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

Monday, April 23, 2007

Willie Time™

Burgos-gate was revisited during yesterday's game. All the people that defended Willie for leaving in Burgos to face Ryan Howard had the rugged pulled out from under their argument. After facing three batters and getting through them rather easily, he yanked Burgos to have a lefty face the 'dangerous' Kelly Johnson after Shawn Green completely and utterly butchered what should have been a catch. To recap, Randolph let Ambiorix pitch to Ryan Howard in a crucial situation after throwing a lot of pitches and coming off a tough battle with Chase Utley but would not let him face a guy with a girls name after handily making it through three batters.

The thing that gets to me is the lack of consistency in regards to his moves. It is completely indefensible and extremely confusing why he handled each situation drastically different and made the opposite call of what he should have in each case. If he wanted the lefty vs. the lefty match up, why not use your guy who is more proficient at getting lefties out? Really, I like Schoeneweis, but bringing him into the game at that point in time was curious to say the least. All the people that defended Willie when he left in Burgos to face Howard to see what type of chops he had were clearly proven wrong when he yanked Burgos with a three run lead for a lefty match up. He goes against the book and with book in similar situations and I'm pretty sick of him using his gut. Maybe he should try some cognitive reasoning.

You could also say he wanted to to bring in the lefty so he had the favorable match up against Johnson and to also keep Chipper on the right side of the plate, but Jones bats well from both sides of the plates and really isn't susceptible to much. It also should be noted that Burgos is a fastball/splitter pitcher which makes him essentially equally effective against batters from both sides of the plate and he actually has been more effective against lefites his season than Schoeneweis. This loss rest squarely on Willie's inability to effectively navigate though situations that require some advanced managing. When this team is in cruise control, Willie looks great. When it comes time to make some in game strategical moves, he falls very short.

* * *

  • Oliver was stellar on Saturday and Willie was confounding as usual.

    "Just because he's a little erratic at times," Randolph said, trying to defend Perez's ups and downs, "that doesn't mean he's not consistent."

    Wait...what? Isn't erratic the definition of inconsistent?

  • Joe Smith was stellar as well on Saturday showing us what he is made out of with a huge strikeout against Andruw Jones with the bases loaded. I attended the game with a baseball novice and when Smith came in, I told her this will show us how big his balls are. She responded by yelling a "show us your balls" chant at Smith. As if that wasn't amusing enough, I was replicating the situation on Sunday for my friend and my seats are in the Loge in the first row where all the foot traffic is. As I was yelling it, a two foot tall child was walking by when I screamed it in his face and he had a bewildered look on his face that certainly had the appearance of some mental scarring happening. I'll never forgot that look as it is now etched in my brain.

  • You have to give this guy some credit for trying.

  • Jason Vargas got a bit touched up in his outing on Sunday as Milledge stole his fifth base and raised his average to .342 while Gomez stole his ninth base.

  • Mike Carp is a stud and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, two doubles, and his second homer of the year in Binghamton's loss to Trenton.

  • Francisco Pena continues to hold his own in Low-A.

  • It's going to be in the high 80's today in the city!!!!



    Anonymous Your Balls Are Forever Etched in the Mind of a Scarred Little Leaguer said...

    Well, Mike, looks like I was saying the same thing here in Paris at the same time you were rueing Burgos's removal at Shea(?). I would have understood removing Burgos had Green's botched catch being tattoed, but with the wind carrying to right, the ball while to the fence was still rather pedestrian. Johnson hits a two run homer off of Burgos, then you still have a one run lead and bring in a pitcher if you must, not on an error in everything but scorer's column only. It was one of those moments that Met history crawled up my spine like tiny pricks of goose-bumped inevitability. We can say one thing about the Mets, you almost always sense when decisions, moments, careers, etc., are going to unravel.

    We saw the same in moments last year, and I'm not exclusively talking about Willie's gaffe. Suddenly shoddy defense after six innings of serious prime. Relaxing mental acuity. Enough to just kill a man!

    Now I understand that Willie is enamored with learning about his new lefty, but the question most commonly begged in this vortex last night was why Willie did not at least call on Feliciano, who handled this type of situation with regularity last season? This was a good situation to go with what you know. Further, was our new super-Joe warming up in the pen? I did not understand how it made no sense to leave Burgos in against a lefty but it was fine to pitch a lefty against the meat of the Met killers. If you're going to get situational, then fucking get situational.

