Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry, Friends.

It's been a long 6 weeks. My apologies. We'll be back up and running through the end of this championship caliber™ season. Vote Daniel Murphy in 2008.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Whither Mike Carp?


Let's play a game, shall we?  I'll throw out a bunch of numbers and you tell me who the rightful owner is.  Ready?  Ok, here we go.  

.230/.303/.399 with a scorching 87 OPS+

Did you say Carlos Delgado?  The starting first baseman on a championship caliber™ team?  You would be - correct!

Ok, here's a few more.  Pay attention now.

.335/.405/.518 with an OPS+ better than 87

No, those are not Lastings Milledge's numbers.  If they were I'd have died of an aneurysm already.  Yeah, they are Mike Carp's numbers...how'd you know?  Mr. Carp has been nothing short of a super-hero at Binghamton for the first 69 games of 2008.

Hey, I know it's AA ball.  I know Mike has never had a year even remotely close production-wise to what he's accomplishing so far in 2008.  But you know what?  I don't care.  And neither should you.  

Mike Carp not getting at least a cup of coffee symbolizes everything that's wrong with this organization.  Carlos Delgado is done.  There is no more "when is Delgado going to heat up" discussion (rightfully so) - only chatter about "do you think we could even get a C-level prospect for him" (No).

He's been written about extensively.  A few notable pieces come from MetsGeek and MiLB.com.  Yet, how many Met fans even know who he is?  They know who Abraham Nunez and Robinson Cancel are, but Mike Carp remains a mystery to the masses.

So why is he still in Binghamton?  

In 2004 David Wright tore through AA at a .363/.458/.619 clip for 60 games.  He was promoted to AAA for 31 more games and the rest, as the ol' saw goes, was history. 

Ok, now this might be groundbreaking and I acknowledge that beforehand - I say, with all confidence, that Mike Carp should be promoted to New Orleans.  

He will have amassed right around 30 games by the trading deadline and put the team in a position to see if he's ready to get the call to palatial Shea Stadium.  If all goes well Omar can call him up to split time at 1B - a position left vacant by the trade of Carlos Delgado to the Chiba Lotte Marines for an autographed 8"x10" of Bobby Valentine.

Simple, right?  There you go, the first step towards restoring order and sanity in the dysfunctional wasteland that is Flushing.

DISCLAIMER:  Mike Carp is not equivalent to David Wright in any way shape or form besides a small sampling of numbers both put up in AA.  And even then, Wright was better.  I'm just sick and tired of watching the fervent opponent of Operation Iraqi Freedom swing and miss or hit dribblers into the shift.  Thank you. 

Sal from Bayside, You're on the FAN

First time, long time.  Love the show.  Two comments and I'll hang up and listen to what you gotta say.

Listen, what's the story with this Jerry Manuel?  Can you believe this guy?  I mean, seriously, 3-4.  They shoulda just kept Willie.  At least the guy was a winner.  What has Manuel won?  The White Sox?  Manager of the year?  Who cares about that garbage, Willie was a Yankee.

Hey, listen don't cut me off I gots another point to make.  How we doin' on time?  Am I up against the 20/20?  Ok I'll make it quick.

And this bum David Wright, I mean, are you friggin' serious?  My kid fields ground balls like that on a regular basis and he's 4.  You know, I got him dat big red plastic bat from K-Mart.  Kids a natural, but back to my point.  This guy Wright is a bum.  Not a clutch player he needs to go.  Maybe trade him for A-Rod see if the Yanks'll throw in Joba?  I'll hang up and listen to what you gotta say.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Morbidly Appropriate

I was sitting in Shea last night when David Wright booted the ground ball.  

I told my friends not to boo so loudly because, hey, it's David Wright and the pitcher was due up next.  

You know, the pitcher on the visiting AL team...the one that never hits.  Yeah, the one with 8 career ABs and no hits, that guy.  

And then it happened:


And it's outta here.

It was fitting.  Because from now on if you ever have to describe life as a Met fan to another human being you can just roll a clip of King Felix going yard...the other way...off Johan Motherfucking Santana.

(H/T to USS Mariner for the screengrab)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sic Semper Tyrannis!


The afternoon commute for those of us with IQs over 60 and/or not named Vinny, Frank, or Sal just got that much more tolerable.

Neil Best of Newsday - of the outstanding Watchdog Blog - wrote yesterday that the days of Fatso & the Angry Puppy could be nearing their end:

Barring a change of heart, the partnership  between Mike Francesa and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo is not expected to survive to see its 19th anniversary Sept. 5, industry sources with knowledge of the situation said.

It is not clear which host would remain on WFAN, only that it would not be both of them. One factor appears to be a fraying of their personal relationship in recent months.

At first I thought this was good news.  Then, I realized that one of them would be staying.   I can deal with Russo a little better than I can deal with Francesa, let's hope Doggie stays.  

As for a possible in-house replacement?  GC sums it up over at CSTB: "The odds of Captain Midnight aka Steve Somers being moved to the coveted afternoon drive slot are slightly worse than say, Richard Neer’s Wig being asked to host the program."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Hardwood Floors and Tuscan Tile


He may no longer be with us, but my love and appreciation for The Jacket will never fade.  

Fixing Victor Zambrano in 10 minutes aside, I think that Peterson is one of the better pitching coaches in the game.  This blog was named after (what I feel was) his best quote ever, but on the day he was axed he may have set a new benchmark.

(From MetsBlog
Rick Peterson then talked to reporters and, in standard fashion, used a ‘Mets are a House’ metaphor, equating himself to a hardwood floor that is being ripped out of a house in need of work, while Dan Warthen, his replacement, will be the Tuscan Tile of this new home.
I hope the sanding and refinishing goes well Rick, I really do.

Welcome Back to the Dark Ages


There was a time and a place to make this decision.

It could have been done last Sunday, after one of the most deflating 4-game sweeps in recent memory.

It could have been done on a sunny afternoon last September after a certain toothless future-hall-of-famer shit the bed.

Instead, it was done in the middle of the night three time zones away while you and I were sleeping and once again the media knew about it before the team.

Classless.  Cowardly.  Dirty.  You pick the adjective, I'm sure it will be appropriate.

Instead of learning from the Art Howe debacle, among others, the Mets organization destroyed any credibility it had left.  What was the purpose of sending the entire staff on a cross-country flight - the night after a doubleheader, mind you - to axe them the next morning after a win?

I've wanted Willie out for a long time - but this organization is a joke.  How do you explain making the biggest decision in years when 90% of your fan base is counting sheep?  The mismanagement and laughable decision making that goes on within this ball club has reached new heights.

