Saturday, July 31, 2004
In a three team deal, the Mets sent AAA catcher Justin Huber to the Royals in exchange for third basemen Jose Bautista, who was immediately flipped in a package with third/second/first basemen Ty Wigginton and AA right handed pitcher Matt Peterson in exchange for right handed starting pitcher Kris Benson and minor league second basemen Jeff Keppinger. In short, the Mets shipped out Wigginton, Peterson and Huber for Benson and Keppinger.
Minutes later, the Mets sent class AA starting pitchers Scott Kazmir and Jose(lo) Diaz to Tampa Bay for starting pitcher Victor Zambrano and AAA pitcher Bartolome Fortunato, who is either 24 or 30 years old, depending on who you ask.
In summary, the Mets lost Wigginton, Kazmir, Peterson, Huber and Diaz and gained Benson, Zambrano, Keppinger and Fortunato.
Looking at the trades in isolation, it’s clear the Mets overpaid in the transaction that landed Benson and got robbed blind in the follow-up deal that netted Zambrano. Looking at the cumulative effect of both trades together, however, reveals just how truly devastating they are. In a matter of minutes, over half the starting rotation of the Mets AA Binghamton pitching staff was sent packing. The heir apparent to Mike Piazza, one of the most highly touted catching prospects in the minors, was issued his walking papers as well. In short, the Mets gutted their farm system, a system envied by other teams. And let’s not forget about Ty Wigginton, a player who wore his heart on his sleeve for this team and has shown marked improvement this year from his rookie campaign of last season. The Mets lost monumentally more than what they received. The only way these trades can be justified is if they result in a World Series championship. If not, the Wilpons, Jim Duquette, "Superscout" Al Goldis, or whoever is running things for the Mets, can consider their gamble a failure.
While weighing the talent the Mets received versus what they gave away tips decidedly against the Mets, these trades are more than just about Kazmir and Peterson et al., they are about team management implementing a plan, selling it to the fans, then abandoning the plan, the fans and the players that bought into it. Many fans were willing to be patient if it meant the Mets would field a team of players we could call our own. Didn't Met brass take note of the genuine excitement solid home grown players generate? Did they turn their backs when the Flushing Faithful gave David Wright a standing ovation when he got his first hit recently? Do they cover their eyes when us fans gush like little girls whenever Jose Reyes smiles? For God sakes we put up with Ty Wigginton's cement shoes at third base for a year and a half just because he's a home grown kid who works his tail off and is fun to root for. The Mets are not the Yankees and we were just beginning to enjoy how the current management was forging, or should I say re-forging, our own organizational identity and philosophy - one that we could be proud of. I'm not very proud to be a Met fan today.
Friday, July 30, 2004
I hate it. There’s no scientific proof that sex is going to hurt your pitching performance. Each player has his own ritual, and Kris’s is no sex when he pitches. It pisses me off because if you tell me I can’t have something then that just makes me want it more. I like having sex with Kris. We’ve had some pretty nasty fights over this issue.You can find that comment and others in this interview I found linked to at MVN (Parental Discretion Advised) and if that's not enough Anna for you, you can always visit her at her website. I think that Peterson should take the Benson's down to the American Sports Medicine Institute in Alabama to have Kris tested to see how he pitches with and without "relations."
Thursday, July 22, 2004
So go stop by and tell Avkash how happy you are that he's back on-line and how ugly that green color scheme is. I kid, I kid!
As you may or may not know, the raindrops has been down for more than a week due to some server problems. I don't know when it'll be back to 100%, so in the mean time, I'm going to start posting at: http://theraindrops.typepad.com. This is a temporary thing until the old site is all fixed up, and I honestly have no idea when that will be. Do with your bookmarks as you please.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Now, let's move onto brighter thoughts. The latest from ESPN,
If they can stay in the race and none of the other NL East contenders break away from the pack, the Mets might have an opportunity. They have the second-most games left against teams with records under .500 (24) in the NL, will be finished with Florida and Philly by Sept. 12, and nine of their last 15 are against the Expos and Pirates (who presumably will be without either Kris Benson or Jose Mesa by then).That makes me feel a little better. What makes me feel even better is knowing that both the Braves and Phillies records are a bit artificially bloated in that they have had the pleasure of playing the AAA Expos 14 times each so far while the Mets have only played them seven times.
Lastly, on last night's broadcast Ted Robinson mentioned an article from the NY Times Magazine by Pat Jordan. It's a good read, check it out here.
Monday, July 19, 2004
If DeJean's record and ERA weren't scary enough, Baseball Prospectus's handy dandy Reliever Evaluation Tools Report does not give us much relief either (no pun intended). DeJean is second to worst in adjusted runs prevented, dead last in at preventing inherited runners from scoring, and is the most overrated relief pitcher in baseball by conventional run assignment. In other words, think of DeJean as Mike Stanton from the right side.
Mike will bring experience and depth to our bullpen. . . He has had success in the National League and has the savvy of pitching well in close games.
If you're looking for a bright side, here it is. Since the Richard Hidalgo trade, Garcia was useless to the club right now so at least the Mets got something for him. Also, DeJean has had some success in the past. While DeJean has had a rough year, he seems to have turned it around as of late, with a 2.35 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in July. Finally, note that DeJean has actually pitched very well away from Camden Yards: 2.29 road ERA.
