Tuesday, December 30, 2008

From The Makers Of Kazuo: It's The Other Matsui

It's a comment worth spotlighting:
"What about making a deal with the Spanks for H. Matsui? He's in the final year of his contract and he's due $13 million for the season. The guy is not the feared hitter that Manny is, but he's the anti-Manny--personality wise--a true professional. And if he's healthy enough, you can pretty much count on him to hit around .300 with a .370 or so OBP and drive in 90-100 rbis. Unfortunately he bats lefty. If the Mets were willing to take on half of that $13 million for next season, he could probably be had for a mid-level prospect I would think. Nady would be better, but we'd probably have to give up more to get him cuz he's younger and he's getting a lot less $$$. It's a risk of course but it might be better than say committing more money and years to a player like Abreu or Dunn. Wilpons would have the added bonus of money from the Japanese media and fans." - Chris in Japan
If the Mets want a bat for the outfield to lengthen the lineup, you could do worse than Hideki Matsui. Don't believe me? The Mets apparently tested that theory by looking into trading for Andruw Jones.

Hideki is interesting, because of all the Yankees hitters I hate to see up with the game on the line, Matsui might be Yankee Enemy No. 1 ... yes, even over Derek Jeter ... that's how clutch he's been against the Mets. And isn't that something that the Mets are apparently looking for?

And that whole deal with the bonus money from Japanese endorsements, I don't think that's how you should run a baseball team ... trading for people that will bring people through the gates regardless of how they fit in the lineup or in the room. But with Bernie Madoff bilking the Wilpons out of the Gross National Income of a small country, there's no doubt that this is something the Wilpons would consider (I'm not that naive.) The Yankees apparently can afford to lose that advertising since they're paying billions of dollars for CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.

Ultimately, I don't think it happens because as of now, he still has a place on the Yankees as part time DH, rest of the time left fielder. As long as he has a regular place in the Yankee lineup, there's no way he'd be wheeled to the Mets for a mid-level prospect. And I'm not sure the Mets would be willing to take on another injury risk to play the outfield (although the mere fact that they discussed Jones would blow that theory to bits.)

But you guys are not only thinking, you're coming up with ideas more creative than trading for Andruw Jones. You're all smarter than a fifth grader (and the fifth graders are smarter than me), and I'm proud of you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Gift Of Catch

Sorry. I know you really wanted one, but I couldn't find a Nintendo Wii to save my life. You would think that a whole year after this thing came out that it wouldn't be such an "in" gift. Boy, was I wrong. You should have warned me of this before you asked me for one at the last minute. But the Mets offered me Luis Castillo and even paid the rest of his contract. They didn't even want much in return, just future considerations (I hope they don't ask me for a Wii.) So you may not be able to play Wii Baseball, but you can play catch with Luis in your backyard for three whole years ... basically for free. If you get bored with him, maybe you can trade him in for $15 at Game Stop (or for Jeff Keppinger in Cincinnati.) So, I hope you enjoy your gift. Remember, don't feed him after midnight or he turns into Carlos Baerga. Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sorry Charley

"Something suddenly came up."

-R. Furcal

First A.J. Burnett, and now Rafael Furcal. The Braves need a date for the prom.

But before you laugh at them, consider this: The Braves still have money ... so eventually, someone is going to sign with them.

Also eventually, somebody is going to make an offer to Oliver Perez. In this offseason of economic uncertainty, all rules of engagement (for example, Perez's desire to return to Southern California to pitch) are going right out the window. If you close your eyes, you could see Ollie coming back to Citi Field in a Braves uniform shutting down the Mets three times ... couldn't you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mets Looking At Mystery Reliever

There have been questions as to where the Mets will find some help for the 'pen after their recent trade of Scott Schoeneweis, among others. There were rumors that they were looking across the pond at a "mystery reliever". And even when names leaked, it didn't help because the scouting services had little video on them. But the crack staff has found out not only who the Mets are actually looking at, but even dug up a little video on him. Check this out:

This guy has the tools ... he was able to spot it, had some good velocity, and I'd swear that shoe had some late movement on it. He'll work just fine. He may be a little raw, and he'll learn that the Phillies frown on headhunting. He'll also learn to aim more at the ribs with some experience here in the States. Even though he's a project, I think Dan Warthen can work with this guy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust ...

"And Schoeneweis makes four. Something still doesn't seem quite right. Hmmm ..."

Friday, December 12, 2008

If The Mets Don't Get Derek Lowe ...

Blame this guy ...
Investors scrambled on Friday to assess potential losses from the $50 billion fraud allegedly perpetrated by Bernard Madoff, a day after the arrest of the prominent Wall Street trader.

Prosecutors and regulators accused the 70-year-old former chairman of the Nasdaq Stock Market of masterminding a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions through a hedge fund he ran (...)

The real estate investment firm Sterling Equities, co-founded by New York Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, had money invested with Bernard Madoff’s firm, CNBC has confirmed.

"Among our various investments, we have accounts managed by Madoff Securities,” the company said, in a statement. "We are shocked by recent events and, like all investors, will continue to monitor the situation."
In a unrelated story, Bobby Bonilla was rumored to have called the Mets to make sure that the $1,193,248.20 check he's due to get every year from 2011-2035 wasn't in any jeopardy. This call reportedly was made moments after looking up "Ponzi scheme" on Wikipedia with his friend's blackberry during a blackjack game.*

*This call may or may not have happened.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sore Winner

So Mets fans get to enjoy their new bullpen for, what ... less than 48 hours before Cole Hamels decides to urinate in the oatmeal?
In an interview on WFAN today with Joe Beningo and Evan Roberts, Hamels was promoting the Phillies' World Series DVD when he was asked outright, "Do you think the Mets are choke artists?"

"Last year and this year I think we did believe that [they were choke artists]," he said. "Three years ago we didn't because they smoked everybody, and I think we all thought they were going to win it all. Unfortunately that didn't happen. But, yeah, that's kind of what we believed and I think we're always going to believe that until they prove us wrong.

"For the past two years they've been choke artists."
What? Hasn't Cole Hamels heard about our new and improved bullpen? Forget K-Rod and J.J., We've got Rocky Cherry! It's over!


Wait, the Yankees ... who just paid $60 million more than the next highest bidder ... want that next highest bidder to help them subsidize Mike Cameron's contract if they trade for him?

The gall on that franchise never ceases to amaze me.


Did you get your message from K-Rod?

I did ... and I was immediately frightened. Because doesn't the music in that little vignette sound eerily similar to the 1:13 mark of this clip:

What An Encore!

