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

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Lazy Spring Days

I like Spring Training. It means real baseball is coming back. However, real baseball is still a bit away. Until then, we get games that do not mean much and stats that are very hard to decipher and that are for the most part meaningless. We also just get a plethora of human interest stories, fluff, and nonsense in the papers and on the internet. However, I must carry on.

The two biggest things emerging for me this spring are Carlos Beltran and the Mets rotation depth. I am not calling Beltran soft just yet as it would be extremely hard for me to make that determination. I do understand different people have different pain thresholds and different ways of dealing with things, but this is getting crazy.

"When you have surgery, you lose all the muscle in your quads, everything goes away," Beltran said. "Because the knees are fixed, the sensation of tendonitis I was having, I don't have anymore. But if I don't strengthen my quads, then all the pounding is going to be in the knees, and I'm going to aggravate the knees again."

He is undoubtedly one of my more favorite players in the league to watch. He has the elegance of stripper plying her craft on the pole when he plays and has a tremendous batting eye, the ability to hit for prodigious power, and a spectacular glove. However, we have rarely seen him 100% and he is not afraid to tell everyone about it.

Beltran, 30, was not lacking any confidence when he showed up for spring training and immediately echoed Jimmy Rollins' boast of the previous year by proclaiming the Mets "the team to beat."

Maybe he should have waited to make that statement until he was healthy and able to contribute. As for the rotation depth, I have been giving it more thought. The Mets need to see if Lohse will do a one year deal. Pelfrey might have to be a sacrificial lamb, but they have simply too much riding on this season to not hedge their bets.

There is only upside here and even if the Wilpons go over budget a bit, it will repay them immeasurably. With Lohse, the Mets will have four guys capable of 200 innings, which is just nuts. That should allay any concerns about the bullpen and give the Mets a seven deep staff which means no more Dave Williams, Chan Ho Parks, etc. I cannot say enough how important this is.

* * *

  • Gotay does not have a break and might be able to start playing next week. Good stuff.

  • Also from the above link...

    Maine, who will be eligible for arbitration next year, did not sign the contract, which calls for a marginal bump, according to the Mets' salary slotting for pre-arbitration players. David Wright and Aaron Heilman also did not sign their contracts when they were renewed in years past. A signed contract could imply a player is satisfied, which could later impact arbitration.

    "I'm not even worried about that," said Maine, a 15-game winner who earned $391,000 last season. "I'll still be able to pay off my cell phone bill."


    Good to see someone has perspective and if Maine repeats '07 this season, he will be paid.

    Maine is hoping the Mets will reach out to him with a multi-year offer before he gets to the arbitration process next off-season. A source close to the 26-year-old starter told The Post preliminary talks already have begun.

    "[Maine] loves pitching in New York and loves pitching for the Mets," the source said. "He's not a guy who worries about what other people are doing."


    While some people will tell fans to stop crying about these players complaining about their salaries, it is nice to see a guy like Maine around. He may not be ecstatic, but he realizes how good he has it and comes out looking very good after all of this.

    "I'm thankful for everything I make in this league," he told The Post. "It's still a lot of money, and I'm grateful to the Mets. That's just the type of person I am. I'm lucky to be doing this for a living."

    We here things about character guys all the time and Maine seems to be one of those guys and the Mets will take care of him.

  • Shea will be smoke free in '08 and Citi will be smoke free as well. I say great! So a few phlegm hacking smokers won't be able to continue to move forward with their quest for cancer during Met games. I'm sure they will get over it.

  • Mr. Billy Wags realizes he needs to switch up his game a bit.

  • Church is getting better.

  • The changing of the guards has begun.

    The Mets' All-Star shortstop said he couldn't be happier about following Derek Jeter as the face of the video game's 2008 version, released nationally yesterday.

    Sugary goodness.

  • I would hate to trade for a backup first baseman, but that is just what the Mets might have to do. Frankly with Beltran's bad wheels, he should move his bulking ass to first so he doesn't break.

  • Another bad article about Lastings. I like Church and do not think the Mets received nothing in return for Milledge, but we should all let this go. Lastings' statements were hardly inflammatory and even had a lot of truth. He might not have been a great fit personality wise for this team, but he is not a malcontent and meant well in my opinion.

    He is not David Wright when it comes to the media and maybe he makes some bad decisions, but he is a good ballplayer who has a certain style to his game that rubs some people the wrong way. I also just want to point out that Jose Reyes rubs some people the wrong way as well, including his manager.

  • The anti-Maine.

    “Man, it’s a tough situation for me right now because I’m at a point where I feel like the position I’m in, there’s a certain standard that needs to be put in place here,” said Papelbon after his scoreless inning of work in the Red Sox’ 5-3 victory over the Pirates. “I feel like with me being at the top of my position, I feel like that standard needs to be set and I’m the one to set that standard."

