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

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I Heart Dayn Perry

For 2007, I must have made a New Year's resolution to bury the hatchet whilst I was drunk and not remembered it. Forgiveness is in the air. First is was my admission that Buster Olney was my favorite blogger. Then it was the realization that I came to when reading Keith Law's chats in that I no longer hate him. Now I actually like him and I'm also on the Dayn Perry train.

1. Will the Mets' rotation be good enough?

The Mets, of course, wisely passed on Barry Zito at the going rates, but that leaves them with a rotation of Tom Glavine and ... lots of unknown quantities. They'll cobble together the middle and back end from a group that comprises Orlando Hernandez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Jorge Sosa, Philip Humber, Mike Pelfrey, Jason Vargas and Chan Ho Park. There's not a certainty in the lot, but at least they have options.

Yes they do and that is more than I can say for many other contenders.

2. Then again, can anyone hang with the Mets?

Of course, the Mets in 2006 had a fairly middling rotation (their starters' ERA of 4.67 ranked 8th in the NL), and they still managed to win the division by a full 12 games. So can the Phillies, Braves or upstart Marlins (sorry, Nats, you're not in the discussion just yet) manage to challenge the Amazin's? Probably not. However, the suspect nature of the New York rotation means things could get interesting. Right now, however, the Mets are far and away the most talented team in the division.

Probably not able to hang? Far and away the best?

Anyhow, even if Pedro's timetable gets pushed back to, say, July, the Mets will still be getting one of the most potent deadline additions. There's always the possibility that Pedro will be but a shadow of his former self, but the smart money says he'll give the Mets a half-season's worth of innings and a sub-4.00 ERA. That's precisely what they'll need. There's one more reason the Mets are sure bets to win the East in '07.

Never bet against Pedro. He is a first ballot Hall of Famer that has been pitching at 60% of what he was capable of when was healthier before his tenure with the Mets. Even if he comes back less than vintage Pedro, which I'm sure he will, he will be better than the version the Mets received, which was pretty fucking good.

Shea is conducive to pitching and tends to make pitchers a bit better than they are. Couple that with a solid bullpen and you have officially masked any potential deficiencies that this rotation might have, which is not a guarantee that they will have them. For me, the Mets are a better team than they were last year. Will they reach 97 wins next season? Not likely and that is the real point. The Mets will not be as good in the win/loss column and it will be a closer race. But they will prevail because they are the better team.

Playing 162 games has a way of ensuring the best team wins.

* * *

  • Ken Rosenthal joins the long line of naysayers.

    Mets: Free-agent left fielder Moises Alou was a solid one-year investment, but the Mets remain stuck with two other 40-somethings, lefty Tom Glavine and righty Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, at the top of their rotation. They've got plenty of options, young and old, but it's almost inconceivable that they failed to add a proven starter when righty Pedro Martinez will be out at least half the season. A more formidable rotation would make the Mets prohibitive favorites in the NL East.

    Ken. They tried man. Let it go. They tried. You make it sound like they made a concerted effort to not get a certifiable ace.

  • Kevin Kernan sides with me. The Mets have the recipe for success when it comes to their rotation.

    "As much as everyone questions our staff, I believe we're in a much better position this year than we were last year at this time," Peterson told me yesterday. "We have a pretty good recipe. And we're going to have competition, which is always a great motivator.

    "Hopefully, we'll turn out some good meals."

    Yes indeed.

    Pitching is rhythm and Peterson encourages his pitchers to sometimes listen to their iPods during those sessions. Soon after Perez came aboard last year, Peterson had a conversation with him that went something like this:

    "Do you like to dance?" Peterson asked.

    "Yes," Perez answered.

    "Well, right now you are doing the waltz, you need to be doing the merengue," Peterson explained.

    Why will the Mets have a solid staff? Rick Peterson.

    "Sure, we don't have five Cy Youngs on our staff, but no one else does, either," Peterson said. "We have quality and we have depth."

  • In breaking news...Green is not retiring. Damn. Also in related not-so-surprising news tidbit, the Mets declined their option for Green in 2008.

  • Desperation is when Steve Traschel is pitching in the AL East.

  • Sugar Pants is laying it on thick.

    "Last year was a lot of firsts for a lot of guys, veterans and young guys," Wright, 24, explained at the team's spring training complex. "This year we have that playoff experience under our belt. We know what it takes to win. We've been there, done that. I think we are a lot more confident in knowing what we are capable of doing going into this year. We have a little more swagger.