It seems to me that the excitement surrounding K-Rod has been a bit muted. After all, the Mets got their big fish last winter in Johan Santana and Met fans were so excited that they were stripping down to their underwear and diving into vats of Crisco ... and where did it get them? Besides acne, it got 'em one more victory, one more game behind the Phillies, and one more heartache. So after the Mets got K-Rod at Costco prices, the response has basically been "Yeah yeah, what next?"

J.J. Putz, that's what's next.

To which my response is simply this:

Bravo. Brav ... freakin' ... O.

Yes, there should be more to come. There has to be more to come. A starting pitcher has to be on the way. Derek Lowe (for four years) should be that name. I know that's not happening, but something has to happen in the starting rotation. But the bullpen ... the huge reason the Mets have collapsed the last two seasons, is a long way towards being completely fixed. So let's take a moment to breathe the relevant parts of this deal at this time:

J.J. Putz/Mets: Let's get one thing straight right now: It's pronounced "Pootz". All right? Omar Minaya did a great job in getting this guy, but he's already mispronounced his name ... twice. It's J.J. Pootz. I know it's more fun to say Putz, and there'll be plenty of chances for that when he blows an eighth inning lead. But if you want him to be comfortable pitching the eighth inning in New York, please ... it's Pootz.

And that's the big question: Is this guy going to be comfortable stepping back into the eighth inning and into the shadow of Frankie Rodriguez? He has already said "no" to that, according to Rosenthal. But that was before the trade went down. He may change his tune ... he might have already. And considering that last season was injury riddled and not very warm and fuzzy statistically, he really should change his tune ... unless that WHIP drops below a buck twenty.

Here's why we like J.J.: This is a guy that can pitch to righties and lefties. Even when he stunk last year, his splits were pretty much even. Now granted, that's not going to be much consolation if he stinks again this season, or if he's injured. But at his best (like in 2007), he's going to be a beast. And for anyone who thinks that Putz is going to sulk and not be at his best because he's not mentally in it: It would hardly be in his best interests to do that. If he comes out with a monster season behind K-Rod, his value skyrockets ... and the Mets could conceivably pick up his $9M club option for 2010, then turn around next winter and trade him for a larger haul to a team that desperately needs a closer (provided K-Rod's arm doesn't explode on impact this coming opening day and Putz isn't closing for the Mets after all.)

Endy Chavez/Mariners: Best playoff catch ... ever. Made AIG a star. But AIG is known for other things now. And Endy Chavez is known for his struggling offense almost as much as he is for that catch. Chavez was collecting dust on the bench late last season, and when he wasn't dusty he was rusty. Endy just hasn't had the same impact on the Mets since his hamstring exploded in 2007. And his inclusion in this deal is somewhat neutralized by:

Jeremy Reed/Mets: It's a bit scary how similar the offensive stats were for Chavez and Reed last season. Reed is going to have to re-invent himself as an all around outfielder and not simply a center fielder.

Mike Carp/Mariners: Carp fields like a DH. He now goes to a team that can employ a DH legally and regularly. Everyone wins.

Jason Vargas/Mariners: Because Matt Lindstrom needed a good laugh.

Sean Green/Mets: Because that was the problem last season: The Mets were missing a Shawn Green. Yeah, well Sean Green is a reasonable facsimile ... you know, except for the fact that he's about 50 years younger and a reliever instead of a right fielder. Green Lite, though his left/right splits are almost as stark as your garden variety Mets reliever from 2008, will wind up being the ground ball pitcher to replace ...

Joe Smith/Indians: Easily the best player lost in this deal. Smith has great stuff as is ... and he's only going to get better. Remember, he's only going to be 25 next season. The Indians are going to be happy with Smith setting up Kerry Wood. You do have to give up quality to get quality. If Smith is the best quality given up in this deal, the Mets will be okay. Of course, the quality could come from an unexpected source. Which brings me to:

Aaron Heilman/Mariners: Wait a second, I want to repeat that a few times:

Aaron Heilman/Mariners.

Aaron Heilman/Mariners.

Aaron Heilman/Mariners.

All right, I'm convinced. He's gone. Aaron Heilman ... who it should be said by all accounts is a solid citizen, generous with his time, and all in all a heck of a guy ... is really, honestly, and truly, is a Seattle Mariner. I still can hardly believe it.

But let's be fair. I'm not here to kick Heilman out the door, despite repeatedly stating my desire to help him pack. I've called him stupid. I've compared him to The Blob, and Brandon Cruz. I've ripped him for giving up a home run to Emilio Bonifacio. He's been the bane of my existence for years. And now he's going to Seattle, no doubt to become a starter, win 20 games, and spur all Mets fans to e-mail me and say "See? SEE??!? SEE!!!!!"

Because you know that Heilman is going to be the next Alexei Kovalev, who ended his first career with the New York Rangers as a frustrating blockhead, only to go to Pittsburgh, pair with Mario Lemieux, and finally start to realize his massive potential.

There's no Mario Lemieux waiting for Heilman in Seattle (only Marwin Vega and Matt Tuiasosopo). And the Seattle Mariners are no Pittsburgh Penguins. But there is a chance that Heilman is refreshed by the change of scenery, and a chance to fulfill his dream of being a starting pitcher. The bottom line is that an Aaron Heilman resurgence was never ... ever ... going to happen in Citi Field. Heilman felt that he needed a change of role more than a change of scenery ... but he'll realize that trading the angry mob in Queens for the latte drinking crowd of Seattle will be the best thing for him. And honestly ... and I mean honestly ... I wish him nothing but the best. He may not realize it, but this will be a better deal for him than it will be for Mets fans. And don't be surprised if Heilman realizes some level of success.

With that said, I think it's important that we take the time and reflect on Aaron's career as a Met, and appreciate what he's done for us on the field. And if Heilman ever returns to Flushing as a visitor, I hope the Mets will use this as their tribute video (horrible production value and all). I guarantee there will not be a dry eye in the house that evening.

P.S. Now the video should work. Consider this the official unveiling.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Wondering if the Frankie Rodriguez camp is trying to put in a clause in that new three year, $37 million contract he's supposedly signing to come to the Mets that will automatically increase the contract to that five year $75 million he wants ... if the Dow Jones ever gets back up over 12,000.

Maybe the clause they should be working on will give K-Rod an automatic opt-out if the rest of the bullpen continues to exist in its current form.

Hey, he's willing to be creative ... that's as creative as it gets.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Vegas Hope

With the winter meetings at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, let's hope that this scene isn't repeated on Thursday ... where opposing GM's are reflecting on the heist they just made on Omar Minaya in various trades.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Smart? Or Cheap?

