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

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Willie Proof™

The Mets recipe for success:

1) Let Willie scribble down the Mets lineup.
2) Let the offense spot the pitcher a bunch of runs
3) Have the starter go almost eight innings.

Simple! The three step process to the Mets success in '07. Watching John Maine pitch is just great and it is just nuts how he really does nothing too spectacular. His slider has become a nice pitch, but not overwhelming. His fastball is 90/91 mph, but it is sneaky and I love how he just throws it up in the zone. His off speed pitch is a decent offering, but far from Pedro-like. However, he simply gets the job done and has been doing it at a high level. He has the highest VORP this season out of any Met pitcher (Joe Smith is 2nd) and the Mets finally pulled off a trade in which another team's fanbase is thinking "what a horrible deal that was for us". The Mets have four legitimate big league pitchers that can win any game and once Pelfrey comes around, they will have a complete rotation.

Offensively, this team is pretty much firing on all cylinders. While Wright and Delgado are not carrying their weight (Delgado's homer tonight notwithstanding), there is no doubt they will come around and produce like they are needed to and it is good to see everyone else producing. Then you take a step back and look at the depth on this team and you have to feel good with Milledge and Gomez in the wings with Sosa looking great in AAA as a call-up for the rotation or out of the bullpen. From DG...

VP Tony Bernazard indicated pitching coach Mark Brewer has helped Sosa alter his arm slot, keeping the ball concealed longer so that batters find it more difficult to read and react to the incoming pitch. “He’s keeping the ball down,” Bernazard said.

While the 'experts' will point to the Dodgers long term stability this season over the Mets because of their depth, like their rotation, I think the Mets depth is over looked. If Delgado goes down, Green can admirably fill in at first with Milledge coming up into rightfield. Any outfielder goes down, they have the aforementioned Milldege. If LoDuca goes down, Ramon Castro will step and give the Mets arguably better defense behind the plate and let the man who is tied for 2nd on the Mets in homers get more hacks. If a pitcher goes down in the rotation or bullpen, you have Sosa and Vargas with Humber down the line.

There are only three spots the Mets are especially vulnerable, but you show me a team that has no vulnerabilities in terms of depth. While the Dodgers might have more premium prospects backing up their big leaguers, the Mets are covered just as well as anyone and are an extremely dynamic ball club. While some teams need to tread lightly and are teetering on the edge being one injury away from non-contention, the Mets are not one of those teams.

* * *


  • Burgos-gate II revisited:

    I was wrong when I said Burgos had better numbers against lefties, but that does not mean my position has changed. If Burgos is pitching well keeping his pitch count low, you leave him in with a three run lead and a guy on second to face the red hot Kelly Johnson. Also, it should be noted that Johnson has a .333/.459/.500 line against lefties this year with a .265/.390/.588 line against righties in roughly the same number of at-bats.

    Mets non-Wagner relievers vs. lefties:
    ======================================
    Schoenweiss vs. lefties .222/.300/.222
    Burgos vs. lefties .235/.350/.471
    Feliciano vs. lefties .111/.357/.111
    Heilman vs. lefties .667/.667/1.667
    Sele vs. lefties .286/.333/.714
    Smith vs. lefties .182/.182/.273

    If you were going match up and actually did some research, you would probably have left Burgos in with his success in that inning, his success with lefties, and Johnson's stats against lefties. The standard moves do have some caveats and Sunday's game appeared to be one of those instances. Furthermore, if you had a hard on to get a lefty/lefty match-up, it seems like a no brainer who you would chose.

    As for Monday's game, if Burgos had put runners on like he did against the Rockies, of course you would pull him in that situation. However, Ambiorix looked decidedly different on Sunday. Also, Gary Cohen had made mention of Willie testing his new guys early, but that is exactly what he didn't do on Sunday. So I have a hard time believing he actually doing that and is more so doing a lot of managing from the seat of his pants guessing a lot.

    Ironically enough, the post game of Monday's game was chock full 'o Willie love saying how happy Met fans must be to have Willie and Willie must be happy he waited to manage and learned the ropes in the meantime. Huh? Did they know about Randolph actually being offered a job and turning it down? It wasn't his choice. He was actually turned down by a lot of teams including the Mets two years before he got the job. Of course, things did work out for him because he inherited one hell of a team. I'm done harping on this topic....