    Why do the players need to feel like they are battling the owners? Yes, the rake in a lot of money but they own the teams and players get compensated very well for what they do. The owners are not the enemy.
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    19 Comments:

    Anonymous Dep said...

    And alou goes down! Strained groin, sent for MRI.

    that didnt take long.

    Vargas is off for an MRI too, hip issue.

    We are the walking wounded!

    2:00 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I'm waiting for the punchline...Oh, wait, that wasn't a joke.

    2:02 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Alou, Easley, Castillo, Valentin, Schnieder, Marlon Anderson, Delgado, Church, and Beltran, all hurt?
    Fuck... NOW I'm getting nervous, this is just ridiculous!
    Something about seeing Olmedo Saenz at first bas that just makes me incredibly uncomfortable.

    I'm even more pissed and depressed about Beltran. I traded Jake Peavy for him in a keeper league a week ago.

    There's talk about Marcus Thames coming to the Mets. Meh. Atleast he has pop. 18 dingers in only 269 AB's.
    What's wrong with keeping Smith in Triple A, ya know "in case shit happens".

    Johnny Maine with a sense of perspective, god bless him! His reward is that the Mets are not talking abot an extension.

    I must say, even though he's not batting against REAL major league pitching, Ruben Tejeda is REALLY impressive. That skinny little freak really is patient! Looking at him bat the last couple of days I can see that his discipline is for real. I like him alot. I guess he can fill the void that Gomez and Milledge left me with.

    Milledge is killing it during spring training,he has 5 RBI already. His OBP is .500 in 16 AB's. Not as good as Angel Pagan though.

    People like Papelbon, Prince Fielder, and Cole Hamels all demonstrate they know NOTHING about Marvin Miller, Curt Flood, Andy Messersmith, and McNally. They don't know or appreciate the history.Papelbon was comparing himself to Mariano, only thing is... Mariano has been doing this for like 12 years now.

    2:40 PM

     
    Blogger John Peterson said...

    Remember how Roberto Clemente used to complain about pain all the time? Beltran is a gamer.

    2:47 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    I would take Thames, he can handle lefties fairly well and play some 1st and OF.

    I think he fits this team well.

    I wouldnt trade much for him though

    2:58 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Jokes on you Benny. Bad trade man. Well, jokes on me as well. I drafted Beltran in the first round last year. I will NOT make that mistake again.

    Thames is ok. He gives them insurance in two spots, which is good.

    RE: Paps…you hit the nail on the head. They’ve done it for like 12 years. I’m not sure where this entitlement comes from, but it is new man. Very new.

    I just want Beltran to keep it zipped and not talk about injuries. It’s like he’s giving himself an excuse to do shitty and say he was 80%.

    Dep, is Smith ‘too much’? If we do that, the Mets basically drafted Thames in the 3rd round of 2006. Sometimes Omar is a bit too much shoot from the him for me.

    3:55 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    hahahaha, what's wrong with drafting guy with top upside as ROOGY's in the top rounds of the draft?

    that seems like an awesome plan!

    ::barf::

    I'm not a Joe Smith fan so I may make that trade, but it does feel like too much to give up since how we drafted him so damn high.

    I want Sosa in the pen over smith. He is Roogy'rific too and can do much more than Smith like spot-start or multiple innings.

    4:33 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    MLBTraderumors has Sosa for Thames. No brainer if that the deal.

    4:41 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    "He has the elegance of stripper plying her craft on the pole when he plays ..." - glorious phrasing.

    Sosa for Thames -- gotta pull the trigger. I'd be a little more hesitant regarding Smith, liked him when he was on earlier in the season last year. While Thames isn't the savior, depth is needed considering the infirmary is overflowing with nagging injuries. While his average (.241 career) and OBP (.306 career) look quite shitty, his park-adjusted OPS+ in '06 was 123 and in '07 was 99, which is fairly decent for a guy who will be needed to backup Alou, Church, and even a little Delgado at firs (hopefully at least).

    Fernando Martinez 2-3, walk, double, run scored today. He's 19 and up to .300 on the spring, and with 17 AB, it's nice to see Willie giving him a time to show off his skills. Too bad that won't last and we'll have to wait until he is 24 before Willie bats him higher than 8th.

    While Fernando has a large brass set on him for proclaiming he'd be at Shea by the end of the year, the future looks bright. Reyes, Martinez, Wright at the top of the order for years to come ... splendorous and sumptuous. I just hope we don't HAVE to see him, because if we do, it means something treacherous has occurred regarding the starters, Endy, Pagan, etc.

    4:58 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    Yea i guess Detroit really liked when Sosa owned their asses last year.

    I make that deal too. sosa is very expendable even though i rank him ahead of smitty.

    5:01 PM

     
    Anonymous Dep said...

