Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Reason for Hope

I love that the Mets are bringing back Omar Minaya. I thought Minaya handled the absurd Expos mess as well as he possibly could have. From the AP story: "Minaya had spoken with the Mets last offseason and was offered a job, but declined it when he was not offered full decision-making power. He now will be above general manager Jim Duquette in the hierarchy, although his formal title has not yet been determined, the baseball official said." This suggests that Minaya will now have full decision making power, so this being the Mets, even good news brings big questions. What exactly will Duquette's role be? Will Wilpon now trust Minaya and Duquette to work together, or will his be the tie-breaking voice in the trio?
Here's the ESPN link.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1890947

Lastings Milledge and Yusmeiro Petit check in at 3 and 5 respectively on Baseball America's list of the SAL's top prospects. More on this to follow.
That reminds me of a rant I wanted to go on: Trading Milledge or Ambio Concepcion for Lou Pinella as has been discussed in print and it would be crazy. Managers don't get key basehits, drive balls to the wall, make running catches or nail runners at the plate. It's the players who decide games, not the men in the dugout. Would the Cardinals be leading the Central without LaRussa? I think the best managers in the game might be worth at most five wins a year. After Bobby Cox and Felipe Alou I'm not sure who else I'd put in that category. Someone once asked the rhetorical question with respect to baseball managers: in what other industry are middle managers allowed to dictate organizational policy and assigned as much credit and blame as baseball skippers?

A Ray of Hope

I love that the Mets are bringing back Omar Minaya. I thought he handled the Expos embarrassment as well as anyone could have been expected to. From the AP story: “Minaya had spoken with the Mets last offseason and was offered a job, but declined it when he was not offered full decision-making power. He now will be above general manager Jim Duquette in the hierarchy, although his formal title has not yet been determined, the baseball official said.” Since this is the Mets even a good move raises questions. What exactly will Duquette’s role be? Will Wilpon trust Minaya, or does Big W retain a tie-breaking vote if Duquette and Minaya don’t agree?
Here’s the ESPN link: http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1890947 . As of this writing, no NYC paper has Wednesday’s paper online.

Baseball America selected Lastings Milledge and Yusmeiro Petit as the #3 and 5 prospects in the SAL respectively. More on this later.

Front office + prospects brings me to another point. Trading Milledge or Ambio Concepcion for Lou Pinella as the media has suggested is absolutely and completely nuts. Managers don’t get big basehits to drive in runs, they don’t make diving catches, throw beautiful curveballs, or swing and miss. Players win games, managers sit in the dugout. Maybe, the most valuable managers, Felipe Alou and Bobby Cox are worth 3-5 wins, but I’m not sure I’d put anyone else even in that class. This is not the NFL which truly is a coaches’ league. Once, I heard someone ask the following rhetorical question: in what other industry are middle managers given as much power, prestige and assigned the same degree of credit/blame for their organization’s success as baseball’s skippers?

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Mets add a team, a player, and some hardware

1. Mets add a team
2. Mets add a player, and second base analysis
3. Mets farmhands hardware: Ambio Concepcion,


1. The Mets moved their South Atlantic League operation from Capital City to the Hagerstown Suns. I hear a summer in Columbia South Carolina is hot and not necessarily a lot of fun. The Bombers played in an aging stadium in front of paltry crowds: just a 1,550 per game average. On Labor Day, the final day of the regular season, Capital City announced a whopping 317, so there were fewer than 200 humans at the ballpark. Hagerstown was right in the middle of the SAL pack in attendance with a respectable 2,007 average, or 128,508 for the year. (It is a downgrade in terms of logo as Capital City featured one of my favorite hats, and Hagerstown’s just doesn’t do it for me.) Nonetheless, a solid move.

2. The Mets picked up secondbaseman Josh Hoffpauir, who turned 27 yesterday, from the Texas Rangers as the PTBNL for Scott Erickson. The really, really good news is that he’s not Scott Erickson. Hoff is also a buddy of mine since he spent the second half of this summer playing for the Stockton Ports, my team. Hoff, a left handed hitting second baseman plays hard and hit for Stockton this summer.
Hoffpauir expects to be an assistant coach at his alma mater, Southern Mississippi in the offseason. The way he relates the story, he was hanging out in the spring, and wasn’t sure what to do with himself, and, after four minor league seasons, and two organizations, thought he’d give baseball one more shot. Hoff played for the Jackson Senators of the independent Central Baseball League where he hit .269/.336/.363 before signing on with the Rangers who needed another middle infielder. He had planned on this being his last season as a professional, but I’m not sure how the trade affects that. I'll try to give him a call this week. My first thought was that the Mets had picked him based on the assumption Hoff would hang 'em up and they wouldn't have to pay him. On the other hand, the Mets aren’t exactly toting around a ton of blue-chip second base prospects, which makes moving Victor Diaz to rightfield even dumber so Hoff might be able to stick on a roster as a backup.
What follows began as an examination of where Hoffpauir might fit into the Mets plans, and ended up as an analysis of secondbase in the Mets system.

