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Chuck 'n' Duck



"I'm a very optimistic person. When you're optimistic, the good opportunities, good fortune, good everything will come with it." - Jae Seo Chuck 'n' Duck: the New York Mets from an Eternal Optimist's P.O.V.



Updated: 2015-09-17T02:48:56.073-04:00

 



89 Comments

2006-06-01T18:08:19.020-04:00

Because I've gotten a few e-mails from people wondering where the blog has gone to -- rest assured, it's not gone.

But I have decided to put Chuck 'n' Duck on hiatus until that glorious time when pitchers and catchers report. Anything that's happened this offseason, or will happen, will be talked about on MetsGeek.com until then.

See you in a few months!



Doing Things the Brave Way

2005-11-24T03:18:32.620-04:00

Reading all the things written about Delgado today, here and elsewhere, as well as hearing the people on ESPN Radio — hey, it's the only New York station that streams over the internet — there are, as always in trades, two factions of people: those who dig it and those who don't.

Personally, I dig it. Granted Mike Jacobs had an impressive September, but so did Benny Agbayani, Shane Spencer and who can forget the playoff run magic that was Timo Perez? Truth is, Jacobs was a kid who wasn’t even penciled in as the everyday first basemen for next season, and more than likely only would have got the position and stayed there if he continued to hit over his head. Yusmeiro Petit was twenty-one years old with no spot in the rotation on the horizon — especially once power pitchers Philip Humber and Mike Pelfrey are (re)introduced into the system.

But really, the fact of the matter is this: Pedro Martinez isn’t getting any younger. And the Delgado trade can be summed up right there in that one sentence. The Mets did not spend fifty-two million dollars for four years so that Pedro Martinez could teach Yusmeiro Petit and Brian Bannister how to throw a changeup in Spring Training — they got him to deliver the Mets to the playoffs. And with Carlos Delgado at first the chances of that happening are a lot better than with Mike Jacobs there. That’s just a fact.

But here’s the biggest point from the Delgadno group: the ever-popular comparisons with our rivals, those Atlanta Braves. The point has been brought up all day that the Braves continually win because they know when to bring their minor leaguers up, and they don’t go off trading them for the first big name guy that hits the block. Understandably there are Mets fans that are upset with trading our top minor league talent to a division rival, all the while having to worry about the aforementioned Braves and their moves that seemingly never fail. But the thing of it is, what these fans are complaining about is also pretty much what they are asking for: this move is an Atlanta Braves move. The Mets are doing what the Braves would have done, or would have done if the Braves had the financial capabilities that Omar does.

What the Braves seem to do every year is split their minor league system into two groups: guys they’re willing to trade and guys they’re not. The Braves were never willing to deal guys like Jeff Francoeur, Ryan Langerhans and Brian McCann. But they were willing to trade Odalis Perez, Dan Meyer, Adam Wainwright and Tim Spooneybarger. All of these guys were considered top Atlanta Braves prospects at one point or another, but it was John Schuerholz who decided which guys he was willing to keep around, and which guys he wasn’t. That doesn’t mean he’s always correct, but he knows who he wants in his system and who he wants eventually donning a Braves uniform.

Yesterday, Omar appeared to have done the same thing. Jose Reyes and David Wright remain on the team. Victor Diaz, Aaron Heilman and Jae Seo as well. And Lastings Milledge gets to move over to a corner spot for the Binghamton Mets next season — a position change most fans never would have believed would happen in a Mets uniform.

The Mets have taken a page out of that highly-touted Braves playbook: trade a guy at the height of his popularity, someone who’s coming off a good year, and get a proven player in return: Gary Sheffield worked out for them. So did JD Drew. And let’s not forget Mike Hampton.

And you know what the common trend is with all those players?

Braves fans were calling for Schuerholz’s head after every one of them.




Kenji NOjima

2005-11-04T01:42:34.783-04:00

After reading Jon Heyman's recent article about Minaya's offseason plan, I immediately found something to write about.

Here's the deal: I get very excited about Japanese baseball players, and I really don't know why. The Mets have consistently brought over guys, trumpeting them as one of the best players in the Eastern hemisphere, and they've then gone about consistently burning the Mets. The list of players the Mets have brought over from Japan reads like this:

Timo Perez
Masato Yoshii
Tsuyoshi Shinjo
Kazuo Matsui
Takashi Kashiwada
Satoru Komiyama
Dae Sung Koo

So, in that group we've had a number five starter who didn't embarass himself, a fourth and a fifth outfielder, an expensive bust and three lousy relievers. Not exactly an awe-inspiring group of guys. And that's not even taking into consideration Kazuhisa Ishii.

And it's not like players that come from Japan can't play: Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui have an MVP, a Rookie of the Year, and seven All Star appearences between them. And Tadahito Iguchi came over this year just to prove that Kaz Matsui really was that bad.

But, still, the Mets consistently bring these guys over, and whether it be the Mets international scouting department, the pressure of New York' spotlight, or just a AAA level of talent, these guys don't perform up to expectations. And yet, everytime I hear there's a Japanese player the Mets are interested in, I get all excited, waiting for our Japanese player that's going to break the cycle and play great baseball. And, while I hold out hope for Daisuke Matsuzaka cracking the Mets rotation in 2007, I must declare this:

Kenji Jojima would be a huge, huge mistake.

Having been a pitcher the better part of my scholastic life, I know what it's like to have a relationship with a catcher -- and I can not possibly imagine how I would go about my daily routine with one if I was entirely unable to communicate with him. A lot of people think catcher is a guy who just sticks down one finger for a fastball or two for a curve, but that's just not the way it is. The catcher is essientailly the leader of the team. He's the guy who's calling your pitches, who's repositioning the infield, who's talking to the umpire about where his strikezone is, and is in charge of knowing about a hitter's strengths and weaknesses -- it's just not a position for somebody who speaks no English and has never played with any of the hitters in the division, the league, or in all of baseball.

Ask any casual baseball fan what the most important position is, and I guarantee you more often than not you'll get "Catcher" as your answer. So, the Mets are considering handing that over to Kenji Jojima -- a guy who's insisting on being a starting catcher or he's not signing? I don't think so.

Bengie Molina and Ramon Hernandez have flaws, absolutely. But they're both solid and respected catchers who -- most importantly -- speak English and can call a ball game. And they're also in a free agent market where two, maybe three teams, are looking for starting catchers. Immediately, these guys should have propelled to the top of the Offseason To-Do List.

This has nothing to do with Jojima's offense. Apparently, he's a .300/30/100 hitter in Japan as well as a nice defensive catcher. That's all well and good in Japan. But if he's refusing to accept a backup role -- which is what has been reported -- then the Mets need to let the dream die and wish him the best of luck.

