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Piazza done? Could be

Zvon
Aug 31 2005 01:24 AM

Broken hand keeps Piazza out two weeks, maybe rest of season

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

NEW YORK -- Mike Piazza will be sidelined until mid-September and perhaps the rest of the season because of a broken bone in his left hand.

After Piazza was hit by a foul tip during a game against Pittsburgh on Aug. 16, New York Mets manager Willie Randolph said his catcher would miss at least a few games.

Piazza had a CT scan Monday, and the 12-time All-Star said doctors determined the hand needed six-to-eight weeks to heal from the time of the injury.

"I know we don't have a lot of season left, but I'm still optimistic that I'll be able to try to come back and help as much as I can," Piazza said.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Piazza was day to day but probably wouldn't be back until mid-September. Piazza tried his hand out in recent days but wasn't able to catch or hit.

"The doctor said that there is really nothing more you can do," Piazza said. "It's just stiff, sore, swollen. That's the bottom line."

Piazza was injured at the base of his glove hand, below the thumb, and Minaya said the broken bone was near a tendon. Piazza hoped the injury would heal enough that he could have it taped up and be able to play despite pain.

"If there is a point that I have flexibility, I'm able to respond and play at the major-league level and be effective, then I'm going to do that," he said.

In the final season of his seven-year contract, Piazza is batting .259 with 14 homers and 55 RBI.
__________________________________________________________

He has gone on record saying next year he'd like to stay with the Mets in a lesser role, but we all expect him to go DH in the AL.
It would be ashame if we never see him again in a game as a Met.

seawolf17
Aug 31 2005 04:44 AM

Seeya, Mike. Ramon Castro, your 2005 National League MVP.

PiazzaFan411
Aug 31 2005 06:26 AM

My favorite player is Mike Piazza but I think he is getting too old to be a catcher. So hello Ramon Castro as starting catcher next year.

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 06:28 AM

]we all expect him to go DH in the AL.


I am not part of this we. I doubt there are many teams who would want him as a DH with the numbers he put up this year.

_____________________________
This was the last post Elster88 made under the posting designation 169) Joe McEwing. Goodbye, Super Joe!

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 07:05 AM

Maybe we could do a fullscale investigation and figure out who in the Mets organization figured he was good choice for cleanup hitter in April and think about firing his ass.

Also let's ID the dumbass who took until the end of August to try Wright in the cleanup spot.

Maybe these two dumbasses know each other. We could fire them both at the same time. Between them they must have cost the Mets innumerable games this year.

Benjamin Grimm
Aug 31 2005 07:18 AM

I'm not saying that the Mets haven't made any poor decisions this year, but with them a half game out of a playoff slot on the last day of August, I don't think any firings are called for.

I doubt that the relative lineup positions of Wright and Piazza cost the Mets all that many wins this season. If I wanted to get angry over anything, it would be all of the starts that Ishii got.

Edgy DC
Aug 31 2005 07:53 AM

Maybe he can be available as a pinch hitter some time in September. The team could use him.

metirish
Aug 31 2005 07:59 AM

Yeah I hope he's available to at least PH, I'd hate to think that that's it for him as a Met.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 09:12 AM

Yancy Street Gang wrote:
I'm not saying that the Mets haven't made any poor decisions this year.


That's good. I'd hate to recommend you for a firing, too

Yancy Street Gang wrote:
. but with them a half game out of a playoff slot on the last day of August, I don't think any firings are called for
I doubt that the relative lineup positions of Wright and Piazza cost the Mets all that many wins this season.
So if that colossally stupid decision that every dumbass on this site was noting for months cost them even one win, the Mets would already be in first place for the Wild Card and you don't think that's very costly? You have a strange definition of "costly," I guess

Yancy Street Gang wrote:
If I wanted to get angry over anything, it would be all of the starts that Ishii got


Why on earth would a Mets fan want to get angry over anything? It's not as if there are several hundred people you can think of off the top of your head who would have managed this club better than Randolph has or anything, is there?

