Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Off Season Moves : The Line-Up

First off let me start by saying anyone who wants to trade Wright, Reyes, or Beltran are crazy. These are arguably the best or second best players at each of their respective positions. That is also not to mention that Wright and Reyes are the faces of the franchise, are entering their prime years, and the front office would receive the wrath of the media and fans of NY for trading them. A Beltran trade would not aggravate NY like a Wright or Reyes trade would but it is nearly as dumb as trading them. He is the best center fielder in baseball. Beltran is in his prime and also one of the few players who contributed in the last few weeks of the season. So Wright, Reyes, and Beltran are deemed untouchable by me and we would be crazy to trade them.

Now the toughest offseason decision may come with the decision on whether or not to pick up the option on Delgado's contract. Delgado had a great bounce back year after an injury plagued 2007 and a slow start to 2008. Delgado finished 5th in the NL (8th in MLB) in RBI's with 115 and 3rd in MLB and NL in HRs with 38. This was all after a terrible start to the season. Delgado is an average 1b defensively but does a good job at catching wild throws. He was a legitimate MVP candidate until the Mets fell out of it and will probably finish top 5 in the voting this year. His option is for one year $12 million dollars but it would cost $4 million to decline the option. I would pick up the option. $8 million dollars is cheap for the production Delgado can put up. He is getting older and is injury prone but there are not many better options out there besides Texiera who will draw a ton of interest from other teams. I would pick up Delgado's option.

2b is currently manned by the injury prone Luis Castillo. Omar made possibly the biggest mistake as a Mets GM by signing Castillo for 4 years. Believe it or not, Castillo (healthy) IS a better option that Argenis Reyes. O-Dog Orlando Hudson is the best defensive 2b in the game right now but other than that he is a very average player. He doesn't hit for power, doesn't have a lot of speed, and has a career BA of .283. He has been hurt several times in the past 2 or 3 years and I don't see how signing him to a large pricey contract will be a smart move. I like him but I think sticking with Castillo would be a better option. I have heard the rumor that the Mets could possibly trade Castillo for Eric Byrnes. I would probably make that trade but I just don't see that happening even if the Mets do eat a lot of contract. He had a good year in 2007 but was terrible this year when he did play and has not been very good through his career. He is however a lively, hardnosed, gritty player which fans feel like the Mets need. So if the Met could make this trade I would go for it and have Murphy play second or sign a guy like Grudzielanek or Loretta to be a backup option.

As for LF (if the Mets do not make the Byrnes trade) I would sign Adam Dunn to a no more than 3 or 4 year deal. I have always been a big fan of Dunn. He is only 29, has a ton of power and gets on base a lot. On the flipside he strikes out a lot, doesn't hit for a good average, and isn't very good defensively. Reports however are that the Mets front office is not very big on him so I don't see this happening. I don't think that a platoon of Evans and Murphy is good enough for the whole year (especially if we use Murphy at 2b) so I would sign a stop gap player to a one or two year deal until F-Mart or someone else can take over. Raul Ibanez, a native New Yorker, expressed desire to come here and Carlos Beltran has said he is a great guy. He is also durable. Juan Rivera also would aslo be a younger and righthanded guy to go with. I would aslo sign Kevin Mench to a mior league deal if he would accept it. Manny Ramirez is without a doubt an amazing hitter but he is getting older, has been injury prone the past few years, and can be a huge headache. If he would go for a one or two year deal I would take a shot at him.

As far as catching goes I would stick with the tandem of Castro and Schneider although there has been rumors about Pudge coming to the Mets. I like Pudge but I wouldn't cut either Castro or Schneider for him. Depending on who we could get in a trade I may consider trading one of them and bringing Pudge aboard. However I would just stick with Castro and Schnider.

Right Field is Church. I wouldn't trade him unless we could get someone real good and I don't see that happening. I like Church alot and he should be the starting day RF.

Now finally to the Bench. Castro as the backup catcher. Endy Chavez and Fernando Tatis as the 4 and 5th outfielders. I would bring Trot Nixon back on a minor league deal and give him the shot to make the team because he is the ideal gritty tough nosed gamer. I would aslo bring Angel Pagan back on a minor league deal to see if he can recover from his injruty. I would ring Robinson Cancel back on a minor league deal. Argenis Reyes is a nice back up option for 2b. Easley is a solid and good player but he may be a little too old and injury prone to bring back. I would also have Valentino Pascucci as a backup 1b and possibly give Chris Aguila a shot as a backup OF.

So here is my ideal situation:

C: Schneider
1b: Delgado
2b: Castillo
ss: J. Reyes
3b. Wright
LF: Dunn
CF: Beltran
RF: Church

BN: Castro
BN: Chavez
BN: Pascucci
BN: Tatis
BN: A. Reyes

The Other Side of Things in the NL East by T-Stro

A look at the Phillies by Tim Mastro

In March 2007 Jimmy Rollins had the “audacity” to claim that the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East, not the Mets. After this comment he was abused and hated for what he said (what is he suppose to say? "The Mets are better than us"?). It was almost laughable to some at the time, how was a Phillie team made up of some unproven young players, some never-wases, some supposedly has-beens, and some good players here and there, suppose to be better than the free-spending, headline grabbing New York Mets. Fast forward to now; with a MVP award on his shelf and back to back NL East titles, its J-Roll that’s having the last laugh.

