Jan 11

Jan. 11.10: McGwire comes clean.

McGWIRE: More than milk gave him that body.

McGWIRE: More than milk gave him that body.

Saying he knew this day would eventually come, Mark McGwire released a statement today to the AP admitting his use of steroids. McGwire hit 583 career homers in 16 seasons, and before the steroid era he would have been a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

McGwire has been barely a blip of the Hall of Fame radar screen since his retirement. Many writers, myself included, said they wouldn’t vote for McGwire or any other player linked to steroids. His admission will cause for some soul searching from those writers, myself included, as to their stance now.

Honestly, an admission doesn’t alter the fact he cheated, but it’s a way of being honest to the fans and to the game. For that, whatever McGwire’s motivation, deserves some consideration. I’ve always been a believer in second chances so I might be leaning in that direction. So, in that respect, personally I’m glad he did this as it will erase the cloud hovering over him.

In the Never-say-Never Department, McGwire, now a hitting instructor with the Cardinals, could be activated says manager Tony La Russa. Should that happen, the clock would go back and wouldn’t start ticking until he retires for good. It would be interesting to see the reaction McGwire would receive, but it would be more interesting to see if he has anything left for real.

McGWIRE: Whiffs in front of Congress.

McGWIRE: Whiffs in front of Congress.


Some excerpts to his release:

* “I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

• “I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected.”

• “I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any, and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids, and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.”

Technically, McGwire never lied to Congress, he just looked weak saying he wasn’t there to talk about the past. Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield and Rafael Palmeiro – all with 500 career homers – have been linked, or suspected of using steriods.

Do you feel better about McGwire now, or didn’t it matter either way?

Dec 01

Men on Base …. Notes

As expected, the Mets did not offer arbitration to Carlos Delgado, Fernando Tatis, JJ Putz, Marlon Anderson and Gary Sheffield.

There was no way they were going to do Delgado, who could have come away with a $12 million deal had he accepted. That would have been just dumb.

Not that the Mets had a chance at trading for him anyway, but Roy Halladay says he won’t approve a deal after spring training. That means, in order to get prospects instead of compensatory draft picks, the Blue Jays better push it now or have him walk after next year. This can only mean a bidding war between the Red Sox and Yankees. He will not fall back to the pack the way Johan Santana did and was snatched by the Mets.
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Nov 09

Why not Ankiel?

I was scanning over the list of free-agent outfielders in trying to find alternatives to the pricey Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, left fielders I’m confident won’t see Citi Field this summer in the home whites. With so many other things on their list, I don’t see them paying in the estimated range of $70 million for Bay and $96 million for Holliday, numbers which have already been reported.

ANKIEL: Let's not forget about him.

ANKIEL: Let's not forget about him.


My eyes stopped at Rick Ankiel. This guy, although injured last season after slamming into a wall, can play. He can hit, hit for power and play defense. And, he might have the best outfield arm in the majors.

Best of all, he’s not going to break the bank.

A great center fielder, sure but what about Beltran? Perhaps, with Beltran’s aching knees, this might be the time to switch him to left. Or, Ankiel can play left until it is time. Or, maybe move him to right and Jeff Francoeur to left.

Ankiel represents a different alternative to the Mets. He’s productive, although not big ticket. He’s also not a broken down, expensive veteran hanging on like Gary Sheffield. The guy can play and the Mets have too few of those types of players.

Nov 06

Taking a look at the Mets free agents

Mets Free Agents

Mets Free Agents

It was hardly a surprise Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider filed for free agency yesterday, the first day of the 15-day filing period that began yesterday.

Delgado, who missed most of the season with a hip injury, expects to play next season, but won’t be re-signed by the Mets. Schneider could return to Washington.

DELGADO: Gone.

DELGADO: Gone.


Ironically, Schneider is a veteran back-up catcher, something the Mets need, but they want one who could hit.

Both are Class B free agents, meaning should they be offered arbitration and decline, then sign with somebody else, the Mets would be rewarded a draft pick from the Sandwich Round, which is between the first and second rounds. It’s a moot point, because they won’t be offered arbitration in fear they accept.

First base next year will be Daniel Murphy and a right-handed bat they sign on the cheap. It could be Fernando Tatis, who is also a free agent.

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Sep 02

METS CHAT ROOM: Game #133; Redding tries to stop slide.

CHAT ROOM

CHAT ROOM

Actually, the headline is a misnomer. The only thing that will stop the slide is the end of the season. Tim Redding can only slow it down a bit.

The Mets have David Wright back, but he’s not in the line-up tonight. Jerry Manuel said he would rest him after his return. First, he said Wright would sit tonight. Then he said Wright would sit the first two games and sit tomorrow. Pick a plan, any plan.

Gary Sheffield is also out of the line-up, and with each game he misses it becomes more apparent the Mets missed their chance to unload him when they pulled him off waivers earlier this month. They might not have gotten much, but what are they getting now? Especially since the odds are long he’ll be back next year.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

REDDING: Another stop-gap start.

The Mets have lost 22 of their last 33 games to fall completely out of contention. They’ve been in a slide since before the All-Star break when John Maine, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes went down with injuries. The pitchers fell apart in the second half when Johan Santana and Oliver Perez were disabled.

In all fairness, the season was gone before Santana and Perez. Their departures simply opened the way for guys like Nelson Figueroa, Bobby Parnell and Redding (2-4, 5.94) to join the rotation.

Redding pitched well in his last start, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings in a victory at Florida. He is 1-2 with a 4.40 ERA in five career starts against the Rockies.