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 Posted:   Aug 16, 2013 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

From the what have you done for me lately Dept..





It looks like Charlie Manuel is about to get fired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. Ryne Sandberg is being mentioned as the temporary successor. I liked Charlie Manuel. Charlie got trapped in the transition as the team got older and players broke down and underperformed the last several years. How soon people forget that Manuel had the Phils near or at the top of the National League east for a very long time including ^ a World Championship .



The ML umpiring I've seen this year has been atrocious. But it's really been bad for years and we've commented on it here on this thread in the past. I don't know where some of these guys are cutting their teeth, but they aren't cutting it on the ML level. Now baseball is going to vote on expanded instant replay that will delay the games even more than they are now. As if players stepping in and out of the box, fixing armbands and gloves, tapping their cletes with the bat, and shuffling dirt around between pitches didn't delay the game enough.

If these newer umpires didn't suck so badly there would really be no reason for this. Like NFL Football, under this policy the managers are going to be allowed a limited amount of challenges (not balls and strikes) of calls made by the umpires on the field, and then we can break out the novel we were reading while we wait for a decision from monitors reviewing the disputed calls at a remote location. We'll see how this eventually plays out. Fix the broken umpiring situation and we wouldn't have to deal with this fiasco.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2013 - 10:05 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Leave it to the Boston Red Sox, an organization I have long despised, to do the impossible. To literally in one night make Alex Rodriguez a hero.

I have made no bones about the fact that I think Rodriguez's career should be over, and that his suspension is justified and he should be tossed for his deceit and his actions which clearly from the evidence that's been accumulated exceeds the cases of those who have taken and accepted their 50 game suspensions. Unfortunately, the rules of the game allow him to play while the appeal process goes on and Bud Selig decided he wasn't going to open a firestorm by invoking the "best interests" clause and have Rodriguez suspended and not able to play while under appeal.

Because of that, it is rank hypocrisy of the highest order for ANY player to bitch and complain about how "unfair" it is that Rodriguez is playing now. Their Union ratified the agreement and if Selig had invoked the "best interests" clause you can be damned certain the Union would have screamed because of the precedent that would have been set. So if these players want to act like MEN and prove they're better than Rodriguez they should go out there and try to beat him and keep their mouths shut about the "unfairness" of it all. And that *especially* I might add goes for the likes of David Ortiz, who is the last person on Earth who has the right to say *anything* about a steroids suspended player given that he is the ONLY other person we know was on the same list Rodriguez was found to be on in 2003, yet Ortiz amazingly was allowed to pull a Rafael Palmeiro afterward and deny he was a user and the Boston media and MLB chose to treat him with kid gloves and refuse to stigmitize him (I to this day hear Andy Pettite's name dragged through the mud more than I do Ortiz), even though anyone with half a brain can tell that Ortiz would have been a nothing player without juicing as anyone who saw him before he played for Boston can attest.

Now tonight we have Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster who FOUR times throws at Rodriguez and then finally drills him in what was one of the most blatant attempts at trying to hit a batter, ever. And the umpire cowardly refused to eject him and instead issued warnings at both teams prompting a more than justified rant from Joe Girardi. What if Dempster, in the course of trying to make his "statement" had drilled Rodriguez in the head ala Mike Piazza? Then what kind of "integrity for the game" are we showing now?

No matter how much people hate Rodriguez (and justifiably I might add) the integrity of the game requires keeping this crap off the field and letting the game go on. Bill Lackey, one of the other quoted Red Sox players, at least had the sense to just pitch well and win yesterday. Ryan Dempster by contrast came off like a total bush-leaguer of the worst kind and as Girardi tellingly said in his post-game comments, he wished Dempster could be coming to bat.

So then Dempster, having gotten away with his stunt, then proceeds in the 4th inning to give up a booming HR to Rodriguez which ignites the Yankees and lets them come back and win 9-6 and take the series two of three. So much for making a "statement"!

Dempster should be suspended for one start in the rotation (not five days where he can not miss a turn) because the League should make it clear that this kind of stunt doesn't help the integrity of the game any more than loading up on steroids does.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 5:25 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Well said. Good points.

