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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

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The San Francisco Beat

The Giants will lead the world in Barrys this year. It's a dubious distinction.

We didn't get our man. Barry Zito signed with San Francisco for money that makes Jeff Suppan look positively impoverished. Not the paltry six years, $96 million talked about in Texas and surely not the five years, $75 million reportedly proposed by the Mets.

Seven years. $126 million.

When it gets that high, you put your bidding paddles away.

24 comments to The San Francisco Beat

  • Anonymous

    People are already freaking out on various Mets boards. I just don't get it. That much money PLUS seven years (with an option for eight) is insane. There is no need to think that the Mets screwed up big time.
    Let the kids pitch. They do have some playoff experience, which used to count for something.

  • Anonymous

    As it stands now, the rotation looks like:
    Glavine
    Duque
    Maine (?)
    Perez (?)
    Pelfrey? Humber? Soler? Dave Williams? Lima? Return of Trachsel?
    Ya gotta wonder…

  • Anonymous

    Bite your tongue on Trachsel. Lima, too.
    Based on the samples we saw last year, there is significant upside to Maine and Perez. Pelfrey and Humber are No. 1 picks who haven't given us reason to doubt their futures. Williams was very solid. Soler has a page in the Mets calendar, I hear. Julio Vargas is hanging around. Plus there's a whole world out there waiting to be Omared.
    To say nothing of a certain ace who may (may) be ready for the second half.
    Starters can emerge out of nowhere. At this time just ahead of their first full years as Mets, nobody was penciling in significant contributions from Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch or Jae Seo, guys who were already in the system but generally forgotten or overlooked.
    It's not airtight, but it's adequate-plus. Let's get to St. Lucie already yet and find out what's cooking.

  • Anonymous

    This is an episode that will get spun and respun over the years as circumstances dictate. For precedent, look to the nonsigning of Alex Rodriguez. The Mets were cheap fools to not sign him — except when it became convenient to note they were very wise to not sign him. We'll be subject to that kind of dichotomy over Zito depending on whether he/we start 4-0 or 0-4 and what we do after that.
    Nobody was talking about seven years. The Mets supposedly didn't want to go six. And the total? $126 mil (half of A-Rod, come to think of it). Geez! There's reason to be disappointed that we didn't wind up the guy, but those who think the Mets didn't get the job done because they didn't top San Francisco are the kinds who were going to boo Barry Zito if he was a Met and walked off the mound down 5-2 in the sixth in April.

  • Anonymous

    (backing away from the ledge)

  • Anonymous

    To sort of reply to the above post and sort of go in a different direction, we've still got the offense and the bullpen, who were the main reasons we got as far as we did. It's dangerous playing the comparison-between-years game but I'm going to give it a go:
    Offensively, on balance we should come out equal to last year's output. I think Reyes will take a very small step backward and Wright will take a very small step forward to cancel each other out. Beltran's power should go down a bit but Delgado's average/on-base should go up a pinch to balance that. Duca's and Valentin's averages will come down some but Alou's production over last year's cavalcade of left fielders should balance that. Green ought to match last year's Nady/Green combo.
    Bullpen-wise, it's hopeless to try to predict individual performance given the small sample sizes, but Wags/Duaner/Heilman have enough of a track record to trust them in the front end of the pen, and we have enough options through the big roster and AAA to find good four-man back end.
    On to the rotation then. (1) Assuming health, Glavine '07 may be a bit less productive but should be equal to the Glavine/Pelfrey '06 combo. (2) I defy you to tell me Oliver Perez can't match Trachsel's '06 performance. (3) Like with Glavine, Maine may not match his personal performance but a full six months of Maine should match the performance of the Zambrano/Gonzalez/Soler/Maine '06 roster spot. (4) Last year's “4 months of Pedro, 2 months of Williams, Perez, etc.” is this year's “2 months of Pedro, 4 months of Pelfrey.” There's some drop-off there but it's not massive unless Pedro comes back and is bad. (5) Duque claims his own spot in the rotation, which also also shared with Bannister and Lima last year. Call it even.
    Again I realize this proves nothing and is a fool's game. I'm not putting a ton of stock in this comparison business. But it's a nice general reminder of how good we really were and how good we probably should be without Zito.

  • Anonymous

    It's all a matter of guesswork, but your guess works pretty well.

  • Anonymous

    Charlie,
    I'd take the question marks off Maine and Perez. Their work last fall has earned them that.
    Starter #5? Who knows? That's what February and March are for.
    And, yes, please never let the names Jose Lima or Steve Trachsel escape your lips again, unless they're preceded by, “Hey, remember…” and followed by, “…? Wonder where they are now.”

  • Anonymous

    “omared” i love it!

