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

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Money Quote

'Tis Friday. I like Friday.

From Pavan:

Dude, Acta is vastly superior to Willie... Random Manny Acta Quote:

"It's been proven to me that a guy at first base with no outs has a better chance to score than a guy at second base with one out. That has been proven to me with millions of at-bats. I don't like moving guys over from first to second unless the pitcher is up or it is real late in the game."

I read somewhere that he reads Baseball Prospectus too.

From Benny:

Reds manager Dusty Baker has already decided he doesn't like Joey Votto's approach at the plate.
"I talked to him about that. Strikeouts aren't the only criteria. I'd like to see him more aggressive." Baker doesn't want Votto, Adam Dunn or anyone else taking called third strikes. "I really, really hate the called third strike," Baker said. "I hate that. You're guess and you ain't ready to hit."

Well considering he has Corey Patterson competing for CF says a lot.

"One thing that makes us a little wary is he’s had this a couple of times," Baker said. "At 20 years old, we’ve got to find a way to stop this. It’s rare that you have them this young, which makes you a little apprehensive about him as the center fielder. That’s a lot of running."

Wow. Two very different approaches. I mean, I do not like to see called third strikes, but to send a kid up there with the idea that he should be hacking with two strikes is insane. Here is a thought. If he thinks it is over the plate, he should swing. If he thinks it is a ball, he shouldn't.

Sometimes you get frozen, but that happens and is rare. Votto may not be Kevin Youlklis when it comes to walks and he might not be Daric Barton when it comes to walks versus strikeouts, but he had 52 walks to 122 Ks in 124 games in '05, 78 walks to 109 Ks in '06, and 70 walks to 110 Ks in 133 games.

That is pretty good. I would not mess with him at all and let him continue to develop. However, Dusty is going down a dangers road in my eyes. There are a lot of old school managers in this league. While there are a lot of GMs getting more and more familiar with advanced statistics, it seems that it has not trickled down to managers en masse.

However, guys like Acta are seeking to change that and even players are getting into it. Brian Bannister's interview with MLBTradeRumors.com was an extremely interesting read and eye opening. He may be the exception, but I think a lot of guys will be following suit because a bit of research can help them improve.

I think a lot of fans underestimate how much time I spend working with statistics to improve my performance on the field. For those that don't know, the typical BABIP for starting pitchers in Major League Baseball is around .300 give or take a few points. The common (and valid) argument is that over the course of a pitcher's career, he can not control his BABIP from year-to-year (because it is random), but over a period of time it will settle into the median range of roughly .300 (the peak of the bell curve). Therefore, pitchers that have a BABIP of under .300 are due to regress in subsequent years and pitchers with a BABIP above .300 should see some improvement (assuming they are a Major League Average pitcher).

Imagine that! Someone trying to gain an advantage with stats rather than PEDs.

It is well-known that a pitch knee-high on the outside corner will not have the same batting average or OBP/SLG/OPS as one waist-high right down the middle. Here is a comparison of the batting averages and slugging percentage on my fastball vs. my curveball:

Fastball: .246/.404
Curveball: .184/.265

If you have not read that Bannister piece, do so. It is pretty cool to see managers and players breaking away from the norm or what has been conventional wisdom. If you can gain an edge from advanced stats and give yourself a better chance to win at no cost to your team or without adding/changing personnel, why not? There is plenty of time for managers and players to delve into these types of things and I pray Willie opens his mind in '08. It is time for him to stop assuming that because Pedro Feliciano is lefty, Guillermo Mota types are better suited to face righties.

I think you can add a win or two by not being a stodgy old manager. Trust the talent you have, trust MLEs a bit more when your other option is a MLB retread, and stop making moves because it is what always has been done. There have been a lot of advancements in baseball, but the way the games has been managed between the lines has changed very little and it is bizarre just how many managers employ the same recycled game plan.

