Now that it is the off-season I will now be posting once every 1-4 days instead of everyday.
Monday, October 30, 2006
When Martinez signed a $1.4 million contract with the Mets last summer out of the Dominican Republic, he said he barely spoke any English at all, so this is really a major accomplishment at such a young age. (He only turned 18 on Oct. 10.)
By the way, one scout raved about Martinez yesterday, praising his approach at the plate.
Martinez joined Mike Pelfrey in Friday night's Arizona Fall League all-star game, where Daily News photographer Ron Antonelli took some photos in addition to yesterday's game.
Martinez hopes to be at Double-A Binghamton in 2007, which Gary Carter is slated to manage if he doesn't get the Rockies hitting coach job.
He hit .333 in 45 games with low-A Hagerstown and .193 in 30 games with high-A St. Lucie during the '06 regular season, his first full year in professional baseball.
I believe the Mets will make a couple moves this offseason:
1) More starting pitching
2)More left-handed hitting
I believe the Mets will not and should not pick up a left fielder and instead platoon Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez who is my top 3 favorite prospects, so you know he is going to be good. I feel the Mets need a new right fielder to replace Shawn Green or platoon with Green whose age is increasing and his production is decreasing. Though, Green is owed a good chunk of money.
The following Mets are eligible to become free agents. Who should they try to keep and who should they let go?
- RH Chad Bradford: Key bullpen piece the team will try to retain.
- C Mike DiFelice: Serviceable reserve catcher, but no urgency here to keep.
- LF Cliff Floyd: Underwent surgery on ankle, so don't expect anything until after four-month rehab period.
- LH Tom Glavine: Team said it will attempt to re-sign. Competition would be Atlanta.
- RH Roberto Hernandez: Faded in favor of Guillermo Mota. No urgency to retain.
- RH Orlando Hernandez: Mets would like to re-sign.
- OF Rickey Ledee: Bit player; no urgency.
- RH Jose Lima: Good-bye.
- RH Guillermo Mota: Would like to re-sign.
- LH Darren Oliver: Had solid year, but at 36 Mets could figure they got what they could and let him go.
- RH Steve Trachsel: Will likely not re-sign.
- OF Michael Tucker: Role player can be filled at any time.
- 2B Jose Valentin: Would like to keep, but asking price might be high both in years and dollars.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Michel Abreu appears to have a knack for coming up in big spots, especially during his six-game hitting streak last week.
The 27-year-old first baseman singled in the go-ahead run in the Mesa Solar Sox's 6-3 victory over Peoria on Oct. 20. He topped that performance with an historic RBI single to propel Mesa to an 8-7 victory over the Grand Canyon Rafters, ending what is believed to be the longest game in Arizona Fall League history. The 6-foot, 220-pound Abreu also added his third homer Wednesday.
The other New York Mets' prospects also made the most of their opportunities. Here's an update on their progress in fall league action:
Mesa Solar Sox
RHP Mike Pelfrey -- Pelfrey made his first AFL start on Oct. 20, yielding one hit in three scoreless frames. The Solar Sox went on to beat the Saguaros, 6-3. Pelfrey was also named to the league's inaugural "Rising Stars Showcase," which will be played on Oct. 27.
OF Fernando Martinez -- The 18-year-old Martinez is the youngest player in the AFL this season. He's hitting .213 in 13 games. Martinez slugged two homers in the past week. His highlight came on Oct. 20, when he crushed a two-run blast and drove in three runs in the Solar Sox's 6-3 victory over the Saguaros. Martinez was also named to the Rising Stars Showcase.
RHP Kevin Mulvey -- The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Mulvey made his third start with Mesa on Tuesday, yielding three runs on five hits with one strikeout and one walk in three innings. The Solar Sox overcame the poor outing by battering the Saguaros pitchers in a 12-7 victory. Mulvey has a 5.63 ERA.
RHP Philip Humber -- Humber was pulled from the AFL after experiencing tendinitis in his shoulder. He appeared in one game, giving up a run on two hits in two innings. The Mets replaced him with 28-year-old southpaw Blake McGinley on Oct. 23, who compiled a 2-2 record with one save and a 2.95 ERA in 22 games with Triple-A Norfolk of the International League.
OF Bobby Malek -- Malek's batting average has taken a steady climb to .263 with three two-hit games in the past week. He has also shown extra-base power with five of his 10 hits being doubles. He went 2-for-4 in the Solar Sox's 7-3 loss to Scottsdale on Wednesday.
RHP Brandon Nall -- The 24-year-old right-hander replaced Steve Schmoll on Oct. 20. Nall spent most of the regular season with Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound hurler went 5-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 38 games with the Suns. He also fanned 88 in 86 2/3 innings and held batters to a .220 average.
North Shore Honu
OF Dustin Martin -- After hitting .435 through his first nine games with North Shore, the 22-year-old Martin cooled off by going hitless in nine at-bats this week. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder drove in a pair of runs without getting a hit during the three-game slump.
RHP Robert Parnell -- The 22-year-old right-hander had a rough start since the last update. He took the loss in a 4-0 defeat to Waikiki on Oct. 22, surrendering four runs on seven hits, including three homers, in four innings. The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Parnell has given up 13 runs in his last 8 1/3 frames, boosting his ERA to 10.22.
1B Mike Carp -- The 20-year-old Carp had his best game in Hawaii on Oct. 21, when he went 3-for-5 with a season-high three RBIs and a run scored against Waikiki. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough as the BeachBoys topped the Honu, 6-5. It did help the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Carp pad his stats. He is hitting .263 with seven RBIs in 13 games.
C Drew Butera -- Butera is hitless in his last 10 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .185. He also struck out four times on Oct. 21.
RHP Blake Eager -- Eager pitched a scoreless inning in the past week to help lower his ERA to 6.75.
Some of my favorite prospects are the ones that are in italics.
Monday, October 23, 2006
First baseman Carlos Delgado (carpal tunnel, right wrist), righthanded pitcher Aaron Heilman (tennis elbow, right elbow), catcher Paul Lo Duca, (ligament tear, left thumb) and Chris Woodward (labrum tear, right shoulder) all underwent successful surgery today at the Hospital for Special Surgery. Dr. David Altchek, the Mets Medical Director, operated on Heilman and Woodward, while Dr. Andrew Weiland, the team's hand specialist, performed the procedures on Delgado and Lo Duca.
The Mets have two of their biggest prospects pitching this fall in the Arizona fall League. First is the Mets 2005 first round draft pick pitcher Mike Pelfrey. The other player is in my opionion the Mets biggest prospects and future superstar 18 year old Fernando Martinez. Gota love the young talent.
