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

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lucky # 15

John Maine pitched a tight game last night and ended up without the victory thanks to a some late inning hijinks. With Heilman in the game, Willie lifted him with two outs and men on first and third. He brought Feliciano to face a lefty and he failed to get an out. Then, Mota is brought in to take care of the problem and predictably proceeded to melt down.

"He shouldn't be caught up in the crowd," Randolph said. "For the team and for us he needs to get over the hump. I'm going to keep going to him. He's got some of the best stuff in our bullpen. He needs to continue to work to be more consistent with things."

First, let me admit how utterly and completely wrong I was as it relates to Mota. He is useless. However, only one person seems to not see that and I fear he will be used for the remainder of the year in big innings and used in the playoffs as well. Second, Willie's blunder goes beyond using Mota, but why pull your 8th inning guy who has been great in the second half when the going gets tough? Isn't that precisely what he should be able to navigate himself out of?

His 2.56 ERA in the second half is tight. Let Heilman work out of his own jams because he is your second best reliever out of the bullpen. He is equally adept at getting righties and lefties out and while Feliciano is obviously more adept at getting lefties out, there was no reason to use him. And if you had to use him, why use him against one batter? Righties are batting .211 against Pedro #2 and a cool .295 against Mota. Be afraid Met fans when Willie has to manage. Reasoning gets completely tossed out the window.

* * *

  • Gotay made a great play in the field yesterday and I think it is time we put more faith in his glove. I'm not basing everything off of one play. Yes, the guy has made some mistakes but he is young and can get better. He has shown he has some ability out there so there is reason to be optimistic.

  • Beltran is stud.

  • Piazza is not ready to retire and will be playing for his third team in as many years after leaving the Mets.

  • This is really such a non-story right now. How about the Mets worry about the World Series and worry about Glavine in the off-season.

    From johnf in the comments last night:

    Glavine is guaranteed up to $13M (based on 200 IP) from the Mets if he wants to come back, not 4-7M. It is his option, not the Mets.


    Tom Glavine p
    1 year/$10.5M (2007), plus 2008 player option

    * re-signed as a free agent 11/06
    * 07:$7.5M, 08:$9M player option ($3M buyout)
    * 2008 player option:
    o guaranteed with 160 IP in 2007
    o additional $1M (up to $13M) for each additional 10 IP in 2007
    o may be declined by Glavine if it becomes guaranteed

  • Andy is not mulling retirement as much as he is looking for another year tagged onto his player option at a hefty price.

  • El Duque's foot is still hurting and if it is hurting as the Mets head into the playoffs, he has to take a seat or head into the bullpen. It is that simple. The Mets are too deep to head out there with a injured starter.

  • Weiner ponders the viability of a third NY team.

    Over the five decades since the Dodgers and Giants left New York, no one has suggested putting a third team in the New York City marketplace. No one, that is, until the owner of the Oakland Athletics, Lewis Wolff, spoke to a New York Times reporter recently about placing a second Major League Soccer franchise in the area. Wolff told the Times ,"Frankly, I'd like to see a third baseball team in New York."

    Could the area support one? 100% yes. Should it happen? It would be good for baseball since it is still such a tremendous market, but it will never happen. New Jersey? Maybe, but I fear any New Jersey team will fall to the problems the Devils and Nets face when people are forced to fight through traffic to get to a weekday game. With no effective mass transit to get people to the games from work to the game on time, it is virtually impossible.

  • The Mets are holding onto homefield advantage by one game. With such a big lead in the NL East it might seem OK for Willie continuing to manage without much thought, but I want homefield throughout the playoffs and Willie needs to wake up a bit.

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    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hearing the home crowd boo Mota before he even stepped on the mound was pathetic. He's quickly approaching Roger Cedeno territory. Mota might be better off somewhere else and he shouldn't be anywhere near a post-season roster, in my opinion.
    I would rather see Maine, Pelfrey, or even Humber fill that RH setup role in October. This is a perfect example of Willie's blind loyalty to players, i.e. Julio Franco.


    12:40 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yes, good call. He is quickly approaching that Cedeno territory. Darling was saying how it would be nice if they gave him a supportive cheer, but that won't happen.

    Willie says he needs to put that aside, but that is hard to ask of anyone.

    Of course I agree with you on him being on the post season roster. Just giving Willie that choice would be a big mistake. I don't care who says he has looked better of late, he's given up a run in 15 of his 44 appearances or something like that. That won't count inherited runners scoring either. I would venture to guess more than half of his appearances result in runs scored and scoring in a fantastic manner.

