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

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Critical Keith

I hate to repeat myself....but.....

I know I have been taking a lot of crap for my doubts on Brian Bannister, but Keith was all over him during yesterday's broadcast. If you missed the game and did not watch it, he was throwing a lot of pitches up in the zone and struck Khalil Greene out with the bases loaded in the first on an absolute meatball. On a 3-2 count with the bases loaded and everyone and their grandmother knowing a fastball was coming, Bannister got lucky it wasn't launched into the San Diego Bay. But that wasn't the only one that was missed. If this was not the Padres and there was a competent offense, Bannister might not have made it through three innings. No matter how many times you point to his record or his ERA, what I see with my eyes scare me. Of course there is nothing to do until he actually does fail, but with two five inning pitchers at the end for the rotation, the bullpen is going to be very busy.

Again, to not mention his knack for getting out of trouble would not be fair. Some guys have that ability, however, that was not his MO when he was in the minors. He was a control pitcher and not someone who was continually working from behind and working out of jams. First game? Jitters and cold weather. Second game? Much of the same. Third and fourth game? I'm not sure. People want me to cool it until he actually does blow up and maybe he can be Houdini for the rest of year, but the guy makes me nervous. Now that Keith spoke up, I know I'm not taking crazy pills. In his last two games, he has a 1.80 ERA and that is miraculous considering his WHIP was 2.10 in those two games.

Hey look. The kid has not lost yet. He is sporting a tidy ERA, but he got away with a lot of bad pitches yet again and walked the opposing pitcher on four pitches to get a guy into scoring position with David Roberts up, who has had a solid series so far, and was just about split 50/50 with balls and strikes after walking Williams. I know what you are thinking. "Hey asshole, why can't you just be happy that the Mets are winning!" You might have an argument, but it's my nature to worry. If you want to read about lollipops, gumdrops, unicorns, rainbows, how many homeruns Carlos Delgado is on track for, and how much I like David Wright's sneaker combination with his long pants then I'm sorry. I was debating whether or not I should even write this piece as I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I've spoken my mind again. Hopefully Brian finds his groove and the strike zone now that he has his fourth start behind him. But to ignore two very large potential problems in the rotation would be like asking someone to ignoring a tumor growing off the side of their head. You might not feel anything yet, but eventually, shit is going to go down and it might be very ugly.

Now, I'm not suggesting anything be done yet and a lot of what I said has been taken like I want to shake things up now. But that is not the case. Contingency plans not including Lima Time!™ or Jermi Gonzalez need to be ready to implement. Is Iriki it? Is Maine it? Is Pelfrey it if they can hold out longer? Can Bell replace Heilman in the bullpen if disaster strikes and there is no other choice than put Heilman in the rotation? The problem I have, is there are no answers or any good ones at the very least. Like it has been said before, if this team does not play up to expectations because of a huge oversight in the rotation, it will be inexcusable. Inexcusable because of the moves that have been made.

* * *

  • Did anyone else hear the inordinate amount of heckling by what sounded like some loud woman? I know, shocking. A loud woman, but it's true. "Mets suck" and "whoooooo" (amongst other things) were plain to hear all game. In between pitches you could hear a pin drop in that place and it could not be easier to hear the crowd tell every goddamn Padre hitting to hit a homerun or telling the Mets to (and this was inventive) "go home". That's just as annoying as the people yelling "get in the hole" when you are watching golf on TV.

  • ESPN's Power Ranking's suggest Lastings should be called up as the Mets plummet one spot to number two. To Lastings or not to Lastings. That is the question and I'm sure that will be a hot topic among Met fans. We all have very good memories and are cursed with reoccurring nightmares...like the 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 seasons. So when certain things come up, we have a good memory and hence a correlating negative reaction. Carlos Beltran sat out on May 22nd, 2005 for his hamstring issue. The then missed three games and came back to pinch hit. At that point, they could not retro him on the DL because he played in a game. Turns out, he wasn't ready. He then missed the next four games and had leg problems for pretty much most of the year.

    This year's problem seems a lot less serious, so ultimately, it may be a moot point. However, it does represent a tough situation for Beltran because you only really know if you are healed until you bust it down the line or go after a fly ball. Problem is, when you bust it and it's not ready, you hurt it again. You maybe even hurt it more. That's why leg injuries are tough to shake and with the history of Reyes' issues and Beltran's last season, you have to wonder if they have been cautious enough. That being said, they have come this far so there is no way that Beltran gets DL'd, but if Beltran is going to be sitting another chunk of games, it certainly bears a look to see if it makes sense that Lastings should be in the fold. Watching Endy Chavez completely butcher a scoring chance and watching this lineup struggle is tough to swallow. If you take out that six run inning from two games ago, the Mets have had nineteen hits and four runs in their last forty innings. If Beltran's leg issues are going to continue, something more effective is going to have to be put into action.

  • The problem I have when I'm not watching the game at home is that I forget to talk about things. Well, I forgot to talk about Tracshel's curveball. The other night, Steve had the best curveball I have ever seen him have. The thing was tight and he was throwing it harder than he usually does. I'm not sure if the stars aligned and it was just one of the days or if it had been something he has been working on, but it was impressive. If he can keep that up all year I might rethink my stance that the Mets have three number fives in their rotation.

  • Oh boy.

    Time will tell if the Blue Jays may have lost the war long before they won the battle.

    Hours before the Jays would rally to win last night's grudge affair 7-6 in the 12th inning, they suffered the crushing news that something once again is wrong with A.J. Burnett's right elbow.

    After missing his first two starts of the season it appears Burnett will be going on the shelf a second time and his continued absence could scuttle the Jays' hopes of bidding for post-season contention.

    Yes, I remember I wanted him. You can point and laugh.

  • Everyone (by everyone I mean the media) settle down.

    "Yeah, SoCal is great; I love Southern California," Zito said before Friday's game against the Angels.

    "The Angels have a great stadium, a great team, you know, but right now I'm not thinking about it."

    I've said it before, Zito would talk about how great the Devil Rays stadium is and how great the St. Petersburg area schools are if he was asked. He's a soon to be a free agent and is a professional. He will say nice things about the cities he is in.

  • Ziiiiiiiiiiinnnng!

    "If that's the reason the Mets make a trade, it doesn't seem like a good way to make business decisions," she said. "So is it all working out for them?"

    For once, I agree with you.

  • Straight filth...

    pr 19 The Detroit Free Press' John Lowe reports Detroit Tigers SP Justin Verlander threw a pitch to end the sixth inning that was clocked at 101 mph Wednesday, April 19.

    The Mets were one pick away from having this guy. One pick. Humber is not a bad consolation prize though, but I do think they are in different categories.
  • Friday, April 21, 2006

    Random Friday Thoughts

    Ok, I had no idea the Mets even won the game last night until this morning. I turned off game because a complaining girlfriend. She was rooting for the Padres thinking they were Mets and asking if the Yankees won....it was a bad scene indeed. However, being that Peavy was chewing the Mets up and spitting them out and the Mets lack of offensive firepower of late, I conceded the loss and let the channel be changed.

    Fast forward to my delight this morning? The Mets won and in pretty amazing fashion. Peavy was a pleasure to watch while I was actually watching the game. The guy changes speed so effectively and can dial it up to 96 mph when he needs it to blow people away. He made Carlos Delgado make a swing like that made him look like a little leaguer...or Anderson Hernandez. Delgado had two strikes on him and gets pretty good plate coverage by standing over the plate. Peavy threw one up and basically over the inside corner of the plate. It wasn't too far inside, but with Delgado hanging, he had to jump back or else he would have taken it between the eyes. Then he threw a pitch down and away and Delgado put out a swing like I have never scene before from him. It looked like a wet noodle.

    When the Mets got to the bullpen, they teed off. Embree didn't even record and out while giving up three runs and Scott Linebrink only had give up one earned run all season and entered the game with a 1.23 ERA. It's always good to win, but it is especially good when it looked like a repeat performance of the previous two games of the Mets simply getting dominated. A few random thoughts though....