Also, will play in the Arizona Fall League's inaugural "Rising Stars Showcase" at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, AZ on Friday, Oct. 27th.
Pelfrey will start for the East Division in the Showcase.
Mets Phillip Humber has left the Arizona fall league after an MRI shows bruised shoulder, no other damage for former No. 1 pick
Humber had appeared in one game for the Mesa Solar Sox on Oct. 14, allowing a run in two innings, but hadn't pitched since. He was scheduled to pitch again on Friday but was pulled and sent home after an MRI also revealed a bruised humerus.
Humber, who made his Major League debut this season after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery in July 2005, is expected to be ready to pitch well before the beginning of Spring Training.
"Everything is cool," Humber told MiLB.com. "It's just a little tendinitis, a tired arm, so they decided to send me home. I don't think it's going to be a big deal. "I have no idea how I bruised it, but it takes a pretty good lick to bruise a bone," Humber said. "The doctor said sometimes it just happens.
Humber made 14 Minor League starts this season upon his return from surgery, going a combined 5-3 with a 2.83 ERA over 76 1/3 innings in the Gulf Coast, Florida State and Eastern Leagues. He was promoted to the parent club in September and pitched a pair of scoreless innings.
For more on Prospect Phillip Humbers status and the full article vist: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/app/news/article.jsp?ymd=20061023&content_id=139471&vkey=news_l119&fext=.jsp&sid=l119
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I found an intresting article on minorties at baseball manegers.... http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=kurkjian_tim&id=2632210umnist=kurkjian_tim&id=2632210
Friday, October 20, 2006
During the Cardnals champagne celebration in their clubhouse, players gathered and chanted "Jo-se, Jose, Jose, Jose," mocking chant Mets fans crow when Jose Reyes comes to the plate...Wow this pisses me off...I really hate the Carnals and their fans after this...They are so cockey...I cant wait till they get swept... For a sound clip vist metsblog.com
The mets lost game 7 of the NlCS to the Cardnals 3-1. The cardnals scored their runs by a sac bunt by Belliard and Yadier Molina comes up big with a 2 run home run in the top of the 9th to win it for his team. The mets lacked offense only getting 1 run on David Wrights RBI. They had constant oppertunities in the 6th and the 9th with the bases loaded to score some runs but they were unable to acomplish that task. Oliver Perez pitched amazing giving up 1 run in 6 innings. The most exciting part of the game was when Endy Chavez robbed a home run. It was an unbelvable catch and if the Mets won it would have been like the Buckner Play and always been shown in the dynamic 2006 run by the NY Mets. I am crushed and probably will be for some days now... Last night I had a dream where the Mets won and when I woke up I thought they won and then remebered the crushing blow that night.... Now were in the off-season... I hope this is like the 1985 season where they loose to the Cards in the NLCS and the following year in 1986 win it all. At least we know we will have some strong players coming back; Reyes, Wright, Delgado, Lo Duca, Maine, Perez, Wagner, Heilman, and many more. Dont forget about the strong prospects... Milledge, Humber, Pelfrey, Hernandez, Fernando Martinez? Lets get some more players in the off-season and win us a World Series or atleast a Pennant. Metsprospects.blogspot.com will be here all throughout the off-season giving you all your hot stove news, Plus winter league updates.... Go Mets!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Carpenter (2-0, 3.93 ERA this postseason; 15-8, 3.09 ERA regular season) wasn't at his best in Game 2, but the most important streak continued. One number says it all when it comes to Carpenter in October -- he's made six career playoff starts, and in every one of those games, his Cardinals have been victorious. He allowed five earned runs on on six hits -- including two home runs -- over five innings in Game 2, but escaped with a no-decision. Carpenter needs to locate better in order to succeed against one of the National League's most dangerous lineups, but there's certainly reason to believe he can make the necessary adjustments.
In two postseason starts, Maine (0-0, 4.32 ERA this postseason; 6-5, 3.60 ERA regular season) hasn't made it through the fifth inning. It's not that he has blown up; he just hasn't been able to sustain his command the way he needs to in order to get deeper in games. His Game 2 NLCS effort against the Cards was undone by a high pitch count -- 88 in four innings -- and a rare Mets error, causing complications and making one of two second-inning runs unearned. Walks to Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols set up both two-run innings, with Maine giving up only two hits -- a Yadier Molina double and Edmonds homer. Like a lot of young pitchers in his position, he might be giving hitters a little too much credit at times and not trusting his quality stuff. His seven walks in 8 1/3 postseason innings are too many. Maine is not far away from taking the next step -- getting into and past the fifth inning.
Crushing lost last night 4-2 to the Cards.... Glavine pitched ok going 4 innings with 3 runs... The mets didnt have much offense last night, Jose Valintin got the only 2 rbi's. I really cant talk about it... I am crushed... Lets win tonight or were done... Hopefully we'll have some 86 heroics....
Monday, October 16, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
The NLDS was the Wild Card series. Perez (has not pitched this postseason; 3-11, 6.55 ERA regular season) is the wild-card pitcher -- more likely to walk the ballpark than perform at the level he attained in 2004, when he won 12 of 22 decisions and produced a 2.99 ERA in 30 starts and 196 innings. But you never know. The Mets cling to the five-hit, one-walk shutout Perez pitched against the Braves on Sept. 6. And for those believe in omens, there is thisL Perez will be pitching Game 4. The Mets’record in Games 4 in postseason play is 7-4. And one of the seven, Game 4 victories came in the 2000 NLDS. Bobby Jones, a far more accomplished pitcher than Perez, pitched arguably the greatest game in Mets history, a one-hit shutout of the Giants. So who can say?
The Cardinals elected to go with Reyes (Has not pitched this postseason; 5-8, 5.06 ERA regular season) for the Game 4 start over Jason Marquis, who was left off of the NLCS roster. Reyes, who will be making his postseason debut, lasted just 2/3 of an inning in his final start of the regular season when he allowed four earned runs on five hits -- including two home runs -- against the Brewers on Oct. 1. The rookie right-hander was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four September starts, allowing two earned runs or less in three of the starts and striking out 26 over 20 innings. He has never faced the Mets.
Darren Oliver gave the rest of the Mets' bullpen a rest on Saturday night with six scoreless innings in relief of Steve Trachsel, but the Mets lost, 5-0. Trachsel left with a right thigh contusion after facing just 12 batters and leaving the bases loaded in the second.
Awful performance tonight... It seemed like no one was trying... the mets didnt hit at all and shawn green once again can not make the big play which continues to cost the Mets. Were in a big hole now down 2-2 in the series with the unstable 25 year old, Oliver Perez pitching tommorow... At least the cards have a 24 year old named Reyes pitching tomorow night... O yeah, he was 5-8 on the season so maybe we'll get lucky...
