NEWS AND VIEWS: Obi Wan Piazza, Johan, Bullpens, and Some Duda

Mike:

It’s that time again, the universe stops for no one. And we don’t stop having opinions either. Let me get right to the latest News and Views.

Jimmy:

Before we start, Mike, I’ve got a question. How come we can only “talk about” different players, but all the other blogs “analyze” them? It makes me feel like John Cazale in the greatest movie ever: “I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says… like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!

Mike:

FredoRelax, Jimmy, you are smart. Now here, go take a relaxing trip in my boat with my friend, Al Neri.

Jimmy:

Great, I’ll bring the fishing tackle!

Mike:

Hey, I heard David Wright was all excited about his grand slam in the WBC. You know how I feel about the WBC, I can’t say I saw Wright’s shot. Did you catch it?

Jimmy:

Sorry, Mike, I was cleaning my oven at the time. Are you referring to the huge one he hit against — wait for it, wait for it — Italy?

Italy! The old Jedi Master, Obi Wan Piazza, has taught them well.

That shot — which I believe he hit off Amerigo Vespucci — must have crushed the hopes of a nation, or at least the twelve citizens who realized they had a team in the WBC. Poor David, he can be so innocent. His big dream has devolved into this: Meaningful games in March! Seriously, it’s nice that he’s playing well and I’m happy for him.

Mike:

The news on Johan Santana gets grimmer and grimmer. I’m disappointed but not greatly so. Johan’s injury was so severe I expected this last spring. The comparisons we kept getting for Santana was Mark Prior and Ching Ming Wang. That sure sounded dire to me. Even when he pitched well I kept my emotions in check, I couldn’t get fully invested. I know the no-hitter will always be cited, and all those pitches that night could not have helped, but this just feels like an inevitable, sad ending to Santana’s Met story.

Jimmy:

Dude, you are bringing me down. But pitchers will break your heart. Mark Prior was once upon a time my favorite pitcher. I loved that guy. I have a big, heavy crate of Mark Prior Rookie Cards in my mother’s attic. I should know, I made her carry them up there.

Mike:

Why am I not surprised by any of that?

Jimmy:

What I mean is, I loved the Santana trade and accepted the price. We had our ace — a commodity that’s so hard to come by. I guess there’s a lesson in here somewhere.

Mike:

beer moneyOn a happier note, Sean Marcum pitched really well the other day. Too bad I couldn’t see it, but it might have gotten in the way of SNY’s Beer Money or another walkover UCONN women’s basketball game.

Jimmy:

SNY only televises Spring Training games from Tradition Field. File that under: “Go Figure.” But don’t knock Beer Money, I once saw a guy win $40 before I could change channels. Riveting stuff. As disgraceful as the Mets outfield situation is, the bullpen is shaping into the strong scenario of veteran and young arms battling it out. I’ll go against my typical grain and say that the Mets should open up the season with as many “proven veterans” as possible — Atchison, Feliciano, Lyon — while retaining the rights to all the younger guys who can start the season down in Vegas. Over time, that will flush itself out, but for the short-term I want to keep as many arms as we can. A guy like Familia (who does not look ready to me, anyway) can be optioned down to the minors. He’ll be up soon enough. If Achison doesn’t stick in Flushing, he’ll walk. So that makes the decision easy, provided he proves reasonably healthy and useful.

Mike:

The Mets have taken many flyers here and the hope with this approach is that a few of these lottery tickets hit. You forgot Hawkins, who I think started pitching when Jimmy Carter was President. But I joke and also agree with your overall sentiment, take as many of these veterans as you can and tell everyone else to stand by the phone. Elvin Ramirez has already been sent down after looking bad all spring. I would ship Carson out too, he is frustrating because he looks like he should be good, and he throws hard too. But this is a results business and Carson never has them. I’m not so sure Familia is not ready, I would love to keep him around.

Jimmy:

It’s a numbers game. Pens change so much over the course of a season. It’s more important who is here in late May than in early April. The only trick is the 40-Man Roster; we don’t want to dump (and lose) a potentially useful minor leaguer for six depressing weeks of a washed-up vet. On Robert Carson, yes, he seems like an outstanding young man, but I’m not a believer. Too bad lefties never get a second chance in baseball today, heh-heh.

Mike:

Hey, on Saturday did you see Lucas Duda spray the field for three hits. Keith was thrilled. I shrug. I want to see Duda hit the ball hard and I’ll take some strikeouts.

Jimmy:

lucas-duda-apBrother, we should start a blog together, because I thought the same thing. Everybody sees him turning into Matty Alou as some kind of positive trend. Lucas “Slappy” Duda. We know he can’t run. And while defensive “metrics” remain deeply flawed, I read the other day that Lucas had a -32 UZR rating. That might be a major league record, tied with a faux-leather Castro recliner. I don’t know what that stat precisely means, but I’m guessing our pitchers look at Duda in LF and feel faint of heart.

Mike:

Or violently ill.

Jimmy:

UPDATE: I misspoke. Lucas Duda’s UZR/150 — which measures the number of runs above or below average a fielder is, per 150 defensive games — was listed on FanGraphs at -33, ranking him at #168 out of 169 possible outfielders for the 2012 season. He placed one slot worse than Delmon Young, but slightly more mobile than this abandoned VW Microbus.

5758035115_e42e38c58b_n-1

Hey,  Mike. Do you remember when Omar was the GM? Every year there would be Manny Ramirez rumors. What would you always say?

Mike:

That there would be no Green Monster behind him at Shea, so he was more valuable in Boston. Defense matters.

Jimmy:

collinsOne last thing about Terry Collins, he’s goofy. I love this new emphasis that the Mets are going to “make things happen” on the base paths. I actually saw Collin Cowgill praised — by Kevin Burkhart, I think — for his “creativity” on the base paths. Here’s the problem: If you are slow, and you take chances, you are out. If you are fast, you are bold and daring. A player can’t think himself from first to third on a single to CF. Ruben Tejeda isn’t going to become a threat to steal bases at an acceptable rate. You actually need to run there.

Mike:

I know some of this nutty stuff gets on your nerves but remember this: Collins was not given dispensation on 2013, like Sandy. He is trying somehow, someway, to do something with this roster. That would make anyone nutty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

2 comments

  1. Ken H. says:

    The Tigers released Brennan Boesch today. Cap’n Obvious says he seems like a perfect fit for us. Initial word is that the Yankees are taking a close look. The Mets need to go get him. He can show Duda how to hit the ball more than 120 feet.

  2. There should be opportunities. I’d bet any decent GM with an extra outfielder is calling Sandy, hoping to pry away a pitcher.

Leave a Reply

Email
Print