Tuesday, July 31, 2007

No More Trades for the Mets

The trading deadline has past.

No Gagne. No Cordero. No Rauch. But the Braves get Dotel (ugh).

There's still a chance some trades could happen after the deadline, but it's not likely we'll get the type of help the Mets need.

And so we move on. Glavine go win #300 tonight so we forget about what we didn't get, and appreciate what we got.

Go Get Mike Piazza

I'm starting a new campaign to bring Mike Piazza back to the Mets. ESPN.com has been reporting that the A's are shopping Piazza and possibly even trading him to the division rival Angels.

You know how Billy Beane likes to talk with the Mets about trades and I think it's time we considered bringing Mike Piazza back where he belongs for the close of his career. Here's why.

1. We need another power bat off the bench - Take a look at our bench and name one guy you can see hitting a game winning home run. Castro? Maybe. Easley? Not likely. Gotay? Probably a single or a double. Piazza would add that pop to the bench that the Mets need, especially if we make a playoff run.

2. We need Castro to be available - Lo Duca is good, but Castro has been other-wordly. But Willie won't pinch hit him because he'd be using his only back up catcher. Piazza would allow Castro to be used more.

3. Piazza is ten times better than Mike DeFelice, Sandy Alomar Jr, etc. - Let's be frank. No one wants to see DeFelice up to bat. Alomar Jr.? Ditto. Hmmm, having a hall of fame catcher with 300+ home runs as your 3rd string catcher = priceless.

He'd probably pass through waivers and for the pure mystique of seeing #31 back in Mets pinstripes would be priceless. Who's with me?

Mets one of three teams to get Gagne

According to ESPN.com's Buster Olney, it's down to the Brewers, Red Sox and Mets for those in the hunt for Eric Gagne. Sorry Yankees. Ok, I'm not sorry.

However the Brewers and Mets are both pessimistic about getting Gagne which means that the Red Sox may be the front runners.

I've heard nothing on the radio, TV or online about just who on the Mets the Rangers are looking for. I'm assuming it's the usual suspects of Gomez, Milledge, etc. But who do the Brewers or Red Sox have that are comparable?

Very curious to see what happens. Only 3.5 hours left.

Brad Wilkerson to the Mets?

Metsblog.com is reporting that the Mets are talking to the Texas Rangers about OF Brad Wilkerson, not Eric Gagne.

What? Why? Huh?

This baffles me as much as their interest in Jay Payton. If they're looking for mediocre experienced outfielders I think Shawn Green, Ricky Ledee and even Marlon Anderson fit that bill.

If they get Wilkerson for the often coveted Player To Be Named Later that I can deal with, but I wouldn't trade a AA prospect for Wilkerson. I don't see him bringing any real value.

Focus Omar. Relief Pitching!

A Deal for Rauch or Cordero Will Happen

According to Mets Fever, some sort of deal involving Chad Cordero and John Rauch will happen before the trade deadline. Whether it will be with the Mets or another ball club is still in question, but it looks like the Nationals are ready to move these guys.

The good news is Mets Fever's source are saying that the Nationals are definitely interested in prospects. Now I wouldn't give the Nats Gomez, Milledge, Martinez, or Gotay, but I would give them Pelfrey, especially for Cordero.

The Mets could easily sign either of these guys after the season and both are pretty young so it's not like you're paying for some burned out arm.

The one thing I don't want to see is either of these guys go to the Braves. That would be a problem as the Mets have historically had trouble against Cordero.

NL East is Hurting

The NL East is in need of a medic and that might be why the trade rumors around the league are mostly about NL East teams. The Mets have Lo Duca banged up, Beltran ready to go on the DL, and Alou could be gone on any given day. The Phillies lost Chase Utley & Ryan Madson and now Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn are out.

While the Braves aren't necessarily injured, they went from being in second place and a game and half out to being in third place in the matter of a week.

And so the trade rumor mill turns.

The Braves are rumored to be getting Octavio Dotel to add to Mark Teixeira. The Phillies added Tad Iguchi. The Mets got Luis Castillo and are looking for another arm in the bullpen.

So it should be a busy day. I hear Victor Zambrano is available.

Texas Wants Gomez for Gagne

According to the Daily News, both the Mets and Yankees are hot on Gagne. The Rangers have requested Carlos Gomez but so far, Omar has rebuffed that offer. I really hope he does not panic because of what Atlanta did yesterday and over pay for this guy.

Again, I think he'd be a perfct fit here in Queens, but I don't want to give up Carlos Gomez for someone who is prone to injury and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Plus, Gagne will almost certainly sign with antoher team so he can be a closer. Is it worth it? Tough call for Omar, but I'd bail out on this one.

300 & 300?

Is it ironic that the movie 300 is being released on DVD the same day Tom Glavine goes for career win number 300 or is it fate?

I hope it's the latter. The trading deadline acquisition of Luis Castillo and some of the other rumors surrounding the Mets has allowed Glavine to focus on tonight's game instead of dealing with a ton of reporters. Yesterday's USAToday ran a great story on Tom Glavine, but other than that there's really been no hoopla surrounding this momentous achievement.

Glavine has not been the pitcher the Mets thought they were getting, but he has been a solid arm in the rotation who has been quietly adding wins to his resume. Glavine had the bad luck of joining the Mets right as they were heading back to oblivion which probably hurt his chances of winning 300 sooner. For that I do honestly feel for Glavine.

There's a lot being said about will this be the last pitcher to win 300 games in his career. If it is I will say it will be remarkable that we were able to witness the last of his class to take the mound at Shea. Glavine is not Tom Seaver or Doc Gooden, but he proves that a man who knows his craft and continues to work at it will have a stellar, Hall of Fame career.

I trust that Glavine will win tonight and the Mets will make every effort to give him an early lead to work with. But I'd much rather see Glavine not just win tonight, but win for us in October as well.

Good luck, Tommy.

Prospects on the Block?

Phillip Humber did not make his scheudled start last night while blue chip prospect, Fernando Martinez, was taken out of the game after one AB.

Could Omar be planning a blockbuster?

I just hope he doesn't give them up for Gagne who I would love to have, but that would be too much. Unless Oswalt is involved, I'd take my chances with what the Mets have and hold on to Martinez. Although, one of the three prized outfielders, Milledge, Gomez and Martinez is certainly expendable at this point.

Monday, July 30, 2007

First Castillo, Next Gagne?

So now we have an official, solid, All Star second baseman in Luis Castillo. We welcome Castillo with open arms and an official spot at #2 in the top of the order (I still love you Gotay).

But as any good New Yorker would ask, what's next? Bullpen help should be the answer. The Yanks, Mets, and Red Sox are all pushing for Eric Gagne. What I did not realize until just a few minutes ago thanks to ESPN is that Gagne can block trades to any number of teams, except the Mets and Yankees.

Now I'd much rather have Chad Cordero than Eric Gagne, but the asking price for Cordero is too high in Milledge. Gagne is not the reliever we used to know, but he can still get the job done. The Mets need to pick up some bullpen help. If it's not Chad Bradford or Chad Cordero, I'd like it to be Gagne even over Dotel. That may be because of the bad taste Dotel left in my mouth the last time he was a Met but I have feeling that Gagne can still be a gamer and would thrive in the NY spotlight.

The Mets have more to offer than the Yanks do, but never underestimate George Steinbrenner. On the other hand, we do have Omar Minaya.

As long as we don't give up Milledge, Gomez, Gotay or Martinez, I'm interested in Gagne.

Pedro Declares Himself 100% Healthy

The news coming from Florida is good. Pedro Martinez said today that he will pitch in a game for the St. Lucie Mets on Wednesday. "I don't know how I'm going to be,'' Martinez said. "I just know I feel better than the last two years or so. ... Every time I throw I bounce back really quickly. Right now, I'm 100 percent healthy.''

Pedro said he wants to get back for the Mets and their fans. "I'm a very proud man when it comes to this job,'' Pedro Martinez said today. "And my job is the most serious thing I could probably have right now apart from my family's health and my health. I feel like I owe it to this organization and to the fans.''

