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December 21, 2007
  
Who Are These Mets?

It’s no secret that baseball is changing. Only four years after the publication of Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, baseball is overrun by spreadsheet-using stat geeks. However, the best organizations are the ones that combine statistical analysis with a strong scouting base. The Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians are at the top of this game. The most well-known Moneyball team, the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays, suffer from scouting problems but are still mostly well-run and efficient.

At their heels are up-and-comers like the Tampa Bay Rays, who since the 2005 off-season have been run by Andrew Friedman, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who, with Josh Byrnes at the helm, are committed to developing and using their young players competitively; and the Pittsburgh Pirates, who recently made Neil Huntington their GM.

Meanwhile some teams remain pitifully backward, like the Mariners (Bill Bavasi, GM), the Giants (Brian Sabean), the Dodgers (Ned Colletti), and the Orioles (Peter Angelos, owner). These teams have either remained willfully ignorant of modern statistical analysis and organizational methods, or have chosen to stress other points of baseball management, such as “veteran leadership,” “team chemistry,” or “small ball” strategies.

But, where, exactly, do the Mets fit in? What kind of team is this? Are the Mets a backward organization? Are they quietly using statistical analysis? What are the prevailing organizational methods? In this article I will suggest some of the team’s strengths and weaknesses, not in its “on-field product,” but in its off-the-field team management.

Strengths

Major League Scouting: I think of Omar Minaya as a great intuitive general manager. He has generally been able to recognize where to spend the team’s money, both on the large scale (Carlos Beltran, Pedro Martinez) and on the small (Endy Chavez, Jose Valentin the first time, Ramon Castro). He has been able to acquire young players with great talent (Duaner Sanchez, John Maine, Oliver Perez) for older players with diminishing or overrated skills (Jae Seo, Kris Benson, Xavier Nady). I give Omar credit for being able to recognize the value of these players.

Willingness to Spend Big: The Mets have money, and they’re not afraid to use it. With Beltran and Pedro, the Mets showed the league’s top free agents that the Mets are competitive and unique, a quality destination to consider along with the other New York team.

Brand Image: This goes along with the other two points. By building a strong team and spending on the right big names, Omar Minaya has given credibility to the Mets that had been sorely lacking earlier in the century. He has done well in building the team’s image and marketing around young players. “Mercenary” players respond well to that kind of environment.

In addition, the “Los Mets” perception, while a negative thing to some outside observers, has done much to cement a unique image of the Mets for fans, the media, and the players. A home for Latin American players is better than a home for washed-up players looking for that last big payout.

Weaknesses

Loyalty to Veterans: I’m not focusing on the field management here, so I won’t comment in detail about Shawn Green playing instead of Lastings Milledge or Paul Lo Duca receiving four times more playing time than Ramon Castro, but these things are a problem. Organizationally, the Mets seem to have little confidence in their youngsters or inexperienced players at the major league level. This led the Mets to trade for Luis Castillo and play him over the red-hot Ruben Gotay, who was also passed over by a sputtering Jose Valentin earlier in the season. The Mets’ loyalty to veterans is a burden that caused them to re-sign Valentin after 2006 and Castillo after 2007, instead of counting their blessings and moving on with cheaper, younger players who could provide comparable production. Generally, I think Omar has given too many years and too much money to old bit players like Valentin, Marlon Anderson, and the inestimable Julio Franco.

Aggressiveness with Prospects: It seems contrary to the above point, but it’s true. The Mets have generally moved their top prospects through the minor leagues too quickly. Jose Reyes was in New York two years too soon; Carlos Gomez had no business on a major league roster in 2007, while Joe Smith barely pitched in the minor leagues. Combined with a system of veteran entitlement at the major league level, this is a player development disaster. Talented youngsters make it to the top in a hurry and are either expected to sit on the bench or immediately impress everyone. This is unrealistic and deeply damaging, both to the players and the team. If the Mets were more patient, Lastings Milledge might be ready to start 2008 as the team’s right fielder.

