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First the Minutiae, Then The Venting

Here's the difference between a really good team and a really mediocre one.

Carlos Delgado has made eight errors this season.
Tampa Bay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd basemen have combined to make six errors this season.

Did you see the walk-off brilliance that was the end of the Rays-Cubs game on Tuesday night? Down a run, with a runner on third and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs tried a squeeze play to try to tie the game. Rays third baseman Evan Longoria made a great play to barehand the ball, then fired off-balance to first, on a bounce.

The Rays first baseman, Willy Aybar, playing his 10th career game at the position, made an incredibly difficult play to handle the throw, twisting to grab it a split-second before the baserunner crashed into him, all while holding his foot to the base. Game over.

The Rays are 41-29.

Had that been the Mets, the throw would have bounced off Delgado's stomach and caromed into the outfield. Tie game. Then, Billy Wagner would have walked a lefthanded batter. Then, he would have given up a hit on an 0-2 pitch.

Is that Willie Randolph's fault?

Omar Minaya, at his press conference Tuesday, spoke as if someone (Jeff Wilpon) was standing behind him, ready to apply a chokehold. It was embarassing, disgraceful, ridiculous, and all that other stuff that's already been said.

Are you familiar with the stability that is the Pittsburgh Steelers organization? Do you know how often they changes coaches?

You know what the Steelers do when the team doesn't perform up to expectations?

They let the people in charge fix things. And if they don't get it right, they come up with another plan. And things get fixed.

You can't do that in New York, so they say, but why not?

I liked the combination of Omar Minaya and Willie Randolph. They took what was broken in 2004, had it partly fixed by 2005 and fully turned around by 2006. Last season wasn't bad until the very end, but that was a fluke, previously unheard of in major league history.

Next year's Mets are going to be significantly different from the 2009 Mets. Off the payroll come Msrs Delgado, Alou, Martinez, and Hernandez. That's four players whose value, when added together is SIGNIFICANTLY less than zero.

Delgado is the worst first baseman in the league.
Alou is ALWAYS hurt, forcing you to thus play a backup on a regular basis.
Hernandez is ALWAYS hurt and he's soaking up salary
Martinez...who knows what you're gonna get? It's not high-risk, high-reward. It's high-risk, who the f- knows if you're gonna get 15 starts?

Also scheduled to be a free agent is Oliver Perez, whose maddening inconsistency is not a good fit for this organization.

So between those five players, you're getting rid of a lot of useless space and a lot of salary. That money can be applied to multiple big/medium-ticket free agent signings or trades.

Who do you want making the decisions as to what to get?

The GM/manager combo that took the team from the doldrums to the penthouse in two seasons, or a completely different combination, running the risk that you're bringing in a group with the collective abilities of Jim Duquette and Art Howe.

Baseball is a game of patience. The games are long. The season is long. Sometimes the game comes down to how the bounces of the sport are handled, and that's what separates a 41-29 team from a 34-36 one. Not the manager.


czaradio said…
well said, my friend.

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