We just saw Jon Niese get promoted a few days ago and shine in his first triple-A start. Seems the Mets are grooming their prospects for call-ups soon, or even next year.
Manny will now be Manny in southern California. Jason Bay will be heading to Boston, and a bevy of prospects will land with the Pirates.
Well it took a few days, and I am shocked they traded him. The Sox do land a very good player in Bay, and the struggling Dodgers get Manny, ego and all.
Joe Torre is Manny's new manager. How many people thought that would ever happen?
Something could still happen in the next few weeks, but those players will have to pass through waivers before getting to the team that wants them.
That was fairly exciting, albeit unneccessary for the Mets.
Update: Bay is still not a Ray. Yet...
According to MLB Trade Rumors, Jason Bay has been traded to the Tampa Bay Rays. Still waiting on conformation elsewhere. But if this trade goes down as is...
Bay was swapped for a pair of prospects from the Tampa organization.
I think this is a great pickup by the Rays who are finally in contention and are hoping Bay can put them over the top. And for those who can't put two and two together, this also means the rumored three team blockbuster with the Pirates, Red Sox, and Marlins is completely dead. If the Marlins still want to add Manny Ramirez, they're on their own.
There isn't a bullpen arm on the market that I would want the Mets to look into. Arthur Rhodes was taken by the Marlins, but I don't think he's that great of a pitcher. Keeping Scott Schoeneweis is a great move.
Just over an hour left before the deadline passes, and I'll be keeping track while on the train home. I highly doubt any Mets trades go down, but I'll try to keep you updated on any MLB trades from around the league and especially if anyone in the NL East makes a move.
Head here to listen, or use the button on the top of the right hand sidebar...
Joining me is Colin Ake from BravesBlast.com and Ryan Punzalan from Mets Merized Online and Mets Lounge.
They've seen it all. They know the pitchers, they know how to play each hitter in the field. The provide stability. But are they a sure bet? I think it depends.
Over the years, the Mets have perennially been buyers at the trading deadline. Trading for such gems as Kris Benson (losing the young Ty Wigginton who, while never a stay, provided decent defense and adequate hitting ability) and practically giving away the fireballing Scott Kazmir for the miserable Victor Zambrano, the Mets have time and again thrown away promising young stars for players with a few more years under their belts. Luis Castillo is another recent name added at the deadline.
Other free agent deals and trades in the offseason brought the likes of Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Tom Glavine, Pedro Martinez, Paul Lo Duca, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, Cliff Floyd, and Moises Alou into the orange and blue. While most of those deals (certainly more recently) have been at least good if not excellent, some have been questionable at best (read: Castillo).
At some point, you have to plan for the future. The Mets will never truly rebuild like they need to, purging the team of old fallen stars and getting valuable playing experience. However, there are small circumstances where they have had the chance without losing much, if any, skill at a given position. For example, why won't the Mets commit to a youngster at second base? As much as I love Gotay, he was a terrible fielder, and he has not had a good year with the Braves. However, we really didn't give him a real chance to start. Same thing this year with Argenis Reyes; he splits the starts with Easley, and clearly will get less time with Castillo coming back soon.
The Mets opt for veterans time and again, when, by the end of the year, the kid that is replaced would be nearly as good (and certainly not as injury-prone) as the older player. Every veteran we sign is one less opportunity to build a team of players we can keep for years at a time. We don't have to sign or trade for a whole new team each year. 2006 is a good example of solid veteran signings; they unquestionably put experienced players in the needed positions. But what did Luis Castillo offer that necessitated a 4 year deal? Why did we resign Alou when we could have gotten away with a platoon of Endy and friends?
Veterans can be great mentors and provide stability to an inexperienced team. However, they also impede the progress of a franchise. The Mets need to decide whether they are going to sign a new team of old-timers every year, or actually put together a real team that will play together for years.
That is all.
Gaby Hernandez is heading to the M's in return.
Schoeneweis has been one of the best arms in the bullpen all year long. He's had a nice bounceback year after last year's performance. I would hope the Mets would be able to land a solid arm in return if they do trade him away.
Without Schoeneweis, the bullpen would be much worse off than before. He's the third best reliever in the pen, behind Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman (I never thought I'd write that sentence).
I'll be fine with the Mets making no moves today, and as of now, that's what seems like is going to happen.
Dunn, who sports a low batting average yet a high on base percentage, isn't known for his glove which has hurt his marketability. He strikes out 25 percent of his at-bats, which is another mark against Dunn.
Both of the Rays and the D'backs are inquring about the availability of this power bat. I wouldn't mind the Mets taking a look-see at what it would cost, though I think they need to look for a bullpen arm over anything. Maybe they could pry Billy Bray away.
The Mets have some team chemistry going, and are playing fairly well together. They lost two our of three to the Marlins, but it was their first series loss in all of July. With Ryan Church on the comeback trail, it may not be the worst thing in the world to keep what they have and continue on.
If the Mets felt so inclined to fix an area on the Mets, I implore them to look to the bullpen. Duaner Sanchez and Joe Smith have really started to struggle. Pedro Feliciano has turned into a one man pitcher, and Carlos Muniz switches between being extremely effective (Wednesday against the Marlins) and not effective at all (many times). They need a steady, MLB ready arm to bolster the pen.
The pickings are slim, though.
- Arthur Rhodes. Mets haven't really been mentioned in any deal for him, and the Marlins are supposedly on the verge of landing him.
- Will Ohman. Also, haven't really heard the Mets involved here, probably because the Braves are in their division.
- Brian Fuentes. Mets were linked to Fuentes a few days ago, but no one seems to be able to figure out Colorado and if they're buying or selling. Seems like he's going to stick with the Rockies.
- Eddie Guardado. This is the name I've heard mentioned the most of late. Won't cost a high level prospect, but most likely if the Mets trade for him, you'll have heard of the players dealt.
Looks like we have the first trade of the day, but it all depends on the player.
The Reds and the White Sox have agreed on a deal that would send Griffey to Chicago. Griffey has this morning to either accept or veto the trade due to his tenure in the league.
The player(s) heading to the Reds in return are not yet known.
Just imagine the kind of career he could have had if he didn't get hurt all the time. I think he still has one of the sweetest swings in the game when he connects for a home run.
Adam Rubin sees it differently, saying, "Maine, who has been diagnosed with a mild strain of the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, no longer is officially listed as Sunday's starter in Houston. The expectation is Oliver Perez instead will pitch on standard rest that day against the Astros.
Maine may not miss a full turn, and could re-enter the rotation as soon as Tuesday at Shea."The Mets are planning to be safe, rather than sorry. I like it.
