Just Another Game
The Mets/Yankees series is a big deal in these parts. I do not particularly like it as I'm forced to deal directly with Yankee fans, but I somehow manage to make it through year after year. As for the teams, year after year they will claim that it's just another series and it has no extra meaning. Anyone buying that? Look no further than the Mets game against the Cubs today. Beltran? Resting. Wright? Resting. Reyes? Resting. Yes, Reyes and Beltran are a little banged up and needed a day off, but sitting everyone the day before the big series speaks volumes about needing your core to be rested and ready to go.
Throw on top of that the Mets using Vargas for seven and Burgos for two so they have a rested bullpen as well and you have yourself a pretty comfortable position in a series that does not mean much. The Mets also have Glavine, Perez, and Maine slated to pitch during the series and the Yankees are coming off of a demoralizing series in which they were just over matched by the Chicago White Sox. Does it all sound to good to be true? Actually, it does.
Yankee fans continue to be in denial and have broke out everything from your staff is unproven to you haven't won anything since '86 to Beltran looking at strike three last year to twelve straight playoff trips for the Yankees.... I don't care. I look at this team and I see a team struggling to do anything right. Offense, relief pitching, starting pitching...nothing is working. With the Yankees down, Randolph is smelling blood and wanted to ensure that his team was ready. Was he prepared to just throw away today's game to accomplish that? Possibly. It sure looks like that could be case. We know what bragging rights in this town means and we know Willie would like to show up his old team give more credence to the growing belief that the Mets are the best team in New York right now by taking out the Yankees this weekend.
Just another series? I don't buy it. Both sides want to beat their cross town rival badly.
You think this is a fluke, don't you? I think fantasy owners get way too caught up in what a guy did the previous season, for good and bad. Sosa nearly won an ERA title in 2005, and while his WHIP certainly didn't match his ERA in value, we could see this guy was hard to hit. Then in 2006, this guy was bad, very bad, allowing an unheard-of rate of home runs per innings. Now he's good again, but nobody believes it. Well, believe it! Sosa is in precisely the right spot to thrive, as is, apparently, Oliver Perez. Still think Leo Mazzone is the king of pitching coaches? Watch Daniel Cabrera in his next inconsistent outing. Rick Peterson has fixed Sosa and Perez. Just so you know I always practice what I preached, I grabbed Sosa in multiple leagues before he even got called up, and now he's 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and nine hits allowed in 20 innings. He's not filling in for Orlando Hernandez anymore, he's this team's No. 2 or 3 playoff starter, depending on how John Maine holds up. I think Sosa can win 12 or 13 games and keep his ERA in the 3.00 range, which is pretty good.
Yikes. Those are some pretty bold statements being inked in the above paragraph. I think the biggest surprise of the year, though maybe not to us Met fans, is how effective this rotation is. I truly thought Mike Pelfrey would turn into the ace of the team this year, but after what was a horrible stint with the Mets, doubts are creeping into people's minds as to whether or not he will even achieve front end status in this league. However, Omar Minaya being the shrewd and ever diligent GM that he is had plenty of fall back options in place and Sosa certainly has risen to the occasion.
While most of the New Orleans staff has been getting knocked around in the band-box that is the PCL, Sosa was outperforming everyone by a lot and has not looked back. Of course I'm not too sure what to make of it. I've watched him pitch and he certainly looks good and pitching in Shea certainly helps. But you if you look at what he's done since 2003, his track record certainly does not bode well.
WHIP ERA BAA HR/9 K/9So there you have it. Numbers to confound the mind. It is entirely possible he is a good big league pitcher. However, with a WHIP in the 1.50 area, he is hard pressed to attain ace status outside of an anomaly season. That being said, he has also been a guy that has had a good arm and never seemed to really find a good fit. What is really crazy is just how strikingly similar Perez and Sosa are. Not necessarily in age, but sheer performance.
2003 1.53 4.62 .278 0.98 5.04
2004 1.55 5.53 .259 1.54 8.52
2005 1.40 2.55 .241 0.81 5.71
2006 1.51 5.42 .292 2.29 5.72
Normally I would have to wait until midway through '08 to decide if he if for real, but if Perez and Sosa keep this up, I might just make up my mind a lot sooner. I certainly trust my eyes enough to see that they look like big league pitchers and I certainly believe that Rick Peterson is one of the best in the biz at straightening out guys with good arms and bad game plans. If I had to put money on it, I would bet that Perez and Sosa end the season a lot like they started it.
Jose Reyes: Speaking of running fast, Reyes is on pace for 96 stolen bases, which would be the highest total this decade. The last guy to swipe 100 bases in a season was Vince Coleman, and that was 20 years ago. Reyes is a far better player in every way, taking walks, hitting for power, scoring bushels of runs. I predict he'll steal 81 bases. The question isn't how good Reyes is, but is he the best player in fantasy? Fellow ESPN writer Pete Becker believes Reyes is the best, and certainly the slow start by Pujols adds credence to it. Reyes is currently third on the Player Rater behind only Alex Rodriguez and Jake Peavy. I predict he'll end up second to A-Rod.
Reyes is still getting as much love now as he was at the end of last season and it doesn't seem to stop. One of the hottest topics of this young season is who is best short stop in the NL? Us Mets fans have been crying it is Reyes while others have said Ramirez is better and now Hardy has joined in the discussion with his A-Rod-esque numbers. Stark had a quick and dirty way to go about it and of course, Reyes ran away with it. The competition is stiff, but Reyes is the best all around shortstop in the National League and possibly the best overall player to boot.
"Lastings wants to apologize to the Mets organization, to his teammates and to anyone that was hurt by his lyrics," said Arroyo. "It wasn't his intention to hurt anyone....He's going to make sure he uses better judgment in the future."
The sexually explicit song, "Bend Ya Knees," has been removed from the Web site souljaboirecords.com, and Arroyo said it was "just a demo" never meant for the public.
Milledge raps about "rich (N word)," "wealthy (N word)," a "top-notch ho" and having "a different bitch for every night" on the song with Manny D, a childhood friend who is signed to Milledge's label.
I hope that ends it.
Labels: mets vs. yankees