Jeremy Heit's Blog
Saturday, October 30, 2004
In Right Field, for your 2005 Mets... Sammy Sosa?

John Heyman (and David Lennon) from Newsday provide the fun and Met fans provide the wincing. Let's start at the beginning, with Manny Ramirez, because this will be the fastest.
Ramirez tops the Mets' list of outfield options. But unlike last winter, when the Red Sox placed Ramirez on irrevocable waivers, his stock is soaring now and his $20-million salary probably isn't reason enough for Boston to move him. One Red Sox executive called it "pretty unlikely" that they'd trade Ramirez; another termed it "a long shot."
I tend to agree with the sentiment above. Manny just won the WS MVP and while Boston often doesn't attach itself personally to the players, I just don't think they can dump Manny at this point.

There is this fun tidbit on Manny too...
But Mets people say Minaya has long been an admirer of Ramirez, too. He pushed the Mets to try to acquire Ramirez years ago.
Hmmm... whatever, though Minaya seems to want guys he's been obsessed with. We'll see.

Before we get to the big name in this story (and I'm sure you know who that is already), let's just tackle some of the other rumored OF in the story.

First up, Maggilo...
They remain interested in OrdoƱez but are concerned about two knee surgeries and his bone marrow edema condition.
This year's injured guy. Because we know how that went last year...

But, I'm a little more concerned. Remember, Vlad was 27 and let's be honest... he's super special. Maggilo is 30 and a fine hitter, but he isn't a superstar. They are probably both about average on defense, but Vlad has better physical tools, including the arm and could swipe some bases.

Maggilo has hit the decline the last three years, most of it coming in a nice isolated power drop (though part of this year is from the injury). Comiskey has definitely helped his hitting, if you look at the home/road split (2002-2004, and each individual year).

He is a solid .300 hitter with a nice walk rate and some power. How much? Maybe enough for a .900 OPS... who knows at this point and with no added defensive value, questionable knees, and no DH spot if his knees give out, I'm leery of giving Maggilo as much money as he'll get.

Next up is Jermaine Dye...
Other free-agent corner outfielders include Jermaine Dye...
Great quote, right?

Dye is 30. He's probably a little better than average on defense. But hitting? .800 OPS if your lucky? Dye depends a lot on what you have to pay him, but he's really, if at the same price, not much of a better option than Richie Hidalgo.

Next up is Moises Alou...
Yet another option could be Moises Alou, another player Minaya likes.
A player he likes... whee.

Alou is 38. There is the case. That's it. He's a good hitter, though he had a bounceback year this year after two down years, an interesting defensive player (interesting in the Manny kind of way) and in general a guy I have never cared for, but that doesn't matter in this discussion.

He is 38. That's all that matters. Plain and simple: No.

Finally, before we get to the big name, this note...
In yet another example of outside-the-box thinking, the Mets are for the first time willing to entertain offers for prized young shortstop Jose Reyes.
But I thought Minaya scouted Reyes? Doesn't he like him?

This would be heartbreaking. You don't need numbers for this one, you don't need anything... simply, this can't happen. It just can't.

But above all, one name from this article is making the headlines... Sammy Sosa...
Sosa is another story entirely, one the Mets will investigate. After several storybook years, Sosa, who has 574 career homers, appears headed for a bitter breakup with the Cubs, who are motivated to move him and might even initiate talks. The Mets have discussed suggesting Cliff Floyd, a Chicago native, for Sosa.

...But Mets people tout new general manager Omar Minaya's "outside-the- box" thinking, and a potential blockbuster involving either Ramirez, from Washington Heights, or Sosa could be the first prime example.
Outside-the-box... how about outside the brain?

Sosa is in a decline. Everyone knows it and the Cubs are trying to sell an expensive contract off so they are not stuck with it. And the Mets should not be suckered. There is no way this deal should be done unless the Mets get back Mark Prior. Or maybe Wood and Zambrano.

This has less to do with Sosa's actual numbers. If you told me I could take Cliff Floyd or Sammy Sosa (going with that one rumor) in my OF the next two years, I'll take Sammy. But the problem lies in the contract and more importantly, what occuries if Sammy gets traded...
But if he's traded, the $18-million option vests, and the acquiring team would have the right to exercise an option for $19 million in '07 or buy him out for $4.5 million.
That's a bad contract for a declining power OF who has never walked and really isn't that great on defense. Really bad. I'd rather have Cliffy and his declining power at 6 million than Sammy at 18-19 million.

