May 23, 2008

Random Mets' Thoughts From A Mind That Aches...And Buster Olney is NOT Helping!!!


My head is still killing me from fighting a sinus infection, and let me tell you, that 4-game series to the Braves only made it a LOT worse!!!

Here are the things that are going through my (pain-addled) brain, regarding our orange and blue...and remember, if you disagree with anything that I say, it's the drugs...it's the drugs...


The book "Amazin'" by Peter Golenbock - although I believe the hard cover is no longer in print, the soft-cover is - is a MUST read for every Mets fan! It traces their roots all the way back to pre-1900, when a team called the "Metropolitans" pre-dated the Giants, all the way up through recent years. I'ts a large book, checking in at 600+ pages, but worth every moment it takes to read. You can get a copy by clicking here. (No, we don't get revenue from this- but we SHOULD!)...




Should we think about trading Jose Reyes? We couldn't get the same value for him that we would have prior to last season, and I think that, somehow, he'll turn things around. At his age, with the beneficial contract (to the team) that he signed, he'd be a huge prize in a trade, if it would bring us back a top-of-the-line starter or another top run producer or scorer. I don't WANT to trade Reyes...what do you think???...

I still want Omar running this organization- he's brought a lot to the team in a short time, and I can't help but feel that he can still turn things around for us. I hope so, I really do... Omar is a first class individual and a great baseball mind. The only reason we are even able to THINK about contending is due to the culture that Omar, with the Wilpon's willing hand and wallet, has been able to put together in a short time. The Yankees took many years to right their ship, and yet all anyone remembers are the World Series and contending years...I still say Omar will get us there!...

On a similar note, I can't help but feel that Willie's time has just passed, and it's a matter of days before the trigger is pulled. It CAN'T help that the Wilpons are not returning his calls...

In Buster Olney's daily blog (one of the very best out there), he begins with the following thoughts today about one Johan Santana:

After the item on Johan Santana's diminished velocity was posted here yesterday, some scouts from other teams chimed in, indicating through e-mails and phone calls that they were seeing the same thing. "The Mets were asking around about that in spring training, about what his true [velocity] baseline was," said one talent evaluator. "They were concerned."

Said an AL scout who has seen Santana this month: "His stuff isn't even close to what it was [with the Twins]."

How much has his diminished stuff affected him? We have less than two months of starts to consider from 2008, a very small sample, and keep in mind that except for last season -- when Santana suffered a significant statistical decline in the last six weeks -- he has often done his best work in the second half.

If that wasn't bad enough, Olney continues:

His ratio of strikeouts per nine innings over the last six seasons has been 11.38, 9.61, 10.46, 9.25, 9.44, 9.66. This year: 7.79.

His strikeout-to-walk ratio over the last six seasons: 2.80, 3.60, 4.91, 5.29, 5.21, 4.52. This year: 3.87.

Opponents' OPS over the last six seasons: .607, .642, .564, .594, .616, .678. This year: .723.

Shall I go on? How about this:

Look, Santana is still obviously among the better pitchers in the game, and his remarkable ability to change speeds means that he probably is going to age better than a lot of his peers. He is smart, dedicated and seriously competitive, so if there is something to figure out and there are adjustments that can be made, he'll get there.

This question remains: Will he be worth to the Mets what they will pay him over the duration of the contract? We'll see.

But it's probably not a good thing that rival scouts are seeing signs of diminishment less than two months into a seven-year deal.

Okay, now I lost my breakfast...give me a moment here to recover...okay- at the start of the off-season, we discussed the same rumors that everyone heard about Santana, that he's injured, that he lost something on his fastball, etc...and we made the trade, and NO ONE said another word about it...and we are NOT going back on our word, as we admitted then and will re-emphasize now, we still LOVE the deal on many levels, just like we STILL love the signing of Pedro! As Olney opined, if anyone can pitch well with diminished velocity, it's Johan- but I STILL hope and pray that he becomes that second-half monster that he's been in the past, because if we have ANY chance at all this season, it's to hitch a ride onto Johan's back and ride it for all it's worth!!!...

WHAT would this team look like if we still had Bannister, Bell and Kazmir? We'd be a totally different team, with a very young pitching staff and at least we'd have some valuable parts to trade...but not worth dreaming about...
What about Tony Pena as the Mets next manager? He might be the candidate to go for, especially with his son in the minors for us...

Ron Darling has become, in my opinion, the BEST color analyst in the game of baseball. He reminds me a lot of a younger Tim McCarver, explaining the game with great insight without losing touch with the viewer, something Tim was accused of later on in his career. That doesn't diminish my love for ole Mex, who is also excellent, and Gary Cohen is perhaps the most under-rated play-by-play man in the game. These guys pull NO punches, are bright, fun to listen to, and, unfortunately, about ALL the fun that we are having these days is provided by these three- NOT a happy prospect moving on with the season. Throw in Lee Mazzilli and the one and only Harold Reynolds (a personal fave) and we have more talent in the broadcast booth then we do on the field!!!!...

All that money spent on CitiField, and look at the team we're looking to put on that field...

Is anyone else intrigued by the thought of signing the Phils Pat Burrell this off-season to replace Moises Alou? I know we'd be blocking the path of F-Mart, but Pat KILLS us, and if perhaps we can hypnotize him into thinking that CitiField is actually Shea!...

David Wright is emerging as the captain of this team, in the way we've wanted him to...and all sorts of writers chastized those of us who questioned whether this team has any "fire" in its belly...and then Wright comes out and does exactly the same thing...sad to be right on this occasion...

Does it make you feel better that, while the Mets are struggling so much, the Yankees are, too?...

