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

Friday, April 06, 2007

It's not that I hate him....

Let me preface this by saying that I don't hate Shawn Green. It's not that I think he will be useless either. Sure, he may not have the reflexes of a cat and the speed of a mongoose out there in right field, but that will not hurt the team that much in my opinion. As for his offensive prowess, I do not think he'll particularly suck and there is a likelihood he'll actually be decent.

Now that is out of the way, Lastings Milledge should be starting in right field. For one, watching the Mets play 27 innings of errorless baseball truly outlines the importance of having airtight defense on the baseball field. Furthermore, I think the majority of baseball experts will tell you that there is a strong chance that Milledge should be able to produce more than Shawn at the plate right now. All this does not take into account the fact that he possesses a lot more speed. However, those are not even the only factors at play here. Looking towards the future, it really makes utmost sense.

The Mets have Moises Alou on a one year contract for this season and they have a one year option for the 2008 season. However, we do not know if Alou is going to come back in '08 or play well enough and be healthy enough to warrant them picking up the option. Also, it is entirely possible that he comes back in '08 in a more limited roll. He'll be 42 during next season and has not exactly been the pinnacle of health over the years. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the Mets would be using both Lastings Milledge and Carlos Gomez at the corners in 2008. Also, it is not only a possibility, but highly likely that Fernando Martinez will be ready to go by 2009 which would mean the Mets need to figure out sooner rather than later who they want to keep out of three players and that is going to hard without a nice sample size in the bigs.

The idea that any contender would go with two inexperienced players at the corners is just not too realistic. Letting Milledge log some serious innings this year will give him enough experience that should let the Mets feel comfortable with starting both of them in '08 should that be necessary. Also, the depth of this 2007 team gives a tremendous haven for a young guy to play and learn in a relative stress free manner. He is not counted on to the be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th option and all that ignores that he would in all likelihood add more value in 2007 than Shawn Green overall.

In the end, it is not that I think Shawn Green is not good enough, but in terms of setting themselves up to be better team not only today but in the future, it makes sense to have Milledge in right. In an ideal world, the Mets get Milledge experience in '07 so in '08 he's more of an asset, Gomez makes the roster in '08 and the Mets won't have two inexperienced guys in the outfield, the Mets figure out who stays between Milledge and Gomez and trades the other for a young stud that fills a need of theirs, and Fernando makes his Mets debut in 2009. There are just too many reasons to put Milledge out there and it really has nothing to do with Green producing or not. In the big picture, it just makes sense.

* * *

  • The Yankees lost last night to the Devil Rays and A-Rod popped up with the bases loaded in the 8th inning. Great stuff. But the real story was Elijah Dukes homering in his first two big league games. This kid looks to be pretty good in case you haven't figured that out. He is seriously strong and his homer was a laser into the left field stands.

    And just a quick side note, baseball tonight made two excuses for the Yankees on their broadcast. One for Jeter's error up the middle and then one for Pettite throwing to second while Ben Zobrist took off to third on a steal. As if that wasn't enough, they commented about A-Rod's pop up in the eighth and said, "you can't win 'em all the time". Am I the only one who thinks the Yankees do not need any sympathy?

  • How quickly they change their tune.

    Maine's obviously looking like a steal, now. So why did the Orioles let him get away? I think they were spooked by his numbers in 2005, when he went 6-11 with a 4.56 ERA in Triple-A, and 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA in the majors. But his previous track record in the minors was impressive, he's always had good enough stuff, and since joining the Mets he's done nothing but pitch well. All the spring talk about the shaky Metropolitan rotation seemed to miss the fact that Maine started 15 games in the majors last season and did quite well. Perhaps the improved slider and changeup -- he did have a changeup before, just not a particularly good one -- has made Maine a better pitcher. But I think he was already pretty good, and will continue to be, even if the refinements don't stick.

    Which is what us Met fans have been saying. John Maine was getting treated like chopped liver like he never pitched in the bigs before. Now? Now is a different story, but whatever.

    The comments on the piece were good as well. One encapsulates what it is like being a Orioles fan and the other just lays down the common sense.

    siropsycho (4/5/2007 at 12:59 PM)
    such is life as an Orioles fan, Kris Benson gave us one mediocre season and now we have to watch a couple of New York castoffs in Jaret Wright and Steve Trachsel all season

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    paul_slinger (4/5/2007 at 1:00 PM)

    Didn't Maine pitch well against the Cardinals in last year's NLCS too? He does seem to have been a bit overlooked, although the worry about the Mets' rotation was probably partially because El Duke got hurt in spring training (didn't seem to bother him much two days ago) and the rotation for awhile looked like Glavine, Maine and Joe the icecream vendor from row 12, section 14E.If El Duke is healthy, can stay healthy, and Maine keeps pitching well, I don't think the Mets are really all that worried, and will again be the best team in the NL. That's not even counting on Pedro coming back and being healthy.

