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Thursday, February 18, 2010


You wrote:

"The Mets will be a non-factor, and considering some of the nifty little moves Washington made, I wonder if the Nationals can finish higher in the standings."


Doesn't matter who the best pitcher is. It matters who the best team is.

Mets will definitely be a better team than the Nats. I just wonder if they will win enough game this year (84-85 games) to remain a contender at least until early/mid Sept.

I hope Halladay launches Santana's first pitch over that shortened fence.

The Mets will win at least 80 games this year if they can stay healthy, not much of a threat, but much better than the Nats.

I do think it will be a much tougher division this year though, as each team improved this offseason.

The Mets will lead the division is self promotion but not in baseball games won.

When healthy the Mets haven't had much of a problem handling the Phillies. Handling other teams in September has been a different issue. "Non-factor" is talking pretty loud, but given recent history not unexpected. If I was a Phils fan and Halladay got the same question I'd hope he'd answer similarly. Santana is a stud, the four question marks behind him will determine if the Mets are a factor.

I have to wonder if Brett Myers absence from the clubhouse will positively affect Cole. Cole seemed to exhibit many bad Brett habits last year, like getting too pissed off on the mound when little things went wrong, which generally led to bigger things going wrong.

Reading the beat writers Twitter feeds you'd think that Roy Halladay was the new pitching sensei a la Moyer of years past....

I feel like this post just guaranteed the Mets a winning record.

At least the Phillies don't have one of those.

Wow, JW. Some strong words regarding the Mets.

"Non factor"? Ehh, not sure I agree with you there.

"I wonder if the Nationals can finish higher in the standings", not so sure about that either.

It is nice to see JW get a little fired up though. Maybe you can hold a blog debate with 1 or 2 blogs from both the Phillies and Mets to square off in a Spring Training "Steel Cage Match".

Still see the East shaping up like this(+/- 2 games):

Phillies 98-64
Braves 90-72
Fish 86-76
Mets 83-79
Nats 71-91

Unrelated ...

I just tried to get tickets to the Nationals Home Opener (and first Phillies game of the season) on April 5 through an advance ticket sale as a "Nationals Insider." The single-game tickets went on sale this morning at 10am. The only tickets available are $175 tickets near home plate ... is it possible that Phillies fans flooded the system and sucked up all the tickets to see Halladay for the first time in a Phillies uni? Wow. Guess I was too slow ...

Don't forget, the Mets were not a terrible team before all the injuries. They lost players at 1B, ss, 3B, LF, CF BP and SP. They're not as good as the Phils and I can't stand them but they shouldn't be taken lightly.

Spirit of '69: Halladay was asked the same question. His response:

“I’d never vote for myself,” Halladay, 32, told the magazine when asked whether he was the best pitcher in the NL East.

He said New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana “has always been fun to watch. The way Cole pitched in the playoffs a couple of years ago and at times last year, I think he’s up there. Some of the Marlins’ younger guys are scary - Josh Johnson. There’s a lot of talent.”

Whether he believes it or not is irrelevant. Being humble (and/or diplomatic) is always the classier route IMHO.

WFC what Johan Santana thinks? Really.

joedad has it correct: who's the better team.

BTW, here's a list of career ERA+ for the SP or potential Swingman/SP for both teams:

Santana 143
Nieve 104
Maine 101
Perez 93
Pelfrey 91
Niese 79

Halladay 133
Happ 133
Hamels 121
Moyer 105
Blanton 102
Contreras 100
Kendrick 95

Which rotation would you rather have?

(P.S. sample size alert)

As an addendum to my last post:

Johan is still one of the best in baseball and still scares me.

[just so there's no confusion on the issue]

No one ever accused the Mets of being classy...

...or the Phillies or Philadelphians in general, but Doc just spent the last 12 years in Canada.

R.Billingsly: I agree being humble/diplomatic is classy. But many of the best players are also confident without being arrogant. Santana is one of those guys. I wouldn't mistake Jimmy Rollins for a model of humility but I'm sure you're glad he's in a Phillies uniform.

Saying the Mets will be a non-factor is arrogant, but the Mets haven't shown much lately to knock that back.

