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

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If a million people say a foolish thing, It is still a foolish thing.

That was Neyer's quote from the end of his latest chat (which by the way featured a Rob Neyer that was on fire). What do I mean? It means that I don't care how many people tell me I'm nuts in regards to my thoughts on Willie and his tactics. I'm going to call it like I see it. Furthermore, let me repeat that I am not particularly taking issue with Burgos-gate from Monday, but Willie in general. However, there were many good points sparked up by yesterday's discussions on both sides.

burger threw a ton of pitches at that point. so i can see why everyone is pissed.

but then again, ive seen pat burrell tear us new assholes too many times. i'd rather give up a 3run shot to him than fucking pat burrell.

pick ur poison if u ask me.

i'm gonna give willie leeway with letting burgos pitch to howard. howard's been struggling with the bat and pat burrell always finds a way to stick it to the mets.

until that one mistake to howard, burgos was owning him in that ab. burgos is still a "kid" and will learn from this - at least he better learn from this or his career with the mets will be short and bitter. anyway, i'd rather that mistake come now than in september and it's good to see that randolph will trust his people (i.e. smith in the opener).

By the way, I didn't realize there were 2 outs to Howard when Willie left Burgos in. I thought there was only one out at the time. Unforgivable decision. You HAVE to walk him there. Leaving Burgos in to face Utley to try and get a strikeout was the right move. But you either have to walk Howard and go after Burrell with Burgos or Joe Smith, or you bring in Feliciano to face Howard. It sucks too because Burgos made a bunch of great pitches but all anyone will remember is the one pitch he hung, and that was a terrible pitch call by LoDuca.

To me, you can hyper-analyze this one all you want. All you need to know is (1) first base was open; (2) the MVP was at the plate; and (3) a tiring, unproven righty prone to giving up the long ball was on the mound in a one-run game.

No further analysis needed.

That said, let me clear up more confusions here. First, Willie has a managing style of his own. It's a style of never losing the sight of the goal to settle for a few cheap wins in hyped-up April or subway games. It's a steady and fearless apporach to the game where cockiness, laziness, unprofessionalism and lack of confidence will not be tolerated. It's a style of rather exposing the weaknesses early and working on them than hiding or ignoring them. It's about trusting all the players not just some of them and constantly testing them to see if they have what it takes to succeed.

anonymous weenie:
Amen, Metdynasty. You think after years of horrible managers and horrible teams, we'd all be happy to see the way Willie has brought along Wright, Reyes, Maine, and Perez while getting more out of Chavez, Valentin, and Castro then any other manager has been able to. Maybe, just maybe, he knows what he is doing...

mr. met:
I specifically posted about bacon to avoid such controversy!

the brooklyn bum:

Tired young right handed fastball pitcher + open base + baseball's premier left handed power hitter = intentional walk.

That said, let Willie-Critic #1 (uhhh, that'd be me) defend him on that one:

1. The Amburglar was dealing.

2. You don't wanna put Howard on and let a pitcher with control problems face a bases juiced situation.

3. Burrell has been on fire & always kills the Mets anyhow. Howard had been cold through 6 games.

4. Schoeneweis is horrible. Fuck him and never let me see his ass on the hill again.

5. Pedro Dos isn't that good against lefties: .231 avg in 2006.

6. Last year Howard hit .279 vs. lefties with 16 HRs in less than 200 ABs.

Opening Day is not the time for a baptism-by-fire for your shakiest reliever running on fumes. I think Willie has a thing for hard throwing relief pitchers. Maybe he's hoping the Amburglar can keep him warm while he waits for Mota to return.

Doesn't anyone see what Willie was trying to do? He wanted to challenge Burgos a bit. I hate to tell you this, but at some point this year Burgos is going to have to get a good lefty out in a tight spot. This is game 6 of 162, not Game 6. I know we all wanted a win but, jeez, calm down.

The Met coaches:
"I felt like it was a good outing," Burgos said. "The guy hit a good pitch."