With Jonathan Niese's stellar start in AAA, could the Mets call him up so soon to see what he can do at the major league level? There are other options, such as Nelson Figueroa, Brian Stokes, and Tony Armas Jr., but why not Niese?
A little youth wouldn't be so bad on this squad. Plus, we've seen what Figueroa and Armas are capable of. I doubt the Mets would promote their best prospect, at a mere 21 years old, right in the middle of a pennant race. My gut says that Armas will get the call if he's ready to go.
Still, the Mets need Maine to get healthy. He's a young, solid pitcher who they have penciled into the rotation for years to come. Expect Niese to come up to the majors in September when the roster's expand.
The deal would send Manny Ramirez to the Marlins, along with another prospect and some cash. Jason Bay would head from Pittsburgh to Boston, and John Grabow would also be a member of the Red Sox. Jeremy Hermida, prospect Ryan Tucker, and possibly one or two more prospects would join the Pirates.
It would be interesting to see this actually go down. It would tear down everything the Marlins have stood for over their entire franchise life. Trading for a huge, expensive slugger at the deadline, and sending away young players and prospects? Blasphemy!
I think the Marlins realize if they want to hang tough in the NL East, their method needs to change. They're sniffing the postseason already, hanging a few games back of first in the three team race, and they feel Manny would simply put them over the top.
Something to watch: How rookie manager Fredi Gonzalez handles Manny's ego. He's never had to deal with an established eventual Hall of Famer with a ego bigger than Dolphin Stadium's outfield. This could pay off huge dividends for the Marlins if everything works out, but it could also blow up in their faces if Manny isn't handles correctly.
Today, Thursday July 31 @ 2 .pm.
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Now that is quality. Depending on how Pedro Martinez does against the Astros on Friday and beyond and how Carlos Muniz or Joe Smith fares in the bullpen over the next few weeks, I am absolutely convinced we will see Niese making a few appearances for the Mets in the near future.
The 21 year old continues to impress, as he was recently promoted to AAA. A few more starts like these, and he'll be up in no time.
A 0.5 game out at the end of July. If you had told me that's where the Mets would be two months ago, I would have scoffed at you, called you crazy, and called up a mental institution. Now, I would be asking what tomorrow's lottery numbers will be.
I will take it. The Mets, Phillies, and Marlins are all in contention, and it's going to be a very exciting two months of baseball. With the way the NL Centra is playing, it looks like if one of these teams wants to make it to the postseason, they're going to have to win the division. No fallback to the wildcard for the NL East.
If Ryan Church could return to form, the Mets will be in great shape. The bullpen has struggled lately, but I'd rather them sift through their troubles now than in late September. It's going to be a dogfight.
Nay, I am not Joe Smith!! I am the Masked Pitcher, here to fight crime
and strike out the other team!!
What? Oh, my number is showing? Crap.
The Mets will fall out of first place with this loss as the Phillies beat the Nationals in their game. They are now 0.5 game out. This loss sealed the first time the Mets lost a series in July.
Multipe baseball sources say the Red Sox are on the verge of sending disgrunted left fielder Manny Ramirez to the Marlins in a trade for a package of three players that included low Class A Greensboro outfielder Mike Stanton, an 18-year-old who is hitting .275/.351/.569 with 26 home runs in 96 games.And the Marlins just got a whole lot more interesting. At least the Mets will get out of south Florida before Manny could be Manny against them.
Still just a rumor, but this would be a huge trade for the Marlins. Ramirez would make almost as much as the entire team.
Let's walk through this gem from Jim Buambach, Newsday, piece by piece, Fire Joe Morgan style.
"Mets should make a run at Ichiro"
The countdown to the trade deadline is almost at 24 hours, just enough time for Omar Minaya to pick up the phone, dial the Mariners' interim general manager and blow his mind away with these words.
"Forget about Ibanez. We want Ichiro."
Yes, interim GM Lee Pelekoudas will probably laugh, but his cackling might stop once Minaya mentions the names Fernando Martinez and Jon Neise.
And then he'll cackle more and more. Sorry, but Ichiro is the only reason the Mariners even matter right now. Without him, it'd be amazing if they had double-digit wins. When I was in Seattle a few years ago, there was a photo of him on the side of a 30-story building.
Don't think they're going to trade the man who graces the side of a building.
Yes, give them both untouchables, the top two prospects in the Mets' system.
Can somebody tell me why Niese is so spectacular? I understand he's "untouchable," but isn't that because he's the best pitcher in a depleted minor league system? He's not projected to be a #1 or #2 starter. More of a solid middle rotation guy. Good but not great sort of thing.
Plus, the Mets might need him if Pedro Martinez falters.
And you know what? If throwing in Binghamton reliever Eddie Kunz seals the deal, I'd do that, too.
No doubt every Mets fan will disagree with me,
and probably Pelekoudas wouldn't do that deal, either.
Heck, this is the same guy that has been requesting talented prospects in return for Ibanez with the Mets and Jarrod Washburn with the Yankees, when those deals should scream salary dump.
Plus he's an interim GM, who is scared to trade away huge contracts on a team going nowhere. This guy is going to trade away his franchise? Please, continue...
But there's an enormous gap between a prospect and a major leaguer, and there's no telling that Martinez, Neise or Kunz is going to help the Mets ever, let alone this year. Ichiro, on the other hand, is very likely headed to the Hall of Fame. Imagine the Mets lineup with him and Jose Reyes at the top?
Wow. I actually agree with all of that.
That's all this is, obviously, imagining. It's not going to happen because there is just too much risk involved for both clubs.
The Mariners risk alienating what's left of their fan base by trading the face of their organization for three unproven kids. And if the Mets did this deal, they would essentially be throwing a grenade in their already depleted minor-league system, blowing up the little that remains of their system right now.
One would think the article would end there, but no, it continues on.
But I'd still do this deal for the sole reason that Ichiro's presence at the top of the order combined with his stellar defense and arm in rightfield could be enough to put the Mets over the top in the National League.
Pretty sure the Mets already have a right fielder. I know he's been out for a while, but I think Ryan Church is pretty capable in RF. Don't you?
Ichiro does have a limited no-trade clause, which could present a problem, but let's see him stand in the way of joining a team that could contend for a title before we worry about it.
One reason the Mariners might at least listen to this proposal is because Ichiro is in the first year of a five-year, $90-million contract and he turns 35 in October. This would jumpstart the Mariners' rebuilding plan, freeing up major money to spend on someone such as C.C. Sabathia while bolstering their farm system.
He prefers "CC," and I would not want to cross a man of his stature.
You might think that the biggest problem with this deal from the Mets' perspective obviously lies with their farm system. But keep in mind that the only way to rebuild a farm system is with good drafts each year, so their system is already at least two years from turning around, much like the Yankees' system was in 2005.
