Sunday, December 31, 2006
For every man who has ever donned a Mets uniform, whether it was in Single-A through the Majors, I want to thank you for making my favorite team even better. There were some lean years and many groans, but 2006 has proven that the team has heart, can come back and be a contender.
I want to propose a resolution on behalf of the fans to support the team through the good moments and bad for 2007. We must strive to play perfect baseball and execute the runs, wins and strategic pitching situations.
While it puzzles me why some players chose to leave a budding dynasty and seek the free *(greed)* agency market...Well, let's say one day you are up for a big "I Told You So."
As we countdown the hours (a mere three) to 2007, let's raise our glasses to a toast of champagne -- My toast is: "May we be spilling gallons of champagne in October of '07.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Well, I KNOW it may be after the fact, but in a sense, I am kinda glad he didn't sign with the Mets. Granted he is a good pitcher and a cog in the A's rotation for many years, but something deep down inside my gut told me he would be akin to Bret Saberhagen and a few other pitchers through history who had stellar seasons elsewhere and didn't make it in the Big Apple. It takes a special kind of personality and thick skin to hurl the ball in Queens - OH, plus some good pitches help too!
Zito, it was pointed out in a broadcast during the playoffs as good as he was, he never pitched a real BIG game (think of Jack Morris' 10-inning shutout, Curt Schilling with the toe, etc).
But what made Zito ink the paper in the 415 area code zone? Simple. The answer can be described in symbols instead of words: $$$$. [It may be a coincidence, but don't the SF Giants have a slugger on their team who beefed up his wallet - AND his body (with steroids -- I'm not going to say allegedly - so all you folks in the ACLU take that!). Can the Giants really have that big of a check book? ]
While we are on the topic of pitchers signing elsewhere. I am still baffled that Chad Bradford, a sidearmer who I liked decided to join the Orioles. If its for oogling Anna Benson, then that's a different story. But Chad, man, the opportunity to get a ring rests with the Metropolitans and NOT with the Orioles (Hearken back to 1969 my friend and see what happened).
Darren Oliver - another hurler who was so-so, but dependable also put on wings - literally - and became an Angel. What gives?
OK, we are in the hunt for a few good pitchers -- and, if we DON'T get any pitchers, this scribe, who stays away from the fermented grape and the hops and barley in liquid form -- WILL be drinking pitchers to calm the nerves.
Dontrelle, we'll even let you pee on the pitchers mound if you come north.
Barry, good luck in SF, but now since you are "the enemy," I hope you have an uphill battle a la Lombard Street (see accompanying picture) with your new Uniform.
Omar, it looks like its getting tough to entice and get commitments from live arms. Dangle good deals and get rid of the dead wood - (so far so good, Royce Ring, Roberto Hernandez - tragically - you're next.
OK, so, to sum it up. We may have lost the Zito-stakes, but we learned a lesson. Mets need to be more aggressive with the contracts.
Let's make 2007 a good one. (Place the bets in the sports books in Vegas for the playoffs).
I'm done now...see you back here soon.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I am a biased Mets fan. Let me get that out.
But, for the life of me, I am very practical when it comes to the Hall of Fame. This is a sanctuary that should honor SUPERSTARS, not marginal players. Unfortunately, the latter has been happening over the years as balloters feel compelled to vote SOMEONE in. No matter who -- or "who(m)."
The list of 2007 eligibles, plus carryovers from last year were announced. The link from the Hall of Fame and a brief overview of the players can be seen from this link:
Now, I wish I had the time to rate all of these players to give you my opinion. I will do this...(for those who care -- and I don't think my mom is one of them, but, Kudos to you mom if you are reading this.
There are just TWO candidates who jump out at me and are fully deserving. Quite simply, in order of preference, it is Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken. If Tony had a finger for each batting title he won, he'd be a Polydactyly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polydactyly) That man could simply hit and his lofty batting averages certainly show it.
Cal Ripken, and the reason I put him second, is that the "streak" after awhile was man-made and based on the intent of breaking the Iron Horse's record of 2130. It didn't matter if Cal was hurt - his dad, the manager, would put him in the game. Take nothing away from Ripken, he was a superstar and an ambassador for the game.
Now, for the future of the former players who were Mets at one time or another. Here's my view on whether they will be enshrined...
Bobby Bonilla - PASS. Let's not talk about the obvious. (Pssst. As Allen Ludden would have said..."The Password, is 'tude.")
Tony Fernandez - A good shortstop/second baseman with a good glove. He was my favorite SS in the game back in the early 90s. His numbers were good, but I would not rate him a superstar. (I don't believe Don Mattingly is a Hall of Famer - and he has posted WAYYYY better numbers).
Orel Hershiser - One year with the Mets and not very memorable. 175 innings pitched, not even 90 strikeouts. Can't base his career on this sole season, but his total career numbers don't knock me over. A good man, and a morale builder around the clubhouse.
Bret Saberhagen - 2 Cy's still doesn't get him in with my criteria. I think he had some great years, but bounced around a bit after his days at KC. Only won 20 games twice. With seven of his 17 years in single digit wins, this guy still managed to pull down over $47 million in career salary.
Thanks for letting me spout. If you think its all drivel, tell me. If you agree with my opines - let's chat too!
Back soon. The winter talks are heating up. Sure to be more news for me to squawk about.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Sorry I haven't been posting lately. The demands of work got to me over the past few weeks and while I have been thinking about the Mets, just haven't had time to "get it down on paper," so to speak.
I want to thank a very good friend of mine for prompting me to write. O.H., from that bustling metropolis in Calhoun, GA has been a fellow baseball and sports fan and soundboard for me for the past - I dunno - what is it, O? Seven, Eight? NINE??? years...We got to chatting via IM and...well. Here I am.
A little bit has been going on. My views will be both spewed and skewed. Here goes.
Orlando Hernandez - Thanks for not holding out O.H. (Hey, I just noticed my friend has the same initials. -- The other thing they have in common was both were born in 1939. Though I am betting the Met hurler is a bit older). We locked you for two years and I think you will be coming back fine.
Jose Valentin - A good "insurance" sign. If Soriano becomes available, the 37 YO with the breakout year in 06 becomes a backup. 1 Year was a good contract. The Mets will develop more talent at the keystone.
Tom Glavine - Time to play the option game. Here's where we see a lot of finesse (READ: Bullshit) with contract negotiations. I can recall Glavine saying a few years ago he wanted to end his career in a Mets uniform. Now he is declining options and the like. Even considering going back to the Braves. Message to Tom: HELLO! Look at the records from2006....Why give up a steak and lobster meal for chuck shoulder (on the bone).
Royce Ring & Heath Bell - How do I describe these guys? It's a bit hard. But they are taking Horace Greeley's advice (via action by Omar Minaya) and plying their trade west. To me, these guys never seemed to be a real part of the Mets DNA and when they were pitching, just seemed to be fill ins. Honestly, I haven't evaluated the trade to the Padres: http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061115&content_id=1741131&vkey=hotstove2006&fext=.jsp though I hope the pitcher recieved by the Mets can throw the ball with a little authority.
Is the Majors turning into eBay????? - Now it seems the trend is to put the merchandise out - have a minimum bid and then do a buy it now a la eBay www.ebay.com First it was the "Gyro Ball" pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20061114&content_id=1740293&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp and also 3B Akinori Iwamura which the Devil Rays won.
OK. Listen up. And this is directed to the 30 GMs who read this blog as their bible. DONT DO IT! DON'T FALL FOR THE BAIT.
