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

Monday, May 19, 2008

All Church, All The Time

I know the jury on the Milledge for Church/Schneider deal and this will be judged years down the line, but as of now, it is looking like Omar knew a little something. Yes, I know that I just posted about Church two days ago, but it is not easy to temper my excitement on the topic. Keith Law was asked in a chat if Milledge was just traded for a platoon player and a backup catcher and he agreed with that sentiment. Now, Church is looking like an All-Star and Milledge is barely holding onto his centerfield job.

Given the fact the Nationals are in last place with no hope of any meaningful baseball this year, he should take his lumps unless things get really, really, ugly. I guess his 68 OPS+ might mean things are already really, really ugly, but I think he should still be given a chance to catch fire.

As for Church, he just keeps on going and going and going and going. He leads the team in homers and batting average and is on pace to knock in well over 100 runs and score well over 100 runs. Toss in sparkling defense and you have a guy turning in a pretty tremendous season. I really thought he would be good for the Mets and he probably has a bit of cooling off to do, but he has far exceeded my expectations thus far.

As far as how much cooling off, he did have an OPS+ of 118, 131, and 114 over the past three seasons so it is quite possible he is can toss out a pretty impressive season and this is not a complete aberration. Just a slight aberration.

* * *

  • The Mets swept the -18 run differential Yankees and pushed them further down into last place. The Yankees are six games out of first place and looking pretty bad. Last year big time offense helped the Yankees overcome shitty pitching, but this year, the Yankees and their 10th place offense are not looking like they are up to the challenge. To further add to the hilarity of it all is that Johan, who they could have had if they just included Ian Kennedy, beat them in game one with a good performance.

    Johan's eleven homers in nine games is a concern, but I think the Yankees would more than welcome his presence these days.

  • Manny rules.

  • By way of Rob Neyer...a book that every manager should read. That means you Willie.

    Buster Olney has an interesting tidbit on on the Mets managerial situation.

    An NL talent evaluator came up with an interesting name for the Mets, if they decide to change managers: Jim Fregosi. "He knows all about the bright-light and big-city stuff from his days in Philly and he would know how to handle New York, and he would be good with Jose Reyes," the evaluator said. "The veteran players would really like him. And his teams play hard."

  • Josh Hamilton is crazy good. He is leading the AL in homers and on pace for like 1,000,000 RBIs or something like that. He is obviously one of the most talented baseball players in the universe to be able to do what he is doing after his long road to the bigs. He has 37 career homers and could have easily logged over 100 if he was able to stay out of trouble. Scary to think how good he is going to become and how great he will end up despite losing so much time.

  • Not so much.

    "They don't like me?" Randolph said. " 'We don't like Willie.' Wait a minute, why don't you like me? I don't get it. Did I do anything to you? If you look at what I've done for your club, you should like me a little bit."

    You've done for the club? Wowee.

    Randolph excluded Ozzie Guillen from the conversation, but wanted to know why the traits often admired in the calm, cool and collected likes of Joe Torre are portrayed as flaws in Torre's former third base coach.

    "Is it racial?" Randolph asked. "Huh? It smells a little bit."

    I can 100% say that my dislike of Willie as the manager of this team has nothing to do with race.

  • Jonah Keri thinks the Rays are for real while the Marlins are headed for a fall. That seems to be about right.

  • Oliver Perez was on point last night and continued to mow down lefties. His .094 BAA for lefties is just pure insanity.



    Anonymous chris said...

    Tried to post this at Cerrone's site in regard to the Willie quotes, but there was some site glitch. Fuck 'em:

    I've been a Willie supporter throughout his tenure here, for precisely these reasons. Those of us without full-time clubhouse access (ie. not on the team) can't really know what he's doing and what he's not. All we can judge is the on-field product.

    That being said, we're well within our rights to judge that product. During the last homestand (Reds & Nats), the team's performance was a microcosm of problems that have been lingering for about a year now. Sure, the players are responsible for that, but Willie's got to be the guy who says it's not good enough, and he's got to get them to change. Period.

    I don't care how he does it, and I for one am not naive enough to think that what we see through SNY's cameras or hear on WFAN or read in the Post is even a tiny piece of the puzzle, of what's actually going on. That being said, Willie is ultimately responsible for how his players perform on the field. Regardless of what method he chooses to employ, lazy, uninspired, .500 baseball is simply not good enough from this team.

    If he can change that (and this weekend's games were a step in the right direction, to be sure), I'd be thrilled if he continues on as manager of this team. If he can't (and the last year seems to point in that direction), then I don't have any problem with him being replaced. As far as I'm concerned, it won't have one iota to do with how the media chooses to frame it. It'll have everything to do with how the team performs on the field, as it should.

    1:05 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Since I missed the game last night, I JUST saw it. And I must say, Mets kicked the Yankees ass. Very nice.
    Couple of observations from the 2 games.
    1. Melky Cabrera's eyebrows?
    They look like dental floss. I wonder where he does his threading.

