Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Landslide Answer in this Debate....

Newsday brings up a solid debate....Oliver Perez or Ben Sheets -- well, I like Ollie, but I don't love him. He's like the stock market these days...erratic. It's like buying Crackerjacks and not knowing whether or not you will get a prize.

What us peeps have to realize is he was a "throw in" in the Xavier Nady for Roberto Hernandez trade. I'm not knocking throw-ins. Ryne Sandberg was one.

See the debate below...I would rather have Sheets...I think there's more upside potential...More Ks. The Brewers were not the best team, yet he still seems to perform well.

Ben...sign here on the dotted line...Ollie, make your millions, but there can only be one winner in this beauty contest.

And now...The Newsday Debate forum...

DEBATE: Should Mets sign Ben Sheets or Oliver Perez?
NOTE: Baumbach's portion is reprinted (reposted?) from yesterday:

JIM: Sheets is a better option than inconsistent Ollie

Ben Sheets won't win any durability awards, I realize that. But when he's pitching, he's one of the best in the NL.

The Mets, in my opinion, are better off giving him a two-year, $28-million deal with a $15 million option that vests if he pitches 360 innings in the first two seasons.

I just don't buy the notion Perez is suddenly turning the corner, for good, and will be a consistent starter with pitching coach Dan Warthen back. Take a look at Perez's stats here. Everyone raves about the last two seasons, but he posted a 1.31 WHIP in 2007 and 1.40 in 2008. No thanks.
Especially not at the rate Scott Boras will negotiate.

ANTHONY: Why all the Oliver Perez bashing?
Yes, he drives the Mets crazy. He may never be a 15-game winner for the next 10 years. But he's young and lefthanded -- which is a big point when you are in a division with the lefty-leaning Phillies -- and has shown he can pitch well in big games. He always takes the ball; sometimes he's great and sometimes he stinks. But he's always out there.

Ben Sheets? Very talented. Effective when healthy. But when the Brewers were trying to wrap up a playoff berth last season, he couldn't pitch. You don't need to spend $30 million on a guy like that.

I agree with Jim that Perez isn't going to turn the corner. He'll probably always be what he is. But what he is isn't all that bad.

The larger issue -- and one we may explore later on -- is that if they sign Perez, with the exception of K-Rod and Putz, the Mets are bringing back the same team as last season.
Is that going to be enough?

Friday, January 09, 2009


I am pleased with the deal to get Tim Redding - while he has a crappy record from last year, he could be a good pull from the lowly Nationals. The Mets actually do well when dipping into their ranks - Brian Schneider, Ryan Church and a few others along the way.

He only cost $2.25 million (Hell, in this recession, I'd like to make that kind of an income!) and he should be able to eat innings. The Phillies certainly have their troubles against this righty. And, the more losses we incur on them, the better.

Spring training is coming...let's see what develops!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

My Resolutions Are Still Strong

8 Days into the year...I still DON'T want Manny Ramirez to come to NY!

(Oh, and I lost 2 lbs)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Why Can't There Be More Players Like John Olerud?

They don't make em like they used to.

I never realized how much I missed having John Olerud (click for stats) on the Mets.

He could hit. He could take a walk and he had a high on base percentage.

Looking back, he got $6m a year. A bargain for sure.

Anyone out there in the cloning business?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The title of this article gives me the creeps....

A story by the Associated Press carries this headline: "Mets to meet with Boras about Lowe, Perez."

Dealing with Boras is like going to a used car dealer looking for a $100 clunker and then being sold a clunker for six figures. (With Boras, its multiple-millions).

If I were a ballplayer, I'd want a guy like that for my agent..."get it - as much as you can - 'tude"
but as a fan, I resent paying extra high prices to watch overvalued players. Now, the jury is still out on Lowe and Perez whether they will be wearing pinstripes, but Minaya better take a page from Billy Beane's book and set the value - and walk if its overpriced.

Who wants to pay for a Yugo with Cadillac dollars.

On another note, Omar was named as a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports through May 2010. Good thing the guy who signed Mo Vaughn wasn't appointed.

Monday, January 05, 2009

A Radical Idea - Ken Griffey Jr. A Met? (Well, I Think He's Better Than Andruw Jones)

A blog is a place where you can tout ideas - good or bad. Sane or ludicrous. Valid or Pipe Dream.

I am about to propose something that encapsulates all of the above.

What if Ken Griffey Jr. became a Met? The argument of "He's an American League type player" is bogus as he suited up for the Cincinnati Reds since 2000.

Before you say "WAIT~ He's been injured!!!!" I will stop and say, so has Andruw Jones - and for that matter, most every player who has the fortune of throwing or hitting a ball for a living.