Midnight firings?  Minaya still having a job?  I'd say the rest of baseball is laughing at the Mets, but I really think there's just one huge collective cringe going on at this point.  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 New York Mets!  What a fucking joke.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cancel (The Season) & Omar's Bullshit


"I can't answer that [whether Willie will be the manager for the rest of the season].  He is my manager today, and I have the right to evaluate him as we go along.  Let me put it this way, he is always being evaluated...It's a situation that I'm constantly evaluating."
- The Best GM in Baseball

This is starting to get ridiculous.  Omar, Freddie, and Jeff need to sack up and make a decision.  Anyone who reads this blog knows I'm the last person to defend Willie Randolph, but this back and forth, hot and cold bullshit concerning Willie's job status is getting tiring.

Harold Reynolds made a good point last night on the postgame and I couldn't agree more: Until there is some certainty amongst the team regarding Willie's job status there will be an inordinate amount of pressure on the players - at least the ones who care about Willie.

Yes, they're professionals.  And yes, they should be used to pressure, especially playing in New York.  But it's hard to go out and play loose when you know that your next fuck up could mean your manager's job.

Not that this organization handles the firing of their managers gracefully.  All you need to look at is how Freddie Coupons & Co. handled the departure of one Arthur Xavier Howe IV in 2004.  It's always nice when the beat writers see your pink slip before you.

Instead of constantly evaluating Willie's performance why doesn't Omar sit down and evaluate this waste of a team he assembled.  Sixth inning heroics aside, Robinson Cancel has no business on this roster.  And as JF noted over at Productive Outs, the fact that Aguila was sent down to make room for Trot Nixon instead of Cancel is just migraine-inducing.
 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Oliver Perez: "Fuck You Country Time!"


It's been a while since Mets fans have seen a stretch of baseball quite like we have the past week.  There was a walk-off HBP, an elderly gentleman in military fatigues crushing a game-winning HR, and 46 Billy Wagner blown saves.  What does it all mean?  Mediocrity my friends, dewy-sweet mediocrity.

It's not as if we haven't known.  As mentioned on countless other blogs and premium news outlets, the Metropolitans are a .500 team whose only (non)redeeming quality is the ability to play that .500 baseball not by intermittent stretches of 2 wins followed by 2 losses, but by stringing together 9-2 streaks where all once again becomes right with the world only to follow them with 3-7 B-horror movie-esque stretches of ineptitude.

2006 was it my friends.  It was all Freddie Coupons & Co. needed to get your asses into the seats for the arrival of CitiField.  The current team is just good enough that people will be duped into the eternal "You Gotta Believe" and just bad enough that even if you happen to be the Dalai Lama no amount of believing is going to make a difference.

The luxury boxes at Wilpon Stadium supposedly have a three-year wait to get in (admittedly hearsay, I believe Coop of MSF stated this on the FU Forums, but this isn't the NYT).  As long as Omar doesn't run the 2002-04 Mets out there for the next 5 or so years people will show up and hemorrhage their cash on $9 beers while violently participating in "Everybody Clap Your Hands."

Enjoy mediocre baseball from a sub-mediocre organization.  I'll be sitting right there next to you every step of the way.

Monday, June 9, 2008

With Bated Breath


I can feel it in my bones.  It's that time once more, friends.  At some time within the next two days a Wally Matthews column should drop and I can guarantee it will be a virtual cornucopia of vitriol.  

Cross your fingers that it somehow blames Ramon Castro's Jean-Paul Jean-Paul gaffe on the use of non-union pipefitters at CitiField while at the same time managing to suggest the Mets pursue David Eckstein while simultaneously dumping Jose Reyes' lifeless body into the East River.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Whale's Vagina


Ron Burgundy
: Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it San Diego, which of course in German means a whale's vagina.
Veronica Corningstone
: No, there's no way that's correct.
Ron Burgundy: I'm sorry, I was trying to impress you. I don't know what it means. I'll be honest, I don't think anyone knows what it means anymore. Scholars maintain that the translation was lost hundreds of years ago.
Veronica Corningstone
: Doesn't it mean Saint Diego?
Ron Burgundy: No. No.
Veronica Corningstone: No, that's - that's what it means. Really.
Ron Burgundy
: Agree to disagree.

I've been more disheartened as a Mets fan...but, I can't remember when. First, there was HBP. Then, there was the Wolf Pack outpitching TBPiB. Yesterday, 2-1 again. Today, Petey coughing up leads and Country Time shitting the bed in a way not seen since a warn summer day in the Bronx with a 4-run lead.

Yes, the previously 24-37 Padres of a city whose name was lost in translation hundreds of years ago dropped the Mets back to two games under .500 and sapped any momentum they might have had as well.

Now, the problems are glaring. Ryan Church is seriously fucked up. Fernando Tatis and Endy Chavez are the starting corner outfielders. Pedro isn't Pedro. Oh, and did I mention Abraham Nunez?

As an astute commenter on Metsradamus noted, the Mets need to play .656 ball (61-40) for the rest of 2008 to reach 91 wins. Remember that this is a sub-.500 team since last June 1st and think about how realistic that thought is. Then when you're finished think about how the Phillies are 13 games over .500 and how the Braves can't possibly continue to be this terrible on the road for much longer. Playoffs?

But hey, look on the bright side. If you have tickets for the final game at Shea like I do it will be that much more special - because it truly will be the last game at Shea.

Friday, June 6, 2008

On 7-3...


You ever get that feeling that something's not quite right?  You know, like when Fernando Tatis is the hero for your ballclub...and it's not 1999 and it's not the Cardinals?  Like when you're starting left fielder has a .189 batting average and you're starting right fielder is one concussion shy of permanently having to wear those grandma-in-wal-mart-esque wrap-around sunglasses for the rest of his life?

You ever get that feeling that maybe 2006 was it?  That maybe Yadier's big fly and Cliff's big K will be looked upon as the only chance the Mets had for greatness in the 2000's?

You ever think that maybe the core that was assembled by a guy that recalled Abraham Nunez from AAA just isn't good enough to compete with the Chutley/Howard/J-Roll trifecta?  That if the Phillies ever find another decent - and consistent (sorry, Brett Myers) - pitcher to go back-to-back with Cole Hamels that the NL East is in trouble for a while?

Nah, me either.  I trust my guys.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Where Was Jose Lima?


R.I.P. Geremi Gonzalez. Struck by lightning on a beach? I can't think of a better way to go.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And We're Back

Sorry for the horribly infrequent posting - back for the summer now. Missing a week and a half makes a difference when the manager accuses the fan base and television channel of his employer of widespread racism, the team makes like it's 2000 and gets swept out of Turner Field, and the GM "decides" to fly into Denver to "watch" the team during the weekend set against the Rockies.

With all that being said, you know my take on Willie, the series in ATL was hard to watch, and we can only hope that Freddie Coupon fires Willie and Omar on the same day.

