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Articles Focused on the New York Mets. Opinions on the players, the rivalries, the standings and anything else that comes to mind.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Am Working on It. The Mets Will Find A Way.

The Backstop Back At Ya:  As many of you have heard me say, The day of the Scot Kazmir trade seems like Christmas in comparison to what today feels like.  All is not lost.  I apologize for not having any solution ideas to discuss at the moment.  I am looking at all angles.  There is a way.  All I can say for now is:
A) Yes Roy Halliday is a Phillie -I will no longer refer to him as "The Doc" because that is a sacred Met title that can only be passed to another Met. So now, to me, he is just plain old Roy.
B) Yes, John Lackey is a member of the Red Sox. 
C) Yes this is just about the worst case scenerio for the Mets' pitching staff.

D) When I started this page I said I was going to do my best to always remain optomistic and loyal to my team.  This has not changed.  I will find an area to discuss and predict that will somehow make the glass half full.  I just need a few days.  In the meantime, Read A&B above a few times.  Let it set in.  Let it sting.  Then lets get moving to the next way to fix it.  Love does not always feel good.  Sometimes it hurts more than anything else in the world.  A hurt heart is a heart prepared for more joyfull things to come.  I will get back to you by the end of the weekend...  I have to get back to the drawing board.

P.S.  The offseason is only played on paper.  We won the offseason for the past 4 years.  The Phillies signed Raul Ibanez last year who went on to have a season of a monster.  Did anybody predict that?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Winter Meetings Over. Path Seems Clear to Me.

The Backstop Back At Ya: Offers Made to Jason Bay and Bengie Molina.  We can thank the Brewers  for overpaying Randy Wolfe.  That may have put us in the market for John Lackey.  We are emerging as the front runners (with the Nationals) for the services of Jason Marquis.   None of these players seem to be bargain basement players to me.

We need to be a little patient.  As Omar Minaya said yesterday, he has never gone into an off-season with needs that have gone ignored.
I will make my first predictions soon.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How Lowe?

The Backstop Back At Ya:  Good thing the Mets are not famous for admitting they were wrong.  I heard that there was talk about Derek Lowe.  Which I would be all for if it was in the trade I proposed.  That one got us Javier Vasquez and Lowe for the ability to pay them both and Mike Pelfrey.  Otherwise why sign the same guy you passed on a year later when the money on his contract weighs as heavy as the years on his arm by the end of it.

If you Lack Starting Pitching You Need Lackey

The Backstop Back At Ya:  Thats right.  Omar Minaya has had preliminary discussions with John Lackey's agent.   Depending on which NY paper you want to believe, it seems that they have made him a priority.  My opinion on Lackey is clear.  He is a #1 or 2 starter on any team.  He is said to be looking to get something between the contract the Yankees gave A.J. Burnett (high end) and what Randy Wolf just got from the Brewers.  Make it happen if those are the parameters.  He is better than Burnett, & even if he wasn't, he is more durable.  Plus with Lackey being a free agent and the Doc Halliday market about to dry up (With Pettite signing with the Yanks and the Red Sox focusing more on offense, where is the team that would be able to trade for him and sign him long term?)  Remember yesterday's "pipe dreams". Well if the Halliday market dries up, We sign John Lackey (& hopefully a Jason Marquis and or Ben Sheets) We have guys named Maine & Pelfrey to go with a few on the verge youngsters  as bait.  Think about it.  Why would Omar even acknowledge the pipe dream if he did not have a little surprise hidden up his sleeve?  Sounds ridiculous I know.  Just remember who said it first.
Now for some not so good news.  It seems that the only way to part ways Louis Castillo is by linking him to Bernie Maddoff somehow.  This (for now) means that Orlando Hudson is not an option.  Unless they want to try him in left field. (NO... Everybody we send to left field gets his career  tarnished.  Its like the Bermuda triangle out there)
Good News:  Jose Reyes is ahead of schedule with his rehab.  More to come.
P.S. Does anybody else still have the sense that Roy Oswalt is destined to be a Met?

Happenings Behind The Plate

The Backstop Back At Ya:  One day (soon I hope) I will have a suitable smartphone that will enable me to make my updates on the go.  As a Verizon Wireless loyalist, I love the new line of droid phones that is coming out.  Problem is that every time I zero in on the phone I want, I hear rumors about a newer cooler sexier one coming out within the next few weeks.  I have been patient, but days like today make me wist I already had made that decision.
For Now:  I am about 80-85% sure that the Mets catcher next year will be Bengie Molina.  The oldest of the Molina brothers, defensively, he is not his younger brother Yadier.  But he is still very good.  Think of the cast of characters he had to deal with in San Francisco last year.  The Elder Randy Johnson, who I am told is a bit difficult to deal with when he is on the mound.  2 time Cy-Young winner T-Lincy.  Barry "Slow Curve Slower Fastball" Zito. The other 2 youngsters Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez who both throw very hard, and both throw 2 different kinds of erratic. So he can handle a pitching staff.  He is also among the better hitting catchers in the bigs.  But who will be the staff he is working with?
Heard some good news.  Will report in next post.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Early Day 2 Winter Wonder What Do We Do.