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Just seven outs away from a comfortable 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS, the Mets saw their edge evaporate with a 9-6 loss on Friday night. Now the series shifts to St. Louis, where the momentum has already set up shop, for the next three games.
Brutal just absolutley brutal ending.... Lets get the W tonight...
Friday, October 13, 2006
The Mets had a great pitching performance last night by Tom Glavine. Glavine went a superb 7 innings allowing just 4 hits and no runs. The Mets had trouble hitting Jeff Weaver most of the night even though they were supposed to dominate him because of his innability to get left handed hitters out. Beltran had a 2 run home run in the 6th inning to give the mets all they needed to make game 1 a win. Mota pitched a scoreless 8th and Wagner a scoreless 9th to obtain the shutout.
In the early innings I was quite scared. I was hoping the offense would come alive and put up some big numbers which never happend. I felt that if it went into the later innings tied that the Cards would win and the Mets bulpen would blow it. I dont know why I thought that because the bulpen is solid. Go Mets!
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Weaver (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason; 5-4, 5.18 regular season) erased a lot of doubts and answered a lot of questions with a fine showing in Game 2 of the Division Series -- it was the first effective playoff start of his career. It gets harder in this next round, though, as he goes up against an extremely potent lineup, not to mention a lineup that knocked him around less than two months ago. Weaver showed a quality curveball in the Division Series; if he can mix that with the impressive fastball he had in his last two regular season starts, he's got a chance.
Glavine (1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason; 15-7, 3.82 ERA regular season) clearly has found himself in the last month. Battered by the Astros on Sept. 1, he has produced a 4-1 record and 1.88 ERA in six subsequent starts, one of them his six-scoreless inning start against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS. His recent performance (39 base runners and two home runs in 38 1/3 innings) and his pitching in the first half of his season -- he went to the All-Star Game with an 11-2 record -- suggest he is a greater force at age 40 than he is generally thought to be.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
When the Mets drew the Dodgers as their first postseason opponent in six years, the popular sense was that they hadn't dodged a bullet -- that the Dodgers were the most dangerous of three possible October opponents, if only because they had played more competitively in winning the National League Wild Card than the Padres and Cardinals did in winning division championships.
Moreover, the Padres' lineup hardly seemed equipped to exploit the Mets' weakened pitching, and the diminished Cardinals had struggled to retain their NL Central lead that once seemed so secure.
Not everyone saw it that way, though. The Cardinals represented an unclear and present danger, more battle-tested and more likely to "go off" than either California entry, for one primary reason: Albert Pujols. There was also a secondary reason: Chris Carpenter.
Neither the Dodgers nor Padres had such weapons at their disposal. And, for that matter, the Mets, with all their firepower and the diminished pitching, didn't either.
Together in a best-of-five series, Pujols and Carpenter were a tandem fortress, standing as tall as the Arch and running as powerfully as the mighty Mississip, and nothing that occurred during the Cardinals' four-game disposal of the Padres did anything to dispel that impression.
David Wright was quite busy dealing with the Dodgers, but he couldn't help but notice that Pujols had gone off. The Mets third baseman puts little stock in coincidence.
"I didn't see much of their Game 4," Wright said Monday. "So I don't know what he did when they won. But I don't think it was by chance that St. Louis won the first two games when Albert was red hot, and that they lost the third one when he was held in check.
"We all know how dangerous he is, what an amazing hitter he is."
Wright described Carpenter as simply "the same pitcher he was last year when he won the Cy Young Award," and knew his personal nemesis had been the pitcher of record in two of the Cardinals' victories.
Any dominant offensive player -- and Pujols is the most dominant in the National League and in the entire 2006 postseason -- poses a greater threat in a best-of-five series than in a best-of-seven, because his skill can affect a greater percentage of the games if he goes off merely twice, as was the case in the Cardinals' sixth NLDS in seven years.
A pitcher of Carpenter's prowess can impact three games in a best-of-seven series. But his pitching seven innings and throwing 104 pitches Sunday eliminated that possibility, as well as the Padres. Carpenter, who started six games and averaged 111 pitches per start in September, won't pitch until Game 3 on Saturday in St. Louis, unless Mother Nature wears red and creates additional days off.
If rain isn't an element, Wright will have two games before he faces the pitcher he finds most challenging, though he has faced Carpenter merely three times. He struck out in all three at-bats against Carpenter on Sept. 8 last year. Wright has struck out three times in a game on 10 occasions in 2 1/2 seasons, but only once did all three come against one pitcher.
No matter the weather, Pujols will be involved every inning. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa regularly makes personnel changes, but not with his No. 3 hitter/first baseman. Pujols is the clear and ever-present danger.
"A threat to take over a game," Wright calls him, acknowledging that the Cardinal slugger can also take over a series -- best-of-five, best of-of-seven or whatever. The Mets don't want to see the best of Pujols.
The Mets players recall the two-homer -- one was a grand slam -- seven-RBI performance he gave at Shea on Aug. 22. They also remember coming back to win that game on Carlos Beltran's walk-off home run.
Tom Glavine, who is to start Game 1 on Wednesday, agrees with the "shorter-the-series, the-greater-the threat" thinking, as it applies to dominant players. But as he said Monday: "Seven games don't make the Cardinals any less scary. They have enough talent that you expect them to play well every game."
Left unsaid was that the Mets didn't have that expectation of the Dodgers -- even in a best-of-five series. The Cardinals are second only to the Mets in talent in the league, with two-dimensional players such as Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds. Rolen's availability is in question because of soreness and fatigue in his surgically-repaired left shoulder.
If he is absent from the lineup or playing compromised, it is a major issue, as Glavine sees it. He regards Rolen in much the same way he regards Pujols.
"If he's right," the veteran said, "he can beat you with his glove or his bat."
Perhaps the Mets won't hit ground balls to third base, but Glavine can't avoid Rolen if he's in the lineup. And as Galvine said, "It's not much joy facing Scott after pitching around Albert."
A lot going on during today's workout at Shea:
* The Mets ran Cliff Floyd through the paces this afternoon. Willie Randolph said he's optimistic, but we could have guessed that. If I were a betting man, I'd say the odds are long for Floyd in this round. Ricky Ledee or Lastings Milledge if he can't go.
* Carlos Beltran said he has an abdominal tear, but it shouldn't hamper him in the NLCS. It's definitely not going to help him.
* The Mets thought about it, and for now Willie Randolph said he'll go with Oliver Perez over Dave Williams in Game 4. GM Omar Minaya opened the Williams door yesterday.
* Orlando Hernandez said he's feeling a lot better and is hopeful for being activated for the World Series if the Mets get that far.