Both pitchers answered the question honestly, one reason among many why they're both studs.

Cole Hamels on 610 now:

The Highlights:

- Cole said he had a rough 2009 and at times when something went wrong he let it get to him on the mound (i.e. throwing arms in the air)

- He is ready to get over 2009 and move on to a better 2010

- Says he felt "embarrassed" by 2009 and wants to show in 2010 why he is regarded as an ace.

- Excited about acquiring Halladay. Obviously feels bad about Lee, but they got the best pitcher in baseball and has to move on.

- Hamels said this season he will be more open to pitch less innings in order to stay fresh for the postseason. Goal is to pitch "at least 7 innings a start or whatever is needed to ensure we(Phillies) make another World Series this year. "

- The criticism regarding last year didn't affect him, but "made me grow as a person and player". He said he has owned and accepted it, put it behind him and going forward.

- Hamels says he expects to win "20 games this year"

- Working on another pitch, "to make batters feel less comfortable when facing me"

- On the division:

"Mets improved with Bay coming over...they will be tough".

"Washington Nationals may not have brought A+ FA's but they can sneak up and get you."

- Regarding trash talking and the Mets: "It makes it more fun and when we play them the fans help bring even more energy."

Great interview and great questions by Eskin.

Andy: Ugh. Thanks for bursting the dream. Every time I see one of those I think about what Borat had to say about things that look like wizard sleeves....

Good for Johan. He's one of the best pitchers in baseball and the Mets still blow. It's nice rooting for a team that knows how to close!

When asked Thursday who was the best pitcher in the division, Santana shrugged and said, "Santana."

He didn't say, "Bastardo"?

The Mets #2 would be a middle reliever for their cross town rivals.

If/when Strasburg can make the quantuum leap to the bigs, the Nats could top the Mets. However, thats a big IF...

Did anyone catch the ESPN Hot Stove U article about hitting f/x? Ryan Howard hits the ball much harder than anyone in the big leagues, averaging 92 mph per hit. His hardest hit was a 110 mph flyout to deep left. The next hardest hits by other major leaguers were 92.6(Miguel Cabrera) and 91.4(Pujols)...So, despite using a Ruthian bat, Ryan Howard has the best bat speed in the game.

As a met fan, we laughed our a**es off when Jimmy Rollins said you were the team to beat when we were coming off a 97-65 season. So take the Mets lightly at your own risk.

There really might not be anything more potentially scary than a talented team that's really pissed off.

I actually agree with Justin Wells. There is nothing scarier than a talented team that's really pissed off.

I just don't know what that has to do with the Mets.

Other thing to keep in mind. The Phils haven't had to contend with an injury to their "core" in a long time. Which're due.

"There really might not be anything more potentially scary than a talented team that's really pissed off."

Exactly Justin and the Mets were taught that the hard way after Reyes jogged around the basepaths (after hitting a HR) and then had a 5 minute long handshake with Castillo (I think) in Game 161 of the 2007 season.

I believe Hanley after the game said something to the effect of "I don't care if I have a broken leg tomorrow, I will play and we will beat the Mets".

The Mets, pissed off?

They're barely paying attention.

You know, J., I think you might have something there with the Nats. Yeah, they're still a bad team, mainly because they lack pitching. That was the case last year and its the case now, but in the bullpen and the starting rotation they're definitely in better shape than they were last year.

But that Nats actually have a decent lineup. You can do worse for 3-4-5 than Zimmermann, Dunn, and Willingham. Right field is a problem, and the catching situation is as bad as the Mets offensively, but you look at the starting 8 fielders and it's not a bad group. Certainly packs more punch than the Reds, Giants, Padres, Pirates, D'Backs, and Astros, I'd even say its better than the Braves. They've got power in the middle and good speed up top with Morgan.

