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

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Ace for Sale?

To trade Rich Harden or not to trade Rich Harden....that would be the question for Billy Beane. The thing I like about Billy Beane is no one is off limits at any point in time. Playoff chances be damned, he keeps his eye on both the long term as well as the short term. One of the reasons he has been so successful is he knows his team's place in the market and operates accordingly. He will acquire players for a playoff push as long as he does not compromise his team's future and he will be more than happy to deal from a position of strength even if it reduces his team's chances at the playoffs that season. He will do that as long as the trade will bring more chances at winning it all in the future, which they generally do.

Harden would normally be a talent that is regarded as untradeable. He is one of the few guys that can be classified as a tier one ace in the mold of Johan Santana, Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Carlos Zambrano, and a select few others. However, given his unpredictable future and his past history, this may be one of the few times that an arm of his ilk is available prior to hitting free agency. Beane would certainly be risking missing out on a few Cy Young seasons of Harden, but he certainly would be extracting a handsome bounty for him. This is one of those classic cases where Beane would have to put value on the upside and downside of keeping Harden vs. upside and downside of trading him.

In the end, Beane might consider the downside of keeping him much worse than the downside of trading him. If he trades him and Harden gets healthy, he still has a premium outfielder (most likely) plus some other players/prospects contributing and he would be dealing from a relative position of strength and bolstering a weaker area. Conversely, a team like the Dodgers, Devil Rays, Angels, and Mets might feel like the risk of him not working out is far less than dealing a top prospect from a position of strength. For instance, Houston dealing Hunter Pence is probably not a great move considering their dearth of position/outfield prospects considering the risk whereas a team like the Mets could put a package together around a blue chip outfielder and not blink twice.

If he gets traded, there won't be much of a discount. Figure on an A prospect being coupled with a B/B+ and more being what it takes. It will certainly be enticing enough to assume that type of risk because this guy is one of the few players out there with true ace ability and one of the fewer ones locked up at his age for that type of money. This is going to be an interesting one to monitor.

* * *

  • Mark Prior had season ending surgery and it seems like things are never going to get better for him. If ever I thought anyone was a sure fire hall of famer from the start, I thought it was him. Crazy stuff happens and especially to young pitchers, which is why Billy Beane might ultimately try and trade Harden for someone who does not make their living off their arm.

  • How not to talk trash...

    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I'm addicted to drugs.'

    For one, you should have some more couth than to even attack Josh in that area. Second, it is probably a dumb idea to start yelling out true things.

    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I have tattoos on my arm.'
    'My name is Josh Hamilton and I have two eyes, two ears, and a mouth.'

    Umm...yeah. He does.

    "Funny story," he said. "When I went to right, a guy yelled, 'My name is Josh Hamilton and I'm addicted to drugs.' I looked at him, smiled, nodded my head and said, 'Yes, tell me something I don't know, dude.' The guy said, 'That's awesome. You're my new favorite player.'"

    Having someone heckle that is really bad at heckling certainly rivals someone who is a bad dirty talker in bed. It reminds of the Seinfeld dirty talk episode when he asks his girlfriend if her mom laid her panties out for her.

  • I wish I was creative enough to make this this up. Of course, the guy had to be from Jersey.

    "It was just a group of doctors that were traveling throughout the city going from bar to bar," a Melbourne police spokeswoman told a local TV station.

    The red-white-and-blue-clad "captain" allegedly staggered up to a woman, pointed out the Mexican delicacy in his spandex pants and grabbed her in a private place.

  • While we are on non-baseball topics (stemming from yesterday's swellicious commenting as well), there are two types of men in this world in my opinion. Guys who powder their balls and guys who do not power their balls. Now, there are people who swear by Gold Bond for the tingly sensation it provides, but I have to highly recommend the Johnson & Johnson Vanilla and Jasmine. Your significant other will be like, "Hmmm...is that vanilla...no wait...is that jasmine?". To which you can respond, "that's vanilla and jasmine.". Really, it's a well orchestrated symphony of smells when the J&J Vanilla and Jasmine is in the mix.

  • Link courtesy of DG...

    Lastings has done some growing up and knows his place in the universe.

    "Eventually, you know I'm going to be there (the majors)," he said. "I don't know when. That's good. They talked to me a lot. They know what the future holds for me here.

    "A lot of organizations don't tell you anything. You just have to wait for something to happen. The only thing you can control is your numbers and what you do on the field and off the field. I control my game and what I do on the field. Everybody else does their job."

    Not only does he get it, it seems like the organization is handling it's prospects will with an open line of communication.

    "More than anything, we're entertainers," Milledge said. "More than anything, people watch this game because of the entertainment. That's what I am. I'm an entertainer. That's how I see myself.

    "Some people have problems with that, but that's how I see myself."

    He also seems to get the grand scheme of baseball, which is essentially a form of entertainment.

  • Cole Hamels appears to be human.

  • "I want to stay in New York, no matter what."

    I wonder if he is probably pretty sure he wants to stay in New York. Why A-Rod would say such a thing is beyond me and precisely why he irritates people. Why even touch the topic? Boras is going to make him opt out and really, it makes sense for him. He'll get to sign a contract into his late 30's. It is a slight risk for him and he cannot overestimate the market, but it is safe to say he would do pretty well for himself and the Angels have long been rumored as possible suitors despite the fact they have an extreme strength in the area of infield depth.

  • David Wright is not the only guy who is starting slow. It happens...

  • Gary Thorne says the bloody sock was staged. I cannot believe that it was as the Red Sox were too busy trying to win games. Could they have done it for PR reasons or even a distraction? I suppose so, but I highly doubt it. This story is a HUGE non-story.

  • Phil Hughes had a rough outing as the Yankees dropped their sixth straight.

  • Minor League Update:


  • Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Bump In The Road

    If you think Mike Pelfrey got hit hard yesterday, I got hit even harder.

    you guys disgust me.

    Your arguments are so lame it's pathetic.

    I did think that statement was kind of redundant by using lame and pathetic, but he could have been using the literary device of repetition to really drive the point of my lameness home.

    This blog is a joke.

    This one cut much deeper than the others.

    you know i love your blog/writing/general attitude like we all love chuck norris, but dude you are fixating.

    Et tu brute? Moose Knuckles is on borrowed time my man and we'll work this out on the virtual playing field.

    Compare the whining on other Mets blogs and add the absence of idiocy for the most part on this one, I just don't see the crit.

    Thanks...I think.

    DG hit the nail on the head.
    This blog owns.

    Kenny, I always thought you were one of the good ones. Now that all of that is out of the way, I'll go back to the issues at hand a bit battered and bruised, but still trudging along.

    I was unable to watch the game, but Mike Pelfrey sure had his problems yesterday. I do not think many excuses could be made up like it was cold out or he was getting squeezed. I think he just flat out had a horrible game. This is three frustrating starts in a row now and though I do not think he should be pulled from the rotation, I'm sure the front office is thinking about it. If he fails to show any progress in another two starts, it would be hard to justify sending your top prospect out there game after game to get killed when he really needs to be working on stuff.

    Jake, is this you?

    Jake (VA Beach): I will NOT spoil 24 for you...this season has been disappointing so far though. Speaking of DISAPPOINTING...evidenced by his start this season and ESPECIALLY today...what's wrong with Mike Pelfrey. I thought he was a possible #1 and the Mets best pitching prospect??

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:12 PM ET ) Just had an IM from an irate Mets fan. The problem right now is that Pelfrey needs better secondary pitches. His curve was his third pitch in college, and his new slider doesn't seem to be making much of a difference. The Mets fan was lamenting a John Mabry homer off his change, so I guess that's not working either.

    Though I am no scout, it certainly looked like his slider was pretty good at times, but it is clear things are not clicking. He simply is not getting enough swings and misses and is throwing entirely too many pitches. With Jorge Sosa having some major success at the AAA level and being one start off Pelfrey's spot, it makes sense to start thinking long and hard about seeing what he can offer this team. That by no means Pelfrey is done seeing Queens in 2007, but it certainly will not hurt to let him get some confidence and work on some stuff for a bit at this point for New Orleans. Pelfrey definitely has the ability to over match big league hitters, but he is getting over matched at this point and now might not be his time.

    * * *

  • Jose Valentin is first in range factor out of all National League 2nd basemen. Hell, he's the only 2nd baseman in the big leagues with a range factor over 6.00.

  • Reyes the best lead off hitter in the league? Awww schucks. The best all around player in the universe? Swellicious.

    "He's the best player in baseball," a National League front-office man said of Reyes. "Every tool is [rated] plus, and he can change a game in so many ways."

    Based on his performance in 2006, quick start in April and the people hitting around him, a healthy Reyes appears to be a lock for 20 homers, 15 triples, 120 runs, 80 RBIs and 60 stolen bases. His on-base percentage, which spiked from .300 to .354 last season, continues to trend upward as his discipline and pitch recognition also improve.