Ignorance of Marginal Value: As good as the Mets are at intuitively recognizing the strength of major league talent, they are poor at determining the relative and marginal value of those players. The team seems stuck in the plug-and-play mentality, where one has “holes” that need to be “filled,” lists of “needs” which are prioritized and satisfied in a linear fashion. The Mets decide that they need “a top starting pitcher,” and they go out and try to get one. They decide they need “a big bat,” so they go get one. This is a bad way to think about things. When teams decide that they absolutely must have a player, they are bound to pay too much. Instead of saying “we need pitching,” smart teams look to see where they can improve most efficiently. Maybe the pitching market is thin, but there’s a solid hitter available. Rather than trying to increase runs scored or decrease runs allowed, a team should aim to positively increase the difference between these two numbers, whether adding from the one or subtracting from the other.

I don’t doubt that Brian Schneider is all that he’s cracked up to be defensively, and that Ryan Church is an underrated bat who will perform well for the Mets in the coming years. After all, the Mets are good at recognizing major league talent. The problem is that those players are not that much better than the current players who were available at their positions. The Mets perceived that they had a hole in the catching position and filled that hole. But they paid far too much, because they didn’t properly consider marginal value.

The Mets are not in the top class of organizations, but they are far from the bottom. The team has plenty of room for improvement, but currently does well by committing to and building around young superstars David Wright and Jose Reyes. However, a lot of things must change before the team will be consistently youthful, healthy, sane, and competitive.


27 Responses to “Who Are These Mets?”

  1. Comment posted by Chaucer says “1386 for ay” on December 21, 2007 at 8:44 am (#583447)

    This is an interesting piece, John. I followed your argument, I think, until this moment:

    Rather than trying to increase runs scored or decrease runs allowed, a team should aim to positively increase the difference between these two numbers, whether adding from the one or subtracting from the other.

    Could you explain the difference between 1)

    trying to increase runs scored or decrease runs allowed

    and 2)

    aim[ing] to positively increase the difference between these two numbers

    ?
    It seems to me that they’re identical. If you increase RS or decrease RA, aren’t you (generally) positively increasing the difference between RS and RA? Perhaps you could show what you mean with stats from (a) Church & (b) Milledge, (c) Schneider & (d) LoDuca? Or is that the wrong way to think about what you’re arguing. Should we instead be comparing real swaps with potential swaps? Is that your point?

    Again, really interesting piece, trying to categorize management flavor!

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  3. Comment posted by PHL on December 21, 2007 at 8:57 am (#583449)

    Ignorance of Marginal Value

    I’m inclined to agree with your statement that the Mets are poor at determining relative and marginal value, but wouldn’t tweaking be a bad idea then? That is, you seem to want the best possible result, and not the best result possible.

  4. Comment posted by sheadenizen on December 21, 2007 at 9:07 am (#583451)

    It definitely is a conundrum that the Mets move prospects up too quickly, yet continue to trust the “vets” more. I don’t buy your argument about Gotay vs Castillo. Gotay was red hot ( as you described it) in a very small sample size….you should pardon the expression. To believe he could have continued that is a big leap of faith. We have also seen his defense is less than stellar.
    But in general I agree with your assessment. The Mets….unlike the Red Sox for instance tend to stay with players a season or 2 too long. Instead of being grateful that they caught lightening a bottle….see Valentin, Mota…..they resign people hoping it will happen again. The chances are quite small. Omar needs to be less emotional and more pragmatic.

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  6. Comment posted by MrGrinchSince71 on December 21, 2007 at 9:54 am (#583462)

    The Mets….tend to stay with players a season or 2 too long.

    Conversely, they tend to let proven performers (who fit in well) go too quickly (MAnderson, Bradford, Oliver) and then choose mediocre replacements (Show, Sele) for them.

    **

    PS – I would NOT consider the Pirates an up-and-comer, especially after 16 years of utter failure. Virtually no one in their front office has any baseball experience (the new GM has never even been an assistant to the assistant GM) and their field manager had one of the worst records in minor league history.

