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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

After shutting out the Phillies tonight, the Mets are 23-22, 1 game over .500 and 2 back in the division. Is it possible we could hang in this race? Could we actually compete for the playoffs? If you would've told me that going into memorial day weekend Glavine/Leiter/Traschel would make a case for the best top 3 of the season so far, i wouldve laughed in your face. Seriously I'm in shock, i cant even think of what to write. I'm just going to enjoy this for as long as it lasts
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Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Oh the joys of a new machine. Time was that I didn't have any music on my computer. Since most all of the music I listen to is live shows, and live shows are usually around 1 GB, I couldn't keep it on my old 20 GB hard drive. I'd keep space to D/l one show, and burn it straight to disc so I could D/L another. Now, with he 200 GB hard drive, I'm reveling in the joys of downloading massive amounts of completely lossless (via .shn or .flac)live music. It really is a beautiful thing. And whoever created the Live Music Archive deserves a thank you note from live, improvisational music connoisseurs everywhere. No, more then that, we all should get together build a giant stature in his/her honor somewhere, because it might be the greatest thing to ever happen to the jamband scene. If there's anyone out there reading my site that shares my love for this music, and i'm sure there's at least a couple of you, feel free to drop me a line if you want to trade some shows. Here's ten randomly selected files from my winamp playlists to give you an idea of what kind of shows i collect.

1.String Cheese Incident 7/4/98 from High Sierra Music Fesitval
2.Grateful Dead 7/8/78 from Red Rocks
3.Bela Fleck 2/11/03 from Pompano Beach,FL
4. Yonder Mountain String Band 2/10/04 from Tampa,FL
5. Yonder Mountain String Band 12/31/02 from Denver,CO
6. Keller Williams 2/1/02 from Greenville,NC
7. Grateful Dead 2/15/73 from Madison,WI
8. Garcia & Grisman w/ Bela Fleck 8/25/91 from Squaw Valley, CA
9. Blueground Undergrass 10/6/02 from New Orleans, LA
10. Yonder Mountain String Band 1/31/03 from St Louis, MO

Can ya tell i like the bluegrass side of the Jamband scene? That's reflected heavily in that list, and the three Yonder shows is pretty representative of the actualy balance, since im collecting YMSB shows like a crazed madman since i started getting into them. But i've also got a wide array of shows from the other spectrums of the jamband scene. Phish, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, the Disco Biscuits, Karl Denson, the Jazz Mandolin Project, and much more. I'm seeking a couple new trading partners to diversify my collection, so if your out there, you've got great music, and you want more great music, send me an e-mail. For the rest of you, sorry for the non baseball related stuff, but i wanted to post this. Never know where you'll find someone with some choice jamband shows for trading
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Sunday, May 23, 2004

Tom Glavine just finished up one of the greatest pitching performances in the 42 year history of the Mets. 9 IP 1 H, 0 R, 8 K, 1 BB. I know i should be happy. I should be happy about the fact that Tom Glavine is pitching so well this year, making a legitimate case for the Cy Young, along wtih Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens. I should be happy about the absolute gem of a game he just threw. I should be, but i'm not. Not when Tom Glavine just came 4 outs from a no-hitter. 42 years and not a single no-hitter in Mets history. 42 years! I can't be the only one that cares about this can i? Koosman, Ryan, Seaver, Gooden, Cone, Viola, Saberhagen, Leiter...there have been some damn good pitchers on this team over the years, and those are just the guys off the top of my head who spent at least two full seasons on the team, i'm sure i'm forgetting some good pitchers. Everyone on that list except Koosman and Viola has thrown at least one no-hitter in there career. Seaver, Gooden, Cone, Viola, and Saberhagen are all Cy Young winners. (Of those that didnt win the Cy Young, Koosman had two top tens and finished second in 1976, Ryan was second in 1973 and top five in the voting 6 times, Leiter has two top tens and was a legitimate candidate to win in 1998.)42 years, lots of great pitchers, and not one no hitter in a Mets uniform. I've been waiting for it to happen since i was a little kid, and i really thought today was the day. Four outs to go, and Glavine was cruising, and he was back to the bottom of the order. Everything looked so perfect. And then some guy named Kit Pellow slashes a double to deep right. Kit Pellow?! Who the hell is Kit Pellow?! That was a rehtorical question, but i'm going to answer it anyway. Kit Pellow is a 30 yr old career minor leaguer, that has a grand total of 162 big league at bats. Tom Glavine, likely Hall of Famer, just lost his bid for the first no-hitter in Mets history to a career minor leaguer with 4 outs to go. Just makes you want to scream doesn't it?

