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January 18, 2007
  
2006 Mets in Review: Bullpen, Part I

There’s nothing worse than having a bad bullpen. A bad bullpen can drive fans and teams crazy as hard-earned wins become heartbreaking losses. Close games can become excruciating to watch as fans wait nervously for the bullpen to pitch their team out of the game. In addition to taking years off fans’ lives, a bad bullpen can make a manager look bad since a manager’s bullpen usage is how a manager most influences a game.

In his first year as a manager, Willie Randolph had to deal with a bad bullpen, especially in the first half of the season. Here are the relievers Randolph had at his disposal on Opening Day in 2005:

Braden Looper
Mike DeJean
Roberto Hernandez
Dae-Sung Koo
Mike Matthews
Felix Heredia
Manny Aybar

The fact that four of those guys didn’t throw a single pitch to a major league hitter in 2006 shows just how bad that April bullpen was. Fortunately for the Mets and their fans, the team didn’t have to rely on those guys for very long, as relievers like Aaron Heilman and Juan Padilla emerged to provide stability. Despite the bad start, the Met bullpen finished 6th in the NL in ERA in 2005. While it was probably a little bit worse than that number indicates because the Mets play in a pitcher’s park, it’s safe to say that the Mets’ bullpen was at least league average in 2005.

League average wasn’t good enough for Omar Minaya so he made improving the bullpen a priority after the 2005 season. Omar made several moves—some of which I personally didn’t like—and the results couldn’t have been better. Here are the numbers:

2005: 413 IP, 3.92 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 7.19 K/9, 3.73 BB/9, 1.93 K/BB, 105 ERA+, 69% of inherited runners stranded, Opponents batted .265/.337/.383.

2006: 542.2 IP, 3.28 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 8.04 K/9, 2.89 BB/9, 2.79 K/BB, 131 ERA+, 71% of inherited runners stranded, Opponents batted .239/.303/.361.

The Mets’ bullpen was better anyway you look at it. Mets’ relievers were able to shed two-thirds of a run from their 2005 ERA, and that’s especially impressive when you consider that 2006 saw an upturn offensively across the entire league.

The one statistic that really jumps off the page is the difference in innings pitched. The Mets’ bullpen had to throw nearly 130 more innings in 2006 then in 2005, or a difference of five innings per week. This happened as a result of several things. First, the Mets won more road games. Second, the Mets played more than their fair share of long extra-inning games. But the most important reason for the additional innings was the rotation simply not pitching very deep into games. In 2005, Met starters averaged 6.31 innings per start, approximately two-thirds an inning more than they did in 2006 (5.67).

All this makes the Mets’ bullpen that much more impressive. Most bullpens include at least one or two pitchers who simply aren’t very good. When a bullpen is overworked, these bad pitchers usually have to throw more innings than a team would like. The Mets’ bullpen, by comparison, didn’t have a single pitcher that was not effective in the role assigned to him. Let’s take a quick look at the main contributors to the 2006 bullpen and speculate on what can be expected from them in 2007.

Billy Wagner

The Mets gave Billy Wagner a huge contract to make them forget about Braden Looper’s difficult 2005 season. At least for the regular season, Billy Wagner did what he was paid to do. Wagner is one of the greatest closers of all time so the fact that his 2006 season was right in line with his career numbers is a pretty good indication that he had a fantastic regular season. Interestingly enough, Wagner had his highest strikeout rate since 1999.

2007 Guesstimate: Despite the increased strikeout rate, Wagner allowed more batters to get on base: his WHIP was his highest in a full season since 1998. This was due to the fact that his BABIP was .304, about 50 points higher than his career average entering 2006. Personally, I think it’s a fluke, but it’ll be interesting to see if that BABIP was an aberration or the beginning of a trend. Either way, Wagner’s still one of the best in the business, and he’ll certainly help the Mets in their quest to make the playoffs. I’m sure Wagner wants a chance to improve on his disastrous postseason numbers (8.71 ERA in 10.1 IP).