    • Jose Reyes is struggling. Despite his two hits last night, he is batting .273. He did however have a double digit pitch at-bat to start the game and seems to fighting off pitches and working the counts more this season. However, as Keith pointed out last night, he simply is getting under the ball too much. His groundball to fly ratio is 1.10 and that is just not going to make for a successful season for him. Art Howe may not have been a baseball genious, but he was right about Reyes. After him hitting a homerun during Spring Training, he said homeruns were mistakes for Jose. What he really should have said, is that they should be mistakes. If he is swings right, everything is on the ground or a line drive. Getting the ball in the air for Jose will mean a whole lot of struggling. Maybe if he fills out and adds more pop he can try and put more in the air, but right now, the balls are lazy fly outs.

    • Kaz Matsui hit an inside the park homerun as Brian Giles just missed catching the ball and ended up making out with the wall as Matsui ran around the bases. In one at-bat, he had four total bases to Anderson Hernandez's six total bases all season. If these past three games have taught us anything, the Mets need production from second base. Good pitchers can neutralize the Mets good hitters and not throwing easy outs up there is essential. Matsui has an opportunity to seize his spot back and with the Mets doing well right now, it is a prime spot for him to not feel pressure and do what everyone thought he was capable of.

    • Keith Hernandez thinks he is good. He thinks that, but he is right and you have to like his lack of humility. As Gary Cohen said that some guy/coach/whatever said that Adrian Gonzalez fields like Keith Hernandez, Keith remarked that it was pretty good compliment. The Mets broadcasting crew might be the most honest and fair team in the league as they regularly with laud the opposition when it is called for and call as fair a game as I have ever heard from home team crews. The inflection of their calls both ways is something that for some reason is just not done by everyone.

    • The Padres lineup with Josh Barfield, Khalil Greene, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ben Johnson is nothing to sneeze at in terms of youthful core of players. This series is going to be fun one to watch because there are a quite of few young guys with potential on both sides that are going to be great to see play.

    • Duner Sanchez is flat out nasty.

    • Carlos Delgado is a beast. Anyone still think that Jacobs is going to put out the same type of numbers of the course of 2006, 2007, and 2008?

    • Who would have guessed that Carlos Gomez and Lastings Milledge would have more walks than Carlos Delgado, David Wright, Cliff Floyd, and Paul LoDuca combined? In fact, those two are only four walks behind the entire starting lineup when you take Carlos Beltran out.

    * * *

  • Julio Franco became the oldest player to hit a homerun in big league history.

    "Why not? They signed me here for two years," said Franco, who turns 48 on Aug. 23. "God gave me the great gift to play the game of baseball, and I want to play until I'm 50. If He gives me two more years, don't you think He's going to give me another one?"

  • Anthony McCarron lays out his man-love for David Wright.

    "This game pushes you because it's so addicting," Wright said in a recent interview. "You can never be good enough, unless you're hitting 1.000 and you never make an error. You can always improve, so that's why I have such a passion for it.

    "What you see is what you kinda get with me. The way I am on the field is the way I am off it. I'm very passionate about whatever I do. I have three younger brothers and it could be playing poker with them, I want to win."

    Can you really blame him?

  • Piazza....in the Hall of Fame with a Mets cap or a Dodgers cap?

    When it happens, Piazza wants to wear a Met cap.

    "It's not my decision, but it's the most appropriate," he said before going 0 for 3 in last night's 7-2 loss to the Mets.

    He played with the Dodgers from 1992 to 1998 and hit 177 homers, 563 RBIs, and 115 doubles while posting a .331/.394/.572 line in 726 games. After being traded twice during the '98 season, he landed with the Mets and played with them through 2005. While playing with the Mets, he hit 220 homers (197 as a catcher), 655 RBIs, and 193 doubles while posting a .296/.373/.542 line in 972 games. The verdict? A Met. He lost a bit in average but not production. He was a monster here and did most of damage in what is his claim to fame in hitting homeruns from the catcheing position.

  • With Beltran's injury lingering still, we can only hope it is not repeat performance of nagging injuries to his legs zapping his ability to play his game. Not good.

