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The SI Thing

Mike SteffanosMonday, March 26, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

First of all, before we get into today's post, I apologize for the blog being down for a couple of hours. According to my hosting company, the power supply died on the server that hosts this site, among others. My original hosting company was sold a couple of months ago, and I haven't been happy with the new one. I know maintaining quality affordable shared web hosting isn't easy, but things have gone downhill since last fall. One more like today and I'll bite the bullet and move this blog to another host. If anyone out there has any recommendations on a good hosting company that supports the Movable Type blogging platform, please use the email link at the right and let me know.

Enough about that. As many of you know, Sports Illustrated had an online vote for their Mets team page where people could vote for their favorite Mets blog (details here). They had four choices, and this blog was one of them (I came in quite a distant fourth). I felt honored, but I didn't take it as some sort of personal victory over blogs that weren't picked. As a matter of fact, my initial though was how could they have a list of favorite Mets blogs that didn't include Metstradamus?

There are quite a few others that have been around longer than this one has that are terrific blogs, such as Always Amazin', Amazin' Avenue, Mets Guy in Michigan, Mets Walkoffs, Take The 7 Train, The Metropolitans and more. There are blogs that have come along since mine that are absolutely terrific, such as Lone Star Mets and Mets Grrl, again among many others. Anthony from Hot Foot has worked his *** off to make his site one of the best, and has been a friend to this blog, which is appreciated. The list could go on and on, and I'm not trying to slight anyone by leaving them off, there simply isn't room to list all of the great blogs.

So, while I appreciate the compliment inherent in SI noticing my blog, I don't read anything into it beyond that. I am grateful for some generous emails I have received from some other bloggers congratulating me. However, this choice by SI seems to have inspired a couple of really bizarre emails over the weekend from fans of other blogs who were not chosen and seem to be offended that this one was. It also seems to at least partially inspire a few abusive comments that I have chosen to remove from the site.

All I could say to these people is that I'm 48 years old, not 12, and I could care less what you think of me. I'm not interested in playing your silly games. If you elect to continue to be a problem here, you will be reported to your ISP for abuse. As previously mentioned, there are literally dozens of great Mets blogs out there, many of whom I link to on the side. If you don't like my style, that's fine -- move on. On the other hand, if you disagree with something I say and want to voice it, go ahead. Many of the people whose comments I really enjoy often do, but they treat me with respect, and receive it in return. If you just need to rant or rave at someone, there are plenty of forums out there that tolerate that. I don't. I also don't have the free time to indulge in endless debate with one other person. Get over it and move on.

Enough about that. To the regular readers, I know that I'm not staying on top of things very well. The house that Lisa and I just purchased needs a ton of work. We have targeted a June 1 date to be fully moved in, and will be spending many hours working there between now and then. I also have to work for a living. This blog has to come third for a while.

That doesn't mean I'm going away. I like doing this too much.

All of the fun with the server stopped me from commenting on Mike Pelfrey being selected as the fifth starter. It was a great move, and hopefully just the beginning for the kid. ESPN's Keith Law likes it, too (subscription to ESPN INsider required):

The Mets' fifth starter spot appears to be in good hands, as Mike Pelfrey -- who won the role Sunday -- showed flashes of the front-of-the-rotation guy he can become if a few things come together for him.

The biggest variable for Pelfrey this spring is his switch to a slider, a pitch he played around with in the Arizona Fall League but had otherwise not used in competitive games as a pro. ... His arm slot is more conducive to throwing a slider, and his slider flashed average or even a tick above average on Sunday. The pitch improved as the game went on, with Pelfrey clearly gaining some confidence in it by the third inning (and then throwing five or six in a row). At its best, the slider was 83-85 mph with a short but sharp break, decent tilt, but most importantly it showed enough lateral movement to fool hitters who were waiting on his fastball or change, both of which are straight.

In much less happy news, most of you already know that Duaner Sanchez will most likely need another surgery on his shoulder. In the NY Post Mets Blog, Mark Hale seems to offer the very latest:

Duaner Sanchez has a fractured bone in his right shoulder, according to agent Bean Stringfellow, and the already-rehabbing Met reliever is deciding whether to have surgery.

According to Stringfellow -- who spoke to Sanchez -- if the pitcher has the operation, there would be a screw placed into his shoulder and he would probably be out of action for six weeks. If Sanchez doesn't have surgery, Stringfellow was not sure the length of time he would be out.

Stringfellow thinks surgery is likely.

Bad news for the Mets, but at least it appears they could have Sanchez back this summer. When I first heard that Sanchez needed another surgery I thought the Mets had lost him for the year.

Update on Sanchez (4:45 PM): in the Welcome Spring! blog on NorthJersey.com, Steve Popper tells us that Duaner Sanchez might miss the whole season:

... the Mets announced today that Duaner Sanchez has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture of the coracoid, a small bone in the front of his right shoulder.

