Oct 23

Baseball after Midnight: Phillies take Game 1

What's keeping you up tonight?

What's keeping you up tonight?

Greetings to all my friends on the West Coast. During the season I’ll call this post “Mets after Midnight.” I had this post before and will do my best to keep it going as to get a dialogue going with you guys two and three time zones away.

I have a good feeling about this World Series. Not so much in the winner, but in that it will be a compelling Series. How did the Phillies leave as many guys on base as they did and still win? Oh yeah, the Rays left a bunch, too.

As far as the Mets go, Mets.Com wrote today that HoJo will be back as hitting coach. That’s not the impression a lot of us had after the season when the Mets were whining about their situational hitting.

Willie Randolph will interview with Milwaukee. Doug Melvin, Milwaukee GM, was once in the Yankee farm system. He knows Willie well. Wouldn’t be surprising if he got the job.

If you don’t want to talk about the game or the Mets’ coaching, don’t worry. This is the message board for you night owls and those on the Coast. And, I’ll answer your questions and address your comments in the morning.

Oct 22

Talkin’ World Series Baseball: Game 1.

World Series Chat

World Series Chat

Every World Series has its storyline, but when was the last time we had a really compelling Classic? Probably Angels-Giants in 2002. Yankees and D-Backs in 2001, for sure.

This one has that capability as it pits two gritty teams, clubs with resiliency to match their talent. Tampa Bay has that karma thing going for it, but let’s not overlook the Phillies, no matter how much you hate them.

They also can make a destiny argument.

Both teams can mash, but the Phillies have Ryan Howard, capable of controlling a Series. The Rays have a young, talented staff, but Philadelphia probably has the best pitcher in Cole Hamels and the dominant closer in Brad Lidge.

I believe the Rays shook the jitters when they blew Game 5 at Boston and hung on to win. They won’t be rattled. I think they’ll prevail in seven.

And if they don’t? Well, I’m happy if it goes seven.

Oct 22

What if?

Kazmir: What if the Mets won that trade?

Kazmir: What if the Mets won that trade?

It goes without saying the Scott Kazmir trade was disastrous for the Mets. But, imagine for a moment, the trade worked and Rick Peterson was able to fix the very damaged Victor Zambrano.

Let’s say the Mets turned it around in 2004 and made a run at the playoffs. They were four games under .500 at the time of the trade and finished the season 20 games under. That brought the end of Jim Duquette as general manager and ushered in Omar Minaya.

Would Minaya have come if the Mets finished that season as a competitive team? With Minaya came Pedro Martinez, then Carlos Beltran, then Carlos Delgado. It’s interesting to wonder what might have happened had Zambrano panned out.

We all know what happened with Kazmir.

Oct 22

James: Mets’ core pretty good.

James: Likes Wright and Reyes.

James: Likes Wright and Reyes.

The young core some people would like to break up ranks high with analyst Bill James, who ranks David Wright fourth and Jose Reyes ninth in his list of the top major leaguers under 30 years old in his book, “Young Talent Inventory.”

Overall, the Mets are ranked 16th in terms of young talent, which is in the middle of the pack and nothing to get excited about.

Here’s James’ top 25:

?1. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman, age 24
?2. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins shortstop, age 24
?3. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants pitcher, age 24
?4. David Wright, New York Mets third baseman, age 25
?5. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder, age 24
?6. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox second baseman, age 24
?7. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder, age 23
?8. Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles Angels pitcher, age 26
?9. Jose Reyes, New York Mets shortstop, age 25
10. Nick Markakis, Baltimore Orioles right fielder, age 24
11. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals pitcher, age 24
12. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals third baseman, age 23
13. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, age 24
14. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies shortstop, age 23
15. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners pitcher, age 22
16. Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox pitcher, age 24
17. Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman, age 22
18. John Danks, Chicago White Sox pitcher, age 23
19. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres first baseman, age 26
20. James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman, age 24
21. Stephen Drew, Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop, age 25
22. Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves catcher, age 24
23. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers first baseman, age 25
24. Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians center fielder, age 25
25. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds first baseman, age 24

Three other Mets’ prospects, reliever Eddie Kunz, catcher Josh Thole and outfielder Daniel Murphy were selected to play in AFL All-Star Game Friday night.

Oct 22

Randolph to get Milwaukee interview

Randolph: To interview with Brewers.

Randolph: To interview with Brewers.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on its website today Willie Randolph will interview for the Milwaukee Brewers’ vacant managerial position.

I’m guessing a key interview question would be what responsibility in takes for the 2007 collapse and what he learned.

Randolph has to come out and say the experience taught him to lighten up. It’s no crime to be tense. I always liked Willie, but he kept reporters at arm’s length. That’s OK, most managers do, but Randolph had this sense of being persecuted which wasn’t true.

I think Randolph deserves another chance. He has a winning record that warrants it. I hope he gets the job, and this time I hope he enjoys it.