Posts Tagged ‘Carlos Delgado’

Delgado Admits He’s Not Afraid to Slide

January 5, 2010

Mets former first baseman Carlos Delgado’s baseball career is finally moving in the right direction. The perennial slugger went 1-for-4 on Sunday in a late-season Puerto Rico Winter League game for the Carolina Giants. Playing on artificial turf, the 37-year-old has been relegated to DH duties. Delgado, however, will be able to brush up at first base when his team plays on natural grass.

Mets.com reports that the Mets organization, for the moment, does not have the Puerto-Rican native in their 2010 plans. The website also reports that only the Baltimore Orioles have displayed any interest in the veteran first baseman.

Being that Delgado is on borrowed time, the thought of bringing him back for more than one season is not highly recommended. Although, I was impressed at how successful he was in making the necessary adjustments at the plate during the latter part of 2008 and early 2009, his season was cut short by a hip impingement and hampered by a strained oblique.

If Delgado is healthy, I don’t see why the Mets wouldn’t bring him back. His unassuming leadership in the clubhouse and left-handed power coming off the bench could help a Mets team who managed just 95 home runs last year.

With Delgado’s assignment in Puerto Rico finally off the schnide, I’m anxious to see how much impact he can bring to the table these next few weeks.

Advertisements

Latest Setback for Delgado Opens Up a New Can of Worms

May 17, 2009

When news broke that Mets cleanup hitter Carlos Delgado was headed to the disabled list with what doctors were calling an impingement of the right hip, the main concern for Mets fans was who would fill the first baseman’s shoes. Since Delgado was brought over to the club, he has provided the Mets with much needed firepower to the number four slot in their lineup. With 473 career homeruns, Delgado was hoping that this season would be the year in which he would hit that all-important 500th homerun.

However, if the Mets opt for surgery for Delgado, he could see an extensive amount of time away from the ballclub. Such a decision might ultimately put that elusive homerun in jeopardy and prolong the feat for another year. Unfortunately for Delgado, he may not be able to afford to wait that long. This recent injury has also raised the question as to whether the organization will resign the two-time All Star to another long-term contract. My feeling is that Delgado, who will turn 37 in June, most likely would not be guaranteed more than a two year deal, if anything at all.

In his stead, the Mets have looked for their number three, four, and five hitters to carry the offensive load. In the last three games, Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield, and David Wright have gone 22 for 38 (.578 BA). During that stretch, Wright has produced nine RBI and has stolen five bases. He is now batting .350. Sheffield, who was batting .196 after Wednesday’s game, is now batting .270.

If the current heart of the Mets order can continue to perform offensively the way they have been, Delgado’s absence, however long it may be, will not seem as devastating.

Six in a Row Would Be Nice, Too

May 9, 2009

One if not the most important aspect for a hitter is his ability to see the ball well on its way towards home plate. Mets cleanup hitter, first baseman Carlos Delgado reiterated that point last night by going 3 for 4 including a whopping three-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning that put the Mets up, 6-2, and the game out of reach. Delgado, who also drove in two more runs in the first inning with a single, finished the night with a total of 5 RBI. Unfortunately, for one or two other Mets players, being able to locate the baseball was not so easy.

With a runner on second and the score, 2-1, in favor of the Mets, Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth hit what seemed like a routine fly ball to right-center field. Mets Carlos Beltran began drifting under it. Right fielder Ryan Church had a beat on it, too. As the two outfielders converged under the ensuing popup, the ball landed to the right side of Beltran allowing the tying run to score. After the game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel was in good spirits. However, he felt that the Mets defense was somewhat lacking in some areas. Hmm, I wonder what areas he was speaking of.

The Mets, again, received another solid performance from their starting pitching. This time, from an unlikely source their young left-hander, Jon Niese. Niese pitched six strong innings in which he failed to surrender a walk. Right-hander Bobby Parnell earned the victory, the first win of his career, with another impressive outing in the eighth. With a Philadelphia win last night, the Mets still remain a half game out of first place in the ultra-competitive NL East. The Mets will try and continue their winning ways this afternoon at Citi Field.

Avoiding a Total Meltdown, K-Rod Solidifies His Role with Mets

May 6, 2009

On his way out towards the mound last night in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez looked up at the score and noticed that his team was up by three runs. For Rodriguez, closing out a game with that type of margin constitutes not only a job well done but another save under his belt. However, those of us who have been around prior to the present-day K-Rod era know all too well that when the Mets play the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, anything can happen.