    While I will leave Wright to other gripers (but will note that he's looked awful from day one, streak or no streak), I must note that the Brave I'm most impressed with is Brian McCann. Good stroke and a good catcher. I'm near envious.

    Carp is a stud and so is Brett Harper too! I don't care if Andy Tracy has power. Harper should be at first in the Big Easy and Tracy should be DHing at Binghamton. Carp will eventually replace Delgado as long as he continues to progressl Harper will end up a decent pro in the AL; and Tracy will still be playing AAA at 38. If Harper has any value to the Mets, he has to be playing to field.

    Josh Thole (former catcher playing first), Sean McGraw (catcher playing right field) & DJ Wabick (first baseman playing left field) are all names to remember: from these parts came a Mike named Jacobs.

    8:28 AM

    Anonymous The Balls That Scarred the Little Leaguer said...

    Did you catch that bit about NO pitching coach Mark Brewer changing Jorge Sosa's arm angle in Adam Rubin's column today? Good job, but what happened to Rick Waits?

    Further, DJ Wabick if he ever gets to Shea (okay Citifuckingfield!) gets a loadfull of vintage scratching before he gets to the plate.

    8:38 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    these losses are pissing me off. ive accepted that chipper is gonna rip us. but losing a game where we rock smoltz but cant put a lid on kelly fucking johnson is fucking horrible. i know every team loses a few like this but i cant take it.

    i hope this doesnt turn into last year where most guys are super hot and the others are not. can i get something from my corner infielders?

    reyes is a fucking beast. he's gotta start being mentioned as one of top 5 players.

    is it safe to say that jeter is the 3rd best ss in nyc?

    how does arod keep having 9th inning abs? im a math major and the probability of that baffles me.

    9:35 AM

    Anonymous cpin said...

    Maybe Willie has made up his mind about Burgos since the Howard AB and it's to shorten his leash?

    I understand how you can reasonably argue that he's being inconsistent but couldn't you just as reasonably argue he's learning about Burgos and what he's learned has led him to re-define his role?

    9:59 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...


    Well said. It was such an great weekend for Met baseball and after Reyes just hit that three run triple, the place was going nuts…NUTS!!! And then that…the wind take out of the sails after they just touched up Smotlz. Rough loss man. It cut deep. I ended up leaving in mid 8th, and that was the first time I left early in quite a while. I couldn’t stomach it after the Mets fell three behind after such an amazing comeback.

    If you're going to get situational, then fucking get situational.

    Completely..Also, Burgos has handled lefties better!!!! If Willie is just seeing who has what type of chops, then see what Burgos can do against lefties since I think Heilman has some elbow issues. You can go both ways here in terms of seeing who has what, but I think pulling Burgos at that time was a bit silly. Scottie boy has gotten plenty of game time this year.

    McCann is the new bane of my existence. He’s so good that I have no other recourse than to hate him.

    Didn’t catch that about Sosa, but he’s been great for sure. With Vargas and Sosa in AAA along with Humber, you have to feel good about their depth, though I don’t think they’ll need it. It would not surprise me to see Sosa in the pen at some point this year when Heilman gets surgery. That tennis elbow thing seems to be lingering and you have to wonder if something is up with him….maybe he’s just out of it.

    reyes is a fucking beast. he's gotta start being mentioned as one of top 5 players.

    I think that is already happening, no?

    is it safe to say that jeter is the 3rd best ss in nyc?

    I seriously do not think A-Rod could even play short anymore. He seems like he has less mobility these days and profiles better at 3rd.

    how does arod keep having 9th inning abs? im a math major and the probability of that baffles me.

    Classic…I have no idea. And getting up with tons of men on base!!!!

    9:59 AM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da greece said...

    Big Bad Joe Smith. I can't wait to come home and see him in acion personally.

    I am incredibly excited about the Mets minor leaguers.
    Milledge? Stud.
    Gomez? Killing it and proving some of us wrong. He's producing.
    Mike Carp? Not the sexiest name but he just produces.
    Guerra and Pena? The real deals!
    Fernando Martinez? He's God.

    The mets lost 2 out of 3 to the Braves and are only half a game back? Heh, alright I'll take it I guess. I would have prefered dominance but its only a matter of time. The Braves bullpen just isn't that good. And injuries are sure to come up.

    And going back to the topic of minor leaguers, if the Mets need ANYTHING at all, at the deadline in my opinion they have some legit trading chips for an impact player.