    It really never gets old reading things like that.

  • Fernando went 1 for 5 with a run scored in Binghamton's loss.

  • Chad Bradford is an excellent reliever, but I'll take Smith for $10,000,000 less.

  • Ramon Castro hopes to start next year for the Mets, but some people don't see that as happening.

    One AL team executive, though, believes the Mets would pass on Castro as their starter. Also, an NL team executive said he believes Castro - who hit .238 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 126 at-bats last season - is not a starter.

    He sure can rake in limited action though. If LoDuca would come back next year on a one year deal, which I'm sure he won't be satisfied with, I am all for a reduced roll for him with Castro getting more at-bats. Shit, that may be the way to go this year too.

  • Pedro Martinez is still in high spirits.

    "I am super excited with how things are progressing. I feel as good as I did in 1996 and 1997," the 35-year-old ace told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

    That is good to hear, but no one knows the extent to which he will return. However, he is one of the greatest of all time like Greg Maddux and can work with a reduced repertoire at a high level and adapt to whatever skills he has left. Of course there is always the chance he gains a few more MPHs on his fastball which is scary to think about. Either way, if he can just make it back, it will provide a huge boost to this team emotionally.

  • As Bookied pointed out, the Phillies are on fire. They are now four games out of first and are riding a five game winning streak. I think this is the type of team that will have stretches of really great and really bad ball. I do not think they are constructed all that great with the bottom of the lineup and back of the bullpen owning plenty of holes, but they may just be dumb enough to not recognize they are not the best team. This Philly team is not lacking in heart and just might give everyone fits afterall.
  • Labels:

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Is Aaron Healthy?

    Obviously we have not had enough time to discern Aaron's effectiveness in 2007, but I cannot help but get the feeling something is a bit off. I do not think think he is lapsing into a depression over not starting because he still cares. He is visibly pissed when he does not perform and though he prefers to start, he is still giving everything he has to relieving and I truly believe that.

    It is too soon to really look at stats because he has decent enough stats for this time of year, but he just does not appear to be in vintage Heilman form. His K's are down, but again, it's 6.2 innings of ball. However, it should be noted that he has the least amount of innings pitched out of every Met pitcher. He has also only pitched two games in a row once this season. That coupled with his surgery for his tennis elbow and him sitting out some of the pre-season with tendinitis hints to me that something might be going on with him.

    Though he isn't that far off pace of where he was the same time last year, he certainly is not getting much work comparatively with the other pitchers for being their go to arm outside of Billy Wagner. Consider me a bit concerned at this point and Jorge Sosa has been great at AAA and might become and important figure in this Mets bullpen before the year is out.

    * * *

  • ENDY!!!!! That drag bunt to win the game made me giggle like a school girl. LoDuca had a similar idea earlier, but Endy is a better bunter and executed it better. After the Mets lost a tough game on Sunday, you really would have hated to see a spectacular pitching performance by The Duque wasted and as Ron Darling said last night, the legend grows.

  • I hate Aaron Cook. Really, he was impressive and his sinker appears to be pretty nasty. I think the Met bats were a bit off, but he was sharp and didn't help things. Between Hirsch, Cook, and Francis, maybe his team will have a solid trio of starters to build upon.

  • Minor League Update:
  • Yankee fans are starting to get restless...