It's a league average offense, really, and the 6-8 hitters are a black hole offensively. Using baseball musings lineup generator, with a lineup of:
1) CF Nyjer Morgan (last year's stat line), 2) 2B Adam Kennedy (career statline),
3) 3B Ryan Zimmermann (.850 OPS),
4) 1B Adam Dunn (career line),
5) LF Josh Willingham (career),
6) RF Elijah Dukes (career),
7) SS Christian Guzman (career),
8) C Ivan Rodriguez (OPS 670)
9) Pitcher (OPS 352, average for all Nats pitchers)

the average runs scored per game was 4.592 with the 1998-2002 model, or 744 runs over the course of the season. League Average. For the 1959-2004 model, it's 4.627 runs per game with that lineup. 750 runs. Again. Average.

It's the pitching that will keep the Nats in the cellar, no doubt about it. But they do have a decent offense.

awh: Hard to believe KK, a guy who can't possibly have a major league career because of his low K/9, has a better career OPS+ than the mighty Oliver Perez, whose K/9 is superb.

I'd hardly call Elijah Dukes, Cristian Guzman and Pudge a "black hole".

clout: KK's past performance, it seems to me, is an ideal test of the Skill-Interactive Earned Run Average (SIERA) stats metric.

So, what you're saying is that some day, Hamels will have a son who will be trained by Dubee to kill Hamels?

clout: That's not the reason (low K/9) why KK hasn't been effective.

It's because he only has basically 2 pitches, a fastball that he relies on to move and a slider. The problem is that hitters have caught up to his fastball and at times the thing doesn't move. The end result is he gets beat like a drum.

But don't worry according to the new KK scout named Stephenie LaGrossa aka Kendrick's fiancee, says he has a "5 pitch" arsenal and his changeup is "sick", so that means he will be the next Roy Halladay, right?

::Tick Tock:: You hear that clock? No, it's not for Werth this time, it is for KK's time as a Phillie. If he doesn't develop at least that "sick" changeup, he really will be shipped to Japan.

How does KKs OPS+ matter when compared to Ollie's?

Clout: He didn't say, "Bastardo"?

I spit water all over my monitor. Thanks!

Justin Wells: re: injuries. So you're argument is that if we flip a coin 10 times and 9 of those times heads comes up the 10th time it will come up tails because it is due? Interesting.

Justin: Sorry. That should've read ERA+ in reference to the chart posted by awh.

Baxter, Dukes career statline, which I used, is .770 OPS (.350 OPB .420 SLG), but last year his line was .337/.393/.729 OPB/SLG/OPS, a good 20-30 points below the NL average for right fielders. He's known as a head case too, lots of talent but he's a pain in the butt. Really it depends on which Dukes shows up here, and I doubt it will be the 2008 version when his OPS was .864.

As for Guzman, I used his career statline of 307/386/693, something very close to his 2009 numbers. And Pudge's numbers are in sharp decline, last year his numbers were 280/384/664. I actually gave him t an equivalent stateline of 300/370/670.

So that's 3 guys with the potential to have sub-700 OPS in the 6,7,8 holes. That's very poor offensively, and LEAGUE AVERAGE is 740-750.

Justin: it's kind of an in-joke.

The knocks on the Mets are deserved, don't deny that. Choking and folding invites the usual mocking and sarcasm.

That said, when healthy the Mets play the Phillies tough, beat them more often than not. Perhaps after three years they've grown some gonads for late innings and the stretch run. You guys are betting they haven't, fair enough.

I don't think the Mets need to be pissed to win. It would help if they pitched, touched third base, slid into home, and caught pop-ups. Last year, that was asking too much. I have a feeling it'll be different this year.

Guzman and Pudge may end up being a black hole. Guzman can be a decent player if he hits .300+, but since he doesn't walk any and hits for no power, his entire value is wrapped up in hitting for a high average. The older he gets, the less likely that becomes.

Pudge, as we covered before, cannot hit anymore.

Dukes, however, should be an effective offensive player if he's allowed to play. I could easily see him posting something like a .290/.360/.460 line over a full year. That would be above league-average for an OF, and likely better than what we will get from Ibanez this year. Of course, given his history of injuries and personal problems, it's unlikely he plays for a full year.

SIERA doesn't like Kendrick any more than Jack or BAP (whatever happened to BAP, btw?).
2009: 4.24 in 26 innings
2008: 5.22 in 155
2007: 4.86 in 121

His 2008 and 2007 numbers place him in the bottom third of starting pitchers for those seasons.