    2. The Yankees offense with no A-Rod and no Posada is trash. I mean there were like 3 dead spots in the lineup. No Good.

    Ryan Church is amazing. He is proving me wrong. He truely is amazing. He does EVERYTHING well. He runs great routes to balls, has good speed, has a canon of an arm. His play on the field gets me more excited than his hitting to be honest with you but the hitting certainly helps.

    I was watching that Red Sox game live and I saw Manny Ramirez come up and do that and I couldn't believe my eyes, then they replayed it like 20 times and my jaws dropped. Manny Ramirez high-fived a fan in the middle of the catch and he still was able to get the double play. Haha! He's great, I wonder when during the play it crossed his mind "alright i'm gonna hi-five that fan", HAHA!
    Whoever spoke negatively about Milledge must do it here cause what Manny did was just ridiculous (in a good way).

    Mike, I went back to the archives to see if I could see any of my comments from when the Mets were looking for their manager and I couldn't find mine but I did find your posts about not wanting Willie but giving him a chance. I also remember not wanting Willie so I hate this idea that it's not "cool" to hate Willie when I've hated him from before he was even hired.
    Just something about someone with no experience getting such an important job that bothers me.

    I <3 the Tampa Bay Rays!

    1:17 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    Church is doing wonders in the utility spot on my fantasy team, and in left field for the Mets.

    Those Yankee fans whom I associate with still try to justify keeping Kennedy and Hughes over getting Johan. They are just wasting their time.

    Manny's catch in Baltimore was splendid. Anyone who high-five's a fan over the outfield wall in mid-play is good in my book. And he doubled the guy off first! Awesome.

    Fregosi? Is he alive? Why not Cito Gaston while we are at it?

    I met Hamilton back in '99 when he was drafted by the Rays and got assigned to Hudson Valley in low A ball. Played the SI Yanks and I got like $5 bleacher seats to catch him play. Really nice guy -- went out of his way to sign a ball and take a pic with me. What he's doing right now is absolutely crazy if you think about him completely missing 2-3 years of baseball.

    Hamilton for Volquez ... when does a trade workout like that ever? Both of them are tearing shit up.

    Race? Willie? What? Stop speaking, start managing.

    Perez's up and down starts drive me crazy, but when he's on, he's very on.

    Smoltz out longer than expected, too. Time to beat up on the Braves and keep the momentum up.

    1:27 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i cant help but pat myself on the bat for calling the church trade a good one from the get. you dont always need to trade a blue chip for a star. trades are made in an effort to improve your team. if you get lucky and rob the shit out of someone, then more power to you. right tampa?

    in regards to willie, his main flaw is his in game management. all the calls to go throw a table or argue with an ump are retarded. people need to come off that shit.

    omg, i cant believe i just defended willie.

    fucking delgado. he didnt run on that pop up that jeter dropped. i cant stand his ass. go look at art in florida, you douche. i cant wait for his contract and shit attitude to be gone.

    its nice to get to pound the yanks.

    the homeruns are discouraging for johan....

    1:56 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I agree that we cannot tell what goes on behind the scenes, but the fact remains that he is just lacking in some areas and that is plain to see. I think he is just not a good manager and especially not for this team.

    1:58 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny, I did not notice his eyebrows.However, they cannot be worse than Juan Gonzalez's.

    Which was my issue from the start! No experience. How do you know he can actually do the job?

    Hamilton and Volquez are otherwordly right now. One leading the league in ERA and the others in homers. Hard to complain about that one, but I suspect Volquez comes back to earth more than Hamilion who I think is Hall of Fame good. Yeah, I said it.

    Ossy...You did not defend Willie per se...

    in regards to willie, his main flaw is his in game management. all the calls to go throw a table or argue with an ump are retarded. people need to come off that shit.

    You just said the reasons people hate him are not exactly fair. They are hating him for the wrong reasons.

    2:11 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    That was heaven last night. Amazing what a weekend can do. On Friday it felt like the wheels were coming off and everything was a disaster. Today they are in second place and one back from first while looking like a complete badass team all weekend that we all want to see so bad. Very interesting to see when these guys turn it on how potent they can be.

    Willie just needs to shut the fuck up. I mean cmon man, throwing the race card out there? shit.

    No one has mentioned Scott Schoenweiss and his godliness this year. What is his ERA down to now...1.43? Unreal how good he has been. Everyone always talks about how bad our bullpen is and all I see is Wagner (the best relief pitcher in baseball currently), Smith, Scho, Feliciano...all badass. Then Sanchez who is coming back, Wise who may be good and one weak link with Heilman. Looks pretty good to me. I think Heilman needs to be traded by the deadline. If there ever was a case of needing "a change of scenery", I think this could refer to Heilman. We could probably still get something of value for him. I feel he is just lost and with the fans coming down on him the way they have been, I don't see him getting out of it.

    2:27 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    i got hamilton on my fantasy team and im loving his output.

    volquez looks like a turd with the way he wears his hat. him taking that 20mph off his change ups is sick

    its ok to hate willie. just dont hate him bc he doesnt argue with an umpire. i hate him bc he cant manage.

    i dont think there is enough delgado bashing on this blog. he has been atrocious.

    2:33 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I don't need to see him get thrown out. He is right in that respect, but he needs to do a lot more for me to be ok with him skippering the team.