I agree, again! The farm system isn't going to change overnight, and if these "prospects" are really as good as some people are making them out to be, then when they get promoted, the minors will be even more barren. Think about that one for a while.
This deal would just be ripping the mask off their system, like a Band-Aid covering a fresh, bloody wound. No team likes to give away prospects, but at the same time you shouldn't value your prospects more than they are worth just because these are the only prospects of value that you own.
That was a bit confusing. I think Baumbach is trying to say: Just because you have them, doesn't mean they're good. I think. Does anyone speak Baumbachian?
With Delgado and Pedro Martinez coming off the books after the season, taking on Ichiro's $17 million annual salary is doable. And, not that this should matter, but wouldn't the Mets love the promotional possibilities of a team nucleus of Ichiro, Reyes, Wright and Santana as they enter Citi Field?
All those Asian places around in Flushing would love this. The Mets have the money, and they'll have even more with Citi Field opening, so I don't think that should be a problem.
This is most likely dreaming, yes. But it's worth a call.
Hopefully Omar calls 1-800-COLLECT so he doesn't spend any money on that call.
Today, Janish wrote that the Mets should say no to Raul Ibanez, and compares him to another player in the Mets recent past:
For those who are more literary than visionary, Raul Ibanez is Shawn Green. In other words, a guy who once was a strong all-around player with a slugging lefthanded bat, who has declined drastically in all phases of the game in the past few years due to age. Bat speed - gone. Power - gone. Fielding ability - gone. Baserunning - gone. Yet the Mariners want two prospects for Ibanez, and are supposedly holding out for Jonathan Niese. My answer to the Ms is “NFW”.Bingo. He's a shell of what he once was, and for the asking price, the Mets shouldn't even begin to think about this deal. He'd be a nice fill-in, but not something I would depend on.
Janish goes on to say that if the Mariners will accept a lesser deal, for a fringe "prospect" player, to jump at the chance. Again, I agree. He's worth a flier, that's for sure. I think he'd be beneficial to the team this season, but for the price the M's want, I'd balk.
Is it too crazy for the Mets to sit back and not make a deal? Is that ever at all possible? I really can't fathom Omar Minaya sitting back and watching the deadline approach and not pick up the phone and make a deal. Maybe that's what is best for the team right now, though. They're in first place with the players they have, and have been without a true corner outfielder for the majority of the year.
IF (big if) Ryan Church can come back healthy, and have Endy Chavez and Fernando Tatis split time in left field, I'd be more than happy with that. I don't think Tatis can keep it all up on his own, so if his time is cut in half or so, his hot streak and ability might carry further into the season.
So in conclusion: No to Ibanez, unless it's on the cheap. Church needs to come back healthy. Tatis and Chavez will be just fine in left.
And that's that.
"Prospects" have busted out of the gates early in their lives, in their careers, and have put up spectacular numbers against players not nearly of their caliber. That's my problem. These players are usually tearing up leagues against players who are just budding, or maybe won't even pan out. Some players work, others don't.
As they work their way up the minor league team, you really get a chance to prove themselves. They should stay consistent as they move up the chain, with a bit of time for them to adjust to their respective leagues and it's talent. I would much rather trade away a "could be" for an established player, any day.
Guys like Fernando Martinez, Mike Carp, and Jon Niese could be great. They could be something special. They could also be the next Alex Escobar. You just never know. I side with the thought to trade away these players for ones you know are established in the majors, know they can hit, field, and handle the pressure.
I'd much rather have a proven talent on my team over a kid who tears up the Eastern League against pitchers who will never even taste the big stage. Obviously, you need to hang on to some prospects, but not every player in your minor leagues is going to be a star. It's all a crapshoot, and the GM's will feel the heat if they deal the wrong guy, but it's all to up to chance.
From Adam Rubin:
Manuel plans to stay away from Aaron Heilman for a second straight game today, after Heilman tossed three innings Saturday. Told he could now use Heilman as a starter, Manuel said he told Heilman the very same thing.Let's settle this here and now: I'm a fan of Heilman's, he's very good when he's hot, but very bad when he's not. He surrenders too many home runs, as does Johan Santana, but he's a young, capable pitcher and helped the Mets greatly.
I don't care if he starts, if he's the long man, the set up guy or the closer, but don't expect him to magically switch overnight. If you haven't been living under a rock for the past year, you know of Joba Chamberlain. A great starter in the minors for the Yankees, who came up and worked as a reliever at the start of his career. When it was finally decided that he would move into the Yankees rotation, it took weeks for Joba to work his arm and stamina back up to that of a starter.
I hope no one thinks that with John Maine possibly skipping his next start due to his mildly strained rotator cuff, that Heilman could simply step into his role and throw six or seven innings. If you watched the game against the Cardinals where Heilman had to take one for the team and pitch three innings in relief, you could practically see his pitches eroding as he trudged further and further along into the inning and his new highest pitch count kept crawling higher and higher.
If Heilman was to become a starter, the team would need to replace him in the bullpen as well. It would take him a month or two to keep working up to a higher pitch count, making sure everything felt all right. If the decision was made today, Heilman probably wouldn't start a game until the end of August, and even then would have an inning or pitch count cap.
This might be more of a transition for the off-season, maybe if the Mets lose Oliver Perez to free agency a decision might be made, but right now, you just can't flip a switch and have him throwing 100+ pitches without injury. So, hold your horses, and enjoy Heilman as he dominates from the bullpen. Maybe one day he'll be back in the rotation, but not anytime soon.
- Joe "The Man" Smith
- Aaron "Erin" Heilman
- David "The Luckiest Man In The Entire World" Wright
- David "Clutch when he wants to be" Wright
- Carlos Delgad-Damn, he's good again-o
- Carlos "The Clutch" Delgado
- Carlos Del-o-my-Gad-o
- Jose, Jose, Jose, Jose, Jooooooooooose, Joooooooooooooossssssssseeeeeeee Reyes
- Billy "Wags" / "Waggy Tails" / "Llama Lover" Wagner
- Robinson "Fat Man" Cancel
- Carlos "Sir Chokes A Lot" Beltran
- Ramon "Darth" Castro
- Mike "Big Pelf" Pelfrey
For some reason, I just have a feeling that Eddie Kunz will soon be promoted from AA Binghamton. The Mets need a big, burly arm in the bullpen, and this guy fits that role to a T.
Kunz, only 22 years old, is currently closing for the B-Mets. He's notched 26 saves in 42 games. This season, through 46 IP, Kunz is sporting a 2.93 ERA. He's allowed 38 hits, and struggled with walks, handing out 23 free passes. Kunz has also notched 39 strikeouts in that same span.