For the record, I've given the Mets plenty of preseason respect over the years. But I can honestly say they do not scare me one bit this year.

I think I'm the only one who liked the Pudge signing for Washington. A veteran like that has to be better for the staff than Flores.

When the Nationals had Schneider, a handler who could manage a pitching staff, Nats pitching was halfway decent. Now, this is a new group, but still ...

Phillies Red: What does SIERA say about the past 3 years of Oliver Perez?

JW: Considering that Flores is hurt and may miss the start of the season, Pudge makes a lot of sense.

"Other thing to keep in mind. The Phils haven't had to contend with an injury to their "core" in a long time. Which're due.

Posted by: Justin Wells"

Ummmmm, Justin, you obviously haven't been paying much attention to the Phillies the last couple of years.

They lost Rollins for 28 games with and ankle at one point, last season Rollins played BELOW replacement level for the first half, Howard was DL'd and ineffective at one point, Utley broke his hand....they've had their share.

Justin and Spirit, thsi is a straightforward 2-part question:

Do you think the the Mets are better than the Phillies and do you think they'll finish ahead of the Phillies this season?

SIERRA for Perez.

2009: 5.39, 66ip
2008: 4.37, 194
2007: 3.91, 177

J. Weitzel: If I were you they wouldn't scare me either. They haven't done anything lately to scare anyone.

That said, players get sick of losing, being out of action, and getting laughed at. They try harder and play better. Fortunes change. A little new blood helps too.

I agree, right now, Santana stands ALL alone. But predicting the Mets will be a non-factor this early is a reach.

Mets will play the Phillies tough; not sure how they will play all the other teams, though. I will never write them off, but there are just so many question marks in their rotation and bullpen I think it's going to be an uphill climb for them.

I don't think this means the Phillies are a lock to win the division. We're in just about the best position we can be, provided there's minimal injury and player setbacks. The Braves will be better. The Marlins will be better. The Nats will even be better.

I think the NL East this season shapes up to be much more competitive than last year, which is only good for all the teams involved.

Phillies Red: So KK beats him in 2 of 3 years.


What in the name of Cleon Jones, Ron Swoboda and Al Weis has happened to this thread?

clout: JW invited the Mets to play with this thread. They did not disappoint.

Ok so Im a mets fan but I do have to say... All of you who think we will not be a factor are BSing yourselves. Before Reyes' ingury we were 1 game back. Now with basically the same lineup (+ Bay, and whoevere is catching) are going to be just as good even better IMO... Im not saying we will definatly win the East but it will go down to the final games of the season. With ATL and FLA right behind

Clout, I think KK only wins 2009, when both had short seasons. I'm slightly bullish on KK myself, thinking that he could be a serviceable 5th starter, or more likely a solid bullpen piece. But Perez wins two out of three years and, according to SIERA, has by far the strongest single year showing of the two. He's also eaten more innings over the last three years.

But I'm not entering the fray here; you can continue to tout Kendrick and mock Bastartdo 'cause I don't have much to add to those particular conversations.

Phillies Red: I'm not really touting KK as much as teasing the posters who say his K/9 is too low for him to ever be successful. And while you stack the numbers your way, I'll stack 'em my way and note that KK's career ERA+ is better.

I do mock the designation of Bastardo as the next Santana, however, and will continue to do so.

Feel free to add whatever you like.

The Mets haven't had much of a problem handling the Phils when healthy? Last three years, Phils lead the season series 31-23. Factor in a three-game swing for injury excuses, the Phils still have the edge. And this includes a streak of 8 in a row greatly assisting in the collapse of '07.

I thought after '08 the Mets and their fans might be humbled, since the whole "It was a fluke" talk was put to bed. Didn't happen. Now a year and another Phils' pennant later, they're the laughingstock of the entire league and we STILL get stuff like this from Santana, accompanied by chest-thumping from fans?

