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

Friday, July 08, 2005


Coming into the year, Omar Minaya wanted to surround his rookie manager with as much experience as possible. After all, Willie had spent his entire career as a coach in the American League, which is what I like to call fake baseball, learning from a coach who rarely even got up or appeared to actually be awake in the dugout. The use of the bullpen and bench is much more intricate in the National League and the Mets just had a manager in Art Howe who could not manage in the National League and Omar presumably wanted to give Willie every chance to succeed.

Rick Peterson was the only coach to stay after last season's house cleaning and Omar brought in Sandy Alomar Sr. as the bench coach, Manny Acta as the third base coach, Guy Conti as the bullpen coach, Jerry Manuel first base coach, Rick Down as the hitting coach, and Tom Nieto as the catching instructor. Manny Acta and Jerry Manuel were managerial candidates in the past off season, Sandy Alomar has been a bench coach since the last time DC had a baseball team and has been playing baseball longer than Willie has been alive, Guy Conti helped Pedro learn his off speed pitch and came up with the idea to lower Aaron Heilmans' arm angle, and Rick Down is 100 years old (Tom Neito really does not matter, sorry to any Neito family members out there).

I do not buy the idea that Willie needs time to adjust to life as a manger. The guy has been in the Major Leagues since he was 20 years old and has plenty of baseball experience. Sure there is going to be some double switch hiccups, some misuse of the bullpen, and other things, but he is making some mistakes that a person who just started watching baseball this year could point out as a glaring problem. At some point, and some point soon, Omar needs to invite him over his house and have everyone in the dining room waiting. They need to have an intervention in an effort to set Willie straight. Sometimes when you are addicted to writing out bad lineups for instance, you have no idea you are doing it. It consumes your life and you cannot even see what you are doing to hurt you family and your own teammates. Before it is too late and Willie does any further damage to a team that is 1/2 game out of last, people need to step in. Something needs to be done and something needs to be done soon. Willie has done some good things, but he has seemingly made more bad decisions than good ones. He had all this help brought in to make it a smooth transition and I would love to know what they are adding to this equation. Coaches like Lou Pinella and Bobby Cox are known for getting the most out of their team and it is time for Met manager to do the same. It seems that the skippers heading the Mets lately get out managed all to often.

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  • Jim Callis recently had a chat on ESPN.com and was kind enough to answer a few questions about our lowly Mets.

    Swami Jr.: Hi Jim, thanks for chatting. How long do you think it will take the Mets to sign Mike Pelfrey? Any chance he'll pitch in A-ball this year? And how long do scouts think it'll take before he's ready for the majors? Thanks!

    Jim: (3:29 PM ET ) Pelfrey could be ready quickly, say within 12-18 months of signing. But I wouldn't expect him to sign in time to pitch this summer, so he won't make his big league debut before late 2007 at the earliest. Good pick for the Mets, though.

    Kevin: Mike Jacobs, how bad is he as a defensive catcher? The Mets said he would be playing 1b this year but I see he is back behind the plate. He can hit but can he catch?

    Jim: (3:37 PM ET ) Not on a regular basis, no. Jacobs looks like a backup 1B/C type to me, as opposed to being Mike Piazza's successor.

    Pelfrey, let's get this clock ticking. If you said you wanted to get this moving and get pitching, you probably would not have chosen Scott Boras as your agent. It would be nice to see what this kid has for five or six starts so the Mets have a pretty good idea what they have for themselves, but all the top picks are waiting to see what each other gets. Ryan Zimmerman was ranked a bit below Mike Pelfrey and signed for a bit over slot money a tick below $3,000,000. However, the big problem comes in when the Mets signed Phil Humber for a $3 million bonus and a Major League contract with a $5.116 maximum value, with $4.2 million guaranteed. Is Humber a better pitcher than Pelfrey? Probably not. Mr. Boras could care less where his guy is drafted. The Mets probably do not have much of a leg to stand on if they have any delusions of signing him for less than they inked Humber. Expect him to be signing about the same time Humber did.

  • The untold story.

    "I was watching 'Caddyshack' and Bill Murray character's Carl Spackler," Royals pitcher Brian Anderson said. "And I am like, 'That is a great name.' So I come into the clubhouse and start loud talking about how I am going to change my name to Carl Spackler and there is a guy already on the team using that name."

    So Anderson found inspiration in another favorite movie of his, "The Naked Gun."

    "I used to stay as Lt. Frank Drebin and, much like a pampered superstar, would make them put the 'Lt.' on the rooming list," Anderson said. "So that when I get my key, it would actually be 'Lt. Frank Drebin' [on the envelope]."

    A pretty funny article. You also get to see what some scumbag Yankee fans resort to.

  • Yusmeiro Petit is getting some virtual ink from BA.

