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

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Mets never lost a game in 2006....

...they just ran out of time.

Their nine game stretch that was striking fear in the hearts of fans with Jose Lima, Jeremi Gonzalez, and Stave Trachsel starting five of the games and a rookie Alay Soler in another game has passed with the Mets taking five games. If I told you Met starters would only have two wins out of the last nine games, you probably would not have thought the Mets were successful during that stretch, but they were thanks to a team that just never quits. Four of the five wins were won by one run and two of the three losses were lost by one run with another loss being a two run differential. The overall run differential for the past nine games has the Mets up two, 43 runs to 41 runs.

Fans were treated with great ball games in the six game homestand and an average crowd of 46,849 showed up at Shea including four games over 50,000 with an astounding 51,365 showing up to weekday game with Jeremi Gonzalez starting. Out of the last six games the Mets played at home, they hit at leat two homeruns in every game with the exception of yesterday's game when only Jose Reyes hit a homerun. Thirteen balls were hit out or the park and 65% of their runs came on homeruns.The Mets are now tied for second in the National League in homeruns and tied for fourth out of the entire Major Leagues. The Mets have eleven more homeruns than the Yankees and twelve more homeruns than the Red Sox. When was the last time that happened?

Now that the rotation picture is a little less muddy with Lima Time! and Jeremi Gonzalez never to be seen again, the bullpen is stronger than ever, and possibly the most potent Met offense ever, this team is poised to do sometime special this year. Life is good in Met land.

* * *

  • This was truly bizarre. Frank Robinson had a Dick Vermeil moment.

    "I've never had that happen before," Robinson said, choking up. "And I don't like someone to go through what he had to go through today. I feel for people who have to go through something like that. But I couldn't do anything about it. I feel for him, and I hope the fans understand."

    LeCroy is a guy who should not be behind the plate. When people steal seven on your emergency catcher, it's not a sad moment, it just sucks.

  • In another shrewd low risk, high reward move, Omar picked up his second starter in as many days and traded Robert Manual for Dave Williams.

    "If he gives us 10 wins and has a 4.00 E.R.A. as a fifth starter, I'll take it," General Manager Omar Minaya said. But for now, Williams will be pitching in the minors.

  • Why must the Mets continue this charade like Jeremi Gonzalez ever had a chance?

    "I just think Soler pitched much better," GM Omar Minaya said. "There were more swings and misses with Soler than Gonzalez."

    He has a 7.71 ERA and he is lucky to have that. A pitcher with his stuff usually relies on something other than his fastball, but he predominantly throws poorly placed fastballs that have little movement.

  • Tommy boy, I'm sorry I ever regretted buying a Glavine jersey.

    "If they're telling me it gives them some flexibility to be able to go out and add some players at some point in time to make our team better, then heck, yeah, I'm all for it," Glavine said. "That's good for us, it's good for me, and the better chance we give ourselves of winning, that's a win-win for everybody.

    "You can pretty much assume at the start of the season, if you're in contention, coming into the trading deadline, no matter how good you are, there's something you can add to get better."

  • Sugar Pants and Carlos Beltran had rough days at the plate.

    "Just one of those days," Wright said. "It's going to happen, it's part of the game. As much as I'd like to go out there and get three hits and drive in a couple of runs every day, it's not going to happen."

  • Jay Greenberg is calling for Kaz's reign at second to be over. Predictably, after I wrote an article on Metsgeek.com praising the little guy about a month ago, he completely looks horrible since then. Now that Anderson Hernandez continues to dominate AAA, he is playing himself back into the picture. However, as bad as Kaz looks, he does not look overmatched. He has taken some bad swings and had a nice little hitting streak that he hit about .220 through since he was picking up one hit a game during the stretch, but he has not looked like he has not belonged. While Hernandez was struggling, he looked like a guy who simply did not belong and I would be hesitant to make any quick moves just yet.

  • This has been one of the nice surprises to have come out recently in the news.

    I talked to someone with another team today who said he had heard that the Mets and Beato were getting closer to a deal. The expectation from other teams is that New York will sign him, especially considering that he's a first-round talent in a year in which it doesn't have a first-round pick. It's not like money is much of an object to the Mets, anyway.

    We ranked Beato as the No. 13 prospect on our Top 200 and he'd likely go in the second half of the first round if he re-entered the draft. He had Tommy John surgery during his junior season at Brooklyn's Xavieran High, and the Mets took him in the 17th round last year as a draft-and-follow.

