell Guy while he yelled more obscenities and asked that both of us calm down. At this point, I complied and sat back down and tried to enjoy the game. The Cow-Bell Guy continued to harass me and finally an usher came by my section and I was able to tell him what had occurred. I did not get his name, because I thought that the matter may be put to an end, perhaps with justice going my way. He was pleasantly courteous and replied that he would report this to his supervisors. A half-inning later, the supervisor did appear with six to seven security personnel. What proceeded was even more horrifying. Without even a notion of hearing what I had to say, this person pushed me into the tunnel, and ordered that I forfeit my ticket. I gave him my ticket and he told me that I was being kicked out. While I was being escorted out forcibly, all I did was ask if Cow-Bell Guy had more rights than regular fans in trying to enjoy the game. The Security personnel barked that "you (meaning I) should shut the h*** up and keep walking if you (I) do not want to get arrested." When I looked at him and said that he did not have the right to treat me in this fashion, he implied that I was homosexual. While I walked to the press elevator to be ejected, I also heard racist epithets (I am an Asian-American) and further forceful language of threatening nature. I am sure that you will not hear any corroborating accounts from the people who treated me in this fashion. One of the security personnel, who was escorting me out who seemed the least professional, had his name tag turned around. I was able to catch a glimpse of another personnel's tag. This person's last name was Albino, or something resembling it, first name may have been Michael. When I asked for the security personnel's name who was harassing me, he told me to shut up and keep walking. He was about 6'1", 6'2" with a shaved or bald head. The supervisor, who was the second worst if not THE worst, was named Sean Dean, or something close to it. They were in charge of the Upper Deck Box/Reserved section on the first base side.

While I do understand that some people enjoy Cow-Bell Guy's presence, I also know that many fans are turned off by it. Everybody is entitled to his/her opinion, and I am horrified to find out the stance of the Mets organization on this issue. On the back of every ticket it is stated that under NEW YORK LAW, that "...alcoholic beverages, controlled or illegal substances, laser pointer, NOISEMAKING DEVICES, fireworks, animals... ... are not permitted in the ballpark." I see that bothersome cowbells do not fit the description. It is not as if I am complaining about the presence of a Met institution, such as Mr. Met, rather someone who outwardly pose an annoyance to other fans in attendance. Personally, I think a fan should enjoy the game and root for his/her team by watching the game unfold and cheer respectfully, not bother other fans in their enjoyment of the game. Furthermore, I am disgusted that the Mets organization condones the actions/opinions perpetuated by the personnel, which it employs.

Tonight's experience has made me very aware of what I feel is a serious issue. Please do not take this as any form of threat, however, I am well prepared to forward my opinion and account of this event to any forum, which I can reach, including newspapers, online forums, news stations, etc. I am severely appalled at how I was treated, and fully expect a reply from you. Thank you for your time in reading this message.

First of all, who knows if this story is true. I've never seen anything buy smiles from the Cow-Bell man. Second, if it is true, why is this guy so upset about the dude hitting a Cow-bell? I've been going for years, and it is part of the game. Video games actually put him into the game when teams are playing at Shea. That being said, if it is in fact true, who knew the Cow-Bell man was an mean 'ole SOB and had a Cow-Bell mafia? To be safe, offer to buy him a beer if you see him. Strange story nonetheless.

* * *

  • Kris Benson's last start was the 12th consecutive outing that he has pitched at least six innings.

  • BA just keeps throwing the love around for Mets prospects lately.

    Signed out of the Dominican as a 16-year-old, the Mets' Carlos Gomez is putting together an impressive SAL campaign. The speedster went 3-for-3 last night for the second straight game while stealing his SAL-leading 43rd base. The low Class A Hagerstown outfielder has seen his batting average improve each month this season and his hitting .275/.320/.400. The 19-year-old has just 14 walks in 280 at-bats and will need to improve on that to make himself a true force as a leadoff hitter. Sounds like another Mets leadoff hitter.

    A low blow on the Reyes poke...a low blow.

  • From ESPN's Power Rankings:

    Frank Thomas hit 10 home runs in his first 69 at-bats this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Barry Bonds in 2004 (10 in 51 AB) was the last player to hit 10 in less than 70 ABs.

  • This is no newsflash that the Nationals are serious about winning this year and they are attempting to acquire Preston Wilson if they can figure out the money situation and get over Wilson's no-trade clause. His home/road splits are enough to make Mrs. Mookie Wilson cry, but he has talent and still relatively young, so he could work out just fine. He is solid defensively, and can hit with some power and some speed. The Nationals would give up J.J. Davis and Zach Day, who was disappointing this year. The ex-Yankee farmhand Zach Day is a solid sinker ball pitcher and the Rockies try to stockpile those types of guys to see if they can have some success up in the high altitude. However, the sinker balls don't sink, the splitters don't split, and the curve balls don't curve. Good luck Zach, we hardly knew yee. You better be praying this trade does not go through.

  • Worst game.....ever. How many times could the Mets shoot themselves in the foot?

