Thursday, September 28, 2006

Operation Shutdown 2.0

Gone.

There will be no Game 1 for Pedro.

There will be no Game 3 for Pedro.

There will be no NLCS for Pedro.

There will be no more 2006 for Pedro.

Pedro Martinez was signed by the Mets to help get them to the playoffs. Now, everyone else has to get the Mets through the playoffs, as Pedro's left calf (after all the worrying about the right calf) has a torn muscle. So five months after the Mets were looking for a special shoe for Pedro, now they'll need a dolly instead.

Make no mistake, this blows.

But it's important to remember some facts. Not the kind of facts that are designed to make you feel better, but irrefutable facts:
  • This is not a one man team. Omar Minaya made plenty of other acquisitions in addition to Pedro Martinez that are designed to play some winning baseball. These aren't the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, where the loss of one of their two big starting pitchers would have been disastrous.
  • The Mets, throughout 2006, have always depended a little bit more on their lineup and their bullpen than their starting rotation. Martinez being out will mean another reliever makes the roster. And in my estimation, bullpens win and lose championships.

Unfortunately, the reliever replacing Pedro will most likely be Roberto Hernandez, who I trust about as much as I trust the baseball media not to gush over the Yankees. Allow me to be the first to advocate Dave Williams for the post-season roster over Hernandez, who is the first pitcher I've ever seen warm up in the bullpen after he's pitched in a regular season game. Why does trying to stretch out a 41-year-old into a long man scare me?

So does this mean the Mets are done in the postseason? Absolutely not. Does it bring them back to the pack? A little bit on paper...a little bit more mentally. But the Mets responded like a team that has plenty of new go-to guys ready to step up to the challenge, such as Orlando Hernandez, who pitched as if the calendar read "October"...or Carlos Delgado, who hit tonight like he can't wait for the calendar to read "October", for the first time for him...or Carlos Beltran, who can shake hands with Todd Hundley after tying his record for dingers in a season.

Tomorrow starts the last series of the season in Washington...that is, if they don't have to wait around for the Nats to play the Phillies since the teams are still waiting to play through some raindrops...after a rain delay of over four hours! (Can ESPN pick up this game if it starts at 2AM?) Over this weekend, let's see what our Mets are mentally made of.

Then again, with the hijinks that go on in that room, do we really want to know?

27 comments:

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

"Unfortunately, the reliever replacing Pedro will most likely be Roberto Hernandez, who I trust about as much as I trust the baseball media not to gush over the Yankees."

Badass!

Great line.

We'll be OK. We really haven't had Pedro since the All-Star break.

Donn the Realist said...

Now all of the fools that yelled at me 2 months ago for suggesting that Omar should trade Milledge for Zito or Schmidt will go into hiding, our rotation is falling apart, and our offense scored more than 4 runs tonight for the first time since Ty Wigginton patrolled the hot corner at Shea. At least we achieved our goal, though, right? We made the playoffs. That's what all of the "stand pat" guys were saying our goal for the year was back in July. Great. The best team (by far) in the NL should be happy to just make the playoffs and get knocked around in round 1 against either LA or Houston. To quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "There was much rejoicing......(hooray)". Same old Mets.

mrmet82 said...

I had said the exact same thing on Dave Williams, you give him the ball after sitting for how long out of the bullpen and he looked great. My thoughts were to maybe get him some more work and try to stretch him out a little to take maines spot as a long man, let maine be the fouth starter and no bert!!! I know the kid Perez has some great stuff hidden somewhere, but I would rather seem the starts he got go to Dave Williams, I had been way more impressed with him that ollie perez!!

The Metmaster said...

First of all I am The Metmaster, not Polyanna. This Pedro thing might not be a bad thing. He has been ineffective since July, yet the Mets kept on rolling. Now that it's "official" that he is seriously hurt, this might be the wake-up call the Mets needed. "It's time to circle the wagons, boys." "Let's see what we're made of". "Time to shit or get off the pot" Trot out every trite cliche you can think of. They will all apply now. All I know is that there will be goosebumps on everyone at Shea when Pedro is announced along the first baseline before Game 1. The place is going to go bonkers. Petey will be misty. The players will feel it. Hell, you'd have to be without a heartbeat to feel it. "Win one for the gimper!" Pedro is now our Obi-won. "Who is the more foolish: the Fool, or the Fool who follows?"

Anonymous said...

Donn is right. The inability to do something at the trade deadline was going to hurt the Mets even if Pedro wasn't out for the postseason. His removal from the equation makes matters worse.

I agree about Williams over Hernandez. But who is Williams and how effective can we expect him to be? Does he have playoff experience?

Also a couple of interesting tidbits.....(Mentioned on the Mets broadcast the other night.....50% of the playoff rotation was the result of the Kris Benson trade.....John Mayne and El Duque (Jorge Julio). Thank God for Kris and Anna Benson(who helped precipitate the trade) and Jorge Julio....helping the Mets to the pennant in spirit.

Roy Oswalt said...

Clemens is coming at you with high fastballs and splintered bats, Andy is Yankee Dandy, and my man Oswalt (almost Mr.Met and now Cy Young) are pushing us to the playoffs. We're the hottest team in the NL. The road is not quite as easy for the Mets as once thought.

Roy Oswalt
Houston, TX

Benny Agbayani said...

I'm just glad the Mets finally won last night. If the Mets kept collapsing down the stretch, Willie was going to have to start popping for some of those Subway sandwiches for the press! How many times can you be asked "are you worried yet?" Willie needs to hear "you'll get em next time Willie"...."its going to be alright Willie"...."you're the best Willie".

adoniram said...

Thank you Metmaster...

C'mon... Pedro has been a number four since the All-Star break if not before then. Let's not kid ourselves.

Is this horrible news? Yes.

Is it the end of our postseason hopes? No way.

Is it a surprise? Only because of our own denial. It shouldn't be a surprise at all.

You know what I'm tired of? "Same old Mets." That's what.

It's exhausting and baseless when one looks at the actual history of this team. Gimme a break. This is not a failed franchise and this hasn't been 44 years of torture. I'm at my breaking point listening to those who claim it has been. Get some perspective.

Sorry to any bandwagoneers that haven't been paying attention.

Nothing against our fallen ace and the swagger he's brought to this team and it's true that not having Pedro sucks... but this team is a hell of a lot more than one pitcher who threw about 15 decent games year.

A couple more digs at Donn the ironically named "realist".

"Four runs tonight for the first time since Ty Wiggington patrolled the hot corner?" How about first game you've watched since young Ty was our three bagger...

You think the Dodgers or the Astros or the Cards or the Padres are gonna knock us around just because we're sans Pedro? Well if that's the case we didn't have a prayer anyway.

Here's the reality and we all knew it and still know it.

The Mets are by far the cream of the NL. Our rotation was the big question mark as to whether we could compete with the boys from the other league but we didn't walk over the NL competition all year (including post-Pedro break-down) for nothing.

Losing Pedro only increases our previous fears that this rotation could get our boys through the NL but would fail us at the final curtain.

But don't give me some baloney about the ineptly managed Astros "knocking us around" or the Dodgers overpowering the fellas from Queens just cuz Pedro is officially being labeled as out of the mix.

Welcome to the season. Wish you'd been paying attention before now, glad to have you aboard.

I'm worried and frustrated too, but it still boils down to this...

We've got the best team in the senior circuit.

If we play like we can we'll make it to the championship round. And (just as pre-Pedro breakdown) it's gonna take the boys in blue and orange (and black?) getting on a serious hot streak to bring home the prize.

That's only marginally less likely now than it was yesterday.

(This rant brought to you by Stella Artois and her friends. But I still stand by it.)

curlygc said...

