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

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Mets Get Pantsed In Atlanta

This my friends, is what I call ugly. I'm talking Sarah Jessica Parker ugly (don't worry...I just puked in my mouth a little too). I'm not going to pretend that Willie's job hinges on one game these days because that is silly. They get swept by the Braves and his head is on the line and if win the last game he is safe for now?

Poppycock. Pull the plug now. Mind you he is not THE problem, but he is a problem and frankly I do not want to look at him anymore. What is even worse is that what we can see is what we get. What can be done? Outside of a lobotomy on each player to see if their personality changes a bit to form a team with super chemistry, not much.

On the postgame show someone had mentioned juggling the lineup. Reyes, Church, Beltran, Wright, Alou (when he comes back from the 15-day DL), Delgado, Schneider, and Castillo would be a start and it looked like Willie was on the right track for a bit, but he cannot resist batting the light hitting second baseman in the two slot. It is in his DNA.

That is not the solution to what ails the Mets mind you, but it could help spark things a bit. As Ron Darling said on the broadcast yesterday, the Braves were out hustling the Mets right out the stadium. Have they hit rock bottom? I am not so sure about that. I think it could get worse and they are practically unwatchable right now. Give me a reason to turn on the TV. Give me a reason to write a dumb blog about a crappy baseball team. The players are starting to feel the way we do which means things have gotten really, really bad.

"I can accept losing," Wright was quoted as saying. "Not easily, but every team loses here and there. But to go out and give the effort we're giving, to go out and lose without a fight . . . I just don't think we have the fire I would hope we'd have."

I think we all become irrationally emotionally invested in this team and sometimes you feel like you get nothing back. Not that the Mets owe me anything or try to intentionally give anything back to the fans, but they certainly aren't unintentionally giving us anything back and I am not so sure they are even trying to give themselves much of anything.

"Losing like this, I hope, would ruin their nights," Wright told the site after the Mets' third straight loss to the Braves. "I want them to take it personally when we lose. I want them to be ticked off. If it was a matter of talent, it'd be different. If we just weren't any good, I could put my head on the pillow at night and sleep. But to go through the motions every night . . . "

If you did not think things were bad before, you should be getting a clearer picture of the state of this Mets team. This team really does not care.

* * *

  • More...

    During SNY's coverage of Tuesday's doubleheader against the Braves, the network's on-air personalities responded to Randolph's criticism.

    "Why is Willie wasting any time watching us, for one, and two, I just think it's wrong," said Ron Darling. "I think his comments are wrong.

    "I think some of the best things we do are watching not only Willie, but also his staff, go about their business educating these young men on how to play the game."

    Fellow SNY analyst Keith Hernandez said he was surprised by the comments.

    "In my 17 years of major league baseball and 10-plus years of being up here in the booth, I've just never heard of a manager make those kinds of comments before, and I'm really quite surprised that Willie made those comments," he said.

    Hopefully we all get put out of our misery soon.

    Wednesday, Randolph tried to put an end to it with a public apology for his words published in the Record on Monday. But the one place his apology didn’t reach was the ears of ownership, with neither Fred or Jeff Wilpon taking his calls yet. Omar Minaya returned the call Wednesday on behalf of ownership.

    Asked if he felt that silence was something to worry about, Randolph said, “I reached out. Omar said that they got my call and would get back to me. But I don’t read into anything.”

    Yeah. They respect Willie.

  • More on the Mets upcoming draft. Just spend already. You have the money...

  • Ted Berg is still trying to drop some perspective on us, but he admits change is needed. It is just that I am not sure what he is saying is going to much of a boon, but moving the lineup around and making Delgado a productive platoon parter would be a place to start.

    Let us all hope that something gets done rather than throwing the same old product out there. If you wanted to get creative, now would be a good time.

  • Pedro plans to pitch through 2010.

    "I have said this before and I'll say it again: I want to pitch at least for two or three more seasons," Martinez said.

  • Adam Rubin figures out what I finally figured out and other smart people told me a while ago.

    Pedro's contract has been very,very close to a disaster. The Mets paid a whole lotta money for nothing. Sure, they might have gotten Fernando Martinez because they had Pedro. 'Might have' being operative phrase. We will never know of course, but something tells me the Mets would have been able to get where they are now without Pedro and the money they spent on him. I love Pedro, but he has been a bad place to put your money and everyone against four years or even three years for Pedro was right.
  • Thursday, May 22, 2008

    Down, Down, Down....

    Ted Berg tried to lay some perspective on us the other day and I said it was really hard to keep perspective with this team and they did not take too long to prove me right. Really right. I have tried to be optimistic for the most part, but right now, that is hard to do.

