Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, September 04, 2004
Matt, my Phillies correspondent, always told me they should bring up Gavin Floyd...

The big story out of last night's game is Art Howe's outburst on Cliff Floyd. Let's see... we have a mild mannered manager worried about his job and Public Enemy #1 to the Wilpon's because of his public statement. That's alywas a great combo for a shouting match.

Heath Bell gave up two solo shots, making that 3 HR allowed in 8 innings, something that was not a problem in his minor league stats. He still has a great K:BB though... 12:0.

Mike Stanton had a 1-2-3 5 pitch inning. Miracles do happen... especially when you are losing 8-1.

That's all for now. I'll have some Carlos Delgado thoughts very soon though.

Friday, September 03, 2004
This is what happens when school gets in the way...

Avkash has the John Sickels Petit report covered
. Interestingly enough, it was from a reader named Sam. The tone (smart with a little bit of bitterness) made me think of our friend Sam M., until I realized it said from New York. Alas.

Of course, Petit also pitched last night...

5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 6 K, 5 BB

Yes, 5 walks. Before you get too excited, do read the reader comment Avkash has from a reader who was at the game last night. Personally, as the reader was too, I was very impressed with Royce Ring's line...

2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB

Those crazy minor leaguers!

If you are looking for a reason to watch tonight's game, Gavin Floyd is making him big league debut... for the Phillies.

Thursday, September 02, 2004
The Mets lost again today, but David Wright is my hero. .299/.329/.552. Even that is untradeable by Mets management. I think.

Avkash has an interesting answer from a Nate Silver Q&A that basically says part of the problem is the clamoring of NY to want a winner. I have never bought that Met fans weren't on board with rebuilding/retooling (or whatever you like to call "The Plan") and I certainly saw that after Black Friday, though maybe I'm talking to the wrong people.

There is a little part of the question about Heilman in the 2006 rotation, in which Avkash says...
What Pseudo don't know, however, is that Heilman in the rotation in 2006 is not necessarily a good idea. It could still happen -- Heilman a good idea -- but not until he gets mashed in the majors for some time, something the Mets will not allow (you know, since they're always so busy "competing").
Fair enough. But, considering next year's rotation looks set...

How about making Aaron Heilman next year's long man? I'm not sure if he is out of options now after his start in August, but either way, I think bringing him up to pitch in a Dan Wheeler role wouldn't be a bad idea. He'll make the team out of ST (confidence boost) and might be able to get some hitters out which would be an even bigger confidence boost. Of course, the Mets have to move out a lot of the crap in the bullpen to have room for him, but I think its more than possible.

So, Aaron Heilman... next year's long again or tooling around in AAA again?

Wednesday, September 01, 2004
It is September callup time, something we have all been waiting for, to see some young guys patrol the field... we'll, let's see who we get...
With rosters expanding today, the Mets will start by recalling RHP Matt Ginter (Friday's likely starter in lieu of Kris Benson), RHP Tyler Yates and 1B Craig Brazell.
Two failed starters and a guy who swings at everything. Goody. Then again, with guys like D. Garcia and Keppinger up, was there really much room to bring people up? Especially since it should be guys on he 40 man roster... Oh wait, where is Vic Diaz...
OF Victor Diaz, hitting .290 with 24 homers at Norfolk, is unlikely to be recalled as the Mets have no room in the outfield.
No room in the OF. Well, the Mets have the three starters (who are banged up), plus ICE Williams, Valent and McEwing could play some OF too (except for the fact that he's on the DL for the season. I guess Garcia could play some CF, but McEwing on the DL makes this even more absurd than it already is). Except that one of the reasons Diaz isn't getting a chance to show what he's got at the major league level is Gerald Williams. Before we get to Vic Diaz's case, let's take a look at Gerald Williams.

Gerald Williams
is hitting .284/.351/.507 in 67 ABs. That's not helpful in our case to get rid of him. And we are not even going to discuss the "young guys/old guys" rebuilding thing. We all know that story... so, let's dig deeper into ICE's numbers...