MLB 04: Jose Reyes/Joe McEwing/Jeff Keppinger/Danny Garcia/Ricky
Gutierrez/whoever was awake

AAA: Danny Garcia (48-2B, 3-3B, 15-SS, 10-OF, 242 AB): .260/.322/.351

David Bacani (promoted 7/20 from AA) 144 AB: .264/.350/.410
AA: 32 gms @ 2B 3 E, 158 AB: .329/.414/.500.
Listed as 5-7, 165 turned 25 @ end of July

Chris Basak (28-2B, 6-3B, 26-SS, 193 AB) .223/.260/.415

At AA:
Bacani +
Chase Lambin (96 gms @ 2B, 24 E- turned 25 7/7/04) .244/.331/.390


FSL: Robert McIntyre 81 gms, .208/.253/.277

Wilson Bautista 27 gms .165/.231/.165

David Reaver (15-2B, 4-SS, 62 AB) .290/.362/.323 (10th rd, 2003, 23 in 2004)
Reaver in the SAL (4-2B, 31-SS, 123 AB) .154/.228/.171

SAL: Blake Whealy (124 gms, 104 @ 2B) .281/.387/.541, 32 2B, 5 3B, 23 HR - and he was 24 this summer. He has to move up, but can he skip the FSL and go right to AA? Age 25 in the FSL is not good.

Jesus Linares (81 gms, 30-2B, 22-3B, 31-SS) .289/.388/.426 he's 22, and had 29 BB in 249 PA (.116 BB/PA) which is pretty high for a Venezualan.

NYP: Matt Fisher (2004 33rd rounder: 34 gms @ 2B, 126 AB) 246/.405/.299

Kevin Rios (21 gms @ 2B, 6 @ 3B, 29 @ SS, 158 AB): .177/.239/.234.

How would you distribute this talent?

Here’s my plan:

05:
MLB: Matsui/Garcia
AAA: Bacani/Keppinger
AA: Lambin/Hoffpauir?
FSL: Jesus Linares/Whealy
SAL: Fisher
NYP:

That is my list, and not my best guess at what the Mets will do,
although I don't think it's that far off.

Based on his versatility, Danny Garcia is a nice guy to have on the
Big league roster. He'll be 25 next year, and I have trouble seeing him as an every day position player on a playoff team. I say he beats out Keppinger as the total utility man.

Keppinger and Bacani split time in AAA, waiting for Matsui to fail to live up to his contract, again, or get injured.

It’s tempting to jump Whealy, based on his strong SAL showing, over the FSL right to AA because both FSL guys, McIntyre + Bautista, struggled in 2004. Based on his age, Whealy can't afford to spend another year below AA. Next year’s spring training could feature a fascinating (in a way) battle for the starting AA second base spot: 27 year old Hoffpauir, vs. the 26 year old Lambin and 25 yo Whealy.

Jesus Linares was impressive at Capital City, so he gets promoted to St. Lucie where he could play anywhere on the infield.

The Mets drafted only 2 2B in 2004, neither of whom, Fisher nor Bryan
Zech, had particularly impressive debuts.

3. Ambio Concepcion earned Baseball America’s top prospect ranking for the NYP league. One very frustrating part of these BA rankings is that there is no explicit criteria. Are these the players with the highest ceiling, or most likely to be big leaguers? Or some combination? What is clear is that they take age into account and do not just pick the top player in the league. One comment stands out: “As Jamestown manager Benny Castillo put it, "It's Concepcion, then the rest of the league." Two managers compared his strong, wiry, athletic frame to Vladimir Guerrero's.” Concepcion finished with .305/.338/.475 in 259 AB after hitting just .214 last year in the Appalachian league.

Third round pick Gaby Hernandez picked up the #2 spot in the BA GCL list for his dazzling debut. He leed in the GCL with a 1.03 ERA in 49.2 IP. He fanned 58, while walking just 12, a sterling 4.83 K/BB ratio. Hernandez worked with a fb in the low 90s and a “sharp, hard curveball.”

BA selected nineteen year old catcher Jesus Flores (.319/.368/.532) as the #16 prospect in the GCL, and claims he’s “widely regarded as the best defensive catcher in the Mets system.” Hyperbole? He’s 19, come on.

