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

Monday, February 20, 2006

Go Directly to Hell, Do Not Pass Go

This is just wrong.

* * *

  • Pedro bought his 'white daddy' a nice new SUV.

    Question the health of Pedro Martinez's right big toe, but don't question his generosity. The ace just gave bullpen coach Guy Conti a pricey gift - an SUV.

    "I never had anything like that happen in baseball. It's unbelievable," said Conti, who turns 64 this spring. "I turned it over to my wife. She said, 'Unbelievable.'"

    Pedro thanks you for his off-speed pitch.

  • David Wright may get a shot to start in the WBC.

    David Wright may be summoned to the World Baseball Classic after all. Chipper Jones' 18-month-old son Shea suffered an intestinal virus that required hospitalization in Atlanta. He's concerned about traveling, but said he hopes to participate.

  • The biggest battle this spring is due to take place in right field. Diaz has his share of backers to win the job and not only do I think he is the better choice due to upside, but he is clearly the more logical choice.

    For Nady, it was kind of awkward, like being a teenager on the first day at a new high school.

    "I've got a jersey," Nady said. "That's all that matters."

    But as Nady unpacked, in walked Victor Diaz, who immediately showed why he is the clubhouse favorite to win the rightfielder's job. One of the first things Diaz did was walk over to Pedro Martinez and give the pitcher a big hug, and everyone else seemed to greet Diaz in some way or another.

    Even Mike Cameron, who was shipped to San Diego in that November trade for Nady, has a rooting interest as the Mets audition for his replacement.

    "Cam called me right away," Diaz said, "and wished me luck."

    Diaz can rake. We all know he can and I think he can hit substantially better than he did last year. The kid has no reservations about being on the big stage and seems to look forward to the challenge. However, he is only suited for two positions. Right Field or left field. If Nady is awarded the right field spot in this spring, Diaz is surely going to find a tough time logging some at-bats and may not even be suited to play anywhere other than Norfolk so he can play regularly. Nady can play all three outfield spots, first base, and could dabble in third base in a pinch. At 27, with no real impressive big league resume, one has to wonder if Nady has it in him to break and become the player he was tabbed to be. My gut says no. That is not to say he does not have value, he does. I just hope the Mets do not tie his value into the Cameron deal and feel the need to start him to justify their return rather than do what is best for the team.

    His value should be as a super sub. His situation was no doubt muddied by the non-essential signing of Julio Franco since Franco stands to steal some of his prospective at-bats at first base, but if Diaz is on the bench or in the minors to start the season, he might was well be traded to try and fill whatever needs arise. Diaz serves no value on the bench as a guy who is not going to log as many at-bats as he needs to be effective and with Lastings around the corner, this is his time. Victor just turned 24 this past December and has his best years in front of him. While I can appreciate a good position battle in spring, you have to rely on the past somewhat too. Based on Nady's lackluster three year career and the promise and pop Diaz has shown, shouldn't Diaz be considered the logical choice for right field? The answer is yes, but we know how much Willie loves a good battle and his penchant for not tabbing anyone as having a position to lose.

  • Impressive. Most impressive.

    Wagner made his first appearance on a mound Sunday, throwing for 10 minutes in the bullpen. His delivery is economical yet combustible, just as Peterson's test-results suggest. The ball flies out of Wagner's hand at 75-percent exertion.

    With mechanics like these, Wagner could conceivably keep his elite fastball into his 40s, like Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. That would put Wagner in an even smaller fraternity, considering all the other great power pitchers of this era, including Mariano Rivera, have succumbed to the ravages of time.

    This should be some good info to those who thought four years for a 34 year old power pitcher was too long. Wager should not only be effective four the four years he will spend as a Met, but possibly longer should he choose to keep pitching.

  • Brett is not an early arriver in camp. One has to wonder what Boone is thinking being so low on the totem pole and being in the position he is in to not put forth the extra effort. He is not just playing for a job with the Mets, but somewhere else should he play well enough to open some eyes even if his shot is not with the Mets.

  • Phil Humber looks to be a little ahead of schedule. Good stuff.

  • Mike Pelfrey is good.

    "I'm not afraid to bring guys up," Minaya said yesterday. "I'm not saying we'll do that (with Pelfrey), but I wouldn't say it won't happen, either. I'd rather take a conservative approach, but then if the player shows he has the ability, I'm not afraid to take a young guy and put him in there."

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