    1) Ramon Castro getting thrown out at the plate after inexplicably stopping at third on a laser to the wall. Where was Manny Acta? Was he yelling and Castro did not hear him?
    2) Heilman loading the bases in the ninth inning.
    3) Braden Looper's inability to get a big strikeout despite throwing mid to high 90's. He simply cannot make people swing and miss.
    4) Cliff Floyd misplaying the baseball.
    5) Miguel Cario making a costly error in the eleventh.
    6) Looper again not being able to get a big out and not being able to get a big strikeout. Seriously, can he learn an off speed pitch? He fools nobody. If he had the ability to pull the string on guys sitting dead red, it seems like it would be a huge addition.

    The Mets lost that game in such fabulous fashion, it is hard to point to one exact thing. If the Mets cut one of those six mistakes out, they win or give themselves a chance to win by way of the other team earning it rather than have it given to them. Looper was gassed from getting three saves in the last four game, but so was the entire bullpen. Heilman has thrown 86 pitches since July 1st and pitched in four games in eight days. Roberto Hernandez was tired from getting up and down each night in the series and Heath Bell has just went two innings and twenty two pitches last night. Everyone was gassed, but someone needed to step up. Someone needed to step up on this team, but the loss was indicative of the Mets previous four seasons. The Mets just invent ways to lose and they completely did not deserve to win this game with the horrendous play at the end of this game. Tough loss coming after a great series and now there is no way they can lose these two games. Why are we Met fans again?

  • Minor update:
    • Columbus beat Norfolk 6-5. Angel Pagan hit his fifth homer of the year and Jason Scobie pitched seven solid innings giving up six hits, two earned runs, one walk, two homers, and struck out six. Steve Coyler have up four hits and three earned runs and failed to record an out.
    • The B-Mets and Norwich were rained out.
    • St. Lucie beat Fort Myers 5-2. Andy Wilson went 1 for 3 with an RBI and Tyler Davidson went 2 for 2 with a run scored, a double, and an RBI.
    • Hagerstown lost to West Virginia 4-3. Gaby Hernandez went five innings, giving up two hits, one walk, no earned run, and struck out four in a no-decision that dropped his ERA to 2.43. Philip Hughes got promoted to high A-ball and Gaby should be moved along as well. Carlos Gomez went 1 for 3 with two walks and run scored and Mike Carp went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a double.
    • The Brooklyn Cyclones were rained out against the Staten Island Yankees.
    • The K-Mets lost to Princeton 4-2.
  • Victor Zambrano pitched another great game. In fact, he has been outstanding he got out of April.
                         IP   ERA WHIP  H/9  W/9  K/9 K/BB W-L
    Since May 1st: 76.2 2.76 1.23 6.91 4.14 4.90 1.18 3-4
    Last Eight Starts: 54.2 2.30 1.12 6.91 3.13 3.45 1.42 2-3
    The shame of it all is that he only has three wins to show for it. At least he really seems to have turned a corner to become the pitcher the Mets thought they were getting.
  • Friday, July 08, 2005


    Coming into the year, Omar Minaya wanted to surround his rookie manager with as much experience as possible. After all, Willie had spent his entire career as a coach in the American League, which is what I like to call fake baseball, learning from a coach who rarely even got up or appeared to actually be awake in the dugout. The use of the bullpen and bench is much more intricate in the National League and the Mets just had a manager in Art Howe who could not manage in the National League and Omar presumably wanted to give Willie every chance to succeed.

    Rick Peterson was the only coach to stay after last season's house cleaning and Omar brought in Sandy Alomar Sr. as the bench coach, Manny Acta as the third base coach, Guy Conti as the bullpen coach, Jerry Manuel first base coach, Rick Down as the hitting coach, and Tom Nieto as the catching instructor. Manny Acta and Jerry Manuel were managerial candidates in the past off season, Sandy Alomar has been a bench coach since the last time DC had a baseball team and has been playing baseball longer than Willie has been alive, Guy Conti helped Pedro learn his off speed pitch and came up with the idea to lower Aaron Heilmans' arm angle, and Rick Down is 100 years old (Tom Neito really does not matter, sorry to any Neito family members out there).

    I do not buy the idea that Willie needs time to adjust to life as a manger. The guy has been in the Major Leagues since he was 20 years old and has plenty of baseball experience. Sure there is going to be some double switch hiccups, some misuse of the bullpen, and other things, but he is making some mistakes that a person who just started watching baseball this year could point out as a glaring problem. At some point, and some point soon, Omar needs to invite him over his house and have everyone in the dining room waiting. They need to have an intervention in an effort to set Willie straight. Sometimes when you are addicted to writing out bad lineups for instance, you have no idea you are doing it. It consumes your life and you cannot even see what you are doing to hurt you family and your own teammates. Before it is too late and Willie does any further damage to a team that is 1/2 game out of last, people need to step in. Something needs to be done and something needs to be done soon. Willie has done some good things, but he has seemingly made more bad decisions than good ones. He had all this help brought in to make it a smooth transition and I would love to know what they are adding to this equation. Coaches like Lou Pinella and Bobby Cox are known for getting the most out of their team and it is time for Met manager to do the same. It seems that the skippers heading the Mets lately get out managed all to often.

    * * *

  • Jim Callis recently had a chat on ESPN.com and was kind enough to answer a few questions about our lowly Mets.

    Swami Jr.: Hi Jim, thanks for chatting. How long do you think it will take the Mets to sign Mike Pelfrey? Any chance he'll pitch in A-ball this year? And how long do scouts think it'll take before he's ready for the majors? Thanks!

