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In the News

Mike SteffanosMonday, August 28, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


The game is close to starting, so I'll pass on a full posting this morning. Here are a few items you may find to be of interest.

NY Times: Endy
Ben Shpigel offers up another fine profile of Chavez. After more than 35 years as a fan, Chavez impresses me as one of the most fundamentally sound ballplayers who ever played for this team. Everything he does in the field is textbook, from positioning himself on throws to getting jumps on balls. His baserunning is practically flawless, also. If I had a child who I wanted to teach how to play the game right, I'd put together a highlight tape of Chavez.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Trouble in paradise
Jeff Schultz interviews John Smoltz, and the Braves' right-hander is none too happy with GM John Schuerholz, and isn't afraid to vocalize said unhappiness, including referring to Schuerholz as "homeboy upstairs." I thought we were supposed to be the team with dissention, and they were supposed to be about nothing but love.

Hat tip to Buster Olney's ESPN.com blog for the link.

Metsville.com: No Free Pics
Vinny exposes how getting a "free picture" taken at the game is not free.

Shea Faithful: Matt Meyers Interview
Pat interviews Baseball America's Matt Meyers on the Mets' top prospects.

Faith and Fear in Flushing: Beltran for MVP
Greg makes a case for the Mets' centerfielder as league Most Valuable Player. Prediction: the anti-New York bias will rear its ugly head again. At least someone more deserving than Kirk Gibson will win it this year, allowing the voters to not completely embarrass themselves.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Continuous Mets Coverage:
MetsBlog
Hot Foot

Comments (4)

"All I know is, after these last two years and with my desire to work out, I’ve got two or three more years, easy. I used to always be of the mind-set that, ‘If it’s not here, it won’t be anywhere else.’ But that’s not the case any more. I’ll pitch somewhere else."

Sounds like there's a shot Smoltz may sign with the Mets next year. Glavine would have to stick around to have any chance of convincing the Atlanta ace. It's an intriging prospect to have Martinez, Glavine, and Smoltz backed up by two young guns Maine and Pelfrey (or Perez). The thing with Smoltz is, if he starts wearing down, you can sit out out for a week and then have him come back as your co-closer. Fireballing righty AND lefty relief pitchers on the same team can't hurt, you know?

The knock on Chavez coming into the season was that his swing was "too long." More of a power hitter's swing for a guy who should have been hitting ground balls and line drives. This leads to too many strikeouts, especially for a smaller guy who will tend to wear down some during the year, as when that long swing slows just a notch, you can get a fastball past it.

Watching him this year, and especially in the second half, it's apparent that he's shortened his stroke - witness his .300 avg. vs. lefties and all the balls he slaps the other way - and that it's paying off. I imagine that the coaching staff has worked with him on this, and it looks like Endy has taken their advice to heart.

At this point, there's nothing not to love about the kid. I haven't seen anyone in the league who consistently gets a better jump on flyballs, he's got above average speed, his arm is accurate and surprisingly strong, he hustles constantly, and - again - his approach at the plate has gotten better and better.

Yuan -- That's an interesting thought, but I have to admit to you the thought of cheering for 2 ex-Braves kind of gives me the creeps.
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ajsmith -- He did have an awful hitting approach before this year -- except he always used to kill us. I'd be surprised if someone didn't offer Chavez a chance to start somewhere next year. As a starter he might not give you quite the .300 he's hitting this year, but he'd easily be one of the top 10 CFs in baseball defensively.

1. Glavine was signed away from the Braves and Benson too was signed so he would not be a brave, both signings were to 'upset' the braves. It has taken 3+ yrs but I feel that Benson may have blossomed in Atlanta and glavine might have been remade sooner. With what we have we dont need to find arms in Atlanta. Schmidt and Zito are the FA I see us pursuing. I see El-Duque's and Traxx's spots being open, possibly Glavines.

2. What I hope to see as our pitching comes along, is to see us take a Brandon mccarthy/Adam Wainright approach and have Humble/Pelfrey/Paulk/Devaney et al pitch in bullpen roles first then advance into starting roles. Darren Oliver and El Duque's spots will open up next yr.

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