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Blog Entry

The 2008 New York Mess

Posted on: May 21, 2008 11:35 pm
 

Yes, they're not Mets, they're a mess.

It's no secret that my favorite National League team is the New York Mets. My family is full of Mets fans, born and raised, and of course, living in the New York broadcast market, I got to follow the Mets more as a kid than I could the Red Sox (before Extra Innings and MLB.tv packages and what not). Last season, the Red Sox won the world series, and that was fantastic, but it was still difficult to watch the Mets lose in the way they did. I came into this season with similar expectations I had from last season; the possibility of a repeat of the 1986 World Series. The Mets blew it last year, and this year, they aquired one of the best pitchers in baseball to boost their staff. But what has it got them?

Right now, they're a .500 team. They have been since late last season. Old tendencies are coming back and this team is hurt internally and externally. Basically, from what I'm watching right now, they're awful. How can a .500 team who is under 5 games out of first place that awful, in May none the less. Well, there's plenty of reasons, and I'll touch on quite a few.

To me, this doesn't look anything like the team that came out in 2006 and dominated from the start, despite a lot of players being the same. This team looks more like the team that would have a 4 game win streak, and then a 3 game losing streak. The team that let the New York Media get to some of them. The team that struggled mightily with inconsistencies, disappointments, and did not win in the end.

This team looks like the 2005 Mets.

Now, the 2005 Mets should not be disappointed with what they accomplished. They were a building team that was moving the Mets out of a few very bad seasons, and under Willie Randolph's first year as manager, they finished 83-79, good enough for 3rd place in the NL East.

Think about it. The 2005 Mets had a big time superstar patroling centerfield, and despite his reputation for good power numbers, he hit .260 with 16 homers in the entire season. It was Carlos Beltran, and he definitely had a hard time adjusting to the NY media spotlight. In 2008, he declared the Mets the team to beat in Spring, trying to rile up his team and reclaim the NL East crown. Right now, he's batting .253 with 3 homers, on pace for an eerily similar season.

The 05 Mets had a lefty outfielder who had decent numbers through his career pretty much have a career year, at least in terms of power numbers, his name was Cliff Floyd. This year, Ryan Church is looking pretty similar to that.

The 05 Mets had 2 singles hitting second basemen who didn't walk enough playing for them, Kazuo Matsui and Miguel Cairo, and now, they have Luis Castillo.

Both teams have an outfielder who missed a lot of time to injury, but was solid when he actually managed to be on the field. Mike Cameron and Moises Alou.

That's just the offense. The pitching has it's similarities too.

Both teams had 2 very good front starters; Pedro Martinez (2.82 ERA) and Tom Glavine (3.53 ERA) against Johan Santana and John Maine currently. Both teams had 2 okay starters who were inconsistent but could put in decent outings; Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano, both had ERA's slightly above 4, and now, Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfry (I am placing Pelfry here because his past few outings were good, and if it weren't for a lazy Castillo tonight, he would've been out of a big inning).

Both teams had an erratic reliever who blew a lot of close games, right from the get-go. Braden Looper in 05, and Aaron Heilman in 08.

Diving a little deeper, the 05 Mets were 6-13 against the division rival Braves, this year so far, they're 2-6.

On May 22nd in 2005, the Mets were 23-21. This year, they'll be 21-21 (not counting tomorrow's game yet).

The 05 Mets would go on a 4-5 game winning streak, and then go 1-6 over the next stretch. The 08 Mets are looking similar to that, getting hot in a certain series, and then blowing a series or two to another team. 

It may be late May, but this team still has a legitimate chance. They have a good team, but a few things need to be done in order to get them rolling again. Here are some ideas of what I think would help these Mets get back on track:

