Betty's No Good Clothes Shop And Pancake House
Thursday, July 31, 2003
  Mets 2, Brewers 0

Early in the season it was said that Al Leiter was emulating the pitching style of new teammate Tom Glavine, working both sides of the plate. And the wins started piling up. But even as his record continued to look pretty, the hits, walks and runs continued to pile up and pretty soon he was 8-3 with an ERA over five. All the baserunners began to catch up with him a little bit and two starts later he was 8-5, 5.57 and on the disabled list with an "inflammation" in his right knee. I'm not sure if "inflammation" deserves the quotes of sarcasm and suspicion or not, but it just seems like a symptom more than a diagnosis to me. Anyway, upon his return from the DL he had some words about abandoning the Glavine aping and going back to pitching like Al Leiter.

The results haven't been phenomenal or anything, as in 19 innings since his return, he's given up 14 hits and 10 walks while striking out sixteen, but two consecutive seven inning shutout bids have given him his ninth and tenth wins of the season and dropped his ERA to 4.81. The latest of these outings was, of course, tonight, as he went seven innings giving up five hits and four walks while striking out six. It should be noted that two of those walks were intentional, so perhaps he's getting his control under, um, control. He only gave up a pair of walks in his last seven inning, no run effort. While Tom Glavine's performance has people wondering if he might be close to being done, Al Leiter has come back from the DL to show fans that he just might not be.

The Mets scored their first run of the game in the third inning when Jose Reyes hit his fourth major league triple and scored on Cliff Floyd's ground out. Reyes went 1 for 4 and is now hitting .264/.273/.371 in 159 major league at bats. And those are just the kind of numbers that will, uh, make Rey Sanchez expendable. In other rookie news, Jason Phillips went three for four with a pair of doubles, putting him at a very solid .322/.391/.471.

In other news, the Mets have finally called up Marco Scutaro, presumably to play second base. Scutaro has hit .313/.401/.525 at AAA Norfolk this season, and I think we've all had just about enough of this Joe McEwing business.

Tomorrow it'll be Aaron Heilman (1-3, 7.59) against Matt Kinney (6-8, 5.26) at the special starting time of 12:10 PM.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
  Brewers 6, Mets 3

Tom Glavine had been remarkably healthy throughout his career, so his health wasn't a major concern as he came to New York for the season of his thirty-seventh year. But earlier this season he was forced to miss a start due to injury and tonight he was forced to leave the game after only one inning due to a rib injury. He gave up two hits with neither a walk nor a strikeout before exiting. I don't know the details of the injury or when he'll be back, but could Glavine's age be catching up to him?

Dan Wheeler entered the game in the second inning and gave up four runs on four hits and one walk while striking out three to earn the loss. Wheeler gave up a pair of home runs. Pedro Feliciano pitched a pair of scoreless innings with a hit, a walk and a strikeout and John Franco walked two in a scoreless eighth. Mike Stanton closed out the loss nicely, giving up two runs in the ninth on three hits, striking out one.

As for the Met offense, Cliff Floyd and Timo Perez each had two hits, including a double, and scored a run. Timo also drove one in. Jason Phillips had a hit and run and Ty Wigginton had three hits and two RBI. Jose Reyes went 0 for 4 for the second straight night and no Met drew a walk.

Tomorrow, Al Leiter (9-5, 5.12) tries to buiild off of his last start, in which he threw seven scoreless innings for the win. Rookie Wes Obermueller (0-1, 4.50) opposes for the Brewers.
  Last one out turn out the lights

The Mets' housecleaning continued on Tuesday as useless infielder Rey Sanchez was sent to the Mariners in exchange for 24 year old outfielder Kenny Kelly. That's right, the Mets actually traded for something other than a minor league reliever. Of course, Kelly has a history of not really hitting minor league pitching particularly well, so his potential major league value is questionable at best. Apparently he's quite an athlete, but hasn't quite figured out the part about swinging at the ones he's capable of hitting. He's had a lot of strikeouts each of the past four years and not much in the way of walks. And he hasn't compensated for this by hitting for serious power or average. His thirteen home runs this year are the most he's had, and his .434 slugging percentage is a career high as well. He's also got fifteen doubles and five triples in 341 at bats. His batting average is just .246 despite this being his second full year at AAA Tacoma, and the OBP is a paltry .313. I would say that Jim Duquette should consider himself lucky to get anything for Sanchez, but I'm not sure he actually did get anything.
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
  Brewers 4, Mets 2

The early months of the 2003 season were heady days in Flushing. There was a new manager and a new ace in town. Jeromy Burnitz was erasing memories of his dreadful 2002. Mike Piazza's groin was in good shape, as was his bat. Jae Weong Seo was still known as Jae Seo and was still surprising people by emerging as a Rookie of the Year candidate. He wasn't racking up a big win total or even big strikeout totals, and he was giving up an unhealthy number of hits more often than not. But he gave up few runs and even fewer walks and eventually he started getting some support from his offense and his bullpen and got some wins.

