3.21.2007

"Who is this Masked Man?": 2007 New York Mets Season Preview

First, since this post--like every post--is all about me, let me go ahead and rehash a comment I made in a previous preview. I basically said that the Mets might be the only team in the National League without any gaping holes in their lineup. Well, for the most part it's true. Their four best hitters (in no particular order) are: Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Carlos Delgado (.289 BA, 124 HR total). That's nasty, no argument. But, the real question is about the other four guys: Paul LoDuca, Jose Valentin, Shawn Green and Moises Alou. Average age: 36 (aka well past their primes). I guess they're all serviceable but I'm not sure I'm real excited about a lineup with LoDuca hitting 2nd in the order for a full season again. Plus, wasn't Moises Alou supposed to have retired like three years ago?

That argument aside, the guy who's really giving me a brainfuck here is Jose Valentin. Living with Trout on the outskirts of the Chicagoland viewing area I watched my fair share of White Sox games in 2003 & 2004. He batted .237 with 114 K's one year and .216 with 139 K's the following year. Holy shit that's an awful year. I mean, just painful to watch. Seeing Valentin come up to bat in a crucial situation always induced a faint vomit taste in the back of my mouth, and it's not even my team. He had more holes in his swing than I have in my abused liver. It was an absolute train wreck.

So, what happens last year? After an injury-shortened season in LA, Jose comes out last year and hits .271 with a mere 71 strikeouts. 45 points increase in the batting average and a ridiculous drop in strikeouts. And, this is from the age of 34 to 36. Have you ever seen a player improve his play so dramatically at this age? I certainly can't think of anybody. This is unnatural and I'm calling "bullshit." Let's get that Mitchell investigation running 24-hour surveillance on his ass because there's some foul play involved here. I think we can all get on board with this one.

As for this team, two words: shitty pitching. Their starters are shit. Glavine is 41 on Sunday, El Duque claims to be 37 so he's probably at least 40. John Maine was real solid last year, but I'm not quite sure how. And, well, do you want Chan Ho Park in your rotation? I won't even mention you-know-who because there's slim to none chance that a 35 year old comes back from shoulder surgery in under a year. So, my prediction: second place in the division. And I predict that if you bet the over in every Mets' game for the first month of the season you'll make money.

11 comments:

Notorious B.O.B. said...

The reason Jose was valuable was he was very clutch. Brian will back me on this. He was the guy you wanted up with two outs in the 9th. Thats why it was ok that he only batted .237 because he would go 0-4 and then hit a 3-run homer in the 9th to win the game.

He also is a terrible fielder too, but again, very clutch. Although I think that may have only been in a white sox uniform, I seem to remember him striking out late in the final game of the NLCS last year.

trout said...

Honestly Bob, I don't remember Valentin being clutch. But that may just be because he single-handedly ruined a game Laura and I went to a few years ago. I can't remember the exact situation, but the Sox were ahead and I think Marte was on the mound. Marte, as usual, was getting into a little trouble, but managed to induce a game-ending grounder to Valentin. Who promptly boots it and the game is tied. Valentin has a chance to redeem himself in extras, but does something retarded like getting thrown out on the basepaths or failing to advance the runner because he struck out. Like he always did. Or popped out to the opposite field. Like he always did. I don't think I've ever been in such a blind rage--with all of it directed at a single person--at a baseball game. Like I said, the events are probably muddled in my head, but Laura can back me up on my obscenity-laden tirade at Valentin. She was mortified, as usual, that I would corrupt children's minds or something.

Anyway, moral to the story: Valentin is a douche bag and I hate him. The Sox wouldn't have even sniffed the World Series in '05 with that asswipe on the team.

trout said...

You know who is clutch, though? Joe Crede. In the field and at the plate. Man, I love Joe Crede.

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Oh yeah Clutch Crede is very clutch and doesn't suck in the field. But I seem to remember a good 4-5 games that Valentin won for us with late inning homers. Then again there was certainly more than that many games that he lost for us due to his douchebaggery. I think the main reason I liked him was his awesome mustache. But I prefer Uribe over Valentin.

Gage said...

Okay, so we all agree Valentin sucks. But, the point is: how the hell did he get so much better? WTF is going on here?

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Did his mustache get thicker perhaps? I believe most of his offensive output was derived directly from the stache.

I will also say that he hit in a much better lineup and that may be the answer to at least him having less strikeouts. HGH isn't gonna stop you from striking out. I don't know where he batted in that lineup but if he was batting 8th then that would certainly explain it in the National League with the pitcher behind him.

Tittle500 said...

and Scott Brosius... he was clutch as "f"

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Too bad Brosius played for Team Satan. Otherwise his clutchness totally would have counted.

Tittle500 said...

the Oakland A's are called Team Satan?

I thought that was the New Jersey Devil-Rays...

Notorious B.O.B. said...

Well that's what Brian told me they were called. He also mumbled something about Nick Swisher under his breath.

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