Friday, February 29, 2008

Juan Gone

One at bat in the majors since 2004. One pitch from TBPiB. One moonshot over the outstretched glove of Pee-Hands.

The only thing that could have made it any more hilarious is if Moises' knee exploded as he leaped to try and make a play.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our Prospects Are Good....Right?

I know this is weeks late, but it was too funny not to post. Metsblog's Jordan Zakarin interviewed Kevin Goldstein of BP on Valentine's Day and this happened. I bolded the especially memorable parts.

Jordan Zakarin: One of the most intriguing guys in the Mets system is Scott Moviel – obviously has a high ceiling, but the Mets were seemingly recently burned with a big right hander in Mike Pelfrey. Are there legit similarities there, and can Moviel perhaps turn into a top of the line prospect?

Kevin Goldstein: I don’t see the similarities really, other than the tall, right-handedness.

Jordan Zakarin: So that’s a good thing?

Kevin Goldstein: Moviel is all projection, while Pelfrey has some really good stuff now — at least the fastball. Moviel is one of those players you can dream on — he could turn into a top of the line prospect, but keep in mind, that every system has this guy. The big, projectable pitcher. A few of them turn into really nice prospects, and most fall by the wayside. Still, to even have a player with that chance is a good thing.

Jordan Zakarin: Sounds like the Mets were pleasantly surprised with his initial performance, though.

Kevin Goldstein: Yes — he took very well to coaching, showed some early feel for a changeup, and threw more strikes than expected.

Jordan Zakarin: Okay, another draftee with upside, Brant Rustich – some say he had some of the best pure stuff in the draft – if he really did gain that command he showed in his pro debut, what’s his ceiling, and is there a chance he’s a starter?

Kevin Goldstein: He’s probably a reliever in the end. Rustich has very good raw stuff, but whoever said it was the best in the draft was smoking something. His fastball/slider combination gives him two plus pitches that profile best in relief, as he doesn’t have much of a changeup. The control hit seems like a total fluke, based on what he did at UCLA, and the fact that he wasn’t throwing strikes in Hawaii.

Jordan Zakarin: He was hurt while at UCLA though, right? He said that really hurt his command, when I talked to him.

Kevin Goldstein: Sure, but not always. It’s not like he was a world beater when his finger was fine. He’s mechanically a little messy, and until he consistently throws strikes, he’s not going to have a lot of believers in him… For a guy with an ERA over six in college, to still go in the second round, that tells you his stuff is pretty impressive — but he’s got a long way to go.

Jordan Zakarin: Okay, another draftee coming from the pen — Eddie Kunz – set up man, or potential closer? Did his tough pro debut take away some of the luster, or was he just tired from non-stop pitching the last two years?

Kevin Goldstein: I see him as almost a borderline closer. It could happen, but I’m not sold on it yet. I don’t think his debut really dinged him too much, even Mets knew that he wasn’t one of those college fast-track relievers and might take a bit to develop.

Jordan Zakarin: So he’s not on the Joe Smith track, per se?

Kevin Goldstein: Not unless he starts throwing a ton of strikes.

…as i said on Tuesday, big thanks to kevin, who took out a huge chunk of time to do another interview with me…

…it seems that the Mets still have some decent prospects, it’s just more an issue of a lack of real close-to-the-majors, high-ceiling guys…the thing is, kevin is more optimistic than i had anticipated about the big picture, maybe because the big league team has a real chance to win…but, there are some younger, further away, high-ceiling guys there, which is better than having just a bunch of future utilitymen…

…as i keep saying, this draft, in which the Mets will have three picks inside the first 33, will be very, very important…

Ok, now here is the first comment from the post (which was not by me, though I wish it was):
Comment by The Milledge Idiot
2008-02-14 12:55:36

Jordan: The Mets prospects are good, right!?

Kevin: No.

Jordan: They’re good, right!?

Kevin: No.

Jordan: I’ve heard great things, they’re going to be great!

Kevin: No.

That - as Kenny Bania would say - is gold.

I know it happens at the start of every Spring Training, but is it me or does it seem like the prospect hype is going a little above and beyond this season? The Mets have always overhyped their prospects. See, e.g. "Generation K." But this year on, Metsblog, you name the official outlet, it just seems like there is a constant stream of "we have good prospects in the system, you just haven't heard of them!"

