As I was sitting there watching the game at the Shea Stadium on Sunday, it did cross my mind that while the Mets outplayed them in every game, the Yankees were short two of their starting outfielders. They had more hits than the Mets and more base runners, but the Mets simply out-pitched them with the exception of Jeremi Gonzalez and one inning by Billy Wagner. The Mets basically outplayed them for the entire series and could have easily swept. Don't get me wrong, I would not have cared if the entire Columbus Clipper team was out there. A win is a win, but it always feels a bit sweeter when you beat their A-Team. The Mets did have Jeremi Gonzalez starting, but the Yankees had Aaron Small going on Sunday. Both teams were battered, but the Yankees were more battered. Then I started thinking dollars and cents. Hideki Matsui costs about $10,000,000, Gary Sheffield costs about $13,000,000, and Carl Pavano costs them about $8,000,000. According to USA Today, the Yankee payroll was $194,663,079 before their rash of injuries and if you subtract out their three DL’d players, they are sitting at $162,906,908.
Let that sink in. The team that we saw this weekend would not have a very good chance at making the playoffs in 2006 in my opinion and is still $42,807,084 more expensive than the Red Sox, $59,434,908 more expensive than the Dodgers, $60,156,241 more expensive than the White Sox, and $61,821,945 more expensive than the Mets. Even if you take Posada out, they are $30,807,084, $47,434,908, $48,156,241, and $49,821,945 more expensive than each team respectively. What Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner have managed to do is no easy task. They put together quite possibly the worst team money can buy. Yes, they are a very good team with everyone healthy and even without them they are a good team. When you factor in how good they are in correlation to the payroll? A monstrosity. Let us all laugh at them with many of their high priced players in a precipitous decline and many others unable to stay healthy. The Mets took advantage of a banged up Yankee team, but that banged up Yankee team still cost $150,906,908.00. To put that into perspective, that is three more Pedro Martinez’s with a sprinkling of another Carlos Delgado and the Yankees total payroll in the real world is still another $ 43,756,171 above that. I still for the life of me cannot figure out why any sane Yankee fan could brag about their team being better than any other team with such disparities in payroll between the Yankees and every single team in professional sports.
Billy Wagner had an interesting, albeit schizophrenic, interleague weekend. He struck out the side on 12 pitches in picking up a win on Friday night. On Saturday he blew a 4-0 lead in a Mets loss. Then on Sunday he threw a scoreless ninth to earn a save. All in front of a rabid Mets crowd and all against the Yankees. We'll now say Wagner has been officially welcomed to the Big Apple.
The Phillies are the next highest NL East team and they plummeted seven spots from the fifth slot to the twelfth spot. The Braves are stitting at number sixteen, but what I found interesting that SI.com pointed out was that Atlanta has blown 11 of 20 save opportunities. That is truly and ugly stat.
The clubhouse was tight-lipped about the incident. Manager Joe Girardi would not discuss Olsen's black eye when a reporter asked about it before Monday's game.
"That's an in-house issue that we'll take care of, and we'll leave it at that,'' he said.
The 26-year-old righthander is expected to face Phillies rookie Cole Hamels at Shea tomorrow.
"It was worth waiting, because with patience you always get the most out of it," Soler said through an interpreter the day he received the news in Binghamton.
He was being clocked down in St. Lucie at about 94 mph, but has been clocked at about 90 mph and 91 mph since his promotion to AA. Is it anything big?
"He's not a power pitcher, because I don't think that's his mental thought process," Double-A pitching coach Mark Brewer said. "His mental frame of mind is to understand the faults of the hitters, the swing paths of the hitters, the timing of the hitters and offset that. His mode is around 90 mph. But his top velocity is not 91 by any means. He'll run it up there 93, 94 mph every once in awhile. And it's when he needs it. He knows that he doesn't need it all the time."
Said Soler: "In Cuba, at first, I started throwing hard because I thought it was something I was going to get better at. But now I realize it's more changing speeds to get the hitter out - by just throwing to the location where you want. The velocity is there. When I feel like putting something on the ball I do it."
Maybe it is nothing, but his bread and butter is his slider. Even while the Mets had Kris Benson, who has a very good slider, Baseball America said that Soler could of had the best slider out of the entire Mets organization. Soler immediately will become the starter with the highest velocity in the rotation and he should fit in well to break things up and give a different look. The Metropolitans thinks tomorrow's game with Soler facing Hamels is going to be fun to watch.
13. Pedro Beato, rhp, St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC
The Mets don't have a first-round pick, but they have a first-round talent under their control. Everyone expects them to sign the 17th-round 2005 draft-and-follow.
The Comeback Kids: the Yanks rally from nine runs down (not for the first time) to top the Rangers and overcome a 4-0 ninth-inning deficit to beat the Mets.
Less comeback...more implosion for the Mets game as Wagner did all of the heavy lifting for the Yankees.
The Mets are sitting at #5.
The assumption here seems to be that home runs were the only reason why Ruth became famous, and hitting the same number of home runs as he did entitles one to the same kind of appreciation. That expectation leaves out roughly 98% of the Babe Ruth story. Even the question “Who is better, Bonds or Ruth?” completely misses the point. George Herman Ruth became the Babe because of when he played and who he was. His home runs opened the door to stardom and the big man walked through it. Bonds will never be what Ruth is or what Ruth was, and it has only a little to do with the rumors of his dalliance with performance enhancing drugs or his lack of charisma or how many home runs he hits. Given his talent and his personality Ruth would have been a star in any era, but the Babe was a creation of his time. That moment is gone and won’t return; Bonds could hit a thousand home runs but he still couldn’t bring it back.