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

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Easy Like Sunday Morning

This Met team looks to be tighter than a camel's ass during a sandstorm.

The way the Mets are pitching, the four wins could be the start of a big season for the defending NL East champions.

"They keep pitching like that, we're going to be dangerous," Reyes said.

The Mets have a 0.75 ERA and their starters have all four of their wins this season. They won their first four games, including three against St. Louis, by a combined margin of 31-3.

"It's good, we just stay together," Reyes said. "When we stay together, we're going to be dangerous. We've got the talent here. We've got to see what we can do."

The bullpen has not given up a run yet and the starters have been electrifying. While the Cards may not be a good team, they are still the defending champs and the Mets came out and smoked them and the Braves are no pushovers. Regardless what happens these next two games, coming home 6-0, 5-1, or 4-2 is going to be a great start and I'd venture to guess the Mets pull out at least one of these next two games.

Oliver Perez looked nasty which was great to see for obvious reasons and Jose Reyes just looks like he is in mid-season form already. 3 for 6 with two runs, four RBIs, and two triples? Are you fucking kidding me? As I stated on The Coop's blog yesterday, it's hysterical that the same reason the Mets will not make the playoffs according to some experts is completely being glazed over when it comes to the Yankees. The Mets starters have upside at least and what is the upside outside of anyone not name Phil Hughes on the Yankees? Igawa? He won't finish the year in the rotation. Mussina? He'll be decent enough, but nothing spectacular. Pavano? He had one good year ERA wise with horrible peripherals. Even if he pitches his best, he's not very good and league average at best. Pettitte? This ain't Andy of 1997. Wang? If he's your ace in the AL East, you have problems.

If people think the Mets should be concerned about their rotation, the Yankees should be concerned beyond belief. No Yankee starter has actually made it through five complete innings, but some moron has an article about how they'll win 110 games? Seven teams won 110 or more games in the history of baseball and this Yankee team might be the eighth? Please. Their rotation is a sham and most people fail to exhibit a little objectivity when it comes to the Mets and Yankees. This Met team is far and away the best in the NL and the Yankees are in serious danger of not making the playoffs unless they get Clemens and Hughes contributes significantly this season. They'll miss the playoffs one of these years and this could be the year unless their rotation sorts itself out.

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  • I had Knick tickets yesterday (ridiculous seats about seven rows back) and met some friends before for some beers at bar. I wanted to see a few innings of the Mets game before I went in, but the bar had two TVs both playing the Yankees! So I ask, "hey man, can you put the Mets game on one of these TVs?" To which he replied, "I don't know, people are watching the Yankee game and might get mad." So I said, "bro, the TVs are two feet apart. If someone wants to watch the Yankee game, they can slide down. Besides, no one is even looking at the Yankees game right now and it's on." So the bartender finally gives in a puts the game on begrudgingly. Then the guy behind me says, "oh man, you like the Mets?"

    What kind of fucking world do we live in? The Mets sold 3.5+ million tickets last year, already sold 2.5+ million this year, and are really damn good and I have a hard time getting them on in a bar in New York City? And people wonder why I hate the Yankees. How could I not?

  • From Count yesterday in the comment section...

    With respect to the Yankees and their favorable treatment on ESPN, I direct you to this quote:

    "We pretty much think of baseball as the Red Sox and Yankees and everybody else is the Washington Generals," said one ESPN employee who shall remain unnamed.

    Fucking ponderous.


  • Friday, April 06, 2007

    It's not that I hate him....

    Let me preface this by saying that I don't hate Shawn Green. It's not that I think he will be useless either. Sure, he may not have the reflexes of a cat and the speed of a mongoose out there in right field, but that will not hurt the team that much in my opinion. As for his offensive prowess, I do not think he'll particularly suck and there is a likelihood he'll actually be decent.

