Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 2, 2005
BASEBALL: A Full Season

Many things can be said about Jose Reyes' season, but getting from start to finish without missing a beat due to injury has to be a huge accomplishment. If you had "696" in the "how many at bats will Reyes have" pool, you can tip your cap. Yes, Reyes has a lot to learn in terms of plate discipline, but you can't learn the game until you can play the game. Getting a true full season in the big leagues under his belt is a big one.

I was out at Shea today, and it was a nice sendoff for Mike Piazza (hint: teams that expect to re-sign a free agent don't do a video montage retrospective so the fans can say goodbye). It was also, in other ways, a fitting end to the Mets careers of Victor Zambrano and (please) Danny Graves, both of whom got roughed up. I wish Zambrano well, but I have to figure he'll be non-tendered and go somewhere where he won't be haunted by the rise of Scott Kazmir. Graves, meanwhile, should consider a career that does not involve throwing a baseball.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:31 PM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

Danny Graves made over $6 million this season too (according to the ESPN bio on him).

What a bargain!

Posted by: Mark at October 2, 2005 9:52 PM

I've previously figured that Piazza would leave because he can get more playing time and more money with an AL team, despite the fact that he could still be an asset to the Mets. But the team seems to think it's best to not even attempt to keep him, which does have the advantage of letting him go out on good terms with the organization and the fans.

Posted by: Jerry at October 3, 2005 10:51 AM

The problem with Piazza is one of perception. No he is not the Piazza of old, who was the only catcher who could hit with Josh Gibson, but the odd thing is, he is still the best hitting catcher in the game. It seems the Mets will now compare their future to catchers to Piazza, the way the Giants compared their outfielders to Willie Mays, or how the Yankeed will probably evaluate any future closer compared to Mariano. All will be doomed to disappointment.

So if the Mets could reach an agreement with Piazza for something more in line for a catcher who is OK defensively, with a poor arm but still the best bat behind the plate for maybe 100-110 games, I would resign him. Not because he will still be the Hall of Fame catcher he was, but because, for 110 games, he can be pencilled in as a really good number 6 or seven hitter. Of course, much of this depends upon realizing that Beltran will be a good player, probably good in the five spot, and that David Wright is going to be the one of the top players in the NL for a very long time.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at October 3, 2005 11:47 AM

Daryl wrote: (Piazza) ..but the odd thing is, he is still the best hitting catcher in the game.

Are you high? He's not even Michael Barrett. Or Varitek, Mauer, VMartinez, Larue, JLopez, BMolina.

You then add that they should resign him to be a "6th or 7th hitter". The best catchers in the league are batting 3, 4 or 5. If Piazza is still the best, why would he bat 6th or 7th? Piazza hasn't had a really good season since 2002. He's a perfect fit for the AL now. Catch around 60-70, DH/1B around 60-70.

Posted by: The Zoner at October 3, 2005 12:57 PM

You need to change the channel and watch another team play baseball if you think Mike Piazza is "OK" defensively. At the height of his game he was OK defensively. At this point in his career he is probably the worst defensive catcher in baseball. He should swallow some pride and go hit in the AL where he would likely be a top third or so DH.

Posted by: jim at October 3, 2005 3:34 PM

Yes, it would have been an unlikely guess of 696 ABs for Jose. How unlikely? Well, according to, that's the most ABs in a single season for a player as young as Reyes (22 years old) IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY. Not necessarily a good thing -- that's a heck of a lot of outs -- but it is experience.

Posted by: birtelcom at October 3, 2005 11:18 PM

Experience is nice if it is learned from. If not, you get an out-machine like Corey Patterson, who Cub fans like me have suffered with for years now. Needless to say Reyes is not Patterson. 24 2b, 17 3b (!) and 60 steals sure looks good. If he improves his walks...

Posted by: The Zoner at October 4, 2005 12:18 AM

Reyes will probably draw a few more walks. But frankly, the best hope for him as a leadoff man is that he can turn into a Willie Wilson type who can hit .320, and thus not need to walk much. He's a rare player who has a shot at a hit anytime he hits the ball on the ground, so there is potential for that.

Posted by: Jerry at October 4, 2005 12:42 AM

Reyes made 506 batting outs, also one of the highest figures in history. Oh well. We all know his strengths (108 times in scoring position by his own power) & his weaknesses (506 batting outs), but his greatest value is 161 games of stellar defense at short with enough offense to justify a lineup slot.

My query, though: without going through every player's stats for 100+ years, I find it difficult to figure all-time batting outs leaders (to say nothing of missing the GIDPs, etc). I went to Baseball-Reference and, using the all-time single-season leaders for ABs, figured that Horace Clark in 1970 for the Yanks made 514 outs, the all-time high. Does anyone know a site that tallies outs? Does anyone know who the record-holder is? Clark?

Posted by: Mike at October 4, 2005 6:53 AM

Indeed plate discipline is of utmost importance and Jose Reyes deliberately won’t love to show his vulnerability.
Still he deserves a loud applause for his huge accomplishment.

read more about sports at: Sports Buzz

Posted by: buzz girl at October 4, 2005 7:45 AM

Maybe they could help Reyes by moving him out of the leadoff spot. a .300 obp and 27/78 BB/K mean he's not getting on or taking pitches.

Posted by: ICallMasICM at October 11, 2005 1:17 PM
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