    12:52 PM

    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    I'm not a Willie fan. Last night when he brought Mota in (before he gave up the 2 run single to that asshat) I was calling for his head to no one in particular (my wife heard me and my kids probably heard me upstairs in their bedrooms!). But here's my take. Willie is in love with Mota's arm. From a former ball player's point of view, I think Willie sees Mota's stuff and recognizes it as awesome (and his stuff is awesome, he just doesn't know how to use it. Kind of like a guy with a giant shlong who has premature ejaculations). Willie wants that arm to work for him so bad that he keeps going to him thinking something will light up in his head and he will suddenly "get it". Personally (and I think most of us would agree, that just ain't gonna happen). If Mota doesn't turn things around quick I don't believe he's going to be on the post season roster (Yay! There truly is going to be a post season roster!!!). Bada - I would have agreed with you using Julio Franco as an example of blind loyalty early in the season, but give credit where credit's due - Willie stopped using him toward the end and dropped him like that furry sandwich you find in the back of your refrigerator as soon as he was DFA'd.

    1:28 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Kind of like a guy with a giant shlong who has premature ejaculations

    Interesting take.

    I hope you are right about him not being on the post season roster, but how about giving him shitty innings to prove he can at least get an out? Last nights bullpen use in that inning was horrific. Truly a good outline of what not to do.

    1:43 PM

    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    Last nights bullpen use in that inning was horrific. Truly a good outline of what not to do.

    Couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, it's too close to the playoffs to put Mota in low pressure situations to prove himself. He’s either got to show it in pressure situations or he needs to sit out the playoffs. Here's hoping Willie doesn’t blow home field advantage chasing his white whale.

    2:12 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, I agree with you. But haven't we seen enough of a body of work in 44 games? How about plan B and seeing if Humber and/or Pelf can do it?

    The Mets are running out of time for experimenting and Willie is putting a whole lot into Mota.

    2:20 PM

    Blogger Scott Danzig said...

    If the Mets have the option of a $3 million buyout, then they can pretty much dictate whether Glavine stays or goes.

    Mets want Glavine back, but on their terms

    I read that and was confused about how the Mets could decline the option, but they can with the buyout. I just can't see them saving much on him. Let's see.. I can see another team offering him $8 million for next year pretty easily. So if the Mets decline the option, I guess they renegotiate a new contract at, say, $9 million, and Tom Glavine is no longer due the $3 million buyout according to this new contract? It really is a non-issue right now though, I agree.

    Aside from that, the only way I'd be okay with a New Jersey team is if it's in south Jersey. That'd get rid of a chunk of those annoying Philly fans.

    3:12 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    From what I've seen of Pelfrey this year, I have a hard time believing that kid comes thru in a big time spot in the playoffs. I would be petrified with him on the mound in game 4 of the division series in the 7th with 2 on in a tie game. Just don't think he has the balls yet to cover that. Not saying he never will. But we've seen enough of him this year I think to realize he's not ready yet for that kind of situation in playoff baseball.

    That being said, I am by no means saying Mota is the answer. I can't stand Mota. And yes, I know he has good stuff. So what. He doesn't know how to handle it. He can't handle the NY crowd (like so many others) and it will NEVER work with him here. Put a bullet in it. It's over with Mota.

    Right now locks in the playoff roster bullpen: Wags, Heilman, Pedro F, Sosa, Maine?...then after that it gets pretty scary. Schoenweiss/sele?? Please god no. So I guess we may be forced either way to be looking at Pelf or Humber. I actually kind of like the look of that front 5 though. I'm betting he goes with Schoenweiss to even up the rightie/leftie split? I bet as Mota continues to stink up the joint he will not be put on the roster.

    Gotay is going to be solid on this team I think for a while. Either as utility or possibly 2B starter next season. I love what Castillo has brought to this team. But man his knees scare the crap out of me for signing him on to a multi-year deal.

    I don't blame Piazza for a second. He loves the life and loves the millions. How could you not want to keep on playing? Life is good in his world.

    Considering what Glavine is putting together this year. Might end up with a 15-7 record, do we really have a problem if he ends up back on this team as a number 4? I'm probably ok with that. Not many 4's that can win 13-15 and add the leadership he seems to bring to the team.


    3:13 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Of course Mota shouldn't get caught up with the crowd but how could you NOT listen to it and pay attention to it?
    The boo's are soo freakin' loud that its hard to imagine it's a an eaqys environment to "work" in.
    Regardless, Mota pisses me off because he's throwing 98 WITH movement! WTF!?

    Another NY team? Ehh... AWKWARD!