Vic Sage
Aug 31 2005 09:24 AM

I've said it before and i'll say it again.
WWSB is a moron.

of course, i have the right to say it because im a mets fan. And also because i said it before he managed a single game (my judgement based on his reported managerial philosophies).

Bret the Red sox fan, however, has no credibility because he wrote this team off before the season started, as having insufficient talent to compete this year. So now that they're 1/2 game out as September begins, he's jumping on the "we'd be leading the WC race if not for the idiot manager" bandwagon.

Well, get the hell off my bandwagon, Bret. Terry Francona is your problem now.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 09:40 AM

Vic Sage wrote:
get the hell off my bandwagon, Bret.


You'd be surprised how often I get that around here.

Vic Sage
Aug 31 2005 09:46 AM

why on Earth would i be surprised?

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 10:17 AM

Dunno.

Maybe because you're a smart chappie who understands that sometimes people who aren't Mets fans have an occasional good idea or valid opinion, and that going all ad hominum on their asses isn't particularly useful nor relevant to a good baseball-oriented discussion?

Sometimes these sub-human types even come with an opinion that you can agree with, you know, like Wise Willie Smart Baseball being not the brightest star in the planetarium. Or maybe you 'd like me first to confess my thought crimes, get re-educated, and apply for membership in the party of right-thinking Mets fans so I can spout off now and then?

Seems like a tedious process to me.

I had it good last night, BTW. I was happy when Kaz was winning, and I was happy when the Sox pulled it out with two outs in 9th. Life is very good in Red Sox Nation, Forest Hills division, these days. Thanks for asking.

Valadius
Aug 31 2005 10:31 AM

I will be very pissed off if the Mets don't retire his number after he retires, or at least after he's inducted into the Hall of Fame. He's one of the premier players in the franchise's history. If the Mets make the playoffs and he's around in October, it would be a great capper to his Mets career. And he's going in the Hall as a Met.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 10:33 AM

Someone should compare his Sim Scores from pre-2004 to how these last two seasons actually turned out. I bet something interesting would turn up if someone did this.

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 10:39 AM

Overly sentimental, but I liked it: [url]http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets/52095.htm[/url]

August 31, 2005 -- WE already are up to next. David Wright is the fair- haired boy. The present and future of the Mets plays third base.
The past of the Mets stands outside the clubhouse about two hours before a game against the Phillies, wearing gray shorts, a gray T-shirt and a blue mood. The last time the Mets played a series this big, late in the 2001 season, Mike Piazza was still the unquestioned star of this realm. Now he is a bystander, possibly for good this season.

The hairline fracture near his palm has kept Piazza from playing since Aug. 16, and GM Omar Minaya, asked yesterday for his update of the catcher's healing process, said, "This is going to take some time."

But time is not on Piazza's side. The season and his Mets career are coming to an end. The Mets will not publicly slam the door on a future with Piazza out of respect to his honored place in organization history. But he will not be back. The Mets are thinking younger and looking for better defense behind the plate.

Piazza turns 37 in five days. If he has a baseball future, it is in the American League for a team that thinks there is still life in his bat, especially if he is liberated from full-time catching.

"I'm not going to look too far," Piazza said about his Mets days possibly being over prematurely. "I'm just going to go day-to-day right now."

Piazza wants to believe there are still swings left in his 2005 season, still a few more impact moments left in his Mets career. This is no way for the best position player in team history to go out, getting heat, ice and electric stimulation treatment rather than star treatment.

"I was actually kind of praying that it would be some sort of miraculous recovery," Piazza said. "Basically, three or four doctors I've talked to said broken bones take six to eight weeks to heal. Based on that fact, it's going to be painful no matter what time I try to test it. Obviously, we don't have a lot of time left.

"There is a point that I have flexibility and I'm able to respond and play at the major-league level and be effective, then I'm going to do that."

Piazza will try to play in pain just to play. The earliest that will be is mid-September. But it is not as if the Mets are awaiting his return as a seminal moment. On truth serum, most members of the organization probably would admit that a healthy Mike Cameron or Doug Mientkiewicz would have more overall value the rest of the year than Piazza.

This part of the morbid reality of an athlete's life, one that Wright is about 15 years away from learning. Careers fizzle out in public, and the cold assembly line of big-time sports moves on. Thanks for the memories, now get the bum out of here.

For a few years, the Mets remained tethered financially and emotionally to Piazza. His decline and more regular injuries left the organization paralyzed. The Mets had become addicted to a Piazza who no longer existed. Even if the Mets fail to make the playoffs this year, they have distanced themselves from that debilitating condition.

Pedro Martinez arrived and changed the Mets' culture with his arm and confidence. Wright and possibly Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran have a chance to dominate the lineup for years. Wright already is becoming the face of the team, the smiling youngster happy to do the live shots on the field with the local TV crews before the big series begins.

Mike Piazza is relegated indoors now, out of sight and more and more ebbing out of mind. He tries to stall the aging process and hurry healing. He wants a few more chances to be a great Met as the clock ticks toward what already feels like an ending.

Edgy DC
Aug 31 2005 10:49 AM

]On truth serum, most members of the organization probably would admit that a healthy Mike Cameron or Doug Mientkiewicz would have more overall value the rest of the year than Piazza.


You had me at Cameron, then you lost me at Meintkeiwicz.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 11:45 AM

Meintkeiwicz.

"i" before "e" except before "cz" or "gmh"

rpackrat
Aug 31 2005 11:47 AM

As much as Piazza has fallen off the past couple of years, he was still a better-than-average hitting catcher. While he was no longer a franchise player, the Mets were not hurt by having him in the lineup. If Castro can continue to play as he has recently, they won't be hurt by having Piazza out of the lineup, either.

Having the chance to watch Piazza from 1998-2002 was a privelege. While his time has passed, it is still sad that his Mets career ends this way.

Valadius
Aug 31 2005 11:48 AM

Mientkiewicz: pronounced mant-KAY-vitch. Meaning: Gold Glove first baseman who has a primal fear of the minor leagues and gets the "flu" in the middle of August.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 11:48 AM

rpackrat wrote:
As much as Piazza has fallen off the past couple of years, he was still a better-than-average hitting catcher.

I expect to be reading this for about a decade after he's in the grave.

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 12:11 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
="rpackrat"]As much as Piazza has fallen off the past couple of years, he was still a better-than-average hitting catcher.

I expect to be reading this for about a decade after he's in the grave.


And you complained about my snotty remark?

Without being cute, can you really not see that Piazza hit better than most catchers? Obviously he didn't justify his contract, but it's also obvious that rpackrat's statement is true.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 12:16 PM

I'm just saying that when you get into a habit of spouting some bit of nonsense, it gets hard to break.

Piazza's not the best hitter in MLB anymore? "Yeah, but he's still better than most catchers."

Piazza's not the best hitter on the Mets? ""Yeah, but he's still better than most catchers."

Piazza's not a cleanup hitter anymore? "Yeah, but he's still better than most catchers."

Piazza's not even an average major league hitter anymore? "Yeah, but he's still better than most catchers."

Piazaa just died? "Yeah, but he's still better than most catchers."

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 12:25 PM

LOL.

But it's not spouting nonsense to say Piazza is a better hitter than most catchers.

The problem here is not the statement which you claim is nonsense, or Piazza. The problem was that he hit fourth or fifth for most of the year when it was pretty clearly that he wasn't able to do so.

_____________________________
This post was made under the posting designation 168) Ellis Valentine

rpackrat
Aug 31 2005 12:28 PM

In last season's "off" year, Piazza had a park-adjusted OPS (OPS+) that was 8 percent better than league average. The other 15 regular NL catchers had an OPS+ that averaged 13 percent BELOW league average. The only NL catchers with a better OPS+ than Piazza last year were Johnny Estrada, Ramon Hernandez, and Jason Kendall.

I do not have park-adjusted stats for this year, but Piazza is second among NL catchers in OPS for catchers with at least 300 ABs -- 3rd among catchers with at least 250 ABs. One of those ahead of him (Michael Barrett) plays half his games in one of the better hitter's parks in the league (Wrigley -- park factor of 106 last year). Piazza has played in a slight pitcher's park (park factor of 99 last year). So, yes, I'm comfortable saying that Piazza is still an above-average hitter for a catcher, though he is no longer an elite hitter.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 12:57 PM

Elster88 wrote:
But it's not spouting nonsense to say Piazza is a better hitter than most catchers.
\

Part of what makes this trusim silly is that, with enough negatives, being a great hitter really doesn't matter, hard as it may be to believe. (And he's been far from a great hitter for quite a while now.)

I think Bill James cited the example of what he called an honest-to-Cobb .400 hitter who couldn't hold down a job. Manny Mota at the very end of his career, couldn't field at all, couldn't run the bases, couldn't hit for any power, couldn't walk, couldn't hit against pitchers with good fastballs, couldn't hit (I think) lefties, etc. but Lasorda spotted him against those few pitchers he could hit and he went 14-for-35 (or something) for the year. He was a legitimate .400 hitter who wasn't worth a roster space.

That's what we're coming close to here, with the added codicil that the standard for catchers is so absurdly low that to be a better than average hitting catcher (who can't field) is to be a not-very-good hitter anyway. Mota at least was going up against outfielders.

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 01:00 PM

The point I think you're missing is that, if you believe in OPS+, Piazza is an above average hitter. This has nothing to do with how badly most catchers hit.

And if catchers as a group hit poorly, and you find one that hits better than average, then I don't see the problem with playing him or "wasting" a roster space on him, since you obviously need a catcher for your team.

seawolf17
Aug 31 2005 01:01 PM

Or you're gonna have a lot of passed balls.

ScarletKnight41
Aug 31 2005 01:02 PM

seawolf beat me to the punch.

But he wins anyway - I wouldn't have had the photo to go with the quote.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 01:02 PM

There was a chance that Roy Campanella could have hit well even from a wheelchair. The Dodgers wisely decided to devote the roster space to Norm Sherry and Jeff Torborg.

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 01:12 PM

I can't believe you've got me ranting on Piazza again. Thread titles like this are equivalent to trolling, with a very specific audience in mind.

Iubitul
Aug 31 2005 01:19 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
I can't believe you've got me ranting on Piazza again. Thread titles like this are equivalent to trolling, with a very specific audience in mind.


Well, that's fair - I'm sure the new guy knows all about your past history with DOP (Defenders Of Piazza). I think we should have a special section of the Companion devote solely to this subject, so no one else will incur your wrath....

Rotblatt
Aug 31 2005 01:24 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
Thread titles like this are equivalent to trolling, with a very specific audience in mind.


Let's start a temperance program! We'll start hiding our naughty--but alluring!--ideas behind dowdy titles so as not to entice our well-meaning but weak-willed patrons into illicit behavior!

Rockin' Doc
Aug 31 2005 04:32 PM

BS - "Life is very good in Red Sox Nation, Forest Hills division, these days. Thanks for asking."

That would make a nice bumper sticker slogan for that bandwagon your riding in.

DocTee
Aug 31 2005 04:37 PM

IIRC, at the time of his passing-- I mean injury-- Piazza had more HR/RBI than any ML catcher save Cleveland's Victor Martinez.

Zvon
Aug 31 2005 05:24 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
Thread titles like this are equivalent to trolling, with a very specific audience in mind.


yea,.........Met fans.


Duh.

There is no doubt that Piazza fading is a sore and sensative spot.

Im one of those old fashioned suckers who believes you should give back and show appreciation to those that have given you the best years of their MLB career. At seasons start I had this argument with one of my brothers. He's like 'Piazza has to go' and Im like, 'no, I think he deserves this last run, even if we have to carry him on our back.'
He has handled pitchers well from a game calling standpoint, for the most part, but he's never been a great catcher.We've steered around that hole thru the yrs.He has been a great hitter, and we've known that all along.

I really didnt expect the Mets to be where they are right now when the season started, so I figured give a classy guy a classy last tour.

I have to admit that when I saw that no one wants to run away with the NLeast this year and the wild card started to look like musical chairs (and the Mets were not about to be caught standing when the music stopped), I did consider Piazza somewhat a liability behind the plate.

But it didnt change my sentiments, that he's done so much for us that if we were gonna get there this year, it would still be with Piazza, with his inability to cut down baserunners at second, with whatever fading numbers he was able to achieve, for better or for worse.

I know its nieve to think this way, and dont expect anyone to agree with me, but thats the way Ive felt and still feel.

He is a class act who gave us some great Met moments and memories.

I may be one of the few old fashioned fans left, who believes that winning it all does not have to be what a baseball team is all about.
Sometimes its about showing your support in the face of adversity and treating a player who has shown nothing but class with appreciation, even if it may hurt.
Fans could show class too, ya know.

Valadius
Aug 31 2005 05:26 PM

Here, here!

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 05:32 PM

Zvon wrote:
[winning it all does not have to be what a baseball team is all about..


We've got a winner in "Guess the Mets Slogan in 2006" contest.

Elster88
Aug 31 2005 05:44 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
I can't believe you've got me ranting on Piazza again.
I think there's only one person responsible for your rants. And it ain't me.

DocTee
Aug 31 2005 05:48 PM

[
]winning it all does not have to be what a baseball team is all about..


We've got a winner in "Guess the Mets Slogan in 2006" contest.




That's f'in' classic!

Bret Sabermetric
Aug 31 2005 05:53 PM

Elster88 wrote:
="Bret Sabermetric"]I can't believe you've got me ranting on Piazza again.
I think there's only one person responsible for your rants. And it ain't me.


i know. I've got a problem. I have to learn to walk home the long way, avoiding the block where the liquor store is. I tell myself, "Just pass the store, don't buy anything," but the next thing I know, I'm pissy drunk in the gutter all over again.

Nymr83
Aug 31 2005 06:08 PM

i like Castro but can he be an every day player? if we go into next year with him as the starter i'd like to have another capable catcher around, one whom we wouldn't mind giving 50 starts too...Castro looks like he might be one of those catchers who needs a day a week off minimum.

DocTee
Aug 31 2005 06:09 PM

Actually, IMO Castro looks like one of those catchers who should get 50 starts a year...

Bret Sabermetric
Sep 01 2005 02:34 AM

Nymr83 wrote:
Castro looks like he might be one of those catchers who needs a day a week off minimum.


Yeah, the lazy sonofabitch. You know who else is like this?

Well, for starters, there's everyone.

I know I'm leaving some catchers off that list, too, but I can't remember the others.

Elster88
Sep 01 2005 07:10 AM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
="Elster88"]
Bret Sabermetric wrote:
I can't believe you've got me ranting on Piazza again.
I think there's only one person responsible for your rants. And it ain't me.


i know. I've got a problem. I have to learn to walk home the long way, avoiding the block where the liquor store is. I tell myself, "Just pass the store, don't buy anything," but the next thing I know, I'm pissy drunk in the gutter all over again.


I know the feeling.

smg58
Sep 01 2005 08:35 AM

Castro has looked very good with the bat recently, but his carrer numbers suggest this might be an illusion. Still, I see no reason not to bring him back next year; the question then is with who else. Deal for a rookie, like Shoppach or Ryan Garko? Deal for Pudge, if the Tigers just give him away? Sign Ramon Hernandez? Platoon Castro with Jacobs?

As for Piazza, it's certainly possible that his bat could be rejeuvenated at least somewhat by not catching, and given that there aren't a whole lot of standout DH's, I'm sure some AL team will see enough upside to take a small risk with him, like a year at 2 or 3 million.

Rotblatt
Sep 01 2005 08:46 AM

I totally disagree about Castro's career numbers. He's a first-round draft pick who tore up AAA pitching in 2000 & 2001 (ages 24 & 25 & over 1.000 OPS both years). This is his first time as a regular and the first time he's had more than 101 at bats in a season. I'm a fan of Shoppach, but he's been far worse in AAA at age 25 (.859 OPS) and age 24 (.781) than Castro at the same ages.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like to have BOTH on the Mets next year, but Castro might very well be the better player.