Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chicken Met-tles

All right, so maybe the sky isn't quite falling. Let's accentuate the positive for a second...
  • The Mets lost 2 out of 3 games to the Braves with an outfield which contained Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez, rather than Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd.
  • The Mets have six more games against Atlanta before May 8th.
  • Tom Glavine can hardly be faulted for this latest loss against Atlanta, giving up one earned run in eight innings.

Unfortunately, that's it.

Yeah, it's an April series, and there is plenty of baseball left...along with plenty of baseball against Atlanta left to go. But with all of the off season moves that Omar Minaya has made, with the fast start the Mets are off to along with the Braves slow start and their penchant for injury and their loss of Leo Mazzone, this was a chance to make a statement that the tide has turned...that the Braves are not what they used to be...that being better on paper makes all the difference.

Instead, the Braves are proven bulletproof.

So what that the Mets traded their 22 for a tek 9 and an uzi? The Braves keep coming like Freddy on Elm street. They rely on what little stars they have left, and they came through like champions. And now the Braves know they can withstand adversity and go after the new and improved (but same old?) Mets. This may turn out to be a blessing in disguise...a reminder that teams, even banged up teams like the Braves, are not eliminated in April...especially not teams that are on a fourteen division-title streak. But it sure is an undisguised blessing and confidence boost for Atlanta.

No Larry Jones this week? No problem for Atlanta, as Andruw decides that he's going to hit enough home runs for both Jones'. Another one today makes four for the series...with no protection from his Hooters lovin' friend.

Tim Hudson also decided to wait until the Mets series to become Tim Hudson, chucking a complete game three hitter...making it six hits in two days against the Braves. And this is what I'm going to cry about tonight. It's spilt milk, I realize. But we need some reminding.

You're more than welcome to argue with me that it's pointless to keep harping on the Scott Kazmir trade. It's an argument that I've made to other people. The regime that made this horrible mistake is gone, what's done is done, and it's time for the Minaya Era to lessen the effects of this mistake. We can do nothing but look forward.

But you can't sit there at your laptop and type to me that it doesn't bother you one little bit that the Braves went out and got a Tim Hudson for absolutely nothing, while the Mets go out and trade their number one prospect for Victor Zambrano, who after all this time still has not been fixed.

The difference here is this: The Braves play their prospects like the stock market...it's something the Mets have begun to do as well under Omar, but still have a ways to catch up. John Schuerholz knows when his prospects have the most value, then suckers some poor team like Oakland that needs to dump salary into taking a deal they think is going to work for them, without giving up equal value. The one thing Billy Beane needed to get back in the Hudson deal was an offensive second baseman. Yet Billy Beane somehow could not get Marcus Giles back in the deal. Instead, for a 92-39 pitcher, Oakland got the bullpen version of Zambrano (Juan Cruz), a fringe outfielder (Charles Thomas), and one decent prospect who might never pan out (Dan Meyer). The three were prospects at the zenith of their usefulness, and Schuerholz not only recognized that, but maximized their value.

We'll see if Omar did the same thing with prospects like Gaby Hernandez (traded for Paul Lo Duca), Mike Jacobs, and Yusmeiro Petit (both traded for Carlos Delgado). The kitty returned from those prospects are playing major roles with the Mets. Unfortunately, so is the lack of kitty returned for Scott Kazmir, who in reality, could have been traded for Hudson if Jim Duquette hadn't jumped the gun in July of '04.

And as the Mets continue to pay for the mistakes of days gone by, I still look at the puddle of milk on the middle of the floor and cry.

***

Will David Wright blog about his three errors today?

Not in his newest post, which came after the game today. But I will:

Wright's two errors that cost the Mets the second run today came against the back drop of many fine plays Wright made. But one quick observation: Wright's throwing errors seem to come when he charges the ball and throws on the run. His throws tend to sail high. I wonder if Rick Peterson can fix that in ten minutes.

Come to think of it, I'm not sure I want Peterson within 100 feet of David Wright.

But I do give David credit for blogging after a tough loss. When you read the latest entry, his head is obviously still level and he's not letting his tough fielding performance, or the fact that the Mets lost two of three to the Braves, get to him. He's certainly more even keel than me...but is that saying a lot?

11 comments:

Jaap said...

Amazing that Wright doesn't mention his three errors. He should have blamed Matsui or Jorge Julio. In fact, I don't think David Wright really writes that blog. I think it's ghostwritten by a team of ten thousand typing monkies who were supposed to be writing Shakespeare but got sidetracked by the bright orange Met colours...

Metstradamus said...

How did you know about my typing monkeys?

jabair said...

i've been posting here the last couple of days and they have lost 2 games in a row and lost 3 players to the DL, and DW commits 3 errors in one day..

if they lose to the Padres tomorrow night or lose another player to the DL or if anyone commits more than 1 error, i take a vow not to post a comment on your blog metstra...

although im not catholic, i still feel that its all my fault for getting too cocky and posting on here...

my logic may not make much sense to many but im a mets fan.. im not wired to be logical...

good luck everybody!!!

jabair out!!!

albertsonmets said...

Why does the Kazmir trade still sting so much more than Jason Bay for Steve Reed, which was actually worse? It's become the latter day Nolan Ryan deal; bad, but not nearly as bad as the Seaver trade in '77.

Tommy_Calzone said...

Jabair, with all due respect must we endure anymore?

If we didn't have DWright believe me people would be burning up the blogs about Bay.

I agree Damus. We need to cut our losses with VZ. The longer we run him out there the longer we compound our mistake.

Why does this team ALWAYS compound it's mistakes instead of cutting it's losses?

Even last year. Was it necessary to allow Ishii to start THAT long? Cmon we only gave up Phillips in that one!

Same thing with Graves. Meanwhile Heath Bell continues to rot in AAA striking out everyone.

And why does Willie show Woodward ZERO respect.

The guy did hit 300 one year as a starting SS for Toronto. And all he has done here has hit. But Matsui warrants starter status over this guy?

All I know is the boys need to bounce back tonight or it will be a looooooooooong road trip.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Would you trade Kazmir for Pedro and Beltran? Of course.

I think that's the way you have to look at it.

Had the deal not been made, the old regime would not have been swept out.

No Omar means no Pedro. We can't prove that, but I think it's a reasonable assumption since much was made of Omar's wooing.

And I think we can say that the Pedro signing gave the Mets an in when in came time to sign Beltran.

Yes, it hurts to see Zambrano flailing around out three. But Pedro sure looks good.

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Metstradamus said...

Albertson, the Bay deal was a horrid one, no doubt. But here's the difference: Very few Met fans knew that Jason Bay was a part of their system until he won the rookie of the year award. I would dare assume that only the die hard followers of the minor league system knew of Jason Bay...and I wonder how many of them knew he was going to be a star in the league back when he was traded for Reed. (Maybe our friend Michael Oliver aka "Mr. Met" can shed some light on just how good a prospect Bay was when he was here). Don't forget, three different organizations traded him away, and Bay was only regarded highly when he was traded in the Giles deal. The bad part of that trade was that the Mets were 5 games out of the wild card race and miles away from the division.

Kazmir...everyone knew about him. He was the number one prospect in the Mets organization. And forget Bay, here's why the Kazmir trade was worse than the Ryan trade (and don't take this as me defending the Ryan trade...I'm just juxtaposing here): back in 1971, there was no "Baseball America". There were no rankings of minor league prospects, there were no game tapes floating around of everybody in everybody's system. And at the very least, Ryan had already spent parts of five seasons with the Mets before he was traded, so he had time to show the Mets the Nolan Ryan which he eventually became with California and Houston. With Kazmir, everyone knew about him. And these days, with all the scouting reports going around, you can get a good idea of the value of a prospect. Add that to the fact that the Mets had the awful Ryan trade in their history to learn from, and they STILL made the Kazmir trade. This trade was judged as awful the minute it was made. Was there a backlash in 1971 the moment that Ryan was traded? I don't know, I was still approaching my first birthday. But something tells me that Curt Gowdy wasn't hosting a show called "Around the Horn" in '71 where guys like Dick Young and the like were ripping apart trades.

And to me, you can't judge a trade solely on hindsight...regardless of how many strikeouts and no-hitters Nolan Ryan got after he left. And to me, it doesn't matter if Kazmir is a complete bust...it still doesn't take away what a horrible trade that was...

Metstradamus said...

That being said, I buy Dave Murray's argument here. I liken it to the Jets when they finished 1-15. There were a lot of injuries that season, and if Rich Kotite would have won even four games with that group, there's no doubt in my mind that Leon Hess would have kept his buddy, citing all the injuries and making an argument that Kotite did a great coaching job to take an injury ravaged (not to mention talent ravaged) team to four wins. But to finish with only ONE win forced Hess' hand, and Parcells came aboard to set up a 10 year run that was relatively the most successful stretch in Jets' history (not that that's saying much).

mr. met said...

Jason Bay was more or less a mediocre prospect.

Back in '02, Steve Phillips traded Lou Collier to Montreal for minor leaguers Jason Bay and Jim Serrano. Let that sink in. Just let it sink in. Were people calling that deal the biggest rip off of the century?

He was one of those guys that always hit wherever he was, but more or less treated like Mike Jacobs and never really getting love.

He never made a prospect top ten until 2004.

Bay doesn't have an overpowering tool but does most everything well. He hits for power and average while showing solid plate discipline. He also is a good runner and a high-percentage basestealer. He has enough athleticism for center field and has enough arm for right.

Weaknesses: Bay, a Canadian, is a little older than most prospects, meaning he probably won’t get much better.


BA said he would be Jeff Conine at his best and at this point, he had more respect. So in 2002, he was largely unknown. Chances are, even a savvy Met fan would not have been to upset that he was traded away, tough it's obvious shitty middle relievers really aren't worth trading for when you are not even in the race. The Mets seem to have a penchant for overestimating their playoff chances and trading people away.

He was old for each league he played in and didn't get to AAA until 25. He led the league in batting with .362 in low class A at 23. Nothing to wet your panties about. Very, very old for that league. When the Mets dealt him, he was a 24 year old in high a ball hitting .272/.363/.437. The only decent homerun totals he ever put up was 20 in the largely offensive PCL.

When the Pirates dealt Giles, the deal was for Oliver Perez with the thought they were getting a serviceable outfielder. Even then he was not expected to be a star. No one saw this coming. Today he's a fantasy stud. He was never even close to Lastings. It was only 2004, after he was traded, that he really was on peoples radar. Who even knew the guy was in the system? I sure didn't think anything when Jason Bay was traded. I questioned the need for Reed, but not so the loss of Bay.

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