At #18, BA tabbed Carlos Gomez (.268/.303/.361) just 18 and earning his spot on his “five-tool ability” and not his production.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Mets Playoff Recaps for 9-17

Stars of the Day:
A: Ivan Maldonado/Jose Gomez/Blake Whealy

Capital City 2, @ Hickory 9
The Crawdads completed their three game sweep of the SAL Championship series by smacking around Bomber starter Greg Ramirez who lasted only three innings. Ramirez gave up a double and hit a batter to begin the first, and then Hickory rightfielder Bobby Kingsbury jacked a three run homer before Ramirez had retired an out. Craig Stansberry added another longball two outs later to put the Crawdads up 4-0 at the end of the first inning. Hickory added single runs in the second and third innings on RBI singles by Mike Cockrell and Stansberry and to up their lead to 6-0.
Ivan Maldonado stopped the bleeding working the next three scoreless innings on the hill. He gave up just one hit and fanned a pair. Jose Gomez struck out two in his scoreless seventh.
Meanwhile, Wardell Starling had grounded the Bomber offense. Capital City managed only three walks between a Lastings Milledge single to left to lead off the ballgame and a one out rally in the sixth off Starling. After a Milledge strikeout to start the inning, Wilson Batista, Jamar Hill and Ryan Harvey all singled to load the bases. Blake Whealy then doubled home Batista and Hill. With two more runners in scoring postion, the Bombers were unable to get any closer as Andy Wilson and Shawn Bowman struck out to end the threat.
Mike Cockrell added a two run homer in the eighth off Brian Walker who gave up hits to each of the four Crawdad batters he faced. Cockrell finished the evening 2-4 with a homer, single and three RBI. Kingsbury had a huge night 4-5, with a homer and 3 RBI.
All of those performances dwarf the Bombers’ evenings. No Capital City hitter had more than one hit and Blake Whealy’s double was the Bombers only extrabase hit. Capital City earned three walks and struck out nine times.
The loss ends the 2004 postseason for the Mets franchise.


There is baseball ahead for most of the top prospects in the Mets organization as they will report to either the instructional leagues or the Arizona Fall League. I’m not sure how available those box scores and recaps are, but I’ll do my best to follow that action in the next few months.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Mets Minor League Playoff Recaps for 9-15

Scott Kazmir beat Pedro Martinez tonight. Kazmir: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9K, against the mighty Red Sox, but he’s no Victor Zambrano. God Damn.
I got home tonight pissed because my good friend from work had refused to include Barry Bonds among the greatest players of all time in favor of Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb in a liquor-lubricated discussion at our bar, Fats, in Stockton, Ca. I spent a few hours on this and posted it on the blog at metsminors.blogspot.com. I could have included it in this email, but it was so off-topic that I didn’t. I’ll summarize: there is no way that Bonds can now be left out of the greatest ever discussions. Oh, and if Bonds doesn’t hit 700 in Milwaukee this week, you better believe I’ll be in SBC Friday night.


Hickory 5, @ Capital City 4
I enjoyed listening to a few innings of Hickory broadcaster’s Dave Friedman’s webcast, since the Bombers do not broadcast their games. However, the sound quality of the Crawdad’s webcasts, while not as poor as Binghamton’s, left a little something to be desired as it was rather scratchy.
Hickory scored in the top of the first off Matt Lindstrom, but Jamar Hill answered right back with a two run blast in the bottom half to put Capital City up 2-1.
In the top of the third, with a runner on, and Hickory firstbaseman Jon Benick at the plate, Friedman was relating a discussion he’d had with another Crawdad about which hitter deserved recognition as tops in the SAL. Before he could finish the story, Benick parked one for a 2 run jack that gave the Crawdads a 3-2 lead. By the way, Benick finished the regular season: .328/.396/.592 with 29 2B, 32 HR and 104 RBI in 488 AB. The only blemish on his season were his 95 K. That’s 3rd in the league in average, fifth in OBP, second in slugging, second in extra base hits, first in HR, and second in RBI. Good call, Dave Friedman. Before you get excited, know that Benick is 25, much older than his SAL competion, and therefore not really a prospect, although he’s still probably the best hitter in the league.
Hickory added two more runs in the top of the sixth, one on an RBI double, and one on an errant pickoff throw by pitcher Brian Walker that allowed the fifth and decisive run to score. They’re human, remember?
Capital City answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to one run on an Andy Wilson double that sent home Ryan Harvey and Jamar Hill.
Capital City had the tying run at second in the sixth and ninth innings, but couldn’t find the hit to tie up the ballgame and now trail the series 2-0, as it shifts back to Hickory.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Greatest Ever - Racism?