    Now that is out of the way, Lastings Milledge should be starting in right field. For one, watching the Mets play 27 innings of errorless baseball truly outlines the importance of having airtight defense on the baseball field. Furthermore, I think the majority of baseball experts will tell you that there is a strong chance that Milledge should be able to produce more than Shawn at the plate right now. All this does not take into account the fact that he possesses a lot more speed. However, those are not even the only factors at play here. Looking towards the future, it really makes utmost sense.

    The Mets have Moises Alou on a one year contract for this season and they have a one year option for the 2008 season. However, we do not know if Alou is going to come back in '08 or play well enough and be healthy enough to warrant them picking up the option. Also, it is entirely possible that he comes back in '08 in a more limited roll. He'll be 42 during next season and has not exactly been the pinnacle of health over the years. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the Mets would be using both Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez at the corners in 2008. Also, it is not only a possibility, but highly likely that Fernando Martinez will be ready to go by 2009 which would mean the Mets need to figure out sooner rather than later who they want to keep out of three players and that is going to hard without a nice sample size in the bigs.

    The idea that any contender would go with two inexperienced players at the corners is just not too realistic. Letting Milledge log some serious innings this year will give him enough experience that should let the Mets feel comfortable with starting both of them in '08 should that be necessary. Also, the depth of this 2007 team gives a tremendous haven for a young guy to play and learn in a relative stress free manner. He is not counted on to the be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th option and all that ignores that he would in all likelihood add more value in 2007 than Shawn Green overall.

    In the end, it is not that I think Shawn Green is not good enough, but in terms of setting themselves up to be better team not only today but in the future, it makes sense to have Milledge in right. In an ideal world, the Mets get Milledge experience in '07 so in '08 he's more of an asset, Gomez makes the roster in '08 and the Mets won't have two inexperienced guys in the outfield, the Mets figure out who stays between Milledge and Gomez and trades the other for a young stud that fills a need of theirs, and Fernando makes his Mets debut in 2009. There are just too many reasons to put Milledge out there and it really has nothing to do with Green producing or not. In the big picture, it just makes sense.

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  • The Yankees lost last night to the Devil Rays and A-Rod popped up with the bases loaded in the 8th inning. Great stuff. But the real story was Elijah Dukes homering in his first two big league games. This kid looks to be pretty good in case you haven't figured that out. He is seriously strong and his homer was a laser into the left field stands.

    And just a quick side note, baseball tonight made two excuses for the Yankees on their broadcast. One for Jeter's error up the middle and then one for Pettite throwing to second while Ben Zobrist took off to third on a steal. As if that wasn't enough, they commented about A-Rod's pop up in the eighth and said, "you can't win 'em all the time". Am I the only one who thinks the Yankees do not need any sympathy?

  • How quickly they change their tune.

    Maine's obviously looking like a steal, now. So why did the Orioles let him get away? I think they were spooked by his numbers in 2005, when he went 6-11 with a 4.56 ERA in Triple-A, and 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA in the majors. But his previous track record in the minors was impressive, he's always had good enough stuff, and since joining the Mets he's done nothing but pitch well. All the spring talk about the shaky Metropolitan rotation seemed to miss the fact that Maine started 15 games in the majors last season and did quite well. Perhaps the improved slider and changeup -- he did have a changeup before, just not a particularly good one -- has made Maine a better pitcher. But I think he was already pretty good, and will continue to be, even if the refinements don't stick.

    Which is what us Met fans have been saying. John Maine was getting treated like chopped liver like he never pitched in the bigs before. Now? Now is a different story, but whatever.

    The comments on the piece were good as well. One encapsulates what it is like being a Orioles fan and the other just lays down the common sense.

    siropsycho (4/5/2007 at 12:59 PM)
    such is life as an Orioles fan, Kris Benson gave us one mediocre season and now we have to watch a couple of New York castoffs in Jaret Wright and Steve Trachsel all season

    Report Violation | Ignore User
    paul_slinger (4/5/2007 at 1:00 PM)

    Didn't Maine pitch well against the Cardinals in last year's NLCS too? He does seem to have been a bit overlooked, although the worry about the Mets' rotation was probably partially because El Duke got hurt in spring training (didn't seem to bother him much two days ago) and the rotation for awhile looked like Glavine, Maine and Joe the icecream vendor from row 12, section 14E.If El Duke is healthy, can stay healthy, and Maine keeps pitching well, I don't think the Mets are really all that worried, and will again be the best team in the NL. That's not even counting on Pedro coming back and being healthy.

