Monday, December 25, 2006

MERRY XMAS!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

John Sickels' take on the Mets Prospects.
Very similar to Prospectus' top 10. In fact, the same 10 people are in the top 10, with some minor movement. Sickels seems a little less enthusiastic about Humber and Carlos Gomez, and has Soler a lot lower down. But the general conclusion is the same: the Mets have 4 big prospects (Fernando Martinez, Pelfrey, Humber, and Gomez) and a lot of question marks after that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mookie Wilson, Roger McDowell, and Gary Carter Think Big!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Damn you Ryan, you beat me to all the news I was going to post.

Anyway, I think the Mets should at least see if Giles would be interested in coming over. Most people seem to think the reason he had a down year (besides the injuries) was because he hated hitting leadoff. Well, no prob for the Mets, they have a pretty good leadoff guy as it is. I would definitely look at giving him 4 yr/$20-24 mil. Personally, I have a hard time thinking that Valentin will be able to produce again this year, so they should at least look into it. I wouldn't have a problem with them getting Pineiro either; once again, I think if he can stay healthy, he can actually be quite serviceable.

Now the thing about the posting fee with D-Mat: doesn't the fee go to his Japanese club? I mean, he's not going to be getting a piece of that, right? So what does that have to do with him?

Zambrano non-tendered? Shocker.
Matsuzaka signs?
If SI is to be believed, the Sox and Matsuzaka agreed to a 6 year, $52 million deal, with incentives that could go up to $60 million.

My quick reaction is that this is a pretty good deal for the Sox. When you add in the posting fee, this works out to $17-18.5 million (varying with the incentives). But, the $51 million posting fee isn't subject to the 40% luxury tax. Assuming that the Sox exceed the luxury tax threshold each of the next 6 years (which is admittedly a pretty big assumption), then it's really just around $14-15 million a year. The posting fee is being paid up-front, so to fairly compare this to other free agent deals, the time value of money needs to be taken into account. My very rough calculation is that another $1 million should be added per year.
So, the final result is the approximate equivalent of $15-16 million a year for 6 years. That's right in line with what's being talked about for Zito. Based on everything I've read, I think the odds are Matsuzaka winds up being a better pitcher than Zito. Of course, there's a risk associated with a player who's never played in the majors. Hard to put a dollar figure on that, but I think he'll succeed and that the overall money being spent puts the deal right in line with the way the market is behaving.
Additionally, there's added value to having a premiere Japanese player. I read a Jon Heyman article awhile back that said the Yankees make around $5 million extra a year in marketing/licensing/branding money from the Japanese market. Assuming that's true (I have no idea if it is) and that the Sox can pull off the same thing (some of the $5 mill may be due to Matsui being an every day player and him playing in NYC), then the deal looks very good.
People of note who were non-tendered yesterday, and are now free agents:

Marcus Giles
Chris Reitsma
Victor Zambrano
Jorge Sosa
Joel Pineiro
Brandon Claussen
Rick Ankiel

The two most interesting names are on the list because the Braves are too damn cheap.
Everyone seems to think Giles is going to San Diego to join his brother and fill the whole left by the Barfield trade. The appeal of playing with his brother may be too much to overcome, but there should be other teams with interest. He's coming off a weak year, but his offensive track record is impressive and he's still in his prime. Do the Red Sox really want to count on Pedroia?

I'm not sure what Reitsma's injury status is, but he could be a nice addition to a team's bullpen.
Pineiro is also coming off a bad year, but there are a lot of teams (including the Mets) with holes in their rotations.
http://mcsweeneys.net/links/fantasybball/12contractbonuses.html

Monday, December 11, 2006

Why does Jose Valentin switch-hit?
Jose Valentin is a switch hitter. Against right-handed pitchers, he hits from the left side of the plate. During his career, his OPS in these situations is .821. Last year, it was .879. Against left-handed pitchers, he hits from the right side. During his career, his OPS in these situations is .585. Last year, it was .599. In these situations, he hasn't had an OPS of even .700 in any season since his rookie year, when he only had 19 at-bats. Just to make clear how significant the difference is, here's his career performance from each side, prorated to 650 plate appearance (approx. 1 full season):
H2B3BHRRBIBBSOAvgOBPSlgOPS
LHB vs. RHP144334309366129.253.332.489.821
RHB vs. LHP11620295159151.205.281.304.585

Valentin has played most of his career at shortstop, so let's compare those numbers to a couple of shortstops of his generation. Miguel Tejada's career OPS is .822. Rey Ordonez's career OPS is .599. So, from the left side of the plate, he has hit like Miguel Tejada, and from the right side, he's hit worse than Rey Ordonez. You'd think this huge gap would be enough to convince Valentin to stop switch hitting, and simply hit from the left side against all pitchers.

And in 2005, Valentin was finally convinced. He hit from the left side the whole season. Against southpaws, he had his best season ever, with an .891 OPS! He only had 19 at-bats against lefties, but it still seemed pretty convincing. Despite his unprecedented success, in 2006, he went back to switch hitting. Predictably, he did poorly against lefties, with the aformentioned .599 OPS. In one at-bat last season, he decided to give hitting lefty against lefty another chance, and he hit a homerun! But, then he went back to switch hitting.

Why does he continue to insist on switch hitting? It seems insane!

Hmmm, here's one possible explanation. Over his career, Valentin has been very consistent from the left side of the plate. His highest OPS season was .880 and his second lowest was .758. The one outlier was 2005, the year he ditched switch hitting, when his OPS in such situations was .546. Maybe Valentin thinks that suddenly facing lefties from the left side somehow hurt his timing against righties.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez? WHAT?
That is easily the worst/best trade of the offseason. In fact, I'm struggling to think of the last time a trade seemed so obviously lopsided. Soriano is a very good reliever. He had a 2.25 ERA last year, with a 65/21 K/BB ratio in 60 innings. Horacio has somehow kept his ERAs in the 4s, but his peripherals have always been terrible (career 248/200 in 521 innings). I'd be surprised if his ERA is under 5. Fucking Braves!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From Joe Sheehan's chat at Prospectus:

Q: Most entertaining person you've talked to at the Winter Meetings is...
Joe Sheehan: Omar Minaya. It's not close.
AMBIORIX
I'm a big fan of the Burgos-Bannister trade. Burgos has a chance to be an impact player; Bannister does not. Burgos turns 23 in April and hits 98 on the radar gun.

Bannister is almost 26. Even his fans acknowledge he doesn't have great stuff. Best case scenario, he'll be a 4th or 5th starter. I'm not convinced he'll even be that. It's a small sample size, but in his 38 innings last year, he had 19 strikeouts and 22 walks, which is pretty terrible.

Burgos struggled mightily last year, giving up 16 homers in 73 innings. But, he was only 22, had been rushed to the majors shortly after converting to the bullpen, and still struck out a batter an inning. The Royals have horribly mishandled him; a little Rick Peterson magic could turn him into a stud reliever. He could be a total bust, but there's a chance he'll be a big part of the Mets bullpen for years to come. I'm curious to see the new PECOTA projections, but last year's projection predicted that Burgos' ERA would be over 5, but would improve dramatically in the coming years. Here are his projected ERAs from a year ago:

2006 5.20 (actual = 5.52)
2007 4.03
2008 3.85
2009 3.36
2010 3.48

Unrelated ridiculous Mets rumor: Bob Nightengale (who I used to love back in the Baseball Weekly days) reports that the Mets could trade for Rich Harden!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Regarding the bullpen, it wouldn't shock me if Minaya signed 1 or 2 guys to minor league contracts and they end up on the roster. Seems to have been the M.O. for last couple years.

Have I mentioned that they should trade Milledge and not sign Zito?
If the Mets tried to keep the 1986 team together in today's market...

http://www.joesportsfan.com/column.php?storyid=298

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Will the Mets have a bullpen in 2007?
Last season, the Mets had the best bullpen in the NL. Will they come close in 2007?
Wagner and Feliciano will be on board, but the rest looks unclear.
The Orioles signed Chad Bradford for 10.5/3. I think that's a defensible signing for the O's, but I understand why the Mets wouldn't want to spend that much on a situational righty (even if he's dope against righties).
Duaner Sanchez may not be ready for opening day.
Aaron Heilman is mentioned in every Mets trade rumor.
If Mota is brought back, he'll miss the first 50 games due to suspension.
According to the Daily News, the Mets have not had any discussions about bringing Darren Oliver back.
The Times says that the Mets have no interest in bringing Roberto Hernandez back.
Heath Bell, Royce Ring, and Henry Owens have all been traded.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ignoring important factors like age, speed, and defense, here are the last three years of OPS for two corner outfielders who just signed new contracts:

Player A: .923, .918, .918
Player B: .911, .821, .808

Player A signed with the Mets for $8.5 million. Player B signed with the Cubs for $136 million.

[edit: Player C: .895, .811, .891
Player C (who is younger than Player A, but has similar limitations when it comes to defense) signed with the Astros for $100 million.]
Pujols vs. Howard
It's a close call, but Ryan Howard was the wrong choice for MVP. It's an interesting MVP battle because they're so similar. This wasn't a choice between a slugger and a speedster, a shortstop and a DH, or a pitcher and a hitter; this was a choice between two slugging first basemen. Forget all the hype about Howard's homeruns, the only real difference between the offensive lines for these two players was their playing time. Pujols missed a large chunk of June with an injury. He finished the season with 143 games and 634 plate appearances. Howard totaled 159 games and 704 plate appearances. Otherwise, their offensive numbers were very similar. The following two lines are Howard's actual stats, compared to projections for Pujols if he had also had 704 plate appearances:


playerRH2BHRRBIBBKSBAvgOBPSlgOPS
Howard10418225581491081810.313.425.6591.084
Pujols1321973754152102568.331.431.6711.102


There's one huge difference: the strikeouts. Other than that, the two lines are very similar. Howard has a few more walks and a few more homers. Pujols has a few more singles and a dozen more doubles. Overall, Pujols's rate stats are slightly superior ; he has a slight edge in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
Obviously, that slight edge doesn't make up for the 16 game edge Howard has on Pujols. 16 extra games from your best player has a lot of Value. And that's probably where the analysis ended for a lot of the voters. The problem is the offensive numbers are a little misleading. One reason: park factors. My guess is that most voters ignore park factors unless a Rockie is in the running. Here are the park factors (numbers over 100 indicate that the park improves run scoring by the percentage over 100) for Philly and St. Louis according to three difference sources (they all base their numbers on different time spans):


PhiStL
Prospectus10399
BB Reference10398
ESPN10695


Doesn't look huge, but it's a big enough factor that it needs to be taken into account. So, now we're at this point: (1) Pujols's slightly better rate stats need to be adjusted for the park factors and (2) the resulting edge for Pujols needs to somehow be weighed against Howard's significant edge in playing time. Fortunately, Baseball Prospectus has statistics that already do this hard work. I'll note that of the three pairs of park factors listed above, Prospectus's find the least difference between the parks, so if anything, an argument can be made that Prospectus's stats are all skewed slightly in Howard's favor. Equivalent Runs (EqA) is one of their park-adjusted measures of overall offensive production. It's a rate stat that is calibrated to look sort of like batting average (i.e. over .300 is good, below .250 is bad). Equivalent Runs (EqR) is a counting stat that shows how many runs a player produced based on his EqA. RARP is based on EqR and is a measure of how many more runs a player produced than a replacement-level player at his position. Before I go any further, here are the numbers:


EqAEqRRARP
Pujols.34612873.1
Howard.33713472.7


As you can see, Pujols has a decent edge in EqA (which is greater than his edge in OPS because of the Park Factors). Howard has a slight edge in EqR (due to his edge in playing time), but Pujols has an edge in RARP. One can quibble with the way Prospectus determines what a replacement player would produce, but it's clear that doing such a calculation is necessary. Essentially, using EqR to determine Value would be flawed because it assumes that for the 16 games Pujols missed, the Cardinals received no offensive production from first base. RARP assumes that the team could've received some minimal amount of output, and therefore, reduces the edge given to Howard due to playing time. The difference in RARP is only .4 runs, which is pretty much meaningless. (By way of comparison, VORP is a similar stat produced by Prospectus; it gives Pujols an edge of 3.9 runs). So, based on their offensive production, it's pretty much a tie. So, you can either flip a coin or look at some possible tie-breakers. If you do the latter, it's clear that Pujols deserved the MVP.

1. Fielding
This really should be more than just a tie-breaker. Fielding is an important part of the game. But, when we're talking about first basemen, I think fielding was probably an afterthought for most voters. Fielding stats aren't wholly reliable, and there are particular problems for first basemen because a lot of their value is hard to measure. But, most of the numbers agree with the general observations of scouts and experts that Pujols is one of the best defensive first basemen in baseball. Howard's general reputation is that he's bad in the field, the numbers indicate that he's average at best.

Pujols won the gold glove award this year. He was also named the best defensive 1B in all of baseball by a panel of experts put together by Bill James. Prospectus calculated Pujols's defense as being worth 17 runs more than an average defender, and Howard's as being 15 runs worse than an average defender. That's huge. I think their defensive numbers are flawed, but it's at least another data point in Albert's favor. Chris Dial's defensive numbers posted on Baseball Think Factory show them both to be about average, giving Pujols a mere 3 run edge. Probably the best publicly available numbers (although still probably somewhat flawed for first basemen) are the +/- numbers calculated by John Dewan (who published the Fielding Bible last year). The new Bill James Handbook shows the top 10 according to Dewan at each position for the season. Pujols is #1, with 19 more plays made than the average 1B. Howard isn't in the top 10, which means he has no more (and probably less) than 5. Howard made 14 errors (one behind Nick Johnson for the league lead); Pujols made 6.
What does all this mean? Well, it's hard to put a firm number on defensive impact, but all evidence indicates that Pujols is a superior defensive player, and that certainly needs to be factored into the discussion.

2. Base Running
Base running is generally a relatively minor factor. Some studies I've read indicate that most players fall within the range of being worth plus or minus 5 runs a season compared to an average baserunner. That's only going to impact the discussion when two players are very close otherwise and have a large difference in baserunning ability. In other words, this is one of the rare times when it is a factor. The Bill James Handbook has a number called Running Rating, which is based on a number of factors, such as how many times a player advances from first to third on a single, scores from second on a single, etc. Howard has a -21, ranking as one of the worst runners in baseball (amongst unsurprising names like Giambi and Thomas). Pujols is well above average with a +13.

3. Clutchiness
I'm generally not one to talk about clutch hitting. All of the studies I've read indicate that past "clutch" performance has almost no predictive value about future "clutch" performance. So, like most statheads, I usually ignore it. But, the fact that is has little predictive value doesn't mean that it didn't actually happen in the past. So, I think it has a place in MVP talks. Here are the OPS's of both candidates with runners in scoring position and in situations defined by ESPN as "close and late."

ScoringPosClose/Late
Pujols1.3371.249
Howard0.9411.049


Obviously, it's hard to define which situations are "clutch," but both of the above measures seem to fit into the general area of what most people are talking about when they talk about clutch hitting, and Pujols has a large edge in both. A much more comprehensive analysis is available through a stat called WPA (Win Probability Added). This article explains it, but the short version is that it measures the probability of a player's team winning before and after each at-bat of the season, and calculates how much the player improved his team's chances of winning in each of those at-bats. So, a walk-off homer would have a very high value and a solo homer when the team is down by 10 would have a very tiny value. Of course, this formula assumes that all games are equally important, but otherwise, it should capture the total offensive value, including "clutchiness," over the course of the season. Pujols has the edge here: 9.2 to 8.2, meaning that he was worth one more win to his team according to this calculation.

4. Playoffs
There's a lot of disagreement about how much weight should be given to whether a player's team made the playoffs, but I think most people would agree that if everything else was truly equal, this factor should at least be a tie breaker. The Cardinals won their division by 1.5 games. Clearly, without Pujols, they would've gone home on October 1. The Phillies missed out on the wild card by 3 games.

I think both measures are flawed, but it's worth pointing out that both WARP and Win Shares (two measures that take both offense and defense into account) gave Pujols an edge of approximately 3 wins over Howard, which means that if you'd traded the two players, the Cards would've gone home and the Phillies would've advanced to the playoffs.
Mets traded Henry Owens for some dude with a 7.88 ERA. Me no like. Owens was do-o-o-pe. Minaya seems to be stockpiling crap-ass relievers and hoping one might make the majors. Hey, I have an idea- Henry Owens! Oh, wait.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Recent Moves
I'm glad the Mets resigned Valentin. If they eventually sign some superior second baseman, Valentin is an excellent utility guy. That said, most of the 2B on the market aren't much better than the man with the mustache. I like the idea of signing a decent platoon partner for Valentin (who sucks from the right side of the plate). If Tony Graffanino is available for a reasonable price, I'd be all over that. The rest of the guys on the market (Aurilia, Loretta, Grudz) probably won't sign unless they're going to play every day.

I'm less thrilled about giving El Duque $12 million for the next 2 years. I'm not convinced he has another 2 years in the tank. It looks like this is going to be an expensive market, so I guess Omar's just making a defensive move to make sure the team has some options.

I like the trade with the Padres. I'm not sure what the Mets see in Jon Adkins, but Ben Johnson is a solid 4th outfielder, and can probably be used in an effective platoon with Green in right field. Heath Bell could wind up having some solid years for the Padres, but he's had some bad moments with the Mets and was never really going to be given much of a chance.

Interesting note on Ben Johnson from the 2005 Prospectus:
"It was July 2000 and Kevin Towers was talking to one of his closest friends in the game, Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty, about a deadline deal. The Cards settled on getting catcher Carlos Hernandez and infielder Nate Tebbs. The Padres would take Heathcliff Slocumb in the deal, plus a minor leaguer. Towers asked for one of two low-minors hitters: Ben Johnson… or Albert Pujols. Jocketty thought it over, then said he'd rather keep Pujols. The rest is history."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boo of the Week 2:
In 2007, the Mets will play interleague games against four teams: the Yankees, Tigers, Twins, and A's. Those were the four AL playoff teams last month. That seems fair.
Boo of the Week: CitiField
The Mets held their ceremonial ground breaking for CitiField earlier this week. I'm fine with the name. Sure, it would have been nice to honor Jackie Robinson, but $20 million per year is a lot of money. I'm not sure if the decision requires any further justification, but I'll also note that (1) Jackie Robinson never played for the Mets; (2) he's already honored by every team in baseball (who have all retired #42); and (3) the Mets will have a centrally located statue honoring his life at the new park. And I might've been offended if they'd renamed Shea, but this is a new stadium, so I don't understand why some people think it needs to have the same name as the old one.

But, as a Mets fan, I have to say that I'm not looking forward to the new park. Shea Stadium has a capacity of over 57,000. The new park will have a capacity of approximately 45,000. That figure apparently includes standing room for either 1,600 or 2,500 fans; I've seen both figures reported. So at best, there will be approximately 43,400 seats. The average attendance for the Mets at crappy old Shea Stadium this season was 43,328. So, on an average day, there will still be 72 seats available!

Okay, that's not a fair way to analyze the situation. Using the higher 45,000 figure, the Mets would've only sold out 36 of the 78 (there were three rainouts that were made up as part of doubleheaders) games at Shea this year. An optimist might think that means there will be plenty of days they'll be able to stroll up to the citiField box office and buy tickets for that night's game. They'd be wrong. First of all, some of the people who would've gone to the 38 sold out games will instead buy tickets to less desirable games. Secondly, the mere threat of sell-outs will make people more likely to buy tickets in advance. So, even ignoring the short-term increase that will result from a shiny new stadium, I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of Mets games will sell out as long as the Mets continue to be a consistent contender.

That's bad for Mets fans. I've been a Mets fan for over 20 years. Even during the '80s, one could walk up to Shea and buy tickets for almost any game. Once CitiField opens, there will probably be a few weeknight games in April that don't sell out, but if you want to go to any other game, you're going to have to make a decision in January. That's a serious pain in the ass for a lot of people. I guess I'm biased. I went to a bunch of regular season games this year and only bought tickets in advance once (for a friend's bachelor party, and that was through illegal means). I like being able to send out an email to a bunch of friends on a random day to see if anyone feels like going to a game. Now I'm going to have to send out that email in January and haggle over dates with a group of friends, half of whom will wind unable to attend once August 24th actually rolls around.

Combine all this with what will surely be higher prices, and the result is a lot of people will be going to a lot less Mets games. Sure, there are some people who can afford to buy tickets from a scalper, or who can buy expensive ticket plans and just pawn off tickets they're not going to use. But, a lot of people are just going to have to sacrifice. I'm sure there are families out there who only make it to a game or two a year. It's tough to drag the kids out on a weekday night, but those weekend games are going to be the first ones to sell out. What happens if the ticket they purchase in January winds up being for a game on a rainy July afternoon? Better take that Airborne.

My complaint is from the perspective of a Mets fan, but I also want to address one factor that may have been ignored from a business perspective. I understand the short-term advantages to a smaller stadium. I'll have to assume that the Mets did an analysis to determine what size stadium would give them the most revenue in the coming years, but I wonder if they thought about the possible negative long-term impact.

Some fans come and go, but all baseball teams have a lot of lifetime fans. These people buy tickets, buy merchandise, and watch games on TV when the team wins and when the team loses. Most of these loyal fans choose a team to root for while they're children and stick with them for a lifetime. The impact will probably be minimal, but I think the smaller stadium will lead to less Mets fans, some lost to the Yankees and some lost to other interests. For New York City children, the choice of what team to root for is usually between the Mets and the Yankees. There are more important factors (who their parents root for, which team is better, etc.), but one factor that may have an influence is whether a child gets to attend games at one of the teams' stadiums.

For some children, the inability to attend baseball games in person may make them less likely to turn into lifelong fans of the sport. Baseball is still the easiest major sport to attend, but it's about to get a lot harder. I think that the result will be some smaller number of children becoming fans.

Also, it's easier than ever to be a fan of a team that plays far away from home. The internet makes it just as easy to read news about the Cardinals as the Mets. And other games are available on tv and the internet. So, there's little standing in the way of people choosing to root for teams other than the Mets and Yankees. One of the remaining advantages the two New York teams have is that fans can form a deeper connection by seeing them in person. Now that it will be harder to do so, maybe some new baseball fans will start rooting for other teams. If little Timmy can't go to a Mets game, but gets to go to a couple of Marlins when he visits his grandparents over the summer, maybe he'll become a lifelong Marlins fan.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Mariners signed Ordonez to a minor league deal!!!!!! The end of the world is near!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Below is the email I sent to my fellow Mets fans at 3:30 a.m. after attending the loss to the Cardinals in game 7 (see photos taken from section 45 here).

uuuuuuuuuuggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

That's it. It's out. I've had a number of adult beverages, and I think it's time to let all the anger and regret go. It was a great season. And until it ended, it was a great game. The train ride home was pretty depressing, but I still don't regret being there tonight. The stadium was literally shaking; it was incredible. If Beltran had come through, it would have been one of the greatest games in Mets history. We were one single away from this being one of the best nights of my life. Improbably, Oliver Perez pitched a great game. And Endy saved him (and Willie) by making the greatest defensive play in Mets history. And after going hitless for seven straight innings, the Mets came so fucking close to coming back in the bottom of the ninth. There were times that the crowd felt a little dead tonight, but after a period of silence following Yadier's homer when things looked completely hopeless, the fans slowly started coming back to life, still chanting, "Let's Go Mets!" despite the deep hole that had been dug. And really, that's what's being a Mets fan is all about: no matter how much loss we endure, no matter the odds stacked against us, no matter how whack the starting pitcher we put on the mound, no matter how hopeless things look, we keep believing. When Valentin singled, I fucking believed. Then Endy singled, I fucking believed. Even with two outs, I fucking believed. And 57,000 fans chanting "Let's Go Mets!" believed. It sucks that we lost, but I'm glad we believed. And even the loss can't kill the belief in a Mets fan. Mets in 2007!

LET'S GO METS!
LET'S GO METS!
LET'S GO METS!
New CBA!
No strike or lockout!
Pretty good summary of the changes here.

From Kevin Goldstein's game log on Prospectus:
9:01 pm: According to Tim McCarver, "when Pujols is the batter, it's not a plate, it's a platter." I'm pretty sure that's somewhere on the most recent Jay-Z album.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

For the record, career postseason OPS of certain Yankee players (including performance with other teams):

Alex Rodriguez .847
Paul O'Neill .828
Yogi Berra .811
Joe DiMaggio .760
Jorge Posada .746
Scott Brosius .696
Tino Martinez .672
Roger Maris .666

Sunday, October 08, 2006

As much as I love the Mets moving on and overcoming some injuries, I gotta tell ya, I really do not feel comfortable with Wagner closing these games. I feel like I'm watching Looper Redux. The guy doesn't pitch anymore; he just chucks it, hoping that it's fast enough and in the strike zone. He doesn't inspire confidence in me at all.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Assuming the cost isn't a major prospect, I like this idea a lot.

[edit: Never mind - we got Green.] I like it less. I guess Green is an upgrade over Endy, but Endy's actually been having a slightly better year offensively and is a better defensive player.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Never should have let Hernandez go in the first place.

Oliver Perez is straight poo.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

From CBS Sportsline:

According to the Chicago Tribune, Greg Maddux told the Cubs he would waive his no-trade clause if he can be moved to a contender. Maddux also said he would be willing to be traded to the New York Mets, a team that was once believed to be off limits.


That's just bizarre. Too bad they couldn't have the 90's Maddux and Pedro. Oof.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

the fact that someone as bad as Royce Clayton was involved compels me to comment on what a bad trade the Reds made. Kearns and Lopez for Clayton, relievers and someone? That's like when we traded Mark Clark and Hit Dog for... um... some guys.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006



That's right, son.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

So what does everyone else think about the All-Star rosters? I realized there are no good AL 2nd basemen at all. And why is everyone on the Jose Lopez bandwagon? He's not that good; doesn't walk, low OBP. And does anyone think they should get rid of the 1 player per team thing? I mean, no Royal should be going to the All-Star game, and, meanwhile, any of the 5 AL guys on the Final Vote should go.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hopefully Mulvey is the next Jeff Innis.
Draft Thoughts
Sounds like a questionable draft by the Mets. Prospectus's Kevin Goldstein said "After Mulvey, who's anything but a sure thing, it's yuck with an extra side of yuck." Kevin Mulvey does sound like a decent pick, but sidearm pitchers generally have a limited upside, so it seems like a stretch to take one with a 3rd round pick. Who knows, maybe he'll be the next Quisenberry. Jeremy Barfield in the 9th round sounds good.

The award for the two best draft picks goes to the Brewers, who took a high schooler who throws 100 mph with the 16th pick and with their second round pick took Brent Brewer. His name is Brewer! And he's on the Brewers! I'm easily amused.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I like how they wanted Grims to wear a wire and try and find out about Barry. What is this, "New Jack City"?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Grimsley busted. States to cops that "everybody had greenies. That's like aspirin." And that until last year, clubhouses had coffee pots labeled "leaded" and "unleaded."
He also named a bunch of players who have used steroids, HGH and amphetamines, but they're redacted from the document.
The IRS agent who signed the report is the same agent behind the BALCO investigation.
Grimsley busted. States to cops that "everybody had greenies. That's like aspirin." And that until last year, clubhouses had coffee pots labeled "leaded" and "unleaded."
He also named a bunch of players who have used steroids, HGH and amphetamines, but they're redacted from the document.
The IRS agent who signed the report is the same agent behind the BALCO investigation.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

possibly a bigger vernon wells fan than I am:
Vote Vernon

Thursday, May 25, 2006

El Duque's career ERA is 4.20.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wisdom from Matthew McConaughey:

"As the ball left Bonds' bat, booing turned to "oohing" as the ball flew upward and outward into the depths of the third deck. Fans stood to witness, and their jeers turned to cheers as the man, Barry Bonds, who played for the other team, put a mammoth steroid-free run on the board. "

"Barry, did you hit a homerun today?"
"No."
"It'd be a lot cooler if you did."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Out of context quote:

Martinez said the baseballs were "probably not the best-rubbed balls that I'll find in the league so far."
Randolph formally announced that Jeremi Gonzalez (1-2, 3.03ERA at Triple-A Norfolk) would be Friday's starter in Milwaukee, followed by Jose Lima on Saturday.

EWWWWWWWWWWWW!
But that's OK, because Mike Pelfrey may be the best pitcher of the last 50 years:

[Binghamton Mets pitching coach] Brewer said Pelfrey "resembles a Don Drysdale or a righthanded Randy Johnson with better command."

!!!!!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Does anyone else not like these two-tone batting helmets the Mets have? Pick a color and stick with it. Also, how pissed must Heilman be that they're not really considering him to fill in for Bannister. Granted, I think it makes sense cuz he's too valuable in the bullpen, but still.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Help for the bullpen? In Binghamton, Henry Owens has 27 Ks in 12 innings! 27 Ks in 12 innings!
Shinjo leaves the ballpark for a quiet life of nude modelling

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

a scary thought- if bannister has to miss any time, the options after heilman (who randolph steadfastly insists is muy valuable out of the pen) are darren oliver... and jose lima! ewwww!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Roberto Petagine update: his OPS is currently 2.750.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Billy Boy
Will Carroll has an ominous note about Billy Waggs in his latest column, stating that Wagner's middle finger has a torn tendon sheath and that this may be similar to the injury that sidelined Adam Eaton for up to 4 months. This might explain the loss of velocity. The last sentence of the note is particularly scary considering yesterday's performance: "focus on his control to better guage where this is headed."

At least Duaner is pitching well.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

From the Post: For the third straight game, the Yankees turned into Men Without Bats.

men without bats! excellent.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Check out our new affiliated blog: Shea Hey!.
Ravi forwarded me the following excerpt from a Salon article which quotes Bill Clinton from a recent Larry King interview. Anyway, here's what our former President had to say (which I largely agree with):

"First of all, keep in mind that as I understand it Major League Baseball did not adopt a clear, unequivocal ban on steroid use with consequences, like the Olympics has had for years, until recently ... Well, my experience is in politics and everything else, if you're in a great contest with high stakes, people will do what it takes to win within the framework of the rules ... It's clear now that there is an overwhelming, perhaps unanimous consensus among the owners and the players and the representatives and the media that steroid use is not only bad for the players, it's bad for the game and it's wrong, and it should be banned and there should be consequences for violating the ban ... But I think we have to be careful looking back before that was the rule and even before that was the consensus ... We need to remember that baseball itself was highly ambivalent about doing anything about this, facing the truth and having strict rules for years and years and years. So now we have the rules. Let's go forward and enforce them. But I think ... looking back and looking down on people and trying to claim that, you know, things that happened five, 10 years ago in their careers weren't real because they did this -- I think that's a little hypocritical. Where were we then and why didn't we ban it then if that's the way we feel?"

Thursday, March 30, 2006



oops, forgot to show the images of the new ballpark.
why would they keep it facing flushing? all i see when i see these pictures are $10 beers and $6 hot dogs.
oh, and here's a good article comparing competitive balance in baseball v. other sports...
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2388458&type=story

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The proposed new Mets ballpark will have the exact same (lame) view of downtown Flushing, U-Haul building and all. -sigh- do they not realize that if they turn the damn thing around it will face the trees of the park with the skyline above them??
Here's a link to a letter our pal chaynz posted on the reasons to get rid of Chief Wahoo, scroll down to the March 17th posting. Down with Wahoo!!!!

http://www.thechiefsource.com/2006_03_01_chiefsource_archive.html

Monday, March 27, 2006

Don't know why I'm thinking about moves that can help the Yankees, but they should really think about signing Carlos Pena, who was released by the Tigers. He could become their regular first baseman, which would allow them to move Giambi to DH in place of Bernie. Pena would be an improvement over Bernie at the plate and an improvement over Giambi in the field. Plus, Giambi would be more likely to stay healthy while DHing. Bernie could still get some playing time as the fourth outfielder and DH against lefties.
Here's a question that has nothing to do with fantasy baseball: how bad is Reyes' injury history? Or, more to the point, his projected injury future?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Bonds was almost a Brave!
From an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article about Scheurholz's book:

He begins the first chapter by revealing that in March 1992, Schuerholz and Pittsburgh GM Ted Simmons negotiated a trade to bring Pirates star Barry Bonds to Atlanta in exchange for pitcher Alejandro Pena, young outfielder Keith Mitchell and a prospect to be named later.

