Tag Archives: NL East

The “Save Willie” Post

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.

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Soggy Mets

I’ve always been a cynical sports fan. That’s what happens when you root for the Mets and Jets. But I think I sank to a new low last night when, watching David Wright poke a two-run shot in the second inning, my first reaction was “this isn’t going to be enough.” And after the tornado rain delay in the seventh, the Mets went on to prove me right, as Joe Smith and Duaner Sanchez shit a collective brick to give the game away to the struggling D-Backs. By the way, John Maine needs to figure out a way to get his pitch count down. There’s no excuse for having to turn to the bullpen so early when the team’s elite young pitcher is on the mound.

As a Mets fan, last night’s game was hard to watch. But as a baseball fan, there was something very refreshing that happened in the seventh inning. As Pedro Feliciano took the mound, Shea Stadium became the stage for a revival of the Wizard of Oz, with everything and anything swirling around the field. My experience in the last few years with impending weather at ballgames is that umpires will assume nothing until it becomes impossible to play the game. Everyone knew that the heavens were about to open on Flushing. Everyone expected to get wet. But instead of letting this happen, the umpires decided to stop the game right then and there. It turned out to be a great decision, as the grounds crew (with the help of Scott Schoeneweiss and Billy Wagner) got the tarp out there just in time.

MLB’s handling of rain delays has really bugged me this year. Baseball is so inclined not to postpone or cancel games due to so many factors that players are often put in harm’s way as a result. Recently I saw Odalis Perez leave a soaking wet Washington mound injured after it started pouring at a Nationals Cardinals game. The injury, no doubt, was a result of the conditions on the field. It just isn’t worth the risk.

-Jonathan Kraft

Church [finally] to DL

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.

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Beast (and least) of the East

Congrats to Jorge Cantu, who gets the nod this week as Beast of the East.

And let’s shake our collective head at Jason Bergmann, whose abysmal performance awards him the distinction of least of the East.

Why Valentino Pascucci (and not Abraham Nuñez) should be on the Mets

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.

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Marlins Beast (and least) of the Week

The Marlins Beast of the Week is…

Jorge Cantu, 3B. Cantu had a monster of a week, hitting .407, .379, .889 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. He is an important part of the Marlins’ lineup, hitting .287, .340, .494 for the year with 11 HR and 34 RBI.

Runners-Up: Dan Uggla, Justin Miller, Scott Olsen

And the Marlins least of the week is…

Jacques Jones, OF. NL Beast praised the Marlins for picking Jones up off of waivers last month. But Jones has not come through since then, and had a terrible week for the Fish, hitting .083, .214, .083 in 12 at-bats. That won’t help his .153 batting average on the year.

Runners-Down: Ricky Nolasco, Matt Treanor, Jeremy Hermida

Nationals Beast (and least) of the Week

This is tough. The Nationals have been playing some pretty bad abysmal baseball lately. But there must be one person who gets the Beast of the Week honor, and we give this week’s award to…

Elijah Dukes, OF. The man who has been so troubled off the field has found lots more trouble on the field this year, batting below the Mendoza line. But Dukes seems to be prospering in the two-hole (give credit to Manny Acta here). For the week, Elijah hit .286, .375, .571 with 5 RBI and a home run (a game-winner Thursday night against St. Louis). He certainly has a lot of upside, and any offensive production from the replacement right-fielder will be a huge boost to the team with the worst combined batting average in the majors (.231).

Runners-Up: Jesus Flores, Cristian Guzman, Saul Rivera

The Nationals least of the week is…

Jason Bergmann, RHP. We thought that Bergmann had turned the corner after a terrible start to the season, but he reverted to his old self Friday night against the Giants, giving up 5 earned runs on 10 hits in just 3 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out none. That’s a WHIP of 4.00 and an ERA of 15.00. On a team that’s not hitting, he has to be better than that.

Runners-down: Wily Mo Peña, Felipe Lopez, Luis Ayala