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

Monday, October 30, 2006

Optimism Abound

'Tis upon us. The World Series is finally over with the improbable happening. The 'weakest' playoff team from the 'AAAA' league has taken out the insurmountable American League representative. Now that everyone has had time to digest the amazing season the Mets had and the second straight year of positive progression, I certainly hope everyone is left with an air of confidence. Why? This team is young, learning, and improving. Next season there are plenty of things to be optimistic about and Lyle Spencer had some extra helpings of Kool-Aid...and why not?

Ladies and gentlemen, here they are, your 2007 World Series champions ...

The New York Mets.

Led by 2007 National League MVP Jose Reyes, Comeback Player of the Year Pedro Martinez and Manager of the Year Willie Randolph, they take that final stride and wash away the bitter disappointment of '06.

Let's make that eight new champs in a dizzying, dazzling, Amazin' roll.

And why the heck not?

If you believe in truth, justice and the American way, baseball style, you have to acknowledge the Mets' many assets -- and their appealing prospects of conquering the World Series.

Those are Minnesota's Twins, with all that dashing young talent and superlative pitching, we see across the field soberly observing the Mets' final October celebration after Game 7 at Shea Stadium, New York having claimed home-field advantage courtesy of Trevor Hoffman's save for the National League in the 2007 All-Star Game at San Francisco.

Yes, the Mets. It's simply their time.

The Mets were arguably the best team in the Major Leagues in regards to being the most well rounded when healthy. No other playoff team had a young core like the Mets with their blend of offensive prowess and pitching youth. The Tigers have some great young arms, but not one team boasted comparable young talent in all aspects of the game. The Mets had eight players under 30 last season play prominent roles with the team and all will be back and will be improved in 2007 while more youth stands to be added in 2007 as well. This team is not one and done and will be back and should be saddled with the burden of being the favorites in '07.

* * *

  • Good News on Pedro is always nice.

    Michael Silverman in the Boston Herald suggests Pedro Martinez could return from surgery to repair his torn right rotator cuff before the All-Star Break in 2007.

    Pedro told me two weeks ago, less than a week after the procedure:

    "Without a doubt I'm supposed to come back by the second half of 2007. I'm going to work my tail off and get better. I'm actually feeling better right now - already. I'm very optimistic that with hard work, which I know how to do, and with the proper rehab, I should be right back. And I'm supposed to be better than I was. ...

    "I'm very, very optimistic and very happy about the results. Right now, the doctor just told me today that I looked like a month after surgery - and it's only been a week - because of the way everything is moving around and the way that I'm feeling and the way my flexibility is reacting to the surgery. That's more than good news."

  • Professor Rick is always hard at work.

    In September, Pelfrey worked with Rick Peterson on a slider. The pitching coach instructed him to stop throwing the curveball he brought from Wichita State, which actually resembled a slurve. The curveball ranged from 78-82 mph, while the slider is thrown harder.

    "It looks like a fastball and then has late movement," Pelfrey said. "I'm throwing it more and more, and I think it's going to be a better pitch for me in the long run. So far I've been throwing it in the game a lot and I'm getting more consistent with it. I think it will be there for that extra pitch. Peterson said for my game - my fastball and my changeup - I needed something that looks kind of the same that goes the opposite direction (away from righties)."

  • If you cannot out-pitch 'em, just bash their heads in. The Phillies will be looking into bringing Alfonso Soriano or Gary Sheffield to the City of Brotherly Love while moving Pat Burrell to free up some more capital. There is no doubt the Phillies have the money to get a guy like Soriano, but will they have enough to upgrade their pitching as well?

  • Dave Dombrowski might be setting the standard for GMs in terms of salary soon enough.

    Largely because of his dual title, Dombrowski is already the highest-paid GM in baseball, with an annual salary of about $2 million. The team's success likely will motivate owner Mike Ilitch to pursue an extension for Dombrowski this off-season. The afterglow of an American League pennant, coupled with industry-wide praise for Dombrowski's rebuild, could translate into a handsome raise beyond an already standard-setting salary.

  • State of the Day from Baseball Prospectus.

    Top 5 AL Cy Young Candidates, by SNLVAR
    Player           Team   VORP    SNLVAR
    Johan Santana MIN 79.6 8.4
    Roy Halladay TOR 68.0 6.4
    Justin Verlander DET 47.5 6.1
    Barry Zito OAK 49.9 6.1
    C.C. Sabathia CLE 46.5 6.0
    I know a lot of you are very ho-hum about Barry Zito, but no matter how you spin it, the guy is good. I'm sure a lot of people's ambivalence towards him is based on what they see with their own eyes in an average fastball and guy who has trouble finding the zone at times. However, he would be a welcome addition to this team to upgrade a staff that is in dire need of being upgraded.

