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

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Eternal Question...

Rob (DE): In your blog today, you linked to a great article about why the Twins have failed this season. But not giving ABs to Punto and Tyner seems so obvious? Why doesnt Terry Ryan, who has done a great job of judging talent (specifically pitching) not get this?

SportsNation Rob Neyer: (12:24 PM ET ) Everybody's got their blind spots, I guess. remember Mike Hargrove and Willie Bloomquist?

This list can go on and on in regards to egregious moves. In Kansas City where John Buck, a once highly touted catching prospect who is still young, has sixteen homers in limited action and is still mysteriously sharing time with Jason LaRue. A bad Cincinnati team failing to move Scott Hattenberg for a bag of balls to get top prospect Joey Votto some time or Naron not letting Edwin Encarnacion play through early struggles.

Conveniently enough as I decided to write this, it was a hot topic in the chats.

Jared (NJ): What's your opinion of Milledge's perfomance so far? It seems to me he shouldbe in right field 4 out ot 5 days SportsNation Keith Law: (2:10 PM ET ) He should be out there every day, no? Shawn Green is awful.

Of course Lastings should see most of the time in right moving forward, but some moves that are seemingly plain to see by normal human beings are not acted upon by managers. It could be either riding someone for so long while viable and better options exist or a bad team not letting their young guys get much needed exposure while the team his headed nowhere anyway. In the case of Rickie Weeks, it is understandable why Yost could simply not stick with him. But conversely in the middle of a race, veterans will be given a leash equivalent to the circumference of Michael Kaye's gigantic head.

I agree, Gutierrez should definitely be getting playing time. The thing that people forget about seemingly harmless, low-cost signings of past-their-prime players is that managers can become enamored with that kind of guy, and ace better talent out of playing time as a result. Trot Nixon has had a very good career, but he should be a bench player at this point.

Why managers become enamored with this guys are beyond me. These are questions that will never get fully answered but one has to assume they remember the good 'ole days when they did produce. The funny part is that you can go around to any fanbase and you will see similar things occurring where fans are howling about some guy. Bring up Shelly Duncan, bring up Adam Jones, bring up 8 pound 6 ounce baby jebus, let Lastings play, Joe Borowski must die, etc. Sometimes they straighten out, but generally, these guys are baked.

But the eternal question remains, why do some managers refuse to do right thing?

* * *

  • In contrast to the above piece, there are simply times where you have to sit idly by and let these veterans muddle though. You have to be able to see when there is no upside as in the case of Green and Nixon and you have to be able to see that their strength and athleticism is gone and their declines have been steady and not quick ones. Also, you have to be able to understand when it is a guy like Delgado or Andruw Jones. Those guys at least have upside.

    Delgado's decline was unpredictable and you had to believe he was going to pick it up. Drop him in the order? Sure. But you simply cannot bench him because there was little reason to believe he was as bad as he was showing earlier in the season. He was killing the team and in all likelihood is done being a .300 hitter, but he is a solid #5 hitter at this stage since he still possesses some pop. It is not black and white and you have to use a little common sense to see who is done and who to keep the faith in.

  • Sorry we ate your forefathers. Hey, at least they apologized.

  • Travis (Mad Town): Hey Keith, Revisiting the 05 draft Who would you go with now Braun, Zimmerman, or Gordon?

    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:35 PM ET ) Oddly enough, same way I had them at the time. Gordon, Tulowitzki, Braun, Zimmerman. You'll notice a certain LHP who's not on there.

    Ziiiiinnnggg!! Of course you remember that the Blue Jays drafted Rickey Romero who was a good lefty handed prospect, but not one you would likely consider that high with all that talent in the draft. Of course the Mets took Mike Pelfrey and the early returns have not been good and I'm often daydreaming of their second choice, Jay Bruce, in a Met uniform.

  • David Wright and Willie predict a gold glove for Jose, but Vizquel probably has something to say about that. He'll win it until he retires and I thought a mockery was being made by voting him in just because he's won it so many times. I thought that until I watched the Giants play the Mets and he was tighter than a camel's asshole in a sandstorm.

    Not that Jose has not necessarily played even with him or even slightly better, but a tie goes to the incumbent Gold Glover and Vizquel is still pretty damn amazing.

  • Endy is on his way back and played in his first rehab game today Of course there is not much room for him in the outfield, but that is another issue altogether.

  • Pedro Watch '07 continues.

