"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?
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.