Friday, November 30, 2007

2008 Mets Lineup if the Season Started Today

Here's what the potential 2008 Mets lineup would look like if the season started today:

1. Jose Reyes - SS
2. Luis Castillo - 2B
3. David Wright - 3B
4. Carlos Beltran - CF
5. Moises Alou - LF
6. Carlos Delgado - 1B
7. Ryan Church - RF
8. Brian Schneider - C

Of course you're looking at a potential platoon at catcher between Castro/Schneider/Estrada. One of them will not make it to spring training in a Mets uniform if you ask me, but which one will be gone is still up for debate. I have a feeling Estrada is the man left out the cold, but I would have told you there's no way Lastings Milledge would be traded for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider yet here we are.

Mr. Milledge Goes to Washington

This was not the trade we've been waiting for and it perplexes me more than interests me. Today the Mets sent Lastings Milledge to their divisional rival, the Washington Nationals, for C Brian Schneider and OF Ryan Church.

Why? Who knows. And please somebody explain it to me if you do know.

Now the Mets will have 3 catchers on their roster in Schneider, Castro & Estrada so I'm assuming one of them has to go. And we've replaced a potential young star in Milledge who was one of our best hitters with runners in scoring position last year with a slightly older, but still young outfielder who bats around .270.

I know Ryan Church has hit well against the Mets in the past, but I think every National looked like a Hall of Famer against the Mets the last week of the season. Is there something in Ryan Church that we don't see? Would you rather see Church in right field than Gomez or Milledge?

It just doesn't make any sense, but I trust Omar has a great plan in place that us plebeians cannot contemplate. The only player on the Nationals that I'd even remotely be interested in is Chad Cordero.

Instead I got Brian Schneider (who is at least a somewhat younger catcher and can play some D) and a middle of the road outfielder in Ryan Church.

Someone wake me up when we sign Dan Haren.

Don't Knock the Mets Young Talent

I have been getting beaten up by people every time I talk about the Mets trading for a #1 pitcher. I'm told the Mets "don't have the pieces to make a deal" or "the Mets can't match other team's talented prospects." I was starting to doubt my objectivity. I mean I know we don't have a Bucholtz or Hughes but our young prospects are still top notch. At least that's what I thought.

Looks like someone else does too.'s senior baseball analyst Keith Law had this to say about people who doubt the Mets' prospects:

“Ridiculous. I’ve seen that mentioned in some NY papers, and it’s absurd. Carlos Gomez is very highly-rated within the game. Fernando Martinez (who seems to be their one untouchable) is still one of the top 10-12 prospects in the game. Pelfrey hasn’t even turned 24 yet, and he’s still mid-90’s with plus sink. I have no idea why it’s fashionable to bash the Mets young players, but they have plenty of assets to go get another starter. Whether they choose to part with them or not is the question.”

Honestly, that makes me feel a lot better coming from an industry pro. Still it doesn't guarantee that the Mets will be able to nail down a top pitcher, but let's not short sell our chances either.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Are the Mets Too Desperate?

Does anyone else feel that sensation in their hands? It's the feeling of Johan Santana slipping away.
Do you hear laughing in the distance? Yup, that's Billy Beane chuckling at the fact that he now has the upper hand.

I'm getting the feeling that Omar & the Mets are getting desperate to do something before it's too late. Believe me, I'm first in line to sign Johan Santana, but not if it's going to cost us Jose Reyes. I'm right there wanting to get a Dan Haren or Erik Badard, but I've got this feeling that the Mets are proving themselves to be too desperate to sign a #1 pitcher.

The real problem is we are desperate. Let's say the Mets don't sign a top notch pitcher and sign some middle of the road guy like my least favorite rumored pitcher, Livan Hernandez. Let's say they sign two middle of the road guys. We'll throw in Freddy Garcia. So your starting rotation is Pedro, Maine, Livan, Garcia, Perez. Ok, not bad.

But what happens when Pedro misses a month due to injury. El Duque you say? Sure, as long as he's healthy. Guys like Garcia & Livan aren't exactly spring chickens with electric stuff either.

But is this rotation an improvement from last year? Are we going to have the same issues as we've had the past two seasons? Sure this rotation with our solid lineup might be enough to get us back to the playoffs but is it enough to put us over the top?