Griffey would bring a senior presence to the team - and he still has a few years left I think. He's driven, unflappable and still puts up good numbers with HRs. Take a look at his stats: See how he's hit MORE home runs in less games from 2005-07 vs. the early 90s. True, his batting average went down a bit, but you can get him for a song and he's going to be a good corner outfielder. Moises Alou despite all his ailments HITS when healthy and I think Griffey can do better.

Andruw Jones? .158 last year...Pass GO, forget collecting the $200. (Besides, Jones looks like he needs to visit a fat farm in the Carolinas. --- Psssst. The AVERAGE is suppose to be up, the WEIGHT down...Simple inverse Andruw.

I'm back tomorrow.

Play Ball!

So, are you with my view on Griffey or shall I get some hiking boots as you are about to tell me to take one?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Where Are They Now? Anthony Young??

Lets do some math here... 27 x 1; 9 x3 ; 15+12.

They all equal 27. And its a formula that can't be argued with.

However, Anthony Young, known as "AY" in his days with the Mets toed the mound and lost 27 consecutive decisions.

The Daily News caught up with him and it is really good to see that he has been unaffected by the notoriety.

Tis a good read...

And, for those who are interested in only text and not pix, here is the story: (My two cents...AY tried hard and gave it his best. He had a good work ethic and didn't slack like a lot of recent Mets middle relievers...)

Where are they now? Former Met Anthony Young emerges a real winner


Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 2:27 PM

Fans sent Anthony Young all sorts of good-luck talismans while he was enduring his infamous losing streak - four-leaf clovers, horseshoes, rabbit's feet. One woman gave him her treasured $2 bill. Psychics called the Met offices offering aid. Letters of encouragement poured in from folks who sat in the bleachers as well as Hall of Famer Bob Feller.

More than 15 years after his record 27-game losing streak ended, Young still holds onto his memories of "what I'm known for," as he puts it. He still has most of the trinkets, stored in his attic in the same box he kept them in at his locker at Shea. Recently, he says, he poked around in the box and watched several old videotapes - his appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and a meeting he had with the family of Cliff Curtis, the pitcher who set the record from 1910-11 that Young eventually broke.

Nowadays, deep into a coaching career, Young gets occasional reminders from the kids on the five select teams he oversees. "Once they find out you were in the big leagues, they 'Google' you," Young says. "Then they say, 'Coach, you're known for a losing streak!'"

Young, who will be 43 later this month, had a 9-5 job at a chemical plant for eight years after his playing career ended in 1996. But he wanted to coach and now runs five different teams of kids from 9-13 years old in Houston, his hometown. He also gives private pitching lessons as part of his own company, AY Enterprise.

"It's a big business now and there's a lot of competition," Young says. Young says his teams have played tournaments against teams coached by ex-players such as Charlie Hayes, Chuck McElroy and Eric Anthony.

"Life is good," Young adds. "I'm a grandfather. It's been a pleasure watching my kids grow up and I'm keeping busy with baseball."

Young, who is also a regular at Met fantasy camps, knows that people will forever remember him as the promising pitcher who dropped 27 consecutive decisions from May 6, 1992 to July 24, 1993 - he's gone to memorabilia shows where people want him to acknowledge the streak next to his autograph. But sometimes he wishes everyone also remembers that he didn't pitch that poorly during the streak - managers don't keep giving you the ball if you're getting clobbered every time you pitch.

"I got a bad rap on that," Young says of the streak, in which he had a 4.36 ERA. "I always said I didn't feel like I was pitching badly. It just happened to happen to me. I don't feel like I deserve it, but I'm known for it. It was an 82-year-old record and it might be 82 more years before it's broken.

"Everything that could happen, happened. It was just destiny, I guess."
At one point during the streak, Young converted 12 straight save chances and threw 23.2 straight scoreless innings subbing for closer John Franco. He was 0-14 as a starter and 0-13 as a reliever.

It all ended on July 28, 1993 when the Mets scored twice in the bottom of the ninth against the Marlins. Young had entered at the top of the inning and allowed a tie-breaking unearned run after a Todd Hundley throwing error.

A few weeks later, Young flew to Los Angeles to be on The Tonight Show. While mired in the streak, he had been prime monologue material for Leno and when they met, Leno offered the chance for comic retribution, telling Young, "You can make fun of my chin if you want to."
"It was a lot of fun," Young says.

While the end of the streak offered relief, it is not nearly Young's favorite moment of his six-year career with the Mets, Cubs and Astros. That would be his debut against the Cubs on Aug. 5, 1991 when he relieved Pete Schourek with the bases loaded in the seventh and got Shawon Dunston to ground out to end the inning.

