Going to The Chapel

The consensus reports suggest the Mets Lineup to be the following.
1. Reyes S
2. Lo Duca R
3. Beltran S
4. Delgado L
5. Floyd L
6. Wright R
7. Diaz/ Nady/ Chaves
8. Matsui/ Anderson/ whoever

I think Willie made his decision before spring training started.

Wait, one last formality:

Father Mazzilli: “Ladies and Gentlemen: We gather here today to witness the uniting of players to the Line-up. As you all know Willie is a devout JoeTorrean so this ceremony is binding for the complete season, with out exception. Let us begin.”
“Do you, Willie Randolph, take this shortstop, to be your leadoff hitter, despite on base percentage as long as you manage the Mets?”

Willie: “I do”

Father Maz: “Do you, Willie, take this catcher to be your number 2 hitter, in slumps and streaks, despite all logic as both as you both shall be Mets?”

Willie: “I do”

Father Maz: “Do you Willie take this Centerfielder, to be your third hitter regardless of past performance in the 2 no matter how much he struggles in the 3 hole?”

Willie: “I do”

Father Maz: “Did you not watch the 2004 playoffs?”
Willie: “I did and I do”
Ok cleanup is a gimmie…

Father Maz: “Do you Willie take this Leftfielder to be your number 5 Hitter?”Willie: “I do”

Father Maz: “Do you take this third baseman phenom, budding superstar to be your 6th hitter despite being the best hitter on the team, offering him no protection, single handedly guaranteeing him see bad pitches?”

Willie:” I Do”(Skipping ahead as the concept is wearing thin)

(Skipping ahead as the concept is wearing thin)Father Maz: “Do you Willie Randolph take this lineup to be your sole lineup, in injury and in health, through All-Star Break and trading deadline, for winning and for losing, never wavering from it as long as you manage the Mets?”

Willie: “I do”Father Maz: “Now by the power invested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce you Willie Randolph, Married to this lineup. As you have vowed here today by the religious laws of JoeTorreism you must never consider altering this lineup as long as you manage the Mets. You have now married your lineup”

Sniff, beautiful ceremony, don’t you just love weddings?

Marrying your lineup before training camp. Vintage Willie. I can speculate the honeymoon will be short and sweet before all the good will is gone.
Beltran in the 3 hole again, huh? The only thing I can think of besides JoeTorrean philosophy is that Willie’s “gut” tells him that the Beltran-Delgado relationship will strengthen both players. First of all lets, I think Willie “going with his gut” means “I don’t understand the numbers or even the logic of my line up and with this answer you can’t prove it”

For the sake of argument let’s stipulate that Willie’s gut is correct and Beltran returns to that player we saw in the 2004 NLCS. Delgado hits a little better than last year.

That being said, the lineup is still flawed. Every team in the league except the Mets have a LOOGy (Lefty one out guy). If we had a LOOGy Willie would use him incorrectly at the wrong time. A Delgado, Floyd, Wright lineup is an invitation to the other manager to use his LOOGy in the key situation of a close or tied game. Consider this:

Tie game, start of the eighth.

Righty long relief pitcher in the game.

Lo Duca pops out to start the inning

One out

Beltran singles to left.

One out, one on.

Dusty Baker, Tony Larusa, Bobby Cox, whoever (just a manger that has a clue how to manage a bullpen) looks at the potential of his righty facing Delgado and Floyd OR his LOOGy facing two guys who’s number against Lefties: OBP SLG AVG
Delgado .308/.461/.234
Floyd .284/.427/.224
With this lineup
1. Reyes
2. LoDuca
3. Beltran
4. Delgado
5. Wright
6. Floyd
7. Right field
8. Punching Judy 2B
If Wright had the 5 hole the LOOGY would not be brought in or brought in to face Delgado as David Wright against Lefties is .415/.602/.336
Between two lefties power hitters is a supurb place for Wright to power this offense.
That’s right POWER the offense. He can and deserves the oportunity. I don’t think Floyd would have a problem with 6th behind Wright.
I know Willie does.
Why?
Maybe Floyd is a veteran and afforded more responsibility in Willie’s eyes.
Didn’t David Wright report to camp months early to get ready for the season? Yeah Willie,
the guy obviously handle the reponsibilty
I don’t care if Floyd is a 13 year veteran; seniority dictating strategy is not what wins championships.
Maybe Floyd in Willie’s mind is a “5 hole Guy.”
I don’t know what that means.
I don’t think this will ever change with Willie. “Willie’s way” is the only way to explain it.
Imagine what Bobby Valentine could do with this team. I remember the 99 Mets. I can’t recite their lineup because it was always changing. Valentine had a lesser team and found a way to beat the other guys. Bobby exploited mismatches rather that creating mismatches in the other guys favor. Willie may be a good “clubhouse guy” and created an attitude of winning in the Locker room. I believe he did a good job motivating guys to want to win (if they needed motivation in the first place, I don’t think anybody had to motivate Wright.)
It is time to show Willie the door. He will never learn. The sooner the better. For the Mets to win this season they will have to do so in spite of Willie’s actions rather than because of them.