While today's game left a bittersweet feeling in my mouth, there's no mixed feelings about this...

N.L. East

PHI 24-18 -
FLA 24-18 -
NYM 22-22 3
ATL 22-20 4
MTL 14-29 10.5

(The Marlins are currently losing 4-2 to Arizona in the 7th)

Folks, it's not early anymore. We've played 44 games. Thats slightly more then 27% of the schedule. It's not early anymore. And the Mets are at .500 even, just 3 games out of 1st. 7-3 in our last 10, and we just swept Colorado. And guess where the schedule is taking us?

Tue. 25 Philadelphia
Wed. 26 Philadelphia
Fri. 28 at Florida
Sat. 29 at Florida
Sun. 30 at Florida
Mon. 31 at Philadelphia
Tue. 1 at Philadelphia
Wed. 2 at Philadelphia
Thu. 3 Florida
Fri. 4 Florida
Sat. 5 Florida
Sun. 6 Florida

Right at the division leaders. If there's a time to be playing good ball, this is it for the Mets. At the exact time we're getting into the race, we've got a chance to vault right into 1st place with 12 straight games against the two teams ahead of us. It's not yet June, but i don't think im exaggerating when i say that this 12 game stretch could make or break our season right here. And unfortunatley we might hae to do it without our second best pitcher this year, with Al Leiter now officially on the DL after missing two starts. We can only pray that the trip to the DL is short lived. The May 20th move was done retroactive to May 12th (the day after his last start), and so Leiter is eligible to come off as soon as Thursday, and could pitch as soon as the 3rd game of this run, Friday the 28th at Florida. Though even if he's ready i suspect the Mets will let Matt Ginter make another start, and slot Leiter back into his no. 5 slot in the rotation. Which in itself is kind of interesting. From the beginning of the year, the Mets have chosen to pitch Leiter last, meaning he pitches the day before Glavine, kinda like how some AL teams will use a pseudo second leadoff hitter in the 9 slot. And they've had the rotation set this way the whole year. It was supposed to be Glavine, Traschel, Erickson, Yates, Leiter. That became Glavine, Traschel, Seo, Yates/Baldwin/Ginter, Leiter. No matter what happens with the 3/4 guys, the Mets seem to like Glavine in the 1st spot, Traschel, in the second, and Leiter in the fifth. Or in practice, once the season gets rolling, Leiter, followed by Glavine, followed by Traschel. This just begs the question, why? Especially since the rumors were that the Mets were trying to skip the fifth starter's spot as much as possible this year. And to some extent, they have, but only if you consider the Yates/Baldwin/Ginter spot the fifth. In reality, Leiter is the fifth man, based on the opening week rotation. In practice however, Leiter (when he's pitching) has effectively become the No. 1 in the rotation, with the Yates/Baldwin/Ginter spot becoming the no. 5. However you figure it, the mets seem intent on pitching Leiter, Glavine, Traschel, in that order. So why not just set the rotation that way from the start? Did they wan that badly to start Glavine on opening day, even if there preferred rotation has Leiter at the top? It just doesn't make any sense to me.

Enough with that tangent though, let's have a look at the possible starting pitching matchups for this stretch. This is assuming Leiter is healthy, and Ginter remians in the no. 4 (pseudo no.5) spot.

