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.