Posted under Humorous

This post was written by Dan in Texas on February 21, 2006

The Pitching rotation

I preface this with I have been a HUGE Omar fan. Hang on to Millege, get Beltran, get Wagner, get Delgado, get LaDuca. The guy is golden. I didn’t panic when the Benson trade happened like most of the other Mets fans I hear on MLB radio. I wore a smirk when people would ask me what I thought about the Benson deal and gave a knowing nod and answered with “just wait… you’re not gonna believe what Omar has planned next.” That all changed today as I returned from the weekend and spent the better part of my free time combing the blogs for the wonderful “sources inside the organization report the Zito trade is expected to be announced later today/this week” story. I found nothing. Not even the unreliable blogs even touched the idea. For the first time the possibility dawned on me that Zito may not be coming. Say it ain’t so! I turn to you and ask with desperation, “Will the Mets make us a top notch contender by bringing in another top notch starter (Zito) or will they go with the Pedro, Glavine, Trax, Zambrano, Heilman rotation? Is there a blockbuster trade around the corner?” How is New York dealing with this situation? Does Omar really think that there will be no injuries and that the Braves are going to lay down while we win the East in a Padres fashion? Please tell me Omar is not a Phillips\Duke clone that will go into a season as ill prepared as this. Instead of the papers with headlines asking the ridiculous question “Is Omar a racist?” can we see the reasonable “Has Omar a lost his mind?” Tell me he knows what he is doing and I won’t have to sit through July with Pedro and Glavine on the DL, one of them out for the season. Tell me we won’t start the second half of the season with Trax as our number one and Ishii clones in the 4 and 5 spot that guarantees me reading “the Mets limp into the All-Star break after getting swept by PIT and FLA at home by a combined score of 84 to 36.”
Look, I live in Arlington, Texas- 3 minutes from The Ball Park in Arlington, so I have seen it first hand year after year after year. You can’t expect to compete for the pennant with a bunch of bashers and no pitching. Having Batting champions, MVPs and homerun leaders is exciting and all but with no pitching it means last place. Ask any Ranger fan. (By the way a Ranger fan is someone who is passing time waiting for Cowboys training camp to start)
Think Cowboys are to Red Sox as Rangers are to Patriots.
They get all excited if the Rangers have a good season, but nobody really cares if they don’t. I wear my Mets colors to the park, even when the Mets came for inter-league play (Reyes’ first start), and the only people who seemed to even notice were other Met fans. Apathy is the worst thing fans can have. Living here is probably like being a Brave fan with out all the NL East titles. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all of Texas. Houston is a great baseball city. A fan wearing Mets colors to Minute Maid Park/ the Astrodome has never been safe. That’s another story. Anywho…
…back to the Mets. Tell me the contingency plan for injuries is not to call up Pelfry a season too early and ruin his promising future in a David Clyde-esque-Gregg Jeffries manner? (sorry for the Clyde reference but I couldn’t think of a Met pitcher that was as promising and brought up to early- excluding Gen K. as they were overworked- and hey, I do live in Arlington, Texas) Will I see Zito in spring training; will I see the rotation of a contender? Was that light at the end of turnaround tunnel of 05 really the return of Mets baseball or was it the headlight of the fright train that ran me over in 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 02, 03, and 04? Is the move of Heilman to starter as doomed as Juan Samuel to center? Will I be able to come to work without being taunted by my Braves loving boss? Ya know, I ignored football and basketball the day they announced the Wagner deal as I couldn’t get the image of Wagner, Delgado, Beltran, Jose, Wright, Pedro, Benson, Glavine and Seo and Co. smiling as they rode down Canyon of Heroes. “Hell, even Randolph cant F-this up” I thought. I was actually worrying that I wouldn’t have enough vacation time to enjoy the playoffs. (I work funny hours). Then the world champs of my November imagination trade a reliable starter and a promising one for… who? Wait, wait Omar will make a deal by Wednesday …OK Friday…well maybe they want to wait until after the weekend for the Monday news cycle. Here I am to day and Gulp. No way can the current rotation win the East or even the wild card. Is Omar a sadist? Did I upset the baseball gods? Did I just wake up and have the feeling of misplaced trust in Omar like the feeling of learning you left the kids with an pyromaniac axe-murdering babysitter for the weekend?.
He made the Benson trade to be in a position to trade for Zito…right? Omar and Beane have a gentlemen’s agreement already in place…right? I mean Beane is probably negotiating an extension with Zito as a condition of the trade…right? Everybody knows it but nobody is reporting it…right? Julio, Heilman, Maine, and Bannister for Zito,done deal…right? Omar has a better plan for the rotation then Petey, Glav, Trax, Zam and Heil… right? Tell me its so. Please! So I can get on with the rest of my life!

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on February 6, 2006

15 questions for Joe Castellano

Apparently there are some technichal difficuties with my Blog. Appologies to the tens of you that have not been able to check my site, anywho…
For anyone, like me, who has been completely unaware that there is another sport in America, I heard a rumor about a big game this weekend, XM Radio has been a fantastic way to get through the off-season. The best show by far is Joe Castellano’s MLB Late Edition. He is impartial but also a Mets Fan. He is very well informed on any Mets topic. For anyone who listens to Joe’s show Dan in Arlington, Texas is yours truly. Joe C. was kind enough to give an interview with Lonestar Met. I asked Joe the Following:

I try not to show too much that I grew up as a Mets fan…Trying to be impartial…to answer your questions.

Lonestar Mets: Joe Castellano is credited in The Natural. Were you in the Movie?
Joe C: No, that is a different Joe C.
Lonestar Mets: Do you think baseball’s popularity is at an all time? If so what do you attribute it to?
Joe C:Yes…people are more into sports than ever and baseball is the best sport
LM: What is the most important issue Major League Baseball has to face today?
Joe C:…The salary structure…some teams can’t afford to compete anymore…also the average fan is getting price out…they can’t afford to buy bleacher seats anymore.
LM: Now that the Steroid issue has had national attention, do you think that there is another potential scandal that will come to the forefront in the foreseeable future?
Joe C: I’m sure there will be…wouldn’t be surprised if a gambling situation happens again.
LM: Do you think a team will ever be “contacted”?
Joe C:do you mean like the 1919 White Sox…I think so.
Lonestar Mets: Will Major League Baseball ever have a commissioner with absolute power?
Joe C:No..the owners will not allow it.
LM: With Latin America producing great prospects and players where do you think the next prospect “hotspot?” will come from?
Joe C:Asia…we’ve already seen Japan…Maybe China is next. LM: Follow-up: Is the World Baseball Classic intended to find it? Joe C: Not really, it’s just a way to show off the game and make money.

Enough about baseball, Lets talk the Mets

LM:I know you are a Mets fan. What made you a fan and why do you still pull for them?
Joe C: My first game in 1969 as a 7 year old was at Shea…I was hooked…I don’t pull for them that hard anymore since I have to follow all teams and living in SF has made me lean more towards the Giants.
LM: Do you see the NL east as the Mets Division to Lose?
Joe C: No…It’s Mets and Braves neck and neck.
LM: What do you see as the Mets major weakness in the Lineup?
Joe C: Possibly Nady and of course Matsui.
LM: Do you see another major move by the organization? If so who?
Joe C: A 2nd baseman …but hopefully Bret Boone has a comeback yr.
LM: With Gary Carter seemingly being groomed as the future Mets manager, how long of a leash does Willie Randolph have this season if the Mets stumble out of the gate?
Joe C: I think he will be there no matter what…UNLESS it is a disaster start.
LM: Did the Mets Overpay for Billy Wagner?
Joe C: No…he is the most intimidating closer in baseball.
LM: Is there any possibility that Barry Zito is a met by opening day?
Joe C: No…the A’s have Series aspirations and they need Zito
LM: Should Dan from Arlington Texas stop calling you with Barry Zito trade speculations?
Joe C: Let’s talk about it again if the A’s get off to another 15-30 start.

Thanks to Joe Castellano of MLB late eddition.

Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by Dan in Texas on February 4, 2006