Tue. 25 Philadelphia Traschel vs Eric Milton
Wed. 26 Philadelphia Seo vs Brett Myers
Fri. 28 at Florida Ginter vs Dontrelle Willis
Sat. 29 at Florida Leiter vs Carl Pavano
Sun. 30 at Florida Glavine vs Josh Beckett
Mon. 31 at Philadelphia Traschel vs Brett Myers
Tue. 1 at Philadelphia Seo vs Kevin Millwood
Wed. 2 at Philadelphia Ginter vs Randy Wolf
Thu. 3 Florida Leiter vs Carl Pavano
Fri. 4 Florida Glavine vs Josh Beckett
Sat. 5 Florida Traschel vs Darren Oliver
Sun. 6 Florida Seo vs Brad Penny

In my plan, Traschel and Seo get the extra start for us, going 3 times each, with Leiter/Glavine/Ginter going twice each. Seo is scaring me this year, but Traschel has been excellent. I've actually overlooked that in how good Glavine and Leiter have been. The truth is our top 3 have all been superb, except for Leiter's injury. They've really carried this team.

It's a good thing Glavine is pitching well (to say the least), because he draws Josh Beckett twice. Leiter draws Carl Pavano twice. And you've gotta love how the opposing rotations are set up, drawing Brad Penny (they're best pitcher right now) only once in seven games, and getting the back end of Phili's rotation for 3/5 games.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

One of these days someone is going to explain to me how sportwriters who are so bad at there job manage to not only keep thosejobs, but are actually considered good at them by the mainstream press and fans. Every so often i'll use this blog to call out a writer who i think deserves it, and today it's time to call out ESPN writer Buster Olney. I first started noticing Mr Olney about a year ago, at the beginning of last baseball season. I've never been particularly impressed. I've found his writing generally unoriginal, uncreative, and only as informed as your typical ingorant baseball fan (i.e. those who still maintain Jeter is a good defensive shorstop). But before today i've never seen him write anything that just screamed to be corrected. Ironically, it comes in the middle of an article that i otherwise agree with, probably the first of his articles that i do agree with. The focus of the article is Derek Jeter, andhis slump at the plate this season. Mr Olney blames, or at least alludes to blaming Jeter's lack of plate discipline, using Barry Bonds, and Carlos Beltran, among others, as examples of players who've taken all there natural talent and refined it by learning to work the count in there favor. And bravo to him for that. He couldnt be more right. Towards the end of the article however, he loses all credibility. Not even on a sabertric, or stat related issue. Not on a matter of opinion or analysis. Just on a simple issue of facts, because if a guy can't get his facts straight about a 5 time all star that is the subject of his entire article, then what fatih can we have in the rest of his writing? Here is the lead in to the conclusion of Mr. Olney's article.

Jeter's at-bats tend to get more focused in the postseason; his plate discipline improves as he picks and chooses from pitch to pitch. During the regular season, however, he is what he is and what he probably will always be, without evolution.

Now, i don't know about the rest of you, but when i read that a few thoughts started forming in my head. The first one was that i was almost postiive that last October i'd seen or read something showing that Jeter's regular season and postseason stats are almost identical. I think it was in a Rob Neyer article on the perception of clutch, but i'm not really sure. In any case, i immediately decided to go and look if Buster Olney was actually correct, or if he was, as i suspected, just remembering Jeter as better then he really was in the postseason, and didnt bother to actually go check his facts before publishing them on the most widely read sports website in the nation. Being the critic of mainstream media (or most of it anyway) that i am, and fairly sure that Mr. Olney was wrong, i decided i'd go and have a look for myself. So was i correct, in thinking Mr. Olney had published something completley and utterly false? Have a look for yourself


9 Seasons 1212 4870 926 1546 239 41 127 615 178 48 513 873 .317 .389 .462 2248 34 28 18 78 103
20 Postseason Ser 16-4 99 392 69 123 16 3 13 33 42 79 .314 .385 .469 13 3 5 3 5

9 Seasons - IsoD = .072
20 PS Ser IsoD = .071

So just for the record, Jeter's plate discipline has been almost exactly the same in October as it has been in April - September. Actually, Jeter's entire postseason stats are so close to his regular season stats that they might as well be identical.