    Jim: (3:29 PM ET ) Pelfrey could be ready quickly, say within 12-18 months of signing. But I wouldn't expect him to sign in time to pitch this summer, so he won't make his big league debut before late 2007 at the earliest. Good pick for the Mets, though.

    Kevin: Mike Jacobs, how bad is he as a defensive catcher? The Mets said he would be playing 1b this year but I see he is back behind the plate. He can hit but can he catch?

    Jim: (3:37 PM ET ) Not on a regular basis, no. Jacobs looks like a backup 1B/C type to me, as opposed to being Mike Piazza's successor.

    Pelfrey, let's get this clock ticking. If you said you wanted to get this moving and get pitching, you probably would not have chosen Scott Boras as your agent. It would be nice to see what this kid has for five or six starts so the Mets have a pretty good idea what they have for themselves, but all the top picks are waiting to see what each other gets. Ryan Zimmerman was ranked a bit below Mike Pelfrey and signed for a bit over slot money a tick below $3,000,000. However, the big problem comes in when the Mets signed Phil Humber for a $3 million bonus and a Major League contract with a $5.116 maximum value, with $4.2 million guaranteed. Is Humber a better pitcher than Pelfrey? Probably not. Mr. Boras could care less where his guy is drafted. The Mets probably do not have much of a leg to stand on if they have any delusions of signing him for less than they inked Humber. Expect him to be signing about the same time Humber did.

  • The untold story.

    "I was watching 'Caddyshack' and Bill Murray character's Carl Spackler," Royals pitcher Brian Anderson said. "And I am like, 'That is a great name.' So I come into the clubhouse and start loud talking about how I am going to change my name to Carl Spackler and there is a guy already on the team using that name."

    So Anderson found inspiration in another favorite movie of his, "The Naked Gun."

    "I used to stay as Lt. Frank Drebin and, much like a pampered superstar, would make them put the 'Lt.' on the rooming list," Anderson said. "So that when I get my key, it would actually be 'Lt. Frank Drebin' [on the envelope]."

    A pretty funny article. You also get to see what some scumbag Yankee fans resort to.

  • Yusmeiro Petit is getting some virtual ink from BA.

    Mets right-hander Yusmeiro Petit just keeps dominating. Last night, Petit allowed two runs on five hits and struck out 10 in a seven-inning complete game against New Hampshire. On the season, Petit is now 3-2, 2.97 with a 75-10 strikeout-walk ratio in 67 innings.

  • The Mets, and every team in the NL for that matter, have more wins than the second place teams in the other NL divisions. New York has also moved into third in the Wildcard standings.

  • Another one bites the dust....Carl Pavano becomes the third Yankee pitcher on the DL. Hello Darrell May.

  • In case you missed it, the homerun derby will be a bit different. It will be possibly eight players representing eight different countries. The only hold out is Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is like Wade Boggs in that he could he twenty homers in a row in batting practice, but does not hit many in games because that is not his game. If he goes in there, do not be surprised to see him make it into the later rounds of the competition.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Columbus 6-2. Anderson Hernandez is playing like he is the best option the Mets may have at second base right now. He went 2 for 4 with two walks to bring his average up to .411. Victor Diaz had a bad day at the plate going 0-4 while striking out three times, but he did play first base. Could he be an option in 2006 for first base? The Mets need some sort of backup plan.
    • Binghamton beat New Hampshire 9-5. Mike Jacobs hit is third homer in as many games to bring his total up to 18. It took him 119 games to knock in his previous career high in 2003 and it took him only 76 games to top that total in '05. Aarom Baldiris continues his quest to hit .300 and went 4 for 5 with two RBIs to bring his average up to .297. Brett Harper went 1 for 3 with a run scored and two walks and Wayne Lydon went 3 for 3 with three runs scored, a triple, two walks, and an RBI.
    • Hagerstown beat West Virginia 7-1 in a rain shortened game. Carlos Gomez continues his red hot hitting and went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, a homerun, three RBIs, and one walk. Grant Psomas is trying to keep pace with Mike Jacobs for the Mets Minor League homerun crown and hit is 17th of the year. Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 3. Michael Devaney went seven innings for the win and gave up two hits, one earned run, walked one, and struck out five.
    • Fort Myers beat St. Lucie 10-6. Andy Wilson went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and homer to tie him with Mike Jacobs for the lead in homers in the Mets' system. Shawn Bowman went 1 for 4 with a run scored, two RBIs, and his 16th homer of the year. Evan MacLane got roughed up in his 5.1 innings of work and gave up eight earned runs on eight hits and one walk.
    • Staten Island beat Brooklyn 4-3. Caleb Stewart went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a double. Johnathn Malo continues to draw walks a torrid pace and went 1 for 2 with a run scored and three walks. He has as many walks as he has hits so far this season and has .265 average and a .419 on base percentage.
    • Kingsport against Elizabethton was rained out.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals by two touchdowns. They won in a barn burner 20-6 and amazingly enough, the Mets did it without the long ball. Brahiam Maldonado went 2 for 4, with a walk, three runs scored, two doubles, and four RBIs.
  • This is pretty interesting to see what king of mail Scott Miller gets about some of his articles. Most of it is useless reading, but some if pretty funny.

    From this article about Barry Bonds:

    From: Aaron
    Have a crappy day.