The Backstop Back At Ya: I know that I said many times that this team needed a player with some serious heart.  I also know that I am nobody to complain about some one else's spelling problems.  But this is a little hard to miss.
Okay, I admit that was a silly pun, but I had to try it.  The Mets are apparently discussing a deal with the Brewers that would send them John Maine and bring back Cory Hart. H-A-R-T.  The (maine) thing holding the deal up is that Omar Minaya would like to aquire more sure handed starting pitching for the rotation before letting Maine go.
I have been a big supporter of John Maine ever since we got him as a "throw in" from Baltimore when we took back Armando Benitez part II (Big Julio) and got rid of Mrs. Benson by trading her husband.  (When my favorite team traded one of my least favorite pitchers and I miss his wife.  Especially with the holiday season upon us.)
I was somewhat pleased however, to learn of the pitchers Omar is looking into.  The 2 names that seem to come up the most often this morning are Kevin Milwood and (a solid #1 or 2 in any league during any offseason) John Lackey.  Milwood would likely be a one year $12m salary dump for the Rangers so if there are no other serious bidders for his servics, we may be able to get him for a mid level AA prospect and a AAA reliever.  His numbers were not bad last year considering that he pitches in Texas.  He is that guy that should give you innings.  Citi Field would be his friend.
As for the free agent prize.  John Lackey is everything Ollie Perez isin't.  He is a work horse. He has fire in his gut as well as his arm.   Most importantly he would take the pressure off of the #3 4 & 5 strarters who ever they turn out to be.  I like the idea of Johan & Lackey as our 1 & 2.  I also think that the opposition would dislike this tandem.  Mets fans who don't know about him because he plays on the other coast should remember that he was the ace of a team that made it to the playoffs more often than we did during his tenure in L.A.
One last little tid-bit.  Omar did acknowledge the teams interest in the Doc.  I don't suppose this comes as much of a surprise to anybody.  He also added that such a deal would be what he called "a pipe dream" at the moment.  This is true.  But so was Johan.

Reserving how I feel about Corey Hart for the moment.  Still a Maine supporter.
Hopefully will have more to report later on or tomorrow.  Until then.  Lets enjoy all of our pipe dreams.
Who does that hurt?

The Backstop.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Early Word. Omar At Minimum Involved in A lot of Discussions

The Backstop Back At Ya: Well that was quick.  I just have a few early rumors to report.  1) Edwin Jackson, though I do not know what players are not being talked about in return.  (If his first name isn't Carlos, David, Jose, Johan, Francisco or Ike, I say it is a good idea.)
Pat Burrel may already be a Met. though the Mets are denying this via one of the NY papers that is not famous for their honesty.
Josh Willingham is being discussed. (Mixed emotions, cheap enough to be low risk, high reward)
Lets see what else?  The return of the X-man may be a possibility.  Love that idea for several reasons.
I know I reported earlier this week that a trade with the Dodgers that involved Oliver Perez and Juan Pierre.  Well now I am hearing that Castillo for Pierre is being discussed.  Either way, if it yields free agent Orlando Hudson I like it.  He is a special player who wants to be Met.
I have to wonder if much of these discussions are an effort to make the team more attractive to Roy Halliday.  We know that he would waive his no-trade clause to go to the Yankees.  This is primarily because the Yankees give him a chance to win a ring and he is supposedly very friendly with A.J. Burnett. I wonder if Omar Minaya & Co, can decorate the walls enough to convince him that there is another team in NY that is poised to re-claim greatness.  Just a thought.  Being part of a 1-2 punch with Johan Santana would presumably be another motivator.  Plus  The Doc Halliday situation has all the earmarks of Johan Santana part II.  If we can stay in the room long enough to make an offer... who knows.
I still think that we will get involved with John Lackey.  That may just take some time.  Lackey would be wise to see how the Halliday market plays out before he begins his decision making.
More to come.  I love winter baseball.

Let the Meetings Begin.

The Backstop Back At Ya: And it sure is good to be back.  The Meetings start today.
I would like to start things off with Crazy Uncle Rich's quote of the offseason.
"They are not going to do anything.  Just like always.  Omar and Jerry are not going to last until June."
Not much of a quote I grant; But I have heard the exact same quote every day since last June.
To which my response is always the same.  In the Post Phillips/Duquette era, when have they ever not gone out and gotten the best (on paper at least) available?
When I proceed to bring up Beltran, Pedro, Santana, K-Rod, Delgado,  and the rest of the list of players that seemed to make sense at the time, his response is always the same.  "I am talking about NOW."
Ladies & gentleman, I give you the Met Fan.  Its not even "What have you done for me lately?" its what have you done for me this morning?
Nothing to report from Indiana just yet.  But lets see what happens after breakfast.
I think I would like to see what the John Lackey market looks like.  If the Red Sox and Yankees are not players, and I believe they are not, at least for the moment.  With the first round pick protected, I think he makes the most sense right now.  Plus with the Dodgers neglecting to give arbitration to Orlando  Hudson, he would also not hurt the 2010 player draft.  The obvious problem there is our present second baseman.  I really do believe that Omar has an "if all other paths dry up" deal already in place. (Bradley, Burrell, etc)  We will see.  I will try to report back as soon as I hear anything.

The Mets