Archive: July 23rd, 2007

Curiosities and Comments

Mets outfielder Endy Chavez makes a diving catch

A few things passing through the mind of a Mets fan …

  • The injury to Endy Chavez appears more serious than first suspected. There’s a distinct possibility “Legendary Endy” does not return until mid- to late September. That makes the acquisition of Marlon Anderson all the more important, and the likelihood of trading Lastings Milledge next to nil.
  • Pedro Martinez threw three simulated innings after taking a “vacation”. Who takes a vacation in the middle of the baseball season? We heard all the mumbo-jumbo from Jay Horwitz’s crack PR team — he needed a mental rest, the doctors recommended it, blah blah blah — but if you put your hands over your ears, it seems more possible that Pedro took the time off as a result of a setback, and isn’t likely to return this season. Admitting as such, however, would give other teams leverage in last-minute trade talks — if indeed there are any trade talks going on.
  • Before the Mets give up a warm body for someone like Jose Castillo as second base insurance, why not give Jake “The Rake” Gautreau a quick look? Gautreau was once mentioned in the same breath as Mark Teixeira, and may have been on a similar career path had he not been devastated by injuries and medical issues. Gautreau is batting .291 with a .522 slugging percentage in New Orleans, and is playing acceptable defense.
  • Speaking of the Zephyrs, Brian Lawrence is 7-2 with a 3.70 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 46 Ks and only 7 BB in 72 innings covering 11 starts. So why is Mike Pelfrey making a spot start on Saturday vs. the Nationals? I guess it has something to do with the 40-man roster, or Lawrence’s options, but then what’s the point of having him down in AAA?
  • Scott Schoeneweis had pitched in five straight games without allowing a run before Saturday’s appearance vs. the Dodgers, and has had an excellent July. Is now the time to trade him to a team desperate for a lefthander, and perhaps watching his latest performances through rose-colored glasses? We know the good coming from him can’t last much longer, and he can’t help us at Shea — so why not deal him while his value may be at its peak? Think about it: his main purpose was to give the Mets an extra LOOGY against Utley and Howard of the Phillies — so as long as the Phils keep dropping in the standings, he means even less and less to the Mets (you don’t really believe he can be counted on for more full innings of relief, do you?).
  • Sometimes, you think you’ve seen something happen over and over, yet when you check the stats find out the numbers aren’t nearly as high as you thought. However, in this case, you’re eyes have not deceived you: Shawn Green and Paul LoDuca are running neck and neck for the team lead in GIDP — they both have eleven. You might have guessed that Carlos Delgado was in second place with 8, but guess who’s next at 7? Moises Alou — in only 110 at-bats.

Omar’s Blockbuster Trade

This has been the most ho-hum wind-down to July 31st in a long time. In fact, I don’t remember this little talk a week before the trading deadline since … hmmm … 1981? And the only reason it was quiet in ’81 was because MLB was on strike.

Since there have barely been whispers about any deals going down — and the ones regarding the Mets involve insignificant names such as Jose Castillo and Jon Rauch — let’s pretend that Omar Minaya is working on a monstrous blockbuster of a deal that will adversely alter the face of the 2007 Mets.

None of these deals will EVER happen, but it’s fun to dream. You’ll notice that many of the same Mets are peddled in each scenario :

Scenario 1: Carlos Delgado, Aaron Heilman, Mike Pelfrey, Anderson Hernandez, and Lastings Milledge to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada, Danys Baez, Jay Payton, and Kevin Millar.

The Mets give up part of the future to guarantee the present, but the veterans coming from Baltimore fill key gaps. Delgado is highly valued by the O’s, whose franchise has been built on the strategy of stockpiling DH / 1B types whose best days are behind them. This deal underscores their decision to rebuild for 2008, and they immediately insert AHern as the everyday shortstop, LMillz in the outfield, and Pelfrey into their starting rotation. Jim Duquette had been after Heilman for quite some time — one of the only “Duquette guys” left on the Mets’ roster — and announces he’ll report to AAA Norfolk to begin stretching out in preparation to join the starting rotation as well, in September.

