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

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Great Willie Debate

I have to tell you that in such a boring off-season, this Willie debate has been one of my favorites. We all know that Willie wanted to be paid....and by paid I mean $2 million per season. For reference, let's look at the $2 million dollar managers.

Tony LaRussa has been a manager since the seventies and has won the World Series twice and been in it five times. He has finished in first place four out of the last five years and six out of the last eleven years while making the playoffs six out of the last seven years. He won AL Manager of the Year in 1983, 1988, and 1992 and the NL Manager of the Year in 2002. He is also credited for revolutionizing the game by creating the modern day closer.

Lou Pinella is widely regarded as on of the games better managers. Though he only has one World Series win, he has a .537 winning percentage over 2454 games when you disregard an ill-advised stop in Tampa Bay that dragged down his overall winning percentage. He won AL manager of the year in 1995 and 2001.

Joe Torre has won a billion World Series and made the playoffs a trillion times. Though not a strategic genius, he is credited as being the glue that held a group of gigantic egos in check. Torre was AL Manager of the Year in 1996 and 1998.

Bobby Cox has not won a billion World Series like Torre, but he has made the playoffs a quadrillion times in a row, though without much success. He was AL Manager of the Year in 1985 and NL Manager of the Year in 1991, 2004, and 2005.

Mike Scioscia is one of my favorite managers today. Maybe it is his Pillsbury dough boy look. Maybe it is the fact that he is an ex-catcher and I’m of the mind that they are more superior baseball minds than most. Whatever the case is, he has a .537 winning percentage in seven years of managing and has won one World Series and made it to the playoffs three out of those seven years. He was the AL Manager of the Year in 2002.

Jim Leyland is a well respected manager in today’s game. The strange thing about him as that as well respected as he is, there is only one team that he has been with that has a winning percentage under his tenure. That team is the 2006 Detroit Tigers. Out of the fifteen years he has managed a ballclub, he has managed .500 finishes only six times. He has one World Series win in 1997 with the Marlins and has made it there one other time with the 2006 Tigers. In his defense, he has not exactly been at the helm of solidly run franchises being the skipper of the Pirates, Marlins, and Rockies before he took over as the Tigers manager. He was the NL Manager of the year in 1990 and 1992 and the 2006 AL Manager of the Year.

Now Willie....

Willie Randolph has coached for two entire seasons and had winning seasons in both of them. He has made it to the playoffs one time and has never won a Manager of the Year award, which is not surprising since he still has some learning to do.

Under his new deal, his salary this year will be doubled to $1.4 million. He will get $2 million next year and $2.25 million in 2009, and the Mets have a $2.5 million option for 2010.

I'm not going to make a big deal out of this because frankly it's not. The Mets bring back their affable manager who is still learning on the job and will pay him like he's one of the games elite after '07 despite him only managing for two seasons. I just love how the man signed a three year contract and many had their panties all bundled up when the Mets somehow were being the villains by simply honoring a pact that Willie agreed to. Now, I understand why you make good on certain situations like when the Mets inked Reyes and Wright early because if you do not, you greatly increase your chance of losing them and sometimes create ill will. However, there is simply no comparison between Willie and the wonder kids on the left side of the infield in terms of their relative importance to this teams future.

Overall, I like Willie, but I just think the Mets needed more time to really gauge him. His biggest asset is a very important one in that his players like him. What I always found ridiculous is the notion that teams respect their managers less when their managers are not getting 'paid'. Somehow I do think that Willie wouldn't be respect if he wasn't paid LaRussa money. I will say he was better than he was in his first season, but his team also had a bullpen that was effective one through seven and had a lineup that he basically left out there. When it came to fancified moves, Willie still showed that he was a bit lacking. That's irrelevant now because he is here for three more years. Even if the Mets fail to make the playoffs over the next three years, which is highly unlikely, Willie will get paid like he has been successful for a decade.

Can someone please sponsor Wilie's page before I do something in the same vain as this one?

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  • Chats...chats...and more chats. Jim Callis is a chat master and that's all I have to say about that.

