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

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Smackdown Has Been Laid

Hitting .180 in a month is not too uncommon even for a superstar. Unfortunately for Cornelius Clifford it is the first month.

Last May he hit .202. Guaranteed by the end of year he finishes with a .270 average 25 HR 85 RBI's if he stays healthy. Barring injuries he will be fine.
Adam | 05.05.06 - 6:14 pm

Ultimately, he is right. People struggle like this all the time, but it is magnified when you start off a season that way. However, given Floyd's health record and his age, people are always more wary of him. He had two big hits last night, one of which was Ramon Castro's head big, but it was a mixed game for him as he left and astounding ten runners on base. That is not easy to say the very least.

Last night's game was a roller coaster of emotions and put a damper on my plans. After they tied the game back up, there was no way I could of went out without seeing this one finished. I ended up getting to a bar at 1:00 AM, but it was worth it. Having Wagner blow the save was also worth it because Floyd got a chance to redeem himself, but no so much to fans or the team, but to himself. The fans are always behind Cliffy as he is one of our favorites and I'd bet no one is being harder on him than himself.

Keith Hernandez was delirious by the time fourteenth inning came around and transformed into a comedian and kids were dropping like flies and in a deep slumber. However, last night's game was huge and hopefully it helps Cliff Floyd shake this slump.

* * *

  • The Mets lack of production with men on base is starting to really concern me. Their .241/.326/.394 line is just not going to cut it and the only reason it has worked so far because their staff has a ridiculous .202/.312/.333 line in the same situation. That cannot last all year and the Mets will need to simply perform better in that situation.

  • Zach pointed this out in the last post's comment section.

    "[Julio] is part of our staff and we're going to use him the way we should use him," Randolph said. "I've got a good feeling that before this is all over, he's going to continue to dazzle and help us.

    "He may wind up being our setup guy by September," Randolph continued. "That can happen. I'm not just saying that."

    Julio said that after recording the final three outs in the Mets' 6-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday, Randolph approached the former closer with an inspirational -- albeit somewhat mysterious -- message.

    "He said, 'Your time is coming,'" Julio said. "I don't know what he meant by that."

    Is this a sign that Heilman might be pegged for the rotation?

  • Why people are booing Kaz while he looks very good makes me question the intelligence of some Met fans.

    That noted baseball sage, 47-year-old Julio Franco, made the observation before Thursday night's game at Shea Stadium. "If they were really good fans, they wouldn't boo Kaz so much," the veteran said of Kaz Matsui, a favorite target of disgruntled Mets fans since his first season in New York in 2004. "Do they ever stop to think why he hits so much better on the road? He's a sensitive guy. The booing affects him. Why not try to encourage him?"

    Fucking ponderous. Cut the guy a break.

  • It should never be Lima Time!™.

    As of Friday afternoon, Willie Randolph wasn't sure if Maine's sore middle finger would allow him to work. That would leave Jose Lima, who wasn't their first choice to fill in for Brian Bannister to begin with. Then again, Jorge Sosa, who was supposed to start for the Braves on Sunday, had to be used in relief in the 13th inning Friday. The Mets wore them down.

    As we know now, Maine has been DL'd so we know what that means. However, a guy with a 5.10 ERA in AAA should never be the choice. Of course the Mets do not have many options, but that is their fault. What is really weird about Lima is that he has a WHIP a shade over 1.00, has almost a strikeout per inning, and has allowed only three walks and still has a 5.10. That is in part to giving up five homers, but his peripherals are not that bad.

  • Reyes is on fire and had five hits last night and already has a double today.

    "Jose led today," David Wright said, "and when he goes, the offense goes."

    It is so true and that what is so frustrating about Jose. He has arguably the most talent and natural ability on this Met club with Carlos Beltran but simply cannot stay consistent.

  • Oh man, Zambrano is done. Just ran off the field after striking out Andruw Jones. I have never seen that one before. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad. Bannister and Maine are already on the DL with Zambrano looking like he is headed there. Heilman may need to give the Mets a few starts at this point whether or not anyone likes it. It may be the ONLY choice at this point. Lima Time!™ and Jeremi Gonzalez simply cannot happen.

  • Friday, May 05, 2006

    Question of the Day

    My friend asked this question yesterday. Would you take Roger Clemens if he would be open to joining the Mets? Of course he is most likely going to Houston, who has made a strong first move to say the least, with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rangers with outside shots of landing him. It was just a hypothetical question and he is a guy that is not too high on everyone in Met-land's favorite person list, but he is one of the best pitchers of all time and still has some life left in his arm.

    The Mets could certainly afford him and the Mets have questions in the last two slots of the rotation, but it goes against every fiber of my being to even envision him in Met uniform. In the end you would have to jump on it and though it would be an extreme long shot to say the least, it behooves Omar to give him a call and let him do whatever he wants as long as the price is not $20 million for five months as stated in the above link.

    I know people may point to team chemistry and Roger possibly disrupting it, but he did not seem to negatively impact his Astros teams with his special treatment because everyone on the team knew the deal before he came in. This team is making things happen this year and he can choose from The American League and three hitter's parks, the Astros' bandbox, or the Mets spacious Shea. He has no allegiance to the Mets and has a lot of history with the other teams, but it never hurts to ask and Omar has not been a shy guy so far in his term as Mets GM.

    * * *

  • As Gary Cohen stated on the Mets broadcast last night, Tom Glavine has pitched twenty-two straight games in which he has thrown at least six inning. These days, that is pretty amazing.

    On top of his dominance on the mound since the All-Star break of last year, he has hit OVER .300 in that same span and as Ron Darling pointed out last night, he is the all-time leader in sacrifices. If this guy is not a Met in 2007, I would be shocked.

  • Fabuloso? Not so much.

  • This is one of the craziest things I have ever seen. I cannot imagine how things get to that point. However, what is even weirder is that his belly looks more like elephantitis of certain something than an actual belly.

  • Someone help me out here. When did Tom Glavine become a strikeout pitcher? So far he is on track for a career high K/9.

  • If Salomon Torres hit Cliff Floyd on purpose, he should have his toe nails ripped off one by one.

    "I just wanted [Torres] to know it was [nonsense]," Floyd said, adding that he didn't want to chance a suspension or a fine. "I didn't want to risk missing time and all that. I guess only he knows if he did it on purpose."

    Someone beats you because you suck, so you drill someone else?

    Tracy defended Torres' intentions, saying, "Salomon couldn't get the ball to go where he wanted."

    I hope so.

    "I want to think he wasn't, but he has a reputation, I guess," Floyd said about being hit on purpose. "Maybe he was; maybe he wasn't. I've got more things to worry about than Salomon Torres hitting me in the leg."

  • Lima Time!™ is possibly right around the corner.

    Jose Lima was pulled from last night's Triple-A Norfolk game after two innings and received congratulatory handshakes from teammates, but Mets officials insisted they aren't bailing on John Maine for Sunday's start. Not yet, anyway.

    Of course the article points to Maine having some finger issues that could factor in and Lima Time!™ looks more like a fallback option.

  • Chalk up Sanchez as another guy the Pirates threw away with Chris Shelton and Henry Owens all coming after the 2003 season. Someone over there needs to get fired.

    "He is going to give up a run eventually," Wagner joked. "It might not be this year, it might not be next year, but eventually it's going to happen."

  • Octavio Dotel is close to returning.

    Octavio Dotel, who is nearing the end of his rehab from elbow surgery, is targeting the end of this month or the start of June as the time he'll be activated, and the hard-throwing righthander can't wait.

  • John Heyman is drinking the Met kool-aid.

    But I would counter by telling you that in the case of the well-paid pinstripers from across town, they've also been engaging in some unfair fights: the Royals and Devil Rays should be virtual gimmes for a team pulling a $200-million price tag.

    Take a closer comparison at our two local teams, and things are starting to tint orange and blue. Consider that:

    The Mets have the more versatile offense. Entering last night, they led the league in stolen bases and were third in home runs. While they haven't yet established any offensive consistency, they have the ability to beat you a number of ways, rare for a Mets team.

    The Mets have the best new high-powered acquisition. To steal a phrase from one of the many high-priced, high-profile failures of the Mets' often star-crossed past, we're never going to wipe that smile off of Carlos Delgado's face. It's obvious now that Delgado is as cut out for the big time as anyone who's ever come to Queens.

    It's about time.

  • Thursday, May 04, 2006

    Random Thursday Stuff

    Enjoy the random Thursday stuff I have prepared for you all today.

  • Last season the Mets had some great commercials. If you are out of area and never got a chance to see them, here you go. If you saw them, watch again and revel in the silliness....thanks to Brian for the links.

    Commercial #1
    Commercial #2
    Commerical #3
    Commerical #4

    "Dude. I can totally see your head. I can see like 80% of your head."

    Gold! Gold I tell you.

  • Jim Callis had a chat on ESPN.com yesterday. For those who missed it and do not have ESPN Insider, I have all of your relevant information here.

    PJ (London): Rank 'em: Pelfrey Lester H.Penn Loewen

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) Pelfrey, Lester, Loewen, Penn

    Always nice to read.

    Tom (Hartford): How would you rate their performance this year: Andrus/Martinez/Tabata

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:18 PM ET ) Fernando Martinez has been a revelation in the Sally League. Ranking the three 17-year-olds there, Jose Tabata would be second and Elvis Andrus third.

    Fernando a 'revelation', huh? Music to my ears and Martinez went deep for his second homerun of the year and now has fourteen extra base hits and a .349/.421/.554 line. If you could buy stock in a baseball player, I would put everything I had on this kid.

    Victor (NYC): If Fernando Martinez were in this years draft, would he be the first position player selected?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:31 PM ET ) I wrote about this in Ask BA last week . . . Martinez would have a chance. If a team went on ceiling, and didn't mind waiting an extra year or so compared to the top college guys, he could be.

    C'mon Victor. Go to BA once in a while and you would have read this on their AskBA that has been up there over a week. You wasted valuable Jim Callis time with your laziness.

    John (London): Last week I asked you to name 3-5 position prospects who might come up and make a difference this year. Thank you for answering. Can you please name 3-5 pitching prospects not named Jared Weaver who might come up this year to make a difference. Billingsley? Hamels? Pelfrey? Yes/no anyone else on your radar screen?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Those are three obvious guys right there. Anthony Reyes or the Cardinals and Jon Lester and Craig Hansen of the Red Sox are two more.

    Anyone else think it is just about a given that Pelfrey will be in the rotation by August?

    Dave (Tallahassee, FL): Hey Jim, What's wrong with Mike Jacobs? I didn't expect him to be an all-star right out of the gate, but a .180 batting average? Is it a product of impatience at the plate or is he trying to impress his new team too much? Thanks!

