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

Monday, October 03, 2005

The 200 Million Dollar Team That Could

Why is it that so many people are patting the Yankees on the back this year. Yes, the Mets have like the 3rd highest payroll, but it is minute like every other team's payroll compared to the Yankees payroll. Great! They are in the playoffs again. Tell someone who cares and Joe Torre is not a manager extraordinaire. They caught lighting in a bottle with Aaron Small who will shrink back into anonymity and Shawn Chacon has been a savior whom they picked up for nothing. But outside of some good fortune, they simply bashed opponents heads in. I'm not following why anything is magical about this run. Like the Mets picked up the nickname the Amazins’ after an improbable and unlikely run, maybe the Yankees should get a nickname that could follow them around for the rest of their existence. After all, we shouldn't expect teams with a payroll that dwarfs everyone else’s to win every year.

Anyway, I suggest we start labeling the Yankees The 200 Million Dollar Team That Could. I did not make that up, but I'm spreading it around. It is laughable that anyone is patting the Yankees on the back for barely edging out it's opponents en route to yet another playoff appearance. Great, another season of October baseball for the highest payroll in organized sports. No one cares.

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  • The Eastern League top 20 is out and there are two Mets on the list. I think everyone knows who they are without having to read it and Milledge makes his second top 20.

    2. LASTINGS MILLEDGE, of, Binghamton Mets
    Age: 20 Ht: 6-1 Wt: 185 B-T: R-R Drafted/Signed: Mets '03 (1)

    Milledge is a five-tool prospect with above-average speed, hitting ability and center-field skills to go along with a strong arm and developing power. What impressed observers most, however, was his maturity and penchant for making adjustments despite reaching Double-A at age 20. He improved his pitch recognition and plate discipline and was remarkably consistent, hitting safely in 20 of his final 22 games.

    "I feel he's going to be an all-star caliber player," an American League scout said. "You hit home runs with a quick bat, which he's got, and down the road he could steal 35 to 40 bases. He was the most outstanding position player that I saw this year."

    Milledge needs to improve his base stealing and base running to get the most out of his speed. Though he's very aggressive at the plate, pitchers haven't been able to take advantage of him.


    11. YUSMEIRO PETIT, rhp, Binghamton Mets
    Age: 20 Ht: 6-0 Wt: 180 B-T: R-R Drafted/Signed: Mets FA '01 (Venezuela)

    The EL offered numerous pitching prospect showdowns, including a pair of August confrontations between Petit and fellow Venezuelan Sanchez. Petit got the better of Portland and Sanchez twice, allowing one run and fanning 19 in 15 innings, a tribute to his confident mindset.

    Petit is an overachiever. His stuff is solid—low-90s fastball, solid-average slider, rudimentary changeup—but it plays up because of his deceptive delivery and ability to locate all three offerings. His fastball has late, rising life in the strike zone, eliciting poor swings that often catch the bottom half of the ball. He needs to improve his changeup or find something that runs away from lefthanders.

    "If you're a gun scout, don't come watch him," Claus said. "If you understand pitching and what a big leaguer looks like, you need to come see him. When you throw 3-and-2 changeups down in the zone with late bite, it's cheating. And he's doing all that off a plus fastball."

    The Red Sox stopped in with five of the top twenty prospects.

  • From NJ.com:

    One player who was happy to have a last at-bat was infielder Anderson Hernandez. The Mets' rookie had battled through 17 at-bats without a hit in the major leagues and to add to the frustration, he moved to shortstop in the eighth inning and made an error on his first chance there.

    But in the ninth inning, Hernandez lined a single through the right side of the infield.

  • Jose Reyes led the NL in stolen bases with sixty and was second to Chone Figgins who had sixty-two. He led the majors with seventeen triples and led the majors in at-bats, which is not quite something to brag about. Sure it means he played a whole lot which is amazing considering no one thought it was possible, but take a damn pitch.
    Player          BB/PA
    Jose Reyes 0.037
    Brian Giles 0.177
    Jason Giambi 0.198
    David Wright 0.110
    Brian Roberts 0.105
    Grady Sizemore 0.074
    Orlando Cabrera 0.065

    Jose finished 144 out of 149 in the category of BB/PA and only Jorge Cantu, Neifi Perez, Robinson Cano, Angel Berroa, and Ivan Rodriguez finished lower than him. Also, out of every qualified shortstop, Reyes was 19 of 20 with only Neifi Perez behind him. As exciting of a player he is, he needs to become more refined at the plate and pitch recognition seems to be a big part of that in terms of identifying the curveball. It looked like he got better as the season went along and ultimately fifty walks is not out of the question with Jose, but he has a ways to go. Just for shits and giggles, if he turned 23 of those outs into walks, he would have had a .282 BA with a .332 OBP and those numbers who be perfect for Jose.

  • Newsday covers Piazza's Met statistics.

    Games 972
    Hits 1,028
    Home runs 220
    RBI 655
    Average .296

    Of course no big Piazza homerun came yesterday and I was waiting or one, but he got some nice standing ovations and it was a feel good day for Piazza despite Victor Zambrano making people vomit in their seats.

  • "I definitely think we got as much as we could out of this team," Randolph said. "We had more than our share of injuries and tough luck. But we just had a certain toughness as a team that carried us through a lot. The main thing for me is that we took our hits and kept coming back."

    Ummm..no. For me, you repeatedly did not get the most out of this team until the last two weeks of the season. Congrats, you cost the team a few wins.

  • In an effort the squeeze as many dimes out of the Mets fan base and perspective fan base, the Mets hired David Newman in a newly created position of Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.

    "The Mets as a young and competitive club, and as a brand, are on the rise -- with a new network partner and stadium on deck," said Newman. "Joining the team at this juncture is truly a once-in-lifetime opportunity to play a role in diversifying and growing the connection of the Mets to current fans, new fans and partners."

  • From NY Daily News:

    The Mets drew 2,829,929 - their largest attendance since 1989. "The main thing for me is the growth of the young players," Randolph said.