    Mike (Swellville, NJ): Is Pelfrey?s lack of a secondary stuff overblown a bit? My eyes told me no when watching him, but the word on the street is that his slider is sharper than his curve and his change up continues to show promise. Any chance he can be what Verlander was the Tigers last year to the Mets this season?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Yes, it is overblown a bit. We've heard the same, that he's making progress with the slider. A Verlander year is in the realm of possibility.

    That was a such a good question that I'm at a loss for words.

    Paul (San Francisco): Better at prime: Clemens or Pedro?

    SportsNation Jim Callis: Pedro.

    If you ever get bored, just go back and look at Pedro's 1997 through 2002 run and specifically his 1997 through 2000 years. A lot of players need to win 300 to get in and it really doesn't matter if Pedro pitches again and finishes with 206 wins. He was as dominant as any pitcher in the history of the game over that span and cemented his place in history already. Boston fans were lucky to be able to see those seasons first hand.

  • Fining the 18-year old kid is pretty silly. Placing a ban that is impossible to enforce without facial recognition systems in place is even sillier.

    Despite his punishment, Leli said he's still a Mets fan, according to The Times. He said he just wanted to meet Piazza.

    "He's always been my hero, and I just wanted to meet him," Leli said, according to The Times.

    Leli also remained confident in his press-pass making ability. He examined a reporter's credentials in court Tuesday and according to The Times said: "Not bad, but mine was better."

  • Comment of the day...

    Itsmetsforme said...

    i might burn out a few pen arms, but I could coach this team. i've got the skillsets.

    Mex would be my bench guy. No smoking in the dugout, but he can leave in the 7th if he's got somewhere to be. Players ask me for guidance I say, you're making plenty of cash, figure it out. Reyes looks at me from first, I just point to second base. I bring back the hidden ball trick. My starting pitchers go 9 or go home. I take Beltran's tennis ball machine away--i don't want him watching anymore pitches go by. No way I do the job for less than 1.5 mil though. But then I was never a Yankme.

    Of course i could manage the mets but thanks to Bud F*&%^$ Selig i wont be able to watch them on cable.
    Suck this, MLB.

    10:25 PM

    Suck this indeed. For the record, I'm completely opinionless on this Direct TV deal. Not sure why, but I am.

  • You have to respect Delgado's decision, but it's silly to broach the topic so far in advance. Also, I'm fine with Carlos taking the time he needs, but he better hope the Mets do not go 0-3 to start the season and miss the playoffs by one game.

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    "Go to hell, gringos!"

    Hugo Chavez not only trash talks when it comes to baseball, he talks trash to the planet's last super power.

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told US officials to "Go to hell, gringos!" and called US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "missy" on his weekly radio and TV show, lashing out at Washington for what he called unacceptable meddling in Venezuelan affairs.

    The dude is one crazy son of bitch, but he provides literally hours and hours of entertainment. They need to get his TV show on in the US. It would be the hottest new comedy show.

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  • What has your wife done for you lately?

    Nine months pregnant and married to a fervent Bears fan with tickets to Sunday's NFC Championship game, Colleen Pavelka didn't want to risk going into labor during the game against the New Orleans Saints.

    Due to give birth on Monday, Pavelka's doctor told her Friday she could induce labor early. She opted for the Friday delivery.

    "I thought, how could [Mark] miss this one opportunity that he might never have again in his life?" said Pavelka, 28, from the southwestern Chicago suburb of Homer Glen.

    I just shed a tear.

  • Bill Madden thinks Willie is getting the shaft.

    On the surface that would seem to suggest the Mets are saying "we still want to see more" before committing themselves for another couple of years to Randolph. But putting aside the fact that in his first two years as a manager Randolph has taken a 71-91 Mets club to 83-79 in '05 and 97-65 and one game from the World Series last season while instilling a no-nonsense, play-hard-every-day culture, what kind of money are we really talking about here?

