Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Lightning 5.23.2010

  • Give 'em a team to run, let's watch the carnage:

I would love----love, love, LOVE to see some combination of the clownish radio hosts; expert second guessers in the media; stat zombies; idiotic broadcasters; and fans all banded together in some evil conglomeration of self-anointed baseball savvy to craft what would undoubtedly be a disaster of epic proportions.

They know everything, but are gifted with the power of second sight and ability to outright ignore that which they said five seconds previously to somehow "prove" their points, which were never based on the breadth of considerations that go into running a major league organization from top-to-bottom to begin with.

Let's take a look at the messiness.

The beauty of Twitter is that it's always there; always on recall:

Mets manager Jerry Manuel can't win no matter what he does. Regardless of whether a decision makes sense----and even if it works----he has to endure the endless ridicule that comes with the job of being a manager in New York.

Last night, he made the right move in pinch-hitting for Mike Pelfrey, but still had to face the likes of David Lennon of Newsday, who had a great deal to say while things were going poorly (or looked like they were going to explode) but found the mute button on his keyboard when Manuel's calls worked.

Here's my brief exchange with Lennon on Twitter:

lenno212 Big hit by Cora, but I think I would have stayed with Big Pelf for another inning. Had 108 pitches and bullpen is tired. #mets

Prince_of_NY You'd leave him in with that number of pitches and a runner on third? You'd be ripped more than Jerry. And it'd be accurate. #mets

lenno212 It was a miracle that Cora came through there. Now let's see how bullpen does. #mets

lenno212 Still like pulling Pelfrey? How's that looking now?

I'd logged off, but you can pretty much guess what my response would've been especially since Jenrry Mejia matured right before our eyes and made what possibly were a career-making set of pitches to retire Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez with two runners on base.

But that Mejia and Francisco Rodriguez came through isn't the point and never was. The results have little to do with whether or not a manager or general manager have done the "right" thing. If a manager takes everything into account and takes the correct action----even if it fails----those that criticize it before and after the fact are simply trying to convenience their own agenda for a firing; or a trade; or whatever.

Let me break it down.


With Mike Pelfrey having thrown 108 pitches and struggled through the top of the sixth inning, yanking him the correct move before the Mets batted. When his time at bat came around with a runner at third base and a 2-run lead, who in their right mind could argue for leaving him in? Whether or not Alex Cora came through, there was no way, no how you let Pelfrey bat there. None. And I don't care if Mejia, Feliciano, Nieve or anyone entered the game and allowed ten runs. It was the right thing to do.

Pelfrey, irreplaceable and finally coming into his own and having had a slight shoulder issue earlier in the year, had to come out of the game. Period. The confluence of events from the start of the season; to the way Pelfrey has pitched; to the Mets shortness of pitching in their current state; and that they needed to try and score an extra run in the bottom of the inning required----not suggested----inarguably required that Pelfrey be pulled there.

Had Manuel left Pelfrey in that game, regardless of whether Pelfrey blew through the seventh inning, that would've been a fireable offense; that woud've been a selfish maneuver; that would've been a drastic mistake based on little more than Manuel's tenuous job status than doing what he did, doing the right thing. It's that kind of non-organizational thinking that is worthy of getting rid of a manager.

You cannot have a manager who is running a game in Billy Martin-style as if there's no tomorrow in MAY!!!!! What would the writers have said had Manuel left Pelfrey in the game; let him hit and watched him strike out; seen him start the seventh inning and get blasted and gotten injured on pitch number 125?


Considering the way they change their tune based on the last pitch's success or failure, we know what would've been said and written. And it would've been wrong.

Dead wrong.

I also had a back-and forth with Will Moller (who I happen to think is a reasonable guy) from It's About The Money about, well, about me.

WillMoller what's going on with should-hve-been-mets-savior Joel pineiro of late?

WillMoller Paul--I was just poking fun at you. That said, you're sure bad at ever admitting anything's going wrong.

