If you’re looking for reasons to terminate Omar Minaya’s employment you could parse each and every move the man has made during his tenure. Or you could look at the current product on the field or the Mets’ immediate future and decide whether that justifies the man losing his job. But let’s make this easy: Omar Minaya said something in today’s USA Today that should have him out on his ear right now:
“It’s not a market where you can go young. You have to bring in players.”
This quote comes after several paragraphs in which Minaya discounts the media circus in New York, saying that you can’t pay any attention to that sort of thing. This after watching the Yankees build from youth in the early-to-mid 90s and use that to sustain a dynasty unmatched in baseball since their last one fell in the 1960s.
There is no baseball team — I repeat, no baseball team — that can sustain success without developing young, homegrown talent. Sure, some need to do it less than others, but all teams need to do it. Especially a team like the Mets who wouldn’t even be the most desirable landing spot for free agents in their own city if they were able to spend money on free agents going forward. Which they aren’t, according to most reports. While they’re certainly not in need of a fire sale or anything, the Mets have no choice but to go young and bring in kids to fill their many holes, and that was the case before, is the case now and will be the case in the future.
If Minaya thinks that you simply can’t do that because talk radio or someone will crucify him he needs to be let go right now, because building a team is an essential part of his job. If he’s been told he can’t go young by the Wilpons for those same reasons he needs to quit because they’re setting him up to fail.
The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.
The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.
The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.
Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.
Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.
Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.
Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.
Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.