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

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hardware by the Metropolitans

The end of year means time to hand out the goods. Did any Mets do enough to deserve some praise? Maybe...maybe not. Riveting, I know.

National League MVP: Ryan Howard
This one was oh so hard for me. For the majority of the year, I was throwing my weight behind Carlos Beltran and was vehemently against Ryan Howard getting it. Top five showing for Howard? You bet. Then came September. With the Phillies in the Wild Card race he put up a .387/.561/.763 line with nine homers and was walked 35 times. That came after a .348/.464/.750 line with fourteen homers and a crazy 41 RBIs in August. In short, the guy is a beast. He finished 2nd in OPS with 1.084, 8th in batting average with .313, 1st in RBI with 149, 4th in OBP, 1st in homeruns with 58, 3rd in walks, and 2nd in SLG. Could he field? No. Could he steal bases? No. If Beltran kept it up in September and did not succumb to injury, I would have been all for him. Beltran was limited to only 140 games this season and had huge numbers despite that. If he was healthy, he would have broken three Met records this year instead of breaking one and tying another.

Pujols would have worked here two, but I went with Howard.

AL MVP: Johan Santana
The last pitcher to win the MVP award was Dennis Eckersely in 1992 and Santana should win it this year. In a baseball age when offense if king, Santana was 1st in the AL in wins (19), strikeouts (245), WHIP (1.00), BAA (.216), IP, and ERA (2.77). The closest person in strikeouts in the AL was Jeremy Bonderman with 202. The closest person in WHIP was 10% higher. The closest pitchers in BAA were Ervin Santana and Mike Mussina with .241. No qualifying pitching finished with an ERA lower than 3.19. Filthy. Just filthy. The Twins starters had a 4.50 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with Santana in the mix. Without Johan, the Twins starters had a 1.43 WHIP and a 5.07 ERA. The Twins were 27-7 in his starts and Santana threw seven innings or more in twenty four of them and never pitched less than five complete innings. Throw on top of that the fact that Santana allowed three or less runs in 27 of his starts and you have a special year by a special pitcher.

Derek Jeter was good this year, but not MVP good. He is in the conversation, but I'm going to roll with Johan Santana as he pitched the Twins into the playoffs.

AL Cy Young: Johan Santana
See above:

NL Cy Young: Mr. Billy Wagner
This was one of those years in which no starter stood out that much more than the others. The ERA leader Roy Oswalt is not much in the discussion and the three main candidates in Chris Carpenter, Carlos Zambrano, and Brandon Webb led the league in a combined three categories and one of those categories was walks by Carlos Zambrano. They were good. Sparkling at times, but not great. ESPN's Cy Young Predictor went with Billy Wagner over Trevor Hoffman and so am I. His 11.70 k/9, 1.77 g/f ratio, .219/.285/.315 opponents batting line, and 2.24 ERA are flat out nasty and while Hoffman was sick this year, Billy was devastating and simply more dominant.

NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Zimmerman
The guy is a gold glove third baseman and hit .287/.351/.471 in his first full year with a 47 doubles, twenty homers, and 110 RBIs while playing in all but five games for the Nationals. He also gets the nod over anyone else because he is my only pre-season pick that actually panned out for the award which helped him along to a decisive victory. Watching him and Wright play for many, many years is going to be a treat for fans in the NL East. Both of them play the game right and are exemplary ball players.

AL Rookie of the Year: Jon Papelbon
This would have gone to Francisco Liriano if he started from opening day before getting injured or just never got injured and kept dealing until the end of the season. In fact, Liriano would have been in Cy Young discussions if he had lasted the entire season despite pitching significantly fewer innings and Jon Papelbon would have been in those Cy Young discussions as well if he had stayed healthy. Jon came out of nowhere to just flat out dominate for the Red Sox as their closer and had a 0.78 WHIP, .167/.211/.254 opponents batting line, 0.92 ERA, 9.88 K/9, and 5.77 K/bb. It is just nuts to see a pitcher put up those numbers much less a rookie. In my life, I have never seen a rookie just dominate on the mound like Liriano and Papelbon did in 2006, but Papelbon edges out Liriano in this one.

