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OPENING NIGHT Game Discussion Thread


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"If this is my last year, I want to win the World Series again," said Opening Night starter Tom Glavine.
LINEUPS

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1. SS Jose Reyes
2. 3B David Wright
3. CF Carlos Beltran
4. 1B Carlos Delgado
5. LF Moises Alou
6. RF Shawn Green
7. C Paul Lo Duca
8. 2B Jose Valentin
9. P Tom Glavine

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1. SS David Eckstein
2. LF Chris Duncan
3. 1B Albert Pujols
4. 3B Scott Rolen
5. CF Jim Edmonds
6. RF Scott Spiezio
7. C Yadier Molina
8. 2B Adam Kennedy
9. P Chris Carpenter

Close Call in 2006 Has Mets Hungrier than Ever
Mets looking to finish the job
Club focused on avenging Game 7 defeat in NLCS


When uncompromising taskmaster Dallas Green managed the Mets in the mid-nineties, he would rail against the late-summer appearance of hunting magazines in the clubhouse. His teams had little chance of playing beyond the first days of October, but Green tolerated no planning for autumn in August.
Consulting no publication, the 2006 Mets, hunters of a different sort, began making October plans shortly after the All-Star Game when they had disassociated themselves from other members of the National League East. They intended to be fully occupied into the final days of baseball's showcase month, and they were stunned, saddened and angry when their plans went awry.

Autumn lament has morphed into spring resolve for the defending champions of the National League East. As the '07 Mets packed to leave Florida, they were intent on living out of their new suitcases for seven months. The trip to the World Series denied them last year is an understood entry in their itinerary.

Not only is there intent, a sense of urgency exists as well. Fueled by their shortfall and short fall last year, they see this season as the only opportunity on the horizon for the current personnel. Thus the "win-now" thinking so prevalent in their clubhouse. Win it in '07 or -- or, well, they don't know what the "or" is.

Despite his increasing indecision, Tom Glavine may indeed be a retiree a year from now. Paul Lo Duca may be wearing the No. 16 of another franchise in 2008. Who can say what toll another 162 will take on the body of Orlando Hernandez or whether current personnel will be used as mediums of exchange come winter.

So ...

"Absolutely there's urgency," Glavine says. "If this is my last year, I want to win the World Series again. I'm not in position to wait. I remind the other guys every so often."

"These are good men," Carlos Delgado says. "Winning with them would be a lot of fun. So we ought to win right away so we're still all together."

The Mets roster wordlessly says this is a win-now situation with Glavine, Julio Franco, Moises Alou and probably El Duque having passed their 40th birthdays and Lo Duca approaching 50 in catcher's years. Jimmy Rollins merely was pointing to the obvious.

It is the considered opinion of general manager Omar Minaya that age -- seasoning -- is an essential ingredient in the postseason recipe. So, although the Mets will introduce 23-year-old reliever Joe Smith to the big leagues this month, and starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey is not yet three months past his 23rd birthday, the team will be among the oldest, if not the oldest in the game.

More to the point, Minaya says, is "that we'll be among the best too. ... No one brings up age unless you don't win. And we don't expect to be talking about that much."

Instead, he believes, his team's offense, Pelfrey and the renaissance of Oliver Perez will be included in any relevant discussion of the contenders for the National League East championship.

The Mets ought to score runs, perhaps 900. No Mets team has been so productive. And if the pre-humidor days of Coors Field are discounted, the 1999 Diamondbacks, 2000 Giants and Astros and '03 Braves are the only National League teams since the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1953 to have scored 900 or more.

Whether or not manager Willie Randolph adheres to his March-model batting order that often had David Wright's RBI bat in the 2-hole, the top of the Mets' order ought to be menacing. With Wright batting second and Alou fifth, speed, power, and the ability to reach base will confront opposing pitchers in the first inning. If Wright bats fifth and Alou sixth -- a sequence similar to what existed last season, the batting order will have American League depth.

Leadoff man Jose Reyes seems poised to become as formidable an offensive force as there is in the league, save Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard. No. 3 hitter Carlos Beltran produced numbers last season that rank among the top five in franchise history in runs (127), runs batted in (116), home runs (41) and slugging (.594). And the left-handed bat of No. 4 hitter Delgado provides protection in the form of power (34 home runs) and production (114 RBI).

Unless Alou, so effective against left-handed pitching, begins to act his age, the Mets more than any team in the league, should exploit the thin pitching that is so pervasive in the game. If Shawn Green is reborn, 900 runs is almost likely.

Just as well for the Mets, because their pitching hardly is outstanding. Victories by scores of 6-4, 7-5 and 8-6 won't be rare. The 2-1 Mets victory may be an endangered species.

Glavine won 15 games last season, and comparable production this season is entirely possible. Whether the Mets' still-unsettled bullpen can do enough so that the team's '06 winning percentage in Glavine's starts approaches the .750 of last year is an issue. The Mets also won 20 of the 30 games started by departed Steve Trachsel. Who from among Perez, Pelfrey, El Duque and John Maine will have a hand in 20 victories if he makes 30 starts? How will those mostly contact starters fare with a defense that is mostly fair?

And will the bullpen be so reliable that the team can approach the level of success it produced in close games last season. No team won so many one-run games as the Mets (31) or lost so few (16). That is an indication of bullpen supremacy. Without injured Duane Sanchez, the relief may not be so dominating.

Then again, the Mets don't have to match their 2006 performance to win in 2007. With the Phillies and Braves improved, they may have to exceed it. For sure, they have to exceed their postseason victory total of last season by five to accomplish their October objective.

"We don't have to win more than we did last year," Franco, the sage, says. "We have to win more than anyone else wins. That won't be easy either. Our season [last year] didn't have a lot of bumps. We could have a lot more stress than we had. But the old men know how to deal with it. We lead the league in age. Right? What matters is talent, effort and the ability to execute. We have a lot of that too."
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To critique a little, I don't like this lineup. I think Wright should be batting fifth in an RBI spot. We went out and got Alou last year to give Wright someone to fall back on, with Delgado well protected in the cleanup spot, and we're making that obsolete. Of course I didn't really like Lo Duca being in the second hole last year until I saw what can be done with him and Reyes, and than it was obvious that was the right decision. This move, IMO, really hurts the bottom of the lineup. I don't see the need for Wright being put in the second hole because he has his protection, he has potential to be a huge RBI man, and was always clutch in his position last year (as was Lo Duca). Hopefully it works out, I don't think it will, but I hope it does.

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For old times sake, let's ressurrect the game thread from the NLCS :ph34r:

:furious:Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 2006 NLCS never happened! Just like the Ravens winning the Super Bowl. :brooding:

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:furious:Blasphemy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 2006 NLCS never happened! Just like the Ravens winning the Super Bowl. :brooding:

In order to look to the future, we must overcome the past :)

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To critique a little, I don't like this lineup. I think Wright should be batting fifth in an RBI spot. We went out and got Alou last year to give Wright someone to fall back on, with Delgado well protected in the cleanup spot, and we're making that obsolete. Of course I didn't really like Lo Duca being in the second hole last year until I saw what can be done with him and Reyes, and than it was obvious that was the right decision. This move, IMO, really hurts the bottom of the lineup. I don't see the need for Wright being put in the second hole because he has his protection, he has potential to be a huge RBI man, and was always clutch in his position last year (as was Lo Duca). Hopefully it works out, I don't think it will, but I hope it does.

 

 

i couldn't agree more. i'd rather have a more balanced lineup and i think wright should be hitting 5th. i mean shawn green loduca and valentin aren't exactly intimidating...hopefully milledge will eventually replace green and help balance this lineup a bit more.

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the game is too fuckin late. Why dont they open at 1:00 or even 4? My sister is having a party but I am not going there at 8, some of us have to work tomorrow

 

I will just have to watch the game with the wife and drink a couple of beers.

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Man, have I been waiting to see this thread. I'm freakin psyced. Got my Sunday Season Tickets yesterday, first time I ever had any type of season tickets so my fiancee and I are pretty excited about this year. I agree that this game is too late, I wanted to have a party also but work comes early on monday. :brooding:

 

LETS GO METS!!

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Man, have I been waiting to see this thread. I'm freakin psyced. Got my Sunday Season Tickets yesterday, first time I ever had any type of season tickets so my fiancee and I are pretty excited about this year. I agree that this game is too late, I wanted to have a party also but work comes early on monday. :brooding:

 

LETS GO METS!!

do you live by shea?

 

im thrilled opening night is tonight. Either I would miss it tomorrow because it was during school or during our passover seder.

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1. SS Jose Reyes

2. C Paul Lo Duca

3. CF Carlos Beltran

4. 1B Carlos Delgado

5. 3B David Wright

6. LF Moises Alou

7. RF Shawn Green

8. 2B Jose Valentin

9. P Tom Glavine

 

From Mets.com

 

fuckin' noice! :TU:

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you did know that his full name is David Lastings Milledge........ anyway, David should have started in NO so he can get some at bats.

He'll get a couple of games a week.

 

I'm happy with Alou and Green so far.

 

But it's only been 2 ABs

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