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

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I cannot help but think the Mets now own a very deep ball club. The have two catchers that can contribute meaningful innings, they have pop off the bench, four outfielders when Alou returns that can contribute, the bullpen has turned it around a bit and even Sele has looked good, the rotation is deep and set to get deeper, etc.

However, there are few things that have irked me. As Gary pointed out, the Mets have been carrying three catchers and Willie failed to use Ramon as a pinch hitter outside of one time. Why even bother carrying three then? He started in four of those games and pinch hit in one since July 4th, which is when Alomar got called up. One of those starts was after a seventeen inning game in which Castro only made it into the game during the bottom of the seventeenth to catch Wagner. Just let that sink in...three catchers and only one caught until the bottom of the sixteenth with not even a pinch hit appearance for Castro, who has shown pop this season.

My thing is that if you have the depth, use it. I would not suggest sitting LoDuca for the hot hand because I have my reservations about Castro getting exposed if given a daily spot, but Castro can certainly play more than once a week. Speaking of hot hands, Willie is notoriously a hot hand kind of guy. Sitting Gotay for three games straight after collecting six hits in thirteen at-bats is curious to say the least. We've spoken about how Willie feels obligated to Valentin, who now might be done for the season, for whatever reason and you never like to see Major Leaguers lose their job due to an injury (isn’t that how Valentin got his job last season?), but enough already. I could see giving Valentin a start or two, but Gotay needs to be in the lineup. He is hitting and this team is struggling on offense. It is time to let commonsense prevail and let Gotay have second until he proves otherwise. He might prove us otherwise, but his bat looks lively.

Damion Easley has some pop off the bench, but the guy is buried so far on the bench it is mind boggling. Here is the scenario...5-4 San Diego up on the Mets. It is the ninth inning with Trevor Hoffman on the mound. Lastings Milledge is up representing the tying run. If he gets on, the Mets have some life. On deck, David Newhan. Newhan! The guy who got cut literally ten minutes after the game was going to usurp a perfect chance to Easley to flash some pop off the bench. His batting average as a pinch hitter is Newhan-esque, but Newhan has much more than double the at-bats and I would like to Damion get more chances and see some platoon time with Gotay. Why he is not is curious to say the least.

Finally, when Alou comes back, there is mention of LoDuca moving back to the two hole. Two things on that one. First, if he is going to move there, why is he not there now? If it is believed that is where he should hit, what does Alou have to do with it? Is he batting sixth to provide some missing pop in the space that Alou left? I'm not missing the connection. Second, why move him up into the two hole? He should be moving down further. He is a singles hitter that had done nice things in the two hole last year, but better options have emerged. I'd prefer a Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Delgado, and Alou lineup or a Reyes, Gotay (or whomever is at second), Beltran, Wright, Delgado, and Alou lineup over anything with LoDuca batting second. Part of me wants to get Alou as high up in the lineup as possible, but I know Willie's thinking and his apprehensive stance on stacking righty/righty and lefty/lefty bats in the lineup in the top six spots. Whatever....

This team is coming into its own and taking shape. Sometimes teams need a while to sort things out and figure out what they have. It has happen with many teams before and while the Mets did not have that issue last year, they did have some turnover and injuries and things were not settled. They are now for the most part and I want Willie to start optimizing the team. I have liked things he has been doing like getting Feliciano more meaningful innings and not trying to ride him everyday. He is trying to spread opportunities around and keeping Joe Smith in the mix despite a rough patch, which I think is the right move. I like his edict of making pitchers contribute in every facet of the game. He has been doing some good things, but again, he gets a bit stubborn. It is time to start doing things in a more efficient manner so this team can continue to surge.

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  • Omar is in full spin right now and we have no idea if there is really no problem or there is a problem. But as DG stated, you are putting yourself at a serious disadvantage by divulging anything. Of course, the media does not care and would make things more difficult for the Mets at the expense of breaking news. Good times!

  • Alou should be back next week after sitting out with the galaxy's worst strain.

  • Also from the above link...

    Although Ruben Gotay has been excellent, Anderson could certainly see time there. “He’s a pro, man,” Randolph said of Anderson. “He knows how to play the game.”

    Riiiight. I love Marlon off the bench and I think he helps this team, but that outlines Willie's greatest fault. He thinks all vets 'know how to play the game' while young guys are too bereft of intellectual ability to know how to play the game.

  • Also from that luscious link...

    The Mets’ first draft pick this year, reliever Eddie Kunz, is still not signed. Agent Dan Horwits said yesterday that the sides were “making good progress the last few days.”

    Get the kid signed and get him some work immediately. I expect him in the bullpen by mid '08.

  • David Lennon is calling for Sammy Sosa? Please tell me that's a joke. Sosa has been a nice story for sure, but keep his empty homers in Texas with his sub .300 batting average. The Mets need to work pitchers more and not less.

  • Angel doesn't get it.

    "Yet another anti-Met article from Wally. Is he dense enough to believe that the Mets will actually sell over 40,000 season tickets? Of course there will be tickets, and of course there will be plans. Does he even take that into account? Of course not, because such facts get in the way of yet another negative story by him."

    - Angel, Bronx

    I do not want to state the obvious, but you do not need to sell 40,000 separate season ticket packages to fill up 40,000. Something like 54% of the seats are on field level. Field level is notoriously a corporate area and those boxes come in chunks of eight or six. In packages of six, they would need 3,600 companies to fill up half the stadium (I have no idea how many are going to actually buy them of course and have no way to make a reasonable estimate so I’ll shoot off unsubstantiated claims in lieu of real information) . That is before individuals jump into the fray and ticket brokers, who will undoubtedly buy plenty of season ticket packages to broker off tickets in high demand. How many partial packages (if any) do you think will be available? How many years in a row did SafeCo and Camden sell out? Factor in this being New York. You might not be able to get a ticket outside of a scalper for a looooong time. Red Sox tickets are pretty much gone by February and I’m not so sure this situation would be much different.

    Maybe I'm off here and let me know if I am missing something. Maybe I shouldn't complain until the 2009 season actually hits. I don't mind buying tickets for 10 to 20 games off the bat and essentially making my own package (it is not like they are discounted or anything with my current package), but life is easier with partial packages. I do think that 81-game season ticket packages are going to account for a lot of the seats and there is precedent here. If places like Colorado, Seattle, and Baltimore can sell out for years and years in a new stadium without a tremendous product in place, New York should be a frenzy to put it mildly. Overall, I think they might have been slightly misleading to partial season ticket package holders. Granted, I don't expect people to make business decisions five years ahead of time. That obviously is not smart business and I know they are trying to maximize their dollar, but I think they owe it to the fans to accessibly in some form.