    [11:33] yankeescum: oh new york baseball, what a weekend
    [11:33] me (aka the good guy): willie is a stupid man
    [11:33] me (aka the good guy): really not a good manager
    [11:34] yankeescum: can say the same for torre
    [11:34] me (aka the good guy): of course
    [11:34] yankeescum: he was exposed this weekend
    [11:34] me (aka the good guy): i've been saying that for years!
    [11:43] yankeescum: what happened to you guys....when I turned off the game it was 6-2 mets
    [11:43] me (aka the good guy): Willie happened.
    [11:44] yankeescum: who in your pen imploded?
    [11:44] me (aka the good guy): Burgos had retired the first two handily.
    [11:44] me (aka the good guy): Then Green dropped a ball.
    [11:44] me (aka the good guy): With Kelly Johnson up (a lefty), Willie tries to get cute.
    [11:45] me (aka the good guy): Burgos deals with lefties better than Schoenweiss and was cruising, but being a righty, he wanted the lefty/lefty matchup even if the lefty cannot get lefties out better than said righty.
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): so, he brings in Schoenweiss despite the fact Felciano is the only true lefty specialist.
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): Johnson gets on and then BAM!
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): Three run jack... 6-6.
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): Then Heilman gave up a three runs.
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): 9-6
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): game over.
    [11:46] me (aka the good guy): fire willie.
    [11:46] yankeescum: i hate when mgrs go with the lefty/lefty, righty/righty matchups because it's what your "supposed to do" per the book
    [11:47] yankeescum: torre tried to get cute last night....used pettitte in the 6th
    [11:47] me (aka the good guy): i saw that.
    [11:47] me (aka the good guy): i'm not against that stuff though
    [11:47] yankeescum: after throwing 90+ pitches on friday
    [11:47] me (aka the good guy): out of the box thinking.
    [11:47] me (aka the good guy): but he throws a side session on Sunday anyway probably
    [11:47] me (aka the good guy): and it worked before, no?
    [11:48] me (aka the good guy): not ideal, but your bullpen stinks.
    [11:48] yankeescum: where the hell is farnsworth?
    [11:48] me (aka the good guy): you'd rather have him in?
    [11:48] yankeescum: let the bum earn his money
    [11:48] yankeescum: torre doesnt even know who farnsworth is
    [11:49] me (aka the good guy): ha
    [11:49] me (aka the good guy): well, i'm not shocked willie is the way he is if he learned from Torre
    [11:49] me (aka the good guy): Willie uses his gut too much instead of using his brain.
    [11:49] yankeescum: fire 'em all
    [11:49] me (aka the good guy): word up

    That was from Monday....This was from today...

    [16:51] yankeescum: I'd take el duque at this point. oh boy.
    [16:52] me (aka the good guy): classic
    [16:52] me (aka the good guy): you guys are in trouble
    [16:52] me (aka the good guy): one game out of last.
    [16:52] yankeescum: yes, it's quite concerning
    [16:53] yankeescum: in true irony, arod having his best start ever and the yanks are flailing

    Flailing indeed. With the loss to the D-Rays, they are now sitting in sole possession of last place. On April 24th 2005, the Yankees were tied for last place with the Devil Rays at 8-11. In 2004, they were 8-10 though they were not in last place. In fact, you would have to go all the back to 1985 to see the Yankees in sole possession of last place.

    As I stated in the comments in yesterday's post, it is not that I think the Yankees are bad. Quite the contrary, but this division is simply to improved for their rotation. As of right now, their starters have a 5.65 ERA and 4.69 K/9. The obvious thing is that they will improve with Mussina, Wang, and Hughes in the fold, but that still does not set them to far above everyone else. I fully expect there to be one 90 win team in the AL East and that is the Red Sox based on the strength of their starting pitching. I envision the Yankees winning 88 games, which is certainly a respectable total but also not one that will get them their division or the Wild Card. I think they will hit, but they will not have a cake walk and will be challenged this year more than ever.

  • Time for Pelfrey to go out and throw strikes tomorrow. One of the big pluses for him was that he was a hard thrower with good control. He has not had that in the bigs and he needs to trust his stuff and not worry about getting hit. Maybe that isn't the case, but it certainly doesn't seem that way to me. I would like to see him attack hitters more and use all three of his pitches from the start of the game and worry about saving them for later when there actually is a later.
  • Labels:

    Willie Proof™

    The Mets recipe for success:

    1) Let Willie scribble down the Mets lineup.
    2) Let the offense spot the pitcher a bunch of runs
    3) Have the starter go almost eight innings.

    Simple! The three step process to the Mets success in '07. Watching John Maine pitch is just great and it is just nuts how he really does nothing too spectacular. His slider has become a nice pitch, but not overwhelming. His fastball is 90/91 mph, but it is sneaky and I love how he just throws it up in the zone. His off speed pitch is a decent offering, but far from Pedro-like. However, he simply gets the job done and has been doing it at a high level. He has the highest VORP this season out of any Met pitcher (Joe Smith is 2nd) and the Mets finally pulled off a trade in which another team's fanbase is thinking "what a horrible deal that was for us". The Mets have four legitimate big league pitchers that can win any game and once Pelfrey comes around, they will have a complete rotation.

    Offensively, this team is pretty much firing on all cylinders. While Wright and Delgado are not carrying their weight (Delgado's homer tonight notwithstanding), there is no doubt they will come around and produce like they are needed to and it is good to see everyone else producing. Then you take a step back and look at the depth on this team and you have to feel good with Milledge and Gomez in the wings with Sosa looking great in AAA as a call-up for the rotation or out of the bullpen. From DG...

