Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Former Mets Greats Around The League

This is a list of former Mets and the team that they played for in 2009.

Melvin Mora, Ty Wiggington

Red Sox
Jason Bay, Billy Wagner, Chris Woodward, Billy Wagner, Paul Byrd, Billy Traber

White Sox
Freddy Garcia, Octavio  Dotel

Joe Smith

Mike Jacobs
Brian Bannister
Bruce Chen

Scott Kazmir
Darren Oliver

Carlos Gomez
Philip Humber
Kevin Mulvey

AJ Burnett
Xavier Nady

Mike Carp
Jason Vargas

Dan Wheeler
Chad Bradford
Jason Isringhausen

Darren O'Day

Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro

D Backs
Yusmeiro Petit
Scott Schoenweis
Tony Clark

Ryan Church

Aaron Heilman

Glendon Rusch

Matt Lindstrom
Luis Ayala

Jeff Keppinger
Kaz Matsui
Mike Hampton

Doug Mentkiewicz

Mike Cameron
Braden Looper
David Weathers

Miguel Cairo
Pedro Martinez
Chan Ho Park
Tyler Walker

Tyler Yates
Lastings Milledge

Heath Bell

Jesus Flores
Livan Hernanadez
Jorge Sosa

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What If We Don't Get Roy Halladay or John Lackey?

What happens if the Mets fans don't acquire Roy Halladay or John Lackey for next year?  

The Mets certainly will not go into 2010 with Johan Santana and the rest of the bunch from last year.  Mike Pelfrey can not be counted on to be a #2 starter.  At best he is a #4 until he proves otherwise.  It's the same deal with John Maine.  If we slot him into the #3 spot we're asking for trouble.  #5 should be a competition between Jon Niese, Nelson Figueroa, and others.  I guess, somehwere in the mix is Oliver Perez, but I don't know where.

Jason Marquis and Joel Piniero might be on Omar Minaya's radar screen.  Neither is a career long  #3 starter although it can be argued that in 2009 each could have been classified as a #3.  My preference would be to sign Piniero.

Another way to go would be to sign one or two pitchers who were injured last year and will command no more than a one year incentive laden contract.  On that list are Eric Bedard, Ben Sheets, Rich Harden and John Smoltz.  A risky way to go, but we might get lucky.

Here are two pitchers that could be had in trades that haven't been mentioned so far:   Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins and Roy Oswalt of the Astros.  Either would fit in nicely into a #3 starting roll, and possibly a #2 roll  with the Mets starting staff.

Nolasco will be 27 years old next season with three arbitration years on the horizon.  In 2009 he was 13-9 with a high 5.06 ERA.  He was better after the all-star break with a 7-2 record and 4.39 ERA.  In 2008  he was 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA.  Nolasco can throw 94 MPH and in 2009 struck out 195 batters in 185 innings.

Roy Oswalt will start 2010 as a 32 year old.  He is currently under contract for two more years at $15 M per year.  So the commitment to Roy is short term.  Check out his career numbers.  In 2009, he was 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA.  He has been a great pitcher for many years but his effectiveness has decreased, at least partially due to injuries the past two years.  He strikes guys out, doesn't walk many, and gives up very few home runs.

I am not trying to say that Nolasco and Oswalt are equivalent to Halladay.  But at least Oswalt and possibly Nolasco too, could be as good as Lackey and without a long term commitment.

In any event, if the Mets do not succeed in any quest for Halladay or Lackey, who are the best alternatives??

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Do You Want For The Holidays?

I think many Mets fans are unrealistic when it comes to building the 2010 roster.

Here is my top 10 list of what  it's not worth wishing for because they won't be granted.

  1.    Adrian Gonzalez - The Mets do not have enough chips to trade for him.
  2.    Prince Fielder - The Brewers will not give him up for every Mets starting pitcher other than Santana.
  3.    John Lackey - He's a Texas guy who probably doesn't want to come to New York.
  4.    Matt Holliday - Look for the Yankees or Red  Sox to win this sweepstakes.
  5.    Derrek Lee - Under new ownership, the Cubs will go for it all next year and keep Lee.
  6.    Manny Ramirez - The window should be closed by now.  He's in decline anyway.
  7.   A new manager - But the under/over for firing Manuel is the All-Star break.
  8.   A new GM - If Manuel goes, so does Minaya.
  9.   Jason Marquis - He's not as good as it will cost for them to sign him.
  10.   A $170M payroll - It would be even more embarrassing to finish under .500 
My wish list.
If things go right, we can win the division.
We haven''t played all our cards yet.  Wait until the trade deadline for the coup de grace
  1.    Steve DeRosa - Trade Castillo and let DeRosa play 2nd and platoon with Murphy at 1st.
  2.    One of Benjie Molina, Rod Barajas, or Miguel Olivo
  3.    Jeff Francoeur - 25 home runs
  4.    Daniel Murphy - 18 HR, 80 RBI and .295 BA
  5.    Trade for pitcher Roy Oswalt - He has 2 years - $30M left.  
  6.    A healthy Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran.
  7.    Trade for left fielder Carl Crawford.
  8.    David Wright -comeback player of the year.
  9.    Trade for pitcher Ricky Nolasco.
  10.    Johan wins 20.
  11.    Get the better of a contract swap for Oliver Perez.

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Read All My Stuff Which Is Posted On Metsmerized Online

Here is the link to all my stuff on the Metsmerized site.  It's a great website for talking Mets hot stove.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Patience: Not A Mets Fans Virtue

Patience is a virtue that New York Mets fans do not have.  That's why my rant below is just a dream.  Mets management will of course, continue caving to the pressures of the media and fans.  They will continue spending $140+ million per year on salaries and gouging  fans with obscene ticket prices.

Spending $140 million each year is not working.  The Yankees, spending $200 million each year, guarantees nothing. (although it worked this year).

I am a different breed of Mets fan; one with the patience to endure mediocrity for a few years in order to build a true and lasting winning team.  No more band-aids please.  I'd rather mimic the Twins or A's formula for building a winner.  I'm not proposing cutting payroll to $70K per year (Twins - 23rd in MLB).  But I am proposing lessening our dependence on long term contracts to high profile free agents. And to spending more money on scouting and developing young players.  And to holding onto these young players.  Stay the plan, don't waver.  This can only work if the fans, media, and management have patience.

The media are the biggest culprits for putting so much pressure on management and for provoking the fans ire. They say that the Mets must compete with the Yankees; that in New York, you need big names to draw fans, that the Wilpons need to do it this way because they need to sell seats to pay for their ballpark and make a profit.  This is, unfortunately, a cycle that once you're in, you can't get out.  

Could a GM pull this off in New York?  He needs to have the smarts, the discipline, and most importantly the courage, to stick to the plan.  I think, it's fair to assume, that Omar Minaya is not the man that I'm  describing.

Don't tell me that Jeff Wilpon will never hire this man.  I know that.

I think that Billy Beane is the guru the Mets are looking for?.  He is experienced and successful in working with a low payroll ($47M in 2008, $62m in 2009).  Between 2001 and 2006 his A's won over 100 games twice, over 90 games three times, and 88 games once.  Billy Beane is the kind of guy who will do it his way or not at all.

The LA Dodgers spent $100 million on salaries in 2009.  The Phillies $111M.  The Angels $118M.  That's a far cry from the $140M the Mets spent this year and an even higher amount Mets fans think it will take to have a winner next year.  Imagine the possibilities if Beane were to be operating with a $110 million payroll, double what he had to work with in Oakland.

Billy Beane, is a winner who can come to New York and beat the system. The first few years might be difficult as he weans the media and the fans from thinking that the only way to win is by spending more money. 

Imagine the Mets, a division winner, with a payroll of $100M.  Imagine the ball park filled to capacity, lower ticket prices passed along to fans through saving $40M per year in salaries.

That is my dream and I'm willing to wait for it to come true.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Quiz Answers From 11/5

1.  What was the company name on the sign that flashed on and off constantly outside the Shea Stadium outfield through the 1970s.    SERVAL ZIPPERS

2.  Who was the first Mets announcer other than Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy, and Lindsey Nelson.  And what year was it.    STEVE ALBERT

3.  Who was Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore,  Brandon Phillips and others traded for in 2003 .  And who was the GM who traded them.    BARTOLO COLON  BY OMAR MINAYA

4.  After the 2002 season, the Mets wanted to hire Lou Pinniella, but he still had one year left on his contract with Seattle.  Eventually, the Tampa Bay Rays hired him.  Who did the Rays send to Seattle as compensation?   RANDY WINN

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Short Quiz - Answers Tomorrow

1.  What was the company name on the sign that flashed on and off constantly outside the Shea Stadium outfield through the 1970s.

2.  Who was the first Mets announcer other than Ralph Kiner, Bob Murphy, and Lindsey Nelson.  And what year was it.

3.  Who was Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore,  Brandon Phillips and others traded for in 2003 .  And who was the GM who traded them.

4.  After the 2002 season, the Mets wanted to hire Lou Pinniella, but he still had one year left on his contract with Seattle.  Eventually, the Tampa Bay Rays hired him.  Who did the Rays send to Seattle as compensation?

Will The Phillies Slide In The Standings Next Year

It's not easy being on top.  It's great while it lasts.  Last year the Phillies won the World Series.  This year they came close but to no avail.  They definitely showed some holes in the armor during most of the season.

There offense seems fine going forward.  The only question mark is whether Raul Ibanez can repeat such a great season.  The Phillies now have an all-star caliber catcher in Carlos Ruiz.

Their starting pitching is pretty strong.  Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Joe Blanton  will be back.  If they can acquire another solid starter they will be improved.