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  8. Comment posted by Peter H on December 21, 2007 at 11:12 am (#583516)

    Chaucer,

    I think John’s point about marginal value is that you win by scoring more runs than the other team; it doesn’t matter how you do it. For example, if you have a choice of either (a) spending $3 million to increase your runs scored by 25 runs/year or (b) spending $4 milion to decrease your runs allowed by 15 runs/year, it would be more efficient to choose option (a), even if your team is already stronger offensively than in pitching & defense.

    I apologize if I’m misinterpreting John’s argument.

  9. Comment posted by mr.bmc on December 21, 2007 at 11:14 am (#583517)

    The foundation of your analysis is good for someone outside the room. They Mets are an interesting blend of scouting and performance analysis. I think their deliberations are more subtle than we really know.

    Omar is a scout and a baseball man and his first go to guys with decades of baseball knowledge. They’re clearly considering factors that aren’t picked up in performance analysis like character, makeup and chemistry.

    On the other hand… The Mets definitely have strong performance analysis people. I know they’re calculating dollar values for a player’s contribution and they’ve also done deep analysis of the interaction between platoon effects and SHEA effects on different types of pitchers (power / finesse). They probably use all this performance analysis as more of a reference than guidebook. If they’re looking at a player they’re unsure about they’ll run the numbers to sway the argument.

    How does this all shake out?

    I think it’s incredibly telling that the value they see in Brian Schneider is an ability to improve the pitching staff. Getting another inning out of a starter has a big impact over a season. The “hole” they’re trying to fill isn’t so much “catcher” as “pitcher handler”. In an inflated market for pitching this might be where they can add the most value to their staff.

    Catcher impact on pitching performance is something performance analysis doesn’t validate. But really… Catcher ERA is a pretty dull instrument for measuring this impact. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Mets had run much deeper analysis on this – or mistakenly believe he helped the Nats pitchers. Who knows.

    And yes. They’re not good at developing talent. Never have been.

  10. Comment posted by pauliec84 on December 21, 2007 at 11:27 am (#583525)

    Sorry to digress here, but I ask those who know more about baseball then I, what are the other, if any, metrics besides Catcher ERA used to gauge a catchers effect on hitting. Is this stat simply Earned Runs Allowed*9 / Innings Caught? That seems like it has a gross amount of noise. What do the boys at BP have cooked up for us in this department?

  11. Comment posted by JamesSC on December 21, 2007 at 11:35 am (#583531)

    Well, I agree with a lot of this piece, but I take issue with a few pieces of it.

    1. I think many on this board underestimate the value of an upgrade to the team this year verses the next few years. This is a team that should value winning in 08/09 over winning in 10/11/12. Not to an extreme amount, but if a move is going to improve our team next year and help make the difference between 93 and 97 wins during the regular season, then that has a higher point of value.

    Yes, the difference between an upgrade and its replacement may be overvalued, but it is partially over-valued because we are a team that is currently stuck between good and great. So the number of changes that will move us leaps and bounds forward are slim so we have to make moves to make incremental upgrades over time.

    2. I also disagree with some of the loyalty to “veterans”. I agree that Willie gives to much value here, but I disagree with this from Omar’s standpoint. Last year you HAVE to go into the season with Jose, he was a big part of the team in 06 and dumping him because he is “likely” to regress to the mean would be a mistake. Especially to hand 2nd base to a complete unknown in Gotay/Anderson. Now Willie stuck with Jose too long (not quite as much as I think most Geeks believe, but in terms of bringing in Jose for 07 that is a no brainer IMO.

    I also disagree with you about Castillo last year, to me that was a must make move because of where we were in our season. Gotay was riding a hot hand yes, but he was significantly overplaying what we expected from him and we did not know if that was going to continue. We needed a 2nd baseman we could count on, especially defensively, so I have no problem with that trade. I do have a problem with the 4 year deal we gave him, I don’t want him for that length of deal, but to me Castillo was a fantastic move for us last year and paid divedends since the trade.

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  13. Comment posted by JK47 on December 21, 2007 at 11:43 am (#583536)

    Excellent article, John. You and I definitely think alike about a lot of things.

