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

Friday, February 24, 2006

Even More Irrefutable Facts About Jack Bauer?

I can't promise this is the last one, but I'm pretty sure it is.

1) When Jack Bauer goes to the airport and the metal detector doesn't go off, security gives him a gun.

2) Jack Bauer can get McDonald's breakfast after 10:30.

3) You can lead a horse to water. Jack Bauer can make him drink.

4) It is a known fact that when Time magazine awards "The Man of Year*", there is fine print on the bottom of the cover that says, " *besides Jack Bauer."

5) Jack Bauer is allowed to leave his phone on during a movie.

6) Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris were stuck in a room together once... After 3 minutes, Chuck Norris left crying without a scratch on him. (we all know Chuck's chest hair could own Bauer)

7) Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

8) When Jack Bauer was a child, he made his mother finish his vegetables.

9) Jack Bauer is the only man who doesn't suffer from shrinkage.

10) When Jack Bauer watches a pot, it boils immediately.

11) Kim is proof that "it skips a generation".

12) If you are not wearing underwear at this moment, then you are "going Jack Bauer".

13) Jack Bauer once took 25 hours to dismantle a terrorist plot. That day has since been referred to as Daylight Savings Time.

14) By special request, Trojan condoms now come in more sizes: regular, large, extra large, and Jack Bauer.

15) If two trains are heading towards the same destination, one starting from 100 miles away going east at 80mph, and another from 120 miles away going west at 100mph, which one arrives first? Answer: Jack Bauer.

16) Jack Bauer broke into a nunnery, and impregnated 52 nuns. As a result, the 1972 Miami Dolphins were created. The only team in NFL history to obtain an undefeated season.

17) Jack Bauer can beat Contra on NES without entering the cheat code.

* * *

  • I know it is pretty often pitchers sit out for the year for injuries, but a pitching coach?

    Pitching coach Dave Wallace, who developed an infection in his hip earlier this month, underwent hip replacement surgery yesterday, making it unlikely he will be with the team this season, if ever again.
    Article Tools

    Wallace's condition, according to Red Sox ace Curt Schilling, had deteriorated last week to the point that ''he literally almost died."

    Wow. Serious shit, but now the team is without their pitching coach. I guess we will have a good example to show us how much pitching coaches affect a team.

  • Pedro speaks.

    "Write it the right way so we don't have any misunderstandings because I've seen A-Rod, seen everybody," Martinez said. "We've had a lot of misunderstandings. I'm not ruling it out. I don't think I'll have enough time to get in shape to pitch at that level. When is the first game -- the 7th? And I haven't even gotten on the mound. You guys make a judgment from there. I'm not ruling it out."

  • In big news, Kaz lit up Billy.

    The crowd gathered around Field 6 at the Mets complex to watch Billy Wagner throw live batting practice, but what dropped jaws was the performance in the batter's box by Kaz Matsui.

    Against Wagner, he drilled the first pitch on a line into left field, then one-hopped the right field wall with an opposite-field rip and took another over the left-center field wall.

    "I don't want to get all jumpy and happy because the first day went well," Matsui said through an interpreter. "That's just the first day."

  • Looks like David Wright won't be the only talented Mets prospect that can say all the right things.

    When Sheffield's name was relayed to Milledge, he demurred. "I just want to play the game, and stay focused on the task at hand," Milledge said. He'll surprise you with modesty, too.

    Hopefully this kids gets to show everyone what he can do as a Met. Here is to hoping there is not starting rotation collapse.

  • Ken Rosenthal says Venezuela should be the favorite in the WBC.

    Venezuela is the early favorite in the World Baseball Classic for one reason alone:

    Its best players are participating.

    "You get guys from other countries saying they want to play and the next thing you know, they can't play," Venezuela manager Luis Sojo says. "That's not the case with Venezuela. They want to play. They want to be on the team. That's all they're talking about."

    Point taken, now lets move on.

  • Roger McDowell got a nice article on ESPN.com today.

    Shortly after the Braves hired McDowell, Schuerholz received a phone call from a friend and front-office colleague.

    "Congratulations," the executive said. "You just hired the next pitching coach superstar."

  • Thursday, February 23, 2006

    Adios Mio

    Pedro is going to miss the first round of the WBC.