Don't worry ... there's plenty of winter left for the Mets to screw things up. But I have to briefly come to their defense.

It was counterproductive in the winter of 2006 to let go of Chad Bradford, who was a huge part of the Mets bullpen when the team won the N.L. East. Since then, the bullpen has gone downhill. But bringing back Bradford, who the Mets have had chances to return here whether it be last season's trade deadline, or this offseason, isn't going to help.

Besides the fact that having two submarine pitchers on the team is a little redundant, Bradford is the type of pitcher the Mets already have way too many of ... that is to say: another pitcher who's tough on righties, and brutal against the opposite side. (Look at his splits if you don't believe me.) On a team that has relievers who can pitch to anyone (like the Mets had in '06 or the Rays had in '08) Bradford serves a purpose. But put him in the Mets bullpen last season, his value would have been limited at best, and most likely another in a long line of pitching changes Snoop Manuel would have had to make last September. Yeah, Bradford would have been a better option than, say, Aaron Heilman, ooooooor ... Al Reyes. But he wasn't what that bullpen needed last season, and he's not what they need going forward unless the Mets decide they have to trade Joe Smith to significantly upgrade their team.

What does bother me is the rationale that is floating around out there that Bradford was "out of their price range".
"The Rays offered Chad Bradford to the Mets because $3.5 million is too much in Tampa's world for a set-up man, and Ray officials were shocked when the Mets told them it is too much for them, as well."
Combined with the "we're scared off by the Yankees and the Red Sox" quote regarding Derek Lowe, that blurb regarding Bradford makes the Mets look frugal ... like they're about to sell us Shane Spencer and Karim Garcia all over again. Hopefully, what the Mets really meant was that Bradford cost too much for them in relation to what he provides. Conversely, I'm hoping that what they meant with Lowe was that the Yankees and the Red Sox would surely overpay for Derek Lowe, making him the next prime candidate to be Kevin Brown or Carl Pavano. That, I can deal with.

But if the Yankees and Red Sox have indeed scared the Mets away from Lowe, and Derek winds up signing with the Phillies (apparently they're not so scared of the big bad Yankees and Red Sox), then Omar Minaya will have folded with an inside straight against an opponent with two pairs. You keep doing that in Vegas you'll lose your shirt.

Where are the winter meetings again?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Javy Vazquez, Citi Field, And You

(Your self portrait may vary.)

If the Javier Vazquez trade to the Braves doesn't convince Omar Minaya that spending money to fill holes isn't more prudent than dabbling in the trade market, I don't know what will.

Because once upon a time, there was talk that Vazquez could be dealt for Luis Castillo. Although most thought he was worth a bit more than that, the Braves gave the White Sox two of their top prospects. Vazquez's true worth is most likely somewhere in between.

The Braves, with their limited payroll, are somewhat forced to think this way. The Mets, with their own television network, a new ballpark with higher priced tickets, and their name rights deal with CitiBail still intact, do not have to think this way. (Which reminds me: that whole "Citi/Taxpayer Field" idea? Yeah ... thanks a lot, Quixote and Sancho. Those windmills never knew what hit 'em). Yet there are multiple "reports" that the Mets would rather trade prospects for a JJ Putz than spend money ... our money, used ultimately to bail out Citi and line the Wilpon's pockets ... for the guy with 62 saves last season.

But I'm not worried ... yet, because those reports are just that. The Vazquez deal should serve as a sobering agent if there are any further ideas about spending prospects to get an injury prone closer. Besides, the Mets have had a habit of reeling in the big fish during the last few winters. And with the price on K-Rod seemingly dropping, and the Mets as pretty much the only suitor out there, not even Omar Minaya can screw this up at the winter meetings in Vegas next week ... unless of course he blows all that taxpayer money on the slots at McCarron airport.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Holiday Housecleaning (Alternate Title: Free Stuff!)

I'd be remiss if I didn't pass along the chance for you to win free DVD's.

How, you ask?

The Subway Squawkers (who were affiliated with the Daily News but now have gone indy with their own blog), are passing along the chance for five Mets fans to win DVD copies of The Essential Games of Shea Stadium, which make great Christmas gifts even if you give them to yourself. To enter, simply visit their new website. They will also be giving copies of Yankees and Red Sox DVD's to five Yankee fans and five Red Sox fans ... so those of you who are lurking here are welcome over there and you could also win stuff. Although you can buy your own and know that there's a chance that your money could go towards signing Derek Lowe.

Also, if you missed it because I was too lazy to post it, here's part three of Jimmy Scott's interview with Gabrielle Schoeneweis.

And finally, Playing for Peanuts:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Popularity Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

The Mets are not only giving back to the community, they're using their "popularity" to give back during the Thanksgiving holiday.

You know what this franchise's "popularity" got me?

I'm in a store last night looking for candy as a helpful gentleman was busy telling people that if they needed help to come to him. "Ma'am, If you need anything, let me know and I'll help you." Then again to the next person: "Ma'am If you need anything, let me know and I'll help you." Then he gets to me. "Sir ..."

(sees Mets hat ... first time this particular model has been worn)

"Sir ... you need to change your hat."

(looks at me)


All I could do was laugh. It kept me from crying.

And I think the candy made me sick.

Here's hoping you don't get sick from too much turkey, mashed potatoes, lasagna, stuffing, chocolate cream pie, ambrosia, or whatever interesting things you have on tap for the holiday. I know I have plenty to be thankful for, including turkey, mashed potatoes, lasagna, stuffing, chocolate cream pie, ambrosia ...

Yes, even baseball. (Though it's kinda down on the list these days.) Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Growing

This talk about Aaron Heilman becoming a starter isn't going away ... like the Blob, it keeps growing and growing. That's because unlike the past where the Mets organization has been universally behind Heilman as a reliever, we now have a groundswell of support for Heilman: Starter.
"I'm all for Aaron coming to Spring Training as a starter." -Dan Warthen

"For Aaron's benefit and for us as a team, we have to explore that option." -Jerry Manuel
Since Heilman has taken the "Start Me or Trade Me" stance, it's tempting to offer to not only pay Heilman's moving expenses out of town, but to help him pack.

It's very tempting.

I guess it all depends on your idea of changing the culture of the bullpen. If Aaron Heilman is a starter, does that count as reworking the pitching staff? Or does Heilman have to be completely gone for you to feel better about the direction of the team?