Aaron Heilman

After looking like a bust in his first two stints in the majors, Aaron Heilman altered his motion early in the 2005 season and he’s looked like a completely different pitcher ever since. The improvement in his ERA+ illustrates just that, rising from a 67 over his first two seasons to a 126 over his last two.

Heilman showed promise in 2005 as a starter but was rather inconsistent in the seven starts he made. That same inconsistency came through as a reliever also in 2005, but I personally think that was due to luck since he demonstrated the ability to post excellent peripheral statistics even when the final line was less than stellar. Heilman was particularly phenomenal down the stretch in 2005, posting a microscopic 0.54 ERA over his final 33.1 innings. Thanks to that strong finish, Heilman wound up with a 2.18 ERA as a reliever and a 3.17 ERA overall.

The Mets entered the 2006 season with the hope that Heilman would be a starter, but Brian Bannister won the fifth spot in the rotation while Heilman was moved to the bullpen to share set-up duties with Duaner Sanchez. Heilman did nothing to deserve that fate, posting a 1.59 ERA in 17 innings with a 14/1 K/BB ratio in Spring Training. It appears that Heilman was a victim of his own success as a reliever; the Mets felt they were a stronger team with Heilman in the bullpen and Bannister in the rotation.

Heilman’s year in the bullpen was somewhat disappointing simply because he raised the bar so high in 2005, but he still had a very good year overall. Heilman finished seventh in all of baseball in relief innings with 87 while posting a fine 3.62 ERA. Although Heilman saw a decline in his strikeout rate from a superb 9.82 K/9 to a still solid 7.55, Heilman’s other peripherals were strong enough for him to post a FIP ERA of 3.29.

2007 Guesstimate: Heilman has established himself as one of the best setup men in the game over the last two seasons, posting a 3.00 ERA as a reliever with peripherals that indicate that his performance was no fluke. His ability to pitch multiple innings if needed is invaluable on a team with a rotation that doesn’t have many (any?) starters that can pitch deep into games consistently. I’m expecting Heilman to have an even better year in 2007, as I could definitely see a sub-3.00 ERA from Heilman in a similar number of innings.

Duaner Sanchez

Talk about not wasting any time getting the fans on your side! Duaner Sanchez became a Met as a result of a controversial deal in which Omar Minaya sent Jae Seo and Tim Hamulack to the Dodgers for Sanchez and Steve Schmoll. At the time I didn’t care for the move, because I felt that Seo would be good for around 180 league average innings in 2006, which would have made him a very valuable commodity indeed. I didn’t think Minaya got enough for a quality starting pitcher making a tiny salary in baseball terms, particularly in light of the team’s decision to keep Heilman in the ‘pen.

It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Sanchez quickly established himself as a fan favorite by not allowing a run in his first 21 IP, and it helped that Seo had a horrific season.

The first time I watched Duaner Sanchez pitch for the Mets the thing that surprised me most was just how many quality pitches he had in his repertoire. Sanchez throws:
1. A 4-seam fastball that sits at 95 MPH
2. A 2-seam fastball with good movement that he throws in the low nineties.
3. An excellent changeup with downward action
4. A slider
5. A good curveball

Looking at that, it’s tough to see how he hadn’t become a star reliever in LA.

Prior to his unfortunate injury just before the deadline, Sanchez was having himself a phenomenal year. His 2.60 ERA was more than 3 quarters of a run lower than he had ever posted and he was on pace to throw more than 80 innings for the third straight season before he separated his shoulder in late August. We’ll never know what might have happened in the playoffs had Sanchez been healthy enough to pitch.

2007 Guesstimate: Dirty should be completely recovered from his separated shoulder by Opening Day, and there shouldn’t be any long-term effects. Of course, we won’t know for sure until we see how Sanchez performs. In addition, his peripherals, while strong, weren’t quite as good as his ERA although his walk rate is adversely influenced by the fact that 6 of the 24 walks he issued were of the intentional variety. Sanchez is a difficult guy to project because of the injury, his stuff, and track record. Personally, I’m expecting a 3.25-3.50 ERA from Sanchez next season in around 80-90 innings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he bettered that either.