  • Dice-K certainly had results, but did his stuff look underwhelming to anyone else? For me Grienke looked a lot better. Daisuke seemed to have command, but the few clips I saw were sub 90 fastballs and not many of those nasty sliders, but again, it was a few clips. It was nice to go up against Sweeney-less and Grudz-less Royals for his first start, but you'd have to wonder how he would have fared against a top tier offensive club.

  • I've stated my thoughts on how I think is the wrong decision to retire any number for good across the board, but if it is going to be done, this is at least a good way to honor Jackie Robinson. Of course the ESPN bloggers had some coverage of this the other day and it's the right thing to do.

  • 2.5 million tickets already? Time to raise ticket prices and screw your current plan holders at the expense of reeling in more customers to screw over.

  • David Lennon's piece might be worthy of an entire post itself, but I think he's reaching.

    So why is Reyes, an All-Star and MVP candidate, still waiting to be featured solo on the sides of buses and subway cars? Not because of his gleaming smile, infectious laugh or pure joy on a baseball field. Despite New York's love affair with the Dominican shortstop, there often can be a gap between the Latino or Asian player and the fan base, from both a marketing and media standpoint.

    Why? Because Reyes didn't really arrive until a few weeks into the '06 season and it takes a month or two to realize that what he was doing is not a hot streak but him developing into a mega-star. Wright? He was more highly touted and Reyes had two injury ridden years. I do not want to say he was written off, but people were tentative about him and his '05 campaign, though healthy, raised doubts and showed significant holes in his game while Wright came onto the scene and never looked back.

    Give Reyes some time and I'll guarantee he'll be in the spotlight. It is impossible to ignore the David Wright media train that was already in motion before his ridiculous first half last season, which by all accounts was perhaps more impressive than Reyes' simply because of the eye popping numbers in categories the majority of the public care about. If Reyes continues his onslaught this year, David Wright is going to have to take a backseat to him.

  • Ben Shpigel tells us what we already know.

  • People think Peterson is over the top, but I love the guy. I know I was pretty hard on him at times, but that is all a thing of the past.

  • The moment most of us have been waiting for....Oliver Perez's first game of the '07 season. If I could only pick two guys on this Met team to watch, it would be Jose Reyes and Oliver Perez.
  • Labels:


    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx in Florence, Italy said...

    Its not abotu hating Shawn Green its just that Milledge can provide the same ammount of offensive production but with better defense.

    Fuckin Derek Jeter and his imaginary golden defense.

    I think its all about the coaching staff in New York. Maybe if Maine was there now with Leo Mazzone but before, he was with shit coaches. The Mets have the goods.

    I love Zach Grienke.

    Like Ive said all along. 2007 will be another season of domination. And it will be 100% proven tonight!

    11:47 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    The Mets do have in the goods in terms of player development.

    Every game is a big game for me, but this series will go a long way to sending a message. All this talk about how teams caught up and even surpassed and improved 97 win team is just silly. Sure it's not the end of the world if the Braves take two of three, but the Mets need to shut some people up.

    11:51 AM

    Blogger Coop said...

    I just hope that if the Mets absolutely *have* to lose a game this weekend, it will be with Duque pitching on sunday. Cause I gotz to get me my Oh Pea 20-game winner on tonight!

    As for Jose, I'm with you Mike, I think that come next year, he will not only be the face of the Mets but the face of NY baseball, maybe MLB. He's good looking, his smile is contagious, he's a fly baseball player, and is infinitely more talented than that fruit who plays his position on the other NY team.

    What surprises me though like you said is that lack of marketing perspective for an Asian or Latino player. Whatever. Latino players have been bar-none the best addition to baseball since...I don't know...Marichal or some shit. Jose Reyes is the quintessential "cross-over" artist if you will. He is appealing to everyone. Everyone likes him, whether they are black, white, Asian, Latin, polka dotted. Think about Ricky Martin in the late 90s. He was a super duper star in Latin America as a recording artist then WHAM! Women all over the US were beside themselves with his hip shaking, nuevo Elvis bon-bon music.

    Speaking of Latino, it's Oh Pea Opening Night! Don't worry, I'll give him a good send off, better than what I have so far.

