Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 18, 2005
BASEBALL: Time To Listen

As I have stressed repeatedly (see here and here), today's off day is decision day for Mets management. Given the need to gain ground on the NL East, I argued that the Mets needed to go at least 11-6 against the NL East in their now-concluded stretch of playing 17 of 23 against their own division, and at least 3-3 in the other six games. As it turned out, they went 10-7 against the East and 4-2 in the other six, for the same 13-10 14-9 record, but with less impact on the rest of the division. But they are still in last place, 7 games back of Washington and - far more important - 5.5 games behind the Braves. Maybe someone will pull Bobby Cox's Braves down from behind some day, but it hasn't happened yet.

The Mets now won't see their own division again until August 30. It's possible that they could hang around, maybe gain a little ground in the interim, and then get blazing hot in September. That possibility is fairly distant, and they shouldn't fool themselves into surrendering anything of real future value to chase it.

Then again, the value of staying in the race is nothing to sneer at. Even if the Mets win 83 games, they can say they've posted their first winning record in four years and their best record since winning the pennant in 2000, and that would be something positive to build on for next year.

More to the point, the team isn't bursting with guys with a high ratio of present trade value to future value. Piazza's the top "old guy who's contract's up," but (1) the dropoff in 2005 to Ramon Castro is severe, and (2) Piazza's hitting has been mediocre enough that he wouldn't draw a lot of value. Floyd and Cameron would, but they're also signed for one more year apiece (I believe) at reasonable enough prices. Looper is at a low ebb right now, and might be more useful in the future.

As a result, perhaps the best posture for the Mets entering the deadline is to listen to offers - I wouldn't hesitate to deal any of those three guys - but not feel the need to trade them. In other words, rather than letting the desire to win now panic you, use it to convince people they need to make it worth your while to drop out of the race.

That said, there are guys they should dump. Glavine still has his moments, but the Mets should not want to pick up his option for next year. If a contender is willing to part with anything at all, they should move him. Ishii should be given his walking papers if no one will take him, and Graves should be sent back to AAA. Matsui would be addition by subtraction at this point, although no one would be interested in him for the 2005 stretch run.

Fans always like to be buying or selling at the deadline, and for the right price the Mets could sell. But if the right price doesn't come, they should know when to hold em.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:19 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

The state of the Mets is particularly disheartening given that they actually have a winning record against every other team in the NL East (except the Braves, of course).

Posted by: kevin at July 18, 2005 10:42 AM

With the investment to Petey Martinez, the Mets have somewhat committed themselves to winning now - I understand that he's in town for 4 years, but as a Red Sox fan I really hope they're not planning on having a dominant Pedro in the fold in 2008.

We all expect the Nats to, if not fold, at least start losing some of those 1-run games, and I agree with the assessment that the Braves are the team to beat. But even if you concede the division (which all Mets fans should do right now) they are still well within the running for the wildcard. I too wouldn't give up anything of future value to pursue it, but getting a real closer might be worth their while (and someone like Jorge Julio, Danys Baez or Shingo Takatsu might be had cheap).

Posted by: Liam at July 19, 2005 9:29 AM

Time out Ump, The IOC Sucks.

I love Baseball, so here’s a bit of a challenge for any Blogger. We love to connect the dots right??? You know trends, predictions, polls stuff like that. Baseball is evil because guys with big forearms hit home runs according to the finger pointers of goodness.

I have yet to hear of a Terrorist who plays baseball, but oh Moan-a-me my French-licking apologists. How many Bombers/Terrorist/Highjackers or whatever the politically incorrect term is today, love soccer. Yes you heard me, soccer, and the social experiment gone wrong. Now I know this will create a disturbance in the soccer-mom force of battle star America. If the data was collected, and an association made between humans playing soccer and their tendency to kill innocent civilians, just maybe we will quit apologizing for our home run hitters and focus on the real root problem.

Sending our children to soccer camp is like telling them to relate to the Euro-trash President of the Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge. In order to understand what this man considers a valid sport, all you need to know is in his sports career, he competed in the yachting competitions at the Games of the Olympiad in Mexico in 1968, Munich in 1972 and Montreal in 1976.

This creep spit on my country, and my game. Screw them all.

Blog the soccer loving terrorist connection please.

Posted by: John Smith at July 19, 2005 12:13 PM

The Mets should be sellers, therefore they will be buyers. Wilpon is dumb, very dumb. :-(

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at July 19, 2005 6:05 PM

As a huge Jeter fan who know Derek Jeter's Bio by heart it is frustrating that the yankees and gary sheffiled have said that AROD is their guy. This shows the type of team and type of chemistry they have... you know a fantasy baseball team. I think the Mets and Wilpon should re-energize the sheffield talks... or at least shake things up and say he'd like to make a trade to the yanks for jeter so arod can play short.

Posted by: Derek Jeter a Met? at July 20, 2005 1:33 PM
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