The bullpen is another story.  What will become of Brad Lidge.  He will never repeat his 2008 soul selling season.  Can he recover from this terrible season?  If not, can Ryan Madson close?  They need to add a 8th inning set up guy who could get a shot to close.  How about JJ Putz?

NL East prediction for next year.
1.  Braves
2.  Phillies
3.  Mets
4.  Marlins
5.  Nationals

Pedro Got What He Deserved

I did enjoy Pedro's performance last night.  He had a great curve ball but should have thrown it on almost every pitch.  He had nothing on his fastball.

He had Hideki Matsui 0 and 2 with two out and two on.  Why he threw him a fastball I will never know.  Matsui was so far out in front of his fastball.  He would never have hit the curve ball.

I don't buy what others have said; that Charlie Manuel should have pulled Pedro in favor of J.A. Happ to pitch to Matsui.  Pedro had him.  All he had to do was throw the curve ball.

What's next for Pedro.  At best, he'll play two months again for some team in desperate need of pitching down the stretch.  Two months is about all his aged body can take anymore.  More likely he will retire

Yankee Predictions

Joe Girardi will  be wearing uniform #28 next season.

Hideki Matsui will be back with the Yankees.

Johnny Damon will not be back.

Phil Hughes will be traded for an established starting pitcher.

Joba Chamberlain will stay in the bullpen.

The Yankees will sign Matt Holliday.

The Yankees will win over 100 games next season.

Joe Girardi will be wearing uniform #29 in 2011.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

World Series 1968 - Jose Feliciano Sings the Star Spangled Banner

Jose Feliciano sings the Star Spangled Banner.  Listen and enjoy.

"The year was 1968. Martin Luther King had been assassinated earlier that spring. Robert Kennedy was murdered less than two months later. Our country was at war in Vietnam, as well as here, because of that conflict in Asia. Our nation was divided by race, by class, by gender and even by age. The older generation did not have faith in their children and the younger generation didn't trust anyone over 30 . Their attitudes reflected that in their dress, their politics and in their music.

Enter Jose Feliciano. The young, blind musician from Puerto Rico was having great success in Latin America with the Bolero and currently, a major hit on the American scene with "Light My Fire." He had been invited to sing the National Anthem at the fifth game of the World Series, for the Tigers against the St. Louis Cardinals, in Detroit, by veteran play-by-play announcer, Ernie Harwell.

Before nearly 54,000 fans in the seats, and countless millions more tuned in to televisions and radios around the country, a nervous Jose walked out to left field with his guide dog, Trudy, and his guitar.

He wanted to sing an anthem of gratitude to a country that had given him a chance; who had allowed a blind kid with a dream reach far above his limitations, far beyond the expected to a place few at his young age, had achieved. He wanted to sing an anthem of praise to a country that had given a better life to him and his family.

Veterans, reportedly, threw their shoes at the television as he sang. Others questioned his right to stay in the United States, suggesting he should be deported (to where, exactly, had never been mentioned as those from Puerto Rico are, of course, American citizens)! Still others just attributed it to the times and felt sad for the state of our country.

The controversy was to shadow Feliciano and his music for many years."

Courtesy of www.JoseFeliciano.Com

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Jerry Mejia - It's Not Time To Give Up On Him

Another poor outing by one of our top prospects, Jerry Mejia.  Today in Arizona he pitched only 1.2 innings, gave up 4 runs on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4.

He threw up to 99MPH.  Just give this guy time.  Don't trade him.  He just turned 20 in October

Two New Posts - "Mets Need Homeruns" and "We Want Pie Too"

I have two new articles that are posted on Mets Merized Online - "The Mets Do Need Home Runs",  and  "Hey AJ Burnett - We Want Pie Too"

Check them out and don't be afraid to comment.


Carlos Beltran - A Keeper Or A Chip To Build On

Carlos Beltran has recently been the subject of purely speculative trade rumors.

It's too early to talk seriously about trades yet.  The World Series has yet to be played. There will likely be no moves until afterward.  Once the Series ends, there is then a 15 day period when a team has exclusive negotiating rights with its free agent players.  If he has not signed, at that time he is on the free market to be signed by any team.

Then the fun should begin.  Trades and free agent speculations and rumors will run wild.

There are good reasons to trade and not trade Carlos Beltran.  I think he will ultimately not be traded and remain the Mets starting center fielder.  He is one of the backbones of the team who was sorely missed during his time missed due to injury.

On the other hand, I think that the Mets could get a nice return for Beltran, which could help the Mets move toward a brighter future.  It may or may not make 2010 a semi rebuilding year, but I for one am for it.
Consider the scenario where the Mets could get back Jacoby Ellsbury, and two young Red Sox pitchers (don't expect Clay Bucholz) for Beltran.  If Beltran's salary were the only thing in the way of such a deal, I would even suggest picking up part of Beltran's salary to make the deal go down.

Signing Matt Holliday would essentially exchange Holliday for Beltran, and add Ellsbury and two pitchers.  I would love to see Ellsbury patrolling the vast area in center field.  He is potentially a gold glover for many years to come.  Reyes and Ellsbury (or Ellsbury and Reyes) would be so exciting reeking havoc on the base paths.

Other moves would be necessary to mold this team into a consistent winner.  I am not going to get into that now.  Suffice it to say that a more productive second baseman than Castillo, and a catcher who can hit home runs like Molina could make up for the loss of Beltran in the lineup.

Reyes and Ellsbury constantly on the base paths; Wright, Holliday, Murphy, and Francoeur driving them in.  DeRosa and Molina at the bottom of the order.  Doesn't sound too bad.  And rather cheaply done.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Must See YouTube Video

Let me know your thoughts on this.


PS: gets all the credit for this one.  So visit his site.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Who Is Steven Matz?

The Mets selected Steven Matz with their first pick of the 2009 amateur player draft.  Matz was a second round pick (72nd overall) as the Mets had relinquished their first round pick due to a previous year free agent signing.

Steven is a Long Island boy, who graduated this past June from Ward Mellville High School.  He's a 6'3" southpaw who throws in the low 90's.  In his senior year of high school, he pitched 44 innings, striking out 81 batters while only allowing 11 hits.

If Matz had decided not to enter pro ball, he would have attended Coastal Carolina University, a hot bed for young baseball talent.  He will now enter the Mets minor league system and hopefully quickly begin impressing the organization and fans alike.

Hey A.J. Burnett - We Want Pie Too!

I have a new article just posted on Metsmerized Online.  Please check it out.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pedro To Start Game 2 for Phillies - But There'll Be No Stopping The Yankees

Pedro Martinez has been announced as the starting pitcher for the Phillies in game 2 of the World Series. He will face A.J. Burnett at Yankee Stadium.  WOW! 

You know I'm no big fan of Pedro anymore, since he sold himself out to the Phillies for a shortened season.  I'm probably not being objective about him.  In my estimation, the Phillies better do some heavy hitting against A.J. Burnett.  Otherwise this is going to be a one-sided pitchers duel that could drop the Phillies into a 2-0 deficit in the Series.

On Thursday night the new Yankee Stadium will be hot inside regardless of the weather.  Pedro Martinez will be returning for the first time in 5 years, since leaving the  Red Sox.  Yankee fans will be all over Pedro.  He will be loudly booed and serenaded with "Who's your daddy". 

For the Phillies to win with Pedro on the mound and in every other game, they must figure out ways to hit Yankee starting pitching.  Sabathia and Pettitte have been sensational, and Burnett has been good.  Other than Cliff Lee, the Phillies don't have the studs on the mound to stop the Yankees heavy hitters.

My prediction - Yankees in 5.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Phox Phanatics

The Phox Phanatics are my family in Philadelphia.  They are, of course, so excited about the Phillies winning the National League Pennant.  I, despite being a huge Mets fan, have a soft spot in my heart for the Phillies, only because of them.

Lisa, is my sister.  She was born and raised in Long Island.  She married Steve, a Dr, who is a Yankee fan, so he doesn't count.  They moved to Philadelphia.  Lisa wasn't very athletic while growing up, and not a big sports fan. Now, she plays golf and tennis, and is a huge sports fan. She has been born again.  Her religion is now baseball, specifically the Phillies.. 

Elizabeth, is my niece.  She is 24 years old.  She now lives and works in D.C..  Her second biggest passion is running, typically 15 miles at a time.  Of course, her number one passion is the Phillies. She keeps her autographed Matt Stairs baseball, by her bed, in a zip lock bag.  It is her priceless possession.

Eric is my nephew.  He is 22 years old and a senior at G.W. University.  He's a great athlete, plays soccer, tennis, and golf.  He became a big Phillies fan in 1993 at the age of six when the Phillies made it to the World Series against the Blue Jays.  Pat Burrell used to be his favorite player.  His second favorite team is the Mets, because of me.

It's been hard for me these past few years to see my Mets falter so badly, while the Phillies have flourished, and now vie for their second straight World Championship.  It will be easier to root for them now, as long as they play the Yankees.

I need to remind them that things can turn around very quickly.  Of course, you always have an open invitation for a Mets/Phillies series at Citifield next year.  And beware, wear your Phillies gear at your own risk.


Abner Doubleday - What Was His Greatest Accomplishment

Abner  Doubleday, may or may not have been the inventor of baseball.  Many of the stories linking him to the invention of baseball are unsubstantiated, and considered by some to be myth.  But one thing is certain.  There is no fabrication when examining his military record as a Civil War hero.  Having graduated from West Point in around 1840, he rose through the ranks of the Union army, to become Major General Abner Doubleday.

Other accomplishments were starting the first cable car company in San Francisco, and authoring two books about the Civil War.  Two monuments at Gettysburg are dedicated to Doubleday.  He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Finally, it  should also be noted that his diaries never mention baseball.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Building The 2010 New York Mets

Check my article out on Mets Merized.  I'd really like your astute comments. 

