Today is one of the biggest days of the regular baseball season for baseball junkies like me; the trade deadline. I always enjoyed this time of the season because it had that hot stove feel to it. But now, with the advent of social networking sites like Twitter, I have a non-stop stream of information and unfortunately misinformation too depending on your take of it.
I used to enjoy sifting through all these little nuggets of rumors and speculation that usually run rampant in the days leading up to the 4:00 PM deadline, but it’s gotten quite overwhelming in the last two years. I really don’t mind the rumors that have some tinge of truth attached to them, but sometimes things can get very silly.
We had a catcher get the day off this week after a night game, and suddenly the prevailing wisdom means that they are on the verge of being traded. A minor league player gets pulled out of the lineup because he has stomach cramps, and the internet is abuzz with more trade rumors. A team demotes a player without announcing a corresponding move and all of a sudden it means that they opened up a spot for a big trade acquisition. Believe it or not, the examples I cited are real and all were centered around our New York Mets.
I don’t mind grasping my teeth into a trade rumor from Jon Heyman or Ken Rosenthal or Joel Sherman, but these days everyone seems to be an expert. <sigh>
I credit Andrew Vazzano of The ‘Ropolitans for this pre-blog rant He had an interesting post this morning that really goes to the heart of the matter and further explains why more and more baseball fans are getting turned off by the rampant speculation. But then, my friend tells me last night, how he loves all of it and doesn’t mind knowing that half of what he reads is BS. So I’m like whatever dude. I guess it comes down to the old adage, to each his own.
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As for my Mets, here we are at this critical point in time, and we have yet to fully understand what our role is today. That of sellers or buyers. Omar Minaya has maintained all along that the Mets were buyers, but so far all we’ve see is a couple of “alleged” rejections for Roy Halladay and Victor Martinez. Some may say it’s bogus, but Omar himself said yesterday that he has already turned down trades for big players, so who really knows.
All I can really tell you is what I believe the Mets should do.
To begin, we can’t give up on this season. We must forge ahead even if the odds are dramatically against us. I refuse to waive a white flag and surrender.
To those of you who want to stand pat, and I know it’s most of my commenters, please don’t tell me that one player or one trade can’t help the Mets or make a difference. I’ve already seen the difference one player can make when we got Francoeur, and he was just supposed to be a project at best.
My biggest concern is this incredible infatuation everyone has with our Class-A and Class-AA prospects. They are prospects and not even great ones at that. We have nobody leading their respective leagues in homers or RBI’s or ERA or Wins. That’s not to say that leading the league is a barometer for success, just an observation. Our top prospects are still suspect and considered projects at this point. I keep hearing that Omar refuses to mortgage the future. What future? Getting Roy Halladay improves our future, not deadens it.
What exactly are we protecting? Our farm system hasn’t produced a Mets 20 game winner since Frank Viola last did it in 1990, and he was traded for. You have to go all the way back to Dwight Gooden for a homegrown 20 game winner. We haven’t produced an outfielder who could give us a 30 homerun season in two decades.
The Mets seriously need to add a solid top of the rotation starter to pair with Santana for the rest of this season and for 2010. Giving up a few prospects so that we can achieve that is a small price to pay. The Blue Jays say that they’ve decided to keep Halladay, but I don’t believe that for one second.
The Mets could also use a big bat who can play leftfield and first base. I don’t want to hear about all of this Dan Murphy mumbo jumbo. Murphy is destined to be a designated hitter and has little power. Injuries to others is the only reason Murphy continues to keep a spot on a major league roster. Last time I checked, he ranked 29 among all 30 starting first basemen.
I have written extensively about him before, and I still believe that Mark Teahen of the Royals, would be a fine addition for this team. It looks like the Cubs are closing in on him, but it’s not too late for the Mets to intervene.
Most of the prospects Minaya wants to hang on to, are years away from contributing to the Mets, if they even make it at all. So few of them actually ever do.
My trade deadline wish list, is short and oh so sweet. Get Mark Teahen and Roy Halladay on this team, and we’ll have another World Series title we can all treasure.
Lets not waste the opportunity we have before us. We have a chance to be the miracle Mets once again. Waiting for the walking wounded to return is not a plan that helps this team right now. We have just 61 games left to play. The season is winding down fast, and the Mets need to intervene now and give Jerry Manuel the weapons to continue this fight and see it through to the end.