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

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pointless Exercise 2008

Ok, ok, ok...stop me if you heard this one before.

The New York Mets are the best team in the National League and frankly, it is not even close. The Mets should run away things and a healthy Pedro means the Mets might actually field a team that could quite possibly make your head explode. I mean, sure the season could be exasperatingly boring, but a little boring is good every once in a while. With all that said, my picks:

NL East

1) Mets (suck it Philly fans and Atlanta 'fans')
Easy, breezy, beautiful. Willie gets some more undue credit for turning this team around as they motor on to 95 wins. They would have gotten 100, but they started mailing it in after Sept. 1st.

2) Braves
Pitching? Check. Offense? Check. Fielding? Check. Stupid rally cry? Check. Organizational depth? Check. If not for Omar's crafty moves this off-season, I might actually pick the Braves. However, Pedro covers Glavine's innings (still cannot believe I dumped $250 on that dumb ass jersey) and Johan covers....um...well no one's innings. He brings 9 to 10 wins alone. Good lord, that is tough to overcome. Nice team for sure, but Wild Card candidate the whole way.

3) Phillies
When your off-season was lost when you failed to resign Kyle Lohse, things are not good. The Mets have four pitchers better than their second best pitcher. 'Nuff said.

4) Nationals
The mini-Mets will be reminiscent of the Devil Rays. Sure they might be bad, but they are an annoying team that could really give some teams fits.

5) Marlins
I will enjoy watching Cameron Maybin, Hanley Ramirez, Jeremy Hermedia, and Andrew Miller, but yikes. Bad team.

Quick and Dirty:

NL Central
1) Cubbies
2) Brewers
3) Reds
4) Cardinals
5) Astros
6) Pirates

The most exciting fight might be between the Astros and Pittsburgh for last place. Someone did remind Ed Wade someone needs to start games, right?

NL West
1) D-Backs
2) Dodgers
3) Padres
4) Rockies
5) Giants

I would have picked the Dodgers if not for these two words. Juan Pierre. I just have no faith Joe Torre will do the right thing and the D-Backs have a good enough team to outlast everyone in the West. It will be a fight until the end, but it will be D-Backs as the last team standing.

The Wild Card

The best recipe for the playoffs is feasting without famine. Sounds like a good recipe to fatten up on to me. The Brewers have some great young arms, tremendous young bats, and three terrible teams in their division. The West has four good teams and the bad team has some scarily good pitching. No esta bien para otras equipos. The Braves will be in on this one and miss out by a game or two, but I think Gallardo and Parra are really going to be a big boon for this team. 

American League
AL East
1) Red Sox
2) Yankees
3) Rays
4) Blue Jays
5) Orioles

The Red Sox are good and the Yankees are depending too much on young arms and two sub .400 SLG outfielders and one really ugly one. The Rays are good. Reeeeallly good. Not second place good, but good enough to show the world they actually exist. The Jays will be battling for third no doubt, but I think the Rays will shock people and a four teams with 80 or more wins in the AL East is what I'm seeing.

AL Central
1) Tigers
2) Indians
3) Twins
4) White Sox
5) Royals

I like the Royals and do not think they will be putrid. In fact, I think they can take out the White Sox for fourth. The Tigers edge the Twins out by a hair, but fear not Cleveland fans, they will be in the playoffs.

AL West
1) Angels
2) Mariners
3) A's
4) Rangers

The West will be better than anticipated with some pretty decent baseball. The Angels are still going to edge out the Mariners despite the injury concerns. It will be a fun race to watch with the A's being the feel good story and putting forth a better year than anyone expected.