Over the years, I have heard a ton about "CAN'T / WON'T miss prospects...Todd Van Poppel was supposed to obliterate every pitching record in existance - or wait - was that Brien Taylor -- NO NO! It was Hideki Irabu...To offer upwards of 40 million JUST TO TALK to a player is outlandish...then they HAVE to sign with a US ball club or they "lose face" to the nation of the rising sun. This is a dangerous trend for the MLB to fall into. The Japanese players could not even be worth their weight in Sushi. Then, every star there will be pumped up as a CAN'T /WON'T miss that will costs clubs dollars that will make accountants cringe to arms that twinge.
What I don't like about Daisuke Matsuzaka is that he overpitches. If he's so good, why did it take him 260 pitches for a nine inning game (or so lore goes). If the Japanese relish 3-2 counts, that's fine. But he is NEVER taken out of games. Let's see him go 9+ innings against more powerful hitters.
I saw a video of his alleged gyro ball (go to YouTube.com and type his name in)...To me, it was not impressive. It was like watching grass grow.
Glad it was the Red Sox that dumped the coin. Fans are still sore after the Sam Horn debaucle.
Mets Musings...My wish list includes Soriano to come in at second with Valentin backing him up. Anderson Hernandez can spell these guys, but deserves a chance too...Can we bring back John Olerud?...Glad Carlos Delgado decided to come back...I (tongue in cheek) salute him...Guillermo Mota - thanks for embarrasing us. 50 games is a good start to sit out...Willie Randolph, forgive me for saying this, but he's not all that.
Hey, it's late. I have to go to bed...I'll be back..thanks for staying awake through this...and in destiny's name - please comment! I welcome them. (You can even be anonymous!)
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Below (so far) are the Mets who filed for free *Greed* agency. Here' are my humble comments combined with some gut instinct. I haven't had the time to analyze who to pick up from other teams. This is only the first time (and of many to come) of the F.A. market this fall/winter:
New York Mets-------------
Chad Bradford, RHP - Keep. A good submarine pitcher is hard to find.
Cliff Floyd, OF - Cliff, we love ya and want you to stay. Please overcome the injuries. Though it seems as you have a penchant for lists...Disabled list, free agent list.
Orlando Hernandez, RHP - El Duque. Good arm and resurrected with the Mets. Welcome to stay on. Between you and Julio Franco, we need some good 50-year-olders.
Roberto Hernandez, RHP - Roberto - I still can't figure out WHY the Pirates, one of the worst teams in the league, would dump a pitcher of D-level caliber. There are many nice independent leagues that would welcome your arm. I hear Cedar Rapids is lovely in May.
Ricky Ledee, OF - Ricky, you were a Philly once, and so was Lenny Dykstra. Tap into him as I am sure he will be more than happy to employ you at his car wash in 2007.
Guillermo Mota, RHP - A bit of a surprise for '06, but it seems like Willie Randolph is in love with Mota. Keep him signed to a one-year contract and then let's see what develops.
Darren Oliver, LHP - As aboe with Mota.
Steve Trachsel, RHP - Bon Voyage Steve.
Michael Tucker, OF - There ARE better players off the bench. At one time, he had potential. Now the word "marginal" comes to mind.
Jose Valentin, 2B - A big surprise after Anderson Hernandez went down early in the season. Good bat and a clutch hitter. But, let's keep in mind, he NEEDS to have the Jerry Stephenson philosophy from "Ball Four" He should be HAPPY to be on the team and if they shit in his hat, he'd gladly should put it on. (Kudos to Jim Bouton for capturing that quote in 1970).
Chris Woodward, 2B - A good fill-in player. Is he worth six figures?
And so the debate begins...
Friday, October 27, 2006
Reality: Cardinals are up 3 games to 1 in the World Series - and it takes 4 to win.
Consequences: After that fourth victory becomes a reality, be that of the Redbirds or the Tigers - could be tonight, could be in a few days - the "wake up and smell the coffee" moment is that there will be NO baseball on TV or in the parks until April.
This is hard for me to accept. First, they take away the sunbeams and humidity of summer, and as this is being written, a coat is now being toted to the office. Next, the clocks get set back and the darkness pokes through, invades and settles in when the clock says 4:xx (that is purely insane). And, as mentioned above, baseball takes a bow with no encore.
Reaction: Do I take a "Woe is Me" approach? Nah, already did that when Beltran watched Wainwright's final pitch. Mentally, I will relive all the good moments of the Mets season and realize that the words "WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR" are uttered, but this time they have meaning! The Mets are contenders. When we used to say that in the early 90s, it was more of a hollow feeling and said because it was done with the obligatory M.O. of being a Mets fan -- and no one believed it anyway.
So, baseball is 24/7/365 now thanks to the Internet.
Action item: I'm going home and see if my cable company gets channels for baseball in Venezuela. If not, well, there's always Hockey.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Good to see some of the Mets win individual honors. Though as a team, they were probably the best internally matched group of 40 to come along in years. No real friction between players and the way the line-up was composed, each player had a legit chance to contribute.
I have to admit, on a personal level, I was not thrilled to be getting Carlos Delgado at the start of the season. This was all predicated on the fact that he would not respect the country when they played God Bless America in the 7th inning. There is no need for me to link any stories to that. I still think its not Patriotic to disrespect the flag -- considering after 9-11 we need to be united and combat terrorism. But this is not the place for me to spout political stuff, its a place for me to grab a megaphone and yell (WITH PASSION!) about my love of the game of baseball.
Delgado turned things around and became a good player. A "GO TO" player. One you can count on to get that run in. And there were many occasions after he hit the ball, had the opportunity to pace 360 feet back to his original destination. 38 times. Carlos Delgado Statistics. For those who are mathematicians, that is equal to 2.5909 miles or 13,680 feet.
Well, without further adieu, I'd like to share the story about Carlos winning the Clemente Award. Roberto was a hell of a player and gave it his all. For those fortunate enough to either see him play in person or on TV, consider yourself lucky.
Click the headline above or the link in the beginning of this post.
Spring training is not too far away, let's think about really WINNING this in '07.
It's time for a DYNASTY to start.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Personally, I don't like Kenny Rogers. He was a big bust as a Met (Dolly Parton, YOU don't compare) and he pissed a lot of people off with his 'tude and his trumped up skills. But this year under the tutelage of Leyland and Co. he's been resurrected...And that gives great hope to other older players.
Now, here's a bit of Irony (to quote Col. Flag in M*A*S*H "Irony is Ironic") - Rogers, at one time during his career was getting a W-2 from 5 teams that made the post-season playoffs this year. (Click headline for his record)
- Yankees - 1996-97
- Oakland - 1998-99
- Mets - 1999
- Twins - 2003
- Tigers - 2006
But besides having the same appellation as a famous country singer, he is remembered for shoving some poor camera man when "Little Kenny" was having a bad day. The Kenny Rogers I like performs songs in front of cameras - NOT "songs and dances."
Of course that "substance" that was on Roger's person is very suspect. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/23/sports/baseball/23cnd_rogers.html?em&ex=1161748800&en=ee53b1713dec9d87&ei=5087%0A I believe somewhere (perhaps even sitting together) Gaylord Perry and Joe Niekro enjoyed seeing Rogers with gunk.
Let's see what happens the remainder of the World Series. As this is being written, we are awaiting Game 3. It is an exciting series? Well, I LOVE baseball, but with the Mets not in it, let's just say I don't wait for a commercial to get up and re-load my seltzer.
*You don't have to refer to a member of the X-Men to use that phrase
Sunday, October 22, 2006
We lost. But you have to admit that the teams put together under Omar Minaya really REALLY gel.
I don't understand what the thinking was when Steve Phillips was in charge. Let's face it, he kept a lot of players on the team for a long time that shouldn't have been there (John Franco, to name one). And many times, Steve Phillips traded away someone for nothing, then wants to give the store away for this same player in a following year (Jeremy Burnitz- and remember Fernando Vina?).