Think about the following:

What if Heilman were to finally get his Christmas wish and start? He would finally get his Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time. Wonderful. What if he gets completely shelled his first few starts? What if those first few starts were to come at home in front of a drunk, bitter, lathered up fan base? "You finally got your wish and yooooou bleeeeeeeeeeeew iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! You blew it." Then what? He can't relieve and he can't start. Whatever trade value he has left (which isn't much unless Dan O'Dowd really wants to get rid of Huston Street) is gone. Heilman will have committed the baseball equivalent of shooting his eye out.

Now, what if Heilman were to be traded? Let's say it's for Street, and Heilman becomes a monster in Colorado? With Omar Minaya seemingly the lone dectractor of Aaron Heilman as a starter, would the success of Street be the determining factor as to whether Minaya keeps his job or not? Because with Warthen, Snoop, and Jeff Wilpon seemingly in Aaron's corner, a Heilman trade has the potential of putting Minaya on the (baseball cliche coming ... duck) hot seat.

While we're knee deep in rampant speculation, let's add this layer: What if Minaya makes a quick Heilman trade, and then finds out that Oliver Perez is going to the Dodgers and Derek Lowe is going back to Boston? Now what? Omar would then have holes in the back of the rotation, which may turn into the middle of the rotation if, say ... John Maine decides he wants to officially be "injury prone". These are scenarios the Mets have to think about and weigh against each other.

I'm going to make a prediction: I think Heilman's going to start ... for the Mets. Why? Well think about it: Who wants Heilman at this point? What can the Mets hope to get for him that will help the 2009 roster? And if those returning parts aren't going to help in '09, then those parts will most likely not be anything of major league value in the future either. Letting Heilman start would improve your bullpen in the fact that ... well, Heilman's not there anymore. And you have more room to sign Joe Beimel and Juan Cruz to help the pen if you haven't already lost your first round pick by signing Lowe.

Now you would still have to sign Lowe, or re-sign Perez if Lowe's contract demands make Oliver Perez the cheap option (don't look too hard for the irony of that statement). But if you get one of them, Heilman would be a fifth starter. What would you rather have: Heilman as your fifth starter, or Heilman lighting games on fire in the seventh inning? Or Heilman in the North Pole with Santa Claus wrapping up Red Ryder air rifles?

Nah, he'll shoot your eye out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

$126 Million Buys A Lot Of Crazy Juice

Okay, I know it's all the art of negotiation. And Scott Boras is good at it. But Derek Lowe is now exposed as a special kinda crazy.

It's not so much that he's asking for a seven-year deal worth about $126 million. I personally think that the 35-year-old Lowe has a better chance of flying to Washington in a private jet and asking the government for a bailout, but that's just me.

But the very fact that Scott Boras would verbalize his request as wanting "a Zito-type contract" that kills me. Does Boras really know what ghost he's waking up by even acknowledging that Barry Zito exists? The last thing I would want to do if I'm Boras is get GM's thinking, "Barry Zito ... oh yeah, that's the guy who started last season 0-8 and has gone 21-30 in a supposedly weaker hitting league since signing the contract that Derek Lowe currently wants. Yeah sure! I'll pay that money to a 35-year-old. And while I'm at it, I'll throw myself in front of a truck. My odds of survival will be about the same!"

Let's see: Frankie Rodriguez had 62 rescues last harvest, will be 27 years old next season, yet is currently struggling to get a four year deal. And Derek Lowe wants Zito money for seven seasons? Hey, I want to see Lowe in Queens as much as anybody but if Omar Minaya lays out this money, he's crazier than I thought he was when he gave Julio Franco two years. (This, Omar, is where fiscal responsibility is a good thing.)


Speaking of Julio Franco and disposable income, I was recently made aware of a list of prices for autographed baseballs. Least expensive signed baseball on the board seems to be the one for former Met Eric Valent, who once hit for the cycle. You can use your disposable income to get a baseball signed by Valent for $49.00.

Not to make Valent feel bad or anything, but here's a partial list of players who you have to shell out more money for to get their signature on a baseball:
  • Lastings Milledge: $79.99
  • Aaron Heilman: $79.99 ("Aaron Heilman is considered to be an integral piece of the Mets future, whether it be in the bullpen or starting rotation" ... or in Colorado.)
  • Jorge Julio: $69.99 (that's a buck per team he's played with)
  • Julio Franco: $59.99
  • Joe McEwing: $50.00
  • Colby Rasmus: $49.99
  • Valent: $49.00

You know your major league career has been disrespected when for 99 cents more than the price of a ball signed by you, you can get a ball autographed by a guy who hit .251 at AAA ball last year and to date has never had a major league at-bat. Apparently hitting for the cycle isn't quite worth an extra buck.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reunion Decision

Assuming that the Mets can get rid of Luis Castillo, and Daniel Murphy makes the move to second base creating a hole in left field, is the reunion you see in the picture something you would want to see in Queens next year?

Richard Justice muses that Ty Wigginton has to go because of economic concerns, salary restraints, and George Bush. Wigginton hit 23 HR's and 58 RBI's (with a higher rate of RBI's to HR's while batting 6th or 7th, which he would with the Mets), and is death to left-handed pitching (.340 average, 1.055 OPS). But, his home/road splits are atrocious, and unless this Citi Field includes Crawford Boxes that are 250 feet away in left field, he'll most likely be exposed away from Houston.

So yea or nay on Wigginton? Is he supersub who can be instant offense against lefties, or is he the right handed Jeromy Burnitz? I'd answer that question, but hopped on caffeine at 4AM isn't the best time to ask me anything, lest I get accused of being cranky. So be dears and answer it for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Frankie Rodriguez: Lost in Translation

After days of seemingly inactive goings on in Met-land, we'll latch on to anything we can get. So when Metsblog brought us the news that Frankie Rodriguez was in New York taking a physical, I jumped ... even though the original source was a newspaper from Venezuela, and that I was warned beforehand to take this with a grain of salt.