    I mean, his guys do not support him and that is rather evident by Wagner feeling the need to call people out in the media. For him to do that, it seems to me that something is missing on the backend.

    Ossy...I will take note about Delgado bashing. I just ignore him which means I don't write about him.

    Shoe has been good. I meant to write something about that, but I will do that tomorrow.

    2:41 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Reyes in May: 295/.371/.525/.896

    Fucking swellicious

    3:12 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    Regarding Shoewenwiess I think it might actually be the way Willie is using him (SHOCKER!)
    He's putting him in situations to succeed, aka pitching against lefties.

    3:13 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Heilman's problems are entirely related to his inability to get lefties out. He's still dominating righties (514 OPS), but lefties are hitting him to the tune of .394/.500/.848/1.348. Not a typo.

    Pretty strange for a dude with supposedly a great changeup.

    And Benny is right on Show. He's being used much more judiciously this season. And his BABIP is unsustainably low right now. He'll level off a bit but still be an asset.

    3:16 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Well, I will say Willie has been less stubborn this year and moved Church up quickly and used the bullpen better.

    That being said, these are all things that should have been easy from day #1 and I still consider him deficient.

    3:36 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    schow isnt hurt like he was last year (knee tendon)

    heilman is murdering the righties, i think he may be tipping his pitches or something. the disparity is weird considering his past (wasnt that bad of a difference) maybe willie should limit his use against lefties with pop

    3:39 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Turning Heilman into a roogy would be an option. He is much better than this and for sure though and really needs to get back on track.

    3:47 PM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    If we need to get a righty in a big spot and Smith is unavailable, use Heilman.

    Otherwise, only use him in low leverage, mutiple inning type of situations for a while until it seems like he's righted the ship.

    3:53 PM

    Anonymous Mookie Mouse said...

    Church is on a torrid streak but see Morgan Ensberg 2005. It’s much too early to make an intelligent judgment on the trade. When Church was LM’s age he was basically off anyone’s radar screen. Is the trade helping the 2008 NY Mets? So far it has but before we make an assessment on the trade let’s be rational about this. Wait a few years.

    4:10 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I also forget to make a comment regarding race and Willie.
    Is he serious? How dare he.
    Herm Edwards although a good coach in my opinion, he was crazy and it was time for him to go.
    Using Isiah Thomas as an example on how it could be a racial thing?
    Is he fucking SERIOUS?
    That's offensive to the reporter and offensive the fans and anyone else who read that.

    If you suck and don't get shit done your going to be blasted, it doesn't matter about the color of your skin, that's ridiculous. Nobody like Joe Torre in his Met managing days, nobody liked Tom Coughlin before January of this year, nobody liked Art Howe.
    If you win, the love will find its way.

    And also, doe she honestly believe our perception of him is based on the newspaper and broadcasts?
    Yes in a sense, because of the dumb shit he says but the only person he has to blame for the perception is himself. He says dumb things, does dumb things, and he still can't manage. His in game managing skills hurt the team more than his communication verbal skills.

    4:29 PM

    Blogger almar said...

    Just read the article. Willie has seriously lost his mind with those comments about race. We are talking about a 15 on a scale of 1-5. Is he serious?

    Not to put gas on this conversation of race, but I wondered if Willie was indeed hired because of his skin tone due to Wilpon's wet dream/24-7 obsession with the Brooklyn Dodgers? Maybe Fred subconsciously wanted to be another Branch Rickey, hiring the first African-American NY manager? I know, I know, it sounds like I am coming out of left-field, but I never fancied myself to be politically correct anyway.

    Ask yourselves this though,…what aspect of Willie made him qualified to manage a large market team after lesser teams did not want him (ie: Pittsburgh)? Was it the "Brooklyn" connection? Was it the idea of pairing a Queens kid with a Brooklyn Boy? Was it the Yankees thing (gawd I hope not!), It certainly wasn't his managerial experience of which he had nothing to go on.

    Not saying that was in Wilpon's mind, just playing devil's advocate.

    5:24 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...


    Look at Church's XBHs in a horrible offensive stadium and the fact his OPS+ over the last three years was impressive.

    Also, he was not handled well...or at least not regarded to have been handled well in Washington and you have a guy who was never given a shot.

    Comparing Church and Milledge is not exactly fair. Church was still in school and was pitching and only shifted to the OF late. The guy can play.

    I've like him a lot for while and he has been on my fantasy team at some point in the last two seasons! I've been expecting him to break out, but it he never got over the hump.

    6:05 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Willie had no business being a manager. You need to have some sort of credentials, no? I mean Howe did and that did not work out so it is not absolute, but I think there were better options.

    I think Jamarillo was in the lead if he wanted it, but who knows if he was even going to be good.

    6:06 PM

    Blogger almar said...

    You mean like "cough" Oberkfell "cough"…

    8:05 PM

    Blogger Coop said...

    Tony Womack's eye brows could cut butter.

    9:14 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    I'm not going to lie, it is in my opinion that this deserves a post of its own:


    Simply amazing.

    12:48 AM

    Anonymous tc said...

    Of course, right after I post that, I find better pics and a place that sells it:


    12:49 AM

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