Here are my thoughts on teams being buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. As long as you are well within ten games of a Wild Card you should NOT be sellers. Not when there’s still a third of a season left to play. Remember 1973.
If you do start selling off players at that stage of the game, then essentially you have given up and are waving the white flag. It means that winning is not high on your list of priorities, and that you condone a losing mentality. It means that you’ve given up on your current players who battle for you everyday, and on your most loyal fans who still flock to the ballpark to root for them.
If you do take that approach, then the fans should not be ostracized for giving up on the team and staying home. Afterall, you gave up on us first. Just as a manager should be fired if he gives up the will and desire to win, so should a front office be ousted for doing that same thing. This is New York and that’s how we roll.
Joel Sherman of the NY Post elaborated on the pros and cons of being buyers and sellers this weekend. Mind you, this is the same person who has been calling for a Mets fire sale since the first week of April, so take anything he says with a ton of salt.
Do you believe in the Pittsburgh Pirates? That is a question mainly for Mets fans. If you don’t believe in the Pirates, why should anyone believe in the Mets? They have similar records and similar run differentials. So if you believe in the Mets, you should believe in the Pirates, right?
This is mainly offered as an exercise in clear thinking as the July 31 trade deadline nears. I am asking Mets fans to see the team’s condition with their heads rather than their hearts.So if the Mets have roughly the same chance of reaching the postseason as the Pirates, then shouldn’t they be trade sellers?
Sherman also quotes an American League executive who said the Mets’ only choice is to sell. “They shouldn’t lie to their fan base. They have too many long-term problems, and they have a bottom-five farm system that must be upgraded. The best offer they get for Jose Reyes, they should take that. The first real good offer they get for Francisco Rodriguez, they must take it even if they have to pay down a lot of the contract. They cannot let that contract vest on their watch.”
Maybe I’m just a little soft in the brain because I still can’t understand how trading Jose Reyes and improving the team can fit into the same sentence. Who in their right mind actually believes that? I also don’t see the why locking up your 28-year old homegrown star to a longterm deal is such a death-knell to this team’s future. I thought that all great franchises and organizations locked up their best players. Has baseball really changed that much?
Do you think the Braves or Yankees would have won over a dozen division titles in a row if they never committed 15 years to Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera? And yet we’re gonna give up on Jose Reyes after 6 1/2 seasons at the ripe old age of 28?
What if this new front office does move Reyes, then what’s Plan B or Plan C or Plan D?
Sherman quotes another NL exec,
“If you are Sandy Alderson, you are rooting to go one way or the other and quick,” an NL executive said. “You win nine out of 10, you get like seven-eight over .500, now you are in it. You lose 10 in a row, you tank, you are out of it. Their current situation is the nightmare scenario. As a GM, the place you don’t want to be is that range from two-over to two-under. You look at your team, you know it is not a contender, but it is hard to tell your fans that, especially if your fans feel you have broken their hearts before.”
But what about this scenario?
What if Ike Davis and David Wright return around the All-Star break and both have a huge second half?
What if Jason Bay, who is hitting .312 in his last five games, begins to hit and finds his power stroke?
What if Johan Santana returns in August and bolsters and solidifies the rotation?
What if Dillon Gee and Angel Pagan keep performing as they have for the rest of this season?
Imagine if all that happens, but Jose Reyes is running wild in the Bronx, and Carlos Beltran is launching more bombs at Fenway…
Imagine if the Mets finish the season five games out of the Wild Card after the front office already bailed on New York and got rid of Reyes and Beltran…
Wouldn’t that just burn you up?
Would you ever believe this front office is committed to winning if they allow that to happen?