Thursday, December 13, 2007
A colleague rushed into my office and had me look at the report. Interesting how many Mets were on it. Some were noteworthty, others marginal and one who was laughing at the Mets after he signed with his new team, the Washington Nationals, boasted he did so because they would be facing the Mets 15 times this year.
Mr. LoDuca, I loved ya when you were here. You were ballsy, but to throw it back in the Mets' face was uncalled for. I think the 15 games the Nationals will be facing the Mets will have you as a spectator (in prison) vs. behind the plate.
George Mitchell did a lot ratting out the bad, but this should have been done a long time ago. Pee into a cup. Clean. Play. Not clean. Choose another profession.
Oh, and while this is a primarily a Mets blog, I want to say to Barry Bonds two things. One: HA HA HA HA HA...and 2) Do the injection marks on your body resemble an asterisk too?
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Hall of Fame seems to be hellbent upon electing someone (and some years, ANYONE) just to have a ceremony and create news.
This years class will get a quick eval from me. And, then a snide comment at the end.
Walter O'Malley - Yeah. This surely makes sense. A man who alienated a multigeneration fan base by moving his team west for one reason. Greed. O'Malley was despised by the owners and wasn't very benevolent with the players. Plus he squeezed out some of his management who brought him there. Bad Call. Grade: F
Bowie Kuhn - A commissioner getting into the hall is not uncommon, but Kuhn was very paradoxical in my view and caused the apple cart to drop more apples than grow trees. He literally crucifed Jim Bouton for Ball Four. And, how could a team like the Pilots founder after only 1 year in the Big Leagues? Grade: D
Billy Southworth - Don't know much about him to comment.
Barney Dreyfus - As Above
Dick Williams - Sure Williams was a good manager and led the A's to 3 straight world series and had a boatload of wins - but to put him in the same gallery as Casey Stengel, Miller Huggins, Joe McCarthy? I'm not sure about that.
I think the Hall of Fame needs to redefine what really is a SUPERSTAR.
Anyway, I look forward to next years election. Here's hoping that Scipio Spinks, Mike Hedlund and Manager Frank Quilici are enshrined.
Friday, November 30, 2007
After going into a shock of denial, I realize its real....SO, I IM back - Who did they get? Austin Kerns? Wilfredo Cordero? If so, these in my mind, maybe Ryan Zimmerman, makes a little sense. But two chaps named Church and Schneider? Where the hell is the marquee value? I don't suspect these two newcomers will make Mets management wish they did not have only 45000 seats in the heretofore still in creation CitiField. (Can't you hear the logic? -- "If we get either of these guys, we will be a perpetual sellout"
So, the word "sellout" -- is that what Minaya was thinking?
I remember last year Milledge had some good value...what happened? Is something about to break with his rap records?
I hope, come March 31, I will believe in this trade....In this case, the jury is still out. And, my mindset is that of the Star Chamber courts...It will be hard to get my reversal. OK, time here for a disclosure. Last year I squawked a few times about trading Lastings, but for SOMEONE GOOD!
Monday, October 01, 2007
Looks like there is going to be a few interesting folks on the market. I just saw today where Minaya said Reyes in untouchable. That is key. Johan Santana appears to be the class of the free agent pitchers.
Here's a proposal to ponder: Mike Pelfrey, Shawn Green and Anderson Hernandez plus a prospect for Santana -- (ok, and a prospect).
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
What I saw the last few games (losses to the Phillies and - trying to hold back vomit as I say this - LOSS to the WASHINGTON NATIONALS????!!!!!???????? was beyond pathetic.
Reyes suddenly looks like Dick "Doctor Strangeglove" Stuart...or, GASP, butterfingers Marv Thronberry.
And, What the HELL was Scott Schoenweiss thinking? Speaking of, what is he doing in baseball????
Another note that bugged me was the pitch to Marlon Anderson on Saturday that was called for a third strike. The ball was so far to the left of the plate, the ACLU said Dennis Kucinich looked like Ann Coulter.
Gents, let's pick up the pieces and play some baseball.
Last year you guys experienced a similar meltdown against the same inferior teams.
Don't let it happen again. Remember, you want to fill up CitiField's 45,000 (TOO FEW) seats, rather than keep them empty.
I'm done for the day. Thanks for letting me tantrumize!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
So, the pitch count is 3andtwo, and Mike Bascik, a former Met grooves one and Barroid (as the esteemed Steve Somers on WFAN calls him) socks it with the might of the effects of some heretofore unknown chemical power. Now, he's a "hero" ---TO SOME. Not me.
I can rant like a three year old kid in Toys R Us about this, but, really, what does this say to the kids. If you are a good ballplayer, bulk up with crap. If you suck, bulk up.
Barry, I remember when you were skinny and reed-like, there is NO way you filled out that way naturally.
