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

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All-Star Thoughts

Every time Eric Karros opened his damn mouth I wanted to throw my remote through my TV. The look on his face, the way he said things thinking he was making some profound statement each time, his overall tonality, and his lisp all contributed to my desire to chuck electronics.

I'm not sure why, but the break between them announcing Paula Cole singing God Bless America and the seemingly half hour from the announcement to the commencement of the singing to watching her sing it made me want to scratch my skin off.

Willie Mays throwing out the first pitch to Jose Reyes? Swellicious. Then he signs it and gives him the ball. Swellicious to the Nth degree. Jose is growing up so fast {sniff…sniff} and is an uber star.

While on the topic of Willie Mays, 24 All-Star games? Just insane.

Can they just stop trying to place importance on this game? Just let the guys play. I still like to watch the All-Star game to see some guys I do not get the chance to and isn’t that the point? I don’t know that you are going to get the players to really care more or less than they do by saying home field advantage goes to the winning league. Is it a HUGE deal? No, but it annoys me and isn't that all that counts?

The Mets were representing in full force (with the exception of Wagner). Reyes, Reyes, Reyes! First the single, then the steal, then scoring from second, then showing off his rocket arm, then cuing one to make A-Rod look silly, and another hit. He was an MVP candidate for sure if the NL could have held onto the lead.

Wright’s play in the first inning was swellicous and Beltran knocking a triple was great, but he might have hit the 2nd in the park homer in All-Star game history if he wasn't watching his majestic shot.

Speaking of in the park homers, I'm sure you know that Ichiro hit the first one in the history of the All-Star game last night. Ichiro was just awesome to watch and getting a chance to see why he is so great with my own eyes is precisely why I enjoy the All-Star game.

Johan's change-up is so good it made me shed a tear.

Alfonso Soriano has big time opposite field power.

So let me get this straight. Bases load...down by a run...improbable comeback in place...LaRussa miraculously has one of the best hitters of our time on the bench because he held him back and said he would play him anywhere if necessary...and he lets Aaron Rowand come up to end the game? I like Rowan's moxie as much as the next baseball fan, but can we all exhibit some common sense here? I think Tony was trying to sabotage the NL's chance for a victory. Really nauseating. Almost as nauseating having to listen to Buck and McCarver for three hours. Almost...

I guess there is always next year.

* * *

  • Some Mets talk on a BP chat:

    Amos (New York): Easley, Valentin, and Gotay have all had their uses for the Mets this year, but do you think it would behoove them to go after someone like Orlando Hudson in the offseason?

    Marc Normandin: A friend of mine who is a Mets fan thinks Valentin has reached the limit of his usefulness due to his injury; it's hampering his range at second, which was his greatest qualification for keeping a job if/when his bat expired. Finding a new second baseman should be in the plans, but I'm not sure about Orlando Hudson. Defensively he should be all there, but I wonder how much Arizona raises his value as a hitter


    Love the stache, but starting to hate the player again.

  • Also from the above chat:

    realhack (thomasville, ga): I am in a very deep, 12 team H2H league. Injuries to my pitching staff have taken a huge hit, still I am in contention. Josh Johnson and Smoltz are the latest casualties. What can I expect from the two of them, and who are some candidates likely to be available who I could pick up to make up the slack? Thanks for your help.

    Marc Normandin: I have Josh Johnson, John Smoltz, Ollie Perez and Bill Hall. Sigh. I'm probably just going to sit on the pitchers I have, because my free agent pool has been totally ravaged. Really. Someone picked up Brian Bannister, and I felt jealous for their find.
    Ooh, wait. Better answer: "I haven't really seen enough of your team to know what it is you need. Maybe if I talked to the owner one-on-one, or avoided answering your question at all. Sign Dave Concepcion."


    Reminds me of the 100 team league we have going on for this site. I'm languishing at the bottom and there is NO ONE to pick up. Everyone is literally gone and it is scary to see the guys that are getting picked up in this league.

  • Oliver Perez shut down some high school kids in his first rehab game.

    Mets left-hander Oliver Perez made his first rehab start today with four scoreless innings in a game against the Gulf Coast Dodgers.

  • In stark contrast to what Keith Law said the other day, an American League scout was gushing about Deolis Guerra.

    2. Deolis Guerra, rhp, Mets

    “Just unbelievable stuff with great life and movement late in the zone,” an American League scout said. “His breaking ball is very good right now, but it has a chance to be plus-plus. He pounds the zone, repeats well for a big-bodied guy, and really has a chance to be special.”


