Depressed Mets Fan

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Posts Tagged ‘Red Sox’

It’s time to stop whining about Luis Castillo

Posted by jmkraft on January 12, 2009

Here’s what I don’t understand about the Luis Castillo situation. Everyone is complaining that the Mets can’t sign a better second baseman like Orlando Hudson or trade for Michael Young because Castillo’s egregious contract extension is blocking the way. It would be impossible, they say, to pay two second basemen at once.

My answer: Give me a break.

We’re not talking about the Tampa Bay Rays here. The Mets are one of MLB’s most successful franchises, and the team’s payroll reflects that. Sure, Fred Wilpon has taken a few hits this offseason, but that hasn’t prevented the Mets from paying two managers or two closers at once. Is it fiscally responsible to sign Hudson or trade for Young while still paying Castillo? Absolutely not. But who cares? The Mets are going to sign either Derek Lowe or Oliver Perez for big money. Great. But it can’t stop there. Castillo is a major liability in the starting lineup, but would be a perfectly fine utility player on the bench. 

Look at the Red Sox. They made a similar mistake in Julio Lugo. Rather than complain how they can’t play anyone else at shortstop because of Lugo’s contract, they benched him and called up Jed Lowrie. It may have not been signing an expensive free agent like Hudson, but it was doing what needed to be done to field a competitive lineup. 

That’s what the Mets and Mets fans need to understand. This team needs to be competitive this year. After the past three seasons, the Mets need to make a run in the postseason. So you don’t want to sacrifice the future by trading for Young? Fine, go out and sign Hudson. If you don’t the Nationals will, and you’ll come to regret not pulling the trigger. 

Some will argue that we’re not the Yankees, and don’t need to sign every big name to try and make a run. I hate the Yankees as much as every Mets fan, but one thing is true, and that is that the Yankees field a competitive team more years than not. Their model works. So stop whining about Castillo’s contract and go make a deal.

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Posted in Hot Stove, Mets, Trade Rumors | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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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