  • Scott Kazmir looks like he is starting to own Boston. Coming into this season, he had a 3-1 record with a 2.64 ERA. He has the lowest BAA and ERA against the Red Sox that he has against any team with the exception of the Mariners (lower ERA and BAA) and the Rangers (lower ERA). That is certainly an impressive feat considering the Red Sox offensive prowess and the fact he is merely 22.
  • Thursday, April 20, 2006

    This Series Was Not Going To Be A Big Deal

    That is, unless the Braves won. I really felt like I was taken back in a time warp to 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005. The Mets were banged up, but so where the Braves. It came down to whos benches were better and the Mets bench was exposed for what it is. A horrible collection of players. Last year's bench was light years better and with the exception of Chris Woodward, no on has looked good whatsoever. The Mets bench simply is a detriment to this team.

    As much as I thought Victor Diaz should be starting in AAA rather than sit on the bench, he should be in the bigs. Valentin should not be here and Keppinger and his weak slugging percentage is better off in his place until Anderson Hernandez is ready to come back. Really, this last series highlight two huge holes for the Mets to me. The starting rotation quality and depth and the bench being sub par. That lineup for the Mets last night was tough to watch and Endy Chavez and Jose Valentin in the lineup at the same time is simply inexcusable.

    The Mets can ill afford to be giving away games like this and while Floyd and Beltran were out, it was almost like they were. If Delgado, Wright, or Nady were not going to get it yesterday, it wasn't going to get done by anyone else. It felt like years past when the Mets only shot to plate a run with was a long ball from the usual suspects. The Braves were not in better shape either but managed to outplay the Mets two days in row while they struggled to eek out six hits and two runs. That my friends, was a hideous performance and really went a long way to exposing the weakness of this team. All the good will from their 10-4 start has all but evaporated. This team is still a very good team and in first place. It is hard to complain with the way things look on the surface, but there certainly are things that cannot be ignored.

    * * *

  • Kaz is getting his last chance to prove his worth today. He is ready to come back and since Anderson Hernandez landed on the DL, he is going to get this shot. Luckily, Met fans are rabid from the last two losses and Victor Zambrano's uselessness that one strikeout could trigger and encore of boos of Cedeno-like proportions. He has this road trip to get back on track or else it could get ugly.

  • Lastings Milledge cracked the .400 barrier with two hits last night and walked three times. THREE TIMES! He walked 26 times in 342 at-bats in 2004 and 33 times in 425 at-bats in 2005. He now has nine walks in 47 at-bats in 2005 already. That is really hard to ignore and it is hard to ignore how good he looks at AAA.

    As I was just thinking about Lastings Milledge's great start, I was thinking to myself he would certainly be sitting in a comfy spot if the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet was out. As I moseyed on over to BA's site, what do I find? Lastings nestled in the two spot.

    Slow starter in the past (hit .216 last April), but not this year. After just 193 Double-A at-bats he is raking in Triple-A while showing the best plate discipline of his career. Hitting .386/.491/.636 with six walks and seven strikeouts.

    Anyone that is still doubting his ability to be an impact player in the bigs from day one is simply nuts. This kid can play.

  • "I had a good jump," said Castro of taking off on Jose Reyes' shallow fly ball. "I would say it had to be an almost perfect throw."

    It was. Can't argue with Castro here in his decision to run when the Mets collected only six hits in two days, but watching him run is painful.

  • "I think my defense is head and shoulders above last year," he said afterward. "I'm not gonna let one game get me down."

    True dat. It was a bad game for Wright, but he has looked great this year with the leather.

  • Huh? Dayn Perry (seriously, who the fuck spells Dan like that anyway) thinks Brett Harper is the ninth best first base prospect?

    Harper has good left-handed power and an ability to hit to all fields. He's a tad old for a prospect, and he's burdened with platoon issues. However, last season he tallied 36 homers across two levels. At first, Harper's defense is adequate at best, and even in the best of circumstances he'll need a platoon partner. Still, the sock from the left side will come in handy for some team (although it's hard to imagine his cracking the Mets' roster any time soon).

    I like Harper, but c'mon. Is first base really that weak in the minors?

    Justin Huber stops in at number three.
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2006

    Making Fun Of A-Rod

    Today, I've decided to make fun of Alex Rodriguez. Why? Because I want to and because no one wants to hear about me complain about Victor Zambrano.

