Dave's Mostly Mets Blog


The Big Move 

I finally got around to getting the blog onto my own domain. Now that this move is done I will be able to post more regularly. I hope to see you all there.


The Fish That Got Away 

Carlos Delgado has signed with the Florida Marlins for $1 million more than the Mets offered. (Actually, it's been reported that all told the Mets offer would have been worth about $38,000 more but let's not nitpick.) Delgado's agent, David Sloan, appears to have used the Mets as a ploy to get more money out of the Marlins. Based on some of Sloan's actions (like telling the press that the Mets were out of the running before telling Omar Minaya) it didn't look like the agent had any interest at all in putting his only star client in New York.

As mentioned yesterday I had mixed feelings about the prospect of acquiring Delgado so I don't really view it as a great loss. We'll just watch him in Florida and see if he lives up to my Murray/Vaughn theory. (Of course the Murray/Vaughn theory doesn't apply as much in Florida since the pressures are different in New York and definitely contributed to their downfalls.)

Be that as it may, the Mets immediately went to plan B and traded single A 1B Ian Bladergroen to the Red Sox for Doug Mientkiewicz. An official announcement will come later today. Mientkiewicz's defensive prowess will help with the relatively inexperienced and out of position players in the rest of the infield and his bat, while not as great as Delgado's, is not a tremendous liability. He's got a .363 career OBP. We'll see if he can continue such production in the NL.

In the final analysis, adding Mientkiewicz is an upgrade. It's just not the upgrade that the Mets and most of the fans had in mind.


Goodbye, Johnny B Good 

John Franco signed with Houston the other day finalizing his detachment from the Mets. I'd like to thank Franco for 14 years of loyal service. His best days are clearly behind him (even he realizes that) but I have to say that I've enjoyed his presence on this club and appreciate what he gave it. Good luck, Johnny Be Good.

Delgado: To Sign or Not To Sign (or History May Teach Us Something) 

I haven't weighed in on the idea of signing Carlos Delgado yet because I'm really not sure about it. On the one hand there are definite pluses to signing another bat to make the lineup more potent. On the other hand, with a young left side of the infield (David Wright at 3B & Jose Reyes at SS) and a second baseman playing the position for the first time (Kaz Matsui) someone with more sound defensive skills to anchor the infield may be a better fit (perhaps someone in the John Olerud mold). It's really a toss up but I like the way the Mets have handled the situation thus far. Though they reopened talks after their deadline for a deal was not met they have now put a final offer on the table for Delgado to take or leave. If he takes it then they have their new bat. If not then it's time to explore other options (Doug Mientkiewicz and Travis Lee are a couple of the other possibilities as well as Andres Galarraga).

The two things that stick in my mind about signing Delgado are this:

  1. Eddie Murray

  2. Mo Vaughn

I know it sounds weird but Murray and Vaughn are two relatively recent examples of a problem that we could see happen to Delgado as well. All three players were career American Leaguers when they signed with the Mets. Both Murray and Vaughn ended their careers with the Mets (due to slumps, injuries, etc.). While it's true that Murray and Vaughn were clearly on the downside of their careers when they came to the Mets it's not certain if Delgado is at that point in his career. However, history is wrought with stories of guys changing leagues late in their careers and not being able to make the adjustment. This is why I won't shed a tear if the Mets lose out on Delgado and why I'm indifferent about acquiring him.


Goodbye, Paul Hackett 

Jets offensive coordinator Paul Hackett resigned today. Good riddance.

I'm glad a change is being made but I'm not one of those who have gotten on the "Hackett Must Go" bangwagon as a result of Sundays overtime loss to Pittsburgh. I've been unhappy with his offensive scheemes for a couple of years now. I felt they should have fired him after last season but I guess they didn't feel like working with 2 new coordinators this year after firing former defensive coordinator Ted Cotrell.

Why am I happy to see a change? Several reasons:

  1. I've seen Hackett's offense get far too conservative when playing with a lead late in games. Most often this gives the opposition reason to believe they can win the game and puts far too much pressure on the defense. This leads to the inevitable loss or game that ends far too close for comfort. When you have an opportunity to put the game away you need to take it.

