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

Friday, April 13, 2007

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.

* * *

  • What Josh Hamilton did on the other day is nothing short of amazing. 1 for 3 with a homer and two walks in your first big league start after 50 pro at-bats in '03, '04, '05, and '06 with none of them coming above short-season? C'mon. that's just ridiculous even if it was luck. As if that wasn't enough, he homered in his second start and went 1 for 4 with a run scored, two RBIs, and a walk in his third start. In his first three at-bats in his third start, he faced Carlos Zambrano three times and went 1 for 2 with an RBI and a walk. We all read a lot about how patient he is at the plate and he has four walks to compliment his four hits. I hope the Reds push this experiment to see what they really have here. With the history of Rule 5 drafts, Hamilton could easily be the best Rule 5 pick (sorry Dan Uggla) and the Reds could look like geniuses.

    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.

  • Pelfrey looked good in his '07 debut. His fastball was overpowering and his slider looked extremely good at times. You have to be happy about his performance. However, he was having control issues and while it's early, you have to be concerned with the manner that the Mets are beating themselves more than the opposition. Early on it seems like they are their biggest obstacle, but I have no reason to believe they will not straighten out.

    Tim (NY): Phil Hughes or Mike Pelfrey in terms of upside?

    SportsNation Keith Law: Pelfrey, easily.

  • ESPN thinks the Mets are #1...the Braves fan do not.

    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.

  • As I was watching the Mets game on my DVR, I was also writing this shitty post. In the 7th inning, Wagner walked Valentin to bring up the pitcher's spot at which point they announced Julio Franco was coming up. Just as I was saying "oh shit" to myself, I read this craptastic headline.

    Franco delivers clutch hit as Mets rally to beat Nats

  • I'm sorry for doubting you.

  • Not to beat the Power Ranking issue to death, but BP has the Mets as #1 as well with the Braves and Yankees seventh and eighth respectively.

    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.

  • Is this the year Jose Reyes wins his first Gold Glove? Might be hard with the Vizquel getting an automatic write in while he is still playing, but Reyes is going to make it hard for people to not vote him as the best field short stop in the National League.

  • Can we all point and laugh at the Phillies? ...and more specifically Jimmy Rollins?
  • Labels:


    Blogger metdynasty said...

    good stuff, mike.

    The Braves are overrated. They got a little lucky the first week.

    The Mets are the best team in the NL without a doubt.

    The Braves are in the top five probably. Their offense has a lot of issues. Starting Pitching isn't very deep. The pen is better than last year, but it's a little wild.

    I am really impressed with Padres' pitching. It's a good thing that they don't have offense.

    I still hope we can get an ace before trade deadline. Haren looks great so I am rooting against the A's.

    only 3-2 tonight, but a w is a w. I hope the Mets can pad their stats tomorrow.

    11:37 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    All this attention to espn's power ranking just after i finish letting all the gas out of my lung bags about what a joke the power rankings are.

    With all the national attention Reyes is getting I wouldnt be surprised at all with a GG. The Klap at espn is falling all over himself as we speak.

    Just for fun, Victim Zambrainless is now a reliever for the Jays; i go and stare at his stats page, and i just can't wrap my head around it. It just seems that once he ran off that field and into a waiting cab, we'd never see him again.

    Keep the sweep in order!

    3:24 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I still think the Braves are good. McCann is scary, A. Jones will pick it up, C. Jones is steady, but will play in 130 games, and Frenchy can still produce. Throw on top Smoltz, James, and Hudson leading an improved bullpen and these guys are good. I just don't think they are Mets good.

    The Phillies....the Phillies are overrated. BIG TIME.

    Padres pitching is scary. Their bullpen is ridiculous whether they are in pitcher's parks or not. Hensley is better than people think and Young is pretty damn good. They might want to try and upgrade their offense at the expense of pitching though.

    Haren looks fucking swell. Not sure what he'd cost though. I'd definitely do Milledge, Mulvey, +, but I'm not willing to go Milledge and Humber because simply I don't want to trade ace material that is close to the bigs.

    itsmetsforme, HA! Sorry, but I do like the rankings when it validates how great the Mets are! Besides, BP is based on run differential mostly so that is actually scientific whereas the others are just opinions. Surely that has to hold more water, no?

    Zambrano only has three innings, but he's still a good pitcher (I think) when healthy. We'll see....I hope he succeeds somewhere, I just never want to see him again.

    SWEEEEP!!! Sweeps are hard, but seriously, no way the Mets should lose more than two games all year against this team.

