Thursday, March 22, 2007

State of Affairs for the 2007 Mets

So as I promised, there’s some bid-ness I need to take care of before getting down to the nitty gritty stuff of the season…like my obsession with one Oliver Perez or Oh Pea as many of you have taken to calling him on account of yours truly. I will get to that tomorrow. Today’s theme is something that I tried to post on Ed’s BOG the other day, and **surprise surprise**, the PC ate it. Drat. It was a good one. But thankfully I remember most of the commentary, so I thought – why not use it as a topic for my blog? Mad props go to Ed though, since this is a response to his posting on Tuesday. But now the thoughts are a Coop Original.

So from my perspective, there are three keys to this season being a runaway success on a par with 2006. Here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with pitching. Believe it or not, I am fine with the pitching staff as is. Don’t get me wrong, I was totally drinking the Zito kool-aid during hot stove, as many on The Metropolitans can attest (Hi Benny!). Put the big Dice-K cherry on top, and I thought the Mets might make out well in the off season. Alas, Dice-K went to not-the-Yankees and Zito…well you know he was drinking his own Kool Aid or smoking wacky tabacky too with the sweet moolah he made off with or thought he deserved. If you remember correctly, the last two years, everyone had question marks on their pitching but somehow the Mets made it through two over .500 seasons with such starters as Kaz Yeesh-ii, Alay Soler, Lima Time and Jeremy-Jeremi-Jeromy-Jeremei oh forget it Gonzalez. And they still had winning records. Pitching does not concern me.

Three things or rather players do and I believe they are the keys to a successful season. The three keys are: Shawn “String Bean” Green, David “Sugar Pants” Wright and Jose “The Mack Daddy” Valentin.

OK I think we pretty much know that Green is WAY over his prime. His offense is questionable, his fielding sucks, and overall, we cannot really count on him to drive in the RISP or pretty much get on base anytime but sporadically. OK, some of you may think I am being harsh, but I am not. I will get into this more tomorrow in my Oh Pea post, but I was truly against the Xavier Nady trade, and I still am to a certain extent. I feel without the knee jerk reaction trade, we would have been a better team defensively and offensively in the later parts of the season and we would not have Shawn Green. Of course, 20/20 hindsight is a bitch. We can wax intellectual over what would have been with X Nady instead of String bean, but the fact is…Shawn Green blows. But to have Lastings Milledge start over a “proven veteran” on Willie’s Watch? Oh hush yo mouth!! I want Stings in there as badly as anybody else. Without a strong start or maybe more apt term consistent start from String Bean Green, the bottom of the order will truly suffer without a ZING from a young Stings.

Next is Sugar Pants aka David Wright. OK so we saw SP take a beating after the HR Derby and all over, we heard the rumblings of – is it the HR Derby curse? Will he return to his form? Where’s his next public appearance? Well, I think Ryan Howard can attest, there is no HR Derby curse, but SP’s second half taper-off did concern me. Sure, he might have been tired but I have another explanation. He’s starting to believe his own hype. Think of how many night show appearances, TV interviews, magazine articles he did after his performance in the All-Star game. Don’t get me wrong, I think he can still put up MVP numbers like last year, but he needs to set limits. I mean, I’d rather him have a consistently good year, then mash in the post-season. A-Fraud gets a lot of flak for not performing in the post-season, not that it’s not deserved ($26 mm per year anyone?). But I think it’s only a matter of time before someone points that out about SP. Just sayin…

Lastly, another key is YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH…Jose Valentin. I admit, I was one of the people on the cut the bastard train regarding him last year, but I have to say, the man, the myth and the Stache have grown on me. After all, he singlehandedly won the NL East clincher for us. Well that and an unusual stellar performance from Steve Trashball. I digress. I was totally one of the choir who was singing to get him the hell out of town before 2007 when the opportunity came to get somebody – anybody – at second base. Lo and behold, Omar extends him. Why – so our slogan can be “40 is the next 30?” I’m still not sold on him. My anecdote behind him is this – during Game 5 of the NLCS, he struck out looking in a critical at-bat (and don’t get me started on Game 7. I still have nightmares about that). He made a face like it was the umpire’s fault. WRONG! I remember what Mike from the Metropolitans said about – dude, not cool. It wasn’t cool and it still isn’t. Jose has got to step up and be the mack daddy he was last year. Otherwise, his extension is just piss in the wind.