    That proved to be an astute decision, as he has shown three plus pitches at times this spring. Beato has a hard sinker that sits around 90 mph and touches 96. He also has a sharp 84-85 mph slider and a promising changeup. He has a strong build at 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, and his biggest need is to improve his mechanics and, by extension, his command. At age 19, he has plenty of time to figure that out.

    All this positive talk about Beato, who is regarded as the thirteenth best talent available for this year's draft, has been great.

  • As hard as it is to admit it, I actually enjoyed the commentary from Mike and The Mad Dog yesterday. Well, not so much Mike, but the Mad Dog was fun to listen too. He almost had a heart attack when he called the Reyes three run homer and I have never heard such an excited call for the first out in a ball game in my entire life. Listening to them completely butcher names for the entire game also had it merits too and you have to say it was success. Money was raised, people were entertained, and they were good soldiers. They sounded like they prepared for the game and kept all of the topics on the Mets. I actually dislike them a little less today.
  • Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Translated into English, El Duque means ... THE DUQUE

    Oh what a difference a day makes. On May 16th, Orlando Hernandez left his start early due to a strained back and had struggled mightily all year. In his one start back since then, he was very impressive in seven innings of work and gave up one run while striking out nine. His velocity was up and was sitting in the 89-91 mph range with his fastball topping out at 92. His bread and butter is changing speeds throughout the game and he was executing with all his pitches. He looked worlds better after healing and all the Mets had to give up was Jorge Julio. The Mets traded their headache for the Diamondbacks headache.

    "He's a competitor. He's a winner. I have a long history with Orlando and I talked to him and he's very happy to be coming back to New York, a place he knows and a place that knows him. He basically said 'Thank you for bringing me back.'"

    Yes, Orlando Hernandez may in fact be 60 years old, he has not been fully healthy since 2000, and hasn't been really effective since 2004. However, with everyone trying to extort Omar for mediocre pitching, this was a tremendous move. The Mets give up nothing in Julio, possibly open a spot for Heath Bell (I still believe in you buddy) and the chance to have seven effective relievers out the bullpen, and get a guy who might be able to give them six innings and keep them in the game every fifth day and at this point, everyone would love that.

    The same day Omar makes that trade, Alay Soler looks like a stud in his first start. He started the game very shaky and could not get ahead of any hitter or put his fastball over the plate. A few batters into the game, something clicked. His slider started darting all over the zone, he was spotting his fastball, and he was getting ahead of hitters. He ended up with two earned runs given up in six innings with five hits allowed and five strikeouts. He looked fucking swell against a very good offensive team.

    "I was a little nervous at the beginning," the 26-year-old righty said through a translator, "but then when I found the zone and got control of my emotions, you could see the result after that."

    Now the rotation situation looks a better with Orlando and Alay in the mix with Brian Bannister and John Maine down the line. The Mets have viable arms and we should never see the names Jose Lima and Jeremi Gonzalez again after today's game. A smart move by Omar and a great start by Soler changed everything in an instant.

    * * *

  • This kitty has claws...

    According to several Fenway Park sources, Alex Rodriguez called Doug Mirabelli over late yesterday afternoon and challenged the Red Sox' backup catcher over what Mirabelli said about A-Rod's actions at the plate Tuesday night, when A-Rod homered but looked around for the ball as if he didn't know where it went.

    "He told him he should know better than that," the source said. "He told Mirabelli that he wouldn't disrespect the game or show up Tim Wakefield. He told Mirabelli he should know better to say anything like that because they played together."

    Mirabelli, a teammate of A-Rod's in Texas, was miffed that A-Rod didn't know he went deep. His comments indicated Mirabelli believed A-Rod was grandstanding, one of the few acts A-Rod hasn't been accused of by his legion of critics.

    "The guy's got 450 home runs," Mirabelli said. "He doesn't know when he's squared one up? I don't believe that."

    A-rod miffed at Mirabelli...Mirabelli miffed at A-Rod....Mr. Met miffed that people actually use the word miffed....

    "I was surprised by it," A-Rod said of being asked about Mirabelli's quote. "Especially since the other guy [Ramirez] stood there like the Statue of Liberty."

    Boston just does not like this guy. However, if you did not see the hit that Mirabelli is talking about, it is funny. A-Rod 100% had no idea where the ball was and he just turned his palms up the air in display of confusion with people yelling at him telling him to run. He looked ridiculous and I loved it.