    VP Tony Bernazard indicated pitching coach Mark Brewer has helped Sosa alter his arm slot, keeping the ball concealed longer so that batters find it more difficult to read and react to the incoming pitch. “He’s keeping the ball down,” Bernazard said.

    While the 'experts' will point to the Dodgers long term stability this season over the Mets because of their depth, like their rotation, I think the Mets depth is over looked. If Delgado goes down, Green can admirably fill in at first with Milledge coming up into rightfield. Any outfielder goes down, they have the aforementioned Milldege. If LoDuca goes down, Ramon Castro will step and give the Mets arguably better defense behind the plate and let the man who is tied for 2nd on the Mets in homers get more hacks. If a pitcher goes down in the rotation or bullpen, you have Sosa and Vargas with Humber down the line.

    There are only three spots the Mets are especially vulnerable, but you show me a team that has no vulnerabilities in terms of depth. While the Dodgers might have more premium prospects backing up their big leaguers, the Mets are covered just as well as anyone and are an extremely dynamic ball club. While some teams need to tread lightly and are teetering on the edge being one injury away from non-contention, the Mets are not one of those teams.

    * * *

  • Burgos-gate II revisited:

    I was wrong when I said Burgos had better numbers against lefties, but that does not mean my position has changed. If Burgos is pitching well keeping his pitch count low, you leave him in with a three run lead and a guy on second to face the red hot Kelly Johnson. Also, it should be noted that Johnson has a .333/.459/.500 line against lefties this year with a .265/.390/.588 line against righties in roughly the same number of at-bats.

    Mets non-Wagner relievers vs. lefties:
    Schoenweiss vs. lefties .222/.300/.222
    Burgos vs. lefties .235/.350/.471
    Feliciano vs. lefties .111/.357/.111
    Heilman vs. lefties .667/.667/1.667
    Sele vs. lefties .286/.333/.714
    Smith vs. lefties .182/.182/.273

    If you were going match up and actually did some research, you would probably have left Burgos in with his success in that inning, his success with lefties, and Johnson's stats against lefties. The standard moves do have some caveats and Sunday's game appeared to be one of those instances. Furthermore, if you had a hard on to get a lefty/lefty match-up, it seems like a no brainer who you would chose.

    As for Monday's game, if Burgos had put runners on like he did against the Rockies, of course you would pull him in that situation. However, Ambiorix looked decidedly different on Sunday. Also, Gary Cohen had made mention of Willie testing his new guys early, but that is exactly what he didn't do on Sunday. So I have a hard time believing he actually doing that and is more so doing a lot of managing from the seat of his pants guessing a lot.

    Ironically enough, the post game of Monday's game was chock full 'o Willie love saying how happy Met fans must be to have Willie and Willie must be happy he waited to manage and learned the ropes in the meantime. Huh? Did they know about Randolph actually being offered a job and turning it down? It wasn't his choice. He was actually turned down by a lot of teams including the Mets two years before he got the job. Of course, things did work out for him because he inherited one hell of a team. I'm done harping on this topic....

  • Back to the Mets starting pitchers....they are now 11-4. All the teams that were considered the class of the NL in regards to their starting pitchers? Not sniffing the Met starting pitchers jock straps.
           Innings  ERA     K/9     BB/9    H/9     HR/9
    Mets 107.2 3.01 6.69 4.18 7.27 1.09
    Braves 113.2 4.20 6.26 3.72 9.03 1.03
    Dodgers 107.2 3.34 6.60 3.76 9.28 0.59
    Padres 106.1 4.66 5.84 2.88 9.90 0.51
    Not bad huh? Braves fans are crying about the Mets being regarded as the better team and point largely to their rotation that is much better in their eyes than the scrubs the Mets are throwing out there, but I think if everyone just looks at what the Mets have going on right now, a rational person would rethink their position in regards to the Mets rotation.

    Even better? The bullpen drastically lowers the team's ERA.
            Innings  ERA     K/9     BB/9    H/9     HR/9
    Overall 160 2.59 6.69 4.50 6.81 0.90
    The Mets team BAA is far and away the best in the National League out of any contenders and the only people who seem to grasp how good this Mets team is are the good people who do the Power Rankings for the sports sites around the web. The Mets were first or second on all Power Rankings on this dude's list with only Dayn Perry listing them lower than 2nd with the Indians and Diamondbacks ranked above them which immediately destroyed his creditability.

    Baseball Prospectus has them at the top as well, but senses a major correction from them.