    Randolph pitched in, but signing Beltran, Pedro, Wagner, trading for Delgado, trading for LoDuca, trading for Sanchez, lowering Heilman's arm slot, and having Wright and Reyes blossom had nothing to do with it? It's the aggregate of all the parts that led to the Mets improvement with Omar as the mastermind. For reference, Omar signed a five year deal through 2009 season worth about $4 million, which is approximately $800,000 a year. Let that one sink in. Willie is making $700,000 and people are whining. Omar is making $800,000 and no one is crying. Yes, Omar has more years left, but wouldn't one have to assume if Willie is underpaid, Omar is certainly underpaid.

    At least Omar was a GM prior to his job with the Mets and and assistant GM prior to that. He's been plying his trade for while. Willie was a bench coach for one year and was known as windmill-Willie prior to that. In the end though, how underpaid is he?

    Joe Torre, NYY $7.5 million
    Lou Piniella, CHC $3.5 million
    Bobby Cox, ATL $3 million
    Tony La Russa, STL $2.8 million
    Mike Scioscia, LAA $2 million
    Jim Leyland, DET $2 million
    Bruce Bochy, SF $1.75 million
    Terry Francona, BOS $1.65 million
    Phil Garner, HOU $1.5 million
    Mike Hargrove, SEA $1.3 million
    Ron Gardenhire, MIN $1.25 million
    Ozzie Guillen, CHW $1.1 million
    Eric Wedge, CLE $1.025 million
    Jim Tracy, PIT $1 million
    Bob Melvin, ARI $875,000
    Buddy Bell, KC $825,000
    Ned Yost, MIL $825,000
    Clint Hurdle, COL $800,000
    Charlie Manuel, PHI $800,000
    Willie Randolph, NYM $700,000

    It's clear that Willie is getting underpaid, but not by much. The rumblings were that Omar wanted to give Willie $1,000,000 a year or so. You know what? That's fair. I'm not of the mind that you deserve more because you coach the Mets vs. the Twins because the Mets have more money. Yes, the Mets can spend more if they need something because they have deeper pockets, but that doesn't mean everyone enjoys the 25% bonus pay just for being a Met. Fuck that shit.

    There are certainly names in the top ten that stick out like a sore thumb, but overall, the top fifteen have predominantly the best of the best. I see guys like Jim Tracy and Ron Gardenhire in the $1 to $1.25 range and I see good managers getting paid well. Should Willie make more than them? Probably not. I value Willie at approximately that price for a moderate number of years. With all the success Gardenhire has had with the Twins, how much is he getting paid? A lot, but not enough to satisfy Willie as it seems.

    It is hard for us casual fans to say what managers deserve. It is hard to quantify what they bring to a team versus a pitcher or a position player, but judging by what some of the cream of the crop is getting paid, Willie is not too far off what he should be getting. I'm not the biggest Willie fan so I might not be as objective as a responsible disseminator of information should be, but I think I'm being fair here. Willie is not a $2 million manager or a $1.5 million manager. $1.25 million is the ceiling with $1 million more of an ideal figure. He can get some escalators for playoffs or World Series appearances, but I hardly think in his short time as a manager he has earned top flight billing as a manager. Only six managers are $2 million dollar managers, seven if you count Lou Pinella. Willie is light years away from being held in the same regard as those guys.

  • Mr. Met is a stud.

    Hey there,” the woman shouted. “Who are you?”

    Mr. Met froze on a balcony above the street. Usually, he does not leave New York and therefore does not require an introduction. But in New Orleans, a city known for its costume parties, he just looked like some guy who decided to dress up as a baseball.

    Eager to make the woman’s acquaintance, Mr. Met tossed her a string of beads from the balcony, keeping with local tradition.

    Oh, right...tradition...we all know the series of events that occur down in the Big Easy. What other big league mascot is out getting girls to flash for beads?

  • Omar cracks Dayn Perry's top ten in regards to GMs.

    Minaya trusts his youngsters and does well in terms of identifying premium talent and filling holes on the roster. He's also made the Mets the destination for Latin talent. Let's also not forget the solid work he did under impossible circumstances with Montreal.

    I'm glad he brought up what Omar did in Montreal as he often gets maligned for his moves while up there. People forget he had little to work with and took over a team with literally no future.

  • Floyd to the Cubs would be a solid move for them, which would be a nice change of pace for them.