  • Back to the Mets starting pitchers....they are now 11-4. All the teams that were considered the class of the NL in regards to their starting pitchers? Not sniffing the Met starting pitchers jock straps.
           Innings  ERA     K/9     BB/9    H/9     HR/9
    Mets 107.2 3.01 6.69 4.18 7.27 1.09
    Braves 113.2 4.20 6.26 3.72 9.03 1.03
    Dodgers 107.2 3.34 6.60 3.76 9.28 0.59
    Padres 106.1 4.66 5.84 2.88 9.90 0.51
    Not bad huh? Braves fans are crying about the Mets being regarded as the better team and point largely to their rotation that is much better in their eyes than the scrubs the Mets are throwing out there, but I think if everyone just looks at what the Mets have going on right now, a rational person would rethink their position in regards to the Mets rotation.

    Even better? The bullpen drastically lowers the team's ERA.
            Innings  ERA     K/9     BB/9    H/9     HR/9
    Overall 160 2.59 6.69 4.50 6.81 0.90
    The Mets team BAA is far and away the best in the National League out of any contenders and the only people who seem to grasp how good this Mets team is are the good people who do the Power Rankings for the sports sites around the web. The Mets were first or second on all Power Rankings on this dude's list with only Dayn Perry listing them lower than 2nd with the Indians and Diamondbacks ranked above them which immediately destroyed his creditability.

    Baseball Prospectus has them at the top as well, but senses a major correction from them.

    Off to the races: Jose Reyes is hitting .356/.457/.593 and running riot over the rest of the league, with four triples, eight steals, and 18 runs thus far. Elsewhere, the stat sheet has a few puzzles. David Wright is riding a 26-game hitting streak going back to last September 17, though he's yet to homer. And while the pitching staff has put together a league-best 2.40 ERA, their walk rate (4.65 per 9 IP) and the team's insane .778 Defense Efficiency Ratio suggest a major correction up ahead.

    Of course they will come back to earth, but they are still the real deal.

  • Carlos Beltran wins player of the week.

    Beltran led the National League with 27 total bases as the Mets swept a two-game series from the Florida Marlins and won four-of-six games last week.

    During that span, Beltran hit .448 with a .951 slugging percentage and a .484 on-base percentage. Beltran's 27 total bases included four doubles, two triples and two homers.

    In that same span, Beltran had 13 hits and nine RBIs, tying him for second-most in the National League.


  • Phil Humber won the PCL player of the week honors.

    ets prospect Philip Humber is already making a splash in Triple-A, winning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors after posting a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA in two starts last week.

    Humber struck out seven while allowing just two runs in 13 innings to earn the award.


  • A-Rod went deep twice to set a big league record for the fastest to fourteen homers. Unreal. Oh, and the Yankees lost are are half game above the Devil Rays and are one game out of sole possession of last place. Problems in the Bronx? Absolutely.
  • Labels:

    33 Comments:

    Anonymous DG said...

    Imagine the Flunkees record right now without ARod. Would they even have five wins?

    And Sosa did it again last night. He gave up one homer, but otherwise scattered 7 hits & 2 runs over 7 innings. 8 K's!

    I've got to agree that the pitching is far better than anyone gives the team credit for. While it would be nice to see the walks per nine lower, you really have to look at the numbers you present in the cumulative sense - the Mets are giving up 11.45 runners per nine compared with 12.75 (Braves), 13.04 (Dodgers), and 12.78 (Padres). No problem there at all!

    If Alou keeps it up, he's going to still be in left field next year, which is probably preferable to having two rookies surrounding Beltran. I still think it will be Milledge with Gomez getting at least another half year in Nworleans.

    Lastly, I cannot say enough about Stache in the 8th hole. When Willie batted him 2nd a couple of weeks ago, he looked woeful, but he clearly understands how to handle batting before the pitcher. In the event a Milledge or Gomez ends up in the outfield, Willie should bat them 7th. Does any NL team get more out of the 8 hole than the Mets?

    Fearless prediction: Deolis Guerra will spend his 20th birthday on the Met roster and who knows, may even pitch at Shea before it's gone (which would mean he'd be 19). I wouldn't be surprised if he finishes at Binghamton this year. Time are phat!

    3:54 AM

     
    Anonymous Petey said...

