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Humber in the Dumper

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 15 2005 05:36 AM

Bad news from Bingo...


Mets concerned about Humber's Double-A pitching debut
BY SCOTT LAUBER
Press & Sun-Bulletin

BINGHAMTON -- Jack Lind hadn't seen Philip Humber pitch since spring training, but judging by his velocity in his Double-A debut Monday night, something was definitely wrong.


"He was throwing 87 to 91 (mph)," said Lind, the Binghamton Mets' manager, "so that's a sign."

Humber, the New York Mets' first-round pick and the third overall selection in 2004, complained of right elbow soreness and was removed from the game in Norwich, Conn., before his at-bat in the fifth inning.

Now, there's some question about when he'll pitch again.

Humber, 22, was examined Wednesday by Mets physicians David Altchek and Answorth Allen at the Hospital For Special Surgery in Manhattan, and he returned Thursday to the team's facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Humber was slated to start Sunday in NYSEG Stadium against the Reading Phillies, but his spot will be taken by right-hander Orlando Roman.

"We're waiting on the results from the doctors," Mets minor league director Kevin Morgan said. "I don't have an update at this point."

Clearly, the Mets are holding their breath, especially after shelling out a franchise-record $3 million signing bonus for Humber in January.

Humber allowed three runs on four hits in four innings, struck out two and walked two in his first Double-A start. He was 2-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 14 starts for Single-A St. Lucie, where he missed three starts in April with a strained abdominal muscle.

INSIDE PITCHES

The Mets assigned third-string catcher Zac Clements to St. Lucie. ... Brian Bannister, Binghamton's ace pitcher during the season's first half, cleaned out his locker Thursday and went to Syracuse where he joined Triple-A Norfolk for a four-game series, but not before relating his favorite moment from Wednesday night's Eastern League All-Star Game. "I got to meet former President Bush," he said. "I got to talk to him for a little bit. He's the first president I've met, so that was really cool."

smg58
Jul 15 2005 07:22 AM

That's no good, but it's not clear that he's been right all year. Some time off might turn out to be a blessing in disguise. The Mets should be patient with this and certainly not rush him back.

Frayed Knot
Jul 17 2005 10:01 AM

TJ surgery is one of several options being considerd for Humber.
Less evasive cutting and just plain rest are others.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/ny-sphumber0717,0,1731315.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 17 2005 11:01 AM

The 'Closest to the Majors' curse strikes again.

See ya in middle relief in 2007, you damn unreialble young multimillionaire, you.

Edgy DC
Jul 19 2005 03:09 PM

Humber's still exploring his options.

Hijacking this thread and turning it into the All-Purpose Mets in Limbo Thread, we have:

  • Philip Humber is "exploring his options" (right, the Mets will have no say)and is expected to visit orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. (Andrews is the current leader in providing Tommy John surgery, but to my notice, hasn't been overly-quick to recommend it.)


  • Kaz Matsui is rehabbing at the Mets complex in Port St. Lucie. He has been limited to taking batting practice (but only from the left side), light running and fielding ground balls directly at him, preventing the strain of side-to-side movement.


  • Steve Trachsel reported no problems Saturday after throwing 40 pitches in a two-inning simulated game in Port St. Lucie. Trachsel is expected back within two weeks. I'm dubious.


  • Alay Soler's case has been turned over by the Mets to an outside legal team.

Frayed Knot
Jul 19 2005 08:19 PM

As reported on the WFAN pre-game show, Humber had his TJ surgery today.

metirish
Jul 19 2005 09:41 PM

I hadn't heard that Frayed Knot, thanks for the info, best of luck to Humber in his recovery and rehap.

smg58
Jul 20 2005 07:10 AM

So Humber is set back a year. We do have enough minor league pitching to absorb the loss, but you always hate to see a guy who looks set for the majors get stopped like this.

On the other hand, he hasn't really pitched well all year, so I don't know if this is necessarily a shock. As anybody who remember Gregg Jefferies and Generation K can tell you, there's no such thing as a "can't-miss" prospect. Plus, the emergence of Gaby Hernandez definitely softens the blow.

smg58
Jul 20 2005 07:11 AM

Oh, and thanks for the Trachsel update. I was wondering if he had any sort of timetable.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 07:23 AM

Daily News says Traxx will pitch 3 innings for St. Lucie this morning (morning?)

Kazuo is "getting ready" to begin a rehab stint.

Yates has resumed throwing but shant see game action this year.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 20 2005 08:29 AM

This "can't-miss prospect" shit is a false dichotomy.

Of course there's no "can't-miss"--that's why they play the games.

But the implication that prospects are susceptible to "can't miss" b.s. and veterans are safe is an error--see Matsui. See Vaughan. See Alomar. See Piazza. C.C. Rider.

Of course veterans are somewhat safer than kids because they have a more significant sample of MLB experience to go on, but they also carry a multitude of salary for that degree of safety, so you can expect to take twenty prospects in balance for one veteran contract and (in terms of salary) bear the same amount of risk.

As a handy example, look at the Braves, who are doing two things I strongly recommend the Mets consider (ha!)--they're playing 10 rookies and they're playing very well. When I suggested that the Mets go with the Keppingers and Garcias and Seos and Heilmans and Wiggintons, I was derided for advocating a "give up in 2005" policy, which wasn't accurate for two reasons--rookies aren't necessarily a give-up position, and even if they work out less immediately than veterans, the payoff is often worth it (see 1969 and 1986 for results of going with kids.)

The folks who tell me that Reyes and Wright needed all the minor league seasoning they got, and maybe would have benefitted from a little more--you;'d think they hadn't followed the example of this franchise, which has had its biggest (and most enjoyable) successes going with untested rookies like Tom Seaver, like Doc Gooden, like Ron Swoboda, like this website's namesake, all of whom (and many more) were huge contributors to the Mets' only two world's championship teams and who were called up to the majors with very little minor league experience, sometimes at very tender ages. You'd think Mets' fans would be the last people to tell you it shouldn't be done, or that it's very rarely successful. or that it doesn't feel spectacular when it works out.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 10:08 AM

I was joking about the curse above if that's what you're responding to. Just noting the irony that one of Humber's strongest recommendations -- as well as Heilman's -- was that they'd be able to contribute in the Majors sooner than most of the draftees of the same year. The injury obviously sets Humber back a year+ and Heilman developed more slowly than most would have guessed.

Anyway, it's kind of tough to build a case for aggressively promoting all young players based upon the success of 2 the organization's greatest pitchers ever, though I won't argue thay both turned out to be great successes.

I think it's possible we'll look back at Wright's debut as a similar birth of a great but don't forget he was younger than Seaver was when he arrived here. Odd, but I don't hear you bitching that the Mets held Seaver back in Jacksonville for all of 1966.

And for someone who sees every move as oily attempt by a half-assed management to pull the wool over their fans eyes, I'm surprised you can't see the Reyes promotion for what it was -- an attempt to goose the fans with a new player not because the player was necessarily ready to succeed but because he was new.Younger than Seaver, too.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 20 2005 11:56 AM

I got your "curse" remark's tone, and that's not what I was responding to.

I don't have Seaver's minor league record handy, but he was signed in April of '66 and debuted in April of '67. I know you're not deliberately trying to make my every post seem silly and misguided, and I know I have never said that I want the Mets to promote every rookie out of the minors before he completes a single season at any level, so I'm not sure what you're reacting to here.

