Why must the Mets copy anyone?

12 Comments

Yesterday one of the ESPN talking heads — I want to say Olney, but it may have been someone else — said, after the Mets fired Omar Minaya, that they need a GM who can make a big splash and who can “compete with the Yankees.”  I thought this was silly, because an argument can be made that one of the Mets’ biggest problems is that they think that the Yankees — rather than the NL East — is their competition, and make a lot of bad decisions because of it.

Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post writes a column this morning agreeing that the Yankees shouldn’t be the Mets’ bogey because, well, they’re the Yankees and they do things differently than other teams do. I think his analysis — that the Mets should rebuild and prepare fans that winning may not come soon — is spot on.

I just wish that his headline — “Mets must copy Phils” — was different.  It shouldn’t be about copying. Rebuilding is going to take on different forms depending on the place in which a team finds itself when it begins the rebuild.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

3 Comments

As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

Getty Images
8 Comments

The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.