I picked the Yankees to miss the playoffs for four years now and this will be my fifth. I will be right one of these days at which point I will unleash a barrage of 'I told you sos' like you have never seen. I just think the Indians are really, really good and have a weaker bottom three in the Central than the East has. I think the AL East will produce four 80 win teams as stated above and that simply means not enough wins to go around for everyone in the division to produce two playoff teams.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. The Yankees are on a great path, but depending on their young pitching is big risk and there will be high highs as well as low lows. And their offense? I think they are very good, but as good as everyone thinks? Damon and Cabrera are not boppers, Abreu and Matsui are diminished players at this point, Giambi is more valuable than people think, but still nothing tremendous, Posada is just not as good as his MVP-like numbers would suggest from last season, and Jeter, while very good, is getting older and not the offensive player he used to be. A-Rod and Cano are unabashed studs. However, A-Rod will regress off his insanely good historic 2007 season. That is nothing to be ashamed about as 20% less than what he did last year is still good for one of the top five players in the league, but it is unreasonable to expect him to replicate that.

The Yankees will be very good in 2008, but the Indians are just as good, if not better, and have an easier road to the playoffs.

We'll cover the individual awards on Monday.

* * *

  • I will unjustifiably miss you a lot Ruben. I will miss the Sunday's we spent together when I would stand up and yell R-R-R-R-R-R-R-u-u-u-u-u-ben (rolling the Rs of course) every time you got up. I hope you land on your feet little guy.

  • This is one large helping of a bad idea.

  • Pelf and The Duque are going to fight it out today and it really frustrates me to see Pelfrey continually shit the bed. If The Duque sits in the mid 80's again, Mike might win by default. However, the man needs to step it up. At 24, he is starting to not look like a prospect this year.

    At this point, I'd call up the Cardinals and see if they would do a Reyes for Pelfrey swap. They seem to be two guys that need a change of scenery and still have some considerable upside. I think Mike can be good, but this scrapping of pitches and yo-yo-ing that seems to be going on with him cannot be all that good for him. Maybe Duncan's approach will work better.

  • Fuck yeah..

    Willie Randolph, as you know, has to win and keep winning if he'd like to keep his job. This is as it should be. The manager always gets the credit when things go right and the blame when things go wrong, and in both cases this is often unfair, but Randolph was directly accountable for several inscrutable choices that directly cost the Mets a playoff spot and millions upon millions of dollars in associated revenues last year. His inexplicable willingness to repeatedly hand the ball to bad relievers in tight games down the stretch in September, his refusal to give Lastings Milledge the playing time he'd earned, and his inability to dispel the evil funk that settled on the team in the last weeks of the season could, individually and collectively, be fairly said to be why the Mets aren't now gunning for a third straight NL East title.

    In two of three seasons, the Mets have played below their talent. Whatever his strengths, this is good reason to think that Randolph isn't a good enough manager to actively improve his team's chances. Fortunately for him, all he has to do is not actively damage them. If he can't do that much — and all that would take is an ability to learn from past mistakes — he has no business running the Mets.

    Preach on brother Tim. Your words resonate like a symphony to me. I've said it a million times before, Randolph adds nothing to this team. He takes away a few wins and at best, we can hope he does no damage as Marchman states. He is a disaster when it comes to the Xs and Os and his reluctance to trust youth over stale veterans is borderline criminal. One win cost the Mets 1st place and I believe Randolph added negatively to the team, which should never happen and is unacceptable for a team of this caliber to lead by a sub-par captain.

    When he first started managing, people said give him a chance. It's his first time out and he is learning. You know what? Learn in Pittsburgh. Learn in AAA. Not on the Mets when they have a team that is ready right now. Frankly, it blew my mind they gave the reigns to someone with zero managerial experience and only one year of bench coach experience to the most passive manager I have seen. Three years later, Randolph has proved to me he just might be incapable of learning from his mistakes because he is stubborn. Just like he says the young kids have to 'earn their chops', he has to earn his. As of now, he is far from doing that.

    Randolph believes what ultimately doomed them is "we weren't ready to be a champion. Baseball is funny. It can fool you. You think - because it's such a long marathon - we've got time, we've got time. But the game is cruel sometimes. When you think you've got time, you don't.

    Yup. He just said that. Willie is the one who kept saying they had time and was saying there is no reason to panic....publicly at least. There were a few million people that believed the entire 'we've got time' thing was bullshit.