    From Mark Hale:

    Pedro Martinez's rehab from his torn rotator cuff continues to go very smoothly.
    "He looks great and feels great," Chris Correnti, Martinez's personal trainer, told The Post in a phone conversation yesterday, "and he's working extremely hard."

    Even though Martinez is in St. Lucie and away from the Mets, Correnti said his client hasn't been depressed or unhappy.

    "Spirits are good. He's just extremely determined," Correnti said. "He's really motivated and determined to get through this next phase of his progression."

    Martinez's rehab yesterday lasted approximately four hours, according to Correnti, and the righty is now throwing at 180 feet, an impressive distance. On March 23 the 35-year-old was at 75 feet.

    Martinez - who has suffered "no setbacks," according to Omar Minaya - will eventually move to throwing off a mound, though Minaya said that shouldn't be until "at least" June. The GM still projects an August return.

    5:25 AM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Moises Alou is batting close to .400 I know its not going to last all season but I just want to point it out. The man is a professional hitter and it was an amazing signing. I'm glad the Mets got him. Like I said about a week ago the fans are going to love him by the summer.

    Yankees not making the playoffs will make me a very happy young man. But its early but still. All thier pitchers are on the DL, suck, or just suck alot. THe GOlden Child, Phillip HUghes, starts for the Yankers on THursday against the Blue Birds.

    5:32 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    The Yanks have started like this before and pulled it together to make the playoffs. They are still an offensive machine, so even if they get below average pitching they would make a strong run. The pitching just has to be better than the catclysmic it has been so far.

    Alou's hands are still as quick as ever. He has really the strangest batting stance and swing mechanics of all-time, but man does he make it work?

    Jose Reyes stinks. 0-for-4? WTF? But seriously, David looks like a lost lamb at the plate. I'm not truly worried, he's too good to stink for the rest of his career, but I do worry how long this will last and how much of a media firestorm this will generate, and whether that firestorm helps to prolong David's troubles.

    Oh, and Milledge hurt his ankle yesterday, though it seems to not be a big deal and he is day-to-day, it warrants tracking. On another minor league note, Fernando! was pulled from a game for not busting it down the first base line. I still heart Fernando! and will chalk it up to a youthful mistake, he should be a senior in high school, after all.

    9:37 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Would they have five wins? No. We know they wouldn’t have had his two walk-offs with all likelihood. I think they are in more trouble than people believe. They are still given the benefit of the doubt and kept in the top ten, but if Andy keeps coming in for relief two days after he pitchers he might not hold up. It seems a bit early to be pulling that stuff and Proctor is going to be gassed again. We’ll see if they have staying power, but if the Orioles keep pitching and the Blue Jays keep it up, things could get pretty ugly.

    Yeah, and the other guys are not exactly the pinnacle of control. 3.70+ is not all that impressive and the Mets have 13 walks in two games which is skewing the numbers a bit.

    RE: Alou. I was thinking the same thing and he could certainly be put in a rotation with the two young-ins. There is no way a contender with rookie corners so I think it’s believable that he’ll be back for a bargain price and Milledge is still #1 on the depth charts, but Gomez is really not that far behind.

    In the event a Milledge or Gomez ends up in the outfield, Willie should bat them 7th.

    Of course, that’s the thing about Willie. Will NEVER happen. Milledge will be batting eight and I’ll throw a cool G down on it. I’m not a big fan of batting rookies eight and prefer vets there 10 times to one.

    Guerra still needs to work on his control. He is still walking too many people and he’ll go as fast as his control will let him. Good things happening with him though. He’s the real deal and the Mets have quite a trio of teenagers.

    Petey, good stuff. Missed that article or maybe it came after my post….I still am not banking on him at this point and am assuming we will not have him. But 180 foot long toss is certainly good news.

    Omar nabbed him for well under market price and did not have to commit to multiple seasons and holds the option for next season. Genius move. It just speaks to the atmosphere that is going on here and people wanting to be a part of this. At 40 or 41 (whatever he is), he would presumably try and squeeze what he can out of what could have been his best shot at getting a multi-year contract but he was amendable to a one year deal so he can try and win a championship and the guy just rakes.

    Hughes is good, but he’s not going to come in and toss a 3.50 ERA. He was struggling in AAA, he could certainly struggle in the AL East.

    9:43 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Danny, I do think this year is different. Their starting pitching and bullpen has not been this bad in tandem. Pavano? Igawa? Right now they are desperate for a dependable third starter much less a fourth and fifth. The thing is Mussina, Wang, and Pettite leading the rotation is not a formidable three in an offensively charged AL East. I think they are at greater jeopardy this season and Torre trusts no one in his bullpen. Andy instead of Farnsworth? Mariano for multiple out saves this early? Those are not the moves of a man that is comfortable with what is going on.

    ….and Alou wears no batting gloves. That’s pimp. I know eyechart did it, but when you don’t make contact, you cannot sting your hands.

    David is looking ugly. He looks like he’s pulling his butt out a bit. I really want a solid take from an honest to goodness scout and not a sportswriter. Keith Law maybe during his chat??? Is that today?

    RE: Fernando, he could be frustrated. Glad they pulled him when they did to nip it in the bud to show him it’s not tolerable.

    9:49 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I would like that to be true Mike, but they are getting Wang and Mussina back soon and that will help solidify their rotation. All is not lost for them. That offense is a wrecking ball. Trust me, I hope they continue to stink up the joint, but let's wait until the All-Star break and reassess then.

    I am sure Fernando! is frustrated. It's probably a byproduct of Omar speeding him through the system. I love that they nipped it in the bud. I want Miggy Cabrera without the feeling of entitlement.

    10:31 AM

     
    Blogger Toasty Joe said...

    Quick points:

    (1) The Stinkees would be about 2-16 if not for A-Rod.

    (2) D. Wright flying out to deep RF last night was a great sign. Mark my words.

    (3) Willie has his ups and downs, but he is managing the pants off of his counterpart in the Bronx this year.

    10:45 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Danny, Mussina is no ace at this point. Steady in a Glavine-esque kind of way, but there is a steep decline between the front and back end. Hughes is huge…I mean if King Felix can take a step back as he did last year, Phil might not be the immediate impact player they need.

    As for Wang, I also going to be skeptical until he proves it for a second season. He gives up too many hits and doesn’t miss enough bats which also concerns me about Pelf. Two swings and misses against the Nationals in 97 pitches? Ugh.

    Their offense is nasty, but I still think this is their toughest challenge yet. How many starts have they failed to even notch five? This bullpen is beleaguered already. I have my fingers crossed.

    Toasty, your words are markededededed.

    And Torre is not exactly a great benchmark for active managers. Let’s compare Willie to someone who actually has to do some double switches and the like. Torre’s handling of the bullpen has forever been a tall order for him. He is much worse than Willie, though Willie has been lucky to have dependable arms 1 through 7 which helps him greatly. Torre doesn’t have that.

    11:34 AM

     
    Anonymous DG said...

    Toasty, I thought the same thing about the fly ball to right. He kept his body in, a good sign.

    Willie outmanaging his mentor? Both should hire a bullpen consultant superguru or something!

    Mike, a top three of Pettite, Wang & Mussina is solid enough, maybe not as stellar as it would have been, say, five years ago, but still,.... Hughes will probably put up the AL equivalent of Pelfrey numbers at first, fine for a team with offense. I don't know if I can say this because I just hate the Evil Empire (and from the time I could think at that) but what's different is that the team just seems soul-less. There's no collectivety whatsoever, a sharp contrast with the Metties tight clubhouse.

    Yeah, I was happy to see that Petey update when I posted it earlier. I honestly woke up wondering why we hadn't heard about him lately (yeah, I know, I need a life!), then there it was in the Post.
    Question: is it thoroughly hypocritical to refuse to buy the Post (when Stateside) but to check the articles every day? Am I still further enriching Rupert? Regardless, I am beginning to think for the first time that we will see Petey this year.

    Guerra walked no one last night! He, Niese & Parnell make three nice prospects.

    11:35 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Good point on their soul-lessness, but that’s how it’s been for years.

    In regards to their front three….good? Yes. Does it match with Toronto’s, Boston’s, or Baltimore’s? No. I just think this is their toughest year and it is partially because of the improvement of all teams including the Devil Rays. In the past that might have been good enough, but this is not ’04. The level of competition is fierce and call me nuts, but Boston might be the only 90 win team in that division and they won’t clear it by much.