Standing at 6' 5", and weighing 265 pounds, this righty could take Carlos Muniz's spot on the roster. It'd be nice to give this guy a little bit of major league seasoning, and see what the Mets hopeful future closer has to offer. Kunz is also riding a hot streak, as he hasn't allowed a run in all of July.
Call him up, and quick. If the Mets can ride this hot streak, they can log innings under this guy's belt, benefit from some quality pitching out of the bullpen, and save their other arms for another time. That's a win-win-win situation. If he struggles, just send him back to Binghamton. It's as easy as that.
I want Kunz, and I want him now.
Aaron Heilman pitched for the first time in three days, throwing two scoreless innings, striking out four. Billy Wagner came in and closed it out, striking out two to save it for Perez.
The Mets remain in first place for another day.
Apparently, "mild" was underlined on the report. They're being pretty careful about this, I guess.
Hopefully Maine can bounce back without missing a start, but the way this team has been handling injuries under Jerry Manuel, unless he's 110 percent, the Mets will need a spot starter.
From WEEI Radio:
WEEI out of Boston is reporting the Mets, Sox, and Pirates are working on a 3-way deal. The Mets would send prospects to the Sox for Manny, and then the Sox would ship prospects to the Pirates for Bay.So, Manny Ramirez would be a Met, Jason Bay would be a member of the Sox, and prospects would go to the Pirates.
Enticing, as always. Just a rumor, but one just crazy enough that it just might work. The Mets would have to part with Fernando Martinez, there isn't a doubt in my mind, but I think Omar Minaya would pull that trigger if he could land Manny.
Again, just a rumor.
Update: Don't think this is even in the works, but I think this makes a ton of sense for the teams involved. I truly don't trust "prospects." I'd much rather trade for an established player than wait on maybes.
Thanks to Ryan Punzalan for the heads up...
I'm not sure how I feel. I'm glad the power bat of Tex is out of the NL East, but I really like Kotchman and think he is a pretty solid player.
Looks like the Braves are planning to play spoilers this season.
Collazo was up in the bullpen once, but did not appear in a game.
I wonder what it was...vanilla mocha latte? Frappuccino? Decaf, milk and sugar?
Jose Guillen, starting left fielder for the Kansas City Royals, wants out of KC, and who can blame him. Citing a strained relationship with his manager Trey Hillman, says ESPNDeportes.com.
Guillen, 32, is hitting a measly .260, with a OBP only 17 points higher. He slugged 14 home runs and has driven in 69.
I'd say pass, unless you can get him for no-names. Still, people will want him on the Mets, I can see it now.
As I said in a previous post, every team that figures itself in contention is interested in every player that could possibly be traded. Interest is one thing, but if the teams are actually talking and discussing players, that's something completely different.
I have yet to hear the Mets seriously discuss any players that they need. Sure, they like Raul Ibanez and Manny Ramirez, but I don't think they're going to land either of them, or anyone else for that matter.
I challenge Omar Minaya to prove me wrong. I'd love to see him land a deal that helps this team and keeps our thin core of prospects with the team. That would be awesome, but I just don't see it happening.
Prove me wrong, please. And while you're at it, land a bullpen arm. Please with a cherry on top.
Sure, he's not a great fielder, but either is Fernando Tatis. Sure, he strikes out a lot, but his OPS is in the top ten in the NL. He's also tied for the league lead with 30 home runs.
A few of them might be attributed to his home park, which is one of the best hitters parks in MLB, but Dunn's homers don't barely clear the wall. He has raw power, and the home runs he hits carry well into the stands, no doubters away from home as well.
Go for Dunn, Omar Minaya, if you're still looking for a bat to fill in left field.
The Mets might scrap that idea and have him throw an inning of relief against the Marlins instead.
Is anyone else worried we're going to see a repeat of his hamstring injury earlier this year? It just seems to line up too perfectly.
Ryan Church ran and did some throwing before yesterday's game against the Marlins as he slowly returns from migraines and his second concussion this season. Church will participate in some batting practice tonight, and hopefully play in a few minor league games in the coming days.
Church could return by next week's series against the San Diego Padres.
I'm not getting my hopes up for that. The Mets are being extremely careful with how they deal with Church after the dropped the ball last time around.
First of all, Fernando Tatis is hitting better than almost everyone else on the team right now. Obviously, this production isn't going to last, but once Ryan Church returns, the LF spot could see Tatis, Endy Chavez, Damion Easley, and Marlon Anderson all sahring time depending on who is hot, who is pitching, and the like. It will be serviceable enough to work as one left fielder, some with plus bats, others with plus gloves.
I think the Mets real problem here is the bullpen. To put it simply, Carlos Muniz and Willie Collazo are not going to cut it. Muniz hasn't turned in a string of solid performances...ever. He's been riding the shuttle back and forth from New Orleans long enough I'm sure he know each and every flight attendant by now and they throw him an extra bag of peanuts on the flight. He's doing this for a reason, Omar. He's just not good enough to stick around.
Collazo recently came up, but to me, they are the same person with the same sort of stuff. Either way, these two aren't going to help the team. And now I see that Scott Schoeneweis' name is being tossed around in trade rumors. Well who is going to take his spot, I want to know?
Unless Omar is crazy enough to start promoting Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell ASAP, we're going to be stuck with relievers who can't seem to make it out of the minors, and have to depend on them down the stretch to the postseason.
The team doesn't have many chips to trade away, but I think the most pressing need right now is a new bullpen arm. Omar, I trust you and have since you took over. Sure, you've made some crappy moves, but you've also pulled out some gems. And right now, this team needs a gem.
Well, I didn't see anything. Either did Gary Cohen or Keith Hernandez, but John Maine was begrudgingly removed from the game in the fifth inning after only recording one out.
Maine struck out the side in the fourth, and after his first two pitches in the fifth, Jerry Manuel trotted out to the mound. He was allowed to throw warm-up pitches, which he did not seem too enthused to do. The first pitch he delivered to a batter after Manuel's visit was jacked for a solo shot to right field.
Maine then struck out opposing pitcher Ricky Nolasco before Manuel came back out to the mound and pulled the pitcher from the game. Maine did not look pleased to get the hook so early and seemingly without injury.
Carlos Muniz will take over for Maine.
Pedro will be limited to a pitch count of 80 innings, so the bullpen better be well rested. Thankfully, and perhaps by plan, the Mets have an off day on Thursday, allowing the pen to come into this game well rested.
(Ed. note: I think I'm going to continue to do short snippets like this for minor stories)
Well, it still feels like I'm there. Is it just me, or does this crowd seem a million times louder than normal? It sounds like they handed all 1,500 fans (ballpark figure) their own, personal microphone to make it as loud as possible.