  • How much is Cordero worth? Not all that much. Again, another missed trade opportunity. Teams need to be better at evaluating their long term outlook and need to do a better job building for the future. The Marlins will regret the day they didn't trade Dontrelle while people were clamoring for him while they had no shot a winning.

    The Nationals, however, know him as a 25-year-old who isn't a free agent until after the 2009 season and who has saved 108 games with a 2.63 ERA in his less than four full major league seasons.

    However, another thought came to mind. With Hoffman's 500th save, someone had made a comment that 500 should be the magic number for Hall of Fame closers. There should not be any magic numbers anymore in today's game. Being 25 with 100+ saves is Cordero’s best asset. He can close for another 15+ years and just accumulate saves. Does that make him a Hall of Famer? I think the game has migrated away from magic numbers these days because of so many guys that are good, but not spectacular over a long period of time thanks to modern medicine. In another ten years, would it surprise you to see few guys that are 50 playing a role on a big league club?

  • Those wacky foreigners... Really, for anyone that has watched Most Extreme Challenge or any Japanese prank shows, you know what I'm talking about when I say America is way too uptight and sue happy. We are really depriving ourselves of some really funny stuff.

  • Good win last night and it looks like the Mets might have a little run in them to start the second half. Putting some nice separation early between the Braves and themselves would be nice to deflate their confidence a bit. Also, for those of you who thought the Yanks were making a little run, the are definitely not as bad as their first half, but the damage is done. They could play great in the second half, but making up eight games in 60+ is really tough. Especially since the Tigers and Cleveland seem to be locks for two spots. Time will tell, but no matter what streaks they go on, they'll have lulls. I think they are done.
  • Labels:

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Mailbag 7-19-07

    I got these this week and just an FYI, mailbag is code for "I ain't got shit today".

    I was reading your post over at Toasty Joe's and I started wondering if the Mets are a .650 team that went into a slump or a .550 team that had been playing over their talent level. A quick look at a binomial coefficient table is interesting. The Mets went, what, 3 and 13 in one stretch of June, right? Well, if we assume a winning probability of .6, (conservative estimate since my tables don't list the midpoints) the probability of winning only 3 out of 15 is a mere .002. Given eleven 15- game stretches in a season, a .600 ballclub would, by chance, lose 12 of 15 every decade or so. On the other hand, the probability of a .500 team winning 9 out of 15 is pretty good--about .06, and for a .550 team, its about .09. So a mediocre team will get on a good streak once every season. Granted, binomials assume constant probabilities, which is a bad assumption for a long season of baseball (at what point in the season do winning percentages stabilize?) and the Mets played pretty good ball for about 50 games, not 15 (with Beltran playing great in April, but not in May, so they still played well when he started slumping). But the numbers are not good. Hope I'm wrong, thanks for the great blog,

    That was above my intelligence level. Good stuff. I just think there are too many variables in baseball in regards to injuries, promotions, even coaching changes, etc. to make those sort of calculations. Too many X factors as you stated. There were a lot of people that thought the Mets performance last year was a result of several guys like Valentin, Oliver, etc. performing over their heads. The thought was if they were unable to duplicate that, the Mets would be due for regression, which sort of happened.

    Well, one thing is clear, their bullpen needs work. If Heilman can straighten out and Smith can come back from his swoon, I think they will be OK. That gives the Mets four good relievers. You want more, but not many teams are working with much more than that. Then you have Pedro and Moises due to return with Milledge up. I think this team will be better in the 2nd half and .650 ball would not surprise me. This is a weak league and Mets will be getting some serious players added into the fold. Who else is going to add any significant parts?

    As for Pedro, even if he is decent...not spectacular, his inclusion in the rotation moves Sosa or The Duque to the pen for the remainder of the season. That bolsters the pen giving you five solid relievers and another starter heads to the bullpen come playoff time. Say Sosa and The Duque with Pedro, Maine, Perez, and Glavine starting, which is pretty good if you ask me. Also, having Gotay, Valentin, Endy, Milledge, and Green and Easley for the bench at times is really a big boon as well and I think they are heading in the right direction. It took a bit, but I love the makeup of this team now and I REALLY love it on September 1st if everyone can be healthy at that point.

    Good morning,
    Love your blog. I try to read it everyday, before my boss comes to work. There has been a lot of talk about Delgado being down this year, and deservedly so as he has really struggled. But now i notice Beltran going into a "deep" slump, only ten points separate his and Delgado's average. I think Beltran is 0 for is last 13, or something like that. Beltran tends to be a streaky hitter in my estimation, but is there something more going on, as in his quad bothering him again? Just wondered about your thoughts on this.

    Thanks for your time,


    Hey Jonathan,

    After watching him run around today, it does not seem like his quad hurts. He is just a weird character. Even last year, you felt like he LOOKED like he should be batting .320, but when you check his stats, he ended up at .275. Before he came to the Mets, he hit .278 with KC in 69 games and .258 with the Astros the remainder of the season. In his MVP-type year in '06, he hit .275. His career average is .279. He won't end up in the .250s, but would a .265 shock us? Probably. Should it? Probably not.

    You watch this guy play and wonder why he does not have better numbers. Maybe he actually gives off the impression that he is better than he is and his seasons are propped up by hot streaks that carry the team and stick in our minds. Maybe he just is not as good as many of think he is. That is not to say he is bad as he still puts up premium offensive numbers for a centerfielder, but maybe we should lower our expectations of Carlos. Either way, he is certainly becoming an enigma.

    Thanks for coming by....


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  • Joe forgot to take his pills again.

    Rob (Portland, OR): The Mariners are now only 1 1/2 games behind the Angels in the AL west. Are they the biggest surprise of the season so far?

    SportsNation Joe Morgan: I think the Brewers are the biggest surprise, but the Mariners are right behind them. No one expected either team to be contending. The Mariners have an excellent chance if they can get production from Beltre and Richie Sexson, unless the Angels find a way to get another bat.

    Forget the fact that the Brewers were the pick du jour to win the NL Central, Joe himself was high on them and stated that in like 1,000 of chats never missing a chance to pat himself on the back. The Mariners are far and away the biggest surprise because no one expected anything and many are still cautious about the M's.

    Joe (DC): Besides firing the owner, what are three things the Orioles need to do to become contenders again in the next 3-5 years?

    SportsNation Joe Morgan: I'm not as caught up on the owner being the problem there. He may have interfered in the past, but they're not one or two mistakes from being the team that they are--they've made more than one or two. they need to figure out who they are--an offensive-minded team, a defense/pitching-minded team. They've been trying to do both, but I think you need to have an identity to be a great team.