    88 wins for the Yankees and no playoffs? Maybe. I’m not saying they’ll suck…please do not confuse it for that. But they are going to lose a lot of games.

    You are still enriching Rupert, but not by as much. Take solace in that.

    I thought I saw Guerra with two hits and three walks in the fifth…I must be mistaken then. Parnell was a bit disappointing last year after his stellar Brooklyn debut. Hopefully he can become a good reliever or something. I’m not sure about his long term projectability as a starter. And as for Neise, I see him being used in a trade possibly. He’s that B level prospect that can help get a deal done. I’m not saying the Mets will actually need to make a deal this season necessarily, but I see him being used in the same manner as Gaby Hernandez was to get LoDuca (which yes…I was vehemently against).

    12:08 PM

     
    Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

    Glad I stumbled upon your blog. Great stuff here. Rickey approves. Keep it up!

    12:19 PM

     
    Blogger BookieD said...

    Mr. Met--You need not apologize for honest criticism of Willie. We know you're not bashing for the sake of bashing. Somebody needs to objectively evaluate his x's & o's, and SNY and the local papers sure ain't gonna do it.

    I'm afraid I'm with Danny on the Yankees question. Even if Pettite-Moose-Wang are not a super-formidable top 3, the Yankees score enough runs to only need a marginally good staff in order to win ballgames. Also, after they got Abreu & Lidle last season for a song, I am convinced that some team will come out of the woodwork to send whatever spare parts they need, at minimal cost, to enable the Yankees to make their postseason run.

    Don't worry, I buy the NY Post enough to offset all the haters on the web.

    1:37 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    mike, in ref to power rankings:

    after revamping the sports unfiltered power rankings over the weekend to include more than team vorp, we had the mets 2nd, with the red sox #1.

    this was the top ten:

    1. bos
    2. nyn
    3. lad
    4. bal
    5. sdn
    6. min
    7. atl
    8. mil
    9. nya
    10. det

    the rankings are based off of statistical info, not our gut feelings...

    i don't know if that list will make you feel better, but yes, the mets are an elite team in the league. that, i think we're both in agreement on.

    1:44 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I’m not saying it’s not a good front three, but they certainly won’t be dominant. They will lose their share of their games as will the bullpen and they still need to solve the back end. The AL East is markedly better top to bottom for me, I would not be surprised to see:

    1) Boston 92-70
    2) NY 88-74
    3) Toronto – 84-78
    4) Orioles – 79-83
    5) Tampa – 72-90

    I think this division is tough and I don’t think the Yankees will run away with anything and it will be tightly packed. Ultimately, I think the BoSox pitching (Daisuke, Schilling, Beckett, Lester) is much better than what the Yankees will be offering.

    Again, it’s not that I see a long and hard fall watching them degenerate to a sub .500 team, but they will fall just short of the playoffs and short of the AL East….that’s my bold prediction of the day.

    AE, Baltimore that high? Aside from Balt, I would tend to agree based on the talent on those teams and their current performance factored in. Boston is better than people are giving them credit for and their starting rotation is going to carry them a long, long way. Ellsbury is waiting in the wings to supplant Crisp if he doesn’t pick it up…Lugo and Manny aren’t really hitting. This team is going to be dangerous when it is firing on all cylinders.

    2:18 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    mike, i'm glad you picked up on baltimore. me and my esteemed colleague couldn't believe it either. however, it makes sense: baltimore has beaten up on tampa bay, kansas city, and a better team in toronto. our power rankings do not have a strength of schedule factor...as of today.

    a strength of schedule factor will be added in time for this friday's rankings...

    2:28 PM

     
    Blogger BookieD said...

    While we're all feelin the love, I checked www.coostandings.com and they show the Mets' Expected Win Total at 100.8, with an 81.6% probability of making the postseason and a 69.6% probability of winning the division (contrast that to 87.3 wins, 33.1% postseason and 15.3% division for Atlanta). For what it's woth, they have the Yankees at 92.2 wins and 42.7% to win the division, with Boston at 89 wins and 30.1%, respectively. The site uses the James' pythagorian standings and other models I probably understand less than the folks around here, and I do find the Yankees-Sox thing a little confusing, given that the Sox' run differential is currently 10 runs higher than the Yankees.