    Pedro Martinez's lingering right big toe injury will keep him out of at least the opening-round games of the World Baseball Classic, Newsday has learned.

    Martinez said yesterday he is hoping to join his Dominican team for later rounds "if everything goes perfectly."

    "Without a doubt my country's people expect me to perform, but only if I'm healthy," Martinez told Newsday. "They know in the long run it's better to see me pitch every five days than not at all, even if it's the Classic."

    At least the first round? THE FIRST ROUND? How about the entire thing? As of now, he is aiming to throw off the front slop of the mound on Sunday. As Bob Klapisch pointed out yesterday, the Mets season more or less hinges on Pedro. No matter how much improved the offense is, Glavine, Heilman, Traxx, Zambrano, and Soler/Lima/Bannister is not getting it done for any prolonged stretch. Even if a top line starter is available at the trade deadline, and a lot of times they are not, Pedro chancing injury in the WBC may cost Lastings Milledge since he is the only viable chip that will bring back value.

    "We have full trust in Pedro," general manager Omar Minaya said. "I think he wants to play, and he's going to do everything he can to play. But he is very understanding of the bigger issues. We're confident he'll be OK as far as the season goes. He's not going to risk his career or his year for the sake of playing."

    I'm all for pride in your country and bringing home a title in a tournament like this, but there has to be limits. Even if things do go perfectly for him, he is not exactly clear from problems. He's had his share over the past two years and that alone should be the determining factor for him not to play and not how he feels right now. It is just not in the cards for Pedro this year and he will have everyone's blessing next year if he is healthy all the way through 2006 and next winter. At this point, he could just be posturing for his country to look like a good soldier and is unlikely to play, but it seems like he is going to give it his all to play. It is time for Omar and Fred to step in and strongly advise him to take it slow and get ready for the Mets opener and put this to bed. There is a lot riding on his toe and his arm and no one to back him up if his health becomes a problem.

    * * *

  • Baseball America's top 100 prospects is out and I have a few thoughts.

    • The Mets were ranked #30 without Pelfrey and one would assume Mike is worth a few spots higher, but the Yankees are ranked 17th with no players ranked ahead of the Mets top two and only two in the top 100 overall. Phil Hughes at #39 and Eric Duncan at #86. You have to take into account organizational depth, but the top prospects should certainly weighted more. Of course, the Yankees might be deeper, but they have a lot of similarities with the Mets in that they have a lot of high risk, high reward guys at the lower levels. It is certainly puzzling why there is just a huge disparity in the number they are ranked when it is just not clear that the Yankees' system is that much better. Unless of course the difference between 17 and 30 is close it doesn't matter, but I hardly think that is the case.

    • As much as I like Phil Humber, I'm a bit upset at this current moment that Stephen Drew was not the name called by the Mets in the 2004 draft.

      5. STEPHEN DREW, ss, Diamondbacks

      "He's got power. He can hit for average. He's got instincts. He has all the defensive tools to play an outstanding shortstop. He is one of the most instinctual players for his age that I've ever seen."
      --Diamondbacks scouting director Mike Rizzo
      ETA: 2006

    • They really like Juston Upton.

      2. JUSTIN UPTON, ss, Diamondbacks

      "If you stick him in center field right now, he could be an all-star in two years."
      --anonymous scouting director
      ETA: 2007

      Jeez. That is a bold statement if I've ever seen one.

    • This one struck me as funny.

      13. ALEX GORDON, 3b, Royals

      "Alex Gordon is obviously a guy we had targeted for a long time. We feel like he's going to be a cornerstone for this organization for many years to come."
      --Royals scouting director Deric Ladnier
      ETA: 2007

      By many years to come, you mean six years before he hits free agency.
  • Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?

    Martinez said he doesn't believe that Manny Ramirez will report as late as the slugger told the Red Sox he would. "I talked to him the other day and he was happy. He was in Fort Lauderdale, just about 45 minutes from [Red Sox camp]. I think he's just trying to make them nervous," said Martinez.

  • Dayn Perry has a great article on Dwight Gooden.