Monday, October 09, 2006
2007 Draft Order:
1. Devil Rays (61-101) 11. Mariners (78-84) 21. Blue Jays (87-75)
2. Royals (62-100) 12. Marlins (78-84) 22. Dodgers (88-74)
3. Cubs (66-96) 13. Indians (78-84) 23. Padres (88-74)
4. Pirates (67-95) 14. Braves (79-83) 24. Angels (89-73)
5. Orioles (70-92) 15. Reds (80-82) 25. White Sox (90-72)
6. Nationals (71-91) 16. Rangers (80-82) 26. Athletics (93-69)
7. Brewers (75-87) 17. Astros (82-80) 27. Tigers (95-67)
8. Rockies (76-86) 18. Cardinals (83-78) 28. Twins (96-66)
9. Diamondbacks (76-86) 19. Phillies (85-77) 29. Mets (97-65)
10. Giants (76-85) 20. Red Sox (86-76) 30. Yankees (97-65)
The Mets got through their NL Division Series without their full complement of starters. Now, New York might have to get through the rest of the postseason without its starting left fielder.
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
97 11 44 45 .324 .244
Cliff Floyd, who has been on and off the disabled list this season with various leg injuries, was forced to leave New York's clinching 9-5 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night when he pulled up lame after scoring from first on Shawn Green's double in the third inning.
While the team has listed Floyd as day-to-day with a strained Achilles tendon, his status for the NLCS, which begins Wednesday, is doubtful.
"I was thinking maybe I played my last game of the season," Floyd told the New York Daily News after the game.
"The good news is that I've got Monday and Tuesday to get treatment before we play again," Floyd said in his blog on MLB.com. "And I've already started treatment with ice. I'll be wearing one of those boots again. I don't know, maybe it'll get better in two days. If it doesn't, I'll deal with it. Someone already suggested to me that I could be the DH if we get into the World Series."
A Mets source told ESPN's Steve Phillips that the team would consider playing Floyd, even if he is less than 100 percent, if he is mobile enough to play.
The Mets have until 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to set their roster for the NLCS.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
John "Buck" O'Neil, one of a handful of survivors from the Negro Leagues, grew up too soon to benefit during his life's prime from a country that went on to dismantle the color barrier that stood in front of him.
Yet he'd often tell people, "I was right on time." He'd say his life was absent regrets, and that's a belief that might well be O'Neil's endearing message to others. It should be a message that Americans, black or white, cling to.
To hold tightly to that message would be the most fitting way to remember Buck O'Neil, who died Friday at a hospital in Kansas City. He was 94.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's words reflected the baseball's world's feelings.
"Major League Baseball is saddened by the passing of Buck O'Neil," Selig's statement read. "Buck was a pioneer, a legend and will be missed for as long as the game is played. I had the good fortune of spending some time with him in Cooperstown a couple of months ago and I will miss his wisdom and counsel. I have asked all clubs to observe a moment of silence before today's games."
"He is the face of the Negro Leagues in many ways," said Bob Kendrick, marketing director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. "For me, personally, he was a dear friend, and I learned so much just being around him."
If any one man deserved to be the face of the too-brief history of "black baseball," O'Neil would be it.
Barred by skin color from a career in the Majors, he toiled in Negro Leagues through its glory years in the 1930s and '40s, but when Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby opened the door to the big leagues in 1947, O'Neil was too old to walk through it.
By then, he'd put away his first baseman's mitt and moved into management. He turned his attention to tutoring black ballplayers for careers in the bigs. In one sense, it might be said that O'Neil helped bury the Negro Leagues.
Viewing the history of black baseball that way might be unfair to O'Neil, whose life wasn't about destroying things but building them. One success after another led to a life in baseball as full and as rich as anyone's.
"No one has promoted baseball like he's done his whole entire life," Hall of Famer George Brett once said. "He's just been a great ambassador for the game, better than Tommy Lasorda. And he's passionate about the game."
Men with passion have no reason for regret, and O'Neil never allowed himself to have regrets anyway. He relished too much about life to bemoan any of its twists and turns.
So he never regretted the racism that denied him opportunities; he never regretted not playing an inning in the Majors; he never regretted not playing under the brightest lights; and he never regretted perhaps the biggest slight of all, not being voted for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Feb. 27, 2006.
Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, expressed sadness in O'Neil's passing.
"Buck O'Neil was one of the greatest ambassadors baseball has ever known. He was a giant of a man whose wisdom, kindness and generosity of spirit will live on forever in all those whom he touched and who touched him."
Still, some felt the legendary O'Neil deserved a spot in the hallowed halls in Cooperstown.
"You think of the Hall of Fame, you think of someone who transcends players and color barriers," Royals star Mike Sweeney said. "Buck O'Neil should be mentioned in that sentence."
Others shared Sweeney's sentiments. The outrage over O'Neil's exclusion proved the talk of baseball for a while. From coast to coast, people wondered aloud how the selection committee hadn't picked O'Neil.
He never shared their outrage.
"But don't weep for Buck," he told a national TV audience afterward. "Just feel happy, like I am, being thankful, like I am, that I can do and have done the things that I did do."
He did a lot in his nine decades on earth. O'Neil, who spoke at the Cooperstown induction of the 17 figures from the Negro Leagues era, built bridges between black and white, and he remained the most steadfast and most vocal ambassador of the entire scope of baseball that has lived in America.
For that alone, O'Neil deserved more than he seemed to get.
"I think he has a right to be a little bit bitter, but there's no bitterness in him," Brett said. "That's what makes him such a great ambassador because he realizes he didn't have the opportunities that some of us white people had, but there's no bitterness in him at all."
O'Neil kept himself too busy to harbor bitterness. From his boyhood to his last days on earth, he remained active in baseball. Since 1990, he had been the public face of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, his brick-and-mortar tribute to the men who played as well as anyone, but were kept in the shadows of the Major Leagues.
He, himself, called the museum, which he and others started on a hope and a prayer, his grandest achievement. Whatever the museum is today is a direct result of O'Neil's unflagging support of its mission -- and of baseball.
The latter was infused in O'Neil early in life. He grew up in the Deep South, working the celery fields of Florida during a period in America where Jim Crow laws held sway. For O'Neil, baseball was his escape from the hard life of a farm worker.
"A steady hitter, O'Neil won the 1946 Negro American League batting title with an average of .353 to lead the Monarchs to another pennant," wrote baseball historian James A. Riley in "The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues."
O'Neil played baseball in Cuba and Mexico, and he managed the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro Leagues powerhouse, through some of its best years. He later coached and scouted for the Chicago Cubs, though he never got an opportunity to manage in the bigs.