    From: Phil Bokan
    Nice opinion, go f--- yourself.

    From this article about Kenny Rogers:

    From: Michael Popp
    I cannot believe they pay you to write this crap. Your opinion, like your hair style, SUCKS.

    From: Scott Miller Hater
    ONCE AGAIN another absolutely horrible article by Scott Miller. I wish that Kenny Rogers had pushed Scott Miller down a flight of stairs.

  • Andrew Marchand muses about whether or not Al Leiter would return to the Mets to be a star color commentator. His time with the Marlins is not going exactly as planned, and is certainly something that could happen. Just don't expect him to say to many pleasant things about Omar Minaya during the broadcasts. Also, Ron Darling said he would be open to listening to offers and David Cone would accept a part time role.

  • The Reds are reluctant to help Jim Bowden win. In a show of maturity and helping make their organization better, they will not even return his phone calls. You want to screw Bowden? Give the Mets Dunn for nothing. That would screw him really good.

  • Jay Payton gets his wish and he is now out of the Red Sox organization. He was traded to the A's for Chad Bradford.

  • From Newsday:

    Piazza was one player badly in need of a confidence boost. After taking Wednesday night off, he returned to the lineup yesterday in a 2-for-22 slump, without an RBI in six games. But the other Mets noticed a refreshed Piazza around the batting cage yesterday morning, and that was the first positive sign.

    "This dying mule still has a few kicks in him," Piazza joked to his teammates.

  • Screw the Olympics. They are boring anyway, but this?

    Baseball and softball are the first sports cut from the Olympics since water polo in 1936.

    The IOC will consider replacing them with two sports from a waiting list of five sports: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports.
  • Thursday, July 07, 2005

    Mets put on a clinic in DC

    Mets put on a clinic in DC....of what not to do and what to do. The Mets should have put the game out of reach in the 6th, but were the poster boys of what not to do. It's hard to complain about a three run inning, but when you leave with a miniscule one run lead when you could have had lot more, it hurts. The Mets are struggling to score runs, and they could have turned this one into a laugher. The Mets had the bases loaded with no outs and one run in already. Then, Ramon Castro singled to left to score run only to stray to far off first base presumably as a result of David Wright waving the runners on after the ball got away from the catcher. The ball strayed a few feet, but Livan Hernandez was all over it and gunned Castro out at first. Ok, the Mets still had a guy on second with only one out, right? With Marlon Anderson on second base, Miguel Cairo lined out to right field on a ball that looked like it had a chance to drop in. Jose Guillen made the catch and gunned Anderson down trying to get back to the bag. Third out, the Mets stifle what could have been a big inning.

    In the eighth inning, the Mets were the anti-Mets. Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd led off the inning with back to back singles. No outs, the Mets sitting in good position to add onto lead. The Mets managed no more hits, but did manufacture a run. Wright got out in the next at bat, but managed to drive the ball to right and moved Beltran over to third base on a productive out. Marlon Anderson then flied out to left allowing Carlos Beltran to tag up and score. The Mets only got one run when they put the first two batters on base, but they managed to not hit groundballs or shallow fly balls. They managed to turn outs into good ones. For this Met team, I take what I can in terms of their ability to produce runs, but that is something they have been horrible at this year. No Met has been as bad as Jose Reyes when it has come to productive outs and the Mets need to step up this part of their game.

    Willie ball is supposed to be an aggressive style of play that lets the team put together runs and manufacture them. The Mets have been horrible in that situation this year and without the big bat they desperately need in the meat of this order, they need to become more adept at not squandering their chances with Men on base. As a team, they are batting .247/.339/.391 with men in scoring position and are batting .209/.253/.418 with the bases loaded. It is clear they really do not have a big RBI guy like Carlos Lee or Manny Ramirez, so they need to be more productive when they do get out. Of course I'm stating the obvious, but the Mets just shoot themselves in the foot more often than not and bail out the opposing team. That eighth inning was a perfect example of what they need to do.

    * * *

  • WWDD? Not put Schilling in the role of closer.

    ''He's never done it," Damon said of Schilling. ''He throws 60 pitches to get loose for a game. He needs to get loose. Two outs in the eighth, a home run is hit. Get ready, 10 pitches. He can't do it. Timlin could, Bronson could. I don't think it's a good move for us. We've always talked about all year he'd come back and be a starter, and be a good starter. He can't just walk in and be a good closer. He's not ready yet. He's not ready."

  • Omar:

    "Today we're buyers. Today," the GM said yesterday. "We feel we're in the race. As far as the wild-card race right now, we're definitely in the race. And there's a lot of baseball left to go for the division. There is some separation, of course, between the Nationals and us right now. But when you look at the wild card right now, everyone is kind of in the same spot. Everybody is one good week from being the leaders."