WillMoller You're very good at taking credit, though, as you were on Pineiro's early April performance.

Will was kidding around and I didn't exactly detonate, but I had a little explosion pointing out that I had written a posting on Thursday relating that which I've already clearly gotten wrong----the Rays; the Mariners; and Ian Kennedy.

Regarding Joel Pineiro, which starts are we examining? The one on Friday in which he got rocked in a game that was being played in front of the man in the other dugout----Dave Duncan----who saved his career? Pineiro was definitely affected by that fact; and was coming off a complete game 4-hit shutout over the Athletics; and pitched into the seventh inning having given up no runs against the Rays. If you look at his bottom-line numbers, they're not good; if you look at his Gamelogs, he's been very good and exactly what the Angels expected.

If you calculate his salary and years (2-years, $16 million) and his likely ending stats (say 15-10, 200 innings pitched), the Angels are getting great bang for their buck. Then if you look at a pitcher like John Lackey, who's been borderline atrocious for the Red Sox----Gamelogs----and his salary (5-years, $82.5 million) and there's no doubt who's the better choice.

The Red Sox can make the argument that Lackey was signed more for his post-season credentials as the Blue Jays did in 1993 with Dave Stewart, but that doesn't do much good if the Red Sox miss the playoffs because Lackey was part of their faulty pitching in the regular season.

Here's the overwhelming issue between me and most stat zombies: my analysis is not based on numbers crunching and an absence of analysis; and I have no problem admitting I'm wrong----an activity in which many of them partake if not by openly denying errors, but with pure omission of fact.

I don't want to be right about everything. It's no great achievement to go through life without making a mistake and to imply that I don't admit missteps is patently inaccurate.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver have entered the territory of disrespect

It can't be lost on Fox how reviled Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are and they clearly don't care. Again, Buck and McCarver were using the Mets as a piƱata. Apparently the Mets (at 21-23 after last night's game----not all that bad considering the doom and gloom that surrounded them prior to the season) are the epitome of evil amongst baseball organizations.

Everything they did was wrong from the top of the organization to the bottom and this type of vitriol went on throughout the broadcast; but that's neither here nor there. Neither Buck nor McCarver have any credibility with anyone who knows anything about baseball. McCarver's was gone 10 years ago; Buck never had any to begin with; but they entered despicable territory with their open disrespect to the Mets while interviewing backup infielder Alex Cora mid-game.

Buck, in full smug obnoxiousness, mentioned to Cora that he might have to play soon because Mets second baseman Luis Castillo was in distress due to a bruised foot and limping around; Cora responded that Castillo was okay; Buck's snide retort (I'm paraphrasing) was something to the tune of: "Yeah, he looks great."

It was so far beyond the line of his realm as even the broadcasting clown that he is, it can't be lost on Fox that he is the worst possible combination of nepotism; lack of sports knowledge; arrogance; and self-importance.

Are they going to continue pushing him as this would-be media personality?

Are they?

I'd complain if I were the Mets. And complain loudly to baseball's front office. Maybe then Fox would listen.

  • Now John Maine's admitting shoulder woes?!?!

If I were the Mets, I'd be ready to strangle John Maine.

So now, after denying that there was any issue with his shoulder, he's admitting that he's feeling similar pain as last year when he spent a substantial amount of time on the disabled list----ESPN Story?

I would literally be enraged at Maine for his subterfuge in the interests of being "tough" and "pitching through pain"; and then to compound the selfishness of going to the mound aching, he puts forth the idea that there's absolutely nothing wrong with him and the organization is making him look bad by making him go to the doctor and protecting him in a parental way?

It's inexplicable and, as far as I'm concerned, you can't believe anything Maine says from now on.

As for the Mets, manager Jerry Manuel and pitching coach Dan Warthen, are they still worthy of being savaged for their cautious and analytical approach with Maine when he was insisting he was healthy to pitch, but obviously wasn't? What are the manager/pitching coach supposed to do? Believe the player or let him damage himself and the team when they know something's wrong?

