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

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Silencio Es Dorado

One of the big news stories of the week was big non story in that A-Rod isn't talking about his contract anymore.

"It can come up every day of the year," Rodriguez said Thursday before departing for a road spring training game against Cincinnati. "I'm going to give you the same answer. Nothing has changed. I'm not going to talk about my contract."

No where in the universe can someone with a .299/.396/.549 line and 119 homers and 357 RBIs over three seasons be on a fan bases' bad side but in New York with Alex Rodriguez. Producing has a way of making nice with fans, but strangely enough, A-Rod is perceived as an under achiever and not many Yankee fans would be terribly upset should he actually use his opt out clause.

Of course, this is because A-Rod has a knack for saying all the wrong things. After the above statement, most writers and fans were left wondering why he did not just say that earlier in the year. Instead he said it was up the fans to accept him and the team to decide if he comes back. In other words, he wants some love and attention.

We all say things that we know is a mistake right after we say it. When I was with my ex, during a fight I turned to her friend and said, "your friend (meaning my ex) is a real c*nt". Well, that's one of those things that leave your mouth and there is instant remorse. I got on the phone and called my friend and said I was coming over to sleep on the couch. Was my anger founded? Yes. Did I say what I wanted to because I thought it was warranted? Yes. But sometimes you have to use that thing in between your ears.

In A-Rod's case, he is right. The guy has put up eye popping numbers over the last three seasons and gets booed and receives little respect. Is he right to be annoyed at the fans? Fuck yeah. Is it natural that he is going to have some negative feelings towards the fans like Carlos Beltran did after all the prolonged booing? Yes. However, sometimes you have to be a professional and be a bit smarter. Use silence as a tool and become more media savvy. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, if A-Rod used the David Wright/Derek Jeter standard line gig (as much as I do not like the standard line thing, it is a must for some people), he would be in a different place.

Last year, he was clueless in the Red Sox series when he failed to produce at all. He said he thought he did pretty good while even some of his own teammates called him out. Instead of saying, "we didn't win and I just didn't get the job done", he was talking about how he didn't think he did too bad. Earlier in the year, a guy who has a quarter of a billion dollar contract was looking for adoration from the public and media despite being clueless to the atmosphere he created for himself.

It's kind of one of those head scratching situations that confound you. He seems to have such a distorted view of reality and this dates back to his Ranger days. Of course, his antics and general ignorance would not matter if he is playing in a market that does not have a rabid media and that is probably where he should go. I think Boras and A-Rod know this and ultimately that is why he will not be a Yankee in 2008 ending what was truly a weird four years.

* * *

  • Milledge seems to have the right outlook.

    "I've already proved what I can do," Milledge said Friday. "Personally, I feel I deserve a chance. It might fall into the numbers game. I did everything I can do to make it possible for me to make the team. It's all up in the hands of the front office now."

    You cannot control everything, but you can control the way you play. If you just go out there and do your thing, everything else will eventually fall into place. Right now, Milledge just needs to produce and his time will come sooner rather than later.

  • In related news, Green lives on another planet.

    His batting average now is .145, down nine points from the previous day. And even with his first 15 at-bats -- all fruitless -- removed from the equation, Shawn Green is batting .200 this spring. But the numbers conceal some positives and muddle the picture.

    Green was hitless Friday in three at-bats in the Mets' 2-1 victory against the Cardinals. He flied out and grounded out twice. But the fly ball headed for the berm beyond right field before the March wind interfered.

    And Green still hasn't become accustomed to the changes in his swing. He's been getting to pitches too quickly, he says.

    "I know how it looks," he said. "But I'm still excited about the progress I've made."


  • Congrats to Carlos Delgado!

  • Pedro is feeling good.

    Pedro Martinez said yesterday that his rehab "is going to perfection right now, and I can't be any happier with the way things are going."

    The Mets' ace, who is rehabbing his torn rotator cuff, said he is throwing at 75 feet.

  • The Duque shows some positive signs.

  • If Pedro speaks, I would listen.

    While Martinez is taking his time in what still is an August timetable for his return, he said Sanchez shouldn't be thinking of throwing off the mound, but instead he should just be concentrating on building up his strength.

