Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, January 31, 2004
 
Light blogging on weekend. Nothing much to say today, not much time tomorrow between afternoon stuff and Super Bowl. If something interesting comes up, I'll see what I can do to make it up, otherwise, its back Monday with Super Bowl reaction and hopefully some baseball.

But one thing of note... The A's signed Eric Karros. Smart orginzation, smart bench move. A's have a lefty 1B and DH in Durazo and Hatteberg. Karros is a righty that kills lefties. If only the Mets signed a lefty to hit for Wigginton...

Friday, January 30, 2004
 
Super Bowl Prediction Time! No baseball today...

Carolina 17-9 over New England

Why?

1. I hate the Patriots and Tom Brady. A lot. Almost more than UNC basketball (and that's tough to say as a Duke fan. Though Maryland pisses me off more lately than UNC).
2. I think John Fox will come up with a great scheme to stop the Patriots quick pass offense. I like the idea of rushing 3 and dropping one of the lineman on every play, occasionally blitzing a linebacker. Lineman is zones can disrupt short slants and things like that. And if they pass fast, the difference between 3 and 4 guys rushing is minimal.
3. I think the Panthers pound the run well and Steve Smith makes a couple of big plays, one may be on a punt/kickoff return.
4. Ricky Manning Jr. plays the greatest game of his life, pumped up by what will then become the second best game of his life.

That's what I think? But then again, what do I know? Oh yeah... Steve Smith is the MVP.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
 
A happy belated birthday to Rich from Dick Allen's Baseball Blog who shares my birthday. That's sorta cool.

Aaron has a good article on The Infield of Doom, better known as the Yankees.

We all know I like to poke fun at the Yankees (Brandon Claussen!), but I was surprised that I hadn't made more fun of Kevin Brown and the infield defense yet... the only real shot I took was yesterday and that wasn't that big. I swear I've done more, but I can't find them. Anyways, you can expect that I'll take plenty of more shots during the season as Kevin Brown throws hissy fits about the defense (It will also provide me an article on my bold prediction of Weaver having a better ERA than Brown. That won't be written here, but I'll link to it).

I'm not really sure what exactly to write about. I've been throwing a lot of baseball ideas around in my head lately, but they are all questions...

If I was a manager, would I walk Barry Bonds early in a game instead of late in a game? I wouldn't walk him at all because that's why he has that obscene OBP, but if I was forced to, I've been considering whether it might be better to do it early in the game. And would I pitch around him if I pitched to him? I've never liked that term. I think I would be careful... pitching around makes me think of throwing four balls and hoping you can get a guy to chase them... maybe I'll elaborate more on my reasoning at some point, but I wanna look at some stats first.

Is Mike Cameron more valuable than Vladimir Guerrero? I've actually gotten into a discussion on this and my impression is that Vlad is more valuable but not by as much as you might think. I think its close, but its still Vlad.

What would be my perferred roster for the Mets, within reason (Meaning no Vlad)? I think this would be it...

C-Piazza
1B- Phillips
2B- Scutaro
SS- Reyes
3B- Wigginton
RF- Jose Cruz Jr.
CF- Mike Cameron
LF- Cliff Floyd

C- Wilson
IF- Reese
IF- Branyan
OF- Kapler
OF- Garcia
1B/OF- Fick

Yes, Pokey Reese. I need someone to play D for Scutaro late. Branyan provides better D than Wigginton, a hitter vs. righties if Wiggy can't hit them again, and insurance if Scutaro stinks (Branyan at third, Wigginton to second. You think I'm gonna let Pokey hit everyday?). Jose Cruz brings a patient bat with some pop to RF, plus great D. Kapler and Garcia make a decent lefty/righty combo on the bench. Garcia would never see the field, as I think Kapler is somewhat athletic. Fick provides 1B and OF insurance if Jose Cruz has to move to center if something happens to Cameron (I wish I could find a better backup OF just to backup Cameron defensively. Cruz sucks out in center). That's certainly a better bench than what we have now. And yes, McEwing and Timo are allowed to walk and Cedeno's contract is dumped. I think that's reasonable (or at least smart). As for the pitchers...

