Sunday, August 07, 2005

Seo Happy Ishii's Gone
By Ben Valentine

I had something else planned to post today, but when I woke up early this afternoon, I learned of something tremendous. Jae Seo had been put in the rotation with Kaz Ishii being demoted to AAA.

It was the best news I’d heard in some time. It pleased me so much that despite my plan on putting in a few different snippets in this post, I had to have that terrible pun as my title.

This move should have happened a month and a half ago. Ishii walks too many batters and doesn’t go deep enough into games to deserve to keep his starting spot; not with Seo and Aaron Heilman on this team. The Mets bullpen isn’t their strength and thus they cannot afford to start five inning pitchers. Just ask the Yankees about doing that.

In the end, Seo delivered a 7 1/3 inning performance, shutting out the Cubbies while allowing four hits, a walk and punching out four. He’ll probably stay in the rotation for one more start, then either get demoted to AAA or the pen when Steve Trachsel returns. It’s a shame because Seo deserves to get a full season to show whether or not his 2003 campaign was a fluke or not. Odds are, he’ll end up showing it for another team. But until then I can dream that Omar Minaya trades Tom Glavine this week and lets Seo stick around.

*Want to play Shortstop? Just call the Nats!

I was back on the NYU “campus” Friday and got to hang out with one of my best baseball and NYU friends, period, William Claytor, a.k.a. “Gray”. Gray’s a huge sabermetrics guy and a very big Oakland A’s fan who also is always good for informing me of who’s having a really good season and who really has been garbage. Well this time he really pulled out a stinker.

Cristian Guzman, ladies and gentlemen, is the WORST starter in the majors. Guzman is posting a .238 on base… That’s right ON BASE percentage. His average stands at a paltry .192 on the season and he’s slugging a hefty .273. For the record he’s got 3 home runs and 3 steals this year. So to repeat that’s .192/.238/.273 for a whopping 511 OPS. Awful, just awful.

By the way, in response to a comment by David Arnott, the knowledgeable writer of Veni Vidi Vixi, John Patterson’s stats this year: 126.2 innings, 126 Ks, 39 BB, 98 hits allowed, 2.49 ERA and a WHIP of 1.082. Somehow he’s 5-3. (Actually the reason is detailed earlier. Scroll up to refresh your memory.) My fantasy team may be done for this year, but it’s certainly not Patterson’s fault as he’s been one of the best pitchers in baseball this year, period.

(As a side note, a little over a year ago I was able to attend David Wright’s first major league game for the Mets. The pitching match up: Jae Seo against John Patterson. Patterson made Wright look silly. But he also gave up a double to Seo. What a difference a year makes. I mean back then Patterson pitched for a team called the “Expos”. Oh and I doubt he gets mentioned this much in Washington)

*Hey that group looks nothing like my “Insert Favorite Hockey Team Here”

For those of you who haven’t noticed, the NHL is back in action. The new landscape of the salary cap has created a paradise for owners and G.M.s alike… hundreds of free agents glutting up the market with a salary cap already depressing salaries. A nightmare, naturally for the players. But lots of potential fun for fans.

Blackhawk fans have to be excited to get Nikolai Khabibulin and to a lesser extent Adrian Aucoin. Flyer fans (curse their souls) are probably going nuts having gotten Peter Forsberg back (dealt in the 1991 Eric Lindros Trade). Islander fans have to love getting the solid Mike York for a washed up Mike Peca.

Oh and Ranger fans like myself can just keep hating Glen Sather, since the Rangers have done nothing so far. I’ll reserve complete judgment on this team until Messier’s fate is decided. I’ll salute Sather for going with the youth if Messier is not on this team. But I’m not holding my breath, since in a pathetic attempt to placate Jaromir Jagr, Slats brought in old men Martin Rucinsky and Martin Straka because…. Wait for it… they’re Czechs! So that will please Jagr! And if Jagr is pleased then he’ll score 60 goals and the Rangers will make the playoffs! Are you believing this yet? Didn’t think so.

Sometimes I really hate being a Ranger fan. Oh well I can’t be unhappy tonight.

Ding dong, Ishii is gone.


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