But, in my mind, this has mistake written all over it.



Now THAT'S What I Call Football

2005-10-31T02:26:42.830-04:00

(image)

That about sums up my feelings, Mr. Strahan. Thank you.

With the death of Wellington Mara, there were either two ways this season was going to continue on: the Giants would harness these emotions, take the loss of a beloved owner and friend, and turn themselves into a dedicated football playing machine. Or, they'd completely fall apart.

Fearing the latter -- especially against the Washington Redskins, the hated team of my childhood -- I approached the game with a certain trepidation. It just seemed a little too Disney to have the Giants crush the Redskins at home, on Well Mora Memorial Day, in front of his entire family. It just wasn't that likely of a scenario. It was even less likely to have them do it by Running 'n' Defense: the two principles Mora founded many a Giant team on.

And yet, here I am, after a Redskins drubbing at the hands of the Giants to the tune of 36-0, about as Disney as you can get. And I have no desire to see it end. They can keep up this Run of Good Feelings all the way to the Super Bowl, for all I care. And, really, it's entirely possible: the next three games (@ SF, Minnesota, Philadelphia) are all looking pretty winnable in the here and now. The Giants could conceivably be 8-2 when they get to Seattle to face the Seahawks.

All I know is that I haven't felt this good about a Giants team since 2000 -- as those Mets/Giants coincidences continue -- and it's been a long time since I've seen guys like Tiki and Strahan feel this good, as well. I mean, Eli was extremely shaky today and the team still managed 36 points. Imagine what he'll do when he starts getting on his game on a consistent basis. Wow.

Look, obviously, things can still fall apart -- and, trust me, fall apart they have -- but right now, the Giants seem to be a team built to win. They've got just the right mix of everything with the exception of a secondary, though they did hold Santana Moss to four receptions for thirty plus yards yesterday. So, for right now, the Giants seem to be running on all cylinders.

All the way to Detroit?

Hey, it could happen.



The Stars of New York

2005-10-25T17:27:00.306-04:00

I really do have every intention to post on a more consistent basis, it's just that absolutely nothing is going on with the Mets -- unless you count Doug Mientkiewicz being grumpy as a something.When Mets news starts picking up, I'm sure I'll have something to say on it.Until then... how about that Eli Manning? I know that the sports papers are littered with praise for the guy, but as a Giants fan, I feel the need to just continue to heap it on.New York Giants football has a history of churning out star players: you can't go far into a conversation about the Big Blue teams of the past without hearing about Roosevelt Brown and Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and Lawrence Taylor. The problem with that is, it is history. Since LT, while there've been some great, good and solid players the Giants haven't developed any Hall of Fame talent (though Strahan does seem to be making a good case). Touting Roosevelt Brown or Sam Huff as reasons why the Giants are great is like when Yankees fans say they're the best because they won twenty-six championships -- sure, the team was good in the past, but it doesn't really have any impact on the here and now.Now, I'm twenty one. Which means I was born at just the right time to not remember anything about the Mets winning the World Series or the Giants winning the Super Bowl in 1986 (what a year that would've been), and barely recall anything about Super Bowl XXV. But what that also means is I wasn't around when Doc Gooden was Doc Gooden or when Lawrence Taylor was LT. Saddest thing of all, by the time I started following baseball, Darryl Strawberry was a Los Angeles Dodger. I didn't even know the guy was a Met until 1995. True story.My entire sports history has been cluttered with teams that develop solid players and big misses. I have never been a fan of a team that's developed a true superstar. I've been able to follow Mike Piazza for years, but he was never my own -- I always knew there was a person just like me in Los Angeles grinning because his team developed this guy, regardless of where he was putting up his numbers. Meanwhile the Mets were developing Paul Wilson and Bill Pulsipher, Jay Payton and Alex Escobar, and heaven forbid we forget about Geoff Goetz.The Giants had far more luck: the aforementioned Strahan, Tiki Barber, Amani Toomer, Jeremy Shockey, Luke Petitgout, Ron Day... okay, they weren't all winners. But still, like I said, no Hall of Famers in the bunch -- thus far, at least. That is, until Eli Manning.Along with David Wright, I am now in the strangest position I've ever been in: watching my NFL and MLB teams develop two players that seem to have HOF written all over them. Two terrific talents, two good guys, and two players that their respective teams huddle around. Manning is my football version of Wright, right down to the slight Southern drawl.Watching Eli rally the team around him at the end of Sunday's game was like watching David Wright hit a two RBI double to put the Mets up by one -- something I saw numerous times last season. While the Mets season is over for now, and David Wright's development is finished for the winter, I get to watch the same thing happen all over again during this football season. The maturation, the improvement, the education of these two players, playing their first full-seasons at the same point in their careers. Returning confidence and winning ways to two teams in desperate need of both.If you haven't yet this season, sit down and watch the Giants play next week. Watch Eli play, but give him the whole game. Just like Wright's twenty-four errors in the field last year, Manning will make his mistakes throughout the course of the game. But watch closely. Watch how the stadium rallies around the guy. How the team rallies around the guy. Watch how absolutely calm and collected the guy is when the pressure is on.And stick around to the end of the game, too. You wouldn't want to miss anything.[...]