As I recall, in his single season at Jacksonsville, Seaver went a rather bleh 12-12, or 13-13 or something. Obviously, they saw something they liked, especially relative to his MLB colleagues, and said "What the hell." He wasn't promoted to the rotation because of his extensive minor league experience, he wasn't promoted because he was out of options, he wasn't promoted because the rotation was wracked with injuries, he wasn't promoted because his minor league W-L record gave them no other choice, he wasn't promoted because he was getting old--he was promoted because someone saw that he looked like a pretty good pitcher.

Your current Mets don't do that, or (if they're trying to do that) they don;'t do that very well. They have a program where rookies must do x and y and z, and then have some catastrophe on the MLB roster before they promote someone. My point was that the Braves are plainly demonstrating the necessity of knowing who your good minor league players are, and then promoting them whenever they are ready, not when they fulfill some ass-covering formula. My complaint about Reyes and Wright (and Diaz and some others) is that the kids stay down in the minors until the Mets suffer some injury that leaves them horribly exposed, so if they bring the kid up and he fails, their asses are covered: "Hey, we had no real choice, and it was just for a short time, and we were going to send him back to the minors in a week or two anyway, so what's the big deal?" If he makes it, as these three have, on the ML level, they leave him up.

Other than CYA, this makes no sense to me.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 20 2005 12:04 PM

If Seaver were a current 22-year old Mets' prospect, he would be

1) started at AA ball at best,

2) kept at AA for a year or two, and then AAA for a year or two,

3) promoted to the majors at 25 or so, and promptly

4) traded to the Giants for Moises Alou at the July 30 deadline, with the club in last place, for a desperate pennant push.

Frayed Knot
Jul 20 2005 01:53 PM

]If Seaver were a current 22-year old Mets' prospect, he would be:
1) started at AA ball at best,
2) kept at AA for a year or two, and then AAA for a year or two


Except that your main ammo/complaint for this seems to be Reyes & Wright who were brought up - not at age 25 or after 2 years at each level - but after barely a half-year of AA & AAA combined and prior to their 20th and 22nd birthdays. IOW, at a schedule at least as agressive as Atlanta's using with their guys.

About Atlanta: The main difference with them is simply that they've got better prospects than almost anyone else. They buck the trend and draft almost exclusively 'toolsy' High-School types and get them into their system at a young age. That method is out of favor in many circles for the high-risk/high-reward chance it takes but - lucky or not, and I suspect "not" - they're "guessing" correctly a lot more often than most.
It's nice that Francoeur, Marte, Davies (and Andruw, Furcal previously) were brought up and were able to contribute at an early age (though Furball was not as young as we thought at the time) but let's not pretend that they were typical for 21 y/o's and that other teams would get the same results if only they weren't so chickenshit. It should also be noted that the Braves did sign Raul Mondesi & Brian Jordan this past winter and only brought the kiddie corps when injuries and/or suckitude of the old guard made it neccesary. In the meantime, those young'uns got an extra 2-4 months of seasoning (sound like Sanchez -- Reyes?) and are still subject to being sent back down for regular work (Marte & Davies) when/if those temp opportunities no longer exist. These recent '10 rookies' promotions have had as much to do with neccessity as it has with some sort of organizational philosophy.

Have the Mets been too cautious? Yeah I think so at times; although more with the small potatoes moves than the big ones. Exmpls: losing Scutaro by protecting McEwing, and Cerda for Franco weren't moves that were likely to make a lot of difference in the long run but did show a risk-adverse preference for sticking w/the old, comfy chairs instead of trying something that could have turned into something in the long run.
Reyes & Wright however were the reverse of that flaw, not examples of it.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 02:18 PM

Yup.

Edgy DC
Jul 20 2005 05:41 PM

METS LOSE TO DODGERS 4-3

The road weary St. Lucie Mets returned to Tradition Field for the first time in ten days and were on the short end of a 4-3 game, falling to the Vero Beach Dodgers.

Tied for first in the Eastern Division, the St. Lucie Mets were only able to string together seven hits off Dodger pitching, lead by a ninth inning solo homerun by Kevin Rios who went 2-for-4. Andy Wilson also went 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run. Wilson Batista, Jonathan Slack and Zack Clements accumulated one hit each for the Mets.

New York Mets pitcher Steve Trachsel recorded the loss as he made his first rehab start for St. Lucie throwing two and two-third innings. He allowed two runs, only one earned, on two hits while striking out two. Miguel Pinango threw five relief innings and gave up only one run on four hits while striking out one and not giving up a walk.

The Mets look to jump back on top tomorrow as the take on the Dodgers at Tradition Field at 7 p.m. Tickets are just $2 and there will be $1 hotdogs, $1 Pepsi and $1 Bud and Bud Light.

Spacemans Bong
Jul 20 2005 06:32 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
If Seaver were a current 22-year old Mets' prospect, he would be

1) started at AA ball at best,

2) kept at AA for a year or two, and then AAA for a year or two,

3) promoted to the majors at 25 or so, and promptly

4) traded to the Giants for Moises Alou at the July 30 deadline, with the club in last place, for a desperate pennant push.

You'd make a wonderful Red Sox fan.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 06:48 PM

Give it up. He's also a frontrunner.

Spacemans Bong
Jul 20 2005 06:52 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Give it up. He's also a frontrunner.

So you're saying he'd make a great Shaughnessy?

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 20 2005 08:10 PM

Nah. Just nutcracking.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 04:24 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jul 21 2005 06:28 AM

Frayed Knot wrote:
Except that your main ammo/complaint for this seems to be Reyes & Wright who were brought up - not at age 25 or after 2 years at each level - but after barely a half-year of AA & AAA combined and prior to their 20th and 22nd birthdays.



No, my main complaint is that the Mets can't judge talent very well. They seem more interested in making moves they can "sell" (to the fans, to the media, to their bosses) than making sound judgments. If Reyes could play ss in early June, don't you think he could have been able to play it in April? I do. But to start a 19 y.o. rookie in April would have been PERCEIVED as a give-up move, so they didn't do it. Likewise Wright. Likewise Diaz.

They waited for injuries and only then promoted these deserving young players, knowing that the injuries would allow them to CYA. But history (and particularly METS history) shows that promoting kids out of Spring Training, who look very good, and hustle their asses off, sometimes works out with spectacular results. When was the last time a rookie you never heard of WON A JOB in Spring Training around here?

"What, displace a veteran? B-b-b-but we're paying Lazy Veteran 8 bazillion dollars! And we just signed him to a three-millenium extension! And maybe this kid isn't really so good--my lying eyes fool me all the time. And maybe Lazy Veteran will suddenly remember how to play ball again without his head stuck up his ass....If we bench him it makes us look awful foolish. What, we ARE foolish for signing him when we had a talented young kid in triple -AAA? Shhh, don;t say that so loud, someone might hear you. Besides, they might think we KNEW we ddn't have a very good team if we did that, and you know what that would have done to ticket sales."

Whereas the Braves and other successful teams seem to operate a little more on the merit system. I am glad we agree that the Mets' philosophy is overly cautious: you're on the money with Cerda/Franco and Scutaro/Mcewing. Don't forget burying and/or dumping Garcia and Keppinger and Wigginton in preference for Matsui/Cairo, or Seo and Heilman for the current shleps in the rotation. Or Diaz and Valent instead of Mientkiewicz at 1B. I'm not saying that all these moves would have worked out, mind you--just that they're reasonable gambles, would have let them save a little money at worst (even if the young guys didn;'t quite pan out) which they could then spend on young FAs, or on development. It's just that these moves would be seen as give-up moves, and the Mets are scared of that perception, in my view, so scared they wind up fielding a team year after year that finishes in last place but which can pretend to be a contender for the first few months of each losing season.