    In Minaya’s early years, when the Mets were a bad/mediocre team trying to join the echelon of good teams, Omar made several moves that were upside plays, namely the Benson/Seo/Nady trades. Those trades worked out great and made Omar look like a genius. After the 2006 season, Omar’s mentality changed. The focus switched to acquiring safe players, “proven vet” type guys. The Milledge trade, the Mota/Show signings and the Castillo contract are the perfect examples of this.

    When a team is at the bottom, like the 2004 Mets, the weaknesses are glaring. The 2004 Mets, guided by the ineptitude of Steve Phillips, had the following problems:

    1. The team was built around an aging Mike Piazza, who disastrously attempted to play 1B
    2. Jose Reyes was rushed to the major leagues and forced to switch positions, and was horrible
    3. Kaz Matsui was the shortstop
    4. Right field was manned by Karim Garcia, Shane Spencer and Richard Hidalgo
    5. Jason Phillips completely crashed and burned, with a 62 OPS+
    6. David Wright didn’t arrive until mid-season
    7. The starting pitchers were a bunch of aging soft-tossers
    8. Braden Looper was the closer

    This team had obvious problems, and Omar did a good job of addressing those problems. The Mets are now a contender. But turning a 71-win team into a contender is a different proposition than turning a contender into a champion. It’s hard to see how the 2008 Mets are going to be drastically better than the 2007 version. There’s nobody who’s a good candidate to have a massive breakout season other than perhaps Reyes. Lastings Milledge was one guy with that kind of breakout potential, but he was traded for two guys who are going to give us 1000 at-bats of very pedestrian offense.

    Now that the team is a contender, Omar is making lateral moves. It’s kind of like Steve Phillips all over again. Remember, Phillips took a godawful team and turned it into a contender, taking the Mets to back-to-back playoff appearances for the only time in team history and to their first World Series in 14 years. The team gradually unraveled because Phillips didn’t invest in high-upside guys, instead often bringing in “safe” veterans like Robby Alomar, Mo Vaughn and Todd Zeile. Those guys all didn’t age well, and the team crumbled.

    We’re in the same position now, except the names are Castillo, Delgado and Alou, among others. I know every team has veteran players, and that those guys are always in risk of decline, but some of these guys are being expected to be major pieces of the offense. It’s not too difficult to envision Carlos Delgado sputtering to a Mo Vaughn-esque season or Moises Alou suffering a quick drop-off in productivity or Alou missing 100+ games. I’m jealous of teams like Cleveland, who won 96 games last year and have talented young players all over the diamond. That team will be good for many years to come.

    Good GMs are able to have a strong balance between win now/win later. To me, the model organizations are the Red Sox, Indians and Diamondbacks. Those teams are all strong contenders with tons of good young players in the pipeline. The Mets as a franchise are not at that level and I honestly don’t know if Omar Minaya is the guy to take them there.

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  15. Comment posted by John Peterson on December 21, 2007 at 12:09 pm (#583566)

    Thanks for the comments. Just to answer some questions, here: Peter, your response to Chaucer was accurate. That’s exactly what I meant.

    Re: Gotay, I didn’t mean to imply that he is better than Castillo or that he could have continued his level of production. He is just an example of a general mindset that leads the Mets to prefer more expensive veterans signed to long-term contracts over young players making nothing who might provide the same level of production. That’s the thing about the Mets, it’s like young players never get a chance to prove that they do belong and deserve a starting job. Ruben Gotay will probably leave the Mets before anyone on has any real idea what he’s capable of doing over a whole season. That’s how Lastings Milledge, who easily could have been the team’s regular right fielder for most of the year, left New York: a mystery. Instead we got real familiar with Shawn Green.

    Mr. bmc, I want to know what you know.

    The Mets definitely have strong performance analysis people. I know they’re calculating dollar values for a player’s contribution and they’ve also done deep analysis of the interaction between platoon effects and SHEA effects on different types of pitchers (power / finesse).

    Who are these people? What is their role? How much influence do they have?