    PEDRO WATCH: The Mets confirmed that Pedro Martinez's next rehab start is scheduled for Monday with high-A St. Lucie, during a doubleheader that begins at 5 p.m. against Brevard County. Martinez, working his way back from right shoulder surgery, retired the first 10 rookie-level Gulf Coast League batters he faced Tuesday before surrendering a three-run homer in the fourth inning during a 60-pitch outing.

    I thought he would be put up against AA batters but I guess not. I'm not sure if this means two more starts no matter what or whether one more good start means he hits the bigs next.

  • Also from the above link, Joe Smith is feeling better.

    "I really haven't got hit hard," Smith said. "Everything is coming back like I thought it would. I've got confidence. My fastball is sinking."

  • The Mets have added a new member to the family:

    The Mets' latest international signing comes from Europe. Team officials announced the signing of 18-year-old third baseman Marinus Vernooij from Rotterdam, Holland.

    If he can regain early season form, that is obviously a huge boost for the Mets World Series aspirations.

  • The Mets are rolling in the dough and spent the 9th least out of team in the first ten rounds.

    They plunked down $3,328,800 and only the Phillies, Marlins, Brewers, White Sox, Indians, Twins, Angels, and Astros spent less. The Astros spent $536,000 and did not have a pick until the third round, which makes their failure to sign their top two picks a joke. Anyone still think they shouldn't Oswalt and try and rebuild what has quickly become a disaster?

    The Orioles, Nationals, Yankees, Tigers, and Devil Rays round out the top five with $7 million + spent each, which is no surprise when you see what they spent in the first round.

    In regards to Efferson, it looks as though the Mets failed to sign him.

  • That game last night was ugly. Heilman made a mistake fielding the bunt and didn't get all that much help afterwards. Rough loss, but they take the series and it's onto DC to play the tougher than people think Nationals.

  • I think I'm going to alternate negative and positive posts....the next one will be positive one. Good times!
  • Labels:


    Anonymous benny said...

    To me what the Shawn Green and Lastings Milledge situation soo bad was the defense. Everytime I saw Shawn Green belly flopping out there I shed a tear. Just awful.

    If someone ate my forefathers it'll take more than one stupid public apology for me to forgive them. Fucking jerks.

    Everytime I think about the Shortsotp Gold Glove and about Reyes winning it I see the Giants highlight for the night and see Omar Vizquel doing some crazy shit. He can have it, the man is like spider-man.

    o0o0o, who goes when Endy comes back? Shawn Green!?!? I think that makes the most sense. THey probably let Endy come back Spetember 1st though, so that way they don't hurt any feelings.

    Pedro said he WANTS to stay in Florida. He's been ptiching in St. Lucie for personal reasons, so he can be close to his Florida and Dominican home. He might pitch for New Orleans but deffinitly NOT Binghamton.

    I'm very happy with the Vernooij signing. I'm just glad Omar and the gang aren't just sticking to Latin America for thier signings. A 6'2" 200 pound 18 year old is good shit. The man is physical specimen.

    In regards to the Mets and Efferson, the Mets are pussies.

    Thank god I didn't stay home to watch the game. Fucking Mets... fucking Mota. Call up Smith already.

    1:53 AM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I’m not surprised the Mets failed to sign Efferson. As I said in a previous comment I believe the league guidelines are a convenient way of keeping expenditures in this area to what a team believes to be reasonable. They also deflect criticism if that team does not sign a prospect because they are, after all, adhering to the guidelines for the best interests of baseball. But in fairness to the Wilpons there are a lot worse franchise owners in sports and running a successful investing business is a far cry from running a sports franchise and although it took time and there were some pratfalls the Wilpons are successfully making the transition. The Wilpons are far superior to the original owners the Payson’s. Most people point to the trade of Tom Seaver, etc for the Mets original ownership’s destroying of the franchise but the gutting of the franchise actually occurred when M. Donald Grant started to economize in the quality and quantity of the scouting and coaching areas.

    2:49 AM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    The Mets come into Washington after taking 2 out of 3 from the Pirates with question marks in their rotation and bullpen. Ollie and Maine have either hit the famous wall or have reverted somewhat to a previous form. It’s really hard to tell when you are dealing with former head cases. It may be beneficial if say Ollie missed his next starting assignment and then in the following sequence Maine was skipped to give each a breather but then who would start in their place? I’m not sure how many times the Mets can afford to trot out Lawrence and his 83 mph fastball. I’m convinced that presently Sele has more physical talent than Lawrence but does anyone want to see him out there? Pray tell what about Philip Humber?

