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Checking In From the Road

Mike SteffanosTuesday, November 7, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Hi everyone. I'm about halfway through my vacation. My brother and I are in Frederick, Maryland. We're both Civil War buffs, so we're visiting some of the battlefields. We've been in Harpers Ferry and Antietam so far, and will be visiting Gettysburg tomorrow. I'll post a few pictures when I get back for anyone who is interested.

I'm lucky enough to have high-speed Internet in my hotel room. Unfortunately, my old and painfully slow laptop computer somewhat negates that advantage. Still, I've been able to keep up with what little Mets news there has been and answer a few comments. To those who e-mailed me, I promise to answer when I get back.

Outside of Carlos Delgado deciding not to demand a trade -- which, despite what you read in some places, was always extremely unlikely -- nothing much seems to have happened. It seems Glavine may be close to definitively returning, and the free agent rumors are starting to fly. We'll get around to all of that when I get back sometime Friday. Take care, everyone.

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Comments (5)

Mike, I used to be familiar with the are you're in. You'll be passing my old alma mater in Emmitsburg as you head from Fredrick to Gettysburg. If you get a chance try the Cozy restaurant in Thurmont, Maryland.

Frederick, Maryland home of Mets starting pitcher John Maine.


Hi Mike;

Hope you enjoy your trek. Above I posted the hott topic de jour. It makes for a nice debate. As u know I'm not big on Heilman. He did a nice job, but in the role many forecasted for him including Gammons and ? at a time when he was 'the future'(circa '04).

For now Humber and Pelfrey are the future and Heilman could lose his role to Padilla, Sanchez et al. Mota, Wagner, Feliciano are part of the mix. As Omar looks to 2008, I can see (23 yr old)Edwin Jackson as a factor.

Also hot is the potential of Mark Mulder another 'ace' Lhp. Frankly I like him the most as a candidate because he may command a Matt Morris.(..prove you are healthy) deal, with option years. With Ollie and Mulder there is that strong Lefty presence, Plus Glavine is possible..with Maine and Pedro as possibles. Note Petey may not be back next yr. If he is slide Ollie to the pen. Jackson, Humber, Bannister and Pelfrey are the candidates for the #5 slot (now).

Interestingly in the Jackson debate there is mention of Bannister going with Heilman for Crawford and Jackson. At first glance it looks lopsided, but Heilman is a proven set up guy with 2yrs plus success (ala Scott Williamson), Bannister has alot of upside.

Tampa is loaded with prospects and may well cut Jackson who has a 5.5ERA last yr at AAA/ML. Ala Dewon Brazelton he may be close to the heap. Tampa tends to go for quantity and see what survives...and they have Baldelli, as well as Delmon Young and others to find room for in a crowded OF.

Conjecture, but worth the debate. A totally different questions is Crawford a fit? I prefere a slugger in LF with Lastings/Endy in RF.

Since you recently were reviewing books, I'll mention my own re-dipping into Bill James' Historical Abstract. What fun it is to brouse through that book of an offseason.

What brought it to mind was this: in a little article on Ken Boyer, James leads into a discussion of which were the greatest infields ever. You might remember, Boyer was part of an infield in which all the players went to play in the All Star game. Anyway, James uses the new stat of Win Shares to determine the greatest infields ever, and by that gauge the old "$100,000 infield" of the Philadelphia Athletics and the Big Red Machine lead the way, at least on the basis of sustained performance over several years. Several one season infields figure into the top ranks, including two teams that had Honus Wagner playing shortstop.

The Mets infield of 1999 gets a mention as a great-but-not-quite-GREAT infield. But coincidentally, The Hardball Times has out its statistics on Win Shares for 2006, and an article they ran prompted me to look up the current Mets infield numbers, and, drumroll, it seems that the 2006 Mets infield rates as one of the top twenty infields in baseball history. It even rates ahead of those 1999 Mets, 101 Win Shares to 99, essentially because Rey Ordonez is not Jose Reyes.

Well, that's all I've got. I am just bringing this to light because I am still finding it hard to say goodbye to this wonderful Mets team. The next outfit might be great, too, but it won't be the same guys. So thanks, you 2006 Mets, for all you gave us.

JJE - Thanks for the tip on the restaurant. I didn't get a chance to try it, but I may be back by that way again.
bmc - I have to confess I didn't know that.
Ed - Padilla is a nice kid who had one great year based as much on luck as anything else. He lacks the stuff to be anything more than a innings eating middle reliever. The Red Sox and other teams view Heilman as a closer, I still think with 2 very good pitches he can develop an average slider and be an effective starter. The Mets have so many questions in the bullpen right now I'd be careful if I were you or some of the others that have been trying to run Heilman out of town for 2 years.

As I've said numerous times, I wouldn't make any move, given the pitching questions, that would trade a good young arm and didn't bring good young pitching back. Failed prospects don't qualify.
dd - Interesting bit of news, and well-put on saying goodbye to this year's team.

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