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May 23, 2008
  
Blame Minaya Too

Willie Randolph is under a lot of pressure right now, and rightly so, but the Mets’ general manager deserves as much—if not more—of the blame for the team’s current struggles. The Mets have been a little unlucky, but “luck is the residue of design,” and Omar Minaya hasn’t designed this team very well.

Consider the offense: Moises Alou is still a good hitter even in his forties, but it’s no secret to anyone that he misses lots of time to injury. But his backup options for Alou this year consists of Marlon Anderson, Endy Chavez, Angel Pagan and Brady Clark. Endy is the only one of the group who excels defensively, but his career 74 OPS+ is abysmal and not good enough to play for any length of time in the outfield. So the other guys are good hitters who make up for their poor gloves with the bat, right? No.

Marlon Anderson is a 34-year old career second baseman with a career 85+ OPS. He doesn’t run fast, get on base or hit for much power. He’s not a good fielder and can only be considered an outfielder insofar as the Mets play him there. His value to the club is supposed to be as a pinch-hitter, and while he has better numbers in that spot than he does normally, it’s still pretty unimpressive. Marlon’s a replacement player at best, but Omar saw fit to give him a two-year, $2.2 million contract. He’s come up big for the Mets before and is a nice story, but the fact is there are a lot of unheralded minor leaguers who could do his job better.

Same story with 38-year old Damion Easley: Omar gave him a million dollars to sit on the Mets bench, where he has been predictably horrible. He’s not a good fielder, and at this point is basically a right-handed pinch-hitter. Easley’s the backup for Luis Castillo, a contract disaster of a whole different sort. As I saw it, acquiring Castillo for the stretch-run last year was marginal, but signing him to a four-year, $24 million contract was inexcusable. Clearly, Omar fell in love with the player Luis was five years ago. Today, Castillo is a creaky-kneed slap hitter with no speed whose only hope from the left side of the plate is to draw a walk. The Mets call him a “quintessential #2 hitter.” I call him an over-the-hill veteran whose once great defense is now nearly average and whose already overrated offensive skills are diminishing by the day.

Perhaps worse is the Carlos Delgado situation. The Mets acquired Delgado as a 34-year old slugger who had just come off a 161 OPS+ season with the Marlins. Today people wonder how anyone could have predicted his rapid decline, but the reality is that with three years left on his contract the Mets had to know it was coming. This is what happens with large, slow, slugging first basemen. After his horrible 2007, it was clear the decline was here, but Minaya failed to acquire any insurance for Delgado. Marlon Anderson appears to be his backup. In spring training it was apparent the Mets needed a right-handed slugger who could play first base and the outfield corners, but nothing happened. A suitable player is at Triple-A now in Valentino Pascucci, but the Mets figure their stable of elderly second basemen is crucial, and could not possibly give one of them up.

Ironically, Minaya’s most reviled move, the trade of Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider, has been the most successful. Milledge is being shown as the neophyte he is, while Church and Schneider have both hit well. But Church probably isn’t this good, and Schneider isn’t really a .300 hitter either (not even close). Laughably, I think Minaya made the deal because he really wanted Schneider for his great defensive value, but Schneider has been very poor defensively.

In the bullpen, Minaya gave an ill-advised long-term deal to Scott Schoeneweis, who despite his early-season success is not a very good pitcher. He sports a nice-looking 1.72 ERA right now, but there’s little hope that Minaya will trade him. Jorge Sosa, with whom Minaya settled for $2 million, should have been non-tendered. Willie Randolph made Sosa the most-utilized pitcher on the Mets staff even in the face of repeated failure, and the Mets finally cut him, but the damage was done.

Minaya is to be credited with the acquisitions that landed Oliver Perez and John Maine, the Mets young and potent starters, but blamed for relying on elderly and injury-prone Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez. Even the acquisition of Johan Santana is starting to look bad. Sure, if the Mets were on the brink of playoff contention, acquiring a great pitcher like Santana was a good idea. But if they were an old team a couple injuries from mediocrity, it made no sense to trade four good young players just for the right to sign a free agent, no matter how good. What’s worse, now some are suggesting that Santana’s fastball has lost some speed. In his last 25 starts (not including Thursday’s game) he has given up home runs at a rate of 1.53 per nine innings, hardly the work of an ace and well above his career rate.

