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The Kool-Aid Krew

I don't much care for people disagreeing with me. I don't mind arguments, but I wouldn't mind if people made it a little bit easier and agreed with me on some things.

So I felt a little vindicated today when Oliver Perez stunk it up.

I hated the Nady trade. I still hate it. And I don't even care that Nady wasn't very good with the Mets.

Because the Mets wound up with two useless players.

And I dismantled it as well for the inclusion of OIiver Perez, a pitcher who is hyper-overrated because of one fluke year.

Here's what I wrote on August 16 on Perez:
  • But Perez has no hope to be any more than Jose Lima as a part of this club. Why? Because that 2004 season, so oft referenced in Oliver's defense, was an aberration. I'll say it again. It was an aberration.

    No question about it. Every single peripheral was a career high for him. His hits and walks rates were the lowest they had ever been; his strikeout rate the highest. He was pitching, during that season, to a ridiculous 6.66 H/9 rate. For reference, Roger Clemens' career rate is 8.16 H/9. Pedro Martinez has a 6.81 career H/9 rate.

    In 2004, that number was third in the league to Randy Johnson, one of the all-time greats at limiting hits, and to Jason Schmidt, who was having a year far better than his career rate as well. That could have been used to forecast his decline.

    So what to make of Perez's great season? Not all that much really. His next year, obviously a likely decline, was awful. He got shelled, then hurt himself by kicking a laundry cart. Ugh. And people talk about his great arm. The arm isn't that great. It gives up a bunch of walks, a bunch of hits and a bunch of homers.

    Oh, you were talking about arm strength? Well, even according to MinorLeagueBall.com, who said that there was hope for Oliver Perez, he isn't throwing as hard as he used to. So don't talk about the pitcher being young when he's deteriorating arm strength-wise at his age.

    I'm mad. Dave Littlefield fleeced us. Omar should have gotten a reliable reliver for Nady along with Hernandez like Mike Gonzalez, Salomon Torres or Damaso Marte instead of a futile project like Perez. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Well, Mr. Perez proved to us tonight why he isn't a major-league pitcher. He looked pretty good at first, whiffing a bunch.

But the evidence stands as follows: a pitcher cannot walk everyone he cannot get out. Because at one point, there will be a situation in which a player cannot be walked.

And Ryan Howard happened to be that player. He walloped a home run against Perez that landed over the right centerfield fence. It wasn't surprising.

Throwing that hit out, the start only looks good as far as limiting hits. But somehow people seem to miss the fact that allowing walks is almost as bad as allowing hits.

Perez walked five in five innings of work. He allowed five earned runs. Don't you dare tell me that this somehow was bad luck.

Oliver Perez is by no means as capable a pitcher as Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez during their primes. And some of the things I read by my blogging colleagues have just incensed me.

A pitcher's ability to limit hits may be a skill, although I come from the school that says a pitcher has no effect on batted balls in play.

However, Oliver Perez does not have that skill. In only one season was he capable of limiting hits to the degree requisite for his success.

His career minor-league hit rate per nine innings? 7.72.

His career major-league hit rate per nine innings? 7.80.

His hit rate during the 2004 season? 6.66.

How fitting. I figure he sold his soul to Satan just so he could limit his hit rate.

If Perez has this innate ability to limit hits, as some of my fellow bloggers have described, why has he only demonstrated it during one single major or minor league season despite pitching since 1999?

"Teach, I know! Call on me! Call on me!"
"Yes, Schuyla?"

That season was so obviously a fluke that it made my appendix rupture. Like Nady's.

I believe that pitchers can be fixed of problems. But Perez' reliance on limiting hits forecast a precipitous decline in 2005.

Unfortunately for the Mets, he needs to start trying to pitch and throw strikes rather than just miss bats. Otherwise his 9.00 career ERA as a Met will continue to climb.

Also, I think he might be crazy, what with his not stepping on the home-to-first path during the game.

Feel free to debate me on this one. I'm ready.