    "We have the core group of guys coming back from last year, we have made some key off-season acquisitions. I think our bullpen is second to none in the National League."

  • Did Rob Neyer really just glaze of this inane babble?

    Doc Jones (BK): Rob - any chance Willis is heading out? I know they're trying to get the stadium deal done, but how about a swap with Mets for Reyes and a prospect like Pelfrey?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: I happen to think the Marlins are going to regress somewhat this season, and I also happen to think that even if they get a deal for a new building, they can't afford to sign both Willis and Cabrera to long-term extensions. So yeah, I won't be surprised to see Willis dealt, but not until July.

    Reyes is worth more than Willis! Forget the fact Doc Jones just tossed Mike Pelfrey into the deal for the hell of it.

    ....AND BAM!

    Jake (VA Beach): I'm surprised you didn't jump all over Doc Jones for the trade of Willis for Reyes (and Pelfrey to boot). Seriously, tell him and everyone here Reyes is the best SS in the game, and you were wrong about him years ago.

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: Right, that one's on me. The Mets wouldn't trade Reyes, plus the Marlins are one of the few teams that would have little use for him.

    Jake...I have to believe that's you. If so, shame on you for not using Swellville, VA. Shame on you.

  • Gary outlines the major difference between the new Mets and the old Mets.

    Eric (NY): Gary, could you please offer your insight into the Chan Ho Park signing? Do you think he'll end up being a useful arm or a worthless loss of 600K?

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: I don't have much faith in Park, but the Mets can afford to gamble $600K on the chance he'll be a productive No. 5 starter or even a spot starter.

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: When you're in the situation the Mets are, you need to purchase insurance by adding some veterans at reasonable prices and not view it as a waste of money.

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: That doesn't mean squandering boatloads of money on guys whose greatness is long gone (e.g., Mo Vaughn), but low-rent options like Park are reasonable.

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: The current Mets' management understands that; the old brain trust certainly didn't.

    This will probably draw the ire of many fans.

    Ragan (pa): Lightning round: Better foundation for a franchise, Utley and Howard or Reyes and Wrong?

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: Tough Q. I'd go with Utley and Howard.

    Before last year, it was a no brainer. Now that Howard is an absolute beast of epic proportions, he made things more even. However, I still side with the age the athleticism. In the long term, the Mets duo will hold up better and frankly be around for more years being that they are younger.



    Blogger Sonny said...

    I'm tired of the all the criticism on the Mets starting staff. First of all, there is much more potential with the options we have to begin the year than there was at any point last year. Secondly, whatever deficiency there is in the starting pitching will be more than covered by our bullpen and offense and all-around depth. I think the Phillies have a very solid team, and will give the Mets some decent competition this year. But if the Mets aren't the team to beat in the NL this year, than who is?

    11:55 PM

    Anonymous Gehoff. said...

    On the real, this years Mets rotation is better than last years. And seriously Utley and Howard better than Reyes and Wright? Is that some sort of joke? Howard is a DH and Utley's range makes him a first baseman. If you are comparing straight offense the argument gets closer but overall Reyes and Wright is a nobrainer. Philly's rotation has some potential but none of their starters are shut down guys, no one scares you. Any weakness the Mets may have in the rotation is overshadowed by their bullpen and offense. Forget Ken Rosenthal and forget this doucherag Gary Gillete.

    3:21 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Hey, Hey, Hey, too much foriveness, happiness, and love going around, this is ridiculous.
    Lets talk about somebody I hate with an incredibly strong passion. Have you ever listened atleast for 10 seconds, to Skip Bayless?
    Oh my god, that guy is the worst. Not only is his voice incredibly annoying but he's soo passionate about the stupidest fucking ideas/ opinions ever.

    Rick Petterson is a whacko. He's nuts. His metaphors are so outrageous.

    Regarding the team, I'd like to think a HEALTHY Delgado, and a recovered Wagner (from the finger thing) is going to help the team alot.

    I'd go with Reyes and Wright based on age alone. When Utley's contact is up how old is he gonna be? 34 years old?
    When Wright's is done he's going to be Utley's current age.
    And yeah Ryan Howard really sucks ass on defense. I lost like 2 or 3 games single handedly on his defense against the Mets. That fucker better make up for it with 60 HR's and 150 RBI's.