Does anyone know what ever happened to Brian Bannister?

Donn the Realist said...

Adoniram,

Pull your head out of your rectum. I am not suggesting that we will be knocked out in the first round of the palyoffs ONLY because of Pedro. However, with the absence of the offense for the past 3 weeks, and our rotation consisting of El Duque, Glavine, ?, ?, how confidant can you be going into a short series vs. one of the hottest teams in all of baseball....let alone the NL? I believe it's you who hasn't been paying attention. The Astro's simply cannot lose right now, and the Dodgers have had more gutsy come-from behind wins in the last 2 weeks than we have had in the last 2 months.

You want some perspecive into the history of this franchise? Here ya go: 44 years, 2 championships in the biggest market in all of the country. Yes, 2 championships in the last 44 years is OK compared to the Astros or Phillies, BUT THIS IS NEW YORK. Wilpon has the means to match salaries with anybody every year, and yet we have been stuck with mediocrity (or worse) for so long. If you are happy shelling out a few hundred bucks every time you take your family to the game to see a .500 team, then more power to ya. Just don't make that decision for me and my family. This is the "SAME OLD METS".

One more thing, don't give me the whole elitist "you're a bandwagon fan" garbage. Why is it that every time someone wants to trade away a prospect or is critical of their team, they are labeled a bandwagon fan? Maybe it's YOU who are the bandwagon fan that doesn't have the recollection of the hype of Generation K, Alex Ochoa, Alex Escobar, etc, etc, etc. Sure Wright and Reyes have been brilliant, but name 2 other prospects that have panned out for us in the last 20 years....don't forget that we have spent a lot of time at the bottom of the heap, and should have been able to draft a ton of "can't-miss" prospects. So where are they?!?!?!

As for me, I'm 22 years old, and have been a Mets fan since I could say the word "baseball". I've never actually seen the Mets win a world series live (I was 2 years old in 86). If rooting for a team that you have never seen win a world series for your whole life is being a bandwagon fan, then I guess you can give me the conductor's cap.

You, and all of the other eternal optimists make me sick. It's fans like you that let Wilpon get away with pocketing all of his money for all of these years. Finally he pulls out the wallet, and it wasn't enough because Lastings Escobar was too valuable at the deadline to justify bettering a known weakness. Just make sure that you are here to post something if we do get knocked out in the first round....

Anonymous said...

The news blows, obviously. But I'm ok with it. I'm not even that discouraged. It's not like Pedro is 20-3 and has been our ace all season long and suddenly is out for the playoffs. He hasn't been healthy since the end of May. Maybe this is what gets this team to regain their focus and regain their scrap and regain their fight.

El Duque, Glavine, Trax, Maine - that's as good as it gets in the National League for starting pitchers. (OK, there's Houston, but I refuse to be afraid of them.) Sure all 4 are not sure things but nobody else in the league (alright, Houston) has 4 better. And nobody has as deep a bullpen. I'm ok with Roberto. He's still tough on righties and even struck out Chipper last night. I don't think they need to stretch him into a longman. Roberto, Bradford/Feliciano, Mota, Heilman, Wagner - that's a strong bullpen to get you through a game if the starter doesn't go many innings, and that's not even counting Oliver.

I think Trax will step up and pitch well, while infuriating everyone along the way. I'm confident the offense will get rolling.

This team has a combination of talent, character and chemistry that I think will carry them to the World Series. And once they're there, anything can happen.

Unser said...

If the Mets play the Phillies in the NLCS, they may very well choose Dave Williams, the lefty, over Bert. Good call MD.

So they can't put Milledge on the roster unless he replaces an injured non-pitcher? Looks like they're gonna use Castro as a right-handed bat off the bench.

And it is my opinion that Pedro would not have been effective, even if healthy. This is definitely a blow, but not unexpected. Pray for 5 or 6 solid innings from our starters, and a rock solid bullpen after that.

sheadenizen said...

Mr. Realist....your commentary belies your moniker. Do you honestly think Beane was trading a $12-15M a year pitcher for a AA basball player? I think it's you who need to take your head out of your rectum.

Donn the Realist said...

Sheadenizen,

It's been well documented (both then and now) that Zito could have been had for Milledge and a low-level prospect. The fact that Zito is a 12-15 mil per year guy is exactly why Beane would have taken Milledge for him. Zito is a FA after this season. Read Moneyball. You might learn something.

sheadenizen said...

I know all about Moneyball, Mr. Realist. Where's your documentation? Ken Rosenthal's column? The man who said 2 days ago the Phils were going to the WS as the NL representative. Unless you can show me an affadavit from Mr. Beane and Mr. Minaya, everything else is conjecture and wishful thinking.

Coop said...

Some people here (and donn the realist, i'm looking at you) are drinking the Ken Rosenthal Kool-aid this morning, while the rest of Met fandom (at least the ones I know) are taking this thing in stride.

OK - I just want to shout from the rooftops...there is NO WAY BILLY BEANE WOULD TRADE HIS ACE PITCHER IN THE MIDDLE OF A PENNANT RACE FOR MILLEDGE. Don't you think if it were that simple, Omar would have said bye-bye in a NY minute? The truth was, Beane and Omar never had a conversation about Zito for Milledge and you know what? I don't blame Omar one bit. This is the best GM we've had and I do not doubt anything he does. Zito will be a FA after this season, and a three-month rental does not a.) guarantee a W in Game 3 of the NLDS and b.) he will be back in the next year. Plus. the deal being kicked around by NY MEDIA (and no one named Omar or Billy mind you) is that there would need to be an "OK" starter thrown in the mix, which would have been a Maine or a Heilman caliber. So even with Zito, when Pedro goes down, does this do us any good? No. Plus when Milledge does start doing great things, we will feel a lot better that he wasn't let go (unless he's packaged for a Dontrelle type guy, then I will pack his bags for him).

Now what I do agree with as far as donn the realist and others here is that what I am truly disappointed about is the Oswalt deal. Peter Angelos can suck my a$$. If there is anything we can point to, point to that.

As for Pedro, I am disappointed but am I writing our tombstone? No. I think now, with the playoff rotation solidified, we will start seeing them step up their game. And yes I'm looking at Glavine and Trashball.

But most of all, let's wish Pedro well, so he can be back for next season.

Coop said...

Shea denizen, you took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you! :)

What people don't realize is even in Moneyball spirit, Beane would let Zito's contract run out, maybe offer arb, and expect him to sign elsewhere. Give him his draft picks, he's happy.

Donn the Realist said...

If you guys refuse to believe published reports from more than one person at more than one time (Rosenthal is one of at least 3 different people who have documented the fact that Milledge would've landed Zito. The stories were out there before, during, and after the deadline), then I don't really have anything else to say. How can you argue with someone that believes his opinion is more valid than published reports from multiple sources?

Coop, while Beane allowed Giambi & Damon to walk in order to grab those extra draft picks, he traded Hudson, Mulder, & Isringhausen in their walk years because he felt the players he was getting in return were better players than he thought he could draft with the picks that he would have received had he let them walk as well. It was reported that Beane is infatuated with Milledge and valued him higher than a couple compensatory draft picks. Sorry, I forgot that only your opinion is what actually matters, and published, documented, substantiated fact are of little value to you....

Things must be pretty nice in your world, though. Don't like something you read? Just don't believe it. Who cares if it's true anyway?

Metstradamus said...

It's like the Springer show up in this hizzy. Let's throw some chairs!!!!!

Realist,

If you're going to point out the multiple "Zito for Milledge" documentations, you must also point out the multiple documentations that Minaya was trying to land Oswalt with Milledge instead, which would have been smarter...since Oswalt is a harder thrower than Zito and was locked up for a longer period of time. So for you to take the Mets to task for not trying to improve the starting pitching is way off base. If Angelos wasn't a crackhead, and this deal had gone down, with the possibility of Zito to be signed for nothing but money next season, then what would you think of Omar's decision?

I have no problem with realism but please, let's not think like "Jerome from Manhattan" who thinks that just because the Yankees want to make a deal that it gets done...since there are other GM's that have to agree to the deal (that only happens when some idiot like Pat Gillick comes and sells his assets for ten cents on the dollar).

And for Roy Oswalt and those like him...bring it. The Mets have a mediocre starting rotation of three players, but an excellent lineup and a lights out bullpen. I refuse to be scared of a team that has three good starters (and how come nobody is going nuts over the fact that Andy Pettitte hasn't had the greatest September?) but can't hit and has the very flammable Brad Lidge? Let's remember that however hot you are, it's come against the Cardinals (who stink) and the Pirates.

So let's rock.

Donn the Realist said...

Metstra,

I agree that it was a great idea to try to land Oswalt, but once that fell through, how can you stand pat? I understand that Oswalt isn't is his walk year, but if you would have given up Milledge for him, I don't see why you wouldn't give up Milledge for Zito. Sure, Willis or Oswalt would have been ideal, but when you discover that they're not available, you have to pursue your other options.

A 100% healthy Pedro, Glavine, & El Duque weren't exactly going to scare anybody in October. I was screaming from the rooftops that that rotation needed to be upgraded to have a shot in the postseason (particularly in the WS). Now with Duque, Glavine, and a couple of question marks, I just can't get to optimistic about our chances at all...especially if we have to face Houston or LA (or even Philly in the second round).

Our lineup (when it's on) is explosive, and our bullpen is spectacular. However, look at the last decade of World Series champs: the only team to win it without a spectacular rotation was the '02 Angels. I don't like our chances.

Metstradamus said...

Donn,

You have to understand, rightly or wrongly, that this franchise has been burned by the Scott Kazmir trade. Even though Minaya wasn't around for it, he understands that this franchise doesn't want to repeat that again. Milledge for Zito...even if Zito were to leave after a month and a half, would NOT have been the disaster that Zambrano for Kazmir was, because Zambrano for Kazmir was a disaster the day it was made. Not even the Nolan Ryan trade was a disaster from DAY ONE...the Ryan trade took many years and many no-hitters to become the legendary debacle that it is. So any deal that includes top prospects is going to be looked at through the skewered kaleidoscope of that deal.

If Milledge was traded for Zito, and Zito had left after a month and a half of mediocre pitching, and bombed in the playoffs, it would have been looked upon as another Kazmir deal. While nothing could be quite as bad as that, that's what the perception would have been. And the Mets have to keep an eye on the future as well as going for it now...because do you want the Mets to go directly in the tank after a small taste of prosperity, like they did in '01?

And also, the Cecil Wiggins/Filthy Sanchez incident also forced Omar's hand into making a terrible deal (although I still think that deal should not have been made, and didn't have to be made).

And regarding the Angels in 2002, they had better competition in their own league back then than the Mets do now...Astros or no Astros...Phillies or no Phillies. And if the Mets get to the Series against the Yankees like the world thinks the Yankees are going to make it...their rotation has issues as well beyond Wang. So don't fret...yet.

Mike said...

Let me join the "Losing Pedro sucks, but it ain't the end of the world" Brigade.

I'm also very pleased to see Beltran go yard, Reyes & Delgado lace line drives, and LoD continuing to make solid contact and actually draw two walks.

That said, what do the following four items have in common?

1. The Writ of Habeus Corpus in 2006 America.
2. Most of my savings.
3. My fingernails while watching Met games.
4. David Wright's power stroke.

The answer, of course, is "They've all disappeared lately."

