We all know the concerns that surround the Mets '07 rotation and we all know the people voicing their concerns are for the most part outside of the Mets fan base.
The Mets are adding their own Sosa. The Mets' gamble that their rotation is good enough will be fascinating, as it plays out; the team is gambling that with good instruction, they can save their pitching. Personally, I think the rest of the team is too good for the Mets to have handled their starting pitching in this manner. They should have gotten somebody.
It was not for lack of trying. Omar tried, tried, and tried again. After all that, he tried some more. However, it just did not work out and Bill Madden agrees that Omar was smart to stay back if he was unable to reel in a difference maker.
Because of his inability to acquire a top-of-the-rotation starter or upgrade substantially at second base, it might be concluded that Minaya has had a bad winter. But at the same time, would throwing crazy money at Zito or - even worse - at mediocrity such as Vicente Padilla, Gil Meche, Miguel Batista or Adam Eaton be considered as a good winter? To that we would say only, "Come see us in September."
Preach on brother Bill.
While a prospective Mets rotation of Glavine, El Duque, John Maine, Oliver Perez and either lefty Dave Williams or rookie Philip Humber might seem a tad underwhelming, at least until Pedro Martinez hopefully rejoins it in June, look around the rest of the NL East and you'll find only the Florida Marlins can claim a rotation five-deep in quality. And other than Dontrelle Willis, their arms are still too inexperienced to be considered real deals.
What's funny to me is how the majority of Marlin nation, Philly nation, and Brave nation (have not heard National nation weigh in on this one yet) are so confident that the Mets rotation will be there downfall despite them having the most well rounded team even when you factor in the Mets rotation needs. It's like me giving a lecture to someone about overindulging while I'm snorting coke of a hookers boob. It just does not make sense.
Here is a fun fact that is brought us by AE. Last year's Mets team gave 15 starts to Lima Time, Geremi Gonzalez, and Alay Soler (approximately 10% of the team's schedule). Their combined ERA in those 15 starts was 7.21. Their combined WHIP was 1.75. Throw on top of that Tom Glavine's blood clot, Pedro Martinez's arm falling off and his 4.48 ERA, Trachsel making thirty starts, and AE forgetting to mention that Victor Zambrano made five starts with a 6.75 ERA and the Mets still managed to squeeze out 97 wins.
What am I getting at? Even if Pedro does not return, the Mets will be OK. The Mets starting five will not set the world on fire, but they will be more than adequate and I still think Pedro will be a huge factor for the Mets in the second half of '07. A rotation down the stretch with Glavine, The Duque, Pedro, Maine, and whomever steps up is all this Met team needs to get where they want to go. Could things go horrible wrong? Yeah, but that could be said about 90% of the teams out there that are relying on one pitcher like the Cubs and Zambrano, the Twins and Santana, the Cardinals and Carpenter, the Brewers on Sheets, the Braves on Smoltz, etc...However, I still feel like the Mets have enough wildcard arms to persevere.
In Rob Neyer's chat, he demonstrated that he still has faith in the good guys pulling through.
Jason (NY): Right now - predicitions for the 8 playoff spots. (I know, subject to change)
SportsNation Rob Neyer: I haven't looked at a single projection yet, but here goes anyway: Yankees, Red Sox, Indians, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers, Mets, and Pick 'em.
Keep your head up and do not believe the hype. The Mets still have valuable chips in their pocket should it all hit the fan and they need to go out and acquire and arm. In all likelihood, that will not be necessary and I would be more than happy to hit the playoffs with the same rotation the Mets took last year with The Duque substituted with Trachsel. My confidence level about this 2007 is pretty high right now and I do not have many complaints. Is this taem perfect? No, but no team is.
Jack (Toronto): Other than the obvious HoFers Clemens, Maddux and Glavine (and Bonds I guess), could we be looking at a lost generation of good quality candidates for the Hall? ARod, Piazza maybe, Jeter if he gets 3K hits, Santana if he stays healthy and keeps up this pace and Pujols (health again), who else? I don't see Johnson, Schilling, Smoltz or even Pedro having the numbers.
SportsNation Rob Neyer: Which Johnson? Randy? He's been a lock for years, and so is Pedro Martinez. Other currently active Hall of Famers: Rivera, Hoffman, maybe Wagner, Helton, Manny Ramirez, probably Frank Thomas, Vladimir Guerrero, Ken Griffey, probably Sheffield, maybe Chipper Jones, Biggio, Ivan Rodriguez . . . we've got no shortage of excellent candidates.
Not a bad group of players at all with some of the best of all time certainly in that mix.
Kevin (NYC): WHOA...please clairfy, Piazza is a lock fo the HOF, correct?
SportsNation Rob Neyer: Of course. As is Cap'n Jetes.
Revel in it's beauty and soak in the goodness.
Jake, did your back hold out long enough to get some surfing in?
The Mets continue to believe in Rubén Sierra's ability to help shape young players and are negotiating a minor league contract with the 41-year-old slugger. The Mets have no immediate plans for Sierra to make the major league team out of spring training, but he will be in their system if the need arises for a veteran hitter.
He will not be a integral member of this team and if for some reason he is, we'll have many more things to worry about than Ruben Sierra being on the team.
--Tony Gwynn, on steroids.
"I can tell you that I didn't know. There are a few guys who come back from the offseason bigger, but you don't really know for sure what's happening. I didn't…A smarter person can look around and have suspicions."
--Cal Ripken Jr., on the use of performance enhancing drugs during his time in the game.
"Besides, he's fat now. Where would we play him? He would probably go home in two months."
--unnamed player personnel official with the Yokohama Bay Stars, on Sammy Sosa
Yikes...I guess leaving the game gracefully, or as gracefully as Sosa would have been able too, is a foreign notion to Sammy.
But the highlight of his mailbag for me is when T.R. gets a bit defensive...
I have been a Rangers fan for many years, but this team has the poorest potential for any I've seen. Only two quality starting pitchers, no outfield that can hit .300 and a backup catcher. I think it may be time to go back to my Cardinals.
-- Bill F., Williston, S.D.
Understood. Let us all know how Kip Wells fares as the Cardinals' No. 2 starter.