A Willie's World?
Willie Randolph is in the second year of a three year contract and the media is beating the 'give Willie a raise' drum.
"At the end of the year we will review things," general manager Omar Minaya said. "Willie has done a very good job."
Well, after yesterday's doubleheader sweep of Atlanta, 4-1 and 8-0, the Mets have a 20 1/2-game lead on their longtime tormentors.
Randolph is making $600,000 in the second season of a three-year deal, and Minaya prefers not having a lame-duck manager.
That would create a distraction, as would beginning negotiations three weeks before the playoffs.
"That's why we will wait until after the season," Minaya said. "It was a little different with the players. The timing was right. We're very happy with the job Willie has done."
Is Willie a very good manager? Or is Willie just a good manager on a very good team. Omar is the architect that put together this team and made some tremendous and unforeseen acquisitions. Omar has made countless moves that turned out better than anyone could have ever imagined and he has made some moves that have serious upside for the Mets future. Yesterday's double header sweep was indicative of that.
Dave Williams has been spectacular as the Mets have won all four games he has started and he went six innings yesterday on only 72 pitches. Williams was on track for a complete game, but there was no need to push him and Willie wanted to get some other arms in the action. In game two, another one of Omar's mid-season acquisitions threw a complete game shutout. Oliver Perez pitched a gem and only walked one batter.
Who are those wins more attributable to? Managers do deserve some credit. However, if Jim Tracy was managing this team instead of Willie, would the Mets not be so dominant? I'm sure everyone has probably seen the article of Sports Illustrated Player's Poll in which Willie was voted as the sixth worst manager in baseball. Does it mean much? It is only 6% of 470 players and Ozzie Guillen was one of the worst and one of the best while Buck Showalter, Eric Wedge, and Mike Scioscia landed on the worst list despite being regarded as good managers. If Valentine was still around, I'd bet he would be on the worst list too.
The list is tainted because it is clear that guys who tend to rub people the wrong way were voted the worst simply because they didn't have many fans amongst the players while there are certainly people on there because they do in fact suck. Weeding through the two groups is the tough part. Willie seems like an affable guy and it is certainly curious as to his inclusion on the list because his team is doing so well this season. Should the Mets extend him? It will be hard not to after this season, but I still have my doubts whether he is the long term guy for this team with two managers that could be better than him in their own system. However, as long as Omar is here working his magic, whatever deficiencies Willie might have may continue to be masked, but I would still like to see his entire contract play out before he starts getting extended for five years or something like that at major dollars.
He is the engine that makes the Mets go. He gets on base and chaos begins. But he is no punch-and-judy speedster. He has already put up 16 home runs this season and shows at 23 years old the sort of potential to fill out and rival the sort of power that Alfonso Soriano grew into.
He is the force on the Mets that throws fear into opposing managers.
But he smiles all the time. To Mets fans, it’s a love of the game. To the opposition, it’s a taunt.
You can’t stop him.
And you’re scared.
He says Reyes is the team's MVP and a good case can be made since he has been so good.
"I told myself, 'Now is when you have to pitch because [Byrnes] can change everything,'" Sanchez said.
A 95-mph fastball on his 102nd delivery. Swing and a miss. A slider that Byrnes hit sharply, but on the ground to shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The sequence felt like an eternity.
Pitch. Contact. Catch. Set. Throw. Out. No-hitter.
The deal for Beckett and Lowell is looking worse and worse for Boston as Josh is sitting there with a 5.11 ERA while Sanchez is looking like a bonafide stud and Ramirez is looking like a future All-Star....not a starting All-Star though because we all know Reyes has that locked up for a while.
New York Mets orthopedist Dr. David Altchek examined Mulder on Wednesday morning and reached a conclusion "consistent" with that of Cardinals medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta, according to the club's statement. Paletta spoke pessimistically about Mulder's chances of pitching again this season after performing an MRI exam on the shoulder Aug. 30.
I wonder if Carpenter can start every game?
“I almost feel like if I give up a run, my behind’s going back to the minors,” Bell said. “I keep going up and down. It’s like, do they want me to be part of the team or not? What’s the deal?”
He is dead on. When he was up in the bigs, you got the feeling one hit...one run...he was back down at Norfolk.
Both the Mets and Yankees have their longtime International League affiliations expiring this year as well, in Norfolk and Columbus, respectively. The Nationals will also be looking for a new Triple-A affiliate, after two seasons in New Orleans, as will the Orioles after four seasons in Ottawa.
With the Nationals looking for a new AAA affiliate, isn't Norfolk a logic choice?
"We're hopeful that we'll be back and work something out with them," Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said yesterday.
Virginia native David Wright would like to see Norfolk stick around. He said his family still goes to games.
"Those were some of my favorite baseball childhood memories, was going out to Met Park and going out to Harbor Park and seeing the Tides play. That's why I grew up a Met fan. That's why I have this infatuation with this organization," Wright said, adding, "definitely it'd be sad to go, and I think that the whole Hampton Roads and Tidewater community would be sad to see those guys go."
I for one would be sorry to see that affiliation end, but it will boil down to money I'm sure.
There is perhaps another underlying factor in Smoltz's frustration right now, and that is the Braves' reluctance so far to pick up his $8 million option for next year.
Though nobody believes the Braves will decline the option after the season, Smoltz is miffed they haven't made an exception from team policy for him considering all the concessions he's made to them over the years. For starters, he agreed to forego being one for four seasons, 2001-2004, because the Braves had no closer.
Why not treat him like royalty? The Braves are getting a bargain and a half next season and it really seems like the Braves are just handling this wrong.
"I don't think it's a lock that they're going to pick up my option," Glavine said. "So I've allowed myself to at least think about it a little bit. I've been pretty up front since January that there are only two places that I want to play next year. So there's not a whole lot of guesswork involved there."
While not mentioning the other place by name, Glavine indicated with a smile, "I've been there before."
Glavine, who pitched in
It really should not be a surprise and I'm still up in the air as to whether it makes sense to actually bring him back with the stable of arms the Mets have amassed and the possibility of Barry Zito being a target of Omar in the off season.
New York Mets: 1B Mike Carp : The left-handed hitter batted .287 this season at high-A St. Lucie and displayed the power (17 homers, 88 RBI in 137 games) the Mets liked when they drafted him out of high school in 2004. Carp, 20, worked on going to all fields this year. He has 107 strikeouts in his first 491 at-bats, but the Mets believe he'll get a better grasp on the strike zone.
As good as he has been this year and as much as he has raised his stock, it would be hard to put him in front of Phil Humber, Mike Pelfrey, Fernando Martinez, and Deolis Guerra.
The front office might have greater concerns over the biggest winner on the staff. Steve Trachsel, whose 14-6 record is largely a reflection of the league's best run support, walked seven Atlanta hitters in 4 1/3 innings Monday. If Trachsel continues to pitch like this, it'll be hard to justify starting him ahead of Orlando Hernandez or John Maine in the playoffs.
Someone inject some reasoning into this situation...for the love of everything that is holy, puppy dogs, and Oprah....inject some reasoning into this situation.
"A lot of guys who play 10, 15 years never get the chance to be in the postseason," Milledge said Tuesday before the Braves-Mets game was rained out. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader at 1 o'clock today at Shea Stadium.
"I want to be a part of it," Milledge said. "I'm trying to work hard and help the team."