    "I tried to seduce him to joining me down there," Martinez said, referring to the Mets' minor-league complex.

    "If you ask me, I wouldn't let him throw (off the mound). He should be doing more to rehab his shoulder."

    The Mets have the depth to make it through a month or so without Duaner and the big picture must be kept in mind. It's not about having Duaner back as early as possible, it's to have him pitching in the playoffs.
  • Labels:

    Thursday, March 22, 2007


    So how does the pitching situation look nowadays? Not so bad. Sure there are concerns with the two primary set-up men for the Mets, but the bullpen has enough arms that I'm confident something will fall into place. However, the big concern for the Mets (according to the entire world outside of the Mets organization) was their rotation and everything seems to be coming together.

    Here's our read on the current state of the NL East: The Phillies are much more worried about their bullpen than the Mets are about their rotation. The Mets seem to have very few concerns about Mike Pelfrey or John Maine, and they'll take their chances on Oliver Perez. And Omar Minaya isn't second-guessing his lack of free-agent activity at all. "Our young pitchers at least have upside," Minaya says. "I don't know that the guys that were out there in the free-agent marketplace, aside from [Barry] Zito and [Daisuke] Matsuzaka, had upside."

    While the naysayers will still whine about spring numbers this and spring numbers that, is it really that hard to envision that a 25 year old who used to be a highly touted prospect that put up a 1.13 whip, .212 BAA, and 3.60 ERA in his first full season will keep it going and {gasp}....get better? Is it hard to imagine that an elite prospect who already has one of the best pure fastballs in the league has found a handle on his secondary stuff? Is it hard to imagine that a guy that was entrenched in a poorly run franchise that screwed him up is now on the right track with a tightly run franchise?

    No, no, and no. It's not that hard to see those things happening and it is not really something that needs the stars to align for that happen. These guys were not no names coming into the year. With Pelfrey, it wasn't a question of if, but when. That time seems to be now. With Maine, you just had to watch him last year to see that Omar stole him from the Orioles. He is not an ace, but has legit big league stuff. As for Perez, he was the biggest wildcard. He will still have his inconsistent moments, but his continual steps forward are enough to make a grown man shed a tear.

    The fact of the matter is, Omar saw the talent that was out there. He set his pecking order and it just so happens that all his in house guys were right below the only two impact free agents on the market. First and foremost he is a talent evaluator and he seems to have a pretty good handle on that. Come mid season, people will be lauding him once again. The scary part is that he has been so right so far in his short tenure, he is due to be wrong in a big way one of these days....right?

    * * *

  • Oliver Perez keeps up the solid pitching performances giving us all hope that the kid is back on track. Six innings of five hit, one run ball is amazing. But the best part of the night?

    Jose Reyes scored four runs on three singles and a walk, with three stolen bases.

    This kid is so ridiculously good it is scary.

  • We all know how Met fans chant "Yankees suck" arbitrarily at games that do not involve the Yankees. Lots of Met fans would get pissed because it makes the general populous look stupid since there was no relevance being the Yankees weren't even playing. Yankee fans would say that it's because Met fans are so consumed with the Yankees. It could also be that some douchebag was wearing a Yankee shirt. Who knows...it's a world of possibilities. Now? Well now it seems the Yankee fans are getting in on it.

    In the bottom of the third last night, when David Wright came up, there was a chant of "A-Rod's bet-ter!"

    Looks like some fans are getting a bit too consumed with the awesomeness that is the New York Mets. Believe it bitches.

  • Daisuke? Legit as fuck.

    After watching Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch for the first time Wednesday, I couldn't tell you for sure that this guy is about to win 20 games, a Cy Young or possibly a Nobel Peace Prize.

    But I can tell you this:

    We've never had any foreign-born player come here with the ability to generate this much intrigue and this much fun.

    I mean, you would think, after watching this guy pitch 5 2/3 one-hit innings Wednesday, from a vantage point no more than 75 feet from home plate, I could at least tell you how many different pitches he threw -- and, theoretically, what they were.

    Nope. Sorry. I'm still not sure. But at least I wasn't the only one. I had scouts tell me they thought they saw four -- fastball, curve, slider, changeup.

