Saturday, February 11, 2006
Friday, February 10, 2006
Any one else have trouble keeping their cookies in check when they saw the headline Rickey Henderson to join Mets in spring?
Of course it's not as a player, but with the 80 year old Julio Franco on the roster, I'm sure it blanketed people with confusion and fear at first.
Friday's Irrefutable Fact About Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. not because Chuck Norris is scared of the dark. because the dark is scared of Chuck Norris!
Copious amounts of liquor + getting pulled over with an enormous bag of white castle at 3AM = wacky hijinks and no post on Friday.
In case you missed it, I do leave you with this by way of Bada in the comment section the other day.
Julie Donaldson is one of the new SNY anchors. Personally, I'm disgusted that they are possibly attempting to blatantly exploit her good looks. I mean if someone as skilled as Fran Healy has no room on the broadcasting team, then I sincerely hope she was hired based on her merits and qualifications. Hiring her for any other reason is simply an injustice to the woman's movement.
Oh, does anyone else hate the term 'noreaster'? Any why do people feel the need to go nuts and stock up like a nuclear war is about go down?
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Jim Bowden is probably the only other GM who has as aggressive a style as Omar with little regard to looking at the bigger picture. Making deals to satisfy the moment regardless of what may be happening down the line. Bowden is looking to sign Sammy Sosa and will presumably have a roster problem with Jose Vidro and Alfonso Soriano and will most likely have to deal one of them to create a roster space. That's right. He might have to deal someone he just traded a solid player for earlier in the off season. Of course, he is looking for pitching in return most likely and Soriano will carry more weight due to his name and the perception he might be worth $10 to $12 million a year, but you get the idea.
With Ryan Church and Marlon Byrd Set to fight it out in centerfield and Soriano more likely to hold out than play outfield even if Sosa never signs with this team, one has to wonder what direction Bowden is going with this team because it does not seem to be up. The Rangers had trouble turning Soriano into something solid until this past off season and Bowden has a few weeks if he is dealt, and it looks like he will be. The good news is the Nationals and Bowden are in the Mets division and will be comfortably occupying fourth place until the newbies are ready to significantly contribute with the Marlins which could be as soon as next year to climb out of the basement of the NL East.
Damon took out a full-page advertisement in the Boston Globe sports section yesterday to pay tribute to Red Sox nation.
"Many thanks to the great fans of New England and the city of Boston," it read. "It was a privilege and an honor."
The display included a photo of Damon in a Boston uniform and his signature. Damon left the Red Sox in December to sign a four-year, $52 million deal with the rival Yankees.
I guess it is a nice move, but whatever. Boston got the guy they wanted in centerfield the entire time in the end and Damon got paid. How can there be bad feelings on either side?
Projected batting order
1. SS Jose Reyes:
.273, 7 HR, 58 RBIs in 2005
2. C Paul Lo Duca:
.283 BA, 6 HR, 57 RBIs in 2005
3. CF Carlos Beltran:
.266 BA, 16 HR, 78 RBIs in 2005
4. 1B Carlos Delgado:
.301 BA, 33 HR, 115 RBIs in 2005
5. 3B David Wright:
.306 BA, 27 HR, 102 RBIs in 2005
6. LF Cliff Floyd:
.273 BA, 34 HR, 98 RBIs in 2005
7. RF Xavier Nady:
.261 BA, 13 HR, 41 RBIs in 2005
8. 2B Anderson Hernandez:
.056 BA, 0 HR, 0 RBIs in 2005
Interesting to see A Hern in the eighth spot. I guess the inside track says that the Mets are very high on this kid, but we have been reading that all winter. However, LoDuca is still entrenched in the two spot and that has Willie's name all over it. Yes, this harkens memories of me bitching about Wright batting too low last year. A lot of people told me to stop whining and I wouldn't. But you know what? I was right. The entire year Wright batted too low and had to watch Piazza ruin opportunity after opportunity because Willie still thought the year was 2000 and Mike was batting too high. Yes, Mike still had value, but not in front of a much better hitter. The subsequent effects were less protection for Wright than if Mike Piazza, who's name still carries weight, is behind him, less opportunities for the Mets best hitter to do his thing, and probably cost Wright an amazing feat of scoring 100 runs and knocking in 100 runs in his first full year. Whatever, different season, same gripe. LoDuca should be batting no higher than sixth and more likely seventh and Wright should be batting third.
The forgotten man Kaz Matsui was only mentioned once.