I am skipping manager of the year because I just do not care enough.

* * *

  • Trains...trains...and more trains. I'd only advise driving if you plan to tailgate for a few hours. If you think you'll leave two hours before the game and get there and sit in your seat an hour early you have another thing coming.

  • Kevin Kernan thinks the Mets bats and speed will tip the scales against in the Dodgers series and one scout prefers Endy in right over Shawn Green.

    The Mets could pick up that lost speed from Endy Chavez. "Endy is the most underrated Met," offers one scout. "I'd start him in right field ahead of Shawn Green. Green has really gone backwards the last two years."

    Chavez and Beltran would cover some serious ground out there and it certainly deserves a look if Green continues to struggle.

    Mike Vaccaro thinks Cliff Floyd should be the one to sit, but I'd prefer to ride his bat out.

  • Mark Hale thinks Michael Tucker is in as the Mets fifth outfielder officially setting what I can only imagine is a record for left-handed outfielders on one playoff roster. Way to try and alleviate a weakness.

  • John Delcos has the ten keys to a Subway Series and I for one would prefer there is not one. Give me the Tigers so I do not have to deal with any Yankee scum while I watch my favorite team take it all.

  • You still stink.

  • David Wright doesn't see any problems with the Mets against lefties.

    "Everybody knows about the little slump this team went in against left-handed pitching," the Mets third baseman said during a news conference at LaGuardia Airport. "But the last time I checked, we're facing Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux and Brad Penny, so unless those guys turn around and throw left-handed…. The left-handed thing is overrated."

  • Baseball Prospectus goes over the Mets health...

    New York Mets

    Pedro Martinez is out. That alone affects the Mets more than any single injury to a playoff team. The question now is can the Mets overcome this, pushing Tom Glavine, Steve Trachsel, Orlando Hernandez and John Maine into more important roles.

    The more pressing concern is the still-strained quad of Carlos Beltran. Once a solid MVP candidate, Beltran was rested down the stretch after the thigh injury but even the rest didn’t get him back to 100%. It's hard to get a straight answer on just how close to full-go Beltran is, but the Dodgers are going to try and find out.

    The only other major concern for the team is Cliff Floyd, who's longstanding Achilles problems were called out by manager Willie Randolph as the month started. As expected, Floyd is on the postseason roster and his availability will be the difference between a very good lineup and a great one. There's enough offense here to overcome the loss of Martinez, but they'll only go as far as their pitching, making the bullpen the difference maker--and they're ready to go.

  • John Re, bend over and take it like everyone else. I don't like the system, but thems are the breaks.

  • Johan Santana vs. Barry Zito? A fucking swell way to start the playoffs.

    Anonymous Sidd Finch said...

    I agree with everything except Santana for MVP, I'd choose Morneau, but I wouldn't fight you over it.

    How could anyone but Zimmerman be considered for NL Rookie?

    We are planning on leaving for NYC at 4:30 from Central CT. That ought to do it.

    Papelbon's stuff is filthy. He'll probably move to the rotation next year because the workload is more managable.

    Let the games begin! I CAN'T WAIT!

    1:08 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Let's take this outside Andy.....I'm throwing down in the name of Santana.

    Driving and leaving at 4:30? That ought to do it. Famous last words.

    How long does it usually take from there on a normal day?

    Papelbon is moving to the rotation from what I heard on TV the other day. Done deal.

    I am uber excited about the playoffs too.

    1:13 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Mike, I meant to post yesterday that that Keith Law column you linked to was moronic. For example, he wrote:

    Get into the Mets' bullpen. The loss of Duaner Sanchez really stung the Mets, and they haven't replaced those innings, although Aaron Heilman has resumed his good setup work of a year ago. If the Dodgers can get a Mets starter out early, the Mets don't have anyone who can keep them in a game for three or four innings while their offense goes to work.