I'll be happy when A-Rod (thought I am not a Yankee fan), or Pujols or someone beats your record.
Oh, and when you start feeling the pain and aftereffects, watch those tears, some of those chemicals when they react with water are potent and can burn through artificial surfaces.
I have not missed a game (wish I could be there in person for all 162 and 9+ innings, but let me hit the lottery and then blog about that escapade!) this year and only missed 3 last year when I was out of the country for 10 days. (I was able to catch a Mets/Yankees contest or two while in Colombia on ESPN Deportes).
So, I catch every game on TV / Radio or in-person (when I am lucky). If games are during the day at work, I try to get a signal, though its tough, but compensate by watching the re-run. Well, yesterday, August 7 I was faced with a major conflict in life. I had Mets tickets and tickets to my favorite modern day singer, Chris Isaak. What did I do?
Before you stone me like an unfaithful muslim woman in the street, please note that I was at 2 games this year (with another coming this month) and at ZERO Isaak concerts since '03.
Isaak out did the Mets (who lost to the Braves). I didn't get a chance to see any replays or highlights.
Well, I promise not to miss any more games.
Footnote: I got to shake Chris Isaak's hand after the show.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Depends who you ask. I want to celebrate mine a little early this year - specifically (for those who have not caught on yet) in October.
What do we need to do to get that?
Here's an around the horn:
1B - Delgado is doing fine and I don't think there is a need for a change.
2B - Let's get rid of the revolving door and have a bit of stability. We finally did that with #3B and SS (I am not even going to regale you with how many -- 90+, maybe 100+ -- gents played the hot sack since the Mets began. So, with Valentin hurt, and Gotay & Easely capable, we need an everyday player whose name should be pre-printed in the line-up. Kaz Matsui was the next to walk on water and he sank. So, I am reverting back to a previous blog post about getting Brian Roberts. He hits, he steals and he is good with the glove. We did well in the past with the Orioles (Beat em in the 69 World Series, got John Maine, dumped Kirk Benson, plus a few others). Who do we give up? Schoenwiess - maybe Pelfrey.
SS and 3B - Unless you think I am from Pluto, these two are a rock on the left side of the infield. I hope they will break the record of Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker for infield team mates.
C - Lo Duca is good. No question, he is streaky with the bat. Unless you can get Vartiek or Ivan Rodriguez on the cheap, Lo Duca should mind the dish for a few more years before he's worn out.
OF - If you take the folks who patrolled the "7" spot in the outfield and matched them with the gents at 2B, the permutations would be endless. Griffey, if he is available would be a good source. Pelfrey for Griffey plus a prospect? I'd pull the trigger quicker than Lee Harvey Oswald did.
Beltran, though his bat has been as strong as balsa wood at times should stay and let's keep Shawn Green until next year. 2008 we need to see Endy Chavez as a regular with Carlos Gomez platooning.
P - Only young, supple arms need apply. We have too many who are 40+ (wish I was talking seasonal wins here. Actually, I don't have an answer -- or a strong conviction -- who we should get to be on the mound for the second half of 2007, but we need someone strong. Gimme a few days.
Omar, let's have Xmas in July with a good acquisition, so we can have Xmas in October and then we can give nice Mets Xmas gifts in December.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I have flipflopped on his ability so many times that even John Kerry told me to "Make up your mind."
I am reminded a bit of Neon Deion Sanders when he first came up. Tons of raw talent, a good athlete, may be rushed and lacking a few of the fundamentals, and, needs to learn the grind of day-in-day-out baseball.
Here's what I propose (and I know you are reading this Omar Minaya)...Give him until the trade deadline, if his numbers are not solid, take my advice for the following:
Lastings Milledge + Mike Pelfrey = Ken Griffey Jr. Surely, he would be better in the OF than Moises Alou.
Speaking of Moises, he better part the red sea and arrive on the dugout bench else this commandment should read:
Thou shall not have dead wood on thy roster.
Am I done pontificating? Yeah.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Both of these guys are surprises - and a bit old. Nothing wrong with both. But lets think towards the future.
I have a doozy of a trade that I hope management will consider...
Brian Roberts of the Orioles puts up some nice #'s - http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/roberbr01.shtml He's a .283 hitter and steals bases. Gets a lot of hits and has a semi respectable .982 fielding percentage.
Let's get him and give up:
Lastings Milledge: http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/millela02.shtml and maybe someone like a AAA prospect. Lastings, the toast of the town last year, diminished his star quality in the eyes of many with that rap record -- Plus, he didn't hustle - something that Carlos Gomez does and so does Ben Johnson. You MUST be hungry to succeed in NY and I think Lastings, as talented as he is, will be better playing out of the limelight.
Omar, Pull the trigger and lets get Roberts.
