I got these this week and just an FYI, mailbag is code for "I ain't got shit today".
I was reading your post over at Toasty Joe's and I started wondering if the Mets are a .650 team that went into a slump or a .550 team that had been playing over their talent level. A quick look at a binomial coefficient table is interesting. The Mets went, what, 3 and 13 in one stretch of June, right? Well, if we assume a winning probability of .6, (conservative estimate since my tables don't list the midpoints) the probability of winning only 3 out of 15 is a mere .002. Given eleven 15- game stretches in a season, a .600 ballclub would, by chance, lose 12 of 15 every decade or so. On the other hand, the probability of a .500 team winning 9 out of 15 is pretty good--about .06, and for a .550 team, its about .09. So a mediocre team will get on a good streak once every season. Granted, binomials assume constant probabilities, which is a bad assumption for a long season of baseball (at what point in the season do winning percentages stabilize?) and the Mets played pretty good ball for about 50 games, not 15 (with Beltran playing great in April, but not in May, so they still played well when he started slumping). But the numbers are not good. Hope I'm wrong, thanks for the great blog,
That was above my intelligence level. Good stuff. I just think there are too many variables in baseball in regards to injuries, promotions, even coaching changes, etc. to make those sort of calculations. Too many X factors as you stated. There were a lot of people that thought the Mets performance last year was a result of several guys like Valentin, Oliver, etc. performing over their heads. The thought was if they were unable to duplicate that, the Mets would be due for regression, which sort of happened.
Well, one thing is clear, their bullpen needs work. If Heilman can straighten out and Smith can come back from his swoon, I think they will be OK. That gives the Mets four good relievers. You want more, but not many teams are working with much more than that. Then you have Pedro and Moises due to return with Milledge up. I think this team will be better in the 2nd half and .650 ball would not surprise me. This is a weak league and Mets will be getting some serious players added into the fold. Who else is going to add any significant parts?
As for Pedro, even if he is decent...not spectacular, his inclusion in the rotation moves Sosa or The Duque to the pen for the remainder of the season. That bolsters the pen giving you five solid relievers and another starter heads to the bullpen come playoff time. Say Sosa and The Duque with Pedro, Maine, Perez, and Glavine starting, which is pretty good if you ask me. Also, having Gotay, Valentin, Endy, Milledge, and Green and Easley for the bench at times is really a big boon as well and I think they are heading in the right direction. It took a bit, but I love the makeup of this team now and I REALLY love it on September 1st if everyone can be healthy at that point.
Love your blog. I try to read it everyday, before my boss comes to work. There has been a lot of talk about Delgado being down this year, and deservedly so as he has really struggled. But now i notice Beltran going into a "deep" slump, only ten points separate his and Delgado's average. I think Beltran is 0 for is last 13, or something like that. Beltran tends to be a streaky hitter in my estimation, but is there something more going on, as in his quad bothering him again? Just wondered about your thoughts on this.
Thanks for your time,
After watching him run around today, it does not seem like his quad hurts. He is just a weird character. Even last year, you felt like he LOOKED like he should be batting .320, but when you check his stats, he ended up at .275. Before he came to the Mets, he hit .278 with KC in 69 games and .258 with the Astros the remainder of the season. In his MVP-type year in '06, he hit .275. His career average is .279. He won't end up in the .250s, but would a .265 shock us? Probably. Should it? Probably not.
You watch this guy play and wonder why he does not have better numbers. Maybe he actually gives off the impression that he is better than he is and his seasons are propped up by hot streaks that carry the team and stick in our minds. Maybe he just is not as good as many of think he is. That is not to say he is bad as he still puts up premium offensive numbers for a centerfielder, but maybe we should lower our expectations of Carlos. Either way, he is certainly becoming an enigma.
Thanks for coming by....
Rob (Portland, OR): The Mariners are now only 1 1/2 games behind the Angels in the AL west. Are they the biggest surprise of the season so far?
SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think the Brewers are the biggest surprise, but the Mariners are right behind them. No one expected either team to be contending. The Mariners have an excellent chance if they can get production from Beltre and Richie Sexson, unless the Angels find a way to get another bat.
Forget the fact that the Brewers were the pick du jour to win the NL Central, Joe himself was high on them and stated that in like 1,000 of chats never missing a chance to pat himself on the back. The Mariners are far and away the biggest surprise because no one expected anything and many are still cautious about the M's.
Joe (DC): Besides firing the owner, what are three things the Orioles need to do to become contenders again in the next 3-5 years?
SportsNation Joe Morgan: I'm not as caught up on the owner being the problem there. He may have interfered in the past, but they're not one or two mistakes from being the team that they are--they've made more than one or two. they need to figure out who they are--an offensive-minded team, a defense/pitching-minded team. They've been trying to do both, but I think you need to have an identity to be a great team.
Huh? You cannot be offensively potent in addition to having good pitching? Actually, they need a new owner and about five years of good drafting. Not trading Miggy last season buried them for a few more years. Good luck!
