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

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Translated into English, El Duque means ... THE DUQUE

Oh what a difference a day makes. On May 16th, Orlando Hernandez left his start early due to a strained back and had struggled mightily all year. In his one start back since then, he was very impressive in seven innings of work and gave up one run while striking out nine. His velocity was up and was sitting in the 89-91 mph range with his fastball topping out at 92. His bread and butter is changing speeds throughout the game and he was executing with all his pitches. He looked worlds better after healing and all the Mets had to give up was Jorge Julio. The Mets traded their headache for the Diamondbacks headache.

"He's a competitor. He's a winner. I have a long history with Orlando and I talked to him and he's very happy to be coming back to New York, a place he knows and a place that knows him. He basically said 'Thank you for bringing me back.'"

Yes, Orlando Hernandez may in fact be 60 years old, he has not been fully healthy since 2000, and hasn't been really effective since 2004. However, with everyone trying to extort Omar for mediocre pitching, this was a tremendous move. The Mets give up nothing in Julio, possibly open a spot for Heath Bell (I still believe in you buddy) and the chance to have seven effective relievers out the bullpen, and get a guy who might be able to give them six innings and keep them in the game every fifth day and at this point, everyone would love that.

The same day Omar makes that trade, Alay Soler looks like a stud in his first start. He started the game very shaky and could not get ahead of any hitter or put his fastball over the plate. A few batters into the game, something clicked. His slider started darting all over the zone, he was spotting his fastball, and he was getting ahead of hitters. He ended up with two earned runs given up in six innings with five hits allowed and five strikeouts. He looked fucking swell against a very good offensive team.

"I was a little nervous at the beginning," the 26-year-old righty said through a translator, "but then when I found the zone and got control of my emotions, you could see the result after that."

Now the rotation situation looks a better with Orlando and Alay in the mix with Brian Bannister and John Maine down the line. The Mets have viable arms and we should never see the names Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez again after today's game. A smart move by Omar and a great start by Soler changed everything in an instant.

* * *

  • This kitty has claws...

    According to several Fenway Park sources, Alex Rodriguez called Doug Mirabelli over late yesterday afternoon and challenged the Red Sox' backup catcher over what Mirabelli said about A-Rod's actions at the plate Tuesday night, when A-Rod homered but looked around for the ball as if he didn't know where it went.

    "He told him he should know better than that," the source said. "He told Mirabelli that he wouldn't disrespect the game or show up Tim Wakefield. He told Mirabelli he should know better to say anything like that because they played together."

    Mirabelli, a teammate of A-Rod's in Texas, was miffed that A-Rod didn't know he went deep. His comments indicated Mirabelli believed A-Rod was grandstanding, one of the few acts A-Rod hasn't been accused of by his legion of critics.

    "The guy's got 450 home runs," Mirabelli said. "He doesn't know when he's squared one up? I don't believe that."

    A-rod miffed at Mirabelli...Mirabelli miffed at A-Rod....Mr. Met miffed that people actually use the word miffed....

    "I was surprised by it," A-Rod said of being asked about Mirabelli's quote. "Especially since the other guy [Ramirez] stood there like the Statue of Liberty."

    Boston just does not like this guy. However, if you did not see the hit that Mirabelli is talking about, it is funny. A-Rod 100% had no idea where the ball was and he just turned his palms up the air in display of confusion with people yelling at him telling him to run. He looked ridiculous and I loved it.

    While on the subject of hot-dogging, The Metropolitans fully endorses it to a degree. Let's get some flavor in the game. Let's get a little showmanship and flair in the game. Especially in a big games, people's emotions are high. What else is better than Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair and then jumping in the air after a huge homerun? Yes, the stakes on that hit were much higher, but you get my point. Enough of the ass-slapping of the other team and asking them how their wives are and more finger pointing and threats of going balls deep.

  • Cole Hamels get reunited with his good friend the disabled list.

  • I heart you Pedro Martinez.

