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

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hoo-hoo...they're rippin' me off Robin.

John Sickels did his pre-season prospects in review piece yesterday and I thought it would be a great idea to rip him off and to go over mine. Admittedly, I missed the mark some on some, but here it goes.

1. Lastings Milledge
What he showed us in his stint in the Majors is that he is not David Wright. I like a little edge and cockiness, but Milledge has some stuff to work on in how he carriers himself and approaches the mental part of the game. That being said, he flashed game breaking abilities and will be a player that can take over games and put the team on his back at times. His high billing is 100% deserved and the kid can play. He left most people excited for what the future holds with him patrolling the Met outfield for hopefully a long time.

2. Mike Pelfrey
I thought Pelfrey was not as dominating as I hoped in the beginning, but he certainly righted his ship and put up dominating starts in his last seven games with the exception of one bad game. He has showed me that him down on the farm is useless. By simply throwing fastballs, he is too good for any league. Having him pitch at AA and AAA will not enable him to work hard enough to progress as quickly as honing his craft in Queens. The kid has an arm and showed some guts by blowing a fastball past Adam Dunn with the bases loaded in his last start. Pelfrey is the real deal and should stay where he is.

3. Fernando Martinez
What can you say about him that is bad? The biggest knock on him is that he has had some health issues, but none that would appear reoccurring. Jose Tabata was ranked in the top 25 according to BA's updated top 25 list and Fernando Martinez was outplaying him early on. If he did not get injured, it would not have surprised me to see him get some time in St. Lucie this season. However, is health issues probably made that impossible, but this kid looks as sure as a bet as it gets when looking at 17 years olds.

4. Carlos Gomez
In 2005 Gomez struggled early and rebounded and he repeated that this season. He raised his average to .267 with a 3 for 5 game with two more doubles yesterday and now has 23 extra base hits in 75 games. He will finish with a respectable number of XBHs, but with a guy who supposedly puts on shows in batting practice flashing his power and a possessing the speed that he does, it is not enough for a prospect as highly regarded as him. That being said, it is easy to forget he is not even 21. If he can find some consistency and play well from day one to the last day, he will be scary. I think a big second half from him will finally propel in into uber status in terms of being a prospect and the future looks bright for the Mets in terms of outfield prospects.

5. Phil Humber
He was a question mark for obvious reasons coming into the season, but he silenced any concerns that anyone has had in regards to him with his performance since returning to action. John Manuel echoed what was written in Baseball Prospectus about Humber in a Baseball America chat and mentioned his velocity was 90-94 and he flashed a plus curve and plus change at times. The biggest problem here is that Humber was basically supposed to spend 2006 just getting reacclimated to being on the mound and he has done nothing but pitch like nothing ever happened. He has posted a 6.92 h/9, 1.73 bb/9, 8.65 k/9, 0.96 whip, and a 3.12 ERA. The problem is that he is forcing the issue that he is probably too good for advanced A-ball already.

6. Deolis Guerra
He was an unknown prior to the season and he is not anymore. For the season, he owns a 7.29 h/9, 4.14 bb/9, 6.29 k/9, 1.27 whip, and a 2.82 ERA. The walks are high, but Guerra missed being born in the 90's by less than seven months. He is younger than Fernando Martinez and has been extremely impressive to say the least in his first exposure to professional ball. He has made twelve starts all season, but if you look at his last eight you can already see big improvements. His bb/9 drops to 3.05 with a slight bump up in k/9 and a significantly lower whip and ERA. The Mets have a live one here.

7. Alay Soler
In the minors Soler was sparkling. In the bigs, he was streaky. While with St. Lucie and Binghamton he walked 12 batters in 49.2 innings while striking out 55. While with the Mets, he walked 21 batters in 45 innings while striking out 23. That alone will tell you why he didn't succeed and like you can chalk up wildness to youth sometimes, Soler will turn 27 this year. I expected more out of him and I think it boils down to what he has inside rather than just needing more experience in the bigs. It is clear he has good stuff and very sharp breaking ball, but I did not see a pitcher than can be trusted in big spots. With the crowded rotation picture in the next few years it looks like the bullpen will ultimately be his home.

8. Brian Bannister
Early in the year, Brian Bannister was the younger and right handed version of Al Leiter in his last two years with the Mets. He was continually working out of trouble and simply does not even have one pitch that could be considered a plus pitch. He has a lot of them which certainly helps, but he is a fourth or fifth starter at best. That is not to say he will not be useful, but with John Maine above him on the pecking order in my eyes, Mike Pelfrey looking like the real deal, and Phil Humber on the comeback trail, it might take a lot for him try and prove he belongs. Ultimately, he will either provide some nice insurance for the Mets, move to the bullpen, or be decent trade bait. Overall though, I was mildly disappointed with his lack of control, but I think that would have straightened out over time. Like Soler, he was uncharacteristically wild, but unlike Soler, I think he has what it takes mentally to move forward.