I'll believe when I see it and I still have no expectations for his return, but I'd be lying if I didn't say this gets me psyched up. Shea Stadium will be rocking if he returns.

Be well, Pedro. Be well.

Castillo Acquisition Reflection of Struggling Offense

The Mets have acquired Luis Castillo from the Minnesota Twins for a pair of minor-leaguers, Double-A C Drew Butera and Single-A OF Dustin Martin.

All in all, this is a good move for the Mets. Castillo is a solid veteran and will fit right into the two spot in the lineup behind Reyes. While he doesn't steal bases like he used, he's still a pesky hitter and plays a solid second base. While I like Gotay, I'm just not sure he's ready to play everyday and provide the consistency this lineup needs, not too mention, his defense was a liability and could have hurt us in the post season (if we're fortunate to make it).

Make no mistake though, this move is more indicative of an underachieving offense that has struggled for the better part of two months now. If guys were hitting the way they are supposed to (Beltran, Delgado, Lo Duca and even Wright to an extent) the Mets could have lived with Gotay in this lineup. Unfortunately for Gotay, this team is geared to win now (and are set up well for the future) and they cannot afford to see what type of player they have in him right now. If it were last season, absolutely. This year, different story. Period.

To view Castillo's stats, click here.

Luis Castillo to the Mets for Peanuts?

I'm too excited to even type write now. Via Metsblog.com, word is that Luis Castillo is very close to being traded to the Mets for two minor leaguers (what?).

Matthew Cerrone writes: "According to Dan Graziano and Ed Price at the Star-Ledger, the two minor-league players could possibly be Double-A C Drew Butera and Single-A OF Dustin Martin." (are you kidding?)

Was Omar Minaya last seen wearing a mask because he's robbing the Twins! I hope this isn't just a bad joke because if the Mets can get Luis Castillo without losing my man crush, Ruben Gotay, or any of our top pitching prospects, that's as close to a no-brainer trade as there ever was.

Make it happen Omar! Reyes & Castillo at the top of the order, and Gotay can fill in as a pinch hitter! Love it.

Paul Lo Duca is the Mets Man of Steel

Paul Lo Duca won't let an injured hamstring stop him from catching Tom Glavine's shot at 300 wins.

According to Newsday: "I will catch that game," said Lo Duca, who sat out the Mets' rain-shortened 5-0 win over the Nationals after getting an MRI. "I'll be out there."

That's our boy Lo Duca, manning up. He leads by example. That's what I like to see.

Braves to Trade for Mark Teixeira

The Braves have added some more pop to their lineup. Or at least they will by tomorrow morning.

According to ESPN.com: "A preliminary agreement has been reached between the teams for Atlanta to receive Teixeira and left-handed reliever Ron Mahay from Texas for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, minor league shortstop Elvis Andrus and two minor league pitchers."

Since the departure of Adam LaRoche, the Braves have been looking for a power 1st baseman and got possibly the best one available.

This trade doesn't bother me that much. I'm glad to see Saltalamacchia leave the division. I really like that kid and would love to see the Mets make a move to get him if possible. The Braves pitching is what scares me. Adding another bat to the lineup doesn't change much for me. As long as the Braves don't get another starting pitcher, I'll still feel confident that the Mets can take the Braves down the stretch.

Mets Trade Rumors: Luis Castillo

Bryan and I had a pre-lunch discussion about the current Mets situation including the recent trade rumors about Luis Castillo from the Twins. Castillo is a pesky guy who I've always hated having to face. I remember when the Marlins had Juan Pierre & Luis Castillo at the top of their lineup and them just being a pain in the neck to get out.

If the Mets traded for Castillo they would have that same type of scenario with Reyes & Castillo at the top of the order. Luis Castillo is the ideal #2 hitter. He can get hits, bunt, and plays solid defense. The Twins would probably want a young pitcher and a guy like Gotay or Gomez for Castillo who is only 31.

I hate to give up Gotay, but Castillo is still putting up solid numbers and is a proven hitter/fielder. I'm torn, honestly.

I do think that the Mets needed to add a pitcher rather than a hitter to their lineup. Preferably a relief pitcher. Aaron Selee is wasting space in the bullpen, and I've lost confidence in Guillermo Mota. Don't even get me started about Blowenweiss.

I'm hoping they can do something to get Chad Cordero, but if Luis Castillo is a prospect and a Double A pitcher away from becoming a Met, I think they have to jump on it.

Fresh Trade Buzz

Trade talks are heating up as the deadline nears. For the latest rumors on the Mets, click here.

Ramon Castro: El Capitan

Call him whatever you like, but Ramon Castro to me is now "El Capitan." Ramon Castro continues to impress pretty much everyone with his bat this year. But not to be overlooked is that Castro calls a good game and plays well defensively too.

Did anyone notice that for the last few games Castro's intro music when he bats it is "The Imperial March" from Star Wars (a.k.a. Darth Vader's intro music). I love it. Not sure if it's a play off of Pedro Martinez's nickname for Castro, which is Bucket Head, or if it's the fact that he seems to smack the ball hard every time he swings the bat.

Castro's 400+ ft. home run yesterday was a spectacle to behold. He killed it amidst the pouring rain. On a clear day it would have hit that huge black structure that sits in center field (does that thing really serve any purpose?).

While I hate to see the Mets suffer another injury in Lo Duca, I do like the idea of El Capitan getting some more at bats. Castro is not the greatest pinch hitter. He needs to be in the flow of the game to perform.

If only he were a little bast quicker. I think he's arguably the slowest man in baseball. He's slower than Julio Franco's bat, which is saying something.

But it doesn't matter if he keeps crushing home runs and hitting with runners in scoring position. Keep it up, El Capitan.

Man Crush on Ruben Gotay

There are a few men that I openly admit I have a man crush on: Jack Bauer (no, not Keiffer), Mark Wahlberg (ever since Three Kings), David Boreanaz (Angel/Bones), and now Ruben Gotay.

If you don't know what a man crush is, here's a link to an article discussing the topic, but it's basically an affection from one heterosexual male to another. And Ruben Gotay has my admiration from this point further. Now my man crush has nothing to do with Gotay's looks although some may find him handsome. But it is more about what he has done for me lately (I'm very needy).

Gotay has been a consistent bat in the lineup since he was called up in June. The man is batting .350 with a slugging percentage over .500. And it seems that every time he is up and a man is on second there's a base hit to score a run. Gotay has been clutch. He has been smart at the plate.

Ok, so his fielding needs some help, but Gotay recognizes that and he's been seen working with Sandy Alomar, Sr. for hours before games working on turning the double play. That's what I love to see.

I find myself getting psyched when Gotay gets up to the plate. I even giggle a little when he gets a 2-0 count because I know that next pitch is going to be slapped into the gap for a base hit. I like Ruben Gotay batting #2 behind Reyes. It gives the Mets so many options. He can do a hit & run. He can let Reyes steal second and get him in with a slap to right-center. He can bunt. The options are endless.

I hate it when Willie Randolph bats Gotay eighth. I think it shatters his confidence, but he still performs! Bat him anywhere at this point.

Now a year from now I might look back at this and so Ruben who? But for now I'm riding this Gotay train wherever it takes me. Forget these trade talks for second basemen. Tell Damion Easley and Anderson Hernandez to find the leftovers from seat cushion day because they're going to be sitting on the bench for a long time.

My man Ruben Gotay is taking over.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Trade Rumors

For the best rumors about trades, check out mlbtraderumors.com. I am addicted to it especially at this time of year. For Mets fans, you have to see the latest buzz coming from the rumor mill.

A Win and A Nice 1-2-3 Punch

Glad we were able to get a “W” today as John Maine was back to form, throwing 5 shut out innings in a rained-shortened game. Reyes was the spark plug, proving once again that when he gets on, the Mets are close to unbeatable. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come for him.

Jose hit two doubles, scored two runs and stole third base. Lastings Milledge got the scoring started when he singled in Reyes for the first run of the game. David Wright added a run scoring sinlge later, while Ramon Castro hit a 420 ft. blast to center field. I’m looking forward to seeing him get more playing time.

