Today is moving day…

Hello Met Nation…

     Like I mentioned a few weeks back, the newspaper I work at has asked me to move my blog to its Website.
Mrmet_290x315_5      So, while I’ll keep this site active for a while, from now on, I’ll be posting on, the online home of the Staten Island Advance. I’ve got a new look and even a new name…
    (So make sure you update your bookmarks and leave me some comments! And don’t worry if your comments don’t go up right away. This system may take a little longer.)
I’ve got a good feeling this is our season, so click here and come talk about it with me…

~ Eddie D’Anna

Mets in ’07!


Prioritize, AmBur!

     Armando Benitez.
    Jorge Julio.
    Ambiorix Burgos?
    Not yet, by any means. Hopefully not ever.
Burgos_2      But if our new reliever — who came from KC with a triple-digit fastball and a penchant for equally eye-popping meltdowns — doesn’t listen to his pitching coach, he could be next in the line of fire-balling hurlers who became flops in our Flushing bullpen.
     Burgos allowed a 2-run jack to Florida’s Hanley Ramirez Friday night on a 97 mph heater that caught too much of the plate. Yesterday Scott Rolen ripped a high fastball for a 2-run double. A few weeks back there was that grand slam to a Red Sox non-roster invitee.
    The problem?
    "The issue is this: High-end velocity without location doesn’t get anybody out in the big leagues," Rick Peterson told Newsday. " Until guys realize that’s the priority, they won’t succeed."

Mets in the news

  • El Duque pulled up limp after running to first base yesterday. Not to worry though. Just a cramp.
  • Lastings Milledge think he’s gotten all he can from the minor leagues. I agree.

     Don’t forget, soon I’ll be moving my blog to the online home of the Staten Island Advance. The new site is just about ready and it looks cool. Should be some time this week, but I’ll let you know for sure. Hopefully you’ll update your bookmarks!

Mets in ’07!

Say no to Chan Ho

     Thank you Chan Ho Park.
     As a staunch supporter of Mike Pelfrey in his bid to win the No. 5 spot, I was still kinda worried the Mets would do something dumb like take Park when the team breaks camp and send the kid down to Triple-A for more experience.
     That was until I read Chan Ho’s pitching line yesterday:
     3 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 ER.
     Yep, this race is about over.
     BTW: A few other veterans on the bubble didn’t do too well yesterday either.
      Jorgie Sosa relieved Park and gave up six runs (three earned) and eight hits in two innings. Meanwhile, pitching with the other squad, Aaron Sele got touched for five earned runs in five innings against the Orioles.
Mets in the news
  • For those keeping score at home, Lastings Milledge got two more hits yesterday. His average is .375.
  • In the Asbury Park Press we learn Armando Benitez Ambiorix Burgos thinks he’ll make the bullpen, even after his second meltdown in six games. I’m pulling for Joe Smith here. I like Burgos a lot, but he’s gotta learn to stop trying to blow hitters away and actually pitch.
  • I feel a lot better after watching achy-elbowed Aaron Heilman fry the Fish Friday night. We need this guy.
  • Great story in Newsday about how fortysomething Mets fend off age.
Mets in ’07! 


    OK… I’ve seen all I need to see.
     I’ve got my five for our starting rotation. Let’s call this Oliver_1 whole competition off.
     Tom Glavine, Orlando Hernandez, John Maine, Oliver Perez (9Ks in 5 innings vs. Boston last night??) and Mike Pelfrey.
     I’ll go to war with that bunch.
     Glavine is going to be Glavine. He’ll give us at least 30 starts, most of them good, and double-digit wins. He’s the dean of this staff.
     Hopefully El Duque has a strong first half in him. If he gives us a couple of good months, maybe he can get us to Pedro or Humber at mid-season, then take his annual vacation to stay fresh for October.
     And the kids?
     Either Maine, Perez or Pelfrey could become a front-of-the-rotation starter this season. Maybe all. They are that good and they are progressing that much. They’ve had great camps and are making leaps and strides under pitching coach Rick Peterson.

Mets in the news

  • Shawn Green keeps coming on strong. He hit a homerun last night. Not to be outdone, Lastings Milledge raised his average to .375 with a single.
  • In today’s Advance, we learn side-winding reliever Joe Smith had his locker moved closer to the veterans. He pitched another scoreless inning last night with 2 Ks.
  • Aaron Heilman isn’t concerned about his achy elbow. I am.
Mets in ’07!   

Pitching answers present themselves

     Maybe Rick Peterson really is something special.
     Because yesterday two of our pitching coach’s prized pupils Pelfreynew_3 continued their stellar springs and eased some of the uncertainty surrounding our starting rotation.
     First John Maine continued his ascension from throw-away to front-end pitcher with four innings of one-run ball. The wind-blown dinger he gave up was his first run of the spring and he tallied four Ks on the day.
     Then Mike Pelfrey — who has used Peterson’s teachings to turn himself into a groundball machine — pitched four gritty innings, allowing only his first earned run of the spring. The kid hung tough and pitched himself out of two jams against the AL East champion Tigers.
     You can pencil Maine in as our No. 3 pitcher right now — and feel pretty good about it.
     As for Pelfrey, if he hasn’t wrapped up this No. 5 job yet, he’s one more start away from doing so. And if he continues to work down in the zone and get hitters to put the ball on the ground, he could be much more than that by the all-star break.
     Today, Peterson’s other student, Oliver Perez, will pitch.

Mets in ’07!

Kids vs. vets in Met camp

     Less that three weeks ‘til Opening Day.
     Decision time’s a-coming for Omar and Co., and with two kids currently Lastings_7 outplaying their veteran counterparts, I wonder if we’ll take a gamble when it’s time to head north.
     Or take the easy way out and decide based on reputations.
     If camp were to break today, Lastings Milledge deserves to be in rightfield every day and Mike Pelfrey deserves to be on the hill every fifth day.
     It is believed Shawn Green (who to his credit, isn’t going without a fight) and Chan Ho Park will get the starting gigs at their expense. If they do, it is strictly for their performances years ago.
     One legitimate knock on us is that we’re a little long in the tooth.

     If these kids continue to show they are ready, why not give them a chance?
     After all, I thought these were supposed to be open competitions.

Shawn Green: .156 AVG
Lastings Milledge: .355 AVG
Ben Johnson: .355 AVG

Chan Ho Park: 6.1 IP, 7.11 ERA
Mike Pelfrey: 5 IP, 0.00 ERA

Mets in ’07!

Finding the Wright spot for David

There’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.
Wright_1      That’s how I feel about this new lineup Willie is said to be considering for the season. The one where David Wright bats second, Moises Alou fifth and Paul Lo Duca gets dropped to seventh.
     I know it’s awfully tempting to pencil Wright and his high-OBP in the two hole. But I think we need his power in the middle.
     Here’s why:

  • A slap-hitter like Lo Duca is a more potent weapon to our offense when he’s batting second. With Jose Reyes on base and the Carloses looming, the catcher saw his share good pitches, hit .318 and made the all-star team last season. Sandwiched between Shawn Green and Jose Valentin, I think his average will drop and we’ll have the potential for a soft bottom third.
  • I like the protection Wright and Alou give Delgado. Honestly, would you give Carlos something he can hit if you knew Alou and Green were the ones batting behind him? Me neither.

Any lineup preferences out there?

Mets in ’07!

Columnist’s suggestion for the birds


    I knew somebody was bound to write this article.
    Daily News columnist Bill Madden wants the Mets to dump "fat and tardy" Duaner_1 reliever Duaner Sanchez, apparently a new-found clubhouse cancer who’s behavior will wreck our push for October.
    And why — with our starting rotation shaky as it is — would we trade our most consistent relief pitcher last season, you ask?
    It seems an unnamed Dodgers source told Madden that Sanchez showed up drunk once for a game in L.A. (Ever think he might be trying to justify one of the worst trades his team made in the last five years, Bill?)
    And because Madden has apparently uncovered Sanchez’ hidden involvement in an incident at a Manhattan bar, although only Jorge Julio and Manny Acta were known to have been reprimanded for "loud activity" at the establishment last season. (I’m not even sure how to respond to something as iffy as that.)
    Then of course, as Bill reminds us, there was that taxi accident last July. (Like Sanchez asked the cabbie crash into his car.)
Well, thanks for the suggestion, Bill.
    I’ll be sure to file it… along the bottom of Cuddles’ birdcage.
    Here are the facts. Last season Sanchez went 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a .223 BAA. Before the crash, he was the surest thing in our ‘pen.
    Yes, I know he flaked out this spring. He got punished for it. And he deserved it.
    But do we really want to run one of the game’s top setup guys out of town based on this kind of speculation, and leave such an important job open to the un-juiced (Guillermo Mota) and unproven (Ambiorix Burgos, Joe Smith)?
    What do you think out there?

Mets in ’07!

The fight for right

     It’s starting to become clear that Ben Johnson doesn’t belong in Triple-A.
Johnson      And now I’m wondering whether we’d be doing ourselves an injustice relegating him to the bench in Flushing as well.
     As nice a story as the revival of Lastings Milledge has been this spring, it’s been Johnson — three more hits and another HR yesterday — who is providing the fiercest challenge to incumbent rightfielder Shawn Green.
     When we got him from San Diego, the book on Johnson — a big-time minor league hitter — was that he needed at-bats to establish himself as a big leaguer. For what it’s worth, he’s smoking at the plate so far this spring.
     With three weeks of camp left to go, Johnson is hitting .409, Milledge .300 and Green .160.
     This job is up for grabs.
     Who would you like to see playing everyday in right field when we break camp?

     Oliver Perez had another solid outing yesterday, giving up just a run in 4 IP to the Nationals. Alay Soler gave up 4 runs and 4 walks in an inning of work.

Enjoy your Sunday and Mets in ’07!


All business

     Know what I like most about this Met team?
Duaner      The trait that makes me think we are destined for something great this season?
     Our focus.
     Take this Duaner Sanchez thing, for instance.
     One of our key relief pitchers shows up to camp 15 pounds over his target weight and is perpetually late for his rehabilitation sessions. Do they ignore it because he’s one of their own?
     No way.
     In fact, in addition to our manager cutting the issue down before it grows into something that hurts the team — Willie at his best — some of our on-field leaders have let it be known this behavior won’t be tolerated in the clubhouse either.
     Take these excerpts from today’s tabs:

Billy Wagner:
"He needs to get his head on right and understand that this is not about him, it’s about us. I think he’s got to do a little soul-searching, I guess, and figure out what he wants: Does he want to be a baseball player or does he want to stay home?"  (from Newsday)
David Wright:
"He needs to realize he’s not only hurting himself by not getting his work in, he’s hurting the 24 other guys. Hopefully, it opens up his eyes and he comes back with a fresh mind and wants to get the work in to be the Duaner of old." (from Newsday)
Tom Glavine:
"No. 1, he had to send a message to the team… And individually he sent Duaner a message that Duaner needed. I don’t think it will hurt [Sanchez] to have a little kick in the butt. … It was a good wake-up call." (from the Post)
Mets in ’07