    That's not to say he is my first choice, but he is certainly one of the few choices that make this team substantially better.

  • Here is a solid read on the Cardinals and the consensus that they are one of the worst teams to win the World Series from Baseball Prospectus.

    I don’t think the 2006 Cardinals were a 100-win team by any means. But they were probably a 90-win team, a 92-win team, at least based on the roster they fielded during the playoffs. Plenty of teams with 90-win talent have won the World Series. If this result was an embarrassment to baseball in any way, it’s because there’s a reward system in place that allows an 83-78 team to compete in October. It wasn’t because of the Cardinals.

    So about this worst-team-ever business: I don’t think the Cardinals are demonstrably the worst team ever to win the World Series. But I do think they’re in the company of some similarly mediocre teams that represent the lowest echelon of World Series champion.

    Some interesting stuff and a good take on the 2006 Cardinals.

  • On Saturday, Mesa beat Phoenix 5-3. Fernando Martinez went 0 for 4 with an RBI and two strikeouts to see his average dip below .200.

    Anonymous benny said...

    Am I the only one that doesn't care about the media's perception of the NL being weaker?
    I could care less.

    I think the pecking order on who to go after is this.
    Dice-K, somehow make a trade, Barry Zito.
    I think of Zito as plan C if those other 2 fail.

    Fernando Martinez may have ahd his average fall under .200 but I'll be positive, he did get an RBI...

    10:58 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, I think we all could care less, but find it comical to a certain extent. After all the shit talk it kind of legitimizes the NL that the Mets and Cards fought until game seven while the Tigers rolled over everyone only to get steamrolled by the AAAA team. Good stuff.

    I'm with you in regards to pitching with Schmidt and Lilly following Zito.

    F-Mart is a stud...I know he is the youngest in the AFL this season, but is the youngest in the AFL ever? I think he very well might be.

    11:04 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I'm with you in regards to pitching with Schmidt and Lilly following Zito.

    Or just not at all...
    I would actually take a chance on Mark Mulder after Zito. And hope for a recovery...
    Then its just a big ass dropoff. Where I don't even want to name names because there are about 20 or so extra names and they all (in my eyes) equal the same ammount of production. They're interchangable talents. And you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a Randy Wolf and Gil Meche.

    11:16 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The problem with Mulder is him not being available for opening day. I know the Mets have pitching depth, but to have two of your top pitchers out for a while? That's a tough one. That being said, if he is cheap enough like a Matt Morris type of deal in SF, then sure. It's worth it, but the Mets won't be the only guys looking to pull off a deal like that.

    RE: Lilly, I see him as a guy who might come as a bargain and could really be on the verge of breaking out. Yes, he's like 31 and old guys really do not break out often, but he has had a lot of injuries. If healthy, I think he can be a solid, solid pickup.

    Giche and Meche do not help this team. I'd rather ride with what they have and hope Pedro comes back healthy and look towards the next off season to upgrade the rotation with the likes of Chris Carpenter and Carlos Zambrano out there. Not that I think their teams will let them get to that point and no lock them up before that point, but they might want to test the waters.

    I do not want to spend just to spend. If they cannot get any pitcher that significantly upgrades this team, then go for a nice position player of two and roll with The Duque, Glavine, Maine, Perez, Humber/Williams/Bannister/Pelfrey until Pedro is ready. A healthy Pedro and El Duque changes the dynamic of the rotation and they can evaluate their needs at the end of '07. Shit, they can even try Heilman in the rotation in the instance that they cannot get someone from the outside. The bullpen is more than deep enough.

    11:24 AM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    With all due respect guys, this team really really needs to upgrade the staff yesterday (for emphasis, I know they realistically COULDN'T do it yesterday) to contend. It would behoove us to realize that this team - although strong and still somewhat young - would be able to kick as much butt as they did with a skeleton pitching staff, while the other teams get better and strong...while we are waiting on Pedro, hoping Dirty returns to form again in the 'pen, and without a bona fide "ace" that isn't 40 years old, a kid with nasty but erratic stuff and a gomer from Virgina anchoring the staff. Sorry, Omar's GOT to be a contender for the Zito sweepstakes or make a huge trade for THE guy. Who *that* guy is though, I've yet to figure out...