9. Andy Wilson
In 2004, Andy Wilson hit 21 homers, hit 32 doubles, and drove in 76 RBIs in 108 games. In 2005, he hit 28 homers, hit 25 doubles, and drove in 89 in 130 games while hitting in a pitcher's park. While in a hitter's league this season he has 15 doubles, 4 homers, and 22 RBIs in 79 games. He has a .220 average and a .319 slg% and really needed to prove he belonged while playing with Binghamton. Whatever happened to him is a mystery, but he made me look stupid for putting him in the top ten.

10. Bobby Parnell
He had two starts in the beginning in which he gave up eight runs in 7.1 innings. He has pitched OK of late, but nothing to write home about. He is walking too many hitters and is not having quite as much luck keeping the ball in the park as he did last year and his BAA is much higher. He only gave up one homer in 73 innings last season and has given up six already in 66 innings. He is still pitching much better than he did in college but no where near what he did in Brooklyn last season. It is still up in the air which Bobby Parnell is the real one, but he is still in intriguing prospect and not a total disappointment.

The top ten picture is much clearer now than in the pre-season. Not only is it clearer, but it looks good with ten guys that look to be legitimate players that I think all have the ability to start and contribute on the Major League level. Five of the ten are under 21 and seven of the top ten have tremendously high ceilings. Jon Neise is making me look stupid for omitting him from the top ten and Ambiorix Concepcion and Jesus Flores are having fantastic seasons helping push their down 2005 seasons out of people's minds. However, the problem still remains that the depth after the Mets top tier prospects is just not there.

1. Lastings Milledge
2. Mike Pelfrey
3. Fernando Martinez
4. Phil Humber
5. Deolis Guerra
6. Jon Neise
7. Carlos Gomez
8. Jesus Flores
9. Ambiorix Concepcion
10. Mike Carp

Gomez dropped, but not because he was doing bad. Everyone else was just that good and though I think he has a higher ceiling than Neise, but I think Neise, despite being a young pitcher in low A-ball while Gomez is doing it at the AA level, is a safer bet to reach his ceiling. If Gomez steps it up in the second half, he could easily push himself back into the top five. As for Mike Carp cracking the top ten, his seven homers in 93 games might look weak compared to his nineteen in 89 games last season, but he is in St. Lucie and has nineteen doubles, which is already a career high. His batting average is the highest it has ever been, his on base percentage is up, and most importantly, his strikeouts are down. Carp just turned 20 on June 30th and will be 22 when he will most likely completing his first year at AAA. He is a legit first base prospect and definitely a guy to keep an eye on.

* * *

  • Baseball Prospectus broke out their bashing stick for the Mets.

    After all the praise heaped on Jose Reyes recently, he started off this stretch doing exactly nothing, getting caught stealing the one time he reached base in 17 plate appearances, then earning seven stitches on his left pinky after getting spiked sliding head-first into first. He missed five starts, and in his absence, Willie Randolph has routinely placed both Jose Valentin and Chris Woodward at the top of the line-up.

    June NL Player of the Month and MVP Candidate David Wright dipped as well, going .250/.323/.482 during these 17 games. Carlos Beltran has had a tremendous year, but he also had a slow stretch, though he's still slugging: .208/.295/.509. Carlos Delgado has slid since starting off well (.167/.318/.306), and Xavier Nady (.225/.311/.350) continues to think the solution to swinging too much is to swing even more.

    As for the hurlers, Pedro Martinez hit the DL while Alay Soler and Orlando Hernandez both showed their true colors: pumpkin orange instead of Metropolitan blue. Tom Glavine’s regressed, though that started even earlier in the year, and Steve Trachsel’s been normal for him, but that’s not praise. Chad Bradford and Aaron Heilman have both really struggled out of the pen.

    There are concerns, but there is no reason to worry unless it keeps going through August. Of course, the single biggest concern is the rotation and I'm happy with what I've seen from Pelfrey and Maine and I think the Mets might just end up with a solid rotation in the end. They also criticized the trades for Delgado and LoDuca, but I think you had to do the Delgado trade regardless of how bad he is playing now. At the time, it made sense unlike the Zambrano deal. Hopefully he'll snap out of it and this is not the first time he's slumped in his long career. The LoDuca deal is still questionable, but it is hard to complain about him as he has grown on a lot of us as a player despite spotty defense and streaking hitting. The ultimate goal is to win a championship and the Mets dealt prospects they could stand to lose while keeping some good ones. If they win, all will be forgiven.

  • BA shows the Mets prospects a lot of love....

    First on Niese...

    “He recorded seven outs on his change and seven strikeouts on his curve,” Barton said. “The curveball had very good break, seven strikeouts on the curve and four of them were looking. When you get four guys looking on the curve like that, you know it is pretty sharp.”

    Then on Humber...

    Scouts have been giving strong reports on Humber, who has had his fastball sitting 90-94 mph while showing his trademark hammer curve and the occasional power change.

    In 26 innings in the Florida State League, the righthander is now 2-1, 3.12 with a 25-5 strikeout-walk ratio.

    Then on Guerra...

    Guerra took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and allowed two earned runs over seven innings with eight strikeouts and three walks. Like Niese, it was the first time he had all three of this pitches working together.