  • Anonymous

    The odds of Zito being consistently good enough and healthy enough long enough to make this contract the Ginats have given him a good investment can be calculated with some certainty. The denominator is the number of guys who have started a major-league season opener in the last, say, sixty years, and the numerator is the number who were named Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux or Bob Gibson.
    In other words, there will almost certainly come a time when this contract the Giants gave Zito will look mighty stupid. That day may not be in 2007 or even 2008, but it will certainly come long before 2013. And then Giants fans will face a bunch of years when their GM can't make a move “because we're still paying Barry Zito.”

  • Anonymous

    I think the offense could very well be stronger, with a healthy Delgado (the elbow was bothering him since Spring Training) and the addition of Alou's bat against lefthanders. And the bullpen, with a full season of Sanchez and the potential of Burgos, could be improved, as well.
    That said, I don't see how the starting rotation becomes a wash, not when Trachsel and Pedro combined for about 300 innings that now have to be picked up someway, somehow. That's about 20% of the team's entire workload. While I can foresee Maine and El Duque picking up some of this slack, the Mets, at a minimum, need to pick up a guy who can throw 175 innings of league-average, #3 starter ball.
    Finally, I'm going to defy Anonymous: I love Oliver Perez' potential and his live arm and all the past success he had when he struck out all those hitters — but he's been horribly inconsistent the past couple of years. He's got that Steve Blass look to him these days. I hope I'm wrong and that you'll be able to throw this post in my face at a later date, but Perez seems to be the least “sure” thing of all our rotation candidates.
    Now, what about someone like Brad Penny?

  • Anonymous

    What about “someone like Brad Penny”? You mean a selfish, inconsistent a**hole? No thanks. I'd take any number of guys from LA, but not him.
    Right now my main concern is how big a bucket o' balls we can get for Shawn Green. If Pittsburgh would take him off our hands, so much the better. Maybe if we throw in some bats, we can get our real rightfielder back.
    Yeah, I'm bitter.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, maybe there's a way to make that part of the “red” campaign.
    maybe have bono wear a mets shirt with oma(red) on the back.

  • Anonymous

    i'm glad you're not putting a lot of stock in comparing, because you just said oliver perez is good for 15 wins and the team's lead in victories. i like the kid, he'll be better than 3-13, but you might find there's a wee bit of a gap between forecast and reality.

  • Anonymous

    Given the age in which we live, let's not get carried away projecting win totals or putting a ton of credence into those compiled by mediocre pitchers on stacked offensive teams. It's not a matter of replacing Trachsel's 15 wins. It's a matter of replacing his innings effectively. Perez certainly has the talent to do that.
    Also, the pen, the pen, the pen. If we have nothing but pitcher who can give us six effective innings, we're probably ahead of the game. How many staffs are filled with starters who routinely go seven or eight? If we can get that kind of length, eventually in '07, from Pelfrey/Humber, that would be a bonus. But I've seen little evidence that anybody lets anybody anywhere pitch more than six as a rule. That's why Heilman's innings, spaced out in the course of a week as they are, are considered too valuable to toss in one bundle once a week.

  • Anonymous

    i'm NOT putting a ton of credence in this statement — “2) I defy you to tell me Oliver Perez can't match Trachsel's '06 performance.” — but then, i didn't make it.
    and its very specificity, not to mention its unnecessary braggadocio, called out for calling out.
    innings pitched is NOT what elliot s., the commenter, was addressing (though you're right, that's the relevant issue). that's why i took note of what he posted.

  • Anonymous

    I can't fault Omar on this one. 7 years is way too long for a guy like Zito.
    But then what do I know…I wanted Dontrell “where's a restroom when you need one” Willis?

  • Anonymous

    I was talking about innings pitched and ERA. Pitcher record is incidental; run support will be spread out in some random way.

  • Anonymous

    I'm thinking Trachsel paid off Mets hitters the way quarterbacks and running backs “take care” of their o-line. They felt extra motivation to keep him on his feet.
    Five ERA. Fifteen wins. If you have a better explanation, let me know.

  • Anonymous

    It was the Isotoner gloves…

  • Anonymous

    elliot s., as soon as you show me where you mentioned the words innings and e.r.a. in your initial post about pitchers, let alone regarding trachsel and perez, you'll have me nodding in agreement.

  • Anonymous

    And just like that, I hate Dan Marino all over again.

  • Anonymous

    It was fairly well implied to me. I don't think anyone considers 15 wins Trachsel's measure of performance, but rather a happy consequence of the odd distribution of runs. Regardless, I cede the floor and this comment thread to you; it's gotten way too hostile for my tastes. If you want to be right that bad, you can have it.

  • Anonymous

    Fellas, it's Sandy Koufax's birthday. Can't we all just get along?
    (That's Koufax, not Zito, the guy who claimed certain Koufaxian aspirational qualities would go into his decisionmaking.)