Saturday, May 26, 2007

Full Circle

At 8:34 this evening Keith Hernandez repeated The Professor's immortal words on the CW11 broadcast of Mets-Marlins. The ketchup on your ice cream analogy has finally made it big time.

Oh, Mets up 7-1 in the 5th on Delgado's 2 mammoth blasts. Slump? What slump?

Back regularly starting tomorrow.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Exhale Slowly

Jose Reyes will play today. After a scare in a meaningless AB last night (this morning) against the Cubs and Bobby Howry, Reyes slapped an opposite-field single and seemed to limp to first base. He was immediately taken out of the game and replaced by Ruben Gotay. As Keith, Ron, and Gary speculated, Mets fans across the country held their collective breath.

Also, a great job by Kevin Burkhardt to get some insider info from the clubhouse and ease the feeling of dread before any official reports were published or announced.

It also looks like Carlos Gomez will get some more playing time as Moises Alou was placed on the 15-day DL to make room for today's starter Jason Vargas.

On a side note, Gary noted that the Mets starting lineup last night (this morning) was the first ever in MLB history to feature three players named Carlos. Quite an honor for the ballclub.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

As Long As He's Ready For Subway Series II

It's just not baseball season until the greatest Blue Jays pitcher ever signs for a ridiculous amount of money and works out in Kentucky...oh wait, that's old news?

Well this coming week and a half should be a fun stretch. The best team in baseball comes into Shea to see if they're anything outside the NL Central, followed by the Cubbies and Sweet Lou, and then of course, Roger and A-Rod's boys continuing scramble to .500 ball.

Let the 9 game winning streak commence.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Immortal Keith Hernandez

Keith: "I was in the clubhouse having my first Michelob in the third inning."

Gary: Back when you could have a beer in the clubhouse."

Keith: (longingly) Yes.

Reyes, Wright, and Beltran doubled in succession to lead off the game and get the Mets out to a 3-0 lead against Matt Cain and the Giants, Reyes added a triple and a RBI in the 2nd to make it 4-0.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Oliver Perez > Barry Zito?

(Not only is he rich, he also fights terrorism.)

While you can't say that Oliver Perez is a better pitcher than Barry Zito...the early going has seen Ollie be more consistent and pitch to a better record than his 7 Year/$126 million counterpart for tonight's matchup in whatever they call Pac Bell Park these days.

And while I'm glad the Mets' didn't go above five years for Zito, I think there's a part of every Mets fan that wishes we had landed the crown jewel of the 06'/07' offseason. You can't deny that he would look nice at the top of the rotation with Pelfrey morphing into the 2003 Aaron Heilman and El Duque's 72 years finally catching up to him.

Around the talk circuit:
  • F&F's Jason has a nice blurb about Mike Pelfrey.
  • Ryan at Always Amazin' again linked to a Neyer blog posting, and I am forever grateful:
    When you read about Julio Franco vs. Randy Johnson last night, you don't know where to pause for healthy reflection.

    Do you pause (and reflect) upon learning this was "the oldest hitter-pitcher matchup in Major League Baseball history"?

    Do you pause upon learning that Franco is going to turn 49 in a few months?

    Do you pause upon learning that a (nearly) 49-year-old man can hit a good fastball 418 feet? Upon learning the same man stole a base? Upon learning that after the game, he lifted weights for 20 minutes?

    Take a moment, and make a short list of the greatest players in the game's long history. Now circle the names of the ones who were still playing when they were 48.

    Right. No circles. In 1982, Julio Franco played with Pete Rose and Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw. In 2006, he's playing with Jose Reyes and David Wright and Lastings Milledge. You want to make sense of it all? You'll need a scientist, and a good one.

  • Finally, Brian Lawrence signed with the Mets on Sunday, and is expected to make some minor league starts to "rebuild his arm strength." He can't be worse than Chan Ho can he?

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Imagine If He Had Kazmir!

Courtesy of Always Amazin', here's a link to a 2003 interview with Rick Peterson. Ketchup on ice cream and comparing Mike Pelfrey to red wine aside, you can't argue the fact that The Professor knows his shit up, down, and sideways.

For all you practical, self-motivated thinkers out there, they're having open tryouts at Shea right after the Senior Stroll:

RP: We did personality factor tests to learn more about each player. When we first rolled out these tests, there were norms for people like teachers and lawyers, but not for professional baseball players. For example one test measures whether a person is self-motivated or works better through instruction. What we found is that self-motivated, practical thinkers tend to fare well in baseball. By keeping your motivation up, you overcome the fear, worry, and doubt which can hurt performance. Then we look at an umbrella of skills in 12 major areas. Those include: keeping things in perspective, self-knowledge of strong points and limits, discipline, and ability to learn.