Guillermo Mota

Guillermo Mota was once widely considered one of the best setup men in all of baseball, but he has struggled to find his previous form ever since being traded from the Dodgers during the 2004 season. In fact, Mota’s ERA in his time with the Marlins and Indians was an astronomical 5.14. The Mets only acquired Mota because of Sanchez’s injury but coming to Shea appeared to give Mota back what he appeared to have lost since leaving Los Angeles. Mota posted a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings, and his excellent work in August and September earned him a prominent role with the Mets during their playoff run.

The Mets found out after being eliminated from the playoffs that Mota had been using performance-enhancing drugs during the regular season, and as a result Mota was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball. Despite the fact that Mota would not be available until late May, the Mets re-signed Mota to a 2-year deal.

2007 Guesstimate: I have no idea how much the drugs that Mota was using helped him. Mota’s stuff was just as nasty last season when he was getting lit up in the American League; his fastball was still hitting 97 during his time with the Indians. It’s entirely possible that taking the drugs helped Mota more mentally than physically as the drugs may have given Mota back that confidence he had lost. I’m not going to pretend I know what to expect from Mota next year. I wouldn’t be shocked if he were the dominant setup man he was with the Dodgers in 2003-2004, nor would I be if he stunk up the joint. Your guess is as good as mine.

Next time, I’ll look at the bottom half of the bullpen and any other guys who have a shot at contributing in 2007.


443 Responses to “2006 Mets in Review: Bullpen, Part I”

Pages: « 1 2 3 4 [5]

  1. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 6:31 pm (#216930)

    you cant count the under 21 heads in attendance!

    Dep, the drinking age back then was 18. Lucky F’ers

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  3. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 6:32 pm (#216931)

    LOL C low, whoops!!! Lucky is right, even though i really was never denied getting drunk since age 18 if i really wanted to, there was a way)

    you still cant count the kiddies!!!

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  5. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 6:33 pm (#216932)

    it is hard to smuggle 9 beers in your ass and they’d get real warm by the 7th inning.

    Comment of the day.

    congrats :)

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  7. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 6:33 pm (#216933)

    Yeah, but how many of those who attended were kids and non-drinkers.

    apparently none. sure some were kids, but they were all drinking!

    B/9 at Cleveland that night cost $0.90

  8. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 6:35 pm (#216934)

    it is hard to smuggle 9 beers in your ass and they’d get real warm by the 7th inning.

    It’s not hard for A-Rod ;)

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  10. Comment posted by TLC on January 18, 2007 at 6:35 pm (#216935)

    I would have to re-register to get another name. no thanks

  11. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 6:37 pm (#216936)

    all you got to do is buy binocular flasks on Ebay and you are golden.

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  13. Comment posted by pj burnin 101 F on January 18, 2007 at 6:38 pm (#216937)

    It’s not hard for A-Rod ;)

    yeah, but he’s one of the greatest of all time. the average fan would be lucky to get one 12 oz can up there and even if you managed that, walking up to the mezzanine would be a challenge.

    thanks Dep, I’m home sick today so it might be the fever talking

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  15. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 6:41 pm (#216938)

    LMAO PJ.

    hope you feel better bro.

    I dont think I could (or would want to) even fit one can up there.

    btw…in jackass 2, there’s one skit where Steve-O funnels a beer, and not in his mouth. beer actually gets stuck up there and another guy has to take a plunger and plunge his ass. sick but relevant!

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  17. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on January 18, 2007 at 6:45 pm (#216939)

    TLC, to change your handle for metsblog:

    Click the BlogHarbor icon in the upper right.
    Click the “Login” tab - upper right.
    Login under “Login to Reader Account”
    Change “Display Name:” to the new handle you want.

  18. Comment posted by bcuster on January 18, 2007 at 6:46 pm (#216940)

    all you got to do is buy binocular flasks

    i had them and they made me open them up at ravens’ stadium…

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  20. Comment posted by Ellis Dee on January 18, 2007 at 6:47 pm (#216941)

    PS: click “Save Changes” at the bottom.