"Willie wants to instill confidence in these guys," Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said. "Even though the outcome wasn't there, you gave somebody confidence. You trust a guy to get a job done."

"I'm not going to play every game like it's the World Series," Randolph said, which is of course the right approach. Perhaps, down the line, Burgos will reward him for such loyalty. Then again, maybe he won't.

I'd just like to say I wasn't solely using Monday's game as a barometer for what Willie wold in fact do in the playoffs, but it was just a microcosm of what I've seen from him in 2+ years as a manager of this club. Basically I see a disturbing trend and that did get lost in a lot of what I said since I did write about 1,000,000 words between Toasty's site and mine.

Count (aka David):

He said, if I remember correctly, that he had no problem bringing Burgos into a pressure-packed situation, because that is why he is on the team and he needs to know what he is capable of. He doesn't want guys who are scared or guys who don't come up big in big spots on his squad. I can appreciate that. The implication was that the game was important, but so was the season, and he needs to know what these guys can do.

That being said, and I "watched" yesterday's game on my Yahoo game channel only, but pitching to Howard there is a huge gaffe.

Anyways...good stuff and all good points. Now I hope the Mets get back to clean baseball free of controversy as the 1-0 Oliver Perez with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.71 WHIP takes on 0-1 Adam Eaton with a 13.50 ERA and and a 2.36 WHIP. While some people think this is a meaningless April series, I want to bury the Phillies and think that is important. After an off-season of this team talking shit, the Phillies get swept by the Braves and a sweep by the Mets would put them 6.5 games back behind the Mets before mid April. There are already articles about Charlie Manuel being on the hot seat and the Mets should go for the jugular and help send this team into a tailspin.

The interesting thing is how they thought getting rid of Abreu was a boost for this club, but getting rid of guy who can do it all is definitely a negative. Last season's late success was due more so to an insane hot streak by Howard and the Phils more than the lack of Bobby on the team. I think this season is going to show just how much they miss him during the long haul and though it is early, it certainly looks like people overestimated that team.

* * *

  • Duaner has a successful surgery.

    Mets reliever Duaner Sanchez had a hairline fracture in his right shoulder repaired today in an operation done at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Sanchez must wait 6-8 weeks before he can even start rehabilitation. He could be out for at least four months or even for the entire season.

  • Pete Becker thinks Reyes might be the most valuable fantasy baseball player.

    If you had the first pick in your fantasy baseball draft, odds are, you took Albert Pujols. Great. That was the right call; Albert Pujols is perceived as the most valuable player in fantasy and, as such, should be taken first. But will he remain No. 1?

    If I'd had the first pick in my fantasy draft, I'd have taken Pujols, too. Immediately afterwards, I'd have traded him for Jose Reyes plus whatever else my trading partner would feel necessary to compensate me for the perceived value gap. I would do this not because I believe he can't put up Pujolsian numbers again this year, but because I believe Reyes' numbers will prove to be more valuable. In fantasy, that's the only reality that matters.

    I'm not as smart as Pete and would have drafted Reyes #1 overall without thinking of the Pujols trade scenario, but it would have been hard to pry Reyes from anyone in an all Mets fan league. Of course this is fantasy baseball, but Reyes is still pretty valuable in real life.

  • Six homers and seventeen RBIs? After all the ripping on this guy and how much the Yankee fans and everyone has laid into him, I'm guessing a lot of people are quietly rooting for him. Even people that have made fun of him relentlessly (hint...that might include me). Of course him doing well is tied to the Yankees winning, so you can count me in as rooting for him extremely quietly.

  • Carlos Gomez continues to open up the season on fire and seemingly likes to hit in the PCL and Fernando Martinez opens the season with a 3 for 4 game.

  • Fernando kept it up with a 2 for 4 game with a homer, two runs scored, and walk in Binghamton's 4-2 victory yesterday.