Ty Cobb vs. Babe Ruth vs. Barry Bonds

At the bar tonight, I was involved in a baseball discussion/argument with other members of my office. Go Figure. I work for a baseball team, what else would we talk about? We discussed among other issues: the correct number of games for Franklin Francisco's suspension (I argued it shouldn’t exceed Alomar’s 10 for spitting in an ump’s face), who’s better: A-Rod vs. Giambi (It’s A-Rod) and of course, the greatest player of all time. Now, there will never, ever, ever be any agreement about the top five players of all time. Nor should there be, because there is a certain amount of prejudice/personal prefererence about which statistics to rely on to evaluate players. However, my litigious adversary EXCLUDED Barry Bonds from consideration from the top 5 players of all time. As far as I’m concerned that is unacceptable. Barry Bonds is the greatest position in my lifetime, and I think, the best ever. I’m not willing to include pitchers because the metrics to compare hitters to pitchers and position players are fuzzy enough that they scare me. Here are the position players that my buddy placed ahead of Bonds: Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth.

What the hell are the numbers in the table below? Good question, and they all come from Baseball Prospectus. I honestly feel that if you don’t read Baseball Prospectus you are no longer a well informed baseball fan. The first column is a batter’s EQA, that is Equivalent Average which, according to the BP website is: A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning, but not the value of a position player's defense. The EqA adjusted for all-time also has a correction for league difficulty. The scale is deliberately set to approximate that of batting average. Average is .260.

EQR stands for Equivalent Runs produced by a batter over his entire career, while playing his particular position in the field. BRAR stands for Batting Runs Above Replacement but without the adjustment for the postition. (Whoa, what’s replacement? Easy, a .230 EQA.) Both EQR and BRAR are derived from the batter’s EQA. PRAR is pitching runs above replacement, and FRAR is fielding runs above replacement. TRAR1 +2 are stats I made up, and stand for Total Runs above Replacement Level and where TBRAR1=BRAR+PRAR+FRAR and TRAR 2= EQR+PRAR+FRAR. Please note that TRAR 2 adjusts the player’s offensive contribution by accounting for the difficulty of the position he played.

Player EQA EQR BRAR PRAR FRAR TRAR 1 TRAR 2
Cobb .327 2464 1423 2 492 1917 2958
Ruth .366 2327 1597 250 268 2115 2845
Bonds .356 2484 1652 0 351 2003 2835

First, let me say that if for some reason, my methodology is incorrect, and I have double counted along the way, please let me know.
What does it all mean? Basics. According to career EQA: the order stands: Ruth, Bonds, Cobb. According to EQR: Bonds, Ruth, Cobb. On offensive value alone, Cobb is a clear third, while Ruth and Bonds battle it out at the top.
Cobb, by virtue of the fact that he played all over the diamond and most importantly, centerfield, beats the other two in FRAR, but note that Bonds, for all of his supposed loafing, beats Ruth. Pitching runs isn’t close, and in fact, unfairly skews the TRAR1 +2 calculations in favor of Ruth. Remember, the original question I sought to answer at least at the bar, concerned position players. Including Ruth’s pitching numbers changes all of that. In TRAR2, Cobb beats Ruth and Bonds, and I’m wondering if, by using EQR and FRAR I’m double counting Cobb’s defensive contributions.
The point here wasn’t to conclude that Barry was better than Cobb or Ruth, although I think he is. The point wasn’t to prove who’s the best of all-time since I’m not that smart. The point is that you can’t mention the greatest ever without including Barry. This isn’t new.
I’ll end this discussion by noting that my buddy who excluded Barry in favor of Cobb said that to eliminate Cobb was to discount him because of his racism. I’ll add this: to leave Barry out in favor of the others is purely racist.

9-14 Capital City Bombed in Championship Opener

Stars of the Day:
A: Shawn Bowman/Andy Wilson/Lastings Milledge

Hickory 11, @ Capital City 7
The Crawdads never trailed, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after two innings to take the 1-0 lead in the best of 5 series. Capital City got a run back in the second and third, but Hickory gained some distance with a five run fifth to make the score 9-2, chasing Vincent Cordova. Cordova was hit hard, giving up seven runs, all earned, on eight hits including three longballs. Bryan King, Ryan Danly and Anderson Garcia (who struck out 5 and allowed a longball in 2.1 innings) each allowed a Hickory run or two. Jose Gomez was the only Bomber to avoid getting shelled.
Thirdbaseman Shawn Bowman who finished the year at .258/.338/.449, was 3-5 with a pair of doubles to lead the charge. Andy Wilson was 2-5 with a jack and three RBI. Lastings Milledge was 2-4 with a double.
Game 2 is Tuesday night at 7:05 PM, Eastern. I’ll try to catch the online broadcast via www.hickorycrawdads.com.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Playoff Wrap - Binghamton Eliminated

New Hampshire 5, @ Binghamton 2
The FisherCats eliminated the B-Mets Saturday night in front of 2042 paying customers. New Hampshire never trailed, scoring three times against Ken Chenard, once in the third and twice in the fifth. Chenard went seven, allowing those three runs on seven hits. He walked one and fanned six and took the loss.
Binghamton rallied in the bottom of the seventh for two runs to close within a run at 3-2. With one out, Aarom Baldiris singled and Joe Hietpas doubled to put both men in scoring position. Gil Velazquez then singled Baldiris home and Wayne Lydon’s groundout brought home Hietpas.
Micah Mangrum allowed a pair of unearned runs in the eighth to make the score 5-2. The ugly eighth inning featured two errors, including one charged to Mangrum, and a wild pitch. Tim Lavigne fanned one Fishercat in a perfect ninth.


