Archive for the ‘New York Mets’ category

The All-Realistic NL Team of 2008

July 15, 2008

So we decided to make the best starters, and put the best backup players behind them. So basically, the best realistic team of 2008. For the backup and utility players, they have to be actual backups or platooners, like Augie Ojeda, or Ruben Gotay for example. No video game rosters here.

My lineup will consist of:

2 Catchers
1 First Baseman
1 First Baseman/Third Baseman
1 Second Baseman
1 Second Baseman/Shortstop
1 Third Baseman
1 Shortstops
4 Outfielders
1 Utility Player
12 pitchers, 7 RP, 5 SP

Catcher: Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves

I made a mistake when I chose Russell Martin based on him dating Alyssa Milano on one of my older articles. Brian McCann is having the better season indeed.

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2008 NL All-Star Snubs

July 6, 2008

Of course, even with the All-Star rosters being expanded even more in 2008, there were quite a few players snubbed from the competition this year. Here is who I think should have made the team.

Ken Griffey Jr.

I know, he’s not been great this year, hitting only .242/.350/.406 but what happened? I think he should have been a pick out of respect for all of baseball, especially with him being “clean” (although we do not know for sure) and joining the 600 home run club. Cal Ripken was pretty bad in his last few seasons, and there is also the case of Barry Larkin in 2004, so why not put Griffey in there? Is this a making of Bud Selig and his minions helping the NL team, and his very good friends, the Milwaukee Brewers, as Griffey was leading by 200,000 votes over Ryan Braun last night? How would Braun get 200,000 votes in 24 hours? I know, Braun is having a great season, and he’s an exciting player to watch, but what the hell Selig? And also, Jason Varitek is on the AL team, and he’s hitting .219/.301/.360, and he was voted by the players. Yeah, starting and being on the bench are two different things, but putting Griffey in, or even in the bench would not be half retarded. UUIB demands an explanation, and Rory Fitzpatrick says hi.

Johan Santana

He’s had a good season, 2.96 ERA and a 7-7 record with the inconsistent Mets, but I still think he should have made it, rather than Brian Wilson, who leads the league in saves, but has not really been good, and the Giants already having a representitive in Lincecum. Cole Hamels would also be someone I would rather have, or Kyle freaking Lohse. Or Chad Billingsley. Or Adam Wainwright.

Pat Burrell

He gets all the opportunities in the world by batting behing Utley, Howard, and Rollins (who should also be on the team) and he’s having a great year with an OPS+ of 155 which is 5th in the NL, 21 homers, 4th in the NL in OPS, 5th in OBP, etc etc. It’s probably because Nate McLouth is a Pirate, and Matt Holliday and Ryan Ludwick were also very deserving. But Burrell’s never been to an All-Star Game, and that’s just ridiculous, especially with someone like Miguel Tejada going in, who has an OPS+ of 99 this year. Ridiculous, stupid selection with Miguel Tejada. Burrell would be the next guy I put in if one of the pitchers, or one of the other players gets injured. He also deserves to be voted last player in, since David Wright might get in anyways, because there is the possibility that Jones could opt out of the game due to injury, having been sidelined the past few days. I don’t think it’s Burrell’s fault (or for that matter Jason Bay’s fault, as he also got snubbed), that the “fad” Cubs fans voted in a weak player like Alfonso Soriano, who is having a good but not spectacular season. Vote Pat Burrell in, that’s a sack of crap that he isn’t in.

Those are my choices for All-Star snubs.

Oh, I forgot Xavier Nady. I rag on the guy a lot, especially when he kills the Reds, but he is deserving of a spot this year.

Inge-ured, ump suspended, and Chacon blows up

June 26, 2008

Detroit Tigers utility man Brandon Inge has been placed on the 15-day DL after straining his oblique adjusting his pillow. Not as bad as Joel Zumaya jamming on Guitar Hero, but pretty close.  Here’s a few other dumb sports injuries for you.