OE: fixed typo

duan
Jul 21 2005 05:20 AM

seriously sal, by your constant exaggeration you undermine any point you're trying to make.

For example, putting forward Garcia - last seen getting release from the Buffalo Bisons and Wigginton who's a poor fielding low obp utility infielder AT BEST (as evidenced by the fact that he was sent by the minors by the Pirates) as any kind of 'that coulda been a 2nd base solution' is completely fucking stupid.

Actually you should credit the mets in NOT getting caught up in Wigginton's hot streak round about this time last year and Garcia's streaky september and realising that they were very expendable commodities.

Keppinger's slightly different in that he's shown this year that YES he does have potential (with an 800+ OPS at AAA this year).

However, did you know that he only started playing with wooden bats in 2002? Did you know that he was in A ball in 2003, AA in 2004? Did you know that in 3 years in the minors up to 2004 he's hit a total of 14 home runs?

They were 100% RIGHT to start keppinger at AAA this year, to allow him to continue his development; if he hadn't been injured when Matsui & Cairo were hurt I'm sure he would have come up and been given a decent whirl.

However, all you do is try to see what gross incompetency and malevolency.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 06:27 AM

duan wrote:
seriously sal, by your constant exaggeration you undermine any point you're trying to make.

For example, putting forward Garcia - last seen getting release from the Buffalo Bisons and Wigginton who's a poor fielding low obp utility infielder AT BEST (as evidenced by the fact that he was sent by the minors by the Pirates) as any kind of 'that coulda been a 2nd base solution' is completely fucking stupid.
.


I realize my strong statements (which have the singular effect of unambiguity, making it hard for me to waffle, which is practically a state religion around here) make me look silly to some people, but I'll pay that price, Duan. It's not as if by wording my views more temperately, I'll persuade many others: I've concluded sadly that it's the critical content, and not the phrasing, that determines the reaction of my gentle (and sometimes savage) readers. But thanks for the tip.

As I noted, maybe Wiggy and Garcia would have wound up on the slagheap (and maybe not--there's some indication that the Pirates made a foolish move sending Wiggy down, and he's done very well there--I wouldn't look to Pittsburgh for a model of competent management, either). But the philosophy (of sending young players down so as to go with so-called proven, veteran talent, whose upside you know very well to be limited and whose downside could come any day at ruinous expense) is what I'm complaining about. I'm not saying all kids always work out perfectly. But it's the refusal to take chances, to be able to tell the wheat from the chaff and then to go with your knowledge, for which I so bitterly denounce this organization. It's the preference for style over substance, for reputations over abilities, for covering their asses rather than using the brains God gave a peanut.

duan wrote:

Actually you should credit the mets in NOT getting caught up in Wigginton's hot streak round about this time last year and Garcia's streaky september and realising that they were very expendable commodities. .


Actually, I'm just pissed off that they preferred going with Matsui/Cairo (at great expense) rather than Wiggy/Garcia/Keppinger. Even if the latter combo would have been worse offensively and defensivley (hard to see how), they wouldn't have been that much worse, and maybe they could have spent some of that money on a first baseman who could hit a little bit, or another starting pitcher (FA, so they wouldn't have had to trade Kazmir or Jason Phillips).

duan wrote:

Keppinger's slightly different in that he's shown this year that YES he does have potential (with an 800+ OPS at AAA this year).

However, did you know that he only started playing with wooden bats in 2002? Did you know that he was in A ball in 2003, AA in 2004? Did you know that in 3 years in the minors up to 2004 he's hit a total of 14 home runs?

They were 100% RIGHT to start keppinger at AAA this year, to allow him to continue his development; if he hadn't been injured when Matsui & Cairo were hurt I'm sure he would have come up and been given a decent whirl. .


Did you know that many, many major league stars, including some on this franchise, have played good MLB with only three years of minor league play behind them, at Keppinger's age? Do you know that there are HOFers with low slugging percentages? Focus on what Keppinger could do rather than what he can't do (so far) and you might be surprised.

duan wrote:

However, all you do is try to see what gross incompetency and malevolency.


That's true. Of course the W-L record for the last few seasons helps me in that regard.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 21 2005 07:10 AM

It's hard to complain simultaneously about not using Wigginton and Keppinger when one was acquired for the other.

I think it's pretty safe to say Kepp would be getting a chance now were it not for his injury. It's also difficult to argue having used Keppinger over Matsui, who had a better year last year and came to the organization when Keppinger wasn't an option.

As to Wigginton, he was made expendable by a younger, cheaper and better player, (Wright) and netted a younger, cheaper and (arguably) better player in the trade.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 07:56 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
It's hard to complain simultaneously about not using Wigginton and Keppinger when one was acquired for the other.

I think it's pretty safe to say Kepp would be getting a chance now were it not for his injury. It's also difficult to argue having used Keppinger over Matsui, who had a better year last year and came to the organization when Keppinger wasn't an option.

As to Wigginton, he was made expendable by a younger, cheaper and better player, (Wright) and netted a younger, cheaper and (arguably) better player in the trade.


True dat.

Of course the argument could be that they keep churning young guys until they come up with the precisely correct washed up expensive veteran who's sold to the right demographic. How's that Matsui-will-bring-Japanese-megabucks scam working out? It might have worked a little bit if he was actually a good player, which he isn't. It's just taking a while for Met fans to wake up and smell the green tea.

And Keppeleh would have gotten a shot by now? Yeah, because the indestructible Matsui imploded--if he'd stayed healthy (and lousy), they would have kept a young Rogers Hornsby down on the farm rather than bench Matsui. Sometimes I wonder if the Mets are somehow a Japanese organization, what with the priority on saving face above all other principles. "We fucked up in our assessment of Matsui? We have no choice but to maintain with a straight face that we think he's improving. To suggest otherwise would be dishonorable."

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 21 2005 08:10 AM

Matsui hasn't worked out, which is a shame. And it was dumb to have installed him at SS over Reyes. And we seemed to have underestimated how difficult it was to communicate effectively with him.

That said, acquiring him in the first place wasn't a horrible gamble, IMO. It's obvious he has ability, even if it hadn't been fully realized due to what has to be more serious injuries than anyone would have guessed. You might recall he was the object of several teams' bids, and the organization as then constructed was in need of a middle infielder (minds had evidently been made up as to the ceiling of Garcia, correctly) and pickings were slim.

Frayed Knot
Jul 21 2005 08:14 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jul 21 2005 08:30 AM

]No, my main complaint is that the Mets can't judge talent very well. They seem more interested in making moves they can "sell" (to the fans, to the media, to their bosses) than making sound judgments. If Reyes could play ss in early June, don't you think he could have been able to play it in April? I do.


Why wait until April, why not the previous August? Or maybe June? And if June was Okay why not start that season with him?
Is it because starting an 18 y/o rookie in April was perceived as a give-up move? Or maybe it's because you're the only one who considers the HS prom --> single A --> MLB to be the normal state of affairs and anything else a foot-dragging and borderline fraudulent pace.