SP- Leiter
SP- Glavine
SP- Trachsel
SP- Seo
SP- Griffiths
RP- Wheeler
RP- Anderson
RP- Yates
RP- Moreno
RP- Weathers
CL- Cerda

Starters are in no particular order. Worst young gun gets sent down when Strickland comes back. Yes, Cerda closing. I love his stuff. And yes, Franco's not resigned and they eat Stanton's contract. It's reasonable (or once again, smart). And no Braden Looper or any other "proven closer".

I think that team is almost as good as ours now and keeps more money open for spending for when the Mets are ready to make their move.

That's all for today. I promise I'll have more interesting stuff soon enough (I think season preview for Mets starts Feb 16th here, which is the week of my Winter Break. Hopefully I (and every other Mets blogger) will provide a slightly different angle on the season. I certainly call dibs on the five-ten paragrpah rant on Tom Glavine).

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
 
The Yankees are close to signing Tyler Houston to a minor league deal. Exciting, huh (He's also 33... I didn't think he was that old)? Tyler is one of those guys in the Tony Batista mold. Mid AVG, low walk, low OBP, big power guys. I would expect him to hit .250-.260 with a .300 OBP and a .430 SLG. He'd have around 15 HR and his .250, 15 HR, 60 RBI line wouldn't look bad to the casual observer, despite the fact he'd be an out making machine. His defense? I don't have a report, but from seeing him run, I'd say its pretty bad.

But this does bring up an interesting possibility...

2001-2003
Tyler Houston vs. righties- .285/.331/.442 in 597 ABs
Miguel Cairo vs. lefties- .293/.327/.463 in 188 ABs

Yes, I realize Cairo's line is affected by 44 ABs in 2001 when he had an OPS over 1.000. Still, if they could hit like this (or something close), it would be better than the .242/.316/.386 line the Yankees third baseman put up in 591 ABs last year. Defensively? Well, Kevin Brown will be pissed at the whole left side of the infield a lot this year.

 
It really is amazing how one fairly minor move can get the Mets blogging nation so pissed off. If you don't believe me, use the links on the right.

In other news, today is my 17th birthday (yes, 17). And no, I'm not playing hooky from school for it. I have a snow day. I must admit, a snow day on my birthday is pretty cool. Of course, it got my driver's test pushed back three weeks, but, as they like to say, you win some and you lose some.

With that in mind, I don't have a lot today because I just feel like doing nothing all day (and not getting pissed off about the Mets). I might work on some stuff later in the day for future posts, but that's only to avoid long term schoolwork.

But there is big Mets news today... THEY SIGNED SHANE SPENCER! WOO!!! I would provide a link, but everytime I open the Newsday article on Primer Netspace shuts down. As I've said before, he's a nice righty to platoon with Garcia. They will hit decently (better than The Three Amigos) and play better defense than Cedeno (though that's not hard... and it won't be much better).

But, since I'm a nice guy, I won't leave you with nothing to read today... Here are some things you should check out from around the blogosphere...

Redsfaithful's Baseball Blog- Discovered on Avkash's blog the other day, a very good Reds blog. One question, if you do read this... Do you think Chris Rieitsma should be in the rotation and do you think he got a raw deal by not being in it? (I've always wondered this since I did a post on him in July.)

Jay Jaffe's DIPS 2003- As much as I disagree with the concept (and agree with Tom Tippett), its still very interesting.

Larry Mahnken chimes in with a post on Aaron Boone properly titled Well, that was worth Brandon Claussen. It also provides a great quote from sjohnny...

Jeter won't move to third for anyone short of a resurrected Jesus Christ.

Larry is my favorite Yankee blogger to go to for fan reaction. He does a great job putting down how he feels about every move.