It was then that I made the worst mistake of my life. I attempted to translate the original article. No, I didn't try this myself ... four years of Spanish in high school and all I absorbed is "Mi perro esta en fuego en la cocina." (Don't judge, that can come in handy in an emergency.) No, I used a free translator on the net, and quickly learned that you get what you pay for. Anyway, here's what the article says about Frankie going to New York:
Francisco Rodriguez is a sigh of stamp his signature on the contract he wanted so much. And when doing so will become the closing of the New York Mets. Santana, is looming as the leading candidate to become the services of Rodriguez.
Frankie's going to sign with the Mets to be their closer. All right, I waded through the translation and I get that. Continue:
"Yes, it's true. Francisco traveled to New York to get a medical checkup. That's all I needed to give effect to its contract with the Mets," confessed a source linked to stellar closing Venezuelan, who comes to impose a record for Major League, with 62 rescues that conquered during the regular harvest.
Because if you don't have enough rescues during the harvest, it's a cold, cold winter for the kids.
Although the K-Rod agent, Paul Kinzer, confessed yesterday to the official website of Major League Baseball who are still waiting to realize a multi-year contract that guarantees their represented at least 15 million dollars per season, the cast also where the military serpentinero Creole, Johan Santana, is looming as the leading candidate to become the services of Rodríguez.
Wait, Johan Santana is a Military Serpentinero Creole? Does he have a compound in Louisiana filled with enough guns and ammunition to take down a small country? And should we be worried about this?
"The Mets are the ones who have made the best offer so far, although I know that Francis wanted more money than what you have offered," said the source.
Lighten up, Francis.
The troops led by Jerry Manuel is the urgent need to strengthen a bullpen that lost a collective 29 wins in the previous harvest, including seven laurels that he had secured Santana to his third Cy Young Award.
Laurels? Is that like win shares?
With a cast of California out of the race in pursuit of a pact for the Kid, the Mets do not look to another club of great economic power that aims at closing the Venezuelan.
Doesn't that last sentence sound like something that the late Don LaFontaine should be reading?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Supermarket Sweep

Welcome to baseball's Black Friday.

Omar Minaya has his shopping cart in hand on this, the first day of free agency. And he claims that he will spend most of his time in the pitching aisle. Wonderful. In the current economy, he'll be sure to check price tags with due diligence. Hopefully, he'll pay closer attention to the expiration dates than anything (translated that means: stay away from Kerry Wood and his exploding arm, please?)

And stay away from the potato chips.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Look Familiar?

You know, for a team that seemingly couldn't market their way out of a paper bag, the Mets certainly have a lot of ideas stolen from them. The Phillies stole "Ya Gotta Believe" all the way to the series. Now the Dallas Stars have taken hold of "Our Team, Our Time".

Yeah ... they can have that one. Considering the Stars are barely treading water right now in the Pacific Division, the slogan is doing as much for the Stars as it did for the Mets in the end.

You know what, take the song too. Please, take the song.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

He's My Guy All Over Again*

And it feels so good.

*Mota is a free agent. Perhaps he can sign with Seattle, and Randolph can follow him there too.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Light Reading

So I'm guessing you've all heard about the book that Scott Boras wrote on Oliver Perez, which is famous for such chapters as "Perez Turns Corner in 2006", "Perez Is One of Baseball’s Top 5 Left-Handed Starting Pitchers", and of course: "Economy Schmeconomy, Oliver Perez Gives Solid Stock Tips Too". I particularly liked that one.

Turns out Matt Wise's agent has a book on him too. He's handing his out at the San Diego airport.

Friday, November 07, 2008

It's A Major Award

Yes, I won a major award. But more on that later.

First off, it's time to bring some good feeling back to this blog. Too much negativity. Probably my fault. All right, I'll make it up to you:

With the holidays coming up, the most positive thing that you can do is to give to your favorite charity ... or perhaps, give to the favorite charity of your favorite announcers. So go get a t-shirt from Gary, Keith and Ron's website. And how about this: Enter the super secret code before November 28th, and get 10% off. Sounds good? Don't say I don't do anything for you.

Well actually, I still haven't done anything for you ... especially since I never gave you the secret code.

(Psst: BLOGGER ... pass it on.)


Oh, here's Part II of the Gabrielle Schoeneweis interview. Part III coming soon.


Oh, about that major award, I was recently presented with this:

It means I write well, I guess. But all appreciation to the presenter of this award to me. It was unexpected, and I'm not sure I deserve it. But it's appreciated much the same. Thanks!

The good news is that I get to pass it on to five more deserving blogs. The bad news is that I could only choose five. So don't scream at me for not choosing you or this newfound blog positivity is going to end quick. If I could give out awards to everyone, I would. Because I love you all ... seriously.

Here goes:

  1. Faith and Fear in Flushing: Because they constantly come up with things that I wish I came up with.
  2. Toasted Joe: Because he won't rest until Aaron Heilman is pitching for a club team in Siberia.
  3. Mets Walkoffs: Because the minutiae never stops.
  4. A tie: Nice Level Swing, My Summer Family, Archie Bunker's Army, and Brooklyn Met Fan: Because I'm incapable of making a decision. Deal with it.
  5. Jer's Steak House: Because I need to show a little versatility in my life. That and this guy is just plain smarter than me by like three miles. Probably smarter than you too. Just accept it.

You've been officially awarded. Now pass the love along to five of your favorites (or eight or nine if you can't make a decision like me). And oh yeah ... link to me, and link to the Scholastic Scribble guys. Those are the rules. If you don't follow the rules, the mogwai becomes a gremlin ... or something like that.

And buy a t-shirt.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes You Can

Already, the excuses:
Mets VP Tony Bernazard said if the Mets strike out through free agency or trade, they're prepared to potentially use Bobby Parnell or Eddie Kunz in the closing role.

"Why not? What's wrong with that?" Bernazard asked. "You can't sign one of those guys, what are you going to do - not play?"
In case you haven't noticed ... America voted for change.

First stop is your bullpen, Tony.

We want change in your bullpen ... or you and Omar go the way of every other old administration that's been voted out before they get another four years.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I Was Kind Of Afraid Of This

This seemed inevitable ... but apparently while tanning in Dana Point, Omar and the Mets have expressed some interest in Javy Vazquez to help round out their rotation. (Historians will no doubt look upon New York City as the habitat of former Expos ... Seriously, it's a Cities of the Underworld special waiting to happen). Looking at his stats and expecting to find out that after finding the largest prime number, UCLA students would then search for Vazquez's career ERA, his 2008 season wasn't so bad. He had a 4.13 ERA and a 12-13 record in 196 innings in '08.

Those, of course, are his numbers before the magic threshold of September 17th. After that, Vazquez was 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA and an opponents OPS of 1.077. He fits into the program quite well, I'd say.


