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

Monday, April 24, 2006

Special Circumstances

I call this the post of 2,500 words.

David Wright is not your normal player. We all know that and the Mets obviously know that. The Mets also do not like to really give long term contracts to arbitration eligible players in their first six years of service. They prefer not to and that is not a bad thing because once the precedent is set, players might be looking for a long term deal and develop a sour attitude towards the Mets if they do not get it.

Instead, the Mets have told Wright's people they intend to talk with him at year's end about a long extension, assuming the year goes as expected. Taking a cue from the Indians, who locked up young stars Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez with lengthy deals, the Mets are interested in a contract for Wright for six or five years and a team option because they want to delay his free agency by two years. If they get that done, Wright, 23, gets security, and the Mets could save millions and ensure he's theirs through his 20s. "If the Mets are interested, I'm all ears," Wright said. "I love it here. I know I've only played a year and a half. But I love it. I love everything about this organization."

However, David Wright is not your average player and giving him a contract extension before he hits his arbitration eligible years will be the best thing the Mets could do. Not only would they be saving money as the later years of his contract will end up looking like bargain as salaries will continue to inflate and players usually sign for reasonable contacts when this type of thing happens, but you make a guy who is arguably the best position player in the universe under 24 a happy guy. You take a load off his mind and make him feel as appreciated as he should be. Rewarding the kid for the type of performance he has put up and the way he carries himself sends the right message. Some rules that make sense have to be ignored once in while for a seemingly once in a lifetime type talent.

* * *

  • How about Jose Reyes coming off the bench yesterday to pinch hit and taking a walk?

  • Dontrelle Willis was offered for David Wright? I love Dontrelle, but c'mon. Did they even think that had a chance in hell of going down? I guess it does not hurt to ask and you cannot fault someone for that.

  • The WB11 had a poll about whether or not Mike Piazza's number should be retired and 59% said 'yes' and 41% said 'no'. That was certainly weird considering Piazza will most likely have a Mets cap on his plaque in Cooperstown. To not have a Hall of Famer's number retired that played with a team for a majority of their career and put up some serious numbers is pretty nuts. Of course the entire idea of retiring numbers never to be worn again is pretty dumb in my mind and there should be some other homage paid in my opinion, but I get how it's an honor for a player to never have his number worn again in that uniform. My guess is that his number will not get handed out unless it is a pretty important player if it does not get retired, but it certainly should be. He was iconic for the Mets and a tremendous player that seemingly carried the franchise during his time up to 2004 when age kicked in.

  • If I can bash people to no end, I have to give credit to where credit is due. We know that Jorge Julio was not going to sport an ERA north of 10.00 the entire season and he was going to toss up some goose eggs, but he has looked a lot better. As Gary Cohen said, they backed him off a bit on his fastball and he has been throwing well. Can he keep it up? Consistency the big issue with him as he typically does this all season. The Mets bullpen has looked solid and that includes Darren Oliver and Pedro Feliciano and if Julio can pitch himself into being a useful pitcher, the Mets will have some serious bullpen depth.

  • Shaun Powell breaks it down.

    Martinez won his fourth straight start when he spotted the Padres only a Mike Piazza homer two nights ago. Clearly, Pedro is on pace with last season, his first in town, the difference being the Mets are actually giving him all the help he needs.

    Throw in Bannister, who hasn't looked bad yet, and Steve Trachsel and the Mets go four deep among starters, and not many teams in baseball are feeling this comfortable. It allows them to occasionally stomach Jorge Julio's lapses in relief, and closer Billy Wagner looks like money well spent.

    "Overall," Randolph said, "we've done a good job."

    True enough. The belches from Zambrano do not overwhelm the big picture. Despite what you saw yesterday, the Mets are still throwing good pitches. They shouldn't be afraid to give Bonds a few.

    He says Bannister hasn't look bad yet, which I think he largely has. Brian has not hurt the Mets much yet so I guess it is pointless to keep pointing out until he does. Steve Popper pointed something out that at least rings true and bodes well for Bannister's future.