Oh, and by the way, please sign up as a follower.  I want lots of followers.


8 Hours Of Incredible Baseball -Dodgers vs. Phillies

The Phillies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning, on another HR by Ryan Howard.  But one inning does not make a baseball game.  This game would not be decided until the last out in the 9th.  For the Phillies it was elation.  For the Dodgers it was heartbreak.

Give the Dodgers credit.  Remember, on Sunday night, the Dodgers got routed 11-0.  But trailing 2-0 early on Howard's HR, they fought back.  Four singles and a walk tied the score at 2 in the 4th inning.  Matt Kemp's HR in the 5th, gave them a 3-2 lead.  They extended the lead to 4-2 but the Phillies scored a run in the 6th.  From there, the bullpens took over and quite effectively.  Bellasario, Kuo, and Sherrill kept the Phillies off the board through the 8th as did Park, Madson, Eyre, and Lidge against the Dodgers.

The Phillies came to bat in the bottom of the 9th, trailing 4-3.  Jonathan  Broxton, the Dodgers flame thrower came in for the save.  Broxton consistently threw 99 MPH, but with one out he walked Matt  Stairs, and hit Carlos Ruiz.  After the second out, up came Jimmy Rollins.  On the third pitch of the at bat, on a 99 MPH fastball, Rollins smashed a drive to the right center field gap.  Both runners scored, and the Phillies celebrated their 3 -1 series lead.

8 Hours of Incredible Baseball - Yankees vs. Angels

Last night - that's Monday the 19th was a great night of baseball, starting at 4:07 PM and lasting until past  midnight.  There were two playoff games, both ending at 5-4 for the home teams, Angels and Phillies., on walk off doubles.

In the first game, the Angels, seemed headed for disaster.  With a loss, they would have fallen behind 0 - 3 in the series.  The Yankees got solo HR from Jeter, A-Rod, and Damon and led 3-0.  The Angels couldn't hit Pettitte, so there chances looked grim.  But they persevered and got a HR by Howie Kendrick and a dramatic, majestic HR by Vladimir Guerrero to tie the score at 3.

That's when things started to get interesting from a strategic point of view, and Joe Girardi made some confusing moves.  With one out, and the bases empty, in the 7th inning, he pulled Pettitte and brought in Joba Chamberlain.  Chamberlain got rocked, giving up a triple, long sacrifice fly, and a double; and of course the lead.  As usual, it didn't take the Yankees long to tie the game, which they did on Jorge Posada's HR in the 8th inning.

It looked like the Angels would win the game in the 10th.  They had 1st and 3rd, no out.  But the "Great Mariano" got three straight ground outs to Texeira at 1st base.  And the Yankees escaped, as the game went on.

The Angels won in the 11th when they scored a run with the help of Yankees manager Joe Girardi.  It's ironic that in game 2, the Yankees won on a physical error by Angels 2nd baseman, Maicer Izturis.  In last nights game, the error was a strategic, mental error by Girardi.  In the bottom of the 11th, with two out and no one on base, David Robertson, was inexplicably removed from the game, in favor of Alfredo Aceves.  Although, Aceves is a good pitcher, so is Robertson.  And Robertson easily retired the first two batters of the inning.  Plus, another right handed batter was coming up and Aceves, like Robertson, is right handed.  Lastly, it was the 11th inning and if the game had gone a few more innings, the Yankees would have run out of relief pitchers.  There seemed to be no advantage whatsoever, to rush Aceves into the game at that point.

Still, the odds were with Aceves.  He needed only one more out.  But he gave up a single to Kendrick, and a game winning, walk off double, to the weak hitting, Jeff Mathis.  Final score in 11 innings; Angels 5 - Yankees 4.  The Yankees lead the series 2 games to 1.

Next post in a few hours will cover the last 4 hours of last night's game - a dramatic win for the Phillies and a heartbreaking loss for the Dodgers.

Sports Talk Radio - Time For A Nap

Sports talk radio has gotten so boring in New York, that I rarely listen anymore.  Five minutes of Mike Francesca is too much.  Believe it or not, I'd rather listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. 

As history has recorded, July 1, 1987 marked the birth of WFAN and 24 hour sports talk radio.  At 3:00 PM on 1050 AM radio, Suzyn Waldman signed on and was the first voice heard.  Other "originals", included Greg Gumbel, Jim Lampley, Art Shamsky, Howie Rose, and Steve Somers.  Of course, sports talk radio has a much longer history than 1987.

I can remember as a 13 year old listening to WMCA (after it had changed from "The Good Guys -top 40 music). Jack Spector, Ed Baer, and John Sterling (yes, the Yankee broadcaster) had shows.  I remember calling in to Ed Baer, one Saturday afternoon, and talking about the Cazzie Russell/Dave Stallworth controversy as to who should start for Knicks.  After I made my witty and profound argument for Stallworth, I closed with "and the Jets and Giants in the Super Bowl this year".

All time great broadcasters, Bill Mazer (WHN) and Marty Glickman (WNEW), also had late night shows.  Remember Art Rust Jr. on WABC?  When he talked about the Yankees, he would preface his remarks by saying "In the big ball yard in the Bronx".  Rust Jr., a black man born in Harlem, also was an accomplished author.  His first book, published in 1976, controversially titled "Get That Nigger Off The Field", explored the rocky beginnings of blacks in baseball.

Many of the people named above, whom younger fans have never heard of, were icons in the sports media world back in the 1960's and 70's. Now it's all about Mike Francescha, and Joe Benigno, and their unbearable, repetitive rants.  It's bad enough to listen to three hours of Benigno and Roberts in the morning, but to follow that up with five hours of Mike Francescha is downright exhausting.  

The only person I can listen too is Steve Somers, aka the Schmoozer.  When he is on the air, during a rain delay, or following a Mets game, it is a pleasure, and so entertaining to hear his long monologue about the "Metropolitans".  He has longer conversations with the callers than anyone else, mostly because there are personal stories behind the drudgery of the same news being repeated.  And Somers, has a subtle sarcasm, that if you understand it, makes it hilarious.

Here is my suggestion to WFAN.  Clean house.  Fire virtually everyone except for Steve Somers and a few others (like the traffic girl).  Find some new, fresh voices.  Be more creative and innovative, like bringing in different fans for a daily show.  Run a trial for the overnight show, and if it works, implement it during the 10 AM show.

Please; I'm already tired of Limbaugh and Hannity.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

World Series Preview: Phillies vs. Yankees

By the end of the week, the World Series match up will be set.  Is there any doubt that it will be the Phillies vs. the Yankees?  It could make for a great, close and exciting series.  Not so much for Mets fans.

Who will Mets fans root for?

I will root for the Phillies, the lesser of two evils.  To me, the Yankees are the bigger evil.  Having to live among Yankee fans makes it much more difficult. I  don't like their smug attitude.  Anyway, I have a large Philly Fanatic family, and that makes my choice easier.

Now, I'll take an objective look at the series. 

The Yankees are playing great.  They haven't been hitting that much, but they've been clutch, especially late in games.  A-Rod has been the best of them all.  Their pitching has been even better.  Sabathia,  Burnett, and Pettitte are pitching well and deep into games.  Their bullpen is loaded.  Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Mariano Rivera are an outstanding trio.  And Alfredo Aceves and David Robertson have been great.  In the World Series, when playing in the National League Park, the Yankees will have to pinch hit earlier and more often, for their pitchers:  thus, such a deep bullpen will be a great advantage.

The Phillies will be severe underdogs.  Other than their line up, they aren't nearly as deep as the Yankees.  They do have a great line up - Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Feliz, and Ruiz.  There is not a weak spot.  The catcher, Carlos Ruiz, in the 8th spot has been one of their hottest hitters.

Can the Phillies pitching keep pace with the Yankees?  That is a big question.  Their starters are Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Pedro Martinez, and Joe Blanton.  Even if they can keep pace, their relievers can not.  The Phillies bullpen is a mess right now.  Ryan Madson in the 8th inning, and Brad Lidge in the 9th inning can not and will not close the door on the Yankees.

It's amazing how quickly another baseball season will be ending.  The good news is that a seven game series will last until November 5th.  After that it will be only 102 days until pitchers and catchers report for the 2010 baseball season.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

What Went Wrong With The Mets Bullpen

Click here to read my article on Mets Merized Online.

I'll be away this weekend seeing my family in D.C.  Among those present, will be my Philly family too.  Thank god that there not up 2-0.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Phillies and Dodgers Tied at 1

The Dodgers won 2-1 Friday afternoon, to tie their series up against the Phillies, 1 to 1.  The Dodgers came from behind, scoring 2 runs in the 8th inning, off of five Phillies relievers.  Chet Utley, made the key error on an easy double play ball, that led to the two runs.

Pedro Martinez pitched seven shutout innings, yielding just two hits.  Not bad.  Mets fans can't be happy about that.  Remember, that Pedro has pitched so little this year, that he hasn't been subject to the daily wear and tear of a long season that often leads to injuries. 

Andre Ethier walked with the bases loaded to score Russell Martin with the winning run.

The Phillies outscored the Dodgers 8-6 on Thursday night.  The forecast was for a pitchers duel, but a HR hitting contest broke out in the 5th inning.  Carlos Ruiz and Raul Ibanez each hit 3 run HR for the Phillies.  James Loney and Manny Ramirez homered for the Dodgers.  Neither starting pitcher, Cole Hamels nor Clayton Kershaw survived past the 5th inning.

Saturday is an off day.  The series continues in Philadelphia for three games on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.
Check out my  two new articles.