Oh, come on. For old times sake.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Dana Point Lists

Omar's to do list/Winter Meetings:
  • Closer
  • Set up man
  • Middle reliever
  • Second base
  • Left field
  • Catcher upgrade
Ruben Amaro's to do list/Winter Meetings:
  • Short sheet Omar's bed
  • Put Omar's hand in warm water while he sleeps
  • Leave card by Omar's bed that reads "We Hate You!"
  • Shaving cream on Omar's hand, tickle his nose
  • Ask Omar's opinion on how many carats my ring should get
  • Starting pitcher

Meanwhile, Leo Nunez attends a Marlins orientation:

Friday, October 31, 2008

What Happens When A Fictional Pitcher Interviews A Real Life Wife?

You get Part I of Jimmy Scott's interview with Gabrielle Schoeneweis.

Parts II and III are coming soon, when supposedly Gabrielle will discuss the fateful final game at Shea.

Wes Helms' wife has no comment, but Fredi Gonzalez is sending her to a bat rack somewhere at this very moment.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where Can You Find Me?

You know that place where there's never a sunny day?

I am
so there.

I'll be there all winter.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Razor Shines

Because Pete Moss took a better offer somewhere else.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

America's Cuddly Villains

The world hates the Mets. Here's proof, from noted baseball sociologist Pat Gillick:

"If you want to know the best thing we had going for us this year, it was the fact that all the other teams in our division hated the Mets’ guts. It started with Atlanta and all the hostility they had with the Mets through the years. Then Fredi Gonzalez left Bobby Cox to manage the Marlins and he didn’t forget everything that went on between the Braves and Mets. Look what Florida did for us the past two years (beating the Mets two out of the three in each of the last series of the season to prevent them from making the postseason)! Washington doesn't like them very much either, and all those teams seemed to really get up for the Mets."
The NL East apparently has a hate list.

Where's my freaking royalties?

So what Pat is telling you is that Fredi Gonzalez, a third base coach, took some sort of Mets hatred from the Braves/Mets rivalry ... not really a rivalry at all since they've pounded the Mets through the years ... and brought it to the Marlins? They get up for the Mets because Fredi Gonzalez of all people hated the Mets?

Yeah, great logic. Hey, the Mets didn't do themselves any favors losing two of three to those guys two seasons in a row in the final series. But since the playoff participants are decided on the strength of teams' record throughout the season and not solely in September, let us blow a hole in Gillick's theory right now:

2008 record vs. the Marlins:
Mets: 10-8
Phillies: 8-10

But against the Phillies, I guess the Marlins were just going through the motions, right?
"Washington doesn’t like them very much either."
2008 record vs. the Nationals:
Mets: 12-6
Phillies: 12-6

Gasp! You mean the Nationals didn't get up to play against Philadelphia? Blasphemy! If the Nationals would get up to play against the Phillies like they do against the Mets, the Mets would have won the division?

Yeah. Here's the thing: By saying that, Gillick is unwittingly admitting that the Phillies aren't nearly as good a team as the Mets, but that the Phillies are in because eveyone hates the Mets. One problem: The former statement isn't true. The Phillies must be better than the Mets because they're preparing to play Game 2 of the World Freakin' Series. Meanwhile, the Shea Stadium scoreboard has come crashing to the outfield while the Mets roster isn't preparing for anything right now except their tee shot at hole one and ribbon cuttings at the new Shake Shack at Citi Field.

Hatred didn't fuel the Mets second collapse in a row, folks. Hatred didn't blow a four run lead to the Phillies in the ninth inning, or gave up a two run single to Steve Pearce, or got swept by the San Diego Padres in June. Nor did hatred give up back-to-back home runs to Wes Helms and Dan Uggla.

You know what did?

Here's a hint ... it's the bullpen, stupid!

I guarantee you that Jose Reyes was nowhere near the pitchers mound doing the Cha-cha, Merengue, or the Pasodoble when any of the above events happened.

I'll give you that the division hates the Mets. I've been saying that forever. That much was proven when the Braves, after a game where they almost got into a brawl with the Phillies, spent their postgame cooldown signing "Meet the Mets" after they blew a game in the final week against the Cubs. But if you're telling me that caused the Mets to lose the division, you're nuts. And if you're telling me that the Mets would spend one minute of time trying to figure out how to make the rest of the league like them instead of using that minute trying to figure out how to fix their bullpen, then you are wasting your minutes.

Forget trying to be nice to everyone: Because as long as America hates the Mets, it's time for the 2009 roster, however it's assembled, to stop being sweet and nice and say all the right things. And instead of taking its anger out on Jon Heyman, start taking its anger out on the rest of the division, since it's obviously scientific fact that hating human beings and organizations guarantees higher production and better performance.

Maybe the Mets should put bounties on players. Or maybe Fred Wilpon needs to go all Al Davis on the rest of the league and start having rambling news conferences with overhead projectors, reading verbatim some letter that Joe McIlvane wrote to him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Gritty Attempt At a World Series Preview

Yeah yeah, I know what you're thinking. "A stupid Mets fan previewing the World Series. Why should I even read it? He's going to pick the Rays and explain why to try to comfort his team's wounded fan base and tell them not to worry because the Rays are better ... well screw him! Go Phillies! Ya Gotta Believe because, well you know ... Why Can't Us? Rays are teh suxor Go Phillies!!!!!!1111!!!!!"

And that was just from John Kruk.

Avg. John Kruk IQ=37
Can you beat that score?

Well, Kruk did pick the Phillies to win this series (along with his cohort Steve Phillips), and that tells me that this is a great time to help combat a bad economy and bet your house and your life savings on the Tampa Bay Rays. I mean, if those two are picking the Phillies, that makes the Rays as close to a mortal lock as you can get, no?

I'd leave it at that, except that I now find out that Peter Gammons has also picked the Phillies ... and that worries me because who doesn't like and respect Peter Gammons? So I'm going to step out of my Metstradamus persona, just for a moment, and be an outside observer who has watched more playoff baseball this season than any Met fan should have to endure (I knew all of you wouldn't, so someone had to. I took your bullet ... I took all your bullets.)

Here's the series from my perspective: Look, people who are picking the Phillies point to the bullpens. Yes, overall the Phils have a stronger bullpen right now due to the struggles of Grant Balfour and our old friend Dan Wheeler. Fair. But, for the Rays to be successful in the late innings, it's the lefties that are going to be successful for the Rays to win, and not necessarily the righties. And for the Rays, the lefthanders are pitching some great ball between J.P. Howell (whom I would love to be a Met next year but I know isn't going to happen so don't even get your hopes up kids) and former numero uno draft pick David Price.