    While a rookie like Brian Bannister can spot a flaw in his approach and promise a change or a potential Hall-of-Famer like Tom Glavine can shift his game plan after nearly 20 years in the game, Zambrano stubbornly plods ahead with the same troubles. And for now, at least, Randolph stubbornly believes it will change.

    I do agree that Bannister at least has ability to approach an issue and try and fix it. He has been making the same mistakes and has not been sharp yet, but I do get the idea that he can turn things around a bit. He is not pitching characteristically of himself so it stands to reason that he can refine his game and rather quickly. But for Zambrano....

    "Today, obviously it's pretty much bad game management," Randolph said. "Anytime you give up 0-2 home runs, that's not what you want to do. We had that quick 1-2-3 pitcher and then all hell broke loose in that one inning where he should have gotten out of that real easy. He just made bad pitches at the wrong time."

    That's his life story. You can just copy and past this after every start.

    "I know that we have to find a way to rectify this," Randolph said.

    Yes, you do.

    "He's going to have to continue to pitch out of what he's doing," Randolph said. "And we'll see what happens in time. I don't look at my pitchers as being on trial."

    Paul LoDuca is confident though that things will turn around.

    "He just got off to a little rough start. He's got way too good stuff not to succeed, and hopefully we'll straighten it out."

    Though this reasoning is flawed since there are tons of guys with 'stuff' that never make it, I expect the players to stand by their teammates and never say anything bad. Whatever, it's just another start for Victor and another frustrating day for the Mets and Met fans. Well, not all of the Mets are frustrated.

    "I'm not frustrated," Zambrano said.

    As David Lennon put it, if so, that makes him the only one. A few teammates were not all that happy with the events leading to Giles' grand salami.

    "It never should have reached that point," one of them said, shaking his head.

    The broadcasting team had said Zambrano was shaking off LoDuca a lot. That tells me one of two things. Either he has no faith in some of his pitches or he has no idea what he is doing. Both are not very good situation.

    More venting...
    In all my years of watching the Mets, there have been many players that I disliked. Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Kent, Roberto Alomar, Mel Rojas, just to name a few. But never, NEVER, have I actually hated any one. Never have I ever wished pain and horror on anyone. Then came Victor Zambrano. I hate everything about him. I hate the way he looks, I hate his inability to throw strikes, and I hate the way he always squints like he's looking directly into the sun. I just hate everything about him? Why is he still on the Mets? Why did we trade Scott Kazmir for this guy? Why is he breathing my air? Even when he is long gone from the New York Mets, the fact that he still exists will always haunt me. Some one just has to do something. Because for every day that passes, Victor Zambrano will still be out there, walking somebody, and I just won't have it.
    David | 04.23.06 - 9:10 pm
    I disliked Cedeno. For some reason I don't dislike Victor, but I hate watching him pitch and think something will eventually need to be done.

    Time for the Trachsel treatment!

    Let Zambrano figure out his game in Norfolk.
    Will | 04.23.06 - 11:09 pm
    I do believe he has options left too.
    Why not send Victor to Norfolk so he can work his shit out? Much like Trachsel a few years back. I don't want him trying out his changeup at the ML level. It is beyond frustrating. Everyone knows the Kazmir was an awful trade. Why compound it by blindly sticking with Zambrano?

    The Mets seem to take a few steps foward and then negate it all by sticking with this guy.

    Bada | 04.23.06 - 11:11 pm
    Biggest oversight of the off-season by Omar was the rotation. It was assumed that Heilman would be a part of it and it was left alone only to have him move into the pen. Not that the pen thing was a bad thing, but it certainly left a weakness elsewhere.

    And fuck victor zambrano. I didn't even watch the game yesterday because I wanted to prevent the ulcer I knew he would give me. It took me WAY too long, but I too have finally broken. No more Victor Zambrano games for me, he's just too painful to watch, and in this regard ignorance is bliss.
    Kyle | 04.24.06 - 8:06 am
    Ignorance truly is bliss. I agree wholeheartedly.
    Regarding VZ, everyone here has pretty much said it, but I have an additional question--what happened to his fastball? As a D-Ray and in his early period with the Mets, I seem to recall Victor throwing in the low-mid 90's. Yesterday, he seemed to top out in the high 80's. I mean, if he doesn't even have gas, then what is he doing out there? BTW, it has gotten so bad, that Peterson is being mocked on Rotoworld: http://www.rotoworld.com/content...guenum=&id=3294