    Huh? You cannot be offensively potent in addition to having good pitching? Actually, they need a new owner and about five years of good drafting. Not trading Miggy last season buried them for a few more years. Good luck!

    What really boggles my mind is he sounds far less incoherent while on TV.

  • I'm going to hijack some questions from Timmy Kurkjian's chat.

    Steve (Indy): Tim I have a fantastic HOF question. Kent, Posada, Pettite and Pedro. Which of these four eventually gets in the hall? Thanks.

    themetropolitans: Thanks for checking in Tim, the only two surefire Hall of Famers are Pedro and Kent. Pedro will be a first ballot and Kent might take a few to get in. As for Pettite and Posada, they certainly do not have Hall of Fame credentials for me, but I'm sure a lot of people will take their winning pedigree into account. In the end, I do not see any way Pettite gets in, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Posada will be poisoning the Hall of Fame with his chinless face, mediocre defense, and decent offensive numbers.

    Mike (Lexington, KY): What would it take to get Adam Dunn in the Home Run Derby?? Seems very logical to me.

    themetropolitans: Oh I don't know...about ten underage Laotian boys and pound of coke. No seriously, it should be nice to see Major League baseball fly in some smashers that do not make the All-Star team. As much as I love to see guys like Holliday and Rios, the fans want to see things 'go boom'.

    Mike (Dallas, TX): Are the expiring salaries of Schilling, Clement and Lowell going to translate into the Red Sox making a major push for A-Rod?

    themetropolitans: If by push you mean no, then yes. They might bid or act interested to drive up the price tag, but Lowell makes sense on so many levels for them.

    Willie (Portland, OR): Tim, the most underrated player in baseball right now is...........

    themetropolitans: Julio Franco. No doubt. I've always felt that actual hits and other things that contribute to wins on the field are vastly overrated. They guy's clubhouse presence is off the charts and when you talk about tutalidge, no one tutals like him. I mean no one.

    Tyler (Bmore): What can the O's get for Steve Trachsel? And would the O's ever make Daniel Cabrera available in a trade?

    themetropolitans: For Traschel you can figure on bag of half used suppositories. As for Cabrera, his value is rather low at this point and I cannot see anyone trading for upside when it comes to him. If they moved him during the spring, they might have been able to get something for him. I think his value is pretty low and I do not see it getting much higher...I've pretty much given up on him making that next jump and think this is the real Cabrera.

  • Julio Franco get tossed under the bus a bit by Willie.

  • Classic...

    "All we want," said one NL executive this week, "is a starting pitcher who's at least an upgrade. But they're just not out there. If we're sitting here waiting for Steve Trachsel to come off the disabled list, thinking that's a big deal, I mean, it's time to slap ourselves in the head. But that's where we are."

    The landscape of baseball is changing a bit and for the most part, all your tinkering and tweaking from outside the organization has to be done during the off-season.

  • Also from the above link, some interesting Pelfrey information.

    The Mets have sent signals that they're now willing to move Mike Pelfrey in a big deal. But an official of one team that has been scouting the Mets' system says: "To be honest, I don't know if I'd take Pelfrey right now, the way he's throwing. I think he's been [Scott] Boras-ized. I'm not seeing the same stuff I saw before. And he's showing a stubbornness that rubs me the wrong way, like [the Boras operation] has convinced him that their way is the better way. I'm seeing this with his guys all over now, and it's becoming a problem all over the industry."

    His stock has dropped quite a bit and it looks like he is not much of a commodity at this point until he proves he can do something at the big league level.

    Within the piece it mentioned that Grienke would not be moved unless the Royals get astounded by an offer and I would think that warrants a few pointless phone calls by Omar to see what, if anything, could get done.

  • Not only do I point out what I do not like about Willie Randolph, but I point out things I do like as well. I like how Willie making sure pitchers are not easy outs and not just all around clueless when they are not on the mound.

    "You're supposed to be an athlete," Randolph said. "I don't like when pitchers don't exert themselves. If you're that fragile that you can't run the bases, you're not an athlete and you don't belong on the field. You should be in the best shape you can be."

    Of course all this might changed if someone gets injured, but you simply cannot worry about those things. Baseball players are not China dolls even though pitchers sometimes get treated as such.

  • I am not Wallace Matthew's #1 fan, but I have to agree with him 100% here. I've had my Mets Sunday package for about five or six years now and they are phasing out the casual fan. I have a few friends that are Yankee fans and they have to buy season tickets and then act like ticket brokers and dole the majority out so they can go to games. While the Mets winning is a good thing, it is just going to complicate getting tickets to home games.

    It is really annoying because of the fact that one of the reasons I still do this plan vs. just buying tickets to games that I want to go to is that I was under the impression we would get tickets to the new stadium. The Mets aren't big enough yet that I cannot get tickets to just about any game a week or two ahead of time, but that will be thrown out the window when the new stadium opens. I'm not dropping down $10,000 for Mets tickets and I'm not sure how many games I'll actually be able to go to at this point.

    Funny thing is, I remember getting multiple questionnaires asking me how important it was to me that I'd have some sort of preferential seating in the new stadium.

  • Dave Littlefield is not worried about the Pirates new CEO, but he should be. If you want to talk about two guys that should be fired, Littlefield and Sabean would be a top the list. Of course Sabean got an extension and I'm assuming Littlefield's should be coming any day now.

  • What is interesting about the A-Rod and Yankee situation is that they are each others only feasible option. No other team will plunk down that type of cash and I'm not buying into the Angels or Giants rumors. Sure there might be tepid interest, but ultimately who is going to shell out that type of cash? While I am not wavering on my thought that he will surely opt out, I do think he will end up staying a Yankee.

  • Michael Vick's contract situation is cleared if he was released.

    The Falcons signed Vick to a 10-year, $130 million contract in December 2004. He has been paid about $44 million, including $37 million in guaranteed bonuses, and is due to earn a base salary of $6 million this season.

    Teams can amortize the salary cap implications of signing bonuses, but if a player is cut, all bonuses paid but not yet factored into the salary cap must be accounted for within two years.

    The Falcons face an estimated salary cap hit of about $6 million this year and $15 million in 2008 if they release Vick — devastating hits to any team’s budget.

    It slipped my mind that NFL does not have guaranteed contracts hence the enormous signing bonuses. Also, the article states the crime comes with a $350,000 fine and six years in prison. He is not the first athlete to commit a crime, but I think we can all agree not all crimes are created equal and this is one of the more heinous ones I've seen.

  • Kevin Mulvey was solid again for the B-Mets and won his eighth game of the season. He went six innings and gave up only two runs and is 8-8 with a 3.12 ERA.