And if it's not, please give me the orgs who are accelerating their top guys any faster; the example(s) you're using so far aren't holding up.
- Atlanta's Wilson Betemit was everyone's hot-stuff SS prospect before Reyes (he's 3 years older) but is just now popping his head into MLB this year, and even that was largely because he was in an out-of-options/use-or-lose situation
- Andy Marte was a year behind Wright and was brought up ... a year later - and even then only for injury and has since been sent back for not hitting (they have no patience over there)
- Jeff Francouer is 13 months younger than Wright and was brought up a whopping 11 months later. No telling how much the 6 weeks Wright wasted in AAA that Francoeur didn't will mean to their careers - but then again the Mets were obviously too tied to the veteren Wigginton at the time.
- Anaheim's Casey Kotchman? - Wright's age, at least as heralded, called-up later, since been sent back
- Florida's Cabrera? - prolly the best young hitter in the game today ... was brought up when 2 months older than Reyes

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 21 2005 08:27 AM

The Red Sox keep doing things right though and should serve as an example to the Mets. Yesterday they traded 2 prospects for a veteran middle infielder (Graffanino), and demoted a young infielder (Youkilis) to activate him.

Rotblatt
Jul 21 2005 09:14 AM

I keep writing this, and you keep not paying any attention, Sal: if you look at the stats, Reyes and Wright are terrible, terrible examples of the Mets dragging their heels promoting prospects.

Reyes was not tearing the minors apart before he came to the bigs and he was god-awful in ST in 2003. He showed no indication whatsoever that he'd be able to handle the adjustment to the bigs either in 2002 or during Spring Training.

Reyes' AA stats in 2002: .287 AVG/.331 OBP/.356 SLG/.689 OPS
Reyes' Spring Training stats in 2003: .143 AVG/.280 OBP/.143 SLG/.423 OPS.
Reyes' AAA stats in 2003 before promotion: .269/.333/.356/.689

Mets management took a leap of faith by promoting Reyes despite his struggles in the minors in 2003. I don't see how you can view it any other way.

David Wright's promotion wasn't nearly as much of a leap, but it was hardly heel-dragging. After a decent A in 2003 (.828 OPS), he began ripping the ball in 2004, starting with Spring Training (.862 OPS). Now, you could argue we should have used him out of ST instead of your main man Wiggy, but Wiggy actually outperformed Wright (who still hadn't played above A ball yet) by posting a .926 OPS in Spring Training.

So we sent Wright to AA, who then went nuts (1.086 OPS), got promoted after 223 AB to AAA, stayed nuts (.967 OPS) for 114 AB, then made it to the bigs, where he completed his nusto year (.857 OPS in 263 AB).

Do you REALLY begrudge the Mets testing him out for those 337 AB so much?

I don't get how you can keep beating this drum using Wright and Reyes.

KC
Jul 21 2005 09:40 AM

>>>It's not as if by wording my views more temperately, I'll persuade many others: I've concluded sadly that it's the critical content, and not the phrasing, that determines the reaction of my gentle (and sometimes savage) readers.<<<

ScarletKnight41
Jul 21 2005 09:56 AM

]It's not as if by wording my views more temperately, I'll persuade many others: I've concluded sadly that it's the critical content, and not the phrasing, that determines the reaction of my gentle (and sometimes savage) readers.


I suppose it depends on what you mean by persuading people. If you're looking for 100% conversion, then you're probably correct - most of us posting on this Mets board are Mets fans are going to remain Mets fans, no matter what you say or how you say it.

OTOH, if you're looking for honest debate and building a consensus on specific points, then wording your arguments more temperately would help you persuade people. But the hyperbole implies that your mind is already made up, and that you're less interested in honest debate than you are in simply arguing with people.

But how you say it goes a long way towards how people perceive what you say.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 11:16 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
The Red Sox keep doing things right though and should serve as an example to the Mets. Yesterday they traded 2 prospects for a veteran middle infielder (Graffanino), and demoted a young infielder (Youkilis) to activate him.


Now I know you recognize the difference between the Red Sox' position in the standings and the Mets'.

Well, I think you do.

I hope you do.

Nah, forget it. If I have to explain the difference to you, you probably won't get it.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 21 2005 11:41 AM

Hey, I understand the difference. You're referring to the Mets being a half-game out of 3rd place and the Red Sox 2 games out of 3rd place, yes?

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 07:49 PM

Yes, precisely. I never realized how insightful a Met fan can be, What was I thinking, that the World's Champion Red Sox going for the 2005 pennant makes serious sense and the Mets lack a prayer to have a clue of having a shot of maybe getting to sniff a three game blowout in the first round of the postseason. I don't know how I missed their utter equality.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 09:12 PM

I find it hard to believe you're 100% serious sometimes, yet other times I find it hard to believe you're not. Straight answer time: are you seriously advocating that the Mets load up for bear, acquire veterans, deal off kids, because they're thisclosetothepostseason?

Frayed Knot
Jul 21 2005 09:27 PM

Ummmm,
Shrink the Avatar NOW!!!!!

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 21 2005 09:28 PM

I don't believe they have a strong chance as presently constructed because they don't score enough runs. But I'm open to listening to trades that could fix that, depending on the particular deal.

Now your turn for a straight answer:
]
please give me the orgs who are accelerating their top guys any faster; the example(s) you're using so far aren't holding up.
- Atlanta's Wilson Betemit was everyone's hot-stuff SS prospect before Reyes (he's 3 years older) but is just now popping his head into MLB this year, and even that was largely because he was in an out-of-options/use-or-lose situation
- Andy Marte was a year behind Wright and was brought up ... a year later - and even then only for injury and has since been sent back for not hitting (they have no patience over there)
- Jeff Francouer is 13 months younger than Wright and was brought up a whopping 11 months later. No telling how much the 6 weeks Wright wasted in AAA that Francoeur didn't will mean to their careers - but then again the Mets were obviously too tied to the veteren Wigginton at the time.
- Anaheim's Casey Kotchman? - Wright's age, at least as heralded, called-up later, since been sent back
- Florida's Cabrera? - prolly the best young hitter in the game today ... was brought up when 2 months older than Reyes

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 21 2005 09:54 PM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Now your turn for a straight answer:


The 1967 Mets and the 1984 Mets isn't straight enough for you?

And do you really think that "I'm open to listening to trades that could fix that, depending on the particular deal" is a straight answer? Uh, let's see-- Would Pujols-for-Heredia be good enough? How 'bout we throw in Cris Carpenter? Now, don't commit yourself to a position or anything. You want to think that one over carefully.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 04:42 AM

="Frayed Knot"]
]If Reyes could play ss in early June, don't you think he could have been able to play it in April? I do.


Why wait until April, why not the previous August? Or maybe June? And if June was Okay why not start that season with him?


I don't want to get manipulated here into defending a position I never took. What I gave you above was mere logic--I think you'll concede that if Reyes could play MLB on June 10, 2003 then he very likely could have played it a day before, a week before, a month before. There's no way of knowing where to draw that line, of course, and it's a pretty stupid argument to have, but people here (most people, though I suspect that they'd deny it now if you asked them, human memory being as self-serving as it is) strongly advocated in June of 2003 leaving Reyes in the minors for a good long time, for his own good and for that of the team. Among other objections, as I recall, was the danger Reyes caused to the 2003 Mets' pennant chances, being a way-too-raw rookie and all.

It's THAT argument I'm opposing here. While I can't, of course, prove that he could have handled MLB pitching etc at the age of 18, or in the womb either, I can confidently assert that he

1) was fully capable of playing MLB ss at the age of 19 years and 364 days

and 2) the Mets were no way calling him up without a DL trip for the fabulous Rey Sanchez. If Sanchez had kept healthy, Reyes might still be in the minors, and I might still be getting told that bringing up a raw rookie at the premature age of 21 is crazy talk, especially for a team as close to the division lead as the Mets are (and in your dreams will always be.)