There probably isn't even half as many fans that usually fill up Shea, but they are incredibly loud, and I must say, very annoying. It's like someone left the crowd mics up way too high. All I hear is mumbling and clapping from the crowd, and it sounds miserable.
Niese, who posted a 6-7 record in AA, could be a fill-in for the Mets if Pedro Martinez cannot perform down the stretch. Niese's record is not the defining factor here, as he posted a 3.04 ERA through 22 starts.
I have an inkling we'll see Niese at Shea before the season is over. No wonder he's "untouchable."
I love the way Tatis celebrates his home runs. As he approaches home plate, in a jog, he turns to a side step, then shuffles his way onto the plate sideways. He quickly looks up to the sky, and raises his two fingers in celebration, and most likely praising his God.
For some reason, I love it. It's nothing over the top and exciting like Jose Reyes', or subdued and emotionless like Damion Easley's, but I like it. It's unique and cool, and I respect that.
Tatis against the Giants on July 10, 2008.
Keep on keepin' on, Fernando!
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
I don't see the Mets parting with any of that young talent unless they can land a star. Not happening.
WS: How hard are the Mets looking for a corner outfielder? / How much would the Mets have to give up?
TD: It seems to be their top priority. They are trying to get someone
decent without giving up Fernando Martinez, Jon Niese, or Bobby Parnell.
The Mariners want Niese for Raul Ibanez though. I don't think they'll do that.
WS: If you were Omar Minaya would you trade Fernando Martinez for any of
the available corner outfielders?
TD: If I could get Jason Bay straight up for him, I'd think about that one for a while.
And F-Mart for Bay, straight up is a quandary. I would probably pull the trigger, but that's because F-Mart has struggled with injuries lately and that worries me. You'd be swapping a Mets prospect for an ex-Mets prospect, so maybe in 10 years the team could trade for F-Mart again.
Last night I was listening to the WFAN and a caller had an interesting proposal for a trade for Manny Ramirez.And here is user "nymrods" response:
IF the BoSox were willing to trade both Jacoby Ellsbury AND Manny Ramirez in exchange for Carlos Beltran, should Omar Minaya make the trade?
Let's examine this hypothetical trade--
-The Mets would gain 2 outfielders for this season.
-Manny would be a rental because he might not be willing to sign with the Mets after this season. -Manny in the clean-up spot with Delgado hitting 5th.. WOW!
-Ellsbury is 25 y.o. and CHEAP!! Think of all the money we would save next year.. money we could use to pursue a 1st and/or 2nd baseman..
-The BoSox would not have to deal with Manny.
-They still have Coco Crisp so they would still have 3 outfielders.
-Beltran is 31 y.o. and is under contract until 2012.
-BoSox could still be in contention with Beltran in the line-up instead of Manny.
On paper, this trade looks like a win-win situation with the Mets getting the slightly longer end of the stick. As much as I LOVE Beltran, I must admit that Omar Minaya would have to be crazy to not jump on this trade. What do you guys think? Someone give me a reason to KEEP Beltran.. PLEASE!!
I say yes because I'm a big Ellsbury fan, so I might be slightly partial, but...And finally, my answer:
Well, Manny makes up for the lack of power Ellsbury has (or doesn't) and Beltran did. Ellsbury is a good (Church-like) fielder, and young, so he'll improve. Now, Beltran is a wizard in the field, so we would be losing a little in the fielding, but I think Ellsbury's age is very promising. He will improve all around (this is only his first real season anyways). And besides, we'd have Manny. Older, but still amazing!!
Beltran (Avg #s): .279 BA; 26 HR; 108 RBI; .355 OBP (13th year)
Ellsbury (Avg #s): .286 BA; 5 HR; 32 RBI; .346 OBP (First starting season)
Ramirez (Avg #s): .312 BA; 30 HR; 98 RBI; .409 OBP (17th year)
Tough call. Honestly though, do we do it? I like the idea, but I don't think that it solves any problem.
OK...let's see... Ellsbury is OK. Endy Chavez-esque in my opinion.Thoughts? Responses? Let's hear it on Mets Lounge or in the comments!
Manny has a team option for the next two years, at $20mil a pop.
We have enough money coming off the books next year...Alou for sure, Pedro almost for sure, Delgado maybe, Perez (hopefully re-sign)...
The Sox do not like Crisp, at all.
Reason?...You need reasons to keep him [Beltran]? OK, LOOK...Beltran was never an average hitter. Never has been, never will be. He hit .307 and .306 once...every other year he hovers around .275ish. He's driven in 100+ each year except that one miserable 2005.
He OPS .800-.900+ consistently. His OBP is usually .350+ Oh yeah, and he's one of, if not the best fielder in the NL...and tops in MLB. He makes everything look easy. DID YOU SEE YESTERDAY'S GAME!
Mike Pelfrey's pitch counts may soon be reduced. The organization would prefer Pelfrey not exceed 180 innings in his first full major-league season. Pelfrey currently is at 122-2/3 innings with roughly 11 starts remaining.Usually, I'd hate this, but we're seeing a clear sign of it in Duaner Sanchez right now. He seems to have hit a wall only half way into the season, but remember he hasn't pitched in one and a half years.
Something like this needs to be monitored but not fully and strictly enforced. If there are chances to give him a break, give them, but don't pull him out of great starts just because he's nearing his innings cap.
When Johan Santana didn't come out for the ninth inning against the Phillies, and the Mets eventually lost, everyone was screaming about "Why didn't Johan demand to come back into the game?!?"
This time around, when it was 9-1, Johan stayed in the game...and he's still getting blasted in the media.
From Filip Bondy, someone I usually enjoy reading, entitled "Johan Santana going nine in rout doesn't make complete sense":
And so the most important and expensive pitcher on the Mets' staff went out and threw some unnecessary fastballs Sunday in the ninth. If you're a message kind of guy, you were applauding his gutsy show. If you're more of a pitch-count realist, you were horrified at the illogic of it all. Manuel only intended to allow Santana to reach 115 pitches, but then there were two outs and the complete game was too close to sabotage.Well, he only went up to 118, not far off from the 115 tipping point. He started the 8th inning with only 81 pitches. 81! But more importantly, he saved the bullpen that used every pitcher while throwing nine inning of relief nearly 12 hours earlier.
What does Santana have to do in this town to prove himself? Go out, throw a no hitter through seven innings (limiting himself to only three pitches per batter, mind you), hand the ball over to the bullpen and call it a day?
This is getting sad. Johan Santana is damned if he doesn't beg and plead with Jerry Manuel to go out for the ninth inning one day, but when he does, even with an 8 run lead, and the chance to give the bullpen a well needed day off, he's damned again.
Lay off this guy, please. Sure, he has the biggest contract of any pitcher to date, but his last two starts have been simply spectacular. His ERA is 2.93, good for 6th in the league, he's #3 in the league for innings pitched, and he's top 10 or close in nearly every other pitching category.
