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Mets Offense 2005

Sep 19 2005 10:44 AM

Here's an official thread to examine our offense over 2005. I'm going to lift some of the work I've done in other threads and post it here.

My hypothesis is that our offense is and has been around league average and IS NOT the reason for our poor W-L record.

Feel free to post your own thoughts on our offense and to poke holes in my arguments, as y'all have been doing in the other assorted threads.

I'm opening with a look at our record in one-run games. This one is new.

Most staticicians seem to say that a record much above or below .500 in 1-run games is indicative of luck rather than any skill or lack thereof. As it turns out, we're 15-23 (.395 W%) in games decided by 1 run. The rest of the NLE:

Braves 22-18 (.550) 40 G
Phillies 19-20 (.487) 39 G
Florida 18-20 (.474) 38 G
Washington 30-28 (.517) 58 G
Mets 15-23 (.395) 38 G

The only other team in the NL with a record below .462 is Pittsburgh (.359) 39 G.

To me, that's a pretty good indication that we've been unlucky. Had we played to a a below-average .462 over the season, we'd have won 3 more games. If we went all the way up to .500, we'd have won 4 more games, making us a .500 team DESPITE our recent swoon (although we would have gone ONLY 4-12 between 8-31 & 9/15 instead of 2-14 given the 4 one-run games in that time).

I took a quick look at bullpen stats to see if that appeared to impact the outcome of 1-run games and there didn't seem to be any correlation there. What I DID find, however, was a potential correlation to number of 1-run games played and a team's offense.

If you buy JD's argument that our offense is either all or nothing (and most of the time nothing), you might assume that we'd have a large number of 1-run games, but it's not the case. In the NL, teams averaged 41.5 1-run games, which we are comfortably below at 38.

The teams that played the most one-runs games in the NL are Washington (58), San Francisco (47) & Colorado (45). Their respective team OPS's & RS'ed are as follows: .707 OPS (16th in NL), 588 RS (16th in NL); .717 OPS (15th in NL), 610 RS (15th in NL); & .740 OPS (9th in NL), 660 RS (9th in NL).

Colorado is an interesting case, since they have such a home field batting advantage. Looking at their Away stats, they're the worst in the NL with a staggering .655 OPS (next worst team is Houston with a .676) with only 256 RS (Houston's next again with 288).

So it looks to me like there's a potential correlation with lack of offense & the number of one-run games played by a team.

The fact that we haven't played many of them is an indication to me that our offense at the very least is not terrible.

Sep 19 2005 10:48 AM

="Johnny Dickshot"]I'm not arguing that being 8th in RS is average overall. I'm saying most nights we're worse than average, which was demonstrated by showing we had a larger % of games below 4 and 3 runs than the other contenders, lower median RS than our average RS, 5 freaky games that pumped the total score up and almost completely account for RS-RA, 2 slots in the lineup going to the worst everyday players by position and an average of fewer than 3 runs a game since the AZ series. None of that should be inconclusive.

Consistency in scoring did not correlate to winning more games [according to some recent work done by a poster over at the Sons of Sam Horn], at least in the AL, which means it's probably also true in the NL. And even if it DID, the Mets didn't seem to be significantly worse than most of the teams ahead of us in the NL in terms of consistency.

Some other stats regarding consistency for you, based on handy new info from BP. I didn't break this out by AL/NL cause it was easier just to tally them all up. If you'd like to break it down, I'd be very interested. (

Mets record when scoring 0 runs
MLB average # of games: 8
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 0-11, 0-8

Mets record when scoring 1 run
4-12, .250 WP
MLB average winning percentage: .087
Average # of games: 14; Mets: 16
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 4-23 (.074), 1-21 (.045)

2 runs
4-15, .211 WP
MLB average winning percentage: .256
Average # of games: 19 G; Mets: 19
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 8-38 (.174), 6-35 (.154)

3 runs
6-17. .261 WP
MLB average WP: .337
Average # of games: 19 G; Mets: 23
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 14-55 (.203), 12-48 (.200)

4 runs
5-10, .333 WP
MLB average WP: .486
Average # of games: 19; Mets: 15
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 19-65 (.226), 21-58 (.266)

5 runs
9-4, .692 WP
MLB average WP: .619
Average # of games: 17; Mets: 13
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 28-69 (.289), 33-64 (.340)

6 runs or more
43-5, .896 WP
MLB Average: .833
Average # of games: 48; Mets: 48
Mets Cumulative W/L v. Average team: 71-74 (.490), 73-72 (.503)

The problem, as I see it, isn't that we didn't score enough runs consistently, it's that we won at a below average rate in games where we scored between 2 & 4 runs. If we had won at an average rate in those situations, we would have won 5 extra games, without scoring a single extra run.