    Later that season, after he cut an untrammeled swath through the Cub lineup for an entire afternoon, a reporter asked Cub manager Jim Frey what he thought of Gooden’s poise. “The guy has a 93-mile-per-hour fastball and one of the best curves in baseball and you ask me about his poise?” Frey sniffed. “What the hell does he need poise for?”

    'Tis a shame what happened to that dude.

  • Win the fans over? Does any fan even care about Delgado and his agent's past with the Mets anymore?

  • Always a good thing to watch, ESPN's top ten baseball fights. Chan Ho Park breaking out what appears to be some mini roundhouse is noteworthy, but no where near Chuck Norris.

  • Watch the Game 6 trailer. I've never heard of it, but it comes out on March 10th.

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2006

    More On The Batting Order

    I know people think I am complaining about something small (thanks to Ryan at Always Amazin' for the link), so let me expound on my reasoning behind the batting order and why it just bothers me. Of course, I don't have any type of statistical analysis and I'm not saying those other people wrong, but it has to make some sort of difference.

    While it has been said that the batting order is inconsequential, there is always a better option. It is not out of the real of possibilities to think that the batting order could possibly determine the outcome in a few games and that could be the difference between sitting home in October or playing for something.

    I’ve been beating a dead horse on David Wright’s position in the batting order since last spring. I’m sick of reading my complaints about it. I’m sick of me thinking about it. I'm all around sick of it. However, Willie is flat out nuts and it is too hard for me to ignore. Paul LoDuca has made remarks that his sole job is move Reyes along and get him to third base with under two outs.

    That is nice. Really, it is. But the problem I have is that leaves a guy that is going to aim to play small ball in the #2 spot and a guy who prefers to play small ball in the #3 spot. It has been no secret that Beltran likes the #2 hole better and judging by the amount of bunts he laid down in 2005 in certain spots that are very uncharacteristic of a third hitter, it seems the Mets have two guys who like small ball in the #2 and #3 hole. For me, that is not the most for the Mets money.

    Furthermore, Wright is quite possibly the team’s best hitter. Better than Delgado and better than Beltran when you wrap into the equation plate discipline, ability to hit for average, power, and base stealing ability. It is also widely accepted and highly rational that you get your best hitter the most at-bats. That follows a line of logic I can follow. Even Felipe Alou has been toying with the idea of moving Barry Bonds into the two holed to get him to the plate more. That is how important some people view getting the best guys the most at-bats and fifth is a long way away in my opinion.

    If Bonds can bat second, at the very least, Beltran can bat second, which he has done for a large part of his career. By the way, all of this is before I even touch LoDuca's and Reyes' allergy to walking, which is also a big part of it. To those people that say that the batting order has little outcome on the success of a team, I point them to a very important Bill James quote.

    The largest variable determining how many runs a team will score is how many times they get their leadoff man on base.

    So, it does matter at least a little bit, no? I would extend that statement to include the top of your order. The top two at the very least and the top three more realistically. If you are not getting on base for your big RBI men, then your team will live and die by the big homers they hit, which the Mets have seemingly done far to much over the past years.

    Over the last two years, Reyes, Beltran, and Wright have combined for a .339 OBP while Reyes, LoDuca, and Beltran have combined for a .329 OBP. Take into account that David Wright's 2004 numbers only reflect his 69 games played and his rookie season of a .332 OBP. That .339 OBP should see substantial rise between Reyes, Wright, and Beltran because Wright is an on base machine and Beltran was well under his career on base percentage while LoDuca's was pretty much on for his career numbers.

    With Beltran rebounding to about a .367 OBP in 2006, Reyes hovering around .300, and LoDuca staying the same, figure on about a .334 OBP. With Beltran rebounding, Reyes hovering around .300, and Wright nestled in the third spot, figure on about a .351 on base percentage. This also ignores three others huge factors. Pop in the two hole, speed at all three top spots, and stability.

    LoDuca is a singles hitter. He topped thirty doubles once in the last three years and Reyes can score from first on doubles, but not singles. It gives the Mets legit power in the two through fifth and possibly sixth spots depending on who would slot in the fifth and sixth spots respectively. Without LoDuca in the two hole, the Mets can steal a lot more bases and have no cloggers on the base paths to slow anyone up like LoDuca would be doing in front of Beltran. LoDuca hits a lot of singles and if Beltran singles and gets him to second, he has no where to run. Reyes can go from first to third on singles with relative ease setting up a stolen base to get two into scoring position for the big dogs. Lastly, Ramon Castro stands to get a lot of playing time. At the minimum thirty games, maybe more. That leaves a hole in the two spot. We know Willie and we know that when someone sits out, he does not like the shake things up that much. When someone sat last year, Wright was not moved up for reasons unbeknown to sane people. God only knows who would be manning the two spot when LoDuca gets a breather.