If Ryan Dempster did get suspended I really don't think the Red Sox would miss him a whole helluva lot though. This is a guy who has bounced around baseball for a while now and for the most part has had a pretty mediocre career. If Dempster was trying to make a point last night he did a pretty piss poor job at it. Bob Gibson he ain't. "Big Papi" David Ortiz has been anointed up there in Boston since they broke the curse and won a few Championships. So you can forget about his indiscretions ever being held up to a microscope. That all just faded away. A-Rod is the big fish in the large pond of juicers everyone despises (and rightfully so) now.

You made some very good points above Eric. The A-Rod circus is going to travel the country for the rest of the season it appears. The only way for the Yankees to be rid of him that is within their power is to release him and pay him the remainder of his contract. And you know they won't do that. A-Rod will continue to thumb his nose at both MLB and the Yankee organization. And he'll hit some home runs to further split the fan base while he's at it. Word came down that A-Rod added the angry pit bull Joe Tacopina to his all-star list of lawyers. Tacopina never met a TV camera he didn't like. A-Rod is not only challenging the Yankee organization, but now he's questioning their medical staff as well. This story knows no bounds and no end. And all the while the Yankees ratings nationally and on their Yes Network have been going through the roof since his return. And they continue to win. Since the trade with the Cubs for Soriano and the return of A-Roid the Yanks have been on a roll.

Those old Yankee "Bronx Zoo" teams of the late 70's could not hold a candle to the bizarro theatre that is going on in Yankeeland 2013 now. This whole situation is bad for baseball. And you're correct, if Bud Selig had showed some backbone and invoked the "best interests" clause and stood by his guns from the start the game would have been a lot better off. But Selig is spineless, and baseball continues to suffer each year he's sitting in the head chair as Commissioner.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

In more important news than the soap opera that is A Rod, Max Scherzer became only the second pitcher since 1919 to go 18-1 in his first 19 decisions. Miggy now has 40 home runs and over 100 RBI's. Can someone please walk Davis of the O's a few times. I think it is likely that Cabrera would have passed Davis for the HR lead if he had not been out hurt for 6 games.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 10:04 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

I wish you would post here more Gary!

Max Scherzer is having one of those seasons for the ages for a pitcher. He's a lock for the 2013 American League Cy Young Award. I wish I got to see him pitch more. Unless it's a national game or a local NY game against the Mets or the Yankees I don't get to see the Tigers much except in highlights. I don't know how many starts Scherzer has left in the regular season but he'll get well past 20 wins this year. Miguel Cabrera is on his way to winning his second American League MVP in a row. The guy is unstoppable. I've seen him hit pitchers pitches time and time again. Lightning quick bat. Good eye at the plate. There is really no way to pitch around him in sequence to get him out. He makes a pitcher work. When you think of how far he's come since his younger days it's incredible.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

As Jim Price the color analyst on the local Tiger radio broadcasts says he is one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball already. He is something special.

You know the kind of year Max is having when arguably the worst of the Tiger's 5 starters this year is Justin Verlander, and he is really good, just not having a great year.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 10:23 AM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

One great player I saw as a kid that I can compare Cabrera to is Hall of Famer Willie McCovey of The San Francisco Giants. McCovey used to give the Mets Tom Seaver fits. Seaver could have come to the game with his best stuff feeling good out there and in command and McCovey would always figure out a way to beat him. And when McCovey got a hold of one, he hit it a mile. One of those guys that is so smart and disciplined at the plate and always thinking along with the pitcher who is trying to get him out. At some point down the road Miguel Cabrera will be joining Willie McCovey in the Hall of Fame.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 7:20 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

The Yankees Alfonso Soriano was named American League player of the week. He came over in a trade with the Chicago Cubs only a short time ago and is now paying big dividends for the Yanks. He's had a solid career while mostly toiling away on some bad ballclubs in Chicago. This guy could always hit. Soriano is now 37, but he's still got a lot of life left in his bat. The single biggest contributer to the Yankees hot streak of late that's put them back in the talk for a shot at the wild card. Incredible RBI numbers in such a short span. With a second chance in New York back with the Yankees he's making the best of it for now. Considering that he was traded away as a young player in 2004 to the Texas Rangers for A-Rod, many Yankee fans now probably wish he never left.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2013 - 7:39 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

Yes, I wish Aaron Boone had never played that pick-up game which was set the whole ugly chain of events in motion. Then Rodriguez would have been Boston's problem and maybe 2004 never happens. Much as I am grateful for the 09 WS, I would gladly trade it so that the horror of 04 never happened.

