Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 14, 2007
BASEBALL: Score Three For Omar

If you aren't a statistically-analytical type of GM - and it seems that Omar Minaya isn't - you have to really get the other stuff right. Score three more examples of Minaya doing just that.

Exhibit A: Damion Easley, now batting .283/.604/.356. If you thought Minaya couldn't repeat last year's coup of a rejuvenated Jose Valentin, you thought wrong. I don't expect this to keep up, and Easley isn't Valentin defensively, but the point is that for the second straight year an aging middle infielder off the scrap heap (with a history of showing some power and speed but poor recent results) is contributing a surprising amount to the offense, and in both cases there was really no statistical indicator that the guy had much left.

Exhibit B: Oliver Perez. Like a lot of statheads I thought Perez was a worthwhile gamble given his stuff and youth, but give Omar credit for having the creativity to land him in what was otherwise a desperation deal at the deadline to shore up the bullpen at the expense of the team's starting rightfielder. Guys with Xavier Nady's upside are an eminently replaceable commodity. Lefthanded pitchers with Perez' are not.

Exhibit C: Billy Wagner. Yes, Wagner has had his bumps in the road as Mets closer, notably being near the top of the list of responsible parties for the NLCS fiasco. But I and a lot of others thought the Mets got the short end of the stick signing the older and less recently durable and effective Wagner for $43 million instead of BJ Ryan for $47 million. With Ryan undergoing Tommy John surgery, the Mets come out ahead again.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:11 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

Well-said, Crank. Add me to the list of Sabermetrically oriented guys who owe Omar some credit.

(And as to point number 3, I'll take my serving of crow medium-rare, if you please.)

Posted by: Mike at May 14, 2007 8:15 AM

I'll have a small sampling of crow as I definitely would have preferred Ryan, not that I didn't like the Wagner signing. But Omar does seem to have the golden touch.

Posted by: paul zummo at May 14, 2007 9:12 AM

I'm already on board as an Omar disciple, but still wonder just how this guy does it. I suppose its just an uncany ability to recognized guys who can play.

Posted by: Bob at May 14, 2007 4:11 PM

Endy Chavez, defensive replacement and pinch runner extraordinaire, still hitting over .300 for the last two years.

John Maine and Jorge Julio from the Orioles for Kris Benson.

Julio to the Diamondbacks for El Duque. El Duque has been great, even though he got injured at the worst time last year, and Julio, well, he has sucked.

Even the Shawn Green deal, which I absolutely hated, has seemed to work out for 2007, so far, though I still reserve the right to call it a bad move for an over-the-hill veteran who will block solid young players.

Roberto Hernandez also worked out well last year (the focus piece acquired in the Nady-Perez deal- a replacement for the suddenly injured Duaner Sanchez).

Not to mention- steroid victim Guillermo Mota, acquired from the Indians, pitched well for the Mets in the latter half of '06.

Also, last year's bullpen lightning: Chad Bradford, Darren Oliver!, Pedro Feliciano.

I still don't get the Julio Franco thing.

Posted by: Blastings at May 14, 2007 5:20 PM

Franco was passably effective last year, and had a positive influence in the clubhouse. I think the Mets are pushing it by continuing to give him key at bats this season.

Posted by: Jerry at May 14, 2007 10:21 PM

Don't forget two top draft picks for Bert in addition to Ollie for a long time!

Posted by: Greg Schreiber at May 14, 2007 11:20 PM

Can we interest Omar in a Neifi Perez? Please? He's not doing us any good...

Posted by: Joel at May 15, 2007 4:59 PM

I think Omar has some identifiable traits, which partially explain his success. He likes hard-throwing pitchers. He thinks middle relievers are unpredictable year-to-year, so he'd rather sign a bunch of short-term guys and sort them out than give multi-year contracts to guys coming off a good year. He'd rather sign a forty-year old guy who will take a one year deal than give a five year contract to a thirty-year old who isn't unequivically great. And, unlike most previous Mets regimes, he believes in challenging prospects with agressive promotions. In general, I'd say that he differs from most big market general managers in believing that talent is plentiful, not scarce, and that you should only cough up big money for the real stars.

Posted by: Jerry at May 15, 2007 11:57 PM
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