As a student at the University of Delaware I’m basically right in the heart of Phillie country. Two of my roommates are from the Philly area so I’ve watched almost every Phillies game since we moved back in. The only baseball I get here is the Phils (aside from the occasional O’s or Nats game on MASN). As a Met fan I’m suppose to hate the Phillies and root against them and I do, but they are just so fun to watch, aside from possible the worst commentary team in the history of sports. *RANT* I understand Harry Kalas is a legend but he is so annoying. Gary Matthews has the IQ of a four year old and sounds like he’s chewing on rocks, while Chris Wheeler is probably the most biased color man ever. “Wheels” is only outdone by the bias on the post-game show (especially you Mitch Williams, two words: Joe Carter), love those announcers that use the words we and us. *RANT OVER*

While watching the Phightin Phils one thing sticks out to me in particular and that is how much they remind me of the 99-00 Mets. The quality that both these teams share is that neither was ever out of a game. This whole September even if the Phils were down, somehow you think they would win, meanwhile with the current crop of Mets even if they were up, somehow you think they would find a way to lose. Just like the 2000 Mets it seemed almost like a different person every night would step up and be the hero for the Phillies. Both teams had so many weapons that could change the game at any point in time. They both were also so good at doing the little things like going from first to third, hitting behind the runner, sacrifices etc.

What is it that makes the Phils so good? It starts with the pitching. Young Cole Hamels was slowly brought up a couple years ago and is now turning into one of the premier pitchers in the game. The wily veteran Jamie Moyer is still going strong into his 40s while Brett Myers has shaped up his sometimes erratic behavior on and off the field and while doing so has found his ace potential stuff. A midseason trade saw the Phils acquire Joe Blanton as a solid number 4 starter. Then there is one of if not the best bullpens in the National League. Led by closer Brad Lidge, who they took a big risk on (that Pujols homerun is still probably traveling in orbit somewhere) and it certainly has paid off as Lidge did not blow a single save this year. Its not just Lidge however, the pen also contains solid and reliable relievers like J.C Romero, Scott Eyre, Ryan Madson, Rudy Seanez, and Chad Durbin (so this is what a functioning bullpen looks like… neat).

The Phils also have one of the most fearsome lineups in the league, its strong, fast, balanced, and has tons of pop, complete with a solid bench as well. Jayson Werth has figured out how to hit right-handers and has emerged into a legit star. Pat Burrell started the season off looking like an MVP candidate, and while he did find himself in a slump in August he woke up at the end of September to help the Phils into October. Shane Victorino is one of the best sparkplugs in the game and Charlie Manuel’s decision to move him down in the order to provide energy to the bottom of the lineup proved to be a genius move. Ryan Howard started off the season terribly but he turned it around and managed to help power the Phils and get himself a mention in the MVP race. J-Roll proved to be a tough leader and an energizer for this offense. This is J-Rolls team and he wants the pressure on himself to take this team to the next level, J-Roll thrives on this pressure and he almost always seems to come through in tough situations (are you taking notes Mr. Reyes?). Finally the Phillies have something so important it deserves its own paragraph:

They have Chase Utley.

33 HRs 104 RBIs and 113 Rs are some crazy good numbers for a second baseman. Also consider that Utley finished the season hitting safely in 18 of his last 19 games while the Phillies were making their surge past the Mets into first and into October. The last time I’ve seen a player that was as pure as a hitter as Utley was Edgardo Alfonzo. Alfonzo developed into a star in the late 90s and early 2000s and was amazingly clutch for the Mets back then. Utley right now is developing into probably the best player in the NL behind Albert Pujols.

Last year after the Mets’ collapse it was clear that the Phillies did not really win the division as much as the Mets lost it. The Phillies were thrilled with making into the playoffs that they were quickly dismissed by the Rockies. This year it seems like the Phillies really won the division. This year the celebrations at Citizens Bank Park were much more subdued than last year. Its like the Phillies expected to make the playoffs this year, they have higher goals than just making it this time around. This year they are not just happy to be there, they are actual World Series contenders.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Off Season Moves : The Rotation

This is going to be the first of several editions of my ideas on what the Mets should do this off season. (Silver lining for my day yesterday: I won my fantasy league and $300) I'm going to do this series in parts. Let's all not try to overreact to the defeat yesterday and move on. Part 1: the Starting Rotation.

