Oct 30

Welcome to the 2009 Hot Stove season ….

As the Phillies were rolling around on the infield last night much to the dismay of most Mets fans, take solace in that 2008 is officially over. The last out of the World Series officially brings with it the start of the 2009 season, although the Mets have been thinking for the past month about what went wrong and what to do about it.

It’s time to build GM Omar Minaya’s shopping list for the Hot Stove Season.

Here’s my list:

1. Starter #1: Fixing the bullpen begins first with fixing the rotation. They need to add a starter to begin shaving innings from the bullpen total. They will attempt to re-sign Oliver Perez and add a solid, but not spectacular starter such as Derek Lowe.

2. Closer: The Phillies proved a dominant closer is better than a closer-by-committee format. Brian Fuentes appears first on their list. The money is too steep for Francisco Rodriguez.

3. Starter #2: The Mets need fifth starter. They could go in the market, they could gamble with Jon Niese or they could bring back Pedro Martinez.

4. Adding bullpen depth: The Mets’ bullpen blew 29 saves, but Billy Wagner only coughed it up seven times. There were a lot of collapses in the seventh and eighth innings. Help is needed.

5. Bench (right-handed hitting outfielder): Fernando Tatis should be re-signed, I could go with the platoon of he and Daniel Murphy. Adding a proven bat would be beneficial, but not at the expense of adding pitching.

6. Re-signing Carlos Delgado: It’s doubtful Delgado will duplicate last season’s second half, but there shouldn’t be that big a dropoff. I don’t understand the eagerness of some to trade him. Afterall, for a team with holes, trading him adds another. Delgado does have a no-trade clause so it will cost something to get him to waive it.

Oct 29

Talkin’ Baseball: Does it end tonight?

Talkin' Baseball: Rays trying to take Series home.

Talkin' Baseball: Rays trying to take Series home.

Cole Hamels will be out of the game, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the Rays have the advantage for the end of Game 5 tonight. They might have gained a sense of momentum after tying the game, but let’s not forget the Phillies have a rested bullpen.

As the weather becomes a storyline in this World Series, unfortunately we could be hearing a lot tonight and in the near future about the showcase event being played at a neutral site. Yeah, that was me you heard screaming.

There are some things that shouldn’t be considered, and that’s one of them.

Oct 20

Willie Randolph up for Brewers’ job

Randolph: The bullpen caused Willie to scratch his head often.

Randolph: The bullpen caused Willie to scratch his head often.

Rebuffed once before, Willie Randolph is one of the leading contenders for the vacant Milwaukee Brewers’ managerial position. Evidently, the Brewers place more weight on Randolph’s career winning percentage of .544 (302-253), which is the second highest in franchise history.

Randolph interviewed for the Brewers’ job in 2000 eventually going to Davey Lopes, now a Phillies’ coach.

Given a proper bullpen, I believe Randolph eventually would have been able to win with the Mets. He deserves a second chance.

Oct 19

Gooood morning: On tap for today.

Goood Morning: What's on your mind today?

Goood Morning: What's on your mind today?

It has to be a good morning somewhere. Boston, perhaps? Gotta think they didn’t get much sleep in Tampa last night. If you’re the Rays you have to be a little concerned. The Red Sox have come back before.

Twice they’ve been down 3-to-1 (including 3-0 to the Yankees in 2004) and rallied. This is a team with a backbone. And, with Jon Lester pitching tonight, you have to like their chances. The decision to go to the bullpen instead of giving Scott Kazmir a shot to work out of trouble could be the turning point to the series.

Of course, I’ll blog the game with you tonight. I’ll also have a post up at 1 p.m., for those watching football.

Should be a fun day.

Oct 15

Talkin’ Baseball: Dodgers trying to stay alive.

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Dodgers trying to stay alive

Joe Torre’s Dodgers trying to stay alive tonight in LA. Torre was roasted for his handling of the bullpen in Game 4, in particular, for not bringing in his closer early in what amounted to a do-or-die game.

Willie Randolph has surfaced the past couple of days. He says he wants to manage again. And, from what I hear, Tony Bernazard is still in it for the GM job in Seattle.