He's the ace of this staff. He's a stud pitcher, and there is no denying that. Let him go out, earn his money, and help this team as much as possible. He can do it, he's a veteran, one of the best in the league.
Give me a break.
Beautiful game all around. No faults at all.
So long, Brandon. Not a bad four innings after you shook off the nerves.
Under their new system, if the game goes into the 11th inning, the team at bat will have the option of starting their lineup in any position, and having the two players ahead of that position in the lineup start on second and first base. For example, if these rules were intact, the Mets could have started the bottom of the 11th inning with Endy Chavez on second and Carlos Beltran on first, with Carlos Delgado at bat. They could have done the exact same thing in the 12th inning, and beyond. Now if MLB had that rule, I'm not sure if would have helped the Mets because they were a putrid 1-16 with runners in scoring position, but we will never know.
Anyway, I have a question that wasn't answered in the article: If those runners score, who are they charged to? Does it go to the pitcher that started the inning, even though he really didn't let them on? He would be getting screwed if he lets up one hit, and a run scores just because he was the unlucky bum to get tabbed for the 11th inning.
It's kind of like college football's overtime system, where you pretty much dare the other team to score by starting them on the opposing team's 25-yard line. One hit could easily score one, or two runs, as opposed to having to string together a few in a row, something the Mets simply could not do last night.
This new rules works in international baseball, but it would ruin marathon games in MLB. It might save pitchers, not forcing a guy to throw nearly 60 pitches in relief when his previous high was in the 30's (Aaron Heilman), but it would also destroy the marathon game. Games were it's the 17th or 18th inning and each team simply refuses to give up. Managers have to pull out every trick in the book to make the team work, and both teams go punch for punch, taking the game long into the night.
I love games like that, just like I loved last night's Mets game. Jerry Manuel and Tony La Russa were each managing their team full tilt, and the players were doing everything they could to try and score runs. Unfortunately, La Russa's team came through in the end, but due to the Mets tenacity and fight, I, like most Mets fans today, don't have that bitter taste of defeat in our mouths. The team battled long and hard, they just came out on the short end of the stick.
I support instant replay in MLB, but please, don't bring on this rule anywhere near America's pastime.
The Mets went 1-16 with RISP. It absolutely killed them. Still a fun game to watch with four home runs.
For the second time this season and the third time at Mets games this season, another fan has fallen and is seriously injured. A fan was also injured when the Mets were at Turner Field earlier this year, and one fan was killed at Shea Stadium previously this season.
From the AP:
Firefighters say a person has been seriously hurt in a fall at Shea Stadium during a New York Mets game.
The Fire Department says the victim has been taken to a hospital unconscious after falling around 10 p.m. tonight, as the Mets played the St. Louis Cardinals. Firefighters had no immediate details on the victim or where in the stadium he or she fell.
Take. The. Stairs.
With Manny Ramirez's latest antics, Red Sox Nation seems to be reaching the end of it's rope with their left fielder.Trade for this guy at all costs. I'd be willing to part with Jon Niese, Eddie Kunz or some package of a few top prospects for this high caliber player. He's a professional hitter, and would take over left field for the Mets, something they dearly need for the stretch.
Jerry Manuel seems like the kind of guy who would be able to keep Ramirez in line, and Omar Minaya has always had a love for Manny.
Could you imagine Manny in a Mets uniform? Oh man. Let's just imagine this lineup, as I see it:
Ryan Church / Endy Chavez
Brian Schneider / Ramon Castro
Damion Easley / Argenis Reyes
Holy hell. That's powerful. If this is possible, at all, pull the trigger. People would be lining up around the block for Mets tickets just to watch his antics and ability. I know I would.
Update: This post is going to be absolutely worthless in the next few hours, it seems.
I have a crazy theory as to why the Mets are looking to add Casey Blake above anyone else: He has a beautiful beard.
Since Jerry Manuel has taken the helm, the rules on facial hair have been relaxed, and the team has started to grow facial hair like it never went out of style. We've even had a guest post about the power of the beard. And a long time ago yours truly had to shave his off for the benefit of the team. Well I grew mine back, and so have the Mets.
Well personally, I think Blake has one of the best beards in baseball. The Mets are looking to harness that power, to align the greatest showing of facial hair in baseball, something the world has never seen before.
For this reason, and his baseball abilities too, I guess, the Mets are looking to land Blake over those clean-shaven fools Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay.
Behold the power of Blake's beard:
The Mets look to be up by two games in the NL East by the time the night is over.
Looks like Ross Ohlendorf, Phil Coke, and what seems like two other players are heading to the Pirates in return for the ex-Met.
Update: For any Yankee fans who happen upon this site, the deal has changed. Yankees get Nady and Marte, but the Pirates get Dan McCutchen, Jeff Karstens, Jose Tabata and Ross Ohlendorf.
From Jon Heyman:
It is believed the Mets could nab Fuentes if they were willing to part with the talented but frustrating Aaron Heilman. Says one scout, "Fuentes is throwing really great. He'd help someone, if the Rockies trade him.''Why bother?
Notice how no one is talking about David's reaction but everyone was all over Jose the night before...
User "peachymet" responded with:
My sentiments exactly. Sorry to say, but racism still lives, and rears it's ugly head again.
It is sad but true. As noted before when Jose Reyes didn't want to leave the game, it was called a "tantrum." When Troy Percival wanted to stay in, he was dubbed a "fighter."
When Jose Reyes lifts his one finger in the air after putting his team up by three runs, it's called "showboating" and Philly announcers want someone to "put a ball in his neck." When Wright jumps up, pumps his fist and screams, no one even mentions it.
Peachy had it right, racism rears it's ugly head once more.
(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
Perez threw 7 2-3 innings. He scattered six hits, one of which went for a solo home run, the only run he allowed all day. Perez walked only one batter, and it was an intentional walk. Perez also struck out 12 batters yesterday, fooling Chase Utley and Ryan Howard three times apiece.
Perez has absolutely turned it on the last few starts. Since June 29th against the New York Yankees, Perez has thrown 33 2-3 innings, allowing 21 hits, and allowing only five earned runs to score. He has walked 12 in that span, while striking out 39.
All this time I thought that if Rick Peterson left the team (fired, quit, signed elsewhere) and Oliver Perez was still around, he would fall flat on his face without the Jacket looking over him. I couldn't have been more wrong. Perez and Peterson come from two different school's of thought.
Peterson wanted to analyze everything about Perez, break him down piece by piece and reconstruct him. Now, Dan Warthen seems to let Ollie be Ollie, and just throw the ball. If there are errors or hitches in his delivery, Warthen will say something, but for the most part, it's Oliver Perez on the mound, by himself.
Let's hope Perez can keep this up, and maybe we'll be seeing him in the orange and blue for many years to come.
Yesterday, he linked to a story on his blog. That blog got promoted to Yahoo.com, and that all helped the site have it's biggest day ever.
And thank you all for reading over the past two years. I don't plan on stopping or slowing down anytime soon. This has been an amazing experience. I couldn't have done it without all the support from the readers.
Recently, he was named to the US Olympic baseball team, and will travel to China to compete for a gold medal. An awesome day.
Now, Knight might get another shot at the bigs.
With Pedro Martinez home after his father's death, the Mets need a starter for Saturday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals. It looks like Knight might be that guy.
Knight has tasted the show before, pitching in 11 games with the Yankees, amassing an ERA of 10.71. But at AAA New Orleans this year, through 11 games, he is 5-1 with an ERA of 1.60. In 39 1-3 innings for the Zephyrs, has surrendered 23 hits and seven earned runs. He's walked 10, but struck out 49 batters.
Here's the quandary in my mind: Where would you rather be? Experiencing a once in a lifetime opportunity, going to China for the Olympics and participating in something so grand? Or getting possibly just one shot at showing the Mets what you have to offer in a spot start in Major League Baseball?
Honestly, that is a tough choice. This could all be moot if the Mets tab Brian Stokes or someone else as their starter. I'm just glad I don't have to make this decision for the Mets.
Hey, whatever happened to Nelson Figueroa?
Welcome to first place, Mets fans.
Yes, it is a bummer for this pennant contender that folks aren't in the stands. But it also is a blessing the few sets of eyes on them are either looking through a rosy prism or not really paying attention.This seems so absolutely foreign to me, I don't even know where I'd begin to break this down. Not every Mets game is a sellout, but it's pretty close. Tickets for the good seats are tough to get, and if you do land them, they'll cost you.
That is an advantage only the Marlins enjoy.
The Marlins...are a completely different story. When the Mets head down to south Florida to play the Fish, the stands are vacant. "Let's go Mets!" chants are easily heard chorusing from the fans. There may even be more Mets fans than there are Marlins fans.
And they like it like that?
The Marlins are living in that sweet spot of success, that fertile place where expectations remain low and the scrutiny is still bearable. The Mets and Phillies long ago vacated that friendly place, so we freely discuss the Mets' awful clubhouse chemistry and gauge the love-hate relationship between the Phillies and their fans -- the ones who booed Mike Schmidt.Well, I don't think you can call the clubhouse chemistry "awful." Especially if you're reporting from Florida. Sure, there are probably cliques and discrepancies, but everyone has that, whether it's publicized (in the New York media) or mentioned (in the Florida media).
They skip happily along their improbable path to improbable contention with no pressure, no second-guessing and, seemingly, no worries.
I get it. The Marlins don't play under the microscope of a city. If they lose, they lose and no one seems to care. If they win, they win and still, no one seems to care.
To me, that stinks. I'm glad I root for a team that plays in New York. Maybe the media is too quick to tear some people down, but you have to take things you read with a grain of salt and make your own impressions. I couldn't fathom enjoying a team whose fan base won't even make the trek out to the stadium to support them.
I have just one thing to say, Let's go Mets!
Well after Jose Reyes hit his three run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the Mets in the lead for good, Reyes showed his rebuttal to Jimmy Rollins' celebration.
There you have it. Note the gait of Reyes, the confidence in rounding the bases, the power. The finger held high, which went up as soon as the ball cleared the wall.
Also look at Rollins, who can't bear to look at Reyes as he rounds the bases. Pat Burrell in left looks even more distraught, standing with his arms folded at his chest. I love it.
Reyes has just provided great imagery for the Mets. Post this up on the wall of the locker room at Shea. Remember this photo.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
I think maybe during the top of the first inning, I was all right, but after that it was nervous city. John Maine surrendered his early lead very quickly, on back to back home runs. He was handed another lead, but let that one slip away as well. Still, the Mets did not relent, and Jose Reyes vaulted them into the lead for good in the sixth inning.
Maine's start wasn't as bad as I'm describing it. He only allowed six hits, and three earned runs thanks to two solo shots.
However the Mets did it, they're back in a first place tie with the Phillies with today's noon game determining who will land in first after this series.
Our thoughts go out to Pedro Martinez and his family. Pedro's father lost his long battle with cancer last night.
Pedro lefts the team in the seventh inning to tend to his family. Martinez will miss his scheduled start on Friday. Mike Pelfrey will pitch that game, with Johan Santana going on Sunday. The Saturday pitcher is still yet to be determined.
R.I.P. Mr. Martinez.
This is just stupid.
Bob Raissman has quotes from Fred Wilpon where he admits to screwing up the Willie Randolph firing.
Fred Wilpon said he learned something from firing Willie Randolph. And it is this: The next time he fires a manager he'll do it in the light of day, when reporters are not sleeping.Great. Wonderful. Super. It took two months for this?
"I said (to Omar Minaya) 'When are you going to do this?' He said 'After the game (Mets-Angels, June 16).' I wasn't smart enough to say, 'And cut the New York press out of it?' I didn't even think of it," Wilpon said. "I screwed up."
I think this just makes the team look even worse than before. We knew you handled it poorly, you knew you handled it poorly, so coming out and saying it two months later makes you look like even bigger buffoons than before.
And back into first...
How many times have you read that sentence, or something like it, in the past few days?
Rumors everywhere, who is going to get traded there and for what, what each team is willing to give up, what players can be traded where.
Boring! Give me some meat! Some real news, fact, stories!
Ugh, I'm sick of the trade deadline already.
Billy Wager is a closer for a reason. Being a closer is more than just throwing pitches. You have to be mentally tough, mentally prepared to have it all on your shoulder. The team could win or lose simply by the way you pitch to (hopefully) the next three batters.
Closing, in my opinion, is one of the hardest jobs to do in all of baseball. We all know how nervous we (the fans) get when Wagner is on the mound with the lead, can you imagine how he feels??
That is not a job I would want to have. But hopefully last night's loss does show some fans a new light: Wagner is a closer, a good one at that, for a reason. He's tougher than nails and can go out and do his thing on a day to day basis.
Pitchers will falter, they can't be perfect all the time, and injuries will happen. Hopefully fans realize how valuable Wagner is to the bullpen and this team.
A third base coach who realizes when a ball is going to beat the runner by, say, 15 feet, you don't send him.
Have full sight.
Be able to swing arm in windmill motion.
Willing to wear plastic helmet.
Hold prior coaching job...ever. As long as you understand baseball more than Luis Aguayo.