We want to quantify as much of the process as possible, whether it's mechanical or psychological. The expression I like to use is: In God we trust, all others must have data.

And when you're done chewing that, you can thank It's Mets For Me, for the classic page of Jacket truths.

Ladies Love (Cool) Julio

Does anyone else feel bad for Randy Johnson? Seemingly washed up 6'11' LHPs aside, the oldest man to take a dump in a major league clubhouse continued his astounding career knocking a RJ fastball into the hot tub at Chase Field and stealing a base as well.

The NL Pitcher O' The Month didn't seem to have his best stuff but battled through a 6 IP, 1 ER performance, and the alpaca farmer nailed down his sixth save in six chances by way of the Mets' third DP of the ballgame.

As you would expect Ambiorix made it interesting in the 8th, giving up a home run that should have been a double to the O-Dog. On the play Endy leaped into the stands and seemingly brought the ball back into play (although not catching it), however, it was ruled a HR and replays seemed to indicate that the ball struck a bag of popcorn in a Jeffrey Maier wanna-be's hands after Endy got a glove on it.

Jorge Sosa gets the ball tomorrow night against the reigning NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb. Sosa has been lights out in AAA so far, apparently because he's been throwing his slider for strikes and working off that instead of his fastball (this according to Gary Cohen and Howie Rose). The most lopsided game on paper so far, but the Mets seem to have magic in the desert.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Ketchup On Your Ice Cream Works

If I was John Maine I'd have some questions. The Mets swept the National League's player of the month awards, with Johnny taking home the pitching honors and Jose Reyes winning the offensive hardware. The real question is why does Reyes take home a brand new Sharp TV while Maine gets a trophy and a pat on the back?

And as GC would say over at CSTB...isn't it time for an apology from Anna Benson?

Glavine looks for win #294 tonight in Arizona against Micah Owings and the D'Backs. Owings for those of you who aren't familiar with him is pitching to the tune of a 2.93 ERA this he isn't a pushover so far. But the Mets have won 11 games in a row dating back to 2004, let's keep the streak alive.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Say It Ain't Chan Ho (Part II)

Thank you Ryan McConnell. Ever since Rob Neyer went to ESPN Insider I haven't been able to read him, and since I knew there was a Chan Ho column by Neyer after Monday's debacle I was searching for it (for free...go figure). Ryan posted the Neyer column over on Always Amazin' and I'm re-posting it here because it's dead-on.
After Park signed a huge, five-year contract following the 2001 season, his ERAs went like this: 5.75, 7.58, 5.46, 5.74, 4.81. That 4.81 came last season with the Padres, who happen to play in the pitcher-friendliest ballpark in the major leagues. His ERA away from that pitcher-friendliest ballpark last season: 5.45. So leaving aside that 7.58 mark in 2003 -- he was hurt that season, and started only seven games in the majors -- Park seems to have established a fairly consistent level of "ability." ... That said, the decision to turn to Park upon Orlando Hernandez's injury seems like a strange one. There's not only the last five years of awfulness; there's also the last three weeks, as Hernandez racked up a 7.29 ERA in four starts with New Orleans. So why not fellow Zephyr Jorge Sosa (4-0, 1.13 ERA)? Because today was Park's turn to pitch. Which just reinforces my suspicion that today's pitching staffs are far, far too regimented.

Every staff should carry at least one pitcher -- "swingman," they used to call him -- who's capable of giving you five or six decent innings in a pinch. But instead you bring up Park to get hammered. Again.

There was no good reason for Chan Ho Park to pitch on Monday other than the fact that it "was his day." If this thinking isn't backwards I don't know what is...Bring up a guy with a 7.29 ERA over one with a 1.13 ERA because of a 24 hour difference?

We should all hope that Omar, Willie, and the rest of the decision makers take Neyer's advice (as well as close to every Met fan's) and get Chan Ho back to New Orleans in a hurry.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Legend Of Joe Smith

I knew there was a reason to go to a Marlins game

Despite a second straight loss to the Fish, there were a few positives to take away from tonight's game. Conversely there were a few negatives as well. Shall we?