Capital City
The Bombers, the only Mets affiliate still alive in the post-season take on the Hickory Crawdads Monday at 7:05 to begin the SAL championship series.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Mets Minor League Playoff Recaps for 9-11

Before I get to the Mets affiliates, I’d like to start with the baseball game I watched in person tonight. I saw the San Jose Giants beat the Stockton Ports 5-3 to win their first round series 2-1. I was struck again for the umpteenth time this summer at just how young the players are. I watched a team get jittery and hand a game away on the road. It’s easy to forget looking at statistics and reading boxscores that there are actually humans playing the game.
The Ports led 3-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh thanks to six excellent innings from their starter, former Fullerton star Wes Littleton, before the guys felt the pressure. The first pitcher out of the bullpen walked the first batter, the #9 hitter in the order on nine pitches to leadoff the seventh. The leadoff man then tried unsuccessfully to bunt and was down 0-2. He fouled off a few pitches and with a full count, worked a walk. The tying and go-ahead runs were on base, and the Ports brought on a new reliever, who has a great fastball but gave up 16 unearned runs in 58.2 regular season innings. Bad things just follow Omar who was brought in to face a solid bat handler, the #2 hitter, AJ LaBarbera. LaBarbera squared as if to bunt, but with the corners charging brought the bat back and lined softly to leftcenterfield, where Port leftfielder Anthony Webster made a diving catch. Now, with one out, and runners and first and second, a groundball could end the inning. Lo and behold, Omar induced a groundball, to his second baseman, who picked it up, turned towards second for the double play and dropped the ball. He would get an out and first, but instead of getting out of the inning, the Giants had the tying run at third, and the goahead run at second. The cleanup hitter then grounded a sharp one-hopper to the shortstop’s left. He took one step, gloved, and as he spun to fire the ball to first, the ball popped out of his mitt as everyone was safe. The official scorer ruled it a hit because it hit him in a bad spot: the glove. One run, two walks, and a jittery team. They’re human. They’re young. Hey, I made mistakes too. I think I was too critical on air tonight, but trust me, it was depressing end to a season.
Also, I don’t know about other people, but last night’s recap didn’t show up in my inbox until 10pm. I sent it around 2 AM. Damn Hotmail.
Ok. Mets time.

Stars of the Day:
AA: Neal Musser/Royce Ring/Aarom Baldiris
A: Greg Ramirez/Jamar Hill/Andy Wilson
SSA: Jim Burt


New Hampshire 0, @ Binghamton 1
Remember that nerves thing I was just talking about? What’s funny is I wrote the paragraphs above before I looked at this Binghamton Game Log.
It took 9.5 innings, but finally Binghamton scored with an unearned run in the bottom of the tenth. Aarom Baldirs and Joe Hietpas each singled with one out. Then Baldiris scored on an E6 on a ball hit by Gil Velazquez.
Neal Musser was awesome with seven shutout innings. He allowed just four hits and plunked two, but struck out eight. Royce Ring allowed but one hit over his two innings recording one whiff as well. PJ Bevis gave up one hit in the tenth but earned the win.
The win keeps Binghamton, now down 2-1, alive in the series and broke a franchise worst 11 game losing streak.

Charleston 0, @ Capital City 3
Capital City blanked the Riverdogs behind 6.2 one hit innings from Greg Ramirez who fanned ten and walked one. Ramirez finished the regular season with a 7-0 record, ten saves, and 2.06 ERA and a 3.66 R/G in 96 IP. He fanned 105 and walked just 28. Brian Walker followed with two, two hit innings, and Carlos Muniz recorded the final out for the save.
Capital City did all of their damage with the long ball. Jamar Hill was 1-2, with a walk and a solo jack in the bottom of the first. Andy Wilson added a two run bomb in the sixth driving in Jamar Hill who had walked.
The Bombers swept the series 2-0, and will take on the Hickory Crawdads for the SAL Championship beginning Monday.
Brooklyn 1, @ Tri-City 6
They’re humans remember. They’ve been sitting in the same crappy hotel in Troy for two days of rainouts. And the Cyclones were eliminated from the playoffs.
Joe Williams gave up three runs in his five innings on a pair of HR. Gabriel Hernandez also gave up three, but he needed only 1.2 innings.
The Cyclones managed only 5 singles and Jim Burt who was 1-3 with a walk scored the only run.