    Has he even watched any Mets games? Has he not seen Oliver, Bradford, Feliciano, Mota? Has he not seen that the Mets' pen has somehow gotten BETTER since Duaner's injury? Mind-boggling. Can I have his job?

    1:17 PM

    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    We usually leave at 10 for a 1 PM game. We get there around 12:15 or so most Sundays. Maybe we should leave at 4.

    You can't hit a guy with glasses. OK, Santana it is :)

    Toasty, you can have the job if you can be as stupid as Law.

    Foulke had better get it together, or the Sawx are in trouble. Lots of changes coming for the Old Towne Teame in '07. Boy wonder had also better get in gear, or he'll need more than a gorilla suit.

    1:30 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Zimmerman very well might end up being better than both Wright and Cabrera.

    I have a hard time giving Santana the MVP. Pedro should have won an MVP. But Santana, as great as he is, was not even the best pitcher on his staff when Liriano was healthy. Liriano is freaking unbelievable. And as I write this, Thomas just homered off of Santana, clearly proving my point!

    Reyes got off to a bad start this year, and will probably finish in the top 6 of the MVP voting. Perhaps he is top 3 by next year? It's scary how good he may yet become.

    1:34 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I think Verlander's year was more deserving a ROY because he started and he did it all year long.
    Its hard to produce numbers like that and paying next to nothing for it.

    Fuck the Dodgers. I woudln't be surprised if the Mets sweep them.

    No SUbway Series please. I've said it many times. I want a 100% full Shea Stadium full of MET FANS. No splits in the fan allegience.

    Not at home so i gotta "see" the first playoff game through Gameday at school, lol.

    1:37 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    I am as ecited about the playoffs as I've ever been. Last time, I was 21 and bogged down with my senior year of college, working full-time, and a clingy woman.

    I've already explained the rules for October to my very understanding wife. She is expecting drunken screaming late into the night for the duration of the month. She is prepared for the madness.

    My boss told me I could go home tomorrow at 3:30.

    Life is good.
    Hopefully the Mets won't fuck it up.

    1:39 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Also gotta do the whole predictions thing.
    Oakland over Twinkies
    Tigers over Yankers

    Padres over Cards
    Mets over Dodgers

    1:41 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Benny, I will play that game too.

    Twins over A's in 5
    Yanks over Tigers in 4 (sadly)

    Mets over Dodgers in 4
    Cards over Padres in 5

    1:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ha, I skim the articles so I missed that one in Keith Law's article. Get into the Mets bullpen? He's the only person nin the universe that believes that.

    Andy, I would hit a person with glasses, but I wouldn't hit you. I don't strike Mets fans.

    And Beckett better remember how to pitch.

    Yeah, you didn't add all that much time leaving at 4:30 to truck ahead in rush hour to the biggest game the Mets have had since 2000. I might predict a third inning arival for your first beer.

    Danny, I'm with you about Liriano. Had he pitched even 180 innings, i might have said that about him, but did he even crack 100? Liriano was sick...just sick. Never seen anything like the domination he was dealing out in his rookie season. But that doesn't mean Santana shouldn't get it because Liriano had like 15 starts. That doesn't make sense. He was still the best pitcher now that Liriano is gone.

    Benny, Verlander and Papelbon was rough for me. But in the end Liriano and Papelbon were better, just didn't get to log as many innings. That factors into things for sure which is why Liriano didn't get it, but Papelbon pitched enough and so far above everyone else while he was closing, I had to give it Papelbon.

    I am as ecited about the playoffs as I've ever been. Last time, I was 21 and bogged down with my senior year of college, working full-time, and a clingy woman.

    Kenny, this could have been me....except being bogged down with school work. I graduated earlier in the year....my plans will revolved around the Mets for the forseable future as well.

