Game 2 Preview- Cards (away) 8:10pm

Current record: 1-0 Hernandez vs. Wells

In case you haven’t guessed from my other posts, El Duque is the biggest question mark in my mind for the starting rotation. And that’s saying something with three somewhat unproven starters behind him. I am concerned about his health. Hey, he is 71 years old. Beyond that I’m more concerned about him being ineffective.

I’ll never understand Omar giving him a two year contract. Why couldn’t we give him one year? A lot of pundits, including Bud Selig (listen to his 3/30/07 WFAN interview), have implied there were concerns about the Royals giving Gil Meche a $55M contract. I think that was a better contract than giving Duque two years and $12M. Realistically, how many options could he have had after last year? I can’t imagine anyone else was offering him more than one year. I would have paid him enough to make sure I got him for one year, but no way do I want to be locked into two years with him.

Duque was 11-11 with a 4.66 ERA in 29 starts combined with the Mets and D-Backs last year. He only pitched 162+ innings. That’s just not good enough to get a multi-year contract from a team with a $100M payroll. I could see the Pirates or Mariners offering him a multi-year deal, but not the Mets. They could have used the money to go after Lilly, Meche, or another .500 pitcher that doesn’t have so many miles on him.

Tonight’s opposing pitcher for the Cards isn’t very good either. Kip Wells was 2-5 with a 6.50 ERA last year combined with Pittsburgh and Texas. He only made 9 starts and pitched 44+ innings. His lifetime total is 57-74 with a 4.46 ERA. I know he’s played on some bad teams in Pittsburgh, but I always thought he was more of the problem there than the solution.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on Wells as the Cards reclamation project for Dave Duncan. He’s a good pitching coach and might be able to do something with Wells. We all know that the Mets/Rick Peterson have more than their fair share of reclamation projects.

Hopefully, the Mets will ruin the Cards ring ceremony tonight just like they did the World Series flag raising on Sunday night. Enjoy the game…

Game 1- Post game wrap up

Glavine looked fantastic until the sixth. Joe Smith looked nervous, but he’ll get over that. I liked that Willie trusted him with a lead. Heilman got a little lucky with the double play ball up the middle. Rolen hit that ball pretty sharply. Heilman owes Valentin a dinner for bailing him out. As usual, Wagner can make us fans nervous but comes through in the end. I was very surprised that Willie stuck with Feliciano going into the eighth inning. He’s more of a lefty specialist, one inning at most, type of pitcher to me.

Great D tonight. It was nice to see that they looked so sharp this early in the season. I thought we might see Easley pinch hit for Valentin against Tyler Johnson in the seventh. Valentin’s a shaky right handed hitter at best. I’d really like to see Easley get a lot of at-bat’s this year against lefty’s. Last year Valentin hit .219 against them. It turned out well in the end as he saved the eighth inning with a great play up the middle for another highlight double play.

Let’s Get It On!

If you’re like me and have had enough of reading the meaningless columns filled with predictions for this coming season, it’s finally time to get it on. I’m ready and I hope this version of the Mets are too.

Sunday April 1st 8:05pm ESPN- Glavine vs. Carpenter

This looks to be a great start to the season. National TV, rematch of last year’s NL championship series. Don’t remind me.

Tuesday April 3rd 8:10pm SNY- El Duque vs. Kip Wells

I’m a little worried about Duque this year, and don’t understand the two year contract he signed. Did we need to sign him for more than one year?

Wednesday April 4th 8:10pm ESPN2- Maine vs. Looper

Looper had a good spring, but I still think he’ll flounder as a starter. He’ll be no better than he was as a closer, and we know all too well about that!

Enjoy the series…

Does Julio Franco deserve a roster spot?

Simply, yes he does.

Believe me, I’m not a big fan of Franco’s. I understand all of the negatives. Omar shouldn’t have given him a two year contract. He can only play first base, barely. He can’t pull the ball anymore. He has no power. I also know that we’re 17 years removed from his AL MVP. I know that his role as a mentor for younger players is overrated. I know, I know.

Julio Franco

The main reason that he should be on the team is that some members of the team would mutiny if he was cut. Also, Lastings Milledge told Mike and the Mad Dog during spring training this year that Franco is the go-to guy for advice. So he is fulfilling the role that Omar intended for him.

Whose roster spot is he taking anyway? Ben Johnson is better off at Triple-A getting some at-bats. He’s got a .236 career average with San Diego the last two years! We certainly don’t need another outfielder with Milledge, Chavez, and Newhan all having the ability to play the outfield. Hey, even Damion Easley could play the outfield in a pinch. Ben Johnson will probably be back if they send Milledge down to get some at-bats.

He does deserve to be here. Do I want to see Omar sign him again next year? No chance.

You can see a break down of the team roster posted today (3/31/07) at Sportsline: