Archive for December, 2008

Mets Turn Their Attention to Starting Pitching

December 31, 2008

When I heard the breaking news regarding a three year deal worth $36 million that was offered to Derek Lowe, the name, Tom Glavine, came to mind. Again, here is a proven starter with post season experience who is riding out the back end of his career. Unlike Glavine, who was striving for baseball immortality in capturing his 300th victory, Lowe’s major concern is to get back to the East Coast.

“With me, it’s all about winning,” Lowe said. “I’ve already had contact with clubs that are interested, but they’re not ready to win.”

Prior to the winter meetings, Lowe’s agent, Scott Boras had high hopes for his client. Short of a private helicopter to shuffle his “top priority” back and forth to the Hamptons, Boras was negotiating for a contract that fell in the range of $90 million over five years. With those criteria, Boras’ intentions for Lowe are for him to finish out his career while earning $18 million a year.

“Scott is looking out for my best interest. He’s done exactly what I’ve been talking about,” added the former Dodger pitcher who will turn 36, next spring.

Mets’ GM Omar Minaya, apparently, thought otherwise. With respect to New York’s offer, the Mets’ brass felt that Lowe’s credentials would only warrant a price tag of $12 million a season.

When you look at Lowe’s overall numbers, the one interesting statistic that jumps out at you is that since 2002, he has started an average of thirty-three games per season. Lowe’s durability stems from his relaxed style of pitching which has earned him the luxury of avoiding any extended period of time on the disabled list. His body of work has evoked many a ground ball which is what makes him so appealing to a Mets’ ball club who witnessed they share of fly balls last season, i.e.; Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Marquis’ grand salami on September 21st against young lefty Jonathon Niese.

“The team with the best chance of winning, year in and year out is where I want to go,” Lowe said.

For his career, Lowe has won more games than he has lost amassing a 126-107 won-lost record. In the past two seasons, he has equaled his strikeout total at 147.

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Move Over Mariano

December 31, 2008

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The Mets’ newly-acquired free agent, closer Francisco Rodriguez, participated in his first New York press conference earlier this month. And, I must say. I was thoroughly impressed. He showed no lack of self-confidence and reinforced his competitiveness. When asked how he would tackle the transition of pitching in New York. He replied, “I’m a city boy.”

Rodriquez, who grew up in Caracas, Valenzuela’s largest city, gave his assurance to the media that the bright lights of the Big Apple would not faze him. “I welcome the challenge and will make the necessary adjustments,” he added. When the topic regarding his over-the-top celebrations upon closing out games was addressed, he proceeded without hesitation by stating, “I do it for the fans and I feed off of their energy.”

Rodriguez’ herky-jerky motion has recently been a cause for concern in which some have speculated that it may lead to a possible injury. In K-rod’s defense, he replied, “this aspect of the game is out of my control.” Some scouts feel that Rodriguez has lost a little off his fastball. But, overall, he says he feels comfortable and has worked hard in perfecting his secondary pitch; a lethal change-up which is also shared by one if his new teammates, Johan Santana.

Santana, who is also from Valenzuela, is a master of the change-up and probably would not hesitate in advising Rodriquez with a few pointers on how to make it even more deceptive to hitters.

This is Our Last Goodbye

December 27, 2008

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After reading an article regarding the preliminary talks with free agent pitcher Derek Lowe, I took a look at the updated aerial views which allow for you to see the current demolition of Shea Stadium. If you haven’t seen them by now, the area which housed the field level seats has been carted away. Perhaps to a landfill in which a seagull has choked on some popcorn kernels left over from the Shea Goodbye ceremonies or a peanut shell that had still been lodged inside one of the seats. It’s just a matter of time when we will be able to witness the dismantling of the upper deck section of the ballpark and bring the overall project to a close. I would think.

The thought of never seeing another Mets’ game at Shea Stadium only began to dawn on me when those orange seats were exonerated. For some reason, watching the field disappear before my eyes; didn’t bother me. I had never been lucky enough to make my way onto the actual grass.