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

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lima Time!™

I just read this quote from and old post and had to shake my head.

"I'm going into spring training definitely very optimistic and I'm just thankful to have the opportunity to start again," Heilman said. "Hopefully, I can go out there and prove again that I deserve the opportunity."

There is something to be said for someone going out there to prove they belong. To prove they can do the job. I'm not saying he wants it more than Brian Bannister, but Bannister could be just happy to be here where as Heilman more or less has a chip on his shoulder. Aaron going out there with a little extra something every five days could have produced big results for the Mets, but what is done is done and now the bullpen needs to rounded out.

The Mets should carry seven relievers. Victor Diaz on the bench as the fourth outfielder makes little sense when there are actually five since Endy Chavez has made the team. With Woodward in there too, I'm not sure I see a need for him at all. As much as I like him and want to see him get a shot, his future with this team is in doubt for sure. Let him pad his numbers in AAA for a possible trade that either creates a job for him with the Mets or involves him. Something will have to give at some point down the line.

The Mets bullpen was pretty much set until Juan Padilla went down. Now, I think we can all agree, that he was not good enough or be the reason the Mets panicked to move Heilman back into the bullpen. Also, it seems absurd that Heath Bell only had six innings up until a few days ago to see if he could be an integral part of the bullpen. There are literally people out there who think he could be better than most of the closers out there, but he needs to actually get a shot.

Some people think the Mets pay too much attention to spring stats, but I say they actually do not pay enough. They seemingly make up their minds before the first pitch is thrown and nothing can change that. The only case of spring performance being a factor for the Mets is in Bannister's case. However, that was aided by the fact they never really wanted Aaron in the rotation. Bannister gave them a great excuse not to put him in there. Keppinger never had a shot at second and that was decided without another at-bats. Diaz never had a shot at right field and that was also decided without any at-bats. Now, Heath Bell looks unlikely to make the bullpen and Jose Lima inexplicably looks like the leading candidate to take the last spot despite them have polar opposite spring performances. Heath Bell is not even mentioned in the article which hints that he is not even on the Mets radar.

Lima is in the lead because he can spot start most likey, but let me be clear, it should never be Lima Time!™. Aaron Heilman is more than capable to spot start if needed. Heath Bell has a 1.13 ERA with a .148 BAA to Jose Lima's 8.59 ERA and .328 BAA. That's right, a .328 BAA in spring against a lot of retreads and minor leaguers. Lima will not be on the team at the end of the year and that is a guarantee. Yet, the Mets once again, seem to make a decision that works against the team. Why not take your best players up north? Why not get it right from the start? Last season the Mets got the right bullpen and the right rotation in August and possibly cost themselves a trip to the playoffs. This year wreaks of the same thing. I seriously wonder why the Mets seem to be incapable of making simple decisions. This one should be a no brainer.

* * *

  • Oh baby. Anna Benson served Kris divorce papers and says he cheated on her.

    "She's completely crushed; she didn't see this coming," said Anna Benson's spokesman, Jules Feiler. "She had no choice but to take this action."

    Of course, we all know that she vowed to sleep with the entire team, including the balls boys if Kris was unfaithful.

    "I was talking about infidelity. I have to come up with stupid humor to be understood by these idiots who take everything so literally. All these big-time athletes who cheat and get away with it! Why should we put up with that shit? It’s time for us to get back to traditional values!"

    Traditional values? Wow. From an x-stripper. Not that have a problem with woman working to pay for school by taking their clothes off and I vehemently support them, but Anna certainly should not be preaching about traditional values.

    "When I came to him, I had nothing—two pairs of panties and one bra. Suddenly, I found I was married to a millionaire. It was always in the back of my mind: I’d better not get too comfortable with good things. But Kris took me by the shoulders and put his face close to mine.” She illustrated. "He said, ‘You can choose to live your life happy or you can choose to live your life miserable. I choose to live my life happy, so what are you going to do?’ "She held up her left hand to show a diamond-encrusted Rolex. "t’s got diamonds, but as a watch it’s crap, doesn’t keep time," she said.

    When she Met Kris, he was already a millionaire. I think the kids should be taken care of, but I have a hard time thinking she deserves to have money coming out of her ass for the rest of her life because Kris saved her.

    "I don’t care that much about baseball. I want to do many other things. I’m a humanitarian and a philanthropist. When I’m in New York, I go out by myself and talk to the homeless on the street. I listen to them. I want to hear their stories. I want to talk about today’s issues."