In arguing that (rather sound) position, I have decided to go to the extreme of arguing that, not only were the Mets perfectly correct to promote Reyes when they did (a fact I think barely disputable by now), but they could have promoted him earlier and only because of Sanchez's injury did they even consider promoting him when they did. This is not, IMO, the mark of a knowledgable organization: they made one of their few sharp moves in the last five years against their own judgment, and had to be dragged into that decision against their wills. Not what you want to see.

Pretty much the same story with Wright and Diaz.

I don't understand why you're asking me for chapter and verse of how Reyes' and Wright's 20- and 22-year-old contemporaries are doing. (Well, I DO understand why you're asking--because it's a load of work that no one other than a professional would have at his fingertips, and you're figuring that the donkeywork will keep me out your hair for a few months, but I'll give you credit here and just say that I don't understand why.) It's sufficient, and pretty indisputable from where I stand, to show all the HOFers and All-stars and GMOTP (Great Mets of the Past) who have played spectacularly well with very little minor league experience and at very tender ages, and to boot who were not called up to fill in for injured players but who won their jobs on merit out of ST because they were better players than the vets on the big club.

Good teams see that. (Who are the good teams? Uh, the mid-eighties and late sixties Mets, as I note above, the Tigers who promoted Kaline at 20, the Orioles who promoted Brooks Robinson at 20, the Dodgers who promoted the Davis boys at ages 20 and 21...I could go on and on and on, but you don't really give a shit, do you?) Now, maybe I'm just advocating that the Mets actuallly have some good players in their system to promote--certainly they need some serious improvement in scouting and player development--but it makes little difference if they had a system full of Willie Mayses and Babe Ruths, because the team's philosophy, taken from the Byrds' song, is "Churn, Churn, Churn." Why? Because they've foolishly decided that young talent is abundant, and they wouldn;t know how to recognize it if they had it, so why not make their young talent someone else's problem to develop while they go for the gusto?

Well, another indisputable fact has been the results of that philosophy--look at the standings at the end of any recent season to check out how that plan is progressing. At any moment, you've been justifying this foolish philosophy by showing how close you are to finishing in post-season play (which is fairly easy to do for the first half of any season for any team, no matter how woeful, and is sustainable, regardless of your team's quality or lack thereof, through much of the second half, given a weak enough division--but that sleight of hand doesn't make you a good team.)

By this point, KC has long since stopped reading this post, I'm sure, and Scarlet has become good and bored, and I know that Edgy hasn't read a single word I've written for quite a few months now (disciplined lad, he), so I usually feel free to express all sorts of excessive whining and posturing positions about now, but I'll simply say that I understand how little people like to visit this site to be reminded that they haven't got a good team. And if it pleases you to think that I'm pissing on your parade, and you should devote much energy to distorting what I say, and arguing against your distortion of my points, then go ahead, but it still won't give you a good team. It's just pretty to think so.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 05:21 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Matsui hasn't worked out, which is a shame. And it was dumb to have installed him at SS over Reyes. And we seemed to have underestimated how difficult it was to communicate effectively with him.

That said, acquiring him in the first place wasn't a horrible gamble, IMO. It's obvious he has ability, even if it hadn't been fully realized due to what has to be more serious injuries than anyone would have guessed. You might recall he was the object of several teams' bids, and the organization as then constructed was in need of a middle infielder (minds had evidently been made up as to the ceiling of Garcia, correctly) and pickings were slim.


I appreciate your relative honesty in assessing the Matsui deal (at last) as unsuccessful --but it was a horrible gamble, because of the Mets' inability (refusal, IMO) to see that they had a bad ball club AT THE TIME and that spending megabucks on an (oxymoron coming) unproven veteran would only be a wise gamble for a strongly contending club that couldn't possibly afford to take even a small chance on leaving a vital cog in their powerful machine unfilled for the shortest time.

In retrospect (and I'll argue "at the time" as well), it would have been a much sharper gamble to go with a series of untested kids, on the chance that one of them would make serious progress, and you could fill a hole cheaply and concentrate on your other holes as well. (May I remind you that only a small part of this disasterous gamble had to do with the fact that the Mets at the time were far from having a hole at ss--rather that was their strongest position at the time, a sad fact that only makes the move more ironic. As we know now, it would have been a horrible mistake even if they'd played Matsui at 2b from the git-go, though I'm sure his defenders would have claimed that doing so would have been the root of all his problems--"If you move an All-Star Gold Glove SS to 2b, of course he's going to be demoralized, bbbyyy"). That's the sort of gambling I favor, and would find it easy to root for, not this tired old failure of a 'hired-gun" policy that screws the pooch as often as it succeeds.

Garcia would have flamed out? Maybe. But the real question is how much worse would he (or Wiggy or Keppinger or Scutaro or...) have been than Matsui has proven himself to be? I'd argue that any difference in OPS (if there even is a negative difference) isnt worth the defensive problems, the advanced age, the salary, the roster tie-up, the lack of control over the contract, and all the mishugaaas the Mets have taken on with Matsui.

smg58
Jul 22 2005 07:22 AM

Actually, I'm completely confused by the Red Sox' treatment of Youkilis. He has a higher OPS than Graffanino and Mueller can play some second, so unless his defense is really bad, I don't see why he hasn't gotten more of a chance. And the rumors of Lowell being brought in only confuse things further. I don't see the value of blocking younger guys with veterans who aren't better. (People interested in Alan Embree, take note.) And that has happened here too -- Padilla should have been brought up way before he was -- but I see no evidence that Reyes and Wright were held back.

The Matsui situation was bungled on so many levels there's no point in going into it anymore. I don't see it as though they should have committed to rebuilding, though, because giving Scutaro a chance or grabbing a cheap second baseman would have meant having the money to make a real bid for Vladi.

Benjamin Grimm
Jul 22 2005 07:29 AM

I think the Mets had money to give to Vladimir Guerrero. They just didn't want to, because of their fears over his back.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 07:34 AM

smg58 wrote:
The Matsui situation was bungled on so many levels there's no point in going into it anymore.


Thanks for illustrating my point, inadvertantly, that we often go straight from "X is true, and I dare to you to prove with exhaustive studies that it's not" to "X is false, as we all know" with no middle stage at all. As an illustration, Dickshot was trying to convince me (as we stood on the IRT coming back from Shea earlier this season) that Matsui still would turn it around and show his critics, etc. rather passionately, and now he's all "Yeah, he sucks HMC, we know that, for sure"--it's to his credit that he's changed his mind, but do all the sinners who argued with him before his conversion now get to be made saints? (See avatar.)

As to the Sox, I'm just beginning to know their full roster, minor league situation, etc.--I will report on the Youkilis situation when I get more informed.

Willets Point
Jul 22 2005 07:41 AM

Aw, Bret has a Christ complex, how cute!!!

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 07:46 AM

Willets Point wrote:
Aw, Bret has a Christ complex, how cute!!!


Yup, thought of that one all by myself, too. You know how prone I am to exaggerating everything.

seawolf17
Jul 22 2005 07:49 AM

In defense of Matsui, he was very good in Japan. VERY good. Not a world-beater, but very good. I'm willing to agree that they screwed it up, and they probably shouldn't have screwed with Reyes at all, but it wasn't a disaster at the time. This guy was going to come here, play every day (which he did in Japan), hit a handful of home runs (which he did in Japan, although we expected less than he hit there), steal bases (which he did in Japan), and be a catalyst (which he was in Japan). It sucks that it didn't work out, but it was not a complete disaster until recently. I believe most of the baseball pundits -- and a lot of us, IIRC -- figured him to have a solid year this year, now that he knew the league a little better. Now that he's hurt, and now that it's clear that he hasn't become the player we'd hoped, it looks ugly.