I run an amateur Mets website, my research is limited to free internet material, and it took me, oh i dont know, 45 seconds or so to look this up via Baseball Reference. Buster Olney writes for ESPN. In that position he has access to any and every source of information he could possibly need. The guy can call the Elias Sports Bureau to provide him with information if he needs to, ok? There's simply NO excuse for him publishing something so blatantly and obviously wrong about one of the five most recognizable baseball players in the world.
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Monday, May 17, 2004

The Mets just went 4-1 on the road against Johnson, Webb, Oswalt, Pettite, and Cy Clemens. (btw, much as i hate him, i am now convinced that Clemens is the greatest pitcher since Tom Seaver, even if he didnt deserve that last Cy Young award, and with all due respect to Greg Maddux.) 4-1! Needless to say, i'm shocked. We're still two games under .500, but i said before that if we went 4-1 against that lineup of road games i would regain some hope for the season, and i meant it. I have officially gone from wait till next year to "well, maybe there's a slim chance if a lot of things go right." We are only 3.5 back after all, and the 163 RS / 161 RA suggests we've actually been a bit unlucky so far. Plus, we've been without Jose Reyes the entire year, and Cliff Floyd for most of it. (While I'm on the topic, would someone please tell me what the fuck is going on with Jose Reyes? Its damn near June, and i havent heard a thing about when he may return other then the obligatory "we're not going to rush him".) So ya, maybe, just maybe, if Leiter is ok, Floyd stays healthy, Reyes comes back soon and doestns lump, and we get some good bounces, we could actually compete into September. I'm not counting on it tho.

Mike Piazza is moving to first base. No really, we mean it this time. We swear. According to Art Howe, Piazza, now the all time home run leader for catchers, will be spending the majority of his time at first from now on. Howe expects Piazza to continue to catch about twice a week. Gammons ahd a comment on Baseball Tonight that i found interesting. This is heresay, but supposedly Piazza said something to Todd Zeile along the lines of "If i'd known how much fresher i'd be playing 1st, i would have done this a long time ago." It was everything i could do not to scream when i heard that. What exactly did Piazza think was the point of moving him to 1st?

Last thing i wanted to mention was my two cents on the Star Leder article that Jeremy Heit talked about today.

"No matter what Wilpon says about Seattle's negotiating tactics and no matter how many conspiracy theories you have heard about the Mariners trying to force Piniella to Tampa, the Mets could have had the right man to replace Bobby Valentine (who probably didn't need to be fired anyway) if they had been willing to make a decent trade offer."

Probably? There's no probably about it. Valentine was/is an excellent manager, and was perfect for New York. I've gone over my argument before, not going to rehash it all now. Sufficed to say that i still havent gotten over the Valentine firing. Which is why i liked this line so much...

"Don Baylor also would have a shot at the Mets job, as would Valentine. Fred Wilpon has indicated he would consider rehiring Valentine some day, but Jeff Wilpon would probably fight that move"

I'd never even considered the possiblity of the Wilpons rehiring Valentine, but him and Fred did were always reported to have a good relationship, so i suppose it's possible. This is probably jsut a case of a reporter just throwing his opinion out there, but being a reporter for the Star Ledger and all, the guy is in as good a positionas anyone not in the Mets organization to judge. I'm not putting a whole lot of stock into it, but it's still good to hear. Needless to say, i'd be in full support of it, and i'd be more then willing to buy out Art Howe to make it happen.
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The Mets just went 4-1 on the road against Johnson, Webb, Oswalt, Pettite, and Cy Clemens. (btw, much as i hate him, i am now convinced that Clemens is the greatest pitcher since Tom Seaver, even if he didnt deserve that last Cy Young award, and with all due respect to Greg Maddux.) 4-1! Needless to say, i'm shocked. We're still two games under .500, but i said before that if we went 4-1 against that lineup of road games i would regain some hope for the season, and i meant it. I have officially gone from wait till next year to "well, maybe there's a slim chance if a lot of things go right." We are only 3.5 back after all, and the 163 RS / 161 RA suggests we've actually been a bit unlucky so far. Plus, we've been without Jose Reyes the entire year, and Cliff Floyd for most of it. (While I'm on the topic, would someone please tell me what the fuck is going on with Jose Reyes? Its damn near June, and i havent heard a thing about when he may return other then the obligatory "we're not going to rush him".) So ya, maybe, just maybe, if Leiter is ok, Floyd stays healthy, Reyes comes back soon and doestns lump, and we get some good bounces, we could actually compete into September. I'm not counting on it tho.