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The Mets reached a new high watermark for the season: thirty games over five hundred.

Here's how they did it.

Reyes hit. Lo Duca hit. Beltran scored some runs. Delgado hit. Wright, well he nearly hit two out.

And Shawn Green looked all right.

Everything's all right. The Cardinals aren't a great team, even if they had Edmonds healthy. Eckstein is useless anyway.

The truth is that their pitching is hyper-overrated. Aside from Chris Carpenter, who is an elite starter, their rotation is a bunch of bums whose best seasons are behind them.

Anthony Reyes was the best of the bunch, but he got bumped out of a spot in favor of Jeff Weaver. And Cardinals fans should be upset about having a guy with a 4.71 ERA demoted to the minors!

Marquis, Suppan, Weaver and Mulder all have ERAs above 5.00. That's no excuse for a good starting staff.

And aside from Pujols and Rolen, their lineup lacks venom. Chris Duncan has been a nice complement, but how long can that last?

The Cardinals seem to be roasted. I think it's time they head over to Arizona for football season.

Game balls to:
  • Dave Williams
  • Bert Hernandez (much as I still hate that trade) (p.s. Have you ever seen anyone so pumped up to be a Royal?)
  • Jose Reyes
  • Carlos Delgado

A few quick hits:

  • If I told you that Dave Williams, Brian Bannister and Oliver Perez would be starting consecutive games in August, is that something you would be interested in? Do you realize that two of those people pitched in a rotation for the NL's worst team as recently as 2005? Abysmal.

  • The Mets inked Kelly Stinnett to a minor league deal. As far as I'm concerned, he's better than DiFelice Navidad. The largest head (Castro) in pro sports is out for the season.

  • Where's the love for Guillermo Mota? I don't think he really deserves all that much, but hell, let's give it to him.

  • Did anyone else feel a little bit weirded out by Keith's sarcastic rant during the eighth on SNY? I don't want a Kool-Aid drinker as the Mets broadcaster, but please. You don't have to tell us that you don't like coming to work.

  • I'll be juggling Pilot Pen matches with trying to catch a Mets-Phillies game this weekend. So it should be a light posting weekend for your blogger.

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  • 8.23.2006

    Polish Beatles Heritage Night

    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    And I say it's all right

    We were scared, what with Glavine, Pedro, Floyd and company hurt.

    Glavine's healthy.

    We were scared that Firstings/Tucker/Endy/Ledee couldn't cut it.

    We got Shawn Green.

    We all feared that Maine and Trachsel would give it up against our main NL competition.

    And they both pitched poorly.

    But the Mets hit. They hit more than the Cardinals.

    Delgado bombed Jeff Weaver. Beltran shredded Mitch Williams Isringhausen.

    Then the Mets beat up on Mark Mulder.

    And the bullpen, the cream of the NL, it did its best.

    Billy Wagner, you are my hero.

    Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
    Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
    And I say it's all right

    It's been a while since the Mets have had a lead this big.

    It's been a while since we've won ten straight at Shea.

    It's been a while since the Mets won a series against the Cardinals, long the class of the National League. The series was clinched tonight.

    The long cold lonely winter is over.

    Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
    Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
    And I say it's all right

    We've got another competent outfielder.

    The team is healthy. Or getting healthier.

    There's excitement in the air.

    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

    No more Kaz Matsui. Instead, Ozzie Smith in the booth.

    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

    No more Roberto Alomar. Instead, Sandy Alomar makes Willie a better manager.

    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

    No more Roger Cedeno. Instead, they just laugh at him in the booth.

    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

    No more Braden Looper. He's pitching for St. Louis right now. We've got the National League's best closer.

    Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

    No more losing. In its place, winning.

    Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
    Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
    Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
    And I say it's all right
    It's all right

    Finally, we can coast. It's all right.

    Doo doo doo doo.

