Trying To Make Sense Of The Outrage

An article by posted on January 24, 2010

Only Mets fans can spend 48 hours vigorously debating a trade that swapped one 25th man for another.

All of a sudden Brian Stokes, who allowed 72 hits and 38 walks in just 70 innings, is likened to a budding star due to his same old and tired 95 mph fastball that has yet to accomplish anything noteworthy.

His 1.56 WHIP last season already ranked in the bottom 5% of all relievers and his 3.97 ERA didn’t even account for all the inherited runners he allowed to score.

I’m equally surprised at how much of the outrage comes from the sabermetric crowd especially when you consider that their founding father Bill James projects Brian Stokes for a 4.72 ERA in 2010, and that was before he got traded back to the AL. I would suspect an updated projection will have him eclipsing a 5.00 ERA. (Incidentally, this is another strong case of where advanced metrics are being used to paint one player in a good light and another in a bad, a big pet peeve of mine.)

Even before the Mets promoted Stokes from Class-AAA in 2008, his numbers (4.43 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) hardly merited the call-up. 

This post is not an attempt to applaud the arrival of Gary Matthews Jr., because quite honestly it really doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. His declining skills means that his days as an everyday player are now over.

Last season we filled our #4 and #5 outfield spots with two career minor leaguers, and this year we’ll have at least one of those spots filled by a career major leaguer. I’ve read several other blogs lamenting the fact we didn’t bring Jeremy Reed back. Really? I wonder what they’ll miss most? His .248 batting average in 178 plate appearances? His .301 OBP? His near league worst .609 OPS?

I mean if you’re going to take the time to voice your opposition, shouldn’t you at least do it in an objective way? I mean, put some damned teeth into your argument for crying out loud.

As I said, this trade boils down to a swap of scrubs at this point…

Two 25th men at best…

Quite honestly, where was Brian Stokes going to fit in anyway?

The signings of Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi pretty much put Stokes on the outside looking in. Unless of course you want to send Bobby Parnell back to the minors so you could have your much ballyhooed Stokes in the back of the bullpen?

(K-Rod, Escobar, Igarashi, Feliciano, Green, Parnell, Nieve/Niese)  

And when you look at it that way, it then translates into us trading a minor leaguer for Matthews and getting the Angels to pay for the tab.

I’m done with this.

I’ll no longer waste another moment of my time quarreling over a trade that’s just not worth the time and effort.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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