So for next season we have 3/5ths of the rotation already under contract: Johan Santana, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey. All 3 of these guys have ace potential. Santan however is the only known commodity (should win Cy Young this year but probably won't). Pelfrey pitched many innings over his career high so people worry about an injury risk for next year/ bad year due to wear down. I don't think this should be much of a problem though. Maine has the potential to be an good number 2 guy and hopefully he rebounds quickly from his offseason surgery to remove the bone spurs from his elbow. Now that leaves 2 spots open with possibly the best 1 -3 punch in baseball if all stay healthy and live up to expectations.

Free Agent pithcers: Oliver Perez, Ben Sheets, CC Sabathia, Pedro Martinez, Randy Wolf, Kyle Loshe, Derek Lowe, AJ Burnett (possibly), Freddy Garcia, Paul Byrd, Jon Garland, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny (possibly), and Mark Prior just to name a few.

I am a huge fan of both Sheets and Perez as far as top of the line starters go. Sheets is one of the best pitchers in the league when healthy but he can't stay healthy. Perez is one of the best pitchers in the league when in the zone, however he often loses his head and his control goes along with it. I would be happy with signing either of these guys but the prices may be too high. I would be happy with signing one of them and Pedro. I know he sucked this year but this was the first real year he pitched without his "stuff". He was never able to find a groove and he is one of the smartest pitchers in the game. He is a clubhouse leader and a fun guy. He won't cost draft picks because he is not Type A or B free agent. He can come back as a number 5 starter and he could end up pitching like a number 3. Look at Mike Mussina. Great year this year after he was supposedly done and he is not nearly as good of a clubhouse guy as Pedro. If we decide to go for cheaper options than Perez or Sheets, I would definitely love to get Lowe. I say sign a combo of Sheet/Perez and Pedro or Lowe and Pedro. I also really like Paul Byrd but wouldn't sign him over Pedro. Freddy Garcia also wouldn't be a bad signing. I do not think Niese is ready to start in the Majors yet.

As for minor league depth. Bring back Claudio Vargas, Tony Armas, Nelson Figueroa (love him), and Brandon Knight. Knight and Figueroa could both be good long men. Also sign Mark Prior to a minor league deal. I love low risk/high reward moves like that. I was all for signing Colon this offseason to a minor league deal and if he'd go for why not again this year.

Playoff Predictions by Stevie D.

Hers playoff predictions from Stevie D. I'm surprised because I agree with most of it but I'll do mine later.

Play-offs predictions:
National League:
The Cubs are the National League Favorites, having the best pitching, starting with Zambrano, Harden, Lilly, and Dempster, and bullpen, in the NL and maybe in baseball. However, 100 years of sadness, chokes, and near-misses come to mind. The Phillies present the biggest challenge to the Cubs, having a better line-up, a solid bullpen anchored by Lidge who hasn’t blown a save this year and a decent starting rotation, anchored by the young gun Cole Hamels and the old vet, Jamie Moyer. I see these two teams meeting in the NLCS, with the Cubs and their better pitching prevailing, as pitching wins in the postseason.

American League:
The American League is much tighter and more complex than the National League. The ALDS gets off to a great match up with the Angels playing the Red Sox. I believe the winner of this series will represent the American League in the World Series. The Angels are healthier, have the better bullpen, and have as good as a rotation. The Red Sox have a strong rotation and a better line-up, as well as more play-off experience and you can never count out the defending champs. I’m going to go with the Angles, though I hate both of these teams and wished there was a way they would both lose, but it cannot happen. The Rays, the young, surprise AL East winners, will take on the winner of the AL Central. Though they may have play-off jitters, I see them moving on. In the Rays vs. The Angels, it’s the young scrappy team that has won with timely hitting and solid starting pitching against the high priced team with great pitching and a powerful middle of the line-up. I think that the Angels experience and pitching will be too much for the Rays to handle and that they will move on to the World Series.

World Series:
I predict it as the Cubs vs. the Angels. If this is the Series, be prepared for a well pitched exciting series in which every game comes down to the late innings. The Cubs have the edge in the starting pitching and it’s a toss-up on the bullpens. The Angels have the better line-up, with more weapons in the middle. The Cubs also have the expectations of 100 years on their back, which might make them tight. However, I believe that the Cubs are going to win in 7 games, behind Zambrano and Harden, who will each win two games and just enough hitting to support those guys.

AL vs. NL by Stevie D.

Here's another post by new writer Stevie D. I disagree with a decent amount of the stuff in here and will almost definitely write a response to this.