  • Phil Humber had a bit of a rough start in Memphis' shellacking of New Orleans. He gave up four hits, four runs, one walk, and one homer in three innings while striking out six. Carlos Gomez went one for three and stole his fifth base of the season.



    Blogger Kenny said...

    I'm OK with the Burger pitching to Howard.

    I was more confused by letting Green take the AB and then pinch-running for him with Endy, with Alou still on the bases in front of him. Why not just go ahead and let Endy hit in that spot??

    Maybe I just don't know baseball and am too consumed with being awesome.

    9:38 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Maybe I just don't know baseball and am too consumed with being awesome.

    Isn't that the issue most of us face? It ain't easy being pimp and it sure ain't easy being awesome.

    But can we just focus on F-Mart, Gomez, and Milledge? Those are three top 50 prospect talents (though Milledge is not a true prospect anymore). I mean, that does not happen often. Three guys that young with that much talent an upside. Scary....

    10:27 AM

    Anonymous joe said...

    In case you didn't hear... MLB Extra Innings is free on Time Warner Cable through April 15th. I didn't realize it till last night.

    10:32 AM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Just some side notes for people to consider regarding monday's game:

    1. in the 3rd inning, Maine was struggling. He had runners on 2nd & 3rd, 1 out, Howard was at the plate. Willie let Maine pitch to Howard instead of walking him. Howard struck out swinging, and then Burrell poped out.

    2. in the 5th, Maine continued to struggle. He loaded the bases with 2 outs, the scores were tied. Willie called in Burgos to face a switch hitter Nunez. Burgos got a ground-out.

    My point: had Maine given up a 3-run shot to Howard in the 3rd, how many ways could you have found to question Willie's decision there of not walking Howard so that you can use your golded phrase "don't let their best player beat you"?

    Had Burgos given up a hit to Nunez in the 5th, what kind of stats you could have pulled out to show that Willie made a bonehead move there for not using someone else instead?

    Think about this: Is there a flaw in the way you judge a manager's decision?

    If decisions are judged on the results (Burgos' 3 run shot to Howard), then all decisions that didn't work out in your favor become bonehead moves and therefore the alternatives become possible good moves.


    11:02 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    In case you didn't hear... MLB Extra Innings is free on Time Warner Cable through April 15th. I didn't realize it till last night.

    This TV thing has been such a debacle. They could have done it right from the start. Not that it affect a majority of the fans, but it seemed kind of senseless from the start and leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. We all know it is a business, but we don't like to hear it. We don't like to hear MLB and the teams be driven by money (though they are) because it cheapens the game a bit and disenfranchises some fans. Hopefully they learn to put up a guise that it is a game for fans so more goodwill is created.

    Had Burgos given up a hit to Nunez in the 5th, what kind of stats you could have pulled out to show that Willie made a bonehead move there for not using someone else instead?

    That's the entire Monday morning quarterback scenario. Of course we can go back to failed situation and say it was the wrong move becase A) it didn't work out and B) who can prove you wrong unless you go back in time and implement your scenario.

    However, if you come here and read a lot, there were plenty of times last season an even in the playoffs when I did not fault Willie for moves that fans complained about so no, it is not a blanket statement made about every move.

    I'm sure most of us played sports through our lives and we all know that sometimes you make the right pitch or right move and still get beat. That's just the facts of playing games.

    But obviously we are passionate about our sports teams (I'd love to delve into this further about how grown men are so into game and get so crazed about it) and will discuss these types of events. By your accord, it shouldn't be something that is questioned or discussed.

    Obviously you are smart. I know that you can at least understand the other side of the coin in this case and see where other people are coming from. Personally, the first thing that came into my mind after that Utley at-bat was "uh-oh, I think the kid might be gassed". Then I started to think about possible scenarios, but with no one in the pen, I saw limited options and at that time, I thought it was the wrong move to let him face Howard.