  • Dice-K certainly had results, but did his stuff look underwhelming to anyone else? For me Grienke looked a lot better. Daisuke seemed to have command, but the few clips I saw were sub 90 fastballs and not many of those nasty sliders, but again, it was a few clips. It was nice to go up against Sweeney-less and Grudz-less Royals for his first start, but you'd have to wonder how he would have fared against a top tier offensive club.

  • I've stated my thoughts on how I think is the wrong decision to retire any number for good across the board, but if it is going to be done, this is at least a good way to honor Jackie Robinson. Of course the ESPN bloggers had some coverage of this the other day and it's the right thing to do.

  • 2.5 million tickets already? Time to raise ticket prices and screw your current plan holders at the expense of reeling in more customers to screw over.

  • David Lennon's piece might be worthy of an entire post itself, but I think he's reaching.

    So why is Reyes, an All-Star and MVP candidate, still waiting to be featured solo on the sides of buses and subway cars? Not because of his gleaming smile, infectious laugh or pure joy on a baseball field. Despite New York's love affair with the Dominican shortstop, there often can be a gap between the Latino or Asian player and the fan base, from both a marketing and media standpoint.

    Why? Because Reyes didn't really arrive until a few weeks into the '06 season and it takes a month or two to realize that what he was doing is not a hot streak but him developing into a mega-star. Wright? He was more highly touted and Reyes had two injury ridden years. I do not want to say he was written off, but people were tentative about him and his '05 campaign, though healthy, raised doubts and showed significant holes in his game while Wright came onto the scene and never looked back.

    Give Reyes some time and I'll guarantee he'll be in the spotlight. It is impossible to ignore the David Wright media train that was already in motion before his ridiculous first half last season, which by all accounts was perhaps more impressive than Reyes' simply because of the eye popping numbers in categories the majority of the public care about. If Reyes continues his onslaught this year, David Wright is going to have to take a backseat to him.

  • Ben Shpigel tells us what we already know.

  • People think Peterson is over the top, but I love the guy. I know I was pretty hard on him at times, but that is all a thing of the past.

  • The moment most of us have been waiting for....Oliver Perez's first game of the '07 season. If I could only pick two guys on this Met team to watch, it would be Jose Reyes and Oliver Perez.
  • Labels:

    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    El Profesor

    When you get guys that can throw groundballs, and we are a groundball dominant type of ballclub, and have average pitching with excellent defense, you have excellent pitching.

    That was Professor Rick and he had the quote of the telecast last night. The man speaks the truth. At least anyone that watched the Mets play their first two games knows he speaks the truth. That's not to say the Mets pitching will not be above average as Peterson was just speaking in generalities and not necessarily about the Mets. He is not alone either. Apparently Peter Gammons didn't call his doctor after his erection lasted more than four hours and was still gushing about the Mets two days after he eyed up Tom Glavine like a piece of meat during their in-game interview (in Gammo's defense Tommy's biceps looked scrumptious and were hard to resist.....grrrrrrrr).

    But remember, the Mets won nine more games than any other National League team last season and, in so doing, used 12 starting pitchers, including Jose Lima, Alay Soler and Jeremi Gonzalez. Future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine won 15, as did Steve Trachsel. No one else won 10. Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez won nine apiece. Yet, in the end, their starting pitchers led the NL in wins, and their starters' ERA (4.67) was better than the Cardinals (4.79) and one point above the league average (4.66).