"Sizing Up the Mets Minor League Prospects", on Mets Merized Online

"Patience:  Not A Mets Fan's Virtue" on The Daily Stache.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's Cold Outside - We Need a Hot Stove Blockbuster

OK impatient Mets fans.  What do think of this?  We're taking on salary and getting two potentially "great" players for 4 prospects. 

Houston trades left fielder Carlos Lee and pitcher Roy Oswalt to the Mets for Oliver Perez , minor leaguers Brad Holt, Scott Moviel, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Ruben Tejada.

Let's analyze this trade.
  • The Astros are looking to cut payroll.
  • Carlos Lee is due approximately $36 million over the next two years (btw - Lee does have a no trade clause).  He will start next season as a 33 year old.  He hit .300 with an OBP of .343. He hit 26 HR and 102 RBI and is a below average left fielder.  Alternatively, you could try signing Matt Holliday for approximately $18M/year for 5+ years.
  • Roy Oswalt is due approximately $33 million over the next two years.  He will start next year as a 32 year old who had an off year with 30 starts but only 8-6 with a 4.12 ERA (3 complete games).  In '08, he had 32 starts and was 17-10 with a 3.54 ERA.
  • The Mets would be taking on $34.5M in each of '10 and '11.
  • Trading Perez would send back $12 million for each of two years.
  • The net result is +$22.5M/year in salaries to the Mets and -$22.5M/year in salaries to the Astros.  
  • Holt,  Moviel, Nieuwenhuis, and Tejada; good to mid-level prospects give the Astros value for their stars but more importantly the Astros shed $22.5M in salaries.
  • The Mets accomplish their objective of adding a power hitting left fielder and a reliable #2/#3 starting pitcher.
  • No long term killer contracts for Lee and Oswalt - 2 years each.
Certainly different players could be substituted for the ones I'm suggesting.  I'm no expert in evaluating talent for trades, especially in conjunction with how important salary reductions are to a team.

What do you think?  Are we giving up too much?  or not enough.  Or am I way off.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Todd Helton For Oliver Perez - Take a Look

Todd Helton will turn 37 during the 2010 season.
He is due $16.6M in 2010, 19.1M in 2011,  plus a 4.6M buyout in 2012.
TOTAL DUE IS $40.3M over 2 years
Oliver Perez is due $12M for 2010 and 2011 totaling $24M over the 2 years period.

Extra cost to Mets is $16.3M over 2 years ($8.15M per year).

In 2009, Helton hit .325 , OBP- .416, OPS - .904, 15 HR and 86 RBI.

I feel that Oliver Perez will not make the starting rotation next year.  So basically with the salary exchange, we'd be paying $8.15M next year for a 1st baseman.  The question is does Helton have enough left in the tank to help the Mets.

Would the Mets/Rockies be interested in structuring some kind of deal around these players?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Learn About the Mets Minor League Prospects

After such a disappointing 2009 season, it's already time to start focusing on 2010.  The trade and free agent markets will be heating up by the middle of November.  Until then, we can look to the Mets minor leaguers who could start making an impact in the next few years.  You have to be patient with these players.  But the Mets have a tendency to include them in trades for big name (hopefully not past their prime) stars. 

Click on the link to get a great education on what the Mets have down on the farm.  Let's hope that a few of them can make an impact in the next few years.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

The M52 Yankees - The Only Yankee Team I Will Ever Root For

Who are the M52 Yankees?  You will not see articles or highlights of them on Sports Center, or in the newspapers.  They are a group of 50+ year old men, who endure pulled muscles, sore arms and achy bodies.  There goal is to relive their youths by playing the game they love - baseball; where at their age, it seems like a mile from home plate to first base.
Most of you would not know that there is an organization called the Long Island Midweek Baseball League which has hardball leagues with games played throughout Long Island.  The M52's are in the midst of the Fall league season right now.  At the end of October, this team will be traveling to Arizona for the MSBL (Men's Senior Baseball League) World Series and in November to Florida for a four day tournament.

Mitch Angelier is the player/manager of this team.  He is a baseball guru; a former minor league pitcher in the Tiger's organization who played AA ball with Jim Leyland.  Drew Lanzetta is a great pitcher with a fastball, curve and knuckle change.  He is a 5 tool player.  Bernie Ellison is the 2nd baseman, lead off hitter and leads the team in OBP, and steals..  Pete Faulisi plays center field, catcher and pitcher: and has a great arm.   He's a southpaw, so a bit eccentric.  Angelo Luparello is a righty, and unique in his own way.  He is a pitcher with a nasty sinker and hits for power.

I played ball with them all summer on a different team, but am not making this road trip with them.   I need to work on my swing and rehabilitate my right shoulder.  Hopefully, by next summer I'll have a starting spot in the lineup.  And next Fall be on my way to Arizona and Florida.


Losing 19 in a Row - At Least it Wasn't the Mets

Nationals Fan Attends 19 Games, Team Loses 19 Times By Ryan Wilson

I can't imagine what Stephen Krupin did to anger the baseball gods, but the Washington Nationals season-ticket holder somehow managed to have a worse year than the 103-loss Nats.

Krupin brought himself to sit through 19 home games, and on 19 occasions he left Nationals Park a loser. Yep, he was oh-for-2009. The poor guy documented his travails
"I figured that even with the worst team in the bigs, this 0-19 record couldn't have been an easy task. So I asked my cousin--a Ph.D. who works as an economist at the Department of Labor and moonlights as a statistics analyst/columnist on and Baseball Prospectus--to crunch some numbers. He and his mathematician friends figured out that the odds of my going 0-19 this year at Nats Park were 1 in 131,204."
Somehow, the news gets more depressing. After consulting his tabulating machine, the labor economist cousin informs Krupin that, "It's gonna be a long time before you break back to .500. I'm wondering if you were the fan in baseball with the worst record of anybody in games attended. If it's 1 in 130,000, and each team gets a couple million fans on average, you might be the only one who attended at least 19 games and failed to see a win."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Check Out All My Articles

I now have 5 articles posted on The Daily Stache
I've also been picked up by another blog website called Metzmerized Online.
Not to shabby.

These types of articles will, in most cases, not be on DannyBaseball.  But I will link you to them when they appear.  For those of you new to DannyBaseball, here are the links to all the articles.

October 10th  "Can Anyone Beat the Yankees?

October 9th  "Would You Make This Trade?"

October 7th  "Say No to the Yankees"

October 3rd  "Did Brad Lidge Sell His Soul"

September 30th "Citifield 2009: " The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"

Enjoy.  And post your comments.


Check out My New Article

Check out my new article on The Daily Stache entitled "Would You Make This Trade?"
I'd really like to hear your comments.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Who Will Beat the Yankees?

Written Friday Night During the Yankees/Twins - Game 2

There's no way that the Minnesota Twins will defeat the Yankees in the Division Series.  The Yankees lead 1 game to none, and in the 6th inning of game two, it is scoreless.  The Yankees pitching is on fire.  Sabatthia was A#1 in game one.  Burnett looks tough in game two.  The Yankees will hit against the Twins.  My prediction is the Yankees win the series in a 3-0 sweep.

Wow! Shocking news as we speak.  The Twins just scored a run in the 6th and lead 1-0.  One out in the bottom of the 6th.

I predict that by the 7th, the Yankees come back and it is at least tied.  That's what the Yankees do best.  I do think they are the best team this year.  But the best team doesn't always win.

Jeter on 2nd, one out.

After disposing of the Twins, up next will be either the Red Sox or the Angels. The Angels are always tough on the Yankees.  They've always beaten them in the regular season and the playoffs.  Or how about another Red Sox vs. Yankees rematch.  This year's season series tells you that the Yankees are the better team.  After the Red Sox won the first eight games in a row this year, the Yankees responded with six straight wins.  The Yankees won the last two games and the season series ended 9-8 Red Sox.

The Angels have good pitching, good defense and good hitting.  They run the bases with abandon.  The Yankees are better man for man, but the Angels know how to win.

My money is on the Yankees to beat either team.  I really think the Yankees would manhandle the Red Sox.  The Yankees will hit and pitch better.  And will steal at will off of Victor Martinez or Jason Varitek.  The Angels will be a tough opponent but I think finally this year the Yankees will beat the Angels - in 6 games.

Extra!  Extra! - Damon Walks, Texeira pops out.  The Yankees have 1st and 2nd two out.  A guy by the name of Alex  Rodriguez is up.  Ball one.

That puts the Yankees in the World Series for the first time since 2001.

Damn.  There goes the lead.  A-Rod singles in Jeter.  Score tied at 1.

Can one of the Phillies, Rockies, Dodgers or Cardinals beat the Yankees in the World Series?  Possibly.  The Cardinals trail the Dodger - 2 games to 0, so let's assume the Dodgers advance to the NLCS.  The Rockies have broken through the Phillies home field advantage, and now go back to Denver tied 1-1.

Twins out in the 7th.  Seventh inning stretch with the Yankees coming up.

The Rockies are now the favorites to advance.  Hamel  vs. Pedro in game three.  My money is on the Rockies.  Pedro has pitched  in only 9 games this year for 44 innings.  In mile high Coors Field, I think he'll get hit.  Series prediction - Rockies in four games.

The Dodgers vs. Rockies has the makings of a great series.  The Rockies are a hot, tough team with much better pitching than in years past.  The Dodgers were not at their best since the All-Star break.  Manny hasn't been Manny; that hurts. I don't think the Dodgers have enough offense to stay with the Rockies.  My prediction - the Rockies in five games.

Too bad.  The Dodgers - Yankees would be a ratings bonanza.  Joe Torre against his former team.

Swisher retired for the first out in the 7th inning.  Cano flies out hard to right field - 2 outs.