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) He's not a .180 hitter, but I've never been a big Mike Jacobs fan. I think he's an average big league regular at first base . . . at best.

    And to think, there were a lot of you talking about Mike Jacobs putting up similar numbers as Delgado and thought Carlos wasn't needed. You cannot see it, but I'm giving all of you who favored Jacobs over Delgado the finger.

    Mike, NJ: Two years ago, the question who would you rather have, Milledge, Hermida, or Franceour would have been answered a lot differently than today. One is still in the minors killing it with the other two struggling, but right now, who do you pick long term?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Hermida.

    This was my question, but I wanted to put 'Mike, Dirty Jerz' instead of 'Mike, NJ'. I had doubts whether my question would have made it on with that, but I wish it didn't submit it at this point. Not the answer I wanted to hear. He didn't even say that it was close like in so many other comparisons. I still take Lastings though no matter what this 'expert' says.

    Dean NJ: Hughes or Pelfrey?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:55 PM ET ) Pelfrey.

    One of a hundred times we'll here his question this season and I've answered this twice before. It is Pelfrey, hands down so stop asking.

    jon (ny): jim, you know you took hughes over pelfrey last week, right? check the transcript

    SportsNation Jim Callis: This ain't rocket science! They're close. Ask me again next week.

    Jeez, cut the guy a break. He might have said Hughes last week, but he said Pelfrey two weeks ago. The message he is trying to send is that they are both good. He would take either one.

    Derek Jeter (Tampa): Over or Underrated?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:07 PM ET ) Great player, but somewhat overrated.

    Again, imagine that Jeter was on the Royals for his entire career? Hall of Fame and Derek Jeter would not be in the same sentence. Intangibles do not do you any good on a sucky team.

    Mike (NJ): Fernando Martinez @17 in A-ball Real or Mirage?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (3:11 PM ET ) Real.

    Not my question, but he stole my identity. Watch your back Mike, there can be only one.

    Leo (Avon, CT): Angelina Jolie or Jessica Alba?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Still going Jessica Alba.

    I've went over this. Even when she is not an option, the answer is always Evangeline Lilly.

    Zen (Nicaragua): Carmen Elecktra & Heidi Klum & Angie Jolie vs Jessica Alba?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Still going Jessica Alba.

    I'll let Zen slide because I do not know if Lost is big down in Central America, but he needs to get with the program going forward.

    Hey Dominic, check the bottom of your shoe. I think you stepped in something.

  • If you like Wolfmother and/or Yo La Tengo, you will love this link that DG blessed up with.

  • Carlos Delgado is worth two Yusmeiro Petit's. This guy is money.

    "The best feeling in the world," Delgado said with a wide smile after his fourth career walk-off homer, and first as a Met. "This was a game we should win. We played better than them for nine innings. We were exactly where we wanted to be, a two-run lead with our closer on the mound.

    "We are all behind Billy. He's going to save a lot more games than he's going to blow. We want him on the mound every night, when we get a lead, as simple as that."

    Pick up your closer when he fails, and he will once in a while.

    "(The weather) wasn't bad enough that everybody else struggled," said Wagner. "Everybody else did their job, but I was struggling."

    I like how Wagner steps up and does not make excuses for himself and backs up his teammates when they make critical errors while he is on the mound. I never knew this side of him, but he exemplifies what a team player should be and Mike DeJean should take notes. However, you hate to blow it with your ace on the mound set to notch is sixth victory in as many starts.

    "This is the fastest I've ever seen Pedro work," said one longtime scout. "His changeup was incredible."

    Sadly enough, 32-0 is no longer a possibility. However, 31-0 is still on the table and the way he looks this year, it looks like he is on another level and I think anything is possible if they give him three or four runs a game.

  • Kevin, you should have thought through your title Billy Blows Another. It is a big suggestive.

  • Give the kid another shot.

    John Maine is still under consideration for Sunday's start against Atlanta. He allowed four runs in 51/3 innings Tuesday in his first start as a Met.

    "We haven't decided yet," Randolph said. "He pitched well. He pitched well enough to get another start. But we'll wait and see."

    His line was ugly, but he did not look horrible. It was his first start for the Mets and throwing him into the fire in a Met/Brave game will really tell them a lot.

  • Chavez's play last night was ridiculous. Beltran and Matsui were doing the 'I thought the other guy is going to get it' routine and looked like they were trotting to the ball. They certainly were not busting it and Endy Chavez flies into the screen completely laid out to grab the ball. Unreal. On top of it all, he has been hitting. You have the give the little bugger some credit.

  • I'm not sure what to make of this statement.

    "Does he still have a long way to go as a second baseman? Yes. But I've seen nice progress from him and I've said many times, the more he stays in the lineup, the better he's going to get," Willie Randolph said. "He's looking more and more like the second baseman I thought he would look like."

    It clearly shows he had a low opinion of Kaz, but it just comes off as weird.

  • What can I say about "Dirty" Sanchez that that has not been said before? The guy is just huge. As for Heilman, it looks like his 2005 was not a mirage and he is one of the best relievers in the league. As much as I think he can help this rotation, he is one of the best relievers in the league and I can say with certainty he would not be one of the best starters in the league. He has come a long was since the beginning of 2005.