Mike Piazza is moving to first base. No really, we mean it this time. We swear. According to Art Howe, Piazza, now the all time home run leader for catchers, will be spending the majority of his time at first from now on. Howe expects Piazza to continue to catch about twice a week. Gammons ahd a comment on Baseball Tonight that i found interesting. This is heresay, but supposedly Piazza said something to Todd Zeile along the lines of "If i'd known how much fresher i'd be playing 1st, i would have done this a long time ago." It was everything i could do not to scream when i heard that. What exactly did Piazza think was the point of moving him to 1st?

Last thing i wanted to mention was my two cents on the Star Leder article that Jeremy Heit talked about today.

"No matter what Wilpon says about Seattle's negotiating tactics and no matter how many conspiracy theories you have heard about the Mariners trying to force Piniella to Tampa, the Mets could have had the right man to replace Bobby Valentine (who probably didn't need to be fired anyway) if they had been willing to make a decent trade offer."

Probably? There's no probably about it. Valentine was/is an excellent manager, and was perfect for New York. I've gone over my argument before, not going to rehash it all now. Sufficed to say that i still havent gotten over the Valentine firing. Which is why i liked this line so much...

"Don Baylor also would have a shot at the Mets job, as would Valentine. Fred Wilpon has indicated he would consider rehiring Valentine some day, but Jeff Wilpon would probably fight that move"

I'd never even considered the possiblity of the Wilpons rehiring Valentine, but him and Fred did were always reported to have a good relationship, so i suppose it's possible. This is probably jsut a case of a reporter just throwing his opinion out there, but being a reporter for the Star Ledger and all, the guy is in as good a positionas anyone not in the Mets organization to judge. I'm not putting a whole lot of stock into it, but it's still good to hear. Needless to say, i'd be in full support of it, and i'd be more then willing to buy out Art Howe to make it happen.
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Friday, May 14, 2004

Well, we're off to a pretty nice start on this 5 game murderer's row of pitchers, having beaten both Randy Johnson and Brandon Webb. Next up is Houston's big three of Oswalt, Clemens, Pettite. If we take just one of the three, i'll consider this little stretch succesful at 3-2. If we manage to take 2/3 to make it 4/5 against this lineup of pitchers, i might actually regain some hope for the season (at which point of course, the Mets will come crashing down).

Al Leiter is headed back to New York to have an MRI on his left shoulder. Not good folks. Having Leiter and Glavine pitching so well at the top of the rotation is the only thing going right this season. The Senator on the DL is the last thing we need. The MRI is scheduled for later today, and Peter Gammons is reporting that Leiter will miss his start Sunday. Hopefully we'll know more about this tonight. In the meantime i've updated his numbers to the right, and I've added Tom Glavine up there, since he's a legitimate candidate for the award right now. Of course, if the season ended today, Clemens would win the CY Young unanimously, but it doesnt end today, and things can change. Tonight we go against Roy Oswalt. Im rooting for a pitching duel, won 1-0 by the Mets (I -might- have Oswalt on my fantasy team).
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Next up for the Mets: a matchup tonight with Randy Johnson, followed by Brandon Webb and then, in Houston, Roy Oswalt, Andy Pettitte and an undefeated Roger Clemens.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm nailing down anything small enough to be thrown at the TV. Just as a precaution.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

In a truly shocking turn of events, James Baldwin got hammered last night. No, hammered is too nice a word. James Baldwin got massacred last night.

