Just want to point out we have the capacity to run polls now. The first one is posted on the Mets’ off-season priority. Please vote and if you have any comments post them here. Thanks.-JD
Welcome to a new feature on the blog. This will be a thread with several items attached. Random thoughts, if you will. There are a lot of things happening, some directly relating to the Mets and some not.
* If you’re a season ticket holder, have you received your 2010 invoices? When is payment due? Is there a price break? I’m under the understanding there won’t be any increase. You tell me what’s going on.
* Bobby Valentine has been passed over for three jobs since returning from Japan. Cleveland, Houston and now Washington. Doesn’t that tell you something? Yet, there are those still on his bandwagon. Sorry, not happening, even if Jerry Manuel gets fired during the season.
* The Phillies are talking about Mark DeRosa to play third base. Would be a nice pick-up for them. They’ve already taken care of some off-season business. Adding DeRosa will make them that much better.
* Word is Atlanta might trade Javier Vazquez and/Derek Lowe. They must be sold on their young pitching to entertain those thoughts. You can’t have enough pitching. And, forget it, they won’t trade a starter inside the division.
* Carlos Beltran says Carlos Delgado is in good shape and said he’d love to have him return. No surprise there.
Newsday’s Ken Davidoff is one of the sharpest baseball writers around, and he has this story today that Oliver Perez is working hard in Arizona at the Athletes Performance Institute, which is a comprehensive fitness camp.
Call it marine training for athletes, with a focus on nutrition, metabolic testing, cardiovascular work, drills and media training.
Perez hasn’t always been in the best physical or mental shape, and the thinking here is if he can master the latter he’ll do the same with the former, and consequently results could be seen on the mound. It’s worth a try, and it is a sign Perez is taking last season’s wash out seriously.
Among the Institute’s alumni are Curt Schilling, Justin Morneau, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youklis and Dustin Pedroia.
Said Red Sox manager Terry Francona during spring training in 2008: “These guys have access to so much. They take advantage of it and when they come in [to camp], it makes the baseball part easier.”
Perez, 3–4 with a 6.82 ERA in 14 starts last season, has always been an uncashed check when it comes to his performance. The potential has always been greater than the production, and the Mets gambled $36 million over three years that might change.
So far it hasn’t, but the first step in correcting the problem is in its acknowledgement.
I find it amusing some people still believe the Mets would, should or could trade Luis Castillo.
After a dreadful 2008 season in which injuries limited him to 87 games and a .245 average, Castillo showed up to spring training 17 pounds lighter, and except a brief stumble down the dugout steps, was healthy for much of a rebound season in which he hit .302 with a .387 on-base percentage.
Q: So why trade him?
A: The Mets are fearful last season might be a fluke, that at 34 he might have had his encore. The Mets are wondering if his knees will give out again and that he’s always on the edge of the DL. There’s also concern about his shrinking defensive range, and the frequency of lapses when he does reach a ball. The Mets also would like to shed themselves of the remaining $12 million left on his contract over the next two seasons.
Sure, the Mets would love to get out from under his contract and not be around for his fall.
The only problem, is that for the same reasons the Mets should deal Castillo are the same reasons no team wants to trade for him.
Mets general manager Omar Minaya faces a daunting task in rebuilding the Mets, and let’s face it, tweaking will not get it done.
“Some years are better than others. I think we have to find a way to slug more,” said Minaya in defining the market and one of his team’s needs.
For the Mets to become the team they have promised they will be, there’s tweaking in some areas, hoping in a few more, and throwing money at several others in what has been described as a less-than-stellar free-agent market.