    In Law's defense he did have three of the same names on the list in regards to the best pitchers. Also, in one inning of work, a few people can see a few different things, but the main issue with Guerra would relate to his velocity and Baseball America did not speak to that. Either way, he's a young kid who is a long ways off from the bigs and has plenty of time to sharpen his skills.

  • I did enjoy The Bronx is Burning and apparently it is realistic.

    Jeff (Iowa): Did you watch The Bronx is Burning last night? If so, what did you think of it?

    SportsNation Goose Gossage: I think it was very close to how realisitc it was. The characters seemed very real. Billy Martin was exceptional. Thurmon Munson, I thought I was looking right at him. I went to the premiere of it and I thought it portrayed it just like it was back in the day.


    Good to hear that from Gossage because I was wondering how much was based on hard facts and how much was sensationalism.

  • Rob likes Willie.

    Floyd (Los Angeles, CA): If you could choose anyone to manage your team for the next 10 years--given the advancing age of guys like Bobby Cox--who would you choose?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: (12:09 PM ET ) Tough question, but I will say that Willie Randolph is one of my top candidates.


    ...and...

    Russ (Merrick, NY): Not to nitpick, but WIllie Randolph gave two innings each to Scott Schoenweis, Aaron Sele, and Guillermo Mota in extra innings before allowing Billy Wagner to pitch. What makes him such a good manager?

    SportsNation Rob Neyer: (12:27 PM ET ) I like the cut of his jib, generally.


    This is a hard thing to pin down for someone who doesn't watch a team all often, but it does bear noting. Also, a lot of times people will hear Willie talk (and he does talk a good game) and look at the Mets success and assume he is in the cream of the crop in regards to coaching talent.

    But they do not see his insistence in using Franco as his go to guy amongst other things. Also, Neyer probably missed that the exact same thing he criticized Torre for the other day when Willie did it in the Mets seventeen inning win over the Astros (I think someone on Toasty's site pointed that one out). Either way, the great internal debate in my head burns on.

  • The Mets new Citi Field might be host to the 2011 All-Star game. They really need to get one while Wright and Reyes are in their prime so two of baseballs brightest will have their time to shine in front of their home crowd.

  • Though the Nationals were better than expected, they should sell everything that isn't nailed down. Even Ryan Zimmerman could be available in the right deal if you go Billy Beane's theory that no one is untouchable, but here are very few players that should not be dealt down in DC.

  • Lastings should be in left field for the Mets on Thursday and I fully expect him to go off. More thoughts on him tomorrow...
  • Labels:

    16 Comments:

    Anonymous benny said...

    Eric Karros is an ugly man. And his half-assed lisp is probably the worst part.

    I <3 Ichiro, the man is a rockstar. One of my favorite players. What do you guys think, with only 6 seasons played so far, potential Hall of Famer? I think so!

    Tony LaRussa is a fucking jerkoff. It's not even about homefield advantage at that point, its about, good ol' fashioned fun and ENTERTAINING baseball! That's a dream matchup/situation!

    C'mon Mike, the league isn't as deep as last year was, this year you can pick up Tad Iguchi! Johnny Damon was just dropped! Holla!
    Your just mad that you kinda sorta suck!

    Goose Gossage is having a chat on ESPN, and gave a very positive answer to a show being produced and shown on ESPN. What do you guys think? haha.

    Personally I can't wait for next year with the All-Star game being held in New York at Yankee Stadium. TRY real hard to get some all star tickets, homerun derby tickets, and if not, ATLEAST attend fan fest. Maybe we could all meet up and by then I'd be old enough to go out for a couple of cocktails, what do you guys think?

    I still love believe and have faith in Lastings Milledge.

    2:32 AM

     
    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    I don’t feel like I am going out on any limb saying this: Lastings is going to be good this year. Look at Delmon Young, Elijah Dukes, and even Josh Hamilton (a couple of years ago) – those are young players with problems. Lastings has done very little wrong. The high fives after his homerun? BFD. The pussy ass Giants should have hit him or knocked him down with a fastball the next time they saw him and quit their fucking whining about it. The press jumped on it and made it so much of a bigger deal than it was. His cockiness – yeah, can’t have any of that. We don’t want to repeat any of that nightmarish cockiness like we had in 1986. OK, he did some dumb rookie stuff last year and highlighted (imo) by showing up for a game way too late, but I see all that put behind him. He has made efforts to grow up and it shows. The hip hop thing? Give me a break. If the NY press wasn’t looking for him to do something (anything) it wouldn’t even be a story. All you Lastings bashers better jump on the bandwagon now. Swallow your pride and embrace the inevitable. I’m not saying he’s going to be the savior of a rather complacent Mets team right now, but he will give them a boost. I can easily see him getting 10 dingers, 30 ribs, and 10 steals this year (assuming Willie makes him “earn it” and hits him 8th). That, plus Pedro’s presence, could really help turn the season around. Omar is smart and I don’t think he has ever come close to trading Lastings. The press and numerous ”unnamed baseball executives” can kibitz all they want (and they do) about trading Lastings but, in reality, I doubt that it has ever been seriously discussed. Omar knows baseball better than any of us. He knows who his best young outfielder is and his name isn’t Gomez. The Lastings bashing has irked me since it began and I am looking forward to him shutting you all up (you know who you are). OK, I’m done.