In the last couple of months, his strikeout numbers have gone up. After striking out 4.4 per nine innings in April and 4.2 in May, he got up to 5.9 in June and after tonight's 5 Ks in seven innings, he's at 6.6 per nine for the month of July. But as the strikeouts started to come, the walks began to follow. After walking four tonight, he's given up 3.4 per nine in July after just 0.3, 2.5 and 2.1 in the previous three months. And after cutting down on the hits a bit in the last two months, giving up just 7.4 and 9.0 per nine innings in May and June, respectively, after giving up 12.4 per nine in April, he's back up to 11.2 for July.

The upshot of all this is that he's giving up more runs and accruing losses in a hurry nowadays. After posting an ERA around three in each of the first three months, he's up to 6.61 for July and hasn't won since seven starts ago, picking up five Ls in the meantime.

But tonight he managed to keep the runs off of the board, giving up just a pair of runs on those five hits, four walks and five strikeouts. But the depleted Met offense was only able to match that total and it was left to the New York bullpen to hold off the Brewers. Of course that didn't go well asDavid Weathers loaded the bases and John Franco gave up a single to put the Brewers on top for good.

Tomorrow, Tom Glavine (6-11, 5.15) goes for his first home win since April against Ben Sheets (9-7, 3.87) for the Brewers. Who'd've guessed before the season that Ben Sheets would be outpitching Tom Glavine at the end of July?
Monday, July 28, 2003
  Lloyd to the Royals

Near the end of their latest free-spending offseason, the Mets took the change they found in Jeff Wilpon's living room couch to bolster their bullpen by adding Graeme Lloyd for the league minimum. Today they turned that minimal investment into yet another minor league reliever, trading Lloyd to the Royals for Jeremy Hill, who will soon be 26 years old. Hill has pitched one scoreless major league inning this year, giving up a hit. In AAA Omaha, he pitched 40 1/3 innings, posting a 7.81 ERA, giving up 42 hits, 42 walks and 5 home runs while striking out 41. That's right, his K/BB ratio is just under 1 and his WHIP is over 2. He also led the team with 9 wild pitches. Apparently he's thrown hard and had control issues for all of his minor league career, but the enormous number of hits, walks and runs are something new. His career minor league ERA entering this year was 1.91. His strikeout and walk numbers were never fantastic, but in the last two years he managed to have more strikeouts than innings and about a 2.5 K/BB ratio. Maybe there's some hope of him returning from this year's trouble to his previous adequacy, but with what I know now, I don't really know what Jim Duquette's thinking here.
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
  Is there any way we can fit Cedeno in here somehow? says "The Mets are trying to deal INF Rey Sanchez to the Mariners and want INF Jay Bell to retire to make room for Jorge Velandia, the Newark Star-Ledger reported July 21." Now, didn't Bell say earlier this year that he'd retire if the Mets sent Joe McEwing down to the minors again? This seems like a golden opportunity to kill two birds with one stone to me. Tonight's home run notwithstanding, McEwing's been terrible this season. Hitting .226/.296/.285 and playing unspectacular defense at a variety of positions, McEwing's continued presence on the roster of a team that's supposed to be looking toward the future is just baffling. I'm glad to see they've wised up about Bell (.187/.367/.200), at least. Of course, Velandia is hitting just .227/.295/.397 at AAA Norfolk, so perhaps it's not that urgent that they bring him up.
Thursday, July 17, 2003
  It's official

The Benitez deal is done and two more minor league pitchers are on their way to the Mets organization. Anderson Garcia is 22 years old at Class-A Battle Creek. He's thrown 76 innings this year, giving 57 hits and 36 walks while striking out 62. He's 3-6 with a 3.32 ERA. Ryan Biconda is 24 at Class-A Tampa. In 48 1/3 innigns, he's given up 48 hits and 20 walks while striking out 30. His record is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA. So in addition to being old for their leagues, they're not exactly dominating the younger competition. So Jason Anderson seems like the prize, if you can call him that. That is, if you don't consider the absence of Benitez a prize in and of itself. Now if we can get Cedeno cut, we'll be all set.
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
  Benitez to the Yanks?