  • The Mets offense is hurting. In the last seven days, they are hitting .224/.321/.424 as a team. Wright, Delgado, and Beltran are batting under .200 and Floyd and Matsui are at .200. When five of your starters are hitting like that, it is tough to get wins and the Mets have been doing pretty well in spite of that. This is just a rare stretch where so many guys slump at one time.

  • Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    S.U.C.K. M.E.

    Perhaps nothing encapsulates the frustration we all feel more than the acronym S.U.C.K. M.E. This infuriating phenomenon has plagued the Mets for years and Toasted Joe captured the essence of it with his acronym that stands for ‘Shaky Unknown Chuckers Kill the Mets Everytime’. It's sad, but true. What is even more scary was his prediction.

    Michael O'Connor? I'm predicting 7 innings of 2-hit ball for him. If we take this one, we'll have to take it from the Nats' pen. Fortunately, we've faced Gary Majewski about 15 times this season, so I think we've got him all figured out.

    I want to laugh, but I'm too busy crying. In case you missed the game or did not look at the box score, that is exactly what O'Connor did. It is tough to complain about coming away with a split in a two game series that had Victor Zambrano and a rookie starting even if it was the lowly Nationals who do not have much of anything going on. However, today the Mets face a guy that they have only seen before once for one inning in 2005. If it was not for Pedro toeing the rubber tonight, I would be worried because in situations like this, the Mets can suck with the best of them.

    Now on to some thoughts from last night's game.

    John Maine's repertoire did not remind me much of Brian Bannister, but he was pretty similar to Bannister last night in terms of velocity and location. Both young guys try to work both sides of the plate but ultimately nibble too much to drive their pitch count too high. However, even though John Maine's fastball had a bit more life and more velocity than Bannister's when he pumped it up there, he did look more hittable than Brian does.

    What is really strange is that John Maine resembles the guy he was traded for a lot. Not only is he the same height as Benson, he throws predominantly fastballs with sliders being the second most relied on pitch as does Benson. Then the both work in changeups about 10% to 15% of the time followed by the curveball which is only used as a 'show me' pitch. Maine described his curve as that in a BA article and that basically means that he throws it to keep it in the hitter's mind more than anything. Letting them know it is out there to try and keep them guessing. He'll drop it in every once in a while to try and sneak one by them or to set up another pitch, but it is not his 'go to' pitch.

    As bad as his line was, it was not as if he did not show anything. He did. His slider was very good and the way he changes speed on his fastball is very encouraging, but like Bannister, throwing strikes is the key. Maine's fastball ranges from 87 to 92 and he likes to predominantly keep it about 89 and dial it up to 92 when he needs to put that little extra on to put a batter away. Maine's line does not look pretty as he gave up four runs in 5.1 innings, but the Nationals were a good team to start against as his next start is going to be a bit tougher and I think at the very least, he deserves another shot this weekend. It looks like he has a chance to be a nice back end guy that can give you six innings a start with about a 4.00 ERA. His first start was not a success, but by no means was it a failure.

    As for someone who just looked flat out nasty, Jorge Julio was an animal last night. He was setting up his pitches and executing them. A few pitches looked like he had no idea were they are going, but his slider is as unhittable as any when it is on and even when he hits the mitt at 82, it sounds like his pitches are moving a lot faster. It will take a lot more for him to be trusted, but you have to feel good about what he has been showing of late.

    Kaz is not only looking like a second baseman these days, but a good second baseman. He made another sparkling play up the middle to save a hit. He caught a ground ball behind second base and had enough arm strength to throw out the runner while his momentum was carrying him in the opposite direction. Anderson Hernandez looks like he lost his spot unless Kaz completely falls apart and really, is Anderson Hernandez working on hitting at AAA the worst thing?

    * * *

  • CBS Sportsline has their power rankings out, and the Mets are number two.

    They have built the biggest NL East lead through April since baseball went to the six divisions. They have the right mix all around that can run away and hide in their division, even if this overall ranking is a little optimistic.

    Screw you with the back-handed compliment, but I'm still a sucker for a compliment so I'll take it.

    Save for Mike Myers' failure to get the out he's paid to get, it doesn't surprise us their pitching looks much improved with Mel Stottlemyre gone. He wasn't just a scapegoat, he was the root of their problems.

    Ha, ha. It's funny because it's true.....but most of us Met fans knew that anyway. Now all they have to do is realize that Joe Torre cannot manage and they might be able to throw a coaching staff out there that can actually coach.

  • From the comments section last night...

    ....i suppose this has been discussed before, but what is up with those butt-ugly batting helmets the Mets are wearing?

    You ask? We answer....or pass on the answer.

    Let's say you're an official Major League Baseball equipment licensee. But due to the complexities of MLB's licensing arrangements, you're not allowed to put your logo on the gear the players are wearing. What a gyp, right? What's the point of being associated with MLB if you can't put your brand's graphic stamp on the game? Is there anything you can do?

    Unfortunately for the rest of us, there is. And that story line is now playing out in at least two places during spring training.

    Let's start with the batting helmets. As you may recall, a new helmet design, featuring side vents and reptilian-looking molded crown, was unveiled during last year's All-Star Game. At the time, a Rawlings marketing manager gave Uni Watch a simple reason for the new design: "MLB doesn't allow outside logos on headwear, so this gives us the opportunity to kinda put our mark on the helmet without actually using the Rawlings logo."