So that’s the big three for more in 2007. I think everyone else will pretty much fall into place in the Coop Crystal Ball. We’ll get what we expect out of Beltran, Jo-Z Reyes will put up MVP numbers all season and Delgado can still mash. But without production from Green, Wright and valentine, coupled without a quick start to the new season, the Mets can bend over and kiss their collective ass good-bye.

Oh yeah...And Oliver Perez will be the CY winner in the NL. THE END.

TOMORROW’S POST: The most anticipated Coop posting yet…her strange obsession with Oliver Perez.

13 comments:

Sassdawg. said...

C'Diddy,

I was one of the few who was not drinking Barry Zito's Kool-Aide. The back end of the rotation is relatively strong, Glavine gets his 300th win rides off into the sunset and someday will replace Mullet Head as Willie's shotgun partner for the Carousel Club. Pedro will come back and be bigger than Jesus, and El Duque's arm won't fall off in September this year, but if it does, well we have Pelfrey.

That having been said I will be drinking Johan Santana's Malta Goya a year from now though. That will be something though having to Cy Young winners on the same staff next year.

As for the man, the myth, the stache, he is currently in the lead to receive MVP honors in my current season of MLB '07 The Show, that's gotta count for something.

~Dawg.~

Sassdawg. said...

By Mason Levinson
March 22 (Bloomberg) -- St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La
Russa was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol
after being found asleep at a traffic light near the Major
League Baseball champions' spring training site.
Jupiter, Florida, police approached La Russa's sport-
utility vehicle around midnight after it sat through two cycles
of a green light, forcing another driver to go around the SUV,
according to a police department news release.
La Russa, 62, was slumped in the driver's seat with the
vehicle in drive and his foot on the brake, and woke up after
repeated knocks on the window, police said.
La Russa, who was cooperative throughout the arrest, was
booked into the Palm Beach County Jail, where he provided two
breath samples that registered a .093 blood-alcohol level,
police said. The legal limit in Florida is .08.

Mets Grrl said...

okay, i was going to post a comment with a fantastic photo of OP warming up in the bullpen in pittsburgh, but blogger won't let me (reason 2,345 i'm moving off of blogger on april 1)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/metsgrl/248742029/

mr. met said...

You fell for Zito’s luscious locks, and really, who couldn’t? He’s dreamy plain and simple. But what is really nuts, is Pelfrey would not have even come into the conversation for the rotation if Zito was around. It would have been ‘set’ (in quotes only because Willie won’t tell anyone…not even Glavine…they are assured a spot until the season starts) and Pelfrey would have gone to AAA. We could argue the merits of where Pelfrey should be, but I’m not so sure that over the course of a full season, Pelfrey will not be the better pitcher. I’m that impressed with him. He will be the anti-long ball machine and he’s going to be filthy. The only question is durability. 160 innings should be his max….but I guess pitch count is more important than innings and I leave that to smarter people than me to cap.

Nady was nice, but eminently tradeable! Without Mota (which was a waiver move and not exactly something you can plan one) Robo would have played a more integral part. Not that he would have shined, but he was necessary. I cannot fault Omar….just an example of why he’s brilliant. Ok, so he has to make a move and can only give up Nady…but Nady for Robo? Hell no. Why don’t you throw in that Oliver Perez guy…bam! Genius. Well maybe not genius, I’m sure it could be argued the Mets would have fared just as well without Mota for Willie to overuse, but with question of how many innings Maine would put up (not man) and Ollie…and Trachs….you need a deep bullpen with somewhat dependable characters. Ask the Yankees how they’ve done without good pens in the playoffs.