    “He had his curve going well, and he'd not had the curve going for him all season,” Barton said. “He threw 14 of 19 for strikes. It is a pitch he has been lacking confidence in, but he established it early and was able to throw it behind in the count.

    “His change is his best pitch because he gets so many swings and misses on it with deception and great arm speed.”

    Due to the changeup, Guerra is more effective against lefthanded hitters (.216 average) than righthanded hitters (.241).

    But the best of all came from John Manuel...

    Q: John Mackin Ade from Hilton Head Island, SC asks:
    Regarding the Mets Deolis Guerra, the kid just turned 17 and he's ERAing under 3 at A ball. Sure looks like the real deal.

    A: John Manuel: It does. Is there a question in there? Guerra's last start was his best, he's had a very good year for his age and probably is a Top 100 caliber guy.

    Top 100? Milledge is a top 100, Fernando is a top 100, Pelfrey is a top 100, and Guerra too? Not to shabby.

  • Days of Our Hillenbrand...

  • This shit is serious.

    A fan is taken from Rogers Centre last night after being hit with a foul ball in the second inning of the Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Blue Jays.

  • Blockbuster trade?

    It doesn't make any difference," Rodriguez said of the rumor that had the Yankees third baseman going to the Phillies as part of a blockbuster trade for Bobby Abreu, Pat Burrell, Tom Gordon and David Bell, with the Yankees supposedly also sending Melky Cabrera and a player to be named. "I would veto it."

    Would you? The Yankees 100% don't want you and you are not exactly enjoying getting booed at home, but I doubt any trade would happen since the Phillies don't really want to pay you the $16 million or so left a year after Tom Hicks bends over and takes it while paying about $9 million of your salary a year.

  • It can't hurt to ask, right?

    The Nationals recently asked for prospects Humberto Sanchez, Jair Jurrjens and Cameron Maybin in exchange for Soriano -- an outrageous demand.


  • The title of the day goes too.....Sam Borden! Congrats!

    E-Rod here to stay

    Third basemen with the most errors:

    Alex Rodriguez, Yankees, 17
    Edwin Encarnacion, Reds, 15
    Aaron Boone, Indians, 14
    David Bell, Phillies, 13
    Chipper Jones, Braves, 13
    Garrett Atkins, Rockies, 12
    Adrian Beltre, Mariners, 12
    Miguel Cabrera, Marlins, 12
    Pedro Feliz, Giants, 12
    Brandon Inge, Tigers, 12

    Players with the most errors:

    Rickie Weeks, 2B, Brewers, 22
    Rafael Furcal, SS, Dodgers, 19
    Carlos Guillen, SS, Tigers, 17
    Felipe Lopez, SS, Nationals, 17
    Alex Rodriguez, 3B, Yankees, 17

    Let's all point and laugh.

  • Endy is good.

  • Tim Haines was suspended for 50 games this Thursday after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
  • Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Steve Phillips...You are dead to me.

    Truly scary stuff.

    In late July of 2002 the Blue Jays were nearing the end of the line with outfielder Jose Cruz Jr.

    Cruz owned a .227 batting average at the break with 13 homers and 45 RBIs.

    Finally, they found someone with interest in Cruz.

    The New York Mets said they would take Cruz, offering a minor-leaguer playing his first full season at class-A.

    Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi decided against taking the minor-leaguer for Cruz. The Jays also refused the Seattle Mariners' offer of prospect Rafael Soriano for Cruz, after the Mariners refused to move reliever Clint Nageotte.

    The Jays held on to Cruz, who finished the 2002 season with a .245 average, 18 homers and 70 RBIs. After the season the Jays decided not to tender Cruz a contract and he signed as a free agent with the San Francisco Giants.

    That class-A kid? Well, it's tough evaluating 19-year-olds as the kid was at the time.

    That season at class-A Capital City the kid hit .266 with 11 homers and 93 RBIs. He had 76 walks, 114 strikeouts.

    The kid? You may have seen him at Tuesday's all-star game -- and on a hundred or so highlight clips -- as he grew up to be all-star third baseman David Wright.

    Wright's 2006 stats: A .315 average, 20 homers and 75 RBIs.

    As Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story.

    Steve Phillips, you should never work in baseball again outside of what you are currently doing now. You are awful. It is really amazing how the Mets could not get out of their own way during the Phillips era. Imagine if the Mets parted with Jason Bay and David Wright in the same year? Holy crap. Just holy crap. I thank the universe for not allowing this trade to go through.

    * * *

  • Phil Humber gives me a funny feeling in my pants and I think I like it. He went five innings and gave up four hits, no earned runs, no walks, and nine strikeouts. Humber is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in St. Lucie and I think he is really exceeding all expectations. He only went five innings, but he is most likely on a pretty strict pitch count and since he struck out nine people, he was throwing a lot of pitches. I was thinking he would just hang out in St. Lucie for the year working on his stuff, but he looks like he is pitching himself into a promotion.

