221 thoughts on “Let’s get Willie Randolph fired game thread: Mets at Braves, May 22”

  1. Mac,

    Thanks for posting when a new thread is up. That really is helpful. And, we have a long way to go to get Kranepool closer to the top…

  2. Generally, the game threads will be posted at 2 PM (CT) for a night game and 8 AM for a noon or noonish game. If it’s a west coast game it would go up around 5, maybe.

  3. And I’m not always online (these things are written ahead of time) so I may not always be able to say “game thread up”, particularly when it goes up in the morning.

  4. In a division where every game counts, any retaliation will probably happen late in today’s game. You don’t want to risk having Hudson tossed, and you don’t want to give the Mets an opportunity to injure one of your players. If they are up in the top of the 9th, there’s gonna be a Met going prostrate after a pop to the kidneys.

  5. Yeah, Robert noted that toward the end of the previous thread, AAR. It’s actually not as bad as I would have guessed.

  6. I missed that, Stu.

    By the way, since Mac noted the relative ERA+ leaders, here are the OPS+ leaders: our team OPS+ is 120, while the Cubs’ is 115, the Cards’ is 114, and the Diamondbacks’ is 103. In all of baseball, we’re second only to the Red Sox, whose OPS+ is 121.

  7. Great comment from Metsblog –
    “Wow… they scored seven runs and held the Braves to twenty three. Great effort fellas.

    The didn’t lose three to the Braves. They were jumped, beaten, robbed, urinated on and left in the gutter for death.”

  8. The question is, as Braves fans, do we want Randolph fired? If they get rid of him they might accidentally stumble into someone good.

    I don’t want to run into another Steve Lavin situation here. Lavin held UCLA back for years and years but then when those Gutty Bruins finally bottemed out, they went out a got Ben Howland.

  9. I don’t think Willie is the Mets problem. He probably could be a good manager in a stable situation.

    Minaya, on the other hand, for what he has spent and what he has traded and gotten back in trades and the length of these contracts. Whew!

    Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Paul Lo Duca (how much they paid, and how little they got),. Bannister for Burgos. It goes on and on.

  10. Continuing on our “staying power.”

    As of about a week ago, the difference in our OPS gained and OPS allowed was almost 100 points. That is moving into what I see the “stat heads” call “third order statistics”. Meaning wins and losses are based on runs scored and runs allowed. Runs scored are based on offensive ops stats (net of “base running”) and runs allowed are based on strike outs, walks, homeruns.

    I wonder if anybody here knows how to find this stuff. But I believe a 100 point OPS differential mean a lot more than a 100 win season (like our “second order” pythag projection).

    All that to say, this team’s “parts” are awfully good.

  11. Offensively, I had Esco, McCann, Kotsay, and Chipper below where they have been. I think Esco, McCann, and Kotsay are sustainable at their levels. I hope Chipper is, but I had him for a 1.000 OPS anyway, but less games.

    I had Frenchy, Teix, Diaz, (KJ slightly) below where they have been.

    I had Infante, Blanco, etc. about where they have been collectively.

    This team should actually score more runs than they have so far. That could offset a mild pitching regression.

  12. The two defining moves of the Minaya regime were the Delgado trade and the Beltran deal. Both were obviously short-term thinking with long-term consequences at the time they were made. They didn’t give up much of anything to get Delgado, but the size of his contract and his age and body type made it, well, not inevitable but extremely likely that they would be playing a boat anchor at first base by 2007. (As I never tire of pointing out, I was mocked for saying this in 2005 — “He isn’t like Mo Vaughn at all!” — but who’s laughing now?) And while Beltran is a great player who had one great year for them and one good one, he’s going to be 34 at the end of his contract and his skills are obviously eroding — not as fast as Andruw’s, but he’s getting there. His style of play made this, again, not inevitable, but likely. So as soon as they get rid of Delgado, they’re probably going to have to deal with another highly paid player in decline.

  13. I’d say the Pedro signing is an equally defining move of the Minaya regime, Mac, but the flaws associated with that one are just like those of the two transactions you mention.

  14. Well, since Pedro came after Beltran, it’s not a “defining” move, but it’s true that it’s another potentially crippling contract. In this case, it was for a still-valuable player who was clearly in decline already, and an injury risk, a deal that made no sense unless it won you the World Series now.

    From 2006:

    They keep signing old guys. Yeah, they’re good old guys, but the thing is that old guys tend to stop being good in a hurry. Carlos Delgado is a terrific player, but he’s a similar physical type to Vaughn and is a year older than Vaughn was when his career collapsed. They only have one really good pitcher, and he’s fragile. Maybe they make it through the season, but I wouldn’t count on it, and after 2006 the team will be right back in the same hole, a bunch of old guys they’ve made long-term commitments to dragging down one or two players still in their prime years.