I have to say, I really like seeing Reyes, Milledge and Wright at the top of the order. For one thing, it’s a sweet realization that these three home grown stars are playing together, not too mention, hitting right after one another, but it also makes sense. Hitting Milledge before Wright allows him to see more fastballs and get better pitches to hit while giving the Mets a pretty speedy 1-2-3 punch to kick start the game.

When Beltran eventually returns, Randolph will most likely put him back in the 3rd slot, which I don’t have a big problem with, but I just hope he doesn’t put Milledge in the 8th spot anymore. I think we’ve seen enough from Milledge that he needs to be up in the lineup. And right now, I like him batting second.

Terrible Decision by Randolph

What was Willie Randolph thinking last night? He made one of the worst decisions in managerial history (the worst I’ve ever seen) when he decided to use two players in one at bat. Yes, you read that correctly. He literally used up two guys on one play.

In the 7th inning, when Lo Duca pulled up lame at second base, Randolph put El Duque in to pinch run for him, and with the pitcher due up, he inexplicably chose to bat Marlon Anderson - against a lefty no less – rather than put Ramon Castro up and save Anderson for later in the game. Instead, Anderson hits, and Castro replaced Lo Duca in the top half of the inning. I could not believe what I was watching. A major league manager is making this mistake? The blunder is even worse when you consider that Anderson was the last player available – and they were only in the 7th inning! Everyone in the building, watching from home, or listening on their radio assumed Castro was coming in. Even Ramon figured as much since he had his helmet on, bat in hand. It was shocking.

"Anderson is a professional pinch-hitter. I'd rather have him in that situation," Randolph said. "If I'd had Castro pinch-hit there, they'd have brought in setup man Jon Rauch." Uh…really?

So what? I’d rather have a scorching hot Castro face Rauch than Anderson facing a lefty. And guess what? I’d still have Anderson to pinch hit later in the game, rather than ending up with Tom Glavine in that spot. In fact, I don’t care if there were two or three guys remaining on the bench, why use two for one? As fas as I am concerned, Castro was the only choice. And after all, the Mets were carrying three catchers for a few weeks specifically to allow Castro to get pinch hit ABs. If this wasn’t one of those opportunities, then I don’t know what was.

It was simply an awful decision in what has become a very questionable season for Randolph, who was runner up for manager of the year last year. I’ve been a big supporter of Randolph's, but even I am starting to see the flaws.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Is Beltran Injury A Blessing in Disguise?

As I predicted in an earlier post, Beltran's abdominal injury appears to be one of those injuries that will plague Beltran for the rest of the year. He might not return to the lineup until next Tuesday, and the Mets are even considering the DL.

It's just another woe in what has become an interesting season. Or is it?

Of course when you hear the name Beltran and injury, you think it's got to be a blow to the Mets lineup. But I beg to differ. We haven seen Beltran struggle mightily at the plate and he as been Mr. Anti-Clutch with runners in scoring position.

With Beltran out, it allows my new favorite outfielder, Everlastings Thrilledge (i.e. Lastings Milledge), to play his native position of center field. Milledge can look out of place at time in left which is a position he is still learning, but I believe that since he is more comfortable in the field it will also make him more comfortable at the plate.

Milledge is already having a great homestand batting over .400 with 2 home runs. And is there anyone on the Mets who has performed better with 2 outs and runners in scoring position? Even this Saturday afternoon against the Nationals, with Delgado on third and Castro on 1st with 2 outs, Milledge crushed the ball off the left field fence to score Delgado.

Now imagine what would have happened if Beltran was up?

Beltran is an asset to any ball club, but I think having him out and allowing Milledge to play every day in his native position may be just what the Mets need.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Misperception from the Media

Why does everyone keep saying the Mets are pinning their hopes on the return of Pedro Martinez? I heard this on Mike & Mike, I heard Michael Kay talking about this with Peter Gammons, and I read it in an article in the paper last week. I’m not so sure they’re getting this right and it’s a little annoying they keep harping on it.

Does the Mets orgnaization hope Pedro returns? Of course they do. Are they putting all of their eggs in one basket as someone said recently? No, they are not. It’s not like Omar and company are sitting there so totally confident he’s going to return and be dominating again. No one has said anything remotely like that, but you can bet they’re praying for it.

Just because the Mets aren’t out there in the trade market dealing guys foolishly for mediocre pitchers doesn’t mean they think Pedro is their savior. Quite the contrary, as Omar has inquired about Oswalt and most likely Willis (although he has dropped off dramatically in the last year and a half). So what do these people expect? Do they want the Mets to trade Lastings Milledge for Jose Contreras? Will that mean they’re not relying on Pedro? Of course not, it just means they won’t make a dumb deal. Do they want Omar to come out and say "We're not confident Pedro will return this season..."?

The reality is, Omar is playing this perfectly, much like he did in the off season when he didn’t panic and throw big bucks at the Jeff Suppan’s and Jeff Weaver’s of the world. Probably the best move was the one he didn’t make and that was not signing Barry Zito to an albatross of a contract. In case anyone missed it, the Mets starting rotation is pretty darn good and if you strip away that 5th spot come post season (if we’re fortunate to make it), they have as good a rotation as anyone – even without Pedro. Keep in mind; we didn’t lose the NLCS last year because of our pitching, we lost because we didn’t hit.

Uninspiring Effort as Nats Defeat Mets

Well it’s good to be home, but no so good watching tonight’s game as the Mets reverted back to their sleep walking ways. Once again, the bats were silenced by another mid-level pitcher. Mike Bacisk, a former Met, threw 7 innings and allowed only 2 runs as the Nationals evened the season series 3-3.

Even the long-awaited return of Moises Alou couldn’t help energize this bunch, although he did hit a double off the wall and lined out hard to deep left. David Wright looked really clueless, or rather tired as he went 0-3 with a strikeout and a feeble ground out with, yet again, men on base. I love David but every time I see his stats flashed on the screen, I’m amazed he only has 62 RBIs.

The Jorge Sosa honeymoon is just about over. After a surprisingly good start at 6-1, Sosa is 1-5, with a terrible ERA. He is just serving the ball up similar to what BP looks like for hitters. Maybe he gets one more start but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pelfrey takes over that slot until Pedro returns (fingers crossed).

So with the home stand off to another slow start, it is important for the Mets to win at least 2 of the next 3 in order to save face and have a winning home stand. And just for the record, going 4-3 against Pittsburgh and Washington is pretty inexcusable for this club, but then again, I’m getting used to this consistently inconsistent season. From the looks of it, the Mets are too.

Everlastings Thrilledge

Call him colorful. Call him flamboyant. Call him Rickey Henderson's protege. But I will deem him, Everlastings Thrilledge.

Let me be frank with you. I wanted to trade Lastings Milledge last year for Barry Zito. I would have done it a second. But now Thrilledge is causing me to reconsider.

This year Milledge is batting a respectable .262, but what gets me is his slugging percentage is .452. At this point I wouldn't mind seeing Milledge bat 5th or 6th in the lineup because he tends to have a knack for getting hits with runners on base.

Sure he's a little cocky and maybe he should calm down since he's really just a rookie, but at this point that's out the window. Willie Randolph might not treat him like one of his top players, but Milledge is certainly performing like one.

It makes me think of the day when Thrilledge and Gomez are at the corners of the outfield. Keep up the energy Everlastings Thrilledge. We'll need it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bad Break for Phils

All Star second baseman, Chase Utley broke his hand today when he was hit by a pitch in the 5th inning. It is uncertain how long Utley will be out but he was quoted as saying he'd be back before a month.

While I hate the Phillies, I have great respect for Chase Utley and admire the way he plays the game. This is a huge loss for the Phillies. The Mets need to take advantage and create some daylight.

To read more, click here.

A Call to Arms II

Forget Belliard, forget Dye. The biggest need for this team, as I posted last month, is the bullpen. In case you haven’t heard, a struggling Joe Smith was sent back down to AAA today and brought up Jon Adkins.

Message to Omar: Get two quality arms in this pen or else we will rue the day come October that we did not upgrade when we had the chance. I cannot stress this enough, we need better arms out there come this post season, if we are fortunate enough to be in it.

By the way, I really liked Joe Smith. I’m sure we’ll see him again this year.

Bad News Looming?

According to the Dallas Morning News, the Atlanta Braves are in serious discussions with Texs to acquire Mark Teixeira. The Braves would give up top prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a couple of pitching prospects.

Ok, if an inconsistent two months of baseball doesn't have me nervous enough, this deal does. If the Braves pull this off and add a bat like Teixeira's, the Mets are going to have a serious contender on their hands. He would be the perfect fit for that organization and something tells me it's going to happen, especially since Saltamacchia is expendable because they have McCann behind the dish.

Side note to this story: The Braves have a left-handed pitching prospect named
lefty Jo-Jo Reyes.

Mets Trade Rumors: Ronnie Belliard

This is the first rumor that I actually cringed when I heard. It appears Omar Minaya is interested in more than just one Washington National (why?). Chad Cordero tops the list but Mark Hale of the New York Post writes that second baseman Ronnie Belliard is one of the top choices for the Mets as a possible replacement infielder (again, why?).

Hale writes, "The Mets believe Belliard's the best offense-defense combination as they try to replace Jose Valentin. . ." What!?!?!?!

I refuse to believe this. You mean to tell me Ronnie Belliard is a better option that Mark Loretta or just sticking with Ruben Gotay? Are you on crack?

Don't recite to me Belliard's numbers. Yes, his stats are good for this year, but I'm not buying that he's the right mix for this ballclub. I'd rather stick with Gotay, give him another 100 at bats, than trading for an over-priced Belliard.

Not to mention the fact that my wife would refuse to watch another Mets game. Every game of the NLCS last year, my wife would ask me, "Who's that guy sticking out his tongue like a lizard? What's his problem? He's gross."

And honestly, I have to agree with her.

I'm chalking this up to just another notch in the rumor mill because I'd get too upset if it wasn't.

Nady's Revenge

Xavier Nady stuck it to the Mets this afternoon with a big hit in the 6th inning. Oliver Perez found himself in trouble after a few infield hits and a throwing error, but he got the next two batters out only to have Nady rip a single off of David Wright's glove which opened the flood gates.

After that Pittsburgh scored a couple in the 7th to secure the win. Tough outing for Perez who was stellar in the first 5 innings retiring 11 in a row at one point.

I hate these kind of games. Not only did you lose to the Pirates, but you lost after 2 dominating nights. I do love the way the Mets are manufacturing runs lately. This scenario in the first inning shows just how much importance Jose Reyes plays in the Mets lineup. The Mets took the leadin the first inning when Reyes led off with a single and stole second. He moved to third on an infield out and scored on a sacrifice fly by Wright. That's beautiful baseball.

But I tip my hat to Nady who I felt really bad for last year, getting trade from a title contender to a bottom feeder. When the Mets traded Mike Cameron for him, I remember thinking, "Who in the world is this Nady guy?" But after watching him play for the Mets and Pirates I have come to really like how he plays. And it might be just me but he seems like a really nice guy off the field too.

Enjoy your moment Xavier Nady. Now the Mets need to start up again with the Nationals tomorrow. No more losses allowed on this home stand.

Mike Piazza Gets Hit in Head by Fan, Then Gets Payback

Via Metsblog.com, I came across this story about Mike Piazza getting hit in the head with a water bottle that was thrown by a fan. The fan was escorted from the stadium and then Piazza proceeded to hit a game tying single and really stick it to the Angels and their fans.

Nobody messes with Mike Piazza and gets away with it. NOBODY.

I wonder if he's available before the trading deadline? How sweet would that be to add Piazza to the roster for a playoff run. You think the A's want Ricky Ledee back?

Carlos Beltran: Here We Go Again

Carlos Beltran did not play last night due to a strained abdominal muscle during batting practice.

Here we go again. When Carlos Beltran gets a minor injury it's like a validation for him to not perform. He's got something he gain blame his swing on, and it's often a minor injury that he balloons into needing a week off.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying he's not hurt. He probably is, but this makes me wonder about his performance the rest of the season. Some have speculated that he's been injured the entire season and that's why his numbers are down. I disagree because I've seen him track down more fly balls this year than any other and he doesn't look hurt in the field, just at the plate.

Between Alou, Chavez, Gomez, Beltran, & Gumby (Green) the Mets outfield could fill up an entire hospital wing. I hope Beltran is able to get back on track quickly, but it makes me uncomfortable to think about his performance heading into August.

How Much Do You Trust Tom Glavine?

Tom Glavine is one win away from 300, but last night with a 6-0 lead I had a bit of deja vu from the Dodgers game where Glavine didn't last 3 innings with a 6-0 lead in the first. And this got me thinking.

How much do I trust Tom Glavine?

I'll be ecstatic when he gets win #300 with the Mets, but there's something about Glavine's pitching that makes me worry. He's never been overpowering, and he still has a great breaking ball.

But if you were to have one Mets pitcher on the mound for a big game, you think you'd want it to be Tom Glavine. But I know that the majority of you right now would pick another pitcher.

El Duque has blown some games, Oliver Perez has given up some home runs, and even John Maine has pitched badly. But somehow we know that they will come back and perform in a tight spot, especially El Duque.

That can't be said for Tom Glavine right now, at least in my mind. He's playoff tested, one of the smartest pitchers in the game, but if you told me the Mets season was riding on the performance of Tom Glavine on any given night, I'd be a little nervous.

Please prove me wrong Tommy. Bring a no-hitter to the Mets for win #300.

Milledge Time too Much for Opposing Teams?

This just in: Lastings Milledge is a showboat. He likes to mix in a celebratory move & groove when he does something good…or when his teammate hits a home run, and that doesn’t sit well opposing teams. For the second time in as many nights, Milledge was drilled by a Pirates pitcher for acting what his manager thought “…a little overzealous.”

The fact is, if the guy produces I don’t care. I don’t mind guys if they talk the talk as long as they can walk the walk. And so far, Milledge has been doing just that, which is perfectly fine with me. Play hard, give it 100% out there on the field, and we’ll love ya for it. He can be like Jeremy Shockey in that way; He’s the kind of player you hate on the other team, but you’d love to have him on yours. And I’m glad we have him.

For more on Milledge’s “colorful” style, read BEN SHPIGEL’s piece in the NY Times and in ANTHONY RIEBER's article in Newsday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Reenactment of John Maine's First Career Home Run

By way of Metsblog.com, I came across this video which recreates John Maine's first career home run using a modified version of MVP baseball 2005 for PC.

I love this kind of stuff and I'm jealous that I didn't think of doing this first.

Mets Trade Rumors: Hints, Allegations, & Things Left Unsaid

Ah, July trade rumors. They blow in and out as quickly as Lindsey Lohan enters rehab.
It seems there's a never ending stream of possible trades and what ifs surrounding the Mets almost every year. But you know what? 99% of them are pure speculation or just rumors.

Need an example? I present to you the 2006 trade of Xavier Nady for Roberto Hernandez & Oliver Perez. Do you remember ever hearing anything about that trade? I sure don't. The Mets traded a guy who had been solid all year for an aging veteran and youngster who had fallen off the radar.

Was it a great trade? Turned out to be very beneficial to the Mets in the fact that Hernandez pitched well down the stretch and Oliver Perez has been the surprise of the century (although I would love to still have Nady in right field these days). But the thing is the real trades go under the radar until it actually happens.

That doesn't make trade rumors any less fun, but I've got to ground myself in some reality. Like I can't go on believing that Moises Alou will actually play baseball again. Can I?

Philadelphia Paper Says Mets' Demise Is Exaggerated

In the Philadelphia Daily News this morning, Paul Hagen wrote an article titled, "Mets' Demise Greatly Exaggerated." The article goes on to talk about how those waiting for the Mets to crumble will find themselves sitting at home during the playoffs. Hagen goes on to compare stats from last year's dominant Mets team to this year and noting that there's not much difference, but rather the other NL East teams just got better.