Yes, from the land of repetitive headlines, it appears that Armando Benitez may finally be on his way out of Flushing, but it'll just be a quick trip over to the Bronx for the psychologically fragile reliever. And in return the Mets get to watch the Yankees pay for Armando Benitez to pitch in a pennant race. Oh, and Jason Anderson too. Anderson's numbers in 20 2/3 major league innings this year have been pretty poor (9 strikeouts, 14 walks, 3 home runs, 23 hits). His minor league numbers looked solid if unspectacular with K rates hovering around 8 per 9 IP each year. Seems like he won't be much more than just another guy in the bullpen, but he's at least more appropriately priced than Benitez. Again, no major steals for the Mets, but at least we can look forward to a young, inexpensive bullpen in the near future.
Monday, July 14, 2003
  Hmm...does this work?

In an effort to fix that grey space issue I talked about earlier, I've changed the look of the page. The "Links" section seems to have disappeared, but I think I can get it back, and it had gotten somewhat out of date anyway. Expect further tinkering.
  Burnitz heads West

It starts with a B and ends with a Z, but the name of the next man to be shuffled off on to a lifeboat from the sinking SS Metropolitan isn't Benitez. Jeromy Burnitz, who has rebounded impressively from a terrible 2002 is on his way to the offense-starved Dodgers in exchange for three minor leaguers.

Victor Diaz is hitting a solid .291/.353/.472 in AA Jacksonville with 20 doubles and 11 home runs with 27 walks as compared to 60 strikeouts. This is an impressive improvement for the 21 year old, as he hit just .211/.259/.336 with 7 doubles, 4 home runs, 7 walks and 42 strikeouts last year in 142 at bats when he jumped two levels to AA at the age of 20. Baseball Prospectus said before the season that "his suspect defense and bulk have all but silenced hopes of keeping him at second or third base," and the Mets don't really need another first baseman with Mike Piazza and/or Jason Phillips likely to be there and hittng well next year and in the future, but the offensive numbers have looked good in the minors with the exception of the second half of last year, so he looks to be a good pickup from what I can tell from the stats.

Joselo Diaz has pitched 7 2/3 innings of relief in AA this year, giving up five hits, three walks and an unearned run while striking out seven. And Kole Strayhorn has pitched 46 innings at A-ball, giving up 42 hits, 13 walks and 17 runs (15 earned for a 2.93 ERA) while striking out 42 and compiling a 5-2 record with seven saves. The strikeout to walk ratio is somewhat encouraging, but again, he's a reliever in A-ball, so it's hard to say what if any use he'll be at the major league level.

So, as with any deal involving prospects, there are a lot of unanswered questions, but at least Diaz looks like a potentially useful future major leaguer and it's good to see the Mets stockpiling prospects, even if an inordinate number of them are minor league relievers.
  This post is old and irrelevant and thus gets no title

I've got a question for anyone reading this blog. Is there a big empty gray section on the right side of the page when you visit it? It wasn't there when I was browing with Opera, but now that upgrading to Juno SpeedBand has forced me to use Internet Explorer, the page is cut in half and filled with a bunch of empty gray space. If I'm the only one who sees it, that's cool and I won't worry about it. If not, can anyone give any ideas on how to fix it? Feel free to use the little "COMMENT" link if it happens to be working at the moment you're reading this.
  Mets 4, Phillies 3

On Saturday Jae Weong Seo rebounded from three consecutive losses with a solid start against the Phillies, going six innings and giving up just two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out four. Unforunately, the Mets started a lineup in which three quarters of the infield was hitting under .225, so they couldn't get him more than two runs to work with and he wound up with a no decision as the bullpen absorbed the loss. The one bright spot of the game was Jose Reyes, who was inserted into the leadoff spot, where the team hopes he'll be for years to come, and went three for five and scored a run. He still looked to be swinging at just about everything and his two outs were indeed made standing at home plate with a bat in his hands, but he put the bat on the ball three times and got on base, so you can't complain about the twenty year old's performance too much.