With my season over, I’ll go watch some college football tomorrow as I plan to be in Stanford Stadium to watch the Cardinal take on the BYU Cougars.


Friday, September 10, 2004

Mets Minor League Playoff Recaps for 9-10

Giddy-up. A big league win. How about this postgame jewel from Kris Benson: "I'm looking for stability from a family standpoint. The money will work itself out. I'm looking for at least a three-year deal and maybe stick around for a fourth. I don't want to be a journeyman." Wasn’t it all about family for Mike Hampton too?
“I don’t want to be a journeyman.” I can’t even decide how to approach this remark, so just please just chortle right along with me.

Stars of the Day:
AA: Angel Pagan

Binghamton 4, @ New Hampshire 10
New Hampshire scored three times in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly and a two run homer by John Hattig, and never trailed. Jason Scobie struggled and gave up eight runs, all earned, on 11 hits through five innings.
Binghamton scored a run (!) in the third when Angel Pagan doubled home Wayne Lydon, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. The B-Mets loaded the bases in the top of the fourth, but managed only one run as Aarom Baldiris grouded into a run scoring, rally killing doubleplay. With the run, Binghamton closed within one run at 3-2. However, after that, it was all New Hampshire.
New Hampshire added one more run in the bottom of the fourth, and three more in the fifth off Scobie. Orlando Roman gave up a two run homer in the six to make the score 10-2.
Gil Velazquez and Angel Pagan added RBI doubles for Binghamton in the seventh innings to complete the scoring.
Going back to the nine game losing streak to conclude the regular season, Binghamton has now lost 11 in a row. Over those 11 games, the B-Mets have scored 16 runs (1.45 R/G) and have been shut out four times. The FisherCats lead the best of five series 2-0.

Capital City
Game two tomorrow. Bombers lead the Charleston Riverdogs 1-0.

Brooklyn
Rained out for the second day in a row. Wonder how those players couped up in hotel rooms are doing? Game 3 will be Friday, and the championship series will begin Saturday night.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Mets Minor League Playoff Recaps for 9-9

“The Mets have lost 11 in a row, including six since last week to Florida, and haven't had a lead in 58 innings.” It’s a good thing I care about the minors as well, where there is good news.


Stars of the Day:
AA: Yusmeiro Petit
A: Jamar Hill/Vincent Cordova
SSA: see you tomorrow


Binghamton 0, @ New Hampshire 2
Lets start with the good news. Yusmeiro Petit dominated for the first 4.1 innings. He allowed just one hit, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out nine. That’s right, he recorded 13 outs, and nine of them were punchouts. The bad news was that he developed a blister, which became painful and bloody, and couldn’t finish the game or the fifth inning. He gave way to Tim Lavigne who gave up both runs including a homer on four hits and three walks in his two innings. Royce Ring controlled the damage with 1.2 scoreless innings. Ring fanned two and gave up just one hit.
It’s hard to win a baseball game if you have only one hit, and that’s all the B-Mets managed tonight. Joe Hietpas led off the sixth with a single and that was all the offense Binghamton could muster.
New Hampshire leads 1-0.
The B-Mets lost nine in a row to end the season, so this is now the tenth in a row.
I tried to listen to this game online. However, the B-Mets internet feed sounded as if it originated underwater. I’ve had mixed success with Binghamton’s internet broadcasts, but mostly sound ok if a little scratchy. Today was awful so I switched over to the FisherCats radio work for the middle innings when I could sit in front of my computer. The rain that delayed the game 1.5 hours meant I missed the decisive end.


Capital City 2, @ Charleston 1 (11 innings)
This one’s a little tough to believe. The game was scoreless until the eleventh inning. Some poor fielding by the River Dogs put two runners on with two outs for Capital City in the top half of the eleventh. Then Jamar Hill came through with a 2 RBI double sending Lastings Milledge and Yunir Garcia home with a pair of unearned runs. Capital City managed just four hits, and Jamar Hil had two of ‘em.
Of course, if you send a game scoreless to the 11th inning, the pitching had to be awesome. Vincent Cordova worked the first 7 frames giving up seven hits, but he struck out ten without walking a batter. Daniel Foli followed with two more scoreless innings striking out three. Carlos Muniz finished with two innings, and allowed a solo HR in the bottom of the 11th.
Capital City leads 1-0.

Brooklyn @ Tri-City
Rained out. They made it to the top of the third tied 1-1, but that all disappears when they go back to 0-0 in the top of the first tomorrow.
The series is tied 1-1 for the decisive 3rd game.