    Also, I am quite interested in Brian Schneider. Who wanted him? Was it an organization-wide conclusion? Was it one guy’s man-crush? Do they have some proprietary “pitcher handling” metrics we don’t know about?

    James, I’m willing to grant that trading for Castillo was a good move. Personally, I didn’t like it at the time because it represents a larger Met trend I don’t like. But it’s certainly defensible and it probably made the team better. However, how do you feel about the 4-year contract the Mets just gave him?

    JK47, this is basically what I meant to say:

    Good GMs are able to have a strong balance between win now/win later. To me, the model organizations are the Red Sox, Indians and Diamondbacks. Those teams are all strong contenders with tons of good young players in the pipeline. The Mets as a franchise are not at that level and I honestly don’t know if Omar Minaya is the guy to take them there.

    That’s the point right there.

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  17. Comment posted by JK47 on December 21, 2007 at 12:13 pm (#583568)

    One thing that does make me optimistic is our three high draft picks this year. Letting Glavine is probably Omar’s best move of the offseason, that and dumping Mota’s contract.

  18. Comment posted by CharlieH on December 21, 2007 at 3:04 pm (#583617)

    Bravo, John!

    Too bad nobody in the MSM or anybody on Roosevelt Avenue will pick up on this: it’s brilliant.

  19. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on December 21, 2007 at 7:21 pm (#583723)

    I really like mrbmc´s comments about Schneider: re the mets not so much acquiring a catcher as a guy who will improve the pitchers. I too believe this. LoDuca was notorious for bad pitch selection, and one of the prime reasons why Maine and Perez didn´t go deep in games was the number of walks they allowed. If Schneider can make the guys more effecient in retiring batters, then they will go deeper into games and reduce the need for the pen.

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  21. Comment posted by Chris in GA on December 21, 2007 at 7:42 pm (#583728)

    Too bad nobody in the MSM or anybody on Roosevelt Avenue will pick up on this

    I’m glad no one will pick up on this. I will admit that BT had me agreeing with him through the first 4 paragraphs. He was making a lot of sense. Then, BT got to stregths and weaknesses. Just look at the difference between the amount of energy used in the weaknesses catagory compared to the stregths catagory. I took this from the beginning as an unbiased look at this organization but it became apparent that this was a moneyballer bashing this organization for not being “moneyball” enough.

    Here are things I’d like to point out. I think I agree with all of the stregths on the list. I mean, they are pretty obvious. I also agree with his first weakness although I don’t know what BT was getting at about Gotay. To steal a line from someone else, he was due to regress to the mean. Just look at his career splits in the minors. He was playing so above his head that a Willie Harris like slump was bound to occur. Just think how much of a mess the end of the season would of been then. I also don’t agree with complaining about Marlon Andersen’s contract. The dude has been one of baseball’s best pinch hitters since 2005 yet it is ill advised to pay him money. Not moneyball and/or young enough I guess.

    I love how this wasn’t about the on field management yet Shawn Green playing over milledge was mentioned twice (once in the blog and then in the commens section) just to dig in a point BT keeps making. Man, it’s time to start the healing process to get over it.

    I keep reading people on here who complain that we aren’t aggressive enough with promoting our prospects yet being aggressive is now a weakness. It’s not a weakness for other teams but for ours. I agree that Carlos Gomez shouldn’t of been in the majors. Who did you expect to take over when all our outfielders went down?

    I think we are too aggressive with our position players and not aggressive enough with our pitcher prospects with the exception of Pelfrey.

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  23. Comment posted by WinterWarlockSince71 on December 21, 2007 at 8:28 pm (#583742)

    I’m sorry to say this, but after re-reading this article, I truly believe it might never have been written without Milledge being traded. Since his departure, everyone on the planet is dissecting the entire Mets org ad nauseum. I think we’ve known for a while that we’re not among the top teams in developing players. But suddenly we’re sooooo much worse without Lastings! LM’s trade shook the Mets to their core! Please, gimme a break….

    I love how this wasn’t about the on field management yet Shawn Green playing over milledge was mentioned twice (once in the blog and then in the commens section) just to dig in a point BT keeps making. Man, it’s time to start the healing process to get over it.

