Monday, May 08, 2006

Talking points

On Mike and the Dog today, besides an appearance by yours truly, Francesa said he talked to Omar this morning and OM said he'd work the phones a bit but also stressed patience. He said the Metropolitans are committed to going through another two or three turns in the rotation to see how things pan out and to see how Bannister and Maine come back from injury.

I can't agree more. We can go 1-11 on our upcoming brutal road trip and still be at .500. While that would be really really really bad, it'd still be stupid to be making blockbuster trades in early May.

One thing I could see happening down the stretch would be a Diaz/Matsui/prospects package to land a starter, but it'll be hard to endorse if Matsui is performing well enough to be considered good trade bait. No matter how many times he pops out to the infield with the bases loaded he is still ten times the hitter AHern is, he is playing the best defense ever in his time at second, and you can count on him to bunt a man over when you need him to.

So in the words of one of the Metsies' most famous fans, "It may get worse but we'll get through it, y'all. Be strong."

He also said "What is destined shall be, George Bush killer 'til George Bush kills me," which is another good point.

Lastings resort

On espn.com's Insider, Buster Olney says today that he'd have "a very hard time finding fault with the Mets" if they dealt Milledge for Zito. Bullshit!

Dealing the best prospect in our system for a .500 pitcher in his walk year is, using the favorite word of one of my closest friends, untenable.

Zito has gone 14-12, 11-11, and 14-13 between 2003-2005 seasons, respectively. His ERA is much better, 3.38, 4.48, and 3.86, with WHIPs of 1.18, 1.39, and 1.20. Don't get me wrong; he's a good pitcher, and he'll likely devour innings, but Milledge? When we're not sure we can sign Zito after this season? The proposal is ludicrity defined.

Olney is correct in stressing how important the 2006 season is to the Metropolitans, and the fact that the aging front end of our pitching staff will need replacing sooner or later. He also rightly points out how different the Mets are now than they were when they made the Zambrano and Benson trades. But though he couldn't fault the Metsies for making the deal, he himself says he wouldn't pull the trigger.

The rotation is a mess right now, but we have plenty of time to give spot starts and patch a staff together before sweating the trade deadline. More starters should come on the trade market then, and perhaps we can get away with dealing some other prospects to get someone respectable.

But Milledge for Zito? Say it ain't so.

Lima Time Out

Thanks to the wonders of cable television and the Turner Broadcasting Station (I assume that's what the acronym stands for, at least), I was able to enjoy the Mets recent series against the Braves. A few observations, from a Red Sox fan:

- Carlos Beltran is back to being an impact player. Maybe it's the finally healthy hammies, maybe it's Delgado hitting behind him, but in a few short months he's gone from A-rod to Derek Jeter on the scale of "Yankees players I'd least like to face with the game on the line."

- I've always wondered what Pedro Martinez would be like if he were a horrible pitcher. Would he keep up the antics and passion or just idly wander through the baseball world? Thank God Jose Lima is around to answer that question. He's seriously the Bizarro-Pedro.

- The next game played in Shea Stadium will be one too many. How that place is 50 years younger than Fenway boggles the mind. The only game I saw at Shea was Tom Glavine's Mets first season opener (I believe), when he gave up like 7 runs in 3 innings and Corey Patterson had two homeruns in the game. Sadly, Shea has followed Patterson's decline since then and not Glavine resurgence. Get that new stadium now!

- The Mets need pitching. I know that record looks great now, I also remember the time the Red Sox started out 41-17 or something similar in 2002 and missed the playoffs. The bullpen is thin, and that will be exposed as starters go down. Zito for Milledge is highway robbery, but someone needs to come from outside the organization or the surging Phillies may finally fulfill their potential.

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