A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Et Tu Brute?

Baseball Prospectus jumps in on the act of Met bashing. Over the years it has quickly become one of the American baseball writers favorite pastime.

Here's what Omar Minaya had to say when the Mets signed Pedro Martinez:

    "That kid that we don't know about, that Pedro Martinez that you don't know about, I don't know about, okay, that might be in the marketplace down in the Dominican Republic or Venezuela. That kid's father, or that kid, you know what he wants to be today? He wants to be a Met."

    There are two big questions we need to ask ourselves when we hear something like this:

  • Is it true?

  • If it's true, does it matter?

  • Well here is what I have to ask, what difference does it make? It was a speech that was made and it could be a belief that he has. Odalis Perez may not be a kid, but he certainly is interested in the notion of him pitching in the same rotation as on one of his heroes from his homeland so I do think there is some credence to the notion however small it may be.

    Is it true? Pedro Martinez is far from the only Latin player in the game, even if he is one of the most prominent. On account of Vladimir Guerrero and Manny Ramirez, there are a lot of Latino boys that want to be Angels or Red Sox. And as for "that kid's father," it's a good bet that there are a lot of fathers who, on account of Roberto Clemente, raised their kids to be Pirates.

    Very good observation there. Pedro is in fact not the only Latin player in the game and it is very possible that young kids dream of being an Angel or a Red Sox player just because of Vlad or Manny. However, Pedro is a pitcher and would be more likely to be able catch the attention of young Latin pitcher rather than batter so while the comparison has some validity, it is also a bit like apples and oranges as well. I'll agree the kids will go to whomever is willing to sign them. It is after all their way off their island and their chance to make a lot money. It is obvious they will not wait with baited breath for the Mets to come calling, but I could tell you there were not as many New York Mets fans in the Dominican Republic before they picked up Pedro and Omar was the GM.

    They seem to think that Pedro Martinez is worth $53 million over four years, while an uninteresting American player with exactly the same skills and track record might not be. This is a poor mode of thought, whether or not Martinez is worth the money.

    What? What the hell does that even mean? When the was there an uninteresting American pitcher of the same stature of Pedro Martinez on the free agent market? Pedro was the best free agent pitcher available on a market that has fetched more money for free agents than anyone thought. If Carl Pavano, who is a career sub .500 pitcher that only posted a sub 4.21 ERA twice in seven major league seasons in the National League, is worth $10 million per year, Pedro Martinez, who is far and away a better pitcher, is worth $12.5 million per year. Boston set his price per year and the Mets simply had to overpay to get him.

    The Yankees are popular because they win. OK, because they win, and because they have a rich tradition...of winning. The Yankees win, and make a stir; the Mets see this, and don't realize that the stir is a byproduct.

    As Rob Neyer wrote in his Big Book of Baseball Lineups, "People will come to the ballpark for two things, and two things only: free stuff, and baseball. Winning baseball." If the Mets want to be kings of New York, they don't need to be louder than the Yankees; they need to be better.

    Really? Another fantastic observation. Us in the area know this because we witnessed it first hand in the 80's. Also, how do you know that the Mets do not understand the stir is a byproduct? Did you ask them? As for trying to be louder, that is laughable. They are trying to win. The Pedro move did get them some attention in the rags of NY, but it also improved the staff.

    You need to go no further than these questions:

    Are the Mets better with Pedro Martinez? Yes.
    Is Pedro Martinez the best pitcher at this stage in his career than the Mets have had since Doc Gooden? Absolutely.

    This entire piece kills me. The Mets and Omar are trying to build a winning team and trying to string together a good number of winning seasons and they get ridiculed for it. Omar has done nothing but good things so far as the Mets GM. They understand how to get people into the park and that is producing on the field. That is a goal that are trying to get achieved. They will get ridiculed for getting Beltran by people saying they overpaid or are still a lot pieces away. Martinez is sure a place to start in terms of improving the team and Martinez and Beltran or Delgado would be a great place to start in terms of improving this team. They have the money, they have the luxury that other teams do not have of overspending to get things that they need without compromising their future.

    I hope the Mets read this crap that goes around about them and I hope they get mad and prove everybody wrong. I have only read it in one place that the Mets could be competitors in the NL East with a acquisition of one big bat in any sort of media or non-blog baseball website. I know I'm not crazy. I can look at the NL East and reasonably size up the Mets chances against if they get a big bat. There is no team in this division without huge question marks.

    * * *

  • Baseball Prospectus was gracious enough to point out Kaz is not as bad as many people think with a sort of back handed compliment (It's not great, but it's not a failure). They also allude to the idea that Jose is problem in itself. His plate discipline is less than desirable and they point to his 12.7 VORP in 2004 as a big negative. They at least mention that fact he has his injury problems which contribute to the problem but his VORP in 2003 was 21.7, which was left out. It is unfair to judge Jose on a injury riddled season. Before you start trashing him, let him try and have a healthy season. It is plain to see Jose has a ton of talent and better glove and arm than Kaz. Jose belongs at short and Kaz belongs at second...end of story.

  • Who wants to bet that Buster will put out another story after completely reversing fields yesterday and say the Yankees will be all over Beltran like white on rice?

  • According to ESPN, Scott Boras has stated that every interested team has submitted their offer on Carlos Beltran. It is unclear whether one of those teams are the Yankees, but one would assume it is unless they are considered a team no longer considered in Beltran's service.

    Bernazard said the Mets weren't worried about competition from the Yankees.

    "Pedro [Martinez] was not supposed to sign with us, and he's going to play with us," Bernazard said.

    I like this Tony Bernazard guy....I just hope he does not wake a sleeping giant that wears entirely too many turtlenecks with any comments.

    Joel Sherman's article this morning says the Mets offer is for 6 years $105 million and that the Astros and the Mets are the only two teams with offers submitted. Omar also told Beltran that the Mets would continue to pursue either Carlos Delgado or Sammy Sosa if they signed him. Sherman also stated he expects the Yankees to submit an offer, but the contract value will be between the Astros and Mets as they will not outbid anyone. They expect him to take less money if he wants the privilege to play in the Bronx. Also, according to the Daily News they are unwilling to pay anyone more than they are paying Derek Jeter. Here is an interesting quote from the article:

    "I think Beltran goes to the highest bidder," said an NL West executive who did pick the Mets as his top choice, "and I now believe the Mets will be the high bidder."

    According to Sherman's article, the Cubbies and Tigers are not going to get involved in negotiations at this point.

  • Michael Schumacher is the man. According to Forbes he made $80 million in 2004 and it is great to see him donate $10 million to the the Tsunami relief effort, which as much money as Coca Cola and more than a third of what Germany has pledged so far (Germany is saying they will increase their aid as I write this).

    Kudos to Taiwan for keeping up with the big boys by having their small island pledge $50 million to China's $60 million and Japan is as generous as usual when it comes to donating money towards disasters.

  • The New York Times, who broke the story about the Yankees passive behavior last Monday night, still says the Yankees are concentrating on the man with the magic Mullet. They have until Friday to complete a contract extension with him for two years at the bargain price of $16 million per season.

    Blogger Crank said...

    "When the was there an uninteresting American pitcher of the same stature of Pedro Martinez on the free agent market?"

    The closest thing would be Greg Maddux, who is indeed uninteresting. Still, if you lower the bar a bit to include other dull, American-born 30-something Hall of Fame-bound starting pitchers on the free agent market in the past few years, there's Tom Glavine. And before that, there was Kevin Appier, who was more washed up. It's hard to look at the Glavine and Appier signings and say the Mets are uninterested in giving barrels of cash to uninteresting American pitchers in their thirties.

    10:43 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I would certainly say Tommy G. is dull, but I still like him. I like to watch him pitch.

    But I agree, it's hard to say the Mets are uninterested in giving barrels of cash to uninteresting American pitchers in their thirties because they've tried that before.

    8:33 PM

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