So it's the Rockies vs. the Yankees in the World Series.  Damn, another AL All-Star game victory gives the Yankees home field advantage.

Melky flies out to left field - three outs.  Tied 1-1, going to the 8th.

The Rockies are one tough team.  But can they win a game six or seven in New York?  It probably will come down to that.  Can their relief pitching stop the Yankees late in games.  Will A-Rod hit?  He's hit in the first two games vs. the Twins.  How will Yankee pitching fair in the thin Denver air?  The Yankees seem to have a triple headed monster at the end of games - Joba in the 7th, Hughes in the 8th, and Rivera in the 9th.

Hughes retires the first two batters in the 8th inning.

There are so many other intangibles that go into each game.  You can't predict who will get the breaks

Carlos Gomez, former Mets great walks.  Brendan Harris singles.  1st and 3rd, two outs.  Punto singles in Gomez, 2-1 Twins.

Can anyone beat the Yankees in 2009?  It hurts me to say no.  Yankees in six.

Update at 10:30 PM - Unfortunately I was right.  Yankees win 4-3.  Joe Nathan blows it in the 9th on a 2 run HR to A-Rod.  Twins blow a bases loaded nobody out chance in the 11th.  Texeira hits first pitch for home run in bottom of 11th.

Pedro to Start Game 3 for Phillies

The Phillies have announced that Pedro Martinez (former Mets great), will start game 3 of the division series on Saturday night in Colorado against the Rockies.

That is a puzzling decision on the part of the Phillies:
  • J.A Happ although a rookie, posted a 12-4 record with a 2.93 ERA.
  • Joe Blanton was 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA.
  • Pedro was 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA but only pitched 44 innings in 9 starts all year.  He missed a start due to a strained neck.  You never know, but I don't like his chances in Coors Field in Denver.
This is a real snub, especially to the veteran Joe Blanton, who pitched 195 innings in 31 starts.


Must Read Interview With Adam Rubin (from the Daily News)

Every Mets fan should take a look at this interview that the website "Kiners Korner" had with Adam Rubin (the Mets beat reporter for the Daily News).

Click on this link below to read the entire interview!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Real Dirty Mets Blog Has an Article You Should Read

Click on the link below.  It's a good read from "The Real  Dirty Mets Blog"


Projected Type A Free Agents

Check out Tim Dierkes's post on MLB Trade Rumors on the projected 2010 type A free agents.
For those of you novices, all free agents are rated by the Elias Sports Bureau.  They are divided into type A and type B (the type A's are the better ones).


Check out "The Daily Stache" for my New Column

click on the link below and you'll see my newest article "Say No to the Yankees".
Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Twins beat Tigers to Win AL Central; Yankees Next

In a 12 inning thriller, the Twins beat the Tigers 6-5 in the one game playoff to determine the AL Central Division winner.  Carlos Gomez (former Met great), singled and scored the winning run.  The Twins had trailed early, but a 2 run HR by Orlando Cabrera put the Twins ahead 4-3.  Magglio Ordonez homered for the Tigers in the 8th inning to tie the score at 4.  The Tigers scored a run in the 10th but the Twins responded and tied the game off Fernando Rodney.  Rodney the Tigers closer, stayed in the game, pitching a scoreless 11th inning.  But in the 12th he allowed Gomez's lead off single, a ground out moving Gomez to second base, and finally a walk off single to Alexi  Casilla.

Next up for the Twins are the New York Yankees beginning tomorrow in the Bronx.  Game 1 begins at 6:07 PM and can be seen on TBS.  CC Sabbathia starts for Yankees.  The Twins have not yet announced their starting pitcher.

NL Playoff Preview: Rockies vs. Phillies

Game 1 @ Phillies                          
Wednesday @ 2:37 PM                   
Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Cliff Lee

Game 2 @ Phillies
Thursday @ 2:37 PM
Aaron Cook vs. Cole Hamels

Game 3 @ Rockies
Saturday @ 9:37 PM  
Pitchers: TBD

This series is tough to call.  Both the Phillies and Rockies hit and pitch well.  You just don't know whose pitching will stop their opponents hitting better than the other.  The Phillies have more home run power.  Both ballparks are hitters parks so there might be quite a few runs scored.  Starting pitching is dead even so it may come down to the bullpens.  Rockies closer Huston Street was outstanding during the season with a 4-1 record, 3.06 ERA and 35 of 37 saves.  On the other hand Phillies closer Brad Lidge has been awful with 11 blown saves and an ERA over 7.

The teams faced each other in the 2007 NLDS.  The Phillies had won the NL East and the Rockies were the wild card winner.  The Rockies quickly swept the Phillies in 3 games.

Pick:  Rockies in 5

Monday, October 5, 2009

Minaya and Manuel Staying With Mets

It looks like GM Omar Minaya and Manager Jerry Manuel will be staying with the Mets to start the 2010 season.  Jeff Wilpon stated in a press conference today that although this season was very disappointing, both Minaya and Manuel deserve another chance.

Who knows what the answer really is.  Both men are under contract for next year and for Minaya two years beyond.  What a waste of money to fire them both now.  Figure, if by Memorial Day 2010, if things haven't improved, they will both be out.

Wilpon also stated that the Mets will maintain one of the highest payrolls in baseball.

I say get a left fielder and a pitcher.  But please, give Daniel Murphy the first base job next year.  It was a very trying year for Daniel.  He failed in left field, then moved to 1st base where he had never played before.  How could his hitting not have been affected by the situation in the field. And don't forget - he was just 24 and in his first full major league season.  Despite these issues, he hit .266 with 12 home runs and 60 runs scored and 63 RBI.  There is no reason to think that Murphy won't improve next year in all areas including defensively at 1st base.

Other than the core of Beltran, Reyes and Santana needing to stay healthy, David Wright has to prove himself again.  Could it have just been an off year for Wright.  Or are his skills already in decline.

More later on and all winter long.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mets 7 - Astros 1

This is the type of game we wanted to see more of this year - great pitching, great hitting, solid defense.  John Maine pitched 7 innings giving up just one run and 5 hits, and striking out 7.  Don't you wish spring training was starting next week.

Jeff Francoeur and Daniel Murphy each hit 2 run home runs.

In other games, the Yankees are getting bombed by the Tampa  Rays. It's 13 - 3 going to the 9th inning.  CC Sabbathia was awful (Yankee fans are in a panic).  In 2.2 innings he gave up 9 runs, 8 hits, and 5 walks. 

I may have spoken too soon yesterday when i said the playoff match ups were set.  In the AL Central the Tigers went into today 2 games ahead of the Twins with three games left to play.  Tonight the Tigers lost and the Twins are about to win.  The Tigers lead will likely be down to one game with just two to play.

In the Phillies 7 - 2 loss to the Marlins, Ryan Howard hit his 44th home run.
Jake Peavy pitched eight shutout innings, giving up just 2 hits.
The National won their 5th game in a row 6 - 3 over the Braves.
Adam Wainwright will not win his 20th game of the year tonight.  He pitched 6 innings and left the game   leading 6-3.  But the bullpen proceeded to give 5 more runs and blow the game for Wainwright.

More tomorrow, or if not Sunday.


Should the Mets Rehire Bobby V.??

Interesting article by Matt Cerrone from Mets Blog. 

He is in favor of the Mets hiring Bobby Valentine to manage the Mets next year.  Bobby V. managed the Mets from 1996 through 2002.  He led them to two successive playoff appearances in 1999 and 2000, including the subway series appearance against the Yankees in 2000.

By 2002,  Bobby had warn out his welcome in New York as the Mets finished last in the NL East with a 75-86 record.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Jose Reyes to be OK for Next Season

Mets fans will be happy to hear this.  As long as you can believe it.  Andrew Marchand of ESPN.COM reports that Jose's injury is not as serious as everyone is speculating.  Click below for the full article.


The Playoffs Are Set

NLDS - best of 5
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies
St. Louis Cardinals vs. LA Dodger

New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
LA Angels vs.  Boston Red Sox

The playoffs will begin on Wednesday October 7th.  That means there will be no baseball games on Monday and Tuesday of that week.


Mets Announce Lower Ticket Prices for 2010

WOW!! check it out .  The Mets have announced that next year's season ticket prices will decrease by an average of 10%.  Prices on certain seats will fall by 20%.

Good decision.  We all felt we were being price gouged this year.  But you know as soon as the economy improves and the Mets improve, ticket prices will be back on the rise.


Breaking News - Danny has a real writing gig

In the future, my feature articles will be posted exclusively at  It's a real writing job.  All you have to do is click on the link and you can read my stuff.  And you can read all the other inane and insane posts and comments on The Daily Stache.   This weeks column "Citifield 2009 - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly can be found by clicking on  I will provide a link from to my column at The Daily Stache whenever a new column is posted.

My columns will appear exclusively on  The Daily Stache.  Lots of my other stuff will be posted to on a regular basis.

Who knows where this will lead?  Some people have told me to "get a life".  At age 54, it's time to start living out my fantasies - playing baseball and writing on baseball.  There may be a radio gig coming soon.