Free Agent Files: Closer

2005-10-17T12:37:00.180-04:00

For those of you who visit MetsGeek, you may have noticed that the site has been offline a lot recently. This is due to us switching servers, and is extremely frustrating.Anyways, I posted an article running down closers over there this morning, but because the site's been down the majority of the day, I figured I'd post it here as well:Below is a list of the top closers in the Free Agent market this offseason. Though not originally planned, it pretty much follows the order in which I feel the Mets should look for their closer. The list is pretty self-explanatory. Also, not included below are Bob Wickman (who has said he's either re-signing with the Indians or retiring), Eddie Guardado (who has both a team and a player option on his contract this season) and Octavio Dotel (who won't be returning to baseball until, at least, mid-June). Also not included are Braden Looper and Matt Mantei, for obvious reasons.Enjoy.Name: Billy WagnerHeight: 5-11"Weight: 202Throws: LeftAge: 34Current Salary: $9,000,000Likely Asking For: $29,000,000 over Three YearsWagner is the Cream of the Closer Crop. Arguably on the way to his second Rolaids Relief Award, and armed with an overpowering 100 MPH fastball and a hellacious high-80's slider, Wagner is about as close to a sure thing at the end of the game as there was this season. At the age of thirty-four Wagner enjoyed one of the best seasons of his career, striking out 87 in 77.7 IP (10.1 K/9), while walking twenty (2.3 BB/9). Holding opposing hitters to a batting average of .165, Wagner got the job done, amassing thirty-eight saves while blowing only three -- or five less than what Braden Looper blew. It should also be noted that when outside the Homer-Friendly confines of Citizen’s Bank Park, Wagner pitched to an ERA of 0.90, allowing three runs off of twelve hits in thirty innings. Scary.Still, Wagner is thirty-four and has a history of injuries. He missed the majority of the 2000 and 2003 seasons with various ailments (back spasms, strained rotator cuff, shoulder, groin, inflamed finger, etc.). It should be noted that Wagner rededicated himself to steering clear of injuries last offseason, and made it through the entire year injury-free. Wagner also did not endear himself to the Philadelphia faithful -- though that's not much of a surprise -- because he called them out for booing the team. In the same vein, Wagner has a long history of openly complaining to the media when things aren't going well with the team, something that carried over from his days in Houston. Despite this Wagner is considered a good teammate, and has never been rumored to be a clubhouse cancer.The fact remains that Wagner is an excellent pitcher, not just a thrower. If the Mets are looking to make the playoffs next season, they desperately need somebody to slam the door at the end of games, especially if they don't make a move for a big hitter in the offseason. Outside of Mariano Rivera and Brad Lidge, Wagner may be the most dominant, and healthy (sorry, Eric Gagne), closer in baseball. He won’t come cheap, but he could certainly be the answer the Mets have been searching for at closer since... ever?Name: B.J. RyanHeight: 6-6"Weight: 249Throws: LeftAge: 29Current Salary: $2,600,000Likely Asking For: $22,000,000 over Four YearsFinally handed the keys to the closer car this season, Ryan did not disappoint. Appearing in sixty-nine games, Ryan threw 70.3 innings and held hitters to a .208 batting average. Even more impressive is his splits against lefties and righties. While Ryan held lefties to a line of .211/.284/.352, he managed to hold righties to a line of .206/.282/.265, meaning it doesn't matter how you swing, you're gonna have trouble against him. BJ also struck out an even one hundred, for a ridiculous 12.8 K/9 rate, while walking 26 (3.3 BB/9). Ryan’s got some nice natural movement on both of his pitches: a low-to-mid 90’s fastball, and a ridiculous sharp breaking sli[...]



Ganbarimasho!

2005-10-14T04:53:40.843-04:00

So, the playoffs are upon us. The ALCS and the NLCS, both split at 1-1, with some fun teams to watch and some good baseball to be played. But there's a decidedly Mets-less feel. Jason Isringhausen, Timo Perez, Dan Wheeler and Paul Byrd are the only past Mets on all four, strangely enough with each one on a different team. But none of those can qualify as past Met stars, and only one of them was a guy I've ever rooted for (c'mon, who didn't love Timo during 2000? At least until the World Series started.)

So, where does my allegiance lie?

With the Chiba Lottle Marines, of course!

One win away from the Japan Series, the team managed by Bobby Valentine along with hitting coach Tom Robson (remember him?!) and a team including Benny Agbayani, Matt Franco, Satorou Komiyama (no kidding!) and former Mets minor leaguer Dan Serafini. Now that, my friends, is a team I can get behind.

Of course, I can't read Japanese, so I've got absolutely no idea what is going on. But I do know that Matt Franco won the game with a bases-loaded double that scored two runs, and that Benny Agbyani plated him with a groundout. It's like 1999-2000 all over again! If the Marines win their next game, they go on to the Japan Series to face the dreaded Hanshin Tigers, managed by... Alex Ochoa!

All right, not really, I can't back that one up.

Still, if you've got the time, visit the website: http://www.marines.co.jp. On it you'll find all sorts of stuff, like a video of Bobby Valentine yelling something in Japaense, and then dancing and bowing with giant birds while an entire stadium chants "Bobby! Bobby!"

Seriously. I can back that one up.

So, go, enjoy yourselves! See what you can find while hunting through a foreign language, and if it isn't a foreign language to you, tell me what it says, because I've been trying to Alta Vista this all night, and although Bobby Valentine was always an educated and insightful guy, something tells me "The thinking which the soldier bets to decisive battle in play off eve intense white is done" aren't his exact words.

Oh, and go Marines in 2005!



You're a Shining Star

2005-10-11T02:42:13.566-04:00

New Yorkers have a reputation for wanting to be the biggest. They take pride in living in the Capital of the World, and therefore always want the best. They want the best restaurants, they want the best nightclubs, they want the best hotels. And they always want the best sports team.

Because of that, they typically want the best players to fill those sports teams. And, because 85% of people who follow sports team follow them fairly casually, when names like "Alfonso Soriano" pop up, they go, "Oh, he's supposed to be really good. The Mets need a second baseman, they should get him."

But watching the Angels over the past couple nights -- you know, the team that beat the Best Team in New York in five games -- my eyes couldn't help but wander over to second base, where Adam Kennedy plays. He's by no means the best player in the American League, AL West, or his own team. He's not drafted in the Top 100 or even the Top 200. He's not even well known enough to be Number 1 on Google's "Adam Kennedy" search -- that credit goes to a London-based real estate agent.

But Kennedy hit .300 this year. He played a Gold Glove caliber secondbase. His teammates are in love with him. He always plays hard. And he's considered one of the most clutch players in the American League -- .339/.374/.409 with runners on, .330/.374/.409 with runners in scoring position, .286/.364/.347 with runners in scoring position with two out. And, with a man on third and two out, he's 8 for 16. .500.

Of course, the Angels minor league system has a couple solid second base prospects coupled with some top shortstop prospects that will probably need to switch somewhere else with Orlando Cabrera in their spot for the next three years. And when these guys are talked about, it's usually with the thought process that Adam Kennedy doesn't exactly have the goods to be holding them up.

And though he doesn't light up the room with his talent, what Kennedy does bring to the table is intangibles. He's like a Ty Wigginton who can hit and field. He plays every game all out. He's gritty and always a threat wherever he is on the field. You see, playoff teams are littered with these guys. Look at the teams that have made the postseason, and are continuing on. They've got Adam Kennedys at second. David Ecksteins at short. Brad Ausmuses behind the plate.

It's proof you don't need the brightest star in the galaxy in order to succeed. The Mets have proven this over the past four years with the Mo Vaughns, Roberto Alomars and, yes, even Pedro Martinezes and Carlos Beltrans not bringing the team to a postseason berth. You can go to the Yankee route and keep throwing big money at players in the hopes it'll inch you ever closer, or you can go and utilize the little guys. The guys who'll hit .290 - .300, grind it out every game, and play solid ball.

The Mets don't need an Alfonso Soriano to hit 30 HRs and grab winter backpages when it comes along with subpar defense and yet another sub .300 OBP in the lineup. An Adam Kennedy addition wouldn't be nearly as splashy, that's a given.