    4:00 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yes, I agree that Willie did finally relent to can the Julio Franco idea, but I believe that Omar had more to do with that than Willie. Who knows?

    I just think that Mota's stuff isn't as good as last year's. It looks like he can handle the NY spotlight, I just think his stuff is average now. I mean, did we question his ability to handle NY last year when he was pitching well?

    I agree Mike, that the Mets need to find out how Pelfrey or Humber can handle 7th-8th inning duties. maybe once they secure the playoff spot, they can start using them more than Mota.

    I can see Omar bringing Castillo back for a 1-yr contract and an option 2nd year. One interesting position will be catcher and if they would consider bringing LoDuca back....a discussion for the offseason.


    4:01 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Yeah, I would assume that they negotiate themselves out of the buyout and extend him if he wants to come back. Either way, I would tend to agree that the Mets hold the power. Although, I’m sure they do not want to just throw out $3,000,000 though.

    Can south Jersey take one? I mean, I guess so. But then we are overlapping Maryland and probably too close to DC, no? I doubt that area, even if it isn’t that close can handle another one.

    Anthony…it looks like you answered what my question was going to be in the next paragraph.

    Also, you have to hope Willie actually used whichever starter has been placed in the bullpen. He might actually still prefer Mota over a bullpen’d Maine.

    I do think Castillo’s knees make him an impossible sign. Unless, the Mets have a knee clause much like the Tigers with Magglio and Pudge.

    I do not blame Piazza by any means. Nothing was really being implied there and I’m sorry if it came off that way.

    I would not complain about Glavine per se, but this team simply needs to get younger. They have to start sometime.

    Benny…Mota’s new nickname is the enigma. People would kill for his stuff, but he just cannot put it together this year.

    Bada, the playoff spot is secured. 99.4% or something for their playoffs odds.

    Catching is something that is up in the air big time. Nothing else is as up in the air really.

    4:32 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I wouldn't mind a Castillo resigning.
    I mean the other options are Tad Iguchi, Kaz Matsui, Damion Easley, and Marlon Anderson.
    Forget about Kaz Matsui.
    I would bring back Marlon and Easley as bench guys, and resign Castillo. If something happens to Castillo then Ruben Gotay, Easley, and Marlon can all fill in, no problem with that. The team doesn't get effected too much without Castillo, they can live without him for a certain period of time.

    5:32 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'First, let me admit how utterly and completely wrong I was as it relates to Mota. He is useless.'

    An apology is not enough. Do what the Yakuza do for penance... cut off your tongue.


    5:46 PM

    Anonymous DG said...

    What gets me is Willie's insistence on trying to bring Mota in in the middle of an inning. Kind of like to know how many times Willie stuck his hand over the stove top as a kid. I find Mota is kind of like Billy W was for a while there: easy to two strikes but the third is elusive as hell. Still, I do think he has pitched better, but he has burned us over and over again when brought in to clean up someone else's mess.

    6:59 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I guess Castillo for two years at the same cash would be right. The low salary balances out the injury risk. Maybe give him bonus incentives.

    Marlon comes back for sure. He’ll want to without the allure of a starting job or two year contracts. That was something that is not going to happen much again. He loves it hear and he gets his playing time and gets a chance to compete for a World Series ring and plays a big part.

    Emad…don’t do me like that? No tongue?

    DG….I’m with you. Just nuts how he sets him up for disaster. I get the testing thing. Great! But it’s mid-September. No more testing. He does not have it this year. Let him get straightened out in the Spring.

    7:55 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Let him get straightened out in the Spring.'

    Hence the term, double Mota-Suicide.


    8:32 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Without supportable evidence I would still like to postulate that if we were able to obtain a list of pitchers both major leaguers and minor leaguers that had outstanding “stuff” yet were failures in either the major leagues or the minor leagues that list would exceed the Dead Sea Scrolls in length. I’m not sure what effect the big bad NY Mets fans have on Mota since he failed in Cleveland.

    Asking a man to cut off his tongue should only be done after consulting with his gf and or wife and or bf.

    Actually I couldn’t care less what Piazza intends to do as long as the Mets do not sign him. I expect him to enter the HOF as a Dodger.

    I’m not sure how vital home field advantage is to this team. Their road performance has been excellent and recall they lost game 7 of the NLCS at home.

    11:21 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    'Asking a man to cut off his tongue should only be done after consulting with his gf and or wife and or bf.'

    I don't want to go down this road.

    Obviously, this never occurred to me because i'm as celibate as a priest on Sunday.


    11:27 PM


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