AL vs NL

By Steven Delianites

There is a growing gap between the two baseball leagues. The American League has been dominating the National League for the last two years. “The Junior Circuit” or the American League as it’s called, in the last two years has posted a 286-217 record (.569 winning percentage) in interleague play over the last two years, going 149-102 in 2008, whipping “the Senior Circuit.” The American League has also gone unbeaten in the last 11 all-star games (10-0-1). The Worst division in baseball is in the National League, the NL West and the best is in the American League, AL East. This year, the Yankees and Mets finished with the same record, the Yankees finished 6 games out of the wild card, the Mets only 1. Last year, the Red Sox crushed the Rockies in the World Series, sweeping them and out-scoring them by a huge margin. 3 out of the top 4 records in baseball are in the AL. The AL has home field advantage again in the World Series. All four play-off teams in the National League have under .500 records against the American League, as opposed to the American League play-off teams who are all over .500 against the NL. All these signs point to an American League team winning the World Series again and distancing the AL as the superior league. There are several reasons for this. The first and foremost is better pitching, both starting and in the bullpen. One of the most telling signs is AL pitchers coming to the NL and having better stats and being much better pitchers, though there are exceptions (Barry Zito). The AL’s ERA is lower than the NL’s ERA. The American League also has more offense. The more traditional baseball fan would argue that the DH is ruining baseball and has given the AL this big advantage, but it’s not just the DH that is giving the AL more offense. The National League has fallen behind in terms of talent, attendance, and in spending wisely. The NL needs to win the World Series this year to show they are just as good and can hang with the “big boys.”These figures are important with the World Series coming up.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Who's to Blame?

Who is to blame for the Mets missing the post season in 2008? There are many different people and moves that can be blamed for the Mets season. I personally agree with what Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said today "I feel totally different than last year. I think last year we underachieved. This year we overachieved.'' I have to agree with him. I think that the Mets were lucky to be where they were. Without injuries I feel that the Mets were the best team in the league. They would have had the best rotation in baseball. Their offense would have been drammatically better and the bullpen would have been better. If you have to blame one single thing, blame injuries because we had a ton. Check out my earlier post for all the injuries "Goodbye Shea and 2008 Mets." If you want to blame individual people, there's alot to be spread around. You can blame nearly every member of the bullpen because at one point in time they blew a game. You can blame Manuel for his use of the bullpen. He overused the same guys day in and day out regardless of the situation. Even today he left Schow in when a right handed PH was announced. You can blame Wright for not hitting enough with runners in scoring position all year. You can blame plenty of people. I don't blame individuals. The offense didn't show up and the bullpen choked. In reality the Mets overachieved due to all of the injuries. You cannot really blame them for this. Sure it sucks that they didn't make the playoffs but thats life. Last year they should have made it. Last year they choked. This year is a little different in my eyes. Life goes on. Next year guys.

Spirit- by A, Gochal

This is the first post that is not by me (The Red King). It is by new writer Gochal. Here it is, copy and pasted right from the email.


Watching the Mets is one of the most exciting things professionally sports has to offer. In looking at other teams in the league no one appears to have quite as much fun as the Mets have day in and day out. I mean isn’t that the fundamental aspect of baseball. Anyone whose played little league has heard at least 100 times “Just go out there and have fun”, or “win or lose you’re here to have fun and play baseball”. The Mets simply love the game and love to have fun. They are in touch with that inner spirit of the game, and that is why they are the best team in baseball. Look at what happens when you just have fun, your fans have fun, you win games, and you make unbelievable plays. I mean if your just having fun then you’re not thinking about the pressure. The obvious Met who love to have fun of course is Jose Reyes, but take a look at Endy Chaves. Time after time he comes up with big plays, and why is that? He’s not thinking about the pressure he’s just there to play the game. It’s a known fact that when you’re relaxed and not nervous you play better, and Endy is a perfect example of this.

One conversation I always seem to have with people is the difference between college and professional sports. The general idea that I get is that college sports are more enjoyable to watch. For the most part I agree with this. In college, athletes seem to play harder because it is for their own reasons, their own reputation. Professional athletes seem to lose that edge once they start getting paid. They tend to focus on making money, and playing like it’s their duty to play, not because of their love for the game. In general I would agree with these people, college sports are more enjoyable, except the Mets. The Mets have that spirit, that edge, that love for the sport and it shows every play.

Most simply stated, The Mets have fun, love the game, and that makes them the best team in baseball.

Goodbye Shea and 2008 Mets.....

Well the Mets lost in dramatic fashion today and for the second year in a row will not make the postseason. I am obviously very upset and pissed off right now but thinking about the season as a whole, I can't be too upset. I mean it is amazing that we got this far considering all that has happened. We missed the post season by 1 game again this year but it was a good chase. I enjoyed it. I mean look at what has happened to this team and tell me they didn't do good considering. First all the drama with the firing of Willie and Peterson had to effect the players in a negative way. It was a huge distraction for everyone on the team.