    Oh mike, i see you also went off on the Yank-these today too. I don't know if anyone watched the game at all, but there was like this little bloop nothing hit to the middle outfield between left and shortstop by Jeetuh. The Drays SS looked like he had a play but it fell through. No biggie, not many could have made it. But of course Michael "Skeet Skeet Skeet" Kay makes some comment like "There's only one shortstop who could have made that play, and it was the one who hit it." I'm like "What the...?" hasn't this dude heard of Jose Reyes?

    1:19 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Toasty had that today on his site. Hysterical...they live in their own little sheltered Yankee universe.

    1:58 PM

    Blogger BookieD said...

    I agree 100% on 'Stings. Even if he's still working stuff out at the plate, the drop-ff from Green would not be that significant and could easily be absorbed by the balance of the line-up. Unfortunately, we just the classic situation of the overpaid veteran blocking the cheaper, more talented youngster. I think the thought process is that one of the corner guys will be on the DL soon enough, so why risk shattering Green's already fragile psyche any further by demoting him?

    3:13 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Point take, but what if no one gets hurt? I think it's a tough call, but eminently, you have to look forward and the Mets are not paying Green THAT much in the big scheme of inflated baseball salaries when you factor in what the D-Backs are throwing in.

    3:23 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    Mike, you have supported Maine all off season saying you expect him to win 15 and now he's proving it. Totally agreed with you the whole way.

    Stings not only can produce as much with the bat and better defense than Green, but the key ingredient is the SPEED. As I was reading your reasoning, it was phenomenal to be reading about our Mets and all the talent we have coming up thru the outfield with young players. Truly the exact opposite from just a few years ago. So cool.

    My bro's down in Atl and is going to the games this weekend. Last year I went with him at the last series when we sweeped and put the nail in the coffin. Almost got in fights with a ton of bonehead rednecks. I just kept on giving them the L. We need to continue that beating on the Braves and let everyone know the Mets are going to be relentless this year. I want it 6-0 when they come back to NYC.

    5:15 PM

    Blogger Count Choculitis said...

    With respect to the Yankees and their favorable treatment on ESPN, I direct you to this quote:

    "We pretty much think of baseball as the Red Sox and Yankees and everybody else is the Washington Generals," said one ESPN employee who shall remain unnamed.

    5:25 PM

    Blogger metdynasty said...

    Mike, good piece on Green. I would've just said fuck him, but you actually took the time to explain, rationalize and remodel it into a bedtime story. Nice.

    That doesn't mean I don't believe in veterans, however. Omar has made me a true believer of balance. Youth and Veterans are inseparable in a successful team. The key is to know the balance of the energy of youth and the experience of veterans. I think the Mets are closer to that perfect spot than any other teams in the league. The trio of Alou, Green and Valentin are somewhat lifeless so it seems, which is why I believe a shot of youth at that spot would improve the lineup tremendously. Either Chavez or Milledge will do just fine.

    I predicted at mets.com message board before the season that they would win 102 regular season games. It's already going my way three games into the season. Baseball experts and doubters underestimated this team because they didn't see the fact that with improvement of Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Milledge, Maine, Perez and Pelfrey this year we are much better than 06. Last year was not a fluke. It was only an opening to a grand story, a new dynasty in the making. What surprised me was the dominance displayed during the first three games even with Green in the lineup. It gave me a feeling that perhaps my 102 win prediction was even an underestimation. This could be a truly magical season that is sweeter than all the seasons this franchise has ever had. It's just a feeling for now, but one of the most important pieces to that dream is about to fact his first test tonight.

    Go Perez!

    6:49 PM

    Anonymous jake said...

    metropolitans just smoked the braves. SMOKED 'em.

    absolutely badass. you called it benny.

    10:57 PM

    Blogger Anthony said...

    This team is for real. WOW. Keep it rolling Glavine.

    11:18 AM

    Anonymous Danny said...

    Jose Reyes, Best Player in Baseball?

    Given his age and the position he plays, I would pick him over anybody to start a team.

    11:55 AM

    Anonymous two-by-four said...

    Willie is a player’s manager that looks to placate his proven (and sometimes unproven) veterans. Green is well liked by his teammates and is close to a couple of the players. Willie will not give Green’s job away for fear of the negative message it sends some of the veterans. Willie apparently believes in the long run it makes for a better team to keep his veterans happy. Yes, it makes sense for LM to play RF for the reasons you stated and because even at his best Green is a singles hitter with no speed and shaky defense. He plays a position that traditionally is manned by someone with extra base power which he seems to have lost.

    10:03 PM


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