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I'm Ready for the Season to Start

Mike SteffanosWednesday, March 29, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

The Aaron Heilman / Brian Bannister situation has been resolved, at least for now. Relatively minor controversies remain, unless the Mets decide to go north with Jose Lima or Yusaku Iriki. As fun as it's been to debate all of the moves from this past winter and this spring, it's starting to get a little old. Time to lay the cards on the table and see what all of these moves have wrought.

Aaron Heilman seems to have taken his return to the bullpen with class, which is nothing less than I would expect from him. Even when he was pitching terribly he always seemed like a good kid. My concerns about him being removed from the rotation were always about the best interests of the team. I'm not too worried about Aaron's psyche as some seem to be -- he'll be fine. For what it's worth, I understand the Mets' thinking in trying to build a dominant bullpen. It's funny how some members of the snobbish intelligentsia of baseball writers won't even consider the possibility that this might actually work. If it does, you wonder if they will belatedly give Omar a little credit. Hey, I've been against some of these moves, but it will be worth being proven wrong just to see that.

Now if only I can actually get the opportunity to see these games...

New York Post: Pedro on Bannister
Mark Hale has a great quote from Pedro Martinez on why he is impressed with rookie Brian Bannister:

To be honest, with what I've seen so far, he's ready to pitch. Very cool, very mature for a guy that played in Double-A last year. And pretty good stuff. He knows what he's doing. And he keeps learning and learning every day.

He keeps on asking questions. He's not afraid to do that. He's not afraid to see what he can pick up, and that's the only sign that tells you that he's going to improve more and more every day.

Bergen Record: Aaron Heilman
Steve Popper has a nice piece on yesterday's decision from Heilman's point of view.

Bergen Record: Brian Bannister
Steve Popper also has a great feature from Bannister's point of view.

Bergen Record: Seven Down
Steve Popper also reports on the 7 Mets reassigned to the minor league camp. They were lefty relievers Royce Ring and Juan Perez, Jeff Keppinger, Lastings Milledge, Tike Redman, Todd Self and Sandy Martinez. Ed Coleman was talking about Ring yesterday on WFAN, and said that he actually boosted his stock this spring. Keppinger never really had a chance -- it remains to be seen whether Anderson Hernandez can hit enough to keep the 2B job. Popper reports that Lastings Milledge, who played RF yesterday, will get some experience at that position in Norfolk in the event that Xavier Nady and Victor Diaz don't do the job.

Newark Star-Ledger: A bullpen spot based on merit
Don Burke opines that the struggles of both Jose Lima and Yusaku Iriki may have opened up a window of opportunity for Heath Bell, who has been pitching well. That's an interesting concept -- basing a decision on performance rather than on a contract.

Mets DVDsMore on the 1986 World Series DVD Set

On Mets.com, Bryan Hoch has a story on this collection. I wouldn't buy it for $90 when Amazon.com is selling it for $63, though. If anyone finds this set any cheaper than what Amazon is selling it for, please let me know and I'll pass that along.

MetsBlog is running a contest where they will giving away a set of those DVDs for free every day from today through Friday. Free is, of course, always the best price. Check out their contest here.

New York Mets: 1986 World Series
A&E Home Video
9 DVD Set

DVD Set Page on New Video's web site

1986 World Series DVD Set on Amazon.com

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets
Pro Sports Daily Mets

Comments (6)

I am miffed $$$$+++####@@@

Contrary to our faithfull, I can see VZ as our season saviour already. Yes he can win 14-17 gms and be a 1-2 with Pedro. But glavine and Traxx are no-gos. I hope Omar continues his purge and trades Traxx early for a reliver, then re-insert heilman. Presently Pedro-VZ-then Bannister and Heilman are our best performers.

I miss Seo. Again Glavine-Traxx-Seo are 2003/2002 rotation partners and Seo performed as well as either. Then again Duaner Sanchez is the reason for believing we will win more ball games in 06, when in 05 roberto, (koo) and Loop were losing an approximate 15-20 gms in the 8th/9th innings.

conspiracy: Kepp won the job. but might be too good. Willie needs to give Kaz a chance to win the 2nd base job. But then again I still believe Kepp will be back. Diaz has not lost his fight either.

I hear you. What bothers me the most is how many guys Glavine is walking this spring. You have to give him and Trax a chance to pitch real games but both make me nervous with their springs.

If they're not going to give Keppinger a shot I wish they would trade him. He seems like too good a guy to keep gettings f---ed over. I like AH more than you but I thought they would go with Keppinger and the experience at the beginning.

Glavine and Traxx have a BAD track record as Mets. I for one thought Glavine should be traded and Al leiter retained. Al would be pitch 5-6IP filled with walks but you could not hit him. (ditto for VZ).

Glavine is VERY hittable and Traxx is worse. traxx's curve has no bend and his 85mph FB makes all-stars HR hitters out of Cesar Izturis, Jose Lopez and Jorge Cantu.

Kepp will be OK. I'm glad they did not release him. BUT note to Mike. Xavier has cooled markedly, and now Lastings is auditioning in RF.

all diaz needs to do is run an xtra lap, take xtra BP. He'll be OK. Note I see Nady getting his AB's at all 3 OF spots and 1B. Woodward I expect to be traded and Kep come up and play 2nd while AHern rides pine, plays 2nd SS and PR.....

We need another starter and I can see Traxx traded for Affeldt if the deal can be sweeten (add Ahern, then another prospect from KC).

Note to Ed. I like Diaz over Nady, too -- always have. I get frustrated with Diaz, but Nady looks like a bench/platoon type guy. Guess we'll find out.

You just want to trade AH in the worst way...

Conspiracy theory: AH is excess, and he's being hyped as a viable alternative to Milledge in a trade. I can see Floyd and AH traded together, or AH and Nady, because we MUST have a top starter by June 1st.

I don't think anyone in baseball puts that much value on AH right now. You just want him out of town in the worst way, don't you?

All kidding aside, I'd hate to see them trade Floyd at this point. I think he's important to team chemistry. Nady has to prove he can hit RHP before he has much value.

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