Thursday, October 19, 2006

Mets = Sex.

I try not to spend too much time dwelling on the Mets, because I know a) if someone wants to read legitimate analysis about them, they wouldn't go here, and b) I have never gotten the impression that my readers were that into baseball, so me writing about the Mets' postseason adventures would be roughly equivalent to the pseudo-Presidential speeches I make to my imaginary audience in the shower during my lathering and whatnot. However, every once in a while, I am hardcore motivated to dedicate a post to the hottest baseball team ever assembled. Unless a baseball team had Peter Lorre, Old School Marlon Brando, James Franco, Ryan Philippe, Paul Walker, the dad from Dawson's Creek and George Clooney on it.
Withou futher fanfare, I am presenting my official Weenie Enema Guide to the 2006 New York Mets.

Jose Reyes - Shortstop.

Jose Reyes is amazingness. Besides having a chiseled jawline, an adorable smile and sculpted everything, he's the most exciting player in baseball. When he gets on base, the Mets win - speed changes the game. He came up in the middle of the 2003 season, one day before his 20th birthday, and he hasn't left. He's one of the two players in the infield that the Mets are going to be building around for the next couple of years, and he signed a contract extension this season that keeps him at Shea through 2010. Good times.
2006 stats: .300 19 HR 81 RBI 64 SB.

David Wright - 3B.

If Jose Reyes is the most exciting player in baseball, David Wright is one of the most solid, dependable players in the game. Wright followed Reyes to the big club in the middle of 2004 and made an immediate impact. I don't think I even need to get into the ascetic appeal of David Wright. He's hot. He also hits for average, power, has a good glove over at third, and understands the concept of hustling, which should not be noteworthy but sadly is in this day and age. We love. And even better - he's signed through 2012.
2006 stats: .311 26 HR 116 RBI 20 SB

Paul Lo Doca - Catcher.

Although Mr. Lo Duca appears to have a thing with adultery and ditzy douche things from SUNY, we let that slide because he managed to leave his private life off the field and had a really solid year behind the plate. He came over this year from the Marlins in a trade that gave the Mets their first catcher post-Mike Piazza.The catcher is inherently a leadership position, and some of the props for the Mets getting this far into the postseason with no pitching have to go to this guy, who has had to work with some mouthdroppingly mediocre people on the mound this year. (See here, here , here , here, here, here, here and here.) He's probably not going to be at Shea for that much longer - he's a 34-year-old catcher - but he's coming back next year.
2006 stats: .318 5 HR 49 RBI

Carlos Delgado - First Base.

If you're batting clean-up in this lineup, you must be mouthdroppingly badass. During the offseason, the Mets wanted to get a heavy hitter in the lineup to protect emerging slugger David Wright and Carlos Beltran, and the trade for Carlos Delgado solidified the best offense in the National League. Delgado was involved in a weird political controversy in 2004 when he was playing for the Toronto Blue Jays and he refused to stand up for God Bless America. I don't think too many people took notice of it outside of jingoist Yankee Stadium. He appears to no longer be anti-standing for American propaganda goodness, or at least decided it wasn't worth messing with the Shea faithful for. He's in Queens for at least two more years.
2006 stats: .265 38 HR 114 RBI

Carlos Beltran - Center Field.

Leaving the unspeakably gross mole on his right ear out of the equation, Carlos Beltran is a really interesting player to watch. He played the first few years of his career in Kansas City, so no one paid him much attention, even though he was racking up really impressive numbers. But like all stupendous players in the Royals organization, Beltran was traded for prospects. He went to the Astros for their 2004 playoff run and BROUGHT it, hitting 8 HRs in October and bringing them within a game of a World Series appearance. So it was no surprise when the Mets were all about this guy and gave him an obscene amount of money to come to New York. He didn't have a particularly amazing season in 2005, though pretty much any ballplayer would have taken it. He had tons of pressure on him because of the contract, and a bunch of nagging injuries didn't help. In 2006, he was healthy, used to the limelight, and he had Reyes, Wright and Delgado in the lineup. Carnage ensued. He's a Met for five more years.
2006 stats: .275 41 HR 116 RBI 18 SB

Jose Valentin - Second base.

