Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 22, 2007
BASEBALL: What Ills L Millz?

I can understand why the Mets would not be thrilled with Lastings Milledge, with such limited big-league success under his belt, recording a rap album, and still less so with him recording one full of all the standard offensive cliches of the genre. But why is the team going after him in the press, a move that is likely to turn the fans against Milledge and make it harder to deal him for value if the team decides to trade him?

It's certainly starting to look like the skids for a deal are being greased, and without much regard for his market value. There are three possibilities for why they are doing this in the press, as opposed to just sitting him down and talking to him:

(A) Fred Wilpon has bad memories of guys with personality problems from the 1991-93 period and is overreacting. This would have to be Wilpon and possibly Jay Horowitz - they've been there long enough. Omar Minaya doesn't seem the type to let a rap album stand between him and a talented player, and Willie Randolph, Joe Torre disciple that he is, would handle something like this privately.

(B) The team is nervous about Milledge doing something fan-unfriendly (especially after the Imus kerfuffle) and is trying to get out front of condemning it to control the PR narrative.

(C) The team knows something non-public that is wrong with Milledge (e.g., drugs) and wants to build a separate, public case for dumping him cheaply (which they may have to do if other teams know it too).

Both (A) and (C) would suggest he is not long for NY. (B) could mean he stays and they are just doing damage control.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:37 AM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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