    The new helmet model, called the CoolFlo, wasn't seen again last year. But all MLB teams were given the option to wear it this season, and 11 clubs have chosen to be early adopters. Seven of those teams are already wearing the CoolFlo in spring training: the Cubs, Angels, Diamondbacks, Devil Rays, Orioles, Dodgers and Mets. The other four CoolFlo teams -- the Twins, A's, Braves and Padres -- are wearing regular helmets for now but will switch to the new model when the regular season starts.

  • From BA's new Daily Dish...

    Pelfrey already in Double-A, Soler Next?

    The clock is ticking on Alay Soler in the Florida State League. The Cuban defector was dynamite yet again last night in high Class A St. Lucie's 1-0 win against Brevard County, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out seven in seven brilliant innings. The 26-year-old righthander improved to 2-0, 0.64 with 32 strikeouts, eight walks and a .128 opponents' batting average in 28 innings this year. His command has been impeccable since he walked six batters in 10 innings over his first two starts of the season.

    Because of his age and background, Soler doesn't figure to be long for the FSL. The Mets signed him to a three-year, $2.8 million contract in September 2004, and he pitched at the Mets' Dominican complex in 2005. A star on the Cuban national team that won the 2002 World University Games, Soler seems to have the makeup to handle the pressure of New York, and his stuff (91-94 mph fastball and low-80s slider with exceptional depth) could put him on the fast track to pitch in the majors later this summer.

    The question is, how can he not be on a plane to AA already if not AAA. He just needed to get back in the swing of things but judging by his age and experience, AAA seems more fitting.

  • Omar lays it down...

    "There are no geniuses in baseball," Minaya said. "Some deals work, some don't. You just keep trying to make moves to improve the club."

  • Duaner has truly earned the nickname "Dirty" Sanchez.

    "You can't say more," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "Sanchy, you can talk about a lot of guys on this team, but to me, he's our MVP. He's been unbelievable."

    I usually do not think any set up men should really go to the All-Star game except in rare cases. While it is early to be talking about that stuff, Sanchez has earned a spot so far.
  • Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    It's Go Time

    Victor Zambrano pitches bad? We all win.
    Victor Zambarno pitches good? We all win.

    Zambrano pitching is a win-win situation for Mets fans right now. Every bad game he throws, he is one step closer to getting booted from the rotation. Every good game he throws, the Mets have a shot at winning and that is never a bad thing. However, this guy has gotten on my nerves so much, I do not think he will even endear himself to me by winning twenty games at this point. From last night's broadcast, Gary Cohen remarked that Victor Zambrano said he is not panicking yet. After Cohen had made that statement, Ron Darling had said that a teammate had suggested that maybe he should start.

    Did I miss the point in Zambrano's career when he earned the benefit of doubt? If Tom Glavine or Pedro had an ERA hovering around ten four starts into the season, they would not be in jeopardy. Zambrano was never really that good, so why he believes he is immune to being ousted from the rotation after he was taken out of the rotation in favor of Steve Tracshel last year is a mystery to me. That being said, his line of six innings, five hits, one run, two walks, and four k's on eighty nine pitches is good for any pitcher, much less him.

    While last night's performance was encouraging, he should still have some sense of urgency to perform. If John Maine can come out today and pitch a good game with Brian Bannister's return to the rotation further down the line, Zambrano should not only feel like he is on the hot seat, but he should be on the hot seat. The only good option to replace Victor in the rotation any time soon is John Maine. If he cannot hack it in the two starts he will have in place of Brian Bannister, it is a moot point until Mike Pelfrey logs more innings or Alay Soler is in more of a position to be considered a viable option, but it's go time for Zambrano.

    Now is the time for him to show the Mets what he is made out of and if he is worth anything. I'm not willing to give him a pass because he is only the fifth starter. I'm not satisfied if I eat great dinners all week and then eat a steaming pile of dog shit on that last day every week because the first six meals were good. That is just silly talk. These are the Mets and not the Kansas City Royals. They should have the resources and the ability to put together a solid rotation one through five and if Victor wants to be a part of that, it is time he earns it.

    "We're going to give him an opportunity," GM Omar Minaya said before the game, "but like anything else there comes a time when you have to perform."

    * * *

  • If it's written in the bible, it must be true, no?

    The worst? Bernie Williams--and it's not even close--with a score of minus-78.


    Matt Meyes did a book review on The Fielding Bible and the article is interesting to read and the actual book may be of interest to some of you. I personally would rather just keep passing around recycled opinions when it comes to fielding because I do not care enough.

  • The new BA Prospect Hot Sheet is out and Mike doesn't like it one bit....well maybe a tiny bit, but no more than that. First, two pitching prospects made the list because of their utter domination of Met affiliate clubs in Cole Hamels and Humberto Sanchez. Second, two of the Yankees best and brightest in Jose Tabata and Phil Hughes crack into the honorable mention section with some impressive play. The only thing that saves it is Lastings Millege and his .500 OBP heading into yesterday's play and Mike Pelfrey's toying with AA hitters to get them an honorable mention as well.

  • I know what I'm naming my first born...girl or boy.

    "They were dynamite. Sanchez is unreal, and Billy throwing the ball was dynamite," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "And Pedro. It's been phenomenal. Sanchez, right now, he's our MVP."

    First name....Duaner. Middle name...Sanchez. Duaner Sanchez Oliver...

  • The Astros are ready to negotiate for Roger Clemens' services.