    Today, the Mets are five games off the Wildcard lead and nine games out of first place.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Columbus 9-2. Angel Pagan went 2 for 5 with a run scored, Anderson Hernandez went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and a walk to bring his average up to .404, Victor Diaz went 2 for 5 with two homers and five RBIs, Eric Valent went 4 for 5 with two runs cored, Prentice Redman picked up two hits, and Chase Lambin went 3 for 4 with two runs score, a double, and a triple.
    • Binghamton beat New Hampshire 4-2 in the first game of a double header. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, a double, a homer, and two RBIs. He now has 16 homers and 58 RBIs. Wayne Lydon and Aarom Baldiris each went 2 for 3 as well. Yusmeiro Petit went the distance in a shortened seven innings game and allowed five hits, two earned runs, one walk, one homer, and struck out ten. He is 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA. In game two, New Hampshire beat Norfolk 6-2. Mike Jacobs went 2 for 3 with his seventeenth homer of the year. In 2003, he hit a career high 17 homers which he will obviously smash this year. Aarom Baldiris went 1 for 2 with a walk and a double and has brought his average up to .288.
    • St. Lucie beat Fort Myers 4-0. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with two RBIs to bring his average up to .302.
    • Delmarva beat Hagerstown 8-7. Corey Coles went 3 for 5 with a run scored, one double, and one RBI. Carlos Gomez went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and two walks and Jesus Flores went 3 for 5 with a double and four RBIs.
    • Brooklyn lost to Staten Island 6-1.
    • Elizabethton beat Kingston 2-1.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 6-4.
  • Gaby Hernandez is still on BA's Prospect Hot Sheet and Anderson Hernandez and Brian Bannister are honorable mentions.

  • Pedro may skip the All-Star game and I think he should. His velocity is down and looks tired. The extra rest would do him well.

  • Heilman got a good look in a pressure role and passed with flying colors. He went 2.1 innings and got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth. It took him only 25 pitches to get through those 2.1 innings and gave up no hits or no walks. Looper finished the game off with a perfect ninth and Met relievers went 3.1 innings in 32 pitches.
  • Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    To Trade or Not to Trade

    The Nationals are on the move and they are looking at Eddie Guardado. The Red Sox are looking into Eddie Guardado and possibly Ron Villone to bolster up their bullpen with a lefty. While the Red Sox are looking for relief help, so are the Diamondbacks. For this reason, I am fully behind the Mets looking to deal Braden Looper. Moving him into the set-up role will give a team a very effective set up guy that is a groundball pitcher. If the Mets can spin Glavine and Looper, they can pick up some prospects and still have Cammy, which is undoubtedly a good thing.

    The starting pitcher and reliever market is looking like it will be thin this upcoming deadline and with Glavine back on track and having made a string of really good starts, he may be able to help the Mets while helping himself. His time here has not exactly been smooth and I'm sure he would take a chance to get himself out of here if the situation is right for him or even just flat out better. The Red Sox are looking for some pitching help and may be able help him find his way out of Queens. As for Looper, he pitched well in the playoff versus the Yankees and would be a valuable guy out of the pen for a team looking to get a boost from a bad market for relievers. If the Mets can find a home for these two and take advantage a market that should benefit the Mets should they choose to start parting with players, they may be able to retain Mike Cameron, Jae Seo, and Aaron Heilman and still have the important parts of this team intact while picking up a player or two.

    * * *

  • Rob Neyer laid out some gems in his last chat wrap.

    Rich (Chicago): I was watching Baseball tonight and Kruk and Gammons were talking about how they wanted players to vote for the All Star Game Starters. What is your opinion? Should they change the process?

    Rob Neyer: If the players were in charge, they would make nearly as many "mistakes" as the fans do. And frankly, I don't care much about what the players think, because the game's not for them. If they want to have their own All-Star Game, they should play it in Alex Rodriguez's back yard in November.


    Leon (Seoul): The Giants are just depressing. Now I know all the blame can't fall on Sabean, but is he not the most overrated GM in baseball? His "plan" of creating the oldest team possible and sacrificing draft picks has produced vomit-inducing results. Sure he would've built a different team without Bonds, but how could he not see the risk factors in signing all these marginal players in their late 30's?

    Rob Neyer: I can't really argue with any of this, except it's worth remembering that the Giants have enjoyed a pretty nice run. I wouldn't have done what Sabean's done, but then again I probably couldn't have guided a franchise to eight straight winning seasons and four postseason berths.

    Seymour (Brooklyn): Rob, have you ever thought about one day becoming a GM and putting all your knowledge to some hands-on use?

    Rob Neyer: All my knowledge would fit into Brian Sabean's left pinky finger with plenty of room to spare. I do fantasize about becoming a GM, just like I fantasize about becoming an astronaut and a mountain climber.

  • "I've thought about it," said Glavine, who has not had that discussion yet with the front office. "Obviously there's a real short list of teams I would even consider. I have no intention of wanting that to happen, but if they came to me and said look, 'We feel like we're better without you or whatever,' I'm not going to be like, 'Absolutely not.' Especially if it's a team I could see myself going to."

    Omar, trade Tommy for Kelly Shoppach. Please.....