    2:29 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    AE, well have to say that yours is pretty good. I do think human element needs to be involved because a bad start by a good team will lead to some wacky figures or conversely a good start by a bad team. I think weighting VORP, strength of schedule, and possibly a few power rankings done by ‘experts’ will give you the truest yet. BPs is my favorite though because it primarily uses run differential, which really is a great indictor of dominance over the course of a season.

    The Red Sox/Yankee thing did confuse me, but I’m still blinded by the Mets prediction and don’t care!

    3:01 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    mike:

    for our power rankings we are using:

    1. total team vorp - to measure total team production to date.
    2. wpa (win probability added) - clutch numbers. to us, situtional hitting means something. if a-rod or anyone else hits a bomb when his or her team is up 10 or down 10 runs will not be counted so highly. just for a reference, if you look at the braves total counting stats, they are not so good. however, their wpa is through the roof because they are getting outs when they need them and they are getting key hits when they need them.
    3. pythagorean record - although total vorp should lead to run scoring/run prevention it is not always the case. using pythagorean record is akin to bp's run differential.
    4. a factor for strength of schedule which can be found on mlb rpi ratings.

    so after incorporating a weight factor for strength of schedule, i was surprised. the red sox through today have had the 3rd easiest schedule - even though they've played the yankees 3 times. the mets have the 11th toughest schedule to date - so after factoring in strength of schedule - the mets leap in front of the red sox and the rest of the top 10 remains the same.

    the orioles, have had the 17th hardest schedule and according to the stats are playing excellent ball. i guess the numbers don't lie. however, i think they'll be hard pressed to keep it up...

    3:21 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    From metsblog.com:

    Opinion: Willie's Tests


    ...posted by Matthew Cerrone...
    Following last night’s win, Willie Randolph had the following to say, when asked about leaving in Ambiorix Burgos, who let the bases become loaded in the ninth, following a quick visit to the mound…

    “Well, I trust my people all the time. It’s not about being predictable or going with the so-called ‘percentages,’ or whatever. This is a long season, and I like, during the first third of the season, to see what I’ve got; see what my guys are made of. I’m always challenging them, not just on the mound, but in the clubhouse, during practice, during games. I’m always conversing with my players and getting a feel for who they are.”

    …so called percentages…i love it…classic, willie…

    …in other words, between now and, say, the middle of June, you can expect to roll your eyes, pound your fist and essentially get bothered by randolph using all sorts of players in bizarre and unconventional roles, such as leaving Scott Schowenweis to pitch in the eighth, instead of using Aaron Heilman, or leaving burgos in the ninth with the bases loaded, instead of bringing in Billy Wagner, and so on…and, honestly, i have no problem with this

    …the thing is, with their offense, and above-average starting pitching, the Mets are going to win most series from most teams in the National League…so, when they play against the Braves, or Phillies, or Cardinals, how else will willie learn who can do what and when against the best competition, unless he actually tests people out against the best competition…it all makes total sense to me, and it’s why i try not to get too wrapped up in analyzing his every move at this stage of the season…because, fact is, i have no idea why he is doing what he’s doing, and i suspect few do…

    …in other words, just enjoy the wins and save your criticism for a) an impactful losing streak, or b) the second-half of the season, when willie’s testing period appears over…

    …trust me, it’s easier on your heart this way…

    3:36 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    actually, i'm not very bright sometimes. after incorporating strength of schedule, the dodgers leaped over both the mets and red sox (and the padres leaped over the red sox):

    1. lad
    2. nyn
    3. sdn
    4. bos
    5. bal
    6. nya
    7. atl
    8. mil
    9. min
    10. cha

    the end. tune in friday for the updated power rankings.

    3:38 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    AE, I’m impressed man. It sounds pretty tight. The Yankees are 8-11 so that doesn’t exactly help Red Sox out.

    Mets are the class of the bigs…but we knew that. They are legit….again.

    I saw Willie’s post-game….

    how else will willie learn who can do what and when against the best competition, unless he actually tests people out against the best competition

    Then why not let Burgos face a lefty who is hot? Wouldn’t have hurt if he imploded.

    Again, I have no problem if that was in fact what he was doing, but he is all over the place. He’s trying to keep the opposition off their toes? How? By creating favorable match-ups for opposing team? Although, that might created head games for them because they’d be so confused and not know what he was doing.

