Mets


I admit it. I get bored writing my thoughts down + I have a girlfriend and limited time to do anything with her, much less by myself. I’m too busy to write at work, which bums me out, because if my work ethic is right on, I should never be busy!

Anywhos, I thought after getting a chance to watch a 3 game series against the Giants I would vent.

The Giants, how can any team lose 2 of 3????? If anything this year, playing the Giants meant a free win. We’ve only won 3 of 9!!!!! After all the shit talking I did in the office over the winter. At first all these Giants fans mocked me, now they just look at me and say, “Don’t worry, the season’s almost over, you’ll be out of your misery soon.” Ugh, that is sad.

Luckily I spoke to Crash a couple of months back and proclaimed my allegiance to the Rays. They almost did it right. Another decade of losing and they might have been my new permanent team after this season. Unfortunately, I’m still a Padres fan. I’m so glad I didn’t drop 150+ bucks on the MLB package this year. I would have been heartbroken. In getting the few chances I’ve had to catch Padres games it amazes me that Giles seems to know the situation and play the game right. If there’s a guy on 3rd with less then 2 outs, he attempts to poke it in to right field. Almost all the other Padres? Swing for the fences boys!!! All the players complain about the park, it’s a great hitters park. Try hitting for the gaps as opposed to the seats fellas!

I almost dropped Crash a text today to see what it’s like to root for a team that, you know wins. Then I saw Baseball Tonight and figured I would not be so cruel to bring that up after a sweep from the Astros.

Am I rambling? Yes, but the frustration needed to be vented. Ok all of 2 people that may have read this (and one of them being Crash), let’s see if I can write a little sooner then 18 months.

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Chris Wilcox over at Miracle Mets dug up a funny You Tube video on his Miracle Mets Blog. Definitely worth checking out for a laugh. I love how Gary Carter has a mug that says “Gary” on it. Cuz you know he really did.

Well Chris, I’ll see your You Tube video and I’ll raise you one. If you haven’t already seen it, check out this genius who recreated game 6 of the ’86 World Series using video from Nintendo’s RBI baseball. Here it goes…

My partner has a whole arsenal of Earl Weaver audio that hopefully he will share links to as well…

Well, well, well. MLB just announced that Guillermo Mota has been suspended 50 games effective opening day, for violating the leagues steroid policy. He was all but guaranteed a very good offer to return to the Mets, now I wonder how they will handle it?

This has got to be the worst news that Aaron Heilman could imagine. Mota was his ticket either to the Mets starting rotation or to being traded to a team he could start on. Now he will most likely head straight back to the Mets bullpen.

Would you resign Mota under any circumstances after this? I just don’t know.

OK, so it is clear that the Mets need to work on their starting pitching. There was an article by Don Burke in the Star Ledger; today that wasn’t terribly insightful, but began to discuss the issue. Here’s what he had to say:

What they need to do: Sign Barry Zito. Okay, a lot of teams want to do that (see Yanks, Red Sox, Padres). But the Mets really need to. And don’t stop there. Mike Mussina or Jason Schmidt might be fits. And there’s also Randy Wolf, Adam Eaton. Ted Lilly, Gil Meche, long-shot Andy Pettitte among others. Zito, however, is the key.

I assume they will pick up Glavine’s option. He deserves it and he is good for the team. I think the front office will be operating as though they have no Pedro for ’07. If he surfaces after the all-star break it’ll be one of those problems that you like to have. May give them some trading deadline flexibility with another starter if they need another bat. Thankfully Trachsel will be gone.

I believe El Duque and Victor Zambrano are both still under contract–though I am not positive about the latter, he may be in an arbitration situation which may allow them to wiggle out of his contract.

Then there is the kids: John Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey, and Phil Humber.

It is an odd predicament. I can’t imagine them starting spring training with more than 2 of the kids pencilled in. Maine and Oliver showed big heart and I think Willie likes them both. But Oliver is still a work in progress and Pelfrey and Humber have a bigger upside than Maine (if he doesn’t develop that changeup I suspect he ends up in the bullpen because he is really just a two pitch pitcher).

They will surely make a run at a front-line starter. Zito seems the natural choice. I think it would be a good move, but not a slam dunk. Here’s why: I think that moving to the National League and reuniting with Peterson would give the Mets a very good starter in Barry Zito. But he isn’t great. Whoever signs him will pay great money for him. I’ve read that there is some talk that the Mets want a power arm to compliment Glavine. Zito is not that. He has a decent fastball, but relies on a slow curve to be effective. Lastly, who knows what kind of trouble Zito would get in to in NYC. I have concerns.