Omar looks for good players and has an eye for talent for developing players.
Omar, for next year, let's get some good bat, strong arms, great attitudes and players with courage who work their hearts out.
Here's a mini shopping list (and more to come):
- Barry Zito
- Dontrelle Willis
- Alfonso Soriano
Let's get some steamer trunks and bid bon voyage to:
- Steve Traschel
- Ricky Ledee
- Roberto Hernandez
One little tip on how to make your broadcasts more appealing:
Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!! Shut Up Already and be quiet!!!
Friday, October 20, 2006
And So It Ends...Ducks On Pond...112,714 Eyes In Disbelief as a Backwards "K" Puts A Denoument To 2006
This is the type of history you witness, but wish you read about it in a book instead -- YEARS later.
You all know what happens. Yadier sticks it. 3-1. Then the 9th and by the miracle that is always bestowed upon the Mets, the chance to tie, then win.
Let me interject something here. Besides baseball, I love to play dominoes. It is a game that teaches one to be humble and even tempered. Just because you are winning, let's say 90-5 (and playing to 100), does not mean a victory is in the bag. If you are that player with 5, you STILL have the hope of winning. That same set of luck/circumstances was bestowed upon the Mets in the lower 9th.
OK, so I accept the fact the Mets lost. It's hard when you root for your team, and this year was probably my best baseball year EVER. I saw parts off ALL of the Mets games - every one of the 162, save for 5 at the end of May when I was traveling internationally (I WAS able to catch the Mets and the Yankee Series thanks to ESPN Deportes ) I'm I'm not going to gripe. I remember an old saying from somewhere that said "There's no crying in curling" (or maybe it was Jai-Alai) -- either way, I'm applying it to baseball.
Kevin Kennedy said something of interest about statistics. As much I I love stats and pouring over them on my daily busride, Kennedy basically said it's all "past history"
I tend to agree that every instance in baseball is an incident that stands on its own and once it occurs, will be a stat. Just because Joe Schmoe is 15-for-15 against Pete The Pitcher, doesn't mean he will get a hit on the 16th time he faces him.
Mets needed to treat Game 7 as an individual event.
Now, I'm going to be an armchair manager... A few things didn't make sense. Why was Floyd in their with that beat-up achilles? Say he hit a nice slow roller down the right/left field line - he'd get beat by a fat lady to the base. Plus with two on, a DP could have been en vogue.
...The Mets DO have a great DP combo; Reyes to Valentine to Delgado. And they turned a few nice ones in games 6 & 7...The piece de resistance (and I am NOT the only one to write about this) is Carlos Beltran looking like a deer in the headlights. As our little league coaches used to say "PROTECT THE PLATE!!!!"...Wainwright's pitches were all dropping off the table like an anvil -- and it should have been incumbent upon the batters who faced him to give a quick report to the batter on deck or double deck...And who would have thought the series would be over by a K -- one that Carlos just looked at. Didn't even lift the bat.
2007 is coming and there will be some interesting moves. My next blog entry will focus on my personal predictions, prognostications and gut guesses.
Kudos to the Mets. Willie Randolph and Omar Minaya. The overall year was a success. As a long-time Mets fan, I have suffered with my bretheren for many years. This was one to remember. Way ahead of many people's expectations.
AND WHILE IM AT IT...A few memorable moments that immediately come to mind...Endy Chavez' http://www.baseball-reference.com/c/chaveen01.shtmlcatch. THAT was something. I heard people who don't even like baseball talking about it. (It was a bit reminiscent of Joe Rudi in the 1973 playoffs / WS)...Anderson Hernandez' catch in the second game of the season. This guy FLEW and looked like Superman...and, while we are in a Hernandez state of mind, how can we forget El Duque's triple!!!
I'll be back in the coming days commenting on the Mets-less World Series. (and other items)
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Barring the injuries, the Mets have been playing OK (not great, just OK). And it takes more than an "OK" performance.
Game 6 showed the crowd was behind the team and they have the fortitude to press ahead and manufacture runs. Pitching will be in question, but Maine did a great job beyond expectations. There is no margin for error. I hope you read this Billy Wagner - you created some John Franco-like moments last night. Coming in with no runs and having the potential tying run at the plate. Let's use a little finesse, cunning, skill and just some good baseball playing. And while we're at it - WIN WIN WIN. Beginning Saturday, we should Maul some tigers.
However, if the Mets lose - and I KNOW they will not. We must think of the verse of that famous song by the Shirelles:
So tell me now, and I won't ask again Will you still love me tomorrow? Will you still love me tomorrow? Will you still love me tomorrow?
My reply is that I will always love the Mets - but the "year" is here. Let's do it.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Simple...They are all PESTS in the worst way. No matter what you do, you just can't get rid of them and they pop up when you least expect it -- and stick around.
This David Eckstein is a hell of a player. His numbers aren't "great" but defensively he makes the play and offensively, he slaps those annoying rolling singles.
The Mets need to contain players like this. Other ones that come to mind (past and present): Craig Counsell (this guy's stats says he weighs 180 - yeah. And I'm Hank Aaron...Otis Nixon, Brett Butler (I liked him). And, I can say too, with PRIDE, that Jose Reyes is a pest, but man, can he hit and run and throw and field. All the tools.
Playoff Observations:...Is it me, or does Tim McCarver still not get it? He just rambles on and on and on. And when he gets out the pen and draws on the screen, why, I swear it was like the Rinky Dink toy of days gone by...Shawn Green - I'm glad he's in NY, but someone has to teach him not to be afraid of the ball and start fielding, charging and closing his glove when the time is right. We all have to pray for Shawn - this is an open call for all clergy and NY Rabbis to get in motion. (In the 1950s, a priest in Brooklyn suggested his congregation pray for Gil Hodges who wasn't hitting)...This image here is the best description I can conjure up about Shawn Green's glove:
Monday, October 16, 2006
Going into Sunday night's game - I will have to admit that I was a bit scared. How scared?
Let's just say a little bit more scared than serving as an altarboy with Father John Geoghan.
Glad the Mets trounced the Cards in Game 4...Shawn Green redeemed himself with the lumber, but he's gotta get a better claw to snare the balls.
Friday, October 13, 2006
This is the feeling the Cardinals got after Thursday night's shut out by the Mets...Looks like they can't get in any way!
Glavine looked great and Pujols whiffed on the first AB and then did an totally uncharacteristic-like got doubled-up on a DP situation.
As a fan, I want to see good head-to-head action. Weaver surprised the hell out of me and pitched well during the shutout innings. I actually saw him play in person in his debut when he was with the Yankees and thought - what the heck did the Yankees do? (Fear not, a friend had a ticket - I'm not a pinstripes aficionado.)
Friday's game is important. The Second Button theory as we referred to an earlier blog post. Maine vs. Carpenter. I think the wood man can get hammered. Beltran has some good wood and so does the rest of the team. Confidence is up.
NOTE: Floyd needs to sit down. An Achilles isn't something that can come back quick. As a runner, I have had Achilles issues in the past. REST REST REST is the cure.
See you back here soon.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
He may be an opposing player in the series against the Mets. But you have to take you hat off to Albert Pujols - as a player, and as a human being.
Pujols is a model of consistency and take a look at his stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/p/pujolal01.shtml
What's amazing is the first six years of his career, 2006 marked the most games he missed - 19.
He's got a good glove - career fielding percentage of .993 - and when you take a look at his appearances on the leaderboards, it is just mindboggling.