Oh, and Buck and McCarver were using this as another battering ram for the Mets even though they only knew a portion of the story. Typical.

  • Viewer Mail 5.23.2010:

Jennifer at The Simple Dish writes RE the Red Sox, Roy Oswalt and David Wright:

I would love to see Oswalt come to Boston (pitching...and...defense) but we're stuck with Dice-K and Theo, Boras and Dice-K knows it. I don't even see where Theo can get creative with prospects to make this trade happen.

Watching David Wright at the plate last night was the most frustrating experience (besides the Red Sox). Let the home runs come to you, David. Don't try to make them happen at every at bat.

It's hard to riff on Matsuzaka after he almost no-hit the Phillies, but it pretty much exemplified him. He'll be awful for five starts and pitch great once or twice making people believe there's more there than there actually is.

Wright cares too much and is one of those guys who wants to please everyone. I couldn't care less if he hits 18 homers or 30 as long as he has good productive at bats. Strikeouts are not good, productive at bats.

The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger writes RE John Maine and the Mets:

Yea...I'm behind the club with the John Maine move too. But something went very very wrong between Maine and Warthen that even allowed Maine to take the mound in the first place. Oswalt has been taking cortisone injections and I think he's going to be a big disappointment for any team that picks him up. I would rather the Mets didn't make a move for him.

I'm not sure what Warthen and Manuel were supposed to do if the pitcher was insisting he's healthy. There has to be honesty; and there has to be an understanding of the difference between non-damaging pain that can and should be pushed through and a pain that is simultaneously going to cause long-term injury to the player and hurt the team.

With Oswalt, he's been injury-prone and I'd hesitate before giving up a lot to take him and his contract.

Jane Heller at Confessions of a She-Fan writes RE Keith Hernandez and Javier Vazquez:

I got really annoyed last night when Hernandez kept pronouncing Vazquez "Vazkwez." What's up with that?

Keith's a quirky guy, Jane. Very, very quirky.

Jeff (Acting Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE Oswalt:

Why I certainly don't blame Oswalt, I'm definitely not a fan of his demands. Man up, dude. Pitch. Do your job.

If you wanna get traded, quietly knock on Ed's door or give him a ring... why they put all this stuff out in the open I do not know.

I have lost respect for Oswalt, whom I once revered as yet another stone-cold killer.

Stone-cold killers don't whine and cry about shit.

I can't give Oswalt a hard time about wanting out of Houston. He's been a loyal soldier and was almost pleading for them to get some help (notably Jake Peavy) in the starting rotation, but was ignored.

My guess is that he did quietly tell Ed Wade and Drayton McLane that he wanted out, but it was kept private and they either ignored him or didn't really try to make it happen. If it takes him going public to get the end result, I have no problem with that. He's getting traded this year and it's the best thing for him and the Astros if they get enough for him to build the foundation for a reb2010BaseballGuideCover.gifuild.

My book is still available on Amazon, I-Universe and Barnes and It's available for download as an E-book here.

I've been right about stuff; I've been wrong about stuff. But one thing you can never say about me is that I'm boring.


She-Fan said...

You can't take anything seriously that comes out of the mouths of Buck and McCarver. I was in heaven watching the game on Fox's Spanish channel because I was blacked out of the regular broadcast. I don't understand a word of Spanish and it was bliss.

Jennifer said...

I really want to know how those two still have jobs. I have never met anyone that likes Buck and McCarver. They spend so much time blathering on about nothing or taking cheap shots at any team that is not the Yankees that you miss the finer points of the game.

the Brooklyn Trolley Blogger said...

I used to go at it with BT-(1050) through e-mails about never having to admit they're wrong or ever having to revisit some of their worst offerings. That's the beauty of having your own outlet I guess. I'll catch up to Twitter one of these days, but in the mean time keep giving em hell.

Jeff said...

I really hate to be so crude but...

Joe Buck = Shit Fuck.

Sometimes the truth calls.