And just a random tidbit as I watch Oliver Perez slowly implode: Today on M&MD FranDog was steadfastly defending the "great" moves of Omar Minaya. They kept talking about the "Maine" and "Perez" deals as if those two players were the centerpieces and not throwaways by the O's and Bucs. Long story short, I hadn't listened to the two of them is a while and now remember why - they're idiots.

More tomorrow. Let's hope Fernando Tatis' moonshot can hold up.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Elijah Dukes


Kindly shut the fuck up. Thanks in advance.

Seriously...what's the matter with this guy? I can see cheering for one AB or so - but it's been constant, not to mention loud, the whole game. Figueroa should throw one into the Nats dugout by accident.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Late Night Radio Ruminations

(If you ever want to talk boxing at 4 AM - call this man immediately. 718-937-6666)

After the postgame on WFAN last night, the overnight host - Tony Paige - made a comment that got me thinking. Why didn't Willie pinch hit for Castillo in the 9th? He had all the reasons in the world to make the move.

For starters, Luis was batting from the left side which automatically means the outfielders move in to little league depth. Easley was on the bench and available to play 2B. The only factor weighing against the move (in Willie's mind) was that Luis broke an 0-835 skid with an RBI-single in the 2nd inning.

Marlon Anderson career against RHP: .268/.318/.404
Luis Castillo career against RHP: .260/.327/.300

Luis Castillo last year against RHP: .291/.368/.330
Marlon Anderson last year against RHP: .307/.361/.489

Now, I realize all the team needed there was single to tie the game (presumably). But Castillo from the left side isn't a major league hitter. Opposing teams play him in the outfield like it's a 50+ softball league and it's obvious from his approach that Luis is up there to walk. Sorry, Luis -but last night the Mets needed a hit.

I know there's the argument that if Anderson pinch hits there you waste 3 players in 2 AB - Anderson probably doesn't go out to play 2B there if he ties the game, Easely does. And you'd have to pinch hit again for the pitchers spot. The bottom line is an old cliche -and I paraphrase - you can't worry about that shit when you're trailing by a run. Saving bullets doesn't help much when you don't get a chance to use them.

So yeah, Willie should have pinch hit for Castillo in that spot. There, I said it. Feel free to disagree.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You Seen Him?

(Yes, I also have Photoshop)

EDIT: He's got the flu. You believe it? Killed like 50 million people in 1918! Rest up Carlos, feel better.

EDIT (11:35): Wayne Hagin just announced: "Hu's up" - What I would have paid to hear Howie Rose say "I don't know Wayne, who is up?"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bob Melvin: Hey Anderson, You Suck!

"Yeah we'll take our chances with you, pussy. That's right, that 5'2'' Dominican with no kneecaps who hasn't got a hit since April scares me more than you do. How's that taste?"

Now, I understand the thought of setting up the double play there...but Luis Castillo? Really? Please accept my thanks on behalf of all Mets fans Mr. Melvin, we applaud you.

The Movement Has Gone Mainstream

Everyone's talking about it. Lots of influential people want him to go. Except me?

Now I'm always a fan for seeing Willie get the axe, but I don't think you can do it in May - at least with the team playing over .500 with some key names on the DL.

The time to fire Willie was last year - specifically the day after a certain not-devastated someone went 0.1 innings. You just can't do it now, not a month into the season that has seen the Mets go 2 games over .500 with Pedro and Moises on the DL, Raul Casanova starting 10 games, and Perez and Pelfrey battling it out to see who does the best Lima impersonation.

There was a time to fire Willie. That time has passed and not yet presented itself again. At the All-Star Break when the team is still treading water? Yes. Getting swept by the Phillies to fall more than 3 games back of the division lead? Yes. But not today, not tomorrow, not anytime soon unless the wheels come off in a big way.

But in all honesty there's not much to worry about. Judging how the team has looked in every game save for the extra inning win against the Phillies and Friday night in Arizona - the wheels shouldn't take that long to come loose.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Required Reading

So Buzz Bissinger threw bloggers under the bus and Bob Costas and Bissinger attempted to throw Will Leitch under the bus...big deal right? It kind of is.

There are many, many good blogs out there - this not being one of them, and for someone as highly respected as Bissinger to condemn the entire medium based on a Deadspin comments thread is ridiculous.

As usual Ken Tremedous at FJM offered a insightful view on what transpired, read it and be impressed with how great the content on FJM is - I'll be studying.

Okay. So. "Costas Now."

Tonight, I was interviewed as part of that program's multi-part investigation of Sports and the Media. What followed the tape piece was a live discussion among Will Leitch of Deadspin, Buzz Bissinger of "Friday Night Lights" and "Being Very Angry," and of course the one guy you go to for any discussion of Sports and the Media: Braylon Edwards of the Cleveland Browns.

If you didn't see it, the discussion went like this:

Bob Costas: There are some criticisms about blogs. How do you respond?

Will Leitch: Well, I think some of them are valid--

Buzz Bissinger: I have to interrupt here. (to Leitch) Fuck you and everything you stand for.

Braylon Edwards: (to himself) I am going to kill my agent.

The argument I had tried to make in the pre-taped segment was: you can't say anything about "blogs," any more than you can say anything about any medium. There are good blogs and bad blogs. There are blogs that cover the personal lives of athletes, ones that cover only the games, ones that offer opinions, and even a few that quixotically and foolishly attempt to metacriticize the media as a whole. What Bissinger did that was so annoying to me was: he lumped all of these into one thing ("Deadspin," essentially), then took one article from one day and read it aloud from a file that looked suspiciously like it'd come from Joe McCarthy's safe, and read one sentence from it aloud. And furthermore, he seemed to conflate the actual blog and the people who write for it with the silly comments people make at the bottom of every article.

It's a big dumb ignorant mistake to do this. It's a big hot wet mushy smelly bonebrained mistake to (a) use one sentence from anything as a representative sample of the thing, much less as a representative sample of all blogs everywhere, and (b) to mix blog comments and blog articles. It's an even bigger mistake, in my opinion, to disparage the level of discourse on the Internet and use blog comments as an example. (And swear a ton while doing it, while saying that the Internet is "profane.") Picking a random blog comment and wielding it as a club to bash "blogs" is like picking a random romance novel off an airport bookstore shelf and saying, "This book sucks. Fuck you, Tolstoy -- your medium is worthless!"

For what I hope is the last time, but is clearly not: the level of discourse on Athletics Nation, and Baseball Prospectus, and SoSH, and Joe Posnanski's blog, is every bit as high (if not higher) than what you can read in the best newspapers in the country. Bissinger's hare-brained attempt to prove Leitch an uneducated oaf by asking whether he had read any W.C. Heinz (which failed miserably when Leitch had, in fact, read some W. C. Heinz) was a perfect example of the old guard's attitude toward the new guard: you little shits don't get it. You don't know how to write. You have no gratitude or appreciation for those who came before you. So: fuck you. (P.S. I have never really read your blog.) (P.P.S. Fuck you, though, anyway.)