As I am writing this, the first game of the Mets playoffs against the Cardinals commenced. It was nice to see Glavine strike him out. This will hopefully set the tone of the series.
Mets in 4!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
For all the laughing we did watching Seinfeld, years later it moves me to a famous quote he said in an early episode. To me, it relates to the playoffs and the World Series.
Take a read:
"The second button literally makes or breaks the shirt. Look at it. It's too high. It's in no-man's land. You look like you live with your mother."
Notice how he emphasized "second" - which brings me to my point.
In any of these series, the second game is the most important for a psychological edge. Let's say Team A wins Game 1...the series, naturally is 1-0. Second game comes around again, they win. They are up 2-0. Nice cushion but it still can be beat. However, it takes a team twice as hard to comeback to even the series.
The Mets have to remember this to play the entire series well. Its underrated, but I think against the grain sometime. So, Willie, you gotta put your best pitcher out there on Game 2.
And, for the team that loses 0-2, they are in no-man's land. They may as well live with their mother.
A special thanks to MT, down in Howell NJ for sending it to me...
Before you read, keep in mind I think Albert Pujols is the best all around player today.
NOTE: Click the headline or this link for the original source:
Cardinals-Mets: Position analysis
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Breaking down the Cardinals-Mets matchup, position by position
CATCHER EDGE: METS Paul Lo Duca is reputed as a winner, and he finally won, defeating his old team, the Dodgers, in the first round. Here's the chance for a grinder who handles a bat well and handles a pitching staff even better.
Yadier Molina has settled in as the heir apparent to Mike Matheny in St. Louis. Molina, the younger brother of Bengie and Jose, clearly has continued Matheny's defensive legacy, but he's already proven to be a better offensive player. He's backed up by Gary Bennett.
FIRST BASE EDGE: CARDINALS Carlos Delgado had been preparing for this for 1,710 games, more than any other active player without a postseason bow. Now he's had one and he's enjoying every minute of it, getting hits in each of his first four at-bats in the Mets' Game 1 victory against the Dodgers. His reputation is built on 162-game consistency. Now we'll see what happens as he keeps adding postseason games.
No contest here. Pitch to Albert Pujols in a key situation, and you will get burned. He's probably the best player in the NL right now and is a seasoned playoff performer. Ask Brad Lidge. The guy who has been removed at times this year as Astros closer is still waiting for the Pujols shot that won last year's Game 5 of the NLCS to come down.
SECOND BASE EDGE: EVEN Jose Valentin is the guy who finally ran Kaz Matsui out of Flushing. Had he done little else, he would be revered, but Mets fans have also appreciated his hard-nosed play and clutch hits.
It has been Russian roulette at this position since the Cards were swept by Boston in the 2004 World Series. This year, it's Ronnie Belliard, who came over in a midseason deal with the Indians. He's a .240 hitter and made some terrific plays for the Cards in their first-round win over the Padres.
THIRD BASE EDGE: METS The Golden Boy. David Wright is the unchallenged symbol of the Mets' rise back into New York relevance. Infield-corner power, vastly improved defense, humility and personality -- all that's missing on the rack is October success.
Scott Rolen is one of the premier third basemen in the game and has rebounded well from last year's shoulder surgery. Because of it, he missed the 2005 postseason. But Rolen has been playing with a sore left shoulder again this October, relegating him at times to the bench, with Scott Spiezio getting the start.
SHORTSTOP EDGE: METS His first full season had been impressive. His across-the-board improvement in Year 2 has been stunning. As Jose Reyes has settled into his role as the Mets' sparkplug, he has unleashed all of his tools. He doesn't get big-stage fright, delivering the game-tying single in Saturday's Game 3 NLDS clincher.
It's been an injury-plagued season for little David Eckstein, who recently returned from a pulled side muscle only to go down with a sore hamstring. He's fragile and may not make it deep into the postseason. He was replaced by Aaron Miles, who performed well enough.
LEFT FIELD EDGE: EVEN Cliff Floyd has chased the light as long as has Delgado: 14 seasons, 1,415 games -- two lousy postseason hitless at-bats, in the 1997 World Series. But he came out of Game 3 of the NLDS after re-injuring a problematic left Achilles tendon. His status for the NLCS is up in the air. Endy Chavez could see increased playing time vs. the Redbirds.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa flip-flopped rookie Chris Duncan and veteran Preston Wilson in the NLDS. Duncan had defensive problems and Wilson was a spark in the Cardinals' Game 2 victory at San Diego. If pressed, La Russa has also used Spiezio and John Rodriguez out there in a pinch.
CENTER FIELD EDGE: METS Carlos Beltran made a nice bounce-back from his booed 2005 Mets debut, but he still hasn't justified the big contract. This week, he can. The 2004 postseason (.435, eight homers and 14 RBIs in 12 games) is his yard stick -- and what people expect to see. His performance against the Cards two years ago in the NLCS is what got him the big deal.
It's hard to downplay Jim Edmonds, but he's had a rocky last month after smacking his head on the center-field fence and suffering through post-concussion syndrome. Yet he came back much sooner than expected, and the gamer he is will certainly be a force. Wilson is in the mix here if Edmonds can't go. So is Juan Encarnacion.
RIGHT FIELD EDGE: METS Along with Lo Duca, Shawn Green had to be pretty happy about defeating the Dodgers. His old team traded him to Arizona after the 2004 season, and on Aug. 22, the Diamondbacks flipped him to the Mets with Floyd on the disabled list. As age has slowed his bat, Green has forsaken some of his power by more often looking to slap balls the other way.
It's Encarnacion's first season with the Cardinals, and he's made the most of it. He has been one of the Cardinals' most durable players, playing in 153 regular-season games and all the NLDS games. He was a member of the 2003 Marlins team that was resurrected by Jack McKeon midseason and went on to defeat the Yankees in the World Series.
BULLPEN EDGE: METS Having Billy Wagner at the end of their bullpen made Mets manager Willie Randolph and his pitching coach, Rick Peterson, bulletproof. They assigned roles, compensated for injuries and could do no wrong. A day after valuable Duaner Sanchez went out with injuries suffered in a taxi accident, Minaya gave them Roberto Hernandez and, later, turned to Guillermo Mota. With Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman also in front of Wagner, the Mets were 78-4 with a sixth-inning lead through their NLDS clincher.
With closer Jason Isringhausen out for the season after hip surgery, it's been a real mess and was one of the big reasons why the Cardinals lost seven games in a row near the end to make the NL Central race interesting. La Russa has been forced to go with Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper as his closers, with nominal success. Randy Flores is this year's Ray King in the situational left-hander's role.
BENCH EDGE: EVEN Starting with Julio Franco, Mr. Methuselah, this is a supporting cast that perfectly meshes with the high-profile headliners in New York. Ricky Ledee, picked up in early August after being waived by the Dodgers, might be activated for the NLCS if Floyd cannot go. Ledee would join Michael Tucker as the extra outfielders, with Chavez likely becoming the starter in left.
La Russa flip-flops pitchers and positions and substitutes with the best of them. He always has a pack of role players to go to. So Taguchi, Rodriguez, Miles, Wilson and Bennett are the big ones this season, depending on how many of his regulars are healthy. With Edmonds and Eckstein being hurt, La Russa's had to plug starting holes with bench players.
MANAGER EDGE: CARDINALS All those failed managerial interviews were worth it for Randolph, who got the job, and did the job, in the only city that matters to him. His quiet, patient leadership is ideal in a place where everyone else tends to get uptight. Randolph inspires confidence in his players, who feed off his faith in them.