* * *

  • What is going on with the Mets is bad. I'm not going to say 'it is too early to worry' or 'it's not a big deal'. However, the Mets still have a healthy Reyes and a healthy Wright to compliment a tremendous and healthy rotation. The Mets can hold the fort down while everyone else gets up to speed.

  • I am not seeing how Kenny Lofton fits all that well. When Alou comes back, there are just too many guys who solely play the outfield on this team. I'd rather let it ride with Pagan before they turn to a guy like Lofton. Overall, they really need a righty who can play outfield and first.

  • Aim low...win big.

  • Isn't this a bit different than what he had said previously?

  • Tim Marchman goes over the quandary facing the Yankees in 2008.

    The choice is clear. Even if it means deliberately giving away the pennant, the Yankees have to protect the futures of their young pitchers. It's the most important organizational priority, an essential commitment they made by not trading Hughes and Kennedy for Johan Santana. What we don't and can't know, no matter how many protestations are made to the contrary, is whether the team has, at every level from ownership down to the dugout, fully appreciated the main implication of this, which is that the storied Yankees may have to give something less than their best effort.

    If they fail to ride their young guys like rented mules, they will be giving starts to some pretty bad pitchers thereby seriously handicapping their chances to make the playoffs. If they ride their young guys too hard, the long term effects could be pretty bad. It should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • Jose, Jose, Jose...Jose, Jose. He is trying to be a kinder and more mature Reyes this season.

    "This is who Jose is, why should he change?" Martinez said. "He's not hurting anyone, he's just having fun. He's like me, trying to keep the team loose. I'll do anything if I think it helps the team; I'll do naked jumping jacks, whatever.

    "Tell Jose I support whatever decision he makes, but I think he's making a mistake."

    I think that is invaluable. Who cares of some pansies on the other side get miffed?

    "You can celebrate, but you have to do it with some couth. You have to keep your humility," Wagner said. "There's a right way to do things. You don't have to show off to everyone you're the best. I've seen a difference already in Jose, and it's a good thing."

    Tom Glavine? Is that you? The Mets 'celebrate' at the top of the steps. That is certainly in their area. Should they hide in the tunnels and do it? Why can't other teams worry about what they are doing and not concentrate on what is going on at the top of the steps in the Met dugout. It is not like the Mets are doing handstands on the field.

  • Omar gets it.

    "I myself have never seen so many injuries at one time," Minaya said. "The good thing is it's early in camp. (But) if they're not out there the last week (of spring training)," Minaya added, referring to the multitude of hurting Mets, "then we're talking about a different situation."

    As much as I want to panic, he is right. Give it time. If things are still bad in a few weeks, then we can panic.

    "I'm sure if the season was going on right now, a lot of these guys would be in there," he said. "A lot of it is making sure they take their time. When you play 162 games, there's a lot of wear and tear on your body. Obviously, the younger you are, the more beating your body can take. That's common sense. We've got the best strength coaches, the best trainers and physical therapists in the game. I truly believe that."

    Sugary spin.

  • Paps gets paid. $775,000 for a third year player is pretty good. He will make his mutli-millions next season and hopefully will be done complaining and trying pave the way for future closers.

    "I feel a certain obligation not only to myself and my family to make the money that I deserve but for the game of baseball," he said Tuesday. "Mariano Rivera has been doing it for the past 10 years and with me coming up behind him I feel a certain obligation to do the same."
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    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    Inexorable Oppression?

    Some people just do not get it. This is not about young players getting their piece of the pie. This is about the current system that is in place that was decided upon by the players union. There are no salary caps and players get guaranteed contracts. Basically, this process that is in place which grants teams control of a player for 2 to 3 years followed by arbitration years is the only bone the teams get thrown. This is the only time they have leverage and it does not last all that long. Let us also not forget this is designed to keep the majority of the money flowing to vets.