    7:36 AM

    Anonymous jake said...

    i still can't shake the feeling i had after the nlcs. that it is a shame the mets didn't win last year, because this year they are going to be so good it will be boring. last season was exciting, the mets were just coming together -- at this time everyone picked the braves again -- and games were exciting until mid august or whenever and then it was sugarswell sweetness as we ran away with it.

    this year.... i want to get pumped but i just feel like we are going to roll all the way to the world series and that is that. not enough drama. and the same problem applies to the next five years: mets are going to be TOO good.

    okay, i know this is not the way baseball works and in reality it will be a grind and hopefully the mets win one world series nevermind five in a row. but still, i can't shake the feeling that we should have won last year and that all future success will be postmature.

    re: hamilton. i know some things go without saying -- but, i told you so.

    10:15 AM

    Blogger Coop said...

    Isn't it funny Mike how the world is willing to anoint the Braves (or Cowards as I like to call them) as the NL East champs just b/c a.) 10 games into the season they are in first, 2.) they beat the Mets 2 out of 3 games in their FIRST FUCKING SERIES of a long season and D.) they didn't do shit last year, so now all of a sudden, the Mets have to once again prove they are worthy of the NL East? Silly bitches my fat ass -- more like doped up Nascar loving mullet wearing kool-aid drinkers if you ask me.

    East coast bias, a little bit yes, but for two teams and two teams only - the Sawx and the Highlanders. Mets still get no respect in NY or espn. Even in wintry conditions, they still looked good. Fuck the cowards, and let's take them for a SWEEP next weekend at home!!!

    11:28 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    re: hamilton. i know some things go without saying -- but, i told you so.

    I leave it to you to rub in in. Thanks bro. Thanks.

    I hear what you are saying. As you stated the big difference was the Mets still ran away with it, but it was the first time then have done so as opposed to this year, we know their awesomeness and will get complacent of sorts...like Yankee fans saying, "ho-hum, call me when it's October".

    I certainly hope that's not how we all feel, but it truly brings up an interesting note. Capping off last season with a WS victory would have been the culmination of what was an amazing season for us Met fans.

    Well, Coop, I wouldn't say the world. None of the good people who do any sort of power rankings think so.

    Mets historically never got respect, but you know what? They weren't really good in '01 through '04 and marginal and '05. What did I really expect? I think the Mets are stealing some of their thunder. How many Reyes and Wright articles have we seen between '06 and '07?

    The Braves will get theirs. When the Mets play airtight baseball, it's two of three in the bag.

    11:47 AM

    Anonymous two-by-four said...

    Since I haven’t had the opportunity to see Lidge pitch this year I don’t know what his problem is. It is just possible that he has lost something on his fastball. Occasionally he may still get it up there as before but I’m talking on a consistent basis. Of course his problem could be mechanics or all mental. This means that whoever acquired him would have to work out the problems and perhaps lose some ball games in the process. Another thing to remember is that Lidge is upset that he has been demoted from the closers sport. Well if he came to the Mets the best he could hope for is to be a setup man and he may not go along with that.

    Pelfrey’s lack of command could have been caused by the cold weather or nerves since this was his first start of the season. OTOH major league hitters take pitches off the plate whereas minor league hitter’s swing at those and get themselves out so what appears to be good command in the minors may not translate to the majors. If Pelfrey struggles with his command against a better team he may not be as lucky as last night. BTW Willies instinct on when to remove a pitcher is his one of his biggest weakness. He left Pelfrey in too long last night and he did the same with El Dugue today. In both cases he could have hit for the pitcher the half inning before and in both cases his pitchers were struggling a bit.

    In today’s game the Mets had a man on third with less than 2 outs 4 times and couldn’t score him. They do this much too often.

    I don’t care what other fans say about this team or what is written elsewhere. All I care about is what shows on the field and so far it’s been what I expected.

    4:13 PM

    Blogger AE said...

    re, lidge and turnbow:

    i think it's steroids. or in this case, a lack of using them anymore. look at the players that have been caught for using them and you'll see a lot of relievers. i could see lidge and turnbow trying to go cold turkey. of course this is all speculation and i'm pulling it out of my ass but i wouldn't be surprised. also, you have to remember turnbow was caught before the current rules were put in place and he could have been using a undetectable substance in its place...

    4:15 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I do believe Lidge's fastball is still mid to high 90's, and whatever Turnbow is doing, he looks like he is back to his old self, which makes his second half last year more confusing.

    5:24 PM

    Blogger AE said...

    i missed the reyes for gold glove comment...

    to be honest, i can't see him winning it this year. he does have the best arm at short but i've seen 2-3 balls this year that were at least within diving distance to his left that he decided not to try and make a play on. the kid has the arm, now he needs to extend his range a little.

    11:45 AM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    Derrick "squeal like a pig" Turbow on steroids? perish the thought! I think he just got disoriented with those damn dueling banjos always playing when he came out to the mound. Unless you mean the stuff he cooked in his own bathtub.

    i tend to think the br*ves are for real, and only a head to head smack down will do the trick, cause i see them beating up on the rest of the weak teams just as the mets should be doing.

    as long as any given power rankings have the mets on top, you'll hear no complaints from me.

    2:36 PM


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