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Archive for the ‘Subway Thoughts’ Category

Subway Thoughts

Posted by JD on May 4, 2010

While riding the subway home and thinking about the Mets, this crossed my mind (it didn’t cross my keyboard till sometime later, but you get the point):

  • Daniel Murphy – Howard Megdal had an excellent summary of the Mets options for Murphy over at MLB Trade Rumors. I’m particularly interested in seeing how he handles second base. Russ Adams is currently getting the bulk of the playing time at second for the Bisons, so it’s not as if Murphy would be displacing a prospect. He still has value to this club as a reserve, but as Megdal explains, mastering second base would increase it quite a bit. Remember, he’s under the Mets control for the near future and if he doesn’t get back to Flushing until September, he won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2012 season (he currently has one year and 58 days of service time). His future is probably as a utility man, but it can’t hurt to see if he can handle second base full-time.
  • Terry Collins – Brian Costa of the Star-Ledger posted a Spring Training Q&A session with Terry Collins, the Mets minor-league field coordinator (hat-tip to Metsblog for linking to it). Aside from explaining what a minor-league field coordinator does, Collins discussed some of his personal philosophies regarding player development. Of particular interest:

“We’re going to try to slow the process down just a bit. I know everybody wants to rush players to the big leagues. I think that can be a hindrance as much as it can be a help. I do believe players need to be challenged when the time comes. They need to learn how to fail, because they’re going to be humbled in the big leagues sometime. They need to learn that in the minor leagues, how to get through those things. So when the time is right, we’re going to challenge them. But to put them over their heads right now and let them drown, I don’t think that’s fair. I believe in playing with confidence. I really think that means something. And I want to move players up, not back.”

Collins’ approach is part of the reason why I’m glad Murphy is going to Buffalo instead of taking Frank Catalanotto’s spot on the roster. If the Mets are willing to put Murphy in a position to succeed, I’m willing to give them the chance to do so, even if it weakens the major league roster in the short term. They need to maximize their available assets: getting Murphy regular playing time does just that.

  • The Bench – There’s been a lot of talk about the bench over the past few weeks. Robert James at Surviving the Citi had wrote a nice post today highlighting their deficiencies. Gary Matthews Jr., Frank Catalanotto, and Alex Cora have no spot on the team in my opinion, but I can’t lump Henry Blanco and Fernando Tatis in with them. Blanco can’t hit a lick, but I think his impact on the starting rotation alone is worth his presence on the bench. Let’s face it: he’s the best defensive catcher in the organization, hands down. And as popular as it is to trash Tatis, I think he’s a perfectly adequate bench player. Able to play every position except center field, he’s a fine insurance policy against short term injury. Yes, he’s struggled at the plate. But his performance over the past two season has earned him an extended chance (believe it or not). As for the other three, how about cutting them and calling up Jason Pridie, Chris Carter, and Ruben Tejada? It’s too much to ask, but a guy can dream…
  • Chemistry – Back-to-back national television appearances gave me a headache, but not for the usual reasons. This time, it was the continual references to how the locker room has improved, how the Mets have a new focus on “team-oriented” players, and how “locker room chemistry” was a major reason for their improvement. Ugh. Spare me. I’m sure Alex Cora’s a great guy and I realize he’s not going anywhere (my previous bullet aside, there’s no way the Mets eat his contract), but I’m sick and tired of intangibles. I haven’t been able to calculate the exact amount of money I would spend, but I would pay a considerable sum to never hear them mentioned again.
  • Ernie Harwell – This isn’t a true “Subway Thought” because I learned of his passing during the game. Mr. Harwell was a treasure of the game, and his passing hit me a little harder than I expected: my first thought was of Bob Murphy, and the emotions I felt when he passed. There’s a blog post or two in there, but I just can’t write it tonight. RIP Mr. Harwell: we’ll miss you.
  • Rubber Game – As I was typing this post, the Mets managed to survive back-to-back home runs from Joey Votto and Scott Rolen, thanks to a solo blast from Rod Barajas. The three game losing streak is over and the Mets now have a chance to improve their record in rubber games to 1-4. Jon Niese: you’ve got next.

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Subway Thoughts

Posted by JD on February 1, 2010

Riding the subway home and thinking about the Mets, this crossed my mind:

  • Ryan Garko signed with the Mariners. I was in the “Sign Garko” boat for most of the offseason, and I was wrong. He’s a nice player and all, but he’s older than I thought (I didn’t realize he was 29) and limited defensively to first base and the outfield corners. Fernando Tatis is no All-Star, but he’s played every infield position and left and right field. He has his flaws but his versatility and price tag make him a better choice than Garko. I’ve got no issues with signing Tatis over Garko.
  • Putz-Gate. Look, at this point we all know that the Mets’ injury strategy is fucked up. In almost any other organization, failing to give a pitcher a physical before acquiring him would be a fireable offense. But this is the Mets, a dysfunctional organization that seemingly cannot stay out of its own way: att this point nothing they do regarding injuries will surprise me. Here’s my point: they’re not firing anyone over this, they’re not changing their injury strategy, and Omar won’t take the fall, so I’m not getting fired up over it. I’m not trying to whitewash anything: this is an organizational black mark that’s not going away any time soon. I’m just not getting worked up over it. My ticket money is already paid, I’m locked in, and I refuse to waste more energy getting upset about the Wilpons’ boneheaded front-office. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get upset. By all means, hold their feet to the fire. I’m just saying that I’m numb to it now…you’ll have to go on without me.
  • Here’s a nice write up by Anthony McCarron on the Mets’ remaining rotation options. Well worth a few minutes of your time.
  • Hockey thought: What the hell is Darryl Sutter thinking? Maybe he doesn’t like Olli Jokinen anymore, but why would he take on the additional two years of Ales Kotalik’s contract? If you’re a Rangers fan, you should be keeping your fingers crossed tonight for two reasons: that Jokinen doesn’t get hurt, and that Sutter doesn’t come to his senses.

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