Home/Road Splits
Home: 40 AB, .225/.279/.325
Road: 27 AB, .370/.452/.778

Hmm... he's terrible at Shea and insane on the road. Even if you adjust for Shea stadium, those home numbers still stink and are more in-line with Williams' career.

So, how do we get the road numbers. Let's take a look at his series (we are ignoring walks at this point... anyone who walks Gerald Williams is beyond dumb)...

@MIN: 1-3, HR
@KC: 4-9, 2 2B
@ATL: 0-1
@MIL: 1-3, 2B
@STL: 0-2
@COL: 3-4, 3B
@SF: 1-5, HR

Anyone shocked he's done great in KC and COL? I know, the small sample size police should shoot me for this one, but, here's my contending point. He has hit in hitter's parks. If you take out KC and COL, he's hitting .214 with a .714 SLG (once again, if you walk Gerald Williams, you are dumb).

Well, when he hits it, he hits it far. Unfortunately, he's not hitting it. Small sample size be damned, he isn't a good hitter and has no spot on this roster if he is going to be an all of nothing player outside of good hitter's parks (and a terrible one when he steps in a pitcher's park like Shea).

But the part that annoys me more is that the Mets have had better options. Before this, Prentice Redman. Prentice ain't much of a hitter outside of Binghamton, but I'm pretty positive he's better defensively and is much younger. And Gerald ain't much of a hitter either.

But if the Mets didn't want to take the shot on Redman, fine. He wasn't/won't amount to much. But Vic Diaz... let's take a month by month progression through his season (thanks to Tony J's amazing site for the info)...

April- 82 AB, .268/.286/.427
May- 112 AB, .295/.314/.429
June- 111 AB, .306/.355/.559
July- 95 AB, .284/.327/.495
August- 16 AB, .375/.450/.813

For the season, he's hitting .292/.330/.501, but is looks even better when you see the progression throughout the season. And remember, he is only in his age 22 season. Look at the progressions in IsoP and IsoD...

April- .018/.159
May- .019/.134
June- .049/.253
July- .043/.211
August- .075/.438

June was his high month, with July being a little lower, but still good. IF he could progress into the .050 IsoD range in the majors with a .200+ IsoP, he could be a very good player. If he can keep his average up. The K numbers do scare me, though I feel more confidence with Diaz's chances than Brazell's because of the age difference and Diaz's improving walk rate.

Which may be why I was hoping to see him. Is he Alfonso Soriano/Vlad Guerrero freaky that he is a hit machine, even if he will strike out quite a bit because he swings at bad pitches. Or is he Craig Brazell who will whiff at every decent breaking ball he sees.

But, alas, Met management will deny me that chance. And all for Gerald Williams.

As a PSA, school starts for me tomorrow, so posting will be a bit rough and later than it has been during the week. The weekends, for the most part, should still be normal.

Not much today, but Baseball Crank has a nice Win-Now watch on the Mets to look at.

Also, our buddy Damien has a good post about Howe over at Jedikaos.

Finally, if you are looking for some happiness today, this might do the trick.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Avkash on Lastings Milledge.

Matt on Larry Jones' audacity.

It is the NY Post and all, but still...
Despite the potential PR storm, though, there is no ownership mandate to re-sign Benson in order to validate the trade. And the Mets could view not signing him as a chance to pursue a more premier pitcher. Indeed, although signing Benson (10-11 overall, 4.68 ERA) would essentially lock up the Mets' 2005 rotation, they would also be taking themselves out of the mix for the talented crop of front-end starters who will be available this offseason.

The list of acclaimed free-agent pitchers includes Carl Pavano, Russ Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Matt Clement, Matt Morris, Odalis Perez, Derek Lowe, Chris Carpenter, Kevin Millwood, Eric Milton and Brad Radke. Several of them — particularly Pavano, Ortiz, Martinez and Perez — are more proven and established than Benson.
Weren't these moves for now, but more importantly, for the future? I don't particulary like Benson. I think he can be an OK pitcher here, Trax style. I'd like one of the frontline starters out there (stop it with Pedro. I love the guy, but he is gonna be very Al Leiterish, in terms of innings pitched and nagging injuries), but the Mets made there commitment to Benson with the trade. And if they are backing off after a month, what does that say about the confidence they have in themselves to make correct moves...