    I had a member of the Japanese media tell me it's more like seven -- four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, curve, slider, change, splitter and the mysterious "shuto" pitch. Not to be confused with the even more mysterious (not to mention fictitious) gyroball.

    Normally, at times like this, you would just ask the hitters who had to face this man. Not in this case. In this case, they were even more confused than the eyewitnesses.

    Sure it was the Pirates, but he confused everyone. He only allowed a single and only three more balls left the infield. Imagine the press in New York if the Yankees Golden Child had done that? If I had to put money on one guy throwing a no-hitter this year, it would be Daisuke. The article just goes on and on and on and on about how ridiculous he was. As good as he will be on the Red Sox this year, it is scary to think what type of silly numbers he would put up in the NL. His stats might have looked like something out of a video game.

    Of course, the Yankee fans cannot handle it and have the following comments:

    robcho (3/21/2007 at 11:20 PM)

    I had what I thought was a bacon-cheeseburger today for lunch but it didn't look like your normal bacon-cheeseburger. The bacon was glowing and the lettuce did not seem to be the right color. I opened it up and saw things that just didn't look right. It left me baffled. I was so hungry I had to eat it. I did. In the end, it was just another bacon-cheeseburger. Translation, this column was about as interesting and my bacon-cheeseburger. Please have ESPN make sure to cover the event when the Red Sox deliver him into Fenway Park on a helicopter too. What will ESPN write about when Dice-K goes around the league a 2nd time? Oh, it turns out he's the right-handed version of Zach Duke?

    No offense to anyone involved, but he threw well in a spring training game against a line-up of tomato cans from a perrenial doormat team. If he's this mystifying in Yankee Stadium in July, call me a believer.

    Let me start off by saying that first comment was an insanely horrible analogy. I mean, really horrible. Aside from that, you can point to the obvious that is was a bad team, it is spring, and no one has seen him repeatedly, but to deny the fact he is filthy is just silly. The above two are so out of touch they would probably rather have Philip Hughes. It is not the first time we are hearing about this guy and he does what good pitchers have to do to succeed. He keeps hitters off balance. If he keeps doing that, I don't see how you catch up to a guy who throws six or pitches and changes speed with the best of them. Daisuke is the real deal.

  • From the link in the main piece at the top:

    evan0238 (3/21/2007 at 8:55 PM)

    uhhh anyone noticing how the O's might be this years sleeper team. we have 2 potential aces in bedard and cabrera and Chris Ray at closer. plus we got up and comming superstar nick markakis!

    There are optimistic O's fans! Although, there certainly is a thin line between optimistic and delusional.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    There ain't no light at the end of that tunnel...

    Why even waste your time being an Oriole fan?

    "I just thought that Brian [Roberts] should stay an Oriole, not that the front office didn't think so. They were looking at it from a standpoint of improving the ballclub," Angelos said Sunday, confirming that he nixed an offseason deal for slugging first baseman Adam LaRoche. "And they may have been totally right. I looked on it as the retention of a player that came through our system and who is of such great value to the club for all the things that he does out there with the public and in the hospitals and so on.

    "This is a special kind of player, just like Cal Ripken was for the Orioles. And the kind of player you want to keep as part of the organization. And so there's an area where one might say that I have interfered, but I felt impelled to do that from the standpoint of keeping a player that I thought was critical."

    If you let that sink in, it just gets better.

    They were looking at it from a standpoint of improving the ballclub? And they are wrong for that? Shame on them...I mean, who has ever heard of actually trying to improve a baseball team? Look away if you get nauseous easily.

    Imagine having to sit across of that while negotiating? That would seriously be a reason to not sign with the Orioles. He looks like a cross between Grendel, Joe Torre, and Macaulay Culkin with a sprinkling of cancer spots. He looks like the type of person that is continually spitting while he talks.

    "It's just another Angelos story to add to the list," one baseball executive said. "He affects everything they do. They may never overcome him. Why would they want a first baseman when they can overpay for middle relievers and have four DHs?"

    It's funny being a Met fan or a fan of any other team for that matter, but truly disturbing for Oriole fans. Extremely exasperating reading that stuff about a team you root for.