Seth Stohs covers the NL East hitters in his fantasy perspective posts. They are all good, but I figure this one has the most meaning to most of the readers here.

And finally, what list of articles from around the blogosphere would be complete without an article from Aaron Gleeman. Today, he puts up, Is John Smoltz "The Next" Dennis Eckersley?.

All are good reads and if that doesn't satisfy your need for baseball writing, just click the links on the right. See y'all tomorrow, when I might get more into Shane Spencer, have my AtR splits thing done, have another piece of Mets news, or just ramble about how exciting it is to be stuck inside with 8 inches of snow around you on your birthday (but I guess its better than school).

Tuesday, January 27, 2004
 
I can't get this move out of my head. It's not so much Cerda anymore, but just the little things the Mets do. Give contracts to McEwing (Anyone can play seven positions if you stick them out there) and Timo (waste of roster space). Offer contracts to Zeile (who might be close to chalking up 10,000 reasons why he was a bad move). Let Watson, Scutaro, and Cerda go. Its not the big moves that make a front office management good. Most of the time guys can get those right (except for Steve Phillips). But its building a bench, keeping a good minor league system, not letting go guys with potential, building a cheap young effective bullpen instead of an old expensive and probably injured bullpen... these are the things the Mets are failing at and it separates a good team from a mediocre team.

Look at the Yankees. They are taking steps back because of what they've done to their minor league system, their overpaying for mediocre relievers, and their building of their bench. Look what happened after Aaron Boone got injured? Enrique Wilson? Miguel Cairo? Their bench is filled with old guys who they give loyalty to instead of guys who can actually do something (Like get on base or play defense).

Counter example is Boston. Don't ask me about Tony Womack, but other then that, they are great at building their bench. Gabe Kapler to smash lefties because Ortiz/Nixon can't. Reese/Bellhorn... one can get on base, the other plays great defense. These are smart moves. Picking up Almonte and Dinardo. Granted, they haven't started the minor league system up yet and they have traded guys, but I believe Theo will build a good one without killing it with trades. They have a fairly inexpensive bullpen and they are not wildly overpaying guys to come pitch in it.

The Mets aren't doing these things and that is what is bothering me I think. That I don't think they can be anything better than a .500 team if they run their team like this. Old bullpen... why sign Franco again, when Cerda could do his job better and is still young to develop? Why not dump Stanton and eat the money... he's useless. Why sign Zeile? He has no use other than that Mikey and Al like him.

And really, doesn't it sicken you when I will clearly state right now, that Allan Baird in Kansas City is running his team much better than Duke and the Mets, especially considering what money Baird has to work with.

Can Duke learn what he's doing wrong? Probably, but first he has to get Mikey and Al out of decisions and he has to pay more attention to smaller details, instead of just the big splashes...

 
Right in Avkash's wheelhouse Duke, right in his wheelhouse. He hasn't made his post yet, but my feeling is that it will put Gleeman-length to shame (I call it Avkashian... any time Avkash makes a massive rant on how much Mets management sucks). He does repost an article from October 11th, one that I would post here even if he didn't. You can find that here.

My feelings are that we traded Cerda for Zeile, which, well makes me sick. I don't want to say much becuase Avkash will say it better and well, I'm frustrated with the move. Not so much that they traded Cerda (who I happen to be very high on, but that's another story), but that they traded away a promising young lefty to clear a roster spot for an old man who can no longer hit while they still have a bunch of old farts in the pen. That, and the fact they didn't get much back.

The guy from KC (too lazy/frustrated to find name) didn't have bad stats up to the middle of 2002. He got called up, started some games for KC where he was successful early... then he fell off the table. And ever since then he's struggled (in the minors last year). Maybe Peterson has seen him pitch and thinks there's a problem with his mechanics? Maybe Peterson, by looking at the stats, thinks he can fix something? I really don't think so, but why not at least try to give a tiny bit of an optimistic spin on things.