    "It's not acceptable," Randolph said. "This is not the way we want to play baseball. We need to get on a streak and play more consistently. We're better than this. No one's happy with where we are and how we're playing."

    It is hard to point fingers at one person or one cause, but this team just does not have it. They have talent, but they do not have it. What is it? Good question. However, it is clear that this team lacks focus and losing to Glavine and three overall to the Braves is utterly ridiculous. The inability for this team to step up is extremely frustrating.

    Keeping things in perspective is just not possible because it looks like this team is just losing control. They are almost as close to last place as they are first place and truly a .500 team in every way. You do not need to be a genius to look at their roster and recognize they have talent and you do not need to be a genius to see that this team is simply not playing up to their potential.

    With less than 30% of the season played, there is time to turn things around, but time is running out quickly.

    * * *

  • If this goes down, I will be piiiiiiissssed.

    18. METS. New York has the financial wherewithal to spend as much as any team does on the draft, but it apparently will stick to slotting once again in 2008, even if Hosmer is still on the table. The Mets need a catcher for the near future, and Castro has convinced scouts he can handle the defensive responsibilities and produce at the plate. New York has checked out Friedrich, but it's unlikely he'd get this far.

    I mean really. Who cares about the Commish? He cannot do anything and your farm is pretty barren. After Omar made overtures this past off-season about abandoning slot, I would be very disappointed if they passed up a better player so they do not piss anyone off.

    If they pass up Hosmer? Utterly ridiculous and why this team will never get over that next hump. You simply cannot pass up a gift like that and they better step it up on all fronts.

  • Would Pedro retire to be with his parents? Would Omar give him a Clemens-esque deal to keep him going another year or two?

  • Just in time for the summer to keep the boys cool.

    This sweat-absorbing, friction-fighting wonder powder will keep you gloriously dry and comfortable during everyday manly activities...like chainsaw juggling.

  • Tim Marchman does a great job making a case for Jose Reyes to not be the scapegoat.

    It is true that Reyes's game went into notable decline about a year ago. From last July 1 up to the beginning of last night's game against Atlanta, Reyes hit .268 AVG/.334 OBA/.414 SLG with 61 steals in 81 tries; over the preceding year, he'd hit .322/.383/.510 with 73 steals in 90 tries. Many explanations have been offered for this: that Reyes has been sulking over his contract, that he was ruined by Rickey Henderson's brief stint as the Mets hitting coach, that he lost his mojo after ceding to demands that he stop acting so exuberant on the field, etc.

  • Pedro's dad is not doing well.

    Pablo Jaime, 78, is suffering from an inoperable brain tumor, and Martinez said recently that his father does not have long to live.

    "His dad's not doing well and had a seizure," Willie Randolph said before the game. "We'll just see what happens when [Pedro] gets back [from the Dominican]. All the other stuff in terms of pitching is on hold."

    Pedro should really put baseball on hold and tend to his family. The Mets success does not hinge on him so he needs to do what he feels is right.

  • Joel Sherman pens a good piece about Willie.

    I am not foolish enough to believe race still does not motivate repugnant feelings. But I do think sports have more of a meritocracy than most environments, and that the great divide between love and hate is winning and losing. Again, Willie, look to your Knicks past: The city did not love DeBusschere and Bradley more than Reed and Frazier. The whole team won, and the whole team is remembered fondly. Just like Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neill will be from those champion Yankees for which Randolph was a coach.

    There is racism out there, but sports to me was always kind of different. If you are winning, no fan gives a shit who is from where or is what color.

    Randolph lived these New York moments, and constantly brags he is a New Yorker and understands how things work. But most days it seems he just showed up from Ames, Iowa. His self-awareness is poor, and that is hurting him way more than the color of his skin or what angle SNY cameras are shooting him. He thinks of himself as a tough, been-there, seen-that kind of guy. But his sensitivity and lack of savvy reveal the opposite.

    He tried, for example, to backtrack off the critical statements he made about race and SNY by saying he thought he was off the record with the reporter. Even if I believed Randolph (which I don't), he should know reporters grant off-the-record requests to gain the truth, so being off the record would only make you believe Randolph's harshest assessments (not his current spin) most.

    Willie just does not get it and should not be managing this team. Especially so after grasping for straws and attacking the fans. Really? The fans?

    "If you look at my body of work since I've been here," Randolph said, "I'm proud of that, because prior to that Mets fans were hiding. You couldn't even find them ... The season's just starting and you're booing my guys already? You're booing your team?'"

    Mets fans were hiding? Interesting statement. Mets fans are not hiding anymore because of Willie's body of work. Sound logic, right? I am really glad he spouted his mouth off with such madness because it only makes everything I have been saying stronger and he just validated a lot of things that I thought.