    This batting order with Reyes, Beltran and Wright in the top three spots makes so much sense on so many levels. I just hope nothing is set in stone until everyone gets to see how it all gels together this spring.

    * * *

  • A rousing endorsement, no?

    A few readers suggest every year--and in our crazier moments we actually talk about it--that we shouldn't write up 30 prospects for each organization. Rather, we should write up the best 900 prospects in the minors, regardless of organization, so the best organizations would have more players in the book. That's just crazy on so many levels that I can't even begin to explain it, but I will say that if we did that this year, the Mets would not have had 30 players in the book.

    First, would they even have twenty? That's debatable, but judging prospects in the 500 through 900 range would be dicey to say the least. That would be an impossible test without some sort of arithmetic that derives these rankings, but as Mr. Lingo stated, that is just crazy on so many levels.

  • Another petition. Any chance to stick it to the man is a good one.

    Hey all, do me a favor and sign my petition. It will help many fans in CT be able watch the Mets this season. I’m hoping to get my local cable provider to consider reaching an agreement with SNY. Even if you don’t subscribe to Charter Digital Cable, do me a favor and sign it, because you will ultimately be helping support your team because you know a lot more people will be watching them on tv this season… only takes a second. Thanks everybody!

    http://www.petitiononline.com/NY...Y/ petition.html

    You will sign it and like it. Oh, check #9. Hopefully I start a trend..by hopefully I mean everyone put up Norris quotes.

  • Kevin Kernan thinks the Mets should take advantage of Manny's aloofness. The Red Sox are losing any leverage they have had with Manny, but he will still cost a lot and Lastings Milledge would be involved someway and in case anyone missed it, pitching should be more of a hot button topic at this point.

  • The metrosexual revolution has hit the St. Lucie complex.

    Bret Boone arrived at camp, his mind and body renewed, and his hair glaring with a platinum-dye job.

    He joked that the hair was a result of what he went through last year, but he is well aware that he has to do more than catch the Mets' eye with a bright-hued hairdo or bold words. It was only a few months ago that he was done, ready to give up on the game that had just given up on him.

  • "Speed is going to be important to us," said Randolph. "It's the game I like to play. And I think we have enough pop in the lineup."

    Exept in the two hole and three hole, right? Beltran cannot run past LoDuca.

  • Ryan McConnel from Always Amazin' had this tidbit yesterday.

    Victor Diaz, Rocket Arm?
    The Hardball Times' John Walsh researches who had the best right field throwing arm in the game last year and comes up with a surprising conclusion: Victor Diaz's arm saved the second most amount of runs in the league last year (per 200 chances)!

    That's just weird. Not taking anything away from Diaz's arm -- which seemed at least average to the naked eye -- but he wouldn't be the first person I'd list when thinking of good defensive players.

    This is something that Diaz takes a lot of criticism on. Firstly, Victor Diaz actually has a very good arm. It's not only at least average, it is above average. He is not a Vlad, Jose Guillen, or Hidalgo type cannon, but most certainly better than Cameron's arm and most outfielders. Secondly, while he does not have the greatest range from watching him, he seems to look somewhat comfortable and more than able to be a big league right fielder. He seems to have some problems tracking balls back into the alley and running long distances on balls with precision, but he wasn't bad enough to think he would not adjust to his new position and be at least average. There are bad ones out there and he will not win any gold gloves, but his arm is more than enough and his glove over the course of the year should improve with regular play. Let us all remember he has not been an outfielder for long in the big scheme of things.

  • I'm ignoring all of the Beltran articles.
  • Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Another Case Of The Man Sticking It To The Little Guy

    An email from a concerned citizen.

    Could you please help out fellow Mets fans in central NJ who are served by patriot media and post this petition link to your site?

