Well I’ve been away for awile (see the Coopertown photos for an example) but definitely have been paying attention all the same. This post then is a long time in coming. What was up with the Nady trade? Terrible. I feel that Omar Minaya went off the deep end in his response to Duaner Sanchez’s accident. In the first place, as good as Duaner was, I can’t see that HIS value was as great as Nady’s, let alone the value of the two players we recieved equalling that of Xavier. Besides Sanchez, lets take a quick survey of the Mets pen. Oliver and Feliciano each enjoy an ERA under 3.00, placing them in the NL’s top 10 in that department, and, although often used only situationally, Feliciano’s current 2.01 number is particularly impressive. Chad Bradford’s 3.14 ERA is not too shabby either. Aaron Heilman has looked excellent of late and Billy Wagner is obviously a given. How do you give up your starting right fielder just to slightly supplement a strong crew like this? Roberto Hernandez, 41 years old compared to Nady’s prime aged 28, has been pretty much the last arm out of the pen. He has made 8 appearances so far. I do not get the thinking behind this aquisition.
Adding to my confusion here is Henry Owens. Remember him? For all the fuss that was made of heralded starting prospect Mike Pelfrey’s strikeout numbers- better than 1 per inning in AA Binghamton at the time of his recall, Owens, who closed games for the same team, struck out an average of 2 batters an inning! He also had a sick opposing batting average, less than .100, at the time of his recall. Sounds like an intimidating candidate for setup man. But he was dispensed with very quickly on the big club. 3 appearances, the first two positive, the third poor, and its like he dropped off the face of the earth. You never hear mention of him. I realize that I am no major league scout, but I would like to know the reasoning behind this. You have a guy like Owens in your system to potentially lengthen your pen, and while he is never even publicly discussed, your 28 year old, .280, 15 homers-in August right fielder is unloaded for a 41 year old arm.
Now, coupled with injuries at second base and left field, the starting 8 has gone from having an AL elite-like Floyd, Valentin and Nady at the bottom of the order to various combinations of Woodward, Tucker, Ledee, DiFelice, Chavez and Millege after the 5 spot in the batting order. Not exactly murderers row! No disrespect to the above named players; Endy is a great fourth outfielder, Lastings may be really special one day, Tucker has done all you could have asked for, Woody hasn’t earned Willie’s confidence all year long for nothing, and DiFelice is probably an adequete temporary replacement for Ramon Castro (defensively), but the bottom of the lineup has gone from a strength to a weakness and exactly one third of that problem was entered into voluntarily. Why?
Ok, much of the above in moot at this point now that Shawn Green has been aquired at very low cost. I could gripe that while he is almost 34 and entering an inevitable decline, Nady is yet young and improving. I could also gripe that our new outfielder has, for all his past production, 4 less homers than our previous starting right fielder. A third gripe could be that while Xavier Nady has posted and boasted (thats my Clyde Frazier impression) a .324 BA since moving over to the Pittsburg Pittafils, Green has been on an offensive decline since June, and is batting .208 so far in August. Mostly I am griping that, all things considered, right field has, even now, been slightly downgraded in my eyes, and while I mean no disrespect to Roberto Hernandez, his presence on the club just does not make me feel any better about that situation. Maybe someday Oliver Perez will, just as John Maine helps me not think about Kris Benson.
Well I guess all of this was a bit of bad form. My first post in a few weeks was a bit of a rant, and the truth is, the Amazins have been in spendid form, and a joy to watch. 400 homers for Delgado! (What a game THAT was). 10 home wins in a row and counting! Beltran for MVP! Trachsel cant lose, no matter how many runs he allows! Good news about Glavine’s health! We’re now 2 1/2 behind the Tigers for the best record in MLB (it had been about7), and are in sole possesion of second place, outpacing the other powers in the AL! Were making quick work out of the second best NL team! The new stadium is moving along… well I’m actually not thrilled about that, being a nostalgic, I like old Shea just fine. With that nostalgic feeling in mind, I regret not being around to post a reflection on 1986 anniversary night, because that was really special to me. That year was incomparable, magical, and the intros of the players and televised video tributes really brought that back for me. I only wish there were time for more guest announcers in the telecast besides Nails, Jesse and Straw. But instead of more along those lines, all I have is the above rant, ‘cuz, well, its been bugging me since the day it happened…