    7:48 AM

     
    Anonymous sidd finch said...

    Benny, I hate to rub it in, but when I went to college, the drinking age was 18. I always thought changing it back to 21 was stupid.

    8:57 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    And don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think I can be a commentator or would actually sound good on TV, but aren’t there tons of people to choose from without a lisp? It’s not even like he was providing valuable insight, which should be first and foremost when getting a commentator for the All-Star game. I think they should bring in the best from around the league instead of these once a weekers.

    I actually don’t mind Jeanie Z. and the other dude who’s name is escaping me right now. They actually seem like they look stuff up and prepare themselves.

    RE: Ichiro in the HoF…yes. Absolutely. The man has a shot at 3,000 hits and came into the league six years late or so. When you look up his entire body of work, there is no way you can leave him out. He does so many things well.

    RE fantasy baseball: Oooo Damon? I’m deep enough in the outfield. Besides, he already was picked up. I do suck, but there is really not many useful players out there.

    Yes, Gossage could be a homer, but I don’t think they told him to say a positive things about the show or else. It was one question in a chat…not an article review.

    Homerun derby tickets were $175 in SF I believe and you can forget All-Star game tickets. With many already taken by MLB, the most season tickets sold to fans out of any other baseball team, and a going away party of sorts for Yankee Stadium, think Mets opening day tickets x 1,000,000 in regards to getting All-Star tickets. Forget it bro unless you are thinking about plunking down enough for a downpayment on a house.

    If anything though, Homerun derby might doable.

    Well said Metsfanincincy. Cockiness in the right manner is good and if given a chance to produce, Lastings should. But with Newhan back around….you never know if he’ll even see playing time…kidding…kind of.

    9:14 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    I watched the Futures game. Guerra has a good, moving fastball that was sitting in the low 90s. Law says in one breath that the gun was fast, but then with all of the pitchers he liked, the velocity readings were consistent with ESPN's. But with the guys he didn't like, the gun was fast.

    I didn't see Guerra's curveball as great, though. He has a lot of work to do with it. He threw one of his curveballs to the backstop. His changeup is really good, with a downward movement and 10-12 MPH differential from his fastball.

    Guerra has a nice, fluid motion and a great body. I am still very high on him.

    10:25 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    There's not reason to be down on him, but the Mets have been moving their top prospects quickly so people do get disappointed when Fernando isn't hitting .330 with ten homers.

    It comes with the territory of challenging young players.

    10:39 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    My main point was not to put too much stock into the velocity ramblings of Keith Law. He said in his article the gun on TV was probably 5 MPH fast, and so Guerra was actually only throwing 87-88, and not 92-93.

    If that was the case, then Clayton Kershaw and Joba Chamberlin only throw 90-91, Kevin Mulvey only throws 84-85, Emiliano Fruto was throwing 83-84 MPH, etc etc etc.

    It seemed like he picked and choosed who the gun was fast for. If he liked the guy, the fastball velocity he cited for them was consistent with the ESPN gun. But with a guy like Guerra who he didn't like, the gun was fast.

    Guerra doesn't throw in the high 90s or anything, but he has a good fastball with life. The homerun he allowed was on a 3-2 changeup that was down. Tip your cap to the hitter.

    10:50 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Good stuff as always Danny. Law's readings do corroborate with BA's as well. They listed him as having an 88-90 mph fastball that touches 92 (as I've always read). I cannot speak to the other guys and radar guns are always a bit over as well as many scouting reports (Pelfrey and Humber throw hard, but not as hard as purportedly to have thrown)

    Also, they are still optimistic about him picking up a few ticks which still may be the key to his future success as a starter.

    Weaknesses: Guerra's curveball is below average. He lacks confidence in his curve, and it has poor rotation and depth. The tilt and velocity on his breaking ball changes as he tries to figure it out, and it's possible it could morph into a slider. His delivery is repeatable but too slow and mechanical.