On Sunday Tom Glavine rebounded from a loss, having lost six of his last seven decisions and four in a row at home with a solid start against the Phillies, going six innings and giving up just two runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out two. Luckily for him, the Met offensive machine was able to put three runs on the board by the time he exited, putting him in position to win at home for the first time since the 20th of April. But he turned over that narrow lead to the Met bullpen, which inevitably meant putting it in the hands of Met All Star representative Armando Benitez and that's where things got away from Glavine and the Mets. With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the ninth, Benitez gave up a single, a walk and another single to blow the save and knot the game at three. In the bottom of the inning Jason Phillips drove in pinch runner Roger Cedeno to win the game after Reyes had doubled to move Cedeno to third and Jeff Duncan had been intentionally walked to get to Phillips. All Star Benitez got his seventh blown save of the season as well as his third win. I really think they ought to sum up that feat in a single statistic and call it the BSW, which I think sums it up nicely, but the Mets put an end to their six game winning streak just in time for the break.

And once again it was Reyes at the top of the lineup trying to provide a spark but mostly getting left on base. Reyes went three for four and actually managed to work a seven pitch walk in the seventh inning, his second of the season. He scored a run, drove one in and hit his fifth double of the season. He's now hitting .250 wihth the one home run and 20 RBI. The average is at its highest point since the 15th of June and while his .257 OBP and .370 SLG are still not at all good, they are near their highest points thus far in his young career as well. He's hitting .370 in the month of July (in seven games) with a .379 OBP. He also evened up his stolen base and caught stealing totals at two today. And in seventeen at bats in the leadoff spot, he is hitting .412 with a .444 OBP, compared to .226/.232 batting eighth (53 at bats) and .200/.200 batting ninth (30 at bats). Standard sample size caveats apply, but he may be beginning to get it going at the major league level and in the leadoff spot, and both of those thing are very good news should they continue. Especially if he can work on drawing more walks.
Friday, July 11, 2003
  London hits the big time

Hey look, I've actually got something wrestling-related to talk about. Paul London has signed with WWE. And given that London's been one of my favorite wrestlers in the world over the last year or so, I've got some thoughts on this. First of all, I must say that I'm happy for Paul in that his hard work has paid off in a job that will presumably lead to greater international exposure and a steady paycheck. WWE paychecks apparently aren't what they used to be, but I would still imagine this will be better for his bank account than shuttling back and forth between Japan and the Northeastern US for indy and Zero One checks.

That said, from a purely selfish standpoint I'm sorry to see him go. London was an unknown when I first saw him sixteen months ago, but he impressed and improved a great deal in the time since then and became Ring Of Honor's top babyface in the process with his great babyface persona and willingness to die for the audience's pleasure. And of course he was one half of the greatest match I've ever seen live (reviewed here) in April. But now he's going to WWE, where they'll turn him into Generic Cruiserweight #17 and have him wrestle six minute matches on Velocity if we're lucky. Hell, they'll probably even take the shooting star press away from him, lest he be confused with boring old Billy Kidman. I don't think I'm going out on a limb guessing that he'll never wrestle a forty minute classic the likes of his match with Bryan Danielson in WWE. And thus, another of my indy favorites gets beaten down into the WWE style to the point where I have to get excited if they even bother to put him on TV.

Now, ROH is claiming that he'll be allowed to wrestle next week's show against Samoa Joe, a show for whcih I have not yet purchased tickets. Of course, they said the same thing when Spanky got signed just before the November show last year and he wound up not wrestling, so I may just wait until the last minute to buy my ticket. Hopefully he does make it, because I know he and Joe are capable of putting on one hell of a match to send him out and I'm sure the ROH crowd will send him off in style. I'll just be thankful that the American Dragon would never fit in WWE's cruiserweight division. I don't know what I'd do if he got gobbled up by the McMahons' sports entertainment factory.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
  The State returns?

Good news, people who know where the title of this blog came from! Comedy Central's new show Reno 911 is chock full of State-member involvement. Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney and Thomas Lennon are credited as writing it, Michael Patrick Jann is directing and Garant, Kenney and Lennon are in the cast as well. The State will not die, and hooray for that.
  Benitez to Florida? is reporting that a deal sending Met All-Star representative Armando Benitez to the Marlins may be immiment. The first question is, if he gets traded before the All Star Game, do the Mets get a new representative? The second, and probably more important, question is, who are the Mets getting? Well, "Right-handers Nate Bump, Justin Wayne and Blaine Neal and Double-A left-hander Ryan Snare are among the candidates to be traded to New York."