"That," says Young, "is one of the best memories of my life."

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Lowe Ball

So...Short and sweet. Are the Mets going to get Derrick Lowe?

He was a semi-sensation earlier in his career, starting out as a closer and then migrating to starter: Stats:

Is he ready for the NY limelight? He pitched in Boston and LA (with a small cup of coffee with the Mariners).

Is he too old? Is his arm live?

We need the help here, so if I am throwing the dice, then the answer is YES! It's time for some Lowe Ball in NYC!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Worst Losses of 08

If you ask me, any time the Mets lost by blowing a save or to a team with a winning percentage BELOW .500, it was unwarranted, and for the most part, preventable. (Though I am a reasonable man and it was not 100% preventable).

Bill Price of the NY Daily News posted an interesting column the other day where he cited the top 10 losses. I would have to put the LAST game of the season as the #1 Worst loss. I was there. Trust me. It just ripped at all of us...

So, Bill, take it away...

December 31, 2008
Ten worst Met losses of 2008
Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while, I took some time off to spend the holidays with the Bitter wife and kids.

I was going to end the year with a blog stating the Jet collapse was 10 times worse than the Mets collapse, but Jet fans have been through enough.

Actually, I think Bill Cowher pulling out is actually a good thing for Jet fans. You don’t want a coach to come here just for the money. I think Steve Spagnuolo would be a great fit. He’s young, hungry and knows his stuff, so you can expect the Marty Schottenheimer press conference any day now.

Anyway, to end this year, I will put a final cap on the 2008 Mets season by ranking my 10 bitterest defeats of the year. Oh, there were plenty, but to me, these were the most gut-wrenching, season-killing ones they had. Enjoy reading and have a great 2008.

10. April 1: Marlins 5, Mets 4: The euphoria of Johan Santana’s debut doesn’t last long as Pedro Martinez gets hurt after throwing just 57 pitches the next day. It’s a sign of things to come for Martinez and the Mets, who, believe it or not, see the bullpen lose the game when Matt Wise - remember him - gives up a game-winning homer to Robert Andino.

9: June 27: Yankees 9, Mets 0: If you need one game to sum up the 2008 New York Mets, this was it. Just hours after pasting the Yanks, 15-6, at the Stadium, they are a complete no-show in the nightcap of a two-stadium double header. Sidney Ponson throws six shutout innings and Martinez and the bullpen are hammered by the Yanks. Instead of building on the momentum of Carlos Delgado’s huge game earlier in the day, the Mets seem happy with the split.

8. May 20: Braves 6, Mets 1: Riding a huge Sunday night win over the Yankees at the Stadium, the Mets head to Atlanta for a day/night doubleheader and get fading ace Tom Glavine in the first game. They look ready to hammer their old teammate in the first, especially when Luis Castillo homers with one out. The Mets load the bases off Glavine, but Moises Alou lines out to third and Delgado flies out on a deep shot. The Mets never threaten again while John Maine, in a sign of things to come, doesn’t have it. Things get much worse in the night game, when Ryan Church bangs his head into Yunel Escobar’s knee trying to break up a double play. It’s the start of season-long head problems for Church. It also starts a stretch where the Mets lose 7 of 8, putting Willie Randolph on the hot seat.

7. May 15: Nationals 1, Mets 0: In their final tuneup before a three-game set at Yankee Stadium, the Mets - with the SNY crew broadcasting from the upper deck - fail to show up, with the exception of Mike Pelfrey, who takes a no-hitter into the seventh. But Jason Bergmann, with the help of a great catch by Willie Harris and some awful base running by Jose Reyes, gets the win. Afterwards Billy Wager takes his perceived shot at the Carloses with his rant to the press. “You should be talking to the guys over there. "Oh, they're not there. Big shock." The loss concludes a 3-4 homestand against the woeful Nats and Reds.

6.August 11: Pirates 7, Mets 5: I know this was about 6 weeks before the end of the season, but this one was perhaps the most brutal defeat of the year. With the Pirates in town for a one-game makeup on a Monday afternoon, Martinez is brilliant, handing the Mets a 5-1 lead after six innings. But the gritty, gutty Pirates score three times in the seventh and three more times in the ninth to stun the Mets. Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis team up for the collapse. The Mets respond by winning 10 of their next 11, but the writing is on the wall.

5. June 8: Padres 8, Mets 6: Coming off three straight 2-1 defeats at Petco Park, the Mets put up three runs in the first, but Martinez gives the three right back in the bottom of the first, setting the stage for a wild one. The Mets take a 6-4 lead into the eighth, but Willie Randolph, now fighting for his managerial life, brings Wagner into the game with two outs in the eighth, runners on first and second and lefty hitting Jody Gerut at the plate. Gerut singles and then Tony Clark delivers a three-run bomb to center field, completing the Padres’ 4-game sweep. "I don't know what to say," Randolph says in San Diego, one week before he’s fired in Anaheim. "I'm not usually at a loss for words, but what do you say? We finally score some runs and Billy's been pitching lights-out. It's frustrating."