Not according to BP.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dear Jon, Get Off Jimmy's Nuts

Jon Heyman's aversion to rational inferences based on statistics is well documented at places like FJM, but his dislike of the Mets - or love of Jimmy Rollins - has never been that apparent to me. That is, until I read his latest contribution to SI:
The Mets may unseat the Phillies as NL East champions this year, but there's no sense in trying to beat NL MVP and trash talker extraordinaire Jimmy Rollins at his own game.

Quiet Mets star Carlos Beltran gave it a surprise shot when he got to camp, borrowing Rollins' exact line from last spring in declaring the Mets as "the team to beat." But as Phillies pitcher Brett Myers noted, "Sequels are never as good as the original.''

And then Rollins chimed in the next day, "Has anyone ever heard of plagiarism?''

Beltran, a nice, laconic, well-groomed fellow, stunned folks with his rare back-page fodder. But Rollins holds the patent. He gets all the credit, with only an assist from the Mets for their reaction last spring. "I thank the Mets,'' Rollins said. "They took it upon themselves to take it personally.

Beltran and other Mets types are understandably excited about the acquisition of ace pitcher Johan Santana. Yet the Mets should hold their tongues now for two very good reasons: 1) They had their chance last spring when Rollins spoke, but to a man, they were afraid to speak up, a reticence that was later reflected in the way they played -- scared; and 2) Philly beat the Mets to a pulp down the stretch, winning the last seven head-to-head games.

Beltran gave it a shot.
But under the circumstances his words came off as a pale impersonation of the master.
Ok. Besides the excess verbiage (Laconic? Really Jon?), Heyman seems to imply that the Mets should have answered the challenge last spring when *The MVP* declared the Phillies "the team to beat." Jon Heyman, you're a moron. There, I said it.

I'll go out on a limb and say that the only people calling for any Met player to publicly answer Rollins statements were Vinny from Staten Island and Paulie from Bay Ridge - and they were both "first time, long time."

I can't remember a single person in the media that wanted a Met to answer Rollins. If I remember correctly, the opposite was true. Rollins was viewed as a trash talking SS on a historically losing franchise. Why waste breath in answering him? All anyone wanted the Mets to do was go out on the field and take care of business much like they did on Opening Day.

Now, after The Collapse®, Jon Heyman is talking shit about the Mets saying how they should have manned up and fired a shot back? Get the fuck out of here Heyman, you're embarrassing yourself.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Puff Piece

(If you look closely you can see Fernando Tatis)

As JP at Blastings Thrilledge has already pointed out, the talented writers over at Baseball Analysts have been posting about the young guns ready to make an impact in 2008 from each division. This is what they have to say about the 2008 Mets:
The Mets are beginning to look a lot like the Yankees… by clubbing the rest of the organizations in their division with their checkbook. Mind you, the Mets are arguably more talented on the field at this point with the Yankees aging and a number of young players unproven. As a result of recent acquisitions, such as that minor trade that netted one of the best pitchers in baseball, the Mets do not appear as though they will entrust significant playing time to any rookies in 2008, barring a run on catastrophic injuries.
Music to Mets fans' ears! Well, we already knew that. Any Mets fan paying attention knows the only thing left in the minors is F-Mart. And most Mets fans are content with that for now seeing as how the depletion was the result of the Santana trade. So to recap: The Mets minor league system is barren...

Not according to the Mets!

The propaganda machine that I interviewed to work with - and was summarily dinged - churned out this beauty on Jonathon Niese this past week.

In case you hadn't been paying attention, Niese was drafted in '05 and spent the last two season in A-ball. His numbers aren't that impressive (4.29 ERA and 1.35 WHIP last year) especially considering it's in single-A. The one thing that stuck out for me is how dramatically he cut his BB rate from '06 to '07. Niese had slightly over a 2:1 K:BB ratio in 2006 and he raised to just over 3:1 in 2007.

In case anyone cares, Sickels ranked Niese the organizations #5 prospect (before the Santana deal) for 2008. He was ranked above both Humber and Joe Smith. Now I'd imagine it's a toss up between Niese and Eddie Kunz for the #2 prospect in the organization!

It's a sad, sad state of affairs. Emphasized by the fact that Jay Horowitz & Co. (aka "Marty Noble") felt the need to start hyping a pitcher who by all accounts will start a third straight year in A-ball with a career ERA of 4.09.

