Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, November 01, 2003
 
I been thinking about what I want to do during the offseason and what I wanna put on this blog, especially on days when I don't have much to say about baseball... so, I was thinking, how about starting with random thoughts of the day from other sports...

Football
-Is anyone else living in the New York City area as unexcited by this Giants-Jets game as I am? It's got no juice.

Basketball
-I am already excited by the Lebron James-Carmelo Anthony matchup on Wednesday. Maybe its the new rookies, maybe its my love for college basketball (despite the fact hat half of these guys don't play college ball), or maybe its too maybe Bill Simmons columns, but I enjoy the NBA again.
-Also, you have to feel good for Vin Baker. Hopefully, he won't be the butt of anymore jokes anytime soon.

College Basketball
-How is Duke ranked Number 2? Maybe I'm a pessimist, maybe I don't like being ranked high early, but this team isn't that good. Chris Duhon sucks (you will learn the level of my hatred for him throughout the season, trust me), J.J. Redick is an overglorified Trajan Langdon (though has the potential to be much better), Daniel Ewing never touches the ball, even though he should. And inside Shavlik Randolph is too inconsistent and Shelden Williams doesn't always play as strong as he should.

As much as I love hockey, I don't have a random thought there. I haven't paid that much attention this year... Anyway, tell me what ya think about the idea. Now moving onto baseball...

John Sickels, who is a much smarter man than I (most are), writes an article on everybody's favorite pospect, Scott Kazmir. Go check it out.

I don't know about you, but I'm scared about the two Japanese players coming over. I think still think there is a Bobby V obsession around here about signing Japanese players. And for a team that's rebuilding, spending your money there isn't worh the risk.

Manny Ramirez didn't get picked up. Big surprise. Trade is still possible, but it would be interesting to see how much of the contract the Red Sox's would be willing to eat.

And finally, on a personal note no one will care about, I am very excited about Clifton High School Football, which is the school I go to. They are making the playoffs for the first time since 1997 and are fighting for position in the playoffs. They could have a home playoff game, but they need some teams to lose (or to pull major upset next week). We'll see, but trust me, you might hear a little bit more about this in the next few weeks.

Friday, October 31, 2003
 
Random stuff today...

Football thought of the week...
Why was Pennington back? They had the Giants this week and could have made a 4 game run. But alas...

Acutally, two notes. Why does Drew Bledsoe suck lately? All you have to do is blitz him....

Basketball thought of the day...
Keith Van Horn? Did he think he was wearing a Utah jersey?

OK, two thoughts... is anyone else obsessed with Denver. They can't score, but I have a feeling they'll win 30-35 games.

Paul Konerko Stuff...
I should have everything done by Monday, but here's a little preview...

Since Paul Konerko watch started...
Losses: 74 AB, .189/.241/.216
Wins: 72 AB, .306/.427/.681

If you need an explanation, click the link on the sidebar.

Also, go check out Sabermets, for his dreams of a lineup with A-Rod, and Michael's Ramblings, for his look at Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette. Very good post and totally on point.

Back more this weekend, so see ya then.

Thursday, October 30, 2003
 
This Manny Ramirez thing compelled me to post.

First off, the Mets may have the money needed to sign Manny (though I'm not sure if they really do), but let me tell you now, if Duke made that move I would no longer write this blog... ok that's not true... I would become a Yankees fan... no, that's not true either... ok, I would just take back every nice thing I ever said about Duke.

With that out of the way, I think he would be a bad signing for the Yankees. He doens't help on defense and probably just makes things more complicated. While being a great offensive player, I have a feeling he might break down soon and only be able to play some OF while mostly being a DH. And looking at the way Giambi is heading, that could happen to him too.

I think its a nice try by the Red Sox's, but no one will bite. The interesting thing will be to see how Manny is with returning to the team. We know he has a bad attitude to begin with and this won't help.

Back tomorrow, maybe with some football.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003
 
I'm linking more than thinking today...

First off, Bryan of Wait Till Next Year has his Yankees Originizational Meeting with Alex Belth of Bronx Banter and one of my favorite reads, Larry Mahnken of Replacement Level Yankees Blog. Both have very interested opinions and I find this meeting particulary interesting because I live just outside New York and the fact that hte Yankees should one of the more interesting teams this offseason.

Speaking of Yankees, Aaron Gleeman proves here and here that Derek Jeter isn't exactly the "Mr. Clutch" Tim McCarver would like us to believe he is. Very interesting reads and the second one is particulary good with reactiosn from Yankees fans.

Eric of Saber Mets talks today about Mike Cameron. His article yesterday, which discussed this a little had reminded that I need to post about my change of opinion. He has a lot of the same opinions and basically comes to the conclusion that the price isn't worth it. Except he also uses stats (Plus, he sponsors Billy Beane's page at Baseball Reference. Let me just say I was surprised to find out no one had done this yet.)

Other than that, I would like to say I liked what the Duke had to say about the direction of the team by saying he was going to concentrate on defense, especially up the middle, and plate disclipline (Use this post at Baseball Crank for the article).

I'll be back tomorrow, though with what I'm not sure. I have a lot of schoolwork (mainly a lot of tests) lately and so my mind is not totally occupied with thinking abou the Mets. Enjoy all the links above and if you're in or around New York, hope for some better weather.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
 
First, we start with very very good news...

Duke is finally being given the GM job. He deserves it and shouldn't have been toyed with like he was. Of course, if Scutaro ends up being a good second baseman, I'll hate him, but that's the way it goes.

Next concerns yesterday's article on Kenny Rogers Syndrome...

Reader Dan Rosenbaum points out that the more apt name might be Ed Whitson Syndrome. He's goes on to say, after I explain that's a little before my era (I also apologize for making him or anyone else feel old when things are before my era), that Ed was only permitted to start road games because he couldn't handle Yankee Stadium and the booing. By the way, he had an ERA+ of 83 in 1985 and in 37 innings in 1986 with the Yankees he had a 55. Now, he never did get a shot in the postseason, but those are some pretty bad statistics. I'll stick with the original name, but Ed Whitson would be another guy who fits under the catergory.

Dan Rosenbaum, who I've picked up is a Yankee fan, asks if I would be interested in a "my crap for your crap" trade. That would be Jeff Weaver for Roger Cedeno and Weathers (or Stanton if he's willing to get rid of the no trade clause). I'm for it. First, the contracts sort of equal out. Weaver is slated to make 6.25 million next year and 9.25 mil in 2005. Weathers makes 3.6 mil next year and Cedeno makes 5 mil next year and in 2005. Now, giving Weaver 9.25 mil in 2005 is the only negative in this equation, but since the Mets do have money to spend, I think its worth the shot. Why?

Weaver is a righthanded groundball pitcher going into a park with a slow infield.
Weaver is 27, meaning he's young.
Getting rid of Cedeno would be a big plus, especially PR wise. He can't play OF defense, doesn't run the bases well at all anymore, and is a declining hitter.
Weathers is 35 next year. Young, cheap bullpen, not old, expensive bullpen.

Overall, I'm not enamored with any of the options as a fifth starter out there and would be all for giving Weaver a shot while letting Heilmann get a little more AAA experience (build up some confidence). Now, if it fails miserably, you'll basically be eating about 2.4 million in 2005 (Subtract what you would be paying Weathers/Cedeno from Weaver). Now, I like Weaver and thinks he has a shot to be good (except in Yankee stadium). Maybe he has Kenny Rogers Syndrome, or maybe he has Ed Whitson Syndrome, the inabliity to pitch for the Yankees.

While thinking about the Mets' future lately, I've sorta reversed my thinking on Mike Cameron. I don't think he's that good of a signing anymore. He has one major positive. He can play great OF defense. That OF defense is played in CF. Unfortunately, too many negatives outweigh the positives...

He's hitting the wrong side of 30 next year
His road stats are a lot better than his home stats and that's why his stats aren't as good as they should be. Because he played in Safeco Field, a deadhole for hitters and especially flyball hitters like him. So, he'll be getting out of there, so all is good, right? HAve you ever watched games at Shea? It's a hitter's hellhole and fly balls die all the time there. It's not a good place for a extreme flyball hitter.
Also, his road stats weren't that better than his home stats. And to be honest, his road stats weren't impressive.

Defense is nice, but this team is building for the future, and he isn't the right move at this point. For a team more in cotention (maybe the Yankees...) he could be the right move, but not the Mets.

And on one final note, I was very happy to see Ben Jacobs rip Adrian Wojnarowski a new one today for his article on Grady Little's firing and how bad it was. If you don't know Adrian, he writes for the Bergen Record, my local paper. And let's just say that I hate him as a writer as much as I hate Roger Clemens as a baseball player. Meaning, I don't think he's good. So, I was glad to see Ben Jacobs article. Read it, its good.

Monday, October 27, 2003
 
Ladies and gentlemen, today I present you with...

Kenny Rogers Syndrome
Defined as: The inability to play well in New York for either the Yankees or Mets.

Other notables who have had this problem...
Chuck Knoblauch, and most recently, Jeff Weaver.

Yes, good old Kenny Rogers. Kenny Rogers was a massive free agent bust with the Yankees, yet the Mets thought he could come over in 99 and help them out. Not a smart move. Here's what he did with the Yankees and the Mets.