    That was/is still my opinion. Of course there are plenty of times I go through that thought process and am completely wrong. I think good conversations about games and situations is what makes coming to these sites fun, no? Without that, what really is the point here?

    Regardless, I can certainly see where you are coming from though I don't agree with it and can see why you feel the way you feel and I'm assuming you can at least understand where we are coming from.

    11:17 AM

    Anonymous jake said...

    i think mike and metsdynasty basically agree about willie. i think this is often the case -- that two sides of a debate are closer than it appears. at least i know that i agree with both of you.

    "(I'd love to delve into this further about how grown men are so into game and get so crazed about it)"

    -- please do, i think this is the most ponderous thing about sports.

    a year or two ago i was writing a sports column in our local alt weekly and i amused myself by calling it "The Reluctant Fan" -- this was an inside joke with myself meaning that although i think pro sports are silly, i am nonetheless obsessed.

    of course, hardly anyone got the column title without me personally explaining it. plus, the column quickly morphed into me talking about how awesome the mets and redskins are (and how much my girl resents me watching sports about 350 days a year).

    the result -- a co-worker convinced me to change the column title to "The Manic Fan."

    But I was up and down about this, so I then started switching the title back and forth depending on what mood i was in while writing.

    back to being awesome.

    11:43 AM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    i just got done kicking myself about not realizing extainnings was free for the first week. And then I was wondering "Free until when?" Thanks for the tip. Now when are those income tax thingies due by?

    For me, the jury will be out on Willie until the guy delivers a WS or two. Not just for the tactical errors, but for some of the demotivating quotes I see every so often attributed to him in the papers. Until then, he'll just be a pleasant guy with a penchant for bravado who's luck it was to fall into managing the the first few years of a developing offensive juggernaut. For fans to be unpersuaded by his acumen is just natural if you ask me. Willie has only himself to blame: if you don't want to have to spend a few years shaking a reputation as a blockhead, you study the double switch really hard before your first game as manager in the National league, in the off chance you are asked to pull one off.

    2:28 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jake…you ever think about running for office?

    As for the article, I would be interested to see something extensive on the topic. I’m sure it’s out there and I won’t be able to add much to it since it should be someone who actually is in behavioral studies. I’m guessing there is a root as to why people get so crazy about something that really has no bearing on their life and is largely unimportant in the large scheme of things…it is afterall entertainment.

    But this extends to people crying at movies that we know aren’t real…or TV shows. It just begs the question why we get so immersed in it.

    Itsmetsforme…I did forget about those curious quotes by Willie about guys that aren’t ‘his’ guys. He seems to play favorites and did some very weird things to Kaz that sounds completely inappropriate for a manger to say about a struggling player.

    he'll just be a pleasant guy with a penchant for bravado who's luck it was to fall into managing the the first few years of a developing offensive juggernaut.

    Like Torre?

    3:12 PM

    Blogger Itsmetsforme said...

    bingo! without the bravado of course.
    As a refresher i quoted this on one or another of my sites from mets.com:

    "Bases loaded, 3-1 count, Valentin."

    The circumstances were these: Jose Valentin at bat with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the sixth, Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, score tied at 1. Endy Chavez had made his temporarily game-saving catch in the previous half-inning.

    Cardinals starter Jeff Suppan had a 1-2 count -- not 3-1 -- on Valentin. The Mets needed a sacrifice fly.

    "If we scored in that inning, I think we go to the World Series," Randolph said. "After Endy made that play ... I thought it was our time to win the game."

    Valentin swung and the Mets missed their chance.

    "Not to blame him," Randolph said. "That was one at-bat, one play. ... There was a lot of crazy stuff that happened in the course of the series. The big one for me was after Chavez's catch.

    "I think Jose got real big there. He wanted to be the hero. He'd had big hits for us all year. When you're in a situation like that, it's all about getting it done. And he tried. But you could see, he got real big."

    It's not a big deal, but why wait til spring training to single out players for being the goat of the previous year's playoffs, I wondered. Plus he picked the wrong goat, i mused.

