12/23/09

Kaz Ishii, Minor League Transactions, Davey, Marquis... and Stevorino

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Kaz Ishii :

The Mets didn’t learn after the Nomo debacle and traded for Ishii at the end of spring training in 2005. They were short on starting pitching and sent Jason Phillips to LA. Ishii was never really good with the Dodgers (ugly BB to K ratio) and was even worse for the Mets. If not for Korean born Jae Seo stepping in the rotation and pitching the best ball of his career the 2005 Mets would never have sniffed .500. - nybaseballdigest.



Minor League Transactions:

Florida Marlins signed RHP Matt Peterson (re-signed), RHP Scott Strickland

Houston Astros signed: RHP Matt Ginter, LHP Jon Switzer

Kansas City Royals signed: RHP Philip Humber, LHP Adam Bostick

San Diego Padres Reinstated from inactive list: RHP Hayden Beard,

Toronto Blue Jays igned: RHP Lance Broadway   -   BA


Davey Johnson:

Davey Johnson is one of the most underrated managers in baseball history. He has his supporters, but the conventional wisdom across the sport does not give him enough credit. He had an impressive track record improving teams that hired him. Yet instead of earning job security, management shows him the door with considerable rapidity.
For over a decade prior to their hiring of Johnson, the Mets finished no higher than third. They performed no worse than second place every year Johnson was there. Yet a rotten quarter in 1990 was enough to cost him his job. In some ways Johnson was a victim of his own success, as the team had gotten used to competing. Johnson’s failure to clear that last hurdle also hurt him, as the Mets racked up more second-place finishes than firsts. That was a fluke of divisional alignment. For whatever reason, baseball’s powers believed St. Louis and Chicago belonged to the east, and Atlanta and Cincinnati in the west. In 1985 and 1987 the Mets won more games than any other team in the NL except the Cards. In 1984, the Mets would have won the division if the Cubs were in the geographically sensible locale. With a geographically appropriate realignment, the Mets would have won five consecutive division titles from 1984-88, instead of settling for a pair of postseason appearances in 1986 and 1988.

Despite Johnson’s success, it took a few years until another club claimed him. When Cincinnati finally gave Johnson another opportunity, he made the most of it. The Reds came in first place in his only two full seasons there, 1994-95. They have only one other first place finish in the last 30 years. Team owner Marge Scott rewarded Johnson with a pink slip because she had previously promised Ray Knight the job. Her sense of loyalty outweighed doing what was best for the team. Cincinnati’s winning percentage dropped by 90 points immediately after Johnson departed.  - Great Book


Jason Marquis:

Other accomplishments for Marquis are a Little World Series appearance where he pitched his team to a third place win over Canada with a no hitter. There are only a handfull of players that have pitched in both a Little League World Series and a Major League World Series. He also pitched his high school teams to consecutive New York city championships. He’s sounding more and more like a gook pick up to me. The New York newspapers were touting him as the best player to come out of the city since Manny Ramirez. Manny who? The only thing missing on his resume are Olympic, World Cup and World Baseball Classic appearances. Does myworld think that the acquisition of Jason Marquis, who has led four different teams to ten playoff appearances will take the Nationals to the playoffs? Never give up - Never surrender -
myworldofbaseball.


Steve Phillips:

The New York Mets under Steve Phillips, summed up in six sentences.In 2002, three years after Valentine urged them to do so, the Mets brought in Satoru Komiyama, a control pitcher they called the Greg Maddux of Japan. Again, their timing was off. By the time the Mets got Komiyama, he was more like the Mike Maddux of Japan.Based on a statistics sheet from Japan, Steve Phillips, the Mets’ general manager at the time, thought Komiyama was an experienced reliever. But Phillips misread the category Games Finished to mean saves, when it actually referred to complete games. Komiyama went 0-3 with a 5.61 earned run average (and no saves) for the Mets and went home after one year.Remember, Steve Phillips is a man who is now paid for his supposed baseball expertise.The entire article in the New York Times is worth the read, as they take you down memory lane, detailing the Mets’ “spirited, but often unproductive, pursuit of Japanese players.” - BTF

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