    Off to the races: Jose Reyes is hitting .356/.457/.593 and running riot over the rest of the league, with four triples, eight steals, and 18 runs thus far. Elsewhere, the stat sheet has a few puzzles. David Wright is riding a 26-game hitting streak going back to last September 17, though he's yet to homer. And while the pitching staff has put together a league-best 2.40 ERA, their walk rate (4.65 per 9 IP) and the team's insane .778 Defense Efficiency Ratio suggest a major correction up ahead.

    Of course they will come back to earth, but they are still the real deal.

  • Carlos Beltran wins player of the week.

    Beltran led the National League with 27 total bases as the Mets swept a two-game series from the Florida Marlins and won four-of-six games last week.

    During that span, Beltran hit .448 with a .951 slugging percentage and a .484 on-base percentage. Beltran's 27 total bases included four doubles, two triples and two homers.

    In that same span, Beltran had 13 hits and nine RBIs, tying him for second-most in the National League.

  • Phil Humber won the PCL player of the week honors.

    ets prospect Philip Humber is already making a splash in Triple-A, winning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors after posting a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA in two starts last week.

    Humber struck out seven while allowing just two runs in 13 innings to earn the award.

  • A-Rod went deep twice to set a big league record for the fastest to fourteen homers. Unreal. Oh, and the Yankees lost are are half game above the Devil Rays and are one game out of sole possession of last place. Problems in the Bronx? Absolutely.
  • Labels:

    Monday, April 23, 2007

    Willie Time™

    Burgos-gate was revisited during yesterday's game. All the people that defended Willie for leaving in Burgos to face Ryan Howard had the rugged pulled out from under their argument. After facing three batters and getting through them rather easily, he yanked Burgos to have a lefty face the 'dangerous' Kelly Johnson after Shawn Green completely and utterly butchered what should have been a catch. To recap, Randolph let Ambiorix pitch to Ryan Howard in a crucial situation after throwing a lot of pitches and coming off a tough battle with Chase Utley but would not let him face a guy with a girls name after handily making it through three batters.

    The thing that gets to me is the lack of consistency in regards to his moves. It is completely indefensible and extremely confusing why he handled each situation drastically different and made the opposite call of what he should have in each case. If he wanted the lefty vs. the lefty match up, why not use your guy who is more proficient at getting lefties out? Really, I like Schoeneweis, but bringing him into the game at that point in time was curious to say the least. All the people that defended Willie when he left in Burgos to face Howard to see what type of chops he had were clearly proven wrong when he yanked Burgos with a three run lead for a lefty match up. He goes against the book and with book in similar situations and I'm pretty sick of him using his gut. Maybe he should try some cognitive reasoning.

    You could also say he wanted to to bring in the lefty so he had the favorable match up against Johnson and to also keep Chipper on the right side of the plate, but Jones bats well from both sides of the plates and really isn't susceptible to much. It also should be noted that Burgos is a fastball/splitter pitcher which makes him essentially equally effective against batters from both sides of the plate and he actually has been more effective against lefites his season than Schoeneweis. This loss rest squarely on Willie's inability to effectively navigate though situations that require some advanced managing. When this team is in cruise control, Willie looks great. When it comes time to make some in game strategical moves, he falls very short.

    * * *

  • Oliver was stellar on Saturday and Willie was confounding as usual.

    "Just because he's a little erratic at times," Randolph said, trying to defend Perez's ups and downs, "that doesn't mean he's not consistent."

    Wait...what? Isn't erratic the definition of inconsistent?

  • Joe Smith was stellar as well on Saturday showing us what he is made out of with a huge strikeout against Andruw Jones with the bases loaded. I attended the game with a baseball novice and when Smith came in, I told her this will show us how big his balls are. She responded by yelling a "show us your balls" chant at Smith. As if that wasn't amusing enough, I was replicating the situation on Sunday for my friend and my seats are in the Loge in the first row where all the foot traffic is. As I was yelling it, a two foot tall child was walking by when I screamed it in his face and he had a bewildered look on his face that certainly had the appearance of some mental scarring happening. I'll never forgot that look as it is now etched in my brain.

  • You have to give this guy some credit for trying.

  • Jason Vargas got a bit touched up in his outing on Sunday as Milledge stole his fifth base and raised his average to .342 while Gomez stole his ninth base.

  • Mike Carp is a stud and went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, two doubles, and his second homer of the year in Binghamton's loss to Trenton.

  • Francisco Pena continues to hold his own in Low-A.

  • It's going to be in the high 80's today in the city!!!!