Just keep tuned in to and  It's the place to learn everything you wanted to know about the Mets and baseball (even in the off season), but were afraid to ask.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday September 29th - Day In Review

Yankees - beat KC Royals 4 to 3.  Scored 2 in the 9th off Kyle Farnsworth.  Walk off RBI by Juan Miranda whoever he is.  The Yankees won their 102nd game.
Red Sox - lost to Blue Jays 8 to 7.  Bucholz got beat up for 7 runs in 5 innings.  Wagner had a scoreless inning.
For the Jays, Adam Lind hit 3 home runs and now has 35.  Aaron Hill hit his 36th. (WOW!)
Tigers and Twins - split a double header.  The Twins won game one 3 to 2 in ten innings which pulled them to within a game of the tigers for the division lead. Brandon Lyons yielded 2 runs, 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 wild pitches in the 10th.  In game two, the Tigers held off the Twins 6 to 5.  The Tigers had led 5 to 0 and had to hold on dearly.  Justin Verlander earned his 18th win against 9 losses.
Braves - lost a critical game to the Marlins 5 to 4.  Matt Diaz's 3 run HR which tied the game in the 6th was not enough as the Marlins scored the winning run off Kenshin Kawakami in the 7th inning.  The Braves are now 2.5 games behind the Rockies.  The Rockies lead the Brewers 5 to 2 in the 8th inning.  If they hold on the lead will be up to 3 games for the wild card with just 4 games to play.
Phillies - beat the Astros 7 to 4.  J.A. Happ won his 12th game of the season and Jason Werth hit his 35th home run.  Brad Lidge did not give up a run, though he didn't pitch.
I almost forgot the METS.  They lost another one - 4 to 3 to the Nationals.  Tonight the Mets were truly amazing.  In the first inning and the eighth inning, the Mets loaded the bases with no out and didn't score.  The National scored the winning run on 2 separate errors on two very routine infield plays. Then in the 9th with 2 outs and Pagan on first base, David Wright slammed a line drive to right field that Elijah Dukes made a lunging, jumping catch at the wall.  The Mets hit a lot of line drives tonight that went into fielders gloves.

The playoffs start next Tuesday.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

citifield year in review: the good, the bad,and the ugly

the mets inaugural season at citifield is coming to an end.  3 more games remain, next weekend against the astros.  i plan at being at all 3 games, just in case another miracle occurs.  it has been quite a mixed bag at the new citifield.  the stadium is one thing and the performance of the mets at their new home is a story of its own.

the mets home opener at their spanking new ballpark was on monday night april 13th.  i sold my tickets to that game.  i didn't want to deal with all the craziness of opening day traffic and ceremonies.  i'm not big on the hype.  i just want to watch baseball.  in any event the mets lost to the padres 6-5.  the mets highlight was a 3 run hr by david wright tying the game which the mets would eventually lose.  nobody would have guessed that this home run would account for 10% of wright's total for the season.  brandon and i were at the next 2 games against the pads, a win on wednesday and a loss on thursday.  in thursday's game, carlos delgado hit a 3 run homer in the 1st inning on a 3-0 count.  what seemed like a good omen didn't last long as the pads came back and won 6-5.  who would have guessed that less than a month later, delgado would suffer a season ending hip injury.  the baseball gods were turning against the mets.

at first i didn't like citifield.  shea, especially in the last decade was never as bad of a ball park as people said and wrote.  and my seats down the right field line were great.  no long rows of people to walk through to get to your seat.  a nice box that had some privacy (in a way).  ok, so i did have to turn my head towards home plate to watch the game.  so what that i have chronic neck pain, probably for the rest of my life.

citifield was lacking in several ways.  the outfield walls and dimensions were too irregular and quirky for my tastes.  left field had such a high wall that it seemed impossible to hit a home run over it.  so many seats had club rights.  basically, having entree into a club gave you the right to buy even more expensive food, but in a private setting away from the commoners.  in most of the clubs you couldn't even see the field, but only could watch it on t.v.  unlike shea, there were long rows of seats (like 24), so getting in and out was annoying.

as spring turned to summer (as neil diamond would sing), despite the mets weak play, citifield did grow on me.  first, the parking system was great.  i never got closed out of the parking lot so never had to park amidst the junk yards or by the worlds fair area a mile away.  the park was beautiful and a fun place to be.  walking in through the jackie robinson rotunda was a nice way to enter the ball park.  you could walk around the field level from home plate all the way around back to home plate.  and it would take very many innings to do so as it was fun to stop along the way and watch the game from different vantage points.  the center field area was the place to congregate, get food and hang out while still watching the game.  and you had a great view of the whole ball park and the game.  it turned out i did like citifield.

the biggest problem as it turned out was the mets play on the field.  their lack of home run power was astonishing.  we all thought that citfield was too much of a pitchers park and it was impossible to hit home runs. but the statistics do not bear this out.  at citifield the mets have hit 47 home runs and the road team has hit 81 home runs.  on the road the mets have hit 42 home runs and the home team hit 72 home runs.  not only did the mets hit more homers at citifield than on the road, but in total there were more citifield homers than in the road ballparks where the mets were playing.  if the mets had done what their opponent had done and hit 81 at home and 72 on the road, the mets would have hit 153 homers which would put them at 15th out of 30 mlb teams.  as it was the mets have hit only 89 which is last in all of basball.  in contrast, the giants are next to last with 113 and the yankees lead in home runs with 232.

sounds like it's not the ball park but the players.  it's not a hitters park like yankee stadium.  it is a fair park with a slight advantage to the pitchers.  imagine how many citifield home runs there would have been had the mets batted jeter, damon, texeira, arod, posada, matsui, cano, swisher and melky .  each of these yankee starters had at least 12 home runs which would have led the mets.  melky cabrera with 12, would lead the mets in home runs, with daniel murphy a close 2nd with 11.

in conclusion, this year had the good, the bad and the ugly.  but in the long run there should be a lot of fun and exciting times at citifield.  and at some point, hopefully soon, some winning times.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

preview of red sox vs. yankees this weekend

the final 3 games of the season series between the reds sox and yankees will be played this weekend at the new yankee stadium.  the yankees go into the weekend with a 5.5 game lead (5 in the lost column).  the red sox must sweep all 3 games to stay in the divisional race.  if not, however, the red sox are a lock for the wild card playoff berth.

the red sox currently lead the season series 9 games to 6.  it has been a see saw series.  early in the season, while the red sox were hot and the yankees cold, the red sox won the first 8 games.  the sox built a 4 game lead.  in august the yankees caught fire.  they have beaten the red sox in 6 of the last 7 games and have been comfortably in 1st place ever since.

friday night's pitching match up is intriguing - jon lester vs. joba.  lester has been pitching great and joba hasn't.  it's hard to imagine joba going even 4 effective innings.  the edge goes to boston.  in game 2 on saturday, it's dice-k vs. sabbathia.  it's a tough one to call.  the edge the yankees have is that the games are at yankee stadium.  sunday's match up is paul byrd vs. andy pettitte.  andy has been so good for the yankees this year.  my guess is that pettitte is getting tired of the long season and his effectiveness will diminish now and through the playoffs.  still it's hard to imagine byrd shutting down yankees hitters.

prediction - yankees win 2 of 3.  so we can look forward to the divisional series of yankees vs. tigers and angels vs. red sox.  just one more month until another baseball season is over.  and then i turn into the "winter me" (courtesy of jimmy fallon in "fever pitch")

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the spoilers

someday you'll tell your grandchildren that the mets were reduced to playing "spoiler" after a terrible season.  well it didn't happen in 2009 and hopefully it won't need to be an option for 2010.  not only have the mets had a terribly disappointing season but they haven't even been able to play "spoiler" to the teams vying for the playoffs.

everyone remembers that fateful last day of the 2007 season, september 30th, when the mets faced the marlins at shea.  i was there that day with my baseball mate brandon.  it was the 1st place mets (tied with the phillies) vs. the last place marlins.  the marlins had nothing at stake other than to spoil the mets playoffs hopes.  but still the marlins came to play that day, pounding tom glavine for 7 runs in 1/3 innings of pitching.  fast forward to a year later, the last day of the season, september 28th 2008.  it was again the mets vs. the marlins for the final game at shea!  if the mets could win, they would at least have a playoff game vs. the brewers to determine the wild card winner.  this was a tight game but the marlins prevailed scoring 2 in the 8th inning to win 4-2.

this year, the mets even failed at playing "spoilers". in the month of september to date the mets record is pathetic vs. the contenders and their rivals.
             1 win - 3 losses vs. phillies
             0 wins - 3 losses vs. marlins
             0 wins - 5 losses vs. braves
instead of playing spoiler the mets rolled over and played dead against these and virtually all teams.  often times the mets were out of the game by the 3rd inning.  and citifield with an announced crowd of 38,000 fans was in actuality looking like a morgue.

yes, there are excuses, lots of them.  but that doesn't stop me from feeling embarrassed about this team that is going to lose 95 games this year.  all of my mets shirts have stayed in my closet most of the season.  i just haven't wanted to go outside wearing them.  

coming soon -  "2009: what went wrong/what went right"


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the cubs - 101 years and counting

2009 was a totally disappointing year for the cubs.  what went wrong?  oh by the way, what went wrong the last 101 years.  it's been that long since the cubs have won the world series.  the cubs have won 2 world series in their history - in 1907 and 1908.  they also played and lost in 1906, 1910,1918,1929,1932, 1935,1938, and 1945.

their most recent disappointments have been in 2008, 2003, 1984 and not so recently (of course) 1969.
of course 1969 was the year of the "impossible dream" of tom seaver, jerry koosman, al weiss and ron swoboda.  the mets steamrolled the cubs in the final month of the season as the mets won 100 games.  in 1984, in a 3 out of 5 series, the cubs led 2-0 and lost the final 3 games.  they could taste making it to the world series but to no avail.  2003 was a very bitter defeat.  the cubs had won the divisional series and were playing the marlins for the nlcs.  they led the marlins 3 games to 2 and had the final 2 games at the friendly confines of wrigley field.  remember moises alou trying to catch that foul ball down the left field line?  when he was interfered with while reaching into the stands to make a the catch?  the batter followed with the go ahead hit as the marlins went on to win game 6.  then in game 7, kerry wood could not hold a 5-3 lead late in the game.  2008 was disappointing primarily because it marked year 100 in their streak, plus the cubs did have the best record in the n.l..

in 2009 again, expectations and spirits were high in chi-town. last year's team was back but it just wasn't to be.  starting pitching was erratic at best as carlos zambrano has won only 8 games.  relief pitching has been downright bad with carlos marmol, kevin gregg, and aaron heilman (former met great) the main perpetrators. and at the bat, other than derrek lee, the cubs big boppers failed (alfonso soriano was the most glaring).

so met fans, cheer up. we might be 22 games under .500 with the 2nd highest payroll  in baseball.  but if we compare the mets to the cubs instead of the yankees we're pretty good. we can boast 2 world series wins in our 48 year history.  and remember there's always next year.


there is a problem with blogger and new followers can't sign up

just wanted you all to know that there is indeed a problem with new followers cannot sign up and anyone who goes to dannybaseball cannot see the followers.  apparently blogspot is working on this problem.  i will continue posting, there are so many topics to cover.

keep trying to sign up and i want your comments.