    * * *

  • Mike Pelfrey continues to be solid, Shawn Green continues his resurgence, Joe Smith is tight, Pedro Feliciano is a monster, Schoeneweis still has a horrible last name, and Jose and Carlos are really good. I must admit, the bullpen situation is a bit scary sometimes with Heilman's tendinitis and Duaner's health, but I think everything will work out.

  • Yusmeiro Petit for Jorge Julio? A couple of years ago that would have been impossible to even think about. The Mets did an amazing job selling high.

  • We've all had bad days at work, but this one certainly takes the cake.

  • Read Coop's blog this season or I'll hunt you down and kill you. It won't be a quick death either. You will be forced to read Steve Phillips' ESPN columns while listening to Hillary Clinton's speeches looped twenty four hours a day.
  • Labels:

    Fact Checkers Wanted?

    As DG pointed out to me the other day, Dayn Perry just laid out an example of how to be a complete and utter idiot.

    If you take a gander at the Spring Training statistics from any year, you'll find some interesting things.

    As of Wednesday, for instance, we find that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is batting only .125, while the Nationals' Shawn Hill has a 2.00 ERA after three starts. So may we rightly surmise that Reyes' career is over and that Hill will win the NL Cy Young this season? Of course not.

    However, some of the early statistical goofiness we're seeing on each and every team speaks to a larger point: Spring Training statistics don't mean much.

    Despite this fact, many fans and even many managers and front-office "deciders" treat spring numbers as though they are reliable harbingers of doom or glory. Needless to say, this is a mistake. Cactus and Grapefruit league numbers, in point of fact, are wildly unreliable and have little bearing on future performance.

    Well, his article might have a point if the real deal Jose B. Reyes was actually batting a buck and quarter, but it was Jose A. Reyes. The catcher of course and not the best player in the universe. Of course people make mistakes, but something like this is rather ridiculous because Dayn Perry writes for one of the biggest sports sites and he is writing about one of the best players.

    But enough of Perry's stupidity, let's talk about Jose B. Reyes. Buster Olney picked him to be the NL MVP as he stated in his blog and I doubt that he will be the only one. In fact, a full year of the new and improved Reyes with a bit more power is downright scary. The only thing standing between him being the favorite for NL MVP in my estimation and not being the favorite is a disappointing showing by the Mets this season.

    * * *

  • Rick Peterson is at it again.

    "He's just got to understand there are no more stuffed animals to win in the big leagues," he said. "You have to make pitches. Rearing back and throwing as hard as you can toward home plate is no value. It actually has a negative value."

  • Just what I was waiting for! Validation from Johnny Damon!

    "I thought Schoeneweis was the best left-hander out of the pen in our division," Damon said. "He did not give up homers, he knew how to pitch and he's tough. The Mets made a real good signing."

  • Chan Ho is surely making a strong point for Mike Pelfrey to be included into the big league rotation.

    Or in the words of Danny....

    Should we let Chan Ho Park know that he can start locating his fastball any day now?

    In fact, the situation is getting to the point where Billy Wagner is offering his services to be the fifth starter.

    "Three innings, three pitches," he said to himself. Three and three might equal five, in Wagner's case. It was pure fantasy, and hardly one he fancied.

  • We've been riding Jake pretty hard about Josh Hamilton. But maybe...just maybe...he'll have the last laugh.

    "Josh Hamilton," proclaimed longtime Baltimore Orioles advance scout Deacon Jones, "is the story of this spring training. This guy is not to be believed. I saw him the other night, with that power, that bat speed, that plate discipline and then that throwing arm and I said: ‘Whoaaaa. What is this? This guy might be the best I've ever seen.' At one point, I got up and yelled to him: ‘This game ain't this damn easy!' I never saw him before, but now I know why he was the No. 1 pick in '99. This guy's a real player."

    Yankee VP of scouting Gene Michael, sitting across the table from Jones, nodded in agreement.

    "He's legitimate five tools," Michael said. "It's all there and he hasn't lost anything from what I've seen. The Reds got themselves a tremendous player, but it's always going to be a question. The drugs are always going to be there, waiting to get to him again."

    Scary that someone can possess that much talent.

  • Why must Wendy's have a culinary delight as delicious as the 4-Alarm Spicy Chicken Sandwich and only have it for a limited time?