    I'll buy those predictions Benny....I'm with you.....but the Tigers pick would be wishful thinking on my part.

    1:52 PM

    Anonymous Mr. DG said...

    Cannot argue with Howard, nor CY Santana. Frankly I don't care who wins the AL VP as long as it ain't no fucking Yank. ROY for me is Verlander over Papelbon and Dan Uggla over Zimm, Hanley etc., mostly because of the Rule 5 aspect which really ought to be considered. This guy really proved himself when he had his chance; no one saw it coming to that extent. Give him his props!

    Now CY National is more complicated. I am a fan of Mr. Wagner but statistics or not, I don't think he pitched well enough to deserve it. My choice is Brandon Webb in part due to his awesome start against the Mets where you could really see the artistry and obviously his stats show that that game was no fluke. Yeah, you could argue that the NL was weak and blah, blah, blah (I just can't say yadda...) but he's deserving, very deserving.

    Endy is going to play a big part in the series, but I wouldn't start him in right. Green seemed a little better over the last week, more comfortable. And every WSeries-bound team needs a speedy pinch hitter/defensive replacement if there going to be bound to their fate. Think Timo with more Timo addes. I hated the guy's signing and now I'm worried he'll go play somewhere else.

    Incidentally, this could be the first year the Mets offer arbitration on many of their free agents (sorry, VZ, you ain't getting one!) No way, Endy goes without compensation!

    All said, there's an argument for Endy in Game 1 against Lowe, but I'll think Willie will trot out his banner lineup so as not to show anyone up.

    1:52 PM

    Anonymous Monsieur DG said...

    My wife has agreed to take both kids to school on mornings of big, non-afternoon games since I'll be up late (probably 5, 5:30 am here in Paris). Still think I'll watch Game 2 on video (at MLB.com) as I've got early morning obligations on Friday. (And starting Kuo was a very bad decision by the Dodgers!)

    Predictions, you want some prediction?

    A's over Twins in 5
    Tigers over Yanks in 5

    Mets over Dodgers in 4
    Padres over St. Louis in 3

    Notes: A's/Twins could go either way. Same Tigers/Yanks though I just cannot predict the Yanks to win because, well, I hate them point blank. Pads finished well and have a nice top 3, whereas the Cards have an almost worse rotation than the Mets without the offensive tools beyond Pujols. Mets will rock and won't need more than four.

    1:59 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I agree with no Yankee winning. It could be argued that Reyes year was just as good or better and he's not even sniffing it. I guess the teams were better in the AL, but there were more inidividual performers in the NL. Uggla being rule 5 means nothing to me. It's a nice story, but I think Zim wins it hands down to make at least one prediction for me right.

    Webb is in there. If the season ended in June, it was his. The strong finishers always get the nod and Wagner was a bulldog.

    Endy is going to shot to start. The Mets will pay him decently to stay, but it's up to him. Winning team? Shot to play? Big choices for a little guy.

    Even if Endy is offered comp, is he a type C? Or did he play his way into a type B?

    2:02 PM

    Anonymous Aldous DGley said...

    Come on he's a clear B. Look at his stats: .306/.348.779 OPS (8th best on Mets) 31 extra base hits (22/5/4hr's) 42 ribbies in 353 at bats. It's the at bats that justify the B level.

    Doubt Mets will offer arb for Valentin or Floyd (or Trachs obviously) but would expect so for Endy, Guillermo and Castro if he's a potential FA (is he?). Woodward should be re-signed over using AHern because Woodward has a better bat, but obviously I wouldn't offer arb).

    2:16 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    El Duque questionable for tomorrow. Injured his calf in warmups. Commence panic...

    2:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Danny....you have to be joking, right?

    Bring on Maine. Glavine doesn't like short rest, let the kid strap it on.

    Yeah, Endy is B I would assume. B gives the Mets a 2nd roud pick and a sandwich pick? Or just a 2nd rouder?

