Quit Focusing on 2B!
I logged on today to find an article by a fellow blogger about how the Mets should focus on Brandon Phillips for 2010. I immediately slipped into a state of shock, which lead to an unconscious state, and now here I am.
Following 2008, everybody was down on Luis Castillo. Castillo had his worst offensive season in his career in 2008 following the signing of a long-term deal in 2007. After his unbelievably bad 2008, Castillo went to work in the off-season, and he lost weight and he came back to Spring Training with something to prove. Castillo in 2009 had a season that could be compared to the 1999 Luis Castillo. For some reason, it’s not good enough for Mets fans though?
Somehow our fan base still wants to go after Orlando Hudson, which somehow makes up for not signing him prior to the 2009 season? Just in case you missed it, Castillo hit for a better average and was on base more than Hudson in 2009, he also stole more bases than Hudson. However, Castillo dropped a pop-up, so he has to go?
We don’t NEED a 2B. Sure, it’s a nice position to upgrade, but there are far more important things to do this off-season than to replace a 2B that you just don’t like. The only reason to want to get rid of Castillo is you either don’t like him or his contract length. The problem is, anybody you go after is probably going to have the same type of contract. I guess the fact Castillo was 4th in the NL among 2B’s in Batting Average, and 2nd in OBP and 3rd in SB’s means nothing though?
People, we want performance do we not? The names I keep hearing are Orlando Hudson and Brandon Phillips. (I find it strange nobody talks about Felipe Lopez.)
Brandon Phillips: 7th in Average, 8th in OBP
Orlando Hudson: 5th in Average, 6th in OBP
If you want to tell me defense is the reason, that’s fine. Castillo made 2 more errors than Phillips and 3 more than Hudson. However, if that’s your reason, remember that when Phillips and Hudson can’t get on base and strike out, while Castillo is getting on base.
The Mets need to focus on OF, SP, 1B, C, RP. Isn’t that enough to worry about? Look, I’m all for upgrading 2B with a younger guy if we can. However, I’m not down for getting a guy like Phillips who was called out for his poor work ethic and attitude this season, or a guy like Orlando Hudson who wasn’t even good enough to start in the post-season over RONNIE BELLIARD!!! Come on!
You think Joe Torre is an idiot? Let me put it more clearly to the Orlando Hudson fans. When the Dodgers needed the best lineup possible to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, (who are our division rival by the way) Joe Torre felt he had a better chance to win if he played Ronnie Belliard at 2B, a guy who had been on the Dodgers for just 24 games, not an entire season like Hudson. Doesn’t that tell you something about Hudson? If that doesn’t, maybe the fact Hudson fell asleep at the plate in September and October does?
As for Phillips, some Mets fans have an unhealthy obsession with power. In regards to Phillips, some have this goofy claim that Phillips is a power hitter. When did 4 years of 17-30-21-20 while playing in a launching pad of a home stadium prove you are a power hitter? So if he averages 20 homeruns per season while playing in a Top 5 ballpark for homerun hitters, what’s he going to do in Citi Field? He’ll give you a few more homeruns than Castillo, but he’ll strike out almost twice as much, thus getting on base less.
The Mets don’t need a guy with a poor attitude, isn’t that why so many people are down on the Mets in the past few years? The Mets need players who shut up, and show up.
I’ve got an idea, let’s trade Castillo to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. Then, let’s trade a bag of balls for Brandon Phillips and let’s see if we can have a flashback to the days of Bobby Bonilla and Vince Coleman. If we’re going to acquire everybody else’s problems, let’s have a little fun.
The fact some Mets fans are targeting 2B as a necessary upgrade for 2010 is ridiculous. You can’t overhaul an entire team, it’s not going to work. Castillo was one of the few guys who actually went out there almost every day for the Mets and played his heart out, and for that we want to run him out of town? I’m not a fan of his contract, I’m not a fan of him dropping the ball against the Yankees, but I’m a fan of performance. He did his job in 2009, give him a break.
I don’t care if it’s the unpopular thing to say. Upgrading 2B should be near the bottom of the Mets “to do list.” If you try to tell me you’d rather have Phillips or Hudson instead of a solid LF, 1B, C, or SP then you just hate Luis Castillo and there’s nothing I can do about that. If you tell me Luis Castillo has to go in order to upgrade one of our real needs, that’s fine. I’m all for selling a player when his value is high.
However, if you tell me he needs to go in order to acquire Hudson or Phillips, well that doesn’t work for me.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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