Alright, so the guy admitted he was in a “bad mood” prior to his comments, and we’re sure he meant absolutely nothing by them. Nevertheless, Paul Lo Duca could sure do a better job of keeping himself out of the papers if the media bugs him so much.
There wasn’t even a game played last night, but Paulie still managed to make headlines today with comments that will only fuel speculation that there is a growing Latino v. non-Latino divide in the Mets clubhouse. Via the Daily News:
“I’ll do this (interview), but you need to start talking to other players,” Lo Duca announced loudly after he was approached by a radio reporter after the Mets-Cardinals series finale was washed out by rain. “It’s the same three or four people every day. Nobody else wants to talk. Some of these guys have to start talking. They speak English, believe me.”
The News also notes that in recent weeks, SNY analyst Keith Hernandez had commented on the predominance of the voices of Lo …
For those of you looking forward to the return of Mike Pelfrey, you’re going to have to keep waiting. Due to last night’s rainout, manager Willie Randolph will push back Orlando Hernandez’s start to this afternoon, keeping Pelfrey in New Orleans.
Pelfrey opened the season as the Mets fifth starter, but after a poor start (0-5 6.53 ERA), he was sent to AAA New Orleans. Pelfrey has responded well since his demotion, going 2-2 with a 3.44 ERA in seven starts.
Rumblings out of Philadelphia have suggested that yesterday’s rainout was strategy used by the Mets’ front office to save El Duque for the Phillies series. Major League Baseball allows the home team to cancel the game due to weather prior to the start.
Hernandez will start the first game of today’s doubleheader against JD Durbin, who’s making his Phillies debut. Expect a pitchers’ duel in the nightcap as John Maine faces Phillies ace Cole Hamels.
It appears that Steve Francis will finally get that long-rumored buyout – just not from the New York Knicks. Via ESPN.com:
The New York Knicks didn’t have a lottery pick Thursday night but made their own draft-night splash by acquiring Portland big man Zach Randolph.
The Knicks and Trail Blazers reached agreement on a deal that swaps Randolph and teammates Dan Dickau and Fred Jones for guard Steve Francis and Channing Frye.
Francis has only two seasons left on his contract, worth just over $34 million, but possesses the option to become a free agent after next season. The Blazers, however, are planning to buy out Francis’ contract and make him a free agent this summer, sources said.
Yet even if they changed course and decided to keep Francis, his arrival would still provide Portland with some long-term payroll relief, since Randolph has four seasons left on his contract worth more than $61 million.
You can say this about Isiah Thomas: He doesn’t do things half-way. As has been the case with the majority …
Doctors have cleared outfielder Endy Chavez to start additional rehab exercises. Chavez will be adding the stationary bike and pool work to his current regiment and hopes to add jogging by next week. Doctors have a current time table of another four to six weeks before Chavez makes his return. Though still sore, Chavez has remained optimistic he can return within three weeks. Via the Post:
“I think how I’m doing is pretty good,” he said before the Mets’ 2-0 victory over St. Louis. “I know I feel sore, but I’m just thinking about three weeks. I think I’m going to be able to play.”…”I feel a little pain, but I know now I can tolerate (it),” he said. “And I know it’s getting good, because I know it’s not going to kill me. At the beginning of my injury, when I felt something I just stopped because I know it was still pretty bad. But right now I’m getting confidence and it’s getting stronger. But I know …
According to multiple sources, the Chicago White Sox have taken left-handed starter Mark Buehrle off the market and are close to signing the pitcher to a four-year extension in the $50-60 million range. At various times over the last few weeks, the Mets, Yanks, Red Sox, and Braves had all been linked to Buehrle in trade rumors, but none seemed inclined to part with a top prospect in exchange for a rental player that could leave at the end of the season.
However, that’s not to say that the White Sox are out of the news just yet. According to Newsday, “If they tie up Buehrle to such a team-friendly deal, the White Sox could move more aggressively to shop other starting pitchers like Jose Contreras, Jon Garland or Javier Vazquez, all of whom are signed through 2008 or later.”
Mets GM Omar Minaya has expressed that he would be more willing to part with minor league talent in exchange for a pitcher the team could control …
With all the Mark Buerhle-to-the-Mets talk, the obvious is being overlooked. Buerhle is a nice name to throw around but what really needs an upgrade is the bullpen. The Mets rotation has picked it up as of late, and before we know it Pedro Martinez will be joining the rotation for a stretch run, While Buerhle’s left arm would be a boost in the rotation, a left arm in the bullpen is a wiser choice.
Lefty reliever Scott Schoeneweis is terrible. He continued his poor play last night, allowing two hits, two runs and a walk, taking the loss in less then an inning of work. Schoeneweis’ record is not 0-2 with a 5.86 ERA and a 13/20 strikeout to walk ratio. Hardly the type of player you want to rely on during a playoff push. Lefty relievers are hard to come by, so the market won’t be flooded. Omar Minaya may need to dig a little deeper. The Giants’ Steve Kline …
Entering last night’s game at Camden Yards, Yankees right fielder Bobby Abreu was mired in 7-for-42 (.167) slump and had recorded just 2 hits in his last 21 at-bats (.095). As a result, manager Joe Torre gave Abreu the A-Rod Treatment last night, dropping the No. 3 hitter all the way down to the 8 hole. He went 1-for-4 in the 3-2 loss to the Orioles, stranding runners at first and second in the ninth.
Via the Daily News:
The move didn’t cause the controversy that ensued after Torre dropped Alex Rodriguez to the No. 8 spot during the American League division series last fall, as the Yankee manager discussed the decision with Abreu before posting the lineup.
“I haven’t hit in the last five games,” Abreu said. “The team is losing games it shouldn’t be losing, so whatever it takes to win and help the team, it’s no problem with me.”…”It’s going to find me,” Abreu said. “It’s a tough thing, but you have to deal with it and come out of it.”
Apparently the abdominal strain that Johnny Damon had been suffering was not an abdominal injury at all. A quick visit to the DH/ center fielder’s infamous chiropractor, Jerry Mattia, in Orlando revealed four “out of place” ribs that were the root of the problem. After two sessions on Monday and Tuesday, Damon claims to “feel like a different person.”
The results at the plate would certainly seem to support Damon’s claim as he returned to the Yankee lineup on Tuesday night and belted a two-run homer to tie the game in the sixth inning. Said Damon:
“It’s amazing. We’ve definitely got to put him on the payroll. The guy is magic.”
Today will be a first for the game of baseball. It will mark the first time that seven pitchers in their forties will start a game on the same day. Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Jamie Moyer, Greg Maddux, Woody Williams, John Smoltz and Kenny Rogers are all scheduled to start for their respective teams. The prior record of six was set last Friday when the same group of pitchers – minus Clemens – started.
It’s especially important here in New York where both clubs will look to their future Hall of Fame pitchers to bounce back from tough losses.
Tom Glavine is in search of career win 297 against a Cardinals team that is finding ways to score, and solid pitching that is cooling opponent’s bats. In Glavine’s last outing he was a force, going eight innings while allowing one run, and striking out five in a 9-1 Mets victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Roger Clemens will take the mound in Baltimore and do what Yankee fans expect: …
Gimme Some Mo: “The Yankees fell further out of the playoff race as they lost last night when Scott Proctor walked the bases loaded then walked in the winning-run.The Yankees again squandered another great pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, who went 7 innings surrendering merely 2 runs. Then in the ninth Scott Procter came in during a tie game. He got ahead of and then eventually walked Corey Patterson to start the inning. Then after surrendering a single, he made a fantastic diving catch on a Chris Gomez bunt attempt only to fail to double off Patterson who was way off second. He then proceeded to walk the next two batters to lose the game.The entire time I’m watching Proctor sweat I’m thinking, didn’t they lose the other day with Mariano Rivera waiting in the bullpen?Yes, this was the second time in merely a week the Yankees have lost in walk-off fashion with Rivera waiting wit…
Yankees Sell??? It Might Be For the Best…: “As the summer begins and the baseball season heats up, the Yankees find themselves in third place in the American League East – 11 games behind the Boston Red Sox. While they opened the month of June on fire, they have since cooled and are playing closer to how they began the season. Roger Clemens returned to New York as a savior to Yankees fans. Clemens has experience and he’s a leader who can help motivate this team. In reality, as good a leader as he might be, he looks like an aging pitcher who doesn’t have what he used to (you have to have some respect that he was willing to appear in relief on Sunday; not that it helped the outcome any). As we are in the last week of June and every paper in the nation has their opinion on what’s wrong with the Yankees and how to fix it, there’s one area that …