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Syracuse 6-5. Angel Pagan went 1 for 4 with a triple, a walk, and RBI, Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 4 with a run scored, Victor Diaz went 1 for 2 with two walks, a run scored, and a double, Eric Valent went 2 for 3 with a run scored, a walk, a homer, and four RBIs, and Benito Santiago went 2 for 4 with two runs scored.
    • Binghamton and New Hampshire got rained out. The scary part of it all is that I had a nightmare that Yusmeiro Petit gave up nine runs in one inning. I need a break.
    • St. Lucie beat Vero Beach 4-3. Dante Brinkely went deep on a 1 for 3 night in which he walked, scored a run, and knocked in two RBIs. Lasting Milledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI, and Andy Wilson went 0-2, but managed to work three walks.
    • Delmarva beat Hagerstown by a touchdown and field goal and that is never good. Corey Coles went 4 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI and Grant Psomas went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, a walk, and a homerun, which was his 16th on the year. Ryan Coultas had a big night at the plate and went 3 for 4 with two homers and four RBIs.
    • New Jersey beat Brooklyn 5-4. Caleb Stewart went 1 for 2 with two walks.
    • Kingsport and Elizabethton got rained out.
    • The GCL Marlins pounded the GCL Mets 15-5. The good news? Only nine were earned.
  • Anderson Hernandez gets some much deserved love from Baseball America.

    Mets shortstop Anderson Hernandez has been one of the hottest hitters in the International League since being called up to Triple-A Norfolk in late June. The 22-year-old middle infielder came over to New York from the Tigers for Vance Wilson in January and has 17 hits in his first 45 at-bats for the Tides. Hernandez batted .326-7-24 in 273 at-bats at Double-A Binghamton this year before being promoted.

    So does Nick Evans.

    • The Mets’ Nick Evans is having a field day in the Appy League. The 2004 fifth-rounder went 5-for-5 yesterday with three doubles, a homer and six RBIs. On the season, the 18-year-old first baseman is hitting .357/.400/.800 with six homers in 56 at-bats for Kingsport.

    Anyone get the feeling that he is a bit above his competition? He did well in the GCL league last year and looked like he deserved a bigger jump, but I think he will force the issue soon enough.

  • Joel Sherman has a nice glass half full look at things.

  • Willie Randolph shrugged off a question about his decision to put Piazza in the cleanup spot, replying, "He's my No. 4 hitter. Who am I going to put there?"

    Here's an idea, why not move Marlon Anderson up?
  • Tuesday, July 05, 2005

    Reading Between the Lines

    During the end of Spring Training, Willie Randolph was questioned about Felix Heredia. He was basically asked if he trusted Heredia. Randolph replied that if he did not trust Heredia, he would have no place on this team. Enter Kaz Ishii. Ishii has been wildly inconsistent and has posted either really bad starts, or really good starts. Unfortunately, more of the starts have been bad starts, but Willie's handling of him in his last two games tells me he has no confidence in him in any form.

    When Ishii got banged up for five runs in his last start against the Phillies, he sat there in the fourth inning with one out and the bases empty after giving up a three run homer to Chase Utley. Coming to bat was a Mike Lieberthal, who was batting .228 coming into the day, followed by Corey Lidle. With the Mets four game set with the Nationals looming and the Mets in the midst of thirteen consecutive days of baseball, Randolph would have normally let Ishii go out and see if he can get through a few more innings with relatively small damage. He was only at 68 pitches at the time, but Willie did not hesitate to ever yank him before he could face Lieberthal, who hits like a pitcher, and a pitcher.

    Yesterday, Ishii had a short leash yet again. After pitching a solid game, he had one out in the sixth inning and the Nationals just scored a run on Jose Guillen's double. With an un-aweinspiring group of hitters in Catilla, Byrd, and Baerga coming up with a combined six homers on the year in 476 at bats, Willie yanked him. The pitcher spot was due up the next inning and Willie knew he was basically going to burn a pitcher on two outs, but Willie has no confidence in his pitcher to get the job done. Worrying about a big inning starting with the Mets only down two runs, he turned to Heath Bell to close the door in what could have been the most important decision of the game. I'll knock Willie on the bad moves, but he played this card well and made the right move.

    Ishii is on a short least and will be while he remains a starter. The Mets were able to steal the opener in what is the most important series of the year with three pitchers slated to go in the remainder of the series who can all win their games. It was a coup of sorts for the Mets to essentially steal a win in the Kaz Ishii vs. John Patterson match up with Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, and Kris Benson slated to take on a banged up, and seemingly punchless Nationals offense. Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how long the Mets keep running a guy out there who Willie has little confidence in and will get the hook at the first sign of trouble.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • The Tides lost to Syracuse 2-1. Angel Pagan went 3 for 4 with a double and Mike DiFelice went deep for the Tides only run. Jae Seo pitched brilliantly in the loss again and went eight innings, giving up only three hits, one earned run, three walks, and struck out five. In his last twelve starts, he is 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA, 7.16 H/9, 8.57 K/9, and a 3.59 K/BB in 83 innings.
    • New Hampshire beat Binghamton 10-9. Aarom Baldiris went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a walk and Brett Harper went 3 for 6 with two runs scored, two doubles, a homer, and two RBIs. Jeff Duncan went deep twice in a 3 for 4 night with three RBIs, a walk, and three runs scored.
    • Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 6-4. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with an RBI, Andy Wilson went 2 for 5, and Shawn Bowman hit his fifteenth homer of the year. Phil Humber had a rough start and went five innings while giving up six hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four. His record dropped to 2-6 and his ERA is 4.99.
    • Delmarva beat Hagerstown 6-5. Jesus Flores went 3 for 3 with a run scored, a walk, and an RBI while Grang Psomas went 0 for 2, but walked three times.
    • The Brooklyn Cyclones beat New Jersey 1-0. Caleb Stewart scored the only run and went 2 for 2 with walk and a double. Robert Parnell started the game and went four innings of one hit ball. He has now pitched 10.2 scoreless innings so far this season and only given up three hits, but has walked seven as well.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 11-10. Nick Evans had a ridiculous six RBIs in a 5 for 5 game in which he scored three runs, hit three doubles and hit his sixth homer on the year in just thirteen games. He is batting .357/.400/.804 on the year with twenty-two RBIs. Joan Martinez had a big game also by going 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs. In fourteen games, Kingsport has hit double digits in run five times already.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Marlins 10-5. Junior Contreras went 2 for 4 with a run scored, a homer, and two RBIs.
  • The Astros and Reds appear to working on a deal that gets the Astros Adam Dunn in return for Ezequiel Astacio, Taylor Buchholz and Fernando Nieve according to a report that Astros GM Tim Purpura said was a "media fabrication".