Don't fear Mets fans, help is on the way.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Professor & His Balls

Caption contest time! Post in the comments.

"Really Rick? Victor Zambrano? 10 minutes?"

Check out more pictures here. Happy weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jesus Christ

Can't the world-beaters in the marketing department leave well enough alone?

I woke up to read this email this morning:

How can this team, a team who blew a 12...well you all know what happened, stand on a pedestal and offer a ticket package entitled "Team to Beat" Pack? I'd sign on for a "Let's Wait and See" Pack or even a "We'll Probably Win the Division, but Let's Not Jump to Conclusions" Pack, but "Team to Beat?"

There was a reason why it was so easy to root against the Phillies and Jimmy Rollins last season. I think it had something to do with a SS making bold predictions before the season started.

As Metstradamus has lamented, these comments coming from Beltran's mouth is one thing, having the team latch onto it and turn it into a marketing campaign is another.

The 2008 Mets: Let's Jinx This Motherfucker Before We Even Play a Game.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Tale of Two LOOGYs

JP's recent post examining the Mets bullpen over at Blastings! Thrilledge got me thinking about the state of the 2008 bullpen. Besides overpaying for Jorge Sosa and the return of the Sanchez not much has been written on the relief corps. I found that to be ironic, seeing as the bullpen played a large role in the Collapse® of 2007.

From a - very - cursory look at the stats it looks like carrying both Pedro Feliciano and Scott Schoeneweis this season will be a mistake that will likely cost Joe Smith, Matt Wise, or Filthy Sanchez a roster spot.

While many people claimed that Feliciano solidified his spot last season as a legitimate reliever, his numbers against RHB proved that while he wasn't terrible against RHB - there were still far better options in the pen:
Feliciano vs. RHB:   BA   OBP   SLG   OPS
.221 .325 .371 .697
He was much, much better against LHB (.168 BAA, .211 SLG, .483 OPS) - his problem like in 2006 was walking too many batters.

Compare the numbers of the other members of the bullpen against RHB last season to Feliciano's numbers against righties.
                 BA   OBP   SLG   OPS
Heilman: .218 .263 .305 .568
Sosa: .202 .253 .296 .549
.266 .361 .359 .720
Sanchez ('06) .179 .275 .226 .501

The Show: .316 .390 .574 .963
Wagner: .209 .268 .318 .587
It's clear that Feliciano holds RHB to around the same BA as the better RHP in the Mets pen, but when the RHB make contact they hit it a lot harder and further (he also walks a bunch of them). In fact, the only RHP in the bullpen that was worse against RHB was Smith, and PECOTA and ZiPS project him to be much improved in 2008.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that while Feliciano isn't terrible against righties - he isn't great either, and he shouldn't be facing them with so many other viable RHP options in the bullpen.

Because Schoeneweis' numbers against righties are so awful his value would be maximized by making him strictly a LOOGY as JP pointed out over at BT. If you need anymore proof check this out (hat tip to BT).

It would appear, however, that carrying him as a LOOGY would force Feliciano into bigger spots (non 1-2 out situations) against RHB. As we have seen, RHB reach base against him at a far higher clip than they do other members of the pen.

However, Omar did sign Schoeneweis for way too much money and Willie will probably give him another shot to get everyone out this year so we should probably all brace ourselves for more moonshots exiting Shea over the head of a angry and frustrated Scotty Show. I, for one, can't wait.

Sorry for the rambling. None of this matters anyway - the manager doesn't know how to use the bullpen. Thank you Joe Torre.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I miss Benny Agbayani.

Thanks to Riding with Rickey for the link to the Fail Blog:

Captain Red Ass Speaks

Breaking his long silence since being named in the Mitchell Report, the author of the famous "my phone is TOAST" note on Dodgers stationary has expressed his deep sorrow and regret.

"In regards to Senator [George] Mitchell's report," Lo Duca said in a written statement, "I apologize to my family, all my fans and to the entire baseball community for [the] mistakes in judgment I made in the past and for the distractions that resulted. I am fully committed to being the best player and person I can be, on and off the field, for the Washington Nationals and the entire baseball community.

"I recognize the importance of my role in the community as a professional athlete, and I intend to focus my energies on making a positive impact in that regard. So that I can focus on making positive contributions and avoid creating further distractions, I respectfully decline to comment any further on the content of the Mitchell Report."