The Mets were hoping to move Garcia today in order to clear a roster spot for pitcher Scott Erickson who is being recalled from AAA Norfolk and is scheduled to start tonight. They moved him but took a player in return so it's not clear who the odd man out on the roster is. A right handed releiver was not exactly on the top of the Mets wish list, especially with how well the Mets right handed bullpen arms have pitched and how poorly the two-headed-southpaw monster has thrown. Alternatively, another trade that opens up a roster spot might be imminent as well.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Recognizing this, the Mets have brought in and assigned to AAA Norfolk, 33 year old Vic Darensbourg, (quack, quack) who was recently cut loose by the White Sox. To make room for the journeymen lefty, the Mets sent another lefty bullpen arm, Royce Ring, down to AA Binghamton. Ring came to the Mets in the Roberto Alomar trade and was touted as a serious contender to become the Mets future closer. Quack. After mixed results in Norfolk (3 and 1, 3.74 ERA) his stock has slipped quite a bit. Quack.
Jeez, what the hell is all that damn quacking! What is this one of those Aflac commercials!?! Oh, wait, I know what that quacking is. It's a sign from above (or a sign from exit 58 on the LIE). If the Mets are in the business of signing journeymen lefties to shore up the bullpen, then why not ink Generation K alum Bill Pulsipher to a minor league deal, send him to Norfolk, and let's see what he can do. Pulsipher is currently tearing up the independent AAA Atlantic League for the Long Island Ducks. At 8 and 2 with a 3.28 ERA and 60 Ks in 85 innings pitched, Pulsipher is among the league leaders in pitching and was recently selected to the Atlantic League All Star Team. According to a recent interview, Pulsipher has straightened out his mechanics, has improved and relies on his two seam fastball, which he compliments with his change-up, and perhaps most importantly, he has had much more success with his battle against anxiety by switching from Prozac to Paxil.
Is signing Pulsipher a likely scenario? No, not at all. Would it make sense? It makes about as much sense as signing 33 year old Vic Darensbourg to a minor league deal to take 23 year old Royce Ring's spot in Norfolk.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Saturday, July 10, 2004
the Mets are still flirting with first place,
Art Howe is still dumber than wart puss,
Rick Peterson's a genius,
John Franco is older than dirt,
Orber Moreno has been spotted on the back of a milk carton,
Mike Stanton blows,
Kazuo Matsui got wind of my All Star Break deadline and has turned his season around,
Richard Hidalgo is making Jim Duquette look good,
Tom Glavine is still money but for some reason, he has yet to endear himself to me. Last year it was just odd to see him in a Mets uni. Then, as he struggled, all of his excuses didn't sit well with me. QUestec, pressure, bad defense blah blah blah. And now that he's pitching well, all of his subtle comments about lack of run support is just more of the same. And from what I can gather, with his lack of strike outs and his superb ERA, while the offense might not be there when he pitches the Mets defense has saved his ass more often than not. Shut up and pitch. Oh, and stop playing make believe GM while you're at it. We don't want that old, crusty homophobe John Smoltz. Now, where was I, oh right, back to this shitty blog entry,
Mike Cameron is swingin a mean stick,
"Ty Wigginton," according to Kaz Matsui, means "this is my hot corner" in Japanese,
Art Howe is still dumb,
Jose Reyes can hit .200 the rest of the season so long as he flashes one of those smiles every couple of games (okay, that smile can get him only so far - say, .250),
"David Wright," according to Jae Weong Seo, means "move over bucket head" in Korean,
Mike Piazza is struggling but who cares - the Mets are an offensive juggernaut (I can't believe I just wrote that) and his bat is just gravy right now,
Cliff Floyd made a great balls to the wall play in left field the other night against the Phillies in the late innings when the Mets were already up like 10 to 1 - that's what I call heart,
While Reyes' smile gets him a pass to only hit .250 the rest of the year, Jason Phillips goggles, while cool, do not get him any such pass,
This Met team is going to be the death of me, or the reason I fail the bar.
That's it for now.
Monday, July 05, 2004
Every so often, before a series begins, I'll skim through some of the opposing team's blogs or message boards to see what, if anything, opposing teams fans think of their teams chances against the Mets. Usually what I find is a lot of "I hate the Mets," "the Mets suck" "Mets fans are fat ignorant selfish pig-faced slobs" etc... After taking 2 of 3 against the Reds and sweeping the Yankees to pull into second place and only 2 games out of first, however, I found something strange for the first time this season: respect. Here are a few excerpts from the Phillies message board:
Subject: Mets Scaring Me
The Mets are looking unstoppable. Did you see the hilights against the Yanks...They smoked the yanks...swept them three games straight. The Mets are the Phillies main threat. The Phils have no time to begin slumping. The Mets are on one of their irreverent "magic" rolls right now. Help, the Mets are scaring me...Damn straight we smoked them Yankees and butter us up baby because you're right - we are indeed on one of our "magic rolls."
I agree 100%. Not only have the Mets killed the Phillies this year along with the rest of the NL East (except the Expos), but they are on a major hot streak right now and i think the Phils will have a very difficult task over the next four days and they will be lucky to win 2 of the 4.The Phillies should consider themselves lucky if they escape the series with their lives!
Subject: Worried About the Mets
Is anyone else concerned about the up comming series with the mets? With the way this team has pitched you can't help but wonder what an average hitting team will do. I mean the Spos put up quite a few runs. With better pitching against the phils (Leiter, Glavine) can they win?? I sure hope so because the Mets fans are soooooooo annoying. What do you guys think?Who you calling annoying!
A little bit concerned, I suppose. I do not think they have the bullpen to match ours (gulp). However, their starters have been great and a shudder to think what will happen if they land a fifth starter in a trade.....they have still struggled at tehj dish but the pick-up of Hidalgo has proven thus far to be a good oneShudder shudder damn it shudder!
As far as their team is concerned, God help the NL east if they had a decent manager. Sound familiar????True dat.
Back to the Yankee series, I just wanted to point to two pictures that embody why the Mets are a fun team to watch and why rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for Ivan Drago.