In the 1950s and '60s, the Major Leagues weren't ready for that barrier to fall. But it did fall during O'Neil's lifetime, just as so many other barriers did in America. For some, it seems unfair that O'Neil didn't benefit personally from much of it.
O'Neil never said it, though.
In his autobiography "I Was Right On Time," he recalled a conversation he had with a writer from Sports Illustrated, who asked O'Neil about regrets.
"There is nothing greater for a human being than to get his body to react to all the things one does on a ballfield. It's as good as sex; it's as good as music. It fills you up. Waste no tears for me. I didn't come along too early -- I was right on time.
"You see, I don't have a bitter story. I truly believe I have been blessed."
So has everybody else whose life O'Neil touched.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Who's hot: The 4-5-6 hitters in the Mets' lineup (Carlos Delgado, David Wright and Cliff Floyd) are 10-for-24 with four runs scored and six RBI. Floyd's swing in particular looks a lot better, perhaps aided by a cortisone shot he had in the final week of the season. He has hit in seven straight games dating back to the end of the regular season.
Who's not: Jose Valentin and Carlos Beltran are each 0-for-5, but they have contributed in other ways. Beltran has worked pitchers for four walks, while Valentin has scored two runs.
Outlook: The Mets gave themselves a nice cushion with two wins in New York but now are faced with pitching Steve Trachsel and Oliver Perez on the road. The pair allowed 17 runs in 11 innings against Los Angeles this season.
Tom Glavine delivered in a big way in his first postseason start as a Met, blanking the Dodgers on four hits through six innings to set New York up nicely with a 2-0 NLDS lead. Jose Reyes drove in two, while Paul Lo Duca and Julio Franco added RBIs in support of Glavine and a solid 'pen. mets.com
Good game, tonight. The mets had a pretty dominating performance. Glavine pitched like I acspected, amazing. I was quite pleased to see the mets played small ball and still scored 4 runs. Game three thursday.... Lets Go for the SWEEP!
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Surprise! Kuo, a rookie who went 1-5 with a 4.22 ERA this season, but who impressed in five late-season starts after relieving for much of the season, will replace veteran Greg Maddux as the Game 2 starter. Kuo had a dominant starting debut against the Mets, fanning seven in six innings.
Experience isn't always the asset it appears to be. Glavine (15-7, 3.82) has a postseason resume that is long but spotted, particularly in the last 10 years. His last 15 postseason starts -- those from 1997 forward -- have yielded a 4-9 record and 4.40 ERA. Postseason strike zones are not so liberal, and they and opponent's October-enhanced patience worked against Glavine even before Ques-Tec. But it's hardly as though he is incapable of turning away an opponent for seven or eight innings, especially if the Mets provide him a margin for error. The alarming issue with Glavine is how his effectiveness ebbs from inning to inning. His ERA by inning: 4.50 in the first, followed by 3.30, 4.25, 5.79 and 7.56.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Carlos Delgado went 4-for-5 with a homer, and his seventh-inning single put the Mets up for good in Game 1. David Wright drove in three runs on a pair of doubles and Cliff Floyd homered to back rookie John Maine, who went 4 1/3 in place of Orlando Hernandez.
WOW, What a game. My heart was pumping so hard the entire game. The intensity was incredible and its only the first round. When the relay play occured I jumped out of my seat and screamed in joy. This also happend again when Carlos Delgado crushed a home run. Game 2 tommorow and I can not wait. I believ tommorow the Mets will have an easyer time winning with Glavine on the mound but I am a little bit worried about Kuo, the Lefty starter from the Dodgers.
Today is the day the Mets open their world series run. It will definetly be a more difficult run now that Pedro is out and El Duque could be. I assume John Maine will be pitching today who I feel very confident with. I really like the guy and think he is a good pitcher. Though, it will be tough blow if El Duque is not pitching this postseason. Their rotation would be quite weak only having Glavine, Trach, and Maine with a possibility of throwing Dave Williams. I am still very confident in the Mets and believe they can still beat the Dodgers. Good Luck!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Sports Illustrated picks:
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR:
1. Willie Randolph, Mets. Don't all those teams that didn't think he was ready feel silly now?
NL EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR:
1. Omar Minaya, Mets. Almost everything seemed to work, from the big-ticket items (Wagner, Delgado, Beltran, Pedro Martinez) to the smaller ones (Endy Chavez, Chad Braford, John Maine, Jose Valentin, El Duque).
Monday, October 02, 2006
Tim McClelland, Randy Marsh, John Hirschbeck and Gerry Davis will serve as the umpire crew chiefs for the first round of the playoffs.
Hirshbeck will be at the series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Mets that starts Wednesday in New York. He'll be joined by Ted Barrett, Eric Cooper, Ron Kulpa, Mike Winters and Brian O'Nora.
Who's hot: David Wright hit .371 since Sept. 1 and closed the year with a 12-game hitting streak. Orlando Hernandez closed strong with a 2.01 ERA in his last five starts. Though Billy Wagner was a little bit shaky in September, he has converted his last 18 save opportunities.
Who's not: Carlos Beltran, who says he's playing at about 80 percent due to injury, is hitting .190 since Sept. 1 with two home runs and four RBI in 63 at-bats.
Outlook: The Mets have a history of postseason magic, with each of their six previous appearances in the playoffs producing multiple memorable moments. Their best shot at winning the World Series is to get one of those kinds of wins and ride it all the way through October. Players to watch include Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca, both of whom have had lengthy careers without any postseason experience.
No introduction needed. Here are 100 reasons we're going to love this year's baseball playoffs.
1. Anything can happen. Since 1990, only one team that had the best regular-season record has won the World Series (the 1998 Yankees).
2. More proof that anything can happen: We will have the sixth different World Series champion in six seasons; if the Yankees don't win, it will be the seventh different champ in seven years.
3. Alex Rodriguez hoping to erase a difficult regular season to become Mr. October for the Yankees. (FYI: A-Rod's career postseason numbers: .305 BA/.393 OBP/.534 Slg.; Derek Jeter's career postseason numbers: .307/.379/.463.)
4. Minnesota ace Johan Santana's changeup.
5. Detroit starter Justin Verlander's fastball.
6. David Wright and Jose Reyes of the Mets. It's not really fair that one team has two young players (both are just 23) this good and this fun to watch.
7. Will the A's avoid another crushing Game 5 loss in the Division Series? They lost in five games to the Yankees in 2000, in five games to the Yankees in 2001, in five games to the Twins in 2002, in five games to the Red Sox in 2003. Amazingly, they are 0-9 in games in which they could have clinched a series.