  • I truly think Joe Girardi is a much better manager to lead the youth movement in the Bronx. With kids, you need to be a bit more stern sometimes and Girardi will do that.

  • David Wright? Sugary.

    How is it possible that this guy already is entering his fourth full season in the majors? Wasn't it just last week when he leaped on the scene? Check out this fact: He already has hit 97 home runs, which is 10th in team history, and driven in 365 runs.

    Never mind that Wright already has scored a nice $55-million contract, has received his share of publicity thanks to dozens of magazine covers and can't walk in Manhattan without people snapping photos on their cell phones.

    He's living the life of a superstar and he's only 25 years old.

  • The Roberts to the Cubs talks are just about dead. Seriously, what a terrible and horrific rumor and I am very happy to not read about it anymore.

  • Inking Rios long term is a great deal for the Blue Jays. I think Rios is just about to become a mega-star and will far outperform Vernon Wells over the next few seasons.

  • If anyone knows how to get around a firewall at work, please let me know. My company decided to block ESPN.com for some reason and I cry a little bit on the inside everyday I cannot frequently check Rob Neyer's blog. IM me @ mineral207 or email me @ metropolitans at optonline.net
  • Labels:

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Matsui Gets Hitched?

    I have no time to really delve into anything important, so instead we'll focus on Matsui and his new wife.

    It is not that I care about him getting married as much as the ridiculousness of his statement.

    Hideki Matsui has just released a statement revealing he was married yesterday in New York (the team had given him the day off).

    Big news in Japan. He will hold a news conference at 10:40 a.m.

    "The bride is a 25-year-old civilian and had been formerly working in a reputable position at a highly respected company," the statement said.

    Ummm...sure. I am glad he clarified that she is not a government employee or an active member of the armed forces. Apparently there was a bet in between Jeter, Matsui, and Abreu in regards to who would get married first. No word on whether there was a side bet on who would infect someone with herpes first.

    From the comments of the above link:

    If an when Jeter gets married it will be the biggest thing to hit NewYork in years. You will be talking about Mrs. Yankee. It seems however after Jeter dates them they go off and hook up or get married to someone else. So we'll see.

    Huh? The biggest thing to hit NY in years? Loser.

    * * *

  • I guess I'm a regular Page 6 today.

    Heather Mills is trying to prove Sir Paul McCartney is worth much more than the £400million he claimed in their divorce battle.

    She has told friends she is employing a team of forensic accountants to examine her former husband's finances.

    Such information, she hopes, will lead to the divorce ruling being overturned and see more money go to their daughter Beatrice, four.

    He probably is. However, here is the thing....he actually earned it.

    "Heather says she can prove the amount of money that is being given to look after Bea will not last over the year. She is putting it to the test.

    "Even with Bea travelling in economy Heather says it's not enough. She is keeping every receipt - including her invoice to her security team - to show that £35,000 is just not sufficient.

    "Heather's thinking is that Bea should not be seen to have a different lifestyle when she is with Heather compared to Paul - and she is going about proving that is not possible.

    "Heather is hoping Paul will discretely make a payment to her annually rather than want to go back to court and rake all this up again."

    Never trust a woman with one leg....never.

  • First Pagan looks like he is in and now Nelson is on the fringe. I guess if you told me three months ago that both of these guys might be in the starting rotation/lineup come opening day, I probably would have probably thought disaster struck. However, things are still looking pretty damn good.

  • Justin Huber traded for a PTBNL and $$?

    The Royals traded Huber to San Diego on Wednesday for a player to be determined. The deal came one day after Huber hit a two-run double against the Padres in an 8-4 victory.

    “The way our club was shaping up,” general manager Dayton Moore said, “we just didn’t see the opportunity for him to be on our team. He’s out of options, and I really wish we had more time. He had a terrific spring, and we think he’s going to be a good hitter. It just didn’t work out.”

    Poppycock. That would have been just want the Mets needed. Couldn't they beat out a PTBNL deal?