    Except for Wags, Willie doesn’t seem to have a defined role for the relievers. A pitcher will throw two innings one day then repeat the next and then used for one batter another time. Feliciano hadn’t pitched in 6 days yet he only faced one batter tonight. Schoe appears to be able to get left handed hitters out but is not used in that capacity. Mota has inconsistent command and if you are patient against him he will throw you a meatball. Right now the Mets could use a fresh arm in the bullpen. If they don’t want to start Philip Humber in the major’s just yet how about doing what Mr. Met said and use him in the bullpen?

    That cannibal story should sever as a red flag. Be careful if in anger you tell someone to “eat me,” because they very well may.

    3:46 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Benny, did you call the cannibals ‘fucking jerks’? There is just a tiny difference in ideals there. Nothing that big.

    Vizquel is the real deal. He’s not getting the Greg Maddux gold glove vote, he’s nasty. Here’s to hoping he retires this year.

    Endy probably takes Newhan’s spot, no? Is he even still on the team?

    RE: Pedro…thanks for the update. Any thing out there on whether it’s one or two starts? Is he going to use the minor league season as much he can and leverage as many starts from the minors as he can?

    Two-by-four….your theory intrigues me. But I don’t think they would go that far to save themselves some ridicule from the public. The draft is about getting better and that is tied to money. If you want to get better, you cannot hide behind some compensation suggestion. The Mets spend under $4,000,000. They could have ponied up $500,000 for Efferson.

    Well, I know Oliver is supposed to be able handle 200 innings and he’s been close to it before, but he hasn’t been in that neighborhood in a while and obviously Maine hasn’t. I think they have hit a wall a bit and it might make sense to skip a start or two for them. Problem is they do not exactly have that luxury since it is a pennant race. I also like your idea about Humber….

    Bring up Humber to take a start from Ollie or Maine after Brian L’s next start and he can take his roster spot. Then the five is Ollie, Maine, Duque, Glavine, and Humber. Then Pedro can get the call up on Sept 1st. That way, Humber and Pedro are post-season eligible and their options are officially open. Endy should be a Sept 1st as well and kept on the DL so they have their options open there as well.

    RE: Feliciano. That was supposed to be all Ricky P., but I’m not sure what is really doing on. Kind of bizarre, but if he is fresh later, that is of utmost importance. They have not been losing because he hasn’t been in there and he is not used to pitching this much.

    8:51 AM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great post on the Green/Milledge situation - I think you captured my viewpoint perfectly. In general, managers (not just Willie) tend to stick with veterans longer than fans would like. In addition to the situations you describe above, how about Pinella playing DeRossa (an IF!) in the OF over a good young player Murton. Mind you, sometimes the manager is proven to be right, and sometimes the fans are. You just never know.

    However, I must admit I've been happy hearing Willie say that Milledge will play a lot and Green just enough to "stay fresh". Sounds about right, given that Willie is a big "keep your bench fresh" guy.

    Also, glad to hear a little anger in Willie's postgame comments, calling the team out a bit. Well deserved, we'll see how they react.

    Re: Efferson. Would have liked him, and would love to see the Mets blow away slot in a draft. However, I'm not going to get all upset when they were able to sign a couple highly rated HS pitchers who slid like Robert Carson and Cole Abbott. So I guess I got my sunday and whipped cream, but no cherry on top. I can live with that.

    Finally, I read that IF there are no setbacks in Pedro's next rehab start, Pelfrey and maybe Humber will be moved to the bullpen in AAA, with an eye towards a Sept callup. Can I just say hooray, and pray to the gods of baseball one of them can be a seventh inning guy??

    - ube

    12:24 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Zambrano just signed a 5-year extension with the Cubbies. I guess we can't explore THAT upgrade. Craptastic.

    12:28 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Murton must have gotten drunk and crapped in Pinella’s hat or something. But Pinella is one of those old school Willie types that like kids to earn their spot on the team. The only problem is if they do not play, they cannot exactly prove themselves can they? The bottomline is that Murton needs to be traded if he wants to get regular playing time and should be a pretty good big leaguer.

    Willie is a keep your bench fresh type of guy, which is good. Spot starting them so they can get four at-bats is very good. Also, Green can spell Delgado as he did last night, which should help. And between Green playing 1st sometimes and Milledge getting time in LF, RF, and CF, Milledge should get to play 90% or more of the rest of the games.

    Agreed on Efferson not being a huge loss, but really, why not? What was the holdback? He had a good arm that didn’t need much projection in terms of velocity because he was there. He wasn’t a first round talent, but he still would have made the draft significantly better and probably would have had the highest upside from any draft pick.

    Good stuff on the Humber and Pelfrey stuff and I 100% expect Humber to be lights out in the bullpen.

    Sidd….way to keep your finger on the pulse and that is indeed bad news with the Mets not getting much from Pelfrey. Looks like the Mets are in for the same rotation next year with Humber in place of Glavine, which is not the worst thing, but I wanted an ace.

    12:38 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm glad Zambrano signed. I don't think he was coming here anyway, and I'm not sure I wanted him. Yup, great pitcher, but the combo of the committment for a head case with *(the beginning of) arm troubles scared me.

    But, if the Mets want an ace, would you go after Santana? It'd take a lot - Pelfrey, Milledge, and Guerra sounds about right. I like all those guys - would you trade them for Santana if you could also lock him up with a Zambrano-like deal? I'd have to think about it. Santana, Pedro, El Duque, Maine, and Perez (with Humber and Mulvey in the wings) would cover a lot of flaws elsewhere on the team...

    - ube

    1:27 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    ube...I'm not totally against you. Part of me is relieved that we did not have to jump into the fray, pay out the ass, give up another first rounder, etc.

    I love him, but he had his negatives.

    That being said, I doubt they trade Santana unless they are out of it by a large margin, though you are right. At least they will be in the game when it comes to bidding for his services.

    Also, for my thoughts, check out my last post on Roy Oswalt. It was basically a similar suggestion but with Oswalt because the Astros are in dire need up upgrading their long term outlook. Trading him hurts and it is a PR hit, but let's be real. Are they winning anything in the next four years while he's in his prime? Nope. At least they could bring in some high end prospects with high upside.

    1:39 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Wily Mo Pena has been traded by the Red Sox to the Washington Nationals, one of the teams frequently mentioned as a potential landing spot, for cash considerations and a player to be named later.

    He hit .218 for the Sox, and is a dreadful fielder. Let's hope his bat doesn't wake up this weekend.

    I don't think Santana is going anywhere until the off-season.

    1:46 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I would trade whatever it takes for Santana. In my opinion, at this point, it does not get any more real than that guy. You have an anchor for at least the next five years. Would be phenomenal to have him.

    I've spent a lot of time in Chi over the last few years. I love watching Zambrano pitch. He's really fun to watch. But, he's definitely a head case. And I don't necessarily see his arm or his body lasting over 5 years. Never really felt it with him for those kind of years and that kind of money.

    Question, when was the last time Mota came in a game and went an entire inning on his own and didn't give up a run? Or even not get in a mess? I know he's got the major fastball, but I can't stand the guy. I think he is going to always suck for us.

    One last thing to bitch about. Marlon Anderson. So far I think he looks like a disaster. Terrible fielding, crap for hitting lately. Just bad. I think he's washed up and done. Clear the spot as far as I'm concerned. It's over.


    3:21 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Hard to argue against your Mota point really. He's just a disaster everytime he gets on the mound and I can't keep defending him/hoping he turns it around if he keeps shitting the bed, they have to pull the trigger sooner rather than later so they can sort things out.

    Marlon is horrific in the field and I just came to that realization last night. Butcher...

    3:31 PM

    Anonymous benny said...

    I just want to disagree with Lou Pineilla being an old school kind of guy, in regards to the young players playing time thing.
    He's actually a little more like Bobby Cox and when he has a mediocre veteran he WILL repalce him with the rookie with upside. He did it alot in Seattle.
    He asked for and got A-Rod brought up as a 19 year old in 1995. He wasn't productive but he had about 50 games played.
    Other guys he gave playing time to were Jose Cruz Jr., Carlos Guillen, Chris Snelling, Willie Bloomquist, Mike hampton, Ken Cloude, Gil Meche, Freddy Garcia, Joel Piniero, Brian Fuentes, Rafael Soriano.
    I mean sure some of these guys suck, or some of them were traded before they can be a part of the team, but Lou was never afraid to give the young guys some sort of chance. He even let some guys play while they remained un productive because he felt they added something.
    I would point to some examples with the DRAys but that's kinda like cheating, alot of these guys had to play by default. But while having a couple of mediocre veterans like Ben Grieve, Rey Ordonez, Fred McGriff, Rey Sanchez, he let guys like BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli, and Aubrey Huff play.

    5:24 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    The last time the Mets traded the farm for an outstanding pitcher was in the Frank Viola deal with the Twins. Viola was dealt to the Mets on July 31, 1989 for Rick Aguilera and 4 prospects. The Mets didn’t win anything with Viola even though in his first full year with the Mets he was 20-12 with a 2.67 ERA, leading the league with 249 2/3 innings pitched. The trade benefited the Twins as they went on to win the 1991 WS against the Braves.