I was truly at a loss for words after reading this article. The main reason being that it came from a PHILADELPHIA paper. I fear for this guy's life if he goes to Citizens Bank Park in the coming week.

But he laid out the facts and as a Mets Lifer, I was surprised at how similar the performance of this year's team compares to last year. At this point last year the Mets had only won 3 more games than they have this year. Of course the Mets had an 11.5 game lead, but that was because every other NL East team was under .500.

I never thought I'd feel better after reading an article from a Phillies' beat reporter, but I do.

Moises Alou: They Call Me Mr. Glass

I think Moises Alou has been hanging around with Carl Pavano because this is getting ridiculous. Moises Alou was scheduled to return to the Mets lineup on Tuesday only to pull himself from returning due to an unexplainable shoulder injury.

It appears that during a rehab start with the Brooklyn Cyclones, Alou swung the bat and tweaked something in his shoulder (I told you to take your Centrum Silver). So Alou didn't want to rush back and injure himself even more (i.e. hypochondriac).

The real question mark for the Mets is they need to know if Alou is going to be able to play for the rest of the season before the trade deadline in case they have a deal in mind to pick up an extra bat.

I can't help it, but Moises Alou is starting to remind me of Samuel L. Jackson's character from the movie Unbreakable (if you haven't seen the movie, go to Blockbuster right now and rent it). Jackson's character, Elijah Price, has a severe case of brittle bone disease so he gets the name "Mr. Glass" from the kids who tease him.

Moises Alou is our Mr. Glass.

John Maine Gives Great Start to Home Stand

Any time your pitcher delivers the biggest blast of the night, you know it's a good night. John Maine was stellar both on the mound and at the plate last night going 7 innings and only allowing 2 runs while picking up 2 RBIs on his first home run of the year.

He looked like he took a Beltran swing on that home run. Both hands on the bat with a solid follow through. It was picture perfect for a guy who normally looks like Mr. Magoo at the plate.

The youngsters played exceptionally well last night, specifically Gotay and Milledge. Gotay has got to be the best hitter for the Mets with runners in scoring position. In the first inning with the Mets down 1-0 and Reyes on second, Gotay comes through with a double down the third base line.

Lastings Milledge added some icing to the cake with a 2 run blast to make it 8-2. The great part about Lastings is that every home run he hits, he does the Manny Ramirez "stop and stare" before remembering that Willie Randolph is going to clean his clock if he doesn't start running. I love it.

One down, two go. Keep it rolling.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mets vs. Pirates Series Preview

If you want to get geared up for the upcoming Mets vs. Pirates series, take a trip over to Mets Today who does a nice job previewing the entire series.

There is so much detail in that post it's hard to take it all in, but it does get me geared up for some baseball against a former great opponent turned bottom dweller.

Although it is the Pirates, they're still throwing their top three hurlers at the Mets in Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, and Paul Maholm. Ok, so it's not Maddux, Smoltz, & Hudson.

I know I've said it before, but it's important to reiterate it. You have to beat the teams you're suppose to beat in order to have a successful season. This series is a perfect example of that point.

Let's separate the men from the boys. Lets Go Mets.

The Greatest Need for the Mets Is

What is the Mets' greatest need? Starting pitching? Never hurts. Bullpen help? Another solid arm would be nice. Another bat? Possibly. Bench help? Maybe Julio Franco is available.

The answer is none of those and all of them. The real need for the Mets is a winning streak.

Now I'm not talking about those 3 or 4 game winning streaks. I'm talking about a 6 or 7 game winning streak, or something like winning 15 out of your last 18. That's what the Mets need, and now is the perfect time to do it.

Last year it was during a West coast swing that the Mets rattled off a 10 game winning streak in route to a dominating regular season. With the Pirates and Nationals visiting Shea, these are the series that can steamroll into a greater winning streak.

The Braves, Phillies and Marlins are all within striking distance, but none of them have had a winning streak like what I'm talking about. The first team that rattles of a long win streak will be the one poised to take the lead down the stretch.

Winning is contagious, and it does wonders for clubhouse morale. Let's start tonight.


If you've got a couple minutes to spare over your lunch break today, check out DavidWrightOrWrong.com. It is a great waste of a few minutes for the Mets Lifer.

David Wright is a marketable commodity, but I think it's his personality more than his talent that makes him so. When on DavidWrightOrWrong.com you get to play a little trivia game that asks you to answer as if you were David Wright and see if you answers match his.

There are some hilarious questions like "Would David Wright rather wear wet underwear or wet socks?" or "Does David Wright prefer blondes, brunettes or redheads?" The great part is it doesn't just give you David Wright's answer, but actually shows a video with David Wright explaining his response.

I have to tip my hat to Vitamin Water for putting this together. They combine videos of Wright with videos of fans to make an entertaining website. You won't be disappointed.

Want to Be an Angry Mets Fan?

We're Mets fans. Of course we want to be angry. Happiness has eluded us for quite some time. Check out Bleeding Orange & Blue as he takes note of a few reasons that Mets fans have to be angry about.

There's an interesting take on "Mets Prospects" and we're reminded of the fact that Anderson Hernandez was once considered a better prospect than Robinson Canoe.

Sorry, I just fell off my chair.

Time for the Mets to Get Phat

With the next seven games at home against Pittsburgh and Washington, it’s time for the Mets to eat up the competition; get phat and bolster their record while extending their lead in the East. If they are truly hungry to make it back to the post season, they need to keep the momentum going. And with the Pirates and Nationals sitting on the menu, there’s no reason not to indulge in these two juicy, chock-full-of-calories, ¼ pound burgers. 6-1, nothing less.

Mets Trade Rumors: Tadahito Iguchi

Second base has become the latest trade rumors. In this morning's New York Post, Mark Hale writes about the Mets interest in adding a second baseman who could bat second. Tadahito Iguchi appears to be the top choice, but Mets brass is reluctant to part with any of their top prospects.

Other second base options include former Met, Ty Wigginton, or San Fran's Ray Durham.

Personally, I was sad to see Ty Wigginton go a couple years ago, but I'm not sure he's the type of player I'd trade for. At this point I'm ready to stick with Gotay and bring in Anderson Hernandez or Damion Easley as defensive replacements. I'm still pulling for a Mark Loretta deal, but other than that Iguchi, Wigginton & Durham are not guys I'd want to deal prospects for.

So Ruben Gotay, get to Shea early and start practicing some fielding drills and turning double plays. It's your starting spot to lose.

O Pedro, Where Art Thou?

The Mets are a team of constant sorrow this year. You'd think we were in last place, but even atop the NL East standings there are times of trouble and disappointment. As much as Jorge Sosa has helped the team this year, I'm anxious for him to step aside and see the return of an old friend.

Pedro Martinez.

Pedro pitched a simulated game yesterday and is scheduled to begin his rehab starts in the minors in the coming week. So if my calculations are correct, assuming he spends a month rehabbing, he'll be back at Shea around August 23rd.

That's a little later than they were projecting for most of this season, but it is just in time for the home stretch in September. But by then will it be too late? Let's say the Mets don't pick up another pitcher before the trading deadline because they are awaiting Pedro's return. What happens if he's not up to par? I guess we're stuck with Jorge Sosa, Mike Pelfrey or Dave Williams (please, no Vargas).

It's a chance the Mets are taking and it may work out. Even still, I'm anxious to see Pedro in the dugout and on the mound.

I guess even a little Pedro is better than a lot of Sosa.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mets Trade Rumors: Chad Cordero

There is a list of Mets Killers that I have tucked away in the corners of my mind. Terry Pendleton, Mike Soscia, Chipper Jones, Pat Burrell, etc.

Chad Cordero is on the list as well. Although he has spent his career with the bottom dwelling Nationals, it seems he is lights out against the Mets. So if you can't beat him should you have him join you?