Good damage control Paulie, but you're still bat-shit crazy. Both for cheating on your playmate wife with Stoneonta's finest and trying to kill umpires after a strike two call.

Oh, and by the way, don't think that just because Crazy Eyes is off the juice he's not still going to go .500/6/36 in the 18 games the Mets play the Nats. The 2008 Mets: Your Beatdown at the Hands of LoDuca and Milledge Has Come!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pedro's Juicing

On eggs, mangoes and OTC pain reliever/fever reducers. Link stolen from CSTB:

Martinez did have some pointed words, however, for the reporter who once called him a prima donna.

“I have a small frame and when I hurt all I could do was take a couple of Aleve or Advil, a cup of coffee and a little mango and an egg — and let it go!” he said.

Martinez’s point: He wasn’t going to try human growth hormone or any other performance-enhancing substance. In fact, he would welcome a more stringent drug-testing program in baseball.

“I dominated that era and I did it clean,” he said. “I can stand by my numbers and I can be proud of them.”

A couple Aleve? A badass if there ever was one. Juice on my friend, juice on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Check It Out

I encourage each of this blog's 4 readers to check out Rany Jazayerli's new blog about everyone's favorite team, the Kansas City Royals. Rany is a great writer (Baseball Prospectus,, etc.) and his insights on the Royals should be a good read for anyone interested in baseball as a whole.

As for the Mets...Filthy Sanchez is working out the hardest he has since he was 19 and Spring Training is officially underway. Since there's no catchy slogan this year, (i.e. Your Season Has Come!) let me be the first to make a suggestion -The 2008 New York Mets: Willie's Ass is On the Line!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We Need Answers

The highlight so far of Jayson Stark's live blog of the Clemens hearings:
11:01 a.m. ET
Just a thought as the questioning of the Rocket gets rolling: Since he's under oath, any chance one of these Congressmen could ask Roger what the heck actually happened when he threw that bat at Mike Piazza? He didn't really think that was the ball, did he? Sorry to digress. Just thinking.
Enjoy the rest of the day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Saint Tony

Did you know that Carlos Beltran not only speaks English, but also follows his team in the offseason? Shove that in your pipe LoDuca. And while Carlos apparently doesn't have access to a television or internet access in beautiful Puerto Rico to follow the team on his own - he never has to worry about being up to date on essential Mets-related news and information:

"I paid a lot of attention to this," the Mets' center fielder said of his team's offseason, made prosperous with the trade for Johan Santana.

Assistant general manager Tony Bernazard kept him apprised by phone, but Beltran wants to look down the aisle of lockers in the Mets' clubhouse in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to see Santana.

Well thank you Tony! We could have a CF who didn't even know we acquired the BPInB if it wasn't for you!

And guess what baseball fans...Carlos doesn't yet feel 100%!!!!!

Beltran had both knees scoped over the winter.

"I don't feel 100 percent, but I hope to be by the start of the season," Beltran said. "I couldn't play anymore like that. I didn't feel pain as much as I did weakness.

"I just want to be 100 percent and to be able to do a lot more."

Ladies and Gentlemen your 2008 New York Mets! Your Collapse Has Come!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Big Wally Style

Even when just about everyone in baseball is high on the Mets, our old friend Wally just can't resist being a big downer. Apparently Met fans haven't been sleeping for a week - they've been planning on all the different ways they're going to boo Johan out of Shea:
What will be acceptable production? Twenty wins? Twenty-five? Thirty? Or just enough to get them to October, when the judgment process will begin all over again. For all his regular-season brilliance, Santana's postseason record with the Twins was a so-so 1-3 with a 3.97 ERA.
I was waiting for the first opinion on Santana's playoff record. You got him Wally, he's a regular A-Rod in the clutch. What Wal-Dog forgot to mention is that after his first 3 rocky outings in 2002 and 2003, Johan has allowed 3 ER in 20 postseason IP - that's a 1.35 ERA but who's keeping track? Oh, and more thing. In 2004 Johan pitched 12 innings in the ALDS against the beloved Yankees. His line you ask? 1 W, 12 IP, 1 ER. What a C-H-O-K-E-R! Destined to make an ass out of himself on the grandest stage of them all!