Second, the injuries. The Mets lost their number 5 starter for the whole year in El Duqe. Their number 2 starter, Maine, missed a good amount of time and when he did pitch did it with bone spurs in his elbow. Number 4 starter, Pedro, was hurt all season and dealt with the death of his father. He was never able to get into a consistent groove. They lost their starting right fielder Church for half the season and was not able to perform when he did come back. They lost one of the best closers in the game for a significant amount of time. We also lost our starting left fielder Alou for the whole season (except 15 games or so). We lost our fourth outfielder Angel Pagan for most of the season. We also lost Fernando Tatis down the stretch. We lost groundball pitcher Wise at the start of the season. Luis Castillo missed significant playing time and played hurt when he was playing. Both starting catchers, Schnider and Castro, both missed significant time due to injuries. Beltran and Delgado both had surgery in the offseason which can be attributed to their slow starts. 2b Easley got hurt down the stretch. We also lost Trot Nixon to injury. Chavez and Marlon Anderson also missed time due to injuries. 3 of our backup SP lost time due to injuries in J. Vargas, C. Vargas, and Armas. Also consider that Aaron Heilman pitched the whole year with tendonitis which was probably a big factor as to why he sucked. Duaner Sancehz also was pitching for the first time in a year and half since having his pitching shoulder separated.

If I were to tell you way back in April that the Mets would lose all of these guys, chances are you would have probably said the Mets would finish sub-.500 for the year. Yet they didn't. They came within a game of the postseason. It was an exciting season with an amazingly interesting finish to the season. Goodbye Shea Stadium and the 2008 Mets. So Mets fans we'll just have to wait until next year again.



You Gotta Believe!


Thursday, September 25, 2008


OK here's my master plan. I want to get some other writers in order to spread the popularity of the blog. My goal would be to get fans (people who actually know what they're talking about) to write about their favorite team. I know there's some Red Sox and Yankees fans reading my shit so if you would like you can write for this blog. Of course any other teams' fans are also welcome to write as well, I just don't know many people who like other teams... This is just an idea right now and I could end up saying screw everyone else its my blog but if you want let me know and most likely you'll be able to write.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Maine out of the Bullpen?

UPDATE 9/25: Reports are now indicating that Maine will not be used for the rest of the year.

Today John Maine is expected to be activated today from the DL and is expected to be used out of the bullpen. I'm not really sure how I feel about this move. On one hand Maine is effective and helps us get to and through the playoffs I can't say much against it. On the other hand however Maine could have been shut down several weeks ago and had the surgery to remove the bone spurs from his elbow. Doctors have said that pitching now will not further damage the elbow but Maine will be pitching with pain. I probably would have shut Maine down earlier when he first was put on the DL and had him have the surgery then because it would have allowed him more rehab time. Also, Maine is a competitor and he has said that he wants to go out there and pitch because it is fustrating to just sit there and cheer on the team without having a real effect on the games. I have a cautious optimism about this move and we'll see how it turn out....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lucky Charms 9/22/08

  • The Red Sox clinched their playoff spot tonight with their win against Cliff Lee and the Indians. I'm personally pissed because I have tickets to tomorrow night's game and was really hoping to see the clincher.
  • The Mets have reportedly singed Omar Minaya to a 4 year extension. I think this is a very good move. Minaya has turned this organization around. The Mets have very good players now and have a lot of talent in the lower levels of the minors. The Mets are and will be a good team for some time to come under the rule of Omar.
  • Santana stepped up tonight to beat the Cubs 6-2 by throwing a career-high 125 pitches in 8 innings of 2 run ball. Things got dicey in the 9th with Feliciano coming in and getting one out but allowing 2 men to reach base. Luis Ayala came in and got the save.
  • The Phillies lost tonight putting the Mets 1 1/2 games behind the Phillies. The Brewers beat the Pirates and are 1 game behind the Mets.
  • Santana is amazing and will not get nearly enough conisderation for the Cy Young award. Barring an terrible outing by Lincecum, Santana should finish 2nd in the voting but probably won't. More on this subject to come.

Mets Retired Numbers

The Red Sox will retire Johnny Pesky's number Friday before the Sox start their final series of the season against the Yankees. They are breaking their rules for retiring numbers for Pesky. The rules for a Red Sox number to be retired are this :that he is in the Hall of Fame, that he ended his career with the club, and that he played at least 10 seasons for the Red Sox. Johnny Pesky is not in the Hall of Fame. This got me thinking about the number of numbers the Mets have retired. There is 42 which is universally retired for Jackie Robinson, 41 for Tom "The Franchise" Seaver, 14 for Gil Hodges, and 37 for Casey Stengel. That means only 3 Mets have had their numbers retired. Only 3 Mets have had their numbers retired. Also, there is no system in place that has requirements for one's number to be retired. So why haven't more Mets numbers been retired?

First we'll look at the 3 who have had their numbers retired. Tom Seaver without a doubt deserves it. He afterall was nicknamed "the Franchise." He is the only player who is in the Hall of Fame as a Met and is one of the best pitchers of all time. Gil Hodges was one of the original 1962 Mets. He also came back in 1968 to manage the Mets and a year later managed the 1969 Miracle Mets to a World Series Championship. The '69 Mets are without a doubt one of the best Cinderella stories in baseball. Casey Stengel was the first manager in Mets history and does not merit much of a reason to have his number retired other than that.