Wednesday, September 08, 2004

9-8 Recaps and 2003 Trade summary

Slow day. One game in the Mets system, and the California League playoffs begin tomorrow. So I took the day off from baseball. Or not.
I was discussing Jim Duquette and his track record with Avkash, of www.theraindrops.com. I did a little research, (because that’s what I like doing) on last summer’s salary dumps. The first name is the Met traded away, and I have included just a few details about the prospects acquired in return.


Roberto Alomar – Royce Ring - solid in AA and AAA - why was he demoted?
RHP Edwin Almonte (waived by Mets, ineffective in Pawtucket in 2004),
IF Salvo (released, spent 2004 w/ the Long Island Ducks of independent Atlantic League)

Armando Benitez - RHP Jason Anderson (5 R, 1 IP in Cleveland in 2004),
RHP Anderson Garcia (9-2, 4.50, 6.10 R/G, 92 H in 84 IP w/Cap City),
RHP Ryan Bicondoa (w/ North Shore Spirit, indpendent NEL)

Jeromy Burnitz, - RHP Jose Diaz (traded),
2b/3b/RF Victor Diaz (at wrong position, but still hitting) and
RHP Kole Strayhorn (10 HR/50 IP, but K/BB - ok)

Rey Sanchez – OF - Kenny Kelly (granted release following 03. As 25 yo in 2004 in Reds org: AA: .356/.441/.545 AAA: .254/.320/.440)

Graeme Lloyd - Jeremy Hill (more 36 k /32 IP in AA, at 27, did he get hurt?)



Stars of the Day:
SSA: Tyler Davidson/Michael Devaney/Blake Eager

Brooklyn 2, @ Tri-City 3
The Valley Cats won to set up a deciding game tomorrow at 6:45.
Tyler Davidson put Brooklyn up 2-0 with a two run jack in the top of the fourth as part of his 2-4 night.
23rd round draft pick Michael Devaney gave up 3 hits and 3 walks in his 3.1 innings to start the game, but left up 2-0. 30th round draft pick Blake Eager followed with 3.2 scoreless innings fanning three. In the eighth, Eddy Camacho gave up a two run homer to shortstop Ben Zobrist to tie up the ballgame. In the ninth, Celso Rondon gave up a single and walk and then gave up the game winning single to leftfielder Mitch Einertson.

Binghamton and Capital City begin their postseason tomorrow.

Mets Minor League Recaps for 9-8

Slow day. One game in the Mets system, and the California League playoffs begin tomorrow. So I took the day off from baseball. Or not.
I was discussing Jim Duquette and his track record with Avkash, of www.theraindrops.com. I did a little research, (because that’s what I like doing) on last summer’s salary dumps. The first name is the Met traded away, and I have included just a few details about the prospects acquired in return.


Roberto Alomar – Royce Ring - solid in AA and AAA - why was he demoted?
RHP Edwin Almonte (waived by Mets, ineffective in Pawtucket in 2004),
IF Salvo (released, spent 2004 w/ the Long Island Ducks of independent Atlantic League)

Armando Benitez - RHP Jason Anderson (5 R, 1 IP in Cleveland in 2004),
RHP Anderson Garcia (9-2, 4.50, 6.10 R/G, 92 H in 84 IP w/Cap City),
RHP Ryan Bicondoa (w/ North Shore Spirit, indpendent NEL)

Jeromy Burnitz, - RHP Jose Diaz (traded),
2b/3b/RF Victor Diaz (at wrong position, but still hitting) and
RHP Kole Strayhorn (10 HR/50 IP, but K/BB - ok)

Rey Sanchez – OF - Kenny Kelly (granted release following 03. As 25 yo in 2004 in Reds org: AA: .356/.441/.545 AAA: .254/.320/.440)

Graeme Lloyd - Jeremy Hill (more 36 k /32 IP in AA, at 27, did he get hurt?)



Stars of the Day:
SSA: Tyler Davidson/Michael Devaney/Blake Eager

Brooklyn 2, @ Tri-City 3
The Valley Cats won to set up a deciding game tomorrow at 6:45.
Tyler Davidson put Brooklyn up 2-0 with a two run jack in the top of the fourth as part of his 2-4 night.
23rd round draft pick Michael Devaney gave up 3 hits and 3 walks in his 3.1 innings to start the game, but left up 2-0. 30th round draft pick Blake Eager followed with 3.2 scoreless innings fanning three. In the eighth, Eddy Camacho gave up a two run homer to shortstop Ben Zobrist to tie up the ballgame. In the ninth, Celso Rondon gave up a single and walk and then gave up the game winning single to leftfielder Mitch Einertson.