Every GM is starting to catch on to this and they know Omar likes to pull the trigger on the big deal. I'm ok with giving up prospects and some every day players for a #1 type of pitcher, but if it's going to take some franchise players like Reyes to do it, that's not a move we should make.

I've heard the Mets say that Reyes, Wright and Beltran are not on the table, but I'm a little scared that Omar might be too desperate to make a move.

GMs know that the Mets NEED a starting pitcher so they're talk about what players it will take to get their pitchers may be tainted to try and push the Mets hand.

In Omar we trust. We don't have another choice. Get the job done. And please don't bring in Livan Hernandez.

Would You Give Up Your Youth For. . .

In a totally hypothetical situation, yet possibly plausible, the Mets starting rotation next year could be Pedro Martinez, Dan Haren, Joe Blanton, Dontrelle Willis and Oliver Perez.

I know what you're thinking. The answer is no I'm not high. But this is a scenario worth considering. That hypothetical starting rotation consists of 4 pitchers with young arms and one solid veteran. It's a rotation that's pretty much set for the next 3 years with Pedro's longevity being the only question mark.

What will it take to get them? Ha, here's the kicker. The Mets would more than likely have to give up Fernando Martinez, John Maine, Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, Ruben Gotay, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. The A's would want Maine, Gotay, Mulvey & Gomez for Haren & Blanton. The Marlins would get Guerra, Milledge & Martinez for Dontrelle Willis.

So the Mets would give up basically their top 3 position prospects, their top 2 pitching prospects, and one solid starter for three young stud pitchers. Would you do it?

At first my knee jerk reaction is it's a crazy idea, don't do it. But after thinking about it the Mets would have 3 solid pitchers, 2 potential aces, on their staff that would be locked up for the next 3 seasons. What are they really giving up? They're giving up the potential for one of those young players to become an All Star, but there's not guarantee that they will.

John Maine is the guy that really makes this deal tough for me. I think Maine has the potential to be a #2 guy on a staff but I don't see him being a #1 starter into the future. I love John Maine and his performance on the second to last game of the season this year was legendary. If somehow this could be done without Maine it would make it so much easier to do.

As we have learned over the past two seasons, starting pitching is the key to a championship. If these deals could be made we'd still have the core of our lineup in tact, but we're potentially mortgaging the future for the present.

Still I think I'd do it.

The Next Mets Radio Announcer

In case you haven't heard Tom McCarthy will be leaving the WFAN Mets radio broadcasting booth next year to return to his previous employer, the Philadelphia Phillies (commence booing). It's too bad because I like McCarthy and he eerily sounds exactly like Gary Cohen so it was quite nostalgic having him in the booth with Howie Rose.

So this opens the door for a new announcer to become one of the voices of the Mets on radio. For once, Mike & the Mad Dog had an intelligent and interesting discussion yesterday afternoon regarding who should be the replacement. Here were some of their recommendations, with my thoughts on the nominee.

1) Gary Cohen - Forget it. Cohen, Hernandez & Darling are a Mets fans' dream team on TV. Don't mess that up.

2) Ed Coleman - He'd be good, but to me Ed C is the Ahmad Rahsad of the Mets. A guy you want in the locker room, giving you interviews and inside news but not necessarily in the booth.

3) Chris Carlin - A Mets fan, but too brash to be an every day radio guy.

4) Sean McDonough - Good voice and capable broadcaster, but without Bill Raferty next to him it just won't feel right.

5) Dave Popkin - Who, you ask? Let me explain why this is the guy you want on the radio

Dave Popkin is an up and coming young broadcaster with a great voice and is extremely knowledgeable. He's been working side-by-side with Gary Cohen doing Seton Hall basketball games on the radio, so he's been learning at the feet of the master. Popkin has done minor league baseball games on CN8 as well as a ton of other sporting events as broadcaster for ESPN affiliated sporting events.

I've had the pleasure of meeting Dave Popkin on a few occasions and I can tell first hand that he is a class act guy. Popkin is someone who the Mets can have in their broadcast booth for the next 25 years. I grew up listening to Gary Cohen, and Popkin is someone who a new generation of Mets fans can grow up with. He's a young guy who can bring some fresh perspective and commentary. And he'll be working alongside Howie Rose who is a consummate professional to balance the broadcast.

Pretty soon we'll be in a new stadium, hopefully have a new pitcher named Santana, and I think it would be perfect to have a fresh new voice in the broadcast booth. Dave Popkin is the next Mets radio announcer.

