Your 2008 right fielder is…?

Shawn Green’s departure to free agency has left an opening in right field for 2008. I would love to see some combination of Lastings Milledge, Carlos Gomez, or even Fernando Martinez (if he’s ready) take over the position successfully. There’s nothing better than farm system talent taking over a position and producing. I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

There are some intriguing possibilities on the free agent market. Jose Guillen from the Mariners is free. He’s also a major league loose cannon, and has a history of causing major disturbances with management, teammates, opposing teams, and anyone else that he encounters. He’s also a serious offensive force. Last season for the Mariners he hit .290 23HR 99RBI’s and he’s got a big time arm in right field. That would be a huge improvement over Shawn Green. Green could barely hit the ball out of the infield and stumbled around defensively for most of the season. Of course, Guillen has also allegedly purchased steroids illegally. But that’s never stopped the Mets before (Guillermo Mota).

My choice for a free agent right fielder… Barry Bonds. That’s right, I said Barry Bonds! Yeah, he’s old and another alleged steriod user. He also appears to be a real jerk. The question that you have to ask yourself is: do you want to win a championship or not? Bonds is a free agent, he hasn’t been suspended for anything. I guess that could happen depending upon the results of his federal indictment. But this guy can hit like nobody ever has before except maybe Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez.

Sign Bonds to a one or maybe two year contract. It still leaves plenty of playing time for Milledge/Gomez because Barry won’t play every day. Even on the days that Bonds doesn’t start, wouldn’t you like to see him coming off the bench to pinch hit against right handers?

If you think that you’re taking some moral high ground by disagreeing with me, you’re wrong. Were the 1986 Mets a bunch of Boy Scouts… Gooden, Kevin Mitchell, Strawberry? No, but you loved them anyway.  And you’ll love the way Bonds can knock the lights out of the scoreboard in right field too.

Bonds

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Hot Stove Report

Omar Minaya Omar Minaya

I haven’t posted to the site in quite a while. I started a new job in July and didn’t really have a chance to regularly update the site. That’s changed now! It’s time to get back to Mets business.

The off-season leaves some holes open in the Mets roster. Primarily, second base and catcher. The possibility of Glavine not coming back leaves a spot in the starting rotation open as well.

Second base: News reports have it that the Mets have been wining and dining David Eckstein in Greenwich. He would move from short to second and most likely hit number two behind Reyes. Keep in mind that the Mets already signed Marlon Anderson and Damien Easley, both of whom shouldn’t play every day but would be fine for short periods of time. I’ve never been a fan of David Eckstein, and the talk is that he wants a four year contract. That’s too much in my opinion. I’d rather see the Mets look at Mark Loretta for a one or two year contract. He could hit behind Reyes and with a little more power than Eckstein. I saw enough of Luis Castillo last season to know that he isn’t close to the player he was with the Marlins. The Mets shouldn’t even consider signing him again.

Catcher: Ramon Castro signed for two years. I love that signing. He’s a fantastic bench player! Yorvit Torrealba seems to be the Mets top choice to handle the majority of catching. There really aren’t any great free agent catchers out there this off-season. I don’t want LoDuca back, and I don’t think the Mets do either. LoDuca talks too much and produces too little. He’s also in his mid-thirties, the typical decline years for catchers. Jason Kendall, Michael Barret, and Jason LaRue are the other free agent possibilities. The Mets could probably get Ramon Hernandez in a trade from the Orioles if they wanted to go that direction. It would depend on how much the Orioles want for him.

Starting Pitcher: I have a feeling that the Mets might be thinking about trading for a SP. The free agent list isn’t great. Assuming that Glavine doesn’t come back, and I really hope he doesn’t, the logical possibilities would include: Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Livan Hernandez, Kyle Lohse, and Jon Leiber. There are some stretches that we could look at too. We know how Rick Peterson likes to work with “project” pitchers. The fee agents that come to mind are: Tony Armas, Matt Clement, and Wade Miller.

The bottom line is that last season is finished, forgotten, and the historic season ending collapse is over. It’s time to think about who will be reporting to camp in February.

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Mets Finally Get a Win

After losing a home series to the Giants, and getting swept at home by the Phillies, the Mets finally got a win in Detroit. Jorge Sosa pitched another fantastic game. David Wright and Carlos Delgado are finally starting to get some hits with regularity.

