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The Reports of Our Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Mike SteffanosTuesday, August 22, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

As first reported by the Post's Mark Hale, and now confirmed by many others, it looks like all the gloom and doom melodrama from the weekend can die down now. Tom Glavine will be able to return to the Mets and his quest for 300 wins in about a week. I'm not sure that this guarantees the Mets will advance very far in the playoffs, but at least we don't have to read any more dire crap about how the Mets have been "punctured psychologically" by the loss of the veteran lefty.

So many have jumped off the Mets bandwagon over the last few days, and it's fine with me if they don't come back. The Dodgers are the "new black" in the National League -- the hot flavor of the month -- an absolutely sure bet to defeat the boys from Flushing in any playoff series. The triumvirate of Brad Penney, Derek Lowe and Greg Maddux will be impossible to overcome for our frail, elderly pitching staff. Never mind we've owned the fragile Penney over the years, and Maddux is less than a month removed from absolutely quitting on that team in Chicago's north side that was paying him a lot of money. As for Lowe -- he cheated on his wife, and we know what a horrible crime against humanity that is. Seriously, though, the Dodgers are a good team, and if everyone wants to jump on them, that's fine with me. We don't need your love, oh baseball geniuses and scribes. We'll just muddle along without you.

It felt weird for so much of the year to have so many in the media whispering sweet nothings in the ears of Mets fans. It rang with all the sincerity of the attention you find yourself receiving in a strip bar. (Note to Lisa: not that I would know anything about that, of course.) It's nice that so many of the "girls" have deserted us for the Bronx, where Brian Cashman and George Steinbrenner are stuffing fifties into their g-strings. Others have departed for the bright lights of Hollywood. Hey, don't let the door hit you on the way out. Looks like it's mostly just Mets fans who believe in this team again. I don't know about you, but I'm fine with that.

Mets.com: Good to go
The Mets announce in today's press release that all agreements regarding the new ballpark have been finalized:

The New York Mets announced today that they have completed and signed all agreements related to the financing, development and construction for their new ballpark. The ballpark will open on Opening Day in 2009.

Today's news follows last week's announcement regarding the successful offering of bonds to support the ballpark project. The $613 Million bond offering was oversubscribed by a ratio of 5 to 1.

"Today's announcement makes our dream of building a new ballpark for our team and fans a definitive reality," said Mets' COO, Jeff Wilpon. "We will now move forward from site logistics work to an aggressive construction schedule. Already in our parking lot at Shea Stadium, piles are being driven and excavation and foundation work is beginning. ... We will have an announcement about our ceremonial groundbreaking event in the coming weeks."

Baseball America: Deolis Guerra
17-year-old pitching prospect Deolis Guerra has been enjoying a terrific season for the Mets' low Class A team in Hagerstown. He makes it into this week's BA Prospect Hot Sheet at #9:

Hope Mets fans enjoyed the show, because Guerra's cheese smelled so good last week: no hits in five innings, though he walked six and struck out six. This 17-year-old has a 1.15 ERA in August and is 6-7, 2.20 overall with just 59 hits allowed in 82 innings.

Fernando Martinez made the Not-So-Hot-Sheet, although the reasoning seemed somewhat silly:

Understand, we come not to bury Martinez . . . he's 17 and playing in the Florida State League. That's incredible, really. But he went 5-for-32 last week and is hitting .200 in the FSL so far (14-for-70). Just don't pencil him into the 2007 lineup in New York as Cliff Floyd's replacement, that's all we're saying.

For a 17-year-old like Martinez to start the year with a full season Low A team was amazing enough, but the Mets are really challenging him in St. Lucie against prospects who are much older and more advanced, having played college ball, previous seasons of pro ball, or both. I'm sure that BA understood this, and I doubt any fans that follow the Mets minors had any thoughts of an 18-year-old Fernando in Shea next year. Maybe BA is getting nervous because they feel like they have given too much love to Mets prospects lately.

I'm sure the Mets realized Martinez would struggle for St. Lucie, but felt he was advanced enough to push a little, and would benefit from the experience. He'll also be the Mets Class A representative to the Arizona Fall League. That's impressive.

By the way, for excellent coverage of the Mets minor leaguers daily, check out Toby Hyde's terrific coverage on MetsBlog.

More Mets Stories:
SportsSpyder Mets

Continuous Mets Coverage:
Hot Foot

Comments (4)


1. Glavine: i perceive a win-win. Glavine's has pitched great this yr, and not so great. A couple of weeks off working in the pen on his change up will help. As myself and others note, 2007 heralds the Ollie era; Knowing he gets 1-2 starts under low pressure might be a nice audition. Also why rush Bannister who can be optioned to Norfolk. Let him continue to pitch 5innings then activate him in Sept...(9days.)

2. Norfolk has SUCKED THIS YR...They have NO offense. BUT Norfolk took 3/4 gms this past weekend from Charlotte a team 26 gms up and leading the division behind DOMINANT showings from Perez, Bannister and McLane.

19 W Charlotte, 1-0 (WP: O. Perez; LP: T. Redding SV: H. Bell)
20 W Charlotte, 4-1 (WP: B. Bannister; LP: S. Randolph SV: O. Roman)
21 W Charlotte, 6-0 (WP: E. MacLane; LP: S. Tracey )

All of these are starters who figure in the mix for next yr (nicely). Bannister is a control low power righty, Perez a power lefty (like that Tampa guy), and Mclane, a control junk baller lefty (see Glavine. Mix in Pedro and Maine along with Pelfrey and there is a young power nucleus starting (see Philly), at low cost.

3. This yrs oft injured, core has necessitated deep benches. This is great. mota/oliver/Heilman/Bradford/Wagner/El duque bridging the gap from the 5th inning. Imagine Willie's position in telling your starters just give me 5 innings. we know if the other team only gets 3-4 runs we should win.

4. news on Green? I think this would be a shot in the arm for the offense knowing there is insurance for Floyd and a replacement for Nady that is an upgrade from Tucker or Ledee.

The "Ollie era"? I'm not sure I'd go that far yet. I understand the enthusiasm, though. I expect from everything I hear Green will be here sooner rather than later. I'm not as excited about it as some of you, but as long as it doesn't cost any real prospects I can live with it.

Fernando Martinez along with Phillip Humber, Michel Abreu, and 2006 draftee Joe Smith are also going to the Arizona Fall League. They'll be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox. Very impressive for Humber, Martinez, and Smith, all for thier own reasons.
The Mets still have room to send 2 more pitchers and 1 more outfielder.

Yeah, that's kind of amazing how fast Humber has put himself back on the map. Abreu kind of surprised me, though, he's 31 years old. I wonder what they hope for from him.

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