8. Not being able to sleep for hours after any extra-innings game.
9. The blast of the home crowd on any "strike three" looking to end an inning with two opposing runners on base.
10. The old closers: Trevor Hoffman (Padres) and Mariano Rivera (Yankees).
11. The young closers: Joe Nathan (Twins) and Huston Street (A's).
12. The closers who, if they're your team's closer, make you bite your cuticles until they bleed: Todd Jones (Tigers) and Braden Looper (Cardinals).
13. The possibility of St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols facing Hoffman in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line.
14. Even better: The possibility of Pujols facing Mets closer Billy Wagner in the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line.
15. Kenny Rogers trying to erase his postseason demons. He's 0-3 with an 8.85 ERA in nine career playoff games (five starts), including infamous blowups while with the Yankees in 1996 and Mets in 1999. In fact, the Tigers will start Rogers in Game 3 in Detroit to avoid his starting at Yankee Stadium.
16. The potential of Torii Hunter of the Twins and Mike Cameron of the Padres making two web gems apiece each game.
17. Watching players who you may not have realized had big years, like Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (.304, 24 homers) and Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer (24 homers, 109 RBI).
18. Boof Bonser!
19. The funky delivery of Dodgers closer Takashi Saito. By the way, he's damn good: .177 batting average against, 24 saves, 107/23 strikeout/walk ratio in 78.1 innings.
20. Seeing if El Duque has more playoff magic in his ancient right arm. (He's 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 106 career postseason innings.)
21. Kyle Farnsworth. Guaranteed to cost the Yankees a game.
22. Potential camera shots of Twins catcher Joe Mauer's girlfriend, former Miss USA Chelsea Cooley.
23. Potential camera shots of Tigers manager Jim Leyland stealing a smoke.
24. Potential camera shots of Francisco Liriano chewing his nails in the dugout every time a Twins starter gives up a run.
25. Watching the Smartest Pitcher Who Ever Lived back in the postseason spotlight.
26. And hopefully watching him face ex-teammate Tom Glavine in Game 2 of the Dodgers-Mets series.
27. Bobby Kielty's hair.
28. The possibility of Carlos Beltran doing for the Mets what he did for the Astros in 2004.
29. Making jokes that you don't have the "expressed written consent from Major League Baseball" to talk about last night's game.
30. Graphic of Frank Thomas and his $500,000 salary compared to Paul Konerko ($12 million) and Jim Thome ($14 million).
31. Watching Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez throw bullets to second base.
32. Watching Padres catcher Mike Piazza throw two-hoppers to second base.
33. Joel Zumaya coming in with the bases loaded in a tie game in the bottom of the seventh to face Alex Rodriguez.
34. The potential for Randy Johnson to pitch poorly for the Yankees, leading to clips of Kevin Brown from the 2004 playoffs.
35. The potential for Randy Johnson to dig deep, overcome his back pain, come up with a 13-strikeout game and remind us why he's one of the greatest pitchers ever.
36. Seeing Pedro Martinez root on his Mets teammates, knowing how helpless he must feel.
37. The possibility of Brad Radke pitching Game 4 for the Twins, surviving on guts, Elmer's glue and duct tape.
38. Seeing if Padres reliever Cla Meredith is really as good as his 1.07 regular-season ERA.
39. Gary Sheffield playing first base for the Yanks.
40. Nomar Garciaparra's pursuit of a World Series ring.
41. When Joe Buck reminds you "It's game time, so grab an ice-cold Budweiser."
42. More camera shots of Joe Mauer's girlfriend.
43. The Red Sox aren't in it this year.
44. Neither are the Braves.
45. Highlights of the 1991 World Series anytime the Twins are playing.
46. Tim McCarver talking about David Eckstein's "grit, hustle, heart, determination and hustle."
47. Chris Carpenter's attempt to prove a one-man starting rotation is good enough to lead a team to a World Series title.
48. Jeff Weaver starting Game 3 for the Cardinals. Seriously.
49. The potential of Mike Piazza vs. the Mets or Dodgers in the NLCS.
50. Johan Santana's fastball.
51. Barry Zito's curveball.
52. The inevitable camera shot during a Steve Trachsel start of fans falling asleep in the stands.
53. The camera sweeping across the outer facade of Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, showing the years of all 26 World Series championships.
54. Can Detroit's young guns Justin Verlander and Jeremy Bonderman overcome sluggish finishes? Verlander had a 6.83 ERA in August and 4.82 in September; Bonderman had a 4.87 ERA after the All-Star break.
55. Seeing a guy who hit .341 (Robinson Cano) batting ninth for the Yankees.
56. The deafening noise in the Metrodome.
57. The best fans in baseball showing up in a sea of red in St. Louis.
58. Tony La Russa looking into his little black book for any little possible strategic edge.
59. Seeing it backfire.
60. Seeing Fox pan to the stars of "Vanished" 14 times during Game 2 of the World Series.
61. Coming to the conclusion that if Nick Swisher were an adult film star his stage name would be … Nick Swisher.
62. The feeling of dread (or happiness) when Mariano Rivera starts warming up in the bullpen.
63. Watching Eric Chavez play third base.
64. Derek Jeter rising to the top step of the dugout to pump his fist after a teammate hits a home run.
65. Successfully predicting the number of times an analyst will say Derek Jeter "wills his team to victory."
66. Hoping Jake Peavy's Game 1 start in the Division Series versus the Cardinals this year is more successful than his Game 1 start versus the Cardinals last year (4 1/3 innings, 8 runs). Because the average fan deserves to know he's a very good pitcher.
67. Seeing Chien-Ming Wang's microscopic strikeout rate (just 3.14 per nine innings), wondering how he won 19 games, and then watching him throw groundball after groundball and understanding "that's how."
68. Watching Jose Reyes go from first to third.
69. Running out from work during the day games to catch a couple innings of action.
70. Finding out who Pat Neshek is. (He's a sidearm reliever for the Twins who allowed just 29 base runners in 37 innings and held righty batters to a .140 average.)
71. Finding out how Dodgers rookies Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton react to October pressure.
72. Finding out if this will finally be the year for Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds.
73. Johnny Damon's stance.
74. The possibility of Justin Morneau's hitting one 500 feet, over the baggy at the Metrodome.
75. The probability of A-Rod's failing to advance a runner in scoring position and Fox's showing the clip of Rodriguez slapping the ball away from Bronson Arroyo.
76. Carlos Delgado, with 407 career home runs, finally appearing in the postseason.
77. The top of the first inning of Game 1 of any series.
78. The bottom of the ninth inning with a one-run lead and the other team's 3-4-5 hitters coming up.
79. Johan Santana's slider.
80. Joe Buck telling us that Bruce Bochy's head is so big New Era needs to design a special hat just for him.
81. Possible updates on Carl Pavano and Dmitri Young.
82. Highlights of Kirk Gibson homering in the 1984 World Series whenever the Tigers are playing.
83. Highlights of Kirk Gibson homering in the 1988 World Series whenever the Dodgers are playing.
84. Any rainout that forces back-to-back-to-back playoff games.
85. Wondering if your team's ace can come back on three days' rest or pitch in relief if necessary.
86. Female pop stars wearing official World Series jackets that are five sizes too big when they sing the national anthem.
