It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

HOT STOVE, Shoobie Doobie (TM)

Welcome to this year's first installment of HOT STOVE, Shoobie Doobie! This is the time of the year where the Mets' fanbase works themselves into a silly lather playing Junior GM, spreading ridiculous rumors, wacky predictions, posting useless imaginary lineups, inventing trades, and generally proposing things that would in reality run the team into the ground! And you know what? I want in!! I plan to match them, baseless accusation for groundless rumor! It was fun last off-season, when all our dreams came true AND the team didn't play half bad after all the HOTSTOVE cookin.' What does this winter have in store?

Like James used to say..."The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing. "

Pitching Philosophy
SI's John Donovan in his article "The Edge of Reason," argues what we should all already know.
There is discussion over at Metsblog too. The spirit of Donovan's analysis is a reasonable basis for going forward. Moving rapidly into the post-Pedro, Omar should consider moving away from the old Met model--securing marquee free agent starters for dubious long term contracts--and to a new Met model of developing our own, be they from the farm or from the scrap heap. The Mets already have what many smart teams want--young promising starting pitching under contract, reasonably priced. Why ruin that by over-doing it in the old "established" pitching market? So, using a new "young" pitching model, I dont think there is a need to concede to Glavine's demands either. You really think John Maine isn't as good a bet as Toothless Tom to put up similar numbers at a fraction of the price? Zito is debatable at this point, as he is young and has had some sucess--price and contract length will probably work against him becoming a Met. Dice-K? Well...

wow--its the begining of the end for the Sox. This is a dumb deal. It will be, however, a boon for the newspaper industry--the first time he goes on the DL with an elbow strain will be a massive media frenzy the likes of Beantown has never seen!

I love fans on the internet saying how the bids--in this case, $51 million--doesn't come out of the payroll numbers... No but guess who's pocket this comes out of?

I'll give you a hint-- in 2010, when you are sitting in beautiful CityPark, thinking about how great the $20mil/ year corporate payout is providing the salary of that $20 million corner outfielder you always dreamed of... you'll turn to your wife and kids to share this bit of wisdom, but they won't be there to hear your knowing're there all alone because you could only afford to buy one $80 ticket in the nosebleeds and it was either little Johnny or the $75 parking fee.

There is a relationship between "Fred's Money" and fans, you's a nice example of what Marx (Karl not Groucho) called false consciousness.

Me I'm gonna try to have a son--a left handed pitching son that is.

Old Duque

what's that you say, sonny? I'm resigned? oh happy days, now i can afford prescription drugs again!

Speaking of dumb, the Sox are not alone this off season. That’s right, sitting in the dunce chair right next to the young pup GM is our own Omar. Throwing 6 mil for 2 (two) years at a mysterious, and apparently easily injured 56 year old is lunacy. Sorry, there's no way around it. This stings especially because it was originally reported that it was 2 at 6 mil, a more reasonable proposition. THis is ill-Duque.

And spare me the “he’s a bargain in this market” stuff. Just because something is a relative bargain, that doesn't make buying it a smart move in every context. if so, go ahead and take that great deal on a mercedes so you can go to work at Walmart in style.

And even worse...
what was the number one lesson of this postseason as far as pitching goes? (no, not "never give steve tr**hell a start"). You guessed it, you can not count on old and fragile starting pitching, especially if it makes up 3/5's of your rotation. Sooner AND later, you will get burned. Guess Omar is still digesting that lesson 'cause he's throwing mad cash at geezers so far this season.

So please could we have a moratorium on all these "El Duque's great in the playoffs" comments until the time when he doesn't disappear from our playoff dreams by hurting himself badly jogging sprints before a game? He might be great in the playoffs but I'd like to see it here first.

This off season is not off to an auscpicious start, unless you're a lobbyist for the AARP.

IMFM Exclusive!

caption: "Bite me Girardelli, next season you can watch on tv while i manage my boys to the World Series, chump!"

I have obtained a FULL transcript of Willie's comments on the occasion of Joe Giradi's beating him out for Manager of the Year. It turns out there is a little more to the story than the press reported.

Here are some of the missing snippets of his statement:

"Congratulations to Joe. I couldn't be prouder of what we've accomplished in my two years with the Mets [especially seeing as though I did what I did in the toughest city in the league with all the worlds' attention on my every move while you did it somewhere in Florida in front of millions of empty seats for a team no one cares about that is always 5 minutes away from a fire sale and a move to Mormon country]. We went from 71 wins to 83 wins to 97 victories, and a Division title and the best record in the National League this year. [Meanwhile you and your sorry ass team couldn't even muster 80 wins and you lost your damn job cause of your big mouth--Willie might be sound asleep on the bench, but he knows when to keep his mouth shut!]

We achieved a lot in 2006, but [in stunning contrast to you and your forthplace finishing mutherf*ing Fish pansies], we won't be completely satisfied until we reach our ultimate goal which is a World Series title [and unlike you, i took my team to the only place where a team actually has a chance at the World Series and no, that isn't one step from the National League East basement, if you're wondering it's the P to the L-a offs bitch!]."

This just in!
He used to Swallow, but now he just Sucks!

The Tampa Bay D-Rays have just won the right to negotiate with Japanese Yakult Swallows' 3rd baseman Akinori Iwamura. Rumor is their bid of $14.59 and three unscratched lottery tickets beat out other bidders such as the AA Tangipahoa Baccalaureates and that guy Trash-Can Sam from down at the track! When reached for a comment, Iwamura expressed his joy at being able to come and play for a team so closely affiliated with the NY Yankees, but seemed a little confused as to the precise nature of the Ray's role as record-padder and AL East whipping boy. Reports that Baltimore's Jim Duquette called Tampa's front office offering them Scott Kazmir for Iwamura's rights are as of yet unsubstantiated.

*image stolen from


  • At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If you really think John Maine can give you what Glavine will your obviously deluded and naive. Maine could just as easily be a one-hit wonder with his stuff and his inability to maintain "focus." I would like to see him in the rotation, but if you want to build next year's rotation purely out of youth and ignore Old Duque and Toothless Tommy, then you're taking a major risk. Keep the youngsters in reserve at AAA. Bring them up when the old men need a blow and get their feet wet that way.

  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    "when the old men need a blow"?

    well i may be naive and i am certainly deluded, but don't you think Toothless could just as easily rapidly decline, or at least not "produce" the same results as this past year?

    I don't think it's fair to predict rough waters for the Maine (which is not unreasonable), yet hold Glavine's performance to be some kind of constant.

    It's not clear to me why you are sold on old pitchers---at times it sounds like "old" equals "good" for you. I think "good" equals "good." "old" too often equals "possibly hurting self while joggin in the out field." Exeperience is a factor, but how much (positive) playoff experience did the cardinal's rotation just use to win the world series?

    The Mets need someone proven for the rotation to go with Old Duque, but there is no one ideal out there. I think Zito would be a good replacement for Toothless.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tom Glavine is a soft-tossing lefty who outside of 2003, and the first month of 2005, has been very steady and consistent for the Mets. He's not flashy, and he doesn't have great peripherals, but he's consistent and he's never injured unless he takes a NYC taxi cab. In this case, old isn't good, good is good. El Duque was good for the Mets all season, and got felled by a freak injury before the playoffs. While everyone will say it's his age, the guy is an absolute physical freak for someone his alleged age, and I'll trust it has more to do with just a bad timing injury.

    You're right, old is not always good, but it's nice to have some good guys who are older, with proven track records, rather than trusting 3 or 4 spots in your rotation to guys who haven't even proven anything consistent in AAA. You keep Glavine, you keep Duque, you get one more guy like Zito or whoever else can fill in nicely as a #1 or #2 and you let the kiddies fight for spots #4 and #5 in the rotation while the others continue to learn (new pitches in some cases) in AAA. To me, that's the better formula for success. And if you can't sign Glavine, then I would try and fill out two spots with veterans.

    I know there's something quite charming about the young "cheap" option that you've been sitting on all along, but there's a lot of value in depth.

  • At 11:43 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    it's not irresponsible to worry that Omar is going to the well a bit too much lately--the "Sunny Farms Retirement Home Well" to mix and mangle a metaphor.

    There is no question Omar;s MO is building pitching depth, which is part of why I think that 2 or 3 of the hoard of "unproven" types might just pan out. If not Super Ollie, than BB, if not BB than Maine, if not him then maybe Pelf and Humby, just to name a few.

    i think we'd find more room for agreement if the "proven" starters in question were of a higher quality. I have no problem with Duque at a lower price, but I wouldn't bet the farm that he'll be effective at his age. That seems jsut as risky as relying on youth. I hope that we get to see the "real" playoff Duque this year.

    But we'll never agree on Toothless' contribution to the Mets during the length of his contract. I remain underwhelmed. I would have brought him back at the right price this year ONLY because of the lack of other options, although clearly he wants to be a Br*ve. But pluggin in Zito into Tom's role would leave the Mets, in roughly the same position (not bad) they were in last year, albeit trading the frustrations of unproven youngsters for the frustrations of proven mediocrities, underperforming hall of famers, and arm troubled headcases.I'm willing to make that trade.

