Archive for March 16th, 2007

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Perez Shows “Black Belt” Stuff

Mets Rumors & News

Prior to last night’s start against the Red Sox, Charlie Nobles wrote a nice article for covering the progression of Mets pitcher Oliver Perez through the course of the spring. You’ll remember that Perez started training camp with a very rocky two innings of work in which he was hit hard and surrendered four runs to the Detroit Tigers.

Since then, Perez had gradually improved in each outing, pleasing both manager Willie Randolph and pitching coach Rick Peterson. “We’re getting to the point now where he can master what he’s started,” said Peterson. “The best way to say it is he’s got his Brown Belt right now, and we’re going for the Black Belt.” After his performance on the mound last night, there are encouraging signs that the mastery of which Peterson speaks may be closer than many had thought.

Perez was unhittable on Thursday, throwing 5 innings – his longest outing of the spring – of shutout baseball, and recording nine strikeouts along the way. Twice …

Pedro’s Road Ahead

Mets Rumors & News

On Wednesday in his Insider Blog, ESPN’s Jayson Stark wondered aloud how many wins are left in Pedro’s arm? Says Stark, “A high-ranking official of an American League team told me this winter he doesn’t think Pedro Martinez will win 10 more games the rest of his career.” Stark doesn’t venture a guess, however he points out that very few pitchers have returned triumphantly to form following shoulder surgery – particularly when compared to the long list of Tommy John success stories.

Certainly there is a long, hard road ahead for Pedro, however if he’s looking for inspiration, he need look no further than the NFL’s Comeback Player Of the Year, Jets QB Chad Pennington. Pennington came back from not one, but two reconstructive surgeries on his shoulder, not only playing well, but starting all 16 regular season games for the first time in his career.

In today’s Newsday, columnist Mark Herrmann opines that even if Pedro never throws another pitch for the Mets, he was worth every …

Mets Like Mike

Mets Rumors & News

And why not? Mets pitching prospect Mike Pelfrey allowed his first earned run of the spring on Wednesday, exciting the team’s brass despite posting his worst outing thus far. Pelfrey allowed six hits over the final four innings of a 2-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers, however what made the performance so encouraging was that Pelfrey managed to contain the opposition largely without the benefit of his bread and butter pitch, his fast ball. Finding that his fast ball had deserted him, Pelfrey adjusted nicely, utilizing his improved secondary pitches to befuddle a formidable Detroit lineup. According to the New York Times, “Manager Willie Randolph sounded as upbeat as he has all spring because, he said, Pelfrey was learning how to pitch.”

The Mets seem more convinced than ever that Pelfrey will one day anchor the front end of their rotation. The only question is how soon will that day come. It seems evident that Pelfrey could help the Mets today by ably filling the role …

Voice Of Reason

Yankees Rumors & News

Newsday’s Johnette Howard gets it. She may be the only one out there, but at least it’s a start. As uttered here yesterday, the media has grossly misconstrued the content of Tuesday’s interview with WFAN’s Mike and the Mad Dog. For once, A-Rod is getting a bad rap here, and if anything, he should be commended for a show of honesty and bluntness rarely seen among today’s professional athletes. Howard couldn’t have voiced it any better:

For once Rodriguez didn’t come across as plastic or whiny. He was straightforward, unequivocal, succinct. There wasn’t a whiff of griping or – here’s another upset – psychobabble. Go listen to it. He took responsibility for his failures. He admitted he felt “lost” and “confused” last year as the catcalls at Yankee Stadium rained down and his failures mounted. He said as embarrassed as he was, he had only himself to blame when Torre demoted him to eighth in Game 4 against the Tigers. He …

What Is Wrong With This Man?

Excommunicated ex-ballplayer Pete Rose is out trying to restore his reputation once again. My advice to Pete? Stop trying to help yourself!

In an interview on Wednesday, Rose revealed that while manager of the Cincinnati, he bet on the Reds every single night. Said Rose, “I bet on my team to win every night because I love my team, I believe in my team. I did everything in my power every night to win that game.”

Rose’s point was that he should one day be allowed to manage a professional club again, because his wagers reflected his confidence in his team and never compromised the way he managed his team. Somehow I don’t think the admission will help his cause.

Meanwhile, in today’s Newsday, Ken Davidoff refutes Rose’s claims:

John Dowd, the man whose investigation brought down Rose in 1989, said that Rose, once again, was not being truthful. During the peak of Rose’s gambling, Dowd said, he did not bet when Bill Gullickson and Mario Soto started….When Rose …

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