    With Jeremi Gonzalez warming in the bullpen early yesterday morning, Pedro Martinez assured manager Willie Randolph that he would be ready to go today if needed. The Mets have been very protective of Martinez -- giving him an extra day of rest whenever possible -- but if Gonzalez had to be used during the 16-inning marathon, they would have had no choice. "That's what winners do," Randolph said. "I wasn't surprised. We were just thinking on the same page."

    Martinez had no problem with adjusting his schedule, but took exception yesterday when a reporter asked about the Mets' efforts to give him extra rest. One word he particular disliked was the perception that he is "fragile."

    "Fragile? Because I have a day off, I'm fragile?" Martinez said. "If you want to argue with the way I've pitched, look at the numbers."

    I heart you David Wright.

    "Sometimes you get lucky," Wright, who considers himself a gap-to-gap hitter, said of his home run.

    Oh you....sugar pants, it's not luck. It is something I like to call skill.

    "We're going to expect to go out there and win," Wright said. "Winning two out of three is great, but we want to go out there and win [today] as well."

  • Nady should be ready to go today.

    Xavier Nady was benched again last night so he could rest his sore back. "He was fighting me a little on it," Randolph said. "But I wanted to give him an extra day." Nady usually ices his shoulder and neck after diving for a ball, but the problem with his lower back is something new. "I can't seem to find a good way to dive," Nady said.

  • Henry Owens is making progress and with a spot in the bullpen up for grabs, his chances of landing the Mets bullpen sometime this year improved drastically.

  • John Maine is making progress.

    John Maine, on the DL with inflammation of his right middle finger, pitched five innings in a minor-league rehabilitation start Tuesday for Class-A St. Lucie. GM Omar Minaya said no decision has been made as to where or when Maine will pitch next.

    Sucks for you bro. You had a chance to earn a starting spot but your middle finger of all fingers had something to say about that. I think the rotation is set and with Bannister above you on the totem pole with possibly no where to go, it's back to Norfolk for you.

  • Holy crap! Last night’s Lost episode was crazy and had a true ‘Einhorn is Finkle and Finkle is Einhorn' moment to shock everyone. If there is a better show in TV, I have not seen it.

    Note to the ‘others’:

    Touch a hair on Kate’s head, you will have to deal with me.


    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Congrats on using the terms "sugar pants" in your post. What were the odds on that?

    11:13 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The same odds in Jeremi Gonzalez actually pitching well tonight.

    Here is a wacky idea. I know I said I don't want to push Pedro up. However, with El Duque on turn to toss this weekend, move everyone up and slide him in against the Marlins and tell Gonzo to not let the door smack him in the ass on the way out.

    11:17 AM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    Young Benny is going to be really upset if you continue your daily assault on Mr. March. We don't need Benny going balls deep on you.

    If anybody can find a youtube of ARod not knowing where the ball went, I'd love to see it.

    I too like the trade. To me, it shows that this team is looking to October. We all know that El Duque is a post-season guy.

    ESPN says Heath Bell has been called up.

    11:31 AM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    The only reason I'm ok with Gonzo is that the Mets won the first two games of the series. Yes, I'd love a sweep, but today is a house money game.

    11:32 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Oh, Jorge Julio.

    See you in another life, Bruth-ah.

    -- Nokes

    11:42 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I know Kenny, but I cannot help it. It just feels right.

    I don't know if it was youtube worthy because it is only funny to people who truly hate him.

    HEATH BELL HAS BEEN FREED!! Nice. Time to strap a set on Heath and make it happen.

    House money? That is loser talk. Go for the jugular and break down Phillies front door, kick their mom in the uterus, and use the toilet and then don't flush. The Mets can make a bold statement and with such an easy series against the Marlins, the Mets can put some serious distance between them and the Phillies and they can demoralize them. Just my two cents though.

    Yes, take care and good luck Jorge, it's been nice knowing you.