The rest of the column was Wally praying out loud that Santana crack under the pressure of playing in New York. Because honestly, if Santana goes 20-5 with a sub-3 ERA, what will The Keeg's former radio partner have to write about?
Remember how Mets fans made Carlos Beltran's life hell for his first season and a half? And how last year, Carlos Delgado could barely poke his head out of the dugout without being showered with boos? The good news for them is, they've moved down the payroll list. There's a new kid in town, with a bigger paycheck and, presumably, a bigger target on his back.
Yes Wally, Mets fans just can't wait to boo the living piss out of the best pitcher in baseball. In fact, I just dropped $250 on a custom-ordered "Overpaid" #57 jersey. Honestly, someone at Newsday needs to tell Mr. Matthews that when he needs to reach this far to bash the Mets he should just stick to bashing Roy Jones Jr.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jealous Much?

This link (and commentary) is swiped from Fire Joe Morgan...which is arguably the best sports blog on teh interwebs. The article is written by Rich Hofmann of the Philly Daily News, the commentary by KT of FJM (for anyone not familiar with FJM, the original article is bold and the commentary is normal):

The Mets themselves said all of the right things - third baseman David Wright said the Phillies were still the team to beat in the National League East, as did Randolph - but this was quite the welcome for Santana, the two-time Cy Young winner. And listening to the radio on the way home, you could tell it was clear that all of the pomp and circumstance has led Mets fans to the inescapable conclusion that they already have won the World Series, before the first golf club has been shipped to spring training.

Well, they did collapse last year, in horrific, almost 2004 ALCS Yankees-esque fashion. But they were 7th in the NL in team ERA, and 6th in Ks, and they really didn't have a #1 starter. Though their offense struggled late, if they had Santana last year, they'd've made the playoffs easily. So, despite Moises Alou being 58, and Glavine leaving, and Pedro being a wild card, you have to say that getting Santana makes them pretty effing tough.

And, in that spirit, Santana raised his hands at one point and showed off all the World Series rings he won in Minnesota.

Oh, wait.

Ha ha ha ha! He never won a World Series in Minnesota! What a douche. Only jerks and losers don't win World Series titles by themselves.

Santana has won 70 games in the last four years. Here's how the Twins have ended the season in runs scored in those four years: 12th, 8th, 14th (last), 10th.

"It takes 25 players," Santana said, more than once, in response to more than one question in more than one language. He seems a sincere sort, and he has been a great and durable pitcher (although only 15-13 last season).

His team had a .721 OPS. That's 13th out of 14 teams. The league -- the American League, mind you -- batted .225 off him with a .273 OBP. He had 55 more Ks than anyone on the Mets. And this was a down year for Santana.

His career ERA+ is 141. His career WHIP is under 1.1. He Ks 9.5/9 IP. His DERA is 3.20. He is left-handed. His change-up looks like it's being controlled by a dude playing RBI Baseball, who can maneuver it mid-air with a joystick. He is 28.

These are all things you could have written that would have been more relevant than "only 15-13 last year."
The RBI Baseball reference is gold. Pure gold.

Note that the sub-head is "

New York disgustingly canonizes new ace before he even pitches

I'm pretty fucking sure that it's ok to "canonize" Saint Johan before he pitches. A 141 career ERA+ entitles you to that kind of treatment. I'm sure if the Phillies had landed Santana Rich would have kicked him in the nuts threw a battery at his head and said "welcome to Philadelphia."

Since when is it over the top to hold a press conference after a major trade/FA signing and have the player talk to the media/take pictures with the team? Didn't they do the same thing at the Brad Lidge press conference...

And just for shits and giggles, Hofmann throws the obligatory collapse punch right at the end:

The Mets do not want to find out [what will happen if they are in a long divisional fight]... Because they just spent up to $150 million on one of those green Christmas-tree things you hang from the rearview mirror. They would hate to find out that it failed to mask the stench of 7/17.

(That's 7-game lead with 17 to play, not July 17th.)

I'm failing to comprehend how Johan Santana is the equivalent of "those green Christmas-tree things you hang in the rearview mirror." First of all, it's called an air freshener Rich. Second of all, does Santana smell like Pine Sol? Last time I checked making a trade for a dominant starter wasn't to mask the stench of a previous season - it was to make next season's team better.

But alas, that wasn't even the best line that Hofmann scribbled. My favorite part? The spot where he takes a swipe at the fact that Santana doesn't have any rings. You're right Rich, we probably should have signed Livan and his championship instead.

Friday, February 1, 2008

D-U-N Done

According to Metsblog and ESPN news...Santana is officially a Met.