    I have no problem with trial by fire which is what has been done with Smith, but I’ll say it again, if you leave Burgos in against Howard, how do you not comeback and test him against another tough (at this present time) lefty? The inconsistency drives me crazy and I don’t buy into the fact the Mets will roll enough to just throw a few games away. This team is a well oiled machine and should be run that way. No reason to make silly decision after silly decision just because it is early. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but this Brave team is for real and the Mets should play the game the RIGHT way until they have some distance and then you can ‘play around’ in tight spots.

    Again, challenging you players is all well and fine, but then do that! Don’t pull them with a three run lead when they are doing good! Then the next day he leaves him in? WHY NOT JUST LEAVE HIM IN ON SUNDAY TOO! I find it hard to believe Willie has a clear cut idea how to handle a bullpen. The problem is, he talks a good game afterwards and though he says doesn’t quite add up to his actions, people take what he says and agree.

    I’m not agreeing and he needs to manage the right way. You don’t see guys like LaRussa making bizarre moves. I don’t think it’s in their blood. They manage the way the game should be managed game 1 to 162. How you would do anything otherwise is beyond me.

    And let me get this straight…I don’t care about Heilman sitting out an eighth inning here and there for Burgos and Schoenweiss…that’s not it…it’s these bizarre non-switches or switches and then saying something else. FACT: Joe Torre and Willie Randolph have bad bullpen management. If people want to chalk it up to Willie challenging guys, then fine. I’ve never seen that happen before…why doesn’t every manager just say they are challenging their players when they do mind boggling things?

    4:03 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Honestly? I have no issue with the Dodgers being #1. they are a good team.

    I'm not a Braves fan who assumes their team should be blindly ranked first because of circular logic....

    The two best teams in the NL looked like the Dodgers and the Mets and that is exactly the way it has played out. Some teams in the AL got a slow start and that is factoring into the heavily speckled NL presence in the top ten. Do people think the AL should be nine of the top ten? Maybe, but also just maybe the NL is not as bad as people think. They have done well grabbing their share of world championships lately.

    4:22 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So according to you, La Russa doesn't make bizarre moves?
    LOL, Tell that to the Cardinal fans.

    It's all the same no matter who manages. You don't think the cardinal fans question La Russa the same way you question Willie?

    Check out this site when the Cards are playing:

    http://www.forums.mlb.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?webtag=ml-cardinals

    You will find plenty of similar analysis against Tony.

    4:47 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Alright…bad example. Bonehead moves are done by everyone. I’ll concede that, but some more often than others. It could easily be argued that Willie had a large part to play in two of the Mets six losses. Bad percentage. Small sample size of course in ’07, but I’ve seen enough of him doing stuff like this back to ’05 to not be overly optimistic or chalk this up to experimenting. It should also be noted the Mets have two young guys in the bullpen who are unknown quantities. The rest have pretty extensive track records....

    I am of the mind the manager should not be making the game harder than it already is. Some guys like Valentine are too smart for their own good and make too many moves trying to out strategize everyone. The guy could recite the rule book and has called out umps on rules they didn’t even know.

    Willie? Not so much.

    5:21 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Willie did an amazing job in 05, yet you use it against him.

    In 05, Beltran batting only .260 with 15 hrs, Reyes was hurt, no delgado, no bullpen and the Mets finished above .500 for the first time in 5 years.

    Doesn't matter how you spin it, Willie's record speaks for itself.

    I doubt anyone could do it better than Willie in 05 with the kind of team he was given.

    You can aruge the game decisions all you want, but I see this type of analysis on every single manager out there: La Russa, Scioscia, Cox, you name it. Don't believe me, just check out other teams' message boards and see for yourself what fans say about their own managers.

    After a while, you just realize that it is really about the fans rather than the managers' decisions.

    I am not implying that every manager is right and the critical fans are wrong. I just like to point out that fans tend to be critical to managers or coaches regardless how good they really are and thus they are usually underappreciated.

    In this case, I don't believe your analysis on Willie is totally objective. Speaking from my own experience, I can never be totally objective about someone when I am angry at him or disappointed by what he's done.

    Just my 2 cents.

    6:07 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    "Anonymous" - you are kidding right? I can name at least one manager who could have done a better job in 05 than Willie and that would be Bobby V. Bobby valentine brought two teams to the playoffs in 99/00 on lesser talent than Willie had. Yet, most of NY "settled" for just over .500, considering we hadn't been there in a couple of years.