2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 0 K

I gotta tell ya folks, i'm stunned. Who'd have thought a soft tossing righty with a career ERA over 5 wouldnt pitch well in his first major league start in nearly two years? Certainly not me. Frankly i'm at a loss. I can't speak for anyone else, but I for one was convinced that the career 5.02 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, and .805 OPSA was just an 8 year fluke. Surely he'd capitalize on that devastating 89 MPH fastball eventually right? Not to mention the mediocre (at best) cutter, and the very hittable curve. "This guy's just a Cy Young waiting to happen if he can ever put it all together" i said to myself when we signed him, "What a great move by the Duke, this could be the guy that vaults us into playoff contention, maybe even the Series". You can all deny it now, but you know damn well that every one of you was thinking the same thing. C'mon...on the downside of his career, ERA+ of 92 over 8 major leauge seasons, has already undergone major shoulder surgery, what wasn't to love? He's even prone to giving up the long ball. Admit it, you all know you were just as excited as i was to get this guy.

The real question we have to ask ourselves now is what went wrong here. How could a pitcher with such potential have possibly gone out there and gotten shelled? So far i've consulted with Bill James, Sandy Koufax, a local Psychic, noted sports psychologist Harvey Dorfman, the voodoo medicine man who hangs out down at the gas station, Paul Depodesta, Peter Gammons, Kevin Costner, the Jedi Council, Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson, the shaman at the indian casino in seminole, Tony LaRussa, and Perry Mason (just in case there was foul play involved), and no one has any idea. I've consulted the texts of philosophers, everything from Plato to the Emanuelle Kant, from Descartes and his metaphysical rationalism to Hume and his staunch empiricism. I've reviewed the texts of the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, and the sacred texts of Buddhism. I've even travelled to Rivendell to consult with Elrond and the White Council to be sure this wasn't a possible sign of the return of Sauron. And still nothing. No explanation for how Jmaes Baldwin could possibly have pitched poorly. If anyone out there has any theories, i'd be happy to hear them. Just send them to stunned@JamesBaldwinRules.com. I'll get back to you with my thoughts as soon as i'm done with my e-mail to Jim Duquete, asking him to not give up on Baldwin yet, and to give his amazing talent another shot.
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Monday, May 10, 2004

Well, so much for the 4 game winning streak. We lost 2 out of 3, and came dangerously close to getting swept by the lowly Brewers. Even worse, it happened at Shea, where we had actually been playing halfway decent ball. What i really want to talk about though, is the fact that James Baldwin is starting for us tonight in Arizona. I've got no problem sending Tyler Yates down. He's pitched well at times, but Yates could pretty clearly benefit from some moe polishing time. But James Baldwin? No offense to the 32 yr old right hander, whose pitched very well in AAA (2.90 ERA 24/5 K/BB in 31 IP), but couldnt we come up with someone better? Someone please show me the compelling reason to give Baldwin a shot? I could half live with the Erickson decision, as much as it aggrivated me, because at least Erickson was once a very effective pitcher. Has anyone here, or anyone in the Mets organization actually looked at Baldwin's history? The Dodgers picked him up from the Chi Sox at the deadline a couple of years ago, and somehow from that, he's gotten this reputation as a pitcher who was good once. Well folks, let me tell ya. it simply isn't true.

Career - 5.02 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, .278 BAA, .803 OPSA (342/461).

Once again, those are his career numbers. What more need i say? But just to drive the point home, this is his best year...

2001: 4.42 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 281/342/444, 95/63 K/BB in 175 IP.

