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

Monday, October 02, 2006

High Note

"If we play the way we are capable of playing and take care of our own business, we'll be all right. It's all about the World Series now.

"It would be disappointing if we didn't win it. After the year we've had, there's nothing else that would satisfy us."

The Mets have 97 wins and are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the bigs. Pretty fucking swell. As of now, the Mets are saying the right things and they look hungry and determined to not have a 'happy to be here' attitude. After I was getting a bit nervous with the Mets mediocre of late, someone asked me if I would feel better if the Mets swept the lowly Nationals. My answer? Unequivocally it was a yes. Seeing Glavine have a solid outing in preparation for the playoffs and the Mets bats awakening a bit is a good way to end the season and hit the playoffs with a bit of a steak. The Mets looked like they started to shake out of their funk a bit and at the right time.

Keith Law thinks the Mets will win in five and the Mets seem indifferent about playing the Dodgers, but the only concern now is do the Mets have enough starting pitching? The answer is yes. If Glavine and El Duque keep doing what they are doing and John Maine is given a shot, the Mets should dispatch the Dodgers, who are 39-42 on the road, and move right along to the NLCS. If they can take Penny out in the opener, I have the utmost confidence in Glavine beating Maddux in game two. The 0-2 hole for the Dodgers is just going to be too much to overcome and I'm predicting the Mets roll over the Dodgers and begin to prepare to face off against their eventual NLCS opponent Mike Piazza and his Padres. I'm going to assume all of you will leave your Piazza love affair at home at that point, right?

* * *

  • The Frank Robinson bore fest yesterday was enough to make me want to rip my eyes out. Great, he was let go. I just wanted to watch baseball. What's worse is how a lot of media outlets are pretending it was some great thing. It wasn't. It was boring. All tributes and good byes are unless they actually have something to do with your team and even then it is likely to be boring. You want to air it? Start it twenty minutes before the game is supposed to start.

  • This is certainly disturbing, but hopefully he grows. At least Willie tried to diffuse the situation, but I'm not sure that is going to help. One big thing that this current team has/had going for them is chemistry. It really appears to be that Lastings Milledge just does not get it. What is more disturbing at this point is that all of this might affect his trade value.

    It might seem like a case that they need to part ways because a lot of guys on this current team are going to be around for a bit and may always just not like the kid. While I still think he can be a good player, it just seems like an issue that will snowball into something worse. It is really a shame too because it seemed like Milledge was turning it around. Maybe he is and this is all being blown out of proportion, but I'm not sure that is the case. He seems to be making more enemies than friends.

  • Guerra & F-Mar in...Niese, out. The top 20 prospects from the SAL League are in and the Mets 17 year old duo made the list with Fernando landing at #3 and Deolis landing at #11.

    On Fernando:

    f the next decade shapes up like the 2006 SAL season, Martinez and Tabata will spark debate New York arguments reminiscent of Mays vs. Mantle in the 1950s. As with Tabata, the only thing that slowed Martinez were injuries, as a bone bruise in his hand and a sprained knee limited him to 189 at-bats.

    On Deolis:

    The SAL's youngest player, Guerra never allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 17 outings. The Mets did keep him on tight pitch counts, but his 2.20 ERA still would have ranked third in the league if he had enough innings to qualify. He excelled at age 17 mainly on the strength of his changeup, showing an advanced feel for the pitch.

    "He has plus arm action on it, which is rare for a guy that young," a NL scout said. "It was fairly straight, but had a little late fade and parachuted at the end."

    They also have a piece on the quartet of impressive 17 year olds in the SAL League and had a lot more positives to say about Martinez and Guerra.

    One other aspect that impressed Cacciatore was the efforts Guerra and Martinez made in trying to assimilate with the team. Neither player was anywhere close to fluent in English at the start of the season, but both worked hard to understand the language and made significant strides in adapting to a new culture.

    "I believe the key for both of our guys was their maturity," Cacciatore said. "Their composure was impressive . . . off the charts for guys their age. They're going to hit a wall at some point, but I would expect both of them to get to where they want to be pretty quick. As far as our organization is concerned, these two guys are pretty special."

  • Ten more to go for Glavine. Will he be a Met when he wins them? With Pedro's status and the fact that Glavine might not even win ten if he is with the Braves next year, I would assume yes.

  • Even if Pedro never pitches again for the Mets, he was a good pickup.