There are sports bloggers (and message-board posters) who write very well, in my opinion. There are those who love Ring Lardner and David Halberstam and Robert Creamer and Roger Angell. They try to write well, and entertain, and contribute to the universe of sports reporting. Please read them, Buzz. If you find nothing of interest, you can swear all you want. (For the record, FJM is extremely pro-swearing. We just feel you should be funny while doing it.)

If there is anything tangible and helpful to take away from Mr. Bissinger's performance -- and it takes a good deal of chaff-sorting to get anywhere near this little nugget -- I think it's this: a lot of the discourse and sub-discourse (commenting) on the internet is, in fact, pretty shitty. This is not news, though, really. A lot of newspaper writing and editorial writing and every kind of writing is shitty. It's just not as immediate and anonymous and easily-accessed as Internet writing is. Thus, the net has this reputation, now, as being a nihilistic and thoughtless meetingplace for people to spew venom. Partially deserved, partially not, whatever -- point is, the part that is deserved can be altered. We can all probably do a little better in this realm, by making sure that whatever we write has an actual point, and some thought behind it. So, there's that.

Okay. I guess that's it. As the kids would say: [/serious and unfunny discussion of Internet journalism standards]. Coming soon: more swearing!

[Just added two clauses to this post at 9:25 AM PST -- the clarification about what Bissinger actually did (taking one sentence and reading it aloud) and the subsequent (a), (b) follow-up in the next paragraph.]

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Jacket: Live!


The Professor himself joined Gary and Ron in the booth in the bottom of the 3rd inning. He educated and inspired much as one would expect.

Rattling off stats, talking about the process of the outcome but not the outcome of the process, BABIP on pitches down in the strike zone - and why couldn't he fix Victor Zambrano?

Some highlights:

"I don't know if anyone can tell me who won the first 2.5 miles in a marathon!"

"Fear, worry, and doubt start to enter your psyche"

"Our guys are professional glove hitters."

Bottom line - The Jacket is smarter than you...and he knows it. Victor Zambrano? - no problem. Nelson Figueroa? - no problem. Jose Lima? - everyone has their limits.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Grand Central Station of (Wilpon Approved) Mets Information

This is the video that got pulled from MetsBlog that Raissman wrote about:



As you can hear, it was filmed by that annoying stepdad of one of your elementary school friends who would repeat everything that was going on at sporting events. You wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up, but he did pay for your ticket and drive you to Shea so you sat there and let your ears bleed.

(H/T [as always] CSTB)

UPDATE: The best line I found on this "story" is far and away courtesy of The Gil Meche Experience's Pulp: "If Fred Wilpon Were Caught Eating Children, Would MetsBlog Note They're High In Protein?"

Friday, April 25, 2008

Congratulations

According to Joe Benigno-Gazingo, there have been four grand slams given up by major league relief pitchers in 2008.

Three have them have come off of the Mets bullpen.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Willie Speaks

On M&MD yesterday, Willie had a chance to win over my heart. Like every other chance he had though, he showed up late smelling like a strip club with body glitter on his shirt and lipstick on his collar.

Castillo will be the the number 2 hitter.

"He's one of the best two-hitters in the game, let's not fool ourselves" says Willie, "Omar brought [Castillo] here because this guy's one of the best two-hitters in the game."

"Church isn't a second hitter and you don't want to frustrate Jose in that situation."

He did go on to add he "liked" Church in the two-hole and may play him there more against lefties. But then he starting spewing shit along the lines of "if Church bats 2nd who's going to protect Delgado" and "we can't ruin Delgado's confidence right now." Basically, Luis was paid 16 million ridiculous tears-of-rational-Mets-fans-soaked dollars to play 2B and hit second in the lineup, so that' where he'll be hitting.

Glorious, glorious Willie-Speak. If anyone needs me I'll be sobbing on the floor of my bathroom.

The 2008 Mets: Your Season Has Come!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mets Rebound From Getting Fukudome'd: Beat America's Team

Meet Screech. Yes America, the Gnats named their mascot after a lovable Dustin Diamond character.

The Fukudome jokes will flow from now until he retires, I envy Cubs fans for that reason alone.

The good news: Filthy in the 8th inning, Wagner in the 9th, Johan going 7 without his best stuff.

The bad news: Castillo batting 2nd, Reyes looking silly, Castillo batting 2nd.

Highlight of the game: Wright's AB in the 9th inning. After getting embarrassed on the 0-1 pitch (he was almost down on one knee swinging at the slider), he showed great discipline and fouled off a few tough pitches before working out a walk and eventually scoring on Church's screamer. I know it's been beaten into the ground, but I don't think I've ever seen a hitter more comfortable in a 0-2 count than Wright.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hey, Remember That Lineup That Wasn't Working? Let's Try That Again!

Luis Castillo has always been a good player. He's had a longer hitting streak than any Met ever has. He has two championship rings. He's stolen over 60 bases in a season. He's had an OBP over .380 on four different occasions. He may have cured polio. He contributes large amounts of money to the Make-A-Wish foundation. Etc.

Luis Castillo accomplished all of the aforementioned feats because of his legs. Plain and simple - the man could run. Now, not so much.

So when Big Willie Style switched Luis out of the 2-hole and down to 8th a collective "what took so long" rang out in living rooms and sports bars across the tri-state area.

My question was, did it really matter? Now, the exceedingly small sample size being recognized, let's take a look.

During the 5-game stretch where Church hit 2nd and Castillo 8th, the Mets as a team hit .263 (48/182) and went 5-0. They averaged 4.8 runs per game.

During the first 11 games when Castillo hit 2nd and Church 6th, the Mets hit .264 (99/374), went 5-6, and scored 4.6 runs per game.

So the team scored 2/10 of a run more on average when Castillo hit 8th. I'm prepared to say that number would be much higher if Luis' switch to the 8th spot didn't coincide with Beltran and Delgado forgetting how to hit.

So it appears our intuitions were correct. Runs scored aside, the team won with Church hitting second. That alone would be enough to tell Willie to stick Luis, his bum knees, and his ridiculous contract in the 8th hole and let Lastings' replacement hack away...wouldn't it?

To the casual baseball fan, yes. But not to Willie Randolph. After the fun little 5-0 experiment with Church hitting second, the manager decided to switch back to the lineup that had his team one game under .500 for the first two weeks. What happened? What else could happen? They lost two games in a row.

Decision making at its finest.
_____________________________________________

Fukudome returns in just under two hours. Hopefully the Lincoln High graduate who doesn't coerce interns into sex in an Escalade can keep the string of strong starts going.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Two-Face


As this young season has progressed it has been hard to get an accurate reading on exactly how good or bad this Mets team is. We know Ryan Church will come back to earth and we know Angel Pagan will come back to earth - but other than that, what do we really know?

In a perfect world you could argue that Carlos Delgado will bounce back and produce numbers similar to what he did last season. But can you say that with any conviction? His numbers have been steadily declining for two seasons - this may be the year where he hits rock bottom. Would you bet against him putting up a .230/15/50 this season? It doesn't sound too far fetched.

On the flip side one would say that David Wright will come back to earth a little as well. He can't possibly sustain a .344/.453/.721 line for the rest of the season...can he? Aside from the SLG coming down a bit, who is to say he can't? Wright has gotten better each of the last three seasons, who's to say he won't hit over .340 this season pushing 40 HR and a .450 OBP?

And as for Reyes, well, you just can't predict what he's going to give you aside from replay-worthy celebrations when he's on his game. Was last September a fluke or was last April-June a fluke? I'd cast my vote for the former, but who can be sure?

Maine and Perez are solid starters, but you never can be sure when they're going to have that giant meltdown. Pelfrey looks better, but it's much too early to tell. Big Fig has been superb - but can he sustain it for another month until Pedro returns? The one bright spot - as everyone expected - has been Santana. Booing aside, he has been everything he's been billed to be. You knew he was HR-prone, but the brilliance he flashed on Friday night is exactly why Carlos Gomez is patrolling centerfield in Minneapolis right now.

The bottom line is that 4/6 from the Phillies is exactly what we should have hoped for - and it's exactly what we got. Granted, Jimmy Rollins was absent for 4 games and Victorino absent for 3, but the Mets still played better baseball than the Phils for the first two series of the year.

Call me a pessimist, call me a downer, but doesn't something still feel wrong? You just don't know what Mets team is going to show up. The lifeless, uninspired bunch that showed up to play the Brewers last weekend or the energetic, fundamental-executing (aside from Luis Castillo not getting the bunt down in the 9th tonight) group that showed up at Citizens Bank Park this weekend?

And before you shoot back that it just seems that way because the Mets lost 2/3 against Milwaukee and won 2/3 from the Phils, I'd feel the same way if the Mets had lost 2/3 this weekend as well. If you watched both series you could just see the difference in the team. And as someone who is faithful to stats and objective analysis, that is something I realize sounds, well, stupid, but I don't think a fan of this team can deny it.

To throw in a cliche for the sake of cliches, I know it's too early to tell - I just hope that the team we saw from Friday night to about an hour ago shows up with regularity in 2008.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Willie: Omar, Please Get Off Manny Acta's Nuts


Holy shit, I agree with Willie. We all heard about this last season and it seemed to go away for the most part, but it seems as if Omar and Tony Bernazard (that's a KOYIC assumption) were chumming it up with Manny Acta on the field before the past three games.

From Newsday's David Lennon:
This week's visit to Shea by the Nationals, a team managed by former Mets coach Manny Acta, again featured the kind of affection usually reserved for family reunions. Hugs, handshakes, plenty of laughs... "How does that happen? How does that become normal?" Randolph said. "I don't know. It's just foreign to me, that's all. I'm fine with, 'Hey, how you doing?' That stuff. I wish that we could enforce it more, really. They talk about it, but I don't really see anyone policing it. You can't force people not to talk to someone."
Like David Wright says further along in the article, I can see a hug to LoDuca or Lastings or a former teammate for Church and B-Schnied - but openly recruiting your next manager in front of your current manager is a slap in the nuts no matter how you slice it.

One could argue Willie deserves it for being such a horrendous manager, but if that's the case then Omar should just fire him and get it over with. Hugs and kisses at Nobu the night before is fine - hugs and kisses behind the batting cage is bullshit.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Read a Blog Better Than This One


Productive Outs. Judge Roughneck has been consistently putting up quality posts since he started this week. Expect insightful and thoughtful commentary with a stat-centric focus. In other words, exactly what you hope to find here, but don't.

Anyways, Productive Outs had me at:
I know that Luis Castillo – who has been moved down to the #8 spot – is considered a more prototypical #2 hitter, but I have serious problems with that model. Conventional wisdom places so much emphasis placed on the #2 hitter’s ability to take a pitch, or to make contact with two strikes, or to hit the ball to the right side to advance the lead runner. These are all good qualities to possess, but they are all dwarfed by the ability to smack a double into the gap, whether or not a man is on first.
Good stuff all around, check it out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Welcome Back

As the Nationals head into Shea for three games this week, it will be interesting to see a few things. First, the reception that Lastings and Captain Red Ass receive and second, the quotes Willie will have about it. There's a little part of me that wants Lastings to beat the Mets at least once with a walk-off hit, or even just to have a big game - if only to see what Willie has to say about it.

Well, last year Pelfrey threw 77% fastballs and Milledge hit .318 off fastballs. Here's hoping Big Pelf keeps them outside and low.

EDIT 7:25: A scorched 2B and caught stealing third...not bad considering he was safe. Not to be outdone, Ryan Church had a nice AB against a lefty and hit one right back up the box for a single.

EDIT 8:04: Why is Church bunting? If it's on his own it's stupid - if it's Willie it's going up on the big board of dumb moves. Castillo, bunt. Church? What are they doing?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Bend Ya Knees: Week 2 / The Mets Can't Hit

After a horrible, horrible loss to the Brewers yesterday, the only thing that can lift my spirits is to check out just how much we ripped off the Nats.

.308/.351/.442 - Yes, Lastings has drawn three walks so far! You know how many walks Ryan Church has? Three. Yeah, he's just as good.

And B-Schneid? He has two. Oh wait, that's passed balls - he has six walks! Right again - he's twice the OBP machine that Lastings is.

Alright, there's no getting around it - this team just can't hit. Outside of Wright, Beltran, and maybe Church against righties, who do you feel comfortable with at the plate? Angel Pagan is going to come back to earth and so will B-Schneid. Castillo is, in the words of B!T "the Juan Pierre Lite who at this point is basically just hoping to walk because he can't hit and can't run."

Delgado is a shell of his former self and won't accept it and start trying to use the whole field consistently. Whenever it looks like he's starting to hit line drives and go to all fields he crushes one into the scoreboard and gets pull-happy again for a month.

The fact is that once Pagan and Schneider come back down from their 158 OPS+ and .409 OBP clouds this team is going to score two runs every game if they're lucky. And it should be right about when that moment comes that the Willie Watch will commence. It can't come soon enough

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mex's Fashion Show

IMFM beat me to it, but what the fuck was Keith Hernandez wearing last night?