So basically, our pitching, despite being well above average, didn't do as well in low-scoring games as the average MLB pitching staff.

At least, that's my conclusion. Whaddya think?

Sep 19 2005 10:52 AM

Stats accurate as of September 9:

Our .736 OPS is the best we've posted as a team since 2000 (.776), which places us at a respectable tie for 10th in the NL, 19th in the majors, tied or ahead of such playoff contenders as Oakland, San Diego & Houston. Is it good? No, but I wouldn't call being at the top of the bottom third sucking, and OPS doesn't tell the whole story. I give us a below average in the OPS department.

We're on pace for 728 RS, our best, again, since 2000 (807), and good for a tie for 6th in the NL, 16th in the majors. That's indisputably good.

We're 14th in the majors in XBH, 7th in the NL. On a related note, we're 15th in IsoP, 7th in the NL. Average.

We're 10th in the majors in SecA, 6th in the NL. Good.

We're 11th in the majors in P/PA, 7th in the NL. Average.

We're 17th in the majors in BB/K, 11th in the NL. Below average.

our EqA of .261 is good 13th in MLB, 7th in the NL. .260 is set to be league average, IIRC.

. . .

"Clutch" hitting 2005:

OPS with runners in scoring position is .751, 15 points better than our average. With runners on, our OPS is .762, 26 points better than our average.

Now, with RISP & 2 outs, our OPS drops to .678, which is pretty bad, but I suspect a drop-off there is normal for most teams. In close & late situations, our OPS is .726--a dropoff, but not a huge one.

We're all prone to fixating on the mistakes we've made, but we really haven't been a bad team offensively or defensively. Willie's made some retarded mistakes, but I think to the independent, stats-oriented observer, we look like a pretty good team that got unlucky.

Sep 19 2005 10:55 AM

Consistency of Scoring:

Partial list of NL:

Braves: 50% at 4 runs or fewer (4.78 R/G)
Phillies: 53.1% (4.67 R/G)
Brewers: 55.3% (4.51 R/G)
Marlins: 56% (4.50 R/G)
Astros: 57% (4.23 R/G)
San Diego: 57.1% (4.29 R/G)
Mets: 57.5% (4.48 R/G)
Cubs: 60.3% (4.48 R/G)
Nationals: 66% (3.90 R/G)

AL (lifted from SoSH):

]My thought was that "consistency" is not an attribute that implies either more or less runs, but that it moved the run profile to a more valuable shape. If that were true, then you'd expect "consistent" teams (as indicated by the %stdev metric here) to tend to outperform their pythagorans.

Sadly, I can't really see that's true.

TM %st BP_Diff dif1 dif2 dif3
BOS 0.57 12 3.3 3.2 2.2
TBA 0.60 -18 2.4 -2.8 -5.4
CHA 0.62 7 6.7 10.2 10.5
BAL 0.63 -45 1.6 -4.8 -5.8
TEX 0.63 -2 -2.1 -6.6 -8.1
MIN 0.65 -9 -1 -0.1 -0.5
NYA 0.66 -16 2.9 0.9 -0.4
SEA 0.66 31 -6.1 -0.8 -3.8
CLE 0.66 -23 -0.7 -3.4 -2
ANA 0.67 8 -0.9 3.5 2.6
TOR 0.68 14 -5.5 0.1 -1.2
DET 0.70 -11 -1 -4.6 -4.9
KCA 0.73 17 -4.5 -4.1 -6.2
OAK 0.73 27 -3.3 -1.2 -1.9

correl bp 0.327504361
correl dif1 -0.64534997
correl dif2 -0.294767694
correl dif3 -0.258967357

%st = the %stdev metric employed earlier, or stdev/average runs
BP Diff = the difference between actual runs and BP's expected runs
Dif1, Dif2, and Dif3 are the deltas between actual wins and W1, W2, and W3 (which are various and increasingly complicated ways of estimating expected wins).

