Nov 16

Rookie of the Year candidates ….

The National League and American Rookie of the Year Awards will be named shortly. It hasn’t been a busy day in Mets history as they’ve only had four winners: Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Darryl Strawberry (1983) and Doc Gooden (1984).

COGHLAN: NL Rookie favorite.

COGHLAN: NL Rookie favorite.


The award is just a reminder of how dry the Mets farm system has been. Barring injury, the only farm products the Mets know will be in their 2010 starting lineup is David Wright and Jose Reyes (the latter is coming off surgery).

Further rubbing it in, is that two of the three finalists, and the likely winner, will come within the NL East, that being Florida outfielder Chris Coghlan and Atlanta pitcher Tommy Hanson.

Coghlan, the favorite, led major league rookies in batting, on-base percentage, hits and doubles. He was sixth in the NL in hitting at .321. If Coghlan wins, he will be the Marlins third Rookie of the Year in the last six years, joining Dontrelle Willis (2003) and Hanley Ramirez (2006).
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Nov 16

Men on Base …. Backman leading off

Just a few things:

* Single-A Brooklyn named Wally Backman as manager today. In a release by the team, Backman said: “I am thrilled and grateful to be coming back to the Mets organization. The greatest days of my professional career were spent here in New York, and I have always felt a special connection to the city.”

BACKMAN: Once a Mets' sparkplug.

BACKMAN: Once a Mets' sparkplug.


I like the idea of Backman returning to the organization and getting another chance after he was unceremoniously dumped by Arizona. Backman provides an energy and a link to when the Mets were a great team. Guys like Backman, who relied on guile and grit as players, often make good managers.

To see him grow within the organization would be a positive, and welcomed, change from how things have been done in the past.

* Reportedly, Eric Wedge is candidate for the Mets bench coach job. Sure beats Razor Shines. Yeah, I know there will be rumblings about Jerry Manuel looking over his shoulder. If Manuel is any kind of manager, if this happens he’ll pick Wedge for all the knowledge he can. You can’t have too many brains on the bench. Just look at Joe Girardi’s and Joe Torre’s supporting staffs.
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Nov 16

Why we watch ….

If you hung until the end of last night’s Colts-Patriots game, you know what sports is all about. Even when the outcome seemed clear – the Patriots couldn’t possibly blow a 17-point lead, could they? – there was enough time and talent on the other side of the ball to suggest a twinge of uncertainty.

There was greatness in blue, and the human element of error in judgment in gray that gave us a game for the ages and reminded us not to be so hasty to turn the channel.

OUR HEARTS: What's in that box of chocolates?

OUR HEARTS: What's in that box of chocolates?


We watch until the end because sports can be positively Gumpish, you don’t know what you might get. Just what is in that tightly wrapped package under the tree? Would it be the obvious, such as the Patriots giving up a meaningless touchdown or winning going away? Or, would we treated to the improbable, the unlikely, the surreal?

Would we be treated to a memory?

Last night we got the memory.

Last night was one of those nights that make you hang on and want to hope and dream. If the Colts are your team your faith was rewarded. If the Patriots are your team you felt anguish and amazement. Maybe you felt betrayed.
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Nov 15

What would it take to get Halladay?

Roy Halladay in the Mets’ rotation sounds appetizing. With the Blue Jays willing to deal, there are only a handful of teams that fit economically, with the Mets among them, presumably able to come up with a $20-million per season contract.

HALLADAY: Would cost a fortune.

HALLADAY: Would cost a fortune.


So are the Yankees and Red Sox, who figure to be greater factors in trade talks this winter than at last July’s trade deadline because the Blue Jays appear more inclined to be willing to trade him within the AL East. If trading within the division is feasible, the main unanswered questions are whether the Blue Jays want to trade. If Toronto believes it is able to compete for at least a wild card, then the decision could be to hold him for this year knowing he’ll walk next winter.

As the Blue Jays prepare for 2010, dealing Halladay now would send the white flag message to its already shrinking fan base. The fallback would be to wait until the trade deadline and assess things then. That way, if they are struggling, they would get more than compensatory draft choices.
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Nov 14

Poll: Do you want Delgado back?

When Carlos Delgado is healthy and hitting, there are only a handful of first basemen I’d take over him. You know who they are. Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Mark Teixeira. There might be a few others.

DELGADO: Should they or shouldn't they?

DELGADO: Should they or shouldn't they?


But, Carlos Beltran’s learned medical diagnosis aside, nobody knows for sure what Delgado can do following hip surgery. At 37, that’s a tough injury to rebound from, which is why GM Omar Minaya will be in Puerto Rico next month to watch him play winter ball.

In 26 games last year, Delgado hit .294 with a .393 on-base percentage, four homers and 23 RBI. Projected over a 162 games, that would be 25 homers and 143 RBI, numbers that would entail a no-brainer when it would come to picking up his option.

Wanna bet he would’ve kept that pace?

Delgado is 37, coming off an injury, and before that had a hot-cold 2008. He is not what the Mets need if their intent is to get younger, more athletic and pare salary.
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