I felt much more confident with Matsui's resume coming into 2004 than I would have with Marco Scutaro, or Ty Wigginton, or some random prospect from the Pirates who nobody had heard of until he arrived here. Besides, he was only 28! He's still not even 30! He's supposed to be in the prime of his career, and we didn't know that he would fall apart when he was signed.

Benjamin Grimm
Jul 22 2005 07:52 AM

I don't think getting Matsui was a dumb move. (The dumb part was having him displace Reyes at shortstop.) I think it was a reasonable risk. His offense in 2004 was fine; it's the bad defense that was the surprise and what led to the bad outcome.

Rotblatt
Jul 22 2005 08:05 AM

]I will report on the Youkilis situation when I get more informed.


Most of us idiotically drooling Mets fans would probably find a way to justify sending down a 26-year old with a .812 OPS who can play 3B, 1B & 2B in favor of a 33-year old journeyman utility inflielder currently playing above his head at a .804 OPS level (his career OPS over 10 years is .723), but I'm sure you Sox fans are made of sterner stuff . . .

Anyway, I was checking out BP's Adjusted Standings this morning and discovered that we SHOULD be in first place by a half game, going by our third-order wins & losses. Your third-order standings are:

1. Mets 51.7 / 43.3
2. Braves 51.9 / 44.1
3. Phillies 49.6 / 46.4
4. Marlins 47.3 / 45.7
5. Nationals 45.9 / 50.1

Not as good as the Sox, sure, but one could say that the only difference between the Sox's place in their division and ours is, well, luck. Unless you credit managers with the ability to meet or exceed their team's Pythagorean projections, in which case, one would say the difference is our managers, although the Sox are -2.5 wins below their projections, just .2 better than ours.

As for going 0-3 in the first round of the playoffs, we just swept the team we'd face in the first round if everyone met their projections. Would we have a chance against the Cardinals? Not much of one, but then, if, going into the playoffs last year, you had told me the Sox would beat the Yankees after dropping the first three games, then sweep the Cardinals, I'd have laughed in your face.

I'm not saying we should sell the farm to try and compete this year, but we're really not as bad as you think we are, Bret. Or, perhaps more accurately, the rest of the league isn't as good as you think it is.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 22 2005 08:05 AM

Alow me to speak for myself, wouldya? I said putting Matsui at shortstop over Reyes was a poor decision, and believed as much from the start. The deal is bad one in retrospect because he's been hurt so often, not that he SBHMC. I think he'd have made a good middle infielder were he healthy (switch hits, little pop, fast, etc). What I probably trying to relate to you on the train was that the asswipes booing him at Shea were hateful and embarrassing and I believed that Matsui could play well enough to shut them up. I don't think he can stay healthy enough to now is all that's changed.

I suspect the whole 2003 budget in the end was more about Fred's decision to give 53 million US dollars to Jim Dolan rather than to his GM or a ballplayer.

Frayed Knot
Jul 22 2005 08:18 AM

]I don't understand why you're asking me for chapter and verse of how Reyes' and Wright's 20- and 22-year-old contemporaries are doing.


Because you constantly insist that the two players - promoted at ages 19 & 21 and each w/only a few months of above A-ball under their belts - were unconscionably left to rot in the minors by holding team mgmt to a standard which doesn't seem to exist. If this is uniquely a Met problem then where are the players who promotion schedules makes these two look like a couple of slacker turtles and why are they both STILL among the youngest players in MLB 1 & 2 years past their callups?
Had this not been your orignial and continuing thesis I never would have entered the discussion.

]It's sufficient, and pretty indisputable from where I stand, to show all the HOFers and All-stars and GMOTP (Great Mets of the Past) who have played spectacularly well with very little minor league experience and at very tender ages, and to boot who were not called up to fill in for injured players but who won their jobs on merit out of ST because they were better players than the vets on the big club.


So you don't understand why I ask about contemporaries, yet your response that the '51 Giants called Willie Mays up at a similar (note: similar, not faster*) schedule - therefore everyone else should also - is somehow relevent?
This all reminds me of an old 'Mad' magazine article: "I Clawed my Way to the Top so Why Can't those Other Punk Kids' -- by David Eisenhower



* Older (by a few weeks) than Reyes at his callup - also not taken out of spring training.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 08:27 AM

Johnny Dickshot wrote:
Alow me to speak for myself, wouldya? .


Gladly.
Johnny Dickshot wrote:
I believed that Matsui could play well enough to shut them up.


This really isn't so far from what i said you said, but your version is more accurate. I didn't mean to imply that any references to sucking BHMC were actually uttered.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 08:41 AM
Edited 2 time(s), most recently on Jul 22 2005 08:52 AM

Frayed Knot wrote:
you constantly insist that the two players - promoted at ages 19 & 21 and each w/only a few months of above A-ball under their belts - were unconscionably left to rot in the minors by holding team mgmt to a standard which doesn't seem to exist.


"Rotting" and such is your language, not mine. I began simply by advocating their callups while they were still in the minors, and getting some serious derision ("give-up" talk) for saying so. (You remember my "back up the truck" talk--very unpopular around these parts.) I was met by a lot of Nervous Nellies telling me how nuts it was to think a 19 y.o. punk could hit his weight, or even his age, in MLB, especially when the 2003 Mets were so clearly in contention with the great Sanchez stanchioning their quietly powerful infield.

Then when Sanchez blessedly got hurt, and Reyes was called up, with the Mets brass kicking and screaming and CYAing all over the place, I heard "This will never work." I was good so far, but then I took the extreme rhetorical point that not only was this a wise callup, I'm not at all sure that calling Reyes up sooner wouldn't have been equally wise. OE: It's a smart move even if it doesn't work because the 2003 Mets, going nowhere and hemorrhaging money, needed to make some roster dumps, get some young blood in the lineup, get some hustle and attitude-adjustments on the team, etc. regardless of the effect on the 2003 standings, which as it turned out sucked BHMC anyhow.

It wasn't necessary to make my point (that Reyes was fuilly qualified at 20 to play MLB ss) to go overboard and claim that he was also quite possibly qualfied at 19, at 18 or in the womb, but that's the point you choose to focus on, and since I did make the point, I'll discuss it, though I would prefer to stick to my original position, which is this: playing young kids is not a give up position, and the Mets' annual results show that even if it were a give up position, it's hard to finish worse than in last place.

You of course may argue any position you like, as long as it's focused on making me seem silly rather than discussing my actual point.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 08:44 AM

Yancy Street Gang wrote:
His offense in 2004 was fine; it's the bad defense that was the surprise and what led to the bad outcome.


Apart from that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln?

KC
Jul 22 2005 09:22 AM

We should probably try to limit cussing in sig lines to one cuss. Two is
overkill and any new readers might get the impression that we're boors.

Rotblatt
Jul 22 2005 09:29 AM

]It wasn't necessary to make my point (that Reyes was fuilly qualified at 20 to play MLB ss) to go overboard and claim that he was also quite possibly qualfied at 19, at 18 or in the womb, but that's the point you choose to focus on, and since I did make the point, I'll discuss it, though I would prefer to stick to my original position, which is this: playing young kids is not a give up position, and the Mets' annual results show that even if it were a give up position, it's hard to finish worse than in last place.