Of course that doesn't mean we might have been stuck with him after 2007 since I suspect he would have opted out back then as well and put himself on the market. Aaron Boone is certainly not the third baseman by then.

 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2013 - 6:55 PM   
 By:   Eric Paddon   (Member)

And the Yankee roll continues with a four game sweep of the Blue Jays which now puts their run at 11-2. They are right back in the playoff fight and the team for the first time is fun to watch again with legitimate offense threats in the lineup from Granderson, Soriano and yes, one must admit, Rodriguez. If this team manages to do something in spite of all the off-field garbage that's had to surround them, it will be even more incredible than what they did in 77-78 when the soap opera of that era overshadowed their play so much.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2013 - 10:17 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

The Yankees are starting to hit the long ball again. Something they did all last year that eluded them with the replacement players in the first half of 2013. When you can score runs in bunches, it takes a bit of the sting out of some less than stellar efforts of the starters. But their starting pitching is still an issue, and will be moving forward. Sabathia has lost a few miles per hour off the fastball, but he must be better down the stretch for the Yankees to stay in the race. Toronto is still mired in last place in the AL east after spending all the money last winter. R.A. Dickey pitched well against the Yankees in this series for the Blue Jays but he's been killed by the home run ball this season. It's been his doom. Dickey is not throwing the knuckler as hard as he did last year with the Mets and hitters are taking him deep this season at an alarming rate. And the Yankees beat him a ballgame late the other night with a dinger once again.

The Mets are out of any contention this year, but have remained a thorn in the side of the Atlanta Braves due to some freak injuries suffered in these games. Not long ago Braves veteran starter Tim Hudson (who was just getting into a good pitching groove at the time) had his ankle severely fractured by Mets left fielder Eric Young Jr. while covering the bag on a play at first base. His season is done. And at his age his career could be in question. Now in the latest series between the two teams the Braves have also lost outfielder Jason Heyward indefinately to a broken jaw from a 90 mph fastball that sailed away from Mets starter Jon Niese. Both incidents certainly were not intentional, but the Braves even with their commanding lead in the NL east and with Upton not hitting a lick could ill afford to lose Heyward's bat in the lineup for any length of time.

The Braves may now be in the market for some temporary help in the outfield, but at this point it would have to be some form of a waiver deal. The Mets left fielder Marlon Byrd has been discussed among other names available. He may be the frontrunner for NL Comeback Player of The Year. Byrd's one year deal at under a million dollars expires at the end of this season, and at 36 he most likely does not fit into the Mets future plans for next year and beyond as they survey options within the organization. Byrd has been having the best season of a journeyman career after having his own troubles with MLB and serving a suspension in the past for illegal substance abuse. He was given a chance by Mets GM Sandy Alderson this year and has made the most of it. He could certainly help a contender down the stretch not only with his bat but in the field as well. The Mets started this year with a lot of question marks in the outfield. They seem to have found their centerfielder of the future who as it turns out was right under their noses in the organization. Juan Lagares. Lagares is already being compared in some high circles to a young Andruw Jones as a defensive player. That's some pretty high praise. Gold Glove caliber defense this year. Some amazing catches going back on balls. His hitting however, needs to improve dramatically to complete any comparison to Jones as he was in his early days in Atlanta.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 23, 2013 - 11:29 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

The Mets picked up former phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka off the scrap heap to fill in for some injuries in the rotation and quickly found out last night why the Boston Red Sox eventually cut him loose. When the Mets decided to pitch to Miguel Cabrera with a base open and two Detroit Tigers on base, Matsuzaka promptly gave up a Ballantine blast to Cabrera that more than likely prompted many Mets fans to grab their remotes and turn the sets off right there. It was all downhill pedal to the metal from that point. Why Terry Collins even decided to pitch to Cabrera in that spot is anyone's guess, but it was a bad decision all around and Cabrera as he so often does made them pay. The Mets handed Cabrera an open invitation to crush them early. He obliged. That ball left the park in a hurry.