    I guess one of the real questions is why people love to make fun of A-Rod so much. When the guy delivers a big hit during the World Baseball Classic, he gets dubbed "Mr. March". When he heroically saves a young kid from getting hit by a car, he gets made fun of. The truth is I'm not sure why we all like to laugh at him, but "I'm probably pretty sure" (those are A-Rod's words, not mine) that it has something to do with a gargantuan contract that he signed when he was a member of the Rangers usurping 33% of their payroll and wondering why they suck and wanted to be traded though he said he wanted to stay. There are more reasons, but that is the major one.

    "Run him over! Run him over!" Rodriguez yells at Sheffield, imploring him to barrel through Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

    Sheffield scores, and Varitek turns to Rodriguez. "You would never do it," Varitek replies sneeringly.

    It's funny because it's true. A-Rod would never do that. He will do what it takes to win as long as it involves a femme slap, but not actually physical contact like knocking the ball loose from a real man...not that Varitek is. I'm not saying he is either way, but you get the idea.

    "I definitely think I'm going to be here for a long time," Rodriguez said. "I'm probably pretty sure it will work out for the best."


    Rodriguez, just back from a vacation to London, Milan, Florence and Venice, said he was convinced the Rangers were "moving this train in the right direction." The team is going with youth, putting a renewed emphasis on pitching.

    He called the off-season "very stressful" and said he was "very happy the trade talks have ended."

    Is anyone buying this? Jet setting all over Europe while in the midst of a contract that is worth 65% of the Dominican Republic's GDP? If that's stress, lay it the fuck on me.

    During Rodriguez's tenure with the Rangers, he occasionally would make like a Little League coach, shouting basic instructions at his younger teammates. "Get a secondary lead!" he would yell to a runner on first. "Get a secondary lead!" After Rodriguez left the team, one prominent American League veteran asked a younger Ranger with a chuckle, "How are you even able to play without A-Rod telling you what to do?"

    Funny thing is, the Rangers were much better with largely the same team when he left...Hmmmm.

    The Rangers do not view Rodriguez fondly. Third baseman Hank Blalock imitated Rodriguez's glove slap in mocking fashion in an early spring training baserunning drill. First baseman Mark Teixeira, without naming Rodriguez directly, joined the chorus condemning him for his comments about his 6 a.m. workouts, telling a Dallas-Fort Worth reporter, "Everybody works hard in this game."

    That article on his oh so hard workout was so silly that it was...um...silly. These days baseball players have never worked harder. Everybody puts in their time and everybody works out. A-Rod is no different than Ty Wigginton with the exception of oodles more of natural talent. There are many tireless workers who don't get a fluffy article. No one cares, not even most Yankee fans.

    Rangers players nicknamed Rodriguez "The Cooler" last season, a wry observation on how he cools off every team he joins.

    Although I prefer Mr. March, this one is a solid nickname.

    The presence of a superstar on a young team can be suffocating, even if the superstar sets as positive of an example as Rodriguez by always playing hard. As one Ranger says, "It was always Alex Rodriguez and the Texas Rangers"--a source of discontent for a team that had several players approaching stardom.

    Interestingly enough, that 24+1 thing was tossed around when the Mets were perusing him. Whether or not that was actually true or not is another issue, but it is interesting nonetheless because it may have actually happened to the Rangers. In the end, the Yankees and the Red Sox may be the only teams that can carry a player like him and of his attitude because the teams have enough superstars that he really cannot behave like a little league coach.

    Doesn't everyone feel better? I do.

    * * *

  • I said no one wants to hear me complain about Victor Zambrano, but I never said anything about listening to other people complain about Zambrano.
    holy shit victor zambrano is truly a piece of shit in the highest form. i would rather have ron darling put down the mike and pitch. u think we can trade him for joe mays or scott elarton?
    ~ ossy cocotaso
    Anytime you are asking about a trade for Mays or Elarton, it's a bad scene my friends.
    as if victor zambrano single handedly ruining my night, here comes feliciano. for fucks sakes this shit is enough to give you hemorrhoids.
    ~ jake in norfolk
    I hope you managed to elude the hemorrhoids Jake, but it is hard to disagree with you.
    I usually try to defend Victor Zambrano. I feel like he's decent enough to be in the rotation.
    But... that's it, I'm done. It's over.
    Fuck Zambrano. What a piece of shit.
    This special season cannot be ruined because of that shit head.
    If the mets lose the division by a single digit amount of numbers i will blame Victor Zambrano.