But Santana is not the problem. The problem is that the Mets are an old, injury-prone team with no depth. That’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s not Willie Randolph’s fault. I suspect that if the Mets had a better, deeper bench and plenty of replacement options in Triple-A, Willie Randolph would find a way to misuse and misplay them anyway. He isn’t very good at evaluating talent. Then again, neither is Omar Minaya.


42 Responses to “Blame Minaya Too”

  1. Comment posted by littlefallsmets on May 23, 2008 at 3:05 am (#703505)

    For all the truth you’ve laid down?

    The players that the Mets DO have are out there… falling asleep in the field. Falling asleep at the plate. Falling asleep on the bases.

    This team should be better than .500 in the weak NL East off Reyes/Wright/Beltran and Santana/Maine/Perez alone.

    The damage that having Castillo and Delgado on your team in 2008 wreaks cannot be fixed any time soon… but someone ANYONE has to try and figure out how to motivate ANYONE on this team other than Church and Schneider who are playing WAY over their heads on the motivation that they’re not on the Expos anymore.

    In the short term, firing Minaya fixes nothing.

    But firing Willie might.

    And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, in the words of Nelson Muntz, “gotta nuke something.”

    At this point? You do.

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  3. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on May 23, 2008 at 6:48 am (#703511)

    The problem is that the Mets are an old, injury-prone team with no depth.

    I completely disagree with this statement and (on offense), I’m tired of the “age” excuse.

    As LFM points out:

    This team should be better than .500 in the weak NL East off Reyes/Wright/Beltran and Santana/Maine/Perez alone.

    Absolutely true! Beltran, Wright, Reyes, Heilman, Perez, Pelfrey, Feliciano are NOT old. These are YOUNG core guys who have not done the job. And imho, that lays at the feet of an uninspiring field manager, and not the general manager. The talent is certainly there, but the team is vastly underperforming.

    Yes, Minaya has made some iffy moves (chiefly, Castillo) but let’s not give a pass to the players so easily.

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  5. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on May 23, 2008 at 6:50 am (#703512)

    (on offense)

    oops, I meant to type “no offense”, although “on offense” seems appropriate as well :)

  6. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on May 23, 2008 at 8:10 am (#703523)

    Yes, Omar didn´t plan for ML backups well enough, nor fallback options at AAA. I don´t understand the latest move of bringing up Casanova instead of Pascucci or Aguila– why bring up a guy who, at most, will improve the pinch hitting, instead of seeing how an OF or 1Bman would do if given the chance?
    I do have a bone to pick: Yes, Scho sucked last year. But he is doing OK this year, which is par for the course for middle relievers. So I disagree with

    Scott Schoeneweis, who despite his early-season success is not a very good pitcher. He sports a nice-looking 1.72 ERA right now,

    A 1.72 ERA is a 1.72 ERA, and he´s doing OK right now. Whether he can keep it up or not is anyone´s guess.

  7. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on May 23, 2008 at 8:13 am (#703525)

    And I also agree with lfm that the players who are here are playing with their heads up their asses. That can be changed by a change in the manager, but not by a change in the GM.
    And benching players for a game or two who make boneheaded moves or don´t perform would be a good move, if we had any backups who could play.

  8. Comment posted by mookie03 on May 23, 2008 at 8:16 am (#703526)

    john, I agree with you in part, in that I think Omar’s composition of a poor excuse for a bench is killing this team. Yes, the offense has struggled, but the strength of 2005 and 2006 was the bench. Last year, lots of fluke injuries exposed the weaknesses of some of the role players and this year, Omar treated 2007 as an aberration and expected bounce back years from all. So did I, but the GM is not allowed to exhibit such blind optimism…

    Easley, Chavez, Anderson – I’m not sure if any of them will wake up, but the fact is, relying on catching lightening in a bottle again with these guys was a mistake mostly because of the lack of insurance in the minors.

    In reality, everyone shares the blame: Omar and Willie get part of it, but a big fat portion goes to the team itself – and to the baseball gods of course ;)

    The core is not old, but the team needs some youthful role players to jumpstart the team… the movement around MLB is for youth, and Omar needs to join in.

  9. Comment posted by MetsPolice.com on May 23, 2008 at 8:46 am (#703536)

    Agree completely. Omar has been an overrated GM since day one. He was praised for the Santana trade bit that was seemingly such a no-brainer, especially after Boston and the Yankees dropped out. Anytime he’s had to think about a move it hasn’t worked. The next manager (Lee Mazzilli) will still have his work cut out for him.