But would it make the team better?

Perhaps you can ask the Angels that.



Top o' the Morneau

2005-10-05T23:49:28.123-04:00

Although everybody's jumped on the Mike Jacobs bandwagon, I must say I'm not quite sold yet. Did he hit .310 and eleven homers in 100 at-bats? Absolutely. Does that translate to sixty over a full season? You bet. But let us not forget that he's twenty-four, most scouts that have seen him play say his ceiling is as a backup C/1B, and that Shane Spencer set New York afire in 1998 with a .373 batting average and ten homeruns in sixty-seven at-bats.

Do these things amount to anything? Not really, no. I'm just not convinced that he's the answer to our first base problems. I like the guy, and his swing is a thing of beauty, but he could just as easily put up Jason Phillips numbers next season. And not the good season ones.

Besides that, perhaps I've stumbled upon an answer to our first base problems.

Justin Morneau.

Hear me out. Apparently, the Blue Jays and Twins have been talking a Morneau for Koskie swap. The Blue Jays have Aaron Hill on the horizon to play third base, and the Twins are looking for some offense. Morneau had something of a down year last season -- .239/.304/.437 with 22 homeruns and seventy-nine RBIs in 490 at-bats. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

But his minor league numbers tell a different story. One of a guy who hit .310 for his minor league career, or hit 41 homeruns in 568 at-bats over AAA and the Majors last season. And his first go at big league pitching was pretty impressive -- .271/.340/.536 with nineteen homeruns in 280 at-bats. He's long been predicted to be a power bat that will hit for average and -- gasp -- get on base?! Coming into the season, everybody assumed he was the next great Twins power hitter and RBI man. Now, the Twins are looking to deal him.

What would the Mets need to give up for him? Well, apparently not much. Corey Koskie, if you were unaware, went .249/.337/.398 with eleven homers and thirty-nine RBIs in 354 at-bats, and hit just as bad after he came back from his injury then before it. Add that to the fact that he'll be 33 next season and in line for 5.5 million, and you have to think the Mets could offer better than that.

It would almost certainly have to be a package, and the Twins being the Twins won't be interested in taking on a lot of salary. Victor Diaz could be a part of it. Perhaps throw in a guy like Steve Trachsel who can give the Twins some nice innings for the very Twins price of 2.5 million a year. It won't be as much as the Mets would have to give up for Lyle Overbay or Sean Casey, and he might just match -- or exceed -- their potential.

All I know is I'm not interested in another year in which our first basemen hit .210 for the better part of the year.



It's a Mets Geek Day!

2005-10-04T00:20:18.570-04:00

Today's post can be found over at MetsGeek.

It's Part Two of a Five Part Series on Omar Minaya's first offseason at the helm of the New York Mets. I'm proud of it, so if you're a fan of Chuck 'n' Duck, I think you'll enjoy it as well.

Enjoy your Tuesday, folks!



Farewell Mikey

2005-10-02T23:33:48.763-04:00

Talk to your Dad sometime about Mickey Mantle's retirement some time. Or your Grandpa about Lou Gehrig. They’ll all say the same thing, it was the end of an era. The history of the Yankees is littered with grand goodbyes. From DiMaggio to Mattingly, the Yankees treated their stars right when it came time to say goodbye.

And the Mets finally had their Franchise First sendoff yesterday, and did it right.

There hasn't been a sendoff for a Great Met during my fandom, and if memory serves correct there had never been one before it. Tom Seaver, the other unquestionable Great Met, left the Mets twice under head-scratching circumstances (a baffling trade and then lost him again by compensation pick due to leaving him unprotected). The closest the Mets have ever come to experiencing this is the goodbye sendoff for Todd Zeile, but to say Toddy never approached Piazza’s level would be an understatement.

I was there to witness Piazza Day, one of the more emotional moments I’ve witnessed on a ball field. We all bitch about Mike Piazza’s lack of an arm, or an increasing inability to get around on pitches he used to crush. We’re all guilty for yelling for his demotion from the three spot to the four spot, then fourth to fifth, and then fifth to sixth. And most of us have, at one point or another, wrote up trade proposals to the Angels or the Rangers or the Orioles for minor leaguers and relief pitching. Piazza has gotten older, like every baseball player that came before him has, and this being New York we weren’t particularly apt to accept it.

But the fact remains that Mike Piazza is the best the Mets have ever had. He was the key that transitioned a solid team in 1997 to a viable playoff contender in 1998, 1999 and 2000 -- and no, Todd Hundley could not have done the same. He took the team on his shoulders and carried them through rough stretches more times than I can count. He came up big when it mattered. He carried himself with a professionalism and a respectfulness that wasn’t associated with the star players of the New York Mets at that point. He became The Franchise. He became The Mets.

And now he’s gone. Mike won’t be back next season. He’ll be replaced by Ramon Hernandez or Bengie Molina or possibly Ramon Castro or Mike Jacobs. But come April 3rd, 2006, for the first time in seven years, you will look at the scoreboard on Opening Day and not see 31 next to C. It’s surreal to imagine.

But now is a time to think of the positives. To look back on the career of a true Met, and appreciate exactly what he did. Top Five in almost every offensive category the Mets have. The most homeruns by a catcher in the history of baseball. His mere acquisition was voted the Eighth Greatest Moment in Met History. I was lucky enough to be there for Mike Piazza’s first at-bat as a New York Met. I was lucky enough to be there for his last.

And when he goes in Cooperstown, with a Mets cap on his head, I'll be lucky enough to be there as well.

Thank you, Mike, for all you've done. And I'll be seeing you on down the line.



0 Comments

2005-10-01T03:43:29.896-04:00

Hi everybody!

Chuck 'n' Duck will be returning on a semi-regular basis starting October 5th, 2005.

Also, I'll be at Shea on Sunday for Mike Piazza day -- where I'm sure the whole stadium will get a little dusty -- so if anybody wants to meet up, let me know.

Until then, let's go Mets.



0 Comments

2005-09-14T04:00:07.876-04:00

I'm not even going to pretend I'm watching these games anymore. I caught about seven minutes of last night's game, and I've seen about an hour and a half of the games that have been played over the past week due to an upcoming job switch that I'm not able to talk about and some minor traveling.

Chuck 'n' Duck will be going on hiatus within the next few days -- I'll let you know when -- due to the aforementioned job switch, but I'll be returning to (hopefully) daily updates around the end of September when the Mets have far few chances to break my heart and then attempt to bore me to death.