  • Who else got nervous after the Mets put up a six spot in the first? I would have been more comfortable with a two run lead with Glavine's penchant for having a really hard time holding big leads. At this point, he is the not exactly instilling trust in me and I would prefer anyone but him starting in the playoffs. Of course that is impossible and even I wouldn't put him in the bullpen during the playoffs, but he seems like an automatic loss if the umps are not generous.

  • Has Beltran moved into the role of most useless Met at the plate with Delgado's little renaissance?

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  • Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    To Be Clutch or Not To Be Clutch

    Wikipedia defines a clutch hitter as a baseball player with a knack for coming up with the "big" hit. The big hit is typically a game-deciding hit, sometimes a home run, often coming with two outs. Being known as a clutch hitter is a position of high honor and responsibility, as the clutch hitter is recognized as the "go-to guy" for the team, and his exploits in pressure situations are celebrated by both fans and players alike.

    Pretty straightforward, right? Not really. I would tend to agree with Bill James and other statheads that clutch hitting does not exist. I will take it a step further to add another dimension and say that people can shrivel up and lose their ability to perform. While some people simply may not be able to take the pressure and perform up to their abilities during stressful situations, others simply perform at their established levels.

    "How is it that a player who possesses the reflexes and the batting stroke and the knowledge and the experience to be a .260 hitter in other circumstances magically becomes a .300 hitter when the game is on the line? How does that happen? What is the process? What are the effects? Until we can answer those questions, I see little point in talking about clutch ability."

    The thought process is that if someone really did play better in clutch situations, the GM would be pretty interested to know why said clutch player is not playing as well in non-clutch situations. Disinterested? Not likely. Needing the pressure to perform? Can someone really gain ability in this type of situation? Aren't the players most cited for being clutch in guys like Jeter, Mariano, Ortiz, etc. just better on a per-game basis than most others and continue to do what is expected of them which is perform? Last I checked, most clutch performers were superstars anyway. I'm not talking about guys like Scott Brosius or Kirk Gibson who certainly came up with big hits, but guys regarded for their clutch ability over a long period of time.

    It's really a tricky question because of other factors like the pitcher maybe not being able to continue to perform at the same levels due to not handling stress as well. Also, I'm sure you can spew stats that prove that this guy has hit .500 in close late and .400 in the playoffs, but to that I would just point out sample size. Generally, if you go back long enough and look at a large enough body of work, you would assume that for the most part, a player's stats would be consistent with his career states whether you looked at when the bases were empty or whether there were bases loaded.

    Why don't we take a look at Mr. Clutch and New York's own Derek Jeter. If we go use the always informative ESPN splits from '04 through '06 and isolate the situations we would typically deem as clutch, we can see how much he deviates from his three year average in each of those situations:
    Overall              AVG   OBP     SLG
    Bases Loaded 13% 25% 4%
    Close and Late (8%) 1% (8%)
    Men On, 2 out (3%) 5% (6%)
    On Second (18%) (4%) (10%)
    On Third 27% 12% 15%
    Runners On 2% 4% (4%)
    Scoring Position (2%) 5% (1%)
    Scoring Posn, 2 out (4%) 8% (2%)
    Second and Third (13%) (2%) (31%)
    What do we see? For the most part, minor variances. There were more situations when he 'choked' and he technically performed under his true abilities (however so slightly) and there were less situations when he was 'clutch' and performed over his true abilities. In the ones where there are greater variances, you have to take into account sample size. If he had gotten two less hits with the bases loaded and four less hits with runners on third, he would be would be in line with his three year average of batting average. Maybe instead of proving a player is clutch, people should be more concerned with said player simply playing up to their abilities during times of stress rather than slinking away.

    What is my point? One of the biggest problems with the Mets right now is getting guys hits when they need to. Basically, the Mets have had an extreme lack of clutch hits, but I am confident the Mets will be alright. The law of averages tells me so in conjunction with past performance. Baseball is a series of streaks both good and bad. Outside of Moises Alou, not many people give you the same thing day in and day out. While some guys have greatly underperformed when it counts for the Mets this season, it is hard to believe that things will not improve.

    If you look at past performances, we know that the Mets team is not full of guys that shrivel in the face of high pressure situations. Reyes, Wright, and Beltran are the same guys who hit .414, .358, and . 310 with runners in scoring position with two outs last year. They have done it before and though they may not be 'clutch' for the rest of the year, I can say with a reasonable amount of certainty they will more likely perform to their abilities during those high leverage situations than continue down the path they are headed right now. If the Mets pitching can hold up and their bullpen can continue to perform like they have, something tells me this team will make a move and create some space.

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  • The daily Pedro update and this time brought to you buy Steve Popper:

    Pedro Martinez was expected back a few days ago after taking a breather in the Dominican Republic. But according to a Mets official, he remained there to do his bullpen session Tuesday and is expected back in Port St. Lucie later this week.

    I know the buzz around is that Pedro's break from rehab raises red flags (another mention about it again today, but I'm too lazy to find the link again), but we cannot forget what Will Carroll had said back on July 6th.

    When a success is followed by ten days off, people get confused. Pedro Martinez threw a great simulated game and now moves into a new phase of rehab, one where he goes from strengthening for function to conditioning for action. Pitching is a very specific activity and while Martinez has certainly been preparing for that during his shoulder rehab, it's a different process to actually get ready to pitch—saying that he's "doing spring training" is a vast oversimplification. It's a different process altogether, so while it is counterintuitive for him to take off time to "recharge" (as the Mets are calling it), it's the accepted move. More than anything else, the Mets are making sure that they do this right.

    Do not buy into the sensationalism coming out of the media. Something could be wrong of course since his comeback has been mostly shrouded in mystery, but I'll side with Will Carroll on this one.

  • Speaking of clutch players, Darling said that The Duque seemingly needs the spotlight to perform and cited that as the reason he is thriving in New York and has thrived in the playoffs vs. places like Arizona. Now I do not necessarily buy into that, but I agree with Willie that The Duque is a competitor.

    "Not only the stolen base," Hernandez said through an interpreter. "Even at the plate. Anything you can do to help the team win a ballgame, you've got to do it."

    Said manager Willie Randolph: "He's just a competitor, man. I love his energy and his fight. He forces you to play the game. He just loves to compete. If you don't pay attention to him, it's almost insulting to him."

    Some guys are complacent and go through the motions but The Duque is 100% not one of those guys.

  • It seems like David Wells broke out a knuckle ball against the Mets.

