I mentioned a few days ago I was going to try to form some kind of schedule for the site. On Sundays, I will bang out something called 20 Points, which is pretty much self explanatory. Just things I’ve seen from the prior week, and thoughts on the current happenings (and perhaps some delving into baseball history and such). A few days into the baseball season, and some observations about the Mets and around the majors:
- First point, and this goes for the Mets and baseball as a whole…1 week is irrelevant. Now let’s continue.
- Johan Santana is the real deal. Just nasty, nasty stuff.
- Umpiring has been horrendous so far. Missed calls, erratic strike zones, just a pitiful job in several games I’ve watched.
- Chien-Ming Wang is vastly underrated. I’ve waited 3 years for this guy to falter, and he keeps pitching well (’07 playoffs notwithstanding). He doesn’t strike guys out, but he’s a Brandon Webb-type, which is plenty good.
- Johnny Cueto was impressive to watch. We’ll see if Dusty Baker can manage to ruin this kid by the end of the year.
- The Mike Hampton saga is almost comical to watch.
- The Pedro Martinez saga is not at all comical to watch.
- Ken Griffey Jr. is 6 homers away from 600 for his career. If this guy had stayed healthy, we’d have been talking about him instead of Bonds.
- Nice to see good early starts by the Royals and Orioles. Neither will last, though if the Tigers have health problems that division is anybody’s.
- Fantasy Baseball owners shouldn’t look at standings until May 1.
- Ben Sheets is Cy Young Award good if he can stay healthy.
- The story of Rick Ankiel is truly remarkable.
- The story of Jose Canseco is truly pathetic.
- The early developing love affair between Cubs fans and Kosuke Fukudome is enjoyable to watch. Not a superstar, perhaps, but this guy can play. And Wrigley needs a character.
- Sticking with the Cubs theme, watch for a big year from the terminally underrated Derrek Lee.
- The whole Joba Chamberlain fist pump debate took up far too much talk radio time here for a couple of days. Between the Yankee haters and the Yankee apologists, it was enough to make you want to throw up. It’s simple…I hate it, but it’s a different game now than it was (which was Frank Thomas’ mature response to the antics). More grandstanding, more attitude. Anyone who thinks what he’s doing isn’t orchestrated isn’t paying attention. And that’s totally fine if you want to approve of his doing it, just don’t whine if someone takes him or another Yankee pitcher deep and Cadillac’s it around the bases.
- The San Francisco Giants stink. Really, really badly.
- If there’s a worse investment than Barry Zito I would love to know about it.
- Hate the Braves…love John Smoltz. What a gamer!
- Barring injury (always a question with him) Casey Kotchman of the Halos has a breakthrough year.
One added thing…if any of you are trying to comment and can’t, please shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’ve been at a bunch of blogs here in the past week where it has said I am not allowed to comment. Not sure if this is with the redesign of what, but I’d like to know if you’re experiencing such a problem here.
Mike Pelfrey was pretty much abused Saturday by the Marlins. Though certainly not good, it was nice to see Brian Schneider and Damion Easley back in the lineup. Both went deep, and were joined in the lineup by Ryan Church. Interesting note during the WFAN game telecast today regarding Church. Apparently, he told Randolph he wanted to play because he feels he needs to prove his worth to his teammates since coming over from Washington. While I don’t want him taking chances with his health, this kind of attitude is good to see.
During the telecast it was also mentioned that Jose Valentin could see action as early as Sunday, making incredible strides in returning from his knee injury. He wasn’t expected to play for another couple of weeks, and was seen starting the year with AAA New Orleans. If he can be at all productive, his switch hitting bat will provide some power and versatility to the bench corps.
It’s spring training, so we don’t weigh anything too heavily here, but it’s nice to see top prospect Fernando Martinez hitting .333 on the spring. Only 2 Ks as well, so he hasn’t been overmatched in the slightest. He needs seasoning, and a full year at AAA would do him good, but this kid is going to come quickly.
From elsewhere around the majors, in surprising news Mike Hampton is hurt again. He made it 3 innings into the spring this time, but now is out with a groin injury. Supposedly, it’s not serious. I wonder if his kids in those great Colorado schools ever were taught what "injury prone" means. If you’re not a Mets fan, you likely don’t get the reference…apologies.
In other injury news, Josh Beckett left before today’s spring start with back spasms. Expect the Sox to be careful with him the rest of the spring, but he’ll start Opening Day. The Dodgers lost Adam LaRoche for at least two months with a torn thumb ligament. LaRoche was hit by a pickoff throw of all things.
If you did beyond the worthless Wally Matthews, Newsday’s Jim Baumbach offers an intriguing option for the Mets with Moises Alou out. No, it’s not Sammy Steroid. It’s Kenny Lofton. A free agent, so he’d cost them no players, just cash, Lofton hit .296 with a .367 OBP. Though he stole 23 bases, he had 21 at midseason, but the Indians didn’t run him much. He’s 40, but it wouldn’t take much to sign him, and he hasn’t posted an OBP below .346 since 2001. Not a bad idea.
Had my Fantasy Draft today…had to cut out of the live draft with 3 rounds remaining, and the evil computer gods drafted Tom Glavine for me. I’ll be ditching his gutless *** as soon as I can find a taker.