How many times does a group of people have to get kicked in the gut before they stop running their mouths prior to a single game being played? When the Phils were a losing team, I wouldn't have even dreamed of talking trash on anybody. Especially to a team that just won two consecutive pennants. But I guess when your existence is based around a team that everyone around the MLB is making fun of, the best course of action is to invent a new reality and act accordingly.

****I do mock the designation of Bastardo as the next Santana, however, and will continue to do so.****

Its been officially added to the list of BL memes over the last couple years:

"Shane Victorino is actively hurting the team."

"Not tall enough."

"Bastardo is the next Santana."

chest thumping? please... what did you expect him, or the fans to say? he's one of 3 vocal leaders on the team, and the only one who did anything last year. the mets are a laughingstock, they know, the fans know it, and ownership knows it. the "chest thumping" is from a beaten down fanbase trying to defend the only bright spot in a bad stretch. so calm down iceman, you guys aren't the underdogs anymore, your boys olney and stark remind us mets fans of that every day.

that being said, johan is coming off of major surgery. doc is coming from the al east. doc: 1 johan: 2... barely ;)

Give the Mets some credit...even though the Phils have the best record in the NL over the last 5 seasons, the Mets are 3rd, despite having that disadvantage of having the highest payroll in the league most seasons.

Nate: I expect A) He and the fans to stay in this reality instead of creating one of their own, and B) Maybe being humbled enough after three consecutive humiliating seasons to have some class. More so the team on B), since the fans, as a whole, have proven pretty incapable of class.

Asking a phenomenal pitcher "Who is the best pitcher in your division?" is a baiting question. The reporter is hoping the athlete is stupid enough to say something other than what Halladay said when answering the same question. Santana took the bait and answered the question by referring to himself in the third person. Class personified. I guess you're right, I shouldn't expect anything else at this point.

is that like calling a team chokers in their own backyard? i guess it's easier to live in a reality where "they" are the classless ones all the time... glass houses, stones...

the point of my post was that most "rational" mets fans, myself included, have not created a false reality. i told you, we know that our team has more question marks than answers. i was just trying to say that he said what was expected of him, being the best player in a crappy situation... especially since he is generally accepted as one of the few players in queens with any balls at all.

Mets suck.

In an MLB Trade Rumors chat today, one of their writers suggested that Werth would only receive ~3yrs/$30MM next offseason. Does anyone else think this is batty? His reasoning being that no one would be dangling $66MM offers next year. (Not much of a reason, I know)

brett: Yeah, I think that's low for Werth. I think he'll end up getting something like 4 for 55-60.

Maybe 50-55 if the economy stays down (or at least teams can still use that excuse).

I can't even read this thread. Is it Springtime in Queens? , Perhaps, Hope springs eternal? F__ off already. Or, come back when it counts. The only good things to come out of Queens are Len Dykstra, Nino Espinosa and (for a month) Roger McDowell. And, oh yeah, Tug McGraw. Otherwise, for the love of Mookie Wilson, please wipe your j__z off Keith Hernandez's mustache. I agree with Weitzel - no fear whatsoever coming into this season - but, I'm hoping your team finally shows something so there is a race this year.

I think Santana is a phenominal pitcher. That being said, I see the Nationals winning more games!

Hugh, calm down, buddy.

I don't mind Mets' fans showing up here as long as they are rational and respectful.

The fans here today are defending Santana - and that's OK...he's their guy - as long as they come with some common sense and attempt to make reasonable arguments.

Now, that's not to say every argument has been grounded in reason. When Justin posted that the Phils "haven't had to contend with an injury" to the core and that the Phils are "due", I had to quickly respond above. The implication was that the Phils, in the last three seasons of winning the division, going to and winning the WFC, haven't had to deal with adversity of any sort.

That is patently false.

Just last season (BTW, the 2nd pennant in a row, Justin) the Phillies lost Myers for the season, Ibanez for 21 games and when he came back (no offense to Raul) he barely performed at replacement level(.232 .323 .448 .771) which is like being out for the season anyway, Lidge was injured all season and turned in what may be the worst performance by a closer in history, Romero was effectively out for the year, Rollins did not even perform at replacement level through June, and various parts of the bullpen and rotation were on the DL for parts of the season.