    I think people will be wondering what they were thinking by the end of the season after the Mets prove they are head and shoulders above everyone in the NL again. After watching the Mets play a sparkling season opener and then watching The Duque just kill it on the mound and pick up two hits and two RBIs was just amazing. They also managed two steals off Yadier Molina and showed that they are fearless and believe in themselves no matter what facet of the game it is. These Mets truly believe they can do anything and beat anyone.

    * * *

  • 26-8....That was twenty six non Yankee related questions to eight Yankee related questions in Buster Olney's latest chat. That is 24% of the questions relating to the Yankees. There is tons and tons of stuff going on in the universe of Major League baseball and he answers that many Yankee questions? What is really shocking is that Phil Hughes was not mentioned once. I would not have believed that to be a possibility, but it just goes to show you that you that anything is possible in this crazy world. I like Olney these days, but that was a bit ridiculous.

  • This article intimates that Bud Selig got paid $14.5 million by Major League baseball in 2005. That is just silly.

    Baseball's central office paid $77.3 million in salaries and benefits to 231 employees, the report said. The NFL paid $41.5 million to 839 employees in 12 months ending March 31 last year and the NHL $13.9 million to 56 employees in the year ending June 30, 2005, when staff was reduced because of a lockout.

    Who approves this shit?

  • Queue the sad walking away music from the Incredible Hulk.

    And the New York Post reported manager Joe Torre was told that Williams, 38, is still working out and has not written off the possibility of playing this season, preferably for the Yankees. It was the first time Torre and Williams had spoken since February, when Williams declined the minor-league camp invite.

    "I know he wants to be here," Torre said, according to the Post.

    Williams spoke with Torre and veteran players Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, according to media reports.

    Posada told the Post he is "pretty sure" Williams wants to play this season, and he thinks Williams could even skip a season and return in 2008.

    Bernie, give it up man. You were more than good during your career. You were great. Now? Not so much and the Yankees...and I'm not sure if you know this...are loaded in the area of position players. Now, if you could pitch 200 innings and put up a 4.00 to 4.50 ERA, I'd get your confusion. But I'm not sure the Nationals would want you much less the Yankees.

  • Jose Capellan threatened to retire at the age of 26 after getting sent to AAA and then downgraded his hissy fit to a demand for a trade.

  • I still love this guy.

    "We had Freddy Garcia, Neal Cotts, Cliff Politte, and all those guys helped us, helped me, win it in 2005, and they're gone. I should be treated the same way. If Kenny feels that I don't handle the club the right way or lose the club, don't do my job on and off the field, he should get someone else. I'll be the first one to agree with him."

  • Quick thought on Kip Wells. He looked pretty good yesterday. Despite the loss, so far so good for Dave Duncan's new project.

  • Anyone else think Shawn Green might have gotten a bit excited with his two hits in the season opener? I think he got a little over zealous and shouldn't have proclaimed that Sunday was the best he has felt in his life because he got two measly hits.
  • Labels:

    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Must Read

    If you haven't read Terence's Moore's masterpiece, you really need to set aside a few minutes to read one of the biggest exhibitions of homerism in the history of the universe.

    Consider, too, that the Mets have fossils Tom Glavine and El Duque leading a ghastly collection of starting pitchers. Many of those nice freshmen from last year’s Florida Marlins bunch are likely to become duds as sophomores. The Washington Nationals are the worst team in baseball. That leaves the Phillies, who haven’t won anything in 14 years, and the Braves, who are flashing signs with a rejuvenated bullpen of becoming the Braves again.

    So there we have it! A perfectly laid out case for why the Braves are the team to beat! Hudson? No worries! Chipper? Forget about it. Smoltz a year older? Only he is immune to aging and Glavine is a fossil...not him. Hampton? Pencil him in for twenty wins. Losing a 30 homer bat at first? Who needs that shit? Francoeur? We all know David Wright is a poor man's Francoeur.

    This is the Braves returning as winners. That’s because they have fewer “ifs” throughout their overall pitching staff than anybody else in the NL East, and because Bobby Cox is baseball’s best manager, and because everybody in the division is still chasing them.

