LETS GO METS
ESPN has been running a series called “Hot Stove Heaters” this winter, previewing each and every team. Today, Bob Klapisch pens the 2003 scouting report for your New York Mets. He also adds a column about Ty Wigginton; so too, for that matter, does The New York Times.
Perhaps the best news for Mets fans is their promising farm system, which was analyzed by minor-league guru, John Sickels:
Although the acquisitions of Tom Glavine, Cliff Floyd, and Mike Stanton get the headlines, it is the farm system that gives the best hope for the future. The Mets farm system is in better condition than it has been in for some time, and several youngsters are ready or nearly ready to help.
This comes as good news indeed, especially after the Mets lost the one, long-standing player who came up through their system, Edgardo Alfonzo, to free agency this winter.
AIN’T A DAMN THING CHANGED
Rob Neyer has an article on the AL East today that taught me something new. Did you know that since the D-Rays entered the league in 1998, the standings in the AL East have remained the same each year? Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Orioles, Devil Rays: it’s the same ol’ song. Curious. Not suprising, but what are the chances?
Here is Neyer’s take on the Yanks-Sox fighting it out for first place:
We could spend a week analyzing the Yankees and Red Sox, but today is Friday so let’s just spend a paragraph or two.
The Sox finished 10.5 games behind the Yanks last season, but the teams’ run differentials were essentially equivalent, so that 10.5 means something closer to 0.5 if you’re looking ahead rather than behind.
The Red Sox have improved themselves at DH, at first base, at second base, and probably third base. The Yankees have improved themselves in right field, and at one slot in their pitching rotation. I think first place might boil down to which starters decline more: Boston’s one-year wonders (Lowe and Wakefield), or New York’s ancient armsmen (Clemens and Wells)? The difference is that if something happens to Clemens or Wells, manager Joe Torre can turn to Jeff Weaver, a No. 6 starter who’d be the No. 1 starter for most teams in the majors. If the Red Sox run into trouble, manager Grady Little can turn to Frank Castillo, a No. 6 starter who’d be a No. 4 starter for most teams.
IS THAT COLLUSION I SMELL?
Murray Chass has a long article concerning the collusion in today’s New York Times.
Mike Carminati weighed in with his take earlier in the week.