    If you're the Mets, if you're Omar Minaya, who pushed for this signing, if you're Fred Wilpon, who approved it, you have to come to the following conclusion:

    It wasn't only worth the gamble, it remains a no-brainer of a decision.

    If Pedro never pitches another inning for the Mets - and Minaya last night insisted Martinez wasn't pondering retirement - the signing remains a watershed moment in franchise history, the launching pad for whatever the team may accomplish across the next few weeks.

    By himself, Martinez established instant credibility where before him there was little but ruins and dust. Perhaps he's been given too much credit for helping along all the deals Minaya put together after that, but the fact is his presence hardly hurt. And when Martinez has been healthy, all too infrequently, he's taken New York City's breath away.

    If they had to do it again, the Mets would do it again. And in a few months, they may have to do it again. If there is a positive to be gleaned from such negative news, it is this: The Mets have little choice but to be pitching-aggressive in the off-season. The odds of Jason Schmidt winding up in Flushing next year just went through the ceiling, as did the Mets' certain willingness do whatever's necessary to bring Dontrelle Willis here.

    Good stuff by Mike Vaccaro.

  • The schedule is out and the Yankees do not have to play during the day so far. God fucking forbid the Yankess play a day game. I know it is all about ratings, but it is just ridiculous.

  • Mark Simon goes over the playoff teams to see who is hot, who is not, and their outlook.

    Who's hot: David Wright hit .371 since Sept. 1 and closed the year with a 12-game hitting streak. Orlando Hernandez closed strong with a 2.01 ERA in his last five starts. Though he was a little bit shaky in September, Billy Wagner has converted his last 18 save opportunities.

    Who's not: Carlos Beltran, who says he's playing at about 80 percent due to injury, is hitting .190 since Sept. 1 with two home runs and four RBI in 63 at-bats.

    Outlook: The Mets have a history of postseason magic with each of their six previous appearances in the playoffs producing multiple memorable moments. Their best shot at winning the World Series is to get one of those kinds of wins and ride it all the way through October. Players to watch include Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca, both of whom have had lengthy careers without any postseason experience.

    He thinks the Yankees are the team to beat.

  • It looks like it will be Greg Maddux for game #2. That Glavine and Maddux match-up should certainly be interesting.

  • Roger Clemens possibly did steroids? You don't say. Is it really that much of a stretch? I'm still a bit leary of him sitting out 52 games before returning this season and I wonder if he served a secret suspension that MLB did not want to deal with after this Bonds debacle. Imagine two living legends ending their careers with steroid scandals?

    From Ossy:

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  • Tom Singer does a position by position analyis for the Mets and Dodgers and strangely omits the rotation. Good job Tom.

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Oh man, I'm soo hyped about the playoffs man. The Dodgers and thier injury and inconsistant team ain't doing shit.

    As far as Milledge goes... meh. Its called clubhuose hazing. THey do it to everyone. not that serious. I'm sure he's cocky but whatever.

    I got my game 2 tickets. I will be at game 2. This will be my first post-season game. I'm fucking hyped. I'm gonna have to cut one of my classes but whatever, he'll understand.

    And just gotta mention that me, benny blanco from da Bronx and his team "¡Mira Coño!" team won the first Metropolitans league.
    And so just like the Mets it was a season of domination. After a series of flavor of the months like Mike, John, Cyril, and Jake, my consistancy came through and I came out on top.
    Just cause I'm bored, I'll make fake awards.

    The Blue Balls award goes to Mike and hsi team Blue Ballz for being so good in the first half and then going down the shitters in the second half. First 1st place to 13th.

    MVP=Jason Marquis

    Worst pick of the draft goes to Denver Droids with Morgan Ensberg in round 2 as the overall 36th pick. Tried giving it to someone who wasn't injured and had playing time but sucked ass.

    Best pick is deffinitly Watchung moose with Jon Papelbon in the last round.

    And umm, hope eveyrbody had fun and next season whoever wants to do it again, I promise it'll be better and it'll make much more sense, lol.

    1:21 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The hazing is fine, but it doesn't look like he gets it. Wright got it....Milledge doesn't. He seems to have entitlement issues looking from our angle, but we don't know the entire story obviously.

    I'll be at game two as well. Glavine vs. Maddux. I'm really excited about it.

    You did win. Congrats. My team folded like a cheap suit. I have no excuse. Some bad deals were made....some injuries happened and I could not overcome.

    I still vote Ryan Howard by me in the 2nd round as the best pick or whenever I drafted Liriano, but I'm biased.

