Last night was just one of those amazing games to be at the Shea Stadium for. The attendence was listed at 39,000+, but I doubt that many people actually showed up to the game. That being said, everyone who was there was into the game. With news of David Wright getting a six year deal on the heals of Jose Reyes getting locked up through 2011, the vibe was tremendous at the game. John Maine kept dealing and extended his scoreless inning streak to 23 innings and the Mets best and brightest showed up to play.
The soccer chants of olé when Jose Reyes were loud and then he parked a deep grand slam down the line into the right field stands. The crowd went berserk. Reyes came out for the curtain call and then got a standing ovation from the crowd his next time up. Jose Reyes might be a leadoff hitter, but he is on pace for 32 doubles, 20 triples, 17 homers, 77 RBIs, and a .294/.350/.472 line. This kid can be a run producer in the middle of the order. He could bat third and drive in 100+ runs effortlessly.
Reyes batted .250 over the first two months of the season frustrating Met fans with his immense skill and unrefined approach. Now? Not so much. He batted .373/.420/.618 in June, .293/.348/.390 in July, and is off to a .360/.407/.702 August. It would seem that he has figured it out. With runners on he is batting .306/.371/.521 and is batting .313/.387/.586 with runners in scoring position. The Mets have four big time run producers in what is easily the most dangerous lineup in the National League. If there is a more exciting player in Jose Reyes (Carlos Beltran is a close second) or a more exciting team to watch offensively, I have not see one.
Derek Jeter is 3rd overall in VORP with 56.3 and leads all shortstops, but Jose Reyes is not doing so bad himself with a 38.3 VORP and is fourth overall in VORP out of every big league shortstop and is tops in the National League. Carlos Beltran is 12th overall with a 51.9 VORP and trails only Vernon Wells, who owns a 52.9 VORP, in terms of center fielders. David Wright is 29th overall with a 36.6 VORP and trails Chipper Jones and Miguel Cabrera in that category for third baseman. Life is good right now in Queens on the offensive side of things.
Top 5 AL Rotations, by SNLVAR
Team VORP SNLVAR
Detroit Tigers 230.9 18.9
Oakland Athletics 192.4 14.0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 149.3 13.3
New York Yankees 149.8 12.6
Chicago White Sox 144.8 12.4
Wright's current deal calls for a $374,000 salary this season. With his new contract, he will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus over the next three or four months, and $1 million salary in 2007. He will receive $5 million in 2008, $7.5 million in 2009, $10 million in 2010, $14 million in 2011, and $15 million in 2012. There is a $1 million buyout if the Mets do not exercise a $16 million option for the 2013. If he is traded, the option is eliminated and the buyout will become an assignment bonus.
Wright, who will donate $1.5 million of his contract to the Mets Foundation over the next six years, said he has always wanted to be "a life-long Met."
What else would you expect from Sugar Pants? The man just dished out $1.5 million to his charity. Omar and the Wilpons did them right with their two new contracts and they should be rewarded on the back end after Wright and Reyes' current contracts are up.
But Oswalt was only part of the story. Houston Chronicle columnist Richard Justice, a highly respected reporter, wrote that owner Drayton McLane had ordered Lidge traded because of his continued failures. And though it wasn't reported in Houston, a very good source told me Clemens had gone to McLane a few days before the deadline to request a roster shakeup.
The Astros need to tear this thing down and start over. Trade what you can and rebuild as the future is bleak. It would also make sense to not ask Clemens to return as players like him and Bonds cause teams to make bad baseball decisions and 'go all in' with no regard for the future. Oswalt's relationship with the team is fractured and it doesn't look like they are close on the five year extension he is looking for. Omar will be happy to take him off their hands fo' sho'.
he 2006 NL East-leading, possibly World Series-bound New York Mets, generally believed to be an Omar Minaya production, could not possibly be the team they are today if not for a move Minaya's predecessor, twice-removed, decided not to make nearly six years ago.
That was when Phillips, invoking the infamous "24-and-1" tag, declined to make an offer to Alex Rodriguez. The ostensible reason was A-Rod's "selfishness," as embodied in agent Scott Boras' alleged demands for a private jet, his own office and a merchandising tent on the premises at Shea that would deal exclusively in All Things Alex.
His contract would have certainly been prohibitive and who knows what the team would have looked like now. I went tend to believe it would look drastically different and I like what I see now so that would be a bad thing.
In his first start for Class AAA Norfolk since being sent down earlier this week, Mike Pelfrey pitched five strong innings to beat Buffalo, 6-2, ending the Tides' six-game losing streak. Pelfrey threw 90 pitches, 47 strikes, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out five.
What is really weird is that he gave up 10 fly ball outs compared to only two ground ball outs. All ended well as he notched the win anway. Heath Bell lowered his ERA to 0.68 and Diaz's 0 for 3 night dropped him to .219. Ouch.
Not a great weekend for some of the Mets best starters on the farm.
Brian Bannister gave up seven runs in 4.2 innings in his return to AAA.
Jon Niese gave up four runs on three walks and three hits in three innings.
Oliver Perez gave up seven runs on six hits and four walks in 2.2 innings of work. He was missing down in the zone, so he has that going for him which is nice. However, we all know that his time to get it back together will be in mini camps and Spring Training.
Phil Humber gave up four runs on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings in his return to AA.
Carlos Gomez went 2 for 5 yesterday in Binghamton's 8-7 loss to Connecticut and drove in four runs, walked once, and stole two bases to bring his season total up to thirty.
Fernando Martinez played three games for St. Lucie and has gotten one hit in each game. Yesterday in St. Lucie's 4-1 win over Clearwater, Fernando went 1 for 5 with a his first homerun in high A-ball.
Deolis Guerra was sharp in Hagerstown's win over Greenville yesterday as he went 5.2 innings and gave up five hits, one run, and two walks while striking out eleven.
Gourriel has exceptionally quick hands and strong wrists, giving him tremendous bat speed and power. He's also a quality defender with above-average arm strength and range. He has played mostly second and third base for Cuba, and some scouts believe he could handle shortstop.
He has inherited the mantle of the best young player in Cuba from past stalwarts such as Omar Linares (who never defected) and Kendry Morales (now with the Angels). Gourriel is unlikely to join Morales in the United States, however, because of close family ties he'd be reluctant to sever. His father Lourdes, a former national team outfielder, manages him on the Sancti Spiritus club on which he plays with his brother Yuniesky, an outfielder.
“It’s more of a confidence thing,” Maine said. “Now I know I’m up here. Each time I pitch, it’s kind of my spot.”
He has been looking sharper and sharper with more times on the hill. Not too shabby for a journeyman.
Jose Valentin hit his 12th home run of the season, a solo shot in the fifth inning. Since becoming the Mets' starting second baseman just before the end of May, he's batting .309 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI.
Who doesn't love the guy?
"He did some beautiful things here, and I think the fans are gonna appreciate him for that," said Jose Reyes.