Tuesday, June 24, 2008

On June 24, 2007:

The Phillies were 39-36 and 3 games behind the Mets.
The Rockies were 38-37 and 4.5 games behind the Wild Card leader.
The Yankees were 36-37 and 6.5 games behind the Wild Card leader.
The Cubs were 35-39 and 7.5 games behind the Brewers.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bye Bye, Willie.

I don't have much to say on the Willie firing. I've never been a big fan of his, but I don't think the team is going to suddenly play much differently for Manuel. The whole situation was handled poorly and seemed to be a distraction, so I'm glad it was finally resolved. I don't know much about Jerry Manuel, but it seems that he's a laid back, non-excitable manager like Willie. Seems to me that if you really wanted to shake things up, you'd go in the opposite direction.

For a much better and much longer take on the whole situation and the general state of incompetence in Mets management, read Faith and Fear in Flushing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm skeptical, but Nate Silver does some fancy simulating and concludes that Chipper Jones "has about a 12-13 percent chance of finishing with a .400 average."
I'm glad someone in the press is taking the Mets to task for the Church concussion fiasco. Seriously, the way the team handled the situation is inexcusable.

On May 20, Ryan Church suffered his second concussion of the year. Despite the fact that he was still symptomatic, he pinch hit in a game two days later, then flew from Atlanta to Colorado, pinch hit in two games there, flew back to New York, and pinch hit in a game the next day (the 26th).

Now, I'm no doctor and I don't know much about concussions. But, based on the little bit I've read, it seems that the general advice is to avoid any strenuous activity (including jogging and flying on an airplane) until all symptoms subside because such activity can exacerbate the problem. That was obviously ignored in this case - if Church wasn't feeling up to starting the game, then he shouldn't have been used at all. And he shouldn't have been flying. After the 26th, the Mets finally decided he needed some time off. After five days off, despite still being symptomatic, Church returned to the starting lineup, then flew to California and started three more games. Now, after all that, he's still symptomatic and the Mets finally put him on the DL.
Hopefully, after 15 days, Church will be all better. But, there's a chance that all this activity has made his situation worse and that his whole season could be fucked.

The Mets' handling of this situation is inexcusable and shows just how poorly run the team is. The Mets are a business. Ryan Church is an asset worth millions of dollars to the business. As soon as Church suffered the concussion, Omar Minaya should've had someone on his staff contact multiple experts in the field and get their opinion on how the situation should be handled. That's what Alan Schwarz did and the answer was clear: he shouldn't play until he's been symptom free, preferably for a couple of days. If a reporter could find these experts, why couldn't the Mets? If a reporter could find a player (Corey Koskie) whose career was curtailed due to concussions, why couldn't the Mets? I assume the Mets have greater resources for finding medical experts than I do, but how about just doing a Google search for "concussion experts?"

Monday, June 09, 2008

Now there's a manager.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Draft Day

Exciting day for the Mets, right? After two straight years with no first round picks, the Mets have two today. And with an early supplemental pick, they have 3 of the first 33 picks. Sorry, I'm still not excited. The Mets pick at 18, 22, and 33. What can we expect from pick #18? Well, the Mets had the same pick 7 years ago and nabbed Aaron Heilman. He's not a superstar by any means, but he's been a solid member of the bullpen for the last few years, so that's not bad. If they wind up with another Heilman at 18 today, I guess I'll be happy. Heck, maybe they'll do better, maybe Heilman is just a mediocre 18, maybe the sky's the limit!

Unfortunately, history hasn't been kind to players picked at 18. In fact, Heilman is probably the best 18th pick since... Joe Magrane in 1985? Magrane was a pretty good starter for a few years, but Heilman still has a decent shot at having a better career. The only clear cut superior player is the 18th pick in 1974, Willie Wilson. Here's the entire list of notable (and I'm using that word loosely) players taken with the 18th pick:

2004 Josh Fields
2001 Aaron Heilman
1985 Joe Magrane
1978 Rex Hudler
1974 Willie Wilson

Fortunately, players taken with the 22nd pick have done a little better. Here's that list:

2004 Glen Perkins
2002 Jeremy Guthrie
1996 Gil Meche
1992 Rick Helling
1987 Craig Biggio
1985 Rafael Palmeiro
1976 Bruce Hurst
1972 Chet Lemon

Biggio has a strong Hall of Fame case and Palmeiro would've if it hadn't been for the steroid issue. Still, there hasn't been much in the last 20 years.

33rd picks? I wish I hadn't bothered to look:

2000 Dustin McGowan
1998 Brad Wilkerson
1987 Dave Burba
1968 Milt Wilcox
Comforting fact from Twins blogger Aaron Gleeman:

"[Johan Santana]'s made a dozen starts for the Mets and is 7-3 with a 3.20 ERA. On average from 2004-2007, he went 5-4 with a 3.93 ERA through a dozen starts. In fact, seven wins and a 3.20 ERA are both the best marks Santana has ever had through 12 starts."