Now, I love baseball more than the next folk, but let's face it, (and I hope to be proved wrong) behavior like that set a bad example. Lo Duca actually had rage in his eyes. For a freakin' strike mind you. I could see him being justified if it was a blatant call at the plate which gives the opposition the advantage.
For some reason, if you have the name Paul, and play for a New York team, you are entitled to go postal when there is a call that goes the wrong way. The other Paul I am referring to is the one who brought fear and destruction to the watercooler when he struck out - Paul O'Neill.
Well, I have to say, I have Lo Duca on my fantasy team -- and I just KNOW he's going to get a suspension. Now, the key is, who do I pick up in his absence?
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
OK, I want to gripe here for a moment.
Moises Alou - we knew he was excellent when he played, but overall, fragile goods. Now, I don't want to secondguess-micromanage-sayitoldyouso - but, wasn't that the same reason they got rid of the ever-popular Cliff Floyd?
Well, time to hit the hay. At least I can fall asleep to the Mets losing while they are playing on the west coast.
Oh, one word for Bud Selig: (and, yes, I am shouting: INTERLEAGUE PLAY HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
So, while I was a way I have a few musings which will be posted here... Let's thing of them as calculated strategy - awright...Random Thoughts....Sit back and read...
The game of May 30 was a milestone as it was the first time the Mets were shut out this year. When you think of all the woeful teams of the 1990s, a shutout per week -- or two - was considered the norm. It seems as if a few "negative events" have happened much later than expected...this shut out, Players have gotten better - to note... Carlos Gomez...Now this is what I call a bright spot in the line-up. He's the prototypical player you like to see. Hustle, runs hard, enthusiastic and has the can-do attitude. This is what we THOUGHT Lastings Milledge was going to turn out to be. Maybe he will. Who knows, but as far as I am concerned, let him have a few hits with the rap of a bat than the rap of "the beat." At this stage, he is pretty much expendable if he doesn't get his act together. His trade value is now that of a single player in double "position rank" in fantasy baseball...Speaking of Fantasy Baseball, that puts a huge dilemma on my view now. Though its more important the Mets win, I somehow feel betrayed when a Met (whom I don't own) socks an HR and sets me back a few points. Interestingly, when the Mets were getting smoked by the Brewers a few weeks ago, all hope was lost for a win. Instead, J.J. Hardy socked a grand slam to get me some RBIS. Tom Glavine seems to be struggling a bit on the way to 300 wins. I wish folks would put the figure out of mind and let him pitch to each batter...Tom, we want you at least one more year, regardless of whether you hit the 300 mark in June, July or August...Carlos Delgado went from Arctic to Hades in a week. Always nice when a player gets their groove back. Let's expect Carlos to catapult in the next few weeks as a choice player for fantasy leagues. Mike Pelfrey...Oh Lord, I am hoping he isn't the next Paul Wilson. Coming in with high expectations, Pelfrey was put in the pressure cooker early. Losing all those games surely isn't good for immediate morale, but a bit of seasoning in AAA and away from the cameras of SNY and CW-11 should help him get back on his game. He throws well and has the capacity to improve....Anyone miss Chad Bradford? I do a little, but the consolation that the original-named Joe Smith is tossing from the side is encouraging. Who would have thought he turned to the sidearming as a gag. Speaking of gags, this is what happens when I see Scott Schoenweiss pitch. 13 earned runs in 19 innings exudes a YIKES....Wasn't it comical to see Armando Benitez balk not once - but twice - and allow a run in? He gave us the creeps when he took the mound in a Mets uni, but its good to see sweet revenge...Let's hope Shawn Green comes back soon. He's a good player. Sadly, I had to drop him in my fantasy league but will look to pick him up about a week after he gets back...and we too, wish to see more of Moises Alou and Jose Valentin when they come back. I like them both, but I hope the Mets knew that Moises was a bit brittle when they signed him...
Well...I have a deadline to hit and hope all is well. Please comment and let's have fun.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
In 29 games, and 127 ABs (17 walks on top of that) -- this is the first time that Reyes hit into a DP.
I guess when you are hitting a lot of triples, these are rare occurances.
Side note: Was impressed with Sosa's first outing as a Met this year. Let's put Chan Ho Park in our memory.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
It's been awhile since I wrote and I am sure you have been waiting up all night. Relax. Your insomia will be cured by the end of the paragraph.
Been so busy with work and life that it's been tough to actually get the time to write. A lot of ideas and observations are swirling around this nogging of mine (which is covered by a Mets cap).
A few things...
I am playing in an ESPN Fantasy baseball league: http://games.espn.go.com/flb/clubhouse?leagueId=96409&teamId=3&seasonId=2007 I decided to join and let THEM do an automatic draft. I got Beltran and LoDuca and along the way picked up Glavine, El Duque and Jose Valentin (had to drop both because of their injuries) and have been getting Juan Castro every now and then. My goal is to get as many Mets as I can.