    The Astros took some criticism for not offering Clemens arbitration, but they ultimately didn't lose anything because May 1 hit without Clemens signing elsewhere.

    Purpura and McLane are ready to come to the table with nothing less than what Clemens earned per day — $98,360.65 — in his historic deal last year.

    A hundred grand a day. Let that sink in.

  • Freddy Garcia was toking up on some sweet shiba during the WBC.

    IBAF policy states that a player who violates the anti-doping rule can be suspended up to two years from competition.

    While Major League Baseball has no penalty for marijuana, Garcia was not pleased with the stigma that he feels he now will be attached with. What really bothered Garcia was the fact that if he did fail the test, why was he allowed to start two games for Venezuela in the WBC?

    The Metropolitans wonders why anything but performance enhancing drugs are of interest to the IBAF.

  • Adrian Beltre should worry less about practical jokes and more about hitting the baseball. He is getting paid $12,900,000 for a .211/.299/.274 line with one homer and six RBIs. That is not so swell.

  • Tim Hudson's slow start is a distant memory.

  • Floyd is struggling, but like Cohen points out game after game, he is just stinging the ball.

    "We've got a great team, and you know what? Production-wise, I haven't been good," he said, "but us winning has kept me sane."

    Like Beltran's numbers were hurting early in the year while he was stinging the ball, Cliff's numbers are hurting while he is stinging the ball. He is going to come around and start punishing the ball and pickup up hits.

  • Minaya revealed yesterday that the team considered calling up top prospect Mike Pelfrey when Bannister got hurt. Pelfrey had just been promoted to Double-A last Tuesday.


  • BP's Hit List has the Mets sitting in the fourt spot.

    Beasts of the East: the Mets' six-game lead is the biggest end-of-April lead in NL East history, and larger than the other five division leads combined. They've got the NL East's only winning record and have already topped last year's total of wins in Atlanta thanks to a pair of gems from future Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine, two of the Mets' four pitchers among NL's top 15 in VORP.

    The Mets are holding down the third spot on ESPN's Power Rankings.

    Carlos Delgado (.337-9-19) has been everything -- and perhaps even more -- the Mets hoped he would be.
  • Monday, May 01, 2006

    Tom Terrific

    The two things that you have heard about Tom Glavine that have been responsible for the tremendous pitching of late have been him pitching inside more and using his curveball more. Whatever it is, Glavine has been putting up numbers comparable to the best in his long Hall of Fame career.

    Going back to the All-Star break of 2005, he has been spectacular. Cy Young Award winning type of good in fact.
     W  L   ERA   G     IP  BAA  WHIP  k/9  bb/9  k/bb
    10 8 2.24 21 148.67 .226 1.04 5.45 2.00 2.73
    That stretch of games has been the best on the Mets staff and that includes Pedro Martinez.
     W  L   ERA   G     IP  BAA  WHIP  k/9  bb/9  k/bb
    10 5 2.96 18 121.67 .213 1.04 7.62 2.52 3.03
    Both have been great for the Mets, but Glavine has been a tick better since that time. For good measure, Glavine has batted .304 during that stretch in 46 at-bats. After his first season with the Mets in 2003, this signing looked like another Steve Phillips disaster. Then after a 3.60 ERA in 2004 and a 3.57 ERA in 2005, it looked a lot better. In fact, if Glavine's contract did not vest, the Mets would have presumable not picked him up for another year and he has proven to be just as big of an asset to this team as Pedro since last season's midway point.

    After his 2003 it would have been unthinkable for the Mets to extend him for another year, but at this point, a one year extension before the season's end does not seem like a big stretch. Glavine has looked as good as ever and with him closing in on 300 victories, it sure would not be so bad to see him do it as a Met.

    * * *

  • Don Burke does not want yesterday's loss to take away from a spectacular April. The scary part is, the Mets have a six game lead and a 16-8 record while having room for improvement. Improvement that most likely will happen as this team goes along and the team and players make adjustments. I doubt we have seen the best from this team and they still managed to come of the gate and do some damage.

  • Um, so the rookies can only ump Pittsburgh or KC games and the vets have to baby sit the Yankee games?

    "I think it's a crime that the league would assign a rookie umpire to a crucial series like this. It's just stupid," Steinbrenner roared. "I'm really P.O.'d at the league for sending those kinds of umpires - a rookie umpire in here to do this series. We're going to see them (today)."

    If the Yankees are worrying this much about the umps and calling a Toronto series in April 'crucial', I think it is safe to say they are worried about something bigger. Like maybe their $200 million team missing the playoffs and their weak pitching.

  • Bob Klapisch has a nice article that basically says no matter what happened yesterday, the Mets are still the team to beat.

    Sooner or later, Wright will calm down, and Floyd will remember the virtues of patience. Even if Victor Zambrano is a lost cause (which he is), the Mets still have the bullpen to die for in the East. Barring any serious injuries, or a turnaround in the clubhouse chemistry, the Mets could spend the summer doing calisthenics for the postseason.

    Of course, no one's ready to turn the page to October. Not yet. Not publicly. But the Mets played a sloppy game on Sunday, and still cleaned out the Braves' bullpen.

    The fact that they lost hardly put a dent in Randolph's belief in his players. That confidence is spreading fast, or as Delgado cryptically put it, "We like what we're seeing."

  • BP's this week in quotes...