    Note: For those of you who didn't watch the game on SNY, this post probably makes no sense to you. It was Polish Heritage Night (Where's Mientkiewicz?) and the fortieth anniversary of when the Beatles last played Shea Stadium. Therefore, there was some Beatles tribute band at Shea playing in between innings. And yes, SNY found some way to get Chris Cotter in there, rocking out with them.

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    Not all that much to say

    The strangest part is... we all knew we were going to win this game.

    Your loyal blogger is going to be at the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament on assignment for another employer, so I don't have all that much to say.

    Congratulations, Mr. Delgado.

    And we got Shawn Green. Mazel tov!

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    Monday Morning Mota Madness

    It was nice to see El Duque throw and hit and run so well on a day where the Mets got bad news about another pitcher. And his piping was lined up.

    The Mets won behind the strength of Carlos B. and Carlos D., the two forces who carried this team at different times. David Wright and Jose Reyes also did, but that's another story. It's kind of interesting to think that there has only been one occasion where the Mets' big four of Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Wright has been operating at full strength.

    That was the four-game sweep of Arizona, a first-place team at the time.

    File this under Abreu syndrome: David Wright is hitting .261/.348/.387 post-AllStarBreak as opposed to .316/.386/.575 before it. He also hit only two home runs after the break, one of which came in Chicago in the series immediately following the break, while the other came in Atlanta.

    I think it's awfully strange that he's gotten into this deep, powerless funk. Wright has become about as valuable to this team offensively as Chris Woodward was last year. Willie might be best suited giving him a day off when Valentin's healthy. (Another reason we should still have Xavier Nady: he can play the corner infield spots.)


    I also got two medical opinions from doctor relatives, who both noted that Glavine receiving an angiogram did not mean that an aneurysm had been ruled out. They said that an angiogram is to test for aneurysms, so while it is precautionary, the aneursym is unlikely, not definitely absent.

    I wish Glavine all the best and hope that his career ends well, if it is to end in the coming days. The best of health is wished upon all of our pitchers.

    As far as I can tell, surgery means season and season means career for the crusty forty year-old.


    Brian Bannister and Oliver Perez have both started campaigns for Glavine's rotation job. The immature and enigmatic lefty Perez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his last start, where he threw seven shutout innings and whiffed eleven.

    Bannister tried to top that on Sunday, throwing 6 innings of one-run ball.

    Other candidates mentioned for the rotation job include the intriguing Phil Humber, who has pitched okay at Binghamton (0-2, 4.76) in his three starts. The best number for Humber is his 21 strikeouts in 17 innings. He'd at least make a fun September callup, and his power arm might be capable of helping out the Mets in a postseason bullpen.


    I wish no success for the Yankees. But it was awfully fun to see them pound Boston this weekend. Boston was a team outperforming itself, as they made some headscratcher moves this past offseason and the one prior. They lost Pedro, Derek Lowe, Johnny Damon, Hanley Ramirez and Orlando Cabrera and replaced them with Matt Clement, David Wells, Josh Beckett, Coco Crisp and Alex Gonzalez.

    Their bullpen is disgusting, as the two "veteran middle reliever; how could this go wrong?" pickups have devastated them. Rudy Seanez was DFAed earlier in the weekend to call up the funnily named downgrade from Seanez Jermaine Van Buren, while Julian Tavarez hasn't been all that much to write home about.

    Mike Timlin, aka another example of regression to the mean, has been hit hard of late. Boston fans, who are uncharacteristically looking for a scapegoat, blame the WBC for Timlin's lower stats.

    Let me get this through the head of whatever idiots from Boston read this blog. Mike Timlin is forty. Forty? Yes, forty. Typically, athletes are not at their physical peak at age forty. Mike Timlin's career (which again, he is not at the peak of) DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Statistics) ERA is 3.63. His DIPS ERA this year? 3.84.

    The guy is having a slightly below average season at a very old age with twenty-plus years of wear and tear on his arm, and you guys want to blame the WBC? My god.