...Went to my first game on April 30. I donated blood and they gave me tickets. Apparently, the bleeding never stopped. I had to sit through Chan Ho Park. It was actually quite a site and I was thinking that some bag boy at a Krogers in the midwest could be doing a better job in the industrial beer leagues (Hey, for all you Ball Four Fans - I wonder if the Ross Eversoles need a pitcher?). The fans were skeptic of him and jeered - rightly so. He actually threw a strike at one point and Shea gave a loud approval.
...Damon Easley and his game winning heroics. To quote Rachel Ray -- "How cool is that?"
Well, as I write this, the Diamondbacks game is about to begin. Love the way the Metropolitans beat good ole Randy Johnson last night. And I saw the guy who caught the home run ball off ancient Randy off the bat of ancient Julio Franco. Some dude named Methuselah.
Until next time...
(PS Root for me in my league and give me any tips and players you think I should have)
Monday, April 09, 2007
Well, I'll be at my desk cheering loudly today hoping the 7 Train is filled with revelers after the 9 innings are done.
As I will echo more than 1 million times this year - "LET'S GO METS!"
Braves always (save for last year) field a good club and, with any team, you can NEVER underestimate them. A case in point, take that team in the Bronx. Good? Yes. What happens? they ALWAYS lose to the Devil Rays who on their own turn often struggle with The Little Sisters of the Poor's "B" squad.
OK, let's pick up the bones and dust from Atlanta and start up the W's.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Sunday, April 1, 2007 By STEVE POPPER
Jose Reyes can't cook.
Yes, there is something he can't do. But that's in the kitchen, where his mom still helps him. On the field though, every day that passes seems to dispel another notion that there is anything he can't do. And that is why he is the best player in New York.
Actually, his manager -- Willie Randolph, who is not prone to excessive proclamations -- already bypassed this debate and announced that Reyes could be the best player in baseball. And teammates who could lay claim to that designation -- David Wright and Carlos Beltran -- didn't flinch at that assessment.
"He's dynamic in all aspects of the game. He does everything exceptionally well in all aspects of the game. You can't look around baseball and find many more well-versed, five-tool players than Jose. He can absolutely do it all. The scary thing is he gets better and better."
He is 23 years old and seems to be just scratching the surface, but this isn't about potential, just as it isn't about the past. Sure the potential is intriguing. Reyes has just two full seasons in the major leagues and reported this spring to camp looking stronger and bashing home runs at the same rate as Barry Bonds.
But he's already reached a level that no other shortstop in baseball today -- Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez included -- has reached. Last year, he led the major leagues with 17 triples and 64 stolen bases and hit .300 with 19 homers and 30 doubles.
The only other shortstop in major league history to hit at least .300 with at least 15 triples, 10 homers, 20 doubles and 50 stolen bases was Honus Wagner in 1908. Only one other player in history -- Willie McGee in his MVP season of 1985 -- has reached those levels. And Reyes is the only player in history with the combination of runs (122), hits (194), stolen bases and homers he compiled.
He starts rallies -- hitting .325 with 20 walks leading off an inning. But he finishes them, too, hitting .414 in 79 at-bats with two out and runners in scoring position. Dave Williams, a teammate now who has faced him, said, "You worry about a guy like [Carlos] Delgado for his power and you try to take that away. But with Jose, you can't take anything away. If he singles, he's on third."
Unlike Rodriguez, whose every move seems calculated on how it will move him closer to immortality and the Hall of Fame, Reyes, with his infectious smile, has ignited his clubhouse and even Shea Stadium. The stands reverberate with chants of "Jose, Jose, Jose" with his every scamper around the bases. The smile and the skills are his calling card. There is no celebrity dating and few endorsements.
But this argument isn't about who is dating Jessica Biel or Jessica Alba or whatever movie star emerges next week -- although Reyes has begun a music career. It's about what he does between the lines, and Reyes has a combination of still-developing speed and power, cannon arm and acrobatic glove that no other player can touch.
"I appreciate that," Reyes said. "But that doesn't go to my head. I have to worry so much about playing the game, doing my job, giving 100 percent every day. I can't worry about that kind of stuff. Whatever happens, happens."
It's already happened. Only two years after he seemed too young, too injury-prone, Reyes has emerged. Last year he finished seventh in the National League MVP balloting, hurt by the suddenness of his ascension and by the votes split among his teammates (Beltran finished fourth, Wright ninth and Delgado 12th).
Now, he seems better. This isn't about the rings Jeter has or the numbers being compiled by A-Rod. This is about 2007. One year. Who is the best player today? Who would you want on your roster? And the answer is Reyes. Or as they would say at Shea, Jose, Jose, Jose.