    While on the subject of hot-dogging, The Metropolitans fully endorses it to a degree. Let's get some flavor in the game. Let's get a little showmanship and flair in the game. Especially in a big games, people's emotions are high. What else is better than Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair and then jumping in the air after a huge homerun? Yes, the stakes on that hit were much higher, but you get my point. Enough of the ass-slapping of the other team and asking them how their wives are and more finger pointing and threats of going balls deep.

  • Cole Hamels get reunited with his good friend the disabled list.

  • I heart you Pedro Martinez.

    With Jeremi Gonzalez warming in the bullpen early yesterday morning, Pedro Martinez assured manager Willie Randolph that he would be ready to go today if needed. The Mets have been very protective of Martinez -- giving him an extra day of rest whenever possible -- but if Gonzalez had to be used during the 16-inning marathon, they would have had no choice. "That's what winners do," Randolph said. "I wasn't surprised. We were just thinking on the same page."

    Martinez had no problem with adjusting his schedule, but took exception yesterday when a reporter asked about the Mets' efforts to give him extra rest. One word he particular disliked was the perception that he is "fragile."

    "Fragile? Because I have a day off, I'm fragile?" Martinez said. "If you want to argue with the way I've pitched, look at the numbers."

    I heart you David Wright.

    "Sometimes you get lucky," Wright, who considers himself a gap-to-gap hitter, said of his home run.

    Oh you....sugar pants, it's not luck. It is something I like to call skill.

    "We're going to expect to go out there and win," Wright said. "Winning two out of three is great, but we want to go out there and win [today] as well."

  • Nady should be ready to go today.

    Xavier Nady was benched again last night so he could rest his sore back. "He was fighting me a little on it," Randolph said. "But I wanted to give him an extra day." Nady usually ices his shoulder and neck after diving for a ball, but the problem with his lower back is something new. "I can't seem to find a good way to dive," Nady said.

  • Henry Owens is making progress and with a spot in the bullpen up for grabs, his chances of landing the Mets bullpen sometime this year improved drastically.

  • John Maine is making progress.

    John Maine, on the DL with inflammation of his right middle finger, pitched five innings in a minor-league rehabilitation start Tuesday for Class-A St. Lucie. GM Omar Minaya said no decision has been made as to where or when Maine will pitch next.

    Sucks for you bro. You had a chance to earn a starting spot but your middle finger of all fingers had something to say about that. I think the rotation is set and with Bannister above you on the totem pole with possibly no where to go, it's back to Norfolk for you.

  • Holy crap! Last night’s Lost episode was crazy and had a true ‘Einhorn is Finkle and Finkle is Einhorn' moment to shock everyone. If there is a better show in TV, I have not seen it.

    Note to the ‘others’:

    Touch a hair on Kate’s head, you will have to deal with me.

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Chicks Dig The Long Ball, Part II

    The top six teams in terms of homeruns in the National League this season are Milwaukee, Cincinnati, the Mets, Washington, Philadelphia, and Houston. First off, which two do not belong there? It is certainly interesting that Jose Vidro said RFK Stadium was unfair to hitters and yet the Nationals find themselves fourth in the league in homeruns. Sure only nineteen have come at home compared to forty on the road, but who's counting?

    Conversely, the Mets have had no problems whatsoever hitting homeruns at Shea and have hit 32 of their 62 homeruns at Shea this season including multiple homeruns in every game of their current home stand. The only problem is the Mets have had 15% of their hits go for homeruns and only the Brewers and the Reds have had a higher percentage of their hits for homeruns. Out of the twenty four runs they have scored on this home stand, sixteen have come by way of a homerun. That reliance on the long ball translates into the Mets being third in the league in homeruns and eighth in the league in runs scored.

    Of course, a low team on base percentage, a low team batting average, and the Mets troubles with runners in scoring position are the major factors for the Mets being eighth in runs scored despite hitting homers at an impressive rate. As a team, the Mets isolated plate discipline ranks eleventh in the National League while their batting average is also sitting at eleventh. In other words, not good. My biggest concern here is not so much the regular season, though the regular season is going to be an issue simply because of their rotation, but the playoffs should they make it there. This team has showed a lot of heart in close games, but when good pitching is thrown out there night after night, how will they fare?