So apparently we'd rather give another shot to an injury prone pitcher wtih a career ERA over 5 then do something crazy, like say giving Aaron Heilman another shot (4.01 ERA 30/10 K/BB in 33.2 IP). He's given up a few too many hits, and the ERA is a tad high, but you gotta love the excellent K/BB ratio, something Heilman has shown at every step of the minors. If we're set on giving Heilman more AAA innings, how about Matt Ginter? He was aquired as another relief arm, but he's been starting in AAA - 5 starts, 27.2 IP, 1.30 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 24/3 K/BB). he's 26, he's got 387 minor league innings wtih a 2.74 ERA, and the last time he was a full time starter, in 2000, he posted a 2.26 ERA in 26 AA starts. So what's the problem here? Even if it's a hot streak, riding the hot streak of a 26 yr old to buy your real prospects some more time is a hell of a lot better then giving the ball to a 32 year old, soft tossing, proven failure. What possible reason could there ever be for giving the ball to a 32 yr old with a career ERA over 5. Usually i blame these moves on a futile attempt to compete now, instead of 2006, but i cant even attribute this move to that, because i think its almost certain that either Ginter or Heilman would outpitch Baldwin given the chance. I'm almost tempted to say that they're doing this looking towards the future, wanting more AAA service time for the kids, but that would go agaisnt everything we know of the Mets and the Wilpons. And it would be misguided anyway. Ginter is 26, has tons of minor league service time, and is dominant right now. Heilman's minor league experience is limited, but he earned his way to the majors once already, and with a 3-1 K/BB ratio arguably has done so again, despite the poor WHIP he's carrying. The Mets seem to have this fear ofa young pitcher coming in to the majors and struggling a bit, and i don't get it. Rookies are supposed to struggle at times. There's nothing wrong wtiha rookie pitcher struggling a bit, and being forced to adjust his pitching to the majors. Almost every player goes through it. But the Mets seem to have this drastic fear of it. Tyler Yates struggles, he gets sent down, Heilman struggles last year, he loses his spot in the rotation this year. Jae Seo's bad spring certainly had something to do with him losing his spot. It seems like the Mets will accept nothing but immediate success from the pitching prospects, and it's starting to scare me. Rich Harden earned his way to the majors last year. He came out strong, and tossed a coupe great starts. Then he proceeded to get hammered, and his 1.69 ERA on Aug 10 wound up at 4.46 to end the season, topping out at 4.80 along the way. But Oakland is a well run organization. They didnt panic and send him down. Harden is back in the rotation this year, and still struggling a bit, but Oakland will stick with it, and chances are they're going to be rewarded with an excellent pitcher. The Mets on the other hand, are never going to get help from a single young pitcher, if they won't let any of them pitch the first tiem they run into trouble.
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Thursday, May 06, 2004

Has anyone else noticed that the Mets have a 4 game winning streak going. That's the longest in the National League. Let's all take a moment to stop and thank whoever made the deal with the Devil.
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The Mets managed to give Al Leither some more pitiful run support tonight, leaving him nothing to show for his 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 6 K, 0 BB masterpiece. The Senator now has a 1.53 ERA over 6 starts, and a 1-1 record to show for it. I don't know how Leiter himself feels about it, but as someone who calls him my favorite baseball player, i can honestly say that it is starting to piss me off. Leiter's obviously worked hard this year to come into the season in shape, and pitching well, and it's paid off big time in his performance. Tom Glavine has had a similarly excellent start, and has garnered all sorts of attention because he's gotten some run support, and built himselfa 4-1 record (though he could easily be 6-0). If Roger Clemens starts to slip, Glavine is looking at the serious possiblity of starting an All Star game if he can keep up his current performance. Letier on the other hand, is leading the league with a 1.53 ERA, and is barely a blip on the radar because we can't score more then 1 damn run when he takes the mound, and never get him the win. A little run support and Leiter would be vying with Clemens and Glavine as the early favorites to start the all star game. Ya, i know, and you know, most the people who spend there time reading and writing blogs know that W-L record is among the most meaningless ways of juding a pitcher. But the mainstream media and the fans love it, especialyl when it comes to voting for the All Star game and for the Cy Young. So it would be really nice if we could score a run here and there, and get the Senator some wins, and the recognition that should come with how superbly he's pitched so far.

