Depressed Mets Fan

Building character since 1962

Posts Tagged ‘John Schuerholz’

On Smoltz, Chipper has a point

Posted by jmkraft on January 9, 2009

It kills me to agree with anything that Chipper Jones says. Some call him the consummate professional. I call him a lot of other names. But Chipper has a very good point in his disapproval of the Braves’ failure to resign John Smoltz

Here’s what Chipper told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman yesterday:

“Of all the gambles that we’ve taken that didn’t pan out over the years, this is one gamble that you want to take,” Jones said. “For a couple of million dollars, I’m sorry, I just don’t understand this.”

Jones is absolutely right here. It’s not like the Red Sox signed Smoltz to a multi-year deal. At Smoltz’s age, it’s very likely that he’ll play a season with the Sox, try and win a ring, and retire. I’m sure that Smoltz, who really is the consummate professional, would have just as happily signed a one-year deal with the Braves to end his career in Atlanta, even though that would have meant pitching for a struggling club. 

I recently read John Schuerholz‘s book, Built to Win, and was impressed by the Braves’ President’s refusal to deviate from the accepted business practices of the Atlanta Braves. He has his way, and he’ll stick to it. But there are times when principle should be put aside. And this is one of them. Schuerholz and Frank Wren made the wrong decision to cut ties with Smoltz. This is a pretty telling quote about the situation:

For more than two months, Smoltz has privately said that he felt the Braves would take him for granted with the assumption that he would eventually take their offer and spend his entire Major League career with one team.

How did principle work out there, guys?

Had they resigned him, in the worst-case scenario, Smoltz would have served as a mentor to the Braves’ crop of young pitchers. And he would have gone out the right way. Now, all the Braves are left with is a bunch of angry fans and an angry Chipper, which is never good for business. In two short years, the Braves have gone from contenders, with a great young crop of players and a solid pitching staff, to a joke, with a barebones staff and a weak lineup. As a Mets fan I can’t say that I’m shedding too many tears, but it is a sad story.

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Welcome

Posted by jmkraft on December 9, 2008

For some time now I’ve been trying to come up with a new twist on a Mets blog until it hit me. Why not use the angle that is so natural to me, writing about the Mets from the point of view of a depressed fan who has been disappointed for his entire life? I’ve been writing about the Mets for a while, first on NLBeast.com (let it rest in peace) and then on my personal blog. I quickily discovered that no one really wanted to read that, so I decided this might be a better idea. Being the cynic I am (thanks a lot, Mets), I’m fairly sure the same will be true here. 

So yeah, I’ve been a Mets fan my whole life, and I’m none the better for it. The Mets last won the World Series the year I was born, and I’m pretty sure that will be last time they win in my lifetime. And I don’t plan on leaving the Earth for some time, thank you very much. I’m pretty convinced that the Mets have, in fact, ruined my life, conspiring with the Jets and Knicks to make me the sarcastic, depressed person who I am today.

But in all seriousness, I do love the Mets, and I love to write about them. More than loving the Mets, I love the sport of baseball, and I’ll write about more than just the Amazin’s when I’m so inspired. I’ll also slip in some other sports, perhaps, because there’s only so much I can write about Francisco Rodriguez in the offseason. 

In terms of how I approach the sport, I consider myself a pretty balanced fan. I’m a fan of sabermetrics and loved Moneyball like everyone else, but I do believe that scouting is still an important aspect of the game. I think John Schuerholz put it well in his autobiography when he said that no team would ever sign a player, no matter how good on paper, without watching him play the game. But at the same time, numbers don’t lie. 

I generally respect Omar Minaya and the team he’s put together, but I do think it has a number of significant faults. The Luis Castillo signing was a significant mistake, for one. Not concentrating enough on the bullpen was another. But I think Omar is a good judge of talent, and I have faith that he’ll put together a competative, if not dominating team this year. And the deal he pulled off for Johan Santana was incredible. If I had to pick a GM who I most admire, though, it would have to be Andrew Friedman of Tampa Bay, who did so much with so little. I’m a pretty big Theo Epstein fan, too.

I hate the Philadelphia Phillies with every bone in my body, but I respect the job the organization did in putting together a World Championship team. I even count Chase Utley as one of my favorite players for his old-school approach to the game of baseball. Don’t worry, one of my other favorites is David Wright (I know its cliche, but seriously, he’s already one of the best Mets ever and I don’t buy the argument that he’s not clutch, he presses at the plate because he gets no support so much of the time).

Let’s move on to the medium of blogging. Blogging is the future (and part of the present) of media, and like it or not, blogs will eventually have to become part of the mainstream sports media. I believe that bloggers should be given more access, and I also believe that bloggers should hold themselves to the same standards as print journalists. It’s a two way street. 

In terms of a day job, well, the current economic crisis has me sitting on the sideline for now, but in short, I have two career interests, sports and politics. Separate, they are each great. Together, not so much. 

My hope is that this blog somehow contributes to the great collection of Mets blogs out there already. Seriously, the Mets are lucky to have so many quality blogs writing about them. But there is always room for more opinion, and Mets fans have never been accused of being quiet (see: response at Shea Stadium to Rocker, John). But hey, that’s why I love this team that ruins my life.

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