Better Late Than Never
If you come to this site for timely reporting of news and up to date debates on hot issues, you have probably been a bit disappointed lately. This was supposed to be Wednesday night's post, but alcohol happened and I'm going to post it anyway despite the fact the word on the street is he is not going anywhere and it's gotten plenty of ink of late.
Brad Lidge is none too happy with being removed as closer of the Houston Astros. His decline along with Derrik Turnbow's last season are certainly mysteries. Turnbow's decline is a bit more mysterious because he was having another stellar season before falling apart mid-season and never really recovered in '06. I am all to familiar with this situation because he was one of my fantasy baseball closers last season. Lidge was pretty much off all last year and it was primarily due to the fact that he gave up a few more homers and few more unintentional walks than he did in '05. Of course that may be dumbing it down and a bit, but in 2006 he had a .238 BAA with 12.48 K/9. Based on those two numbers alone, you would assume he was dominant. After all, in 2005, he had a 2.29 ERA with a .223 BAA and 13.12 K/9. The big difference is in OBPA and SLGA with Lidge and in '06 he had .332 and .403 respectively which was up significantly from years past.
This year has started off worse than last year and it is certainly mysterious given his peripherals over the past few seasons, but he certainly still has the ability to be completely dominating again from what it seems. I would love to get him in the hands of Rick Peterson with his old friend Mr. Billy Wagner on the team, but these guys are almost impossible to acquire unless a team is completely fed up with them, which I do not think is the case. At this point, Lidge does not really have much trade value which would mean the Astros would have no incentive to trade him. A team looking to acquire him would be hesitant to acquire him because the team that has him might be asking too much factoring in what he could be. However, Tim Purpura and Omar Minaya were able to almost broker a three team deal last year with some substantial talent involved.
Basically, these are two men who genuinely look towards improving their team over ripping someone off and seem to be able to find a common ground that works for everyone. Lopsided deals are not always things GMs gun for and if anyone can try and work something out, Omar seems to be that guy. Now, the obvious thing would be that the Mets would have to overpay in regards to what his true market value is at this point to make it worth Houston's time and Houston cannot act like it is 2004. One thing that I see working in the Mets favor is that they finally seem to have those mid-level guys in the minors. With some recent trades and player development, they seem to have a deeper system than they had even just last year and might have the wherewithal to get something done. This is certainly something that bears looking into and I'm sure many teams have called Houston wondering about his availability. I do not know if he is necessarily available since Houston may never get what they want, but he could certainly answer a lot of questions for the Mets in terms of the 7th and 8th innings.
Ed (CT): What are your thoughts on Josh Hamilton? I know many say he will not start, but the guy is a patient hitter and I think Narron wants him to start. Who will sit? Freel or Griffey?
SportsNation Jayson Stark: I don't think we've reached the stage yet where the Reds are planning to bench either Freel or Griffey so Josh Hamilton can play every day. But this guy is so talented, and having such good at-bats, that I can foresee a situation like the one they had with Austin Kearns -- essentially juggling four "regular" outfielders. In case you hadn't noticed, Josh Hamilton is the best story in baseball. And it's getting better all the time.
You still have to be tentative at this point, but it's hard to ignore what he is doing.
Brad, Columbus OH: What should the Reds do with Hamilton?? 2 HR in 2 starts, plus fielder, where do they find a spot for him?
SportsNation Keith Law: What they should do is work out a deal with Tampa so that they can send him to AA or AAA and let him play every day. I think if they make him a regular in the majors, he's going to struggle big-time. There is really no precedent for a hitter to miss that amount of time and come right back and perform well at a higher level of ball. Look at Jason Kubel - he missed a year, and his first year back was a huge disappointment.
When Keith says there is no precedent, he is not kidding. It's downright unthinkable for him to simply do what he's been doing over a three game span much less being able to keep it up all season.
Tim (NY): Phil Hughes or Mike Pelfrey in terms of upside?
SportsNation Keith Law: Pelfrey, easily.
beachuga (4/13/2007 at 1:30 PM)
How are the Mets ahead of Atlanta??? The Braves took 2 out of 3 head to head last weekend and showed resiliency by bouncing back after dropping game 1 of the series 11-1. Even the .500 Yankees are ahead of Atlanta. ESPN is not afraid of displaying its New York bias. Yeah, it is early in the year, but you have to base the power rankings on what the teams have done so far this year, not what they are capable of accomplishing. The Mets cannot be #1 right now after losing a series to a division rival.
joeysprite (4/13/2007 at 2:18 PM)
U guys aren't getting this. If it's up to u guys, the rankings would just go by record. It's about who's team looks best. The Mets obviously look poised to take the division and prolly the NL this year. That's not bias. That's just the odds. If you don't understand that. Take a look at the vegas odds as of today and they will have the mets as the odds on favorite to win the NL. AKA the best team in the league. THERE IS NO NEW YORK BIAS IN VEGAS YOU IDIOTS. Regardless of the fact that they're a whole """"1"""" game out of first place and lost a staggering 2 out of 3 in Atlanta. Shut up.
Not a douchebag.
felicia__nicole (4/13/2007 at 2:36 PM)
How is it that the team with the best record in baseball is only ranked 6th? Perhaps if they change thier name to the New York Braves.......no respect, ESPN disgusts me.
Mrollman01 (4/13/2007 at 2:49 PM)
As stated at the beginning of the article - " little bit of winning percentage here, mixed with a pinch of run differential there...".This is NOT soley about win/loss record. That would be 'standings'. This is Power Rankings which take into account the way a team is playing, along with wins. The Mets are second in the majors in runs scored and runs allowed. How can you argue that they should not be first? Because the Braves have one more win?Please drop this "Ohh no! East coats bias!!!!" Its being used in every single arguement on ESPN, its getting very lame. Notice how they have the Dodgers ahead of the Braves too?
Braves fans are not exactly the most well versed. This Mets team is really, really good. Not to say the Braves aren't, being ranked sixth is still pretty good in fact. However, you'd be hard pressed to find many people prepared to hand the division to the Braves.
joheher (4/13/2007 at 3:18 PM)
People are so stupid. Win-Loss records are meaningless at this point of the season. The Braves have a combined .226 batting average and only won two out of three because of errors committed by the Mets. The Mets rank ahead of Atlanta in runs, hits, triples, total bases, RBI's, batting average, OBP, slugging %, OPS, ERA, and rank #1 in BAA. Unlike you idiots, ESPN actually does its research. If you knew anything about baseball you'd quit your whining about how Atlanta won two out of three and pity the fact that you got shut out by the Nationals last night with Smoltz pitching.
It should also be noted that the Braves were ranked the highest by ESPN further making these Braves fans look like douchebags for repeatedly complaing about ESPN's blatant East Coast bias. Maybe...just maybe...and I know this is a stretch here....they are not as good as the Mets. Silly bitches.
Franco delivers clutch hit as Mets rally to beat Nats
I'm sorry for doubting you.
The line of the day also came from their rankings...
How to Recognize a Small Sample Size, Lesson #476: "Royce Clayton" and "torrid" can credibly appear in the same sentence, as the Toronto shortstop is hitting .364/.440/.545 so far.