Anyway, I turn 21 in the next few weeks, along with two of my best friends. One of them has two tattoos, the other has one, and I'm currently inkless. For the big two-one we've decided (actually, it's more been decided for me) that we're all going and getting one on the same night, for solidarity and the like. Originally, I had planned to just get the interlocking NY Mets logo, but right now I'm not feeling like having that permanently attached to my shoulder blade. I need the rush of a playoff drive to put me into the chair. Instead, I'm leaning towards this:

(image)

Yay or nay?



A Little Time Off

2005-09-09T01:14:02.410-04:00

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and... maybe it'd be best if we took some time apart.

Now, hold on, don't get too emotional here. There's no other team in my life, you know that. You need to trust me on this one, it's important. I mean, I've had the most tempting offers from across town for years now, but I've stood by you and I've remained loyal. So considering the attention that I've been paid in my time, it's not like I'm going to be running off for the first Brave or Phillie to bat its eyes at me.

But still, something's are just not okay right now. I feel a little neglected. A little underappreciated. And a lot trapped. I don't know where my head or my hearts at right now. When we spent that time together in Arizona, things were amazing. The wins and the runs and the terrific nightly pitching performances -- it was really spectacular. But ever since we left Phoenix, things have gotten a little too rocky for me. And tonight kind of capped it. I've seen this happen before, you're back up to your old tricks, which just goes to show me you haven't shaken them like you promised me you would. Now, it seems like we're back to square one all over again.

It's not that I've fallen out of love with you, I still love you very much. We really do get along really well a lot of the time. Granted, I do look around at other teams every once in awhile. I do a little Baseball Tonight occasionally to see how some of the other teams are doing, sure, but I never mean anything by it.

Still maybe a little time out would be for the best. I don't want to be one of those guys that just up and abandons you during the bad times, but maybe it would be best for both of us. Things are getting stale, you've been having awful nights, and that just ruins my mood for the rest of the next day. It's a constant cycle and it's just not fair to either one of us.

So, I'm going to take a little vacation. Spend a little time with my girlfriend, hang out with some friends, maybe take in a Giant game. Whoa, whoa! Chill, I meant the New York Giants, not San Francisco! Come on, could I really root for a team that employed Armando Benitez? Ha ha... heh...

Still too soon to be making jokes about that? My bad.



The White Flag

2005-09-08T01:51:27.636-04:00

Over the next few weeks there will come the inevitable articles telling Willie Randolph, Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon what to do with this team. Trade for Alfonso Soriano, they will say. Hand Mike Piazza and Braden Looper their walking papers, they will offer. The Mets will never make the playoffs without a true run producer like Manny Ramirez, they will declare. Offer Billy Wagner fifty million dollars or whatever it takes to get a reliable closer to the Mets, they will plead.And when that time comes, I'm sure the desire and optimism I feel every offseason will return. To look towards the future, to attempt to help and rebuild this team, that's where I find my unbridled passion always lies. It's almost as though I'm a Yankee fan trapped in a Mets fan body -- there is no regular season, only the postseason for me, and if that string of 162 games doesn't lead you to October baseball, then it leads you to an offseason where you find the necessary parts to try again.But right now, I don't feel that aforementioned desire. I'm not frustrated. I'm not angry. I'm not sympathetic (maybe, perhaps for Pedro and Glavine, both veteran guys who don't deserve this, regardless of the money they're being paid). I feel an eerily calm emptiness. All I ask for is Willie to let this unattainable dream go as well.I've no desire to watch the Mets play out a string of meaningless baseball pretending that they have a chance to be contenders. To be forced into a brand of mediocre baseball -- one that does not maximize their strenghts -- with a record that they should absolutely be better than. I'm sick of watching Carlos Beltran hit third in the hopes he'll break out and deliver this team to a postseason. I'm sick of David Wright losing out on RBI opportunities while wasting away in the five spot so that he can protect a player he's better than. I'm sick of Danny Graves, Gerald Williams, Jose Offerman and Mike DiFelice taking roster spots, innings, at-bats and valuable game experience away from people that stand a chance to actually help this ballclub past this season. I'm sick of the fact that Tim Hamulack allowed eight runs in sixty-two innings in the minors this year and has pitched one-third of an inning in the big leagues since. And I'm absolutely sick of Braden Looper "closing" out games for the Mets.Big things need to change for the Mets, and there's no better time than right now to do it, with no chance at postseason play.SS - ReyesCF - Beltran3B - WrightLF - FloydC - Castro1B - JacobsRF - Diaz2B - MatsuiThat's the lineup. Hit Beltran second and Wright third. If every team in baseball walks Cliff Floyd then so be it -- his OBP will be through the roof and it'll give a hance for Jacobs and Diaz to drive in some runs and get some more confidence. Put Roberto Hernandez or Juan Padilla or Aaron Heilman (hey, Willie, remember him?!) in the closer's role. But knock off this "Quest for the Playoffs" crap. It's time to stop running this team like the Yankees team it isn't, and start running it as the Mets team it is.Because, folks, the Mets aren't in it anymore. Lambast me if you will, call me a fairweather fan if you must, but it's the truth. For those of you still in it, I wish the best of luck to you all, and if Willie sticks with how he's run this team up until now and the Mets somehow miraculously turn it around then I will sheepishly come back, hat in hand, and offer up all the acclaim in the world to you and your unwavering perseverance. I wish you the absolute best.But right now, once again Bobby Cox, you've killed my F'N season. See you in November. [...]