    Amen to that Chris! And thanks for pointing that out. I’ve seen some of the replies they get at BT’s blog from people who now say they’re switching their allegiance to the Nats. Good riddance!! They were never truly Met fans in the first place if they’re switching because of the trade of one player – who still may or may not pan out to be anything but league-average. Hey, I wasn’t in love with the trade either, but let it go already and move on people….or go become Nationals’ fans and, um, good luck with all that….

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  25. Comment posted by Chris in GA on December 21, 2007 at 8:54 pm (#583761)

    Well, I don’t know what goes on at that blog. I don’t ever check it out.

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  27. Comment posted by John Peterson on December 21, 2007 at 11:30 pm (#583805)

    Hey, I’m not switching to the Nats! I can’t speak for those people. I’ve always been a Mets fan; that will never change.

    As for the negativity, there’s always more to say in criticism than in praise. The Mets aren’t exactly open and forthcoming, so there are likely a lot of great things going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. The point of this article was to try to assess the Mets from what we do know.

    If Milledge had not been traded, this article would still have been written. The problems I outlined were apparent before the trade. The only thing the Milledge deal did for was point out a strength for the Mets I’ve often wondered about, and I still wonder: what do they know about Brian Schneider that we don’t? I think there’s something there.

    Both Shawn Green and Lastings Milledge are gone. That’s over. But is the Mets’ preference for the known, mediocre commodity over the unknown, potentially superior commodity still there? Yes.

    I know Gotay is no super hitter or awesome gloveman. The point is that Castillo costs more and is overrated in the talents he does have: contact hitting, speed and defense. Those things have a value, but I think in the four years of his contract the Mets could get similar value from cheaper, lesser known players.

    During 2007 at BT, I paid more attention to Shawn Green and Paul Lo Duca than the Mets’ second basemen. I probably gave too much credit to Gotay simply because I wanted to fit him into that paradigm. I admit that.

    This is now. The Mets are still the best team in the National League East. How do they stay there?

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  29. Comment posted by Chris in GA on December 21, 2007 at 11:33 pm (#583806)

    Fair enough

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  31. Comment posted by WinterWarlockSince71 on December 22, 2007 at 12:04 am (#583809)

    Hey, I’m not switching to the Nats! I can’t speak for those people. I’ve always been a Mets fan; that will never change.

    Sorry, John. It wasn’t directed at you personally!

    I know Gotay is no super hitter or awesome gloveman. The point is that Castillo costs more and is overrated in the talents he does have: contact hitting, speed and defense. Those things have a value, but I think in the four years of his contract the Mets could get similar value from cheaper, lesser known players.

    Interestingly, 3 years ago most Met fans were pining for the great Anderson Hernandez to take the reigns after the departure of Matsui. We all know now how overrated AHern really is. Could we be looking at Gotay the same way we once viewed AHern? Obviously, the Mets do NOT see him as an everyday player. Why? Only Minaya knows that. Sure, I like Gotay a LOT, but for now, I think I’ll defer to Minaya on choosing Castillo as the everyday second baseman.

  32. Comment posted by MightyJoeOrsulak on December 22, 2007 at 5:49 pm (#583894)

    I’m not becoming a Nats fan; but next time the Nats pay the Mets I want Milz to hit 4 homers.

    As for Castillo, one of the criteria I use when evaluating deals is “How easy is it to move the player?” If the player is easy to move, it’s a very good deal. If he’s hard to move, it’s a bad one. (This generally works only with high-profile players, as average players with average contracts can come and go rather easily as filler.)

    Now, DWright and Reyes are so easy to move that the Mets would have to be stupid not to keep them. Those are some of the greatest bargains the Mets have ever made.

    Beltran would be harder to move, but not very hard. Same with Wagner. (I’m abstracting no-trade clauses from this.)

