Moneyball has infiltrated the Metropolitans. Although the club had long ago hired a sabermetrics analyst, many of the original innovators are now behind a desk at Citi Field. For those living under a rock, Michael Lewis’ book “Moneyball” was to baseball traditionalists what “TheDavinci Code” was to fundamental Christians. The figures in the book including Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi along with Billy Beane and others devalued purist stats such as RBIs and stolen bases. They found through analysis that scouts, execs, and so on favored an old flawed relic of a system. They instead chose to use on base percentage and slugging as their ways to identify their coveted players. This also allowed small market Oakland to acquire lower priced players and continue to compete. The front office in Queens will now seem more like a mensa meeting than a baseball one. Trade in your ball and glove for and abacus and graphing calculator. The honeymoon with Alderson is currently in progress but I’d like to play devil’s advocate a moment. Here is an intrigue to ponder.
How will it go over when Alderson doesn’t feed “The Beast”?
This beast I’m referring to is the angry mob of disappointed Mets fans. Mets fans, who after a losing effort, will be hanging out of windows screaming for the highest paid free agent available. The fans who wore Manny Ramirez wigs and paraded outside of SNY a few years back. What if the front office logic leads them to less known, less heralded free agents/trades? How will Alderson explain his desire to sign a player with less of the “sexy stats” and more of his coveted ones? Will impatient fans grow tired of DePodesta’s number crunching and whine excruciatingly about not signing the latest big money stud. Winning will solve all, but how much and how quick will it need to be for the mob to stop crowding Mike Francesa’s phone lines with their red eyed banter. I can’t see this being a problem on draft boards. The MLB draft gets no where near the coverage of the NFL draft. Alderson can skip over a raw talent machine from high school for a polished college kid without much feedback from the masses. Continue reading
Mets GM Omar Minaya joins WFAN’s Boomer & Carton to hype up the Oliver Perez signing and address free agent Manny Ramirez’ status.
Omar Minaya audio
The Mets signing of Oliver Perez to a 3-year/$36 million deal is bringing comments from several regulars on WFAN. First, Mets beat reporter talks to Steve Somers.
Eddie Coleman audio
Second, SI.com’s Jon Heyman joins Boomer & Carton to talk about the Perez deal and Manny Ramirez.
Jon Heyman audio
There’s been so much talk among Mets fans about why Manny isn’t a Met, and if he’ll be a Met. I certainly hope not. Looking at Manny’s offensive statistics is stunning. Even better than I thought when I thought about writing this post. I’ve never watched Manny play every day during his time in Boston or last season with the Dodgers. I probably watched more of him last year with the Dodgers than I did during the totality of his Boston career.
He’s an offensive juggernaut like the Mets haven’t seen since the days of Darryl Strawberry, or maybe ever. But he isn’t right for the Mets. And I’m not writing that because I have some delusion that the Mets will only employ players of the highest personal integrity. I even supported the Mets before the 2007 season when they signed Guillermo Mota knowing that he would face a steriod suspension to start the season. It didn’t work out very well but I thought it was a good move at the time.
As I look over Manny’s numbers at his Baseball Reference profile, its difficult not to fall in love with his stats. His 162 game career average of .314/ .411/ .593 41 HR and 133 RBI is intoxicating to imagine in a Met uniform. And I honestly believe he can continue that late in his career, as he’ll be 37 years old in May.
The reason that I don’t want to see Manny with the Mets is because he gave up on the Red Sox. He didn’t even try last year. He quit! I believe that he faked knee injuries so he wouldn’t have to play. I believe that he didn’t try to play well in the field or at-bat. And that I can’t take.
I can live with players making bad decisions to extend their careers or improve their performance (e.g. steriods and HGH). I don’t like it but I can understand it. But I can’t live with watching a player every day that isn’t trying. If Manny isn’t highly motivated, and he may not be for whatever team he ends up with, he very well may not try to win or even step on the field. And that is something that I don’t want to see with the Mets. The Dodgers can have him.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
SI’s Jon Heyman joins Mike Francesa on WFAN to talk hot stove baseball. He gets into the Oliver Perez situation versus Ben Sheets to the Mets. Manny Ramirez is also discussed.
Jon Heyman audio