Matsuzaka is certainly not the pitcher he once was when he had baseball GM's drooling and throwing cash his way bidding for his services 6 years ago. He's been attempting to come back from the dreaded Tommy John surgery and is probably through. The Mets got him for a phone call and a bag of peanuts, so I can understand them wanting to take a look to see what he might have left. He was once not so long ago a frontline starter. But it was not a pretty sight last night. The Mets Matt Harvey will face Detroit's Max Scherzer today in the marquee pitching matchup when the Mets give it another go against the Tigers at Citi Field.

 
 Posted:   Aug 24, 2013 - 6:32 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

In Matsuzaka's defense, he did a pretty good job after giving up the 5 runs. Lot's of managers are between a rock and a hard place about whether or not to walk Cabrera. Fielder and Martinez follow him in the line-up. I'm looking forward to today's pitching match-up.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 24, 2013 - 5:45 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

In Matsuzaka's defense, he did a pretty good job after giving up the 5 runs. Lot's of managers are between a rock and a hard place about whether or not to walk Cabrera. Fielder and Martinez follow him in the line-up. I'm looking forward to today's pitching match-up.

I guess I was a bit hard on Matsuzaka. He's trying to rebound from an injury that most pitchers have a difficult time bouncing back from and trying to salvage his career. I just wish he was doing this rehab stint in Houston instead of here. I think a big part of my frustration is that I want to see the future of this team. I want to see the younger guys come up and show what they can or can't do. Not another veteran player passing through who is not going to be a part of the advancement moving forward next year. Matsuzaka was brought in cheap to basically fill in and eat up innings because Sandy Alderson does not want to bring up any of the minor league arms that are competing in their playoffs. This revolving door thing of bringing in hard luck players on the cheap for short periods of time does get tiring sometimes when you try to continue to stay positive rooting for a losing ballclub. The Mets have been doing this type of thing for years now. Right now for Alderson it's all about hanging on until the Mets clear payroll (The bloated Santana and Bay contracts expire after 2013) and can have some financial wiggle room to make moves this winter that hopefully will benefit the team long term down the line.

Now.. onto today's game.

Matt Harvey was not sharp early for the third start in a row but managed to get a handle on the Tigers and hold that explosive lineup to only two runs. But in the process he also gave up a ton of hits. I knew that once Harvey gave up those two runs he had to hold it right there and slam the door or the Mets would have little chance of coming back against Max Scherzer. Harvey dialed it up a notch as the game wore on and held Detroit but the Mets bats ultimately were not able to break through against Scherzer. Once again Harvey walks off the mound on the losing side of a tough ballgame. He should have at least 14 or 15 wins by now given his performances this season. But as was the case with with R.A. Dickey last year the run support in this Mets lineup is sporadic at best. The pitchers have to work harder knowing they may not get many runs to work with during the course of a ballgame. The Mets had a few golden opportunities in this game but could not score. Including the inning where they loaded the bases and had Scherzer on the ropes with his pitch count rising. Leyland resisted going to the bullpen at that point and he was right. He stuck with his future Cy Young Award winner and he got catcher John Buck to pop up and Scherzer got out of the jam. That was really the game right there.

 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 11:55 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Porcello, Cabrera, Dirks and company finished the three game sweep. Now we get to play the A's at home for 4 games. Sanchez goes for Detroit tonight on the mound.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Well.. I thought something looked wrong with Matt Harvey's control these last few starts but I just wanted to believe it was a rough spot in his season. He didn't look right during the start in LA and was not locating the way he's done all year since that road trip. And then this bad news today..

Matt Harvey has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his pitching elbow and will miss the rest of the 2013 season. Harvey may possibly need the dreaded Tommy John surgery in which case he will be lost for all of the 2014 season. I can only hope this kid can come back from this. It's going to be a long road back. If anyone can do it he can. He's a strong kid with a positive attitude. All Mets fans can do is hope. He gave us fans a lot of hope and a lot of thrills this season. All the best to Matt Harvey. We shall certainly miss him.

 
 Posted:   Aug 26, 2013 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Sorry to hear about Harvey. He gave the Tigers fits for most of that game.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 7:07 AM   
 By:   Donna   (Member)

Well.. I thought something looked wrong with Matt Harvey's control these last few starts but I just wanted to believe it was a rough spot in his season. He didn't look right during the start in LA and was not locating the way he's done all year since that road trip. And then this bad news today..

Matt Harvey has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his pitching elbow and will miss the rest of the 2013 season. Harvey may possibly need the dreaded Tommy John surgery in which case he will be lost for all of the 2014 season. I can only hope this kid can come back from this. It's going to be a long road back. If anyone can do it he can. He's a strong kid with a positive attitude. All Mets fans can do is hope. He gave us fans a lot of hope and a lot of thrills this season. All the best to Matt Harvey. We shall certainly miss him.


I feel so badly for this young man; so talented and indeed a great attitude. My best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery for Matt Harvey!

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 27, 2013 - 5:10 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

The Mets coaching staff were watching Matt Harvey like a hawk. Watching every pitch. Watching to see if he was dropping the arm and altering his mechanics. Harvey had reported numbness in his wrist and the fingers of his pitching hand and that should have been a red flag. I heard former MLB pitcher Rick Sutcliffe on one of the national broadcasts talk about the constant strain of throwing the slider and it's effect on a young pitcher's arm. When he (Sutcliffe) was in the Dodgers minor league system they would not allow their younger pitchers to throw it. Throwing the hard slider puts a tremendous strain on the elbow. The hard slider was one of four pitches that Matt Harvey had in his arsenal and he threw all four exceptionally well.

Dr. Jobe once told Terry Collins years ago that no matter how much you nursemaid, limit the innings, and try to give a pitcher his proper rest and days off this still can be inevitable. Each pitcher is on a case by case basis. Harvey was already coming close to his pitch limit for the season and would have been shut down at that point. Tommy John surgery has come a long way in 30 years but it's still tricky when they have to go in and cut into the arm. Many pitchers of recent vintage that have had the operation have said that it actually improved their velocity. Yet some still struggle to get the velocity back and are not the same as before they went under the knife. One can only hope it's the former with Harvey. He'll have to make the call on whether or not to go ahead with Tommy John or rest and rehab. His career could hang in the balance no matter which option he chooses. We can only hope for the best.




Former Mets catcher John Buck working with Travis d'Arnaud early this spring. The Mets starting catching job has now passed to d'Arnaud.


I had a feeling the Mets were about to move Marlon Byrd in a deal. But it wasn't the Braves he was moved to. Byrd and veteran catcher John Buck were traded today to the contending Pittsburgh Pirates for young infield prospect Dilson Herrera. Herrera looks like a good prospect from the early info I could gather. The Pirates claimed Byrd on waivers and the two teams were able to work out a deal. John Buck will back up catcher Russell Martin behind the plate. John Buck was a leader on the Mets and helped mentor along the young Mets staff this year. I was grateful and happy to have him. The Mets starting catching job now belongs to young Travis d'Arnaud. Good luck to both Marlon and John in Pittsburgh. They are now moving on to a team that is in the playoff hunt. With the departure of Byrd and Buck from the roster, the Mets recalled outfield prospect Matt den Dekker and backup catcher Anthony Recker from Triple-A Las Vegas.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2013 - 12:35 PM   
 By:   ANZALDIMAN   (Member)

Marlon Byrd has already started to pay dividends for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Byrd smashed a three run home run last night for Pittsburgh in their 7-1 romp over the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pirates were in need of some right handed power and they filled the gap with Byrd who is having a career best season. He'll help them. It's been a long time coming for the Pirates getting back into playoff contention. A ballclub with a storied history.

 
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