Hot Stove Rant

First of all, a happy Thanksgiving to one and all. I hope everyone is spending the day and the weekend with friends and family. As usual, we will be part of the extended Rozakis family later today.

Now, on to other hot stove topics:

I don’t like it,

That was the first thing I thought when I heard about the Mets obtaining Carlos Delgado from the Florida Marlins in exchange for Mike Jacobs and Yusmeiro Petit. Sure, it’s flashy and brings a potentially big bat to first base. Sure, it’s another marquee name to use when promoting the Mets’ own cable channel NYSN as it gears up for a spring debut.

But they’re trading away the future, the one thing that continually undermines teams who get mesmerized with the potential today.

Jacobs came up during the last season, proved he could not only catch but played a pretty good first base. He batted .310 with 11 homers and 23 RBI in 100 at-bats, tantalizing us with what could be accomplished over a full season. Petit, meantime, was a very promising pitcher who struggled when he moved from AA to AAA but clearly could be a factor in another year or so.

Instead, we get Delgado who appears to be a me-first player who will need careful handling. When the Mets nearly signed him last season, the deal floundered when Delgado felt the Mets overplayed the Latin American angle by using Tony Bernazard, special assistant to Mets general manager Omar Minaya to lead the discussions. Delgado felt he wasn’t being treated with enough respect and Bernazard had to step aside to let the boss handle things. Delgado apparently still has hard feelings for this and Bernazard is still there.

Plus, he still doesn’t want to stand for the singing of “God Bless America”. Heck, I don’t either, having grown tired of the song and don’t appreciate its sentiments (I’m with Woody Guthrie who wrote “This Land is My Land” in response). Still, the NY media will make this a point. In fact, the NY media are likely to shine a harsh spotlight on the man which may turn him brittle.

Meantime, he didn’t exactly carry the Marlins far last season. 33 homers, 119 RBIs and a .301 average are okay, but for the money he’s commanding, he needs to turn things up a notch and history shows, players coming to Shea rarely turn things up a notch. In fact, I’d love to figure out exactly why veteran players coming to New York struggle or fail.

Anyway, it’s a huge salary and potential albatross that they don’t need. Instead, they should be building around David Wright, Jose Reyes and guys like Jacobs and Petit.

I worry about the coming season and only hope they finish their winter shopping with a clear mind.

7 comments

  • gormuu

    ” Still, the NY media will make this a point. ”

    Oh…Braves fans will, too! Braves fans will, too! Need to brush up on my “God Bless America” lyrics next time the Mets come to town. 🙂

    Bob, I am loathe to compliment the Mets, but I looked at them last year and saw some of these young kids coming up and doggone if they didn’t look really good, Wright especially.

    However much I have always liked Delgado, though, I really think this is a bad move, for many of the reasons you have brought out. That kind of money put out for a 30+ player, who’s offensive numbers will likely decline because of age and a move to Shea, leaves them more inflexible if it comes time to reconstruct their roster or add a player down the stretch.

    Even moreso if they add Billy Wagner.

    This reminds me of Mo Vaughn, except I think Delgado is a better hitter and has better conditioning. But all the Mets have done with Delgado is move Piazza’s numbers out from behind the plate and put them at first, so I’m not sure they’ve made their offense any better as a whole.

    Go Braves!

  • Hey, I’m a Delgado fan because of the “God Bless America” thing. But you’re right, New York will be an especially tough place for him to play because of that.

    He’s a good player, though. Much better than Mo Vaughn, who throughout his career was an overpaid jerk. Like you, I’d have risked the kid at first rather than make this big trade, especially playing at Shea.

    Which is the crux of the issue. Veteran players coming to the Mets don’t do well because it’s a long way down the foul lines. Compare 342 to left and right to the distance even at Yankee Stadium. And all the new parks are being built again with short distances down the line. Miami’s stadium, whatever it’s called this week, also has that, because it’s basically configured for football. Delgado would do better to play for the Yankees than for the Mets.

    However.

    I think back to the Mets of the early 1980s. They signed George Foster, and the advantage of Foster was that he was a competent power hitter in the middle of a formerly weak lineup. He was never the George Foster of the Big Red Machine, but he was the transition guy while the mid-1980s Mets developed. (Of course, they jettisoned him in 1986, which I thought was ungracious, but nobody in baseball listens to me.)

    I think the biggest mistake the Mets made was signing Beltran and putting him in center field.

  • gormuu

    And now the Mets sign Billy Wagner! The Blue Jays sign BJ Ryan- for $47million! And Carlos says he’s gonna sing “God Bless America” from now on.

    What’s going on with this crazy, mixed up world?!?!?!?!

  • ed wagner

    I first saw Jacobs in Feb 03 in Florida. His work ethic and desire stopped me cold.Since that day he did nothingt but prove me right. Even on a sinking ship he will make this trade look stupid. Forty one million right in the garbage!!!

  • ed wagner

    Carlos Beltran was not a bad aquisition. He is a fine outfielder and his head is in the game. Any errors he made were physical, not mental. Agreed, the mets overpaid. His hitting could have been improved. Mr Randolph should have dropped him lower in the order to get the pressure off of his shoulders. Nothing was done to try to help him do better. My question for all of o5 was; “Who is in Charge” ??

  • ed wagner

    The 06 mets –

    No second baseman, no middle relief, and no right hand hitting right fielder. This will be the worst fielding team in the national league. Omar has trashed the owners money and the fan’s time with 5 ridiculous signings.

  • Ed Wagner

    Now they trade Jae Seo For What? One guy with an era over 4 and the other one is over 5.

    The mets are going to be short in starters. Pedro’s back and toe, Trachsel back surgery, and Glavine age 40. Zambrano and Benson are sub par.

    Heilman has to start, this should have been fixed in 05. Mgt. here fixes nothing.Seo will win at least 15 for the Dodgers and Jacobs will be rookie of the year.