Looking more like a French molester than a part of the Mets' middle infield, Jose Valentin wasn't even supposed to be a huge part of this 2006 club. At the beginning of the season, the Mets had Kaz Matsui at second, this ridiculous anemic-hitting Japanese guy, and they finally traded him in June to Colorado, where I'm sure he's underwhelming the residents of Denver on a regular basis. Jose Valentin used to be a big part of the Chicago White Sox's lineup, but he had a really crappy season in 2005 with the Dodgers, so the Mets picked him up as an afterthought for their bench. When Matsui proved he couldn't handle LIFE, the Mets started turning to other options. In May, the Mets made a road trip to Milwaukee and Valentin had a HUGE series and secured the starting job at second in the process. Very hardcore.
2006 stats: .271 18 HR 62 RBI

Shawn Green - Right Field.

Shawn Green is the newest addition to the Mets, having come over from the Diamonbacks on August 22 because the Mets didn't have enough confidence in prospect Lastings Milledge in October. Totally understandable. He was one of my favorite non-Met players before coming over. He won a Gold Glove in 1999 with Toronto, and then got one of those self-esteem manipulating big contracts with the Dodgers the following year. Sigh. So it goes. Like Carlos Delgado, Green was involved with a mild controversy in 2001, though I think it's pretty badass. He voluntarily benched himself on Yom Kippur and donated that day's salary to a September 11th charity. <3. What a sweetie.
2006 stats (with both Diamondbacks and Mets): .277 15 HR 66 RBI

Endy Chavez - Left Field.

As close to the human version of Big Bear as you're going to find (minus the molting fur and ET alien eyes), Endy Chavez has been helming left field for most of the second half of the season in place of Cliff Floyd and his perpetually injured Achilles tendon. He's a speedy little thing who has some power, but he's a much better player when he's hitting for doubles and utilizing his legs and not swinging for the fences. He has filled in admirably and is an infinitely better defender than Cliff Floyd. I feel the Mets should just stop pretending Cliff Floyd's going to heal and let this little chap have a stab at a permanent starting role in the outfield.
2006 stats: .306 4 HR 42 RBI

Cliff Floyd - Left Field.

Oh, Cliff and his ankle. Very sad. Cliff is a legit sweetie, but he hasn't been productive for quite a while. He used to scare the shizzle out of me when he played for the Marlins - I'm sure his record against the Mets includes about 57 home runs and other assorted destruction. He got into an intense fight with my favorite Mets manager ever, Bobby Valentine, in 2001 after Bobby left him off the All-Star roster. Cliff claimed Bobby told him he'd be on it the day before the reserves were announced, so he spent a ridiculous amount of money on plane tickets for his family and friends, only to find out he wasn't on it. It was such a chick fight, and it ended with a fizzle when the Mets' pitcher Rick Reed (SOOOO underrated, you don't even know) got a stiff neck and Cliff was his injury replacement on the team. He ended up coming to the Mets the year after Bobby was fired and has been very non-bitchy. But he seriously needs to retire.
2006 stats: .244 11 HR 44 RBI

Julio Franco - Utility Man

Julio Franco is ancient and must be stopped. He's literally about 112 and has a huge ass and doesn't have a single hit in the postseason. I find him to be a huge liability, but GM Omar Minaya keeps him around for his veteran presence. Which somehow cancels out his inability to get his geriatric arms around a 90-mph fastball. If you add up the ages of Jose Reyes and David Wright, you STILL don't get the age of Julio Franco. He made his debut in April of 1982. My parents were not married yet. I was more than negative 2. Arnold Schwarzenegger would not be a marketable movie star for two more years. It boggles the mind.
2006 stats: .273 2 HR 26 RBI

Chris Woodward - Utility Man

If Val Kilmer, a Hell's Angel and a monkey had a baby, it would probably look quite a bit like Chris Woodward. He doesn't get to play very often, but he's a scrappy thing who's good for a pinch hit every now and then. An interesting aside - Kevin Mench of the Milwaukee Brewers is thought to have the largest head in baseball. It's an 8 in terms of hat size, whatever that means. Chris Woodward has to be in at least the top three with those ears. They're massive things.
2006 stats: .216 3 HR 25 RBI

Michael Tucker - Utility Man

Full disclosure: I thought Michael Tucker was just the sweetiest of sweeties when he was with the Braves in 1997 and 1998. That was when you could basically put anyone in the Braves lineup and they would churn out hits. Very pleasing to watch while I patiently waited for the Mets to get good. However, his best days are done and he's just been drifting around with assorted teams for the last couple of years. He's had approximately three hits with the Mets. That's not very good.
2006 stats: .196 1 HR 6 RBI

Ramon Castro - Catcher.

