Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Archive for January, 2010

Frenchy Frivolity

Posted by JD on January 21, 2010

The Mets recently agreed to pay Jeff Francoeur $5 million in 2010, avoiding an arbitration hearing. That’s great, I guess. I just can’t get over the fact a right fielder with a career on-base percentage of .311 will be making $5 million in 2010. I mean, forget about flying cars. I thought that “in the future”, we’d at least be able to accurately evaluate and compensate baseball players. Turns out that’s just as much of a fantasy.

To better frame it, in 2009 Francoeur ranked below 13 right fielders in Runs Created. His 93 OPS+ was good for 27th. On-Base Percentage? 33 other right fielders topped his .309. But then again, they don’t even show On-Base Percentage on the scoreboard, do they Jeff?

Yeah, well, this all sucks. Why? Because for years I called him Jeff Frenchwhore. For years I mocked him for his well-known tendency to ignore one of the most important stats in baseball. For years, he was at least Enemy Number #2 (I always saved the first spot for Chipper). Now, against all of my instincts I have to try to minimize (or at least try to ignore) his OBP failures and, on top of that, it turns out that he’s a good, likable guy (at least from all outward appearances). Just great. I can see it already: I’m going to be flip-flopping like crazy on this guy all year. As if there were enough ups-and-downs to being a Mets fan.


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More Molina

Posted by JD on January 21, 2010

I was a little snarky in my previous post about Bengie Molina in alluding to the fact that Molina passed on $500,000 by signing with the Giants over the Mets. As usual, there’s more to the story than was originally evident. Buster Olney’s Insider Blog mentioned, among other things, that Molina’s daughters live in Yuma, AZ, which is close to the Giants’ spring training site. $500,000 is a lot of money to you and me, but Molina might feel it’s worth it to spend more time with his family. Throw in his familiarity with the Giants and his decision to turn down the Mets really wasn’t as unreasonable as thought.

Regardless, the overall point of my previous post still applies. However Molina made his decision it was the right one for him, and the right one for us.

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Flushing Frivolity – Pedro’s Climb Up The Leaderboard

Posted by JD on January 20, 2010

Yesterday, Pedro Feliciano agreed to a one year, $2.9 million deal with the Mets. Since returning to the Mets from Japan in 2006, Feliciano has averaged 79 appearances each year. Should he match that average again this season, Pedro will finish 2010 with 446 appearances for the Mets (all in relief), passing Jesse Orosco (372), Jerry Koosman (376), and Tom Seaver (401) on his way to second all time. At the end of year, he would trail only John Franco (695) on the franchise leaderboard.

Allow me to clarify, just in case you think I’m giving Feliciano too much credit. I realize that appearances in and of themselves mean little. But for the record, Feliciano has averaged a 147 ERA+ during the last four years, meaning that he’s been 47% better than the average pitcher during that time. If he throws up another season like that in 2010 (say 81 appearances, 135 ERA+), you would have to consider him for the title of “Best Non-Starting, Non-Closing Pitcher” in Mets history. FWIW.

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And Now for Something Completely Different

Posted by JD on January 19, 2010

I’ve been looking for a way to introduce non-baseball, non-Mets content onto this blog. Fortunately, @antheia (follow her on Twitter, you won’t regret it) has given me the perfect opportunity to do so. Sit back and enjoy:

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The Opposition Speaks, and Is Rebutted

Posted by JD on January 19, 2010

From Tim Marchman’s blog, regarding Bengie Molina’s refusal of the Mets’ offer:

“The thinking Mets fan is celebrating today, but that’s because he really underestimates how bad catchers are at hitting and thus underrates Molina.”

I happen to like Marchman and respect his opinions (and thus read his blog regularly), but I have to disagree here. From everything I’ve read, the Mets offer to Molina included an option for a second year. I’ve read differing accounts of that option, but what sticks in my head is that it was easily attainable. Which turns it into a two year deal. Which is a bad idea for a 35 year-old catcher.

Look, it’s very possible that Molina will approximate his past successes this season. I get it. But the likelihood of a decline exists this year and even more so next, so why lock him up for two years? Similar production is still available on the open market for fewer dollars and years, why dent the budget for two seasons?

As Marchman says, I might be underrating Molina. But he’s underrating that second year, so I’m comfortable seeing him in a San Francisco Giants uniform. We’ll just have to agree to disagree, and that’s that.

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