Monday, September 21, 2009

house or the mets

most of you wouldn't even think of watching the mets game tonight. there's gotta be something better to do. monday night football would eventually be on and the yankee game wouldn't start till 10 pm. so i started on the mets game. in the braves first, mcclouth blooped a single, prado grounded a double, there was an rbi grounder, a walk, and a fielders choice for another run. so 2 outs, and one on and pat misch gave up a first pitch 2 run hr to garrett anderson. 4-0 after one. the braves scored 4 more runs in the 2nd and 3 more runs in the 3rd, then didn't have another hit the whole game. final braves 11 mets 3.

i watched the 1st inning, then made a very difficult decision. i changed the channel and watched the season premiere of 'house'. it was the right decision. it was a 2 hour year opening show and it was really a great show. when the show ended last season, house had voluntarily entered a mental institution to cure his drug and other mental and social disorders. the cast of characters in the mental ward were fantastic. and house made his presence known. he was hot and on fire, affecting so many peoples lives in a positive way. you all should really watch this show. i don't have confidence in the rest of the "house" season to keep my interest so going forward it will probably be back to baseball.

american league week in review - 9/14 thru 9/20

there are now only 2 weeks left in the 2009 mlb regular season. the playoff scenario is starting to take shape, but there could still be surprises.

the yankees have cooled off going 5-5 in their last 10 games. at the same time the red sox were 9-1. the result of this is that the yankees divisional lead has been cut to 5 games (4 in the loss column). the red sox are now officially hot. their starting pitching seemed weak just a few weeks ago. now bucholz is pitching well, dice-k is back from injury and pitching effectively. the yankees on the other hand probably would have liked the playoffs to have started 2 weeks ago. now their bats have cooled off somewhat and their pitching has been inconsistent. joba got hit hard again on sunday, and on friday mariano blew his 1st save after 36 straight. the yankee offense scored 2 runs, 10 runs, and 1 run in their last 3 games and lost the 2 games where their offense failed. looking forward, the yankees play 3 against their nemesis the angels and then 3 against the red sox. the red sox play 4 against the last place royals and then the 3 against the yankees. a scenario where the red sox gain three more games against the yankees this week is not unrealistic. that would cut the yankees lead for the division to just 2 games, with about 7 more to play. of course, they must play the games on the field, not on paper so it wouldn't shock me to see the yankees gain on the red sox. my prediction - the red sox gain 2.5 games on the yankees but the yankees hold on and win the division (i'm not really going out on a limb.)

the tigers and twins continue to fight it out in the a.l. central as the white sox have fallen out of contention. on sunday, the twins went for the home series sweep against the tigers which would have cut the tigers lead to just 1 game. but the tigers prevailed increasing their lead back to 3 games. still the tigers lost 2 out of 3 to the twins and 2 out of 3 to the last place royals. in that space of time the twins won 6 out of 7 games. the white sox losers of 5 out of 7 have now fallen out of the race. by the way, the cleveland indians are in a free fall having lost 8 in a row and now are tied for last place with the kc royals. finally did you know that the royals employ arguably the best pitcher in baseball in zach greinke. for a last place team he is 14-8 with 6 complete games, 3 shutouts, leads the league in strikeouts with 224 and era with 2.14. zach is the most likely cy young award winner in the a.l.

the angels have finally put away the texas rangers and will win the n.l. west as texas lost 6 of 7 including 2 of 3 to the angels. the brightest spot all season for the rangers has been pitcher scott feldman who at age 26 has had a breakout season and is currently 17 - 5. wow - i'm sure you've never heard of him. otherwise the seattle mariners continue to play good ball. remember they lost 101 games last year and this year are currently 78-72. ichiro has been great as usual and on friday hit a walk off homer against mariano rivera. seattle's star pitcher felix hernandez, only 23 years old is 16-5 with a 2.45 era. and in last place are the much improved oakland athletics who have recently won 12 out of 14 games and are now only 7 games under .500. at their worst they were 22 games under .500 and without a legitimate star have played great ball during the 2nd half of the season.

coming soon - n.l. week in review, yankees/red sox weekend series preview, and more. send in your comments.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Did Brad Lidge Sell His Soul?


Can The Phillies Repeat? Or Did Brad Lidge Sell His Soul To The Devil?
Last year the Phillies hit on all cylinders, just at the right time – playoff time. The Mets were mostly responsible for the Phillies winning the division. But as the playoffs started, the Phillies clicked, easily taking the NLDS from the Brewers and the NLCS from the Dodgers. Next victim, the Tampa Bay Rays.
Brad Lidge was perfect during 2008 and certainly the Phillies MVP. His won-lost record was 2 and 0 while converting 41 out of 41 save opportunities. What’s more he was a flawless 7 for 7 during the playoffs. Lidge led the Phillies to a five game World Series victory, their first world championship since 1980. 2009 brings a new challenge for the world champs – repeating. Repeating is a rare feat, last accomplished by the 1999 and 2000 New York Yankees. Can the Phillies be next?

This year the Phillies have both hit and pitched well. They boast four players with 30 or more home runs – Ryan Howard (43), Jason Werth (35), Raul Ibanez (34), and Chase Utley (31). In addition, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, and Pedro Feliz add incredible depth to make a formidable lineup. Starting pitching has been excellent and with the recent signings of Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez, the Phillies can win games even without their bats.
Last year’s strength has been ’09’s big question mark – the bullpen. And Brad Lidge has faltered the most. His pitching line isn’t pretty: 0 wins – 8 losses, 11 blown saves and an ERA of over 7. Without Lidge dominating the end of games, it is difficult to envision the Phillies beating the best teams in the NL. His replacement, Ryan Madson, while successful as the eighth inning set up guy, has also failed at closing games, saving only 10 of 16 opportunities.
I really thought that Lidge would eventually blow a game last year – and maybe even game seven of the World Series. He saved game five and the series went no further.
Remember Joe Boyd from the “Damn Yankees”? Boyd, a regular “Joe”, made a deal with the devil to become Joe Hardy, a great hitter that would lead the Senators past the Yankees to win the pennant. Joe had until 9:00 PM on the last day of the season to renege on his pact with the devil and at one minute to 9 o’clock, Joe backs out to the dismay of the devil.
What does this tell us about Brad Lidge? He didn’t renege during his game 5 series clinching save. What does his 2009 regular season performance indicate? Did he indeed sell his soul for the perfect season and World Series victory?
The 2009 playoffs start next week so we shall soon know whether Brad Lidge will fail and rot in hell for the rest of his life.

Friday, September 18, 2009

mets vie for top draft pick next year

if the mets lose their last 15 games they will end up with 99 losses.

i thought you'd be interested in this post. click on the link for howard megdal, and check out matt cerrone at metsblog.

Draft Pennant Race Heating Up For Mets

By Howard Megdal ~ September 16th, 2009. Filed under: Howard Megdal.

As Matt Cerrone pointed out on Metsblog today, the Mets would have the sixth overall pick if the season ended prior to Wednesday’s games.

Unfortunately, that’s why they play the games, Matt. You simply can’t celebrate the pick just yet- the Mets have 17 games left to play, and we all know how much damage the Mets can do to their future in 17 games. This is a worse jinx than those commercials saying “Your playoff season has come.” For shame, Matt, for shame.

I kid, but the pennant race to the bottom the Mets find themselves in is no joke. Let’s take a look at the remaining schedules for those involved.

Thanks to Esmerling Vazquez and old Mets farmhand Yusmeiro Petit, the Diamondbacks jumped back ahead of the Mets for that sixth pick earlier today with a come-from-ahead 6-5 loss to the Padres.

Arizona has a favorable remaining schedule: Colorado at home and the Giants at home, both with something to play for. Unfortunately, losing to San Diego three more times, not to mention at Wrigley Field to end the season (where many of the Cubs are already bringing golf clubs to the plate) may make a truly horrific finish difficult.

(Incidentally, the win pushes San Diego even further behind the Mets. The play of Adrian Gonzalez in September makes it seems as if he doesn’t even want any help in the draft.)

The Indians are playing like seasoned draft experts, putting up a 3-12 record so far in September. They have four at Oakland, a homestand against Detroit, Baltimore and the White Sox, before finishing with four in Fenway against a Boston team that probably will have little motivation. Still, with Adrubal Cabrera injured, Grady Sizemore done for the season, and the rest of the team playing particularly poorly, you get the feeling the Indians could lose to anybody right now.

The Orioles, meanwhile, are taking the classic Baltimore approach of short-term thinking, winning a series from the Yankees this past weekend. They have six left against Tampa, three home, three away, and six against Toronto distributed the same way. With another three at Cleveland and three hosting Boston- the latter coming up this weekend, with the Red Sox still holding out slim hopes of catching the Yankees and in need of finishing off the Rangers- the schedule seems to favor the Orioles, but they may have just enough September call-up talent for the Mets to catch and pass them.