    With David Wright, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, and Cliff Floyd in the middle of the lineup, I figured the Mets would been greatly improved in team BA and team OBP. While they have improved, they only improved by .009 while their batting average has remained the same, which is more distressing. Coming into this season, I thought the Mets had the best offensive club in the National League and that included the Cardinals. I still believe their lineup should be, but they have struggled to find consistency since starting the season on fire. In the first quarter of the season, they have relied heavily on the homerun and they really need to start manufacturing runs and getting on base more if they are going to reach their full potential and help even out a weak back end of the rotation.

    What is the genesis of the Mets problem? I think we know where the problems start, but I'm going to go over them anyway and that is for tomorrow's discussion.

    * * *

  • The Metropolitans officially likes Endy Chavez despite his curious attempt to drag bunt last night when the Mets just needed a bunt. It ended up not mattering and as bad as he struggled earlier in the year, he has looked great in every chance he has had lately. He is heads up on the bases, he showed a good arm in right last night, and has been putting the bat on the ball. Impressive.

  • Alay Soler gets the start tomorrow and he is excited to be in that spot. However, the Mets need him to not only be excited, but he needs to be productive as well.

    "Maybe he'll throw us a gem and give us a good shot," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.

    As Ron Darling stated during last night's broadcast, there are just too many sentences involving the word 'maybe' and 'hope' when it comes to this starting rotation. Now that Steve Trachsel has showed everyone that he does not look like he is going to step up from back end starter to mid-rotation starter and has officially scared me with his performance so far this season, the Mets desperately need someone in-house to step up or it might start costing prospects.

  • FoxSpots.com has baseballs ten best brawls covered. The Mets appear once on the list and check in at number five.

    5. Reds vs. Mets — October 8, 1973

    These two clubs faced off in the '73 NLCS, and it got particularly tense in the fifth inning of Game 3. With one out in the inning, Pete Rose came up and singled off Jerry Koosman. That brought Joe Morgan up to the plate, and he hit it on the ground to the right side, and the Mets pulled off a 3-6-3 double play. Rose — attempting unsuccessfully to break up that double play — slid hard into second base and knocked Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson to the ground. A tussle ensued, the benches cleared, and 10 minutes of brawling followed. Without question the most memorable image was the one of Reds reliever Pedro Borbon trying to — seriously — eat a Mets cap.

    I need footage of Pedro trying to eat a cap.

    Also from the above link, Mr. March getting a mouthful of leather.

    Laughing at A-Rod seriously never gets old. Curiously, Pedro throwing Don Zimmer into the ground did not crack the list.

  • Baseball America has the low down on Danny Almonte.

    Almonte was off to a strong start as a senior, back at Monroe High. He was 9-0, 0.45 with 76 strikeouts in 47 innings, though again he had gained more notoriety for marrying a 30-year-old woman this spring than for anything he did on a baseball field.

    So just how good is Danny Almonte? While the numbers are stellar, many scouts say he's more hype than prospect. He's 6 feet and left-handed with a frame that has some projection, but scouts say his fastball sits between 83-85 mph, not the 90s rumors around New York suggest.


  • I had the best tasting orange I've every had this morning and kicking that bum on the street on the way to work has never felt so gratifying. However, wins like last night will do that to you.

    "If you're gonna play 16 innings, you better win," said David Wright, who homered for the Mets' first run back in the second inning. "We'll take it. One thing this team has proven is it doesn't matter how long we have to stay out there or how many pitches we have to throw. That's what this team is made of, the kind of character this team has.

    "No matter how many runs we're down, we have that no-die attitude."

    You get the feeling that the Mets are going to start giving Philly and their fans a complex soon. In the first series, the Mets only took one game, but did come back in game one to tie the game only to lose on a Heilman error in the ninth. The repeatedly came back yesterday and have asserted themselves as the team to beat in the National League East with their flair for the dramatic. If the Mets can manage to take one of the next two games, they will have survived this stretch admirably with five wins and will have not only survived it, but will have extended their lead over the Phillies.

  • Breaking News:

    A-Rod had a big hit in a month other than March.

    "I've done a lot of special things in this game," he said. "For none of that to be considered clutch is an injustice."

    Might I remind A-Rod that there is no crying in baseball. Might I also add that him that his three run homer that is being called a big hit came with his team already up 4-1. While it ended up being huge, at the time he was just padding stats which is what A-Rod seems to do best. If the Yankees were down 5-4 at the time, chances are it would have been a harmless pop fly to centerfield.

  • While Reyes' homerun last night was huge, it is still a pitch he should have laid off.