    This is a necessary part of the game in regards to small market teams competing and teams being able to keep fiscal flexibility. Also, teams spend a lot of money on drafting and scouting. If these young guys start getting paid insane amounts of money earlier, their cost basis for developing young big league talent skyrockets. Something has to give and maybe it gives in scouting for some teams or perhaps just giving up on players and trading them earlier and earlier. Buster has been more wrong than right these days, but he is dead on here.

    Nick Markakis became the latest young star to have his contract renewed, following Jeff Francoeur, Prince Fielder and others. In two years, this situation might become a full-fledged crisis for mid-market and small-market teams, because it is clear the young players will be looking to cash in (as is their absolute right) at the very high level established by Ryan Howard's $10 million arbitration victory, rather than sign a nice, tidy, modest long-term deal.

    What this means is that within two years you might see these same players dangled on the trade market. Consider the plight of the Brewers, who have three rising stars in Fielder, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks and cannot possibly afford to pay all of them $10 million to $15 million a year in 2011.

    We've been through this before. Yes, the CBA laid out these rules. Yes, it is wise for teams to treat their young guys right. However, when you have control of a player for six years, there is plenty of time to get it 'right'. The fact of the matter is, it is sound business to not sign everyone who has two good years willy nilly. A team could opt to lock someone up earlier in an effort to save money while assuming some sizeable risk. Or, teams can wait longer and pay up a bit more later and assume less risk because they took it slower.

    These days, players are complaining earlier and earlier about things. A player has the right to be upset, but they act like some great injustice has been done and they are truly offended. They want to get paid free market price, or close it, after not earning it. You earn that right by playing for six years which should not be a shock. People actually think teams should give into these players demands so they do not get upset. Maybe I missed where money does not ultimately do all the talking? These guys will be ok when teams are ready to show them the cash. Common misconception:

    All these non-arb-eligible players sounding off about having their contracts renewed unilaterally -- has to be an orchestrated union ploy to draw attention to the inarguably unfair salary suppression of the system. Who cares if these young players make a lot more than you do? The fact is, they are uniquely talented and drastically underpaid relative to their peers. The more teams irritate their young charges, the less likely it is that those players will look for under-market, long-term deals buying out their arbitration-eligible years, and will instead go the Ryan Howard route and hope for MASSIVE paydays at arbitration.

    They 100% deserve to get paid relative to their peers. However, this is where a lot of people go awry. Their peers are other players with like service time.

    No, they are paid exactly the same other players of only 1-2 years experience, unless a player signed a long term deal. You are falling into the fallacy that Pap's peer is Mariano Rivera. Pap's peer is actually the 2005 version of K-rod (or anyone else at 2 years service time), who made exactly 440K in his 3rd year. K-rod was also better than Pap is at this the same stage. Well, at least from a production stand point (since you could say Pap's peripherals are better), since K-rod had many more innings in his 2003 and 2004 years than has Pap so far while compiling similar ERAs.

    I'm not bitching because they make more than me. I am aware they do and have no specific issue with that. However, they are crying like some great injustice is going on. They may prefer a different outcome than what has befallen them, but how can you get upset when you are fully aware of the system in place? Your first three years used to be locks to make below $1,000,000 and typically way below. After that, you go to arb if you cannot find common ground and get to make way over $1,000,000 and get to perform for your paycheck. Once you have done your six years of service and have proven yourself, you can establish your value on the free agent market and let the magic of a free market take place.

    They can seriously stop acting shocked now as no one really wants to hear it. Perhaps baseball should hold a quick intro to the Collective Bargaining Agreement and explain to these players how they system works. If they have a problem with it, they can certainly look for another line of work after getting the low down. I do agree with the commenter above in that something smells rotten. It seems like union is behind this, but wouldn't that classify as collusion though? I thought they were against that or something.

    * * *

  • It looks like the Reds are stepping up their International efforts.