  2. On third and long you're supposed to call a play that's get you past the first down marker. You're not supposed to call a screen pass that falls 2 yards short. You're not supposed to hand it off to your star running back who can't get the long yardage on every play.

  3. You're allowed to pass to your tight ends.

  4. You call that a West Coast offense? Where's the vertical game. Don't tell me Chad Pannington doesn't have the right arm for it. The few times I've seen some aggressive play calling (such as the third quarter of the playoff game against Pittsburgh) Pennington acquitted himself quite well.

There are other reasons too but I can't think of them right now.

Hackett seems like a good man and he knows his business very well. I just don't think he's the right fit for this team and hasn't been for quite some time. This week's game may have been the nail in the coffin but this change was inevitable for a while. I wish coach Hackett well in his future endeavors and look forward to ctriticizing the next guy.

Cameron Accepts Right Field 

On their way to the Dominican Republic a group of Mets officials stopped in Atlanta to meet with Mike Cameron. After the meeting all sides were saying the right thing. The basic gist is that Cameron will play right field because it's for the best of the team.

While it's good news that Cameron's fallen in line and accepted to make the move that he himself had offered to make I'm still a little wary of the situation and am not as convinced as others are that this calls off the possibility of trading him. I know Cameron's a professional but it's obvious that this isn't the position he wants to play. Comments like "Imagine somebody coming in and telling you to do something different than you've always done" and "I'll always view myself as a center fielder" don't show a healthy attitude toward the move and are signs that this isn't the end of the discussion here.

I stand by what I've said previously. A man playing a position he doesn't really want to play and whose role has been degraded in the offense (especially if the Mets end up signing Carlos Delgado) could lead to bad things.

A quick note on the Delgado front: Mets brass will meet with Delgado on Thursday in Puerto Rico. Don't expect him to sign anywhere before the weekend.


Big Whoop! 

Several media outlets are reporting that Carlos Delgado has narrowed his choices down to 4 teams: the Mets, Marlins, Orioles and Rangers. The source for this information is Delgado's agent, David Sloane. It's nice that the Mets are among his choices but I'm trying to figure out how this is news. The same reporters who spit back this information have been reporting for weeks that these were the only teams interested in signing him. I can understand Sloane making information like this public in an effort to start a bidding war between the teams involved but why is it being reported? There's nothing new there. Find something real to report on and get back to us later.

In other news, the Mike Cameron saga continues. The last time I wrote about Cameron I was criticizing him for waiting so long to get surgery on his ailing left wrist which was injured in the second to last game of the season. I was quite vehement about it because I hate it when injuries don't get treated properly as early in the off season as possible because that leads to unnecessary missed games early in the following season. Then last week Cameron reportedly reneged on his offer to move from centerfield to right field after Carlos Beltran was signed. This development has sparked rumors of a trade to Oakland in exchange for Eric Byrnes. Byrnes had been a rumored acquisition to fill in for Cameron in center while the surgery kept Cameron out for the first month or so of the season but has since become the central figure in an exchange for Cameron.

There's been a lot of discussion in the media and on the blogs about whether or not the Mets should make such a deal. Most people (especially bloggers) would go into a long drawn out statistical analysis to support their opinions but you know that I don't depend on obscure stats, just basic numbers together with my own knowledge and instincts. These tools tell me that now's the right time to trade Cameron.

With Beltran aboard, David Wright coming in at the start of the season and a healthy Jose Reyes, Cameron's role in the offense will be minimized (especially if Delgado ends up signing). He'll be dropped down in the order and will not be happy about it. The last thing you want on your team when you're trying to get things going in the right direction is a guy pouting because he's not playing the position he wants and he's not batting in the right spot in the order.

At age 32 and coming off a career high 30 HR year Cameron's got nowhere to go but down. His value is as high as it will ever be so you may as well get as much as you can for him before it's too late. If Oakland wants him then you do your best to work out a deal.

Don't get me wrong as far as Cameron goes. Despite my recent knocks on him I think he's a great ballplayer. I just think the time is right for a move.
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