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

Monday, May 09, 2005

Cat Fight

Ah, cat fights between managers and players is becoming all the rage lately. First it was Schilling and Pinella.

A day after Boston pitcher Curt Schilling used the word "idiot" in criticizing Lou Piniella, the Tampa Bay manager held a team meeting and fired back.

"The problem is when you're playing a team with a manager who somehow forgot how the game is played, there's problems," Schilling said on a Boston radio station Tuesday. "This should have been over a little bit ago. Lou's trying to make his team be a bunch of tough guys, and the telling sign is when the players on that team are saying, 'This is why we lose 100 games a year, because this idiot makes us do stuff like this.' They (Rays players) said that on the field."

"Forget how the game is played? I have forgotten more baseball than this guy knows," Piniella said.

"On the idiot subject, I'm appalled he would actually say something like that. I had a meeting with my team and to a man they denied it. He's questioning my character and integrity and that is wrong. He's never played for me, never really spoken to me, so he really doesn't know what I stand for.

"If I were Curt, I would be really embarrassed at the cheap shot he took and get the story correct. I'll tell you I've always admired his pitching ability and competitiveness, but I can honestly tell you I've lost a lot of respect for him. I'm looking forward to talking to Curt myself and get this matter cleared up," he said.

This one was close, but I give round one to Lou Pinella.

How many times does a player go after a manager? Schilling may lead the lead in trash talking and senseless jawing at this point. He was non stop in the off season talking about the slap heard around the world and now he's causing a rift between him and Pinella.

Not to be outdone, Lloyd McClendon and Kris Benson rolled up their sleeves and went at it.

Benson battered: It's considered bad form for a manager to criticize a player from another team. But that didn't stop Pittsburgh's Lloyd McClendon from questioning the character of Kris Benson.

"(Benson) had great stuff for us," McClendon told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story published yesterday. "But he didn't have the heart of a lion. They'll find that out in New York."

McClendon remains upset with comments Benson made during spring training. The right-hander said he had learned more about pitching in his few months with the Mets than he did in six seasons with Pittsburgh.

"They're misinterpreting what I said," Benson said. "It was more talking about the positives with the Mets than anything negative about the Pirates. But that's typical. There's nothing else to talk about there."

The Mets don't play Pittsburgh until July 8. Benson doesn't plan to speak to McClendon until then — if then.

"Maybe he'll finally be fired before that," Benson said.

Maybe he'll be fired before that? Good stuff, I think Benson wins this round. But more importantly, I hope Kris gets fired up by McClendon's questioning his drive to succeed. Maybe this will be a catalyst to get Benson going? We all know he has no performed up to his lofty expectations, but he did have arm injuries in all fairness.

* * *

  • In game in which the Mets lost in the ninth inning on a bad call, they should have been out of it a long, long time ago. The Mets were out hit 17 - 5 and all five hits were between Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron. The fact they were in it by the ninth inning is amazing enough, so this loss is not one that was tough to swallow despite the seemingly botched call by Dana DeMuth.

    "I felt like I threw the ball well enough to either throw a shutout or give up one run," Glavine said. "But it didn't happen."

    Here is where it gets silly. Though I did not see him pitch, to think he had shutout stuff and gave up eleven hits, is silly. Maybe there was an inordinate amount of bloops and seeing eye hits, but some credit is owed to the hitters. They are the ones who did things with tough pitches and they are ones who got the hits. They may not have gotten solid contact all the time, but Glavine is pitcher who relies on defense and not strike outs, these days will happen. You may not have looked as bad as you had in the past few starts, but you were still bad.

  • Yesterday was the first was the first time I saw Derrick Turnbow pitch. The guy is pretty sick. He pounds the zone with a 97/98 mph fastball and has a sick off speed pitch that he froze Cliff Floyd with. Danny Kolb who? That deal will look like a great one with the promising Jose Capellan ready to possibly ready to contribute late this season or in 2006.

  • Today Aaron Heilman goes against Jon Leicester. Not exactly the marquee match ups that people come to the park to see.

  • Carlos is on fire.

    Beltran had three hits yesterday for the second straight game, the first time he has done that this season. He has raised his average 27 points the last two days, from .283 to .310.

  • Matt Durkin had his first rough outing of the year. He gave up eleven runs in 3.1 innings. Durkin was quoted as saying that he thought he had good enough stuff to give up one run or maybe even shutout stuff.

  • Justin Verlander won the first battle between himself and Phil Humber. Verlander continues to be nasty with his 4-1 record and his 1.50 ERA. Justin found a way to give up only run run, despite walking six batters. Humber gave up three runs despite allowing one less baserunner, but one of the hits he surrendered was a three run homer.

    Lastings Milledge and Shane Bowman continue to be invisible.

  • Scott Stricland cannot be far away from a promotion. So far in 6.1 innings, he has a 1.42 ERA and has only given up four hits and one walk. With six relievers on the club and Victor Diaz seemingly up for the fourth outfielder spot for good, Eric Valent could possibly be demoted to make room for Scott Strickland. Though he is the only left handed power hitter off the bench, he has been one of the biggest dissapointments on the team so far this year. Being that he has options, he can and should be sent down to get some hacks and work on hitting.

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