    "Forunately, pitching coach Rick Peterson still intends to have [Zambrano] straightened out any minute now."
    Matt D | 04.24.06 - 10:45 am
    I don't particularly blame Peterson for this. He probably saw the arm and he has always said you cannot teach stuff like Zambrano has naturally and thought he could work on him. However, none of that had anything to do with Victor's mentality, makeup, and ability to adjust. Also, when the Mets got him, he was 'one of the premier power pitchers in the game'. Here, he never really tops 91 and it is certainly perplexing.
    its lima time

    if lima comes up at least he'd be fun. he wont suck anymore than zambrano and you wont expect shit from him.

    lets face it. zambrano is here because the wilpons allowed duquette to trade him. the only reason he was traded for was because he beat the yankees three times that year.

    we gotta cut our loss. i think that this is gonna go down as one of the worst trades ever.

    this guy is a fucking losing streak waiting to happen.
    ossy cocotaso | 04.24.06 - 11:12 am
    Ouch. Actually calling for Lima Time!™?
    Victor who? I don't know a Victor Zambrano

    Victor's Mom | 04.24.06 - 11:22 am
    That's cold.

    Well, I've got come to terms that the Mets will lose on the day Zambrano pitches.

    We cant, in theory, 'win them all', so if we're to lose, might as well be on the day that he pitches.

    It's cool guy. Mets will still make the playoffs by winning every 4 out of every 5 days, so dont beat yourselfs over it. Shit happens. Hell, we could be Kansas City and be eliminated already.
    Nokes | 04.24.06 - 1:35 pm

    Nokes takes the glass half full approach.

  • At least someone has a sense of humor....

    "It amazes me that somebody of that caliber that has obviously played the game before and is in front of an audience of millions of people would say something like that," she said. "It's a little shocking, but you know what - it happens.

    "He not only discredited me as a person, but he discredited women," she said.

    Calabrese then walked down the hallway to the Padres' training room and joked, "Should I go in the kitchen now?"

    Just for the record, I think this is all dumb. People get all uptight over little shit. He shouldn't have said it, but I say lots of things I shouldn't say. The obvious difference is that I'm not on TV, but Keith voiced his opinion and did not say anything all that bad. Besides, he loves women.

    "I'm only teasing," Hernandez said. "I love you gals out there. I always have."

    I do to Keith, I do too. I just wished they would talk less.

  • Let's review. Dougie Eyechart gives the ball to his wife when the Red Sox win. He then puts it in a safe deposit box. Then he lends it to the Red Sox for a year to put on display and then they steal it and tell him they are not giving it back and take him to court. Now, the ball goes to the hall.

    First off, whatever you think Dougie did, that was far less of dirty thing that the Red Sox did. They came to an agreement and they took the ball despite their agreement. Second, it is a fucking ball. Him having the ball doesn't change that the won. Who gives a shit? Who cares about the 715th homerun ball that someone will pay oodles for that Bonds will hit. Doug had the ball and they should have figured something else out. At this point, he was better off chucking it into the crowd and let a blood bath ensue and at least some lucky fan could have made a pretty penny off it.

  • Shut up and play.

    "This ballpark cannot contain [Carlos] Delgado," Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said, speaking of the New York Mets' first baseman. "It couldn't contain [Mets outfielder Carlos] Beltran. It hasn't contained Soriano. It's still a pitcher's park, and it depends where your power is."

    Everyone has to deal with the same park when they play you.

  • A manager more clueless than Willie? Maybe, Charlie Manuel had moved down Ryan Howard to seventh in the batting order last week. Here's the only problem though, he was hitting over .300. Yeah, the power was not there, but c'mon. Batting in front of him at some points? A guy batting .250 average, a guy with a .235 average, and a guy with a .238 average. Really, you knew the power was going to come from Howard and dropping him for batting .300 with little power was almost criminal. Is there a wonder this guy is already on the hot seat?

  • In case you were wondering, the White Sox are pretty good.

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