La Russa is the resident genius with 22 seasons worth of big-league managerial experience. Can you believe it? But his lone winner was the 1989 A's, who salvaged the World Series after the last great Bay Area earthquake and swept the Giants. Come to think of it, his teams are 5-12 in World Series games. But this year has been one of his better jobs keeping these Cardinals competitive despite all the injuries.
INTANGIBLES EDGE: METS The arrival of an event that has been inevitable for months comes with intense pressure for the Mets, not to mention the letdown losses of Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez from the playoff rotation. They now own baseball in New York with the Yankees being booted out of the postseason for the third consecutive year without reaching the World Series.
The Cardinals may not be the same team as two years ago, when they went to the World Series, but they still boast the best position player (Pujols) and best starting pitcher (Chris Carpenter) in the NL. An injured Carpenter didn't pitch two years ago when the Cards were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series. It proved to be a big loss.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
We got the victory in 3 games and while there were a few teetering moments, the Mets looked great.
Honestly, even though I am not a fan of the Yankees, I wanted to play them as they were, in my opinion, the second best team in the MLB.
Kudos to Joe Torre. I think he's a great manager. As far as I am concerned, Omar Minaya should offer him a coaching position if he is let go.
Back to the Mets. Let's see who the next opponent will be - I think the A's or the Tigers would be tougher for the Mets to face than the Cards or Padres.
Wednesday is coming...Let's pick up more W's
Monday, October 02, 2006
2006 vs. 1986 - Let The Halycon vs. Modern Debate Begin -- BUT, When We Are Done "Arguing" Let's Have the Same Result - A WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
Well, here's another argument. For those uncles around in '86 - and for uncles to be in 2006, I hereby open a can of worms.
What was a better team, the 1986 Mets or the 2006 Mets?
First, some stats...And, this isnt the basis for judgement here. It's my gut instinct mixed with seeing players from both eras + a little bias thrown in...
C Gary Carter 32 132 490 81 125 14 2 24 105 62 63 .255 .337 .439 1 0 21 6 0 15 9 116
1B *Keith Hernandez 32 149 551 94 171 34 1 13 83 94 69 .310 .413 .446 2 1 14 4 0 3 9 141
2B #Wally Backman 26 124 387 67 124 18 2 1 27 36 32 .320 .376 .385 13 7 3 0 14 3 1 114
3B Ray Knight 33 137 486 51 145 24 2 11 76 40 63 .298 .351 .424 2 1 19 4 3 8 2 116
SS Rafael Santana 28 139 394 38 86 11 0 1 28 36 43 .218 .285 .254 0 0 15 2 1 3 12 52
OF *Lenny Dykstra 23 147 431 77 127 27 7 8 45 58 55 .295 .377 .445 31 7 4 0 7 2 1 130
OF *Darryl Strawberry 24 136 475 76 123 27 5 27 93 72 141 .259 .358 .507 28 12 4 6 0 9 9 140
OF #Mookie Wilson 30 123 381 61 110 17 5 9 45 32 72 .289 .345 .430 25 7 5 1 0 1 5 116
OK, now, what I am about to do is NOT scientific, but rather a gut analysis of both teams and who had the advantage. As far as pitching goes, that is a tough one to line up. I will attempt a column like this in the future. But for now, let's just take a look at the offensive herd:
C - 1986 - Carter
2006 - LoDuca
Choice: Carter - While I like LoDuca's bat, Carter had a good arm and was just an inspirational leader. Of course if Piazza was in this equation, let's just say...Piazza.
1986 - Hernandez
2006 - Delgado
Choice: Delgado - Seems to have a better bat and comes through more in the clutch. I'd opt however for Hernandez' Glove. But we are building an all-time team here, so Delgado gets the nod.
1986 - Backman
2006 - Valentin
Choice: Valentin. I like a guy who can surprise you and hit HRs when they count. Plus, he was not even considered as a starter on opening day.
1986 - Knight
2006 - Wright
Choice: Wright. He's young. He has an arm and he's charismatic. While Ray was the leader and Captain of '86, Wright appears to be the heir apparent at 3rd and will stop the long skein of gents who patrolled the hot corner since 1962. (I don't have an exact number as this is written, but I believe 117+ or - )
1986 - Santana
2006 - Reyes
Choice: Simply stated, Reyes is my favorite Met on the current roster. He has all the tools, speed, ability to get on, steal and a bit of pop in his bat. Once again, Omar Minaya put an end to the "next greatest shortstops" who fizzled. Reyes is the real thing.
For the outfield, I'm going to do this collectively:
1986 - Dykstra, Strawberry, Wilson
2006 - Chavez, Beltran, Green/Floyd
Choice: 2006 Lineup. Old timers will probably maim me when I say I was NEVER a fan of Darryl Strawberry. Heavens to mergatroid how many times we heard "woulda coulda shoulda" with him. He was clutch, had the tools and every opportunity. We all know what happened and there is no need to repeat it here. There seems to be more pop in the bat and better fielding with the modern crew. But lord knows how Lenny Dykstra played - and that spirit was like ebola on the Mets - it caught on and everyone adapted the hustle. Beltran came into his own and adapted well to NY. He's here to stay. Endy Chavez was a surprise and put up some good #'s and came through. Green was a steal. Floyd, oft-injured, is part of the DNA of the squad.
Choice: Both! For 1986, when the Mets were down 7-1 in the 8th, you KNEW they would come back and while watching, you would never be frantic. 2006 is now. Let's keep up the excitement.
I will say this here and expound on it later in a blog post, that Omar Minaya knows how to put a team together. The previous administrations kept players who were way past their prime (READ: John Franco) who were detriments and helped pile up the "L" column. Minaya did an a la carte with quality goods and not a hyped Las Vegas Buffet (ever see the surf and turf specials at some of those joints? Fatty meat -- REAL Fatty -- and the lobsters are usually sick crayfish).
Cheer Loud! Thanks for reading. Comments encouraged.
Once again, my colleague MAC has a lot to get off his chest and thus, we are about to be treated to some high-fallutin' often controversial stuff.
Let it rip. (PS, I agree, as much as we love Pedro, if he's not able to perform during the playoffs, why showcase a liability. Would rather win with a lesser named pitcher than lose with an icon).
Take it away MAC... (Note - this was written on Friday morning, Sept. 29 before it was announced that Pedro wouldn't be back until mid-2007....
Pedro Martinez has been great for the Mets and we are sad to see him not be part of the playoff roster, however, this is not the downfall people believe it to be. Pedro was 0-3 with an 11 ERA in his past three starts; I don’t want that in the playoffs. Also Pedro only accounted for 9 out of the Mets 94 wins. They are NOT reliant on him. So who do we have?
Hernandez is 9-3 in the post season with a 2.55 era and since he came to the Mets he’s 9-7 with over 100 strike-outs .
Glavine – 14-7 and a great veteran ball player with 12 wins of playoff experience.
Maine – This guy was an ‘extra’ in a trade this year and he’s been huge for the Mets. He’s 6-5 this year with a 3.64 era in 15 games. He also only has 30 walks this year (No Playoff Experience)
Traschsel – He’s 15-8 this year and gets the most run support of any pitcher on this team. (1 Game Playoff Experience. No Decision)
I am very happy with my staff. Those bats have started to turn around and the good old Amazing’s are back in town. LETS GO METS!
This is UltiMETFan1969 again....And there you have it.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
I don't know how the proprietary algorithm came up with Dave Kingman, but we were all familiar with him during his few stints with the Mets. http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/kingmda01.shtml Dave was known for two things (and, I am not sure what order is appropriate because you could make an argument for either case.