    Craptastic. Really sound reasoning there. Though, if you asked Braves fans, even they might say Mr. Moore is crazy. In fact, quite a few did already.

    Actually, this article is so uncharacteristically positive (except for the choke job snipe) for Terence Moore that it almost seems like an April Fool’s joke.

    It is crazy enough to be just that.

    Mr. Moore, put down the crack pipe.

    Last year the Mets didn't have the pitching & Phillies were suppose to finish just ahead of the last place Marlins.

    Good luck with that…

    Why is everyone so confused and under the impression the Mets had some bulletproof staff that was the strength of the team in 2006. Out of the rotation, bullpen, fielding, and hitting, it was the weakest component and stands to be better this year.

    The 5th paragraph was a hilarious bit of unrealistic homerism, but optimism is always nice.

    Hilarious it was.

    Fun article. OF course, it really ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room — the NY Mets. While I admire what the Braves did the offseason and continue to marvel at their ability to plug holes on a shoestring budget, the fact is that the Mets are just better. Money can cure a lot of ills. Go down that lineup, position for position, and compare it to the Braves. Scary. Sure, the Mets could be beaten. Front of the rotation is old, back of the rotation is a bit suspect. Regardless, this is the same team that blew away the entire National League until they stumbled in the postseason. While the Braves have addressed bullpen issues, their lineup was sacrificed to do it.

    This just proves some Braves fans actually do watch baseball. You wouldn't know it by being able to walk up to the ticket window on game day during the playoffs and find yourself some primo tickets, but they are out there.

    I don’t know much about the AJC, but that had got to be the biggest homer column I’ve ever read in a major publication, it seems as if this article was written because the author didn’t have anything to write about, so he figured he’d just appeal to those die-hard fans and get a cheap pop

    That pretty much encapsulates it.

    Glavine who just turned 41 is a fossil but Smoltz who will be 40 next month is in his prime? It’s good to have hope. That’s why they play the games. Glad there are more than one closer in this bullpen because “Big Bob Wickman” can’t last much longer and Braves are going to need them against all those Mets bats. Saw you in the rearview last year, see you there again in September.

    I'd like to believe some Braves fan pointed out the painfully obvious, but it was a Met fan. And I would also like to note the irony of the article as Glavine just picked apart the Cardinals and looked tremendous the night of this lunatic's rants.

    But we'll end this discussion with the ever brilliant Ruben Silva's comment.


    SMELL YA!!! too Ruben...Who needs sound reasoning with facts and thoughts that pertain to reality?

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  • In a shocking turn of events, Gary Silvers from PhillyBurbs.com picks the Phillies to win the NL East! Is it so hard to ask for a little objectivity? I know I'm not alone. Peter Gammons had a raging boner talking about the Mets on Sunday and how they are light years ahead of other NL teams. Let us just look at the lineup the Phillies ran out on opening day:

    J Rollins SS
    S Victorino RF
    R Howard 1B
    C Utley 2B
    P Burrell LF
    W Helms 3B
    A Rowand CF
    R Barajas C

    Wow...you look at that lineup and tremble with fear. Their bullpen is not even worth getting into. Ten of eighteen ESPN 'experts' picked the Mets to win the NL East. When you throw out Steve Phillips' vote for obvious reasons, that is ten out of seventeen votes. Out of all of those 'experts', only three said the Mets miss the playoffs all together and one of those guys was not so surprisingly Steve Phillips. Even Keith Law, who has been one of the biggest detractors of the Mets rotation, picked them to make the playoffs via the wildcard. Of course all of this means nothing, but it I think it says a little something about who appears to be the best team around.

    BP picks the Mets to take the NL East, but not many people think their rotation is good enough to take them deep into the playoffs. Jose Reyes and David Wright are picked to finish 2nd and 3rd in the MVP voting with Carlos Beltran in the top ten. The Mets have some serious talent in case you didn't know.

