Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So long, it's been good to know ye


The image to the left was taken by someone else, who I'm glad took it and took the time to post it on flickr. The scene it shows took place during quite possibly the most memorable baseball game I have ever attended, certainly the most memorable regular season game. The primary reason for that is that attending this game with about 20 other people, using my 2 season tickets and going stubhub crazy, was the highlight of a great, clean, bachelor party last spring. That alone would have made this a game that would stick out in my memory, but on top of the event, it also happened to be an interleague game, and ended in a David Wright walkoff double. Even better. Oh, and Brooklyn's own Paul LoDuca went absolutely ape on the umpire, not once but twice, totally inspiring the crowd and apparently the team as well.

This is what Paulie could do above all else. I know I'm beating a dead horse by alluding to Duca's heart, but there's a reason that every Met fan on the internet or in any deli or bus stop says this, and that's because it's true. On a team rife with players possessing questionable drive, he was among a small minority who really gave it their all, and stood out.

Now he's a Nat, and I for one hope he gets a Piazza-esque standing O next year at Shea. (Oddly enough, Mikey P got a Shea standing ovation at that same bachelor party game) I can guarantee anyone that he will stand out against the Mets from here on out, as he probably feels slighted by them, and should.

The real annoying part of all this is that the only logical explanation I could find for not resigning Duca was an insistence on multiple years in a contract. That made some sense, what with his clear tendency to wear down. But he signed a one year deal in DC! Somehow I doubt he wouldn't have done the same to stay in a place he loved.

I wonder what would happen in a collision at the plate between Paulie and Brain Schneider. Ugh...

The Santana race continues, and frankly, if what we're hearing is true, I'm frustrated, and my reason for it probably puts me in the minority. If John Heyman's article on is accurate, Johan Santana would be a Met, done deal, if the Mets were to include both Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez.

Here is where the whole prospect thing aggravates me. Youth and Minor League talent is certainly valuable, and something to be held on to at almost any cost. Don't for instance, trade your best pitching prospect for an aging, mediocre starter when your team probably can't contend anyhow (Kazmir). Don't trade an OF who has allegedly been the gem of your system for years when his value is low for a truly sub-par return (Milledge). In short, don't sell the farm for mediocrity or mild improvement, but by all means sell it all, sell anything for the chance to bring the best pitcher in the game onto a team that is already a borderline contender in the weaker league.

What I don't get about all of this unwillingness of Omar's (and, admittedly, most Met fans...) to trade both of these guys is that at the same time the Mets are talking them up and don't want to give them away, everyone else seems to be killing the quality of the Mets' collection of top prospects. We go from "not having the chips to land a front-line starter", which I've heard again and again, to being unwilling to include one more guy to get THE front-line starter of all front-line starters.

Remember, we're not talking about hurting the quality of the on-field product. In any of these Gomez and F-Mart scenarios, we keep Reyes, Wright, Perez, Maine, Beltran, and every other current potential starter except maybe Church, while adding Santana. How can you not do that? Especially in a year when the Mets are particularly draft-heavy, having effectively three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. I don't mind if the farm system takes 2-3 years to be rebuilt while I watch ballgames in late October at Shea/Citi.

My vote: if they want 'em all, give it to 'em.
I'll probably get killed for this in the era of BA, BP, etc. Oh, well, I think I'm right.

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