In the spirit of John Kerry, I will include both:
- Hitting Home Runs
- Striking Out
- Striking Out
- Hitting Home Runs
A quick count by my calculator (yes, I did this by hand) shows Dave hit 154 home runs with the Mets in 2323 AB with 672 Ks. With all those dingers, he led the NL with 37 in 1982. (And you KNOW how much I LOVE the triple, well, he hit a whopping total of 6 of 'em. For a perspective, my boy Jose Reyes hits 6 triples before he even steps out of the house every day).
Will Kong ever make it to the Hall of Fame? Doubtful. He's one of a few players with 400+ round trippers (I believe that Darrell Evans is one too) that are longshots.
But Kong, we would have welcomed you back the other day with the Mets losing two games by a score of 25-1.
Stay tuned for more Random Mets.
This is getting ridiculous. I hope that the Mets are really doing this to finesse the other teams, and then coming back full guns in the playoffs. There is something to be said for clinching too early -- too much complacency. Here is the next team the Mets are destined to lose to if this keeps up:
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
It seems as the Mets' train derailed against these crapo teams.
Gents - let's not lose to the Braves. This would be embarassing. If this is the case, I'm personally going to shove an Ostrich and stick my head in the hole.
OK - I'm done ranting.
Monday, September 25, 2006
In my last blog post, it dealt with the victory of the Mets clinching.
What happened since? Have they gone complacent? I'm not sure, but I have a solution - for all the champagne they drank in victory, each player must drink TWICE as many Thunderbirds and Night Train Express in defeat.
Its quite puzzling. They just can't seem to get it together. Getting beat by a bunch of doormats named Pirates, Marlins, Nationals doesn't seem to gel with the winning formula they put together this year. They are flirting with dropping below the .600 percentage mark and just a few weeks ago they were around .630 give or take.
We understand that Willie needs to rest a few of the regulars, but the guys out there on the 9 don't need to rest. They need to hustle. The last few games were all bad. In the three aforementioned series, with the lack of strenght and depth in all these teams, realistically should have produced three loses.
OK, Metropolitans...If you drop more than two in a row now, its going to be baaddd...Real baaaad. This isn't a threat, but if you don't get beyond the playoffs, there will be a lot of pissed off fans.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
What's Going On Here? A Sweep By the Pirates? Did Mr. Peabody and Sherman set the WABAC Machine to 1962???
My jaw is on the floor and so is the rest of me laying prostate --think of George Costanza in Seinfeld when Jerry saw him in his aparment and said the famous 'And you want to by my latex salesman' line...
Did we go away for a few days? Did these two - Mr. Peabody and Sherman - pull a trick on us and make it 1962?
Three straight losses to bottom feeders - the Pittsburg Pirates. How did this happen? My answer is the same as the priest's in the Gong Show Movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080808/ when he was asked if there was life after death: "Beats the shit outta me." Casey Stengel was given some woeful stock and once proclaimed "Can't anybody here play this game???" That's what it feels like.
Don't get me wrong. John Mane pitched OK. Pedro, well, he was worse than so-so. When I was in the supermarket today (wearing my Mets hat of course), a heavy gentleman in his 40s was riding by on one of those shopping scooters and yelled over (as I was contemplating a cut of meat) -- "Pedro don't belong in NY" I think he does but that last outing stunk out the joint.
Well, the Mets as far as I am concerned are taking that "Magic Number of 1" and are exponentially making it tougher than climbing Everest and breaking the 4:00 mile. Both were done in the past by others and its no longer a barrier. Guys, jump that hurdle Monday night and clinch.
I am tired of my champagne glasses being filled with dust over the last three days.
Monday, September 11, 2006
WINNERS: David Wright gets a return visit from young Bobby Singer, who recovered from meningitis after a visit from his Met hero.Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin
Back on August 22 I posted a story here about David Wright being a real role model to a son of a very good friend of mine.
Today, the New York Post talked about it as well: http://www.nypost.com/commentary/the_kid_is_all_wright_commentary_andrea_peyser.htm (if link doesn't work, text is below):
THE KID IS ALL WRIGHT
By ANDREA PEYSER
September 11, 2006 -- I WONDER what else the Mets can cure.
You didn't even see him coming. David Wright, mega-superstar third baseman for the New York Mets, a guy who makes women weak and men insane, sneaked up in the hallway to join us.
"I've been wanting to see you again for a really long time," Wright said in his shy Virginia drawl to a startled Bobby Singer, 8.
You expected David would be accompanied by fanfare, flunkies, an attitude, maybe. He's the most sought-after face in baseball. Bigger than the Beatles, Springsteen and the Wiggles to my daughter.
Instead, here was a very young man - he's 23 - showing off the boyish smile that, along with his magnificent arms, will earn him $55 million over the next six years.
"I got something for you, too - a bat," David told Bobby.
"Cool! Cool!" the boy shrieked. And they embraced.
It was hours before David would slug in the two-run single that would bring the unbelievable Mets to victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. But to call this reunion unlikely would be understating matters.
Two years ago, Bobby, then 6, lay near death.
He was diagnosed with contagious, deadly meningitis. The sign on his door at Schneider's Children's Hospital on Long Island clearly warned all who would dare enter: "Wear mask and gloves."
On a tour of the hospital on Aug. 25, 2004, David - either a hero or a damn fool - ignored the warning. "I've got three younger brothers at home," he explained to me.
Wright was then a rookie. It would be more than a year before his jerseys would become the hottest in New York baseball - outselling even Derek Jeter's. He entered Bobby's room and shook the boy's hand.
"I was very scared. I was in total agony from a very bad test," said Bobby. "Then a man came in and he said, 'Don't worry, Bobby. Just be brave.' "
Now Bobby, of Long Island, is a Wright freak. "We have to peel off his No. 5 jersey to wash it," laughed his dad, Dave. His mother, Pam, is certain David was responsible for her son's recovery.
"One of the big perks of getting to put on this uniform every day is seeing their faces brighten," said David. "It makes it all worthwhile."
Readers of this column probably know I've been unable to watch a Mets game in a decade, after the scummy antics of the early '90s team broke my heart. But this year, our scrappy, beautiful, first-place Mets are winning it back.
I know they're going all the way.
"What in the HELL is going on?"
The Mets looked like they were a bunch of altarboys getting abused by priests (with guns) at a camp-out. There was NOTHING they can do.
Gentlemen - let's get it together. We have a magic # in the works here and we need to get it sooner, rather than later.
See you at the ballpark tomorrow - Let's take home a W.
Because of that tragic event cultivated by heartless, sub-human gutless slime, there are many children who will never have the opportunity to play catch with their fathers or go to a ballgame with their dad.
If you know of any such children, give them the gift - take the time to introduce them to baseball. Maybe get them tickets to a game and be a mentor. 1 Day can be a huge difference in their lives.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I had MAC who penned the recent blog posting on Steve Trachsel select the Random Met this time with my proprietary secret algorithm.
Here we have, I guess by serendipity, a Met from the classic year, 1986, Tim Teufel. Tim was popular and a staple at second, but not much power with the lumber. He hit 14 baseballs out of the confines of a baseball diamond in '86 to match his career high.
Timmy was acquired from the Twins in a pre-season trade in January 1986. Traded by the Minnesota Twins with Pat Crosby (minors) to the New York Mets for Billy Beane, Bill Latham, and Joe Klink. Somewhere along the line, the pot was probably sweetened with a bag of practice balls and a fungo bat.
Interestingly, there is a lot of magic at second base this year with Valentin who came into his own. Is this a foreshadowing and mirror of 1986? Let's hope!
Timmy, we saw you at the Mets' 86 reunion (on TV) and you still look like you can play. Lace up them cleats again, brother.
And, for those too old to remember and too young to forget, "When the going gets tough, Timmy Teufel got going!"