"I was euphoric," Schuerholz writes. "Barry Bonds was a Brave! . . . There seemed no limits to what we could achieve over our approaching several seasons."

The morning after the GMs agreed to terms, the Braves were setting up a news conference to announce the deal at their West Palm Beach, Fla., spring training home when Schuerholz phoned Simmons, who told him he couldn't do the deal, apparently because Pirates manager Jim Leyland was furious that Bonds was being traded with a year left on his contract.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Thursday, March 02, 2006

These two articles (at Beyond the Box Score and Hardball Times) indicate that the Mets' ideal lineup would look something like this:

Wright
Floyd
Beltran
Delgado
Diaz/Nady
Reyes
Lo Duca
Pitcher
Matsui

(or you could switch Beltran and Diaz/Nady)

Friday, February 17, 2006

You're right. More Lima info from a NYTimes article:

Lima swooped into the Mets' clubhouse late Thursday morning wearing a silver three-piece suit, a black fedora and diamond earrings roughly the size of a bottle cap. He primped and preened for photographers in front of his new jersey (No. 99) and promptly proclaimed that he owned more than 2,000 suits.

"I've never worn the same one twice," he said

Thursday, February 16, 2006

You say "final note" as if this is the last we will hear from Jose Lima. You will be proven wrong!! Rickey and Lima, who will form the third prong of the Holy Trinity?

Meanwhile, the yankees invited scott erickson to camp.

in somewhat related news, Arby's is still offering 4 roast beef sandwhiches for $5.
One final note on Jose Lima. According to Prospectus, Lima amazingly holds both the AL and NL records for worst single-season ERA for a pitcher with at least 30 starts. The AL record was set last year when he had a 6.99 ERA. The only favorable thing I can say about Lima's season is that he had a 3.79 ERA in July.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I like the way the Times described the Lima deal:

"The Mets signed another player Tuesday who fits into the nothing-to-lose category."

Except, you know, baseball games.

Oh, hi everybody!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

From the "Bad Idea Jeans" Department:

maybe the Mets should not base their ad campaign for this year around the playoffs. for example, they have an ad on the back page of the post today that reads "Plans for October?"

let's play consistent .500 baseball first.
It's Lima Time!
Mets sign Lima to minor league deal. ugh.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mets Acquired Abreu!
Michel Abreu. Cuban 1B.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Sox will look to move Graffanino once they sign A-Gonz due to a glut of middle infielders. The Mets should jump on that. Seems like a better option than Kaz Matbooi or Bret Boo-ne.

Bonds is out of the WBC, and Pedro indicated that he'll be in. The momentum shifts back to DR.

And the Benson trade? Eh, as much as Julio sucks, I don't think it's a bad deal. Benson's a mediocre starter and makes $7 mill a year. And this Maine guy sounds like has a chance to be a mediocre starter himself. If we still had Seo, I think I'd like this trade. Damn Seo trade!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

these awards don't compare to the stickball awards.

stickball hall of fame?

may be an old topic, but now that piazza's met tenure is over, i have my doubts that he will go in as a met. his most memorable moments came as a met, and he spend equal time with both the dodgers and mets, but his best years came with the dodgers. looks like we'll be stuck at one hall-of-famer, and he won't let us forget it, big-boy.

is bob murphy in the HOF?

Monday, January 09, 2006

First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence

Willie McGee a Hall of Famer?
What are some of these writers thinking????
I was looking at some of the past voting records, and Joe DiMaggio didn't get in on his first try!!! Neither did Yogi Berra!! 10 World Series!! Probably the best catcher baseball had ever seen in his time.

For what it's worth, if I had a BBWAA card, I'd be voting for Dawson, Blyleven, Rice, John, and probably Gossage too. I always think that pitchers get the short staff when it comes to the Hall of Fame.

Hey Ryan-
The Hutch Award was created and given to the Major League ballplayer that best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of the late Fred Hutchinson.

The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award was created by Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity to recognize the Major League Baseball Player who best exemplifies the spirit and character of Lou Gehrig, Columbia '25, both on and off the field.

Babe Ruth Award was discontinued aftrer 2002, and was awarded by the NY chapter of BBWAA to honor the player they felt was the World Series MVP. The last winner...David Eckstein.

Roberto Clemente Award is not given for the best tragic plane crash death...(from mlb.com) "The Roberto Clemente Award presented by John Hancock is given annually to a player who demonstrates the values Clemente displayed in his commitment to community and understanding the value of helping others."