    And yes, I understand Timlin's DERA last year was much lower. But there's not all that much year-to-year correlation in ERA, especially when a pitcher is having a career year, at, uh, I don't know, THIRTY-NINE!

    Good riddance Sawx. Now let's see Cory Lidle embody the spirit of Gramma Lidle and take the Sox down to the junkyard, where all the incorrectly put together teams come to play.

    I think I'm going to continue on this tangent. The Sawx have two supahstahs in their primes in Manny and Ortiz, while their only passable starting pitcher is in the waning moments of a great career. And those fools in the front office have managed to squander that by surrounding them with a bunch of overrated players who under-produce.

    How can a team with a payroll of over 120 million dollars put Gabe Kapler in centerfield against the Yankees? It's totally inexplicable.

    How can a team selling out almost every home game at steep ticket prices put Jason Johnson and Jon Lester on the mound for a doubleheader? Inexplicable!

    I think, despite my Yankee hatred, I disrespect the Red Sox. They run their franchise like a carnival, whereas Steinbrenner and the Yankees have a desire to win. They'll spend whatever it takes. Is that fair? Probably not.

    But the Red Sox instead opt to line their pockets with all that hooded sweatshirt revenue. They also actually sold Red Sox Nation Member cards for twenty bucks a pop? Where else could you find a team who gouges the populace to make them cahd-carryin' Sox fans?

    And despite all this revenue and fanship, they can't even manage to field a team that's superior to the Yankees on one day out of four?

    Apparently the gang in Boston is more concerned with lining their pockets than with beating the Yankees. Oh, well.


    I'm glad to see that former All-Star Manny Mota has joined the Mets organization. He could provide some valuable insight to some of our farm players. He was a top-notch pinch-hitter in the day. I'm surprised, though, that the Dodgers would let him go. He's been coaching there for a while.

    Wait... we signed Guillermo Mota? To pitch for us? We traded for him? You mean we actually gave something up for Guillermo Mota?

    Whoa. That's not good.

    In all seriousness, Mota was awful this year for Cleveland, posting a 6.21 ERA in 37.2 innings of work. He allowed 45 hits (9 homeruns) in that timespan and walked 19 guys while only striking out 27. Unquestionable career worsts for the former Mets minor league shortstop.

    I would argue that the cause of his rapid decline the past two seasons was his great 2003 season, where he threw 105 innings. As a reliever. His ERA was 1.97, striking out almost a batter an inning.

    105 innings as a reliever. Just think about that. Not even the hyper-abused Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera of Joe Torre's bullpens touched the century mark as relievers.

    Honestly, there's not all that much hope for Mota. This signing speaks sweet whispers of Danny Graves last year in one ear and out the other.

    Oh, except this guy is a coward who drilled the greatest Met position player ever. Like three times. Nice work, guys.

    Mota's ERA as a Met: Over/under 6.50?

    I've got the over.


    Madman Al Pujols and his barnstorming Gashouse Gang visit Shea this week. I'd like a third consecutive home sweep.

    See you all tomorrow.

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    Firstings Bustin' Out

    So, it was 1986 night at Shea. I was unable to attend, though from all I caught on SNY, it would have been great to be there.

    Sure, a few of the pieces were missing. Davey and Knight were presumably unwilling to show up for whatever reason. Special Assistants to the GM shouldn't usually have commitments that stiff.

    McDowell and Mazz are usually in other teams' dugouts nowadays, but I can't imagine the Braves would do any worse if Roger didn't show. The Yankees game was over right around 4:30. Mazzilli couldn't have hopped on the shuttle?

    And where was Bruce Berenyi?

    Nevertheless, it seemed as though these players were incredibly honored to attend. It was not cheesy at all, especially considering that it could have been. It was great to see Frank Cashen there and how all of the players reacted to him, including Darryl giving him a kiss.

    But during the game, we saw a different side of the Mets. The '86 team had incredibly strong pitching. The '06 team gave starts to Jose Lima, Jeremi Gonzalez, Victor Zambrano and Alay Soler. John Maine wasn't doing well, up until his latest hot streak.