Tejada — who has long wanted out of Baltimore — quickly agrees to move to second base and is eager to begin practicing the double-play turn with Jose Reyes. He displaces Carlos Beltran as the team’s #3 hitter (Beltran drops to #5, behind David Wright). Millar steps into a first base platoon with Shawn Green, and Jay Payton becomes the everyday rightfielder and eighth-place hitter as the Mets’ lineup is suddenly changed from lefty-heavy to righty-heavy. Baez takes over the eighth-inning bridge to Billy Wagner.

Scenario Two: Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and Aaron Heilman to the Astros for Brad Lidge and Jason Jennings.

The ‘stros are hot and heavy for Milledge, but won’t give up Oswalt. Drayton McLane, however, is OK with dealing Lidge, despite his pronoucement a week ago that he was untouchable, because he thinks that highly of LMillz and Pelfrey. McLane is also eager to rid himself of Jennings, who is a constant reminder of one of the worst deals of the winter. Lidge is happy to reunite with Billy Wagner and set up for him again, and though Jennings is underachieving, the Mets have obtained him mainly for his bat. On his first day with the Mets, he’s sent to first base to take ground balls.

Scenario 3: Carlos Delgado, Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, and Aaron Heilman to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira, Eric Gagne, and Chris Stewart.

The Mets’ package is similar to the one in the Orioles deal, and mortgages some of the future. However, you have to give up something to get something, and getting a guy who can rake like Teixeira and a reliever like Gagne are worth the gamble — even if they both will be gone within two years. Chris Stewart gives the Mets a AAA catcher under the age of 38. The Rangers are giddy to be getting Milledge and Pelfrey and are only too happy to take on Delgado as a consequence.

Scenario 4: Three-Way deal with Reds and Pirates — Mets send Mike Pelfrey and Aaron Heilman to the Reds, Lastings Milledge and Jason Vargas to the Pirates, the Pirates send Xavier Nady and Salomon Torres to the Reds, and in return the Mets get Ken Griffey Jr. and David Weathers from the Reds, and Ian Snell and Jose Castillo from the Bucs (Pittsburgh also gets Edwin Encarnacion and Todd Coffey from Cincinnati).

Did you get all that? It’s a crazy deal, but somehow it works and makes everyone happy. With the 25-year-old Snell on board, the Mets don’t feel so bad parting with Pelfrey, and getting Junior through 2009 may be expensive but his bat is worth it. Weathers steps into the setup role and Castillo is insurance for Ruben Gotay.

Back to Reality

OK, none of those deals are going to happen in a million years — much less the next ten days. Most likely, the biggest deal the Mets make will involve the acquisition of a so-so second baseman or a situational reliever.

Do you have a crazy deal in mind? Post it in the comments!


Another Reason to Hate Barry Bonds

Barry BondsIt’s terrible that we have to tarnish this exquisite website with content involving the villainous ballplayer turned bodybuilder Barry Bonds, but it’s important to spread bad vibes and negative karma regarding the Giants’ lab rat.

As if Barry Bonds weren’t despicable enough, his lawyer is doing a wonderful job of furthering his negative public image.

Attorney Michael Rains, speaking in regard to the Feds’ possible indictment of Bonds, proclaimed in the New York Daily News,

“I’ll outmaneuver them at every turn. “I’ve kicked their ass in private, I’ll continue to kick their ass in public.”

My, how professional. Just the kind of guy you’d want representing you in a court of law. He sounds a lot like the other rock-heads Bonds shares needles with at the gym.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Last Friday, Rains said this to the San Jose Mercury News:

“This investigation is based on the political considerations of this (presidential) administration. The Balco case is a legacy of (President) Bush, and it is a catastrophic failure – legally and from a public-relations standpoint.”

Again, pure genius. Now Barry Bonds is on the agenda of the Commander-in-Chief — because he doesn’t have enough issues to deal with. Who knew?

Why Rains has chosen to shoot his mouth off now, at the height of Bonds’ chase of 755, is anyone’s guess.