    Riiiiight. Good luck with all of that Kris. You will need it. Godspeed and down with the witch.

  • Eric Gange's fastball is not scraping the high 90's so far. It will be interesting to see if it comes back and if he can be as dominant without it if it does not come back. I guess getting Danys Baez as insurance/future closer looks like a great deal.

  • David Wright's boyfriend was traded to the Houston Astros and will start the season off in AAA. McEwing batted .436 this spring but was not able to secure a roster spot.

  • The Cubs have sold the naming rights to Budweiser for the bleachers. They are now called the "Bud Light Bleachers". Whores.

  • David Wright gets some revenge on Cornelius.

    David Wright tossed a cooler full of ice water on Cliff Floyd as the outfielder emerged from the whirlpool

  • Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, and Gary Cohen are going to give Mets fans a great commentary team.

    "Keith and I are good friends, but we don't agree on everything so that should make for good TV," Darling said.

  • Mitch Wylie found no takers for his service and signed with the Mets and is headed to Norfolk.

  • Ken Rosenthal lays his predictions out there. Some interesting picks like the Blue Jays taking the Wild Card and knocking the Red Sox out of the playoff picture while making it all the way to the World Series. He does think the Mets will make the playoffs, but as a Wild Card team with the Braves taking the division yet again. He believes the Mets will lose in the first round and according to Rosenthal, a "compromised rotation with off-season maneuvering" is the culprit.
  • Thursday, March 30, 2006

    2006 Pre-Season Predications

    National League

    East - New York Mets
    I do not buy picking the Braves until they lose. For me, I buy into the line off thinking that they cannot possibly win again. The odds are simply not with them. Hence, my Mets pick. They are better than every team in the division if health is on their side despite a manager that has trouble making simple decisions. Hopefully Willie taking the Mets to the playoffs does not cloud the eyes of people voting for manager of the year based on where the team ends up and votes on the actual managerial skills of the manager.

    Central - St. Louis Cardinals
    The easy pick here. No one is good enough to unseat them just yet. You have to believe that they will run away with the division again and win by a comfortable margin.

    West - San Diego Padres
    Taking the division with 80 wins? Possibly. I know the Dodgers did a lot to bolster their team this year, but I am just not enamored with them and still like the Padres to take the division with less wins than the Wild Card winner.

    Wild Card - Houston Astos
    Call me crazy, but Preston Wilson is going to have a big year and fat boy will be back for one more season. With fat boy back in the fold eventually, and even without him, I think they have enough pitching to get the job done since I believe their offense will be improved and eek out the Braves and the Brewers for the Wild Card.

    MVP - David Wright
    The best player on this year's best team in the NL. If only Willie will help a brother out and put him in a spot in the order that he can pile some numbers up to help him get there. People have been tough on him with his glove, but I see a guy who got better all year. His glove will be improved and I am expecting huge numbers offensively. People may think I am just being a wishful thinker, but he hit .281/.369/.470 with 11 homers and 44 RBIs in 302 pre-All Star at bats and .333/.409/.582 with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in 273 post-All Star at bats. The improved lineup will benefit him regardless where he hits and I'm seeing jaw dropping numbers from Wright this year and a solid all around game while exhibiting the leadership of a guy who has been in big league for a decade.

    Cy Young - Roy Oswalt
    I love the little Texan. What he does in that hitter's park is just silly. He is a horse and is flat out nasty. He logged 20 wins with a poor offensive team and this year's team has been improved. Oswalt is a CY Young award waiting to happen.

    Rookie of the Year - Ryan Zimmerman
    A third baseman from Virginia should have won it if the timing worked out better for his intro the league and this will settle the tear in the fabric of the universe. He will not put up big power numbers in 2006, but he is going to hit for a great average, show some double pop, and play near perfect defense. His bat is so refined that I think he will just have the best all around numbers when said and done.

    Manager of the Year - Ned Yost
    I know who it will not be for sure, and that is Willie. I have never seen anyone not deserve something so much. In the end, I think Yost has to get it because the Brew Crew will be this year's best story in the NL and make a run at the Wild Card while ultimately falling short with a very young team.

    American League

    East - New York Yankees
    I bet against them last season and I'm not doing that this season. Hopefully since nothing I pick actually ever wins, the Yankees will be cursed by me simply picking them.