Yet, they still won the pennant.... again.

In 2008 Utley suffered a broken hand, Tom Gordon was ineffective, injured, and disappeared, Ryan Howard slumped like Rollins in '09, Carlos Ruiz hit like a minor leaguer, Adam Eaton proved he didn't belong in a major league rotation, Kyle Kendrick did an Adam Eaton imitation, and Brett Myers got sent to the minors because the way he was pitching he didn't belong in the majors.

In 2007 Jon Lieber got hurt and was out for the year (after June 15th), ditto Freddy Garcia (June 8th), Tom Gordon got DL's from May until July so Brett Myers was sent to the bullpen where he got injured so Antonio Alfonseca had to close, the rotation was so battered that someone named J.D. "The Real Deal" Durbin actually got 10 starts, Kyle Kendrick got called up from AA, Ryan Howard got DL'd for 2 weeks in May, and a big stick named Abraham Nunez started at 3B. But they still overcame and won the division.

So Justin, I can appreciate the fact that being in NY you really don't follow the Phillies that closely (after all, we know that you New Yorkers just consider Philadelphia "fly-over-land" to which it's not worth paying attention), but the Phillies have won the NL East the last three seasons overcoming adversity and injuries/ineffectiveness of their core.

Reinivent history in your own mind in you like.

I miss the previous Mets fans, they were much better.

Also, if I'm an injured player, I'd much rather be with the Phils than the Mets, whose institutional dysfunction spreads from the field through the trainer's room to management and ownership.

awh: Utley's broken hand was in 2007, not 2008. In 2008 he played through a serious hip injury.

oh hell yeah AWH, oh hell yeah.


No kidding. AWH, you basically just convinced me that the Phils have faced the most hardship of any team the last three years. I know that can't be true, but your summary owned it.

I don't know how much of an impact the Mets will make this season. I see Santana having a strong year though. He may very well be the best NL East pitcher when healthy. There are a lot of question marks around Halladay. I'm still not convinced he's much better than Lee. I still don't agree with Amaro's decision to deal him for prospects either when he'd be looking for a pitcher like Lee at the deadline next year anyway.

The Phillies competition are the Braves. I still think Atlanta is a year or two away from taking back the division. They got the talent to do so. They just need an extra bat or two and a reliable bullpen to solidify that. I believe they'll be the wild card this year.

Everyone always catches up though. The Phillies are a strong team. But it doesn't take away from the fact other teams will be right there with them. The fan base is split between extreme confidence and paranoia. Just breath. This is one of the few times the Phillies may ever be on a pedestal.

What question marks are there surrounding Halladay. Will he win 20 gamesquestion mark. Will he have an era under 2.5questionmark. Will he win the Cy Youngquestionmark. You're right there are alot of question marks. Plus hes better than Lee, I don't know how you define much better, but he is better and we have him cheap for four years. The Lee deal is still up in the air but lets see how Gillies, Aumont, and Ramirez do. I for one am very excited to see them. Gillies stats compare pretty favorably to desmond jennings, but this year will tell.

100+ wins this season. As usual, the Phils will have better luck with health than Atlanta and New York because... our guys are just better.

Jack, thanks for the correction.

As you can see by the time I posted it, it was late, I was tired, and I had had a couple of adult beverages.

"Hugh, calm down, buddy."

Hey, it's spring training for me, too. I need some work on my Mookie Wilson references.

I read that Moyer is already throwing off a mound. The old man is not going to take any challenges to his spot in the rotation lying down.

P Red, I don't know whether it's "the most" hardship, or even how one would objectively define "the most", but the Phillies the last three seasons have had their share of issues to overcome.

The 2009 Mets had a bunch of serious injuries that no team could have overcome, but to imply the Phillies have enjoyed good health just isn't true. Besides, what about 2007 and 2008?

It's not like they just merrily waltzed to 3 division titles without any issues, and I thought I would set the record straight.

It does appear that the Phillies players in general WANT to play for their team be it injured or recovering, especially in September.

Speaking strictly of time lost to injury, I recall 2008 being a season in which not a single pitcher missed a start due to injury. If my recollection is correct, that is somewhat remarkable good fortune.