    2:51 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Mike, that was my immediate reaction. Maine has to be the guy. It is all over the place now. They are doing an MRI as we speak, so we should know more by later today. It might just be a cramp. But it could be a pull.

    2:54 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...


    2:56 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    AN MRI? So this could be serious, like out for the first round seriouis?

    Ooooo...get Oliver Perez up in the bullpen. It could get late early. The Mets were leaning on El Duque heavily, but I'll await the results of the MRI before I jump off a bridge.

    3:06 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'd start Pelfrey or Humber... but i'm certifiable right now. The season is OFFICIALLY over, folks.

    Delgado, Beltran, Floyd and Wright look shot, too, which doesn't help. Wright can't hit for power and the other three are all hurt.


    3:20 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    It's OFFICIALLY over? I thought it's OFFICIALLY over once they get eliminated.

    3:23 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'I thought it's OFFICIALLY over once they get eliminated.'

    It's inevitable, Toasty.


    3:29 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Perhaps, but it's not OFFICIALLY over until it's OFFICIALLY over.

    3:32 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Perhaps, but it's not OFFICIALLY over until it's OFFICIALLY over."
    Let's not get bogged down in semantics.

    We must move forward, not backward, upward, not forward, but this Mets team is twirling, twirling, twirling towards an early postseason exit.


    3:37 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Emad, provocative as always! Good stuff.

    I'm pretty sure the Mets will just go ahead and play the games anyway, you know, just in case ;-)

    3:39 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Was it over when the germans bombed Pear Harbor?


    That being said, Oliver Perez is the only logical choice if The Duque is out of the first round.

    The only thing that is official is the shit has hit the fan....splattered on the walls....then you slipped in it and cracked your head open. It's definitely not good.

    3:40 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "then you slipped in it and cracked your head open"
    I prefer the white paint and blood combination from Bound.

    Actually, the Mets are that girl from the opening of Suspiria that gets gets stabbed repeatedly in the heart, thrown through a window with a rope around her neck and has her face severed with a large piece of glass while she sits lifeless in this beautiful portrait of death.

    Folks, it's my way of coping.


    3:47 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Ollie Perez? No chance in hell. If it's me, I'd throw Dave Williams in there and hope for the best. Perez shows flashes of brilliance, but he terrifies me right now. He's a 2007 project.

    3:47 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    After wiping the shit off your split cranium, try removing the long broken-off, splintered broomstick handle you just impaled your ass on, after you slipped in the aforementioned shit spray.

    Yup, you sure are right. Definitely not good.

    OPerez instead of Maine in Game One, Mike? I have zippo confidence in OPerez. He's wound up too tight for a playoff start.

    Let's see what the MRI says, but I can see the Mets pushing El Duque back to a Game 3 start just to be safe.

    Zito for Milledge sure sounds good now huh?


    3:49 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    That works too. I didn't see Bound, but it sounds tasty.

    Toasty, reason doesn't always factor in to things. Dave Williams hasn't started since when? I don't know how I feel about that one. Not that I would overly excited about Oliver Perez, but you know what I'm saying.

    3:50 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Maine, Glavine, Traxx, Williams, and a whole lot of prayer.

    3:50 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    No sorry, Bada...

    I want Maine in game #1, glavine on regular rest, trachsel, and OP if The Duque cannot start in game four, if there even is one.

    3:51 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Williams has barely pitched in September. It cannot be him. If El Duque can't go, it's Ollie Time. Start preparing yourselves.

    The Mets are gonna have to bring the sticks to this series regardless. So let's go.

    3:53 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Didn't OllieP just pitch on Sunday, though? I want Maine in Game 1, if no one else can do it. Anyway you look at it...This sh*t is enough to give you hemorrhoids.

    4:02 PM

    Blogger BookieD said...