    From BP:

    While Pelfrey and Alay Soler have graduated to the majors after beginning the year at St. Lucie, righthander Philip Humber has returned from Tommy John surgery and earned some rave reviews. "He has two big power pitches with the fastball, which is 90-94 mph, and that curve which is just a hammer and a real out pitch," said one National League scout about the third overall pick in the 2004 draft. "He also has a power changeup--and I love those--it's not a touch/feel pitch; its velocity is in the 80s so it gets there with some speed and just bottoms out." Having just returned after missing nearly a year, Humber still struggles with his location, but the scout didn't see it as a long-term concern. "It's really going to depend on command and control with him," the scout added. "It has to improve, but that's always an issue for guys coming back from TJs--there's no reason it shouldn’t improve."

    I said it before, and I'll say it again. This guy has more quality pitches than Mike Pelfrey and could have four plus pitches by the time he makes it to the bigs. Dude is the real deal.

  • The Jeff Keppinger and Ruben Gotay deal has been completed.

    Gotay, 23, was the Royals’ 31st-round pick in 2001 and began the 2005 season as the club’s starting second baseman. But he spent much of the last two seasons in the minors and was batting .264 this season with nine homers and 43 RBIs in 87 games at Omaha.

    “He grew up in this organization,” Moore said, “but he would probably benefit from a change of scenery.”

    Keppinger should finally get his shot in the bigs.

  • It appears that the Royals are closing in on signing Luke Hochevar and it appears they are offering a similar deal to what Mike Pelfrey received.

    The Royals are believed to be offering terms similar to those the Mets reached in January with right-hander Mike Pelfrey, a Boras client who was the No. 9 overall pick in the 2005 draft.

    Pelfrey’s deal included a $3.5 million signing bonus and guarantees sweetening the overall value to $5.3 million. It also contained escalator clauses that further boost the value if he is on the major-league roster in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

    Such terms would represent the richest contract ever given by the Royals to a draft pick. The current record is the $4 million signing bonus given last year to third baseman Alex Gordon, the No. 2 overall pick.

    The Royals have two of the top ten prospects in Billy Butler and Alex Gordon, Hochevar gives them a great pitching prospect, and they have two ex-Met prospects in Jeff Keppinger and Justin Huber that should contribute as well and be a big part of their team. The Royals desperately need to get something going.

  • Pedro is a bit closer to returning, but I would love to see another three starts by John Maine before he returns to see what he can do. He has been looking better and better in each start.

  • The new stadiums for the Mets and Yankees are moving along.

  • Tom Glavine looks to join Josh Beckett and Roy Halladay as the only 12-game winners in the bigs.

  • Anderson Hernandez is keeping it in perspective and knows he has things to work on.

    “I’m not surprised. If I don’t hit, I go nowhere,” Hernandez said. “I have to hit first. But if I don’t do anything, how can I play up there, you know?”

  • The Mets were done in by a rain delay after taking a 4-0 lead. I was surprised when Traschel came out after a 2 hour and 23 minute rain delay and it looks like it was a bad idea.

    If you didn't watch the game last night, they threw up stat on Steve's seven game winning streak. He is the first player in Major League history to win seven games and not have one 7+ inning game. His seven game winning streak has really been a collection of marginal performances. His loss to the Cardinals before the streak was better than any of the wins.

  • The Blue Jays just cut a .300 hitter due to a clubhouse incident while in the midst of a playoff race.

    "The incident in the clubhouse was fun and happened before batting practice and involved myself and a couple of players," Hillenbrand said when reached by telephone last night. "I was pointed out (by Gibbons) and I was confronted.

    "Gibbons told me to leave and go home and I went to my car to cool off and afterwards came back to the clubhouse and that's when I was informed I had been designated for assignment."

    What the hell did he do? I need to know.

  • Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a three year, $30 million extension.

  • Ha! Apparently the Mets are interested in Miguel Batista and Juan Cruz, but the Diamondbacks are looking for an affordable starter back.

    The D-Backs likely would have interest in Mike Pelfrey, the Mets’ first-round draft pick in 2005, but it is unknown if the Mets would trade part of their future for a more proven veteran such as Batista, who will become a free agent this winter.

    Umm..yeah. Mike Pelfrey can't be dealt and if he could be, it certainly would not be for Miguel Batista.

  • Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    El Tigre del Noche

    His teammates call him Sr. Perfeción....some call him Hans Moleman....I call Carlos Beltran El Tigre del Noche. You won't hear or see him coming, but he will make the kill. According to Gary Cohen during last night's broadcast, Beltran is the first big leaguer to hit grand slams in back to back games since '02 when David Eckstein did it and the first national leaguer since Robin Ventura in '99. Last night's bomb traveled 449 feet and brought him within four of the National League lead in homeruns.

    Beltran is 5th in homers in the NL with 27, 5th in the NL in RBIs with 78 and nine behind the leader, 4th in the NL in runs scored with 71 and six behind league leader Jose Reyes, 11th in the NL in walks with 54, 2nd in the NL in SLG and waaaaay behind Albert Pujols, and 3rd in the NL in OPS and is one of three above the 1.000 mark. Throw on top of that the fact he is playing gold glove caliber defense and is on pace to steal 20+ bases and it is hard to think of more of an all around contributor. In fact, only David Wright comes close as an all around contributor in the NL, but I still give Beltran a slight edge.