  • Joel Sherman smoked a doobie and wrote a column. Good times.
  • Labels:

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Cerebral Blockage

    A-Rod wants to be a Met... Old news. I mean, who doesn't want to be a Met? However, when A-Rod says things like this, it makes me want to throw a live badger at this head and watch the hilarity that ensues.

    Great, {sniff, sniff} A-Rod's all grown up and mature. He chased the money and did not want to make the same mistake again by leaving the Yankees....except he signed the type of contract that usually accompanied by 'US Government' and 'Lockheed Martin' in the same sentence.

    Of course, A-Rod is still the best player on the field and there may be a shred of sour grapes in what I am saying. It would be impossible for me to not think about the 'what ifs' and what would it have been like with him on the team. He probably would still be at shortstop and would have probably never moved. Reyes would probably have been dished off for Alfonso Soriano or something years ago.

    In the end, only little baby jesus knows what would have happened and I am quite satisfied at the way things turned out without A-Rod. The Mets would probably be older and less athletic as either Wright or Reyes would have probably been gone and with the ridiculously cheap contracts the Mets have Reyes and Wright signed to, they add much more value to the team compared to what A-Rod would have cost.

    * * *

  • The Mets might look to Sosa as a rotation option which is not the worst thing in the universe. However, within the same piece, it is noted that the Mets might have Pelfrey scrap his slider? Didn't they make him scrap his curveball? I think we can file this one under 'mismanaged' and let him wallow around in the organization for years and years.

    Of course, the spot maybe be Pelfrey's by default with Jon Niese right behind him.

    Although decisionmakers favor using Pelfrey initially, if he starts poorly, his spot could become tenuous. Young lefthander Jon Niese, who has been impressive this spring, could then become a candidate to relace Pelfrey.

    We kind of figured that though. He is the best prospect they have that is close to the bigs and a jump from AA is not crazy. Put that together with his good performance in spring and you have someone who might get a shot by default.

  • Moises is eyeing an April return and that would not be so bad.

  • Ken Rosenthal says Randolph is on the hot seat. Omar is just looking for a reason. Willie...give it him...go ahead, I dare you.

  • John Maine is the best 4th pitcher in the bigs and could rack up 20 wins because of this. Yes, it does not matter all that much who starts where once the season starts, but the back end guys will face a lot more bad pitchers. Feast baby...

  • Phil Rogers like the Mets in the NL East and thinks Johan will be the ace of the NL East. However, he also thinks Willie is smart.

  • Rob Neyer goes over his top 50 players over the next fives years.

    1. David Wright (25)
    Great hitter, good fielder, fine baserunner … and last year, at 24, he was the best player in the National League.


    7. Jose Reyes (24)
    As thrilling as Reyes is, it's worth noting that he's almost 25 and his career OPS falls short of the league average (and that's the National League average).

    Reyes' game is not solely based around offense, but he brings up a good point.

    5. Johan Santana (29)

    It's possible that we've seen his best work. On the other hand, his best was the best … and now that he's in the National League, even less than his best may be good enough for two or three Cy Young Awards.

    Music to my ears.

    26. Carlos Beltran (30)

    Yes, he's old for this list. No, he may not be a Hall of Famer. But Beltran's broad range of skills may well allow him to remain among the game's elite for at least five more seasons.

    Is it wrong that I still think the best he has to offer is still to come?


  • Monday, March 24, 2008

    A Full Century of Ineptitude

    Mr. Marchman has a good article on the Cubbies and points out that they will be playing for something important this year. They will be attempting to stave off 100 years of futility.

    In 1908, the Chicago Cubs of Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance and Three-Finger Brown won the World Series; they were, of course, the last Cubs team to do so. It's worth taking a second to think about how long ago this really was to gain some measure of appreciation for the scale of the Cubs' long history of failure.

    The Mets are heading into their 22nd year of a Championship drought and that seems like a long time. I could not fathom having no idea what it is like to have my favorite team not win a championship during my cognitive years. It was not like I was all that old in 1986. I was not in double digits yet, but I still kind of sort of remember it and it still resonates heavily today so I still got a chance to experience it in some fashion.