Bret, who, exactly, are you arguing with? I don't see anyone saying that we shouldn't be playing young kids, and I see a number of us saying that we SHOULD be playing them--Padilla, Seo, Heilman & Keppinger before he got hurt have all been promoted to death by many of us here, and Anderson is the new flavor of the month. And many of us have been saying that we could do all that without hurting our chances this year, which is exactly what you're saying.

Why do you insist on attacking positions supposedly held years ago by "all of us" that no one is currently making?

As for Reyes being qualified, I posted stats that pretty clearly show that he wasn't qualified and still had a lot to learn before getting called up. Management came to the same conclusion you did--that he might as well do his learning in the majors. So, again, what's the problem?

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 09:48 AM

="Rotblatt"]
]It wasn't necessary to make my point (that Reyes was fuilly qualified at 20 to play MLB ss) to go overboard and claim that he was also quite possibly qualfied at 19, at 18 or in the womb, but that's the point you choose to focus on, and since I did make the point, I'll discuss it, though I would prefer to stick to my original position, which is this: playing young kids is not a give up position, and the Mets' annual results show that even if it were a give up position, it's hard to finish worse than in last place.


Bret, who, exactly, are you arguing with? I don't see anyone saying that we shouldn't be playing young kids, and I see a number of us saying that we SHOULD be playing them--Padilla, Seo, Heilman & Keppinger before he got hurt have all been promoted to death by many of us here, and Anderson is the new flavor of the month. And many of us have been saying that we could do all that without hurting our chances this year, which is exactly what you're saying.

Why do you insist on attacking positions supposedly held years ago by "all of us" that no one is currently making?

As for Reyes being qualified, I posted stats that pretty clearly show that he wasn't qualified and still had a lot to learn before getting called up. Management came to the same conclusion you did--that he might as well do his learning in the majors. So, again, what's the problem?


As I noted to smg above we go straight from "you're nuts and I'm offended" to "Of course, and I and everyone has always felt so" very easily around here.

Now this was the sort of thing that, when we had archives, I used to delight in demonstrating, only to be told often as not that "who cares about the dim and distant past, man? Move on. Live in the present."

Hey, all I can say is, if it doesn't apply to you then don't defend it. Let me invent my delusional adversaries and poke them with sharp sticks, okay? It was hard enough making people defend their foolish positions with archives--without them, I understand everyone's going to run away at light speed from their past statements. Dudn't mean I'm going to let them go gratis, just means I no longer have the hard evidence, is all.

Reyes' qualifications have little to do with stats and everything to do with seeing a talented ballplayer. As I said in re Seaver above, his stats and his minor league experience told you that he needed another few seasons in the minors. But some smart guy decided he looked like a pitcher, and so he was.

The Mets need to hire some smart guys.

They certainly need to hire at least one.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 09:54 AM

KC wrote:
We should probably try to limit cussing in sig lines to one cuss. Two is
overkill and any new readers might get the impression that we're boors.


Or we could limit the cussing in actual posts. Nah, we wouldn;t want that. How could people ever let me know what they think of me, then? (See avatar.)

Willets Point
Jul 22 2005 10:03 AM

I'm going to go on record to say that Bret's new avatar is more disturbing than this:

KC
Jul 22 2005 10:07 AM

I apologize if depicting you as a persecuted christ-like image insulted you.
We used to have fun here by razzing each other.

Elster88
Jul 22 2005 10:17 AM

I'll go out on a limb and agree with Willets. I thought people might get offended by [u:af3c951122]my[/u:af3c951122] avatar, because the guy never hit really well.

Rotblatt
Jul 22 2005 10:31 AM

]The Mets need to hire some smart guys.

They certainly need to hire at least one.


Wasn't the guy who signed Reyes pretty smart? Or how about the guys who brought him to the majors despite being 20 years old and posting middling minor league stats? Or how about the scouts who told everyone that Reyes was a Big Deal and a Can't Miss Prospect so that fans like us could bitch and moan about how stupid our front office was by leaving him in the minors for an extra 160 at bats?

Unless, of course, your conclusion that Reyes could help our club in 2003 was based solely watching him play with your own eyes . . .

Diamond Dad
Jul 22 2005 11:11 AM
Reyes

I recall seeing Reyes play in the "futures" game at the 2003 All-Star break. He hit a routine three-hopper to the shortstop and beat the throw to first for an infield hit. The shortstop played it flawlessly and made a good throw -- Reyes just beat it. Then he laced one in the gap his next at-bat and flew around the bases for a triple.

I recall remarking at the time, "Man, that boy can fly, and he can play shortstop -- we should call him up NOW."

But, I don't fault the Mets management -- they brought him up at a young age as it was, and he's had some growing pains. No compliants.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 05:32 PM

KC wrote:
I apologize if depicting you as a persecuted christ-like image insulted you.
We used to have fun here by razzing each other.


Nope, totally cool with razzing and being razzed. Just pointing out that I'm not the first person to make fun of someone around here, nor the first to give a dig or cuss or exaggerate, so please stop pointing me out as an egregious violator of Emily Post's Etiquette Guide when I do it because you don't like what I'm saying but don't feel comfortable coming down on me for that. The avatar's just my way of accepting your razzing.

And my sig line's just my way of reminding myself that it's okay to use harsh words sometimes because it's done all the time around here ,and no one seems to mind very much, so I needn't pay scrupulous attention when someone scolds me for unprecedented harshness. I kind of like including my pals Duan and J. Dickshot and the Edgemeister in one sig line.

KC
Jul 22 2005 05:39 PM

We could change your posting designation to "caustic fucktard" instead
of escalating through the ranks if you'd like.

lmk, cf

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 22 2005 06:07 PM

But then I'd lose Duan's contribution to my sig line, and Edgy's.

KC
Jul 22 2005 06:22 PM

What I mean is, Einsteeen, is that instead of being '483) Tom Veryzer' you
can always just be 'caustic fucktard'.

I'm downsizing avatars that are over 100 pixels wide next week and putting
them on the kcmets server. Has nothing to do with you, so don't go slam-
ming another nail through your hand because I've been planning it for some
time but haven't gotten around to it.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 23 2005 04:39 AM

KC wrote:
What I mean is, Einsteeen, is that instead of being '483) Tom Veryzer' you
can always just be 'caustic fucktard'.

I'm downsizing avatars that are over 100 pixels wide next week and putting
them on the kcmets server. Has nothing to do with you, so don't go slam-
ming another nail through your hand because I've been planning it for some
time but haven't gotten around to it.


Listen, Copernicus, I get that idea, and I like it. What I was trying to say--and I'll talk reeeeeal slow here--is that if we did that, and --then--I--eliminate--the sig line--I would then lose Duan's and Edgy's amusing contributions to my sig line, which would be a shame. You wouldn't want me to keep the sig line if you were already reading "Caustic Fucktard" in the posting designation, right? OTOH, it's prolly worth it, both as a compromise and as a good idea in itself. And I would only lose Duan's, really. Edgy's could still stay.

So gopher it.

As to the nails through the palms, don't I have Roman centurions to help out with that stuff? That's not a one-man job.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 23 2005 05:42 AM

And if you think the avatar's too big now, you should ask Frayed Knot how it looked when I posted it full-size for a few hours.

Anyway, back to baseball (you remember baseball.) Rotblatt asked

"how about the scouts who told everyone that Reyes was a Big Deal and a Can't Miss Prospect so that fans like us could bitch and moan about how stupid our front office was"?