  • Mr. Neyer goes over one of my pet peeves....retiring numbers. I get why teams do it as the ultimate way to honor players, but that should be their choice and not the league's. I think Jackie Robinson should be honored for what he meant to the game as should many players, but I'm not 100% sure the way to do it is telling another player they can no long wear that number. Great gesture, not sure it is the best idea. Jackie Robinson Day was an amazing event and the more appropriate way to go about raising awareness. But now since it was done for Robinson, the Clemente camp and the Ruth camp are asking for the same treatment and want #3 and #44 retired for all of baseball. If a team wants to do it, great. They Yankees retired 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 32, 37, 42 (Robinson and soon to be Rivera), 44, and 49. On the way will be 46, 20, 2, 13 (if he stays), and possibly Clemens' 22.

    That's 21 numbers and that is a lot of numbers and they will be in triple digits soon, but the MLB should stay out of it and work on other ways to honor past greats. I truly think there are better ways to honor people...and don't ask me I have not given it much thought. Regardless, it should entirely be up to the team, but even then, I'm not a big fan. Why can't you simply hang numbers with names and still let the numbers be worn? Whatever, minor gripe here that has no large bearing on the game at all, but still a gripe worth mentioning.

  • Random thought...isn't it weird that a team that has been struggling all year to hit never went out for early BP? For that fact alone, Rick Down should have been let go. Way to think outside of the box Rick-o!

  • Keith Law says he would trade Hughes before Joba. The Yankees have two guys that look like potential #1's while the Mets supposed aces to be have been struggling. Humber gets a pass, but he should be straightening out in the second half if he wants to suppress some of the criticisms.

    Law also responded to his disappointing scouting report on Deolis.

    Lenny (Villanova, Pa): Keith, in an article following the future's game, you criticized Deolis Guerra. Two questions relating to that: 1) Was that the first time you've seen Guerra? 2) Your reports said his FB was a lot of 87-88, but BA had him at 93-94. Why the discrepancy? Thanks.

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:16 PM ET ) Just to be clear, I didn't criticize Guerra. I gave a report on him, and it wasn't glowing, but that's not the same as criticizing the kid. That was the first time I'd seen him, yes. I have no idea where BA got its velocities; I didn't see anyone with them in the scouts' section, which is where I was sitting with the radar gun.

    Not sure who is telling the truth here.

    Mr. Law also likes Milledge.

    Lenny (Villanova, Pa): Have you seen Milledge play since he has been up? Do you think he is here to stay this time, and do you think the hype is deserved?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (1:29 PM ET ) I never understood how his stock fell as quickly as it did. He's going to be an above-average corner outfield bat, with good defense.

    He also said the top GMs were Dombrowski, Melvin, Shapiro, Minaya, and Beane (not necessarily in any order).

  • Jim Callis' chat was definitely Yankee-centric, but we did get a Brandon Efferson question.

    Greg (New York): Will the Mets sign Efferson?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:40 PM ET ) Wow, a Brandon Efferson question. He's a little pitcher from Louisiana with big stuff, and yes, I bet he signs before the deadline. Call it a gut feel.

    As I stated before, even if they have to overpay, they need to get this kid. They need some live arms and his upside is huge.


    Mike(NY): Lightning round- Martinez, Gomez, Milledge, Tabata?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:42 PM ET ) I'll be difficult and still say Milledge.

    Looks like Milledge is getting some love from the chat people today. I still see a .300+ batter with 20+ homers, 20+ steals, and solid defense during his peak.

  • The Red Sox agree with me and believe Lowell would be the wiser pickup for the Red Sox. Not because Lowell is better or even in the same universe as A-Rod, but it just boils down to Lowell's production, glove, and oodles of extra money to spend elsewhere. Fiscal responsibility is not exactly a bad thing.

  • I can see Dye being a little upset up when Vazquez was extended while he was not, but after sucking for a half a season in a big way he was upset when Buehrle was extended and he was not. Interesting...

  • Vick deserves to go to jail for a long, long time. No matter how rich you are, you apparently cannot buy intelligence.

    The government's case includes evidence that Vick and his cohorts "tested" pit bulls for ferocity. If the dogs failed the test, the indictment charges, they were executed by hanging or drowning. In one case, with Vick present, the indictment says a dog was slammed to the ground until it was dead. In another incident, a dog was soaked with a hose, then electrocuted. Those aren't the sort of transgressions that lead to probation and community service. It's the kind of behavior that results in punishment, and the punishment will be jail time.

    I know killing animals is not on par with humans, but that type of behavior should be held in serious regard. I have not read anything about projected time in the klink, but at this point, five years would not be nearly enough and he should be banned from the NFL for life. Of course, I'm not saying he is guilty, but he has been indicted and the prosecution percentage is 95% according to another ESPN article and said they would not be indicting him if the case was not strong. He is still innocent at this point, but it is not looking good. I wonder what happens to his $130 million contract if convicted?

  • The Braves confirm everyone's suspicsions that they are going for it by signing Julio Franco. Lookout...he might weakly pepper whoever is playing second base with plenty of double play balls. We are all quaking in our boots here above the Mason-Dixon Line.

  • Anytime the Mets defense wants to start helping out John Maine, they can feel free to begin.

  • Check out Toasty's site as I have some prospect talk going on over there....but I shouldn't have to remind you to check his site, right?

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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Counterintuitive? Yes. Beneficial? Perhaps.

    The Mets have Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, and Fernando Martinez relatively close to the bigs in the outfield and Mike Pelfrey, Phil Humber, and Kevin Mulvey closet to the bigs on the mound with Maine and Oliver Perez already in the fold. The Mets have the depth to make a deal, but you could make the argument that trading any of those guys for the marginal upgrades available on the market would be a mistake (you would be 100% right), but what about a huge upgrade?

    The Astros are not exactly in what I would call an enviable position. They had a minor league system ranked in the bottom third of all big league teams before Hunter Pence broke onto the scene. Next year, they could easily be be one of the three worst systems when you consider Matt Albers should be with the big club to stay and he is not even that impressive of a prospect. They are currently sitting at 13.5 games out and 1.5 games back from being tied for the worst record in the National League and three games back from having the worst record in the Major Leagues.

    If you were the Astros, what would you do? We have seen the mistakes that teams make when trying to win while a certain player is around. The San Francisco Giants have made a series of horrible choices solely based around trying to win while the had Barry Bonds on the team with some other usable parts. The Astros, while in horrible shape, do have some positives going for them in Dan Wheeler, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, and Brad Lidge with another player in Mark Loretta who could add value by fetching a B- prospect in a trade.