It Ain't Easy Being Green

2005-09-06T23:38:43.336-04:00

Since the Mets have begun their slow, painful, distressing, embarassing, boring, excrutiating, horrific deteriorating collapse that -- for all intents and purposes -- began in San Francisco, it seems that Enemy #1 hasn't been Miguel Cairo or Carlos Beltran or Victor Zambrano, but instead has been Mets manager Willie Randolph. Since the Mets dropped two of three to the Giants, Mets fans have split into two decisive groups, with little to no ambivalence in between.You either hate Willie Randolph, or you don't.The Pro Randolph side backs up Willie. The fact that he's a first year manager, that the pitchers in the bullpen are slim pickins and that there are no clear cut "Leadoff" "Two" "Three" or "Four" hitters are all things this side will throw out there. They remind you that he's seemingly mastered the ability to know which pinch hitter has the best chance of getting a hit. They cite the fact that, up until recently, he was getting the most out of his players (ex: Cliff Floyd was, at one point, having a terrific year). They'll also remind you that it's the beginning of September and the Mets are already one game away from matching last year's win total. And, lest you not forget, that regardless of what some of the fanbase may feel, the Mets remain a part of the playoff picture.The Anti-Randolph side has no problem throwing their own examples out there either, for the mere fact that they no longer have any tolerance for the guy. They rant and rave about the fact the Miguel Cairo had hit in the two spot long, long, loooonnnnggg past his usefulness. That the Mets would be in a better position had David Wright been hitting in a spot where he could have some more RBI opportunities instead of wasting them on the hope that Carlos Beltran will turn his season around. They will rip Willie apart because of his reliance on "gut feelings" instead of matchups, and the fact that more often than not these gut feelings fail. And will rip their hair out yelling about how he'd rather count on proven veterans than young kids, and the two or three (or more) losses it takes for him to change his mind about that thinking.There are more examples on both sides. And regardless what side you're on, we all should be able to agree on one thing: Willie's just not a good manager right now.Now, hold on, before you jump to defending the guy. Because every defense of Willie is almost always preceded by the sentence "This guy is a first year manager!" Well, that's my point, exactly. You see, Willie's a lot like Jose Reyes. For a manager, he shows a ton of promise. He has his flashes of brilliance. He eventually comes around to see the right move eventually. And he's a far more charismatic and "New York" guy than Art Howe ever was, all the while getting along better with the media than any Mets manager since Casey Stengel. But, just like Jose Reyes, right when you're starting to feel confident in the guy and thinking his issues are behind him, he'll swing at three first pitches, have five fly outs to various parts of the field, and make a brainless error in the field. And you wind up sitting in your room later that night wondering what the hell you were thinking about feeling confident in this guy twenty-four hours ago.Just like Reyes, as well, Willie brings tools to the table that can't be taught. Like Reyes' speed, or his cannon of an arm, Willie gets along with his players, and in return his players respect the hell out of him and will play every day. When's the last season you can remember where a player on the Mets had no issue with the manager? How about a season where every player played their hardest? Didn't sit out games because they were tired [...]



To Legit to Quit?

2005-09-05T03:50:48.780-04:00

While watching yesterday's game, a thought popped into my mind: When does a good string of starts start meaning the potential for something more?

Of course I speak of Jae Seo, who's worst start was last week (five innings, ten hits, four runs -- though ultimately a win) and has been the Mets second best pitcher all season, while posting a 7-1 record and a 1.79 ERA. With the way the Mets organization has been run recently, I had just been fully expecting him to start the season in Norfolk next year, and be a call-up around June sometime. But, while watching the Braves game in Extra Innings, the announcers were talking about Seo, and how he had put himself into a terrific position for the rotation next season.

Quite frankly, I had not even begun to think of next season. Especially a next season with Seo in the rotation. But what if this really is Jae Seo? But, more importantly, is the Mets front office thinking the same thing? The fact that Steve Trachsel is making his second start of the season tomorrow instead of his fourth or fifth leads me to believe they think there's something more to Jae Seo, as well.

Seo had butted heads with both Vern Ruhle and Rick Peterson, opting to go with what had made him successful before (fastball/changeup) instead of trying to develop more pitches and evolving as a pitcher. But with the birth of a daughter, Seo was forced to take on responsibility and developed new pitches and even a new delivery, and the results have been phenomenal. No longer relying on a terrific changeup and an average fastball, he now throws a cut fastball and a very nice split-finger. You can tell simply by watching the hitters shake their heads in confusion on the television screen that they're certain this isn't the Jae Seo of old.

So, if this really isn't the old Seo, what are we to expect -- granted he keeps this up -- for next year? Obviously, nobody should be expecting Seo to put up Greg Maddux numbers (age 28, of course), but what's not out of the question? Next year, Jae Seo will be 29 years old. Are the numbers Tom Glavine put up at that age (16-7, 3.08, 182 hits in 198.7 IP) out of the realm of possibility? Will he tend more towards Brad Radke's? (15-11, 3.94, 235 hits in 226 IP) Or perhaps even a guy he reminds me of, Jon Lieber (8-14, 4.11 ERA, 182 hits in 171.0 IP).

One thing is for certain: the Mets have two future Hall of Famers in Pedro and Glavine, two guys with two different styles, though both have thrived as a control pitchers in their careers. With both these men on the team next year, it will do nothing but help Jae Seo.

And if this season really is legitimate, Seo'll be helping out this team a lot more, as well.



Ugh

2005-09-02T23:02:55.403-04:00

I am so unbelievably frustrated with this ballclub.

So, with the intention of coming back calmer and more enthused, I'm taking a Mets-free weekend.

I'll be back Monday or Tuesday, whichever day doesn't make me want to kill half the Mets roster.



The Oblivious Mr. Randolph

2005-09-02T05:03:22.513-04:00

And now a break to vent frustration:

"But if I do that, it thins us out a little bit. I'd probably hit David Wright third and Cliff Floyd fourth, and who's going to protect Cliff? Wright's a little more selective. I could bat Wright fourth and Floyd third."
- Willie Randolph on why he'd rather his lineup be Cairo, Beltran, Floyd, Wright then Beltran, Wright, Floyd, Diaz.

Uh, Willie, can we have a moment here?

In case you haven't noticed, here's the deal: I don't care how much the guy's getting paid, or how many homeruns he hit in two terrific hitters parks last season, Carlos Beltran is a two-hole hitter. Even in Kansas City, where the team had next to no offense, he was a two-hole hitter. And he thrived in that spot. Over the past three seasons, he's hit .289/.385/.566 in the two spot, with 189 hits, forty homeruns, 118 RBI and 103 walks in 655 at-bats.

Instead, you're opting to go with Miguel Cairo, who is hitting exactly... are you ready for this? Maybe you should sit down, Willie. Because Little Egypt is hitting exactly .217/.265/.293 with forty hits, a homerun, and ten walks in 184 at-bats. Oh, and let us not forget those awe-inspiring seven RBI. Yes. A whole seven. That's an RBI every 26 at-bats, or every six games.

And you're reasoning for going with this lineup is what? If you move Beltran up and Wright up, who's going to protect Cliff Floyd?

I just want to make sure we're talking about the same Cliff Floyd who can't buy a hit right now, right? The same Cliff Floyd that's hit .211/.250/.263 over the last seven games, and hasn't hit a homerun since August 16th, that Cliff Floyd? You're afraid that if you take away David Wright, the hottest hitter in the National League, from hitting behind Floyd, that Cliff might be walked? Cliff Floyd, a guy that has had more "Of Fors" (5) than multi-hit games (2) in his last twelve games? It might just be me, but wouldn't Floyd actually getting on base be a bit of an improvement?

You're looking to fix this offense, right? The answer is staring at you in the face, and it doesn't take even the keenest of baseball intellect to figure it out.



His Big Game

2005-08-31T02:24:04.470-04:00

Shhh! Don't say anything!

Every time He has a big game, everybody comes out and proclaims The Slump over. We say He's finished adjusting to New York, He's found his swing, He's put it all together. The Slump is gone, and in it's place The Streak now rises like a phoenix from the ashes. Yes, The Streak we've been waiting for is no longer right around the corner, but here and now! There will be much rejoicing and choruses of angels as He'll hit twenty-two homeruns and drive in fifty runs and have twenty-nine multi-hit games from here on out, propeling the Mets to a twenty game win streak and locking up the playoffs by mid-September.

And, much like a skittish deer, He hears the clammering, turns tail, and runs into the woods... only to be lost for another two weeks.

So much like a David Wright at-bat, let's learn from our past mistakes, and adjust. Let's just not say anything. Don't cheer any louder. Don't write about it. Don't talk about it. Oh, we don't have to forget about it, but let's have it be our little/big secret. Acknowledge it with a wink or a head nod to other Mets fans in the street, but don't dare mention His name, and certainly not his game last night. Don't risk the streak, the run, or the playoffs. Just sit back, and let Him do his thing.

Because if there's ever a time for him to start doing His thing, it's right now. With Miguel "That .295 Ain't My Batting Average" Cairo hitting in the second spot for the forseeable future and Cliff Floyd swinging the bat as well as I could right now, the Mets are in desperate need of Him stepping up. We all know He's got the big contract, the big lineup spot, and the pressure of an entire New York City fanbase. And the result of this has been Him skying flyballs and fouling off strike twos like He's getting paid to do it. So, let's do our part to keep the pressure off.

Until he does for it a second consecutive game. Then all bets are off.



Creative Solutions

2005-08-25T10:06:09.996-04:00

Dear Mr. Wilpon,

I am a diehard New York Met fan. I currently run the Mets blog Chuck 'n' Duck, as well as being a contributor to another Mets website, MetsGeek.com, so you know I come at this situation with the best of intentions. While watching the Mets thoroughly trounce the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second consecutive night, I came across an interesting idea as how to get the Mets into the playoffs, consistently, for many years.

Move the Mets to Arizona.

Look, I realize that some Mets fans may be upset by this move off the bat. Both the New York Giants, as well as your boyhood team the Brooklyn Dodgers, left under poor circumstances for monetary reasons and both teams should not be admired for what they did. I do not, however, propose a move for the financial betterment. I propose it for the right reasons, namely winning. If the Mets were to play at Bank One Ballpark for the remainder of the season -- as well as for future years -- we could reasonably expect a nightly performance of 10+ runs. Also, Tom Glavine could be penciled in for his third Cy Young, David Wright would hit around .800, and Mike Jacobs could be counted on for something, roughly, around two hundred homeruns and two hundred walks. (These numbers may be an over/understatement, I'm not very good in math).

Of course a move to Arizona would also mean a move to the National League West. While game times would be hell on the fanbase at first, I'm sure that with time we could all learn to function on five to six hours a sleep nightly for the good of the franchise. And, let me tell you, a move to the NL West definitely is good for the franchise. I'm not sure if you were aware of this or not, but with the Mets now 66-60 they would be in first place by six games, instead of in last by five. This would all but guarantee us a playoff berth this season, and many more down the line -- especially once we steal Ramon Hernandez from the Padres, our new fierce rivals. Let those smug San Dieogoites (San Diegons?) deal with that for the years of misery they didn't put us through.

In conclusion, Mr. Wilpon, a move to the West is a move for the best. Your team is just bursting with future MVPs, Cy Youngs and Rookies of the Year once a move to Phoenix takes place.

Here's a website for you to peruse, http://phoenix.about.com/od/relocation/, it'll give you all the information you need about making the jump to the great state of Arizona. Also, I don't really know much about the whole ownership of the Diamondbacks, but if I recall correctly, doesn't Billy Crystal have something to do with it? I'm sure Mr. Crystal would love the opportunity to move back to New York, so you should probably get him on your side first and then have him slowly sway the rest of the guys. Though, that's just my two cents, this is your call all the way.

Just make me one promise -- let's not go purple and green.


Your friend,
Andrew Hintz

**

Big thanks to all who linked yesterday. Came this close to hitting 1,000.



Don Pedro

2005-08-24T03:22:40.143-04:00

Finally, the true story of how Willie Randolph came around to giving Mike Jacobs some playing time -- it was all Pedro Martinez's doing.According to Scott Lauber, that is. Check it out:Jacobs survived another day without being returned to the minors, and Pedro Martinez may be partially responsible.After homering in his first major league at-bat Sunday, Jacobs was informed he may be sent to Triple-A. Martinez overheard and voiced a complaint with Mets' brass. Jacobs stayed with the team, started the next two games at first base and was spared a demotion Tuesday when the Mets designated reliever Danny Graves for assignment.The move paid off for the Mets when he homered Tuesday night at Arizona."It's just not right," Martinez told the New York Daily News. "It could frustrate a kid when you have a top prospect like that and you bring him up and he hits a three-run homer that puts us back in the game and you send him back down. As a person that's been there, it's frustrating." Luckily for all of you, I have access to the Mets security cameras, and was able to transcribe how this all came about for your reading pleasure.The Night of the 9-8 WinPedro Martinez sits behind a desk in his office in the Mets locker room, a kitten sprawled out across his lap. As Pedro stares off into the distance, Jose Reyes comes to the door."Godfather, he's not on the list, but Mike Jacobs wants to see you."Pedro looks up at him, inquisitively."Is this -- is this necessary?"Jose shrugs as Pedro waves him on. Mike Jacobs bows and sits on Pedro's desk."Mr. Martinez... less than a week ago Mike Piazza goes down because of a broken bone in his hand. Omar's stumped, he doesn't know what to do. He wants to call up Mike DiFelice, but he knows the fanbase would revolt if they bring him up over me. So Omar calls me up only Willie Randolph sits me on the bench, and I've just sat there... for days! Rotting away, really. I mean, Willie even sends Miguel Cairo out to warm up the pitcher between innings. Oh, Godfather, I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do.Mike Jacobs begins to cry. Pedro, enraged, jumps to his feet and slaps him about the face. "You can act like a man! What's the matter with you? Is this how you turned out? A Binghamton finocchio that cries like with a woman? What can I do?! What can I do?! What is that nonsense? Ridiculous. *sigh* You've kept up with your practicing of first base?"Jacobs wipes his eyes."Sure I did."Pedro nods approvingly."Good. Cause a young catcher who can't play first base can never be a real Met. You look terrible. I want you to eat. I want you to rest a while. And tomorrow this Randolph bigshot's gonna give you what you want."Mike Jacobs sighs."It's too late. They send me down for DiFelice tomorrow."Pedro wags his extremely long finger."I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse. Now you just go outside and enjoy yourself, and forget about all this nonsense. I want you to leave it all to me."Later That EveningJose Reyes sits at a dinner table with Willie Randolph. Reyes leans back in his chair, and lays a lineup card on the table."So, you see, Pedro wants you to give Mike Jacobs some playing time. It doesn't matter when in the game, or what position he plays, but he'd appreciate it if he saw some playing time tomorrow."Willie shakes his head vigorously."I respect that; just tell him he should ask me anything else. But this is one favor I can't givehim."Reyes shakes his head in return."He doesn't ask a second favor once he's been refused the first, [...]



The Art of Optimism

2005-08-22T03:45:29.903-04:00

Here's the thing about being optimistic: it's painful as hell.Especially for me, you see, because I'm an incredibly competitive person. If I get into something, I really want to be the best at it, and this carries over to the sporting aspect of my life. It's why, if I wasn't born into being a Mets/Knicks/Giants/Islanders fan, I'd more than likely be a Yankees/Lakers/Patriots/Reg Wings fan. I'd be blogging about Randy Johnson's four homerun game as we speak. And I'm honest enough to admit that. I just happen to like when the things I follow dominate.And that's why these past few years have been especially agonizing. Sure, I've got guys like David Wright and Eli Manning to fall back on. But for the most part my teams have done awful and/or been poorly mismanaged. It hurts.So, when these teams start to do little things where I think they're putting it back together, it makes it even worse to watch it fall apart. Continually. And that's exactly what the Mets have been doing to me.Of course, I just can't quit. While I've seen many fans declaring that they've dropped out of the season on here or MetsGeek or on a messageboard or two, I would never be able to do it. It's just not in me. Of course, it would probably be the best thing I can do. I'm sure the little kids that play outside my house could do without the obscenities floating from my living room window daily. I'm sure my heart could do without going into palpatations every time Miguel Cairo skies one to rightfield (I mean, honestly, how many times do you need to do that until you realize it ain't working for you, Miggy?). And I'm sure my girlfriend could do without me telling her, "Horrible. The Mets suck." everytime she asks how my day was.And ever day I'm beginning to find that these last few years have actually been easy on me. After a certain point -- like say, June -- I had no illusions of what the Mets could accomplish. They weren't going anywhere, and every win was gravy -- unless they started winning too much, thus pushing down their slot for next year's draft. Then I was unhappy.But this is a different team. It's a team that really, honestly could succeed, but seems to just not want to. They're confident enough in their abilities that, to a man, they have no problem saying this is a good team and should be in the middle of it in September -- yet, they're not talented enough to go on a consistent winning streak. They're confident enough to get mad when they strike out on three pitches or ground into a double play -- yet, they're not talented enough to not do that daily. They're confident enough to play "Willie Ball" -- yet, they're not talented enough to win games by doing so.It's like a puppy that keeps peeing on the rug. You can yell and scream and make empty threats, but in the end it's pretty much up to the dog to figure the whole thing out on it's own. This is where we are. With the Mets headed to Arizona and California to play seven games against two awful teams, there's that optimism of mine picking up again. Telling me that the Mets could be very legitimate if they do well here. Remembering that they get the Phillies after that series, the Wild Card leading Phillies, the Phillies the Mets have gone 10-4 against this year. And that after that it's a slew of NL East teams that if the Mets were to rip apart they could almost guarantee a playoff berth.That optimism of mine, that will feel like a punch in the face if the Mets blow it yet again.So don't blow it once agai[...]



There's No I in DL

2005-08-17T04:31:17.656-04:00

Maybe Carlos Beltran should be on the DL right now.

Maybe he should have been on the DL for the majority of the season.

Maybe yesterday, when given the option of having surgery and taking two weeks off to heal, he should have taken it.

But none of those things happened.

And I'm proud as hell to have Carlos Beltran play for my team.

With the team across town always dealing with stories about steroids and questionable injuries and in-fighting, it's a breath of fresh air to have a guy like Carlos on our team. He may not be hitting anywhere near what we expected him to, and he may pull the ball or pop up the first pitch he sees too much. But this is a guy who realizes the Mets still have a shot at that Wild Card, and while he's still relatively healthy and able to play, he's going to give all he's got.

And he's not going to subject us to nine to twelve more games of Gerald Williams in centerfield.

And for that as well, Carlos, I thank you.

Now, who sees a streak coming on?



Where's My Movement?

2005-08-15T01:59:18.100-04:00

You knew the second Antonio Perez hit the ball, that not only was the no-hitter over, but that the Mets had lost the game, and probably their hopes of a playoff berth. That's just the kind of season it's continuing to be for the Mets.

But since I'm an optimistic guy, I look at this as the crossroads for the season. The Mets definitely aren't taking the NL East, and they're more than likely not winning the Wild Card. But there's no reason why they can't play some good games from here on out.

Over at MetsGeek, Matt has posted a list of ten things the Mets ought to do before the season is over, and beyond. While I agree with the majority of them, one thing stuck out above all else: where's all the youth?

The Mets are an interesting situation, because they have a chance to end up with a respectable record. It's not out of the realm of possibility that they could have a fifteen win improvement from last season, something they could constantly tout over the offseason to prospective free agents, prospective ticket holders, and prospective Mets Network clients. But instead of going the unknown and exciting route of calling up guys like Heath Bell, Blake McGinley and Royce Ring they instead stick with the ever boring and ever predictible (and it ain't the good kind of predictible) route of Jose Santiago, Danny Graves and Mr. Koo.

Instead of Anderson Hernandez, we get Miguel Cairo, Marlon Anderson and Kaz Matsui at second base. (Side note: Cairo cleared waivers, and the Mets really ought to try and turn him into a helpful minor leaguer before he hits the free agent market and re-signs with the Yankees). Instead of Prentice Redman or Angel Pagan, we get to watch Gerald Williams on a daily basis. It almost seems, from a fan's perspective, that the Mets would rather hinder their chances of success by employing sub par veterans than daring to trust unproven guys who may prove to be far more successful.

But, this is truly a case where the Mets have got nothing to lose. So, why not shake things up a bit, and not let the product get so... very... painfully... stale? Mets fans have suffered through Augusts of horrendous bullpen pitching and old men taking up the majority of at-bats for the past three seasons, and it didn't work. Why not just throw everything we've got out there, and see who may play a role next season? Give Mike Jacobs some at-bats, see if Chase Lambin could hit some at the big league level, let Met fans see the power of Steve Colyer's explosive fastball, or throw Tim Hamulack and let's see if he can replicate his success against major league hitters. Or, you could even do the wacky, big money, big press thing and call up Lastings Milledge and/or Yusmeiro Petit. Even if these guys fail, they've been given a shot, something most of them have never had.

I'd wager that most Mets fans would rather see a 2003 Jeff Duncan over a 2005 Gerald Williams any day of the week.

At least Duncan could have caught that freakin' ball.