    Patriot Media, the local cable company for about 80,000 customers in central New Jersey (Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris and Mercer counties) currently has no plans to offer SportsNet NY to its subscribers - which will eliminate the chance to see about 120+ Mets games this season. A petition requesting this channel has been started online at: http://www.petitiononline.com/SNYPM/petition.html Patriot Media was briefly mentioned at the end of this article in the NY Daily News. However, nothing was mentioned about the petition. Cablevision is obviously a bigger story since they have many more customers. I have called Patriot Media and spoken with a supervisor who said they are aware of the petition and that it is a good way to get the channel. If they see enough demand, they will take action. Remember, it is best to sign once per household - preferably with the name of the person who has the service in their name.


    -Mike A.
    Belle Mead, NJ

    Sorry citizen. I doubt I have many people reading my site from the Patriot Media area, but good luck with all of that. We have our own problems in Cablevision land with an owner that thinks 'nanny nanny poo poo' is a good argument tactic.

    * * *

  • Yes, Franco is old. Oh, he also makes statements best kept inside his head.

    "I don't see what is this big scandal about taking steroids. It will increase your strength, but it will kill you early, too. You will die if you keep taking those garbage," Julio Franco.

    I think the logic is slightly flawed there.

    While on the topic of Franco, as much as I like the guy, using a roster spot for a clubhouse presence when you already had a backup first baseman is seriously flawed. This is not the American League. A better use of the bench is necessary.

    Also, do all the writers get together and decide what they want to write about? There were about 2,000 articles on Julio Franco today. Really, really, strange stuff. It's like on college or high school when no one did their homework and just copied off one kid.

  • Ok, let's get plan B in place in case Pedro's toe is going to be a no go. What's that? Jose Lima is plan B? Niiiiiiccee.

  • Anger rising.

    "I guess I'm a show-me guy, I want to see that David can keep making the adjustments," Randolph said Monday, leaving yet another clue. Fair enough, he doesn't want to rush the kid. But anyone who saw Wright tear up the National League after the All-Star break last year -- batting .333 with 16 homers in 273 at-bats -- would agree he became the Mets' greatest all-around threat.

    I think Willie needs an IOS upgrade for his brain. The version he has is ancient and is seriously limiting his capability to operate to perform simple tasks. Bob Klapisch gets it. That's all I know.

    Jose Reyes SS
    Carlos Beltran CF
    David Wright 3B
    Carlos Delgado 1B
    Cliff Floyd LF
    Victor Diaz RF
    Paul Lo Duca C
    Kaz Matsui 2B

    Get over the lefty/left combo in the four and five holes. If a good lefty is starting seperate them or give one a day off. If they put in a lefty at the end of a game, let your guys hit. They are good hitters and they are not horrible against lefties. Here are their combined numbers against lefties since 2003:
     AB   R  2B  HR  RBI  BB   SO   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS
    879 115 53 40 168 89 218 .255 .335 .454 .789
    I urge Willie to put the Art Howe book of baseball down. If a Manny for Delgado deal had gone down, does anyone seriosly think Ortiz and Delgado would not be batting back to back?

  • Adam Rubin goes over the lefties vying for a bullpen spot. Royce Ring's walks were uncharacteristically high for him. I fully expect him to be solid big league reliever at some point. Hopefully he steps up. He showed he has some stones against the Phillies last year, I think he has something.

  • Ass.

    I know all of the "experts" will be flocking to the Mets with their preseason picks. Who do you actually think poses the biggest threat to the Braves?
    -- Mike D., Tucson, Ariz.

    I love how this idiot put experts in quotes somehow suggesting everyone is off their rocker. While I'll admit some of the experts are leaving a lot to be desired, this is pretty plain to see the Mets have the most well rounded team in the NL East. I won't even examine the answer provide by Mark Bowman either because I want to keep my blood pressure in check. I'm not saying the Mets have the best five, they don't, but the Braves have two guys with a 4.5 ERA and a guy who needs to establish what happened in 2005 was not some more one year Mazzone magic. If you are comfy with that five and labeling them as the deepest, go ahead.
  • Monday, February 20, 2006

    Go Directly to Hell, Do Not Pass Go

    This is just wrong.

    * * *

  • Pedro bought his 'white daddy' a nice new SUV.