    12:02 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    I love the fact that Omar is out there making trades and giving up relatively little. I wonder if he could work a deal for Maddux? If we could get a sign and trade done for say 2 years at $6mm (what he is earning now) he would be a MUCH better option that Traxx for only a little more. The Cubs are in meltdown right now, a firesale is going to break out there very soon.

    Too bad Milledge isnt ready, the Tigers are seriously looking for a Left handed bat...Cliffy your DH spot is ready.

    In a fantasy league I play for mucho bucks, I offered Johnson and Carlos Guillen for Hamels and Colon...glad the trade was rekected.

    12:05 PM

    Anonymous john said...

    Dude, you HAVE to change the name of your fantasy team to Sugar Pants or I heart Pedro, or something gay like that. I spit coffee all over the place. Too fuckin funny.

    12:12 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Condor...Milledge is ready and could probably do a better job leading off than Reyes.

    Was that Randy Johnson and Jose Guillen for Hamels and Colon?

    John, Sugar Pants it is.

    12:16 PM

    Anonymous Benny BLanco from da bronx said...

    Whn you think about it though, Jorge Julio was just doing mop up work.
    How valuable is a guy that just does mop up work, is in only low leverag situations and is merely the last pitcher on the pecking order?
    So it's awesome. It's not like we lost our setup man or anything.

    And please, can people shut the fuck about Kris Benson? I'm soo sick of hearing about this guy as if he were some sort of savior. As if he were some sort of innings eater.

    What I liked about Soler is how he was able to take care of all the lefties in that lineup...

    I like grandstanding and Manny Ramirez is the FUCKING MAN! He's my hero.
    Manny Ramirez is over the top with his homerun admiration and besides the fact that I love it, I love how the opposing pitcher wouldn't dare to hit him.

    We all have to hope that Owens' sucess isn't due to just a fastball, this fucker better know how to throw a breaking pitch.

    Condor, don't get too excited about that trade, at this point, I think Colon on the DL is more productive that The Big Unit...

    12:17 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benson was not great, but they traded a away a good starter for Julio. Everything has been somewhat righted, but no one thought Benson was the savior, but certainly better than anyone not named Pedro or Tom.

    Soler took care of everyone. Great job by the big guy.

    Owens' breaking pitch has come along just fine according to Matt Meyers of BA.

    1:08 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    Willie's still letting on that Gonzalez's start today might still effect his place in the rotation. HAH!HAH!HAH!HAH!
    There should be no chance that Gonzalez continues. Excepting his first inning, Soler looked like a major league pitcher.

    I like El Duque trade very much. Even the Benson trade, which was still the weak link this winter, looks better as Benson for Hernandez & Maine. And one would imagine that Heath Bell is now the extra man in the pen, our new sixth inning/mop up/big lead reliever. I don't think Willie likes him much so that his projection for the moment, like it or not.

    Lastings Milledge is ready? Give him time. Soler was ready. Pelf & Stings should wait.

    Chase Utley is the best player on the Phillies.

    1:17 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jesus. I blink and it's 3-0 already!!

    -- Nokes

    1:23 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...





    1:47 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah, Gonzo could have thrown a no hitter and he would be done. The guy throws 90 mph down the middle of the plate. Why exactly does he do that?

    "Dog's calling homeruns right and left" according to Francessa...They are doing and OK job actually. Mad Dog is so pumped it is funny.

    Fuck work. More baseball.

    1:53 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Mr. Met - "loser talk"? Wait a minute. Aren't you the same guy who posted this on my blog:

    No way you move Pedro up. The guy needs to be coddled. Throw on top of that him facing the Marlins being waht should be an easy win (he goes against Josh Johnson) vs. a not so easy win against Brett Myers, I'd rather take my chances with Jeremi vs. Myers. I know, it sounds like loser talk, but what do you want from me.

    1:53 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah....but in my defense, I admitted that I was about to make a conflicting statement..

    Here is a wacky idea. I know I said I don't want to push Pedro up

    I got caught up the moment and starting thinking about a sweeeeeeeeep.