    They made it through the season, barely, and then collapsed in the postseason. The next year, they collapsed down the stretch. They’re just getting it out of the way early this year is all.

  15. Furthermore, they already had a player who was 90 percent of Beltran in center (Cameron) and a hot prospect to replace him (Milledge); the signing of Beltran was more about making a splash and Minaya’s Latin Plan than the needs of the team.

  16. Speaking of overpaying, does anybody think Johan Santana is going to be worth 20+ million a year in 2013?

  17. Who here believes that batting order realistically effects a player’s preformance? I see now today that DOB has adopted the Joe Simpson line in regards to Kelly Johnson batting seventh instead of leadoff.

  18. I think it can if you let it change your approach. A leadoff hitter might be encouraged to take more pitches, for instance. Of course, KJ does that anyways, but maybe he prefers less responsibility lower in the order.

    Or, he might have just been slumping before, and now he’s seeing the ball well.

  19. I’ve actually had Robert’s question on the brain a little bit today. “After Willie, what?”

    And, to borrow a phrase, “Is it good for the Braves?”

    While it’s possible that a new Mets manager could improve their fortunes, it may not be something worth worrying about.

    Why? I’m not sure that team (as currently constituted) is good enough to go far, even if they had John McGraw kicking them in the pants every day. The Mets should contend, yes; but a scary team that should run away with the division? No way.

    And then there are the real-world “intangible elements,” to borrow a worse phrase. The manager, GM & ownership are not on the same page. There’s a genuine division in the clubhouse between players. Some of the players can’t stand Willie.

    Then there’s the angry fan element, which is the most vicious thing I’ve ever seen up here. Going to Shea these days is nothing approaching “fun at the ol’ ballpark.”

    Since last September, the Met fan remains steaming mad. They’ve taken it all too personally. Right now, they’re looking for people to take it out on. Right now it’s Willie and, if they don’t improve after he gets canned, it’ll be Omar.

  20. my sense, from a lot of people, from fans to people in media to people in baseball, is that, if the Mets lose tonight and end up being swept by the Braves, willie will be in serious, serious trouble…honestly, i have not talked to any one in the know since Monday, when most discussions centered on his comments, not his job security – so i have no idea where he stands…my hunch, though, is that he’ll get at least through Memorial Day


  21. I’m gonna go ahead and defend Omar Minaya for a moment. He’s not the greatest GM, but he’s been pretty good. He was told to go spend money and build a World Series contender, and he spent money and pretty quickly built a league contender, one that should have gone to the Series in 2006 and had the playoffs all but wrapped up last year.

    Delgado is hurting them now, but he gave them some good PT, and all he costs is money at this point. Obtaining John Maine for Kris Benson was brilliant, and Oliver Perez appears to have been a very good pickup as well. Old guys like Orlando Hernandez have been good for them when healthy, as has Moises Alou. And, of course, Johan Santana was a steal, though that was mostly Bill Smith’s incompetence rather than Minaya’s brilliance. Billy Wagner has been very good for them, at least on the field.

    The trouble is that even though many of these old guys don’t cost anything — Luis Castillo, say — they wind up playing anyway, and doing terribly. And the farm system is bone-dry. Still, this is the best sustained run the Mets have had since the turn of the century.

  22. Still, this is the best sustained run the Mets have had since the turn of the century.

    Ha. You make it sound like that’s a long time.

    To paraphrase: This is the best 3-year stretch the Mets have had in the past 8 years.

    I mean, I guess that’s good, and I agree that Minaya has overall been relatively good for the Mets, but he hasn’t been much above average, IMO.

  23. Anybody remember Soriano last year or this past offseason stating that he either wanted to be a starter or be the closer? I know he came up as a starter with the Mariners. With Smoltz’ move to the bullpen and the overall good performance we’ve seen from the guys already there, anybody think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give him some starts in the minors and get his endurance up to possibly join the rotation at some point this year or next?

  24. I had thought about that too, but if he’s having elbow problems, throwing 70-100 pitches every 5 days may not be the best thing for him. Closing, he might only throw 20-30 pitches every 2 or 3 days.

  25. Good news from DOB:

    The OTHER BIG NEWS: Smoltz threw to hitters on the field, Kotsay and Norton and 3-4 other guys. Very impressive from the three-quarters arm slot. His slider has a different look from there, as does the change-up. And he was throwing plenty hard.

    Gonna see how he feels tomorrow, Cox said, before deciding anything else.

  26. Chipper playing today, Omar Infante still at shortstop and leading off for some reason, and Kelly Johnson batting eighth.

  27. are you sure that was Moises?……….first time i saw him last night, i thought it was Felipe.

  28. Say what you will about Willie but at least he understands the idea of batting your best hitters at the top of the lineup. We’ve got Infante and Kotsay vs a lefty.