****I read that Moyer is already throwing off a mound. The old man is not going to take any challenges to his spot in the rotation lying down.****

Jamie Moyer speaking to Kyle Kendrick:

"Get off my lawn!"

Werth is a 30-year old with only one full season in a non-platoon role. That kind of track record does not merit $16 million per year like Bay (4 years) and Holliday (7 years). I think it's possible to get Werth for 3 years and $35 million or 4 years and $50 million. I don't believe that Werth can command more than $12-14 million per year and 3 or 4 years.

I am tired and hungover and dont normally swear

F Santana

and Reyes!

carstairs, you are correct in outlining Werth's history, but said history is mitigated by the fact that he had an injury that was nearly career ending which slowed his development.

However, last season, his first as a full-time starter, he posted the type of numbers many had anticipated he could before he got hurt.

The market and economy may have more to do with what he gets paid than anything, but if he puts up another year like he did in 2009, he'll be either the 1st or 2nd most sought after OF in free agency (the other being Crawford). He also has greater value than a guy like Bay in that he can play any position in the OF.

He won't get Holliday type money, and I'm not going to guess what he'll be paid, but there will be several big market teams looking for an OF in 2011 (LAD, LAA, NYY, BOS among others) and that should help him tremendously.

Crafty old guy survivor. Kyle showcasing his sick pitch. Steph a survivor. Roy showing Kyle and Cole how to get lefties out in his backyard.

Hugh, they may not have missed starts due to injury, but Myers, Eaton and Kendrick , 3/5 of the rotation, all imploded that season, which necessitated the Blanton trade.

No spit. Get in line Paul.

This thread is really getting me fired up for the rivalry that will continue. I have one question though regarding the Mets that will be interesting to watch.

Do you think if they have another slow April and without Beltran in that lineup it is possible, that they will pack it in again similiar to last year?

awh: "Wow!" is exactly what I said reading that article. Hmm, maybe his fiancee was right afterall.

Well this is really a double-edged sword. If KK fails this year and is gone after this year, most BLers can say "I told you so" to KK supporters. But if he succeeds and we have a full solid rotation then clout will degrade everyone even more than usual about how he was right.

Hmmmm...tough choice.

tommy, I hate to ask this, but do you think Kyle Kendrick can be an effective MLB pitcher?

Beerleaguer broke the story on KK. What the fiancee said. The ace in the hole is Roy. Kyle is starting to even look like him.

awh: Of course I can. Again, my last post was tongue-in-cheek.

sweet, so now when kk detractors say 'i told you so' or kk supporters say 'i told you so' - mvp can say... 'i told you so'

Awh: I am on record from weeks ago saying KK would beat out Moyer for the 5th starter's job. I see Moyer as a filler on the club for most the season.

thephaithful: What? I have never expressed a strong opinion on KK like some here have either way.

That whole KK can't be a effective pitcher because of his low K/9 is ridiculous. Also, I am not like clout in his way he has over-the-top confidence in him either.

I have always been on the fence with the guy.

The only thing I DID say regarding KK, is that if he developed that changeup (like it looks like he has) that he will beat out Moyer and be our 5th starter.

tommy, the Mets have some talent - Reyes is the key to the lineup - and Beltran's absence won't help them.

But the key to the Mets' season is their rotation. If their SP fires on all cylinders they could make some noise.

But here's the question:

If the Phillies won 93 games last season with a bullpen in disarray and a SP staff that had issues also.

If that Phillies team has improved 2-7 games, a possibility, then can the Mets, even when healthy, improve enough to make up the 23+ games they finished behind last season?

I'm not big into WAR or VORP, but I thin we discussed this here about 2 months ago.

Does having Reyes and Beltran back, Santana for another 8 - 9 starts (remember he started 25 last season), and Bay (and whoever else) improve that team by enough WAR to make up the games they finished behind?

IMHO, no, but they could be a spoiler.

OTOH, many of the "experts" picked the Mets to win the division the last 3 years, and I'm sure the Phils will be a choice of the majority of "experts" this season, so you never know what's going to happen.

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EST. 2005

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