Obviously, the injuries to Fernando Martinez and Jon Niese, two talents who might have made losing far more difficult for the Mets, is immensely helpful in pursuit of the highest possible draft pick. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be scoreboard watching, with each run the Mets give up allowing me to dream of Bud Selig colorlessly walking toward a podium. Truly, this is the best part of the season.

" "

Speaking of prospects, in a post to NY Baseball Digest, Mike Silva looks at the Mets quest for the best draft-pick possible.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

national league playoff picture

n.l. east - the phillies currently lead the marlins by 7 games and the braves by 7.5 games. it seems like the phillies will win their 3rd consecutive n.l. east title. but it was just 2 short years ago in '07 that the mets blew a 7 game lead with 17 games to play. give the marlins and braves credit. they played great baseball all season. and next year it will not be easy for the mets to be a contender in the n.l. east. see more on the marlins and braves in the wild card analysis below.
n.l. central - the cardinals have the division locked up as they lead the underachieving cubs by 9 games. this is despite the cardinals having lost 5 of their last 6 games. albert pujols will easily win another mvp award. their starting pitching is very deep with carpenter, wainwright and piniero. with great starting pitching, a successful playoff run might indeed might be in the cards. the cubs have floundered for most of the year. alfonso soriano hit an anemic .241 with 55 rbi before he went down with a knee injury last week. carlos zambrano and most of the relief staff were mediocre at best. the brewers have also been a major disappointment this year. in '08 they won the wild card and made their 1st playoff appearance in 27 years. prince fielder and ryan braun have had great seasons but their pitching has faltered leaving them under .500.
n.l west - the l.a. dodgers have led the division all season and hadn't been challenged until recently. as the rockies and giants caught fire, the dodgers lead shrunk, at one point to 2 games ahead of the rockies. right now they again lead by 5 games. the dodger offense has been led by andre ethier (30 hr's and 98 rbi) and matt kemp (24 hr's and 94 rbi). relief pitching has been great led by jonathan broxton's 35 saves and the set up work of ramon trancoso and ronald bellasario. it looks like the rockies and giants are going to fight it out for the wild card with the rockies currently holding a 3.5 game lead.
wild card - the rockies currently lead the giants by 3.5 games, the marlins by 4.5 games and the braves by 5 games. the giants pitching has carried them thus far. the marlins have been just amazing. they have the lowest payroll (36m at start of season) but still seem to compete every year. they have hanley ramirez leading the league in batting average and one of the best players in the game today. they have great young starting pitchers of josh johnson, ricky nolasco, and sean west. finally the braves, after 3 down years seem to have turned it around. they could have the best starting pitching in baseball - jurrjens, hanson, vazquez, lowe, kawakami, and hudson. neither the marlins or the braves should be counted out for the wild card.

look for a playoff preview right after the end of the season - sunday october 4th.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the playoff picture

bad news - the mets have now fallen 22 games in the dreaded loss column behind the phillies. with only 17 games remaining it doesn't look too promising. we're only 18 games out in the loss column for the wild card. not too promising of a scenario. but there's alway 2010 - only 7 months away.

let's start with the a.l. east. the red sox have cut the yankees lead from 9 games to 6.5 games. the red sox have won 6 in a row while the yankees have lost 3 out of their last 5 games. the rays recently lost 11 straight games to end their playoff hopes.

the yankees should cruise to the division title and win over 100 games. there are always questions entering the playoffs but the yankees are the strongest and most well rounded team in baseball.

there are question marks. which a.j. burnett will show up? can andy pettitte continue his 2009 resurgence? what role will joba play as a starter or reliever and can he be consistent and effective. the yankees at the bat have been unstoppable this year. 7 players have already hit 20 or more h'runs and derrick jeter should make 8 before seasons end. question - will good playoff pitching slow down yankee bats?

the a.l. central. there is not much competition for the tigers as the season enters it's final 2 weeks but the tigers just cannot breakaway from the pack. the twins are just 2 games over .500 but just trail the tigers by 4 games. the white sox, a game under .500 only trail by 5.5 games. a twins or sox hot streak can turn this division upside down. in any event the a.l. central winner will most likely play the yankees in the a.l.d.s. so an early playoff exit would be likely.

the a.l. west. the angels are finally pulling away from the stubborn texas rangers. the angels now lead by 6 games. it appears that texas has finally hit the wall after overachieving all season. the mariners have had a nice season, still playing better than .500 ball. considering they lost 101 games last year there was very little reason for optimism for 2009. the mets should keep that in mind - next year? you never know.

next post will analyze the national league playoff picture.

future topics will include - post season award predictions, red sox/yankees analysis, mets minor league prospects, opinions on citi field.

give me your suggestions and comments. i look forward to the rest of the season, the playoffs, and especially hot stove baseball.


where will they be next year

jose reyes - mets
luis castillo - mets
david wright - mets
carlos beltran - mets
carlos delgado - free agent will sign elsewhere
daniel murphy - mets (starting at 1B)
jeff francoeur - questionable but probably mets
angel pagan - mets
omir santos - likely still a met as platoon/backup catcher
brian schneider - not a met. he will at best sign a minor league deal somewhere
fernando tatis - likely a met. he is still valuable as a bench/role player
jeremy reed - somewhere else on minor league deal
corey sullivan - somewhere else on minor league deal (but it does depend on francoeur and
any other free agent outfielders)
josh thole - likely on mets opening day roster but if so omir santos will likely not be a met
alex cora - hopefully a met (as a role player)
anderson hernandez - only a met if no cora or other infield role player
fernando martinez - aaa buffalo
johan santana - healthy as a met and an ace
mike pelfrey - predict he will at some point be in aaa buffalo
john maine - met starter
ollie perez - predict he will not last in met rotation (he's not going to figure it out)
jon niese - in met starting rotation
bobby parnell - aaa buffalo (as a starter)
lance broadway - forget him
pat misch - gone
nelson figueroa - worth keeping (starter , long man, set up - who knows)
tim redding - might resign for rotation (he has redeemed himself)
k-rod - mets
pedro feliciano - mets
sean green - gone
jj putz - might try to keep as set up guy if he can prove healthy
tobi stoner - aaa buffalo
elmer dessens - gone
ken takahasi - gone
brian stokes - mets ( but can he be consistent)
wilson valdez - gone
nick evans - aaa buffalo
gary sheffield - gone (can you believe how quickly he wore out his welcome here)

i'd really like your comments.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

day one of "danny baseball"

the mets are lying down and playing dead tonight. their lineup is pathetic including wright, beltran and francoeur. we won't know what's with wright until next year. francoeur can contribute but he has to hit with power. he's hitting over .300 but he's become another singles hitter with a low obp. he had 7 early hr's and lots of rbi for the mets but now he's just hitting singles and not hitting in the clutch.

don't blame anything on castillo. bring him back next year. the mets shouldn't waste their time on finding another 2nd basemen and trying to trade castillo. and daniel murphy is showing something. he had 2 hits against tommy hanson. murphy is going to be a .300 hitter in this league for many years. he must, however, improve defensively and become more versatile. he must be able to move around the infield from 1st to 2nd and to 3rd. that's what he should be doing this winter. my prediction - if the mets give him a shot, in 2 years he will be hitting .300 with 15 hr's and 80 rbi. he can do it for the mets or somebody else. let's keep him.

next year? omar - don't try to fix everything. you don't have to start from scratch but you need a 2-3 year plan that will improve the team each year. we don't need a huge 1st baseman next year. ike davis will hopefully be there in '11 so let murphy play their in '10. like i said above castillo should be our 2nd baseman next year. then reyes and wright in the infield.

the outfield and the pitching is where omar has to improve the team. trading beltran should be explored only if you get a great return for him. but penciling him into cf is a good move. francoeur will continue to be an enigma his whole career. as much as i like him (he seems like such a good guy and a team leader), i don't see him being more disciplined at the plate and if he doesn't hit 20+ hr's he is not the answer. pagan isn't a long term answer but next year he might be an outfield option. what other choices are there? i can't see matt holliday coming here. who else is there? what about trading for carlos lee? we only commit to 2 years at $18m each year. would the astros dump his salary? maybe and if so i'd take him.

nobody knows who the hidden surprises will be next year. that's a crapshoot so good luck in guessing. carlos lee, carlos beltran and ??? in the outfield. maybe that would work.

the more i think about it, carlos lee makes sense!

what about pitching. i don't have the answer or a good idea right now. we start with johan, pelfrey, maine, perez and niese. that doesn't sound too good. the mets won't go into the season with 4 question mark starters. it's not impossible that pelfrey ends up back in the minors and perez cannot make the rotation. especially on a non-championship caliber team, niese should be in the rotation.

so that would leave room for 1 or 2 new starters. can we get one stud? is lackey worth derek lowe money? trade for zambrano ($54m for 3 years)or oswalt ($30m for 2 years)? sign marquis, washburn, bedard, davis, harden, looper, brett myers, brandon webb?

from this list above i'd like to see the mets explore oswalt, bedard, harden myers and webb. you have to find the cheap guys who might work out. trading for oswalt - maybe - at that money the cost in prospects should be minimal. the others are free agents.

the mets have to cut payroll, however. you can't go into next season with a $150m payroll with no flexibility to increase it as the season progresses. with certain arbitration commitments assume the mets start with a $105 m payroll. if you add lee, oswalt and another pitcher you're at $138m. they can't do much more than that. that's why murphy, castillo, pagan and some others must be a part of the 2-3 year plan to improve each year.

there will be more coming on the mets and baseball in general.