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