This, right here, is your motivation. Remember this image tomorrow night. Remember this image Thursday afternoon. Remember this image for the rest of the games you play the rest of the year.
Here is your fodder, your spark. Here is something you need to overcome. Last nights loss was miserable, but if you can overcome that, shake everything about it from your minds except for this very picture, this moment in time, and use this to do what you need to do, then last night will live as a moral victory.
Remember this photograph...
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
But, your closer is unavailable, and no one has really shone through as a viable replacement. Why not give Santana a shot? Maybe you keep him on a very short least, if he gives up a hit or two, you yank him. Easy as that. Just have the bullpen ready to go as soon as possible.
And again, on the other side of the coin, you should trust your bullpen enough to hold a three run lead with only three outs to get.
Jerry Manuel did his best Willie Randolph impression, and it only took one inning. When Manuel didn't send out Santana for the 9th, he made his first mistake. When Duaner Sanchez came in and gave up not one, not two, but three straight hits, he made his second. Again, without your closer, these players should be on a short leash in their attempt to fill his role. The first single should have been a huge warning sign, and the second one should have been enough to get him out of the game.
The Jose Reyes goof at second base on a ground ball induced from Joe Smith, can't be pinned on Manuel. That blame falls solely on Reyes.
When Manuel left Pedro Feliciano in after he gave up the tying hit, he was pulling a classic Willie. Not trusting your pitcher at all at times, and trusting others way too much. It seems like Randolph would always leave a pitcher in just a little too long, even though the common sense thing would be to pull him. It's as if he didn't want to hurt their feelings. Sometimes the pitchers just don't have it on a certain day, and unfortunately for the Mets, no one seemed to have it in the bullpen last night.
This was Manuel's first big mistake as the Mets manager. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it came against the Phillies, in a battle for first place, with the teams ace in line for a win (a dominant one at that), but things just did not go as planned.
"After seeing that, you can't help but . . . You hate not being out there," said Billy Wagner. I couldn't agree more.
They deserve to lose this game. Johan Santana rues the day he signed with the Mets.
- Johan Santana and Aaron Heilman are second half pitchers. The numbers show it, and over their career, these two pitchers have truly rallied in the second half and pitched some of their best baseball. As the ace of the staff and an important anchor in the bullpen, solid second halves from these two will propel the Mets.
- Carlos Delgado is smoking hot. The last two months, this guy has been on an absolute tear. Everything seems to be going right for him, he even set the franchise record for RBI's in a game. He keeps raking, the Mets will keep winning.
- The Phillies pitching is pretty bad. When adding a 5-12 Joe Blanton to the rotation is seen as an upgrade, what more needs to be said.
- Ryan Church will come back healthy and rested. He's missed half the year, so his legs and body will be fresh and ready to go for as long as needed in the second half.
- Karma. The Mets got served up a heaping plate of crappy karma last season, so life has to repay the team and the fans somehow, right?
Did I miss anything?? Let me know in the brand new commenting system!
The guys autographs. Ron Darling, Kevin Burkhardt, Keith Hernandez, and Lee Mazilli from top left to bottom right.
I forgot to bring anything to get signed, so I think I'm going to have them sign my pocket schedule.
Ryan relays that Hernandez just made the statement that Fernando Martinez will be the Mets starting left fielder in Citi Field in 2009.
Another tidbit: Ron Darling, on the trading deadline, said that he believes Bill Hall would be a great fit for the Mets "because of his power and he's a right handed bat."
Keith Hernandez showed up 15 minutes late. No one was surprised.
The MetsDamn. That's good stuff. I wish Mets fans were that optimistic!
And about those Mets. I’d like to think, like most, that they’re too old and worn down and talentless to win the East. But how do they keep finding guys who can contribute past their primes? Fernando Tatis? Sure the bullpen is rough (Billy Wagner’s pain could spell big trouble), but when I see them, I see an offense that can rattle off runs. I see a rotation that can head into the seventh of most games. And I see a bullpen that can piece it together just enough to win. Sound familiar? Yeah, like your 2007 Philies. Who won the East.
A sigh of relief was just issued from Mets fans everywhere.
The doctors believe the pain he felt was just a muscle spasm or a cramp. "Just" a muscle spasm isn't something to sweep under the rug. Remember that a back spasm kept Wagner out of some important games down the stretch run in 2007.
Hopefully he'll be just fine, and pitch effectively tonight, if need be.
It seems to me that if he doesn't take a no-hitter into the seventh and finish with a three hit, complete game, it will be deemed a failure by the media, and to many fans.
Joel Sherman wrote this:
That leaves Santana as the starter the Mets must have work deep into every game as a bullpen saver for all the uncertainty that threatens around him in the rotation. His renown has been as a second-half stalwart and the Mets badly need that guy. Tonight Santana faces Joe Blanton in his Phillie debut, a starter obtained merely to fit this qualification: Be better than Adam Eaton. Blanton does not have the pedigree of an ace and Philadelphia is not expecting that. But the Mets certainly are expecting Santana to be an ace. They certainly are expecting him at home -- at Shea -- to outpitch Blanton, lug the ball pretty darn close to the finish line, if not the finish line itself. It is still just July, but this is why Santana was obtained. So, yes, tonight is a big start for him. big game for the Mets.Sure, it'd be great if he does all those things. And that's taking into account the offense isn't anemic, like when he usually pitches.
If Santana falters, say giving up four runs in six innings, he'll be blasted for "failing" his team, the franchise, the fans.
Can't we just wait and see how he does, see how he comes out and performs in front of his home crowd, against the teams bitter rivals as they're both perched in first place. Let's see how tonight goes before we pass judgement on whether or not he was "right" for the Mets.
Now, I am reporting that he will have that MRI done on his shoulder.
He did see a doctor yesterday, and the Mets are stressing that this is a "precautionary" MRI.
The Mets have seemed to learn a valuable lesson from their handling on Ryan Church. "If it hurts a little bit, go see a doctor." It looks like they're going to handle each and every ache and pain a player suffers with the utmost care.
I'm still unsure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
If Wagner was to ever go down, the Mets would take a huge blow to the make up of their bullpen. It seems the Mets have that in mind, and rumors are linking the Mets, among other teams, to Oakland closer Huston Street.
I put no credibility into trade rumors unless they are reported by more than a few sources. Otherwise it just seems like something written to appease the fans. I think, as a journalist, that one shouldn't have to do that. You should have enough in your arsenal to write about fact, not rumors.
If you hear rumors, mark them as what they are. Don't say, "The Mets have joined the list of teams expressing interest in Oakland closer Huston Street." But rather, "There are rumors that the Mets might have interest in Huston Street from Oakland." Unless someone comes out and says "Yup! We're pursuing Street," I don't much care.
It's one way or the other...make up your minds.