    Wheeler is under control through '08, Pence through '12, Lee through '12, Oswalt through '11, Berkman through '10, and Lidge through '08. There is a core there, but not much else. On the farm there are some decent arms that are mid to back end guys at best and the fact they did not have a draft pick until the 111st pick in the third round of this year's draft certainly does not help things. They certainly do not have the ability to buy what they need and do have enough talent to not give up. By trading Oswalt, you free up money to buy some players and get three or four players who could bring a lot to the ballclub for under $2 million.

    What to do? Would you trade Oswalt if you were the Astros for two or three top 100 talents and a guy like Aaron Heilman? I'm not even sure if I would do a Milledge, Humber, and Pelfrey much less a Milledge, Heilman, Humber, and Pelfrey deal and I do not know if either team could even come to an agreement for what they would be giving up. Would three players even be enough considering the perennial Cy Young contender is inked for another four seasons after '07 at an affordable price? The Astros are far away from competing and are in dire need of getting some young impact players in their organization. If they could bring in three guys who could contribute on the big league level and at least two with possible All-Star talent, would they be better off?

    Of course I do not think the Astros would do something like this, but why not? Why not a blockbuster like that? While it would certainly not be popular, it would be hard to argue that it would not be in the best interest of the team. I understand guys like Oswalt do not grow on trees and it would be impossible for the Astros to replace a pitcher like that for those dollars figures, but sometimes you have to trade your most valuable commodity to maximize your return.

    On the Mets side of things, losing two or three promising prospects is softened by the fact Oswalt and Maine are under control through 2011 and they can still bring back Perez giving them three young and talented starters to form the base of their rotation. There are quite a few teams that could help themselves out with deals like this, but they never do for fear that no one would turn up the park (i.e. Bay in Pittsburgh). With the rising cost of free agents, teams are less willing to part with big time prospects for even a year and a half of a top tier player. They want young people that are under control for a long time. The landscape the game has changed quite a bit and so should the way teams look to improve their long term outlook.

    * * *

  • In contrast to reports yesterday that Alou could be back in a week or two, it looks like he could make a return while the Mets in LA later this week.

    Also within the article it seems that there is a possibility of Duaner Sanchez returning late next month. I'm not sure what can reasonably be expected of him, but it is worth nothing.

  • We tried Heath...we tried.

    Reliever Heath Bell, who posted a 5.11 ERA for the Mets last year and was dealt to the Padres in the Ben Johnson offseason deal, has been terrific for San Diego (2.26 ERA going into last night). Said Bell, "I felt like if I just got the chance to pitch in a good role on the [Mets] that I could do what I'm doing now."

    Bell got a lot of support from a lot of us and I'm guessing the Mets would like a mulligan on that deal.

  • Lastings continues to have his head attached to his body and the common sense flowing from his brain to the rest of his body. I don't get why people are still so negative in regards to Lastings, but whatever. He speaks like a kid who knows his time will come and he will perform what that time does come.

  • The Mets are on the precipice of falling out of the top ten and I cannot argue their removal at this point. They do not look like a top team in any facet and are riding purely on how well they played last season and how good people think they should be. Now, the goodwill should be drying up and they are going to have to perform to get some respect.

  • Bob Raissman and his stilly moustache would like more TV time for Ralph Kiner. Similarly to players feeling that teams are obligated to play them forever, why must the guys in the booth have die or be near death to get removed? Ralph Kiner has been great over the years but was in the booth for a few years more than he should have been. He gets a weekly spot now and it is nice and enjoyable, but entire games? I think we can all agree that Keith, Ron, and Gary are lightyears better than Murphy and Kiner towards the end if their careers. The games does change...culture changes...people get older and crustier...new blood is not a bad thing and SNY is smart to keep up what they are doing and should not feel obligated to do anything more. They have been classy in regards to the way they handled things and gave him a great tribute.

  • You have to check out this banter between Mike and Ted. It pretty much sums up what we've all been feeling. They were both spot on.

  • It looks like Joe Torre's usage of a starter as a reliever on off-days is a bit contagious.

  • Zambrano's gut tells him he's staying with the Cubbies.

  • The Royals picking up Dotel in the off-season was extremely smart because of the value he could have had if healthy at the trade deadline. He is throwing hard and should bring some decent back.

  • After Beltran bizarrely doubled off the first base bag I was feeling some positive mojo...then Brian Giles made an unbelievable catch on what I thought was a surefire double and possible triple for Wright. If the Mets pull this one out tonight, it will be a close one.

  • Mike Pelfrey had a rough second inning but was otherwise pretty tight. He gave up all three of his earned runs in the second and gave up three hits and three walks overall while striking out seven.

  • Bobby Parnell got roughed up for Binghamton and gave up five runs in three innings.

  • Toby Stoner was impressive for St. Lucie going 6.1 innings while giving up three hits, two earned runs, and two walks while striking out seven.

  • Some people think Beltran isn't healthy. Of course I have not spoken to him, but it certainly looks like he is. Last night he was running around the bases like he was fine and does not look uncomfortable swinging the bat. It just seems like it is just a really bad slump.

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  • Monday, July 16, 2007

    It's About That Time

    One of the best storylines of 2007 has been the emergence of John Maine and Oliver Perez. Maine is under the Mets control through 2011 so there is no rush with him, but in regards to Perez, the Mets only control him through 2008. If the Mets want to extend him before he hits free agency at somewhat of a discount, this off-season would be the time to reward him. There is a slight gamble with Oliver because there is still some uncertainty as to who the real Oliver Perez is. Is the 2002, 2004, and 2007 Oliver Perez the real one or is the 2003, 2005, and 2006 Oliver Perez the real one? They might well be willing to take a gamble and lay down some cash for Oliver simply because of the rising cost of pitchers, but the real issue is whether or not Oliver would sign an extension right now.

    If Oliver is presented with guaranteed money, it might behoove him to skip is final arbitration year and snag the cash. He has had his ups and down before and signing a contract now ensures he will have more money than he can ever spend no matter what happens. Let us say four years for $36 million? Would that even be enough? With the slight risk involved, I would assume the Mets would not want to break to bank, but would have to come up with a figure that would make the risk palatable. The problem is that if Oliver feels differently and believes he truly turned a corner, he could land an enormous payday after the '08 season if he puts two great seasons together.

    If Gil Meche can get $55 million, a 27-year old that has become a premier left-handed starter would fare pretty well to say the least. The biggest problem for the Mets is that Oliver is represented by Mike Fischlin, who is one Scott Boras' agents and was his first employee. We all know how much Boras loves free agency, but it is possible Oliver feels that the Mets are responsible for his turn around and may want to make the move to have security. I'm not banking on that much and if he does hit free agency, it could be one of the richest pitching markets in this history of baseball if most of guys set to become free agents actually hit the market. Oliver would join a group of impressive lefties that includes Randy Johnson, C.C. Sabathia, and Johan Santana and he would join righties Aaron Cook, Jon Garland, John Lackey, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy, Brad Penny, Ben Sheets, and John Smoltz.