Now lets look at players who should possibly have their number retired. Number 17 Keith "Mex" Hernandez, although his best years may have been with the Cardinals, has been one of the most important Mets of all time. He was the first captain in Mets history and he helped lead the Mets in 1986 to their second World Series Championship. He is agruably the best defensive first baseman of all time and he has won an MVP and finished in the top 5 several other times. Not only was he a fan favorite and a key to the dominant Mets teams of the late 80's. Keith has also been important to the Mets even after he ended his career as a player. He has been the Mets color announcer for years and is one of the best broadcasters in the game today. He is also in the Mets Hall of Fame.

The other Met from the 80's whose number many Met fans call to have retired is number 8, Gary "Kid" Carter. Gary Carter, as well as Hernandez, was a main part of the '86 World Championship team. Carter is in the Mets Hall of Fame as well as the MLB Hall of Fame. He requested being inducted to the Hall of Fame as half Met and half an Expo. When his request was denied he asked to be inducted as a Met because that was where he won his only World Sereies Championship. Carter's request was denied because he only played 5 years as a Met as opposed to 12 as an Expo and his years as an Expo were the ones that earned his induction. After his retirement as a player, he worked with the Mets organization and was managing a minor league team in the Mets system. Carter was the second Mets captain and was co-captain with Keith Hernandez in '88 and Hernandez and Mookie Wilson in '89. Carter is one of the best catchers of all time and arguably the best overall catcher the Mets ever had.

The final player whose number should be retired is future Hall of Famer, number 31 Mike Piazza. Mike Piazza was traded from the Dodgers to the Marlins and from the Marlins to the Mets within a week in May of 1998. Piazza was great with the Mets and the Mets only missed the playoffs by one game in '98. The Mets made the playoffs in '99 and the World Series in 2000. Piazza also hit one of the most memorable home runs in history in 2001 in the first game played in NY after 9/11. With the rival Braves up 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Piazza hit a go ahead, game winning 2 run HR. This HR mean so much for the whole city of NY because it came only 10 days after tragedy struck the city on 9/11. Piazza is the best offensive catcher of all time and although he didn't have a good arm, he was known for calling a good game. Piazza passed Carlton Fisk for most home runs as a catcher on May 5, 2004 with his 352nd as a catcher. Piazza meant so much to the Met organization and should be inducted to the Hall of Fame as a Met, not a Dodger. Piazza is arguably the most popular Met of all time and his number 31 should be retired.

The Mets should retire Piazza's 31, Hernandez's 17, and Carter's 8. I definitely belive that the Mets should retire Piazza and Hernandez's nubmers and am indifferent about Carter's. Citi Field should have at least 6 (and possibly 7) numbers retired within the next few years: 42, 41, 14, 37, 17, 31, and 7.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bullpen

The Mets bullpen has been terrible. They've blown 29 saves this year. Yes, 29. Think about that. The Mets record today is 86-69. If the bullpen had not blown even HALF of those games, the Mets would be 100-55. That would give them the best record in baseball with 7 games left to play. Yet the Mets do not have the best record in baseball. They are in 2nd place in the NL East and leading the Wild Card race. The Mets are 1 game back of the Phillies in the loss column and 2 games up on the Brewers in the loss column. This pen is a long way away from the bullpen of 2006, arguably the best in the league. The Billy Wagner injury was an obvious devestation for the Mets bullpen. Here is my take on what I would have done with the bullpen.

If I were Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya, I would have made several differnt decisions regarding the bullpen. First off lets start with which relievers we have. The only thing different I would have done in regards to the bullpen is called up Kunz on Septemeber 1. This would have given the Mets two young live arms in the bullpen in Kunz and Parnell. Now on to if I were Manuel. If I were Jerry Manuel, I would have done several things differently. First off, I would have used the call-ups more frequently and given the main guys (Smith, Schoeneweis, Heilman, Sanchez, and Feliciano) more days off. These guys have been over used and nearly all of them are among the league leaders in appearances out of the bullpen. I would have used Al Reyes, Parnell, and Kunz more often and in better situations. Reyes was a closer last year for the Rays and Kunz was a minor league closer this year. I have however liked Ayala as the closer because he has done a solid job, except for that game against the Braves, but it couldn't hurt of course to try one of those guys out as well.

There are many Mets fans calling for the death of Aaron Heilman and with good reason. He has been either terrible or great this year, mostly the former. I think he is being effected alot more by the tendonitis than he is willing to admit. This is a huge problem because he does have a good arm with good stuff and has proven to be an effective set-up man. The last thing that you want to do with a guy with tendonitis is over use him and that is exactly what has happened. I think the Mets would be making a mistake to trade him this off-season beause he will not get the market value he deserves. He does deserve some of the shit he gets from Mets fans but I personally hate booing people on the team I am a fan of because it does nothing but harm. It gets in some players heads and makes them ineffective. Should they be able to deal with it? Definitely. But not everyone does.

