Everyone is throwing their two cents in on the Willie Randolph controversy, so I guess I should add my perspective. I’ve avoided comment on Willie’s situation for some time now because, in reality, there is no easy answer here. Fire Willie, and, yes, the demons of last year might be exorcised. But on the flip side, a mid-year managerial shakeup could drive the team apart. Of course, it has been extensively reported that the Mets clubhouse is divisive as it is, so maybe this wouldn’t hurt as much as it could.
If I have to pick a side, and I feel like I do, I’m more on the “Keep Willie” side. It’s not that I have complete confidence in the manager. I agree with Willie’s critics that he doesn’t motivate the team enough. I’ve commented on his poor managerial decisions in the past. But, ultimately, the responsibility for this year’s mediocre play, in my view (and I know a lot of people will disagree with me here) belongs to Omar Minaya, not Willie.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Brian Bannister, Chris Aguila, Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Heath Bell, Jeff Keppinger, Marlon Anderson, Mets, Mike Jacobs, Moises Alou, Nick Evans, NL East, Omar Minaya, Orlando Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Ryan Church, Trot Nixon, Willie Randolph
The Mets yesterday acquired OF Trot Nixon from the Diamondbacks organization. Nixon, of course, is a former teammate of Pedro Martinez; the two played together on the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox team. Nixon was playing in Triple-A ball for Arizona and now immediately joins the Mets, where he started in left field in the first game of today’s doubleheader, going 2-3 with 2 walks and scoring a run.
Many Mets fans might question the move. Why trade for a guy who’s past his prime, someone with no upside. The reality is that Nixon has the potential to be a huge upgrade from what the Mets have had in left field this year, which is a group of players including Fernando Tatis, Endy Chavez, and Marlon Anderson, who aren’t hitting a lick. Nixon is a guy who can fire up a clubhouse and who knows how to win. Sure, he might appear to be in decline, hitting just .251 with Cleveland last year, but he was tearing it up for Triple-A Tucson, hitting .318, .449, .578 with 10 HR and 31 RBI. Compare that to Tatis (.250, .292, .333, 1 HR, 10 RBI), Chavez (.218, .271, .277, 1 HR, 4 RBI), and Anderson (.169, .194, .246, 1 HR, 5 RBI) and it’s easy to see why this move was necessary.
Hopefully, this will be a quick fix. With any luck, Ryan Church will be back soon, allowing for greater flexibility in the outfield alignment. But with Moises Alou on the seemingly perminant DL and Angel Pagan nowhere to be found, Nixon could see a good amount of time in left field this season for the Mets. It’s certainly not the ideal scenario, but give credit to Omar Minaya for addressing a major need.
The Mets announced that Ryan Church would head to the 15-day Disabled List yesterday, three weeks after sustaining his second concussion of the year on a nasty collision with Braves’ shortstop Yunel Escobar.
That’s a roster move made three weeks too late. The Mets management have shown time and time again that they have a knack for making the wrong decision at the wrong time–resigning Luis Castillo, trading Scott Kazmir, etc. How obvious should it have been that Church needed to be placed on the DL at the time? It was staring Omar Minaya in the face.
When the Mets left Atlanta for Colorado, Church jetted along with the team, seemingly unaware of the negative effect that the altitude would have on his already woozy state. I’m no doctor, but it’s obvious to me that the last thing someone needs to do after sustaining their second concussion in three months is fly across the country to a place with thin air. And then play baseball of all things? Terrible idea.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Angel Pagan, Luis Castillo, Marlon Anderson, Mets, Moises Alou, NL East, Omar Minaya, Ryan Church, Scott Kazmir, Willie Randolph, Yunel Escobar
I was as surprised as anyone else this week to hear that Abraham Nuñez would join the Mets in place of Nick Evans, who obviously is not Major League ready. Surprise was my first emotion. Anger quickly supplanted that. Why am I angry? Nuñez has Major League experience (1,029 games worth) and is solid defensively. While his .242 average is hardly fear-inducing, it’s adequate for a defensive replacement.
But the last thing the Mets need right now is another utility infielder for defensive purposes. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the Mets aren’t hitting, and are missing two of their most productive offensive players in Ryan Church and Moises Alou. With Endy Chavez and Fernando Tatis not hitting and Marlon Anderson and Angel Pagan on the DL, the Mets are in desperate need of an outfielder.
Posted in Mets
Tagged Abraham Nunez, Angel Pagan, Carlos Delgado, Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Jesus Feliciano, Marlon Anderson, Mets, Moises Alou, Nick Evans, NL East, Omar Minaya, Ryan Church, Valentino Pascucci
And…we’re back. With apologies about the long layoff, we’ve retooled our approach to NL Beast and are looking forward to going forward. With that, here’s the Mets Beast (and least) of the week.
The Mets Beast of the week is…
Carlos Delgado, 1B. I never thought the day would come, but Delgado takes the top honor for the week. Carlos hit .318, .423, .455 for the week. He walked three times and struck out four, which is a huge improvement for him. Not the most impressive numbers, I know. But to say that the Mets have been mediocre of late would be a gigantic understatement.
Runners-Up: Jose Reyes, Duaner Sanchez, Joe Smith
And the Mets least of the week is…
Fernando Tatis, OF. Tatis was a nice surprise when he was thrust into duty for an injured Moises Alou, but he has recently returned to Earth, hitting .105, .150, .158 in 19 at-bats this week. Obviously he is not going to be the kind of replacement player that Mets fans were hoping for in lieu of Alou, Ryan Church, and Angel Pagan.
Runners-Down: Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Oliver Perez
Posted in Mets
Tagged Angel Pagan, Carlos Delgado, Duaner Sanchez, Endy Chavez, Fernando Tatis, Joe Smith, Jose Reyes, Mets, Moises Alou, NL East, Oliver Perez, Ramon Castro, Ryan Church
This really pains me because the Mets have played so badly the past week that, to be quite honest, there is no real “Beast.” This past week, the Mets collectively hit .214, 24th in Major League Baseball. The Mets ERA was 5.40, 26th in baseball. But I’m obligated to give the Beast of the Week distinction to someone, so here goes.
The Mets Beast of the Week is OF Nick Evans. After being promoted from Double-A, Evans doubled three times in his debut Sunday and has apparently won the starting position in left field for now. The 22-year-old will surely return to the minors as soon as either Angel Pagan or Moises Alou comes off of the DL. But for now, it’s a good story amidst a whole lot of bad ones.
Runners-Up: Cowbell Man, Mr. Met, SNY’s ratings
I’m tempted to say that the least of the week is the rest of the team, but that’s a bit too dramatic for my taste. So I’ll single out the biggest culprit in the abysmal play that has plagued the Mets of late, and that is pitching coach Rick Peterson. This is a first on NL Beast–giving the least of the week distinction to a coach. I’ve been a Peterson supporter, but the statistics do not lie; the Mets pitching staff is abysmal. For the week, the Mets pitching staff was 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA, walking 32 and striking out 29, allowing opponents to hit .281. The supposedly elite pitching staff has been mediocre to say the least, and was just plain awful last week.
Runners-down: Brian Schneider, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey
Posted in Mets
Tagged Angel Pagan, Beast of the week, Brian Schneider, Cowbell Man, Least of the week, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Moises Alou, Mr. Met, Nick Evans, NL East, Oliver Perez, Rick Peterson, SNY
Moises Alou will go back to New York to get his left calf checked out. He had to leave the game last night and was initially diagnosed with a “mild strain,” according to Adam Rubin of the Daily News. Willie had hoped to play Alou tonight, but obviously that’s not going to happen.