    Moving Kelly down has worked so well, let’s hit him eighth! Maybe against Randy Johnson we can bat him ninth.

  29. No he’s not. The Mets corner outfielders are again Endy Chavez (.157/.218/.176) and Marlon Anderson (.184/.216/.286). By comparison we’ve got Bonds and Aaron out there.

  30. Low-scoring game tonight?

    Just listened to a Mets radio interview with Chipper.

    He said he’d like to get some mementos of Shea Stadium before they tear it down, maybe a few seats from the place, and, as a Florida Gators fan, he’s always enjoyed an orange-and-blue motif anyway.

    Guess I can’t hold that against him.

  31. The Braves’ outfield; with Francoeur, Kotsay and Diaz/Blanco, may hit 30 homeruns combined by the end of the season.

  32. Oh this is bull shit! I’m not getting the game beacause of the SEC Tournament. Who fucking cares about SEC baseball?

  33. Great. Now I can hear “fisted” twenty times tonight and, if I’m lucky, hear about Hudson or Santana’s no-hitter in the third inning.

  34. To let you all know. I have 2 CSPAN’s three spanish stations, two Cathloc networks, 2 shopping networks, and TBN.

    All this and no Brave tonight and No NFL Network.

  35. Oh, UT fans care when their team’s any good. It’s just been a while, so you may have forgotten.

  36. And it’s not often you see a game in late May where the pitcher’s average is higher than three other players in the lineup. The Mets are awe-inspiring!

  37. Anybody else noticed the Mets unusual defensive technique–run really hard for a ball then let it drop right next to you? Exhibit A (for this game)–Marlon Anderson going after the foul pop.

  38. @ 59:

    And did you notice the expression on Willie’s face in the dugout afterwards? Disbelief, I believe is what that’s called.

  39. Say what you will about them, but Joe and Chip were funny about Anderson running over to the foul ball and watching it drop in front of him.

  40. something we know already–Huddy’s got to keep the ball down or he has trouble

  41. wonderul

    ESPN at 6:30 – Sportscenter 12th time today

    ESPN 2 – NFL Live

    TBS – rerun Everybody loves Raymond

    SportsSouth – In My Own Words

    Fox Sports South – ACC Tournament

    Hudson vs Santana – no where to be found except on Peachtree TV of course. Maybe 10-15 people outside the stadium will be able to watch this matchup – good planning guys!!!!!

  42. both of those homeruns were the dreaded hudson fastball up in the zone…let’s hope this trend doesn’t continue.

  43. Do you think CSS understands sarcasm? I just sent them the following:

    Thank you SO very much for pre-empting the May 22 Braves game in order to show college baseball. I know that if I had the choice between unskilled amateurs attempting to play baseball using improper equipment and the best professionals in the world in a key matchup of division rivals, I’d choose the former every time!

  44. You guys should talk to your cable operators and get them to patch through peachtree tv during the braves games only on a local access channel.

    I live in Alabama, and get all the peacthree games this way, commercial free.

  45. Bleh, I can’t see the game either.

    Looks like Hudson is coming off of his early season high. Seems like the past few years he gets worse as the season goes.

    Nice, an error by the Mets!

  46. Wow. Randolph is going to get fired before the game is over if they keep making plays like that.

  47. Castillo must want to keep the goat horns another day. He sucks. Schneider didn’t even try to get Tex at home.

  48. Well, we got one.

    @76 I’m in Alabama as well, what is this magical channel you speak of?

  49. The Mets and Yankees must be trying to top each other in bad signings … I’ll see your Farnsworth and top that with a Castillo … but we signed Giambi for 8 yrs and 120m …

  50. Chip Caray goes out on a real limb, says he has recently come to think of Jose Reyes as the “most exciting player in baseball.”

  51. Well, when you are bleeding money, it’s easier to be careless and make bad deals.

  52. at 92: I thought he said “in the National League.” Now that Chip’s covering AL games also, I wonder if he has a new crush.

  53. Infante: leadoff blackhole.

    Joe Simpson still would rather have him bat leadoff than Johnson.

  54. An example of Chip Caray logic — to support his contention that Frenchy is a great run-producer with two outs, he mentions that 12 of his 30 RBI have come with two out. What’s so great about 12 out of 30? You’re going to have more runners on base with two out than none out (because with none out, you’re often leading off). So 12 out of 30 is probably on the low end of what you’d expect.

  55. On the other hand, he’s able to say that Ron Santo should be in the HOF as though it’s common knowledge and not worth discussing further. Which it is.