Purple blazer, tan vest, blue striped tie.

If anyone can find a screen capture of the image of Keith in that outfit the beers will be on me.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It'll Taste Even Sweeter

I couldn't agree with Cerrone more than this very moment. When they're calling for Willie's head at Metsblog, you know the masses are pissed. (H/T B!T)
...posted by Matthew Cerrone...

i’m at a loss…it’s game six of 162, and i’m at a total loss…

…on one hand, i know that Willie Randolph cannot switch his message to one of ultimate fight, anger and win-now, because if he does that and the team loses just one game then what…he will not only seal his own fate, but he will seal his team’s fate as well…at the same time, his current message of turn the page, stability and long-season level-headedness may actually be having a worse effect, not just on the players, but on the fans as well

JP over at Blastings! Thrilledge beat me to the punch, but I couldn't agree more. Willie's going to get canned - and it might not make a difference.
How long will the Mets allow this manager to perpetrate this message to his players: "we are here to earn paychecks, nothing more," a message that finds its way out on the field, into the stadium and the papers, upsetting our very notions of glory as sports fans?

Sit down, Lastings! No celebrations, José! We're not devastated. We're fine. You're the ones who are devastated. You fans, you boors in the seats. Get a job, loser.

How long? About a month, I think.
This team plays the way it's manager acts. Lifeless and not giving a shit. How's that champagne taste Willie? Is it even sweeter than you had hoped?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bend Ya Knees: Week 1


In games through Sunday 4/6 Lastings was hitting at a .267/.313/.400 clip.

Our own Ryan Church? Why he was hitting a robust .381/.409/.524! Brian Schneider you ask? .333/.409/.333 - sure he's not slugger but he's a better OBP man than Lastings! Isn't that what Moneyball was all about!

WE FLEECED WASHINGTON BRO! ABSOLUTELY FLEECED THEM! Church is soooooooo much better than that rapper from Bradenton. And B-Schneid? Johnny Bench 2.0 may seem like a stretch but, hey he's THAT GOOD.

Addendum: Does anyone remember when Aaron Heilman was a key trading chip and/or integral part of the bullpen?

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Little Help

I've been on the Mets' baseball-reference historical box scores and play-by-play page for an hour trying to find the game from the past few seasons that ended the exact same way as this afternoon's game did - would-be game tying double is robbed because the first baseman was guarding the line.

Needless to say, I can't find it. If anyone remembers just drop a comment - it's gnawing away at my brain right now.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fun With Small Sample Sizes: Part I

Yeah, so I ripped off the title from FJM. Sue me.

After three games, Blastings! Thrilledge needs to close up shop. Because while Lastings may be hitting .294/.368/.471 with a 126 OPS+, he's no Ryan Church. Shit, he's no Brian Schneider!
                 BA  / OBP / SLG / OPS+    
Ryan Church:    .385  .429  .615  184
Brian Schneider .400  .500  .400  152 

But neither of these heroes of the first week can hod a candle to the immortal former Cyclone himself. The man who made all of us cringe as we thought of his name in the starting lineup. Yup, Angel Pagan is on pace to hit a super human .400/.500/.600 with a 202 OPS+! Take that sabermetrician basement nerds!

The scrappy Brady Clark, however, is on pace to do exactly what we expected: .000/.000/.000

Coming Sunday, the first of the weekly "Bend Ya Knees" and "TOAST!" Milledge and LoDuca updates.

Moral Police Alert

H/T to CSTB for the pic

How many kids had to have spit in Phil Mushnick's juice box when he was in the 4th grade?

At the start of Nets' home games, a video is played for all patrons, a video encouraging all to civil comportment, to behave like right-headed humans.

But Wednesday, when the Pacers' Danny Granger fouled out, the Nets' P.A. system delivered the opposite message; it mocked Granger by blaring, "Hey, hey, goodbye!" Sure, nothing new, but it's still a kick-him-when-he's-down, bush-league bit, as if sports-minded kids need any more prompts to act like creeps.

Yeah! Take that Nets PA Announcer guy! You're such a mean old meanie! How would you like it if I play "hey, hey, goodbye" when you flush your kid's goldfish down the toilet, huh?

Not only does Mushnick manage to surpass even his own moral high road, but he throws in the subtle insinuation that children that play sports act like creeps in general. Well played Phil, well played.

Get out the popcorn, Maine/Hudson should be fun.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your 2000 NLCS MVP!

Mike Hampton will be taking the mound for the first time since August 19th, 2005 tonight. In that game against the Padres in '05 the "Atlanta starter/Denver public school advocate " as GC calls him, got knocked around for 11 hits and 7 ER in 3.1 IP.

The winner in that game for the Pods? None other than Metstradamus' frontrunner for the vacant fifth starter's spot himself: Chan Ho Park. In fact, in giving up 5 ER in 5.1 IP and gaining the victory, Chan Ho increased his win total to 10 while increasing his ERA to 6.07.

Enjoy Hampton, or, in the alternative, McGowan/Hughes on The Michael Kay Experienc...err YES.

Howie Rose Wishes He Could Move Like This

For everything horrible I've said about John Sterling I have to admit, the man is entertaining. The enthusiasm is infectious! Link swiped from CSTB:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blogosphere Round Up


GC at CSTB questions if Pedro's injury is the revenge of Nelson De La Rosa.

Cerrone is optimistic that the injury isn't as bad as initially feared - but warns that the DL is probable and the replacement on the roster will be Nelson Figueroa

Coop wants to know why for once a season can't go off without a hitch

Metstradamus declares the Pedro is quickly approaching the El Duque area - "where your starts are much anticipated, yet nobody expects anything out of you anymore." I tend to agree.

Matt Artus at Always Amazin' has a good run down of the candidates for Pedro's replacement - Personally I don't see how Claudio Vargas hasn't been signed yet

And if there are any fantasy players that read this blog - be sure to check out Nine Bo Jacksons. Pretty much every sentence written is useful in some way and the tools Ike has designed to help with drafts are just plain nasty.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Unbelievable


Mets lose Pedro, game on Andino’s walkoff homer, 5-4

Expect an unusually smug "I told you so" column from Wally Matthews tomorrow accompanied by a picture of our favorite columnist jamming a dessert fork into a #45 voodoo doll.

Out on a Limb

BP's Prospectus Preview for today discussing the the Marlins having to face Santana and Pedro on back to back days:
The Marlins will therefore be facing, in back-to-back starts, arguably the best left-handed changeup and best right-handed changeups around. Martinez has used his change to strike out 10.2 per nine for his career, the third-highest rate of all pitchers in history (minimum 1000 IP), while Santana has relied on his for 9.5 K/9, the fifth-best rate all time.
If Pedro can be anything close to as good as he was in September last year for the long haul we may see 2001 D'Backs references thrown around pretty soon. And while I'm well aware that RJ and Schilling were both still throwing 98 with nasty offspeed stuff, I wouldn't be afraid to make the bet that the Mets eclipse the D'Backs record in starts made by the top two starters.