  • Joe Smith got tested early and though he didn't get the job done, you have to wonder if that was even possible. The kid must have been going nuts...

  • DG....you definitely have to hate Eckstein. Plain and simple.
  • Sunday, April 01, 2007

    Baby steps....

    Mike (St Louis): With the way The St. Louis staff UNDER performed last year, could everybody be blowing our starting problems out of proportion? We have Carp and El Hombre!

    SportsNation Buster Olney: Mike: I think that the Mets and Cardinals have gotten as much progress out of their starting pitchers as you can in spring training. Wainwright and Wells have been terrific for the Cardinals, and similarly, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey and John Maine have shown real signs of getting better. This doesn't guarantee a carry-over into the regular season, but the coaching staffs of both of those teams have to feel good about what they've seen from the rotations.

    Optimism is a trait that you have to have if you are a Met fan. Generally speaking, I've thought this team has had a shot to make the playoffs at least one point every year since they reached the World Series with the exception of one and they generally gave you some reason to believe at some point. This year, while the entire baseball world is pointing and laughing at our craptastic rotation, us Met fans are sitting tight and saying, "you just wait".

    It is interesting that the three guys who are considered the guru's of pitching had starting pitchers make the most progress. Kip Wells looks like he's more Chris Carpenter than Mark Prior and Daniel Cabrera has shown flashes of being a dominating force this season. It is one thing to have good arms that were successful and polished before you got them, but it is another thing to take projects or throw aways and have them blossom and take massive steps forward (...and I'm not grouping Pelfrey into the project or throwaway bucket).

    There a few big stories of spring like Josh Hamilton, Kip Wells, Daniel Cabrera, Jon Papelbon back to the bullpen, Barry Bonds' homerun swing, Mark Prior getting sent to AAA, Daisuke's mysterious pitches, but looking back come playoff time, no story will be bigger in terms of the effect on their ballclub than the Mets trio of 20 something starting pitchers shutting the Phillies and the entire baseball world up. I think they gave everyone enough of a look to know that the Mets are clearly not in bad shape. With this offense and this bullpen, I see five pitchers primed for success.

    It's go time and I expect a pitcher's duel and an eventual Met win tonight.

    * * *

  • Josh Hamilton? Legit.

    Steve (Columbus): Buster, everyone keeps talking about how unhappy Junior is in RF. Irregardless, Freel throws his body around like a rag doll in CF. Do you see Josh Hamilton getting a decent shot at say 400 ABs?

    SportsNation Buster Olney: Steve: Absolutely. Had two scouts say last week they think Hamilton will be an impact-type middle of the order hitter this year, because of his plate discipline. If he hits, he will play.

    We make fun of Jake for drafting Hamilton in the third round, but he might actually have the last laugh here. Just let that sink in. A guy who has had fifty pro at-bats over the '03, '04, '05, and '06 season is not skipping a beat. Just imagine if this kid had not had any setbacks. There were stories of him when he was in high school like he was Robert Redford in The Natural. Smashing 500 foot homeruns when kids are not supposed to have power. A blend of tremendous speed and fielding ability he seemed like a player that was destined for stardom. If he can somehow make good on the talent that god gave him, you are looking at a real life depiction of The Natural and a real life story that could easily become a baseball movie.

  • After all that, Wright is batting fifth and LoDuca second.

    Willie Randolph said the Mets will bat Paul Lo Duca second tonight against the Cards, with David Wright hitting fifth. ... The Mets signed Ricky Ledee, who was with the team for part of last season, to a minor-league deal. ... Sandy Alomar Jr. likely will agree to head to Triple-A.

  • Melky is one of the top 24 players under 24? God save us all.

  • Milledge is taking steps forward and I think he is going to be an impact player that is going to make a difference for this team.

  • Ass.

  • Went to see Bloc Party last night....siiiiiiiiiiick. They were badical. I was extremely excited to be going to this concert and they did not disappoint.