  • I used to be part of the 'not worrying camp', but this is getting crazy. Beltran's comments, Alou going down before the season starts, Delgado not doing much of anything besides groundballs and some swings, Church still feeling woozy, the Mets 4th outfielder down, Sanchez still out with a sore shoulder, the Mets 1st and 2nd string second basemen down, etc., etc. Wow.

  • The Duque has a new windup and should be taking the mound soon.

  • Pedro is set to make his first appearance of the spring. There are just too many key guys who have not played an inning yet.

  • Blah, blah, blah... Can everyone get off the Milledge non-story?

  • Rosenthal has something to say about the Thames rumors and makes it seem like it probably is not going to happen.
  • Labels:

    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.
  • Labels: ,

    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    Tough Decisions on Tap

    With The Duque looking worse by the day, the Mets have some serious decisions to make. They could run into the season with what they have and let Pelfrey have the fifth spot and they can hope The Duque will provide depth at a later date. Or, they can try and nip this thing in the ass right away and tell Pelfrey his time to shine will have to wait until someone gets hurt.

    The buzz going around that Lohse can be nabbed for someone between $4 million and $10 million dollars for a one year contract. Since 2002, he posted an ERA+ of 105, 98, 89, 106, 78, and 100. Obviously one year is way out of the line and the others are very 2007 Tom Glavine-esquely average. He went from being a guy who was looking for a ridiculous contract that was way out of line with what it should have been to a guy who is a veritable bargain. Scott Boras overplayed his hand and a guy who should have easily had a job if they were reasonable from the start is now not doing much of anything.
                  Glavine vs. Lohse in '07
    ERA K/9 k/bb Batting Against Inn ERA+
    Glavine 4.45 4.00 1.39 .281/.338/.438 200.1 96
    Lohse 4.63 5.70 2.14 .279/.339/.447 192.2 100
    I am fully aware that Glavine was a far better pitcher in prior to 2007 and I am kind of cherry picking numbers here, but you get what I'm saying. One guy was good enough for a $8 million dollar one year contract and a first round draft pick and the other guy is getting the Jose Canseco/Sammy Sosa/Barry Bonds treatment. If I were him, I would fire Boras right away and maybe he would get some work. Lohse was grossly mishandled and now he is sitting home instead of trying to gain some consistency in his career.

    Furthermore, at 29, there is surely room for growth. He also posts decent k/bb ratios and strikes out enough people to satisfy me. I am torn for sure because I want the Duque in the bullpen and Mike Pelfrey in the rotation. However, the only problem with that is there is no depth that does not really compromise the bullpen if The Duque is pitching effectively from there and I think he will. With Lohse in the mix, Pelfrey is the #6 guy and The Duque is the emergency #7 guy with Vargas, Sosa, etc. as the shit hitting the fan group.

    If anything, this current rash of injuries should make the Mets front office seriously consider bringing in too many pitchers to the fold. If someone goes down, the Mets will be in trouble. Who can they dish off to get anyone who is worth anything? Sure they can take a look at the scrapheap, but there are certainly better options.

    If anything, the extra depth gives the Mets at least something to deal at the break if they needed to upgrade their team in other areas. Lohse could be dished off with no commitment following him and Pelfrey could take over mid year so they can monitor his usage over the course of the first half. At $40 million over four years, not taking Lohse is a no brainer. At $5 to $8 million over one season, it is a no brainer to go after him. With one more season like 2007, he also stands a pretty good chance of giving whomever picks him up a sandwich pick.

    The Mets are primed for some pretty great things this season. To see them evaporate because of depth would truly be shame. When it was cost prohibitive it was one thing. However, Lohse is set to be a bargain in baseball terms and bargains make you rethink your original plans.

    * * *

  • Mike Pelfrey continues to do the right things.

    Mike Pelfrey allowed two hits, including an infield hit, and retired six batters on groundouts while pitching three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring.

    A strikeout would not kill the kid, but the six groundballs is very nice.

  • Ruben might be more injured than than anyone previously thought. Not good for Gotay.