3. Who plays second?
The Mets would be delighted if Kaz Matsui were to play second and be the offensive force he was in Japan. No one expects that now. Hernandez is the best defensive player; Keppinger, a Jay Bell-type, seemingly is the best offensive player. It's not a positive indication if Bret Boone wins the job.
True dat. If Boone is manning second come opening day, it won't be pretty.
Age: 22 | Throws: Left
2005: Finished 4th in AL in strikeouts (174)
Future Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar wasn't easily impressed by pitchers, especially young ones, but the first time he faced Kazmir in batting practice in spring training, he said, "I've never seen a young left-hander who throws that hard, and his ball moves that much."
Kazmir is 12-12 with a 4.06 ERA lifetime, but his more important numbers are 215 strikeouts in 219 1/3 innings, and his age: 22.
"We didn't see him last year," new Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, who was a coach with the Angels, said at the winter meetings. "I can't wait to see him. Everything I hear is good."
Yikes. Didn't realize he finished fourth in strikeouts. But really. Who is not excited about King Felix?
Age: 19 | Throws: Right
2005: Held LHB to .182 BA
"Have you seen him?" a scout raved late in the season. "I've seen him twice. I can't remember seeing a kid this young who throws this hard with such control."
Last year, Hernandez, then 19, became the first teenager since Dwight Gooden in 1984 to strike out 10 in a game. When Hernandez threw eight shutout innings in a game near the end of the season, he became the first teenager since Gooden to deny a run in a start. The last pitcher as young as Hernandez to pitch in a regular rotation was Britt Burns in 1978.
"I've never seen a young kid with the potential that this kid has," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "If he stays healthy and keeps his head on straight, he has a chance to be as good as we've ever seen."
Hernandez's head is on straight. He's smart, he's personable and he knows where he is. In spring training last year, he got hammered in a start against the Brewers and tried to pitch out of it by throwing harder.
When he got to the big leagues, he was hit hard in an early start. "And then you could see him pull back, take a little more time on the mound and find a way to get the hitter out instead of just throwing harder," Hargrove said. "He learned from that experience There are 25-, 30-year-old pitchers who don't learn like that. The whole baseball world is in front of him if he wants it."
As good as we've ever seen? You just do not throw that around lightly.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
We are just around the corner from being treated to photo ops of Pedro Martinez smiling in a spandex shirt and orange shorts tossing the ball around. The excitement is palpable and everyone is getting their panties wet over the thought of baseball being played rather than rumors of deals involving Lastings Milledge and Jose Vidro. In lieu of the lack of news, rather than dedicate another meaningless post that crapola, we'll get down to some business. The first (and possibly the last) The Metropolitans sponsored fantasy league is here. The man known as Benny has expressed desire to run a league and be the commissioner. So far we have Ken (got your email off your site), Benny (have your email), John (please send yours), Kyle (please send yours), Jake (got your email), Scott (send me yours), Mike in Spain (have yours), Webb (you are playing), and myself. If you are interested, please email me, but just keep this in mind. We are playing for second place since as Benny pointed out, Chuck Norris has already won.
If you agree to play and back out, there will be consequences.
Despite four consecutive losing seasons as a tandem, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd and manager Clint Hurdle on Monday had their contracts extended for one year, through the 2007 season. -- Denver Post
A 12-year Major League veteran who will play this season for the New York Mets, Valentin was the offensive force for Puerto Rico with four hits, including a game-tying homer in the eighth.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
More Irrefutable Facts About Chuck Norris
The news has been reduced to the Best of MLB's Mailbags and Piazza's career stats in case you are in capable of going to ESPN.com. With that in mind, I'm going to my ace in the hole. Chuck Norris facts. Go ahead. Try and refute them. You can't.
1) Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick years ago was the tool used by the state of Texas to execute people. George W had to quit the use of it because it was too awesome of a way to be executed. It was so awesome that the murder rate spiked for a few years because people just wanted the chance to be roundhoused by Chuck. Chuck was enraged by W's decision so much that he roundhouse kicked his mother Barbara to death. The Barbara we see today is actually an android.
2) It wasn't the chicken or the egg. It was Chuck Norris.
3) In his spare time, Chuck Norris breeds thoroughbred horses by manually inseminating the females with his own semen.
4) If Chuck Norris snorts cocaine, the cocaine gets excited.
5) Contrary to popular belief, Mary was not a virgin. Chuck impregnated her and the result was a bearded man named Jesus that could walk on water and turn stone into bread. He could not, however, throw a proper roundhouse kick. Chuck abandoned them and denied that Jesus was his son by proclaiming that Mary was a virgin. Everyone listened, because he is Chuck Norris.