If you want to take a listen check out his website at and you can hear some of his commentary. I'm hopeful that will be able to get an interview with Dave Popkin in the coming weeks as he becomes a candidate to be the next Mets radio announcer.

Good luck, Dave. We'll be pulling for you.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Santana First, Haren Second

A lot of people are talking about how the Mets should go after Dan Haren of the A's instead of Johan Santana. They offer some good reasons including the fact that Haren will take less prospects to get and is locked up until 2010 in a reasonable contract. With Santana it will take 4-5 top prospects and a $150 million dollar contract. Both pitchers are aces and reasonably aged with Haren at 27 and Santana at 29.

To that argument I say, who would you want on the mound in game 7 of the World Series? If you answer Haren, you're on crack. You know you want Santana.

The Mets have the rarest of rare opportunities to get THE best pitcher in baseball. Period. When's the last time the Mets had the best pitcher in baseball? Hmmmm. 1986, Doc Gooden. It's been over 20 years, and the Mets in that time frame have often settled for second best (or third, fourth or sixteenth best).

Where has that gotten us? No championships. One World Series. And a few playoff births.

The Mets need to start thinking championships. We have the blue chip prospects to offer without depleting our entire arsenal. We have the money to offer Santana a big contract. And we're opening up a new stadium in a year with a potential Cy Young champ from the year before pitching opening day.

I do like Haren, a lot. And he can start for me on any day, but there's no way I'm choosing him over Santana. To those who say, "But the Yankees are already talking to Santana. We're doomed!" I reply, "Remember Carlos Beltran." The Yanks were supposed to sign Beltran. It was all but done, until Omar swooped in and picked him off.

I expect and trust that Omar will do the same here. Go get Santana. If he doesn't want to come, fine we'll go get Haren. But let's not settle for a porterhouse, when a perfectly good filet mignon is right within our reach.

Breakout the platinum American Express. Let's get the best pitcher in baseball in orange and blue.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Best Trade This Offseason

The Mets recently traded Guillermo Mota to the Brewers for catcher Johnny Estrada.


Did the Brewers even see Mota pitch? Are they that desperate to get rid of Estrada that they'd take Mr. Mota? Does Estrada have cholera?

This is the classic example of addition by subtraction. Even if Estrada doesn't play a single game for the Mets this was precisely the move Omar needed to make.

It eliminates the temptation for Willie Randolph to continue to go to "his guy" in the bullpen during key situations. No more Mota. Those are three words I love to utter.

Estrada is a decent catcher offensively, but is not so great defensively. Still he's younger than Lo Duca and has more pop than him too. I'm still thinking we'll never see Estrada in a Mets uniform because he'll be used as a piece of some kind of larger trade. Omar still wants Ramon Hernandez if you ask me.

Besides I wouldn't mind Estrada and Castro in a platoon. Just go get some top pitching.

Monday, November 19, 2007

An Early Christmas Present for Mets Lifers

According to the Associate Press, Tom Glavine has signed a one year deal with the Atlanta Braves.

You've always been a Brave, even with the Mets. Good riddance. See ya Tommy. Looking forward to facing you in September.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mets are Wasting Time with Tier 2 Pitchers

Livan Hernandez? Haven't we had enough talk about Livan Hernandez over the past few seasons?

Carlos Silva? Does he really give us something that we don't already have in John Maine or Oliver Perez?

A Japanese import? Is our biggest off season signing going to be on a pitching version of a potential Kaz Matsui?

Omar, what are you doing? You're killing me is what you're doing. I know nothing has been inked yet and there's still plenty of hot stove talk to be tossed around, but I don't like the direction the Mets are headed in.

The Mets need, scratch that, the Mets NEED a tier 1 starting pitcher. That's not Silva. That's certainly not Livan Hernandez. It's not even Joe Blanton. The Mets have solid #2 & #3 starters in Maine & Perez and basically any of the additions I've mentioned are just additions of Maine & Perez type pitchers.

With Pedro recovering still and not knowing what to expect from him, the Mets need that dominant, consistent #1 starter to anchor the starting rotation. That's a Johan Santana. A Jake Peavy. A Ben Sheets. Those are guys we should be talking about.

If we are giving up young talent like Milledge, Gomez, Martinez, Pelfrey, Humber or even Heilman it better be for something good. We're better off getting a proven #1 starter than hoping a career #2 or #3 starter can step up.