    As a great sage once said, fucking ponderous.

    Which reminds me of my favorite Willie quote of all (i gather them at the deuce occasionally):

    “I feel like right now I’m the leader, so to speak,” Randolph said.

    7:11 PM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Yes, Mike. To be honest, when Burgos was facing Howard I was as nervous as hell and I also had a feeling that a HR was about to be served. After all, we fans don't ever want our team to lose or even trail in a game for that matter. So when it did happen, I literally shouted "Fuck!!!!!!!!" out loud in my room. It was extremely frustrating and I can understand why people wanted to rip Willie apart for letting him in there. So I know exactly how you and others feel about him because that's how I felt about him before.

    Willie makes a lot of moves that are irritating to us because it is as if sometimes he tries to lose the games that we want so bad. Subway series, for instance, I saw fans go as far as questioning his loyalty after we lost to the Yankees because he wouldn't pull Wagner and Soler out of the game until it was too late. It's perfectly reasonable for you to call those moves "curious", in fact, you are more than polite to use a such civil word to describe them.

    I never said that his moves don't irritate me because they do sometimes. Adults like you and me are so passionate about the team, we behave like little children during the game, LOL. What is different for me this year is that I can see things now from Willie's perspective which enables me to appreciate this team even more. So I appologize if I sound offensive yesterday because I would be a hypocrite if I don't admit that your feelings towards him are totally natural. I was very emotional only because I hate to see a guy whom I believe is doing a great job was so misunderstood.

    I will continue to explain throughout the season why I stand behind him and why some of his moves shouldn't be viewed as gaffes.

    Boy, tonight is a bad night for the Mets. In 10 years, I've never seen a pitcher lose it like Perez did tonight.

    Scary. I think Chan Ho Park is smiling somewhere.

    10:43 PM

    Anonymous two-by-four said...

    Criticize Willie? Hah! There are blogs where you would be fed to the cannibals for uttering such “nonsense.” Heresy!

    My feeling on the subject is that of the major sports, Baseball, Football, Basketball and Hockey (I take liberties in calling Hockey a major sport) the manager in baseball has less impact on his team than the head coach in the other sports. This is worthy of discussion but it’s 3:30 in the morning, I can’t sleep and I can’t think straight. So forget it. Anyway, it takes an incredibly bad manager to screw up a team and a genius (and I’m not talking about the pseudo geniuses out there) to squeeze out extra wins. Most managers, as does Willie, fall in-between. You can dissect all the moves you want but the Mets still won. A really sharp manager will have the largest impact in game managing in the playoffs but first he has to have a team that will get him there and be able to manage for the long haul during the season. In other words Willie is the least of the Mets problems.

    This is something inconsequential I noticed in last nights game when Ollie was having his problems. PLD was moving his target inside or outside, etc on each pitch depending on where he wanted Ollie to throw it. The problem was that Ollie couldn’t hit the target no matter where PLD put the glove. His pitcher was wild. Wouldn’t it have made sense to give Ollie a stationary target for each pitch for Ollie to hone in on? I would have liked to have seen PLD take a position in the center for each pitch. A target right down the middle might have made it a little easier for Ollie tonight. It would have also positioned the ump right behind the center of the plate and perhaps would have given Ollie a couple of strikes. With the control problems Ollie was having he wouldn’t have thrown the ball right down Broadway.

    3:39 AM

    Anonymous DG in dial up hell said...

    I'll take 2/3's of my games no problem. I expect Maine & Perez to have their rough outings. I also expect Spring to arrive in VT one of these days.
    But not today, folks! Snow and snow and hail and sleet. Yowza!

    It's mid-70'd in Paris and I'd rather be here. Glav's got eight to 300! And no way the Braves win 2/3's of their games when all is said and done!

    10:20 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Slight chance but imagine it´s late May and Glavine is looking for number 300 and Bonds number 755


    10:35 PM


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