    This team could win, which will make it all the worse for their loyalists when they don't. One hundred years on, they have a fully admirable team and as good a chance as they've had in anyone's memory, and one can be almost certain they'll find some novel and truly unreal way of letting the prize slip from their grasp. Some day, perhaps when Chicago has floated off into the center of Lake Michigan or been launched into space on spindizzies, they'll manage the big win. Whoever is alive to see it will love baseball in a way they never have before.

    I would assume that it is generally accepted amongst Cubbie fans there will be no championship. After all, they have been conditioned to believe so. Since 1946, they have made the playoffs five times. All five times came after 1984 so there was a loooooong period of time when they were just terrible. The last time they actually saw a World Series was 1945. While the Mets are not exactly a perennial playoff team, the Cubs have transformed losing into an art form.

    * * *

  • Josh Hamilton = The Natural

    "I think Hamilton's got a chance to be maybe the best player in baseball," says a scout who has been tracking the Rangers through the Cactus League. "I mean, this guy is Mickey Mantle or something."

    A bold statement for sure.

    "You can't wait until he comes up to bat again, just to watch him," the scout says. "In batting practice, he hits to all fields, goes deep everywhere. He runs down balls in the field, he throws ... I don't know if there's anything he can't do."

    There's a growing buzz emanating from Surprise, and it isn't simply because there's a new Home Depot or Bed, Bath and Beyond around the corner.

    "Everybody stops what they're doing and looks when he comes up," the scout finishes. "And everybody ends up making giggly sounds. Aw, geez! My goodness!"

    A man only giggles a few times in his life.

    1) The first time he gets a fake ID at 17 and enters a strip club. Giggling...
    2) Getting a foot of power and snowboarding through some craptastic glades.
    3) Any time you are lucky enough to witness a friend's misfortune.
    4) Anyone tripping and falling.
    5) Josh Hamilton? I guess so and that is certainly lofty company to be in.

  • And yet another reason to hate Derek Jeter's stupid ass.

    Jessica Alba caught herpes from an ex-boyfriend, it has been claimed.

    The 'Fantastic Four' star - recently voted FHM's Sexiest Woman Alive 2007 - previously dated New York Yankees baseball star Derek Jeter, and during their relationship she allegedly contracted the sexually transmitted disease.

    Derek Jeter? Public enemy #1. How dare he sully that pure being.

  • I have not checked out this link, but I'm told it is amusing.

  • Boy o' boy Kyle Lohse would look pretty nice right now. It is not that I have zero faith in Pelfrey or The Duque, but it is about not having a carousel of players run out in the fifth spot. Besides, there will be many starts that need to be picked up so a little depth couldn't hurt.

  • Johan and Pedro will make a AAA start instead of pitching against the Marlins or the Braves which makes sense. But just let this marinated in your brain for a second....next Monday, real baseball begins.

  • Dirty will not be breaking camp with the Mets, but who cares? I think the bullpen looks deep and there is no need to rush him. The Mets will need him this season, but why rush him?

  • This totally makes sense....

    "I don't believe that you need to get up on top of the desk and crack the whip or anything like that," Randolph said. "We have pretty much a veteran ballclub. There might be a little more attention to detail, but that's the case every spring. I'm not going to take this experience and change and try to be a person I'm not."

    Sound logic to me. I do not think that he is the right guy to manage this team. The Mets may surely win in spite of him, but he adds very little, if anything, to this team.

  • It looks like Aaron might have come around and decided that being a reliever is not so bad. I for one would not mind having him as the Met closer after Wagner leaves.

  • Miggy gets $152.3 million over eight years. That includes the $11.3 he is getting this year, but it really just puts it all into perspective how lucky the Mets are they inked Jose and David so soon. Thy have both players under contract through 2011 and Wright through 2012 for roughly half of what Cabrera is getting.

    On a related note, Ryan Howard just wet his pants.

  • Joe Nathan looks like he is inking for four years and between $11 and $12 per year. As long as it is without a no-trade clause, it is a good deal. I guess it could be a partial, but they have to have the ability to deal him if they need to.
  • Labels: