Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roster Musings - 12/7/11

I've been writing a little more at Mack's Mets in the last few weeks and had just posted my thoughts on how the Mets might approach the off-season when three transactions were announced in short order last night. The additions of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Andres Torres gives my initial projected 25-man roster a different look from the one I posted there just 24 hours before.

SP- Santana
SP- Dickey
SP- Niese
SP- Pelfrey
SP- Gee

No changes to the starting rotation. If the Mets decide at the last minute to non-tender Mike Pelfrey, they can hold an audition for a fifth starter in Spring Training.

RP- Francisco
RP- Rauch
RP- R. Ramirez
RP- Carrasco
RP- Beato/Parnell
RP- Byrdak/lefty specialist
RP- Herrera/lefty specialist

Carrasco is under contract and supposedly Byrdak is as well, even though I can't seem to find anything confirming that. Regardless, the Mets won't break camp without two lefties in the bullpen so you can pencil in two southpaws among the seven relievers. I think Daniel Ray Herrera will be one of them mostly for PR purposes, since he's the visible return from the Francisco Rodriguez trade and won't cost more than $500K in salary.

I do not understand why a financially strapped team that will struggle to reach 80 wins spends over $10 million on relievers in one night. Francisco (2 years, $12 million) is a perfectly ordinary closer who may be the difference between 80 wins and 82 wins this season. I'm just not sure whether he's going to have a positive or a negative effect. Ramon Ramirez is actually a very solid reliever who should be successful in Queens in 2012. I'm a little concerned about what he'll make in arbitration, but it can't be worse than the $3.5 million Rauch will be making in 2012. He hasn't been the same since being overworked by Washington in 2006 and 2007 and has dealt with injury issues annually. Things will not end well for Jon Rauch in New York.

It appears there's only one spot left for either Bobby Parnell or Pedro Beato now. Suffice it to say, I'm hoping it goes to Beato.

C- Thole
1B- Davis
2B- Murphy
3B- Wright
SS- Tejada
LF- Bay
CF-
RF- Duda
C-
IF- Turner
IF-
OF- Torres
OF-

I had Pagan penciled in as the starting center fielder, but I don't think Torres automatically has a lock on the job. Andres Torres is an excellent defensive outfielder, but he's not much of a hitter. His on-base percentage is too low for the top of the order and he doesn't have the type of base-stealing ability to make a team forget about how little he actually gives himself a chance to steal. A 6-7-8 of Torres-Thole-Tejada has a certain rhythm to it, but it's also going to be a black hole of OBP. Long story short, the Mets have opened a hole in center field by making a deal that was more about acquiring Ramirez than it was about replacing Pagan with Torres.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Second-Class Citizens - Mack's Mets

Tom and I came to the same conclusion on a number of things that day. The first is that we both agree that the city will go absolutely crazy the next time the Mets win a World Series. The city still adores the 1986 Mets, possibly the most iconic team in New York baseball history. So many calamities have befallen the franchise since then that the celebration another championship would unleash would be legendary in scope and revelry.

We also agreed that this has to happen soon, or the Mets will never regain their perch as the darlings of New York City. The longer the Mets go on playing the comic foil to Yankees' track record of success, the more they risk becoming the Chicago White Sox of the Big Apple.

The Sox enjoy permanent second-class status in their own city, which remains enamored with the Cubs despite over 100 years without a championship. The Yankees have held the town without serious challenge for the better part of two decades now. The longer it goes on, the harder it's going to be for the Mets to get back on top.

Read the rest at Mack's Mets.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Waiting for Parnell - Mack's Mets

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect eighth inning back on July 28 against Cincinnati. Three up and three down on just eight pitches, with a strikeout to boot.

The next day, Parnell was undoubtedly the subject of breathless prose from both bloggers and the mainstream media, too much of which strains credulity looking for optimism every time Parnell has a decent outing. His supporters really seem to want Bobby Parnell to do well, because they really want to believe that he is the closer-in-waiting, or at least a dominant set-up man in the making.

He isn't.

Read the rest at Mack's Mets.

Monday, August 1, 2011

More on Mets vs. Expos - Again?

The Expos were done in by the strike and two ownership groups that failed to invest in the product.

In 1990, the A's and the Royals were both in the Top 3 for overall payroll. In 1995, they were small-market teams. Montreal never spent like Oakland or KC, but like the A's and the Royals they were not the penny-pinching outfit they became after the strike.

The club was owned by Charles Bronfman until 1991 and the family business (Seagram's) helped pay the bills. The new ownership pulled the purse strings tight after the strike and eventually sold to Jeffrey Loria, who I am sure that there is already a special little corner in hell reserved for. Loria eventually finagled his way into control of the Marlins when Bud Selig decided that Washington DC deserved a third shot at supporting a baseball team more than Montreal deserved a competent ownership group.

Meanwhile, the Expos had never captured Montreal's fancy the way that the Canadiens still do, and after the strike there was a lot of bitterness toward MLB. Olympic Stadium remained a terrible place to play. Ownership made it clear that it was unwilling or unable to put a quality product on the field. The results were predictable: fans stayed away.

Montreal can still work as an MLB town, but only with an ownership group willing to do the dirty work to get a new stadium built. I suspect that Selig would be more than happy to threaten Oakland, Kansas City or Tampa with relocation the same way he once threatened Montreal.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July Columns

I just got back from Montreal and completed by most recent column for Mack's Mets about baseball in that beautiful city. You can find it here. My two earlier columns can be found here and here. The plan is for me to contribute weekly columns for Mack's site, usually on Friday or Saturday.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Column At Mack's Mets

I'm committing to a Friday column over at Mack's Mets for the rest of the summer. My latest effort can be found here.

The Mets have to trade Carlos Beltran by July 31, no matter how well they've played for the last few months. They aren't catching the Phillies or the Braves and Beltran is not coming back in 2012. Apparently the Mets won't even be able to reap draft picks by offering salary arbitration, so not trading Beltran will leave them with absolutely nothing at the end of the season.

Red Bulls v. United tonight! look for me in Section 114!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Clown

I think I've actually gotten to the point where I've completely lost interest in finding new words appropriate for insulting Jeff Wilpon. Just read this gem and continue praying for David Einhorn to save us from these fools.