* * *
- WHY REYES IS BETTER THAN JETER
Reyes is faster than Jeter and steals more bases.
- Derek Jeter is still a fast runner, and yes, he stole 34 bases last year. But for pure speed, few players in the league – if any – are as fast as Reyes.
- Reyes is nine years younger than Jeter.
- Jeter (June 26) and Reyes (June 11) share the same birth month ... but not the same year. Jeter was born in 1974, Reyes in 1983. When they're making room for Jeter in Monument Park, Reyes could still be at the top of his game.
- Reyes has more pop in his bat right now, and he's only getting stronger.
- Since hitting 24 home runs in 2004, Jeter's HR output has dropped in each of the past two years. At 32, it's reasonable to think that he'll never top 20 again. Reyes, however, could be the next perennial 30-30 guy.
- Unlike Jeter, Reyes gets along with his third baseman.
- For baseball fans who have grown weary of the almost daily Jeter and Alex Rodriguez soap opera, there's the Mets' clubhouse. Usually you can find third baseman David Wright cracking jokes about Reyes' wardrobe ... all in good fun.
- Jose Reyes on David Wright"We're just good friends. We joke around here in the clubhouse, but if we see each other outside, we're friends. We joke, try to have fun."
- Jeter's arm is strong, but Reyes has a cannon for an arm ... and may have better range
A few years ago, former Mets first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz went to Reyes and asked him not to throw the ball quite so hard because he was worried about getting a bruised catching hand. And just because Reyes has a cannon for an arm doesn't mean he's a loose cannon; his throws from the hole are as accurate as anyone's.
RE: Trading Reyes for Jeter / Rodriguez: NO!!!!! I don't want to get lesser value in the deal.
Monday, April 02, 2007
And, there were no disappointments.
Even though the Cards won the World Series, it's nice to beat them in their house on the same nights as they get their recognition.
It seems as if the Mets didn't skip a beat. DoubleGenerationOld Glavine's arm was spectacular. LoDuca's bat was good and naturally, Jose Reyes didn't fail the crowd.
There was one anxious potentially psychologically damaging moment - when Beltran was at the plate and the first two pitches sailed by for strikes. I was lamenting a deja vu'. I mean, who wants to repeat a called third strike without swinging. Fortunately it worked out. Can you imagine the first at bat of the year echoing his last at bat from last year. Forgiveness may not have been in option in that "ultra liberal" fan base of us Mets.
There was a lot of hustle and kudos to the catch that 40 year old Moises Alou made.
Interestingly, if you refer to the link above (click title of the blog topic), the Mets have the best EVER opening day win-loss percentage. Imagine if they had a contending team in the early years!
Well, it feels great to be back...let's talk a bit during the season.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
And, what better way than to have the perfect team (a prediction of bookends coming up) - the Mets will win the first game of 2007 - AND the last (hint: WS).
Willie Randolph had a lot to evaluate during March and I am sure with the prodding of Omar Minaya, we will have a well rounded team. It's interesting to note the one thing that was of concern was the pitching rotation. Sure, the arms are old...that worries me a bit, but I like Pelfrey and do hope he is a plus for the future.
As expected, old timers Sandy Alomar, Jr., Ruben (I love how he kicks that leg up to bat) Sierra and Chan Ho Park will be all AAAers (better than AA)! Let's see if their candle goes out after this.
My prediction is the Mets will win 103 games this year - believe it or not, be mired in a 5-7 game losing streak, yet still pull ahead.
I am excited and can't wait to hear the sound of the bat and the screams of the fans.
I'll be posting more during the season...thank you wonderful audience. I would love to take you all home. (A two-seater is probably adequate!)
Musings...Glad Lastings Milledge got a new 'doo
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I like what I saw...As this is being written, its the bottom of the 8th and the Mets scored two from an Anderson Hernandez bases loaded single. Here's a guy who is on the bubble, but should be a Mets regular one day. I wrote about him before and distinctly remember his awesome catch last year in the opening week of the season.
Jose Reyes looked impressive. As you all know, I am a fan of the Triple and he made it look easy once again. Last year he hit 17 and I believe this year he will break the Mets club record of 21 by Lance "One Dog" Johnson. (Interlude a la Eugene O'Neil) -- He was called One Dog because when he ran the bases, he stayed "close to the rail" much like the dog in the first post position at a the puppy oval.
Another triple in the game was hit by Jose Valentin and this is a guy, who is Teflon. Should not have made the club last year, but man, he impressed and ran the bases well. (Jose, if you are reading this -- readership would be 5 -- note that you kept turning to watch the ball too much).
Oh, and Mike Pelfrey looked good too. Let's not wear him out, but bring him up right. In the past, the Mets ruined more arms than an autopsy doctor. (Paul Wilson, et al).