  • John Donovan is drinking the Pedro Martinez Kool-Aid and why not? Again, Pedro is not the first guy to get surgery. If he did not have a nice five game stint at the end of '07, I would be leery. But he came back before anyone thought he did and did much better as well.

    Now, he is back in a Mets uniform and looking sharp. I have high expectations for him this season. Yes, I doubt he will toss 200 innings, but that is fine. 180 innings is more in line with what I'm expecting. We all have to remember he has the ability to be very economical with his pitches and get through 6+ innings with 90 pitches.

  • I think Wallace Matthews is trying to pull a fast one by switching his name around. Thanks for the shitty article.

  • Cory Patterson is now a Red. The man's line in the bigs is .258/.298/.414. He looked like a star in the making, but that never happened. Dusty Baker had been calling for him and now he has him, which means Jay Bruce is likely out. The fact is, if this team truly thinks they have a shot at the NL Central or the Wildcard, Bruce should be in.

    If they truly do not believe that, then this move is just fine. For me, I think Volquez, Cueto, Bailey, and Votto are enough wildcards that give me pause before I say this team has no chance. The fact is, there is upside there. Arroyo, Harang, Bailey, and Cueto could potentially be a nice front four with Fogg and Affeldt still in the mix. Their bullpen could be greatly improved as well if Volquez and Affeldt are in there as well.
  • Labels: , ,

    Monday, March 03, 2008

    The Bug

    The operative word for this Spring Training so far would have to be 'injury'. I disagreed with Marchman the other day, but this time, I would have to agree. We knew heading into the season the Mets had no depth whatsoever. It is a precipitous decline from their starters to their reserves and while they have the personnel to withstand an injury here and injury there, they might not be able to survive anything catastrophic like needing two outfielders for an extended period of time and having a revolving door of starters.

    Compounding this is the roster's lack of depth. When a team is counting on players such as Martinez, Hernandez, and Alou — who are sure bets to miss a fair amount of time, even though superb when healthy — it's more than usually important to keep quality spares around. The Mets, though, have no solid sixth starter and no fourth outfielder who wouldn't be a bit stretched by playing full-time. It's one thing to not have a credible backup for Wright, who, barring freak calamity, is a lock to play 160 games. It's something else to not have one for Delgado.

    All of this being so, the Mets, no matter their frailties, are still an excellent bet to win 95 games and be vastly better than any other team in the league. This isn't just because of the considerable strengths of their more youthful and vigorous players, such as Johan Santana, or because the older ones tend to be excellent when available. It's also because the old-timers aren't nearly as integral to the team's success as their fame would have it.

    I would say Pelfrey qualifies as a great sixth starter, but after that, it goes downhill fast.

    Delgado is a perfect example. While the Mets would certainly prefer to see him healthy, the truth is that they don't need him to do all that much. Baseball Prospectus projects that, following the career path blazed by such similar lead-footed sluggers as Boog Powell and Tino Martinez, Delgado will recapture nothing of his earlier form this year, hitting .265 AVG/.343 OBA/.471 SLG. Important to note here is that this line, which isn't even average for a first baseman — especially one who can't run or field — would actually represent improvement over last year's .258/.333/.448.

    The Mets could certainly nab someone to capably fill in this spot and bat 7th or 8th should anything major happen. I would also not mind seeing Green back in the mix, but he is a lefty and with Church and Delgado being lefty, he would be superfluous and a righthander than can play right and first base would be a better choice.

    In all, while it would be better if the Mets were younger and healthier and deeper, these problems are highly unlikely to sink their season. The reason they're expected to dominate is basically that there are no questions about their best players. Santana, Wright, Reyes, and Beltran are each arguably or clearly the best in the league at their positions, and the only one likely to miss any time at all is Beltran, who annually needs a couple of weeks off. With even a mediocre lot around them, those four would be enough to make the Mets strong contenders; what they have around them is better than that. It's only when one of them is hurt that the skeptics' song of impending doom will be really worth listening to.