Just a quick refresher:

Schilling (2001): 22-6, 2.98 ERA, 155 ERA+
Johnson (2001): 21-6, 2.49 ERA, 188 ERA+

Let's take a Santana Cy Young season, and Pedro's first full season as a Met:

Santana (2004): 20-6, 2.61 ERA, 182 ERA+
Martinez (2005): 15-8, 2.82 ERA, 145 ERA+

It's possible if Pedro stays healthy. Enjoy Rick VandenHurk.

UPDATE 8:42: It's official. I am the jinx.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day Thoughts

Horrendous Umpiring:

Hanley Ramirez struck out before walking ahead of Willingham's eventual HR in the 4th. Reyes was clearly safe when attempting the steal in the 6th. Santana threw at least 5 pitches where an expletive flew out of my mouth in between "where the" and "was that" - and if I remember correctly 2 or 3 of those times Keith, Gary, and Ron agreed. For those keeping score at home, that's one SB for the 2B umpire and 1 H, 1BB, 2ER for the HP umpire. This sport can't get replay fast enough.

Santana:

Having not watched a ton of spring games, all I can say is that his changeup is as good as advertised. The K of Ramirez in the 5th was one of those outs that the Mets didn't get down the stretch last year - it was nice to see.

The Bullpen:

Matt Wise looked underwhelming but his changeup does seem like it could be a great pitch for a one-inning guy. Willie still loves the Show - and I still strongly dislike Willie.

Bottom Line:

1-0

The One Thing I Miss About Captain Red Ass

Dear Brian Schneider,

This is a hockey goalie's mask:


This is a catcher's mask:

Please make the appropriate adjustments. Thank you.

Friday, March 28, 2008

This Team Makes No Sense


Put Ruben Gotay on waivers. Watch Ruben Gotay get claimed by the Braves. .318 against RHP - a great bat to have coming off the bench, a great bat to be able to fill in for the middle infielders. A Brave. An Atlanta Brave.

I don't think anyone expected Gotay to be a .296 hitter again, but he was a young player that could come in off the bench and fill in and hit against righties - how is he not on the Opening Day roster?

PECOTA's got him at .261/.329/.408 for 2008. His probable replacement (if he ever gets healthy) is Jose Valentin. PECOTA's got Valentin at .240/.312/.395. And to make it even better, Gotay actually wanted to be on this team.

Another probable replacement will be (again if he ever gets healthy) Damion ".252/.326/.417 in 2008" Easley.

Don't get me wrong. I love 'Stache and I love Easley - but Gotay deserved to be on this team, especially after what he did last season. Yes, he couldn't hit lefties. Yes, he didn't play an OF spot. But with Castillo at 2B who would need a rest probably once a week, what's the problem with having Gotay in there to start against RHP?

To exacerbate the problem, we all know that 'Stache can't hit lefties either - as evidenced by his .211 BA in 2006 and .226 in 2007 (as compared to .288 and .275 against RHP respectively). It would be cheaper - and probably safer - to keep Gotay on to platoon with Easley.

I'll be scratching my head if anyone needs me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sweet Hypocrisy

Image swiped from Brooklyn Met Fan

I love it when Yankee fans don't get what they want and then proclaim that they never wanted it. From a Bugs & Cranks post entitled: Watching the Yanks is Better Than Watching Your Team:
7. Johan Santana is not a Yankee. That makes the Yankees less a group of mercenaries, and more a team with younger, unproven pitchers whom we should enjoy watching develop.
Are you fucking kidding me? As soon as the proposed deal was no longer Hughes and Kennedy almost every Yankee fan and their mother (and their frightening looking owner-spawn) this side of Brian Cashman wanted the deal done.

Now Santana is a "mercenary" and the Yankees are the epitome of a youth movement. But before you can even clean the blood up that was dripping out of your eyeballs from reading that bullshit, the author pulls out this masterpiece:
9. Even if the team sucks this year, many contracts are expiring and I know the Yankees will have the money to go out and pursue CC Sabathia, Japanese pitching phenom Yu Darvish and first baseman Mark Teixiera for 2009.
Hold on, let me get this straight. You're happy the Yankees didn't get Santana because he's a "mercenary" and you're thrilled about the youth movement -- but, if they suck this year you can go out and sign big names to fill the holes. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

20 seconds ago you wrote that you're happy that the Yankees are mercenary free and without skipping a beat you advocate, wait for it, signing a mercenary.

Pure unabashed brilliance.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A (Not So) Tough Decision


Yesterday, Willie Randolph announced his starting rotation. This news isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds because Willie didn't really announce anything. He told everyone that he had a solid front 4 and no fifth starter - but that's no problem because the Mets don't even need a fifth starter until the third week of the season!

Why there is even a discussion about the fifth starter spot is a mystery to me. There is a 24-year-old that throws 95 and a 63-year-old that topped out at 81 in his first simulated start. They both got knocked around - Pelfrey to the tune of an 8.31 ERA so far this spring and El Duque 5 runs in 3 innings.

Willie had this to say: “[Pelfrey and Duque] didn’t step up and distinguish themselves.’’

I think everyone can agree on that point - but what they can't agree on is why Duque is in the discussion. He has pitched in one live game, he got smacked around, and the season starts in a week. Start the season with a 4-man rotation and bring up Pelfrey as soon as you need a fifth starter. As for Duque, throw him in the bullpen or trade him I don't particularly care.

All Duque has done the past two seasons is get hurt at big times and leave this team with a gaping hole in the rotation. Pelfrey has shown flashes of brilliance (and admittedly flashes of mediocrity as well) and deserves a spot - at least to start the season. If it's May 15th and Pelfrey is routinely getting knocked around then we can get worried and start blasting the lack of starting pitching depth. As of right now though, Pelfrey needs to start.