  1. Willie needs to stop being a player's manager and just be a manager, not their friends. In the past 2 years, he'd take a player out for not hustling, yet after Castillo's lazy play tonight, he remained in the game. He should've been yanked faster than a wisdom tooth in the dentist's office. If he wants to keep his job, get tough, show some freakin' emotion, and kick some @$$ on and off the field. Threaten to bench a player if they're slumping, threaten to move a starter to the pen if they're struggling, threaten to remove a player if they don't hustle, and for the love of god, don't ever give Aaron Heilman the ball. If he can't do this, then he needs to be fired. This, in all honesty, is his very last chance.
  2. Move Aaron Heilman. He is awful, he doesn't have it. I've been saying it for over a year now, he can't consistently spot his fastball, which makes him overly rely on his changeup, which he will throw back to back, over the heart of the plate, which hitters sit on and drive. He is not a good pitcher, and he needs to go. Trade him, send him to AAA, something, but he should not be on their major league roster right now.
  3. Ban the sports section of newspapers, sports magazines, and sports shows on tv and radio. The LAST thing this team needs is to be listening to more drama. Willie's last concern should be what he said to the media. The players don't need any more controversies, playing into any more drama, and definitely not any more distractions.
  4. Pick a 2-hole hitter, STICK WITH IT. Is it Church? Is it Castillo? Is it Anderson? Is it Chavez? I say Church, since he gives good power, and doesn't load the middle of the lineup with 3 straight lefties when Delgado is batting 6th. Castillo, he's patient, and has decent speed, but isn't hitting too well this year, Church is. Stop flipping people around in the lineup, it's not good unless it's something like bumping someone down in the lineup because they're struggling. Speaking of which....
  5. If it comes to it, move Beltran to the 5-spot and have Church bat cleanup with Castillo batting 2nd.
  6. Don't rely on Pedro Martinez or Orlando Hernandez to come back and contribute too much. They might surprise, but if they struggle for a short period of time, a move needs to be made, quick. Even Mike Pelfry, he's been showing improvement, but if he starts struggling over a good stretch, move him, AAA, bullpen, whatever.
  7. Willie, stop holding off on going to the bullpen so that you can try and get your starter a win. The team win matters more, not the individual win. He's doing it with Pelfry, he did it with Glavine last year a lot (although that was partially for win #300, but still).
  8. This team makes unknown starters look like Brandon Webb, but actually hits well against Brandon Webb! They're too agressive at the plate for the most part, which is part of why the offense is so inconsistent; it works against some pitchers and not against others. Work counts more, see more pitches....
  9. Move runners over, especially you, Carlos Beltran. Play small ball, manufacture runs...you can't hit a grand slam without runners on base, so stop trying to. Big innings aren't sparked by solo homeruns, they're sparked by baserunners and smart hitting.
  10. Something needs to ignite this team. Someone needs to stand up and say something, without causing controversy like Wagner did (although it kind of worked). Wright, step up and say to the press "we suck right now", be the team leader, call a meeting and do something. Pitchers, don't be afraid to throw inside. You hit a guy, a benches clearing ball might happen, that could be the best thing for this team. Something to ignite them!
  11. Lastly, as much as I hate to say it, one more stupid distraction, one more stupid comment, one more stupid move or anything from Willie Randolph, and he should be fired. I like the guy, I really do, but something needs to wake this team up. His leash is as short as ever right now.

Right now, the Phillies have Jimmy Rollins back and Ryan Howard is starting to hit. The Braves have a great offense, and Jair Jurrjens is looking great, plus with Smoltz going to close out games upon his return, that makes the game almost virtually over in the 8th. Marlins, playing great ball, I don't think it'll last, but they're hitting and pitching right now. The Mets need to step it up, or else they will be too far out in this race, and I don't see the other teams blowing a lead like the Mets had last season.

-Mat

Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2008 4:14 am
 

The 2008 New York Mess

Wow, bad typos. I didn't have to real through should say "I didn't have time to read through". 4 AM, WTF I better hit the sack.



Since: Apr 1, 2008
Posted on: May 26, 2008 4:11 am
 

The 2008 New York Mess

I didn't have to real through ALL of these posts and comments (they're way too friggin long for me at 4 AM), but IMO the problem with the Mets has to so with the players more than the manager. But being that the manager can't rectify that problem, it's easier to fire 1 manager than 25 players. Don't get me wrong, Willie definitely has his faults, but if the players were playing better (Reyes, Wright, Delgado, Castillo, Beltran, Heilman etc..) no one would think that much about Willie. Some of those players are junk, but that blame should go to Minaya, not to Willie. With the players he's been given, and the way their performing (or not), it's not really his fault and I don't see another manager turning this ballclub around. But the fact of baseball is, if the team sucks and the manager screwed up (last year's epic collapse), he's got to go. Sad? Sure. But that's the way the cookie crumbles.......



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 25, 2008 2:57 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

The problem starts with the Manager, fix that first, then fix everything else.

I wish that wasn't the truth, but in this case, I think the majority of the blame has to go on Willie for losing his ballclub.

The players need to take on some of this responsibility of their game play. Cmon guys, step up, stop being girly men.  These guys just plain lack that TEAM COMERODITY, period

Absolutely, but Randolph hasn't done anything to ignite any comarodery or intensity in this team.



Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: May 25, 2008 2:22 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

The problem starts with the Manager, fix that first, then fix everything else.

NufCed




Since: Mar 18, 2008
Posted on: May 23, 2008 8:29 am
 

The 2008 New York Mess

Morning Manny and room, I can agree with you NFLfreak79, on paper the METS should be smokin this year.  They just seem to be going through the motions.  All over the papers and sports channels is can Willie save/keep his job after this trip to Colorado?  He really shot himself in the foot with his comments in the public eye this past Monday, I don't think he'll recover from those.  Also, its not good when the owners don't return your repeated calls.

Thing is I really like Willie, think he's a stand up guy, as a player w/ the Yankees and as the Manager with the Mets.  As the saying goes it is easier getting rid of the manager than the players.  Speaking of players, where is their talent gone, Willie can't play the game for them all. 

The players need to take on some of this responsibility of their game play. Cmon guys, step up, stop being girly men.  These guys just plain lack that TEAM COMERODITY, period



Since: Feb 18, 2007
Posted on: May 23, 2008 3:53 am
 

The 2008 New York Mess

The Mets look amazing on paper...

...Maybe they need to look at themselves on paper more often.

The Mets need to believe in themselves more and stop getting caught up so much in the O' poor me game they are playing.

They need to play with some heart, go out there and want to win, not hope to win.