With the season opener 10 days away, I look forward to some good ball this year.
Again, thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment and if you are one of my 80,000 readers, walk around with pride! :) Did I say 80,000? Darn Cat stepped on the keyboard -- AGAIN!
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for bettering the Mets (and the team finally "GOT IT" when they shed John Franco), but the dynamic of Wright at 3B, a position he played forever, just going away at this stage of the game is completely ludicrous. Remember, when A-Rod was with the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers, (Alex Rodriguez Stats ) he was either playing SS or DH. Now there is NO WAY us die hard Mets fans would let him go to SS and even get within the comfort radius of Jose Reyes - so, where is the logical place for him to play? Maybe 2B - that would be OK with me. And, before he goes spouting off (that is if I was GM and had him, I'd say that as a consummate player, he should be able to play anywhere in the infield.)
OK. I'm done ranting. A-Rod, you can come to Shea and play 2B...BUT, don't get any other ideas.
Monday, February 19, 2007
El Duque (as alluded before in this blog, I believe he saw 40 awhile ago)
and, now, Sandy Alomar Junior -- all have blown out 40+ candles on their recent birthday cakes.
With the way ball players are taking care of themselves these days, it is good to see players being productive at this stage of their career.
Now, I hope the Mets aren't looking at these players figuring they will be as good as they were in 1988, but you never know. I personally hope they all do well and make the team. Longevity (AND being good) is key to this game and many players fade before you know it (David Clyde, Joe Charboneau, etc).
The ironic thing, is that many of these players will be admitted into the ballpark a few years from now with a senior citizen discount. (All they have to do is show their current employee ID and then they'll get past the guards and get on the field.
I have a sneaking suspicion that in a few years, we will have a team of old Minnie Minosos http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/minosmi01.shtml ...but that guy drubbed out a hit at the age of 50 and swung the bat twice at age 54.
Sandy, welcome aboard...Let's see you make the roster.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
(interlude: Hey O.H. I don't know if I consider "C" a town !),
I saw something today, albeit a day late, on the Mets.com that really shows how much people love the game of baseball. I'd like to share it with you, and then give you my short, elevator assessment of why this scribe loves the game:
Expressions of love for baseball: http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070213&content_id=1801299&vkey=news_nym&fext=.jsp&c_id=nym
Good, huh? Nice cross section of folk.
I can tell you this, I love baseball as long as I can remember...4 years old, first glove, watching the Mets and (CHOKE - do I say) Yankees with my late Uncle "T McP" - Keep in mind here, the age of 5 is considered the age of reason, so I had no idea what I was doing watching the pinstripers (more like Candy Stripers then). In any sense, the thrill of opening up baseball cards with the chalky gum. The thrill of getting a Met in the pack - didn't care if he sucked or was a star - IT WAS A MET! Smelling the grass of a cut fresh field...seeing my idols play from a far seat away...MEETING some real live ball players at baseball camp at the age of 8...getting autographs...having Gene Michael teaching me how to swing a bat - WHO CARED if he was a .220 hitter...talking baseball with friends...talking MORE baseball with friends and doing more and more of the latter and former...crunching stats...saying this player was better than that player (he was)...watching the instant replays...he was out...no, well, hmmm....second look, he looked safe...n0....no...he was clearly out....listening to the sound of the bat hitting the ball...listening to the thud of the ball hit the catchers mitt...arguing managers and umpires ejecting them...only a few games out of first place...IN first place...STAYING in first place...
Now, synthesize all these things into one - there's a small fraction of what baseball is.
I have one blog. This. It's about baseball. While I do other things in life, the gift of 3 hour games every day from April to October is what I enjoy. And, as I ranted before, Spring Training has NOW started...
I Love it. Mets.
Across in the Bronx...I never write about the Yankees, but something caught my eye in the newspaper on the commute home. Mariano Rivera is cackling about his salary and being respected - kind of creating the image that he's the only one that can do what he's doing. Time to stop and get humbled by the following quote which a reporter used: "The cemetery is full of men who are irreplaceable."
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
We are about to get hit with a cold spell - snow, they say, and all that keeps ringing in my ears is the phrase ".........Days 'Til Pitchers and Catchers Report......."
That is one of THE nicest chain of words (well, aside from the things people say on Valentines Day to each other - let me qualify that by those who LIKE each other)...that I can hear all winter.
And, with the warming of weather, comes the change - not only in temperature, but in rosters.