    "I just tried to put the ball in play and get a good piece of the ball," Reyes said. "He threw me curves the whole game so I had to make some adjustments."

    The adjustment being made should be to stop swinging at curveballs in the dirt and not swing at one again. Ultimately, I would have given up the win last night for Reyes to have an epiphany and figure out how to lay off that curveball in the dirt because he got killed with breaking balls last night. That is his Achilles heel and if he can figure that out, he will be an infinitely better player.

  • Cole Hamels has been scratched from this start tonight. In a not so surprising development, he has an ailment yet again. I am a bit disappointed because I have not been so excited to see a pitching match-up in quite a while, but having the Mets face Jon Leiber on short rest is a nice consolation prize.
  • Chicks Dig The Long Ball

    Carlos Beltran...has there ever been a more productive .262 hitter?

    Paulie Ballgame's legs must be like jelly.

    Ryan Madson's 100+ pitch and seven inning relief peformance was studly...too bad he had to lose, but better him and Darren Oliver.

    Speaking of Darren Oliver, big time pitching with a little help from the umps calling Utley out at second, but Beltran was safe at second earlier so there is not much to complain about there.

    Jose Reyes may be scrawny, but he's got some muscles. He will put up twenty homers in his late 20's at some point once he gets a better batting eye and fills out a bit more.

    What are the chances Alay Soler goes nine in his debut?

    All of David Wright's homers come in bunches.

    Jose Valentin's moustache is still ugly.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Mind Boggling

    As I was sitting there watching the game at the Shea Stadium on Sunday, it did cross my mind that while the Mets outplayed them in every game, the Yankees were short two of their starting outfielders. They had more hits than the Mets and more base runners, but the Mets simply out-pitched them with the exception of Jeremi Gonzalez and one inning by Billy Wagner. The Mets basically outplayed them for the entire series and could have easily swept. Don't get me wrong, I would not have cared if the entire Columbus Clipper team was out there. A win is a win, but it always feels a bit sweeter when you beat their A-Team. The Mets did have Jeremi Gonzalez starting, but the Yankees had Aaron Small going on Sunday. Both teams were battered, but the Yankees were more battered. Then I started thinking dollars and cents. Hideki Matsui costs about $10,000,000, Gary Sheffield costs about $13,000,000, and Carl Pavano costs them about $8,000,000. According to USA Today, the Yankee payroll was $194,663,079 before their rash of injuries and if you subtract out their three DL’d players, they are sitting at $162,906,908.

    Let that sink in. The team that we saw this weekend would not have a very good chance at making the playoffs in 2006 in my opinion and is still $42,807,084 more expensive than the Red Sox, $59,434,908 more expensive than the Dodgers, $60,156,241 more expensive than the White Sox, and $61,821,945 more expensive than the Mets. Even if you take Posada out, they are $30,807,084, $47,434,908, $48,156,241, and $49,821,945 more expensive than each team respectively. What Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner have managed to do is no easy task. They put together quite possibly the worst team money can buy. Yes, they are a very good team with everyone healthy and even without them they are a good team. When you factor in how good they are in correlation to the payroll? A monstrosity. Let us all laugh at them with many of their high priced players in a precipitous decline and many others unable to stay healthy. The Mets took advantage of a banged up Yankee team, but that banged up Yankee team still cost $150,906,908.00. To put that into perspective, that is three more Pedro Martinez’s with a sprinkling of another Carlos Delgado and the Yankees total payroll in the real world is still another $ 43,756,171 above that. I still for the life of me cannot figure out why any sane Yankee fan could brag about their team being better than any other team with such disparities in payroll between the Yankees and every single team in professional sports.

    * * *

  • This is like a standard Saturday night for me. Make sure you watch the entire thing.

  • SI.com lowered the New York Mets down notch after their impressive series against the Yankees and has them sitting at number five.

    Billy Wagner had an interesting, albeit schizophrenic, interleague weekend. He struck out the side on 12 pitches in picking up a win on Friday night. On Saturday he blew a 4-0 lead in a Mets loss. Then on Sunday he threw a scoreless ninth to earn a save. All in front of a rabid Mets crowd and all against the Yankees. We'll now say Wagner has been officially welcomed to the Big Apple.

    The Phillies are the next highest NL East team and they plummeted seven spots from the fifth slot to the twelfth spot. The Braves are stitting at number sixteen, but what I found interesting that SI.com pointed out was that Atlanta has blown 11 of 20 save opportunities. That is truly and ugly stat.