    Furthermore, I think Art Howe could have done a better job. At least he could handle a bullpen, sort of, maybe. OK not really, but there were winnable games in 2005, games that could have meant the postseason that year too.

    As for reyes being hurt in 05 - who said that? According to what we've read it was BELTRAN who was hurt all season and never let anyone know about it.

    If you're going to come in here and slam people for questioning Willie, at least get your facts straight.

    One thing I will give Willie is that the players like to play for him. But we are absolutely right to question his inconsistent at best usage of the 'pen. Who said anything about being angry with him? The mets won last night, Oliver Perez won on Saturday, life is goooooood. Be happy.

    7:27 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    '05 was amazing for Willie? Wow...obviously we differ in opinions. He is one of the worst in game managers I've seen manage this team. He's not Art Howe bad, but he is not too far off. The big difference (and this is not small) is the way he gets the players respect and can handle the media.

    Howe had nothing there.

    I doubt anyone could do it better than Willie in 05 with the kind of team he was given.

    I actually do not think that team was so bad. A Cy Young good Pedro? David Wright was spectacular, Cliff Floyd carried the team at times...Jose Reyes was finally healthy..Piazza and Castro combined to be one effective catching platoon offensively...Mike Jacobs was Ted Williams for a week and notched them some late wins. They had two really good starters and two pretty effective ones.....Heilman arrived as a force from the...Roberto was great.

    They were exactly what you thought they were. The 3rd best team in the division. If you consider a third place finish with that team amazing, you do not have very high expectations. Take a look at the players they had and then take a look who finished below them. How someone could have done anything other than 3rd at worst would have been beyond me.

    As for me not being objective, I believe I am being objective. I've been sitting in the same spot for three seasons now and talk to the same people. They have no axe to grind with Willie and don't know of my disdain for his in game decisions. They were just as confused as I was.

    Coop does bring up a good point. Take a look at that outfield...the production...the entire staff of '99 and '00. '05 was arguably a more talented team.

    I liken Willie to Torre in the fact he is a tremendous manager when he can just sit there and let the game unfold and his players do their thing. But when it comes time to really scratching out a win and making the right moves, I do not have the utmost confidence in his abilities. I do however have the utmost confidence in Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Delgado, etc. to do their thing.

    Please come back and let know when he makes some great moves instead of contesting times when I think he was flat out wrong. If you think you are correct about Willie being a great manager, let me know over the course of the season when he shows off his managerial prowess.

    8:32 PM

     
    Anonymous Josh said...

    I haven't been as critical of Willie as you have consistently, but he just made an inexplicable decision to put Castro in for Alou after pinch-running for LoDuca in the bottom of the 11th. If you want to take out Alou, bring in a new pitcher right away and slot him there so he can work more than one inning. Now they will have to pinch-hit for Joe Smith and use up the rest of the bench (Newhan). If you are going to take out Alou this is the ONLY way to do it. Otherwise, if you just HAVE to have the lefty pitch to Helton, put Castro in the 2 hole so you still have Alou's bat in the lineup. I can't understand this move at all.

    10:35 PM

     
    Blogger Coop said...

    Well it became a non-issue josh...which is why Willie doesn't seem to get called out that much.

    10:54 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Josh...great stuff and Coop great assist.

    True on both accounts. I'm not sure how people cannot see this stuff.

    11:00 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Let see... some other people who don't see "this stuff":
    NL writers who voted Willie 2nd best manager last year. John Heyman of SI who just listed Willie as the 8th best manager (and climbing) in all of baseball. The SNY crew, who rave about him (and they are never home team schills like those on YES). Keith Hernandez, who most of revere for his thorough understanding of the game. The players, who to a man love playing for him. And Omar, who signed Willie to a very nice extension in the offseason. Never mind the evidence, such as his excellent W-L record, great record in 1-run games, outstanding track record with developing young players, and the number of role players who have played better for Willie than anyone else in their career.

    People who don't like Willie:
    A handful of Mets fans who watch every game, want to win every single game, and blame him everytime we don't.

    Yup, some of us need to open our eyes alright.

    1:23 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    John Heyman also wanted to trade Reyes for Soriano.

    9:18 AM

     

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