People will point to the Game 5 debacle as to why the Rays can't possibly win this series. I point to that game as the reason they will win this series. What Joe Maddon learned during Game 5 is that he blew it not having lefties available to pitch to David Ortiz in the 7th inning of that game (he homered off Balfour) and J.D. Drew in the 8th (he homered off Wheeler), while having Price stuck in his holster. Maddon realized that if Price is on the postseason roster, why not use him ... especially with the 96 mph stuff he has? So in comes Price to close out the ALCS and now the entire planet will realize just how good Price is. He may not be the official closer this series, but if the lineup turns over to Utley, Burrell, Howard in the ninth, you'll see either Price or J.P. Howell ... and Wheeler will save the games where the ninth inning features Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, and the like. It'll be the quality lefties that will force Charlie Manuel to either empty his bench earlier than he wants to, or be forced to hit Matt Stairs and Greg Dobbs to hit against the Howells and the Prices of the world.

Look at that smirk to your right. Men with smirks that pronounced really outgha be punched. (Boy, Metstradamus ... you've had violent tendencies lately, what's up with that?)

But here's fact: If the Phillies are to have any chance in this series, Cole Hamels needs to pitch three times. As of right now, Hamels is only slated to go in Games 1 and 5. Okay, if you want to flirt with disaster. Because let's lay it out in a nutshell: Cole Hamels is a straight beast. He's their best starter by about 3.5 miles. To not have him available in a Game 7 is murderous especially when you consider how the matchups play out.

Right now, Met-hater Brett Myers is due to pitch in Games 2 and 6 in Tampa. During the playoffs, Myers has been a cult hero for outdueling CC Sabathia, and morphing into Mike Schmidt against the Dodgers. But those games were in Philadelphia. Myers will have to pitch two games on the road where he has a 6.21 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP in 16 road starts this season. To be fair, most of that non-success came before his month long odyssey to find himself in the minors, but even career wise there's a spike in Myers' ERA, WHIP, and opponents average on the road as opposed to home.

I have a feeling that if the Phils find themselves down 2-1 headed into Game 4, they may rethink this and go with Hamels on Sunday. If that happens, we've got a series. But there's a reason that teams with more rest heading into the Series get crushed: Baseball is a game of timing. It's not like football which is a game which is as much about brute strength and force as it is about timing ... that's why top seeds in the NFL have a huge advantage coming off a bye week ... it's essential to be more rested in a game where bumps and bruises are a way of life.

That advantage doesn't exist in baseball, which relies on routine and regular work. The Phillies will head into the Series on six days rest, and now all of a sudden they get thrown into action against Scott Kazmir?

(Pauses to mutter a silent curse under his breath towards Jim Duquette regarding Kazmir.)

Take for example Ryan Howard, who hit a quiet .300 during the LCS, and who is a notoriously slow starter. Now you're asking him to face Scott Kazmir cold. Not an optimal situation for a guy who the Phillies really need to step up.

So my official prediction is Rays in 6. And now I step back into my persona to tell Mets fans that after reading that, it really is okay to come out from your hiding place. It's not going to get any worse. The Curse of William Penn will live on. So it's safe to find seats on the Rays bandwagon (preferably seats that keep us out of the way so that the real Rays fans continue to get prime viewing areas) and watch the Series. And if Rays fans have a problem with that, all I can say is that hey, you owe us one.

After all, we did provide you Kazmir in exchange for a tuna fish sandwich.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Is Baseball Like An IV Drip For You?

Need a baseball fix before Game 1 of the Series? Or do you need an alternative to watching the Phillies play meaningful baseball? i know I do. So why not relive Wally Backman's season with the South Georgia Peanuts (Part's one to four of the first episodes of Playing For Peanuts in order) ...




Monday, October 20, 2008

Ryan Church: Behind The Blow

Well, another red letter season has come do an end (and that red letter is F ... I'll let you figure out what that stands for.) And believe it or not, I still have s**t to say. The following is random stuff I'm posting in the comments section about a person or persons of my choosing. These are your New York Mets: Behind the Blow.

Here's what's funny about these Behind The Blow entries: There aren't that many left. There are a few blank entries left to feature certain guys with pretty pictures and titles, but were sitting in my draft box otherwise empty ... lonely ... and sad.

One of those entries was this one, Ryan Church.

As I'm eternally trying to get a handle on what to say about Church, I get a comment from James Allen, a frequent commenter. But it's not really a comment, he wrote a whole Behind the Blow for Church! This is how you know you've made it in the blogging world: People want to do your work for you. It's like when elves come in the middle of the night and lay out your Christmas presents, eat your cookies (they only tell you they give them to Santa), and wax your floor (so you'd slip in the morning ... I've learned that elves have a strange sense of humor.)

Or maybe the commenters are trying a hostile takeover because they're tired of my heavy-handed rule and this is the first step in softening me up. Yeah, that's probably it. (I knew I should have offered free biscuits to the readers.) In any event, I give you James Allen's Behind the Blow ... Ryan Church:

"The saga of Ryan Church in 2008 has to be one of the greatest roller coaster rides in baseball (if you only count the initial drop of the coaster.) From decent corner outfield picked up in the somewhat controversial Lastings Milledge trade, to the hitting juggernaut early in the season, to a horribly handled concussion case (his second in 3 months), to his general uselessness at the plate late in the season, the words "what if?" apply to Church more than any other Met. I mean, what if Yunel Escobar's knee didn't get hit with Church's skull on May 21, 2008? After that date, the Mets corner outfield production basically was in limbo while numerous guys were trotted (no pun intended) out there until Tatis and Murphy (two infielders) pretty much asserted themselves at the head of the pack. Similarly, the 2-hole was given back to guys like... well, you know.

I think the Mets didn't get enough criticism in the handling of Church. Sure, they got some from some quarters, but it wasn't nearly as sustained as it could have been. Someone in the NY Post put it best, the Mets cared more about Moises Alou's knee (and any other injury for that matter) than Ryan Church's brain, making him fly to Colorado shortly after the injury so Ryan could have headaches at high altitude.
(Editor's note: Mets brass probably doesn't know any better in this regard, thinking "Well we work without brains just fine ... why can't Ryan Church? After all, you don't need a brain to play baseball." All right James, continue) This obviously stemmed from some sort of desperation on the Mets part, as the rash of injuries early (to Alou and Pagan specifically) made Mets management think they could roll the dice with a head injury. It was stupid and careless and Omar and whatever silly medical staff the Mets employ should be held accountable. If the Mets doctors were from a hospital and Church was just a patient, they'd still be being sued as we speak.