  • Scott Olsen got a nice shiner courtesy of teammate Randy Messenger.

    The clubhouse was tight-lipped about the incident. Manager Joe Girardi would not discuss Olsen's black eye when a reporter asked about it before Monday's game.

    "That's an in-house issue that we'll take care of, and we'll leave it at that,'' he said.

  • Alay Soler is expected to face Cole Hamels tomorrow night at Shea Stadium.

    The 26-year-old righthander is expected to face Phillies rookie Cole Hamels at Shea tomorrow.

    "It was worth waiting, because with patience you always get the most out of it," Soler said through an interpreter the day he received the news in Binghamton.

    He was being clocked down in St. Lucie at about 94 mph, but has been clocked at about 90 mph and 91 mph since his promotion to AA. Is it anything big?

    "He's not a power pitcher, because I don't think that's his mental thought process," Double-A pitching coach Mark Brewer said. "His mental frame of mind is to understand the faults of the hitters, the swing paths of the hitters, the timing of the hitters and offset that. His mode is around 90 mph. But his top velocity is not 91 by any means. He'll run it up there 93, 94 mph every once in awhile. And it's when he needs it. He knows that he doesn't need it all the time."

    Said Soler: "In Cuba, at first, I started throwing hard because I thought it was something I was going to get better at. But now I realize it's more changing speeds to get the hitter out - by just throwing to the location where you want. The velocity is there. When I feel like putting something on the ball I do it."

    Maybe it is nothing, but his bread and butter is his slider. Even while the Mets had Kris Benson, who has a very good slider, Baseball America said that Soler could of had the best slider out of the entire Mets organization. Soler immediately will become the starter with the highest velocity in the rotation and he should fit in well to break things up and give a different look. The Metropolitans thinks tomorrow's game with Soler facing Hamels is going to be fun to watch.

  • A fluff piece on Paul LoDuca.

  • The Baseball America Draft Tracker is out, and they are not doing the Mets any favors by listing their draft and follow stud Pedro Beato as the thirteenth best talent available for the drat at this point.

    13. Pedro Beato, rhp, St. Petersburg (Fla.) JC
    The Mets don't have a first-round pick, but they have a first-round talent under their control. Everyone expects them to sign the 17th-round 2005 draft-and-follow.

  • Baseball Prospectus' Hit List has the Yankees at #2....#2!!! I get that it is done with fancy math and the Yankees offense factors into their high ranking a lot, but that still reeks.

    The Comeback Kids: the Yanks rally from nine runs down (not for the first time) to top the Rangers and overcome a 4-0 ninth-inning deficit to beat the Mets.

    Less comeback...more implosion for the Mets game as Wagner did all of the heavy lifting for the Yankees.

    The Mets are sitting at #5.

  • Steven Goldman of Baseball Prospectus has a nice piece on Barry Bonds and Babe Ruth.

    The assumption here seems to be that home runs were the only reason why Ruth became famous, and hitting the same number of home runs as he did entitles one to the same kind of appreciation. That expectation leaves out roughly 98% of the Babe Ruth story. Even the question “Who is better, Bonds or Ruth?” completely misses the point. George Herman Ruth became the Babe because of when he played and who he was. His home runs opened the door to stardom and the big man walked through it. Bonds will never be what Ruth is or what Ruth was, and it has only a little to do with the rumors of his dalliance with performance enhancing drugs or his lack of charisma or how many home runs he hits. Given his talent and his personality Ruth would have been a star in any era, but the Babe was a creation of his time. That moment is gone and won’t return; Bonds could hit a thousand home runs but he still couldn’t bring it back.
  • Monday, May 22, 2006

    Does A One Legged Duck Swim In Circles?

    Mr. Billy Wagner had one of the wildest outings he ever had on Saturday but did not let that get to him.

    "Does a one-legged duck swim in circles?" he said when someone asked if he was available to pitch in this one. Truth is, he was more than available. Wagner wanted the ball yesterday -- needed it, really -- to erase the memory of that miserable outing.

    You have to have thin skin and a bad memory as a ballplayer because dwelling on bad outings will get you nowhere. As for him pitching in the game last night, the Yankee fans should have been careful what they wished for.

    "Yeah, I was pretty shocked," Wagner said. "I don't know if that was Yankee fans happy I was coming in or what. Whatever. It was great."