This isn't so much about the actual players involved as the type of players they are and the move that was made by management. So, while I wait for Avkash's tirade, I'll be thinking about how Cerda will be the bullpen ace of the KC Royals next year and help lead them to the playoffs. At least then he'll be doing well (and hey, now I have a rooting interest in two teams... The A's (Scutaro) and KC (Cerda) because they took players from the Mets I am really high on. But I rooted for both those teams before anyway).

Oh yeah, Yankee fans, two words... Bradon Cluassen.

Monday, January 26, 2004
 
Last night I spent my time looking around at guys with extreme splits (all kicked off by Ty Wigginton) and started looking at a few different stats ending with Avkash's AtR (Can you please do your archives soon Avkash? Not that finding this was that hard... I love google for that, but I also spent some time reading some of your older stuff plus just reading other baseball articles. By the time I found this, it had been about 30 minutes. Not that I don't like reading your old stuff (I obviously do), but I got a little sidetracked... like I am getting right now). I won't be posting it today because I want to look at a few more guys for a bigger sample size and I just don't have a lot of time today, plus I might send the stuff over to Avkash, depending on how good I think it is (Let's just say it will be something similar to what I did with Paul Konerko's stats, but I'll be expanding on the idea I got from it a little). I'm sure Avkash is hard at work finding some great meaning for AtR, but I was fooling around with numbers and what I think I might have found might be interesting.

The only other Mets story comes from Mo Vaughn, who finally says he's done. I'm not going to make fun of Mo. He has taken a lot of abuse from me and the rest of the Mets blogosphere over his time here. For all that he didn't do (hit well and field), he was a stand-up guy (I know, it doesn't show up in the statistics, but considering the clubhouses he was in, thank god someone was), he wanted to play well and he cared about playing well (You know, unlike Robbie Alomar) and he was a guy involved in a lot of charities. I wish him well and despite the fact that he was a failure on the field, I'll never hate him (You know, like I hate Robbie Alomar).

Hmm, one day I need to do a Robbie Alomar tangent so I can out all of my anger towards him...

Sunday, January 25, 2004
 
Check out Avkash's look at the prospects using RC/27, which was inspired by the work of JD Arney at Redsfaithful's Baseball Blog and our friend Brad Dowdy's look at the Braves minor league system over at No Pepper. Good work done by all and another post that makes me miss Marco Scutaro.

Rich, who writes at Dick Allen's Baseball Blog, takes a look at my "Cedeno Angst". He also confirms that unfortunately, I am not a beat reporter (Flip down to post entitled "Wheeeee!" and read the comments and you'll get it).

I don't have much else today, but do take a look at this article on Petco Park. My favorite player Brian Giles is gonna have some fun with that.

Also, I was over at the MLB Center forums and came across a thread on bold predictions. Here are the ones I put down...

Bold Predictions:
-The A's will win the World Series
-The Padres will win the NL West
-Brian Giles will hit 40 HR's with a .450 OBP
-Jeff Weaver will have a better ERA than Kevin Brown
-Kevin Brown still wins more games than Jeff Weaver
-Lyle Overbay has a better OBP than Richie Sexson
-Hee Shop Choi makes the All-Star game (and deserves it)
-Kansas City win the AL Central
-The Mariners finish under .500

And I guess I need a few about my own team, the Mets
-Over/Under on amount of times Tom Glavine complains about Ques-Tech: 50
-Jae Seo has a 3.25 ERA or better
-If the Mets sign Rick Reed, his arm falls off in the 3rd inning of his second start
-Ty Wigginton actually has a .700 OPS against righties
-And finally, the Mets finish 80-82


Some of them are a little out there and maybe I took bold a little too far. But who else has bold predictions out there? 9 on the majors and 5 on the Mets (or you're favorite team). We can make a contest out of it. What do you win? I don't know. Maybe pride and bragging rights? We could probably think of something better though.

That's all for now. Just leave the predictions in the comments.


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