Thursday, September 07, 2006
First, to "my boy" Jose Reyes, who is making us forget about all the other "can't miss"shortstops on the Mets...Rey Ordones, etc...What a show of HUSTLE! Nice inside the park homerun which is textbook...see kiddies, remember a few blogs ago I talked about the fundamentals of running?
According to the announcers of tonights game against the Dodgers Box score: http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/boxscore.jsp?gid=2006_09_07_lanmlb_nynmlb_1 the Mets have had 25 consecutive scoreless innings against their opponents. Strong pitching...strong offense, strong defense. How can one be a cynic of the Mets now?
Until tomorrow's game...instead of counting sheep to get to sleep, I am going to count scoreless innings.
***This is a guest blog from one of my colleagues, MAC. We are both die hard Mets fans, but take different views about the subject of this blog. I have never been a fan of his, MAC is... Read On...
Take it away MAC...
Trachsel ain't flashy. He's boring. And when you watch him, he takes so long to pitch, you fall asleep. But his numbers -- the double-digit wins, capable ERA and WHIP, and general reliability -- made him one of my favorites.
-Eric Krabell, ESPN
That’s how I feel about Trachsel in a nut shell. In a year where the Mets have had as many as 9 starting pitchers on the roster (Pedro, Glavine, Trachsel, Hernandez, Perez, Pelfrey, Bannister, Maine, Williams) one has been there all year. Trachsel. My friend and Blogmaster likes to call him Stevie Trash-Can, but these numbers prove otherwise.
This year he is:
2nd in the NL in wins
3rd in the NL in Winning percentage
5th in the NL for Walks
.971 fielding percentage
Since the All-Star break:
In 7 games gave up only 3 or less earned runs
Wins included San Diego, St. Louis, Florida, and Cincinnati (All possible Wild Card Teams)
Yes- his ERA (5.02) is ugly. I can admit that. Not every pitcher is lights out. Yet the Mets give ST more run support than any other pitcher this year – THEY PLAY FOR THIS GUY! Willie put it nicely after ST’s ugly loss to the Braves on Monday.
"As long as he keeps winning, it's (his ERA) not a concern at all," Randolph said. "It's about winning games. Sometimes you're not going to always do it pretty."
All teams need a good strong reliable veteran pitcher. Not one who is flashy and a bull - that’s an ace – but someone who is a strong middle or end of your rotation. Someone who will last an entire season. Someone who will eat up innings. Someone who will not make mistakes. And someone who has been in the league long enough to know which way is up, help the young bloods and add positive charisma and leadership quality to the locker room.
Trachsel is better than any 5 or 4 pitcher out there, and this year is an amazing 3 starter. You only need 3 good pitchers in the playoffs… can you find a better guy that ST right now for that role?
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Click the link in the title of this blog post and it will bring you to the active triple leaders. Interestingly a bunch of them are on the Mets or have played for the Mets. (yes, this includes Ruben Sierra who was signed by the Mets, but never even donned a Mets Uni). Jose Offerman, Carlos Beltran, Julio Franco, Michael Tucker, Fernando Vina and Jose Vizcaino. This list is through 2005 and "my boy" Jose Reyes http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/reyesjo01.shtml came into the year with 23 triples in his first three years and as of this writing, has a major league-leading 16 three baggers to bring his career total to 39.
Can Jose encroach Sam Crawfords' record of 309? http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/stats/historical/player_stats.jsp?statType=1&timeFrame=3&timeSubFrame2=0&sortByStat=3B&baseballScope=mlb&timeSubFrame=0Let's See, Let's hope. Let's pray. (for you folks who get humor about skating, I just performed a "Triple Lets"
On that note, I will bid you all adieu and thanks for bearing with me. There's a song on the radio now that is apropos to this blog...Now everyone sing, "Once, Twice, THREE Times a.....Triple."
I think you get my obsession with the triple.
Gents: Please make some noise with your bats. This is not the early 1990s. Mo Vaughn is gone, so is Bobby Bonilla and John Franco isn't serving up anymore gopherballs.
Would love to see you playing past September 30.
Start hittin' em.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I enlisted a good friend of mine, (DMP) to select the random Met today. He followed my custom, proprietary algorithm and in the process came up with Billy Baldwin: http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/baldwbi01.shtml
Now, there is an actor with the same name, and I am guessing, that the actor probably is a better ballplayer than our aforementioned Met was.
I don't remember this Billy at all, but he only played 9 games for the Mets and had 1 roundtripper. (That's 1 more than I have).
The interesting thing was after doing a little digging, was he was part of the Godawful Rusty Staub for Mickey Lolich trade. You know, when I think back about that trade (December 12, 1975: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Mickey Lolich to the New York Mets for Rusty Staub and Bill Laxton. ) it still pains me. I like to use illogical rationality and say that Billy came over for Rusty and Mickey was traded for Bill Laxton.
Staub for Lolich outright is like trading a grand orange for a case of lard.
God bless ya Billy, wherever you are these days. You have DMP to thank for immortalizing you on this Mets definitive blog.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Oliver Perez http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=6945 pitched somewhat remarkably dropping a few donuts on the scoreboard : August 26- MLB - Box Score - Phillies at Mets. Here I am thinking, WHOA! This is spectacular - the inevitable - he served up a gopherball with the bases juiced. Well, the good news is besides thinking he was great, then not, then great, then not, I could see why he was 2-10 before coming to NY. Plus, he had 95 pitches in 5 innings. A stat posted on the screen stated he had the highest # of pitches per nine innings in the majors.
Ever see a wheel fall off a wagon?
Well, the Mets wound up with a win and that's what counts.
Rainout Interesting Tidbits...Chris Coste on the Phillies is the author of two books:
Hey...I'm Just the Catcher - 1997 and RollerCoster - 2007 http://www.chriscoste.com/author.html ...he was a 33 year old rookie...Only 4 players have played for both the Yankees and the Mets as their only teams. Can you name them> Let's see some replies before I post the answer...
So, my phone rings late on Friday night about 9:45 give or take and it happens to be a good friend of mine, "JS" who I used to work with. "JS" and I get along very well, but we are opposites in many ways, most notably, he being a diehard Yankees fan, and me being a diehard Mets fan. Bottom line - we both LOVE baseball.
JS has an extra ticket for Sunday's game - Jewish Heritage Day at Shea. Of which JS is, and I am not. He reveals to me the seats that he has are in left field. Unfortunately, I had to decline as my child has been sick. Anyway, I share with JS that while the seats sound good, the place to be is in right field with newly acquired Met, Shawn Green. We both get a chuckle out of this.
Well, my point here in this blog entry is to thank JS for his thoughts and that we surely will be seeing each other in a World Series soon.
Oh, and get ready to count 4 Ws for then.
***Footnote - the game was rained out, so when JS does make that trip to Shea, I can see him slowly walking around to the other end of the stadium to doff his cap to Shawn Green.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Let's cut to the chase. Julio is 5 for 5 in stolen bases and he does something many players fail to do. Take running seriously.
Right now, I am a bit miffed that I lost the post, so we'll pick this up another time. But my conclusion was that I hope on August 23, 2008, we are celebrating Julio's 50th in a Mets uniform - not as a coach - but as a player.
Feliz Cumpleanos Senor!
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Finally. A GOOD trade this year - that is, post the July 31 deadlines. As you know I blogged about the Nady trade a few times and it still irks me. But this can make amends. Shawn is an excellent player with a good attitude and a role model. Or a Role Mazel *Tov*
Shawn as you know is dedicated to his Judiasm and is will be an inspiration for the large Jewish population of New York. And that is great. The more fans we can attract to the park, the louder we will yell in the World Series this, and the coming years.