    1:43 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Well I consider the best pick as the whole value thing.
    I mean NOBODY picked in the last round got anybody any REAL value.
    I mean in the 2nd round guys like Soriano, Delgado, Utley, and Beltran were picked.
    In the last round we had studs like Kyle Lohse, Bernie Williams, Brian Anderson, Neifi f'n Perez, and Antonio Perez.

    And umm, I'm still fuckin' HYPED AS HELL FOR GAME 2!!!

    2:19 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    First off, I'd like some credit for being a flavor of the month. In April, The Brokeback Damons flew out of the gate and spent a couple of weeks on top. Give us our due credit.

    As for Lastings, I'd disagree with Benny and maintain that it sounds like more than typical hazing. MLB hazing is funny and good-natured. Lastings is apparently pissing off the vets. Dude needs to grow up.
    But stealing his clothes? That's gold.

    2:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I hear where you are coming from with the value thing, but there were plenty who still though I was nuts. But yeah, Paplebon in the 25th round was a gem. However, with Paplebon, there was a sprinkle of luck being someone shit the bed for him to get there.

    Verlander was my 23rd round pick and was a gem, though I traded him in an ill-advised deal.

    Is game #2 Kuo or Maddux? I read stuff about both. What the fuck?

    The Brokeback Damons did fly out of the game, but you didn't have staying power. That being said, you finished way way way in front of me.

    Stealing his clothes and leaving a dress!

    2:30 PM

    Anonymous JohnF said...

    Anyone care to explain why the Mets and Dodgers play Thursday NIGHT? The MLB geniuses do realize the teams have to fly across the country after the game, right?

    2:31 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Anyone care to explain why the Mets and Dodgers play Thursday NIGHT? The MLB geniuses do realize the teams have to fly across the country after the game, right?

    It's an off-day. Plenty of rest after the Mets kick their ass.

    2:33 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Tom Singer also gave the Dodgers the edge at shortstop in his little positional breakdown. Yeah, and Furcal was 19 his rookie year.

    I was at the Mets-Nats game yesterday, and I enjoyed the send-off of Frank Robinson. It was cool when the Mets came over and greeted him before the game. However, Frank talk WAY too long. I was with Frank, and then my man just kept on talking. Nobody wanted to say anything, but I could tell everyone around me was bored and wanted to start the game. Having said that, for all Frakn has done for the game, I guess sitting through a 20-minute speech was the least I could do.

    I don't know what to think about this Milledge thing. All I know is that the media is fucking with his trade value, and it's pissing me off.

    2:36 PM

    Anonymous Dandy DG McGee said...

    "Even if Pedro never pitches again?" Actually the likelihood is not only that we'll see Petey pitch again but also that we'll see some real Petey-like velocity. In fact, re-signing Petey at the end of his four years is even possible. These surgeries while never givens are so refined at this point that you're looking at the pitcher coming back in an overwhelming amount of circumstances. Take Tyler Yates, for example, when he went down last year - was it a labrum or a rotator cuff? - news was that the tear was so bad, he might never play again. He was one of Atlanta's few trusty relievers this year mid season on.

    Anyway, one interesting part about the Mets "poor" September is that in the end they still ended up with 97 wins as they were on course to attain most of the month. Admittedly, the four straight at the very end of the month helped get there in a big way, but that also serves proof that the team was mostly coasting. I'm willing to take the four straight as signs of an awakening. (But I'll really take the good cuts from David Wright this weekend as an even bigger offering: hadn't seen that in a while.)

    As for Lastings, I think it's kind of upsetting that the guy who got him for his attitude goes scot free here. I realize that Milledge has some growing to do, but still there's got to be a clear line drawn. Most of the hazing that goes on seems pretty funny; this doesn't have the same undertones.

    Lastly, Mike, Frank Robinson getting canned is pretty big news in the baseball world, and while it may seem more of a deal to the local (non-playoff bound) community, it still has some import. I've only seen one article that noted correctly that the guys being fired. He was an awesome ballplayers though I only caught the end of the tail.

    What was really classy was how the DBacks saluted Counsell and Gonzalez last night, taking each out separately so the fans could cheer. What's with Gonzalez though? He looks older than our backup third baseman.

    3:19 PM

    Anonymous Her Highness Lady DG said...

    I hear Hernandez vs Rob Lowe; Glavine vs Kuo (which is a really bad decision by the Dud-jerks ... one a charm, twice a shellacking); Trachs vs Lester Maddox. Mets will win in not more than four.