    Mr. March, Alex Rodriguez, was 0-for-4 with a walk and stranding seven runners out of the fifteen runners stranded overall by the Yankees.

    "We had them on the ropes," manager Joe Torre said.

    Tell yourself whatever you need to in order to get through the day.

    "It's not just another series," Glavine said. "As much as we try to downplay it, we know the importance of it. It's hard not to get amped up for the Yankees. They are who they are. Regardless of how many people they have injured, they're still the Yankees and they are a measuring stick."

    The series should have been a sweep, but the Mets are flying high regardless because they outplayed the Yankees for three games. With last night's victory, the Mets took their third game of this rough nine game stretch and ideal outcome for me was the Mets going 5-4 and they have three wins so far. The only problem now is that the Mets are throwing out Trachsel, Alay Soler, and Jeremi Gonzalez in the next three games and two wins seems like a tall order. The Mets need two starters to step it up and put two wins on the board against their division rival.

    * * *

  • Sorry Mike.
    MikeinSpain said...

    Mike, you´re killing me with all this Kazmir talk. Seriously. It´s like finding out I could have had a nymphomaniac lingerie model that night I decided to stay home drinking Busch light and watching the TNT Karate Kid marathon.

    For my sake, just let it go...
    I cannot.

    The way Wes Helms described Scott Kazmir in pregame meetings was, "a young Randy Johnson that doesn't throw as hard."

    That Kazmir's fastball comes in around 92-94 mph instead of 96-98 was of little consolation as the Marlins rode a seasonlong six-game losing streak into Sunday's series finale against the Devil Rays.

    Helms' evaluation proved to be right on as Kazmir confounded the Marlins through eight innings and delivered his team to a 3-0 win at Tropicana Field. In outdueling Dontrelle Willis, Kazmir helped the Devil Rays record their first home shutout since July 29, 2004.

  • DG Has been a wealth of information lately.
    DG said...

    Little more in regards to Beato from Baseball America's preface to their first mock draft:

    "Three weeks before the draft was set to kick off, here's our best guess as to what will happen on June 6. We're assuming that potential first-round righthanders Pedro Beato (Mets/St. Petersburg, Fla., CC) and Bryan Morris (Devil Rays/Motlow State, Tenn., CC) will sign as draft-and-follows rather re-enter the draft. We expect righty Luke Hochevar, now with the independent Fort Worth Cats, will turn down the Dodgers and be eligible for selection."

    Hmmn, that makes him the first round pick we don't have. Not bad at all. Still beginning to think that last year's draft was not as bad as it was layed out to be...
    The draft was not horrible. The Mets walked away with Pelfrey, Niese, and maybe Beato, while picking up Fernando Martinez and Deolis Guerra on the international front, but they had a weak year for position players. The system does not have anything outside of some five tool outfielders and some nice arms, but not very deep at all. The Mets need to be very active this year on the international front and need to get creative in order to stock some solid talent.

  • As good as Delgado as been, he has the fifth highest VORP in the National League among first baseman.
    Top 5 2006 NL First Basemen, by VORP
    Player Team EqA VORP
    Albert Pujols SLN .362 33.4
    Nick Johnson WAS .327 17.8
    Lance Berkman HOU .320 16.9
    Nomar Garciaparra LAN .332 15.2
    Carlos Delgado NYN .307 14.8
  • Not good news on the Fernando Martinez front.

    Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez' thumb injury might be worse than originally expected, as the Newark Star Ledger reported that he could miss up to four weeks. Martinez hasn't played since May 9. The club has not yet placed him on the disabled list.

  • David Wright smashed an epic blast last night.

    Carlos Delgado said "that's about a $20 cab fare. That was far."

    Floyd might not be able to hit very well at this point, but he can throw down some quotes with the best of them.

    "I hope nobody thought they were safe parking behind the bullpen," Floyd quipped. "That was a shot."

    "He even tried to pimp it," Floyd said. "He's got no pimp."

    Note to Wright: Work on pimping it.
  • Sunday, May 21, 2006

    Steady As She Goes

    "It (stinks) because we should've won, hands-down," Wagner said. "They had no chance. They should've never even been in the ballgame. I come in there and let 'em right back in. That's what's frustrating. But, you know, can't cry over spilled milk."