    Eddie C is on the FAN right now, and Maine appears to be the frontrunner for tomorrow. Maine would be going on regular rest, and IMO, is the best choice Eddie also said that Oliver Perez will be added to the postseason roster, just in case they need the fexiblity. What is going on with Traxx? Has he not returned from his leave of absence for personal reasons? Given all of his wacky idiosyncrasies, this can't be helpful either. Can Lima Time be far off? (sorry, had to do it.)

    4:03 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Ollie P would be it for Game 4 coop. Maine would be on normal rest for game 1 since he pitched Friday. I think that is Willie's only move.

    Game 1- Maine
    Game 2 - Glavine
    Game 3 - Trax
    Game 4 - Ollie P

    4:03 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Lima Time? If that is the case, we've reach critical mass.

    Bookied, you were joking, but not really. It's getting comical.

    Maine is the right thing to do. He can own the banged up Dodgers and the kid can handle the pressure. He just has this blank look on his face as if nothing is going on...dare I say....no hitter?

    Anyway, Maine is the right man for the job and Oliver Perez is the right thing to do for game #4. Is there a silver lining here? I'm not seeing it, but I'm sure someone will find one.

    4:45 PM

    Blogger BookieD said...

    I'll give the silver lining a shot: Now the Mets will be throwing at least one guy with 90+ heat in the first 3 games and possibly 2 in the first 4. At least LA won't be seeing only finesse through Games 1-3. How's that?

    Also, consider that John Maine was pitching in the Oriole's minor league system a year ago (yes, he got a cup of coffee in the Bigs, but still), and now he's starting Game 1 of the playoffs for the team with the best record in the NL. Maine was one of those guys I saw at Spring Training wearing a number in the 90's and pitching random innings of exhibition games, and now banking on him in the biggest of spots. Incredible.

    5:20 PM

    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    That's our Bookie D - he's always good for a few silver linings.

    5:29 PM

    Anonymous DG Just Lost His Shit!! said...

    SHIT!, you cannot go out for a nice dinner at a French bistro here in Paris without the foie gras hitting the veritable ardoise? This is just too much, like stuff from a cheesy hollywood after school thingamashmig that no one, just no one, could ever possibly believe. Of course in movie life, the team goes on to win the Little Championship with the little autistic kid turning out to be 2004 Oliver Perez, but real life ... MAN, REAL LIFE SUCKS!!!

    Nothing's over. There's still a chance, but we're already in the wrong century for surrealism!

    I'd hand the ball to John Maine and put a short leash on OliverP for game four if necessary. The offense better show up if your listening to me up there. The offense must better well fucking show up!

    Otherwise, dinner was excellent. Beautiful waitress working for her stressed out Dad....

    6:02 PM

    Anonymous DG Just Lost His Shit!! said...

    And this is weird too:

    Is Trachsel an option at this point? Will he be back in time?

    He's supposed to be coming in this evening. I don't think he's an option for tomorrow, no, that's safe to say. He still might be on our roster.

    Still might be on our roster? What the hey happened to Steve Trachsell? No Trachsell and no Orlando means JMaine, TGlavine & OPerez. Who starts in any eventual Game 4?

    6:13 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Thanks Bookied...I wanted Maine to play a big part in this series because I thought he was good enough, but not this way....oh well.

    DG, that Trachsel news is nuts. Who starts game four you ask? John Maine of course. He's young for a change and could go on short rest. Better him than Dave Williams. Push comes to shove, all three of the above can go on short rest to buy time for The Duque.

    But Trachsel will be around. How could he not? However, that may not even be a good thing.

    7:10 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    call me a cock-eyed optimist but with the health woes that we have, re: pedro, el duque, the carlos's...everyones expectaions are down, we are now a very flawed team and will be gone by Sunday but that is the way I want it because we will win over the Dodgers and if we play the cards you walk Albert every time he comes to the plate.

    7:44 PM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    torn calf muscle for el duque... off the roster.

    this is crazy as hell. but it continues the trend of our SP's going down like flies all year. we cant be mad

    10:54 AM

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