    "When you are a first, there will be some people that are uncomfortable with the fact that you are a first, and they will try to create non-baseball issues if they have the opportunity. I just see that as people that are uncomfortable with the fact that there's a Hispanic in a position of authority. ... It is what it is."
    --Mets GM Omar Minaya, on his perceived Latin-heavy roster (Sacramento Bee)

    "You can't blame a guy for trying to put together one of the best teams available. I mean, last year on the free-agent market [Minaya] got the best pitcher and probably the best position player. They just happened to be one from the Dominican and one from Puerto Rico."
    --Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, on the roster

    "And this year he just traded for a couple of guys, and when he needed a closer he went out and he got Billy Wagner. Nobody said anything about him getting an American guy."

    "The way I look at it, you need 25 guys to win regardless of the color of their skin or where they're from, so I think he's done a great job of putting together a good team."
    --Delgado, on Minaya

    "I always tell Carlos he's a gringo anyway because he speaks such good English and is so articulate."
    --Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca, on Delgado

    As for some interesting Barry Bonds related quotes...

    "Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record. We don't celebrate anybody the second or third time in."
    --Commissioner Bud Selig, on how MLB will not celebrate formally when Bonds passes Babe Ruth in the home run record book (New York Times)

    "We celebrate new records, that's what we do. We're being consistent. There's nothing to read into that."

    Technically, he is right. But a large part of this country, myself not included, hold Ruth's 714 in higher regard than Aaron's 755 when it relates to Bonds and if he passes them.

    "High velocity is one of the most overrated things in pitching. I can be going 70-80 miles an hour down the highway for two hours, and I feel like I'm not moving, like I'm going 20. And then you hit that off-ramp and all of a sudden you're slamming on the brakes, because you've been going faster than you thought. Your eyes adjusted to the speed. I think major league hitting is no different. If a guy's throwing 95, by the third at-bat, the hitter's seen 10 to 15 pitches. It's not fast anymore."
  • Sunday, April 30, 2006

    Dumb Hicks

    Ok, so let's get this straight. Tom Glavine pitched with the Braves from 1987 through 2002 and will head into the Hall of Fame with a Braves cap. He left the Braves, but not because he did not want to play with them, he still lives in the area, and says he would like to come back there to finish his career. The guy is consummate professional and did everything right for that team including be a big part of eleven division titles and one World Series title. He gets booed and was booed at first to the point where he did not want his kids at the game.

    "I don't enjoy it. I don't understand it," Glavine said of his rough reception. "It doesn't affect me the way it did the first few times. There's nothing I can do about it."

    Julio Franco was pinch hitter and backup player for five years and amassed twenty nine homeruns and gets an ovation that is usually reserved for returning mega stars.

    "It gave me chills," said Franco, who left Atlanta to sign with the Mets in December. "I was expecting the fans to be nice. But that was overwhelming. That shows the class that this town has."

    Do they really? Don't get me wrong, Franco was well like and deserved some love, but so does Tom. Glavine should have been much more of an iconic figure for that town and he gets treated horribly time after time when the breakup should was not a messy one. The Braves simply did not want him back. They both went to the same division rival, but one is booed and one is cheered. F-in ponderous. So what do you do if you are Glavine?

    Kick their dumb team's ass.

    Glavine was brilliant in the Mets win and notched his 278th win in front of all those idiots as the Mets won 1-0 and has John Delcos said in his article, "there is no prettier score in the sport". Nope, 1-0 is much sweeter than the Yankees blowout win yesterday and Glavine sparkled for seven innings to push the Braves seven games behind the Mets and as Michael Morrissey points out, the Braves have not been that far out of first since June 2, 2001.

    While on the topic of Tom Glavine, CBS Sportsline had a must read from the other day that featured Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux talking about each other and baseball in general.

    * * *

  • My new bat sure is nicey nice. My last x-bat made it though two at-bats before breaking and was in Met colors. Hopefully, this one does better.

  • From Peter Abraham:

    Injury of the week: Former big-leaguer Kerry Robinson, now with Class AAA Omaha, had to leave Monday's game after having chest muscle spasms. It started when he laughed at some kids involved in a pregame promotion. "Can't we make up a better injury than that?" said Shaun McGinn, Kansas City's director of minor-league operations. "Can't we say he pulled a muscle while taking extra batting practice or by lunging for a ball in the outfield or something?"

    Umm, yeah. Try and live that one down.

  • Also from the above link, two great Mets points.

    First, the overlooked and seemingly under appreciated Steve Traschel.

    Steve Trachsel is 52-52, 3.87 with the Mets, and most of that came with some dreadful lineups behind him. He deserves a lot more respect than what Willie Randolph gives him.

    He was the Mets most consistent pitcher for the Mets from 2002 and 2004 and that includes Al Leiter in my opinion and he really does not seem to draw much of Willie's respect. From last season, they seemed to have a little something going on and he is not one of Willie's favorites from what it looks like being on the outside of things.

    Second, the mishandled injury situation with Carlos Beltran.

    Now there's another injury, and this time Beltran shut it down. He couldn't win either way.

    The Mets, who never handle injuries well, should have recognized the situation and put Beltran on the disabled list immediately. That removes any doubt. Instead, the player is left looking soft, which will only widen the chasm between he and the fans.

    Again, I never said Beltran was at fault for being cautious, but not getting DL'd was a mistake and this situation was botched whether it was by Beltran or by the Mets.

    "I felt great," Beltran said after the Mets' 1-0 victory last night. "The good thing is I played the whole game and my hammy didn't get tight."