  10. Comment posted by Ed in Westchester 2.0 on May 23, 2008 at 8:56 am (#703540)

    If Mazzilli is hired as next manager, they are fucked.

    Mazz sucked in Baltimore. Why would he be any better here?

    Oh, he’s an old Met? Nostalgia means shit when it comes to managing.

  11. Comment posted by Hubie on May 23, 2008 at 8:57 am (#703541)

    Agree that Omar did not do a good job with the the bench but finding good bench players is a crap shoot. Its usually hit or miss with these guys. We did not need both Marlon and Easley, and given Marlon a two-year deal was a reach. I have never been a huge Chavez fan as I just don’t think he is a good hitter. In defense of Omar though, I don’t think any of us would have predicted all 3 of these players would hit below .200. All marlon has done in the past as a Met has deliver pinch hit after pinch hit, many of them clutch. I doubt this Pascucci guy is the answer given he k’s once every three plate appearances. That ratio would probably get even worse at the big league level facing top relievers every week.

  12. Comment posted by madisonmetsfan on May 23, 2008 at 9:32 am (#703570)

    If Mazzilli is hired as next manager, they are ####ed.

    Maybe so, but a change of temperament is in order for the next manager. After Willie and Art Howe (the only guy who could make Willie look like Earl Weaver by comparison), the Mets need someone who’s willing to shake up the clubhouse and change the dynamic on this team. Not that there’s anything dynamic about them right now–and that’s the problem.

    Is Maz the answer? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t disqualify him solely on the basis of his work in Baltimore because of the Angelos factor. As long as they don’t go overboard and hire Larry Bowa, because he’ll smash enough urinals to double American Standard’s profits.

  13. Comment posted by Danny on May 23, 2008 at 9:34 am (#703573)

    Mazzilli had problems with the second guessing from the Baltimore media and didn’t get along with them at all.

    BALTIMORE media.

    Yeah, we need him.

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  15. Comment posted by JK47 on May 23, 2008 at 9:49 am (#703602)

    As usual, I completely agree with John– Omar Minaya is a very mediocre GM, and as a result we have a very mediocre team. He really gets a free pass while Willie takes all the heat.

    There are four good hitters in the lineup– Reyes, Wright, Beltran and Church. Church has been terrific so far, but he’s putting up numbers that are significantly above his career norms, so he’ll probably come back down to earth a little. We have bad hitters at C, 1B, 2B and LF.

    Re-signing Moises Alou… I’m okay with that, I guess, but Moises should have been treated like a fourth or even fifth outfielder considering he is rarely healthy. He should not have been counted on as a starter, and predictably he’s been hurt almost the entire season. He’s now on the DL for an injury he contracted by merely standing in LF. It would be funny if the backup options weren’t so painful. This is the line our LFs have put up: .256/.316/.308 with 0 HR, 18 RBI. That is pathetic.

    The bench is made up entirely of old, creaky stiffs who don’t hit, run or field well (other than Endy, who still has the nice glove) and who will kill you if they have to step into the starting lineup. The numbers are damning:

    Damion Easley .206/.247/.279
    Endy Chavez .167/.224/.204
    Marlon Anderson .173/.204/.269
    Ramon Castro .125/.222/.250 (only 8 ABs)

    Omar caught lightning in a bottle with some “age discount” guys like El Duque, Alou and Valentin in past seasons and kept going back to that same well until the law of averages bit him in the ass. Now we’ve got a roster full of broken down, injury-prone or unproductive oldsters: Pedro, Duque, Delgado, Castillo, Easley, Anderson, Alou, Tatis…

    Willie blows but you could raise Joe McCarthy from the dead and he wouldn’t be able to win with Endy Chavez and Marlon Anderson as his corner outfielders. The Mets are 13th in the league in slugging percentage. We don’t have the horses, plain and simple, and that’s on Omar.

  16. Comment posted by Turning Point #4 on May 23, 2008 at 9:58 am (#703623)

    You know, it kills me to hear people here crying about a lack of depth and youth in this system when everyone was clamoring to make the Santana trade that depleted our system even more than it already was.