Binghamton and Capital City begin their postseason tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Labor Day Recaps

A few weeks ago I suggested that the Mets should hire Grady Fuson as GM, so I was very excited when Jamey Newberg, who writes the Newberg Report about the Texas Rangers system wrote: “Joel Sherman of the New York Post hints today that the Mets might approach Grady Fuson in the off-season to head up their scouting department,” on 9/5. I ran a search for Fuson’s name on the Post’s website, and couldn’t find the original article. Can anyone tell me what exactly went into this hint? Let’s not settle for the scouting department and let Fuson head up player development as well. Or, even better, he can be the GM.

Stars of the Day:
AAA: Victor Diaz/Aaron Heilman
AA: Brian Bannister
A: Matt Lindstrom/Jabe Bergeron/Ryan Harvey
SSA: Evan Maclane

Norfolk 0 @ Richmond 3
The offense managed four hits, all singles. No Tide started the day with a batting average north of .300. Victor Diaz at .291 was the only one above .280. Mike Meyers gave up all three runs, although only two were earned in his five innings.

Norfolk 2, @ Richmond 3
Good start for Aaron Heilman who tossed four scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, plunked one and walked one, but didn’t record a strikeout. Blake McGinley was tagged with the loss, as the first four Braves to face him in the sixth inning, his second inning of work, all reached base.
Victor Diaz was 1-3 with a sacrifice fly and both Norfolk RBI, each time driving in David Bacani.

The Tides finish the year an even 72-72, eight and a half games behind Richmond in the International League’s South Division. Victor Diaz’ .292/.332/.491 with 31 2B, 24 HR, and 94 was the top offensive line on the team. He led the team in HR, RBI, and batting average among those with over .200 AB. David Wright hit .298/.388/.579 in only 114 AB.


Reading 5, @ Binghamton 1
The BMets had a lead for two innings, but couldn’t hold it en route to losing their ninth in a row heading for the playoffs finishing with a 76-66 record. Brett Harper’s solo HR in the bottom of the fourth but the B-Mets out in front 1-0, and it remained that way until the seventh when Royce Ring was touched up for a pair of homers and three runs. According to the BMets website the brief lead broke a string of 74.1 innings without a lead for Binghamton. It wasted a brilliant start from Brian Bannister who went the first six shutout innings and allowed only three hits. Bannister walked two and fanned two.
Yusmeiro Petit will start for Binghamton versus the New Hampshire Fishercats Wednesday at 6 PM. I will be listening to this game rather than the Big Mets Wednesday afternoon California time.

St. Lucie
The FSL hasn’t completed a game since 9/2. Aarom Baldiris was named to the FSL postseason allstar team, the only St. Lucie Met to make the cut.

Charleston 1, @ Capital City 5
The Bombers broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Strange night offensively for the Bombers: 5 runs, 4 hits, six walks. All of the hits belonged to two men: Jabe Bergeron was 2-4 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI, and Ryan Harvey was also 2-4 with a double and two runs driven in. Bergeron out of tiny Williams College hit .278/.429/.556 for Capital City in 72 AB after hitting .291/.318/.476 with Kingsport. The firstbaseman is large: 6’3”, 230, and supposed was born in 1900 according to the Sportsnetwork (oops). The non-drafted Free agent was a four year letterman in baseball and hockey for the Ephs and was the player of the year in the NESCAC. You gotta root for the non-drafted free agents.
Matt Lindstrom allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out five in six shutout innings. Jose Gomez earned the win for a scoreless eighth inning, and Brian Walker walked two, but closed out the victory.
Capital City followed up their first half championship with the secondhalf crown as well. The bombers were 45-21 in the second half, 99-47 overall.
After sweeping the Riverdogs this week, the Bombers will see Charleston in the first round of the playoffs starting Wednesday.

Tri-City 0, @ Brooklyn 2
The first playoff game pretty much went like the rest of the season: Evan MacLane dominated. MacLane shut down Tri-City over seven innings allowing only four hits and a walk while fanning four. Eddy Camacho picked up the two inning save without allowing a hit.
Jim Burt knocked one off the wall to drive home Dante Brinkley in the sixth with the go ahead run. Tyler Davidson plated Derran Watts with an insurance run in the eighth.
I have been told that the one hard and fast rule in the Mets minor league system is: Brooklyn must win. Well, the Cyclones are in playoffs again.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

9/1 - New Month SOS

Another night, another loss in the bigs. From the AP story: “Attendance was 17,770, compared with 51,777 across town at Yankee Stadium and 21,740 for the night session at the U.S. Open tennis tournament across the street from Shea.” To be honest, I probably would have gone to the Open tonight. Check that, I would definitely have gone to the Open tonight if I had tix and wasn't in California.