    That is very possible. However, I do think the injury bug can take this team out. They are good, but if they go through what they went through back in 2007, it will be another barn burner. If things go right for them in terms of health, they will run away from the division. Luckily, for the Mets, their core is young. Their major pieces are not major injury risks which gives them a fighting chance no matter what. So while injuries are getting all the ink these days, it is early and things are not as bad as some would like to portray.

    * * *

  • The opposite of determination would be this story.

    "The Hell's Angels were so angered by Jagger's treatment of them that they decided to kill him," according to BBC Radio's Tom Mangold, who hosts the series on the FBI in which Young was interviewed.

    "A group of them took a boat and were all tooled up and planned to attack him from the sea. They planned the attack from the sea so they could enter his property from the garden and avoid security at the front.

    "The boat was hit by a storm and all of the men were thrown overboard. All survived and there was not said to have been any further attempt on Jagger's life."

  • By the beard of Zeus! I love the concept of nano technology and I am always down for a good read on the topic, but it is waaaaaay over my head.

  • Talk about a traumatic experience.

  • The injury roundup.

    Player Problem Status
    Carlos Beltran Surgery on both knees Unavailable to play
    Luis Castillo Surgery on both knees Unavailable to play
    Orlando Hernandez Surgery on toe Unavailable to play
    Damion Easley Severely sprained ankle Unavailable to play
    Endy Chavez Ankle/hamstring Unavailable to play
    Jose Valentin Knee surgery Unavailable to play
    Carlos Delgado Sore right hip MRI yesterday
    Ryan Church Concussion CT scan yesterday
    Marlon Anderson Bruised chest CT scan yesterday

    Of course Ruben Gotay has been added into the injury mix which is really a sad thing to see. I always felt like he had an uphill battle with crusty vets like Jose Valentin in the mix. With Marlon Anderson and Damion Easley around as well, Gotay would have had to have had a monster spring. This high ankle sprain could linger for a bit and effectively ruin any shot he has at making the big league roster.

  • Scott Schoeneweis and Jorge Sosa are being shopped. Not that Shoe is great against lefties, but if used properly, he can add value to the bullpen. I would think the Mets should keep both of these guys because Sosa could start for a bit and hold the fort down if necessary. I think trading either of them at this point would be mistake.

  • Not that I had high hopes for Delgado this season, but I'm downgrading whatever hope I did have.

  • Adam Rubin talks Fernando.

  • Jon Niese is hopefully primed for a big year. If he does well in AA, do not discount a call up if the Mets need someone for a few starts.

  • This is just getting annoying. I mean really annoying.

    "There are a lot of guys with the same amount of time I have who have done a lot less than me and are getting paid a lot more. But my time is going to come and it's coming quick, too."

    Fielder is getting $670,000 this year which is a 62% raise from $415,000, which he earned last year.

    Cole Hamels expressed his utter frustration yesterday that he could not come to an agreement with the team on his 2008 contract. Yesterday, the Phillies renewed his contract for $500,000, which is about $200,000 less than what Hamels had sought.

    "It was a low blow," Hamels said in the visitors' clubhouse at Legends Field, where he allowed four runs and two home runs in two innings of a 7-7 exhibition tie with the New York Yankees.

    I'm sorry. Can someone remind me when Cole Hamels threw 200 innings and made 30 starts? He may not like his 25% raise and maybe $600,000 would have been fair so they could meet in the middle, but can everyone get over themselves?

    The fact is that it is not just a few hundred thousand. Every dollar the teams give now has a residual effect because of the raises for subsequent seasons. I do agree that you have to treat your players right and especially your stars, but this is getting silly. I understand teams make tons of money off of these guys, but there has to be something said for track record. Let these guys prove they can do this for extended period of time before they start getting paid.

  • To Lohse or not Lohse?