    Beltran is on pace for a career highs in homers, runs scored, RBIs, and walks and is on pace to break through the first three categories by a lot. His previous high in runs was 114 and he is on pace for 131,which would be a Met record if Jose Reyes was not on pace for more, his previous high in homers was 37 and he is on pace for 50 homers, which would be a Met record, and his previous high in RBIs was 108 and his is on pace for 144, which would also be a Met record.

    It is mind boggling that this is the same guy that put up 16 homers, 78 RBIs and 83 runs scored last year and just absolutely looks locked in. He is averaging 4.25 pitches per plate appearance and has never topped 4.00 pitches per plate appearance before and came closest in 2004 with 3.99. Beltran likes to do things under the radar and seems like a quiet guy who just shows up and plays the game with as much skill as anyone in the game. As good as Albert Pujols is, Carlos Beltran belongs in the same sentence when talking about the 2006 National League Most Valuable Player and he has been an absolute joy to watch so far this season. Now about that mole.....

    * * *

  • Chris Cotter has gotten a chance to make a few calls this year while he is doing side pieces throughout the game and he got to call Reyes going from first to home on a LoDuca double with two chili cheese dogs in his hands. I don't know why, but hearing him do commentary on a play always cracks me up.

  • Did Christmas come early yesterday? It sure felt like it. Sure the Yankees won, but watching A-Rod take a meatball down the pipe on a 3-2 count in a tie game with a runner on was delicious and he made three errors on top of that the day before to make Michael a happy guy. Thanks for the memories A-Rod.

  • Joel Sherman goes against all his beliefs and does not suggest the Mets go after Alfonso Soriano, but rather keep the kids.

    But something important has come gift-wrapped to the Mets along with the latest bit of bodily misfortune to inflict Martinez. And that is opportunity. The Mets, with their big lead, get to see more of John Maine and Mike Pelfrey. That is both intriguing and, possibly, helpful. Very, very helpful.

    Right now the starting pitching trade market is slender. The starter the Mets are most associated with is Washington’s Livan Hernandez. And short of the Nationals just giving him to the Mets and paying a substantial piece of his $7 million for next season, that feels like a really bad idea.

  • I dig this pic.

  • Mike Pelfrey was not great last night, but his progress from his first to second start was huge. He faced a good Reds team in a very tough pitcher's park and was a ground ball machine. He showed big cojones against Adam Dunn and I especially liked his shoe tying stunt during the at-bat (I'm not even sure it was intentional).

    "I told him, 'I'm going to sit right in the middle of the plate and you're going to throw a fastball right by him,'" Lo Duca said. "He reared back and put something extra on it."

    He was throwing mostly fastballs (and by mostly fastballs I mean about 90%) and his 95 mph heater breaks up the normally soft throwing rotation. Give the kid five more starts and he just might be this team's third best pitcher.

    "Luckily there were seven guys behind me who played good defense," Pelfrey said. "I'm just a work in progress."

    Do not confuse Mike Pelfrey with a strikeout pitcher. He throws hard, but that is not his game as his fastball is thrown in the zone with heavy sink and that is not a bad thing. His 6-1 groundball to fly ball ratio last night was just freakishly good and the Reds wish they had a pitcher of his ilk so they can have a young stud succeed in that ballpark. He induced a few groundball doubleplays which helped him get out of trouble early, but last night's game was certainly promising.

  • Big whoop.

    The Mets may be No.1 in the standings, but the Yankees remain champs in the hearts of New Yorkers, a new poll has found.

    Almost half of those surveyed - 49% - say they are Yankees fans, with 42% considering themselves Mets fans, the Quinnipiac University poll found.

    And more New Yorkers would want the Yankees to win in a Subway Series between the two teams, 46% to 37%, the poll of 1,041 New York City voters found.

    "The Mets can win in the ninth inning day after day after day, but they can't win the Quinnipiac poll," said polling institute director Maurice Carroll. "It's still a Yankees town, has been for years. Maybe it's [Derek] Jeter, maybe it's [Joe] Torre, maybe it's the fact that they win year after year."

    Last year I'm sure the poll would have been more skewed. Two years from now, it could be the Mets. But for now, all Yankee fans are still douchebags.

  • It's good to see Gaby Hernandez hit the Prospect Hot Sheet.

    Despite losing two of his last three starts, Hernandez hasn't allowed an earned run since June 26, and is 1-2, 0.00 with a 16-3 strikeout-walk ratio in 20 July innings. After scuffling through April with a 6.48 ERA, Hernandez has lowered that number consistently over the last three months, down to 3.24 through 111 innings.
  • Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Creepy Revisited

    It looks like the Mets smartened up and pulled the ad featuring David Wright endorsing a creepy individual.