  • Tony Allen of the Boston Celtics proving he can dunk after the whistle and trashes his knee.
  • Rockies IF Clint Barmes broke his collarbone lugging meat up the stairs. Todd Helton’s fault since it was a gift from him.
  • Arena Football League’s Elton Patterson tears his quadriceps jumping up and down in celebration.

In more baseball news, umpire Brian Runge got a one-game suspension for being an asshole the other night. Runge went out of his way to egg Mets Carlos Beltran on after a disputed strike call and ejected him. Manager Jerry Manuel then came out to defend his player and was chest bumped by Runge and then ejected. This was some of the most overzealous umpiring I have ever seen. Another case of an ump thinking people paid to see him in action. A longer suspension would serve Runge right and he should pay Beltran and Manuel’s fines of $400 and $500, respectively. Well, maybe just Manuel’s. Beltran will make $18 million this season.

Pitcher Shawn Chacon probably ended his major league career when he threw Astros GM Ed Wade to the ground by his neck. The Astros cut him today after suspending him indefinitely. There are two sides to every story and Wade may have been at fault too, but you’re an adult and a major leaguer; handle things differently. Chacon should have done this in 2005 when he had a 3.44 ERA over 151.2 IP with the Rockies and Yankees. His 2008 ERA of 5.04 and his violent tendencies however, should earn him a spot on every teams’ blacklist. I wouldn’t recommend showng your boss your best Latrell Sprewell impression under any circumstances.

Mets try to secretly fire manager

June 17, 2008

Willie Randolph’s run in New York as the Mets manager is over after a 3:14 AM dismissal. That’s right, 3:14 AM on the road after a West Coast victory. GM Omar Minaya obviously didn’t want anyone to hear about this, so he did it when everyone was in bed or partying in honor of Robinson Cancel’s triumphant return to the bigs (first hit since 1999 was a game winner the other night). Minaya almost pulled a fast one, but the team’s press release regarding Randolph’s termination was leaked. It’s New York though so someone probably would have noticed a different guy running the club, who by the way is former AL Manager of the Year, Jerry Manuel.

This was pretty low of the Mets to do on a West Coast road trip when they could have ended things before Randolph flew out there and not wasted everyones’ time. All this time-zone changing is going to throw off his schedule. At least they waited until Father’s Day passed. Also, they could have gave him the Craig Jones treatment by saying they caught him stealing boxes on camera and fired him on his day off, which would have been Thursday.

In more positive news, my boy Marcus Thames’ last 7 hits have been home runs. Also, Orioles 2B Brian Roberts has brought his average up 23 points since June 1st up to .285.

Managerial hot seats

June 16, 2008

*UPDATE (6.17.08)* Willie Randolph was fired at 3:14 AM by a press release. Right after winning a game and being in bed. Bench coach Jerry Manuel is expected to take over.

New York Mets manager Willie Randolph is 33-35 this season and the aftertaste of their epic collapse is still triggering the gag reflex of many fans. But Sunday night, Randolph put his managerial future in the hands of a guy whose last hit came in 1999, Robinson Cancel. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning, Cancel pinch-hit for P Pedro Martinez and came up with a two-run single that gave the Mets the 4-2 lead and eventually, the victory. Now that’s having faith in your players. Trusting a guy who hasn’t gotten a hit in almost nine years when your professional career is on the line shows a good manager. He obviously knows Robinson Cancel a lot better than we do. A casual glance at Cancel’s stats would suggest he would be better suited in a men’s league softball game. Randolph seems to be ignoring the hoopla regarding his job security when he’s in the dugout and going with his instincts.

Randolph’s Mets have underachieved, but he did get them to the NLCS in 2006. With the second highest payroll however, they should not be below .500. RP Billy Wagner blowing three straight saves hasn’t helped much. The Mets would be over .500 if it weren’t for those outings. Also, OF Ryan Church is still out with concussion symptoms. Another problem for the Mets is Moises Alou going to the DL and their subsequent signing of Trot Nixon. That would qualify as a downgrade.