Rumors are swirling that the Mets are interested in acquiring Chad Cordero from the Nationals to help secure their bullpen. Now Cordero has been the marquee closer for the Nationals, but if he were with the Mets he'd be an 8th inning guy. The Nationals would want cheap, young talent in return so you're probably looking at a Milledge plus a Pelfrey or Heilman.

I hate Cordero for the sole fact that he doesn't bend the bill of his cap, but his pitching is solid. However, he's never played in anything remotely close to a big game while with the Nationals and he doesn't seem like the "nerves of steel" type of relief pitcher that you'd like to see, especially in the Big Apple.

Heilman teased us with a lights out performance yesterday, but I still need more proof that he's the 8th inning guy we want. If we didn't have to give up Milledge, I'd be more inclined to look at Cordero, but he does have some nasty stuff.

Moises Alou Come Play Left Field

Note: The meter of this little diddy is based on the nursery rhyme, "Little Boy Blue"

Moises Alou come play left field.
We trust you are better
And still have a bat you can wield.

We've missed your presence
In the middle of the order.
But we know arthritis can be tough,
And memory is lost as you get older.

We'll see you at Shea
In just another few days
And we hope you remember
That's it left field you play.

So welcome back, OLD friend Alou
Now Milledge & Marlon will have nothing to do.
But it's okay, for RBIs are what we want,
And you're right hand bat will help us win a few.

Lessons Learned on a Mets West Coast Trip

The Mets escaped the clutches of California with a 4-3 road trip and even ended the trip with a stellar 10th inning victory over the Dodgers on Sunday. As I enjoy my morning coffee I contemplated what some of the lessons I've learned about the Mets on this West coast swing.

Lesson #1 - 300 wins is not guaranteed for Glavine
How embarrassing would that be? But after this week's pitching I can't discount anything. Glavine to me was always a second half pitcher. I don't know if it's anxiety, old age, or a lack of concentration but he needs to start winning. Soon.

Lesson #2 - David Wright likes 'em low, not high.
David Wright is the Atlas of this ball club. He puts the team on his shoulders and carries them to victory. But he's got to learn to hit the high fastball or just lay off it. Pitchers are burning him up in the zone. He's got the bat speed to hit it so I'm not sure why he's having problems. On the other hand, Wright is hitting balls in the dirt 400 ft. On at least 3 occasions Wright, pulled a Tiger Woods and tee'd a ball for a base hit that would have hit the plate.

Lesson #3 - Shawn Green should have his glove taken away from him.
This guy should not be allowed to pick up a glove in a close game. He's botched plenty of fly balls in right field this year, but yesterday took the cake. When he replace Delgado at 1st base and dropped Billy Wagner's perfect pickoff throw, I just about threw my remote through the TV. I could have sworn that was the game. Somebody buy this guy the Fred McGriff baseball training videos.

Lesson #4 - Billy Wagner can be clutch.
I'll be honest with you. I thought Billy was going to give up a game winning home run to Russell Martin in the 10th. After Juan Pierre got on and Green botched the pickoff, I thought it was over. But man did Wagner prove me wrong. He struck out the side to end the game with runners on second and third. After a couple walks, a wild pitch, and facing the Dodgers biggest clutch bat, Billy Wagner settled down and got the job done. That's what you want from a closer.

Lesson #5 - Chip Ambres is more clutch than Beltran & Delgado.
I know you're headed back down to Triple A, but man did you pull through yesterday. I tip my hat to you and you're the first guy named "Chip" that I think I've ever admired. Hope to see you in September.

Hero Likely to Be Sent Down

With Moises Alou set to come back Tuesday night, Chip Ambres, the unlikely hero in a thrilling extra inning victory against the Dodgers, will most likely be sent back to New Orelans.

“Having Carlos Beltr├ín and Tom Glavine come up to me and say thanks for picking us up — that’s a great feeling and one that I’ll always remember,” Ambres said.

Mets fans will remember as well, Chip. Let's hope we see you during September call-ups so we can give you your righful Shea Stadium ovation. Thanks for the huge "W".

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Baseball in Vancouver

It is rare that I am ever as disconnected from the Mets as I am right now. It doesn’t matter what type of function I have to go to, family gathering that I must attend; I always make it a point to have the game within reach, either by TV or radio. And even when some people think I’m ridiculous for this (maybe even annoyed), my wife fully understands and supports me, which makes her #1 in the wife department.

So, attending a business conference in Vancouver, I not only find myself 3,000 miles away from Shea, but I have to rely entirely on my blackberry to get the pitch-by-pitch, which is really slow because you have to refresh it every few seconds just to see the count change. Needless to say, it was an odd feeling tracking Sunday’s game “live” via this pitch-by-pitch mode. The last inning was agonizing. I kept hitting “refresh” over and over to see the outcome, and when the score changed from 4 to 5, I was pumping a fist…to what amounted to be text on a screen. For me, Chip Ambres is merely a name on the screen, as I don’t really know what he looks like. But what I do know is that he came through with a huge hit and helped propel us to a tremendous victory. Make no mistake, this win is big. Even all the way out here in Vancouver, I feel good.

Mets Trade Rumor: Mark Loretta

The Mets went from a surplus of second basemen to having second base become a question mark in the matter of two days. Jose Valentin is now pretty much done for the year, and Damion Easley is on bereavement leave.

Ruben Gotay has been stellar at the plate, but we've now discovered that he really isn't that great in the field as we saw in his game blowing double play error yesterday. Now the Mets are calling up Anderson Hernandez who is the second base version of Rey Ordonez both in the field and at the plate.

So an interesting trade proposition was brought up on WFAN this afternoon with Chris Carlin. What if the Mets made a deal to acquire Mark Loretta from the Astros? Not really I name I would think of, but the numbers made me think. Loretta is batting .401 with runners in scoring position, and batting .342 with runners in scoring position with two outs (I'm salivating).

Mark Loretta is a career .299 hitter with decent speed and a great glove (only 6 errors this year and 5 while he was playing out of position at shortstop). Since Loretta is not a marquee player and is not a spring chicken by any stretch I don't think it would take much to get him. The Astros are planning on rebuilding now that Biggio will retire and they have a young core that they might get rid of Loretta for a mid-level prospect.

I like this idea the more I think about it. Loretta would be solid in the two hole and add some security to the infield. I still feel that we need to ride Gotay until he cools down, but having an experienced veteran at second base as we head towards the playoffs would be a nice addition.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Check Out Actober.com

If you have yet to see the MLB commercial featuring Dane Cook, here it is and it's worth a look as it includes plenty of Mets' moments as it promotes postseason baseball.

After you check out the commercial, go visit Actober.com a promotional site run by Major League Baseball. There are some great postseason videos on there you can download and watch as well as some contests and whole bunch of content.

As I marketing guy I really appreciate the unique approach MLB is taking to promote the postseason in JULY! Talk about lead time. Still the Dane Cook MLB commercial is well done, and I still get chills watching Endy Chavez make "The Catch."

This Mets Lifer tips his hat to MLB for using a promotion to get people energetic about the upcoming playoffs while providing an entertaining site for fans.

This Mets Lifer is Bleary-Eyed, But Happy

It was 1 a.m. on the East coast, but Beltran woke me up with a jolt. I was somewhere inbetween sleep and reality when I saw Carlos Beltran swing at a fastball down the middle of the plate.

Immediately, I jumped up. Gone. You knew it right off the bat, and it's the first time in a long time that Beltran has gotten a big hit late in the game. Beltran has one of the most beautiful swings in the game that it's hard to believe how much he has struggled this year. Last night I think he showed signs of coming out of this funk he is in.

Of course Marlon Anderson continued his one man crusade to make the Dodgers pay for releasing him with a perfectly executed bunt in the 8th that forced Roberto Hernandez to rush a the throw to first and overthrow the bag.

But maybe the most impressive part of last night was Oliver Perez. The guy is guarranteed to give up one run on a home run almost every start. The amazing thing is how he has matured and settles down after giving up a run to keep his team in a position to win. Love the kid's fire and I find myself chuckling everytime he hops over the baseline after an inning.