With runners on first and second and two out, the Braves leadoff man Omar Infante hit a routine fly ball in the direction of first base. Mets Carlos Delgado proceeded to camp under it, when something unbelievable happened that made Mets manager Jerry Manuel “age two more years”, as he said, in an instant. Delgado dropped the ball. Kelly Johnson rambled home and the Braves were now within two. When asked how a pitcher handles a situation like that, Rodriguez basically said, “You have to maintain your focus, have a short-term memory, and go after the hitters.”

After surrendering an RBI single to Yunel Escobar which made the score, 4-3, Rodriguez got Chipper Jones to fly out to right and the Mets successfully completed the abbreviated two-game sweep of the Braves. Tonight, weather permitting, the Mets return home to begin another two game series against the owners of first place in the NL East, the Philadelphia Phillies. Scheduled to start for the Mets is their ace, Johan Santana.

For Sheffield and Delgado, There’s a Game within the Game

April 17, 2009

I’m sure most of you have heard of the old saying, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In the case of two Mets veterans this season, forty-year-old Gary Sheffield and first baseman Carlos Delgado, who will turn 38 in June, they have taken that adage and given it a new meaning. Throughout most of their illustrious careers, Sheffield and Delgado have been referred to as sluggers. For any major league player, being labeled a slugger means most likely you’ll age like a fine wine. Why, you ask? Because nine times out of ten, a slugger possesses the ability to hit homeruns, lots of them.

Entering the 2009 season, Sheffield, who is the principal owner of 499 career homeruns and Delgado, who’s no slouch at 469 are both vying for baseball immortality. For them, the one trick they still possess, which is hitting homeruns, hopefully will be enough of an advantage to push them above that almighty 500 home run plateau. As I am writing this particular post, Delgado has just clobbered a 3 balls, no strike pitch to right field putting the Mets up 3-0 in the first inning. In just eight games, Delgado now has three homeruns which raises his career total to 472. As I was saying, the tenure of these two veritable ball players, one who has earned the right as that of a mainstay for the Mets the last three seasons and the other, who was recently acquired at the league minimum for none other than his lethal right-handed bat are both well-deserving of reaching such a demonstrative feat.

It’s now the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mets are losing 6 to 5 to the Padres and Sheffield has been called on to pinch hit. With that, the umpire calls out for the bat boy to switch out the ordinary game balls for specially-marked baseballs that produce an MLB hologram when they’re place under a ultra-violet light. The Mets have never had a player hit their 500th homerun wearing a Mets uniform. Sheffield and his signature waggle could not only be the first one to achieve it but could also tie the game with just one swing. However, the longer it takes him to finalize his quest, the more the elder statesman will be accepted by the Mets faithful. Then again, tying up this ball game would be just as special. What do ya know? Sheffield walks.

I have often felt that baseball’s homerun is somewhat overrated. Nevertheless, the reaction that I receive from witnessing a booming moon shot off the bat of Carlos Delgado is enough to make me reevaluate my opinion. As for Sheffield, I have not had as much exposure as I would’ve liked but I’m sure glad that I’ve been invited along for the ride.

Delgado, Beltran, and K-rod Shine at the WBC

March 16, 2009

If you ask any Mets fan who the face of the Mets organization is, most of them would probably respond with shortstop Jose Reyes and third baseman David Wright. If you went further and asked who also is an integral part of the ballclub, the answer might be centerfielder Carlos Beltran or first baseman Carlos Delgado. It’s no coincidence these four players make up the core group of individuals that have been there for the team the last few seasons, day-in and day-out. These same players are also currently participating in or have been involved with this year’s World Baseball Classic.

Looking at their performances thus far in the tournament, Delgado has been the most impressive.

C Delgado PUR: 6 for 10, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SB, .600 BA

C Beltran PUR: 7 for 15, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI, SB, .467 BA

D Wright USA: 5 for 19, 2 R, RBI, .210 BA

J Reyes* DOM: 1 for 9, 2 R, .222 BA

* The Dominican Republic was eliminated in the first round. Therefore, Reyes was unable to participate in the second round of the tournament.

In pitching, Francisco Rodriguez has earned his country’s stripes.

F Rodriguez VEN: 3 G, 3.1 IP, 2 SV, 6 K, 0.00 ERA

N Figueroa PUR: 3 G, 5.0 IP, 4 K, 0.00 ERA

J.J. Putz USA: 2 G, 2.0 IP, SV, 0 K, 4.50 ERA

O Perez MEX: 2 GS, 0-1 W-L, 6.2 IP, 8 K, 9.45 ERA

Athletes from Abroad May Be More Adept at Public Opinion

February 28, 2009

In William C. Rhoden’s Sports of the Times column in the NY Times on Thursday, Rhoden introduced the idea that NBA players chose to look the other way when they were faced with issues that are political in nature. According to the columnist, seventy-five percent of NBA players are African-American and he was disappointed in those players in particular. He felt that their enthusiasm throughout President Obama’s presidential campaign should have been replicated during the outcry concerning the racially-charged cartoon which ran in the NY Post last week.

In defense of the Post, they officially apologized; however, they felt that the meaning of the cartoon was misconstrued. Not to belabor the point of whether the cartoon was racially motivated or just a simple case of a bad joke gone awry, I will attempt to explore Rhoden’s introduction into this very sensitive topic. For arguments sake, we can say that the other twenty-five percent of the NBA’s athletes are made up of foreign-born players mixed in with Caucasian-Americans.

At this point, you are probably wondering why anything pertaining to the NBA is being discussed on a NY Mets blog. After dissecting Rhoden’s column, I thought of Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado, as a Toronto Blue Jay, defiantly staying in the dugout during the playing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. Delgado, at that time, was opposed to the use of the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico as a bombing target practice facility by the United States Department of Defense.

In Rhoden’s assessment, Delgado exercised exactly what a man with some clout should do. Perhaps, one could say that piggy-backing a cartoon as a chance to voice your own opinion could seem a bit childish. In Delgado’s case, his threat was a tad more imminent. The crux of the matter is that American athletes may not feel a sense of urgency as much as their foreign counterparts do when asked to voice their position.

One speculation for the lack of public opinion may be that our nation’s athletes now reside within an economic stratosphere that shares no relation with the majority of their constituency. Quite simply, they can’t relate. To project a strong opinion just to exercise one’s God-given rights may place a particular athlete in unfamiliar territory.

As the preliminary rounds of the World Baseball Classic are set to begin on March 5th, sixteen teams from all over the world will be competing for the duration of three weeks to see who the ruler of the baseball world is. This competition could be seen as a way for Americans to satisfy their craving for our national pastime. The rest of the world will be eager to utilize the Classic as a political platform to help elevate those who share in a similar struggle.

For foreign athletes who participate in American-based sports, the motivation to express one’s personal opinion embodies virtue and honor. Their platform will be more accepted than scrutinized.

To read Rhoden’s original article click here,
On Some Subjects, Athletes Prefer a Silent Approach

Delgado Has A Lot to Look Forward to This Year

February 21, 2009

Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado wears number 21, coincidentally the same number as the greatest Puerto Rican-born major league baseball player, Roberto Clemente. When Delgado was asked if he felt that every baseball stadium should honor Clemente’s 21, as they do for Jackie Robinson’s number 42, he answered without hesitation, “I would love to see it.” Delgado who turns 37 this season is playing his fourth year as a Met. At season’s end, he may be looking at more than five hundred homeruns for his career. He only needs to hit thirty-one more to reach that plateau.

“It’s quite flattering,” Delgado said regarding his admission into a very elite club. “When I get there, we will celebrate then.”

Delgado hit the bulk of his homeruns while playing with the Toronto Blue Jays. From 1996-2004, he averaged thirty-six homers a year. In just nine seasons, he collected a total of 324 homeruns. For Delgado, his performance north of the border is what has stayed with baseball fans most. The reception he has received at times from his present fans has not always been as settling.

“It sucks when you’re not getting any hits and you have fifty thousand people booing you,” he said.

The first half of the season for Delgado last year was considered a definite low-point of his career. “I wasn’t afraid or scared that I was losing it because I knew what I was doing wrong,” Delgado explained. “I wish there was something wrong physically. There was nothing wrong. My bat speed was there. It was just a bad swing,” he added.

Delgado has elected to participate in this year’s World Baseball Classic which opens up in his native country of Puerto Rico. Not only is he excited about the opportunity to be representing his homeland but the Clemente family has expressed that they would be honored if he was to wear the Hall of Famer’s number 21 during the tournament.

“We understand what the Clemente legacy means,” Delgado said, “They [the Clemente family] were generous enough to allow me to wear the number.”

Nobody knows where Delgado will be blasting his famous jaw-dropping home runs next year. But for now, he seems content as he approaches what may be his most memorable season as a baseball player.

“I’m gonna go out there, play the game, and hit the ball hard,” Delgado stated. “We’ve got a great ball club; we don’t care about what other people say.”