    I'd be comfortable with Zito, El Duque and three of the other guys til (and if) Pedro gets back. It's less than ideal, but there jsut isn't that much quality pitching to be had right now. And with the run support they should be getting, maybe some of these young guys will get that magical combination of luck and confidence and win some games.

    Much like the way even GMs from the shittiest clubs have been locking up their own young players longtime deals rather than get nailed when they become free agents, I think with the Cardinal's victory and the necessities dictated by this season's thin market, I wouldn't be too surprised if GM;s turn away from high-priced, mediocre old pitchers and towards youth or any other possible options--Maybe the fact that clubs were willing to pay Dice-K's absurd negotiating price is indicative of this trend.

  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    By the way, if you haven't guessed, you're arguing with Constnza. You're biggest fan and only reader.

    For starters, I think I put so much stock in keeping Glavine because signing Zito is no lock, and I'm concerned about putting your eggs in that basket when a guy who said he's picking between you and another team is available who will give you similiar production. If I knew I could get Zito tomorrow while Glavine is still playing the role of Hamlet, then maybe I would agree with that he's expendable. But be the market is shifting the way it is, Glavine will likely decide first, and Zito will sign come January and while I would think the Mets are front-runners, you never know when a team like the Ragners or the Orioles, or the Angels will come in with a ridiculously irresponsible contract, that Boras will make Barry take in a heartbeat.

    We have to agree to disagree on El Duque. 1. I think he's good, and I like his competitiveness. 2. I think he is a relative bargain, even at his age. and 3. I don't think his injury is indicative of his age. He still gives up only about 4 runs a game, can pitch into the 6th and 7th inning most of the time, and averages more than a strikeout an inning.

    As for the kids, can't we just start the year with two of them? My vote is Maine and Perez with Bannister filling the role of Darren Oliver. Let's see if Pelfrey can learn a slider and let's see Humber get consistent work after only being a year from TJ surgery. I would rather have this guys on call in case one of the "veterans" gets hurt or sruggles and then you can capture lighting in a bottle hopefully with a July call-up of Humber. Maybe I'm just still scarred from Gen. K.

  • At 7:53 AM, Blogger Itsmetsforme said…

    Hi Constnza
    Damn i thought I had scored another literate reader! Most of my fans can only look at the pictures. But you're not the only reader--i have a one-eyed mentally challenged 45 yr old cousin in North Florida who is using the blog to learn to read! Always a pleasure in any event.

    I had a look in the mirror moment when i read Wallace Matthews latest column of Met hating and I agreed with a lot of it. Although the older signings concern me, he's way too gloomy--we still have Buntran, Reyes and Wright and no one can take them away from us--and there's a good chance Soriano would not have been worth the money for the Mets. I do think his comments on the regretable impact of the new stadium on fans do have some merit.

    Regarding your comments, i think in this new Omar climate, reasonable people can disagree on the details. Things are so good now, I don't feel the stakes are so high, so I don't feel as passionate, or maybe desparate is a better word. I guess the stakes could go up in the near future with a set of bad decisions, but I am fundamentally optimistic that the core of this team will win, and even when they don't,they'll make me proud.
    I guess the case against Toothless for me now boils down to rational(he has little leverage and is not worth the money and is old) and emotional (he was a Br*Ve, and worse, still wants to be a Br*ve).
    I love both Beltran and Delgado and they had to acquire a taste for Flushing too, but this whole process is leaving a bad taste in my mouth: it's different when you're a Br*ve.

    I think you're right and Maine, Perez and Bannister get the first shots (not sure where Dave Williams fits in), with Humber and Pelfrey looming in the wings. I really hope Humber and Pelfrey pan out. I also hope that the first three work out their yips fairly early.
    Anyhow, I bet Omar signs a part for the rotation that surprises us both, esp. if Tom goes back to Atlanta. I think the pressure of the market (Zito signing late) would be eased if Omar can come up with a low priced mid level quality find soon. Then he wouldn't be pressured at all to resign Glavine. A rotation as deep as last years, with a slight upgrade in quality, would be the most we can hope for this hotstove.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • At 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Thanksgiving. It's always a pleasure, even when I say you're delusional (for the record, I only call the people I respect names).


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This blog is meant completely and entirely in jest, unless you count the angst, and is not meant to offend anyone, unless you are a Br*ves fan. It's not affiliated with Sterling, the Mets, common sense, good taste, or anything really.