  17. Comment posted by Hubie on May 23, 2008 at 10:07 am (#703637)

    You can’t complain about Delgado. Most Met fans supported the trade and no one was complaining when he almost carried us to the WS in 2006. Unfortunately, he regressed very quickly, quicker than anyone could have imagined. Its unfortunate because his lack of production is what is really hurting the offense right now.

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  19. Comment posted by jpwf13 on May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am (#703641)

    Maybe so, but a change of temperament is in order for the next manager.

    Maz wouldn’t be a change in temperment, I remember watching him his last year in Baltimore, he sat sulking by himself on the bench with the exact same expression on his face that Randolph has had for the past year.

    They’ll never ever do it, but I want to see them hire Backman.

  20. Comment posted by rye jones on May 23, 2008 at 10:10 am (#703643)

    Mazz = DO NOT WANT

    If the players are a little miffed at the ridiculous amount of coverage from SNY (which as a fan, I find encroaching and over the top), how do you think they would feel about having an SNY commentator supplanting their current manager? The ex Met stuff really only matters to fans, as I don’t think the majority of players are doing this for the love of the game anymore and the roster isn’t exactly overloaded with guys who grew up rooting for the Mets.

    And yeah about Mazz and the Baltimore media. This would be a disaster.

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  22. Comment posted by JK47 on May 23, 2008 at 10:14 am (#703661)

    After his horrible 2007, it was clear the decline was here, but Minaya failed to acquire any insurance for Delgado. Marlon Anderson appears to be his backup.

    This is the problem with Omar– instead of solving problems, he just crosses his fingers and hopes the aging process will somehow reverse itself and that guys will be better and/or healthier at age 36 than they were at 37. He’s a remarkably uncreative GM.

  23. Comment posted by riveraro on May 23, 2008 at 11:08 am (#703786)

    I loved the team in 2006. Thought we’d be better in 2007 and thought we’d be tops in the NL this year. I don’t blame Willie or Omar as this team is talented enough to win right now. They aren’t performing and that falls squarely on the shoulders of the players. Delgado has been horrid, Castillo is a waste of space, Alou is the best hitter i’ve ever seen but he can’t stay healthy, Reyes is falling short of his potential and the list goes on & on & on. On paper this team should, without a doubt, be the best in the NL east but they are weak minded and its showing in there play.

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  25. Comment posted by Simons on May 23, 2008 at 11:11 am (#703799)

    Megadittoes for John and comment #12.

    but Moises should have been treated like a fourth or even fifth outfielder considering he is rarely healthy

    This goes double for the Pedro and Duque show. They’re great when they’re around, but that’s not too often. You really need to view them as your sixth and seventh starter when you’re putting together the roster, or else you’ll be watching guys like Brian Lawrence and Nelson Figueroa every five days. Then again, maybe you’re into that sort of thing.

  26. Comment posted by Danny on May 23, 2008 at 11:16 am (#703807)

    Then again, maybe you’re into that sort of thing.

    I’m into that. But I’m also a cutter.

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  28. Comment posted by Simons on May 23, 2008 at 11:39 am (#703859)

    Well, you’re a Met fan, so you’re bound to have a masochistic streak in there somewhere.

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  30. Comment posted by John Peterson on May 23, 2008 at 11:44 am (#703876)

    You know, it kills me to hear people here crying about a lack of depth and youth in this system when everyone was clamoring to make the Santana trade that depleted our system even more than it already was.

    –ahem– I wasn’t clamoring.

  31. Comment posted by NjMF on May 23, 2008 at 12:23 pm (#703948)

    I supported The Santana trade but did not understand the Millo trade, getting rid of Gotay and some of the other things Omar has done.

    I think even with all the age that Willie is just a bad manager. He doesnt know what he is doing.
    With 2 years of a great team Willie managed to get out managed vs St Louis and then get spanked out of playoffs with a HUGE lead in division. That is a disgrace IMO.
    I would have fired Willie last year.

    I also would not have signed The Sho, Alou to another year, Castillo to 4 years etc.
    This year will be a LOOONG one

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  33. Comment posted by MetsFanSince71 on May 23, 2008 at 12:47 pm (#703981)

    Even the acquisition of Johan Santana is starting to look bad.

    How so? Aren’t the Mets like 5-1 or 6-1 in his most recent starts including Atlanta?

