Thursday, October 9, 2008

Random Thoughts (and a Mets postmortem)

Sheesh, it's been a while since I posted. My wedding's in a week and I'm buried trying to do wedding stuff and preparing at work for my time off. Few random things on my mind, pop culture and entertainment-wise:

* Em and I are almost finished with the fourth season of "House" and IMHO it's really the best season we've been treated to since the first. And while I'm a bit sad at the diminished role Chase, Cameron and Foreman have, I love all the new characters immensely. :)

* Watched Persepolis the other day too. Terrific, highly recommended.

* Now that my wounds from the Mets' second last-day-of-the-season elimination in a row have scabbed over, I thought I'd revisit my Mets thoughts I posted back in June before Willie was fired. Here's a bit of what I posted along with some current commentary:
Pelfrey is starting to look like a bust to me, since he still can't throw a breaking pitch for a strike, but he's young, cheap and doesn't come with a giant, expensive boot on his foot *seething anger at Omar*.
Shortly after I wrote this, Mike discovered how to throw a breaking pitch for a strike and started challenging hitters. He ended up having a terrific season (13-11, 3.72, 200IP) and is really one of the brightest spots of the entire season for the Mets, who now have a solid 25-year-old #2, #3 workhorse starting pitcher under their control for the next four years. Couldn't have been more wrong about Mike.

The Mets do, however, need to purge all the old bench scrubs on their team. Since they currently sport one of the worst benches in baseball, why not bring up a bunch of young guys and give them a chance? It'll certainly be more entertaining to watch them fail than Fernando Tatis and Raul Casanova. Who knows, it might give the team some badly needed energy. Did anyone have any faith in Marlon Anderson when he came up last night in the ninth? I certainly didn't - he's been injured and awful this year. Seems the shine's off Endy too, dead last on the team with a -7.3 VORP (although he at least can still play defense).
Despite Tatis' resurgence (and hustle, have to give him that), I still stand by this. Anderson was awful all year long, Casanova and Endy hit a bit, but got far too many at bats with the injuries to Church and Castro. Their return and the development of Dan Murphy and Nick Evans, however, rectifies this a bit for next season. Anderson will certainly be gone, Tatis and Casanova possibly and rumor is Omar's going to attempt to find some sucker to take Luis Castillo off our hands. Teh bench will be stronger (and younger) next year.

Delgado should just be cut outright and Mike Carp should be brought up. Even if he fails, it's still better than watching Carlos' corpse flail at another double down the line.
Um, yeah. Well, to be fair, everyone else was wrong on Delgado too.

If I were Wilpons, I'd get rid of Omar too. I'm not a huge Willie fan, but I'm convinced Omar is more of the problem than Randolph. Omar simply places too much value on players he's familiar with and is obsessed with going with experienced veterans instead of youngsters. Yes, yes, he can sign the big-name free agent and maybe without him we wouldn't have Beltran or Santana. The trade for John Maine was also a steal. But think about this bench he's assembled. Think about the contract he handed to Castillo this offseason, El Duque last season. Think about Heath Bell, Brian Bannister, Ruben Gotay. Think about his fascinations with Brian Lawrence, Chan Ho Park, and... *shudder*... Jose Lima. I really think the main reason this team is struggling is because of how it's been assembled, not how it's being managed.
I stand by this as well. It infuriates me that Omar was given a contract extension. Omar excels at one thing, luring and signing the big free agent. That's it. His eye for talent is horrible and his fascination with experience over youth backfires more often than not (Castillo, Alou, El Duque, his fifth starter merry-go-rounds). Jerry Manuel did a fine job, but Omar shares a large portion of the blame for constructing an old, expensive roster that kept breaking down all season long.

So what do the Mets do for next year? Well, we know Alou and El Duque's contracts will be up - that frees up about 14.5 million in salary right there. Then they have make decisions on three players: Pedro, Delgado and Oliver Perez. I think Delgado will be back, Pedro will be gone and it's 50/50 whether they re-sign Oliver. If Church is okay and the front office is okay with the Murphy/Evans platoon in left (and I think they are) then the priorities in the offseason will be:

1) Find a pitcher or three for the starting rotation (depending on the status of John Maine and whether they re-sign Perez).
2) Shore up the bullpen (and figure out who's going to close).

If Omar's able to trade Castillo so Murphy can play second, even better, but I'm not holding my breath. Personally, I'd throw everything I had at Sabathia before I gave Oliver a huge contract, but I certainly wouldn't be broken up if they re-signed him.

* Haven't really been following the Lost ARG and though I occasionally click over to Lostpedia's summary page, there really doesn't seem to be much there aside from the Pierre Chang video. Anyone following?

* I haven't seen another "Fringe" episode since the first. How's the season going? Anyone still watching? :(

Hope everyone's having a good fall. Hopefully my life will slow down a bit in a couple (very happy) weeks. Cheers!


matt v said...

Jay, would you rather have Sabathia or Manny?

I've only caught one scrap of Fringe, and it was pretty dire. I might give Eleventh Hour a chance tonight. Funny how these shows come in clumps. Remember the Surface/Invasion/Threshold trifecta a few years back?

Jay said...

I never got into any of those shows, Matt, but its funny in that they were all inspired by Lost's success. :)

Eleventh Hour does look interesting. Nice to see the guy from Dark City (Rufus Sewell) get some much deserved work. Daily News gave it a very good review today.

As for Sabathia over Manny, definitely. The Mets really don't need an outfielder right now. Evans /Murphy, Beltran and Church is just fine, especially when you consider:

1) Manny's age and contract demands
2) Manny's defense in what's going to be a cavernous outfield in Citifield
3) The Mets are going to need at least one starting pitcher next year and an entirely new bullpen

Sabathia's just far more in line with the Mets' priorities than Manny is.

matt v said...

I will defend Invasion to the bitter end? What's that, the bitter end has already come? Moving on, then...

I can see not wanting, Manny, but I'd be a little leery of CC, too. All of those innings, all of that weight, the part-time job chauffeuring Prince Fielder in a I'll bet he's looking for an even longer contract than Manny. Eh, a need's still a need, I guess.