Is he the next Doc? I think we've established that he isn't. But we need to find out if he's an upgraded cog in Generation K 2.0 or if he's someone that can contribute to this team now. Not including him in the Santana deal makes no sense of he's not going to get a chance to play and prove himself. There's nothing left to learn at AAA - call the Professor and get Pelfrey suited up, the season starts in 7 days.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Business Related Side Note

As a huge baseball fan and notsomuch football fan I'm constantly reminded how football is America's "New Pastime" and how nobody cares about baseball anymore. I readily conceded that point to football junkies on a regular basis. So, you could imagine that I found this interesting. From Rany on the Royals (courtesy of bizofbaseball):
The combined revenue of all 30 MLB teams last season was $6.075 billion. By comparison, the NFL was at $6.3 billion, and several projections are forecasting that MLB will overtake the NFL in revenue in 2008. Furthermore, as Maury points out, the MLB Network hits the airwaves in a year, and as baseball has already very sensibly worked out contracts with the major cable and satellite providers to ensure most of the country will have access (unlike, say, the NFL Network), there’s likely to be a further bump in revenue over the next few years.
Jazayerli goes on to point out that the MLB Network will have daily viewer ship and breaking highlights for 6 months along with the fact that only the diehardiest of diehards want to watch 6 gours of the combine or the NFL Network in the offseason. These are generally good points all around, although I have to admit I enjoy watching the random hour-long specials on the NFL Network of the 1994 Cincinnati Bengals.

It appears that baseball is as healthy as its ever been -- steroids or no steroids. And it's nice to see.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Farewell Professor Reyes



Adam Rubin reports today that Jose Reyes is officially retiring from Professor Reyes' Spanish Academy. We have reached a crossroads my friends. Today truly marks the end of another great era in Mets History.

Professor Reyes, you will be missed.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Don't Fuck With Marty

Would you insult this man's baseball intelligence? You probably should, but that's not why we're here today. We're here to ask why he is such a d-bag in responding to mailbag questions that even hint at using stats as a way of looking at players.

I understand that 99.99999% of the emails that this guy receives are something along the lines of "Yo Marty, you think the Mets can trade Schneider and Pelfrey to the Tribe for C.C. and Victor Martinez - Love, Sal from Brooklyn," but Marty seems to be getting a tad feisty these past couple of mailbags.

In his latest mailbag, Marty Noble graces our feeble minds with his heightened baseball knowledge by tossing this "answer" out there.

Brian Schneider's statistics suggest he has a strong preference against batting eighth in the order. Between 2005-07, Schneider has batted .279 (.768 OPS) in 559 at-bats in the seven-hole but only .220 (.598 OPS) in 409 at-bats batting eighth.

To put it in perspective, that is the difference between Brian McCann and Jason Kendall. The trend holds for each of the past three years; Schneider's OPS has been at least 140 points higher in the seven-hole each year. Any chance the Mets bat Schneider higher due to his history of not producing at the bottom of the order?
-- Kevin K., Washington. D.C.

Put away the calculator for a moment and understand that a batter's place in the order is at least partially a function of what other players do well and poorly. Schneider is not going to bat first, third, fourth or fifth for the Mets. The more plate appearances available to players with higher on-base percentages, the more often the batting order turns over and the more scoring opportunities develop. And Schenider isn't an on-base guy no matter where he bats.

That said and with all due respect to the your number crunching, how many players do you suppose would hit more productively batting eighth with the pitcher behind them than batting elsewhere? And do you suppose the player the Mets would bat eighth in place of Schneider wouldn't be similarly affected?

Yes Kevin K, put away the calculator. Such machines frighten and confuse Marty. Notice the "I'm Marty Noble, bitch!" attitude in such phrases as: "With all due respect to your number crunching" and "do you suppose..."

I also didn't see where Kevin suggested that Schneider bat 1st, 3rd, 4th, or 5th. I only see where he suggested 7th. Based on the numbers Kevin K threw out there, this wasn't a suggestion that necessitated the holier than thou response of the great Marty Noble. A simple look at Schneider's BaseballReference page would have let Marty respond rationally by telling Kevin K that over the course of his career Schneider's splits in the 7th v. 8th hole are only .265/.244 and .725/.702 (BA and OPS). His marginally increased production could be attributed to many things, but the key point to understand is this: he can't hit either way.

I can imagine Marty on the phone dictating this acerbic response to his editor with the same smug grin on his face as in the above picture while the editor is still trying to understand why this guy doesn't just buy a goddamn computer.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

And It Begins

As everyone is already well aware, Moises is out for 4-6 weeks with a hernia. Since nobody reading here missed last season, it's safe to say that we can assume that means more like 6-8 weeks. Why is this inevitable injury such a big deal? I'm glad you asked, fellow sports fans.

It's a big deal because it exposes the ridiculously laughable lack of productive corner outfielders in the organization. Fiery comments about the Lastings trade aside, it's a touch comforting to know that even without the Lastings trade we'd be stuck in the same predicament -- except Da Edge would be in RF instead of the man who currently vomits everytime he sees daylight.

Omar held a press conference today to address the "Alou situation" and claimed that there was a good chance the team would fill the hole "with someone internal right now." I'd imagine so since there's nobody left to trade besides F-Mart and Niese and I'd imagine they're both untouchable right now -- but assuming Omar does stand pat, let's take a look at what will be coming out of the LF spot for the first month and a half to two months of the season. Drumroll...

Angel Pagan: Impressive so far this spring, but underwhelming for his career. His 2008 PECOTA looks like this: .249/.313/.389. Not terrible, but not what you want from a corner outfielder. He's good defensively though!

Endy Chavez: Oh, that's right. He's injured too! We know he's great with the glove - but we also know that when he plays every day he's just not a servicable option in a corner OF spot. 2008 PECOTA: .282/.334/.362

Damion Easley: Oops! Another one bites the dust. Plus the fact that he's an infielder.

Marlon Anderson: Another IF whose holes become glaring if he plays everyday. His PECOTA looks better than Pagan's though - but perhaps not enough to offset the defensive dropoff: .264/.346/.430

Now let's take a trip down trade-some-more-prospects-for-a-quick-fix lane and examine some options that are universally regarded as "available" should Omar decide to make a deal:

Xavier Nady: Perfect fit and would love to see it - but who are we trading to get him? 2008 PECOTA: .280/.340/.470

Matt Murton: Meh. In the words of BP: "Let's be honest, Matt Murton is a good, well rounded hitter, but it looks as though he's going to peak as about a .275-EqA bat, and you can subtract a few points from that for his propensity to make boneheaded plays in the OF" PECOTA puts him around the same offensive output as Nady: .295/.359/.462

Scott Hairston: Yeah. That'll work. .258/.332/.469 - Maybe if he could replicate his .644 SLG from last season's stint with the Padres, but I doubt it considering that number was preceded by a .222/.301/.358 performance in Arizona over the first half of the season. He has had a SLG above .600 in AAA but he strikes out a ton and doesn't walk nearly enough. The verdict? Let him stay in SD and forever curse Trevor Hoffman's name.

Nelson Cruz: Find a non-die hard who even knows who he is and I'll mail you a dollar. PECOTA's got him at .256/.323/.453 for 2008. Not terrible, but not worth giving up anything to get in return.

So that's it. That is your depressing tour of what one of the "power" positions will likely look like for April and most of May 2008. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 New York Mets!