At bottom are the correlations between each of the last 4 columns and the %stdev column.

I don't see anything of value here. Does anyone else? Maybe the %stdev metric doesn't measure consistency meaningfully, or maybe consistency really just doesn't have much value? Or is so evenly distributed among teams that none of it really matters. I'm not very good with stats, so am wide open to suggestions here.

If anything it's a negative correlation -- but that might be messed up by the fact that there's interleague play, and the AL teams have underperformed relative to the NL teams (even while beating them more often overall). At least, in W3, which adjusts for strength of schedule, AL teams are down -24. Probably NL teams should be mixed in here, but I didn't want to combine them originally. Should go back and do other years, but this is pretty time consuming.

Sep 19 2005 10:58 AM

Offense at Home Versus Away (all stats accurate through 8/22/05):

Offense Away

We've had 58 Away Games, in which we've scored 256 runs, which equals 4.41 runs scored per game. That's good for 7th in the league in Away games. We're 10th in BAA (.254), 13th in OBPA (.313), tied for 6th in SLGA (.413) & 8th in OPSA (.726).

Home Offense

We've had 65 Home games, in which we've scored 303 runs, which equals 4.66 runs per game, good for 6th in league. We're 9th in BAH (.267), 9th in OBPH (.333), 10th in SLGH (413) & 10th in OPSH (.747).

So overall, we score .25 more runs per game at home and the biggest difference is that we get on base more there. For the most part, however, our offense hasn't been terrible either at home or away, but neither has it been particularly good.

Sep 19 2005 09:23 PM

We desperately need to upgrade our offense for next year. We defintiely strike out too much, and need to up the AVG and OBP.

The reality is, our best hitter going into 2006 is a 22 year old. I suggest, as wild and premature as it may sound, to acquire a pure, bona fide veteran hitter to achor the lineup, much like Olerud did. If he is available, Omar should pursue Todd Helton. Although he has a monstruous contract, he is still young and very good.

Edgy DC
Sep 19 2005 09:55 PM

We need to do better offensively. I wouldn't say the need is desperate to upgrade. A team can over-reach. I also don't think strikeouts are an issue so much as outouts.

David Wright will be 23 going into 2006. Todd Helton will be 32, which, while not that old, isn't that young, considering you'd be taking on a super-collossal contract on a player in decline coming down from Denver.

Frayed Knot
Sep 19 2005 10:13 PM

Rule 1 of contract acquisitions:
- When a player becomes available (not certain to begin with) just as he starts to show decline and is carrying a contract that is not only too high in per/yr $ amount but also has 6 more years to run as said player marches through his mid-late 30's ... stay da fuck away from him!!!!

Sep 20 2005 04:47 AM

I don't mind the strikeouts, although I agree we need to get on base more. And I totally agree that we should add some offense. If, as I think, we ARE an average offense already, we have a very real opportunity to put together a kick-ass offense because our two holes are so very, very large.

If we can find a power 1B and an average 2B, we'll have one of the best offenses in the league, IMO.

And if we just get average bats at 1B & 2B, we'll still probably be in the top third in the NL. Hell, Jacobs & Anderson/Lambin might be able to provide that for us.

Like Edgy says, I don't think the offensive situation is dire, by any stretch.

2006 priorities, as far as I'm concerned, in order: closer; power 1B; getting value for some of our (older) surplus pitching; a near-average regular 2B to back up one of our kids; a young catcher with upside to back up Castro.

If we can't get a power 1B, I want a righty with good lefty splits and a decent glove who can platoon with Jake or provide league-average offense at first if Jake can't cut it. I don't want to trade for a "superstar" 2B like Soriano or Kent. And I absolutely don't want to trade any of our top 5 prospects.

Sep 20 2005 06:39 AM

A back-to-form Carlos Beltran would go a long way to making our offense better.

Sep 20 2005 06:49 AM

sharpie wrote:
A back-to-form Carlos Beltran would go a long way to making our offense better.

I'm beginning to suspect that we'll get a back-to-form Carlos Beltran as soon as the Mets start playing their home games at Kauffman Stadium and/or Minute Maid Park.

Sep 20 2005 06:55 AM

To be even more pessimistic, maybe we did get back to form Beltran this year, and last year he was overachieving.
This post had the designation 150) Pat Mahomes

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 07:33 AM

Nonetheless, we are creatures of reason, and not fatalism or superstition.