And today the good times should keep on rolling. The Mets face the pitcher with the highest career ERA against the Mets, Brad Penny. Let's sweep 'em fellas.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Mets Batting Order

I heard on WFAN today that Willie Randolph has used 55 different batting orders this season. Of course this includes variants in who the starting pitcher is, but still makes for a ton of lineup changes for only being halfway through the season.

I do feel that it's important to have a standard lineup to go with especially down the home stretch of the season. Batters get in a groove and I think a team clicks better when there's some standard structure to the lineup. Of course there will be days when substitutes are made or it's a day game after a night game, but here I propose what the "every day" starting lineup should be between now and the end of the season:

1. Jose Reyes - easiest selection to make; no brainer
2. Ruben Gotay - until he cools off I like him as a table setter up top
3. Carlos Beltran - part of me wants to drop him in the order, but he should stay
4. David Wright - he's reprising the role of Mike Piazza in 1999, he's going to carry this team
5. Carlos Delgado - I like the way he's starting to swing the bat
6. Moises Alou - if he's healthy, he could knock in 50 RBIs from this spot before the season is over
7. Shawn Green - lefty, righty, lefty, righty, lefty
8. Paul Lo Duca - his at bats are shaky compared to last season, still he's potent #8 hitter.

The only thing I'd like to see and Bryan and I were talking about it this morning is getting Ramon Castro some more at bats. I'd plug him in the 6 or 7 spot and move some other people around when he's in the lineup. Ramon Castro is on a hot streak right now and I think he needs to start playing at least 2-3 games a week. If he starts to falter, you can relegate him back to the bench, but he's too good right now to be riding the pine.

You got all that Willie Randolph? Great, now let's go do it.

Latest Mets Trade Rumors

How about Sammy Sosa in right field?

Nah, I don't think so either, but some people will not let this trade rumor die. David Lennon of Newsday wrote an article this morning asking if it's time to consider a trade for Sammy Sosa. Last time these talks started was back in 2005 and the thought was to make Sammy a major component of the Mets lineup.

Today, Sammy Sosa would just be a side act and could probably be gotten at a decent price.

I still say no to Mr. Sosa. With Alou hopefully returning, we'll have the right handed bat we need in the middle of the lineup. And let's face it, this is still not the Sosa of 1998 so there's no way I'm giving up young talent to get him.

Other Mets rumors include a continued pursuit for Jermaine Dye, which I'm not crazy about either. I just don't think he's a corner outfielder to build on for the future, and I'd rather see Milledge, Beltran, and Gomez as an outfield for next season.

One last rumor has the Mets taking a chance on a veteran starter who was a former Cy Young Award winner just coming off a season where he hardly played.

That's right, Pedro is coming back. Let's see if he's still got the stuff. After Glavine's performance last night, we need it.

My Sincerest Apologies, Marlon Anderson

Dear Marlon Anderson,

I believe I may have offended you yesterday in one of my posts that was titled, Why is Marlon Anderson on the Mets? I noted how you were unemployed for the past month and not playing that well to begin with. I also highlighted the fact that the Mets are now carrying 37 second basemen on their roster so I wasn't sure why we needed another one.

Then I turned on the game last night and almost passed out when I saw you were not only starting in left field (man, does Willie have something against Milledge?), but you were batting second in the order (what?).

But I am here to say that I was wrong (for today). You went 2 for 5 with 2 RBI's and a run scored. You got on base when it counted and showed some aggressiveness at the plate. I was absolutely wrong to compare you to David Newhan and for that I apologize.

I hope your anger with me continues to improve your presence at the plate, and if you're hitting prowess starts to falter in the coming weeks I'll be sure to write a scathing post questioning your manhood just to perk you up for a great performance.

Dave, Mets Lifer

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Minaya and Randolph Just Fine

Contrary to popular belief, Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph are perfectly fine with one another. In a column by the always witty and insightful, John Heyman (love his weekly segment on the Michael Kay show), pens a nice piece on the inner-workings of what really happened when Omar fired Rick Downs. What is surprising is that Down actually found out by a Newsday reporter and not Randolph that he had been let go. He actually called Randolph asking if it was true, to which Randolph replied, "Yes."


Last night was one of those games that drive you crazy as a Mets Lifer. After going down 4-0 and Maddux making us look like little leaguers, I had pretty much conceded victory to the Padres. After 5 innings, I started to accept this loss (what a difference a year makes), and I moved on with my game plan to wind down the night. Watch an episode of Entourage; get a good laugh and sleep easy - essentially purging any negative thoughts of another Mets loss.

Then, as the show ended, I checked the game just out of curiosity and saw Delgado’s home run. Now I’m pretty sleepy at this point, but I talked myself into the old “wait one more inning” approach. Watch the 8th and then call it a night. I still didn’t have any expectations for them to win, so I was fairly content at this point. But you know when you watch games, you start to talk to yourself about who’s coming up; start thinking, if he could get on, and if he can somehow work out a walk…

Next thing you know, Wright hits as big of a home run as they have had all season – a shot that this team needed in the worst way – and I am hooked right back in. Adrenaline is flowing, and I’m all psyched up, pumping fist in the air (you know you did too), the whole nine yards. And I started thinking (maybe talking) to myself, this is the game we needed, we’ve been waiting for this one, this is going to propel us to the NL East, we’re finally going to get out of this funk…yudda, yudda, yudda…you know how it is. You were there doing the same thing. That’s what Met Lifers do. Man, was I fired up after that blast.

Then we blow it in the very next inning, wind taken right out of our sails, and just like that – poof - the game is over, we lose. And I have to go to bed feeling all ticked off, thinking about every play, about that first inning of poor fielding, about Milledge just missing that pitch to end the game, about why Randolph didn’t bring in Feliciano earlier, all of it, over and over…

Why is Marlon Anderson on the Mets?

Marlon Anderson was a great asset to the team two years ago. He filled in nicely for the often absent Kaz Matsui, and was a great pinch hitter. But why is he on this year's team?

Do we really need another second baseman? We have Gotay who's batting an insane .337 and desperately needs more at bats. Then we have Jose Valentin who is struggling a bit because of injuries. Damion Easley who has lost his playing time because of Gotay's performance. So why do we need another second baseman?

It's not like Marlon Anderson was taring it up in the minors or for the Dodgers. I guess he can play some outfield, but do we really feel he's better than Newhan? This move just boggles me. I hope it works out for the best, but I just don't see it right now.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This bleary-eyed Mets fan has been on an emotional roller coaster. I have deemed last night's game against the Padres as the return of "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Here's why:

The Good: Thank you David Wright for being the first veteran player since May to come through in the clutch with a big hit. Wright's home run was huge for this struggling lineup. Not only were there runners in scoring position, but it came late in the game when it was now or never to comeback and fight for a win. Let's hope it's contagious.

The Bad: The first inning was just ugly. Carlos Delgado not only can't perform at the plate, but he can't play the field now? His botched play at first should have been a double play. Instead it forced John Maine into a 30 pitch first inning and let up 2 runs. Now Maine was far from perfect last night, but it makes a difference in how the game plays out when you can get through those first couple innings unscathed.

The Ugly: The bottom of the 8th. From the highest high to the lowest low in the matter of one at bat. Joe Smith has been solid for us this year, but gave up the game winning home run in the very next at bat after the game tying top of the 8th. The bullpen last year was lights out. This year I've lost all confidence, except for maybe Wagner.

It's on to Los Angeles so let the sleepless nights continue.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What was the Greatest Game You Ever Saw?

I love this: Sports Illustrated recently asked some of their writers to share their memories of the greatest game they ever saw. For Pete McEntegart, that game was Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS, Mets vs. Astros. McEntegart tells a wonderful story of how he missed the first 8 innings of the game because he had to attend – of all things - a musical of Shaggy DA with his High School English class. It’s a great read. To check it out, click here.