1996 NYY- 179 IP, 179 H, 16 HR, 83 BB, 92 K, 12-8 with a 4.68 ERA
1997 NYY- 145 IP, 161 H, 18 HR, 62 BB, 78 K, 6-7 with a 5.65 ERA
1999 NYM- 76 IP, 71 H, 8 HR, 28 BB, 58 K, 5-1 with a 4.03 ERA

Those would give him ERA+ of 108, 79, and 109 while being paid 5 million dollars. So, really that 4.68 ERA isn't good at all. The Mets is a half a year and he actually had a better ERA with the Mets than Oakland, but what is the second part of the definition of Kenny Rogers Syndrome?

Also defined as: Extreme suckage in the postseason as a Met or Yankee.

1996 NYY (3 postseason series)- 7 IP, 15 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 0-0 with a 14.14 ERA
1999 NYM (2 postseason series)- 12 IP, 16 H, 9 BB, 8 K, 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA
Total postseason numbers- 19 IP, 31 H, 15 BB, 12 K, 0-3 with a 9.47 ERA

Let it also be noted that he broke Met fans hearts with a pitch miles outside to Andruw Jones to walk in the winning run of the NLCS in 1999.

Of course, his postseason numbers other than that include all of 1.1 IP this year for Minnesota. He has 1 H, 1 walk, 3 K's, and a 0.00 ERA

But what about his career numbers out of NY?

2055 IP, 2121 H, 205 HR, 725 BB, 1310 K, 135-98 with a 4.09 ERA

And in NY?

400 IP, 411 H, 42 HR, 173 BB, 228 K, 23-16 with a 4.91 ERA

And comparing them by rate stats...
Everywhere else- 1.03 H/IP, .90 HR/9, 3.18 BB/9, 5.74 K/9, 1.81 K/BB, 1.38 WHIP, 4.09 ERA
NY- 1.03 H/IP, .95 HR/9, 3.89 BB/9, 5.13 K/9, 1.32 K/BB, 1.46 WHIP, 4.91 ERA

Basically, Kenny Rogers has never been a great pitcher. But when he came here, he started to lose control and walk more people. And when it got to the pressure of the postseason, he fell apart. And that's why every Jeff Weaver that comes through New York will forever be labeled as having...

Kenny Rogers Syndrome
-Name given by Jeremy Heit to every player who comes to New York (especially the Yankees) and then slowly starts to suck.

Also of note, Bryan of Wait 'Til Next Year started his organizational meetings today with Brad Dowdy of No Pepper. The subject, of course, was the Braves. He's doing one of these for every team, with the next up being the Yankees. I've been meaning to add him to the sidebar for awhile, as he does a great job looking ahead into team's futures.

Sunday, October 26, 2003
 
I didn't see last night's game, so what can I really say. Not much, I guess, but here are the few random notes about what I've heard and seen about the game, before I get to the teams themselves...

-Josh Beckett just looked sensational from the highlights. I was dead wrong about starting him last night (though as Al points out, the Yankees has a pathetic 3.2 pitches per PA) and that's why Mckeon is the manager and not me.

-I feel great for Jack McKeon, who everyone just sort of laughed at when he got hired. The Marlins proved smarter than most and somehow this team took off.

-Derek Jeter and Nick Johnson were 1 and 2. They way I want the lineup to look. They went 0-7. See why a team could lose a short series with the offense the Yankees have.

-It also doesn't help when you have Aaron Boone batting in front of Alfonso Soriano in a lineup (who by the way, went 2-3). Joe, Soriano is (I guess was since the season is over) struggling, but Enrique in game 5 and Aaron Boone in game 6.

-Change that thought on Castillo from yesterday a little. It's not that he is absolutely pitiful at the plate... its that he's pitiful from the left side, which is where most of his at bats will come from. His OBP and AVG about the same, but he slugs 80 points better for his career form the right side and about 135 points this year.

-And, because I have to...

HA HA YANKEE FANS!

OK, now that that's out of my system, I can go back to being fair and balanced (oh crap, is FOX NEWS going to sue me now).

Since I didn't see the games, I want to take a look at where these two teams might go from here...

Marlins

The Marlins are going to be interesting. They have some great young talent, but a lot of their players are beocming free agents. As Pudge said last night, Josh Beckett "has one hell of a future". A.J. Burnett, who might even be more talented, is coming back next year. The Marlins also have Penny, Willis and Redman. Pavano will probably leave via free agency as his stock has soared since the game against Prior and game 4 of the World Series. So, this team can be competitive just based on the young pitching they have, which is a key for any team with a low payroll. Urbina will leave and Looper will probably get his closer job back (though I wouldn't be surprised if it is Chad Fox. Jack McKeon loves him). Bullpens vary year to year, though they should be able to build a cheap and effective one (though they need to get someone who can get out lefties in there). The very interesting part of this team is what the front office is going to do with the free agents. Jeffrey Loria is known to most baseball people as being fairly evil and that really means he's cheap. If I was the Marlins, this is what I would do (and I am considering the fact that they are on constraints).