Can anybody offer an analysis of Beltran's numbers and park factors and career trajectories which suggests that this was the likely outcome for Beltran and we should expect more of it?

Frayed Knot
Sep 20 2005 07:56 AM

Beltran's 4yr/avg ('01-'04):

AB ... H ... 2B ... HR ... BA .... OBA ... SLG .... BB ... K
593 - 171 - 32 ... 28 ... .288 ... .364 ... . .521 ... 72 ... 112

This year to date:
AB ... H ... 2B ... HR ... BA .... OBA ... SLG .... BB ... K
529 .. 144 ..31 ... 15 ... .276 ... .337 ... .423 ... 53 ... 84

Park factors would have something to do with all this.
But last year (playoffs aside) was only an aberration in HRs (38).
this has clearly been an off year for him.

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 08:09 AM

But the thingie is that park factors are one of those things you can think and think about until your brain hurts and still not pin them down. But they're definitiely involved here at some level, and worthwhile for the Mets to hire a young man or woman with a tough brain to look at as they approach their building for the future. rates park factors off of an average of 100. More than 100 favors batters, and they've put up some Coors-like numbers in recent years in Royals Stadium:

2000: 104
2001: 110
2002: 117
2003: 113
2004: 95

So, what happened in 2004 that reversed the trend? Or is the method bb-r uses to calculate park factor not as divorced from the players in the park as they want it to be?

Sep 20 2005 08:13 AM

I think somebody did something before we signed Beltran suggesting that we could expect an OPS in the neighborhood of .880. Below what he did in KC and Houston, but at this point we would all be very grateful if he gave us something close to .880 next year.

What's the skinny on Jacobs as a catcher? Is his glove that bad? How much has he played the position this year? If he can play it at all, I think we can afford to go with him and Castro at catcher and use our money/bargaining chips elsewhere.

Given that our park plays to lefties, I think we'd be better served with a lefty 1B than a righty one. Of course, if Konerko turns out to be the easiest guy to get, I'll change my mind.

The ideal fit offensively, I think, would be a lefty bat capable of a .300 BA/.400 OBP/.500 SLG. Brian Giles can do that, but that would mean making room for him in the outfield somewhere.

I agree that getting a closer like Wagner or BJ Ryan here is a high priority. Preferably Ryan, because he's younger. I also don't think we have a good #2 starter, and trading some of our quantity for quality makes sense.

Frayed Knot
Sep 20 2005 08:13 AM


There's been this notion floating around disgruntled NYM fans (and cackling NYY fans) that Beltran was "never anything other than a .260 hitter" (based on last year's BA) and that this is what we should expect. Clearly not true when you look at the history.

Kaufman Stadium in KC (if that's what they're still calling it - I can never remember) was a good hitter's park mainly because it was great for 2Bs & 3Bs (big gaps, funky corners) moreso than for HRs. Never-the-less, they moved the fences back a year or two ago which likely accounted for the recent drop as a hitter's haven.

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 08:27 AM

I want those 92 walks back almost as much as I want those 38 homers.

Vic Sage
Sep 20 2005 08:37 AM

a question about "Park Factor"...

wouldn't it make more sense to base it on offense created by VISITING TEAMS in that park, rather than including the offense created by the home team, with the same offense over 81 games? I mean, doesn't that skew "park factor" so that it more likely measures the home team's offensive production, rather than the park's influence?

i'm not arguing... i'm just asking.

Sep 20 2005 08:39 AM

Wow. I assumed it was based only off of the visiting teams' stats, because of Vic's point exactly.
This post had the designation 150) Pat Mahomes

Benjamin Grimm
Sep 20 2005 08:47 AM

That was my assumption, too.

You mean they don't do it that way? They really should.

Of course, the quality of the visiting teams can vary from year to year, too. But it should have much less of an impact.

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 08:48 AM

Actually, I assumed so also.

But another way to do it is to count home numbers, but reduce factor down the home team's appearances, as iff all teams played the same number of games there.

Somehow. My brain hurts.

Frayed Knot
Sep 20 2005 08:50 AM

Done correctly, they use both the home tem AND visiting team stats and compare them to how those teams did in that park as compared to other stadiums specifically so the home team's strengths and weaknesses can't foul things up.

For instance: From the very opening weeks of the life of 'Great American Ballpark' in Cincy, media types pronounced it to be a little league field based largely on the fact that there were a ton of high-scoring games there. What was really the cause however, was the fact that the Reds had oodles of power hitters and really shitty pitching ... hence the home team scored a lot AND the road team scored often.
But when the comparisons were all done, it turned out that those Red sluggers were hitting even better on the road while Cincy pitchers were getting lit up just as bad away from GAB as they were in it. As a result, GAB had a pitcher favoring ratings in it's opening seasons.

If you want to dive into the math of this stuff, go nuts:
This calculation even takes into consideration the fact that a winning home team only bats 8 times in most cases.

Sep 20 2005 08:50 AM

]Can anybody offer an analysis of Beltran's numbers and park factors and career trajectories which suggests that this was the likely outcome for Beltran and we should expect more of it?

Taking a look at the stats over the past few years, the biggest difference is the sudden drop in power and the sudden regression in plate discipline. Neither looks like they could have been predicted, IMO.

Looking at it, it makes me wonder if he's been hiding an injury. He's been subpar right from the start, never posting an OPS better than .827 in any month, and only breaking .800 twice.

Nothing conclusive, as far as I could tell, on H/A & L/R splits.

Batted Ball Type Generally, line drives lead to extra base hits. If you have good power, fly balls lead to home runs.

21% LD 46% GB 33% FB

21% LD 47% GB 33% FB

15% LD 38% GB 46% FB

20% LD 43% GB 38% FB

In this case, 2004 looks like the abberration--like he was trying for HRs that year (and succeeding). 2005 looks pretty normal to me, and as we can see from BAPIP, hits were falling in at around the rate you'd expect given his history.

BABIP Batting Average on Balls in Play. This is generally viewed as skill-related. Large fluxuations from career norms are considered to likely be flukes and unsustainable (if good) or indicative of bad luck (if bad).

career average: .283






Again, no real trend there. He's actually done better this year than last year, which is reflected in his higher BA (.272 compared to .267). So if when he hits the ball, he's producing a similar type of result (in terms of LD, GB & FB) and they're falling in at the same rate they usually do, why does he suck this year?

His power completely dissapeared, and instead of those balls going for doubles, triples & home runs, he's getting singles.

ISO(isolated power)






Completely baffling. It makes no sense to me that his power would just drop off like that.

Here's a look at the whole package, as measured by

EQA (Equivalent Average. A measure of total offensive value per out, with corrections for league offensive level, home park, and team pitching. EQA considers batting as well as baserunning.)




2004 KC
2004 HOU

.267 (lowest for Beltran since .224 in 2000)

2005 looks like an abberation to me. If he were in his 30's instead of just 28, I might think he's on the decline, but he was trending upwards the past two years.

Maybe expecting another .300 EQA season from him next year is too much, but I'd certainly expect him to match or better his career average .277 (which he hit on the nose in 2002, a year he posted a .847 OPS while stealing 35 bases & hitting 29 HR).

H/A Splits

Beltran has actually been better at Shea, which is playing as a neutral park (1.001 PF), this year:
.775 OPS, .82 BB/K
Away: .746, .48

He was downright bad at home
.774 OPS, .76 BB/K
and amazing away:
1.041, 1.06
Breaking it down by park, he had a .767 OPS at Kauffman (0.910) & a .780 at Minute Maid (1.004).

.915 OPS, 1.12 BB/K at home (1.278 at Kauffman that year, second in the bigs!)
.906 OPS, .72 BB/K away

.898 OPS, .55 BB/K at home (1.363, again, second in the bigs)
.793 OPS, .51 BB/K away

I don't really see a discernable pattern there. He did significantly better at Kauffman in 2002 than he did away, but very similarly H & A in 2003. In 2004, he struggled at home in two different stadiums with two very different park factors but absolutely raked away, and this year, he did a bit better at what has traditionally been a pitcher's park then he had away.

R/L splits

.746 OPS v. L
.810 v. R

.926 OPS v. L
.887 v. R

.898 v. L
.941 v. R

.867 v. L
.786 v. R

No real pattern there that I can see. He's had big splits every year, but he's flipflopped between being better v. lefties than righties--better against lefties twice, and better against righties 3 times.

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 08:58 AM

So (and excellent work, by the way), we're left with a few speculative theses.

1) He's been hurt to some degree most of the year, and it's affected him at the plate.

2) The league switch has been a slow adjustment for him.

3) He's trying to hard to hit homers and getting away from the rest of his game.

4) He's trying too hard to validate his contract, and pressing.

Thge first two, if either or both are true, should be expected to reverse themselves. The second two, not so much, but are correctable.

Sep 20 2005 10:02 AM

Edgy DC wrote:

1) He's been hurt to some degree most of the year, and it's affected him at the plate.

2) The league switch has been a slow adjustment for him.

3) He's trying to hard to hit homers and getting away from the rest of his game.

4) He's trying too hard to validate his contract, and pressing.

Thge first two, if either or both are true, should be expected to reverse themselves. The second two, not so much, but are correctable.

Yup, I think those are our best possible explanations. I'm thinking 1 or 4 is the most likely, since he switched to the NL midseason last year and did quite well, and he's actually flying out less than he did last year.

Vic Sage
Sep 20 2005 11:56 AM

I think he is (3) because he is (4). I don't think (2) is valid, since he'd already made that transition (and made it quite well) last season. (1) might be true, but is entirely speculative.

I like the (3)-(4) combo explanation. And maybe an off-season to relax can allow him to come back a little less tense.Or maybe he's one of those "can't play in NY" guys who will never learn to relax while playing here?

Ed Whitson, come on down!

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 12:13 PM

Well (1) is speculative, sure, but not entirely so, as we all saw him pretty badly concussed, albeit 2/3 into the season, for what that's worth.

I find it almost entirely speculative that "can't play in New York" thing exists.

Vic Sage
Sep 20 2005 12:15 PM

]Well (1) is speculative, sure, but not entirely so, as we all saw him pretty badly concussed, albeit 2/3 into the season, for what that's worth.

he played better AFTER the concussion, i think, so i don't know that it would explain anything.

As for the "NY thing"... yeah, i never bought into that either.
i was just throwing chum in the water.

Sep 20 2005 12:59 PM

Always dangerous, Vic. We like our chum here.

You're right, 1 is completely speculative and he certainly didn't look hurt until the whole quad thing happened, but such a big drop is pretty unprecendented.

Although I suppose A-Rod might be a good example of someone who pressed too much and HIS ISO dropped from .301 to .226 (a 25% drop in power) between Texas & New York. Of course, he also benefited from hitting at Arlington (he was significantly better at home between 2001 & 2003).

And there's a pretty big difference between a 25% drop and a 46% drop, which is what Beltran had.

If we're looking at precedents, Giambi's ISO dropped by 39% between 2003 & 2004.

While we're throwing chum, we COULD bring up the spectre of the S word. Did his head increase in size between 2003 & 2004?

Sep 20 2005 02:13 PM

Blatt, Giambi was sick. Very sick. And his smaple size in 2004 was much smaller, too.
whether or that has anything to do with the "S" word is possibly a separate subject.


Sep 20 2005 02:40 PM

MFS62 wrote:
Blatt, Giambi was sick. Very sick. And his smaple size in 2004 was much smaller, too.
whether or that has anything to do with the "S" word is possibly a separate subject.

True. And it's totally unfair to characterize Giambi's struggles in 2004 as a result of steroid use. But despite Giambi being extraordinarily sick, his drop in slugging STILL wasn't as dramatic as Beltran's.

I mean, Beltran's got one of the biggest ISO drop-off I could find (without looking very hard, I'll grant you). Bigger than A-Rod's or Giambi's. Bigger than Sosa's from last year to this year (41%).

Thome's dropped 53% this year, but he's been injured and had under 200 AB.

So basically, the only people I found with similar drop-offs were either seriously injured or getting old.

A-Rod's problem was arguably mental and he seems to have solved it, so that's a good sign, and Giambi's problem was clearly physical and he just as clearly has worked past it, so either way, I think Beltran should rebound.

But it'd be nice to be able to chalk this year up to something--physical or mental--one way or the other. Just to set our minds at ease a bit.

Sep 20 2005 02:43 PM

Back to the "chum" thingie.
If you're a fan of The Sopranos you'll remember Pussy's final boat trip. When he got on board, he was a pal. Once he "left" the boat he was just (a) chum.