  56. I don’t know if anyone has posted these here, but I found this interesting:

    Francouer’s stats (by count):
    (AVG, OBP, SLG)

    Count 0-0 .323 .323 .419
    Count 0-1 .286 .273 .524
    Count 0-2 .143 .143 .190
    Count 1-0 .333 .333 .533
    Count 2-0 .000 .000 .000 (4ABs)

    After (0-1) .299 .347 .494
    After (0-2) .293 .326 .537
    After (1-0) .203 .278 .344
    After (2-0) .111 .304 .167

    He’s basically best when swinging at the first pitch (either putting it in play or going down 0-1) – I also find that After (0-2) stat incredibly odd as Chipper’s current line there is .222 .263 .389…

  57. It is. Clearing the pitcher’s spot is a lot less valuable when you bat your worst hitter first.

  58. Kelly Johnson is so going to get benched in favor of Infante in the first Braves’ game vs. a lefty with Escobar back.

  59. Kelly’s numbers against lefties have been fine all year, haven’t they? He just wasn’t hitting them for power, but anything is better than Infante.

  60. I don’t think there’s much to that, Piers. BA with a 0-0 count just means you’ve put the ball in play on the first pitch — most hitters will hit .300 or higher when they put the ball in play.

    Conversely, every strikeout happens when you’ve already got two strikes…

  61. No wonder the Mets are plunking people. The pitchers are hacked off that the fielders aren’t making plays.

  62. sorry, but who does brian schnieder think he is? i hope we get a chance for a play at the plate so someone can just flatten him and laugh in his face

  63. Bethany – he tried to play the tough guy and get in front of Hudson when Johan nearly beaned him.

  64. The Castillo miscue was a ball Johnson hit to deep second: he and Delgado went for the ball, and Santana covered first. Castillo, from the ground, chucked it home and the ball was far up the line, so the Braves scored their first run.

  65. They also showed a replay of Santana looking at Castillo, not believing where Castillo threw the ball.

  66. Well, if Davey Gold Glove Wright goes back to third on Hudson’s bunt, they have the runner by 10 feet. It was a hard bunt and Santana was on it in a hurry. Bad play by Wright.

  67. Most recent miscue: Kotsay would have been out at 3rd, but David Wright boots the throw.

  68. Man. I just did my happy dance after that inning.

    An absolute thing of beauty. Kelly gettin it started. Hudson’s 2-strike bunt. Kotsay runnin to third on the throwing error. Tex and Chipper coming through. Just beautiful.

    Now let’s finish these douchebags off!

  69. And for those who didn’t see it, Hudson was visibly pissed when Santana threw up and in on Hudson’s bunt attempt.

  70. Two innings to go. Hudson at 87 pitches. Our bullpen is… well, they’ve done what they can, but they’re not in the best of shape right now. The only relievers I have any faith in right now are the LOOGYs, and they’re pretty much only useful against Delgado. So it’s still a ways to go.

  71. Whatever Frenchy is getting paid, he’s getting paid too much……he couldn’t just let Santana throw a few more pitches before grounding into the DP? Santana STILL has only thrown 90 pitches through 7 innings — let’ s hope Huddy has a little gas left in the tank.

  72. a dp and a pop out for Frenchy–only needs a K for the trifecta–maybe time for another night off

  73. Despite the way he pitched last inning, I am happy to see Santana go…Church continues to be a pain.

  74. wright will lead off next inning. can’t we have resop come in for one pitch?

  75. Wow…I thought Double Play….

    I was writing this comment “Can Hudson make DP, PLZ? ” before castillo make it.

    I have a presentiment 100% came true until now :-)

  76. What happens first, Stockman gets in a game, or he gets sent down to make room for one of the 3 DL’ed closers?

  77. Bobby Cox has before even worse than Tony LaRussa with the bullpen lefty-vs.-righty matchup thing.

  78. And Ohman is the RIGHT move here (well, maybe Ring, but the LOOGY is the right play).

  79. so that’s supposed to be 2 hits off of Acosta but it’s 2 outs. (not that i’m complaining, but luck got the job done there, not Acosta)

  80. How does the save rule work? Is it tying run in the batting box or tying run at the plate?

  81. Wow. This is the kind of series that would just kill me if I was a fan of the losing team. Especially that 9th inning. Should’ve been first and second, one run in no outs. Instead, OVER!

    Sweet win for the Braves!

  82. And the next Mets visit is in September – odds on Willie still being manager then? 5%? 10%?

  83. @ 201

    Maybe ‘misfortune’ would be more accurate. It was beautiful to see, regardless. :)

  84. Probably the best game all year & it’s the one time I can’t see it on TV. Thanks CSS!

  85. Yeah… earlier this season I complained to the cable provider about not getting peachtree TV and now, they show braves games on C-span 2 whenever it is on peachtree tv. Who even watches c-span anyway…

  86. Very refreshing to see a manager manage as if the save rule and closer role don’t exist. That’s how it should be, go for your best chance to win not to accumulate stats.

    Big props for Bobby on the bullpen this year.

  87. You should see all the whining people over at Metsblog.com, a site which i’m sure you’ve all heard of…

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