    Central - Chicago White Sox
    As much as I would love the Indians to win it, the White Sox pitching is just too nasty. Is anyone else as deep? Probably not and adding Jim Thome just added some serious firepower to an offense that was already good enough to win the World Series. The Indians will make is close, but just do not have the juice to take down the reigning champs.

    West - Oakland Athletics
    I'm feeling the A's here. Their rotation is the best in the West in my eyes and I like their offense too. Bradley and the Big Hurt were great pickups that I think are going to work out nicely. The Angels and the A's will be in a dogfight all year, but Zito will be huge in his walk year and Harden is going to be one of the top five pitchers in the league this season. Add in Haren and Blanton with a year under their belt and this team is going to make it hard for any team to outlast them in the West.

    Wild Card - Cleveland Indians
    The AL East is better this year as is AL Central and I think the Indians will eek out the Red Sox just because the AL East is more competitive top to bottom. The Blue Jays improvement this year is going to end up doing the Red Sox in. The Angels will be in the fight for the Wild Card too, but the Indians are going to assert themselves as an AL power for the next ten years.

    MVP - Alex Rodríguez
    This one hurt me a lot write down. A lot.

    Cy Young - Rich Harden
    Dude is good. He is going to step it up this year and put up even better numbers than he did last year. Big things for Harden in 2006 and that includes the Cy Young Award.

    Rookie of the Year - Casey Kotchman
    Liriano is the sexy name here, but he is starting off the year in the bullpen most likely. By the time he gets to start, it will simply be too late to over take Kotchman who is going to start from day one. Casey is going to come in and hit like he is a ten year vet in the league.

    Manager of the Year - Eric Wedge
    It is a toss up between Wedge and Mache, but I think the Indians making the playoffs will be a bigger story than the A's making the playoffs.

    * * *

  • Wagner tried to cheer up Aaron Heilman.

    "We walked up to him and said, 'Hey, you've got a chance to make us 10 times better, a chance to really be part of something special,'" Wagner recalled yesterday. "Once he kind of accepted that, I think he grew.

    Heilman is saying the right things...

    "It's not a demotion," Heilman said. "I was able to have success there in the bullpen last year. And hopefully I'll be able to have that same type of success and help us win. I mean that's the bottom line, if we can get into the playoffs and play in October. If this helps us get to the playoffs then that's what I'm going to do."

  • Adam Rubin has a nice scouting report on the Mets entire organization.

  • Iriki will take a trip to Norfolk if he is assigned and the Mets should in fact do that.

    Yusaku Iriki got back on track, tossing two scoreless innings in the Braves' 4-1 win. Iriki lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 5.93. The Japanese pitcher said he would report to Triple-A Norfolk if assigned. He said his previous string of sub-par outings was due in part to pressing over trying to make the team.

    Bring in Heath Bell. Period. Give the kid a shot.

  • Bill Madden has nice piece on the new Mets and Yankee stadiums.

  • Joel Sherman breaks out the crystal ball.
    Item #1: I agree.
    Item #2: I agree.
    Item #3: This has been a long standing Met problem without the TV Network. Always worry about this one.
    Item #4: I think not. I do think he will be a September call-up, but either Diaz or Nady will get the job done this year.
    Item #5: I agree.

    Not a bad set of guarantees.

  • In a move we could of all saw coming, the Mets released Tike Redman in favor of keeping a lesser player in Endy Chavez in my eyes.

  • The Nationals will throw Livan Hernandez, John Patterson and Pedro Astacio at the Mets to start the season.

  • Is there one person that is still unhappy about Delgado being a Met?

  • Though I think Heilman should be in the rotation whether it be in place of Bannister or in place of Zambrano, Brian is a solid citizen.

    "I really start doing well when I can prepare," Bannister said. "The other guys have been really helpful. We've been breaking down hitters every game out there, their tendencies. The older guys are so good about doing that."

  • A fluff piece on A Hern for your reading pleasure.

  • Tim Hudson was 'sharp' against the Mets. Hard to give him credit for being sharp against the below starting lineup:

    NY Mets
    Chavez, CF
    Valentin, J, 2B
    Lo Duca, C
    Diaz, RF
    Woodward, SS-2B
    Self, 1B
    Aldridge, C, LF
    Lambin, 3B
    Glavine, P

  • The Indians signed Grady Sizemore to a six year deal and I hope the Mets are taking notes and take care of Wright in the same before his time comes due.

  • The Grienke saga continues....

  • Troy Percival is the highest paid scout in baseball.