    Question the health of Pedro Martinez's right big toe, but don't question his generosity. The ace just gave bullpen coach Guy Conti a pricey gift - an SUV.

    "I never had anything like that happen in baseball. It's unbelievable," said Conti, who turns 64 this spring. "I turned it over to my wife. She said, 'Unbelievable.'"

    Pedro thanks you for his off-speed pitch.

  • David Wright may get a shot to start in the WBC.

    David Wright may be summoned to the World Baseball Classic after all. Chipper Jones' 18-month-old son Shea suffered an intestinal virus that required hospitalization in Atlanta. He's concerned about traveling, but said he hopes to participate.

  • The biggest battle this spring is due to take place in right field. Diaz has his share of backers to win the job and not only do I think he is the better choice due to upside, but he is clearly the more logical choice.

    For Nady, it was kind of awkward, like being a teenager on the first day at a new high school.

    "I've got a jersey," Nady said. "That's all that matters."

    But as Nady unpacked, in walked Victor Diaz, who immediately showed why he is the clubhouse favorite to win the rightfielder's job. One of the first things Diaz did was walk over to Pedro Martinez and give the pitcher a big hug, and everyone else seemed to greet Diaz in some way or another.

    Even Mike Cameron, who was shipped to San Diego in that November trade for Nady, has a rooting interest as the Mets audition for his replacement.

    "Cam called me right away," Diaz said, "and wished me luck."

    Diaz can rake. We all know he can and I think he can hit substantially better than he did last year. The kid has no reservations about being on the big stage and seems to look forward to the challenge. However, he is only suited for two positions. Right Field or left field. If Nady is awarded the right field spot in this spring, Diaz is surely going to find a tough time logging some at-bats and may not even be suited to play anywhere other than Norfolk so he can play regularly. Nady can play all three outfield spots, first base, and could dabble in third base in a pinch. At 27, with no real impressive big league resume, one has to wonder if Nady has it in him to break and become the player he was tabbed to be. My gut says no. That is not to say he does not have value, he does. I just hope the Mets do not tie his value into the Cameron deal and feel the need to start him to justify their return rather than do what is best for the team.

    His value should be as a super sub. His situation was no doubt muddied by the non-essential signing of Julio Franco since Franco stands to steal some of his prospective at-bats at first base, but if Diaz is on the bench or in the minors to start the season, he might was well be traded to try and fill whatever needs arise. Diaz serves no value on the bench as a guy who is not going to log as many at-bats as he needs to be effective and with Lastings around the corner, this is his time. Victor just turned 24 this past December and has his best years in front of him. While I can appreciate a good position battle in spring, you have to rely on the past somewhat too. Based on Nady's lackluster three year career and the promise and pop Diaz has shown, shouldn't Diaz be considered the logical choice for right field? The answer is yes, but we know how much Willie loves a good battle and his penchant for not tabbing anyone as having a position to lose.

  • Impressive. Most impressive.

    Wagner made his first appearance on a mound Sunday, throwing for 10 minutes in the bullpen. His delivery is economical yet combustible, just as Peterson's test-results suggest. The ball flies out of Wagner's hand at 75-percent exertion.

    With mechanics like these, Wagner could conceivably keep his elite fastball into his 40s, like Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens. That would put Wagner in an even smaller fraternity, considering all the other great power pitchers of this era, including Mariano Rivera, have succumbed to the ravages of time.

    This should be some good info to those who thought four years for a 34 year old power pitcher was too long. Wager should not only be effective four the four years he will spend as a Met, but possibly longer should he choose to keep pitching.

  • Brett is not an early arriver in camp. One has to wonder what Boone is thinking being so low on the totem pole and being in the position he is in to not put forth the extra effort. He is not just playing for a job with the Mets, but somewhere else should he play well enough to open some eyes even if his shot is not with the Mets.

  • Phil Humber looks to be a little ahead of schedule. Good stuff.

  • Mike Pelfrey is good.

    "I'm not afraid to bring guys up," Minaya said yesterday. "I'm not saying we'll do that (with Pelfrey), but I wouldn't say it won't happen, either. I'd rather take a conservative approach, but then if the player shows he has the ability, I'm not afraid to take a young guy and put him in there."