    Just say no to Schmidt! Am I the only one who doesn't want him? People throw his name around and I'm like - meh. He's on the wrong side of 30, and he's been injured. I'd be curious to see what Mulder has - like Benny said - but not sure he's *the* guy. Something tells me even if Mets land Zito, that aint *the* guy for Omar either. More, more, MORE!!!

    Hey Benny - am I clueless (wait, don't answer that), or am I supposed to know who Dice-K is? I think I should, but am I *that* far removed from baseball season already?? I haven't even started to pay attention to hockey yet, although I said I would...

    1:15 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Schmidt has logged 200+ innings in the last three of four years. He's old, but I'd do a three year deal and he would come considerably cheaper than Zito, unless I'm completely mis-judging the market on him. Ideal? No, but he's a hard throwing right-hander who has been on the verge of stardom for a bit. If he can stay healthy and be on a winning, team, lookout. He could be very, very good.

    Daisuke = DiceK

    1:40 PM

    Anonymous Coop said...

    Ah-ha! Dice-K = Daisuke. Makes sense now.

    1:56 PM

    Blogger chris said...

    Schmidt says he wants to stay out west. I hope Omar goes fishing for pitching via trades in another direction altogether; Ervin Santana, Jake Peavy, cc Sebathia, etc. With Milledge, Heilman and some of those blue chippers we have, maybe he could swing a deal for a young front of the rotation starter rather than spend a zillion dollars on Zito, or Mulder and company. I'd like a trade as above and getting Matsuzaka.

    2:56 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Mets should drop $30,000,000 on DiceK...Offer him the fair market value for his services. See where it goes. If it fails? He goes back to Japan and the Mets get their money back and the Yankees can sign him after '07. After the $30,000,000 off the top, his yearly salary will be lower than Zito's giving them a better shot to stay on budget.

    Anyone hear any rumblings on Glavine? Is he intent on going home paycut included?

    3:17 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    glavine can go fck himself.

    no, i have heard no rumors. i just wanted to put it out there beforehand.

    3:35 PM

    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    I realize he has his detractors but we would be foolish not to go after someone like Soriano, he gives us speed and power and his outfield defense is getting better or we play him at 2b and pray.
    Offer el duque arbitration and Endy a 2 year 5 mil deal. Leave the bullpen alone and move Heilmann to a starter since we will have Sanchez back and Mota can take Aarons place. The secret pitcher( now don't laugh) may be Zambrano, with him being healthy.
    Anyway Omar will re load this team for another run

    5:21 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake you stole my thunder for tomorrow. I'm fead up with his non-comittalness.

    Seattle Steve, the Mets have about $20-$25 million to spend with Glavine on board and about $30-$35 million without him. Getting Soriano really puts a wrench into their dire need to upgrade the staff more. Rough situation man.

    Heilman to the rotation would be something I'm open to if they bring back Mota. He's getting some interest, so who knows. I think he should stay with the professor. The Mets will give him some cash. However, I have to wonder if trading Heilman for an established starter is not the way to go. Omar has a about ten different plans working and it would not surprise me at all if he is talking heavily with the White Sox who need to bolster their bullpen badly.

    Zambrano will be back. I agree he could be a wildcard. I hate the fucker, but he was hurt. He might surprise a lot of people this spring with increased velocity and control. However, we must not forget this is his 2nd surgery. Nothing is expected of him in terms of coming back. It's a long road.

    7:15 PM

    Anonymous brian b said...

    this is totally offtopic and unrelated to anything said before it but i'd just like to say that i think scott strickland is a real douchebag.

    7:47 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    David Riske won't be going back to the White Sox, I really like him, I would like to see him get a deal if Heilman gets traded and if Mota leaves.

    Schmidt says he wants to stay out west

    Meh, And Carlos Beltran wasn't gonna go the Mets. He wasn't a big NY guy.
    Pedro only had 1 destination, it was Boston.
    Billy Wagner is country redneck, him in NY!?!?!
    Omar can work some magic.

    Coop, I'm not a big fan of Jason Schmidt either. At the trading deadline I wanted him real bad because I like the type of pticher he is, I like his stuff.
    BUT the problem now commitment. Ah yes, leave it to the male species to be warry and scared of commitment.
    I wouldn't want him for 3 or even 4 years, that would be bad.

    9:43 PM

    Anonymous Scott said...

    I agree with the Benny. Zito then then Mulder.

    Rumor I just read is Glavine gets 2 years at 10m each.

    11:02 AM

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