    Mets right-hander Yusmeiro Petit just keeps dominating. Last night, Petit allowed two runs on five hits and struck out 10 in a seven-inning complete game against New Hampshire. On the season, Petit is now 3-2, 2.97 with a 75-10 strikeout-walk ratio in 67 innings.

  • The Mets, and every team in the NL for that matter, have more wins than the second place teams in the other NL divisions. New York has also moved into third in the Wildcard standings.

  • Another one bites the dust....Carl Pavano becomes the third Yankee pitcher on the DL. Hello Darrell May.

  • In case you missed it, the homerun derby will be a bit different. It will be possibly eight players representing eight different countries. The only hold out is Ichiro Suzuki. Ichiro is like Wade Boggs in that he could he twenty homers in a row in batting practice, but does not hit many in games because that is not his game. If he goes in there, do not be surprised to see him make it into the later rounds of the competition.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Columbus 6-2. Anderson Hernandez is playing like he is the best option the Mets may have at second base right now. He went 2 for 4 with two walks to bring his average up to .411. Victor Diaz had a bad day at the plate going 0-4 while striking out three times, but he did play first base. Could he be an option in 2006 for first base? The Mets need some sort of backup plan.
    • Binghamton beat New Hampshire 9-5. Mike Jacobs hit is third homer in as many games to bring his total up to 18. It took him 119 games to knock in his previous career high in 2003 and it took him only 76 games to top that total in '05. Aarom Baldiris continues his quest to hit .300 and went 4 for 5 with two RBIs to bring his average up to .297. Brett Harper went 1 for 3 with a run scored and two walks and Wayne Lydon went 3 for 3 with three runs scored, a triple, two walks, and an RBI.
    • Hagerstown beat West Virginia 7-1 in a rain shortened game. Carlos Gomez continues his red hot hitting and went 3 for 3 with two runs scored, a homerun, three RBIs, and one walk. Grant Psomas is trying to keep pace with Mike Jacobs for the Mets Minor League homerun crown and hit is 17th of the year. Ambiorix Concepcion went 2 for 3. Michael Devaney went seven innings for the win and gave up two hits, one earned run, walked one, and struck out five.
    • Fort Myers beat St. Lucie 10-6. Andy Wilson went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, two RBIs, and homer to tie him with Mike Jacobs for the lead in homers in the Mets' system. Shawn Bowman went 1 for 4 with a run scored, two RBIs, and his 16th homer of the year. Evan MacLane got roughed up in his 5.1 innings of work and gave up eight earned runs on eight hits and one walk.
    • Staten Island beat Brooklyn 4-3. Caleb Stewart went 2 for 5 with a run scored and a double. Johnathn Malo continues to draw walks a torrid pace and went 1 for 2 with a run scored and three walks. He has as many walks as he has hits so far this season and has .265 average and a .419 on base percentage.
    • Kingsport against Elizabethton was rained out.
    • The GCL Mets beat the GCL Nationals by two touchdowns. They won in a barn burner 20-6 and amazingly enough, the Mets did it without the long ball. Brahiam Maldonado went 2 for 4, with a walk, three runs scored, two doubles, and four RBIs.
  • This is pretty interesting to see what king of mail Scott Miller gets about some of his articles. Most of it is useless reading, but some if pretty funny.

    From this article about Barry Bonds:

    From: Aaron
    Have a crappy day.

    From: Phil Bokan
    Nice opinion, go f--- yourself.

    From this article about Kenny Rogers:

    From: Michael Popp
    I cannot believe they pay you to write this crap. Your opinion, like your hair style, SUCKS.

    From: Scott Miller Hater
    ONCE AGAIN another absolutely horrible article by Scott Miller. I wish that Kenny Rogers had pushed Scott Miller down a flight of stairs.

  • Andrew Marchand muses about whether or not Al Leiter would return to the Mets to be a star color commentator. His time with the Marlins is not going exactly as planned, and is certainly something that could happen. Just don't expect him to say to many pleasant things about Omar Minaya during the broadcasts. Also, Ron Darling said he would be open to listening to offers and David Cone would accept a part time role.

  • The Reds are reluctant to help Jim Bowden win. In a show of maturity and helping make their organization better, they will not even return his phone calls. You want to screw Bowden? Give the Mets Dunn for nothing. That would screw him really good.

  • Jay Payton gets his wish and he is now out of the Red Sox organization. He was traded to the A's for Chad Bradford.

  • From Newsday:

    Piazza was one player badly in need of a confidence boost. After taking Wednesday night off, he returned to the lineup yesterday in a 2-for-22 slump, without an RBI in six games. But the other Mets noticed a refreshed Piazza around the batting cage yesterday morning, and that was the first positive sign.

    "This dying mule still has a few kicks in him," Piazza joked to his teammates.

  • Screw the Olympics. They are boring anyway, but this?

    Baseball and softball are the first sports cut from the Olympics since water polo in 1936.

    The IOC will consider replacing them with two sports from a waiting list of five sports: golf, rugby, squash, karate and roller sports.

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