New York finds itself in last place in the NL East with the best team in baseball coming to town. …
The Cliff Floyd Experiment
The 2002 New York Mets did not look like a championship caliber team last season. What was deceiving, however, was that the Mets looked like a championship caliber team when looking at the roster. Five of the starting eight position players were all stars, (combining for 26 all star appearances combined), and two are locks for the Hall of Fame (barring some Pete Rose-like ordeal.) With such a formidable lineup as the Mets had at the beginning of 2002, even Anthony Young could have been a twenty game winner. The Mets looked to be the team to beat. Of course it wasn't so. Now it is the start of the 2003 season and Fred Wilpon and Steve Phillips have done their best to make the Mets the team to beat in the National League East. Unfortunately, their best is not good enough. The big three acquisitions are Tom Glavine, Cliff Floyd, and Mike Stanton. Glavine is a fine addition, though three good years is a stretch. Expect two good years and a sharp decline by his third. Stanton gets the job done and loves New York, but there are probably a dozen other relievers available who are just as good for much cheaper. The focus for today, though, is the third part of the Mets' free agent triumvirate, Cliff Floyd. Cliff Floyd is one of those players who are very good when healthy (see Reggie Sanders) and apparently two consecutive years of over 140 games a season convinced the Mets he was healthy enough to sign. Floyd is a very well rounded ballplayer in the since that he runs well, fields well, hits for average, and hits for power. Do not be confused, he's not Willie Mayes, he does everything well, but nothing extraordinary. He's only broken thirty homer runs once. He has only reached 100 RBI once. But what does he bring to the Mets that makes him special? The Mets still have Jermony Burnitz, who if he recovers from a season long slump, is just as good as Floyd, but without the injuries. Well, there is something rather interesting about Floyd, but first, think; what teams are going to be the biggest competition for the Mets this season: Probably the Braves and the Phillies. Cliff Floyd crushes the Brave and Phillies. It is more than likely that Steve Phillips has under his employment a number of statisticians and people who wear glasses and can figure out Earned Run Averages without the use of calculators, so it is likely that this bit of information was know to Phillips at the time of Floyds' signing. However, it is very unlikely that every baseball fan has under his or her employment such people, so the numbers should be shared. Cliff Floyd from 2000-2002 vs Team AB H HR OBP SLG vs Braves 132 42 9 .424 .614 vs Phillies 131 35 12 .400 .618 He also has ten doubles against each team during this time. Oddly enough, Floyd has faired poorly against the other three teams in the NL East, including an OPS of .732 against the Mets in 157 at bats. Floyd has not had many appearances against Philadelphia's current rotation, as he has against the Brave's. Cliff Floyd Lifetime Phillies AB H HR OBP SLG vs Kevin Millwood 19 6 0 .440 .421 vs Vincente Padilla 3 0 0 .400 .000 vs Brandon Duckworth 7 1 1 .500 .571 vs Randy Wolf 9 1 1 .200 .444 vs Terry Adams 16 7 2 .500 .938 Braves AB H HR OBP SLG vs Greg Maddux 50 13 2 .288 .480 vs Russ Ortiz 17 7 2 .474 .824 vs Mike Hampton 9 3 0 .333 .556 vs Paul Byrd 3 2 1 .500 1.667 vs Jason Marquis 9 2 0 .563 .556 Maddux is the only one of the group who has had any real success against Floyd, but that should come as a surprise to no one. For comparison, here's how Floyd does against the Mets' top four. Mets AB H HR OBP SLG vs Tom Glavine 33 13 2 .444 .636 vs Al Leiter 19 5 0 .300 .316 vs Pedro Astacio 34 7 0 .317 .294 vs Steve Trachsel 27 5 0 .207 .185 Aside from Tom Glavine, the Mets' starters have dominated Floyd. It's rather surprising to see Steve Trachsel this dominant over anyone, let alone a ballplayer as good as Floyd. This data can lead to two conclusions. Either Floyd hits especially well against the Mets' biggest competition, or Floyd does not hit especially well in the friendly confines of Shea Stadium. Do you have an opinion on the Mets? Be sure to let us know on the message board. NYfansonly.com is always looking for die-hard Mets fans who would like to be writers for the site. Click here to learn more on how to become a Mets beat writer for NYfansonly.com.
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