    Who in their right mind would take Castillo in a trade with his bad knees and his 6M/yr four year contract? This was a horrible signing.
    Sure Gotay was likely to regress, but even if he did, that’s not a worst-case scenario. If he regresses, we have a league-average or slightly worse second-baseman cheap for one year. The problem can be fixed in ’09. Also there is a potential upside. The best-case scenario involves Gotay coming to his own, not Castillo getting 8 years younger.

    Worst case scenario is what is likely to happen. A declining, injury-plagued Castillo whom we are stuck with for 4 years at a $24M price tag. Furthermore, there is no upside with Castillo. 2007 is the best possible scenario.

    Am I being clear yet to those who still do not realize how horrendous the Castillo signing is?

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  34. Comment posted by Chris in GA on December 22, 2007 at 6:23 pm (#583900)

    Did anyone condone this deal? No one here has condoned this signing from my understanding. Am I making myself clear. The best case scenario was to find a better second baseman than Castillo and the great one they call Gotay.

    I’m not becoming a Nats fan; but next time the Nats pay the Mets I want Milz to hit 4 homers.

    So essentially, your rooting against the mets while maintaining your not a Nats fan. I guess that means your not a metfan. Get down wit yo bad self

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  36. Comment posted by Chris in GA rages war against narrowminded Individuals on December 22, 2007 at 6:39 pm (#583906)

    I am now pro-Castillo

  37. Comment posted by MightyJoeOrsulak on December 23, 2007 at 2:47 am (#583985)

    If the Mets are playing the Nats in a crucial series with a playoff berth at stake, sure, I’ll root for the Mets.

    But boy do I ever want Milz to stick it to Wilpon for that deal!

    Give me a Met win with Milz going 4-4 with 2 hrs any day. I guess this makes me a Met fan and a Milledge fan; I don’t feel particularly apologetic about this; nor do I feel the need to defend myself any more.

    Good day.

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  39. Comment posted by WinterWarlockSince71 on December 23, 2007 at 9:18 am (#583990)

    But boy do I ever want Milz to stick it to Wilpon for that deal!

    LMAO…as though the Wilpons would even give a damn!
    Some pseudo-Met fans just make me laugh my arse off.

  40. Comment posted by redstripe n chronic on December 24, 2007 at 5:59 am (#584168)

    Sometimes being a team’s fan means looking past the laundry and rooting for the players. I was at the game in 06 when Piazza came back and hit two hrs. off of Pedro and I was cheering for Piazza. That third time, though, I was rooting against him b/c it could have meant the Mets losing the game. But if Piazza had hit that 3rd homerun I still would have been happy, because it was just a mid-season game and I like Piazza.

    I like Milledge too, even though he does not have the same stature as Piazza in any Mets fan’s eyes. IMO, he was treated pretty shoddily by the organization and the media in NY, and I hope he plays well in general and against the Mets. This does not make me less of a Met fan.

    And Moneyball is not an adjective that can be applied to players. It is the title of a book about finding underappreciated players and skills in order to compete with wealthier organizations through intelligent management. There are no “moneyball players.”

    The Mets’ aversion to or inability in developing young players is very disappointing to this fan, and I gotta agree with a lot of John’s points.

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  42. Comment posted by Chris in GA on December 24, 2007 at 12:31 pm (#584209)

    And Moneyball is not an adjective that can be applied to players. It is the title of a book about finding underappreciated players and skills in order to compete with wealthier organizations through intelligent management. There are no “moneyball players.”

    MY golly miss molly. It was a freaking joke.

    It’s like making a blog about front office moves and bringing back the dissatisfaction of something Willie Randolph did that you have mentioned in almost every post you ever made before someone made ya a blogger here. It’s a joke right

  43. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on December 25, 2007 at 3:49 am (#584247)

    The problem with Castillo was not necessarily signing him. It was signing him for more than one year plus an option year.

    NO ONE was clamoring for a speed and defense guy whose speed and defense is declining due to injury and whose AVG is functionally equal to his OPS.

    No one other than the Mets was going to offer him more than 10 for 2 and the Mets gave him 24 for 4. Gotay may or may not pan out but rolling the dice on that made more sense than vastly overpaying Castillo.

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