    Release him, get rid of him. Bring up Jose Lima... wait, forget that. Bring up Pelfrey... that's it.
    Make a trade... SOMETHING.
    ~ Benny Blanco from da Bronx
    Benny, glad you finally came over from the dark side.
    I too hate to give up on the guy but I agree with you Benny. Not only does ZimZam throw crap but no-one is there throwing the bat at the ball in support of him. They seem to give up when he is behind.

    My question is, is he enough of a pitcher to follow Octavio Dotel's lead and become a dominant RP? Bring Heilman into the rotation and train Zambrano to become a fireballing setup man.
    ~ Scott
    Give up indeed. You've stole my thunder for tomorrow's post...I'll forgive you though. As for Zambrano turning into Dotel, no shot.

    You're dead to me.

    I don’t ever want to see you again.
    ~ Nokes
    Simple. To the point. Mikey likey.
    Willy still loves Victor. Mike here's a quote from northjersey.com you can post to all of his other stupid-ass comments.

    "I'm not concerned at all" about Zambrano, which means he's still in denial.

    ~ John
    John, Willie is always in Willie world. I don't just blame him though, Omar failed to address the rotation except by weakening it to bring....drum roll.....Jorge Julio in here.
    That Willie quote about not being worried may have just sent me over the edge. I'd like to beat him and Zambrano in the face with a chair.

    Like somebody said on here before, dude has no idea where the ball is going when he throws it.
    ~ Ken
    Ken is actually a pacifist. To make him say such things says a lot. Really, he is like the American Gandhi so you know things must be bad.

    Enough of that.

  • Jim Bowden? BAM! DWI. How's that taste?

    Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden was arrested early Monday morning in Miami Beach, Fla., and charged with driving under the influence after reportedly getting into an altercation with his fiance and then running a stop sign.

    Never drive angry Jim. Never drive angry.

  • "It's the nature of this industry, and anybody who goes through a tough time. If I'm not mistaken, I think they were booing (Mariano) Rivera the other night. He's been pretty damn good."

    Rick, c'mon now. No comparison.

  • The Klap says what I feel.

    Welcome to Victor Zambrano's world, where winning streaks and early April optimism go to die.

    Gone, in five miserable innings, was the Mets' perfect aura, the one that turned a midweek series with the Braves into a miniature October showdown. Instead, Zambrano buried the Mets in a 7-1 loss, nudging Willie Randolph closer to judgment day about the No. 4 spot in the rotation.

    One game yes, but a deflating one because of not what happened last night, but what I expect in the future and how this will affect the Mets playoff run.

  • Another Met prospect on roids.

    MLB announced a 50-game suspension for Mets minor-league pitcher Jorge Reyes for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Reyes, 21, had a 2.45 ERA in two starts for Single-A Hagerstown.

  • Heyman throws in his two cents:

    But Willie Randolph, who's been sticking up for Zambrano, summed up: "Too many bad pitches."

    "Those were good pitches," Zambrano claimed. "But they are good hitters."

    To solve a problem, the first trick is in recognizing the problem.

    Zambrano does not look particularly comfortable in the clubhouse. Sometimes he doesn't look like he belongs.

    By now, we have to wonder whether Zambrano is cut out for the big city. The problem may not be his mechanics, after all, but his mind. The problem may go beyond the expertise of a pitching coach, even a very capable pitching coach.

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    Ray Glier and Jeff Francoeur are Douchebags

    Ray Glier and Jeff Francoeur? You are both bags of douche. (thanks to Brian for pointing out this annoying article)

    (the picture has been brought back by semipopular demand)

    There are so many irritating things going on in this article, but I'm just going to touch on a few.

    We are about to see — with any luck — the reemergence of a rivalry. The Mets have been the Mess for so long it is hard to remember that, once upon a time, Braves vs. Mets actually had some juice.