    I think at times he can be immature and stubborn and these articles truly outline that. If the Mets want Willie to be their leader, so be it. However, it is a mistake.

    Torre feels bad for Willie and no one is arguing that this job is not extremely difficult, but not everyone can do it.

  • Losing Church would be very, very bad. The Mets need him to be healthy and performing.

  • Labels: , , ,

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Steady As She Goes

    It is not really a shocker that the three best teams from a pitching perspective are the Diamondbacks, Braves, and Cubs. They are just annihilating other teams in regards to run differential and are getting it done on the offensive end as well.

    The Mets are in the second tier of pitching talent sitting fifth in ERA+ with a 106 behind the Phillies, which is rather surprising to me. What else is rather surprising is the fact that the ace by far of the Mets staff has been Johan Maine.
    Name     ERA+
    Maine 145
    Santana 123
    Pelfrey 98
    Perez 96
    Figueroa 79
    I have been under a rock for a bit so I really had no idea John Maine was doing so well. In fact, it is even more of sad commentary that I had no idea because he is on my fantasy team, which is making a hard charge towards first place and all others in my league should be wary of the impending doom that is about to befall them.

    Mike Pelfrey has actually made some nice strides this year slightly outperforming Oliver Perez and you really have to say that this team is looking pretty solid right now from a rotation standpoint with Pedro Martinez making his way back. Five 100+ ERA+ guys in the rotation for the second half? Nice. That could really be the catalyst that finally pushes this team to the top of the NL East.

    Scary trend.... Johan has 11 homers in 60 innings and the other four starters 14 homers in 166.1 innings. Let us hope he can squash his staggering homerun totals in short order. He is on pace for an amazing 40 dingers after moving into a nice pitchers park which hurts righties and into the NL. He certainly has been very good so far, but I think we all were expecting Cy Young worthy and he is not even sniffing that at this point.

    * * *

  • I have forgotten what it is like to have Pedro on this team anymore. It is hard for me to take these things seriously, but eventually he is going to stay healthy enough for a nice string of starts.

    Speaking of injured pitchers, where the hell is The Duque?

  • Interesting.


    As they arrive in Atlanta for a four-game series, the Mets (22-19) are coming off a two-game sweep of the Yankees and are just one game out of first place. But tensions are high, with closer Billy Wagner calling out his teammates last week and Carlos Delgado, still hovering at .230, being dumped into the seventh spot in the lineup.

    Last I checked the Braves were behind the Mets. Their run differential is pretty and all, but Smoltz may not see the mound again in 2008 and Chipper is good for about 30 games on the DL. Temper the excitement down there.

  • Ted Berg lays it down.

    People claim that the players don't care enough to win. Nonsense. Go try to find a player in the Major Leagues who doesn't want desperately to win every single game he plays in. You won't. You don't make the big leagues if you don't care.

    Is that 100% true? I mean, no one wants to lose, but there are surely people that want it more and some people that are just not effected as much. Maybe I am crazy here, but I think some people are more emotionally invested in winning and losing than others. I think it is obvious that these guys want to win a shitload more than they want to lose, but I think there are varying degrees of desire.

    All in all, a good article that dishes out some perspective, but this team makes it really hard to keep perspective when the manager is crying racism and they cannot put some room between themselves and a .500 record.

  • Bobby V. may not have had the smoothest ride here and I might not want him managing my team, though I would take him 100 out of 100 times over Willie, but it would be great to see him back in the bigs. The man can beat any ump in a quiz of baseball rules and he really should be given a chance somewhere. His style would be perfect for a young and burgeoning team.

  • Oh my, my, my, how two little games can change perception.

    The Mets offense put on a display in both games against the Yankees, coolly beating their two best pitchers while providing a glimpse at just how potent the team can be when everything is humming.

    "We worked the count a little bit, drew some walks," third baseman David Wright said. "We didn't try to do too much and went the other way."

    This was the strategy Wright outlined against Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang and their No. 2, Andy Pettitte. The Mets' execution was flawless. They combined for 18 runs and 22 hits, mashed four homers and drew eight walks.

    If they can remain patient, they can blast Glavine out of the water and that would be good for my soul.

  • Vargas and Nellie Figs have been pleasant surprises so far. You really cannot complain about getting the type of output that they have been giving as the 6th and 7th pitchers.

  • Teixiera would be great, but he is going to cost a lot of cash. Mike Carp certainly makes me feel better hitting .338/.389/.537 in Binghamton, but he needs to take a few more walks for me. Luckily enough, Nick Evans is hitting .291/.356/.557 and Dan Murphy is hitting .329/.369/.482. I would not like to rely on one of those guys, but if you tell me all three can go after it and the best man wins, I would be OK with that.
  • Labels:

    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.