Saturday, June 04, 2005

Casting Spells Around The Majors

Item: The Mets are one of seven teams interested in signing former Reds closer Danny Graves.

His ERA is abysmal (7.36), his batting avg. against is abysmal (.357), his WHIP is atrocious (2.29), and Graves gave up at least one hit in nine of his ten saves, and in that tenth save he only pitched 1/3 of an inning. He's also given up at least one earned run in 4 of those 10 saves. And we're not even talking about the four runs he gave up against the Mets on the 18th of May, and the 5 runs in his final appearance against Cleveland on the 22nd. Yet seven teams are apparently interested in him. Is anybody's bullpen that bad?

Item: Mets on pace to strike out about 200 more batters than last season.

ESPN Tim Kurkjian enlightens us on SportsCenter with this nugget: Pedro Martinez advised Tom Glavine that he was holding the ball in his glove too long during his delivery, helping with Glavine's turnaround this season. I suspect that the Mets would have put up with a little "diva" from Martinez in his tenure. But so far, not only has there been none of that, and not only has Martinez been lights out his own self, now we find out that he's giving tips to Tom Glavine of all people. Combine that with the buzz that has returned to Shea when he pitches, Pedro has already earned his money this season, on June 4th.

Item: Former Met Octavio Dotel to have Tommy John surgery and miss not only 2005, but maybe 2006 as well.

And this is his walk year, so Dotel will not be earning a paycheck next season. Not only that, players who have Tommy John surgery performed on them usually take a full season to really shake off the effects, so Dotel most likely is looking at 2008, when he'll start the season at the age of 34, until he's back to his old self. That won't bode well if he only gets a one season deal to prove himself in 2007.

Item: George Steinbrenner says the Yankees are letting down the entire city.

Not quite the ENTIRE city, boss.

I can deal with the argument that the designated hitter adds a run to your ERA, and I can even see that there are more monster lineups one through nine in the A.L. than in the N.L. But when hitters are at a .314 clip against you (Carl Pavano), when you haven't reached 10 K's this season and have given up a hit an inning (Randy Johnson), and when you get swept by the Royals (not a monster lineup), then something's wrong. Sure, some A.L. teams have stronger 7-8-9 hitters than their N.L. counterparts, but not all of them. Certainly not the Royals and Twins. And it can't all be attributed to the designated hitter. Randy Johnson is 41 years old, and while he's pitching well for 41, you can't expect him to be the Randy Johnson of even last season much less his prime. Pavano is proving himself to be a one and a fraction year wonder (his great 2004 actually started in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, when he kept the Marlins in the game until Alex Gonzalez sabotaged their season), which is surprising. Jaret Wright was a mistake from the start, but the moves the Yankees have made as a whole really should have panned out and they haven't. And the middle of the order should be hitting and they're not.

The Yankees, in my mind, have done enough over the past 10 years to get the benefit of the doubt this season and be given an opportunity to turn it around. But this is the Yankees we're talking about; the same Yankees who proved once and again that they had no soul when they felt the need to get another all-star to replace the serviceable Miguel Cairo, who performed well last season for the Yanks. (They probably should have given prospect Robinson Cano the opportunity from the beginning, unless they knew that Womack would eventually be needed to replace Bernie Williams in the outfield.) So you know something will happen before too long.

In any event, it should be fun to see what the Boss does next. I for one, can't wait.

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