According to team doctors, this bone, which has two tendons and a ligament attached to, has stress placed on it by pitching. The doctors believe that the July 31 taxi accident that Sanchez was involved in could have weakened the bone and that the effort of trying to pitch could have caused the break.

He will have a screw inserted to secure the fracture and will rest for six to eight weeks before beginning rehabilitation and then will need another six to eight weeks before he can return to competitive throwing. Omar Minaya said that August is a best case scenario and the team might have to go without him for the entire season. [my emphasis]

One of the younger pitchers like Burgos needs to step up now.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (11)

good luck Mike with the new house, moving sucks. Glad to hear the blog will stay alive even if it is rightfully 3rd in line.

Hoo-boy, Mike. The last thing this excellent site needed was the kiss of the SI curse; let this be a lesson, I guess.

Rest assured your loyal fans will follow you no matter what/how long your host server do-do lasts. Not to worry.

Pelfrey made the rotation, but we all knew he would. Home and spousal person Lisa are more important: take care of bizness, Big Guy... there are many who've got your back!

Tons of Mets Blogs, but I always check in on yours, Mike. As a Connecticut ex-patriot, now down in Maryland, I need the internet for Mets info. Thanks for all your work, you'd have gotten my vote, but I don't read the SI site!

Mike, there are plenty of great Mets blogs out there. But I think after reading through your entire spring training preview series, and seeing how much work you put into putting it together, I can honestly say this is the most quality Mets Blog site around.

I'm glad the Mets rotation has filled out nicely, and that Pelfrey took his opportunity to shine and ran with it. But it seems we have traded one potential concern (the rotation) for a new realized one (the pen). We still have many quality arms in there, and it should hold up fine until Mota returns, but no longer does it have that air of dominance it had prior to the original 2 am "food run."

A good pen needs more than 3 or 4 arms to be productive over 162 games. And for us to get that depth and quality, guys like Park, Sele and Burgos are going to have to pick it up bigtime to allow Schoeneweis to become the new fixture in the 7th inning. There's alot yet to be determined with this pen.

6 more days.

I know the Sanchez thing may look bad, but last year I think we learned of blessings in disguise.It seemed when we needed to fill a void, something better came forth. I just feel everything will fall into place, but it is going to be tougher this year and a closer race from day one.

You are so right in pointing out the omission of Metstradamus from any best of list. 'Damus has such a unique blog. SI.com did get the top sites correct with exceot for that one omission. Unfortunately, other sites have to rain on the parade because they are sore about not being on a list that they swear is full of crap. I have an idea about who it could be since they devoted an entire column to express their displeasure with the poll. If you are curious who they are just think of the most low-brow Mets fan blog out there.

Anyways, congrats!

Mary Noble at MLB.com writes last night: "Jorge Sosa, in the mix for a place on the staff when camp began, was eliminated as a possible replacement for Sanchez on Monday when he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans".

Sosa's allowed 20 hits and 16 runs (12 earned) in 12 2/3 spring innings.

Haven't the people of New Orleans suffered enough?

Gene - Thanks. It's not the moving so much as the work we'll have to do in the next couple of months to get ready for it.
geezer - I'm not going anywhere, I just won't be able to post as often.
FPF - Thanks.
Salman - I think what will eventually save this bullpen is the quantity of arms lined up that will be in New York and New Orleans. I agree with dd's comment from a few days ago that it could be dicey for a while.

I like that, NostraDennis!

Okay, so the Mets' bullpen does look weaker than the one we had last season, though the strength of that outfit wasn't so apparent last April 1, either. I don't think that spells ruin for the Mets.

In the first half last year the Mets endured several awful games from Jorge Julio, starts by Jose Lima and Gemini Gonzales, plus a month of lousy play from the second base position. Pedro had one good month, one month that was decent; the team spent the rest of the season anticipating more from him, which curtailed its ability to replace him. Pelfrey, Milledge and Humber were not quite ready to contribute. Maine was an unknown; Perez was busy digging a hole for himself in Pittsburgh; Hernandez was pitching his way off the rotation in Arizona.

No doubt the season will hold some unpleasant surprises for Mets fans. However, so many more things are known this time around, near-certainties that were unclear last year. Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran have resolved many doubts; Heilman has done it for two years now, not only one. Milledge sure looks like a major leaguer to me. And, what is most important, if a starting pitcher goes down his replacement will be Phil Humber or Jason Vargas, not Jose Lima.

The Mets plowed through a lot of crap to win those 97 games last year. I don't predict another 97 win season, simply because of the plexiglass theory, that things tend to revert toward the norm; but I DO expect the Mets to exceed 90 wins and win the division.

Al - I think it will work out, too. I just hope Sanchez can come back 100% when he is ready to return.
Chris - The emails I received from other bloggers were all positive. As for the others, I always seem to get a handful of ones like that every month.
NostraDennis - I'm sorry for the denizens of the Big Easy, but who knows, some time in the minors might straighten Sosa (and Burgos) out. In the meantime, Zephyrs fans will see some impressive home runs from the visiting team.

dd - You snuck in there. I do agree with what you say.

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