  • According to the NY Post, the Mets have no intentions of giving Brett Boone a look.

  • Willie shook up the lineup a bit and I have to like the fact that he tried. He still had one piece glaringly wrong, but Reyes was moved to the bottom of the order and responded in a big way. He did not get down on himself and went 2 for 4 in what was a great game at the plate for him.

    I'm still in the lineup," he said. "No big deal."

    I hope Willie gives the new look at least a few weeks to see how it gels together. Ideally though, if he wants to keep Beltran in the second hole, Floyd bats fourth, Piazza bats fifth, and his buddy Marlon sixth with Wright in the three hole. That way, he still gets his balanced lineup and Wright bats in a spot where he can create more runs.

  • The title of the day goes to Lee Jenkins.

    The Mets' Batting Order Is Stirred, Not Shaken

    Corny? Yes, but it cracked me up.

  • Roberto is good.

    Hernandez (4-2) hasn't allowed a run in his last 14 appearances, dropping his ERA from 2.82 to 1.78. He has pitched 13 innings in that span, allowing eight hits, with five walks and 12 strikeouts.

    Hernandez also hasn't allowed an earned run in 17 2/3 innings on the road this season.

  • Chris Woodward joins the wounded on the Mets squad and is listed as day to day.

  • In the "I shit you not" category, these are two trade proposals I heard on WFAN yesterday with Steve Sommers.

    Yankee fan proposed trade:
    A-Rod and Cano for Ishii and Beltran

    Met fan proposed this trade:
    Pudge and Bonderman for Piazza and Valent

    Main Entry: speech•less
    Pronunciation: 'spEch-l&s
    Function: adjective
    1 : unable to speak : DUMB
    2 : not speaking : SILENT
    3 : not capable of being expressed in words

  • Justin Verlander threw 86 innings in A-ball and only 15 innings in AA-ball before he making his Major League debut. In the first inning, he ran into some problems and gave up three runs on four hits and two walks. In the next 4.1 innings, he gave up one more run, three hits, one walk, and struck out three. He routinely hit 97 to 99 mph on the gun and I would have to say his first start in the Majors was a success. He seemed to get over a bad first inning to recover very nicely.
  • Monday, July 04, 2005

    This Is What They Do

    Offerman has no business being in the Majors, much less starting two games in a row. Injury or not, watching people like him on a one hundred million dollar team is exasperating. On Saturday, he failed to catch a double play ball that allowed the Marlins to extend the lead a bit more and yesterday, he did not hustle and out a ball that Luis Castillo bobbled. Though Offerman looked like he should have reached first if he was busting it down the line, he was out by a lot. I can deal with Beltran not hustling, but fringe player? Believe me, it is not excusable for anyone not to hustle a ball out, but is a guy like Beltran going to be bench? Those things happen, but for a player of Offerman’s stature, that should be the kiss of death. he does not have the luxury of making those mistakes. Bench players and all reserves have to play 100% all the time. Running out every fly ball and being sharp. That is the nature of their job and they do not have the benefit of doubt.

    Craig Brazell should be getting the first base nod over Offerman if a need arose. He's a guy who's options you do not care so much about, but this is what the Mets do. This is why they are so frustrating to me. People might say having Ice on the roster or Offerman is no big deal, but if you look at real playoff team rosters, no one has two players of this caliber on their team. Maybe I'm fooling myself and the Mets have no shot at the playoffs, but give me a young guy who can play just as bad as an old, washed up player any day. Brazell, in fact, would look better than Offerman. He fields better for sure and can hit with some power and look just as bad not hustling down the line if he wanted too. The errors I can swallow, but a guy like Offerman can not afford to not play his heart out every at bat and not running that ball out was ridiculous. He is fighting his way back to the Majors and needs to make the most of his opportunities. There has to be a zero tolerance rule for something like that. I hope Beltran got reprimanded for his no hustle play and Saturday and Offerman needs to be demoted for his no hustle play yesterday. On a team that needs some energy right now in a series in which they looked flat, people need to spark the team, not deflate it.

    * * *

  • The Mariners have eight days to trade Brett Boone or he becomes a free agent.

    "I think Bret still has something left," Hargrove said. "But sometimes you need to go someplace else. Why? Why does a fresh cold shower in the morning feel refreshing? It's not that he was too comfortable here. But sometimes new scenery invigorates people."

    If they can trade Kaz for Boone, would anyone consider it?