Finally, Mike Piazza has it right...
"I'm just trying to find what my role will be. I just want to be the best whatever, whatever that is," Piazza said before the game. "It's up to them. It's important for them as an organization to get in the boardroom and figure it out and just communicate with me."
He is right. By the beginning of the offseason, the Mets must go to him and say... "This is where you are playing." And even if they don't get their first choice, let's, to keep things easy and make OFF happy, say Carlos Delgado, they can't come to Mike in the middle of February and change their minds and, in this scenario, move him back to first. Here's Duke's comment...
Duquette said Piazza's position next year "is still to be determined. Obviously, we want to get his input before we make a final determination." The GM said a resolution would come in the offseason.
By the feeling I get from this quote, its not where they want Piazza to play, but which hole they can fill. Which I think is a mistake... make a decision on him and work accordingly, not the opposite way.

Monday, August 30, 2004
Avkash has a nice post on the absurdity of yesterday's game. I thought, after the trades, I would find joy in seeing this, but I don't. I can say all I want, "I hope they lose.", but I really don't. I still root for them, no matter what. God, I hate myself.

Avkash also has a nice post on Mike Piazza and his return tonight. It has amazed me how much I really missed seeing him in the lineup everyday. I assume Brazell is going down (EDIT: Brazell has obviously already been sent down. That's what happens when I'm tired and haven't had that much time to pay attention the last week or so).

You know, to continue with the Avkash love fest here today, go read his midday bullets that wrap up some things going on with the Mets.

Finally, accountability is an issue with the Mets...
Last Tuesday, Met pitching coach Rick Peterson repeatedly stressed the glowing reports of scouts Al Goldis and Bill Livesey were a critical element behind the controversial Victor Zambrano/Scott Kazmir deal.

Yesterday, Goldis told The Post that Peterson — who downplayed his own input — was one of 10-to-12 people heavily consulted before the trigger was pulled.

"Rick Peterson was very involved initially," Goldis said, adding later, "Rick definitely said he could help [Zambrano], help his delivery . . . Everybody bought into it. It was a total team decision. It wasn't two people."

A friend of Goldis said the veteran scout was embarrassed at how he was depicted by Peterson, and yesterday Goldis set the record straight.

Goldis, one of the team's three special assistants to the GM, also pointed out he hadn't scouted Zambrano since last September. While Livesey scouts American League teams for the Mets, Goldis scouts National League clubs.

Although the deal looks shaky now, Goldis stuck to his opinion. He proudly admitted, "I was ecstatic when we got the guy" and said his scouting reports from 2003 were very positive. He doesn't think Zambrano's right elbow inflammation, which currently has the pitcher on the DL, will linger.
This is getting really funny. But read that last line again...
He doesn't think Zambrano's right elbow inflammation, which currently has the pitcher on the DL, will linger.
He's not only a SUPERSCOUT... he's a doctor!

And to add to the fun, read the bottom thing on Mike Stanton...
Fox analyst Tim McCarver opined on Saturday that a contending team might try to acquire Mike Stanton before the Aug. 31 deadline.

Stanton, who has a no-trade clause, is signed through 2005 and will make $4 million next season, says he would "probably not be open" to a trade.

"That would be one of the positives: to get back to the playoffs," Stanton said. "But this is a team that stepped up and showed interest and proved to me they wanted me. I'm grateful for that. I'm a Met. That's it."
First, McCarver is a funny guy.

Second, I hate you Mike. With a passion. You are not a Met. No one likes you. Actually, you know, you are a Brave! And a Yankee! A stinkin' Brave and Yankee!

I'll stop before I get too riled up. Enjoy Leiter vs. Willis tonight.

Sunday, August 29, 2004
I know, its unusual for me to split posts, but I've decided to do it today. Some stuff on Mike Stanton and my new found worship of him can be found below.