Sign Pudge. Whatever is takes, sign him. ASAP, like today.
Sign Derrek Lee. Lefty killer, good against righties.
Let Castillo walk. Second baseman are replaceable.
Let Conine walk. He's a average corner OF and a average 1B.
Sign Lowell. He's good and can hit. As yes, I know, that means Cabrera is stuck in the OF.

I don't know if Loria will put out enough money to sign all these guys, but, I believe the above list is what he should do. I'm OK with leaving Cabrera is the OF believe I really don't think he is a detriment to their defense. So, with those signings in mind, here is the team for next year.

Rotation
SP- Beckett
SP- Penny
SP- Willis
SP- Redman
SP- Burnett (if he comes back middle of the year next year, until then, there has to be someone in the minors)
Set up- Chad Fox
Closer- Looper

Position Players
C- Pudge
1B- Lee
2B- A cheap average hitting, good defensive player or maybe someone form the minors
SS- Gonzalez
3B- Lowell
RF- Encarnacion (who I understand is not the greatest of hitters, but he does have some pop)
CF- Pierre
LF- Cabrera

Making a lineup something like this...
1. Pierre
2. Pudge
3. Lowell
4. Cabrera
5. Lee
6. Encarnacion
7. 2B
8. Gonzalez

Depending on who the second baseman is, he could bat second and move everyone down a spot. Overall, with that pitching and the pop they have in that lineup, they could be just as good next year.

The Yankees

This could interesting. Real interesting. Will George solve the problems this team has or just spend more money uselessly. Let's starting with the problems. Defensively, CF, 2B and SS. Pitching wise, two guys are retiring (or if Wells doesn't, they shouldn't take him back) and Pettitte is a free agent. A bullpen that has nothing other than Mariano Rivera. Well, how should George solve them...

Trade Alfonso Soriano. Maybe to KC for Carlos Beltran. No matter what you do, get someone who can play CF for you next year.
Trade Nick Johnson. Try to Montreal for Javy Vazquez.
Why do you need to trade Nick Johnson? Because people will take him over Bernie, who has to become a DH.
Move Jeter to third and Boone to 2B.
Sign a SS. Miggy Tejada is a possibility here (if you got the money, you might as well spend it)
Get a RF. I'm not against a Rivera/Garcia platoon, but I don't think that will fly with most Yankee fans. You could go after Vlady (and yes, make this payroll 300 million dollars), but he probably won't come, so I'm sure they could find some good mid range player.
Get some good bench players.
Sign Pettitte. The market is weak, they need to.
Trade Jeff Weaver. For a couple of prospects, maybe a SS. Whatever you can get, because he has Kenny Rogers Syndrome (I need to copyright that name or write an entry about it).
Build a bullpen. But don't do a Chris Hammond and give up millions and millions of dollars because a guy had one big year. Find cheap, young (Hammond is 37) arms to fill it up so you can get to Rivera without so much worry.

So the team for next year...

Rotation
SP- Mussina
SP- Pettitte
SP- Vaquez
SP- Contreras
SP- Leiber (forget about him... one of the best 2 million dollar investments all year)
Set up- Hammond for now, but they can find an arm
Closer- The Man, Mariano Rivera

Position Players
C- Posada
1B- Giambi
2B- Boone (They will not let him walk. They have to prove this trade was right.)
SS- Tejada
3B- Jeter
RF- Mid Level Free Agent
CF- Beltran
LF- Matsui
DH- Williams

Lineup...
1. Jeter
2. Williams
3. Beltran
4. Giambi
5. Posada
6. Tejada
7. Matsui
8. Free Agent
9. Boone

Or something like that. That lienup might just be unbelievable. Which bring up the problems. Will George spend this much money on his team? Will he spend it rationally and not just go after every big name he sees? Will he make trades and give up players instead of just signing everyone? This could work, and in reality they don't even need Tejada. In that case, they might pick up a 2B and keep the D the way it is, which would be a mistake, but do you really see Jeter moving from SS? I don't, but even without Tejada, this lineup could still hit and still hit well. The pitching might not be as good and would really depend on how the back end of the rotation would do. But the point made here is that the Yankees have problems. Lots of them. And they need to solve them. It will be interesting to see how they do it.

And now that the series is done, its on to other things. The Paul Konerko Watch is up for this week. Also, more Mets talk to come, with assorted other things form around the league. And of course, some football and other sports too. It was exciting half a season (I started the 23nd of June) to blog and I thank all the people who swing by every day to read. There are some people out there who enjoy what I do, so I'm gonna keep on going. Can't wait for next year, but while you're waiting too, stop by, as I'll still be trying to post everyday.


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