  1. Mike Pelfrey settled in nicely after a shaky 1st inning. His command improved dramatically after he took some speed off his fastball. He went 6.1 solid innings and should have secured himself a few more starts.
  2. David Wright began snapping out of his April daze after being moved up to the #2 hole, going 3-4 with his first HR since last July...well first HR of the season.
  3. Joe Smith continues to amaze, improving his season-opening scoreless streak to 13 innings after coming in after Pelfrey in the 7th with two runners on base.
  4. Carlos Delgado also picked up a couple of hits, going the other way both times and getting himself over the Mendoza line.
  1. Aaron Heilman gave up a monster shot to the new Pat Burrell - Josh Willingham. Heilman has been erratic and inconsistent all season...If he's hurt, I'm with Metsradamus, put him on the DL.
  2. Moises Alou doesn't look good at the plate (although he had another sparkling play in the field) since the shoulder situation on Saturday.
  3. The hitting with RISP has been bad all year - .245 to be exact compared to a MLB-leading .287 overall), and it's starting to kill rallies now that the team isn't winning games in blowouts.
Overall it's not quite time to panic. If Pelfrey can be a reliable #5, than the team should be fine until Duque and Valentin get back.

Oliver looks to save the series tomorrow afternoon against Anibal Sanchez. It should be interesting to see if Willie keeps David Wright in the two hole or if he drops him back to's more likely that David stays up top, with LoDuca probably getting the day game after the night game off.

It Looks So Natural No One Can Tell

Those currently enjoying the broadcast on SNY were just treated to the following exchange:
Keith: "I always liked the way Willie handled his players. Even I needed a pat on the back once in a while in the prime of my career."

Gary: Well, you were fragile.

Your 2007 Emmy winners ladies and gentlemen.
Update: Two walks, a hit batter and a Josh Willingham triple made it 3-0 fish in the first. That was followed by a bizarre sequence. Beltran whiffed on a Wainwright=esque hook, Delgado followed by striking out looking at an identical hook. However, when Delgado struck out Wright stole 2nd...when Wright broke for 2nd, Reyes broke for home and was gunned down by the SS the Red Sox wish they didn't trade...inning over.

One More Thing...

People booed David Wright (left, in the low cut shirt) at last night's game. People booed Carlos Delgado at last night's game. It's not quite the Bronx circa 2004 when they booed Jeter, but it's not really the time or the place when you want the face of the franchise to snap out of a season opening funk.

Since I'm basically illiterate and can't contribute anything else relevant to the discussion, I'll quote Mike's Mets' contributor Joyce:
I sat there and I was as upset as anyone. I saw the wheels come off in the 3rd inning. I saw the poor defense and the men left stranded time and time again. But did I boo David Wright? Of course not. And those of you who did should be ashamed of yourselves. This crowd turned on the entire team in a New York minute. They booed David, they booed Delgado, they booed Easley, they booed everyone and when they weren't booing, they were moaning and groaning. Actually, I may have moaned on the dropped balls myself...

The weird vibe at Shea last night almost made me long for the good 'ole days when no one expected to win and if we did it was a nice bonus to a night at the ball game. Almost. I want to win. I want to win badly. But c'mon guys. Relax. These aren't the years when we were 35 games under .500 and we have to let management know that we aren't going to stand for this anymore. I think that everyone knows we want to win. I don' think booing our team is going to help David break out of his slump or make Easley feel any better about dropping that ball in the 3rd.

I hate to scold all of you who booed. I know you have every right to boo if you want. And believe me, I know how much those tickets cost and you have paid for your right to boo if you so chose. I was just taken aback last night by the sheer negativity in the crowd. Yes, I stayed till the end. No, I did not think we would win at any point last night. I did not think we would win once I heard that Chan Ho Park was starting. Yet, I try to be supportive. Try and look at the bigger picture. We're a good team now - remember?


Welcome Back

My apologies for the lack of posting over the last week+... school and a broken computer caught up to me. Now that CSTB linked to me...well I have to do some work on the blog front.

Since my last post the team has been up and down...but still is only 1/2 game out of first place and right near the top as far as the best record in baseball is concerned.

Last night the story was interesting to say the least...2 outs, pitcher at the plate, after 8 up and 8 down for Mr. Ho Park. 15 minutes and a liner that could have been caught later and the semi-interesting 0-0 game and threat of a Chan Ho Perfecto turned into a 5-0 Fish lead. Beltran and Reyes made it interesting but in the end the Mets couldn't overcome the hole that Mr. Ho Park dug for them, falling 9-6.

On a lighter note..."Fettucini" Alfredo Amezega hit his first homerun since the Cold War. Who said the Mets don't have depth in the rotation?

The big story is obviously that of Kirk Rodamski...the former clubhouse attendant who has pleaded guilty to distribute steroids in federal court. Getting Paid to Watch's Bob Sikes has an interesting take on the situation as he was employed in the clubhouse during the time Rodamski was there.

Tonight the Mets take on the Marlins and try to even up the series and forget everything concerned with Korean starting pitchers. It may also be Pelfrey's final start if he doesn't right the ship.