Today, I learned the Baltimore Orioles signed Steve Trachsel http://www.baseball-reference.com/t/trachst01.shtml . Now, a good friend of mine, "MAC" who has contributed to this blog is a BIG fan of Steve. MAC, I will only refer to him as "Steve Trash Can" one time outta respect. I still, to this day can't see what the Mets saw in him. Not to take anything away from his ability as a ball player (in 2005, he made upwards of 6 million...I made upwards of 6 bucks) but he was marginal at best - YEAH. Go ahead and berate me with the 15 wins from 2006 -but when you add up his record with the Mets since 2001, it is only 66-59. Steve was one of those pitchers like Mike Hampton who came in with high expectations and just - well, didn't dazzle.
I know our pitching situation for 07 is influx. Glavine is 41. El Duque probably WAS 41 (at one time) and Pedro along with Dave Williams will be placing their derrierre's on wood for several months while their wings heal. Darren Oliver, speaking of wings, flew to the Angels, Chad Bradford sidled (get it? he s a side armer) outta here - so, our main concern will be getting the right guy on the mound at the right time - (Footnote to Omar - Remember the Maine: both John and the battleship: http://www.homeofheroes.com/wallofhonor/spanish_am/02_maine.html
Pelfrey can be good and we have to see what else is in store.
That's why we have Feb 15. It's the second most important day behind Valentine's day and grounhog day. I look forward to seeing my shadow - that will mean baseball season can't get here too soon.
I do ask my fellow fans to be patient until the bugs are worked out of the rotation.
Now the countdown begins - I can't believe I am saying this but after a drought of no MLB since late October, I can really get into a Mets-Devil Rays spring training game.
Yeah, I'm addicted to baseball and I won't give it up. I'll sit in the last row of a crowded delayed plane, middle seat between two fat guys (who each bring their own baloney & liverwurst sandwiches) just to see some early ball.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
So, I am driving home from work and naturally, have the sports radio channel on (I ain't gonna say which one, but flip a coin, WFAN or WEPN, and I hear the Mets just signed Ruben Sierra...WHOA - back up a moment...Ruben Sierra??? Geeees.
He's vintage. I know people pay a lot for vintage clothes and vintage wines...but vintage ball players???
This would have been a no brainer back in '87 when Rubie kept crushing those 5 oz balls made in Haiti over high fences. But this is today and he is full of question marks based on his stats.
I do give the man (both he and Omar) credit. At an age when most ball players (save for the other vintage, Julio Franco) are retired, Ruben keeps bouncing back. And who can't resist admiring, questioning and even trying to practice that swing, kicking the leg out, pausing and bringing the bat around to hit the sssssshhhhhh - imaginary ball. Omar Minaya must see something in him too. It's rare that he has a bust as a player.
For all the Mets fans out there, this isn't the first time OLD R.S. has been getting a W-2 from the Metropolitans. Back in '98 he signed a free agent contract, but didn't appear in any games for the Mets. As a matter of fact, he sat out '99 returning the following year.
If you want to see a man who must own a few suitcases, click the link for Roob's stats and scroll down. Seems like he boomerangs to the Rangers every few years.
I am hoping Sierra will become a Treasure Sierra and lead the Mets to some W's...Wins, will be modern and vintage. Can't take them away.
Psssssssssssssssssst....Winter is officially over. It's Feb and this is the month that catchers and pitchers report.
Bring it on.
Friday, January 26, 2007
This gentleman, who has the SAME name as a famous slugger in the game today, (Don't worry Pharmacist pal of mine, I'll let the readers guess and I still won't tip my (METS) hat if they come up with the right answer) saw me today wearing the aforementioned cap and said "OK, get the scorecard out and let the record show the taunting begins on January 26."
It happens to be one of the coldest days of the year where we are, and already, this gent and I are thinking baseball. This game really is addicting in a good way.
Both of our teams are adding (and subtracting) as we speak. We just said fare-thee-well to Cliff Floyd who I thought was a class act, but his injuries have left him very fragile of late. Too much of a risk whether he will be healthy the whole year. Though one has to question whether 40yo Moises Alou is the panacea replacement. And, the dude with the RX jacket is probably pondering as we speak about the destination of Bernie Williams this season....WHOA WHOA...watch the counting of those pills...the scrip calls for 100, not 103...
It's about 2 weeks and a few days before pitchers and catchers report and then the RX man and this humble, timid, scribe will put on the boxing gloves and have our friendly debates. Though he's at an advantage as his staff all are pinstripe fans, I know the Metropolitans will be busy once again this October.
OK, here's ONE hint...the pharmacists name is not______________________
*Toldja I'd keep it confidential!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Willie's right for the job. Has been since day one and we'd like the momentum of last years team to be the first cog in an everlasting dynasty. It's time to break out!
For me, the Mets managers have been like the governors of NJ. BAD (Torborg), Awful (Greene), Arrogant (Bobby Valentine). I'm not going to get political here, but the top staffers in NJ have been disappointing, back to around the time the Mets won the whole ball of wax in '86 (Tom Kean). And a short flicker with Dick Codey. OK. Back to baseball...