    I do not think they will all hit free agency, but there should some substantial talent on the market with Lowe and Perez being the only two Boras clients. Omar clearly has his work cut out for him and I'm sure the Mets would prefer to get something done sooner rather than later.

    * * *

  • Alou and Pedro are making their way back.

    Moises Alou (strained quad) is scheduled to play in a rehab game today in Florida, general manager Omar Minaya said. ... Pitcher Pedro Martinez (rotator cuff) will throw a bullpen session today in St. Lucie, after which his next move will be determined.

    Some guy called into WFAN this weekend and said he was against the Alou signing. First, who did not think he was going hurt? You kind of have to accept this stretch of Alou being down for his bat in the playoffs, provided they make it here. Second, Alou just rakes. As I stated on Toasty's site they other day, his consistency is just astounding.

    Alou will not carry the team, the guy just hits. For his career he has hit .331/.394/.587 in March/April, .293/.364/.452 in May, .291/.348/.497 in June, .302/.372/.535 in July, .293/.363/.520 in August, and .306/.376/.520 in September/October. That type of consistency is just insane and really helps us understand why this offense have been sluggish and inconsistent since he went down.

    The Mets offense has been spotty, but having a force in the middle of the lineup that is so consistent is going to go a long way to making this team a bit more stable offensively. Alou is going to be a huge part of this team and with the Gotay and Milledge now here, this team is going to have it's best lineup of the year in place for a second half run. But with Alou close to being back, it looks like Milledge has only has a few games left to solidify his spot with the team. I do not think he will get sent down to the minors again, but he is going to have to play his way into the lineup.

    I am not sure how much Willie likes Green, but he has had OPS of .746, .547, and .682 since his scorching April which is horrible for a corner outfielder. He has not been horrific this month, but he is not walking and does not really bring much to the table in speed and defense. I've already spoken about Green playing some first while praying for Franco to be cut and I think that sitting Delgado more often should be considered. You certainly do not gain anything by playing Green over Delgado, but if Willie feels the need to get him in, he can do so in right and at first with Milledge getting the lion's share of time.

    In more Alou news, he homered in his first rehab game and he says he is one or two weeks away from returning.

  • The Mets drew a franchise record 203,515 fans for the four-game series, breaking the mark set in 1988 against Pittsburgh. ... David Wright and Jose Reyes started their 394th game together Sunday, tying the team record for starts by a left-side tandem held by Howard Johnson and Kevin Elster.

    They may be struggling a bit, but fans are still showing up in droves to watch them play. The Mets are third in attendence with 2,064,972 fans showing up in 46 games so far this year. Also, they are second to only the Red Sox for average away attendence per game. They edge out the Yankees which is certainly surprising and most likely a result of people wanting to see Wright and Reyes. Overall, they are on pace to have 3,636,090 fans come through the turnstiles at Shea.

  • I missed Milledge's bomb the other day and if you did as well, you can catch it here. It's the first link at the top of the article.

  • The Mets have a bit of a test ahead of them this week.

    "It's important because we're playing some good teams. There's a good chance one of those two will be in the playoffs if not both," outfielder Shawn Green said. "Second, we need to win games because we have a small lead, unlike last year. And third, we need to go out and beat some good teams. It's getting to a crucial time of the year."

    They are due to face David Wells, Jake Peavy, Greg Maddux, Derek Lowe, Brett Tomko, Brad Penny, and Mark Hendrickson and it is a rough stretch to say the least.

  • Pelfrey was sent down and Williams was let go.

    "I'm a lot more comfortable starting games than coming out of the pen," said Pelfrey.

    Scary thought. I wonder how he would have pitched out of the bullpen?

  • Wallace Matthews writing a positive article about something Mets-related? Bizarre... But it does seem Lastings has matured a bit and has kept his sense of humor intact despite the seemingly constant barrage of negative publicity.

    This is the new, mature Lastings Milledge, the one who swears he won't be high-fiving the fans in the box seats any day soon - "Not unless I win the World Series with a walk-off home run," he said. "I asked around and I already got prior approval for that" - the one who insists he "doesn't have to be the guy right now" but would never rule out being the guy in the (very) near future, the one who is playing as if his name were really Last Chance Milledge, which it may well be.

    "This year, I just do my work and go home," he said. "That's the main difference between last year and this year. Last year, maybe I wanted attention a little bit."

    And Willie even chimed in with a positive quote.

    "It's good to have him up here," manager Willie Randolph said. "He missed an opportunity earlier, but now he has an opportunity again to get back in the mix. We have a lot of season left to play. Hopefully, he'll be a big part of it."

  • Hal McCoy lays up some softballs for Joe Smith and uncovers his love for ice cream. Riveting stuff.

  • Dunn hit a bomb on Sunday that left me grimacing at the park.

    Oliver Perez's teammates had some fun with him yesterday after he gave up a giant home run to the Reds' Adam Dunn. The shot went an estimated 460 feet, knocking out lights on the out-of-town scoreboard in right field.

    "Wow, that was a long ball," Carlos Beltran said. "If I'm a pitcher, I want to give up a home run like that."

  • The Phillies are baseball's biggest losers. Congrats guys...

  • Mulvey rolls on...

    Mulvey allowed three hits with a career-high 11 strikeouts and Caleb Stewart drove in the only run as the B-Mets defeated the Connecticut Defenders at Dodd Stadium.

    Mulvey, a right-hander, didn't allow a baserunner to reach third base until the eighth inning when Jake Wald's advanced runners to second and third.

    With that I propose is that he gets rewarded with a promotion to AAA. With the Mets not getting anyone to stand up and step in when needed in regards to the rotation outside of Jorge Sosa, the closer the better for Mulvey and the Mets. His 3.13 ERA is impressive and he just might be the Mets most ready pitcher at this point in the system. I'm not saying he would dominate, but he seems to be the most likely to hold his own and give the Mets a decent chance to win should the need arise.

  • The Mets bullpen has turned things around nicely and have a 3.52 ERA which is good for fourth in the National League. They also have the fourth lowest BAA and are tenth in overall innings which is a reflection of the solid production the rotation has given the Mets this season. After a 4.72 June, they have put up a nice July with a 1.26 WHIP and a 3.35 ERA. They have certainly seemed to stabilize and showed some encouraging signs. Sele and Schoeneweis even pitched in to turn in nice months and the Mets really needed them to step up.

  • Quote of the year? Perhaps.

    Added Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi on Friday: 'My mother always taught me that if the only thing you have to say is `[expletive] David Samson,' you shouldn't say anything at all. So I'm not going to say anything at all."

