Monday, April 18, 2005

Take a Break

Pedro looked great on Saturday. He was everything that we hoped it would be. Mets fans, baseball fans in general, need to remember that in the business of baseball, that if Saturday turns out to be the turning point in the Mets' fortunes, then Pedro is worth what ownership paid him -- as a financial matter, not as a baseball matter.

That would be true even if Pedro's last year looks as bad as Mike Piazza's last year is beginning to look. It is clear to me that Piazza is not good for more than 100 games. Piazza was paid a lot of money to restore the franchise, and he did his job. The fact that some of that money is being paid out this year should not make much of a difference to the accountants. Or to the folks at WFAN

If I were the Mets, I wouldn't worry about trading Piazza. It is better theatre to let him play out the string. Besides, it is not that good of an era for catchers or for the relief pitcher that the Mets are going to want to trade Piazza for.

Saturday's game had almost a mythic quality to it. Superhuman power vanishing, embarrassing behind the plate, Piazza summons up the last bit of strength to get the ground rule double that redeemed himself and put the contest back to where the younger man could grab it and win it. What a last hurrah!

Unfortunately, that younger man, Castro, may have had his last hurrah on Saturday as well. He's not that good.

Hopefully, Floyd and Cameron can come back, and the Mets can trade one of them for the relief pitcher the Mets need. I kind of think that Victor Diaz will be able to play the outfield full-time.

Of course, after watching Danny Kolb melt-down on Sunday night baseball last night, it is possible that the Mets already have all the available relief pitching out there.

Back in the day, when you needed bullpen help, and you were serious about winning a pennant, you would take your fireballer out of AAA, make him your spot-starter and situational reliever. Even though the kid might need a little more minor-league seasoning, it was considered more important that he come up and help the big league club. The 1969 Mets had a guy like that -- Nolan Ryan.

Nowadays, they wouldn't bring him up. What if he runs out of options? What if he becomes eligible for arbitration a year too soon?

Ah well.

Meanwhile, with the Mets grabbing a positive headline for the first time in years, an eruption by Mt. St. George was inevitable.

Tim McCarver seems to be a persona non grata in my circle these days, as well as in many others. However, McCarver always used to say that when the 1968 Cardinals built a 3-1 lead against the Tigers in the World Series -- and did not win that series, the team never recovered. The best team in the National League in 1967-68, arguably (with the Dodgers) the best team in the National League from 1964-1968, they were a non-factor in 1969, allowing some new teams -- like the New York Mets --to emerge.

Could the Yankees be suffering from that sort of letdown as well?

Time to take a break. Back in May.