Ramon Castro is a beast. He's only on the roster in case Paul Lo Doca's mistress comes to Shea looking for revenge and takes out the starting catcher. Baseball is full of decent defensive catchers who can't hit a lick. This is one of them. And he looks like he stepped out of Planet of the Apes.
2006 stats: .238 4 HR 12 RBI

Anderson Hernandez - Utility Man.

If you have any interest in catching a glimpse of the elusive Anderson Hernandez in the postseason, keep your eyes peeled for dugout shots. He was actually supposed to be the starting second baseman toward the beginning of the year when it looked like the Mets were going to have some real issues at that position. He didn't hit very much at first, and he squandered any opportunity he had when he went down with a back injury and missed most of the season. His basic role is moral support from the bench.
2006 stats: .152 1 HR 3 RBI

Tom Glavine - Starting Pitcher.

Where would the Mets be without Tom Glavine in October? God. I don't even want to think about it. Entering the Division Series with the Dodgers, Glavine was their only legitimate pitcher, and certainly the only one with any sizable postseason experience. He was part of that amazing Atlanta Braves triumverate in the 1990s with Greg Maddox and John Smoltz. While he's not the Cy Young-winning pitcher of yesteryear, he can still bring it, and the Mets owe him big time.
2006 stats: 15-7 3.82 ERA

John Maine - Starting Pitcher.

If ever there was a beneficiary of the Mets' bad luck with pitching dot dot dot. Maine came over to the Mets in the offseason as part of the Kris Benson deal, which was necessitated by Kris Benson's wife, Anna Benson, doing crazy wacked-out porno shizzle and embarassing the organization. So if John Maine wants to thank someone for his postseason opportunity, the scantily-clad Anna Benson would be a good start. Considering this guy has never really been given much of a shot before, Maine has exceeded expectations dramatically, exemplified nicely by his shut-out work in a must-win Game 6 of the NLCS. We heart.
2006 stats: 6-5 3.60 ERA

Steve Trachsel - Starting Pitcher.

What. A. Mess. I was against the Mets getting Trachsel from the very beginning. You're talking about the guy who gave up the historic 62nd home run to Mark McGwire. He's infamous. That's never a good thing, regardless of how you feel about movies centering on Truman Capote. In fact, the year he came to the Mets (2001), he sucked SO hard, they had to send him to the minors. That would have been my cue to eat his salary and look for another pitcher. Noooo. He's still around and still making a mess of life with substandard pitching and inhumane slowness to the plate. Christ. Let this be the last we hear from him. And before you go, "Wait, he was a 15-game winner this year!" remember that he had the most run support of basically anyone ever. The Mets averaged over 6 runs a game for him. Which he did not deserve.
2006 stats: 15-8 4.97 ERA

Oliver Perez - Starting Pitcher.

If he is not the absolute epitome of the phrase "Desperate times call for desperate measures," I am losing my mad aphorism skills. Oliver Perez was a trading deadline acquisition, part of the deal involving the suddenly expendable (but amazingly lovable) Xavier Nady with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had one decent season, and when people have one decent season, their supporters always point to it, even if there are 20 horrendous seasons surrounding it. Now, maybe he'll turn into a consistently badass pitcher. He's only been around for three or four years. However, if the Mets are throwing you out to the dogs Cardinals and telling you that your only job is to keep them in the game - not win it, not pitch well, just keep the game within reach - you're not very good. Fingers crossed.
2006 stats (with both Pirates and Mets): 3-13 6.55 ERA

Aaron Heilman - Relief Pitcher.