    5:40 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    I can see a manager favoring a fading veteran if that veteran had a long and distinguished career with a given team and manager and helped the team to numerous post season performances. But just to be partial to a fading veteran just because he is a veteran at the expense of the team’s performance is poor leadership.

    5:47 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Ok Benny….you proved your point, but Tampa was absolutely cheating. That being said, Murton is not getting a fair shake.

    Two-by-four…the real question is, what did Rick and the other three guys end up doing for them? Not that much and you have to fairly evaluate both sides. The Mets could trade away four guys and they could end up not doing much. Whether the Mets won anything is not irrelevant, but close to it. Did Viola bring the Mets more than other four guys would have? I would say yes.

    But just to be partial to a fading veteran just because he is a veteran at the expense of the team’s performance is poor leadership.

    Exactly…which is so frustrating in this case.

    5:58 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great to see Lastings in there tonight. Hahaha.

    8:05 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    Rick Aguilera became a successful closer for them saving 42 games in 1991. Kevin Tapani won 16 games for the Twins in 1991. Frank Viola only had one outstanding season for the Mets in 1990 and slid to 13-15 in 1991 and left as a free agent. The Twins got the better of the deal.

    The Mets with a bounce back well played victory. They were sharp on defense and Feliciano looked good once again.

    Gagne blows another game for the Bosox. That’s three since he came over. Theo may be highly over-rated as a GM.

    10:50 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    It appears Castro will go on the DL. I assume Alomar Jr. will be called up.

    The Mets have moved Matt Durkin from SP to the BP. He has 2 saves for the Savannah Sand Gnats.

    11:40 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    "Two-by-four….your theory intrigues me. But I don’t think they would go that far to save themselves some ridicule from the public. The draft is about getting better and that is tied to money. If you want to get better, you cannot hide behind some compensation suggestion. The Mets spend under $4,000,000. They could have ponied up $500,000 for Efferson."

    This falls under the logic that dictates a large company cutting back by terminating the mail room boy and the receptionist. They nickel and dime while they leave the cause of the problems, upper management, intact. It reminds me of George Steinbrenner saving money by cutting the health insurance of his office workers. This is extremely common in industry.

    2:15 AM

    Blogger AE said...

    "Two-by-four…the real question is, what did Rick and the other three guys end up doing for them?

    Did Viola bring the Mets more than other four guys would have? I would say yes."

    sorry mike, i would have to say a definitive no.

    the twins owned the mets on that trade. the mets got 15.9 of warp3 out of viola. from aguilera, kevin tapani, david west, tim drummond and jack savage, the twins got a warp3 of 69.3 out of them. basically they got almost 4 and half times the production out of those 5 players than the mets got out of viola. not only that but even if the mets did viola for aguilera or tapani straight up, they still would have lost in the trade.

    in addition, the mets ended up paying viola approximately $6,046,334 for a "marginal" warp3 of $380,272.56. the twins paid those 5 players approximately $21,537,239 for a "marginal" warp3 of $310,782.67. so not did the mets lose out in raw production, but they also lost out on production by the dollar.

    bottomline, this was an awful trade for the mets, both on the field and financially...

    speaking of awful, carlos zambrano re-signed with the cubs for 90M/5 years....i wish the cubs good luck with that.

    2:18 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    AE....you have officially owned me.

    11:40 AM

    Blogger AE said...

    sorry dude, not my point.

    the early 90's was a bad time to be a mets fan. our memories begin to get warped and we begin to remember things differently.

    until i looked at the stats, i totally forgot too. and the thing is, viola did have 1 great year with the mets (warp3 9.6) - better than any one year that tapani (warp3 8.6) or aguilera (warp3 6.6) had with minnesota. so we as mets fans can take solace in that. however, aguilera and tapani were with minnesota longer and provided them with good pitching for a number of years and as was said earlier, they were integral to the twins run to a championship...

    1:26 PM

    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    If I remember correctly and at my age CRS sets in, even in Viola’s good year the media was on him for not winning what they called the important games. In 1991 the media ate Viola alive and this was before the hate blogs.

    I understand the Mets are unhappy with Castro’s conditioning and are no longer considering him for next year.

    6:40 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    Point take...it was still waaaaaay the fuck off.

    No longer interested in Castro? Damn. Well, I guess he certainly does not look well conditioned.

    Did someone say Molina is a free agent? I smell me some Benji. Not horribly expensive and good in a utilitarian type of way. He just gets the job done.

    6:47 PM


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