87. Jason Giambi drenched in sweat after the game's third pitch.
88. Dave Roberts on first base with no outs, ninth inning, trailing by one run.
89. The nervous groan of the home fans after their pitcher walks two hitters in a row.
90. The sarcastic cheering of the home fans when their pitcher throws a strike after walking two hitters in a row.
91. Waking up in the morning and hearing the weather in Detroit or New York is going to be "44 degrees with slight drizzle" and wondering whether your team's starting pitcher likes cold weather.
92. Bernie Williams' curtain calls with the Yankees.
93. Getting to see those highlights of the Dodgers' back-to-back-to-back-to-back shots against the Padres.
94. When a guy who is 2-for-23 in his career against a pitcher rips the game open with a key hit.
95. Did we mention Albert Pujols yet?
96. The fright/roar of the crowd during an F-16 flyover.
97. Wondering who is going to be the hero.
98. Wondering who is going to be the goat.
99. The possibility of Julio Franco, 48 years young, delivering a pinch-hit single in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the World Series to win it for the Mets.
100. And then announcing in the postgame celebration, with tears and champagne flowing from his eyes, that "No, I'm not going to retire. I love this game so much I want to play another year."
Reasons the Dodgers will win:
1. Faith. They believe in themselves after a season of comebacks, both in the standings and on some individual magical nights. Just the right veteran core -- Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal, Kenny Lofton -- to show the way.
2. The Big Three. We've already seen what Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Greg Maddux can weave when they're on. That 16-1 spree into August? What's a hot week compared to that?
3. It's their town. They'll just hire the better scriptwriters. And if they don't like the ending, they'll get new ones.
Achilles' heel: Playing from behind. They aren't equipped for it, never mind the occasional miracle. Like that seven-homer comeback against the Padres -- at that point, that breakout represented 5.3 percent of their season total! Six-inning motto: Ahead or dead.
1. Russell Martin vs. Jose Reyes. The rookie catcher has the footwork and arm to rein in running games, throwing out about a third of those who have tested him. Nothing will change momentum as much as an early rub-out of Reyes.
2. Joe Beimel vs. Carlos Delgado. He's brash, throws hard and is convinced no lefty hitter can get around on him. He'll get the chance to show it.
Darkhorse: Julio Lugo. He's become a bit player in La-La Land, which thrills him to no end. But the former Devil Rays shortstop can bring both speed and pop off the bench, and the spotlight will find him with Grady Little's penchant for managing 20-man games.
Reasons the Mets will win: 1. Power. The Flushing Lumber Company has three boppers who collected more homers than L.A.'s biggest stick. The Dodgers will be huffing and puffing to manufacture runs, and the Mets will ruin all the work with one big swing.
2. Shea Stadium. Between early April and their clincher, only twice did the Mets lose consecutive games at home. The home-field edge (Games 1, 2, 5) is big for them.
3. Preparation. The non-race -- the Mets had a double-digit lead by mid-June -- gave Willie Randolph a chance to plan out everything just the way he wanted. A lot of banged-up guys got to rest up.
Achilles' heel: Has any team ever entered a postseason in direr psychological shape? Regaining the edge isn't part of the new on-demand world. Since the 1998 Yankees became the last team to turn a double-digit division win into a World Series title, 15 runaways have flopped; eight of them didn't even make it out of the Division Series.
And speaking of Achilles' heels -- if Cliff Floyd's takes him back out of the lineup, it will weaken the Mets' biggest advantage, power from the left side.
1. Carlos Beltran vs. his reputation. His 2004 postseason is a tough benchmark, and if he feels the need to live up to it, he could spend the series in a funk. He spent all season winning over New York, and it would be unfair for him to feel like he has to start all over again.
2. Billy Wagner vs. Olmedo Saenz. The confrontation is a given, and the Dodgers' prime pinch-hitter rakes lefties at a .386 rate, including five homers in only 57 at-bats. Wagner's postseason resume is poor: His Astros lost all four Division Series, winning a total of only two games, and he personally has a 7.71 ERA in five appearances.
Darkhorse: Endy Chavez. He lost his spot in right to Shawn Green but, with the condition of Floyd's heel again in question, he might have to step into left field and pick up a big slack. Chavez has pulled his weight all season, batting .300 with good extra-base power, and adds the ingredient of speed.
Prediction: Mets in four games.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
WHAT: The New York Mets will kick off of their 2006 postseason in midtown Manhattan with the "Mets Postseason Rally." Admission is free and fans should enter the event at Seventh Avenue and 51st Street.
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2006, noon to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: SportsNet New York (SNY) Plaza
DETAILS: The "Mets Postseason Rally," in conjunction with Major League Baseball, Mets broadcast partners SNY and SportsRadio 66 WFAN, and CW11 will feature postseason ticket and merchandise giveaways, video highlights from the 2006 Mets National League East Division championship season, music performances, and appearances by Mets legends Mookie Wilson and Jerry Koosman, who, respectively, helped lead the Mets to their 1986 and 1969 World Championships.
The voices of the Mets on television and radio, SNY's Gary Cohen and WFAN's Howie Rose, will serve as the Mets Postseason Rally emcees along with John Muller of the CW11 Morning News and Juan Alicea of WADO 1280AM. The event will be held rain or shine in midtown, regardless of the start time of the Mets' first game of the 2006 National League Division Series at Shea Stadium.
TRAFFIC NOTES: From 4:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
• Closure of 51st Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
• Two left lanes of Sixth Avenue closed between 50th and 51st Streets
Its a shame I cant go... Sounds like fun....
The New York Mets today announced a two-year player development contract with the Savannah Sand Gnats to become the Mets' Single-A South Atlantic League team. The Sand Gnats, most recently an affiliate of the Washington Nationals, will continue to play their games at historic William L. Grayson Stadium, which will undergo a $5 million renovation beginning in the weeks ahead.
"We are excited to relocate one of our minor league clubs to Savannah, which will serve as a vital part in the development of our young players," said Adam Wogan, Director, Minor League Operations, New York Mets. "We thank Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson, City Manager Michael Brown, and the citizens of Savannah for their commitment to renovate Grayson Stadium which will better serve players and enhance the fan experience."