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  35. Comment posted by Peter H on May 23, 2008 at 1:12 pm (#704018)

    Re-signing Moises Alou… I’m okay with that, I guess, but Moises should have been treated like a fourth or even fifth outfielder considering he is rarely healthy. He should not have been counted on as a starter, and predictably he’s been hurt almost the entire season. He’s now on the DL for an injury he contracted by merely standing in LF. It would be funny if the backup options weren’t so painful. This is the line our LFs have put up: .256/.316/.308 with 0 HR, 18 RBI. That is pathetic.

    OK, but I don’t think it’s that easy to find a good backup. A good OF (like, say, a Geoff Jenkins) is probably not going to want to sign with the Mets & play behind Alou/ Church/Beltran when he has the chance to start (or at least platoon) with another team. Almost by definition, most bench players are below-average; otherwise, they’d be starting. Sometimes backups do have good years, but like Hubie says, it’s really a crapshoot.

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  37. Comment posted by Peter H on May 23, 2008 at 1:31 pm (#704054)

    Just to add what I said above about backup outfielders, I think the same issues apply to the rotation. It would be nice to have had another proven solid starter behind Santana/Pedro/Maine/Perez/Duque, but it’s probably not realistic. If I’m, say, Kyle Lohse, why should I sign with the Mets and begin the year as a 6th starter when I can sign with the Cardinals instead and be guaranteed a spot in the rotation?

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  39. Comment posted by Chris McCown on May 23, 2008 at 1:39 pm (#704065)

    You know, it kills me to hear people here crying about a lack of depth and youth in this system when everyone was clamoring to make the Santana trade that depleted our system even more than it already was.

    Well, in a way you’re right. In another, more important way, Santana was brought in with a number of players who were generally not thought of as “elite” prospects, and most everyone thought the Mets got the better of the deal.

    The real culprit is poor drafting. How many players have the Mets drafted in this decade that have actually come up and had more than a cup of coffee with the team? Under Phillips’ scouting staff, the department was able to draft about 2 players who have had more than bit role in the majors per year: Wigginton/Tyner in 98, Jacobs/Pagan in 99, nothing in 2000 since Traber tore his arm up, Wright/Heilman/DiNardo in 01, Kazmir/Lindstrom in 02, and Milledge/Bannister in 03.

    Minaya has Humber, Pelfrey, Joe Smith, Mulvey, and maybe Jon Niese and Mike Carp. The best player of that group at this point looks like Joe Smith. When you get 3 years of draft picks and can only haul in a good right-handed specialist, that is some poor drafting. I don’t know if it’s the foolish idea to stay to slot and be good citizens or terrible drafting in general, but the farm system is a mess. Not having Johan would have made it better, but it still wouldn’t have made it a good farm system.

    If you look at a team like the Dodgers who get drafts like Loney/Delwyn Young/Broxton/Martin in 2002 or Billingsley/Kemp/LaRoche in 03, or the Red Sox with Ellsbury/Buchholz/Lowrie in 2005, that is the standard the Mets need to be held to. With the resources the Mets have there is absolutely no excuse to not be drafting better. And that falls squarely on Minaya.

  40. Comment posted by coolpapabell on May 23, 2008 at 2:07 pm (#704102)

    Minaya’s drafts have been sucking big time. I hear that they will be adhearing to the sloting rule again. That better not be true.

    I don’t think we lost much from that Johan trade. I think Gomez could have helped, but then again, his OPS is less than impressive. His speed and his defense might have helped, but at the end of the day OPS brings the chicks back to the Apt (unless your Endy Chavez).Other than Gomez Omar gave up three picthers. For a postion player starved system, three pitchers wouldn’t help us out much. Without Santana our starting rotation would be lead by John Maine and Oliver Perez. Mulvey, Humber and Guerra aren’t doing so hot right now either so, we would be up the creek regardless. Maybe even worse off without a Ace at the front end. Even a less than stellar Johan is better than Maine, and co.

  41. Comment posted by JamesSC on May 23, 2008 at 2:28 pm (#704107)

    I understand the point of this article, but I disagree pretty much across the board. Has Minaya made mistakes? yes. Is this team perfect? Heck no. Is this team a 500 team? It really really should not be.

    I agree that Minaya should certainly get some/a good part of the blame for this season. But the fact is that this comes down MUCH more to the players and the Manager then it does to Minaya. Overall, he has fielded a team that is capable of doing MUCH better than it is doing. That is damning of the players (Reyes/Beltran/Delgado/Santana/Perez), that is damning of the manager and it is also damning of Minaya. But I think Minaya has more often then not done the best with what he had available.