    I just did my hour of fantasy prep.

    y'all in twuble!

    what strange categories we have.

    bery bery strange.

    6:19 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I gotta say, there wasn't much I could argue with in that Milledge article, other than the tone which I found rather harsh. I will root for Milledge - or at least won't root against him - but I've come around to believing he didn't fit with our team, and he has a better chance in Was than with us. Whatever, I'd just like to get past talking about him...

    I'd like to keep Sosa on the team, but given our real lack of a backup RH corner OF/1B, and the inuries, Thames for Sosa makes too much sense. So here's what I suggest:

    - trade Sosa for Thames
    - sign Lohse for 2 yrs. / $9M
    - tell El Duque he's on the DL now, and in the pen permanently once he's healthy

    I like El Duque, and I loved what he did for us, but let's be honest - he can't start 20 games any more, never mind 35. And I like Pelf, but we need some depth. As for Lohse and the two year deal, why not? That's not big money, we can eat it if we have to, and if he's OK this year we have protection for the FA starting pitchers who may be leaving next year.

    - ube

    6:35 PM

     
    Anonymous Chris said...

    I'm more or less with you, ube.

    For some ungodly reason, I like Sosa on this team. Without looking at the numbers (a bad habit of mine you will all learn to exploit come fantasy time), I feel like Sosa performed decently last year, really only crapping out (with the rest of the pen) toward the end of the year. Couple of good starts, too, as I recall. He's no Sele.

    That being said, it's getting to the point where a guy like Thames is almost a necessity. So if you're fairly sure you can land Loshe and the Tigres will swap Thames for Sosa, I say go for it. And yeah, Duke to the pen/DL is looking like the only way to go, too.

    Is Armas is camp, or did I read something about visa trouble with him?

    Blech ... the best laid plans, eh?

    7:55 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    LF Moises Alou will miss the start of the season due to hernia surgery.

    That may explain the rumbling and rumors. He's out 4-6 weeks.

    8:34 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I would not be averse to trading Smith. I can’t help but question whether or not part of Smith’s problems last year stemmed from the league catching on to him. At times when I watch him pitch I can’t help but think of the old Peggy Lee hit “Is That All There Is?''

    Sosa is a bit more flexible in use and a bit more talented than Smith but trading him may be necessary to beef up the geriatric crew.

    It would probably be to Gotay’s benefit to be traded away from Randolph. I wonder if Willie was the Yankees manager a few years ago whether or not Cano would have been given a legitimate shot.

    I believe being traded was the best thing for LM. He needed to be with a younger ball club and a more understanding manager. His comments were no different than those of other players stung by the thought of being traded. It may also spur LM to work harder and become the star he is capable of being.

    With all the injuries I question whether the players are as fit as they can be or is it just bad luck. It is essential for older players to be at the peak of physical fitness. I also wonder if the the players in rehab are as dedicated to their routine as they can be. Unfortunately, of course, sometimes shit just happens.

    "He has the elegance of stripper plying her craft on the pole when he plays ..."

    I agree with TC that it is a nice turn of the phrase there, Mike. But I find that strippers catch my attention quicker and with more intensity than Beltran’s outfield play. Which reminds me of a local club that used to be on route 112 where the girls would start naked but that’s another story.

    9:59 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    LF Moises Alou will miss the start of the season due to hernia surgery.

    Perhaps urine should have been applied to more parts of his body than just his hands.

    10:03 PM

     
    Anonymous benny said...

    Perhaps urine should have been applied to more parts of his body than just his hands.

    Somebody call in R.Kelly! Or is Alou too old for R. Kelly's liking?

    Fuck Spring Training I want it to be April already. This spring has been too depressing with all the injuries. I'd rather it be APirl where I'm sure most of these guys will be healthy.

    10:23 PM

     
    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Somebody call in R.Kelly! Or is Alou too old for R. Kelly's liking?

    LMAO

    Required viewing for all Mets fans: MASH on TVLAND and if you are trying to make sense out of this spring I suggest watching the Beverly Hillbillies on TVLAND.

    1:56 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Fernando Martinez 2-3, walk, double, run scored today. He's 19 and up to .300 on the spring, and with 17 AB, it's nice to see Willie giving him a time to show off his skills. Too bad that won't last and we'll have to wait until he is 24 before Willie bats him higher than 8th.

    He’s got to earn his chops man. Nothing is for free in this world even if hurts the team.

    Sosa > Smitty? I trust him far, fary less than Smitty. I think he was on borrowed time last year.

    - trade Sosa for Thames
    - sign Lohse for 2 yrs. / $9M
    - tell El Duque he's on the DL now, and in the pen permanently once he's healthy


    100% man. That is going to go a long way to help ensure this team will not screw up. Those are not big name, but they are important.

    Armas is MIA. This has been a bizarre start to Spring Training.

    10:46 AM

     

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