    Um, how about 1999 and 2000? The Mets were also in the race late in 2001 and fairly deep into 2004, though they really didn't have a shot. And who are the ones who didn't care? Met fans are rabid and treat every game like it is the World Series. The Mets were 8-1 and when they lost their second game of the season and I was pissed. A met loss affects my mood. Mets fans are on the edge of their seat every game. Braves fans do not even care if they make the playoffs.

    “I bet their fans can remember 14 straight titles,” said first baseman Adam LaRoche with a sly smile.

    I don't. I remember ten, not that ten is anything to sneeze at. 1994 was a sham and we all know it. I also remember them winning one World Series. You would think you might have won a few more by luck or something after going to the playoffs so many times.

    The Mets are good again — that’s the claim, anyway. They are 10-2 and atop the NL East with the Braves at Shea Stadium for a three-game series.

    What the fuck does that mean? That's the claim, anyway? If you cannot agree they are good, you are in fact a bad of douche as I have previously stated. If the Braves or Yankees did something that no other baseball team has done (or hasn't done since 1900...I can't remember) in taking a five game lead after twelve games, everyone would be lauding them and kissing some serious ass. The Mets? Nothing but doubt and skepticism.

    The Mets have whooped the NL East’s dregs, the Marlins and Nationals, and their fans are sticking out their chests and smiling for the cameras, just like New Yorkers do when the sun peeks through the soot. The Mets sure have been playing a lot of home games, too.

    Bro, would you be happier if they lost? They have been dominating teams. Shitty teams yes, but isn't that what a good team would have done? Again...you are a douchebag.

    The only thing the Mets have proved is they have deeper pockets than the Braves: $101,084,963 in payroll to $90,156,876 for Atlanta.

    Um...yeah. They do spend more money. However, it's not a difference of enormous proportions like the Yankees and the Mets. We are not talking about a $90,000,000, but a $10,000,000 difference. It should also be noted that the Braves spent $106,243,667 in 2003 and just about the same as the Mets in 2001 and 2002. The Braves are not exactly the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They have cash.

    “8-2, the Mets are 8-2, really,” Francoeur said Sunday morning before the day’s first pitch.

    Jeff, how many of these pennant winning teams were you on? Also, nice little stumble in the game yesterday. You looked really smooth.

    “I’ve been on the other side,” said Braves back-up catcher Todd Pratt, who played for the Mets from 1997 to 2001. “The other side has been saying ‘This is the year’ for 14 years.”

    Todd, I got a few George Washington's burning a hole in my pocket if you want to put your money where your mouth is.

    Ok, maybe Francoeur is not a bag of douche or at the very least no where near Glier's level of douchebagness. However, this is just another article trying to tear down the Mets for actually having a good team this year.

    * * *

  • Julio Franco lays it out like it is.

    "Of course I miss Atlanta," Franco said Monday before the opener of the first Braves-Mets series since he went to New York as a free agent. "But I'm having fun here. Different ball club, New York, great bunch of guys.... Fun is winning."

    Of course he misses Atlanta, but he's a Met and as long he doesn't incessantly talk about his old team like Willie did when he first got there things will be peachy.

  • I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Xavier Nady is going to top his homerun total of thirteen from last year. More impressively is when his homeruns have come.

    Carlos Delgado and Xavier Nady homered for the second straight day and contributed two RBI apiece as the Mets built a 4-2 lead against Jorge Sosa by the fourth inning. Delgado extended his hitting streak to a team-high 11 games. Nady's four homers have all tied the score or given the Mets a lead.

    Impressive indeed.

  • Pedro has a man-crush on Tom Glavine.

    In the clubhouse after the win, Martinez approached Glavine, who has 277 career victories. Martinez told the southpaw: "Look how hard it is for me to get 200." Then, he added: "You are special."

  • Mike Lupica has a nice article on Pedro and the Mets.

    If the Mets had lost to a wounded Braves team that had Jorge Sosa pitching, you know it would have been treated like a calamity. So you give them props for not losing it, for winning it the way good teams are supposed to win, with their ace on the mound and their cleanup man going deep and their closer closing.

    True dat..

  • Beltran is still hurting.