Green will be decent. .275…10 homers….bad defense. But Lastings will play his way in the spot (PCL #’s will be pushing him along too) and be a boost to this club. I’m drinking the Lastings kool-aid. It just sucks because Green fits with this team very, very well. Back –up COFer / 1b though and lefty off the bench that is a decent hitter, but we have that Franco problem.

D-Wright was still good…just no power. He did hit .300 with 116 RBIs…He’s not a 40 homer guy and that’s how I feel. At least not in this park. 25 to 30? Yes, which is where he was…I think he was more on par with the real D-Wright than people think.

Valentin? He will be a disaster and he won’t reach 400 at-bats. Oh-baby. Big time. I don’t see him doing anything. But batting 8th, who really cares? And Coop, that’s never cool to pretend it’s the ump’s fault when you are inept. There is chance he still looks good next year I guess, but I’m not overly optimistic.

LaRussa asleep at the traffic light? Balls Deep!

Sassdawg. said...

With the car in drive and his foot on the brake to boot !!!!!

mr. met said...

And that does take talent...

the penis mightier said...

The key to this season is Jose Reyes. The guy is a beast and the best all around player on this team. While he can't do it alone, he is multi-dimensional with his mix of speed, on base skills, baserunning, power and defense. He's a rare 5 tool player that uses all five tools. He makes this team better when he's on base and keeps the team loose with his antics.

As Jose goes, this team will go.

Mike said...

I agree with Penis.

(Hmmm.)

Reyes has so much potential, he alone can lift the team to a few extra wins.

benny boogie said...

Yeah Shawn Green is a tough situation to assess because I feel that at worst Milledge can match him offensively BUT Milledge is a better fielder, has a stronger arm, has more speed, and can help the team more overall than Green. It's tough to be a GM or manager in that situation. You can't just cut him...

Jose Valentin gets free pass because he's actually putting very nice production from 2nd base while playing really nice and fluid defense. I know its hard ot judge his defense because there aren't any REAL reliable stats for defense yet but for Zorro, I don't need stats, I know what I saw, and I saw super solid defense from Zorro, I'll give him a longer leash than everyone else is. I think we're all just a little dissapointed we didn't get a younger guy. But his production at 2nd base with his solid defense will be enough.

Oh yeah...And Oliver Perez will be the CY winner in the NL. THE END.
Haha, Coop, you have the best blog ever.

Sassdawg. said...

So Tailgating at baseball games is nothing big, but it would be too cool to have the Jose Valentin Hot Tub Party out in the Shea Parking Lot this summer and have it catered by the GR in Flushing. You know I want to do that this summer....Yeaaaah

Sassdawg. said...

I am...I am going to call the Mets office tomorrow and extend an invitation Jose Valentin to join us at the GR this summer. He would totally have to go.

Coop said...

Great point there Penis Mightier. I agree, Jose Reyes can carry a team, sure, but he needs his supporting cast too. I mean, look at A-Fraud. Here's a guy who was the mack daddy of mack daddies, goes to Texas and wins an MVP...but his team sucks balls. Besides Oh Pea, Jo-Z Reyes is by far my favorite Met this season...I'd venture to say ever. But JoZ cannot bring a championship alone, i fear.

The whole point of this was -- these cogs have got to get moving.

Benny, my man! Glad you could make it. Valentin did have some great D there. He actually surprised with that, I thought he just sucked all around.

Mike (Metropolitans), you know that 20/20 hindsight I am for the Nady trade. If Oh Pea turns out to the coup that I am predicting he will be, X Nady who?

Oh and the Larussa story -- he has to be a drunk because making Braden Loophole a starter...one cannot be straight to make a decision like that!

Coop said...

Oh and MG - that pic is FLY!!! Thank you so much. He's so cute isn't he?!??! (OK I promised I wasn't that kind of Mets fan, but I can still look, right???)