    As for the Millege for Church/Schnieder, how many times does Minaya get “made fun of” because the “reason” he made a trade is not the “reason” why it worked out well for the team. I love how many people presume the reason for a trade without any basis and then try to attack Minaya because it succeeded for different reasons…

  42. Comment posted by JamesSC on May 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm (#704110)

    On the drafting issue. I agree for the most part, I would point out that I think Gomez will be a VERY good player in a few years and is doing some nice things in Minn. I think he will not benefit from the free swinging mentality of Minn, but he has shown very nice potential especially considering his age and position out there in CF.

    As for the Philips list, I don’t know I think you are reaching for a good number of players in that list. Also, in the 3 years Minaya has been drafting we have lost a number of picks because of FA signings (which is something this team definitely needed).

    Still not a steller draft record, but Smith/Pelfrey/Gomez/F-Mart could end up being pretty nice group indeed especially considering our lost high picks from FAs

  43. Comment posted by JamesSC on May 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm (#704116)

    PS. I still want to point out that if Reyes was hitting 290 with a 380 OBP we would be tops in the division and have 5 or 6 more games right now. Reyes/Wright should be the core of this team. Reyes has been terrible and Wright only above average.

    dont even get me started on Beltran

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  45. Comment posted by Peter H on May 23, 2008 at 2:59 pm (#704125)

    Basically, I think the Mets troubles come down to:

    -Investing tons of money in veterans like Pedro, Delgado, Alou, & El Duque. Without these guys, they don’t go 97-65 in 2006 and start off 33-17 in 2007. But now, of course, they’re all either injured and/or declining

    -Depleting what little talent they had in their farm system who could step in when there’s an injury to acquire guys like Delgado & Santana.

    -Guys overacheiving in 2006 (LoDuca, Chavez, Valentin) and the first 2 months of 2007 (El Duque, Sosa, probably Perez), and then falling back down to earth.

    -Jose Reyes either (hopefully) underachieving since the second half of 2007, or (hopefully not) coming back down to earth after playing above his head in 2006 & the first half of 2007.

    If I’m right, then what we’re seeing is (1) our good luck running out and (2) a short-term strategy that’s coming back to haunt us a couple of years too soon. It’s possible that we’re not underachieving, and that it’s not realistic to expect us to be much better than a .500 team.

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  47. Comment posted by John Peterson on May 23, 2008 at 3:57 pm (#704187)

    I love how many people presume the reason for a trade without any basis and then try to attack Minaya because it succeeded for different reasons…

    The trade didn’t “succeed.” It’s 45 days in. The Nationals are almost certainly going to get the better of it.

    dont even get me started on Beltran

    Beltran’s performance is fine.

  48. Comment posted by Turning Point #4 on May 23, 2008 at 4:50 pm (#704205)

    The trade didn’t “succeed.” It’s 45 days in. The Nationals are almost certainly going to get the better of it.

    They are? And when will this happen? When Church is 33 and Milledge is 26/27?

  49. Comment posted by Super T on May 23, 2008 at 5:10 pm (#704210)

    Some of you all are playing some serious “Monday morning QB’s” because, I sure wasn’t hearing any grumbling at the time the Mets gave up Gomez and company for Santana. The only grumbling I was hearing (And I’m big enough to admit I was doing it too) was giving up Milledge, which Omar was apparently a little bit smarter than quite a few of us on as well.

    Yes, I fault Omar for not bringing in a quality backup for Delgado and for giving 4 years to Castillo, but based off the two trades he made alone, he is definitely sharper than quite a few other GM’s and arm chair Met GMs.

    And as some others have already pointed out….Santana/Maine/Perez/Heilman/Beltran/Reyes/Wright is a pretty sweet (young) core to build around, and should be performing better than the Florida Marlins who’re currently in 1st place.

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  51. Comment posted by JK47 on May 23, 2008 at 5:29 pm (#704214)

    Santana/Maine/Perez/Heilman/Beltran/Reyes/Wright is a pretty sweet (young) core to build around, and should be performing better than the Florida Marlins who’re currently in 1st place.