6) When you walk outside and aren't eaten by dinosaurs, you can thank Chuck Norris for killing them.
7) The Titanic didn't sink because it hit an iceberg, but in fact it ran into Chuck Norris while practicing his underwater roundhouse kicks.
8) And on the seventh day Chuck Norris told God, "I'll take it from here."
9) When Chuck Norris plays Oregon Trail his family does not die from cholera or dysentery, but rather roundhouse kicks to the face. He also requires no wagon, since he carries the oxen, axels, and buffalo meat on his back. He always makes it to Oregon before you.
10) Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.
As for participating in the World Baseball Classic, it's anticipated Martinez will have to play it by ear.
"The guy is very loyal to his country and the people there," Conti said. "I know he wants to pitch in it, but he has to see where he is first. I don't think he'd do anything to jeopardize his Mets season."
"I know they've already indicated to me that if things work out well here, there could be a future beyond this season, but right now, it's not important," he said on ESPN News. "I just want to go out and prove that I can play here and contribute here. I've been so blessed in my career. I've had my share of highs, so to speak. I've been very blessed. So anything from here on out for me is a bonus. It's sugar in the icing, you know what I mean?
"So I have a great attitude as far as anything past this season. But I want to stay healthy this whole season and contribute as much as possible, hopefully to a winning season and a playoff season."
With an eight million dollar option, you have no future there unless they turn it down and resign you.
Describing the frustration of General Manager Billy Beane after the Athletics' 2002 playoff loss to "the clearly inferior Minnesota Twins," the book's author, Michael Lewis, wrote that at such times, Beane would make a trade.
"But there was no player on whom his mind naturally fixed," Lewis wrote. "The only person in the organization whose riddance would make him happier was his manager, Art Howe. It wasn't long before he had a novel idea: trade Art."
Monday, February 06, 2006
Trip Down Memory Lane Part III: Norm and the Shea Hot Corner
Things are slow no doubt, but that gives us time to look back on one of the greatest all time posts in the history of Mets blogging. Norm over at the now defunct Shea Hot Corner had a hysterical post about when the Yankees brought A-Rod over in a trade from the Rangers. Of course, many of you have already read this, but there are a lot of new people too that haven't enjoyed it. If you read it, read it again.
We are on A-Rod O-verload at this point. Everything that could be said about this historic trade has been. Or has it? Today the Hot Corner dives into the most critical, overlooked aspect of this trade. In all the hoopla, no one noticed that the acquisition of Alex Rodriguez establishes the New York Yankees as the most metrosexual team in the history of Major League Baseball.
Seriously. Just when you thought the Yankees were maxed out in metrosexuality, Damon becomes the poster boy. The post never gets old as laughing at the Yankees does not get old. If you are new, you are going to love it. The reason it jogged my memory was the fact that Johnny Damon went from idoit/captain caveman to nancy boy and Benny's comment about it being a prerequisite to have frosted hair to become a Yankee. Let us us all laugh in unison at the Yankees. It feels good.
The Drug Enforcement Administration arrested 22 Colombian nationals for smuggling heroin into the United States via various methods, including surgically implanting the drug into puppies, officials said Wednesday.
In addition, the rules are going to limit the number of security Cuba is allowed to bring to watch its players and as Mets executive Tony Bernazard said, "It is a very delicate situation because security is important for this team because Cuba spends a lot of resources training these players." So who will be monitoring the Cubans most? "There will be scouts from every major league team watching Cuba play, there is no question about that," said Nationals GM Jim Bowden, echoing the sentiments of most in his industry. This is a unique chance to see Cubans play high-level competition.
Omar likes to be aggressive and wants to hit the international market hard. Any chance Yulieski Gourriel will get to break away and defect?
But the initial, final 30-man roster is filled with relievers Chad Cordero, Brian Fuentes, Todd Jones, Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan, Scot Shields, Huston Street and Billy Wagner. That signals Martinez will play this akin to an All-Star Game with starters going short, in part due to mandated pitch-count rules installed to try to avoid injury. But the plan also seems to be to get a lead and then let a bunch of closer types tag-team to the finish line.
Scary thought. Street setting up for Lidge, then Cordero, then Wagner...
The Mets have signed Michel Abreu, a Cuban defector expected to provide some insurance at first base.
Insurance in case Delgado, Nady, and Franco go down? Originally Abreu was signed by the Red Sox last year for $450,000, but his contract was voided when it was found out he was not in fact 26 years old.