4. September 14: Braves 7, Mets 4: The Mets see their lead over the Phillies cut to one game in one of their most disastrous losses of the season. Leading 4-2 entering the ninth, Jerry Manuel sends Luis Ayala - now filling in for the injured Wagner - to end the game. Instead, he allows a three-run homer to Greg Norton, which sparks a five-run ninth for the Braves. The Mets drop two of three at home to the Braves, and do the same thing the following weekend in Atlanta. The collapse is in full swing.

3. July 22: Phillies 8, Mets 6: Johan Santana earns his money - sort of - allowing just 2 runs over eight innings and the Mets lead 5-2 going to the ninth at Shea. But with Wagner unavailable due to an injury, Santana doesn’t start the ninth. Duaner Sanchez does, and he implodes as the Phils score 6 times to win it. The big play comes when Jose Reyes fields a ground ball with the bases loaded, but instead of flipping to Damion Easley at second, tries to take it to the bag himself. He misses the base and a hustling Shane Victorino is safe. It’s a depressing glimpse into a future without Billy Wagner. Mets do take the next two from Phils to go a game up in the standings, but this one really hurts.

2. September 28: Marlins 4, Mets 2: In what would become the final game at Shea Stadium, the Mets are eliminated once again by the Marlins on the last day of the season. With the game tied 2-2, Schoeneweis and Ayala serve up back-to-back homers and the Mets never recover. The loss casts a serious pall over the Goodbye Shea ceremony, which is somehow held after, and not before the game. It’s a fitting way to conclude 44 mostly miserable seasons of baseball at Shea Stadium. It’s not, however, the bitterest loss of the year.

1. September 24: Cubs 9, Mets 6: Yes, the Mets were still alive after this loss and yes, they didn’t officially blow it until the last day of the season, but any real Met fan knew it was over after this brutal loss. In case you need a refresher course, this was the game were the Mets took a 5-1 lead on a Carlos Delgado grand slam only to see Oliver Perez give the lead right back. And then, with the score tied in the ninth, the Mets get a leadoff triple from Daniel Murphy, but can’t get him home as David Wright - trying way too hard - whiffs. After intentional walks to Carlos Beltran and Delgado, Church hits into a fielder’s choice (Murphy out at home) and Ramon Castro whiffs. Aramis Ramirez caps the game with a two-run bomb off Ayala in the 10th. If any Met is capable of hitting just a sac fly, the team wins the game and likely the division. It doesn’t get any worse.

Well, there you have it.

I know I left a few off, like the game in Philly where the Mets blew a 7-0 lead, but they did rally the next night in Philly, so that’s sort of a wash. There’s also the game in Florida where Aaron Heilman walked in the winning run, but the Mets responded with a four-game win streak after that. Actually, you could look at any loss - especially in a season where they missed the playoffs by one game - and count it as a disaster. This is just my list, I’m sure you guys remember other losses being worse.

Anyway, hope you - in a sick way - enjoy the list and have a Happy New Year. Who knows, maybe we’ll have Derek Lowe in the fold in the near future.

By the way, when do you stop saying Happy New Year to someone? Let's say you have a friend and you don't see him until next Wednesday, do you still say "Happy New Year," even though it's January 7? Just wondering.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Wish for 2009

We are starting a new year and for 2009 I am wishing the following:
  • Another appearance and win in the World Series. What a great media story winning after 40 years from the first - 1969.
  • Solid management. Think before you strike.
  • Patience at the plate. Take a few walks. Make the opposing pitchers work harder.
  • No more garbage players - Schoenweis, Heilman, etc. We need players who contribute.
  • This goes without saying - a solid bullpen. After experiencing 29 blown saves last year, this was the crux of the meltdown.
  • For JJ to be a "Pootz" and not a "Putz"
  • Forget about...Andruw Jones (Done); Manny Ramirez (Oil and Water in the clubhouse)
  • Let's consider - Orlando Hudson at 2B - and, GULP - eating Castillo's contract.
  • Put Moises, Orlando Hernandez and Pedro Martinez on Social Security.
  • Swing High for the Fences and Swing for Derrick Lowe. That one extra starter will be key.
  • OH...and, thank the forces that be for MLB TV - 24/7. Now there will be something for me to watch. Even though I like other sports, Baseball is my #1 Passion!
  • Happy New Year to All