For me, the greatest game I ever saw – and I hate to admit this – was Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Red Sox vs. Yanks; Aaron Boone’s walk off home run in the 11th. I was in attendance that night with my brother who is a big Yankees fan. I, of course, was quietly rooting for the Red Sox and was really looking forward to watching them finally defeat their long-time nemesis. Plus, it was Clemens against Pedro!

I remember the crowd was uneasy that night, especially after the Sox knocked Clemens out of the game in the 4th. He got hammered, and I was loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Clemens stink it up in that big of a game. On the other side, Pedro was dominating, fooling hitters all night.

I’ll never forget this old man, dressed sharply in a suit with a classy coat and a Boston Red Sox cap on his head. He was with his son, mid-40’s or so and I kept noticing how nervous the old man looked, how unconfident he was even with a 4 run lead and the greatest right handed pitcher of our generation on the mound. He had been around a long time and knew all too well about Red Sox history and the Curse. At one point, he and his son got up to go the rest room, or something, and the Yankees fans were all over him calling him all kids of names you could imagine. I felt bad for him and it made me want the Sox to win even more.

Jason Juicin’ Giambi remarkably - or not so remarkably, when you have the “stuff” flowing through your veins – hit two home runs off Pedro and kept the Yanks’ hopes alive. Then on a rally in the 8th (and a controversial decision by Grady Little to leave a tiring Pedro in the game) the Yanks tied the game and went on to the World Series after the legendary Boone home run.

And I can still remember that old man walking up those steps with glazed eyes, head down, in disbelief. Red Sox lost again.

What was the greatest game you ever saw? Post it below.

El Duque

While we’re on the subject of AARP players (see previous post), I’d like to give a big shout out to the ever-youthful El Duque. Just when we needed a big-time pitching performance, he delivered a masterful game, baffling hitters all night, allowing only 2 hits in 7 innings. Having apparently discovered the fountain of youth, El Duque blazed to his second stolen base in as many games, and scored a run.

Hernandez is now 6-4 with a sparkling 2.96 ERA. This starting rotation has been terrific all season and it's even more incredible when you consider how Omar acquired three of the five guys.

1). Traded Chris Benson to the Orioles for: Jorge Julio and "throw-in" John Maine
2). Turned around and traded an awful Julio to the Diamandbacks for El Duque
3). Traded Xavier Nady to the Pirates for Roberto Hernandez and another "throw in" Oliver Perez

Not too bad, Omar. Not too bad.

Braves Say Hello Again to Franco

To the chagrin (wink) of Mets fans everywhere, the Atlanta Braves resigned Julio Franco today. Franco was quoted as saying, “Finally, I’ll be able help out the Mets and earn that money Omar threw at me.”

(read: Dave’s already-classic post)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Waiting on Alou

As far as I’m concerned, Moises Alou cannot return soon enough. This putrid offense is just disgusting to watch and I’m actually bored with it. It’s not that Alou is any kind of powerhouse but he is a prolific RBI guy, and he certainly hits with men on base, which is more than I could say for a few guys on this team. And I’m tired of seeing Lo Duca or Green batting sixth. They don't even have 60 RBIs between them.

Look at it this way, if Alou were playing for another team right now and was available in a trade, he’d be the perfect fit for this team. Add Pedro to the mix in August, and you have yourself the two best acquisitions without actually having to give up anyone.

Unfortunately, Alou’s arrival could signal another departure for Lastings Milledge, who’s played well and exhibits an enthusiasm for the game that the rest of the team lacks (outside of Reyes). My hope is that they stick with Milledge, let him play everyday, and rotate days off between Green and Alou.

But as Dave and I have mentioned a hundred times in this blog, if the big guns do not produce, we will not go anywhere this season.

Jose Reyes Botched Hit and Run

I recently posted about the debacle that happened in the 7th inning last night with Gotay getting thrown out at second in the 7th inning with Reyes at the plate.

According to post game interviews, Willie Randolph called a hit and run, but Reyes failed to swing so Gotay was left on his own to try and steal second.

Reyes admitted he "froze" at the plate on that hit and run play. The pitch was the most perfect fastball down the middle, and Reyes just looked at it.

This is just weird because Reyes is a free swinger. In an at bat earlier he swung at a pitch in the dirt and then two pitches way off the plate to strike out. But when he sees a perfect strike he doesn't know what to do? Call it brain freeze if you want, but whatever it is just adds to the Mets woes at the plate.

I do like the idea that Willie Randolph is calling some hit and runs more often. He hardly ever calls them so hopefully he's trying to will his team out of this slump by manufacturing some runs.

We all know we need some runs.

Not the Way to Start a Road Trip

Nine hits. Your team gets nine hits there's no excuse for not scoring more than 1 run. But the Mets continued to struggle with runners on base as they lost an inexcusable game to the Padres, 5-1.

If you asked me which pitcher on the Padres I would want to face, the answer would easily be David Wells. The crazy thing is the hits were in abundance last night. Every inning it seemed the Mets had runners on base. But no one could score.

The most painful moment of the night came in the top of the 7th. Ruben Gotay beat out an infield single with two outs and the score 2-1. With a 3-1 count to Reyes, Gotay tries to steal second and gets thrown out. I have two problems with this play. First, Reyes should have swung at the pitch. It was the meatball to beat all meatballs down the middle of the plate, but Reyes looked at it like it was the worst pitch he had ever seen.

Second, why is Gotay running? I like the aggressiveness, but it's not like you're trying to break up a double play. There's 2 outs! You get caught, rally over. Chance blown. Not sure if Gotay ran on his own or if it was called from the bench, but either way it was a bad move.

Feliciano pitched well in relief, but had some bad breaks not go his way. I can't even talk about Heilman any more. What's happened to this guy?

Lady luck continued to shine on the Mets as every other NL East team lost so the Mets maintained their slim lead on the Braves.

The bad news is the Mets face Peavy and Maddux in the next two games. WAKE UP BATS! PLEASE!

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Time is Now

Tonight, begins the biggest test of the season for the Mets. They’ve had big games, big series already, but this West Coast trip will be the barometer for what this team is really made of. In many ways, this trip can define what they’re all about and the time for them to explode is now. It’s time for the heavy artillery to show up. Beltran, Delgado and Wright have to lead this team, and blitz San Diego and LA much like they did last season. When we visited opposing ball parks last year, we went in with a swagger, a bruiting confidence that just pummeled teams into submission. That intimidating attitude has been sorely lacking over the last 7 weeks and it’s time to bring it back.

Playing 4 against the Padres and 3 against LA again (thank you schedule makers), it won’t be easy. They are two of the best teams in the NL and as Dave posted earlier today, West Coast trips historically are painful for the Mets.

So far the formula for the Mets has been great starting pitching and a resurgent bullpen, who by the way has allowed only 1 run in their last 30 innings. If they want to repeat as division champs again, the bats will have to heat up in Sunny California. We’ve waited long enough. The time to unload is now.

Moises Alou is Healthy

On the drive home today, Mike Francesa on WFAN's Mike and the Mad Dog declared "Moises Alou is healthy. . .I've seen it with my own eyes."

Well, call me Doubting Thomas, but I won't believe it until I see him take the field at Shea Stadium.

But it looks like Moises Alou wants to prove me wrong earlier than expected. Today in a rehab start down in Florida, Alou hit a solo homer, walked, and singled to mark his return to baseball from what seemed like an eternal hiatus.

Let's not get too excited. I mean he was hitting off of pitchers who just got out of little league. But as Francesa was saying on the air today, Alou LOOKS healthy. It's one thing for a guy to say he's ready, but when someone as critical as Mike Francesa says that Alou looks like he's healthy and ready to play, I find that encouraging. He went as far to say that Alou would be back at Shea when the Mets return from their West Coast road trip.

Another interesting thing to consider is what's going to happen when Alou returns? Will Milledge take a seat on the bench if he continues his hot hitting? I'm sure Alou will need a day off every week, but what's that going to do to the youngster's confidence.

This is why Willie Randolph gets paid the big bucks. Tough decisions, but I'd rather have tough decisions to make with good players than with mediocre ones.

Take a Centrum Silver before bed, Moises. We hope to see you soon.