At least the Mets managed to win the game tonight, off a walk off 11th innings home run by Mike Piazza. Thats two nights in a row for the big guy. Hopefully his bat is starting to get hot. We could certainly use it with Jason Phillips struggling, Floyd and Reyes still out of action, and Kaz Matsui falling off a cliff after starting hot. After tonight's 0-5 performance Matsui is batting .239/326/354 (680) with 31 K's in 112 AB's. And don't let that Isolated Discipline fool you, the early plate discipline Kaz showed has completely eroded, with 1 walk in the last 10 days. A hot Piazza could change everything. Players around him might start to see pitches to hit, and with Spencer and Garcia both performing well, as well as Cameron with an OPS nearing 900, we might actually score more then 2 runs in any given game, as hard as that is to imagine right now.
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Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Grant Roberts was sent down to AAA today. Apparnetly we really screwed him up in Spring Training, because Roberts has bene nothing but succesful in the past, and this season he just lookis worn, tired, and down in his velocity a little bit.

Roberts Major Leauge ERAs

2001: 3.81 in 26 IP
2002: 2.20 in 45 IP
2003: 3,79 in 19 IP
2004: 17.36 in 4.2 IP

Ya, it's only 4 2/3 innings, but ROberts has gotten hammered every time hes touched the ball since the 5th inning of the Expos game in spring training. He might have gotten worn out, maybe he injured himself and he's fighting pain. I dont know, but i'm willing to bet there's more to this then just bad pitching. There's no reason for a 26 year old with good stuff and a good track record to just suddenly fall apart, unless there is something else going on here.

What's worse then then Roberts complete and total collapse? Easy, the fact that we replaced him with 34 yr old Ricky Bottalico. No offense to Bottalico, whose pitched well in AAA (0.00 ERA in 7.1 IP with an 8/4 K/BB), but couldnt we ahve found someone a bit younger who deserves the job? How about 26 yr old Matt Ginter, he of the 0.86 ERA and 19/2 K/BB ratio in 21 IP. Or 28 year old Jason Roach, with the 3.00 ERA and 15/3 K/BB in 15 IP. This is the problem with the Mets folks. Guys like Ginter, Roach, Heath Bell, P.J. Bevis, and Pedro Feliciano are going to rot away in AAA for yet another year, while we waste roster spots on useless veterans like Battalico, and Mike Stanton. What possible reason is there for calling up the 34 year old Bottalico, instead of giving one of the 20 somethings a shot? Do we like wasting the prime years of our pitchers? Is it a hobby for this organization? Maybe there's an office pool on how long they can keep promoting over the hill relievers before one of the kids bitches to management about it, and which one it will be? I don't know, these are just theories, but they seem as good as any, because there's no logical reason for it, unless we're purposely trying to hinder our future. *Sigh* Can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on in the minds of Mets brass?


One other thing i wanted to mention. Anyone been perusing through the stats leaders recently? Like i need to tell you who this is..

463/704/1111 (1815) 15 xbh (10 HR), 6/44 K/BB ration in 55 AB

I've been waiting before i started raving about Bonds again, i mean, it was only April right? Well, now it's the first week of May, and Bonds Slug% of 1111 would be the sixth best OPS in all of baseball, not including his own. He's got nearly as many walks as at bats. His .463 avg is 7 points lower then Jason Phillips entire OPS. Bonds RC/27 is the absolutely ludicrous 32.56. If you add the RC/27 of the entire Mets starting lineup, it barely beats that. For the sake of this, i used Cliff Floyd as the left fielder, which added to the total, then i took out Todd Zeile and re added Ty Wigginton, which dragged it back down. And though there was no choice, since Jose Reyes hasn't even played, it should be remembered that this is with Ricky Gutierrez at second base. All that said, let's take a look at Bonds vs. the combined (not averaged) RC/27 of the entire Mets starting lineup.

Bonds: 32.56 RC/27
Mets: 33.71 RC/27

Ya that's right. Barry Bonds is on the verge of outproducing the combined efforts of our entire starting lineup. Right now, Barry Bonds RC/27 virtually equals the combined total of Mike Piazza, Ty Wigginton, Kaz Matsui, Ricky Gutierrez, Jason Phillips, Cliff Floyd, Karim Garcia, and Mike Cameron. That puts some real perspective both on how amazing Bonds is, and how incredibly bad we are.


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