    You cannot fault Willie for bringing in Wagner in that situation yesterday. With a four run lead and Randolph not wanting to mess around with the Yankees, he wanted to end it and have Wagner shut them down. We know the Yankees are never out of it and they can put up runs fast and that is why Billy was in there. However, to lose in the fashion the Mets did with Mr. Billy Wagner imploding hurts. The bright side is the Mets still have a chance to take the series and that is the ultimate goal when all is said and done. A win today will set the universe straight and Tommy Glavine is going to have a big game to pick up the Mets after a tough loss. That is what aces do. That is what the Mets need and then they can go take two from the Phillies.

    * * *

  • Random factoids from Jon Heyman. Barry big trade request

    The A's requested either David Wright or Jose Reyes for Barry Zito. With Eric Chavez in the fold, I guess they'd have figured out what to do with Wright later.

    Of course, the Mets retained their sanity, along with Wright and Reyes.

    Understandably, the Mets now view Zito as a winter target.

    Wright and Reyes aren't going anywhere, but the next most untouchable on the Mets' list, even ahead of Lastings Milledge, might be Mike Pelfrey.

    And by the way, the Nationals have to know they aren't getting Milledge for Livan Hernandez, his $8-million salary and 6.04 ERA.

    Basically, Zito is not available. If Beane really had any interest in trade Barry, the asking price would certainly not be that high.

    A mound of thoughts

    The Mets love Pelfrey, but the more seasoned Alay Soler gets the next call-up.

    That also makes the most sense and Soler was already called up and will start one of the games against the Phillies.

    By now, it's clear the Mets think Aaron Heilman's a reliever.

    You are just figuring that out now?

    Kyle Lohse is on the Mets' radar. And he's got to be available. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was upset that Lohse didn't remain on the bench after his removal the other night, leading to his surprise demotion.

    Lohse never quite lived up to expectations, but has a good arm. He can throw in the low 90's and is a fastball/slider guy. Yes, his ERA is sky high, but he probably will be cheap since the Twins do not want to pay him $2,400,000 to sit in AAA. He is worth the gamble since it should not cost the Mets too much.

    The Mets are trying to sign righthander Pedro Beato, last year's eighth-round pick. The Brooklyn product, throwing 94 to 95 mph at St. Pete JC, seeks close to $1 million.

    Give him the million and everyone will be happy.

  • It is a shame all that Barry tying Babe Ruth's record is not being celebrated more. I'm not going to get into the entire cheating thing again because we've all been over that before. The one thing that I hope does not get over looked now that Bonds is forever tarnished is that Bonds is, and always was, a pretty fucking good baseball player who had already won three MVP awards before all the suspicions about steroids even began.

  • From Peter Abraham:

    Kazmir coming on: Mets fans may want to skim down to the next item. This is sure to make you sick.

    Tampa Bay's crack PR staff has determined that Scott Kazmir is the youngest pitcher to reach six wins by May 16 since John Smoltz did it in 1989, a day before his 22nd birthday.

    Kazmir is nine months away from turning 23.

  • Mike Pelfrey struggled in his start yesterday.

    The late rally saved Pelfrey, the Mets' top pick in the 2005 draft who struggled on Saturday. He pitched just two-thirds of an inning, allowing three walks, two hits and two runs -- both of which were unearned following a Caligiuri error. Samuel took Pelfrey out of the game after the right-hander had thrown 39 pitches.

    "The last couple starts, it seems like my control has eluded me, and that's always been one of my strengths," Pelfrey said. "I need to find it."

    He is just not close to being ready.

  • Tim McCarver is just a douchebag extraordinaire. He took a page out of the Mike and the Mad Dog book and just made blatant unsubstantiated claims. First, he asked why the Mets are never accused of buying a winning team like the Yankees are with all of the recent acquisitions by Omar Minaya. That statement was stupid on so many levels it is hard to know where to start, but I’ll just break it down simply.

    2006 Total payroll:
    New York Yankees       $ 194,663,079
    Boston Red Sox $ 120,099,824
    Los Angeles Angels $ 103,472,000
    Chicago White Sox $ 102,750,667
    New York Mets $ 101,084,963
    Los Angeles Dodgers $ 98,447,187
    If you are fiscally responsible, you would suprised what you can afford.

    Then he started talking about how Mariano Rivera had Enter Sandman as his entrance song first and Billy Wagner stole it. While it is really minor, it is just annoying when ‘experts’ perpetuate false beliefs and pass them along to large audiences to ensure everyone believes the wrong thing. We all know it was Billy’s first.

    Just end it McCarver. Just end it.