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  22. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 6:59 pm (#216942)

    I saw this one coming since the trade:

    Braves agreed to terms with first baseman-outfielder Craig Wilson, who had been with the Pirates, on a one-year, $2 million deal.

    Now the Adam LaRoche deal is going to truly improve the Braves. Wilson, a career .296/.395/.543 against lefties, will probably start the season platooning with Scott Thorman at first base, but he can also be a very solid regular if Thorman disappoints. He’s a defensive downgrade for sure, but over the course of his career, he’s been just as productive of a hitter as LaRoche. The Braves have themselves a bargain here

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  24. Comment posted by pj burnin 101 F on January 18, 2007 at 7:02 pm (#216943)

    Craig Wilson was a Pirate, but more recently he was a Skankee

    @ 1 Year/$2M Craig Wilson is the poor man’s Craig Wilson

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  26. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 7:07 pm (#216945)

    ZIPS for Craig Wilson .255/.344/.478 with 20 HR

  27. Comment posted by Bugsy on January 18, 2007 at 7:27 pm (#216947)

    For the ollie fans!!!

    Inside Shea: Olivermania?
    By Howard Megdal on Thursday, January 18 2007

    (Editor’s Note) Gotham Baseball Magazine is proud to announce the newest addition to our editorial staff, Howard Megdal. He has covered both sports and news with an equal amount of excellence and we’re priviliged to have him. Join us as we welcome him to Gotham Nation.

    I’m not sure New York Mets fans realize what a treat they have to look forward to in 2007 with Oliver Perez.

    While many who follow the Amazin’s panicked as news came down July 31 that Duaner Sanchez had been lost for the season, there was quickly reason to celebrate the occasion, as the resulting deal bringing Roberto Hernandez to the Mets for Xavier Nady had a quite the sweetener from Pittsburgh- one Oliver Perez.

    Superficially, an extra pitcher with a 6.63 ERA is nothing to get excited about. But a closer look at what Perez once was, and very well could be again, makes it hard to believe more people aren’t gearing up for Olivermania.

    Let’s start at the beginning. Perez shot through the Padres minor league system, and posted a 3.50 ERA (and better than a K per inning) over 90 innings as a 20-year-old relief pitcher at the major league level. Returning to AAA, he posted a 3.02 ERA as a 21-year-old, and after being dealt to Pittsburgh, he struck out 239 batters in 196 innings as a 22-year-old with an ERA of 2.98. A pitcher posting those kinds of numbers as a 22-year-old at AA would be considered a valuable property- Perez did it at that age against major league hitters.

    It’s not as if he didn’t have the stuff to match his stats, either. His fastball was routinely clocked at 95-96, touching 98. His slider had incredible movement on it, and his curves put Scarlett Johansen to shame.

    What happened next is shrouded in mystery. In an echo of Mel Stottlemyre and Dwight Gooden, Pittsburgh attempted to change Perez’s mechanics before the 2005 season. Unfortunately for both the Bucs and Perez, it became clear once the process started that neither Perez nor the Pittsburgh staff knew how to put the ace back together again. His velocity dropped 8-10 MPH on his fastball, his slider stayed straight more often than not, and his curve simply didn’t find the strike zone.

    Many people point to Perez’s 2005-2006 stats as reason to be doubtful about his 2007 success. Had the Mets not traded for him, and had there not been nine subsequent starts to evaluate, that would be a reasonable position. Perhaps Perez would never put his mechanics back into place, like fellow former Pirate Steve Blass. Perhaps he was hiding an injury, which is frequently the cause for sudden drops in velocity.

    But we have the advantage of those nine starts. While Perez’s overall numbers were not awe-inspiring, we saw progression in A) his velocity, returning to a consistent 94-95 MPH and touching 97-98, B) the movement on his slider and ability to throw his curveball for strikes, and best of all C) an increase in both his first-pitch strikes and overall number of strikes in each start. It also put to rest any concerns that his problems were injury-related, the number-one killer of young pitching.