Get a #1 starter and some bullpen help and call it a day. If we do that we'll be set with pitching for the next 3 years as we give Pelfrey or Humber time to develop. If we don't, we'll be hunting for more pitching help next year too.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gammons: Wright Shouldn't Move for A-Rod

Peter Gammons in his blog for discusses why David Wright should not switch positions to accommodate A-Rod. He states that the Mets are treating Wright "as if he's Damion Easley" by asking him to switch positions.

Gammons makes a case for Wright by stating how he's a gold glove 3rd baseman (which is just shocking to me), the fact that he's never played another position, and his role as a leader on the Mets gives him the right to stay at his native position.

But possibly the most surprising evidence Gammons gives is when he compares A-Rod to Wright at age 24. Unbeknown to me David Wright actually outperforms A-Rod in every major category except for slugging and home run totals which are not far behind.

I'm a huge David Wright fan. He's taken the place of Mike Piazza as my favorite Met (I still love you Mike), but after reading Gammons' post I found myself ashamed at wanting Wright to move. Gammons talks about Wright's character and his willingness to shoulder the blame for the Mets collapse and I asked myself if this is something we'd find in A-Rod.

Absolutely not. So let's value the man we have at third base. I still want A-Rod. Don't get me wrong. But I'm sure he'd be pretty good at first base.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Glavine is Persona Non Grada

Omar Minaya is saying that he's still interested in having Tom Glavine return to the Mets in 2008.

Ok. Did he watch the last game of the season? Scratch that. Did he watch the last month that Glavine pitched in which the Mets won zero games from his starts?

I'm done with Glavine as I'm sure many Mets Lifers are. But Mets brass should be done with him too. If hiis lackluster performance in key games down the stretch isn't enough, his comments about losing "not being the end of the world" after the season should show you where his loyalties lie. Do you see him saying that in a Braves uniform?

Let him go back to Atlanta, play golf with his buddy Smoltzy and let the Mets focus on a big game pitcher with #1 starter quality. Focus on Santana, Oswalt, even Petite is a better option than Glavine at this point.

Let's close the book on this Atlanta experiment that never panned out so we can look forward to facing him in 2008.

P.S. Sign A-Rod too.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Roy Oswalt for Jose Reyes

Rumors, rumors, rumors. That's what the hot stove season is for, and we as fans love it. This latest rumor though has me a little disappointed.

Late yesterday afternoon, a rumor was start that the Mets might look to trade Jose Reyes to the Astros for Roy Oswalt. Now any of you that have read this blog previously know of my blogging partner's and my infatuation with Roy Oswalt in a Mets uniform. He struggled early this past season, but Oswalt is possibly the most consistent pitcher in the major leagues over the past 5 years.

Even so, I don't want to give up Jose Reyes. For Johann Santana? Maybe. I just think Reyes is too special of a player to give up at this point. He's that marquee lead off batter that is too hard to find and that the Mets have lacked for so long.

Still the chance to get Oswalt is huge and shows that Omar and the Mets brass know they need to make some big moves this offseason. I like that thinking, but let's not give up on Reyes yet.

Rickey Henderson is Reyes' Problem

Last night I spoke with a friend who has connections within the Mets organization, and he shared with me some of the rumors within Shea Stadium of why Jose Reyes was slumping down the stretch. I have mentioned before on this blog that I didn't think the Reyes' slump had anything to do with baseball, but that there was something going on in his personal life that was affecting his performance.

Turns out, it was Rickey Henderson.

Now let me start by saying these claims are purely speculation from someone who has a link to the rumor mill within the Mets organization. But the word is that Rickey Henderson got Jose Reyes and some other young players involved in some gambling. Turns out that Reyes may have lost a huge amount of money to Rickey Henderson as well as others. Much like alcohol or drugs can take over a person's life, gambling can have that effect as well and may have an element in Reyes' late season decline.

Now if this is true the blame cannot solely rest on Henderson because Reyes made the decision to get involved in it, but I've always thought that Henderson was more of a detriment to this club than an asset. People think A-Rod is a cancer, look no further than King Me-First, Rickey Henderson.

If this is truly what happened, I hope Omar has the guts to send Rickey on his way and let Willie put a guy that he wants at 1st base. I hope this is just a rumor, but something tells me it's not.

Time will tell.