When he finally did come back he wasn't his old self, putting up a second half .612 OBP in the second half (to go with the .882 OBP for the first half), looking particular dreadful the last month of the season. Is he shot? Hard to tell. Even with his dropoff at the end, his overall numbers were at his career norm, so maybe he can go into 2009 blackout free and contribute at least at those levels, but, to be blunt and somewhat cold, the Mets seriously have to look at improving their corner outfield and take into account that Church may not come back at 100%. As an added bonus, he's going to be compared to Milledge, who started to come alive in the second half, more and more. Will he end up being the unfortunate casualty of what may turn out to be another bad trade on the Mets part? (Schneider sure ain't going make up any difference.) We shall see. As it is, I'm pulling for the guy, and hope he can avoid getting his bell rung again."

Take a bow James. Here's my epilogue:

A good point was brought up when James mentioned how Church's numbers turned out to be right in line with his career averages. The way the numbers got there, with a hot streak in the beginning, the long layoff with the concussion, and the horrid slump at the end bring up the question of just how much did the concussion hurt him this season. Was Church putrid at the end of the season because of the long layoff? Or was he still feeling the lingering effects of his second concussion of the year (first one being in March against the Dodgers in Spring Training)? Or was it just the law of averages catching up with Church?

As much as I think Church is nowhere near the hitter he was at the beginning of the season and that his numbers were bound to regress to the mean in a healthy season, I can't help but think Church's numbers were affected by the concussions, and the way the Mets handled it ("Hey, let's put a dizzy guy on a cross country flight, it'll be fun ... hey, what's that we said about doing this without brains?") So a real determination of Church's future in New York can't be reached until after the 2009 season.

With that in mind, if you're not sure that you can depend on Church to carry the production of both corner outfielders, then trading a bad contract (cough Castillo cough) for a guy like Juan Pierre may not solve anything. Trading that contract for a guy like Jose Guillen might to the trick. And hey, you want a guy to make things interesting in the clubhouse? Guillen can do that. Heck, Guillen is the kinda guy who will light somebody's pants on fire and walk away ... and unless those pants are your pants, then what's the harm in that? Chemistry changed. And here's what else Jose Guillen can do: hit a home run once in a while, which would be more helpful than Juan Pierre.

And if he gets out of line? Snoop Manuel won't just bench him ... he'll kill him. Problem solved.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hope Jim Duquette Had A Good Seat

Six innings. Two hits. Three walks. No runs. Game 5 of the ALCS. Craig Sager can't even keep a straight face when asking Chuck Lamar about the engineering the trade with the Mets. But hey, Scott's bullpen blew the game so in some ways, it's like he never left, right?

It's all right though. I'm sure Victor Zambrano did something equally productive baseball-wise today. He traded a Scott Kazmir rookie card for a '67 Corvette. I'll give you one guess as to who was on the other end of that trade.

At least nobody plays baseball tomorrow so there's no chance of something else torturing me ... unless of course Aaron Heilman and Yadier Molina decide to appear at a charity softball game and a ball just happens to bust through my window.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Luis Castillo: Behind The Blow

Well, another red letter season has come do an end (and that red letter is F ... I'll let you figure out what that stands for.) And believe it or not, I still have s**t to say. The following is one in a series of random stuff I'm throwing against the wall about person or persons of my choosing. These are your New York Mets: Behind the Blow.

On July 19th, 2007, the Dow Jones Industrial average topped 14,000 for the first time ever. On the same day, the Mets had beaten the Dodgers 13-9 and were in first place by two and a half games.

Ten days later, Luis Castillo came on board.

Since then, the Dow Jones plunged below 9,000 points, and the Mets lost two straight playoff berths on the last day of the season. I think it's easy to infer that Luis Castillo is to blame for all of this.

Think about it: Remember this past Monday when the Dow bounced back with the largest one day gain in history? Do you think it's a coincidence that on the very same day, Daniel Murphy went 4-for-4 in the Arizona Fall League?

That's all the proof I need. So with the help of deductive reasoning I say this: Luis Castillo is taking your money.

All right, so maybe my argument is skewered a bit. But I can't argue that there's about as much consumer confidence in Castillo as there is in, say ... TransOcean. And that's despite the fact that Castillo's numbers with the Mets in 2007 were actually somewhat decent. And that was the impetus for Omar Minaya signing Castillo to a four year deal.

I allow myself an irrational leaning every once in a while. Here's mine for today: Luis Castillo gets a bad rap. I'd even go so far as to say that Omar Minaya gets a slightly unfair rap for signing Castillo to the long deal. (I'd be willing to bet that when you were at Shea booing Castillo, you were actually booing Omar.) Remember, Daniel Murphy and Argenis Reyes were not yet options during the winter of 2007. Here were your free agent options:
  • Castillo
  • David Eckstein
  • Kaz Matsui

No matter that Castillo was a disaster this season, I still take him over Eckstein with all things being the same now as they were then. Remember, Eckstein would have come to New York and switched positions from shortstop to second. And here's the rub: Toronto traded him because he couldn't field ... his natural position! Then he got traded to Arizona and hit .219 down that all-too-familiar stretch.

And I don't want to read comments that read: "But but but ... David Eckstein! Grit! Heart!" Castillo in '07 played through bad knees and hit over his career averages in batting and on base percentage, and drove in 20 runs in 50 games. And while he looked like he would fall apart at any second, he was hardly the reason the Mets collapsed in 2007. Four years may have been much, but don't forget the Astros were going after Castillo also so I'm not convinced that the Mets really had any choice but to sign Castillo to the long deal ... unless you wanted Kaz Matsui back in New York to get booed out of his mind. You want that? Do you? Think hard about that before you answer.

That being said, it's time for Luis Castillo to blow town. There are options now. Argenis Reyes is an option. Daniel Murphy and his .529 AFL average is an option. Orlando Hudson very well may be an option. Luis Castillo is no longer an option. His knees are beyond repair. His stats in '08 are beyond repair. And if he's not batting second, he's pretty much useless. Wherever Murphy plays, he'll be the one batting second. And let's face it: bad things do seem to happen just by his very presence. There's no good reason for it, it just is.

(Excuse me, my head just got light and I need to sit down. I'm getting a Carlos Baerga flashback.)

And now I understand why Castillo came to the Mets so cheap. What was once a happy marriage must now be dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. Don't be scared about some of the quotes floating around from the Mets which basically say not to count out Castillo being the starting second baseman next season ... that's just lip service to make sure his trade value doesn't drop as fast as the stock market. Believe it or not, there are some that actually might want him. Ooh, I know, I know, Omar needs to fix the bullpen, maybe Castillo can bring back Braden Looper!

Yeah, and maybe my Enron stocks will make a comeback.