Speaking of high-cost, low-win teams, Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland’s seat on the bench may be cooling off following two straight series sweeps of the White Sox and Dodgers. Leyland has been tinkering with his roster configuration quite a bit these days and may have finally stumbled upon a good setting by alternating time behind the plate with a declining Ivan Rodriguez and Brandon Inge. On another note, OF Marcus Thames has 10 home runs in only 109 at bats this season. Thames has been getting more at bats these days and with his power, may be a decent bench outfielder on your fantasy team if you want supplemental homers (home run every 10.9 at bats).

On a non-baseball note, some guy named Rocco Mediate will be going up against Tiger Woods in a playoff to determine the U.S. Open. I don’t watch a lot of golf but the way Tiger rebounded the other day to stay in contention was quite memorable. It starts at 11:30 AM today.

Piazza retires, Houston (kind of) fixes their outfield, and a visit to Cincy

May 21, 2008

Mike Piazza has retired after 16 seasons in the majors. Piazza was an elite player for a majority of his career, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. A lock for the Hall of Fame (definitely first ballot), Piazza batted .308 with 427 home runs over his career. He is definitely the best player ever picked in the 62nd round of the draft.

The Houston Astros fixed their outfield home run lines that tricked their outfield into thinking the Cubs’ Geovany Soto hit it out. Soto ended up with an inside-the-park homer instead of a real one. While they’re at it, maybe they can flatten that hill in center that is bound to end a career sooner or later. Stadium quirks are only cool when they aren’t intentional. Houston, you’re trying too hard.

I was in Ohio last weekend to visit Dayton and catch a Reds game (Brandon Phillips 30/30 Bobblehead Day) with Phil and some friends. I like Great American Ball Park. It was a good place to watch a game because though we were in the 500s and our noses were bleeding profusely, we were behind home plate where you get a visually pleasing view of the Ohio River and Kentucky. Enough talk of aesthetics though. The Reds beat the Indians in interleague play with a walkoff homer by Adam Dunn that almost left the park. Dunn is still striking out a lot, but he is keeping those homers (11) and BB totals high. He is combating a weak .231 BA with a productive .373 OBP.

And on an irrelevant note, I ate Skyline and Sonic for the first time and it was delicious.

Astros change yellow line in outfield (Yahoo!)

Piazza retires from baseball (Yahoo!)

Rickroll Shea

April 4, 2008

So I got Rickroll’d today and I noticed someone posted a good (stupid) idea. I’m sure this is being done already and won’t work (UPDATE: It did work, winning with over six million votes. Good job to all who voted and spread the word.), but YouTube user ‘americangta’ suggested a write-in vote for the 8th Inning Sing-A-Long: Never Gonna Give You Up-Rick Astley. In case you didn’t notice, we enjoy internet cliches.

Here are the real song choices:

  • Brown Eyed Girl-Van Morrison
  • I’ll Be There for You-The Rembrandts (More easily recognized as the Friends theme: bad show, worse song)
  • Land of 1000 Dances-Wilson Pickett
  • Livin’ on a Prayer-Bon Jovi
  • Sweet Caroline-Neil Diamond (“Hey if we pose off Boston, maybe we’ll win a series” -whoever suggested this one)
  • Build Me Up Buttercup-The Foundations
  • I’m a Believer-The Monkees (They were a major influence on The Beatles)
  • I Love Rock N’ Roll-Joan Jett (NO)
  • Movin’ Out-Billy Joel
  • Waitin’ On a Sunny Day-Bruce Springsteen (Old Bruce>New Bruce, so no)

There’s a few good songs in here, but I think I would rather see Shea Stadium get Rickroll’d on a regular basis in what is the final season of play at the park. Get well soon, Pedro.

8th Inning Sing-A-Long Vote (MLB.com)