    "It's a little better than (Sunday), but not quite where I want to feel," Beltran said after testing the hamstring by riding a bicycle yesterday. "I don't feel disappointed because it's only been two days. It's nothing major. I want to be out there, but I've got to be smart."

    Agreed. Take your time.
  • Monday, April 17, 2006

    Don't Hate...Appreciate

    Brian Bannister exhibited some more control issues in his start yesterday. His K/BB ratio is 1.00 with a 4.50 W/9 ratio. He had a career 2.59 W/9 throughout the minor leagues with a career 8.06 K/9. This year's K/9 is pretty off, but he had one game in which he had one strikeout in seven innings and he had eight in eleven innings in his other two starts. That is good for a 6.55 K/9 in those other two starts and I figure him to be in that area for the season and he really needs to keep it around there to be successful.

    I'm cautiously optimistic about Bannister because though his stats look good, he has looked ok. Yesterday, he was behind in the count to 13 of the first 17 batters and went to three ball counts six times. Only 63 of his pitches were strikes of his 112 pitches.

    "Everything is magnified here, in which so much is riding on every pitch," Bannister said. "I never had to deal with that in the minor leagues."

    But according to pitching coach Rick Peterson, Bannister - who pitched out of bases-loaded jams (with none out and one out, respectively) in the second and third - merely needs to build confidence in his pitches.

    "He still doesn't know how much of the plate he can get," Peterson said. "That will come and wait till he sees the results. He pitched a D-plus game and look at those results."

    In his defense, he showed enough poise in his first few starts to give everyone hope and his propensity for working out of jams has been impressive. Yes, we can also chalk it up to jtters, but ventually, if he keeps living dangerously, he will be get jacked up at some point. You really cannot complain much about how he is pitching, but his BAA is going to move northward and he will get hit a bit harder when he faces a better lineup and needs to find the plate more often or a few early exists are on tap for him.

    * * *

  • Beltran's sore hammy makes me worry a bit. If you have every had a groin or hamstring pull, it sucks. It sucks because it affects everything you do and just about every movement in baseball comes back to those areas. If you do not rest it enough, it just never heals and is painful and annoying for a long, long time.

  • Willie on Julio:

    "He is part of the team and he's going to be a part of the team," Willie Randolph said. "We'll get him going. He's going to be fine. We feel real good about him, even though he's one of the guys on the team that's maybe struggling a little bit right now. We'll just continue to give him the ball when we can, and I think before too long he'll start to feel good about himself."

    Struggling a little bit? That seems to be the understatement of the century. He has a .444 batting average against and has given up runs in four of his first five appearances with him finally throwing that elusive no run outing yesterday.

  • On tap for this upcoming Braves series:

    Jorge Sosa (0-2, 11.37) vs. Pedro Martinez (2-0, 3.46)
    Kyle Davies (0-1, 8.38) vs. Victor Zambrano (1-0, 5.40)
    Tim Hudson (0-1, 9.20) vs. Tom Glavine (2-0, 1.50)

  • Cliff is struggling right now.

    "My grandmother could get me out right now," Floyd said after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and watching his average drop to .200 on the 10-game season.

  • John Harper hits the nail on the head with Julio and A Hern.

    Trading Kris Benson never made baseball sense, and if Julio was truly the best the Mets could get for Benson and his $8-million-a-year salary, as they claim, then they should have kept him and learned to shrug at his wife's desperate-to-be-a-celebrity antics.

    As it is, the Mets are lucky that Brian Bannister muscled his way into the rotation with a strong spring, allowing them to keep Aaron Heilman in the bullpen, or Julio's problems would loom as more of a crisis than merely an opportunity for fans to vent.


    It's just that he's not a No. 2 hitter. Randolph, for some reason, seems dead set against hitting Carlos Beltran in the two hole, even though it's easy to argue that it would give the Mets their best lineup, as it would move Carlos Delgado and David Wright up into the 3-4 slots.

    As an experienced, contact hitter, LoDuca is a reasonable alternative. But when he's out of the lineup, it makes sense to move everybody up a spot. It's not as if Reyes, who stole second yesterday, needs to be bunted into scoring position.

    Randolph doesn't see it that way, however, and after the game said he'd likely use Hernandez in the No. 2 spot again.

    Of course he would.