The Mets bullpen is in crisis mode and that is mainly due to overuse by Jerry Manuel. He is running the bullpen like Willie Randolph was, going to the same guys over and over again despite poor results. I think Manuel has done a little bit better job at handling the bullpen than Randolph but still too much of the same.

UPDATE!: I just read this article over at ESPN.com NL East Race being decided by relief pitching

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Youngsters: Murphy and Evans

By request I am doing an article on the youngsters Murphy and Evans. I already posted on Niese. I am pretty tired while writing this so sorry for the less than spectacular depth.

Dan Muprhy- He is a 23 year old whose position in the future right now is uncertain. He plays 1b, 2b, 3b, and LF. It looks as if the Mets will try to turn him into an everyday 2b which would be great because his bat would be above average at the position. Murphy has been described as a"professional hitter" and looks to me like a Kevin Youkilis type of hitter. He is very patient and works deep into counts. He will hit for a pretty good average around .290 with decent power. Murphy is known for his hard work ethic, which has and should continue to make him a popular player. He has been great for the Mets this year and his stats for this year look like this as of 9/16:

MLB: .360/.448/.528, 7 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 15 BB, 16 K – 89 AB, 37 G

AA: .308/.374/.496, 26 2B, 3B, 13 HR, 39 BB, 46 K – 357 AB, 95 G

Nick Evans: He is a 22 year old who is a 1b/LF/RF. He is mainly a 1b and is said to be a very good firstbaseman defensively. Evans has been overshadowed by his good friend and fellow rookie Dan Murphy. However Evans has been very good as well as Murphy. When he was first called up, he was overmatched but has been very productive as of late. The biggest problem with Evans is facing righties. Look at his splits this year.

AA (Binghamton)




































Unless Evans can better learn how to hit righties, he will be relegated to platoon duty starting against only lefties. He does however crush lefties as shown by his stats above. Evans has potential to be an above average 1b or corner outfielder. Here are his stats for this year as of 9/16.

MLB: .270/.305/.400, 10 2B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 22 K – 100 AB, 43 G

AA: .311/.365/.561, 18 2B, 7 3B, 14 HR, 26 BB, 64 K – 296 AB, 75 G

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pedro- Mistake or Great Signing?

In the offseason after the 2004 season, Omar Minaya, GM of the NY Mets, signed Pedro Martinez to a 4-year, $53 million dollar deal. There is no denying Pedro in his prime was one of, if not the, best pitcher of all time. However let's take a look at his time as a Met. In 2005, his first year with theMets, Martinez posted a 15-8 record with a 2.82 ERA, 208 strikeouts, and a league-leading 0.95 WHIP. Since that time Pedro has been plagued with injuries and has pitched only 46 games in the past 3 years (most of them pitching while injured). There is no denying that since 2006 Pedro has been merely a shell of his former self. He has put up ERA's of 4.48, 2.57 (5 games), and 5.47(season is not over yet). This is obviously not good at all and not worth the money he is getting. This brings up to the main question: (which may obviously change is Pedro is very effective for the rest of the seeason and helps the Mets to a World Series Championship) Was the Pedro signing a mistake for the Mets?

Based purely on the numbers the answer is no. He had a great year in 2005 and posted a better ERA and WHIP than Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter. However since then his injuries have caused him to miss significant time and for the most part be ineffective when he did pitch. But who would say paying $53 million for 1 great year and 3 years (not full seasons) of poor pitching is a great singing? The answer is me.

Pedro Martinez's signing was a great signing for several reasons. The first reason being his influence on other players on the team. He is one of the smartest pitchers in the game and was able to pass on knowledge to other pitchers on the team which helped them develop. He also is a great clubhouse guy and always seems to be smiling and joking around.

The second reason being that that signing showed other players in the MLB that the Mets were serious about winning which allowed them to go out and sign players like Billy Wagner, Moises Alou, and the best CF in baseball, Carlos Beltran. I also have the gut feeling that if the Mets were not serious about winning, Johan Santana probably would not have approved a trade to come here.

The third and arguably the most important reason being the influence on the international market. Pedro is a huge figure in Latin American countries, especially in his native country of Dominican Replublic. A short list of some of the international signings the Mets have made since the Pedro signing: Fernando Martinez, Deolis Guerra, Wilmer Flores, Francisco Pena, Ruben Tejada, Jefry Marte, and Ceaser Puello. Many Mets fan and non-Mets fans alike may not recognize any of these names outside of Fernando Martinez. All of these players are under the age of 20 with tons of potential. These players turned down much more lucrative deals from other teams to sign with the Mets. This is the "Pedro Effect." Deolis Guerra was one of the four prospects dealt to the Twins for Santana. Fernando Martinez is the Mets number 1 prospect. Wilmer Flores, in some people's view, has even overcome Fernando as the top prospect. These players are young with tons of upside and could become star players in the future. These players also could be dealt in trades for impact players. The Mets are so high on some of these players they have refused to include them in deals for players like Santana.