The twenty-six year old Bump has thrown 7 1/3 major league innings this year, allowing six hits, four walks and three runs while striking out three. Baseball Prospectus saif of him before the season, "Bump is no longer a prospect, but he finally mastered Double-A in 2002." He didn't exactly master AAA this year, going 6-5, 4.43, striking out 52 and walking 24 in 85 1/3 innings and allowing four home runs.

Wayne is twenty-four and has started two major league games this year, going a total of 5 1/3 innings with an 11.81 ERA. He went 3-7, 4.07 in AAA, striking out 50 and walking 30 in 86 1/3 innings, also allowing four home runs. BP said of him, "He could use some work against Triple-A hitters, but may not get it." Apparently he could use a little more.

Neal is twenty-five and was a closer in the minors. In 20 major league innings this year, he's given up 35 hits and nine walks while striking out ten with an ERA of 7.65. He was 2-1, 3.80 in AAA, striking out twelve and walking ten in 21 1/3 innings.

Snare seems to be the real prize of the group, as BP called him "somebody who could force his way into the Fish rotation by the end of the year." But at AA he's just 5-4, 3.67, has struck out 77 and walked 37 in 103 innings, giving up four home runs.

Even if none of these guys look like sparkling prospects, in a general sense I'm glad to see the Mets on the lookout for young arms and cheap bullpen help. I'd rather see them give a shot to a dozen Blaine Neals than go out and sign more Stantons and Weatherses in the off-season. We'll see if this trade goes through and who the Mets wind up getting, but at the point it looks like there's at least the potential for getting some decent talent in return for Benitez. And if trading him forces MLB to put Burnitz on the All Star team, all the better.
  Braves 6, Mets 3

These are Tom Glavine's statistics pitching at Shea Stadium in the previous three years, as a member of the Braves:


6 1 1 2.65 1.38 22 14 .260

And here are his home/road splits coming into today's game as a member of the Mets:


Home 9 2 6 6.56 1.96 19 21 .332

Road 8 4 2 2.82 1.22 28 15 .247

Glavine's inability to beat his old team has been frustrating, but his work at home in general is clearly the bigger issue. It does not seem to be an issue of sample size or luck at this point. Glavine himself is firmly on the anti-Questec bandwagon at this point and while I don't know if I'm there yet, it's pretty clear the machine is having some effect on him, even if it's just in his own mind. Today he went 5 1/3 innings and walked five while striking out none. Honestly, I like the Questec system in theory. It's important that there be some kind of uniformity among umpires' strike zones and that those strike zones closely resemble the one defined in the rule book. The use of computers as a training or evaluation tool seems like a potentially worthwhile idea. But it seems pretty clear that at the very least, there are still some kinks to be worked out in the system, and with that being the case, I have to say that it's probably inappropriate to be using it in major league games at this point in time.

As for the rest of the game, the Met offense continued to prove rather inept with Cliff Floyd on the bench. Unless Jeromy Burnitz provides the power, it just isn't there. Timo Perez was the offensive star with two hits in three at bats, including a double, as well as an RBI sac fly. Jose Reyes went one for three with an RBI sac fly of his own as his OBP (.213) continues to be in danger of dipping below his batting average (.212).

Tomorrow, it's Steve Trachsel (8-5, 4.10) for the Mets against Vincente Padilla (7-8, 3.93) and the Phillies.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

If that last post is appearing twice, it's just that the new version of Blogger, nu-Blogger I like to call it, is ignoring my requests to delete one of them. Actually, one of them is no longer there when I go to "Manage Posts" so if I want to try deleting one again, I'll have to delete the only one that Blogger claims currently exists, which I don't want to do. Better two than none, I say. This concludes your look into the inner workings of this little corner of the internet.
Monday, July 07, 2003
  Benitez an All Star?

If ever there was an argument for abolishing the "every team gets an All-Star" rule, this is it. Allegedly the reasoning behind the rule is to give fans of every team something to watch for. Why would fans of, say, the Tigers tune in except to see their beloved representative get into the game. But for that argument to hold any water, the fans of the team have to actually, you know, like the guy chosen to be their representative. But the man chosen to represent the Mets is probably among the league leaders in getting booed by his home fans. Yes, Armando Benitez isn't quite as terrible as he's made out to be sometimes. His 3.11 ERA this season is pretty solid, his 77.7 percent save percentage somewhat less so. But regardless of his stats this year, regardless of whether or not you believe the All-Star game should be for players who've had a great first half of a season or players who've established a standard of excellence over several years, the idea of selecting Armando Benitez to appease Met fans is just silly.