In the power arm department, Schmidt might be a better fit. However his health and personality make me question his ability to succeed in NYC. Wolf, Eaton, Lilly, and Meche all seem to be ho-hum options to me. Not the upgrade they are looking for. If you believe the papers, the White Sox always seem to have Freddy Garcia and Javier Vasquez on the block. I am intrigued by this possibility, but Vasquez has already failed in NYC once and Garcia is hardly a dominant force.

Like most Met fans, I have a totally unreasonable belief that Dontrelle Willis is our natural birthright. Can you imagine the elaborate moves that he and Reyes would cook up for when the D-Train hits a homerun? But this is really just a pipe dream, right? What reason on earth would the Marlins have for dealing Dontrelle, particularly within the division? But then again, this is the team that just fired the manager of the year, so who knows. And as I sit here on October 20, freshly booted from the playoffs, all I can do is hope, right?

So this is the inaugural post for this new baseball blog. I’ve been planning to launch this blog for a few weeks now. I wasn’t quite ready to go live with it just yet, but sad demise of my beloved Mets has inspired me to get online and start writing right away.

This blog will be a back and forth dialog between an East-Coast Mets fan (me) and a West Coast Padres fan (Mike).

I am proud to say that unlike my partner (who has clearly spent too much time in San Francisco) I did not shed a tear over the loss. I’d be lying if I said it was easy though. After the brutal loss in game two (which I had the misfortune of witnessing first hand) I decided I had to just enjoy the rest of the series and appreciate the fact that this was the best season a Met fan has had in many years.

So down to the nitty gritty: What happened? Sure David Wright was pressing, sure we lost half of our rotation before the playoffs began. But I think the real difference in the series was the Mets lack of bench depth. LaRussa was able to run guys like Preston Wilson, Juan Encarnacion, Scott Spezio, So Taguchi, and Duncan’s kid.

I love Julio Franco, but he looked shot by August. Floyd was hobbled. Chavez was forced off of the bench and into the starting lineup. Willie had no offensive flexibility.

The other thing I was struck by was the preparation of the Cardinals. I don’t love LaRussa. I don’t love that he is always making every move. I think that he outsmarts himself as often as he helps himself (though not in this series). But it was clear that he and Duncan had all of the pitchers prepared with really strong game plans against all of the Mets hitters. In Three Nights in August LaRussa repeatedly complains about pitchers that don’t “follow the plan.” Guys like Weaver and Suppan didn’t have the kind of stuff that can dominate a team as offensively potent as the Mets. But they clearly had a game plan, they stuck to it, and the Mets failed to adjust. The lack of bench depth comppounds this problem for the Mets. They sent up the exact same lineup everyday because, really what else could they do?

Oh well. It was sad to see Cliff Floyd in the clubhouse after the game. He really wants to be on the team next year and I can’t imagine it happens. If you haven’t already checked it out, he has a fabulous blog. I still remember him for his effort in 2004. When Piazza was hurt, he was the only bat in the lineup and he hung in and played hiss ass off with bum wheels until Piazza got off the DL. I’ll always like him for that. If it weren’t for his effort, those games would have been totally unwatchable. I kind of hope they sign him even if just for his clubhouse presence. If we could somehow sign him and dump Green, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

On the other hand, I have never hated a player so much as I hate Trachsel at the moment. His performance was so gutless. All year I was bothered by his defensiveness when talking about these games he’d have when he’d give up 6 runs over five and a third. He’d always talk about how he “followed his game plan” and “executed his pitches” but the other team was just able to hit him. It made me crazy to watch him give up a hit, get scared, start nibbling around the corners and putting people on base, then being forced to groove one down the middle and watch it get crushed. He just seemed so afraid and fragile. Will be glad to have him off the team next year.

So hopefully the Mets can keep their bullpen intact, add a starting arm, establish Maine and Perez as reliable big league pitchers, and get a little more bench depth. If they do that, I should witness good baseball for a few years to come too.

All I can do is look ahead to February when hope springs eternal.

Now I have to figure out who to root for in the Series. I generally can’t root for the American League (DH….blech!), but I’m pretty tired of watching the Cardinals win right now, and I kind of like Leyland. We’ll see…