What really boggles my mind is he sounds far less incoherent while on TV.
Steve (Indy): Tim I have a fantastic HOF question. Kent, Posada, Pettite and Pedro. Which of these four eventually gets in the hall? Thanks.
themetropolitans: Thanks for checking in Tim, the only two surefire Hall of Famers are Pedro and Kent. Pedro will be a first ballot and Kent might take a few to get in. As for Pettite and Posada, they certainly do not have Hall of Fame credentials for me, but I'm sure a lot of people will take their winning pedigree into account. In the end, I do not see any way Pettite gets in, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Posada will be poisoning the Hall of Fame with his chinless face, mediocre defense, and decent offensive numbers.
Mike (Lexington, KY): What would it take to get Adam Dunn in the Home Run Derby?? Seems very logical to me.
themetropolitans: Oh I don't know...about ten underage Laotian boys and pound of coke. No seriously, it should be nice to see Major League baseball fly in some smashers that do not make the All-Star team. As much as I love to see guys like Holliday and Rios, the fans want to see things 'go boom'.
Mike (Dallas, TX): Are the expiring salaries of Schilling, Clement and Lowell going to translate into the Red Sox making a major push for A-Rod?
themetropolitans: If by push you mean no, then yes. They might bid or act interested to drive up the price tag, but Lowell makes sense on so many levels for them.
Willie (Portland, OR): Tim, the most underrated player in baseball right now is...........
themetropolitans: Julio Franco. No doubt. I've always felt that actual hits and other things that contribute to wins on the field are vastly overrated. They guy's clubhouse presence is off the charts and when you talk about tutalidge, no one tutals like him. I mean no one.
Tyler (Bmore): What can the O's get for Steve Trachsel? And would the O's ever make Daniel Cabrera available in a trade?
themetropolitans: For Traschel you can figure on bag of half used suppositories. As for Cabrera, his value is rather low at this point and I cannot see anyone trading for upside when it comes to him. If they moved him during the spring, they might have been able to get something for him. I think his value is pretty low and I do not see it getting much higher...I've pretty much given up on him making that next jump and think this is the real Cabrera.
"All we want," said one NL executive this week, "is a starting pitcher who's at least an upgrade. But they're just not out there. If we're sitting here waiting for Steve Trachsel to come off the disabled list, thinking that's a big deal, I mean, it's time to slap ourselves in the head. But that's where we are."
The landscape of baseball is changing a bit and for the most part, all your tinkering and tweaking from outside the organization has to be done during the off-season.
The Mets have sent signals that they're now willing to move Mike Pelfrey in a big deal. But an official of one team that has been scouting the Mets' system says: "To be honest, I don't know if I'd take Pelfrey right now, the way he's throwing. I think he's been [Scott] Boras-ized. I'm not seeing the same stuff I saw before. And he's showing a stubbornness that rubs me the wrong way, like [the Boras operation] has convinced him that their way is the better way. I'm seeing this with his guys all over now, and it's becoming a problem all over the industry."
His stock has dropped quite a bit and it looks like he is not much of a commodity at this point until he proves he can do something at the big league level.
Within the piece it mentioned that Grienke would not be moved unless the Royals get astounded by an offer and I would think that warrants a few pointless phone calls by Omar to see what, if anything, could get done.
"You're supposed to be an athlete," Randolph said. "I don't like when pitchers don't exert themselves. If you're that fragile that you can't run the bases, you're not an athlete and you don't belong on the field. You should be in the best shape you can be."
Of course all this might changed if someone gets injured, but you simply cannot worry about those things. Baseball players are not China dolls even though pitchers sometimes get treated as such.
It is really annoying because of the fact that one of the reasons I still do this plan vs. just buying tickets to games that I want to go to is that I was under the impression we would get tickets to the new stadium. The Mets aren't big enough yet that I cannot get tickets to just about any game a week or two ahead of time, but that will be thrown out the window when the new stadium opens. I'm not dropping down $10,000 for Mets tickets and I'm not sure how many games I'll actually be able to go to at this point.
Funny thing is, I remember getting multiple questionnaires asking me how important it was to me that I'd have some sort of preferential seating in the new stadium.
The Falcons signed Vick to a 10-year, $130 million contract in December 2004. He has been paid about $44 million, including $37 million in guaranteed bonuses, and is due to earn a base salary of $6 million this season.
Teams can amortize the salary cap implications of signing bonuses, but if a player is cut, all bonuses paid but not yet factored into the salary cap must be accounted for within two years.
The Falcons face an estimated salary cap hit of about $6 million this year and $15 million in 2008 if they release Vick — devastating hits to any team’s budget.
It slipped my mind that NFL does not have guaranteed contracts hence the enormous signing bonuses. Also, the article states the crime comes with a $350,000 fine and six years in prison. He is not the first athlete to commit a crime, but I think we can all agree not all crimes are created equal and this is one of the more heinous ones I've seen.