    2:17 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    "And please, can people shut the fuck about Kris Benson? I'm soo sick of hearing about this guy as if he were some sort of savior. As if he were some sort of innings eater."-Damn right Benny!! Mike showed last season how average Mr.Average really is. I'm glad to see him pitching averagely (is this even a word?) for an average team in an average town.

    No it was Carlos Guillen Mike, now he is playing pretty damn fiiiiiine too.
    "Condor, don't get too excited about that trade, at this point, I think Colon on the DL is more productive that The Big Unit..."-Yeah but I missed the bullet of not being able to put Hammel on the DL with Colon and him taking a bench spot for 2-3weeks. Randy is done as a fantasy stud though, I'm afraid to start him now.

    Sad to keep seeing Maddux smashing water coolers with bats...go get him boy, fetch Greggy. Good boy Omar.

    2:32 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    Reyes is having one of those days where he takes the game by the scruff of the neck and owns it.

    I saw a Casey Stengel interview from the 50's during a rain delay on fox last season and he said the first player he would pick if he could have any player ever was (I thought Ruth) Ty Cobb. He said that Cobb lived to play ball and was the only player who he ever saw that could take a game and win it with his will. I think Reyes will do that within 5 years.

    What is with the knee high sox? I have seen Lo Duca, Reyes and Wright wearing them for one day each. Is there a conspiracy?

    2:36 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Hey, I like Reyes as much as the next guy, but comparing him to Tyrus Raymond Cobb is just a weeeeee bit premature at this point.

    2:45 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yes, Carlos Guillen. Jose is horrible this year. Randy Johnson is just horrbile though and in the long run, Hamels and Colon is better so the move is not too bad for you if it had gone through.

    Reyes is the streakiest mo' fo' alive. When he is on, he is hall of fame good. When he is off, he is Jose Valentin off. There is no middle ground with this kid.

    I agree with you on Reyes. If he can put it together, he is the biggest game changer in the damn league.

    As for the knee highs, I see three guys who did not get their laundry done. Valentin much have been busy.

    2:50 PM

    Anonymous Dandy DG McGee said...

    Hey, Hey! Let's play name that prospect:

    Royals purchased the contract of RHP B---- ------ from Triple-A Omaha.
    ------, a former Mets prospect, will be making his major league debut after posting a 5.00 ERA in nine starts for Omaha. He's unlikely to be of much use in middle relief. May. 25 - 1:18 pm et

    That makes yet another Met ex-prospect who maxed out at AAA and who has made it to the Bigs this year, after Angel Pagan and eventually Tyler Yates.

    So, gentlemen, name your prospect:

    2:55 PM

    Blogger Condor Schmitt said...

    Billy Traber

    2:59 PM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    can we get a fucking break with utley? this guys has killed us from day one.

    did mr met get his sister pregnant and not claim it?

    damn this is frustrating

    3:14 PM

    Anonymous Wizard of DG said...

    Not Billy Traber...

    3:15 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Bobby Keppel, but Benny already told me so I'm cheating.

    3:16 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Mr. Met did not sleep with Utley's sister pregnant and I'm not sure how that would help him anyway.

    3:17 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Hey Mike! Check this out:


    4:03 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That is great. Making fun of and laughing at A-Rod is my new favorite thing to do.

    4:28 PM

    Anonymous DG's Used Sporting Goods said...

    Gonzalez: DFA
    Dave Williams: acquired (with cash) in trade & going to Norfolk
    Heath Bell: staying at Shea

    Bob Keppel: did not get the win in his major league debut for the very depressing Royals as eight late inning runs took that away from him. Keppel left under somewhat bizarre (though perhaps just mundane) circumstances last year. If I remember correctly, he bolted when he was taken off of the 40 man last summer over an injury dispute. He wasn't particularly pitching well at AAA this year but he had yet to suffer from "forearm soreness," his nemesis. Now, he pitches for one of the worst AAA teams though someone in KC must still think the Royals are major league since someone, not many, still buy tickets to their games.

    There has been no Pat Strange sighting to my knowledge...

    6:05 PM

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