    The Future: With a little more velocity and an average curveball, Guerra would establish himself as an elite prospect. Time is certainly on his side, as he'll begin the season at age 17, making him a safe bet to be the youngest player in the Florida State League.


    It really seems Law echoed what BA said but without any tact or regard to his young age. I still stand by what I said before…if he doesn’t pick up some velocity, he might just end up on the bullpen. And as BA said, if he picks up some speed and refines his curveball he could be special.

    11:34 AM

     
    Anonymous Danny said...

    Is that what BA said about Guerra before the season started? The reason I ask is because when Guerra came to spring the Mets were very excited because he had gained a few ticks on his fastball during the offseason. In fact, BA was one of the outlets that reported on it.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/blog/prospects/?p=124

    Velocity readings are always really sketchy with prospects, what with the conflicting reports and what not. And I certainly agree with your premise that Guerra can't be considered an elite prospect unless he's sitting in the low 90s with his fastball. I just think he is a lot closer to that than Keith Law does. And so does BA, apparently.

    The guy is huge and only 18, I think the Latin players are much more likely to gain velocity in the 18-20 age range because they didn't start training programs at the age of 14 like most US-born high school pitchers did. I think there is a good chance his fastball gains another few ticks in the next season or so.

    If it does, we certainly have an elite prospect. I'm excited for that possibility.

    11:50 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yes it was before.

    From your link...

    “His arm speed is there with the changeup and it’s a plus pitch,” Bernazard said. “His curveball is coming along. It’s got good tilt and break to it now, and it’s where he can throw it for a strike. He’s using it more often now than he had before.

    “He’s still growing into his body as a 17-year-old, but he’s got three plus pitches. You’ll see him maybe get slow with his delivery at times, but it’s all part of the progression. And we feel like he’s progressing really well right now.”


    It sounds like he has stepped it up then this season. Well, if he's really throwing 94-95 mph then that would be sick. That was also off secondhand remarks from Guerra's team so I'm really excited to see what they will print about him after the season from an unbiased scouts point of view.

    Mulvey and Guerra might just pass up the other two next season if everything shakes out right for them...not that I think Pelfrey and Humber are bad, but I think those guys could be that good. I'm pretty happy with Mulvey's repertoire at this point and really interested in him getting a shot at AAA soon.

    12:04 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Sidd, I am incredibly jealous of that. Whoever decided to make it 21 is an evil person. It sucks to have been in Europe for the past 8 months, be able to drink WHATEVER i wanted no questions asked and then coming back here and feeling like a useless kid again.

    Alright I guess I can forget the HR Derby and the All Star game, those games aren't that important anyway. I'll be satisfied with the Futures Game which is probably the coolest of them all anyway.

    The dya after the All-Star game is the worst day in the entire season. There is absolutely NOTHING going on...

    12:24 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Oh Benny, there are plenty of places you can drink at in the city. You just are not looking hard enough!

    Alright I guess I can forget the HR Derby and the All Star game, those games aren't that important anyway. I'll be satisfied with the Futures Game which is probably the coolest of them all anyway.

    I kind of like them all. I have been starting to like them more recently.

    As for the day off, I’ve very much enjoyed the time to try and catch up on baseball and this site.

    12:36 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Benny, don't feel too bad. I missed the "cutoff clause" by a fucking month when I was 19!!!! So I had to wait to drink legally until I was 21. ALL of my friends were old enough. But I had a late August birthday and missed the cutoff. Brutal.

    I thought it was a pretty good game last night. Too bad seeing our boy Wags blow it. But the others definitely represented in a major way.

    Agreed on all points metsfanincincy with Lastings. He better get his fair shot. I think he will. Should be fun to watch.

    Anthony

    3:07 PM

     
    Blogger AE said...

    if the mets can sign o-dawg to a contract $50-60M for 4 years, i'd be all for it...

    7:16 PM

     
    Anonymous seattle steve said...

    A blessing in disguise could be the injuries we have had in the outfield, with everyone clamoring to trade LM and lamenting his trade value is nil, remember we have 2 guys who will NOT be on the team next year in Greeen and Alou, so an outfield of Gomez, Beltran and Milledge with Chavez and another player sounds very appealing, also with Humber and Pelfrey not moving as fast as we want can be a bad omen if we trade them now for a short term fix that has no guarantees.

    10:00 PM

     
    Anonymous Mike from Brooklyn said...

    hey, just saw that Rick Down is out and Ricky Henderson is in as hitting coach.

    Thoughts?

    11:32 PM

     

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