I think one of the biggest mistakes the Mets have made over the last two years involves Aaron Heilman. I was at Shea Stadium last year on April 15th, 2005 when Aaron Heilman threw a complete game one-hitter against the Marlins in a 4-0 victory. So what did the Mets decide to do with one of the few pitchers in their team's history who has come within one Luis Castillo infield single of a no-hitter - something no Met pitcher has ever done? Oh, they sent him off to the bullpen to provide middle relief. Ridiculous. To be fair, Heilman has been amazing out there, even though he's publicly admitted he wants to be starting. But come on. This team has 5 legit relief pitchers and 1 legit starting pitcher. Where do YOU think Heilman should go?
2006 stats: 4-5 3.62 ERA

Chad Bradford - Relief Pitcher.

Sidearm pitchers creep me out. But it's hard to argue with results. In theory, it makes sense to have one of these guys on the mound every once in a while - major league hitters aren't used to the arm angle, and even if you're not throwing your best stuff, if the hitter can't read it, your mediocre stuff becomes moot. Chad Bradford has really been integral to this team in the postseason. Willie Randolph has shown zero confidence in the starting pitching - understandbly so, but he should have kept Maine out there longer in Game 2 of the NLCS - which means that guys like Bradford are expected to throw at least an inning or so in every game. Rock.
2006 stats: 4-2 2.90 ERA

Pedro Feliciano - Relief Pitcher.

There's a guy like Feliciano in every bullpen - the left-handed pitcher you always bring into the game for a batter or two in the later innings because of a favorable matchup with a potent lefty hitter, and most of the time, Feliciano comes through. He may only be in the game for a third of an inning, but it's usually one of the most important outs/batters in the game. Considering how often he's called upon in less than desirable situations, his ERA is just astounding.
2006 stats: 7-2 2.09 ERA

Roberto Hernandez - Relief Pitcher.

Roberto Hernandez is in his 40s and I feel is no longer trustworthy as a legitimate relief pitcher. He was a very good closer on a few White Sox and Devil Rays teams, but hasn't been a dominant, putting hitters away pitcher in years. However, he HAS been pretty good since moving into more of a set-up role. But there's a reason you haven't seen that much of him this postseason.
2006 stats: 0-0 3.48 ERA

Guillermo Mota - Relief Pitcher.

You know, it just astounds me how many pitchers in the bullpen present themselves as undependable. Part of the reason for that is because relief pitchers are raised to a higher standard than starting pitchers - if a Tom Glavine gives up 4 runs in an appearance, you'd say he did alright. If Mota did the same thing, it would be a bullpen implosion of the worst order. He was actually phenomenal in 2003, with a miniscule ERA setting up hardcore closer Eric Gagne, but he's never been that great since. He's actually been pretty damn good this year, but he makes me queasy, chiefly because I saw the carnage he unleashed in Game 2 of the NLCS. I'm also pretty sure that when he was with the Dodgers, he hit Mike Piazza a couple of times and they went at it. Good thing Mike's in San Diego now.
2006 stats: 3-0 1.00 ERA

Darren Oliver - Relief Pitcher.

I caught a few Darren Oliver games when he started for the Texas Rangers, and they were, as a general rule, abyssmal. Based on what I've seen with him as a Met, he belongs in the bullpen as a long reliever. Mark my words - if Oliver Perez messes this up tonight, and I think he probably will, EVERYONE is going to be asking him why he didn't start Darren Oliver in Game 7. You know. The guy who HASN'T had the ERA over 6 this year.
2006 stats: 4-1 3.44 ERA

Billy Wagner - Relief Pitcher.

Billy Wagner gives me a splitting headache. Seriously. I have a REAL issue with overpriced relief pitchers who have ONE job - keep the lead in the ninth inning - and they don't do it. And I know I'm not a closer and I couldn't throw a 95-mph fastball, even if I wanted to, but dude, I didn't sign a 4-year, $43 million contract to do the job. If you're making over $10 million a year, that ERA should be below 2.00, and at the end of the year, you'd better be able to count the number of saves you've blown on one hand. See NLCS, Game 2.
2006 stats: 3-2 2.24 ERA, 40 saves

If the Mets win tonight and get to the World Series, expect wall-to-wall coverage. And tons of pug puppy pictures.


At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are insane. In the amazing kind of way. When did you find the time to write all of this?!


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