The renovation of Grayson Stadium - scheduled to be completed for Opening Day 2008 - calls for a new playing field, renovated dugouts and clubhouses, the addition of suites, additional concessions, a grass berm in left field, improved party decks, and an upgraded scoreboard. The ballpark opened in 1926 as Municipal Stadium and was rebuilt and renamed in 1941.
I already miss the Hagerstown Suns...
Official Release 9/27/06 mets.com
The New York Mets tonight announced a final sale of 3,510,157 tickets for the 2006 regular season at Shea Stadium, which includes tickets sold for four rainouts (April 8 vs. Florida; June 2 vs. San Francisco; August 27 vs. Philadelphia; September 5 vs. Atlanta).
With tonight's crowd of 34,027, the Mets conclude their 2006 home schedule, attracting 3,379,535, including eight sellouts and 11 crowds in excess of 50,000 at Shea. This year's attendance is up 549,604 from last year's attendance of 2,829,931, a 19% increase.
This year's record attendance breaks the previous mark of 3,047,724 set in 1988.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets to potential 2006 Mets World Series games at Shea Stadium must register on mets.com and losmets.com for their potential ticket purchase opportunity. More than 579,189 fans already have registered for the random drawing.
Official Release 9/25/06 mets.com
The following is the national broadcast schedule for the first four days of the 2006 American League and National League Division Series.
FOX and ESPN will provide complete coverage of all Division Series games, while ESPN Radio will provide national radio coverage. MLB International will be transmitting the entire Division Series to a worldwide audience. In addition, broadcast rightsholders from Japan and Puerto Rico will broadcast live from select Division Series games.
If necessary, TBS will broadcast the tie-breaking game for the Central Division Championship between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros on Tuesday, October 3.
The remainder of the Division Series schedule will be announced later this week.
2006 DIVISION SERIES
(ALL TIMES EASTERN AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
Scenario #1- NL Central Tie-Breaking Game Needed Between St. Louis & Houston on Tuesday
Tuesday, October 3rd
1:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 1, Oakland Athletics @ AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins), ESPN
4:00 p.m.: NL Central Tie-Breaker, St. Louis Cardinals @ Houston Astros, TBS
8:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 1, AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ New York Yankees, FOX
Wednesday, October 4th
1:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 2, Oakland Athletics @ AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins), ESPN
4:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 1, NL Wild Card (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres) @ New York Mets, ESPN
7:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 2, AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ New York Yankees, ESPN
10:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 1, NL Central Champion (Houston Astros or St. Louis Cardinals) @ NL West Champion (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres), ESPN
Thursday, October 5th
4:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 2, NL Central Champion (Houston Astros or St. Louis Cardinals) @ NL West Champion (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres), ESPN
8:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 2, NL Wild Card (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres) @ New York Mets, FOX
Friday, October 6th
4:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 3, AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ Oakland Athletics, ESPN
8:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 3, New York Yankees @AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins), ESPN
Scenario #2- St. Louis Cardinals Win NL Central BEFORE Tuesday
Tuesday, October 3rd
1:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 1, Oakland Athletics @ AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins), ESPN
4:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 1, St. Louis Cardinals @ NL West Champion (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres), ESPN
8:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 1, AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ New York Yankees, FOX
Wednesday, October 4th
1:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 2, Oakland Athletics @ AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins), ESPN
4:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 1, NL Wild Card (Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego Padres) @ New York Mets, ESPN
8:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 2, AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ New York Yankees, ESPN
Thursday, October 5th
4:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 2, St. Louis Cardinals @ NL West Champion (Los Angles Dodgers or San Diego Padres), ESPN
8:00 p.m.: NLDS Game 2, NL Wild Card (Los Angles Dodgers or San Diego Padres) @ New York Mets, FOX
Friday, October 6th
4:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 3, AL Central Champion (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins) @ Oakland Athletics, ESPN
8:00 p.m.: ALDS Game 3, New York Yankees @ AL Wild Card (Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins
It is the time of year when baseball tells its own stories, when the meek inherit the Earth in the form of a Buddy Biancalana or a Larkin. That's why you watch. But in the meantime, here are some interesting storylines entering the Division Series:
Yes, that guy managing the Dodgers is the same Grady Little who managed Boston to the cusp of a pennant in 2003 before Aaron Boone hit a classic Game 7 ALCS homer to send him packing. Will Little have another shot at Joe Torre's Yankees later this fall? We'll see.
Will Johan Santana and the Twins open their postseason against the A's the way they opened their regular season home schedule against them? It was a three-game sweep of the A's in April at the Metrodome. The A's took three of four from the Twins in Oakland to open the month of June, and then the Twins won two of three at home on Sept. 11-13. So far in 2006, home field has mattered a great deal between these two clubs.
The Mets won't have Pedro Martinez in October because of his surgery. Will they be able to show the same season-long swagger without him? How will youngsters like David Wright and Jose Reyes handle their first postseason?
Jim Leyland won it all as Florida's manager in 1997, and he admitted that it was hard for his Tigers to keep their same intensity level the last week after clinching a berth and just waiting to see whether it was a division or Wild Card berth. Now the road has to go through a Yankees lineup being compared by many to the 1927 Bombers. The Yankees won two of three the last time the teams met at the end of August in the Bronx, and they won three of four in the previous series at Comerica Park from May 29 to June 1.
The Cardinals got close in 2004 but ran into a Boston train, and then last year the Astros knocked them out in the NLCS. Can Tony La Russa find an answer for the loss of closer Jason Isringhausen for the postseason? Will it be one of those rare years when a club opens a new ballpark -- and celebrates a world championship there?
The home-field advantage in the World Series again will go to the AL, because of Michael Young's game-winner in the last All-Star Game. What will that mean this time? It hasn't been especially significant since the rule was adopted for the 2003 season. What may be more significant, though, is the widespread perception that this is the Year of the AL -- witness the Interleague results, the winning percentages, even the Midsummer Classic. Will the Padres get more respect out of the gates than a year ago, and perhaps help the NL make a dent in that AL power perception?
There are many questions, but the identities of the elite eight no longer are among them. The field is set. It's time to play some postseason ball again.
Steve Trachsel was scheduled to fly from Phoenix -- not San Diego, as originally reported -- on Sunday, planning on rejoining the team in New York on Tuesday after attending to a personal matter.
Randolph outlined that he wanted to work most of the bullpen into Sunday's action, naming Billy Wagner, Guillermo Mota and Aaron Heilman as likely participants.
A six-run second inning gave the Mets a win today, allowing them to end the regular season at 97-65. Mets over Nationals 6-1.
A day after the Nats announced that Frank Robinson would not return as manager in 2007, the Hall of Famer was honored in a pregame ceremony prior to the club's season finale against the Mets on Sunday. Robinson spoke to the RFK crowd for 10 minutes.