    "David Wright and the New York Mets have no affiliation or association whatsoever with the event entitled 'Salvation Miracles Revival Crusade,' and neither approve of nor endorse the event," the Mets said in a statement. "The recent TV ad about the event was produced without authorization or approvals through an abuse of a media-newsgathering credential.

    "The Mets did not and would not endorse any such event or allow their logos and trademarks be used in such a fashion. The TV spots have been pulled and will not air again. We apologize for any problems or confusion that may have been caused by this unauthorized action."

    Hmmm...Let's recap.

    "Hi, I'm David Wright. I invite you to the 'Salvation Miracles Revival Crusade' with Dr. Jaerock Lee, at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 28 and 29."

    Jaerock Lee apparently has some compromising photos of David Wright and Jeff Wilpon because the spot was filmed and ran with Wright in a Mets uniform during their game (Wright was actually just taken advantage of). Personally? I do not care. I'm just writing about this because Mr. Lee is quote machine (thanks to Ossy and Condor for the info).

    To live, I'd drink even the liquid of feces!

    Modern medical science was not able to heal me, so I used all sorts of folk remedies. I ate whatever was said to be good for my health. I even changed my name and invited a sorceress to perform an exorcism. But to make things worse, I got the rheumatic arthritis and I had to hide myself. In this terrible situation, I heard that the liquid of feces was good for recovering my health. Although its stench was unbearable, I drank it earnestly.


    One day in April of 1974 when I had wandered in the valley of death for seven years, my second elder sister who lived in the countryside came and asked me to guide her to a place called Hyun-Shin-Ae's Altar. I couldn't say no to her and I went there by holding my sister's arms and using my stick. When I entered to the place, I was so surprised. There were so many people praying loudly. They looked out of their minds to me. I thought I had to get out of that place before I also became crazy.

    Too late.

    Also, to God it seemed not good for Adam to be alone.... ...This was so not because Adam himself felt lonely but because God had been alone for a long period of time before the beginning of time and knew what loneliness was.

    Interesting take. I can picture God walking around with his hands in his pockets kicking a rock while walking down the street wishing he had a playmate. Good thing he eventually figure out he was God and could just make whatever he wanted!

    Why, then, is it that the dinosaurs lived on earth but became suddenly extinct? God had actually placed dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. They were mild, but were driven out to this earth because they fell into the trap of Lucifer during the period in which Adam could freely travel back and forth between this earth and the Garden of Eden.

    Now, dinosaurs that were forced to live on this earth had to constantly look for things to eat. Unlike the time when they lived in the Garden of Eden, where everything was abundant, this earth could not possibly produce enough food for dinosaurs with big bodies. They ate up all the fruit, grains, and plants, and then began to eat up other animals. They were about to destroy the environment and the food chain. God finally decided that He could no longer keep the dinosaurs on this earth any more, and exterminated them with fire from above.

    Didn't hear that one before.

    Interesting facts about Jaerock (best name ever?):

  • Aliens came to celebrate his visits to Giza pyramids, which are the buildings, constructed by Adam (according to him).

  • Jaerock Lee dumped down $3.8 million to start his very own Global Christian Network to announce the prophetic word given to Jaerock Lee and "Jaerock Lee's Power" that heals the diseases. Don't forget to call your Satellite provider to see if you can get that channel.

    It it looks like this entire thing just slipped through the cracks.

    * * *

  • Shinjo is a rockstar. Not much else you can say about this guy (by way of Always Amazin' by way of CSTB).

  • Chat Stuff...


    Alon (Brooklyn): Who do the Mets target before the deadline?

    SportsNation Buster Olney: Alon: My educated guess is that sometime between now and Friday, the Mets will make a deal for Rodrigo Lopez of the Orioles. And I think they'll check in on the cost of Barry Zito (probably Aaron Heilman and another prospect not named Milledge or Pelfrey) soon.

    Lopez? Not sure he is quite what the Mets need. As for Zito, still doubtful he moves anywhere, but Olney still thinks there is a chance.

    Rob Middletown, New York: Now that Barry Zito signed with Boras Do you see the A's trading him by the 31st no matter what since they will have no chance to sign him?

    SportsNation Buster Olney: Rob: I don't think they had any chance to sign him, anyway, because they wouldn't devote $12 million to $14 million -- what Zito will probably make annually -- to one player; it would represent between 20 and 25 percent of their total payroll. And while the odds are that Zito remains with Oakland the rest of the season (and the Athletics get two draft picks in compensation when Zito signs elsewhere), there still is a chance he will get dealt before the deadline, with the Mets being the most likely land spot.

  • It looks like Jeff Keppinger is gone.

    The Royals and Mets appear close to completing a trade of minor-league second basemen: Ruben Gotay for Jeff Keppinger.

    It really makes sense since the Mets really did not like Keppinger and he was getting older and older with no job with the Mets in sight. The Mets get a younger and still just as marginal of a prospect.

  • The Mets two grand slams in the same inning seems to be a bit more special than we all originally thought.