    The five regular season starts he showed his best control in 2006 were in his four September and one October regular season appearances for the Mets. After a two-week layoff, Perez came back to throw 56 of 92 pitches for strikes in Game 4 of the NLCS, then a Greg Maddux-like 61 of 88 for strikes in Game 7, the most important game he’d pitched to this point in his career.

    Of course, Maddux never dreamed of touching 98 on the gun, let alone having the movement on his secondary pitches like that of Oliver Perez. It became clear, from results and from the dramatic difference in Perez’s mechanics, that the 2005-2006 Pirates edition of Oliver Perez was not the one pitching for the Mets by the end of the 2006 season.

    Now before I get letters asking how I can refer to Greg Maddux as “the poor man’s Oliver Perez,” let me make it clear that there are no guarantees in baseball. Generation K did not end up K’ing many. Tim Leary was only an ace for the Mets if you were experimenting with the hallucinogens of Timothy Leary. And when David West sat around the clubhouse, well, you know how that joke ends.

    But the Mets have a pitcher in Perez who possesses raw stuff essentially unequalled among lefty starters in the game today. (Close second? Scott Kazmir. Take a second to breathe.) He is 25 years old. He has shown the ability to pitch as well as anyone in baseball when his mechanics are in place, and not only does he have a pitching coach whose specialty is fixing wayward arms and legs, early results suggest that when the two work together, Perez’s delivery problems are solved. One can only imagine what a full spring will do for Perez’s approach- not to mention his confidence.

    How rare a season awaits Mets fans in 2007? In Perez’s 7 regular-season and two postseason starts, he struck out 48 in 48 and 2/3 innings, and in his career, even including the lost Pittsburgh seasons of 05-06 (when his K rate dropped precipitously), he’s fanned 673 in 628 1/3 innings. The last Mets starter to strike out more than a batter per inning? David Cone, 1992.

    Met faithful were thrilled by the signing of Pedro Martinez, restoring a sense of excitement about a starting pitcher’s appearances not seen at Shea since the heyday of Dwight Gooden. However, in Oliver Perez, not only can fans flock to see a pitcher whose stuff can deliver that elusive no-hitter on any night, they’ll see him in his prime.

    If you believe that the Pittsburgh Pirates manage pitchers well (see Duke, Zach, Arroyo, Bronson, Wells, Kip and so on for evidence to the contrary), Perez’s 05-06 in that organization represents his true ability, and that despite his returning strikeout rate and better-than-ever control, 48 innings as a Met are too small a sample size to evaluate anyone, then continue to be skeptical of Oliver Perez’s future.

    However, if the mounting evidence that the Mets acquired the 2004-level, still developing Oliver Perez continues to build, be prepared for one of the most spectacular, unexpected pitching performances in the history of the New York Mets.

    Howard Megdal has written about the Mets and Yankees for newspapers, magazines and a multitude of web outlets, including Mets Inside Pitch and Lindy’s Sports Annuals. A former Sports Editor for the Hudson Register-Star, he has covered baseball at the Little League, high school, college, minor and major league levels. He is currently at work on a book about Jewish baseball players.

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  29. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 7:48 pm (#216949)

    maybe i’m not sick at all, maybe this fever is Ollie-mania!

    can i stay home forever?

  30. Comment posted by tom totem on January 18, 2007 at 8:13 pm (#216953)

    I’m rewatching Game 1 of the 1986 Houston series on mlb.tv and it appears as though the announcing team’s commentary is actually being broadcast live through the Astrodome speakers. As irritating as it is to the fans at home, can you imagine being one of the players listening to McCarver belting out his two cents at 110 decibles a line? with re-verb and echo?? You’re talking ‘kill me now’ status right here.

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  32. Comment posted by 86Forever on January 18, 2007 at 8:19 pm (#216954)

    I’ve decided on a beer-per-post evening.

    Come spring, it will be a beer per Ollie K pace

  33. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 8:26 pm (#216956)

    It’s weird now watching the 86 NLCS and listening to Keith Jackson do baseball games. Whoa Nellie!

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  35. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 8:29 pm (#216957)

    ZIPS projects 86 will consume 165 beers during Ollie’s starts

    pj projects 225 beers!