    8:47 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Preach on Sonny. Get mad. Get even. Not tabbing them the team to beat is shear jealously towards the Mets who because they place in the mecca of sports.

    I did think that statement was a bit weird taking Utley and Howard. Neyer picked Wright and Reyes over them last year because age was the biggest factor. As good as Utley is, he is in his prime. He’s not early 20’s. He’s what…28? Still young, but not set to get appreciably better. Given the tools for Wright and Reyes and their ability to field at a gold glove levels, it does seem like a no brainer, but an argument certainly can be made for the other duo. They are pretty damn good….Wright and Reyes happen to be better though.

    Benny…I still hate Wallace Matthews.

    Also in regards to Howard…I think it’s safe to say he has a good chance to regress a bit because he had such an unbelievable year. They moved the fences back a bit too. I’m sure he’ll still be a monster, but to expect that type of season out of him again is nuts. Wright and Reyes still stand to improve upon their numbers across the board….especially Wright.

    9:00 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    In breaking news...Green is not retiring. Damn.

    Yep, that about sums it up.

    Ragan (pa): Lightning round: Better foundation for a franchise, Utley and Howard or Reyes and Wrong?

    SportsNation Gary Gillette: Tough Q. I'd go with Utley and Howard.

    Well, at least he said tough question, right? This is stupid. Reyes and Wright, 4 or 5 years younger and a left side of the infield, and Howard and Utley, 4 years older, both below average defensively, and one is a first baseman. Um, it's actually not even a tough question. It's the Mets pair, going away.

    This doesn't even bring up the fact that some of Utley's success is a function of his home park, check out his home/road splits. He is a superstar at home (969 OPS), and a very good player on the road (847 OPS). Check out Reyes/Wright home/road splits, they are basically equal.

    Gary Gillette is dumb, unlike our good buddy Dayn Perry.

    9:22 AM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I just realised that Ragan from PA was being a dickhead and said Reyes or WRONG?
    I'll take Utley and Howard over Reyes and WRONG too!

    I guess Gary assumed he meant Ching Mieng Wang or someshit?

    9:49 AM

    Anonymous joe said...

    All of the people who are knocking the Mets starting pitching need to remember a few key things. Williams, Soler, Banister, Zambrano, and Lima made almost 25% of the Mets regular season starts last year.

    I'll take any one or any group of the Mets' current options (yes some of these guys are still options) over this group any day. Also, take a look at who made the most starts for the Mets last year (regular season and playoffs) Glavine (32), Trachsel (30), Hernandez (29), Pedro (23), Perez (22) and Maine (15).

    Now it may be alot to ask of Maine to double his workload, but I think he showed he can be a solid #3 or #4 guy, I certainly like Maine or some of our other options over Trachsel making 30 starts.

    Plus I didn't realize Hernandez made so many starts last year, I have no problem with him doing this again this year and hopefuly with an improved offense he can improve on that .500 record or at least match it.

    Pedro should be able to come back and make close to 23 starts (including playoffs) and if not, Minaya always has the option of making a move if Pedro regresses or a starter underperforms.

    Perez also made a surprising number of starts last year and should be able to improve in his second year with the jacket. He was basically our 5th starter last year.

    So when you look at the number of starts players made last year, not much has changed. Glavine, Hernandez, Maine, Perez and Pedro with a bunch of better guys spot starting and filling out the 5 while we wait for Pedro.

    Opening day last year looked like this. Glavine, Pedro, Bannister, Trachsel and Zambrano and we were one hit from the world series. The returning group, the new options and the young guys make for an improved pool of options. The glass is definitely half full!

    (sorry for the long post)

    10:19 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Yeah, I noticed that right away Benny. And then Gillette stroked that idiot.

    The dumbest part about it is that the guy didn't ask who you would take right now (which the argument could go either way), he asked who was a better foundation, which is a no-brainer for the Mets duo.

    Bah, whatever.

    10:21 AM

    Anonymous Kurt said...

    On a more-related-to-last-post comment: I just met one of the lawyers who helped with both the new Yankees and Mets stadium deals. In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Yankees absolutely insisted that they finalize before the Mets. Just thought I'd share.

    11:12 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny, Ragan is quite the character. I mean, you must not have gotten it if you didn’t think it was gut busting funny. Those guys in PA have some sense of humor.

    I think Maine will be solid. He has legit Major League stuff and isn’t afraid to attack hitters. I like the way he climbs the ladder and his secondary stuff will come along more. He keeps a little extra umph on the fastball for when he needs it and is not always throwing as hard as he can. He might get tired by years end and take a start or two off, but that’s to be expected and should be fine.

    22 starts for Perez? That can’t be right. I thought it was like 10.

    On a more-related-to-last-post comment: I just met one of the lawyers who helped with both the new Yankees and Mets stadium deals. In a surprise to absolutely no one, the Yankees absolutely insisted that they finalize before the Mets. Just thought I'd share.

    Yeah…and the Yankees could care less about what the Mets are doing…riiiiiiight.

    11:21 AM

    Blogger bmc said...

    "I'll probably be better than people have seen at Shea. According to what the doctors say, I should be coming back stronger and throwing harder."


    12:26 PM

    Blogger bmc said...

    Steve Tracshel was the Mets, um... #4 starter last year. The Mets now have 37 guys in line for the rotation who are better than him.

    The critics can sniff the steam off my stack.

    12:32 PM

    Blogger John said...

    Starts for the METS last year:
    Hernandez - 20 (+ 9 with AZ)
    Perez - 7 (+15 with PIT)
    Soler - 8
    Bannister - 6
    Williams - 5 (+8 with CIN)
    Pelfrey - 4
    Zambrano - 5
    Lima - 4
    Gonzalez - 3 (+1 with MIL)

    12:42 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    And what’s worse than sniffing steam off someone’s sack? I mean, that’s pretty bad. I guess the taint steam could be worse, but we are really splitting hairs now.

    John, thanks for the breakdown.

    12:59 PM

    Blogger Kenny said...

    I can't believe Mr. Monday only started 5 games last year. His absolute suckage felt like at least 10 starts.

    1:15 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    it wasn't me.

    1:20 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Kenny…add in his 5 starts with Lima’s starts, Gonzalez’s starts, Trachsel’s starts….

    Jake..it should have been you.

    1:47 PM

    Blogger bmc said...

    Not "sack". Stack. The deuce I dropped out in this lovely sleet.


    Ok. That's a bit weird.

    I'm going to change the subject by imagining Pedro throwing 92. *swoon*

    2:03 PM

    Anonymous Handsome DG said...

    CAN WE JUST START THE M-FING SEASON ALREADY? Then, all the, ahem, "journalists" can write about how good the Mets are instead of how they didn't overspend for an inadequate replacement to Petey? I mean, bring it on for goodness sakes!

    Now, I will say that IF we didn't have Wright & Reyes, I would be happy to have Chase and Howie, but I'll stick with my boys all the same. I'm not sure that Howard will regress, but I do think that pitchers are going to change how they pitch to him.

    As far as I see it, the Phillies have two very talented hitters and lots of complementary pieces. Even if Pat Burrell rebounds - and there's doubt in that equation - they still would be depending on a lot of fluff. WHEREAS, the Queens gang has Wrighty & Reyes & Beltran & Delgodzo & Alou with an above average complementary player in LoDuca. Where is the worry?

    Not in the rotation which has ta-ta-ta-tons of depth and very serious upside (versus dependable but average Phills outside of Myers & Hamell, if he stays healthy). The key journalistic modifier has been trade or sign for its own sake, and I agree that management seems to have gotten real.

    Mike, that's a lot of man crushes in the media for you. Maybe you should take up something healthier, like smoking.

    3:36 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    DG…not regress in the way that Sammy Sosa regressed over his last few years…regress in with the idea he’ll hit 130 RBIs with 50 homers instead of 60 homers and 150 RBIs…I’m just saying his year was HUGE. You cannot ask someone to replicate that year in and year out. He will regress just because his season was that huge and a few factors will play into that. Pitchers not giving him as much…the walls being moved bat a few feet…the league adjustments….

    Point taken on the smoking thing. I’m going out to by some rock today smoke.

    4:13 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Omar was talking about Newhan and really liked him. The only positive is that he can play every position except pitcher and catcher.
    But then again, is that really neccesary? If somebody goes down they'll call someone up, no?
    I'd rather have Ben Johnson up. He has pop and can play defense form everything I've read.
    Whatever... "I'm probably pretty sure it'll all work out for the best".

    11:41 AM

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