    The freakish events of the Mets' 13-7 win sent Hartig digging through his archives to find how rare it was for a team to hit two grand slams in the same inning—as the Mets did in the 41-minute top of the sixth. Hartig discovered the feat was rarer than a perfect game, hitting four home runs in a game and the unassisted triple play, among other baseball oddities.

    In fact, according to the Society of American Baseball Research, major-league teams have hit two grand slams in one inning only once every 26,850 games—seven times since 1871. That equates to once every 241,653 innings. In other words, 40,157 fans at Wrigley Field hit the equivalent of the baseball lottery Sunday in terms of seeing something against which the odds were stacked.

  • Hopefully Mike Pelfrey can step it up tonight.

    "I think [I'll be calmer]. Especially just being in the dugout, around the games, you kind of get used to the atmosphere," Pelfrey said. "And it's like being in Chicago. I get used to the atmosphere, and I'm not really nervous. I'm not really kind of in awe anymore when I go out there.

    "I think in the first game, I'm pretty much in it, you know?" Pelfrey added. "And everything's just kind of like in awe and you're just kind of in shock. The more you're around it, the more you get used to it."

  • Edgar Alfonzo is happy to be back with the Mets.

    "I'm really happy the way this opportunity has come up with a team I came to the big leagues with my first time. They called me back and they wanted me to play. I just need to get some at-bats, get ready, get confidence and we'll see what's going to happen."

  • Baseball America re-ranks the top 25 prospects in the universe.

    1. Stephen Drew, ss
    2. Delmon Young, of
    3. Brandon Wood, ss
    4. Justin Upton, of
    5. Alex Gordon, 3b
    6. Lastings Milledge, of
    7. Billy Butler, of
    8. Troy Tulowitzki, ss
    9. Howie Kendrick, 2b
    10. Homer Bailey, rhp
    11. Philip Hughes, rhp
    12. Cameron Maybin, of
    13. Carlos Gonzalez, of
    14. Scott Elbert, lhp
    15. Jay Bruce, of
    16. Jose Tabata, of
    17. Chris Young, of
    18. Jason Hirsh, rhp
    19. Andy Marte, 3b
    20. Nick Adenhart, rhp
    21. Carlos Quentin, of
    22. Adam Loewen, lhp
    23. Ryan Braun, 3b
    24. Matt Garza, rhp
    25. Yovani Gallardo, rhp

    Lastings is movin' on up as he jumps three spots and it is interesting see Jose Tabata crack the top 25. That is interesting because Fernando Martinez was valued higher early on in the season than Tabata and Tabata's 22 doubles and five homers are impressive, but Fernando was easily on pace for that with more much more plate discipline. It would be interesting to see where he would have ranked should he have been healthy all year. Phil Humber also made special mention on the sheet as "On the Radar" as a player that just needs innings for their tools to translate into premium performance.
  • Monday, July 17, 2006

    Tools Abound

    Carlos Gomez continues to hit well of late as he is recovering from a slow start for the second season in a row. Gomez's promotion of AA and having him skip St. Lucie was looking like a big mistake, but it is starting to not looking quite as bad these days with a .313 average over the last two months up through yesterday's game. He is still not walking much and his walks have decreased from eight in April to four in May to one in June to none in July, but he is actually walking with more frequency in 2006 than in 2005. His SB% is 70% which is down from 73% in 2005 and that is one are he needs to drastically improve on being that speed is such a large part of his game.
            BA  OBP  SLG    OPS
    April .205 .301 .261 .562
    May .219 .278 .370 .648
    June .250 .316 .404 .720
    July .410 .442 .590 1.032
    Back in 2004, an Eastern Division manager of the Gulf Coast League called him the total package. He likened him to Raul Mondesi and said he was the number one prospect in the league in his eyes. He is still only 20 years old and young for AA, but at some point he will start to have to put up numbers consistently to back up his expectations and prospect status. He can supposedly put on a show in batting practice in regards to hitting with power but only has fourteen homeruns in his career which is good for one homer in every 65.86 at-bats.

    He has all the tools and we've heard the stories about some scouts liking his tools better than Milledge's, but Milledge is only eight months older and commands them much better, though he could stand to work on a few things himself. For all of Gomez's tools, he still has trouble actually using them. He is erratic in the field, needs to become more deft at stealing bases, figure out how to harness his power during actual games, and gain more control of the strike zone. Does that really sound like a guy who should be skipping levels? Probably not and while the experiment with Gomez in AA is far from a failure, it is hard to think that Gomez is really even close to the bigs without showing a marked improvement to justify the Mets trying to shoot him through the system. Maybe the Mets were trying to up his value via a trade or maybe they thought they saw something in his thirteen at-bats with the big club this spring, but Gomez needs to start showing substantial improvement or else people will start to sour on him he will not be much value to the Mets at all.

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  • This is one of the funniest and scariest things I have ever seen. Wow....just wow.

  • Not be outdone in the weird category...

    "Hi, I'm David Wright. I invite you to the 'Salvation Miracles Revival Crusade' with Dr. Jaerock Lee, at Madison Square Garden, July 27, 28 and 29."