    3:25 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'm with you DG. I think he'll be popping the mitt when he comes back and will be a nice boon for the rotation in July after a month or so of rehabbing.

    Wright still hit like .371 for the month, so he has been sharp, ableit with little power.

    This hazing doesn't have the same undertones because Milledge has pissed everyone off. Does he have a friend in the clubhouse?

    Frank Robinson getting canned is big news. Yes, but who I was incredibly bored. It was painful. He earned his right to speak, do it before the game. 20 minutes deep into when the game is supposed to start? The Mets were classy to play along, but it seemed like a scene from an old movie with some filibustering going on. It was nails on the chalk board. Just my opinion, I'm sure there were one or two people who enjoyed it.

    Isn't Gonzo pissed he's not coming back? What's with these players not being honest with themselves. Quentin + Young + Byrnes = Gonzo left out.

    So it's Kuo for sure? Interesting move by them. I know the Mets suck against lefties, but it's not like he's been great all year. I guess they don't trust themselves that much and are worried about falling to 0-2 and want to keep Maddux going in LA.

    3:53 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hey. Sex Panthers coming from last or next to last to make it in the Top 10 is quite a feat. Next year I'll be at the draft from the beginning and A-Rod wont be on my team to sabotage it.

    And I have to disagree iwth most of you guys, but Frank Robinson can talk and take as much time as he wants. He was a great player, and a fairly good manager and I think the only fair thing to do was let him speak. I didnt see any Mets get pissed when they walked over to congradulate him.

    - Nokes

    3:54 PM

    Anonymous Sidd Finch said...

    Yeah, Benny, Morgan Ensberg was a horrible pick, but I did grab Freddy Sanchez while no one was looking. 15th place, my worst ever year.

    I didn't know Rob Lowe was a pitcher.

    4:45 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Where's everyone sitting Game 2? I'll be there - in the bleeders though (sitting with my uncle, who will buy me beer, sold my seasons for a hefty ransom)

    Benny, let me know where you are sitting - maybe we can meet up. I know you can't drink yet, but you can sniff my beer. LOL

    4:52 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'll be in section 20, row G, in the Mezz.....

    I think we are allowed to infiltrate the bleachers if we hold regular tickets for fun and games.

    5:06 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    I will be at game 2 as well in section 9, row M in the Mezz.

    That catch Milledge made yesterday was amazing. I think he's going to be really good. That being said, I REALLY hope we get Dontrelle in the off season. And if it takes Milledge and a couple other chips, so be it. Dontrelle is all that and then some for a long time to come. He would be a perfect Met with that personality.

    I really don't want to mess with karma, but I think Mets in three vs LA. Then we blow out SD. Then all bets are off in the World Series. I think anybody at this point could do it.

    Oh, and Mike, totally agree, no love for Piazza in the second week of Oct.

    6:08 PM

    Anonymous John said...

    I will be sitting in row 2 just behind the Mets dugout. Well, almost. I will actually be watching from my couch in Rhode Island; but I will be pretending that I am in row 2just behind the dugout.

    Great season, Benny. It was a blast. I folded at the end...granted not as brutally as Mike, but I managed to drop out of the top 3, a place I resided from day 1; which included a lengthy stay at the top. But in the end, 4th pace was all I could muster. I feel like an Atlanta Brave.


    8:14 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Let's leave my Cardinal-esque crash to earth out of this.

    9:17 PM

    Anonymous Brian B said...

    I also am gonna be at game 2! LEts go mets.

    9:27 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    You're absolutely right... DW, Reyes...they got it. Lastings doesn't get it, much like Gregg Jefferies. Nobody knows the whole story but the players. DW was lucky to have Floyd take him under his wing. Lastings needed someone like that.

    Why do Mets blog readers get so bent out of shape when they hear some talking head on ESPN, newsprint, et al pick against the Mets. Who the fuck cares? It's their opinion only. It's not like what they say will influence how the Mets play. Take a read on some of the other blogs, it's hysterical and sad.


    9:49 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I'll be in the Mezzanine section 12 Row F

    And yeah I forgot to give love to Nokes, his team went from last place to top 10, very nice. I meant to type that but forgot, freakin' Jason Marquis' love made me forget.

    9:44 AM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    I'll be in upper reserve, section 47, row M. Too b ad, I specifically asked for the last row LOL

    Mike, are those your regular seats? My seats for the NLCS will be in Section 14, but Box 572

    12:05 PM

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