So who would I like to see representing the Mets in Chicago? Jeromy Burnitz. It's true that just adding him and subtracting Benitez would give the NL nine outfielders, but the AL already has seven outfielders and two designated hitters, so I don't see this as a major problem. And if you're really intent on having only eight outfielders, let me present to you three players


.288 .357 .615 17 41

.284 .337 .491 16 48

.260 .359 .516 18 51

Now, if you had to pick two of those guys to go to the All-Star game, which one would you leave out? Contestant Number One, leading the group in average and slugging? Probably not. Contestant Number Three, Leading the group in on-base, home runs and RBI? Of course not. You'd leave off the guy who came in last in three category and first in none, wouldn't you? Well, if you would, they you're not Dusty Baker. Because you see, Contestant Number Two is NL All-Star reserve outfielder Rondell White. Contestant Number One is Burnitz. And in case you're wondering who'd represent the Padres if not for White, well, Contestant Number Three is White's teammate Ryan Klesko, who would bring the NL first baseman total to three if included. Now, I don't know how the fans of San Diego feel about Mr. Klesko, but I somehow doubt he gets a Benitez kind of reaction from them. Get rid of Benitez and White, add on Burnitz and Klesko, and everybody's happy. Well, if not everybody, at least me, Burnitz and Klesko.
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
  Mets 7, Expos 6

On a day when the Mets acquired a potential replacement closer by jettisoning one of their overpaid veterans, Armando Benitez made sure to lower his trade value as quickly as possible. Rookie Aaron Heilman was on his way to his first major league win, leaving after seven innings with a 6-3 lead. He gave up the three runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two before turning it over to the bullpen. Normally reliable Graeme Lloyd came in to start the eighth and had given up two hits and a run before turning things over to Benitez with two outs. The first hitter Benitez faced, Jose Vidro, hit a two run homer to tie the game. It was the third time this season Benitez blew a save against the Expos by giving up a home run and Heilman's first win remained elusive.

Ironically, the Mets came back to score in the bottom of the ninth after Benitez pitched a scoreless top of the inning, giving the "closer" his second win of the season to go along with his sixth blown save. Tony Clark drove in Joe McEwing, pinch running for Jason Phillips to win it.

Along with the pitching performances both good and bad, the Alomar-free Mets offense had a pretty good night, putting up thirteen hits and six walks along with the seven runs. Phillips continued his hot hitting, going three for four with a double and a hit-by-pitch to raise his average to .319. Cliff Floyd had two hits in five at bats, Ty Wigginton went two for four with a walk, Vance Wilson went two for three with a walk and Jose Reyes went two for five with a double and three RBI.

Tomorrow, Jae Seo (5-3, 3.09) tries to keep the team's winning streak going and rebound from a loss to the Yankees against Livan Hernandez (6-6, 4.19).
  It has begun: Alomar gone

The [insert word that means 'rebuilding', but sounds nicer] of the Mets has begun as Roberto Alomar is on his way to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for three minor leaguers who are such great prospects that not one of them is mentioned in this year's Baseball Prospectus. Alomar was hitting .262/.336/.357 for the Mets this year after putting up almost identical numbers last year. This after putting up a .336/.415/.541 season in Cleveland in 2001.

On their way to various Mets minor league towns are infielder Andrew Salvo and closers Royce Ring and Edwin Almonte. That's right, they gave up Alomar and got a pair of minor league closers. Almonte is 2-6 with a 6.88 ERA in AAA Charlotte this year. He has 24 strikeouts and 14 walks in 34 innings. Ring is 1-4, 2.52 with 44 strikeouts and 14 walks in 35.2 innings at AA Birmingham. He's also given up just one home run. And Salvo is batting .235 in 98 at bats at Class A Kannapolis but does have 19 walks against 17 strikeouts for a respectable OBP of .357. But he's also hit just four doubles and one home run for a putrid SLG of .306. The sample size is small, but so for Ring is the only one who looks particulary useful, although perhaps he'll provide a low cost replacement for Armando Benitez in the near future.

This trade hasn't made me fall in love with Jim Duquette as GM, but it's too early to draw any real conclusions about him. All the same, I look forward to the Wilpons throwing wads of cash at Billy Beane in the off-season
Disseminating descriptions and accounts of New York Mets games without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball or the New York Mets since 2003.

Location: Hatboro, Pennsylvania, United States
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