September 30, 2007


Florida 8, NY Mets 1 (AP, 9/30/07)

The collapse is complete. When the New York Mets needed a big game, Tom Glavine pitched one of his worst.

After blowing a big September lead in the NL East, the Mets missed the playoffs Sunday when Glavine was tagged for seven runs during the first inning of a season-ending 8-1 loss to the Florida Marlins.

New York's loss coupled with Philadelphia's 6-1 win over Washington gave the division title to the Phillies and sent the stunned Mets home for the winter wondering how they squandered a seven-game cushion over the final 18 days of an excruciating season.

Now, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez and the rest of this talented team will forever be remembered alongside the 1964 Phillies and other famous failures for skidding to one of baseball's most monumental collapses.

They didn't so much collapse as settle at the level appropriate to their pitching staff. Omar Minaya has to carry the bag for their record.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 30, 2007 5:42 PM

The Mets are who you thought the Yankees were in the Spring.

Posted by: Palmcroft at September 30, 2007 6:05 PM

Anti-Philadelphia is the anti-Semitism of the Baseball fan.

Posted by: Lou Gots at September 30, 2007 6:51 PM

So are the Yankees. It just turned out the Tigers/Twins weren't good enough to edge them.

Posted by: oj at September 30, 2007 7:47 PM

For example, the Mariners ended up doing better than most everyone expected, yet no one wants to celebrate, because how the team got there and where they could have gone also matters when a team implodes like the Mariners and especially the Mets did.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at September 30, 2007 8:37 PM

Reyes didn't exactly help his team the last 2 months. Oy, did he stink it up.

I seem to recall a certain bearded blog proprietor posting articles calling Reyes the best ss in NY earlier this season. Sharp-minded critics pointed out that Reyes not only wasn't the best ss in the city, he wasn't even the 2nd best middle infielder in town, being behind not only Jeter, but also Cano. Who was right?

Meanwhile it's profoundly silly to compare the Yankees to the Mets. The Yanks had a slow start, in part b/c of injuries to the starting pitching in Spring Training, but for 4 months now they've played the best baseball in the AL by far, mixing in talented young arms (how's Laptop Buchholz's shoulder by the way?)to go with their vets. And destroying the Sawx head-to-head 9 wins to 3 over that period, including taking 5 of 6 recently when both teams' top starters faced off.

Does this mean the Yanks will do anything in the playoffs? Probably not. The Indians, with their 1-2 pitching punch and the arms in their pen, are probably the best constructed team to succeed in the playoffs. The Angels with a healthy Vlad wouldn't be too far behind.

The Sawx? They have the same problems as the Yankees, except without the Yankees offensive talent. Both teams have one strong starter, then a bunch of question marks. Both closers aren't firing on all cylinders. Mo's command is off, while the Yanks teed off on Paps recently, and besides the kid's got a glass shoulder like his laptop-stealing teammate. Who knows if he can pitch back-to-back if needed without his arm falling off? At least the Yanks have Joba to fall back on, while the Sawx only have Gagne and Oki, questionable arms to say the least. Maybe Delcarmen will step up.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 1, 2007 12:45 AM


Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 1, 2007 2:50 AM

Ramirez is a better hitter than Reyes, though they're moving him to CF next year because he fields like Jeter. Rollins, older than both, had his peak year at age 28 as you'd expect (the year he was Reyes's age he hit: 262 8 62 20).

The Yankees do have three pitchers who look like they can contribute for a few years--Hughes & Kennedy in the rotation and Chamberlain as a kind of Charlie Kerfeld redux. Sadly, but predictably, none of their veteran pitchers is still pitching well and they've become quite reliant on the youngsters. Also, they don't have a position player in the system who appears able to help in the next few years.

The Sox, on the other hand, besides the numerous positional guys on the verge--Ellsbury, Moss, Lowrie, etc.--were able to get Buchholz some useful big league innings and then shut him down and developed Delcarmen into an 8th inning bridge, plus have myriad arms coming. They also did something that th Tigers most recently showed is pretty tough to do, started coasting in May but had enough left to maintain the best record in baseball. Of course, the Tigers showed you don't need to.

The Yanks might be able to stay competitive in the AL East, but they'll need George's checkbook to do so.

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2007 6:21 AM

OJ, how much do you think the Sawx and Yanks will part in the offseason to get some of what is apparently a surplus of young pitching from either San Diego, Arizona, or Colorado(!)? You saw Ubaldo Jimenez yesterday; that stuff is just mean!

BTW, if Tulowitzki, who leads the majors among shortstops in fielding, does not get NL Rookie of the Year, there is clearly an anti-Colorado bias in baseball.

Posted by: Brad S at October 1, 2007 7:14 AM

The Sox don't have room on the postseason roster for Buchholz & Lester. They have a five man rotation, closer & setup of 27&unders.

What they could really use is a catcher. It would have been nice to get Gerald Laird with Gagne.

the Yankees could obviously use a couple more arms, but what do they have to offer for them?

Posted by: oj at October 1, 2007 10:26 AM