  • Buster echoed popular sentiment today that the Mets are just waiting to jump on Carlos Zambrano. I do not see how the Cubs can possibly let him go, but I am salivating at the thought of a Pedro, Ollie, Maine, Zambrano, and The Duque/Pelfrey/Humber/Mulvey rotation. Sick, sick, sick, sick rotation with three, possibly four guys 27 and under.

  • Also from Buster, a crazy piece of information.

    There continues to be a lot of under-the-radar chatter in baseball about La Russa and St. Louis GM Walt Jocketty moving on to Cincinnati together after this season.


    I was thinking about the Reds and after seeing them in person and I must step back a bit from when I said they were hopeless. With Votto, Hamilton, Encarnacion, Bruce, Phillips, Harang, Arroyo, Bailey, and their solid '07 draft, they are not exactly hopeless. Their park is too small and not very conducive to winning, but there are pieces to work with. That being said, they still need to trade Dunn and Griffey and just take what they can get and start to rebuild a bit.

  • Mark Bradley pens an article about unicorns and leprechauns.

    There’s a good chance the Braves will trade for a starting pitcher before the month is out. (Indeed, Schuerholz had a list of possible deals written on an index card, which he declined to make available to the media.) There’s no chance such a trade will be made in haste. These are the staid Braves, not the kneejerk Mets.

    It would have been nice if he wrote about something...you know...that has to do with reality. The Mets did some shuffling, but I would hardly call them knee jerk. Franco had to go and Ricky is more useful on the staff than Down was in many people's estimation. The Braves however are not desperate? Yup...they are only thinking about signing Julio Franco and trading for Jose Contreras.

    The Mets just brought Rickey Henderson into their clubhouse and ushered Franco out. The Braves would welcome the latter back in some capacity and would never in a million years employ Rickey Henderson. That’s why the Braves became the Braves, and it’s why the Mets, for all their talent and money, are starting to look like their silly old selves.

    Exactly what starting pitcher are they going to get? I welcome a trade. There is literally no one out there. Also, I would take the Mets team now and in the future 10 out of 10 times and maybe the Braves should have thought about bringing in Rickey with three starters posting a .300 OBP. And that big boom you heard was Brian McCann coming back to earth and all those people saying he was as good as Joe Mauer might have been a little off to say the least. Bring it on Bravos...

    Ridiculously un-researched statement of the day in the comments of the above stupid article...

    He’s (Julio Franco) always been a great hitter. He takes outside pitches the other way and everything.

    Yeah...that's it. He takes outside pitches the other way on purpose.

    Second most ridiculously un-researched statement of the day...

    Mets have shown sign of last three weeks that their pitching is horrible and will never get better. And don’t tell me that Pedro is coming back and will be healthy. He is questionable to be good? In my opinion he is not good and solid pitcher that he used to be. The only thing that mets have better right now is good fielding, which shouldn’t matter much when the braves hitting and pitching is good.

    Mets team ERA: 3.83
    Mets bullpen ERA: 3.56
    Mets rotation ERA: 4.02

    Atlanta team ERA: 4.19
    Atlanta bullpen ERA: 3.78
    Atlanta rotation ERA: 4.43

    Looks like a clean sweep for the Mets. So maybe I need to be a little more clear on this one, if the Mets pitching is horrible, what is the Braves pitching?

    Just a plainly ridiculous statement...
    The Mets are the biggest idiots in baseball. I hate them and they should be contracted.

    Yes, contract what could be the most fun team to watch in baseball. Did I mention that they are third in attendance and second in road attendance? Atlanta is fifteenth in road attendence because you know...they are so popular.

    Not much going on down there in the minds of baseball fans in Atlanta, but at least the Altanta beat writer for MLB.com has some ability to think rationally.

    Other than trying to decide whether to respond with a "yes" or a "no", this was a rather simple question to answer. How bad can your bench or first-base production be when you're actually contemplating signing a soon-to-be 49-year-old man, who has hit .228 (26-for-114) and collected a grand total of four extra-base hits in his past 75 Major League games dating back to the beginning of August?

  • From Adam Rubin via Baseball America:

    The Mets are converting shortstop Corey Ragsdale, their second-round pick in 2001, to pitching. Ragsdale had a .192 average this season with Binghamton and a .206 career average in seven pro seasons.

  • It turns out that Paris votes for the president....every single year.

  • Marty Noble gets bombarded with dumb questions.

  • Phil Humber had a big day and picked up his tenth win and lowered his ERA to 4.24. He went 7.2 innings and gave up four hits, one run, and two walks while striking out four.

  • Sean Henry, Jon Neise, and Nick Evans all had nice days for St. Lucie.

  • Brahiam Maldonado continues to just kill the ball in what has been a breakout season for him.

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  • Sunday, July 15, 2007


    First, it is great to see the young guys we have been clamoring for pitch in and provide a huge spark for the Mets two victories after the break. There are still concerns about the Mets hitting since they have not been able to drive guys in and a bad team has held them to five runs in their wins, but I'm sure everyone is happy the games were won.

    Second, I heard Adam Rubin on the radio today and he is definitely one of my favorite writers out there in the NY area. He mentioned that is almost a good thing (you never want someone to get hurt) that Valentin got injured so Gotay could have gotten his chance. He mentioned on how Willie felt obligated to Valentin.

    My question is, why would a manager who previously had nothing to do with a player that the Mets acquired last year and had little expectations for feel obligated to said player? He's 37 and the consensus was last year was not exactly the norm in terms of what his production should be at this point in his career. Reyes...Wright...Beltran....I understand the obligation, but guys like Valentin, Green, etc.? Why? That to me is just a perplexing thing. (FYI, I'm not asking for Green to be benched at this point....just using him as an example)

    Ollie is going for the much needed win today. As Willie stated, with San Diego and LA on the horizon, the Mets needed to take three of four. If not for injuries, it is a good bet the Mets are not up 2-1 right now. But they are and today is a big game.

    We will end with some good thoughts from Benny...

    We hate Willie for the same exact reasons we LOVE guys like Lou Piniella and Bobby Cox. They want to win, they will demote and promote anybody and it doesn't matter whether or not they're rookies or long time veterans. They want the best 25 men on the field and it doesn't matter who's feelings are being hurt.


    Oh and I <3 Lastings Milledge. He's a game changer! He may not be going 4-4 but his hits are counting, he's making an impact.

    And at this point that's what the Mets need. Not an empty 3 for 4, but an impact 1-4. Milledge's average doesn't look pretty (small sample size people), but he has made his time here count so far.

    I'm off to Shea....

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