The two big concerns right now are the bullpen and the injury situation in the outfield. Scott Schoenweiss and Aaron Heilman have been terrible this year. Schoenweiss isn’t tradeable because of his three year contract, but I’d like to see Heilman get a fresh start somewhere else. Obviously, he hasn’t been happy for several years working in relief. I think its time for him to be traded.

There isn’t much the Mets can do about the injuries in the outfield. They just need to weather the storm. It’s hard to watch Ben Johnson and Carlos Gomez playing every day. I don’t even like to see Endy Chavez playing as much as he was.  Ricky LeDee was pulled off the scrap heap to start in left field last night. That’s when you know things have gotten really bad. It’s really too bad that Lastings Milledge has been hurt. I would’ve liked to see him get some regular playing time in the majors. It also would’ve been a nice showcase before the trading deadline next month.

Fortunately, the Mets are still 4.5 games ahead of the Braves. Let’s hope they can keep it that way until Moises Alou and Shawn Green come back from injuries. I never would’ve thought that I’d be hoping for Shawn Green to get back into the lineup!

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Mets Take the Series from the Giants

The Mets won 4-2 behind another good game from El Duque. I keep waiting for him to falter but it hasn’t happened. The Mets took two out of three games from the Giants. That’s key to win home series against out of division opponents.

The biggest story of the game could be Carlos Beltran hurting his knee. The Mets other two starting outfielders are already hurt. Hopefully, Moises Alou will be back tonight against the D-Backs. Shawn Green is on the disabled list. If Beltran is out for any length of time it will be a big blow to the Mets.

A three games series against the D-Backs starts tonight, Monday is an off day, then Philly comes to town for three games.

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Mets Take the First Game from the Giants

Wow! What a game… the Mets win in 12 innings on Carlos Delgado’s second home run of the game.  Now I remember how bad Armando Benitez is. He balked twice with Jose Reyes on base, and then gave up the game winning homer to Delgado. Benitez wilts under pressure every time. He did it for the Orioles and Mets, now the Giants are the victims.

Tim Lincecum looked great for the Giants. He’s got some great pitches and throws incredibly hard for a small guy. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t in the major leagues for a long time. Oliver Perez didn’t look so good, but battled through early adversity with back to back homers in the first inning. I’m really glad to see Perez fighting through early trouble to pitch a decent game.

That was the best game of the year so far, and the fans only got to boo Barry Bonds in one pinch hit at-bat.

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The Mets Sweep the Fish and Bonds Circus Comes to Town

Sweeping the Marlins was a nice comeback from the series loss to the Braves in Atlanta. Fortunately, the Braves got swept themselves in Philly this weekend. The Mets enter this week 4.5 games ahead of the Braves in the standings. The Marlins aren’t very good and never should’ve fired Joe Girardi after last season. He was the best thing that happened to that team since winning the World Series in ’03.

The Bonds media circus comes to Flushing this week. I’m with Hank Aaron on Bonds. I don’t care about Barry Bonds and won’t recognize him as the all-time home run champion. As far as I’m concerned Hank will still have the record. That’s all that I’ll say about him.

The pitching matchup of the series in Tuesday night. Tim Lincecum against Oliver Perez. I’m looking forward to seeing what Lincecum can do, he throws heat for a little guy. I understand he pitches a lot like Roy Oswalt.

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Mets 7 Marlins 2

The Mets and John Maine had a great game last night. Carlos Delgado finally showed the power that the Mets are paying $14M/year for. I was really starting to wonder if he was injured and not telling anyone.

The story of the game for me was Maine. He had a nice game after three sub par starts.  I do like the way he pitches but there are two things about him that are unusual. One, he pitches high in the strike zone consistently. Two, he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball and doesn’t have any other great pitches to go along with it.

Whatever he’s doing, it’s working. I think his success is predicated on if the umpire is calling the vertical strike zone. If the umpire is “old school” and won’t call a strike above the belt, Maine will be in trouble.

Maine seems to lose focus occasionally during the game, but doesn’t get rattled when he’s in trouble. I believe he’ll have long term success as a starter despite his unusual propensity to throw high strikes.

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