    Glad to have him back since he makes this team a lot better, but hopefully the Mets learn from this. The way the organization has handled injuries over the years is ridiculous.

  • From the Journal News:

    Tuesday’s starter: The Mets are undecided about who will start Tuesday in place of the injured Brian Bannister, but speculation points to minor-leaguer John Maine over veteran Jose Lima for two reasons.

    Lima pitched seven innings for Class AAA Norfolk Friday, and it makes no sense to work him on three days' rest this early in the season.

    The second reason is Maine is on the 40-man roster and Lima is not.

    Going with Lima on short rest would necessitate making room for him by taking somebody off the 40-man roster and designating him for assignment, which means the team has a chance to lose that player as a free agent.

    Agreed. I'm kind of excited to see Maine pitch if it is in fact him who gets the nod.

    Adam Rubin does seem to think it is a slam dunk for Maine to get the start though.

    The Mets made no official announcement, but having Jeremi Gonzalez pitch for Triple-A Norfolk last night cemented John Maine as Tuesday's starter at Shea against the Nationals in place of Brian Bannister (right hamstring strain).

    All signs do point to Maine. I agree on that assessment.

    "I don't throw the hardest," Maine said. "Just like any other pitcher with an average fastball, I have to locate it."

  • Bob Raissman throws out some man-love for Gary Cohen.

    When SportsNet New York suits hired Gary Cohen to be their Mets play-by-play voice, many knee jerks raised a non-issue. It was this: Could Cohen make the transition from radio to television?

    Stupidity has no limits. Don't tell anyone, but there is no transition.

    Some have said he still describes too much as if he was on the radio, but I have no seen it.

    To this day you can still hear guys who worked on baseball radiocasts - like YES' Michael Kay - making radio calls on TV. It's kind of funny. Especially when the voice is describing, in detail, something viewers can see - like the crowd rising.

    Any dig on the worst TV guy I've seen in Michael Kay is good to me.

    In the fourth, with Bonds at the plate again, Cohen got into the steroids issue. Instead of presenting the usual, boring lines we've already heard (Should the records count? Will he get in the Hall of Fame? Blah, blah, blah) Cohen took a different trip.

    He called the Bonds situation an "American tragedy." Cohen said Bonds was already a first ballot Hall of Famer midway through his career. "Now, no matter what he accomplished (before the late 1990's), this is a man who is going to be looked at as a villain," Cohen said. "And it didn't have to be that way."

    This likely upset those who already want Bonds' entire career erased from what's left of baseball's conscience. Still, Cohen was telling the truth.

    Precisely. This is not just Cohen either, the Mets broadcast team is very honest. The way Keith was gushing over the job that Mike Remlinger did last night would not have happened anywhere else. They call the game so objectively and give credit to whomever deserves it and as we have all said many times, it is simply a treat to listen to Mets broadcasts. They seemingly set the standard when compared to whatever small number of other broadcasts I have listened too.

  • I can pick up what Bill Madden is laying down....

    Amid all the moaning over Victor Zambrano, Jorge Julio and Kaz Matsui, and the questions about Carlos Beltran's mettle, this much we know about the Mets and the task that lies ahead for them: The National League East is a bad division that can probably be won with fewer than 90 victories.

    Even with the valid concerns about the back of the Mets' rotation and the depth of their bench, this team constructed by Omar Minaya will be hard-pressed not to win 90-plus games.

    ....but my concern with this team is not the regular season, it is how they stack up in the playoffs with those holes. To go all that way to the playoffs and be compromised for things that could have been dealt with is reprehensible.

  • Mike Pelfrey brought it in his AA debut.

    "I had a good result," Pelfrey said by phone after the game. "I walked two guys, and I hate walking guys so I wish I could have thrown more strikes. But overall it went good. High-A, Double-A, whatever, it's still playing baseball. Everything felt good. Really, it was just another game."

    So far in pro ball, he has a 1.30 ERA, 6.51 h/9, 1.30 bb/9, 11.06 k/9, 8.50 k/bb, and a 0.86 WHIP.

    "It's all about getting comfortable out there," Pelfrey said. "Once I got into the third inning, I was able to throw some more strikes. As the game goes on, you get more comfortable. It was just going out there and getting experience."

    Feel free to be very excited.

  • I have Mike Gonzalez on my damn suck-ass fantasy team and I like the call that Jim Tracy made by pulling him when he saw a sticky situation he did not like.

    "We did what we had to do," Tracy explained. "When you're seeing that from the dugout, when you see a situation you're uncomfortable with, it's time to make a move."

    It ended up working out, but I like when managers go against conventional wisdom. I'm not one who buys that you need to die with your closer if he clearly does not have his best stuff because he is your closer and it is good to see that Tracy is not afraid to do what he thinks needs to be done to win.

  • If you can't beat 'em...join 'em.

    Randolph steadfastly predicted the 30-year-old former Japanese shortstop would be a more productive player.

    "I know how he struggled, and maybe other people think I'm wrong," Randolph said. "But I still think he's going to be different this year. He's had a nice, little start. He could have a good year. We have him in the eight hole, and he's got a lot of talent to be hitting there. You wait, if we can keep him in the field, we're going to get more out of the eight hole than most teams, maybe more than any team."

    Instead of saying negative things about Matsui like one of hits should not have been a hit, Randolph tries the supportive approach in the media. A truly novel idea.