I just keep having flashbacks to the Al Harazin - Jeff Torborg Mets, and let me tell you, it's NOT the type of flashbacks I'd personally choose to have...

Imagine, if you will, that we DIDN'T make the Church/Schneider deal for Milledge- where would we be then?!!!...

Brian Bannister's stats haven't been looking too good lately, but then again, I'm about ready to put Ambiorix Burgos's face on the back of a milk carton...anyone see Victor Zambrano?...

Didn't like hearing that Matt Lindstrom is getting his act together- that's a LOT of act when one throws around 100mph consistently...how is Jason Vargas doing again?...

How about that draft?! Is the MLB draft the next (only?) exciting thing Mets' fans have to look forward to right now???... I am betting that Omar drafts as many major league-ready players as he can, (a la Joe Smith) in order to bring some fresh blood to the team. I pray he forgoes "slotting" and instead grabs every talented player that he can, in each round, regardless of what he has to pay them!...

I think it was really wrong for Willie to put himself in the company of Herm Edwards and Isiah Thomas, for a LOT of reasons....Herm wasn't the great coach that Willie seemed to make him out to be, and HE left for HIS dream job with KC! Isiah, well, don't get me started, because rarely have I loathed someone without personally knowing them, but where Isiah is concerned, quite frankly, I know TOO MUCH about him, no need to have met the man, thank you very much...Willie is far classier than either of these two...

Does anyone know why Rusty Staub's restaurant closed, and what Le Grande Orange is doing these days? And man, on a recent telecast, I got to hear Ed Kranepool speak- do we really sound like that?...

I hear that Bobby Murcer's new book - which, again, you can buy by clicking here and which, again, we do NOT get paid for advertising - is a great read, in spite of his being a Yankee, and we wish the Murcer family all the best during Bobby's brave fight with cancer. Go Bobby!!...

Do you ever remember so many great young players coming up at the same time that so many older players lost their "mojo" so fast? I sure don't...PED's anyone??? Beuller? Beuller?...

Are you going to be watching the 3 games against the Rockies this weekend? I don't know why, but I will tonite, like watching a train wreck- you just can't take your eyes away- but I am going to relax the rest of the weekend, which means NOT watching every inning, for a change...perhaps I might even be able to sleep a bit better?!...

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend- back later (I'm sure) with more...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bueller?! Bueller?!
Reyes?! Reyes?!
Any one?! Any one?!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your sinuses- this team must be making you throw up, too! And Braves fans make me SICK, so I guess we're all sick right now, huh?

Anonymous said...

If we lose 2 of 3 to the Rockies, Willie will have a LOT of holidays off, to rest and recover, because it won't be as Mets manager, that's for sure!!!!

Anonymous said...

I bet Delgado, Castillo, Alou, O-Hern, Heilman and Perez never touch the grass at CitiField as a Met- maybe with the opposition, or as a ticket-buyer, but not as a Met...

Anonymous said...

I don't know why Rusty's closed- they always had great ribs. Went to where it used to be some years ago on a trip into Manhattan and it was something else- no reasoning- oh well...can we sign him to pinch-hit for us???

Anonymous said...

Kranepool finally got old...even happens to .247 hitters, I guess!

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

Actually his lifetime average was .261, but whose counting? He hit only 118 homers.

Anonymous said...

Amazin' is just as the title said- I read it 2 years ago (felt like it took 2 years to read- in a good way) and it was worth every cent and every moment...but not so excited to see the "sequel" right now, LOL...or cry out loud as the case may be...

Anonymous said...

Does Omar have naked pics of you and paris hilton? WHY would you STILL want him running this team???

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

No, thank goodness, no pics of me and Paris- and I DENY that video tape was me and...oh- never mind...

Seriously, Omar is a first class individual and a great baseball mind. The only reason we are even able to THINK about contending is due to the culture that Omar, with the Wilpon's willing hand and wallet, has been able to put together in a short time. The Yankees took many years to right their ship, and yet all anyone remembers are the World Series and contending years...I still say Omar will get us there! Hey- I'm going to add that to the article!!!

Anonymous said...

WHY did you have to mention Isiah and Herm? Do you want ME to be sick, too??? Thanks! Appreciate it! Next you'll talk about Al Harazin and Jeff Torborg...doooooh! You went THERE, too- and yet you wished us a HAPPY Memorial day? Ugh!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are so right about Darling, Cohen and Mex- they are indeed the best...although Vin Scully is still the master. I listen to Dodgers games over MLB in case they give their feed, just to listen to him. I lived in SoCal for 8 years, staying a Mets fan, but listening every day to Vin- what a treat!

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

I agree- Vin is the BEST - OF ALL TIME!!!! No one, in my opinion, not Brickhouse, not Harwell, not Barber, not Allen, not Carey, can touch Vin for wordplay, painting a picture, class and style, all around. The biggest "treat" I get in living out here in La-La land is listening to so many of Vin's games over the years- and Dodgers fans, to their credit, worship Vin like they did Chick Hearn of Lakers fame. Long may Vin reign!!

Anonymous said...

Do you guys think we have any real minor league talent, or is Omar just getting ready to use it to bluff someone out of trading us a good player for more useless parts like in the Santana deal?

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

Although Humber and Guerra aren't setting their leagues afire, and Mulvey is, at best, a number 3 starter, Carlos Gomez is still a great "tools" player and with more experience looks like he'll grow into a real star. We Do have some good talent, from Pena and F-Mart to Niese, Evans, Carp, Murphy, etc...we just don't have many bodies ready to step up to the bigs, like so many other successful teams have, recently. It bares watching what Omar does in this draft, as I'd bet he drafts major league-ready talent and ignores the whole "slotting" thing...