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  37. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm (#216959)

    colbert vs o’reilly on FOX coming up in minutes.

    should be good.

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  39. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 8:34 pm (#216960)

    lmao pj

    i love the ZIPS humor.

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  41. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 8:36 pm (#216961)

    damn i’m DVR’ng too much tv right now to be able to watch it live. i’ll catch it at 11 or on youtube. let me know if its good or not :)

  42. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 8:41 pm (#216962)

    But even a pummeling at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t stop scoreboard-blind superfan Edwin (Cowbell Man) Boison, who continued to roam the stadium, pounding out the beat to the battlecry of Shea: Lets Go Mets!

    “I think it’s awesome that there is a guy who is this dedicated to the game and the Mets - it’s exciting,” said Rich Laconi, 24, of Astoria, who had asked Boison to pose for a picture.

    Not to be left out of the photo shoot was Laconi’s friend, Aileen Tlamsa, 24, also of Astoria. “I want to thank you. I have a picture of you in my cell phone from last year’s Fireworks Night,” she told Boison.

    “It’s always my pleasure to take pictures with fans,” the affable Boison remarked after taking off his signature “Cowbell-Man” Mets jersey so Tlamsa could model it for the picture. “I want them to feel like they’re having a good time at the ballpark and have something to talk about when they leave - even if the Mets don’t win.”

    For the last 11 seasons, regardless of the standings, the score, the opponent or the weather, Boison, 48, has pounded beats all over Shea, logging more miles each game than Mr. Met, the team’s official mascot.

    “I’ve always been a people person,” he said, when asked to explain his high-profile hobby. “I go in there as ‘Cowbell Man’ to represent the team and the fans. I consider myself a superfan.”

    As such, Boison, who lives in the Bronx, is heir to a superfan tradition pioneered at Shea by the likes of Karl (Sign Man) Ehrhardt and Thomas Droleskey, the self-proclaimed “Lone Ranger of Shea Stadium.”

    Boison’s beat-poundings also have gained him entry into a noisy fraternity of past and present musical superfans - a group that includes Ebbets Field legends Hilda Chester, a founding mother of stadium cowbellers, and the Dodgers Sym-phony Band, along with current New York Yankees boosters like frying-pan-playing Freddy Sanchez and Milton (Cowbell Man) Ousland.

    Yet while his crowd-roving percussion act has pushed him to the brink of icon status at Shea, Boison has learned that there is a downside to being a superfan. Because of complaints from a few season-ticket holding fans on the loge level, section 5, Boison is forced to bypass this section entirely during his stadium wanderings. As one Shea stadium employee put it, the detour is the result of “an uneasy truce” brokered between the two sides.

    “He’s an arrogant pain in the a–,” said Bill Brownsell, 53, an anti-Boison Mets season-ticket holder in section 5.

    “He’s more interested in promoting himself,” chimed in section-mate Eric Michalak, 47, who flies up from his home in Cape Coral, Fla., to attend Mets games. “There are a lot of people who would rather not have him here.”

    Others disagree.

    “There are always going to be a few fans who say, ‘Shut up!’ But they aren’t having a good time. They’re just here - they’re not in the spirit,” said Sal (Sign Man) Candiano, 40, of Baldwin, who has taken over Ehrhardt’s mantle.

    For a man who has used a simple instrument to help him get through a divorce and the deaths of his father, mother and brother - his only sibling - a forced break with his alter ego would be a cruel fate for Boison.

    “I lost a family, and right now the Mets are my family,” he said. “That’s why I do what I do.”

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  44. Comment posted by El Deppo on January 18, 2007 at 8:43 pm (#216963)

    wow i cant believe i just read the cowbell man story.

    interesting stuff.

  45. Comment posted by Jessica on January 18, 2007 at 8:55 pm (#216964)

    That’s f**ked-up that Cowbell Man is banned from a section,

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  47. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 9:02 pm (#216965)

    let me know if its good or not :)

    it was ok, colbert stayed in character the whole time.

    o’reilly will be on colbert report tonight at 11:30. methinks o’reilly will have a tough time pulling out a win on the road.

