The New York Mets are collapsing, and there is going to be blame placed on someone if it ends the way it has been going. I have thought this about the Mets since before the season began…they needed pitching. I actually thought that with the money they had and the talent in place already, that they should have made a serious push at Zito this past offseason. Now Zito commanded an absurd amount of money, and I know that teams were smart to shy away from that kind of contract. But still, Zito may not be the ace that he [appeared] to be in Oakland, but he will be better than he has been this season, that is almost certain. So anyway, without pitching, the Mets have faltered. I am not going to comment on Willie Randolph, because I don’t see his in-game management. Simple as that. But as Buster Olney points out, Minaya should be taking a lot of the heat. He had everything in place, but needed to make a few additions. I liked the signing of Alou, but I thought that a starting pitcher was much more important of an issue. The trading of "arms" that has taken place during the course of this season is on Minaya though. I did not know enough about the guys being traded (Bannister, Bell, etc.) at the time of the trades. But Minaya had a much, much better understanding of what he had. He has his scouts to describe them, he has minor league performance to look at, etc. So I really do not know what should be done, but this team should have won over 90 games. And even if the Phillies won the division, the Mets still should have been in position to win the Wild Card.
The good news in New York? The Phillies are throwing Adam Eaton today, who has been BAD this year, and Jamie Moyer tomorrow, who has been getting hammered lately. In four of Moyer’s last eight starts he has given up 5+ earned runs. And Eaton has an ERA that sits at 6.33. The Mets counter in New York with John Maine and Tom Glavine. On paper it looks as though the Mets have a good opportunity to force a one game playoff, but we will see how it plays out.
I have been hearing an endless amount of praise for that of Troy Tulowitzki. I have had an understanding that he has had a fine year, all year long. But ever since the Rockies began winning games as though they were taking place against little league teams, Tulo has been idolized. He is tied in "Win Shares" with that of Derrek Lee and Ryan Howard. However, his offense has been significantly better at home than on the road. Colorado is still a "Hitters park" everyone. Maybe not to the same degree, but still benefits hitters. His home OPS is .962. On the road it is .719. And people seem to want to ignore this. That is a huge difference. He has been great on the defensive side I have heard, and his "RZR" is fourth among NL SS’s. And he seems to have those Jeter-like intangibles and at such a young age to go along with great insticts.
With all this said I clicked on the Rockies/D’Backs game last night. And this was the second time I had done so, but this time as I arrived, a ground ball was being hit directly up the middle by, I dont know who. But Tulowitzki made a very nice play ranging up the middle, and I was able to see some of that defense for the first time live. I have seen highlights, but had not seen anything great in the one game sample of him earlier in the year against the Red Sox.
In addition to watching this clip of possible future greatness, I also had the Brewers/Pads game on ESPN. I saw the Brewers fail to stay in contention, but the fans in Milwaukee still had a very good season. Maybe they are more mediocre than they are good, but they have plenty of young stars and have the chance to be better next season. So it wasn’t a lost cause of a season by any means.
As soon as the Yankees game went into the bottom of the ninth, I clicked over to that also. No offense Yankee fans, but I expected a little excitement with Rivera on the mound. I didn’t expect what happened to take place, but I thought maybe the tying run might come to the plate, or something like that. And when Jay Payton came up, I thought the game was over. I just didn’t feel he would come through. But he did, and the game was tied. The Orioles ended up winning the game as all of us know.
Note: I would have watched some of the Mets game had they not been blacked out. Devil Rays and Marlins games are blacked out in my area, and neither of them are shown on my local cable network.
So the playoffs are set in the AL. Home-field throughout has not been decided, but the four teams are there. And the Red Sox get the Angels for round 1, otherwise known as the ALDS.