If Young Mr. Wright starts to bash, all will be well as Shea hosts game 3 of the world series. If not, then here's to hoping that Beltran, Reyes & Delgado all have their hitting shoes on, and that Trachs returns to the "Suck No More" strategy he so effectively revealed last month.

Let's Go Mets.

Anonymous said...

I've been catching some Phillies, Dodgers, St. Louis, and Astros games here and there on TV.
These teams S-U-C-K! The Phils--in a must-win--couldn't drive home a go-ahead after 10 shots until the 14th--and they still almost lost!
The Mets are the best of this bunch. Martinez? Fine in 2005, an non-entity in 2006, and a guy who is simply an unmissed clubhouse distraction (see today's NYT).
Floyd's health is more of a concern.

Coop said...

Ummm, no Donn my opinion far from counts. In fact, if my opinion were used to run this team, we wouldn't have LoDuca or have him batting 2nd and a bunch of other stuff. But what I do have are facts - straight from Billy Beane's mouth. Bear in mind one simple fact - yes there was "documented" coverage that Beane had a man crush on Milledge and was willing to part with Zito. But all of these "documents" were NY beat writers, besides Rosenthal wasn't it Klap or some other known spin doctor of NY Sports media? I understand where you are coming from, but you are wrong to think this is just my "opinion." Billy Beane said -- on a radio interview, so many people heard it -- that he had no intention of trading Zito and that he never even spoke to Omar. So call me "opinionated" or whatever, but I'll take Beane's word over a bunch of blowhard NY sports writers anyday.

Donn, don't get me wrong, I am not trying to "fight" with you or prove you wrong, I think we are in the same boat as Mets fans. And -- right now -- I believe the Mets are better off w/o Pedro FOR NOW.

Oh and one more thing - (don't mean to beat the dead horse) but one of the things you mentioned re: Damon and Juice-on Giambi is that I think Beane knew what he was giving up. Hudson and Mulder on the other hand...they haven't really amounted to cr@p after their trades. And - I need to look this up - weren't they traded in the off-season. I'm getting too old. So anyway he looks pretty smart. If Zito was truly being shopped around, I'm sure another team wanted him as badly. Pitching was thin at trade deadline this year.

As I told Omar when I met him, I would never ever doubt him. Like I said, if I were to run this team, I probably would be the female version of Steve Phillips. LOL Maybe Duquette

Unser said...

This is great reading today. "Let's throw some chairs!" - awesome man, just awesome.

Mike, you must be a fellow lawyer referring to writs of habeas corpus, and their recent demise. Great analogy.

As MD says - bring it. All this moaning about the Astros. Blah, blah blah. Hey Clemens, if you make it to the post-season, come October the bell tolls for thee.

Ed in Westchester said...

Not to pile on Donn, but:

IIRC, the Oswalt deal died kinda close to the deadline. That being the case, it may have been hard to get a Zito deal done. The other piece was a pitcher of modest accomplishment. This could be either Maine or Heilman. Let's see, who would have taken over for Glavine when he went down? How would the bullpen look without Heilman?

As someone who has been a fan for longer than you have been alive, I've seen my share of failed high picks. Guess what, every team has them, even those that has stunk for a while and had high picks as a result.

Rather than complain about something that was not done, why not support the team? If you prefer to get twisted over a possible missed trade, be my guest, but don't call those who think they have a shot still unrealistic.

By the by, starting your post "Now all the fools" is a sure fire way to get a negative response from people. Ditto, "pull your head out of your rectum". Also, I don't see a lot of stand pat guys/gals on this site. Don't know where you have been hanging out. Try not to get personal when posting. It does not help your argument, it makes you look silly.

Mike - as for The Prince and his power stroke, I think the first half was an abberation. I do not see him as a guy who is going to hit 40 HR's at this point. That being said, he is also not the HR guy on this team, that role belongs to the Carlos'. If David hits 377 (as he has done in September) in the playoffs, that is OK with me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Metstra - that Pedro computer graphic is hilarious.