For those who know me, one of my favorite country singers is Don Gibson allmusic ((( Don Gibson > Overview ))) and he did a song once called Country Green Lyrics: Country Green by Don Gibson and I am hoping the Mets will use this when Shawn comes up swinging the bat.
Tonights game was great.
I may have said before -- and I still mean it -- this year the excitement and confidence is like it was in 1986 --- (time for a dig here: pre- and post-John Franco - does that tell you anything?) I had a gut feeling that after being down 7-1, the Metropolitans would come back - and this was the same innate instinct us Mets fans had back in 1985-86.
Lets rock some more wins and welcome Shawn to Shea...
Random Thought...Whatever became of Anderson Hernandez?
The following was conveyed to me by a good friend and colleague (DS, we'll get another WS Ring this year!)...
A few years ago his son was sick in isolation with a potentially contagious disease. The sign on his hospital room read something like "DO NOT ENTER - INFECTIOUS AREA."
One day, a young gentleman pays no attention to the sign, walks in the childrens ward and spends time with the young lad. He gives him a NY METS Teddy Bear and an autographed ball -- and one to his brother as well.
This was none other than David Wright.
Recently Sprint held a promotion where children had to write a 200-word or less essay of their #1 hero...The boy conveyed his story about David Wright. Not only did he win, he gets a chance to partake in a two hour baseball clinic being conducted by Carlos Beltran!!! In addition they also get goodybags filled with an autograph, Mets goodies etc. as well as two tickets for that night's game.
It is rumored that DS's son will be wearing his Little League Uniform which, by a "sheer coincidence????!!!!!" is #5, the same as David Wright's.
Hats off to the Mets, David Wright and Carlos Beltran, but more important, Hats Off To DS's sons. They are the winners. It's their moment to shine on the field and brighten their lives. A day they will never forget.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Nady is gone for a 41 year old dead horse and a guy that was 2-10. Does it make sense?
NOW, we get Guillermo Mota for a player to be named. Granted, pitching is a commodity that has to be explored, but the way they burn out pitchers these days is scary.
Up until the 1970s, it wasn't uncommon for hurlers to have double digit complete games -- even if they lost. And, Relievers would come in the second or third inning and finish out the game. Now, after 100 pitches, BOOM, the starter is in the showers.
Speaking of showers, who will the Mets give up for this Mota guy? Time will tell. Perhaps Roberto Hernandez???
Anyway, the Mets have to stop getting these marginal guys and go with the Barry Zito type quality pitchers. AND, not the Bret Saberhagens or the Kevin Appiers who wind up imploding.
If you go down to your local supermarket, in the back of aisle 18 on the three shelves in the endcaps, they have dented cans there. Maybe a former player stocked the shelves. Tell Mota and Hernandez HI! the next time you are there.
Done rambling. You get my point.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Wanna know what this feels like?*
- losing an eBay auction at the last second
- consistently getting picked LAST for a schoolyard kickball game
- your best friend mis-pronouncing your name
- finding out your childhood movie / sports idols are now serving life sentences
- being a Devil Rays fan
*none of these EVER happened to me. I'm just drawing examples.
The lead is NEVER comfortable, even being 11, 12, 13, 14 games ahead. Erosion is the worst thing to happen to a team in this position.
Well, as I write this the Mets are playing a day game and have a lead...YES! a Lead! Atta boys! Let's keep that up.
I'll see you at the World Series!
Monday, August 14, 2006
All of us Mets fans got punched in the gut tonight with the Phillies 13-0 trouncing over the Metropolitans. Fortunately, I wasn't glued to the set, but peered in every chance I had. I wish my stocks went up the way the Phils score did (but thats another time, another blog and another audience - consider yourself lucky you aren't on the receiving end).
Suddenly, I had a flashback - a deja vu...I had to look for the newspaper and online to see what year it was. Seemed like the way the Mets let all the runs score (let's just say it was a Swiss Cheese defense - to borrow from football), it was like giving the store away. I was readly to see Al Jackson pitching, Mo Vaughn at first, Bobby Bo in the outfield, and, yes, Mackey Sasser catching.
So, let's all chalk this one up as a fluke. There's tomorrow and we have a huge 14 or so game lead.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Well, I was scouting the web and saw this quiz...decided to take it. I got a 22 out of 25.
Take it - and lets compare scores.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Remember this guy? Played in 17 games for the Mets back in 1990. His claim to fame was that he had an insanely high batting average with the bases loaded.
These were some bleak years that I prefer to forget.
Maybe the next random Met will generate better memories.
It's late. I had to blog. Thanks for stopping by.
OH, and, before forget, nice sweep by the Mets today of the Padres.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Ditch the Du-rag and the dreds. While I have nothing against them, this is a town with public image and you would get more playing time.
(For reference, hearken back to Ball Four and Steve Hoveley - aka Tennis Ball Head - he let his hair grow real long and management wasn't to happy.
OK, I'm done. I want you to be successful here and to do so, ya gotta have a great attitude, take direction and listen to Willie.
Now, go out and hit .400!
The fans of NY really showed class. I mean, for all ostensible purposes, he, as anyone who is not in a Mets uniform - is now the "enemy."
You know for a second I got nostalgic. I was thinking....HMMMM, what if the Mets do what they have done with several other players who left and came back? OK Mr. Minaya, some of these are yours, others aren't, but please get the hint (OK, I am groveling on my knees and pleaing):
And, maybe one day....MIKE PIAZZA! Mike Piazza Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
Friday, August 04, 2006
- The two balks (heard on the radio, didn't see as of this writing)
- Chase Utley's 35 game hitting streak now has a toe-tag
and, the "you gotta see it to believe it..." dept.
- El Duque hits a triple...yes, a triple. This reminds me of an anecdote from Jim Bouton's Ball Four. Mel Stottlemyer hit an inside the park homerun. The press asked Bulldog Bouton what he thought of it, and jokingly he said (paraphrased) "I didn't like it too much - it puts pressure on all us other pitchers to hit inside the park homeruns"
Hey, Met's pitchers - Lets Hit Some Triples!
Adios until tomorrow.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
The winner is: Joe Pignatano Joe Pignatano Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
OK, I remember when I was in Little League, we had an end of the year dinner and Piggy was there at the main dais signing autographs after we ate the rubber chicken.
Piggy - where are you these days?
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Tease the fish. They wallow in the water then come back to bite you in the ass.
Looks like they put the lemon on Wagner tonight.
Cry me a river...but one with No Marlins in it.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Mets trade Nady to Pirates for Hernandez, Perez - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
I have 9 credits in philosophy and 3 in psychology. Now it is time to use them. Where is the logic of trading for a washed up arm and a pitcher with a 2-10 record. Is this the ghost of Mickey Lolich on the Mets????
Two that come to mind, in order of Frustration:
John Franco. How many times would the Mets bring this guy in to serve up gopherball after gopherball. I remember one game in particular, they were playing the Marlins when they really sucked. (circa 1998-00). No one on. All of a sudden. bases loaded. Walk-off homerun, Mets lose. Franco, a smug little SOB managed to stay with that team longer than he should have. He was like an unemployed brother-in-law. Just hanging around and getting fat.
And, while we are on the topic of the last word of the last sentence...
Mo Vaughn. Why? Why? Why? Who was on the funny stuff when they saw his value?
Good news. Mets of today are not like that. Omar Minaya is a smart man.
Im on the fence here with this one. Milledge is a bit green, but can be a big star. Dontrelle will give the pitching staff what we need. More OOOMPH. If Lastings fizzles, then the front office will get a lot of Blastings... Let's do it.
(Of course, Zito is availalbe too!)
Sunday, July 30, 2006
I taste the World Series. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM