Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday- All The Fit That's News To Print- Or Something Like That...

~Happy Sunday, as the Mets take 2 out of 3 from the Nationals! 26 games over .500- and tied for the fastest Mets' team to get to 70 wins this early in the season - tied, of course, with our World Championship team of 1986! That's great company to be in!!!

~Preston Wilson will not be an Astro within the next 10 days, as they have designated him for assignment. This doesn't make sense-Wilson, step-son of former Mets' CF Mookie, is their number 2 RBI man, and the Astros are only 3.5 games back in the wildcard race. Granted, he hasn't been the home run hitter they thought he'd be, with only 9, and he strikes out a ton, but he's apparently beloved in the clubhouse and doesn't make a ton of $$. We'd LOVE to see Wilson back with the Mets, the team that traded him originally (to Florida in a trade for some guy named Piazza). It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days.

~ In his Sunday column in the NY Times, Murray Chass brings up the point that the Cincinatti Reds received in Gary Majewski "damaged goods" that the Nationals were aware of. They are apparently going to discuss with the commissioner's office what options they have. Let us save them a bit of time- NONE! It's "let the buyer beware" when it comes to trades, as the Mets certainly found out when we received a very damaged Victor Zambrano in exchange for some former phenom (see- we're not even saying his name anymore!). The Reds have to make it look to their fans like they are going to do something, but in reality they must be aware that there is nothing that they can do except to never trade with wheeling, dealing Jim Bowden again. You can read Chass's article by clicking here.

~ 71 wins, August 13th, 16 ahead in the division....can't say these things enough times!!!

~ In his column in today's New York Post, Joel Sherman brings up an interesting point- on one hand, the AL hasn't had so many great young pitchers come of age at the same time in many years. Whether it's Justin Verlander on the Tigers, Francisco Liriano on the Twins or Jon Pabelbon on the Red Sox, you can make a strong argument for any and all three as the AL Rookie of The Year. For a good portion of the season, Liriano led in ERA, Verlander in Wins & Pabelbon in saves. On the other hand, relying on young pitchers means that there is the potential for them to reach a point in the season where their arm goes dead, as most have never pitched that many innings in a season before. All three have hit that mythical "wall" of late, with Liriano on the DL, Verlander temporarily shut down and Pabelbon finally hitting a rough patch, but, as Sherman said, this is certainly the "year of the rookie." It's not limited to the AL, though, as Florida's Josh Johnson has led the NL in ERA for much of the season, and he is one of four Marlin's rookie starters that have winning records. In fact, the only Marlins starter WITHOUT a winning record right now is Dontrelle Willis! The Marlins, a team that certainly deserves far more press then it has received to date, also has a line-up that features rookies Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Hansley Ramirez, Josh Willingham & Jeremy Hermida, future stars in the making. The Angels have had many touted young players fall by the wayside recently, but that certainly can not be said about their 2 young stud pitchers, Jered Weaver & Erwin Santana. In fact, Weaver beat the Yankees today, bringing the Red Sox only one game away from them in the standings. The Dodgers have been bolstered by the likes of Andre Ethier, Russ Martin, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito, rookies all, and the Tigers, in addition to Verlander, have been bolstered in their pennant drive by rookies Joel Zumaya and Zack Miner. Sherman also notes the contributions made by John Maine & Lastings Milledge on our own Mets' team, as well as the boost the Red Sox have received from the afore-mentioned Pabelbon, as well as Jon Lester, Manny Delcarmen and Craig Hansen. Other rookies of note: the Diamondbacks Stephen Drew, Carlos Quentin & Conor Jackson; the Cardinals' Anthony Reyes, Adam Wainwright and Chris Duncan; as well as great rookie performances from Washington's third-sacker Ryan Zimmerman (rookie-best 75 RBIs), Milwaukee's first-baseman Prince Fielder (rookie-best 21 HRs), Seattle's catcher Kenji Johjima (.389 BA with RISP) and San Diego infielder Josh Barfield (16 SBs). Personally, we can't ever remember a year with so many great rookies at the same time, and this is certainly a great sign of things to come for baseball! You can read Sherman's article by clicking here.

~HERE COMES THE HYPE MACHINE - Also in today's Post, Kevin Kernan, in an article entitled "Shea Hey Kid" writes about top Met outfield prospect Carlos Gomez. He quotes one scout as saying "I'm not saying he's Willie Mays," the scout began, offering a disclaimer, "but Carlos Gomez plays the game with the same kind of energy that Mays did. He's going to be something special." We love the fact that Omar has resisted all overtures other GMs have made regarding the availability of Gomez, even versus acquiring the likes of a Barry Zito, but a player with this type of talent comes around rarely, and we are finally a ballclub that can lay claim to a number of "tools" players, from Wright, Beltran & Reyes to Millege and Gomez, and this hasn't been the case in our history, either recent or long-term. We've had some great amalgams of talent, like the Strawberry-Hernandez-Carter trio, but only one (Straw) was home-grown, and none finished his career with us (and in the case of Carter and Mex, we weren't even their longest career stops). It's far too early to predict what Gomez can do for us, and his natural position is CF, where a certain Mr. Beltran is parked for the next 7 years. However, when posed the question about where he might play and the fact that Beltran stands in front of him in CF, Gomez quickly replied "I can play right field." According to Omar, Gomez is faster then Reyes, with whom he is friends and works out with in the off-season, and at 6 feet, 4 inches and 190 pounds, Gomez has a chance to really grow into hitting for power as well as for average, and he is already a blazing base-stealer. A special kid, no doubt, but please don't compare him to Willie- not for at least another 10 seasons! You can read Kernan's article here.

~It looks like Mike Pelfrey will resume pitching next week. Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

~That's all for this Sunday- see you tomorrow with more on the wonderful, first-place Mets!

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