    10:00 AM

    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    it may be happening. but its gotta be happening.

    arod can do whatever he wants. i think he has enough athletic talent to do anything.

    watching kate all half naked and shit with sawyer was fun. who could not take a shower so often and look so good. i can no see the method behind ur love fest last year

    10:04 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    but couldn't you just as reasonably argue he's learning about Burgos and what he's learned has led him to re-define his role?

    Absolutely, but if Willie is going to make a judgment based on one at-bat that came after a 12 pitch battle with on of the better players in the league, then he's 100% in the wrong. Ultimately, I would have pulled Burgos not for the lefty match-up necessarily, but being gassed in a big spot with a big hitter. I don't feel that Burgos vs. Howard was the wrong choice across the board, but it was question of did he have enough to get him out? If Willie felt good enough to leave him in there, how does he not feel good about leaving him him against Johnson with a three run lead when he was cruising? Burgos can get lefties out.....

    I would be less mad if he was consistent and I don't think he was thinking about the Howard at-bat because...well it was Ryan Howard and this as Kelly Johnson!!!! You do not treat Ortiz the same as you would treat Endy Chavez and you do not treat Johnson the same as Howard. I do not Monday morning quarterback here...If I take something up on Willie's managing, it is because at that point in time I did not agree with it. If I defend Willie (and I have), it is because I didn't see anything wrong with what he did.

    Believe it or not, I'm can be objective about Willie and I just think he was wrong and it scares me that there seems to be no rhyme or reason here. Burgos should have been left in, and if not, then Feliciano needed to come in if you wanted to do lefty lefty. The guys I was next to asked me if Feliciano had pitched yesterday. They were confused as to why he wouldn't get the call in that spot. It's not just me and it's not just looking back a day later. This was at the time and it looked weird to everyone else but Willie.

    10:08 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Big Bad Joe Smith. I can't wait to come home and see him in acion personally.

    He’s throwing frisbies out there Benny…Frisbies.

    We were just talking about Carp yesterday. He’s the real deal and I cannot wait. The Mets have young players where they need them.

    RE: Braves bullpen…Soriano has been shaky this year and Gonzo is injured. Wickman is eminently hittable. They are good, but not as good as this current Met bullpen that is strung together with a lot of no-names and retreads. Good job Rick…..

    they have some legit trading chips for an impact player.

    Precisely. If someone in the West would step up and possibly bury the A’s, they might deal Haren if Harden goes down, which is looking likely.

    Ossy, glad you have seen the light in regards to Kate.

    10:12 AM

    Anonymous cpin said...

    Any word on why F-Mart left the game afteer 3 ABs yesterday?

    I got to see him a half dozen times last season at Hagerstown & he glides like Beltran - makes everything look effortless BUT he missed a ton of time with a bum wrist. Hoping it's not a chronic condition.

    10:27 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Good tibbit on F-Mart. Haven't heard anything myself on him, but he has been struggling a bit lately, he might have a slight injury.

    We were just talking about the Mets future outfield during the game after Beltran threw a strike on the fly from center to 3b. Insane...the amount of talent that will be out there in two years. The cannons in every outfield spot. Simply insane. This team has some serious outfield depth.

    10:52 AM

    Blogger BookieD said...

    I agree whole-heartedly with your questioning of Willie's moves yesterday, but you have to lay a bunch of this on the bullpen guys themselves, who just didn't get much done yesterday (save for Sele). They had been so good up until then, that they deserve a pass on this one (though the timing really, really sucks). Even while second-guessing Willie's moves yesterday, nobody could have predicted that kind of implosion.

    Guess when we play the Braves, we should expect dominance from Ollie and garbage from Heilman?

    In terms of chips to trade, am I off base in thinking that we can actually get a deal done for Dontrelle? As I understand it, the Phish are deep in young arms, but are looking for young OF help, and that is something we have in abundance. I decided that if the Mets ever got Dontrelle, I would have to immediately run out and buy his jersey (including the home, away and alternate varieties).

    1:45 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I am not a big fan of bringing in Dontrelle for what he will cost. I just do not view him as being worth the huge bounty they will ask.

    RE: The bullpen, I'd agree that the players didn't execute and plenty of blame needs to be put on them, but I think it is the manager's job to put the team in the best position to succeed there were two better guys than Scott in that spot. For me, it was a weird move.

    2:50 PM


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