    Those guys are all playing reasonably well, every single one of them except Heilman. The reason we suck is because Omar has acquired too many guys who are not even passable at their positions. We’re losing because of this:

    sOPS+ by position

    Catcher: 85
    First Base: 71
    Second Base: 88
    Left Field: 63

    We also have crap defensive players at 1B and 2B and usually LF. Pagan is a brutal outfielder, and of course so is Moises when he’s physically able to pull on a jersey. My personal opinion is that Schneider is a pretty average defensive catcher, regardless of his reputation. Those four positions are pretty brutal for us.

    We’re also losing because Mike Pelfrey has essentially been our fourth starter and has essentially sucked ass. We’re 6-13 in games started by the back end of the rotation, which isn’t surprising since those guys are all pitching to contact and hoping the mediocre defense bails them out.

    (sOPS+ is OPS+ relative to that particular split– so for instance, our sOPS+ at catcher is our OPS+ relative to other cathers)

  52. Comment posted by Super T on May 23, 2008 at 6:16 pm (#704217)

    Those guys are all playing reasonably well, every single one of them except Heilman.

    I would say nearly all of them (Santana, Maine, Perez, Heilman, Beltran, Wright, and Reyes) are underperforming.

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  54. Comment posted by John Peterson on May 23, 2008 at 9:41 pm (#704358)

    Some of you all are playing some serious “Monday morning QB’s” because, I sure wasn’t hearing any grumbling at the time the Mets gave up Gomez and company for Santana.

    Again, I had many reservations with the deal when it happened.

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  56. Comment posted by PHL on May 25, 2008 at 11:41 am (#705778)

    Even the acquisition of Johan Santana is starting to look bad.

    Um, what? So, you defend your position on the Milledge trade because it’s only been 45 days, and yet you feel comfortable offering an opinion based on Johan’s starts over that same period? He’s a career 3.23 ERA pitcher with a career April/May ERA of 4.01. C’mon, stop with the demagoguery.

    Re: Delgado. Is anyone able to compute the player similarity scores for Delgado at age 33? Obviously, the current list of players available on BR is useful for judging whether Minaya “ought” to have known better. Well, unless you’re an ageist.

  57. Gravatar
  58. Comment posted by PHL on May 25, 2008 at 11:43 am (#705779)

    *is _not_ useful for judging

  59. Gravatar
  60. Comment posted by John Peterson on May 26, 2008 at 1:10 pm (#705905)

    Um, what? So, you defend your position on the Milledge trade because it’s only been 45 days, and yet you feel comfortable offering an opinion based on Johan’s starts over that same period? He’s a career 3.23 ERA pitcher with a career April/May ERA of 4.01. C’mon, stop with the demagoguery.

    No. Did you not read the article? The figure I gave for Santana was since July 1st of last year, his last 20 starts. Not 45 days. Pay attention.

    Re: Delgado. Is anyone able to compute the player similarity scores for Delgado at age 33? Obviously, the current list of players available on BR is useful for judging whether Minaya “ought” to have known better. Well, unless you’re an ageist.

    Yes, it is possible to compare Delgado to similar players at age 33. Are you actually asking this? Why would that be difficult? Yes, Minaya “ought” to have known better. This is not a question of hindsight based on current information. Delgado didn’t become a different type of player. He is a certain type of player, and was that type of player at 33. The careers of similar players through age 33 would lead an analytical man to believe that Delgado was due for sharp decline. What do you mean by “ageist”? Baseball players decline with age. If you want to call making decisions based on age “ageism,” fine, but I call it solid baseball decision-making.

  61. Gravatar
  62. Comment posted by PHL on May 27, 2008 at 10:03 am (#706380)

    No. Did you not read the article? The figure I gave for Santana was since July 1st of last year, his last 20 starts. Not 45 days. Pay attention.

    Duly noted, and sorry if I missed it.

    If you want to call making decisions based on age “ageism,” fine, but I call it solid baseball decision-making.

    Age is a factor, no doubt. Owners and GMs who ignore aging when projecting performance are dumb.

    However, my question still stands, since I don’t have a Retrosheet database: who were the players most similar to Delgado back in 2005?

    I’d like to be more scientific, and use BR’s similarity scores for that year or, assuming that PECOTA was adequately refined at that time, the PECOTA card for Delgado that year; for me, declaring Delgado to be a certain type of player doesn’t make it so. I don’t presume to know the answer to my question, but I will accept whatever it is as an adequate basis for judging the deal.

    And it may not sound like it, but I often agree with many of your conclusions; I have issues with some of the arguments, though.

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