11/08/2005 03:22:00 PM
Buster Onley of ESPN writes a blog for the website but unlike my blog which is free like the pennysaver and those little cards for strip clubs given out on 8th Ave, Onley's is a pay per view service which it seems ESPN is including more and more of it's former free reads on the pay site Insider.
The other day Onley took a look at the Mets and what they need to do this off season of course Buster states some obvious observations like the team needs to make the playoffs in 2006 (really? why we Mets fans are a paitent bunch!) since I can't link right to the page I can give you a few snippets as I have retained the law firm of Beatem,Cheatem, and Fuckem LLP to help me if I get sued for any copyright infirngment:
[The Braves again seem vulnerable, with their continued problems in their bullpen and with the possible departure of shortstop Rafael Furcal. The Marlins could have an ugly offseason, with general manager Larry Beinfest forced to consider a trade of slugger Carlos Delgado to meet a budget that Beinfest won't discuss. The Nationals are in the process of being sold, and the 2006 general manager -- whether it's Jim Bowden or Theo Epstein -- will be forced to work with a barren farm system, a mediocre base of major league talent and perhaps some financial restrictions. The Phillies could be improved, but they have a significant personnel problem at first base and a precarious situation at the back end of their bullpen.]
Until the Mets take a season series from the Braves they are the favorites to win the NL East, Uncle Leo or no Uncle Leo. The Marlins will never let Carlos Delgado get near Shea Stadium and I don't think Delgado has the balls to play in NYC anyway. Which will happen first, Bush removes troops from Iraq or MLB finds a buyer for the Nats? The Phightin' Phillies phrighten me now that they have a GM with brains but can the match Freddy Skills Sets and his TV empire that will line his pockets with dead presidents. Yes the Mets did improve last season and it's playoffs or bust in'06
[First and foremost: Their bullpen is an abyss, a blank slate. They need to identify a closer and three quality middle guys. Some of the solutions could develop from within, but it's evident they will have to use the bulk of their available resources to plug their bullpen hole.]
An abyss? A blank slate? I guess Buster didn't get the pleasure of watching to many Mets games last season. Two things hurt the Mets pen, Braden Looper's inabilty to save a big game and Willie Randolph's pig headedness in his use of relievers.
Yes a closer is at the top of the Omar Minaya shopping list and as you could see by the break neck speed he went to visit his number one target Billy Wagner when free agent hunting season opened. But what about the job turned in by Aaron Heilman, Jose Padillia and Roberto Hernandez? Not to mention the ability shown by Heath Bell and Royce Ring who for some reason were shuned like bad Amish kids by Randolph? There are very good relievers out there at a low price, hopefully Old School Omar gets some New School help in finding them.
[They need a catcher, to replace Mike Piazza. Maybe it'll be Bengie Molina, or Ramon Hernandez. But that'll cost a lot, as well, because they can't afford to go the cheap route; they have to get an established guy who can do all the necessary defensive work, plus add the offense. ]
The more I look at Molina and Hernandez and the next Japanese knock off Kenji Jojima the more I like signing Brad Ausmus and teaming him Ramon Castro and taking the money saved and using it to intice some team to take Kazuo Matsui.
[If I were in Minaya's shoes, I would look to trade Cliff Floyd right now, while his value is high. Over the last 10 seasons, Floyd has had only four in which he's played in more than 121 games, and now he's coming off a year in which he played 150 games, slammed 34 homers and drove in 98 runs.
He'll be 33 years old, he's a good guy, he's slated for free agency next fall, he's making a reasonable salary of about $7 million next year; he's never going to have this much value, and he's always high risk. You watch Floyd run and move stiffly around the field, you cringe, wondering if he's about to blow out; he'll be a full-time designated hitter within three years. He never has fit in Shea Stadium, where outfield defense is very much necessary. The Mets should move him now and try to get a couple of good hard-throwing arms, then turn around and use the savings to get a younger, left-handed hitting outfielder -- Jacque Jones, formerly of the Twins, would be a perfect fit. ]
Hey Buster, I've only been preaching this one since last July. The odds are mighty large that Cliffy will have a repeat of 2005 in '06 but the one thing that may help in keeping him is if or when he goes down then Lastings MIlledge could be brought up at placed in LF. Now if Minaya can move Floyd for a live body during the winter then go for it but if he doesn't then we have a teriffic replacement in reserve.
[Then you go to Carlos Beltran and you tell him: Look, we're trying to win, and our best defensive outfielder on the roster is Mike Cameron. We're putting Cameron back in center and you move to right field. You are still The Man, the guy getting the most money, and when Cameron leaves, you go back to center. But with an outfield of Jones, Cameron and Beltran, the Mets would have the best outfield defense in the majors, well-suited to serve the pitching staff. ]
This will never happen. Minaya brought Beltran here to be the face of the Mets and he will do whatever he can to make 2006 a more comfortable season for Beltran. If Beltran wants the home games to start at 10 AM then so be it. If he wants the Puerto Rican flag on the centerfield flag poll then hoist it up! If he wants his wife to have an arozz con pollo consession on the Field Level set it up! Anything to get this guy playing like he did in the 2004 post season.
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