Right now, they are playing just good enough to suck. Wonderful.

NOT!!!

Let's go Mets, show everyone what you got! Have some fun doing it!! :P




Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 22, 2008 5:32 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

He never records quality starts either. Right now, he's been just as effective as Barry Zito

Come on BP, that's ridiculous. Significantly higher strikeout rate, significantly lower ERA, similar walk rate, goes deeper into games...Perez implodes occasionally, but comparing him to Zito is ridiculous. When I said Perez put up great numbers, I was talking about 2007 with the Mets. His first full season under Rick Peterson, he showed a lot of promise with the occasional awful start. He still has that promise, and he still has decent numbers right now despite a bad stretch earlier in the season. He's significantly better than Barry Zito right now, and is a more than servicable starter, and has been since last year.

Depends on the pitcher. Keith Foulke does it all the time and he's been pretty successful.

Well, it clearly doesn't work for Heilman.

No idea what you're talking about here. Beltran started out extremely slow, but he's hitting .324 in May and is slugging .500. He's back to his normal self.

And yet he only has 3 homeruns on the year. He's slugging .500 for the month, but he still isn't back to his normal self, especially in terms of the power numbers. And that's what the Mets really need in the 4-hole, power. If he's hitting well like he has been, slugging a decent amount, but not hitting homeruns, then he belongs in the 2-hole and someone else in his spot.

What?........He has .307 career batting average with runners in scoring position and it only dips down to .270 in late and close situations. He's been way better than Church.

This year, he's batting .255 with RISP, and .115 with RISP & 2 outs. Last year, he batted .277 with RISP, and .224 with RISP & 2 out. Yea, his career numbers look nice, but he hasn't looked that great in late inning situations for the past year. Oh, and in 2007, he only slugged .452 with RISP.

They have a great front three of Hudson, Glavine, and Jurrjens and have solid depth behind them with Reyes, Bennett, and James.

Glavine, as stated earlier in the blog thread, is only a 5-6 inning pitcher, and Reyes, Bennett, and James can't be relied upon to continue over an entire season. Bennett has few career starts, James has been awful this season, and Reyes is young as well. Jurrjens is inexperienced as well, 3rd youngest player in the league I believe, and he might go through some rough patches, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt right now.



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: May 22, 2008 5:03 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

Oliver Perez is a good pitcher, he's just inconsistent, but even with his inconsistencies last year, he put up great numbers.Oliver Perez has been in the league for 7 years now and only has two good seasons under his belt (2004 and 2007). He's not a very serviceable pitcher. His era has almost always been below league average and his WHIP ratio is terrible for a starter. He never records quality starts either. Right now, he's been just as effective as Barry Zito, yet nobody talks about it because he gets run support.

That's just stupid, whoever said that.I would pull up the thread, but it seems CBS deleted all posts before November of last year.....

He isn't completely useless, he can still play decent ball, but he should't be relied upon like he has been in the past. He needs a wake up call, and a benching for laziness is something that could get his attention.He's a below average fielder, can't hit the ball anymore (.698 OPS), and he's lost all of his speed. There are plenty of second basemen in the league that are better than this guy. I still can't get over the fact that the Mets will be paying him around 6 million a year for the next four years to do nothing productive. By the time that contracts up, he'll be an extremely rich bench player.

Tom Seaver always said you never throw changeups back to back, it has to be mixed up effectively.Depends on the pitcher. Keith Foulke does it all the time and he's been pretty successful.

I should have been more clear, it would only be temporary until Beltran starts swinging well.No idea what you're talking about here. Beltran started out extremely slow, but he's hitting .324 in May and is slugging .500. He's back to his normal self. I do think Willie Randolph needs to send him more when he's on base though. Beltran is the games most successful base stealer (% wise) and Randolph never lets him go.

As for choking in the clutch, Beltran hasn't been much better in the past too.What?........He has .307 career batting average with runners in scoring position and it only dips down to .270 in late and close situations. He's been way better than Church.

Atlanta is the starters behind Hudson and JurrjensNo it isn't. In case you hadn't noticed, the Braves have the best starters era in the National League right now. They have a great front three of Hudson, Glavine, and Jurrjens and have solid depth behind them with Reyes, Bennett, and James. While James is the only Braves starter to struggle out of the gate, he had solid 2006 and 2007 seasons for the big league club and has since posted a 1.8 era in 24 innings (3 starts) since being demoted......Atlanta's biggest question mark right now has been their bullpen, but that's about to change once Smoltz, Soriano, and Gonzalez all return from the disabled list.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 22, 2008 4:23 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

You can't look at every team on the same page, but just go to their 2008 team page and you can see their splits under "schedule". The blowouts, yes, it's probably a lot better than the other teams, but the 1-run W-L record is probably a lot worse than other teams.




Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: May 22, 2008 3:53 pm
 

The 2008 New York Mess

14 to 16 as of right now.I don't have the league stats on hand, but isn't that a lot more than most teams? And the thing is, the Braves aren't getting blown out very much, but they are blowing out other teams a lot. Also, where are you getting those stats? ESPN? Just curious, because I'd like to look at the entire league.


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