So, yes, I've essentially said no to everyone in the above article (except maybe Richie or Dye... depends on money and what the Mets do at the other open positions). So, then who?

Carlos Beltran.

If not... J.D. Drew, though he's a long second from Carlos. After that, look for a big time 1B and sign Richie Hidalgo or someone like Richie back up.

Oh yeah... LF... no matter what, Vic Diaz, with some ABs for Eric Valent vs. the righties.

Cameron/Beltran/Diaz. What an OF.

Also, apparently, its a pipe dream.

Thursday, October 28, 2004
Way to crush Matt's dreams boys.

I also second Matt's post about this season and how its been the most fun one I've ever had, even with that fateful day and the other things that surrounded the general discourse of this season. So, thanks to the readers and the lovable boys (who are also readers) over at BTF... I probably wouldn't have made it to the offseason without ya.

And, now, with the offseason here, its time to look ahead...

But, before we do that, I've had an idea brewing around for awhile and I want to launch it today. I want a set of nicknames, ones used here, in the blogosphere, at BTF Game Chatters... all over... one set that we know and love. So, let's start with players that "should" be back and we will eventually get to others when they sign... And the first player is...


"Ambassador" is the standing nickname I use, though I don't know what exactly there is out there for him. Be creative, but try to keep it PG, though if you MUST use language, please censor it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Well, my worst fear isn't happening.

More manager fun for the Mets

And just think, if the once seemingly impossible occurs tonight and the world doesn't spontaneously combust, its offseason time! Can't you feel the excitement?

Derek Lowe (yes, Lowe), Javy Vazquez absurdity and Cliff Floyd should be topics here soon. I hope.

Monday, October 25, 2004
Matt passes along some good news...
In roster news, Vic Darensbourg, Gerald Williams and Wilson Delgado were all taken off the 40-man roster and are now minor league free agents. Victor Zambrano and Mike DeJean were taken off the disabled list and put on the active roster.
No ICE! I swore he would be back, but I am so glad to be wrong. On the other hand, Mike DeJean? Ehh... you could do worse I guess.

Of course, Matt is also unhappy with this.

Matt is convinced Willie has clinched the job and I agree with him that out of all the possible candidates that SHOULD have bene interviewed, he isn't the right choice. But of the ones they did interview, he is the right one and in my opinion, I don't think he will be determential for this team.

If he is hired, then it will be on to even more important matters, like, you know, player personnel and finding a big bat (read: Beltran).

In the wake of a discussion during Game 2, Brian Gunn wonders about something that I've always thought about myself...
So what of La Russa's decision to start Matt Morris? It was certainly an eccentric choice -- Mo Mo had never started on three days' rest, plus the damp weather couldn't have been good for his self-described "cranky" shoulder. Morris wasn't horrible last night, but he was still his usual frustrating self. In fact, the two innings that bit him (the first and the fourth) were microcosms for his entire season -- flashes of brilliance marred by pure slop.

Here's something I want to bring up in regard to Morris ... First of all, you all know that he's Jekyll-and-Hyde from game to game, and you probably also know that he's Jekyll-and-Hyde with runners on and without. The numbers are eloquent:

Morris with Bases Empty .245 .295 .373
Morris with Runners On .301 .342 .591

The reason for the split is fairly obvious -- Morris sucks from the stretch. When he's not operating off the full windup, he can't generate enough lower-body push to get any action on his curveball. So here's my question: shouldn't there be occasions when Morris simply pitches from the full windup even with runners on base? I'm not just talking about bases loaded/two outs. I'm talking about last night, with Manny on second and Ortiz on first.

Are they going to steal in that situation? No. Is there any huge risk by allowing them a big lead? No, not really. So why not just go to the full windup? Or what about in the 4th, with Millar on first and two outs? Millar stole only one base all year. He's not gonna go in that situation. And yet, pitching from the stretch, Morris gave up back-to-back doubles to give the Sox a 4-1 lead. I say if the guy's that bad with runners on, just let him pitch to his strengths and suffer the side effects.
If pitchers truly lose velocity or their ability to throw the breaking ball from the stretch, then why do they always use it, even if the runners on base are slow or in situations where they are not likely to run?

David Pinto has a few thoughts too.

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