Randolph brings a good New York attitude to a home team -- and he's a native! (I promise this is the last reference to NJ Govs -- at least in this blog). The schmuck down in Trenton was born in Illinois and is not a lifelong NJ resident. Who wants that? We want someone who knows the DNA of the state...And Willie Randolph sure does.
Back in the halycon days of the 1950s, we had another great Willie - Willie Howard Mays: Stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/mayswi01.shtml who was revered and made the giants the GIANTS. I look to see Randolph doing the same with the Mets.
Omar, thanks for keeping the hopes of us Mets fans alive...(I'd gladly vote you as the next Governor of NJ !!!)
Friday, January 19, 2007
According to http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article_perspectives.jsp?ymd=20070115&content_id=1779653&vkey=perspectives&fext=.jsp it looks like the 'Stros, Pinstripers and Red Hose have the best shot. And that's fine.
I just want to see some real action this winter by Minaya. Signing marginal players with SillyString arms isn't going to cut it.
So, I take it upon myself to issue a challenge to all my MLB Professional Ball Players who read this blog religiously (are there any???) to take it upon yourself and (in the vein of Shakespeare) - "Get Thee To a Mets Contract" if not - a nunnery awaits thee.
Blabberings...How ironic is it that today, the Mets announce that minor league tix go on sale and when I woke up, there was a coating of snow? After seeing that white poison covering my car and sidewalk, I immediately placed an order....It's getting late now and I am trying to stay awake - ah, forget it. I'm gonna pull a Casey Stengel (circa 1962 5th inning) and fall asleep...My dreams will be 40 Mets spilling champagne and seeing a calendar that says October 2007...
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
The gods of the algorithm / oracle have spoken and the random Met is Anthony Young.
What an ironic name...This poor gent certainly didn't feel young when he was compiling his legendary loss streak. Twenty Seven, YUP 27 (vente siete) -straight, consecutive, uninterrupted "L"s appeared after his name in the box score.
He was certainly a hard luck pitcher and the Mets in 1991-93 when he played for them weren't exactly stars.
Here's something to figure that defies the laws of --well, almost ANYTHING. In 1993 he went 1-16 in 39 games covering 100 innings...NOW, look at his salary below:
1992 - New York Mets - $115,000
1993 - New York Mets - $205,000
1994 - Chicago Cubs - $230,000
1995 - Chicago Cubs - $380,000
1996 - Houston Astros - $275,000
What happens? After getting dealt to the Cubs for Jose Vizcaino, he gets a 25k increase in salary.
If this was corporate America, AY, as much as we pined for ya, you would have went from the executive board room to the night time janitor's position after being consistently -- UH - Bad.
Well, AY, you got on the late night shows and enjoyed a bit of celeb status...I hope years later you are doing well.
Until we meet again...the Mets rock!
OH, and only about 3 weeks 'til pitches and catchers report for spring training.
Pssssssssssssst...Anthony Young - stay home. We don't need a batting practice pitcher.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
I think the Mets should go after Roger Clemens for 2007 and (beyond?).
Firstly, no one can refute his record. Even after entering his 40s, Rocket has been an effective pitcher. Look at some of the hurlers who went past the age Jack Benny stopped counting at -- some include Warren Spahn, Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Bert Blyleven, Jim Kaat and a few more that still could toss the cowhide the 60 feet 6 inches and have players in their twenties produce a WHOOSH of wind with their bats.
In his twenty-three years of toeing the mound, the Rocket only had two - count 'em 2 - losing seasons, 1993 and 1996 (and Seaver had 3 - albeit none with the Mets). What I am trying to demonstrate here is that he's a stalwart and this is something the Mets need right now. With Pedro Martinez returning many months after the Swallows of San Capistrano, and a few of the other moundsmen donning uniforms of other rivals, the Rocket may be just what the team needs to inspire motiviation for the younger arms.
Yes, Clemens was a pariah during the late 90s/early 2000s with the Mike Piazza incident (Footnote - to this day I am STILL a huge Mike Piazza fan and hope he will return to the Mets one day) and I expect many to not welcome this thought of having the Rocket at Shea.
What would I expect from Roger? Motivation, coaching, teaching, and a few strikeouts, maybe a shutout or two - and fear in the eyes of other NL batters. It would be an interesting scenario for sure. But the downsides would be Roger's perceived crankiness and desire of special treatments.
(And, if he can't hit the strike zone, we all know he can throw a bat).
Well, I can dream for a bit, can't I?
OK - Now comes time for the disclosure part. This wasn't the reason I wrote it, but if it does happen, Hey, I have a 1985 Topps Roger Clemens Rookie Card (off center). Maybe it will jump up in value by a buck?
Raj - don't say I ain't rootin for ya! (But if you don't come to the Mets - we'll be leading the raspberry parade!