Okay, I accept that maybe the Mets have a smart scout or two at the lower levels. But if they were really assuring the top brass that he was a Can't Miss Prospect, the brass certainly weren't listening for the first few months of 2003. Can you really deny that they preferred (and some might still prefer) to play Rey F. Sanchez over Reyes? They had a choice to make, and instead of them making it, Sanchez's left quadruped (or whatever) made it for them.

Frayed Knot
Jul 23 2005 06:34 AM

Except that the team made it publicly clear as that season began that Reyes replacing Sanchez was merely a question of when, not if. Jose also started the year with one of his numerous (although more minor) leg inuries, didn't have a particularly good ST (IIRC) or that good a minor league start, and (once more with feeling) was a 19 y/o barely out of A-ball.
It's not a case where they "preferred" Sanchez over Reyes. It was clear that Sanchez was hired as a place-keeper - just as the Braves did when signing Jordan/Mondesi/Franco and not instantly handing jobs to Johnson/Francouer/Marte.

See also: Strawberry in '83, Mays in '51, etc.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 23 2005 04:25 PM

What I wouldn't give for some choice archives from spring of '03.

"Publicly clear"? This team hasn't made anything publicly clear since David Cone in the bullpen.

What they did issue was a lot of misleading, ambiguous remarks about their total commitment to Sanchez, their firm conviction that Reyes was in their future plans but not in their immediate future, yyybbb. If you could ever find the threads from then, you'd see that some folks went into panic mode when Sanchez went down, hysterical over entrusting even for a few weeks the ss position to a player as raw as Reyes. (I'm sure Edgy's still discussing his traumatizing anxiety attack over it with his shrink.) Best to peddle that revisionist alternative-world version of history to someone more gullible than--wait! You posted it on the CPF. That's the perfect place. It'll fly there, for sure.

Benjamin Grimm
Jul 23 2005 04:47 PM

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 23 2005 05:19 PM

I think the plan may have been to gice Reyes a little more time in AAA than he'd logged by the time Sanchez went to the DL. That the Mets hadn't publically anointed Reyes as the MLB SS in April made plenty of sense in the event he failed to make progress as quickly as he did. It takes real willfull ignorance to pretend that, even if it wasn't broadcast by club officials, that Sanchez was supposed to have been a guy who'd usher in Reyes when/if he was ready.

Just like the promotion of Strawberry, tho, circumstances (injury) and a strong need for a PR pop ultimately won the day it came to calling him up.

AS I recall it, everyone was excited to see Reyes here, even if there were good reasons to have reservations that he'd be an instant success (his OBP and XBH weren't very good vs. AAA pitching, especially at first). If he were overmatched, for instance, there was a fear he'd develop bad habits, etc. I think everyone could see he had real talent and with him up, hoped for the best.

Benjamin Grimm
Jul 23 2005 07:11 PM

I can't imagine anybody going into "panic mode" when Rey Sanchez got hurt.

KC
Jul 23 2005 08:22 PM

I can't picture Edgy discussing his traumatizing anxiety attack over it with a shrink.

Stupid shit, getting stoopider by the day. Hope it ends soon.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 24 2005 04:43 AM

KC wrote:
I can't picture Edgy discussing his traumatizing anxiety attack over it with a shrink.

Stupid shit, getting stoopider by the day. Hope it ends soon.


Yet you can easily picture me shlepping a cross up to Gethsemene? Now, why is it that sometimes you're so good at clever exaggeration for effect, and other times so clueless? Could it be--a good thing when pro-Mets, a very bad thing when not?

What I want here is simple and obvious (to me): I want to see a ballclub capable of recognizing young talent and, assuming that ballclub has more holes than Albert Hall (as the Mets did and do), promoting that young talent instead of playing place-holding, inept veterans for the face-saving reason of being able to convince weak-minded fans that they're a seriously contending team when they are anything but.

Is that so tough? Do you really need to get your panties into a twist over that concept?

I guess one of the things I miss about the 1960s Mets is their comfort in recognizing that they have obvious gaping holes to fix, plainly worthless veterans all over the roster in desperate need of being thrown overboard, and a bad habit of finishing last, which they would like to end some day. The 2000-and-x Mets are pretty much the same, but clueless and timid and very uncomfortable in recognizing their needs, so instead of playing their Ron Swobodas and Ed Kranepools and Tom Seavers and Bud Harrelsons at the first opportunity, regardless of their minor-league-records, or their ages, or their play in Spring Training but simply by dint of their talent and high potential, they keep putting their Al Luplows and Roy McMillans and Dick Stuarts out on the field. Like I said, clueless.

Spacemans Bong
Jul 24 2005 06:00 AM

Judging by Bret's posts, you'd think the Mets were headed for another 100-loss season.

And take off that bloody avatar. I'm trying not to puke.

KC
Jul 24 2005 06:34 AM

>>>Now, why is it that sometimes you're so good at clever exaggeration for effect, and other times so clueless?<<<

I dunno. Why is it that you can be so nice is person and here you have to
be a caustic fucktard?

>>>Could it be--a good thing when pro-Mets, a very bad thing when not?<<<

Yeah, that's me ... posting pro-Mets stuff 24-7 ... you see things so clearly.

>>>Do you really need to get your panties into a twist over that concept?<<<

A perfect place to put and end to this once and for all. Archive that.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 24 2005 06:52 AM

Spacemans Bong wrote:

And take off that bloody avatar. I'm trying not to puke.


Yet nary a complaint or a pang of faint nausea when KC posted it at four times the size. That's a fair proportion for the ratio of even-handedness around here, >4x for a pro-Mets poster (you know you are, KC, that's why you're so beloved) to that of one critical of the Mets.

As to taking it off, I'm waiting for the promised, totally coincidental resizing process--maybe it'll be so small it will seem inoccuous and funny to you. (And I'm waiting for the "caustic fucktard" designation to remove my sig line--don't worry, I have another one ready to go, even wittier and more amusing than this current one.

Elster88
Jul 24 2005 10:41 AM

]I want to see a ballclub capable of recognizing young talent and, assuming that ballclub has more holes than Albert Hall (as the Mets did and do), promoting that young talent instead of playing place-holding, inept veterans for the face-saving reason of being able to convince weak-minded fans that they're a seriously contending team when they are anything but.
I easily can understand your frustration from the Mets based on last year's trading deadline moves, no matter how well Benson and Zambrano have pitched. But why keep going on and on about this? These trades have been lamented, ad nauseum, by many including myself. Why not wait until this year's trading deadlines to see how they do? Using Wright and Reyes as examples of the Mets inability to be what you mention in the quote is silly, IMHO.

]Yet nary a complaint or a pang of faint nausea when KC posted it at four times the size. That's a fair proportion for the ratio of even-handedness around here, >4x for a pro-Mets poster (you know you are, KC, that's why you're so beloved) to that of one critical of the Mets.
I think the difference here is that KC posted it once, whereas every post you've ever made now has this attached to it. Smaller size or no, it's the quantity, not the size that may be making Spaceman sick.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 24 2005 05:06 PM

Elster88 wrote:
I think the difference here is that KC posted it once


Of course you do.

Elster88
Jul 24 2005 05:29 PM

Bret Sabermetric wrote:
="Elster88"]I think the difference here is that KC posted it once


Of course you do.
I'm assuming this is a way of being derisive while totally ignoring my point. So much for trying to stick an objective nose in.