    And here came Dave Williams, the crafty lefty from Anchorage, Alaska. How often do you catch that? An Alaskan facing a Canadian? Curt Schilling must have done it before.

    Williams pitched awfully well. He didn't look overpowering or dominant nor did he look like he'd have a bunch of success at missing bats. And even after he left with cramps in his legs (what now?), he left giving the Mets a damn good shot at winning, with a 1-0 deficit.

    I like that.

    Everybody who reads this blog knows, though, that I had (and still have) a severe issue with the Roberto Hernandez trade. And what did Bert do? He screwed up the game. He converted 1-0 to 4-0. Nice work, punk. His only out came on a Yorvit
    Torrealba caught stealing.

    But in true never-say-die '86 attitude, the Mets came back against previously untouchable Jeff Francis.

    It all started with Michael Tucker (yes, Michael Tucker). Then the Duck walloped a double. And then Beltran scorched a line drive to left field.

    Matt Holliday kinda looked like Todd Hundley in left field. Very un-'86. He just looked awful, missing Beltran's linedrive. The Duck should have scored too, but it was no matter. Beltran wound up on 2nd and Delgado drove the Duck in on the next play.

    Beltran scored then on a passed ball. Game 6, anyone?

    Jeff Francis intentionally walked David Wright.

    It made sense. Chris Woodward popped out with the infield fly rule. But then Firstings rapped a single to right field that right fielder Ryan Spilborghs booted, causing Delgado to score and David Wright to advance to third.

    The game was tied. I only wish his piping had been lined up.

    There was another intentional walk and two more bases-loaded walks before the Mets ended the inning with a 6-4 lead.

    Heilman pitched well in two innings of work and Firstings hammered another pitch, this time into left center field.

    Wagner locked it down 1-2-3 for the save in the ninth inning. A great game, with the Mets going for the sweep today.


    I don't know whether this space is pro- or anti- Bobby Granger, but I found this clip pretty funny. (Thanks to Blueshirt Bulletin for the link.)

    Hockey Rodent also has an interview up with Jaromir Jagr where he discusses that his shoulder's still sore.


    Knowing me, you can guess what the next words out of my mouth will be. Words of doomsday.

    "Speaking of sore shoulders...", this season may just have taken a turn for the worse. The Daily News is reporting that Glavine has a blood clot in his shoulder.

    Pedro, Zambrano and Bannister are on the DL. That's three of our five starters to begin the season. If Glavine joins them, that's four out of five. 80%! If you can't grasp how ridiculous that is, well... you might be a little too caught up in the fever of '86.

    I'm officially pushing the panic button on this season. The Mets are in trouble. Somebody has to step up from the farm, whether it's Williams, Bannister (DL), Pelfrey (DL), Perez, Lima or anyone else isn't really important. Maine already has stepped up.

    Steve Phillips was talking on ESPN today about how, if Glavine is done, the Mets are going to have trouble making it out of the first round of the playoffs.

    For once, I agree with him. With Pedro a question mark physically, Trachsel and El Duque question marks in general and Maine untested in battle situations, shouldn't we be worried?



    At least the Jets played really well last night. Ramsey wasn't all that great, but he was pretty good. No vertical game yet from Mangini and Schottenheimer, but we saw a couple interesting plays. Like that crazy Brad Smith touchdown and Leon Washington's KR touchdown. And then Clemens threw a touchdown. I liked what I saw.

    The line looked good; the coaching looked very un-Herm like.

    Nuge didn't look all that good kicking though. Third-round pick LB Anthony Schlegel looked awful. What the so-called experts called a huge overdraft appears to be correct.

    Never you mind, it was a big win, even for preseason.


    Remember when the Mets didn't sweep a three-game series at home all year? We're trying for number two in a row today. Let's go get the Rox, Duque. You and Maine are the aces now.

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