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  49. Comment posted by Cab Driver on January 18, 2007 at 9:59 pm (#216966)

    Relax freak, Just relax.

  50. Comment posted by C Low on January 18, 2007 at 10:21 pm (#216968)

    Relax freak, Just relax.

    Ha. The driver’s accent just popps into your head when you read that. Those SNY commercials are burned into all Met fans skulls. I hope they have new ones in 07.

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  52. Comment posted by pj on January 18, 2007 at 10:27 pm (#216970)

    not the out-of-market skulls

    i had no idea what that meant, but i was scared to post

  53. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 18, 2007 at 11:31 pm (#216972)

    It always makes me twitch when someone supports a position I agree with, but does so with lies and poor logic.

    we saw progression in A) his velocity, returning to a consistent 94-95 MPH and touching 97-98

    I watched every pitch Ollie threw for the Mets in 2006. On the SNY gun, he did not hit 98 once. He also did not have a single game where his “working velocity” was above 91-92.

    B) the movement on his slider and ability to throw his curveball for strikes

    Neither of these were consistent.

    and best of all C) an increase in both his first-pitch strikes and overall number of strikes in each start.

    Generally true.

    It also put to rest any concerns that his problems were injury-related, the number-one killer of young pitching.

    Put to rest?! Far from it. Maybe he was injured and got better. Maybe he’s still injured but compensating better. We have no idea!

    Sorry, Howard, but ya making us Ollie-lovers look bad.

  54. Comment posted by PHL on January 18, 2007 at 11:38 pm (#216973)

    Sorry, Howard, but ya making us Ollie-lovers look bad.

    Yeah, I was shaking my head, too. And as much I like Ollie, I would trade him in a heartbeat for Sabathia.

  55. Comment posted by robert griffin on January 18, 2007 at 11:48 pm (#216975)

    I saw every game as well and I do not remember Ollie hitting 98 as a Met, but I do recall him hitting 92-95 mph more times then not, especially late in the season for us. He was throwing nothing but Heat in game 7 against the Cards.

  56. Comment posted by Garnier on January 19, 2007 at 12:02 am (#216977)

    how many days until pitchers and catchers report?

  57. Comment posted by C Low on January 19, 2007 at 12:21 am (#216980)

    how many days until pitchers and catchers report?

    Feb 15

    I’m out ya’ll. Nite.

  58. Comment posted by Excellence of Execution “Pauper” on January 19, 2007 at 12:25 am (#216981)

    Ollie Ollie Ollie Oy Oy Oy.

  59. Comment posted by PHL on January 19, 2007 at 12:36 am (#216983)

    Mr. Met is on the front page of NYTimes.com!!!

  60. Comment posted by PHL on January 19, 2007 at 12:39 am (#216984)

    The fine article, of course:


    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/19/sports/baseball/19mets.html?hp&ex=1169269200&en=bb7d8e4bc3a063a2&ei=5094&partner=homepage

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  62. Comment posted by pj on January 19, 2007 at 12:52 am (#216986)

    “If a young player can’t handle New Orleans, maybe he’s not ready to handle New York,” said Adam Wogan, director of minor league operations.

    Lastings Milledge lost his virginity to a tranny hooker on Bourbon Street and then high-fived every stripper he saw on his way back to the stadium. I think he’s ready for the Big Apple.

  63. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 19, 2007 at 1:08 am (#216988)

    Haven’t you been paying attention, PJ? Lastings lost his virginity to a white girl with unhappy parents when he was 16.

    …which probably also qualifies him as ready for the Big Apple…

  64. Gravatar
  65. Comment posted by pj on January 19, 2007 at 11:28 am (#217092)

    yes, I meant Lastings lost his virginity in the Tranny hooker sense, not the “white girl who wants to shock her parents” sense.

    and yes, he’s ready to rock the big apple RKelly style.

  66. Gravatar
  67. Comment posted by Cab Driver on January 19, 2007 at 1:25 pm (#217192)

    Hey Mets classics has a Trachsel pitched game vs Fla lol, must be a high scorer.

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