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06 | August | 2010 | Mets Today
Archive: August 6th, 2010

F-Mart and Tejada Scratched

In a mysteriously salacious move, both Fernando Martinez and Ruben Tejada were scratched from the Buffalo Bisons’ Friday night game (hat tip to MacksMets via Twitter).

Could Tejada and F-Mart be on their way to another organization, as part of a post-deadline trade? Or, could they both be on their way to the Mets, to take the place of players on the current 25-man roster who are being sent away?

Hmmm ….

The Mets might be silly enough to try to make a desperation deal, but for whom, I have no idea. Carlos Zambrano? Manny Ramirez? Adam Dunn? Vernon Wells?

Bringing in Manny would make the most sense from the standpoint of selling tickets. Dunn or Ramirez would make the most sense in terms of improving the offense. Zambrano is a frightening thought, even if Oliver Perez is part of the deal. Vernon Wells is similarly scary, considering the length of his deal.

Perhaps it is more likely that the Mets are trading two (or more?) current MLBers and in turn will be replacing them on the roster with Tejada and Martinez. So we’d guess the players would be an infielder and an outfielder. Could some team be interested in Luis Castillo? Or the gritty Alex Cora? If it’s Castillo, the Mets would certainly have to pick up a big chunk of his salary. Maybe Jeff Francoeur is on the move? Or Carlos Beltran?

My guess is Francoeur is most likely on the move, maybe to Boston — a team in need of a corner outfielder and a team that has shown some interest in Francoeur in the past. The Red Sox are also in need of a second sacker, with Dustin Pedroia still on the DL. Jed Lowrie is doing an OK to pretty good job filling in, but you never know — this is the same team that gave Julio Lugo an obscene 4 year/$36M deal. They also had an overvalued appreciation for Cora.

According to reports, the Bosox have worked out Carlos Delgado as a possible fill-in for Kevin Youkilis. That in itself should be enough evidence that the “braintrust” in Boston is not thinking clearly, and ripe for a ridiculous deal.

All of this, of course, is conjecture. The scratches of Tejada and F-Mart may have meant nothing at all. We will soon find out.

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Mets Game 109: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 7 Mets 5

Jonathon Niese had his big curveball working, the home plate umpire had a huge, pitcher-friendly strike zone, and the Phillies were without Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Shane Victorino.

In other words, a sure-fire formula for success.

But, something went wrong on the way toward fulfilling that formula — I blame the scientist in the lab.

Game Notes

Niese allowed 4 hits and 1 run in 7 innings of work. The bullpen allowed 7 hits and 6 runs in the 8th inning alone. That, in a nutshell, was the ballgame.

On a positive note, Niese had his big overhand curveball working really well — as well as we’ve seen it all year. Why was it so good? Mainly because he was staying more “over the top” with his arm action, staying on top of the ball with a consistently high release point. In other words, he was doing all the things we’ve been saying he needed to do right here at MetsToday (check the archives). With that nice overhand delivery, Niese gets good 11-5 bite on the curve and a mild sink on the fastball. He does not get as much sideways movement on the slider that he calls a cutter, but in my humble opinion that is generally an ineffective pitch that should be used only as a “show” pitch — something to throw maybe 4-5 times a game just to keep the batters thinking of something else. Having a great curve working as he did in this contest is the ultimate equalizer, as we saw through seven formidable innings.

Mike Sweeney had two hits, a run, and an RBI in his debut as a Phillie. Sweeney is one of my all-time favorite players, and if you’ve been visiting for a while you know I’ve advocated the Mets acquiring him several times in the past. It’s remarkable that when the Phillies lose a player like Ryan Howard they are able to pick up a solid veteran such as Sweeney, but when the Mets had all those injuries last year, the best acquisitions they could muster were Wilson Valdez and Anderson Hernandez.

As well as Niese was pitching, there was this eerie feeling throughout that the Phillies were just waiting for the opportunity to explode and take the game. Or maybe it was just me.

Ike Davis went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Jeff Francoeur very quietly went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored. Mike Hessman very loudly hit a pinch-hit, 3-run homer in the top of the ninth that chased J.C. Romero from the game.

Is a New York Met EVER going to slide hard and aggressively into second base to break up a double play? Just throwing that out there, because it seems like they’re always doing their best to get out of the way and make sure the second baseman or shortstop has a clear, unobstructed path to throw the relay to first.

Next Mets Game

Game two in this three-game set begins at 7:05 PM on Saturday night. Johan Santana faces Cole Hamels and the bullpen binoculars.

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Aug 6: Friday Mets Links

MetsGazette – Congratulations to Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon, as they will be able to destroy the Mets for another season in 2011. Get your tickets now!

MetsBlog – Jon Heyman says the Mets will be crossing their fingers and hoping the season turns out ok. Good luck with THAT.

The Mets Police – The start time of Lunch Box Day on August 15th has been moved to 8pm because the game will be broadcast on ESPN. Will a Mets lunchbox make me less likely to lose my lunch when I watch the Mets? I hope so…

And here is Kerel Cooper from OnTheBlack, giving his thoughts on trading David Wright and Jose Reyes:

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Compare and Contrast: Cutting Dead Weight

The Mets continue to carry the albatross known as Oliver Perez on their roster, as he refuses to be demoted to the minors and the Wilpons refuse to pay between $12M – $24M for someone who is not employed by their organization.

It simply wouldn’t be “good business” to release Perez outright, considering the amount of money left on his egregious 3-year deal. Better to continue to drag him along on the team bus, and take up a precious spot on the 25-man roster.

Or is it?

The following teams had similarly bad contracts recently (within the last year and a half), and chose to cut bait. Interestingly, few of these teams can as easily “afford” to give up on high-salaried player — but they did, anyway, for the good of the team.

Most of these players were released outright, though a few were traded away on the condition that their salary would be absorbed by the team shedding the player. It is in no particular order.

[TABLE=48]

Interestingly, the Yankees don’t have much in the way of owed money to players no longer on their roster — despite the fact that many pundits regularly point to their riches as a security blanket for when they make mistakes. Other than Igawa, the Yankees owe a grand total of about $2.4M to players no longer on their roster.

After looking at what other teams have done in the way of dropping dead weight, how do you feel about the Mets’ insistence on keeping Oliver Perez and other bad contracts? One would think that if a “small market” team such as the Detroit Tigers can bite the bullet on so much money in bad contracts, that the big-city Mets would be able to act similarly.

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