  • Dave Littlefield has said the Pirates will most likely be sellers in what was one of the more surprising statements of the year. This is about the thirteenth year in a row the Pirates have been sellers. Perhaps even more astounding is that Dave Littlefield has a job after not having a winning season since 1992.

  • Minor update:
    • Nofolk beat Syracuse 7-5. Anderson Hernandez continues his hit parade and went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a triple, and two RBIs. He has .415/.442/.659 line with six RBIs in his first ten games at AAA. Eric Valent, Benito Santiago, and Ron Calloway each picked up two hits each and Santiago drove in two RBIs while Calloway drove in three.
    • Akron beat Binghamton 2-0. Brian Bannister was the hard luck loser as Aarom Baldiris and Bobby Malek registered the only two hits by the B-Mets. Bannister went seven innings, gave up five hits, two earned runs, one walk, one homer, and struck out seven. He has a 9-3 record with a 2.23 ERA.
    • St. Lucie beat Vero Beach 5-3. Lastings Milledge went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk. For Lastings, that was hit nineteenth walk of the year. Dante Brinkely went 2 for 4 with a run scored, Blake Whealy went 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs, and Shawn Bowman went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, his fourteenth homer of the year, and a walk.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown 6-2. Ambiorix Concepcion went 1 for 3 with a double and two RBIs and Gaby Hernandez went 5.1 innings giving up four hits, one earned run, no walks and struck out eight. He dropped his ERA to 2.57 with another great performance.
    • Brooklyn beat New Jersey 4-0. Caleb Stewart went 1 for 3 with a double, two RBIs and a walk.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 7-6. Sean Henry went 1 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs and Nick Evans went 2 for 5 with a run scored and two RBIs.
  • David Cone is interested in some part-time broadcasting for the new Mets' TV network and that would be a great thing. Cone is very similar to Al Leiter and is very solid in the booth.

  • The D-Train ran over the Mets and Zambrano pitched well going eight innings and giving up three earned runs. Aaron Heilman came in to pitch the ninth and did a great job stranding a leadoff double.

  • Omar deserves the credit he is getting for some of the success of Washington this season. He helped put in a solid foundation for a team that has surprised everyone this season.

  • Floyd got snubbed, but it was a tall order for him to make the All-Star team.

  • Kaz Ishii starts it off for the Mets four game series against the Nationals and he battles John Patterson, who has been great this year.

  • Sunday, July 03, 2005


    I know I've spoken about it and people have written about this ad nauseum, but it is getting to the point where it is literally driving me crazy. I have a friend who would stick up for Willie and say it is not a big deal, or it is temporary, but we have achieved the highest level of lunacy. With runners on base, David Wright is hitting .345/.451/.580 with five homers and eleven doubles in 119 at bats. Marlon Anderson is hitting .324/.375/.351 in the same situation with only one extra base hit in 37 at bats. With runners in scoring position, David Wright is batting .296/.419/.465 with six doubles and two homers in 71 at bats. Marlon Anderson is batting .174/.240/.174 in the same situation with in 23 at bats with no extra base hits. With bases loaded, Wright is batting .429/.556/1.000 with a double and a homer in seven at bats. Marlon Anderson is hitting .200/.200/.200 in the same situation in five at bats.

    The only split that Marlon beats David, in regards to men on base, is runners in scoring position and two outs. While this may or may not have been a factor in yesterday's game, David Wright was sitting on deck while Marlon Anderson was up with the bases loaded. Marlon Anderson got out and David Wright was left to come up the next inning with no one on base. David Wright was 2 for 4 in yesterday's game and only batted once with a player on base. In Marlon's sixteen starts since June 5, when he began starting with regularity, he has posted a .224/.262/.259 line with two doubles and two RBIs. Ladies and gentlemen, that is your #6 hitter who is getting more RBI opportunities than David Wright. In an effort to keep a balanced lineup, Willie continues to not put his best foot forward and not put the Mets in the optimum position to win the ball game every night. In fact, it also spills over to Mike Piazza as well. Who would pitch to Mike Piazza in a tight situation and two outs with Marlon Anderson on deck? Would it not benefit Mike Piazza and the team to have David Wright looming on deck, who has the ability to punish a team if they give Piazza a base? Instead, Marlon Anderson, who has been great off the bench, is virtually an easy out, or at worst a single when he has started. He has played admirable defense, but he should be doing so in the #8 hole. Willie, wake up. You look more stupid every single day you write out the lineup card.

    * * *

  • Minor update:
    • The Tides lost to Syracuse 7-0. Anderson Hernandez keeps on rolling with a 2 for 3 night and drawing a walk to bring his average up to .405.
    • Akron beat Binghamton 5-4. Aarom Baldiris seems to have found his homerun stroke because he hit another one. He went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs.
    • Vero Beach beat St. Lucie 4-3. Lastings Milledge went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a double while Dante Brinkley went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Andy Wilson went deep and drove in two in a 1 for 3 game.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown 11-9. Ryan Coultas went 2 for 3 with a run scored, two doubles, and three RBIs. Grant Psomas went 1 for 2 with a run scored and three walks and Mike Carp went 2 for 5 with a run scored and one RBI.
    • Brooklyn lost to Aberdeen 2-1.
    • Elizabethton beat Kingsport 2-0.
    • To complete every Met team taking a loss on Saturday, the GCL Dodgers beat the GCL Mets 12-1.