The "you can't go young in New York" thing is not Omar Minaya's idea

10 Comments

I still can’t believe the Mets unloaded Jeff Francoeur on someone. Can believe even less that they actually got a carbon-based life form in return.  Yeah, I know that Joaquin Arias is close to worthless as a ballplayer, but when you’re trading this kind of thing you can’t expect anything in return at all.

Good show by Omar Minaya for unloading dead weight. The Mets season may be over, but simply not having Francoeur around when the season ends is savvy, because the temptation to actually offer him arbitration this winter is no longer operative. And I bet there’s at least someone in Mets land who would consider doing such a thing because, after all, Francoeur is a veteran, and you can’t go young in New York.

About that: yesterday I ripped Omar Minaya for saying that rebuilding with youth is impossible in New York.  It would seem, however, that the notion is not his own. Rather, it’s an ownership thing.  The evidence for this? Check out what former Mets GM Steve Phillips told Friend-of-the-Blog (and Hofstra blogger!) Jerry Beach — then writing for E-SportsNation.com — eight years ago:

“I
don’t think we’ll ever go to that rebuilding state, where we go with
all young players. I think the history shows that you
need a certain amount of experience to win. There may be some young
teams that can do it, but typically, teams that win have a certain level
of experience.

“[Smaller market teams] live with those growing pains longer
than, a lot of times, larger market clubs do because we tend to go more
for the
experience. And in New York, growing pains for young players are
sometimes tough to wait on. There’s an expectation for a larger market
team to spend money, to spend what they’re capable of spending.

“I
don’t think [the Mets would undergo a complete rebuilding process]
unless there’s some dramatic change. But I would still
think in New York that we’ll have options maybe that others might not be
able to consider.”

I realize that Omar and Steve have some things in common (i.e. being not-very-good general managers) but this sounds like marching orders from the Wilpons to me.  No kids. Can’t tear it down. Just wouldn’t fly in New York.

Which puts me in mind of what a wise old man once said.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

Tom Pennington/Getty Images
1 Comment

Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

Jon Durr/Getty Images
18 Comments

Update: Whoops…

*

Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.