News and Notes

Petit left everyone who watched "Wowed" yesterday after his nasty performance in his first start at Binghamton. And I'm mean that quite literally. I received this IM at some god awful early hour in the morning from Matt...
He was impressed. How impressed? He has a rundown of the game, inning by inning.

Speaking of the farm system, Kaley has some thoughts on whether or not the farm system is as depleted in starting pitching now as some make it out to be.

Finally, in the right move, it looks like Victor Zambrano will not come back and pitch this year...
Any hope the Mets had of seeing Victor Zambrano pitch again this season seems to be evaporating. With the club merely playing out the string at this point, and auditioning players for next year, the Mets have little reason to push for Zambrano's return.

"I'd say it's iffy," manager Art Howe said.
That Art Howe always has a strong opinion.

Of course, this never bodes well...
Complicating the problem is that Zambrano was bothered by the same problem in the weeks leading up to his July 30 trade from the Devil Rays, suggesting that he could need more time to recover. Zambrano might seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, the renowned orthopedist based in Birmingham, Ala.
Emphasis clearly mine. Renowed orthopedist? How about renowed Tommy John Surgery Dude?

Ishii vs. Benson at 1 PM EST as the Mets try to take the series today. Let's Go Wright!

"Mike Stanton is my hero."

I said it in the game chatter yesterday after Stanton surrendered two runs (one inherited) in yesterday's 4-2 loss and still believe it today. Well, sort of.

Hero isn't the right word. Hero, in this sense, would be someone I would really want to be. Someone special. David Wright for example. So here is the true terminology...

Mike Stanton is my idol.

This guy has the greatest life. He is paid 4 million dollars this year to suck. To suck a lot actually. And he's 37 and still making that type of money. All because he's a proven veteran and because he's left handed.

Even better, he has an ERA of 3.58, which doesn't look that bad to the casual observer. He hides his complete suckiness in giving up inherited runners. Screwing the other pitchers on the staff. Jae Seo was in line for a win yesterday, one that would have helped a lot, on top of his great pitching performance. And what does he do. He blows the game.

And who did he take over for? Ricky Bottalico. That's funny, because Ricky Bottalico is the 6th least bailed out reliever in the league. I wonder why that's occurred.

Which is really weird, because Bottalico is a former proven closer and turned 35 a few days ago. I don't understand why Franco and Stanton feel the need to screw him. Maybe he stepped on one of Franco's tomatoes or something.

But back to my man Stanton. He stinks, is able to hide that stinkiness in inherited runners given up, is 37 and is still making 4 million dollars this year because he's left handed and used to be good.

And what's more? He gets the same money next year to be a year older and stink more! And if the Mets actually decide to release him? He can get the money for sitting around and doing nothing, though I doubt some team won't pick him up.

Sure, a whole community of fans hate him, he gets booed everywhere he goes and he might have a few death threats on him, but it ain't that bad. The other side of NY loves him, always remembering him as a good left handed relief ace. And making 4 million dollars a year, I could stand to get booed a little, as long as I'm on top of the league in appearances.

All of this thought inspired this conversation with my mom yesterday...
Mom: Did the Mets win the game?

Me: No. Mike Stanton came in and blew it.

Mom: They were winning 2-1 though. Why does he keep coming in?

Me: Exactly. He is my idol though.

Mom: Why?

Me: Because he's rich only because he's left handed. You know what, when I grow up and if I have a boy or boys, and one of them turns out to be left handed, he's pitching. I won't force him, but if I can get him to play baseball, he's learning to throw it 85-88, with a decent change and breaking stuff. And I'll make sure he throws it over the plate. No walks, the occasional missed bat and eventually he'll get lucky to have a good defense that will make him look really awesome. He'll have a long career and make more than enough money to live on. And hey, if he can string together a few good years, he'll be filthy rich.

My mom just nods at me while I walk out of the room.
I'm serious. If you are left handed, be a pitcher. You can be filthy rich.

So, Mike Stanton, you are my idol. But, management, can we please make him my idol with another team?

(Thanks to frequent commenter and Non-Blogging Member of the Mets Blogosphere Sam M. for the few post discussion in yesterday's chatter that inspired this.)

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