  • The Mets had a fucking swell sixth inning in which two grand slams were hit and a David Wright two run homer despite a severe SUCK ME candidate in Sean Marshall on the mound. It was the most runs scored by any Met team in one inning and the most runs scored in an inning this year by any team. And of course, Xavier Nady is on my fantasy team and the Mets score thirteen runs while Nady only goes 1 for 3 with a run scored. Thanks.

    In a great moment during the game, the Cubbie fans got sick of throwing the balls back on the field and started throwing garbage.

    The fans in the sun-drenched bleachers at Wrigley Field warmed up, tossing back one ball after another onto the field as the Mets pelted home run after home run. Eventually, running out of ammunition and tiring of their hometown team, the fans started littering the field with bottles.

    First a few fell and then an avalanche of trash descended from every part of the bleachers, which is how the game must have felt to the Cubs.

  • John Maine will start for Pedro if he cannot make his next start and it looks like he probably will not as Peterson wants him to get two bullpen sessions and a simulated game before returning.

  • Jose Reyes is ready for his return and should be back in the lineup when the Mets face the Cincinnati Reds.

  • Bell in...Owens out...Bannister still MIA...

    Reliever Heath Bell rejoined the team after Henry Owens was sent back to Double-A Binghamton. Bell had been at Triple-A Norfolk since just before the All-Star break. ... Brian Bannister, who has been out since late April with a hamstring injury, threw 79 pitches in a simulated game at Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Mets said they will see how Bannister gets through that before deciding on his next move....

    Strangely enough, Owens was placed back in Binghamton as opposed to Norfolk.

  • On Saturday, Lastings Milledge went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, a homer, an RBI, and a walk in Norfolk's 9-1 victory over the Louisville Bats. Also, Tagg Bozied went deep twice and went 2 for 4 with four RBIs.

    On Sunday, the Tides lost despite a strong outing from Jose Lima and another homer from Lastings Milledge which was his seventh of the year. Milledge was 1 for 3 with a walk, a homer, and two RBIs.

    Jesus Flores went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in St. Lucie's 7-2 win over the Jupiter Hammerheads on Saturday.

    Phil Humber had a solid outing on Friday for St. Lucie as the Mets beat Brevard County 4-2. Humber went six innings and gave up three hits, two runs, no earned runs, and two walks while striking out two. Overall for St. Lucie he is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

    Jon Niese got roughed up on Friday in Hagerstown's 7-3 loss to Hickory. Niese went six innings and gave up seven hits, seven earned runs, three homers, and one walk while striking out two.

    Joe Smith keeps on rolling and picked up two saves this weekend with two scoreless innings. So far, he has six saves in twelve innings with a 0.75 ERA. Joe has given up seven hits and two walks to his fifteen strikeouts.

    Third round pick John Holdzkom continues to get lit up for the GCL Mets and gave up four runs in one inning in the GCL Mets loss to the GCL Nationals. He has now given up sixteen runs and nine walks in nine innings.

    There was a Matt Durkin sighting on Saturday as he threw 2.2 innings for the GCL Mets. He still has control issues as he walked four while striking out four but lets see if the Mets can get anything resembling a return on their $1,000,000 investment yet.

  • Baseball Prospecutus continues to pour salt into out wounds...

    "What people haven't really focused on a lot is that at the time the Mets were in a transition and the projected payroll for the next year was in the $80 million range, about what it was that year. And the feeling was, with the pressure to win in New York and the payroll projected as what it would be, we had to do some creative things. Our evaluations on Zambrano were very high. Our feelings on Kazmir also were very high, but we thought at the time it would take a couple years to see him at the major-league level. Our opinion at the time was he was another year-and-a-half away."
    --former Mets GM Jim Duquette, defending the Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano trade (Tampa Tribune)

  • From SI.com by way of Benny...

    The White Sox asked the Mets for Duaner Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey for Freddy Garcia. No go. The Sox have spoken to several clubs about Garcia and Javier Vazquez but prefer to keep Vazquez since he's contractually tied to the team for three more years. Garcia has told people he wouldn't be devastated to go to New York.

    Ha! First, why can't people learn that Mike Pelfrey cannot be traded right now due to him needing to be in the organization for a year. Second, HA! again. Not happening. Not happening for Dirty straight up much less Dirty and an uber prospect. Kenny Williams is smart. He was probably just throwing out a feeler and I expect him to come down to earth at some point if he wants to make a deal.

  • Shawn Chacon for Jake Peavy in a second? According to a Yankee fan who just called WFAN, it can happen. Way to go dipshit.

  • Sunday, July 16, 2006

    The Mets Reportedly Scouted Kris Benson

    Bob Klapisch writes that the Mets had three scouts at Kris Benson’s last start. First of all, I think they have a pretty good idea what he can do so the scouting seems a bit unnecessary. Second, if he comes back that would certainly cap off one of the more crazy situations that I've seen.

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  • There is a Michael Hunt that writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. That makes me laugh and a I am very immature.

  • Fonzie is back. I don't expect much from this deal or to even see him at Shea, but I guess it is nice to see him back.