Pedro Martinez's signing was a great one.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jon Niese

By request I am writing an article about Jonathan Niese, Mets prospect who shut out the Braves for 8 innings on Saturday, due to a request for it. I like to honor the requests of my readers (all 3 of you).

Jonathan Niese is a lefty starting pitcher drafted by the Mets in the 7th round of the 2005 draft. He is a tall guy standing at 6-3 and weighing in at around 190 lbs. Niese is 21 years old and was born on October 27th 1986 in Ohio. Here are Niese's minor league stats for the Mets:

2006 Mets (A) 3.93 25 123.2 121 7 132 9.61 4.51 2.13 0.51 0.258 1.48 0.345
2006 Mets (A+) 4.5 2 10 8 0 10 9 4.5 2 0 0.221 1.3 0.305
2007 Mets (A+) 4.29 27 134.1 151 9 110 7.37 2.08 3.55 0.6 0.285 1.35 0.346
2008 Mets (AA) 3.04 22 124.1 118 5 112 8.11 3.18 2.55 0.36 0.252 1.3 0.321
2008 Mets (AAA) 3.4 7 39.2 34 4 32 7.26 3.18 2.29 0.91 0.233 1.21 0.273

Jon Niese's Arsenal: Niese has an average fastball which tops out at about 93MPH. Considering his young age, 21, it is a possibility that as he grows he will add a few MPHs on his fastball. One of Niese's problems is keeping his velocity consistent late in the game. This is also something that should come along with work and growth. Niese also has a change up which he improved this year by learning to throw it with the same arm speed as his fastball. The change up has some sinking action and is sometimes percieved as a splitter. The change up usually clocks in in the high 70's/low 80's. This year Niese added a cutter to use against righties which sits in the high 80's in terms of velocity. This is a big reason why Niese has been able to have so much success this year because last year he was hit much harder by righties than lefties. Niese's best pitch is his 12-6 curveball which sits in the mid 70's. This is his out-pitch and is very good when he can locate it.

Niese's ceiling is probably a Major League #2/3 starter. He got roughed up in his first start against the Brewers giving up 7 H, 4 BB, and 5 ER, in only 3 innings. He looked very nervous and anxious which is reasonable considering he is 21 years old and pitching his first game of his major league career against a playoff contender in the Brewers and for a playoff contender in the Mets. However in his second start he was phenomenal against the Braves. He gave up 7H, 1 BB, 0ER, and 7K in 8 shutout innings. Despite this very good performance I do not think that he is ready to start the year next year in the major league rotation. I think the Mets should go out and sign 2 SPs but I'll do an offseason post later on. Niese has good potential and is the Mets best pitching prospect at this time and can help them out during these last few weeks of the season.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Carlos Beltran = best CF in baseball.

I read this article over at WasWatching.com which basically analyzes another article which says that the Yankees missed the boat on Beltran and Santana. However they go on to say that Beltran is "soft" and the Yankees are better off with out him. He also goes on to say that Johnny Damon has been arguably just as good with the bat outside of Beltran's 2006 season. Let me say that it is an absurd to say that Damon is as good as Beltran. Beltran is best center fielder in the game. I bet while reading that you probably disagreed right away. Take a minute to think about the rest of the center fielders in the MLB right now. Who is better? Beltran is not only the best center fielder in the game right now but he is also one of the most underrated players in the game right now.

The only other CF's who are worth arguing for are Josh Hamilton, Grady Sizemore, Ichiro, and Curtis Granderson. Defensively, Beltran is the best out of the group with only Ichiro a close second. Hamilton without a doubt is having a monster season and has the potential to be the best (although it would be close because of his defense) but I wont give him the title as the best after only one season. Sizemore is very good and is in the midst of a great season but his defense and his arm especially are average. Beltran has the potential to be a 40 HR guy but he has been a bit unlucky this year and despite putting up low HR totals has still had a great overall season. He is one of the smartest players in the game and has the best stolen base success rate in history. Beltran is a 5 tool player. He plays great defense, has a great arm, has good power, has good speed, and can hit for a decent average. Sizemore does not have a good arm and hits for an average even lower than Beltran's. Ichiro does not have good power at all. Hamilton is not fast and does not possess Gold Glove defense. Granderson is also a 5 tool player but is not as good as Beltran at this point in time. This current season Beltran ranks third among CF's in VORP (value over replacement player) (behind only Sizemore and Hamilton) and 17th overall. VORP also does not take into consideration a player's defense. This is quite amazing considering how everyone is considering Beltran's season as a disappointment and because of the slow start Beltran had due to his recovery from off-season knee surgery. Beltran has recently gotten hot and is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak. This is also when the Mets needed him most with the Phillies only 2.5 games behind.

Here are Beltrans's overall stats for the year.
  • Avg .285
  • HR 24
  • RBI 103
  • Runs 108
  • SB 21
Carlos Beltran is a great player and the Mets are very lucky to have him. He is a quiet leader and is a good guy. He is the best center fielder in baseball today.