Yesterday, Newsday’s national baseball writer Ken Davidoff was kind enough to do an email interview with me regarding several Mets topics as well as general MLB. Here are the highlights from our discussion:
Definitely Major League Baseball. There’s just so much going on. I get to learn not only about baseball, but also about law, finance and medicine.
-As a BBWAA member, do you think Jeff Bagwell, Barry Larkin, Jack Morris or Lee Smith will make the Hall of Fame in 2012 and which of them will you vote for?
I’d guess that of that quartet, only Larkin will make the Hall in 2012. Last year, I voted for Bagwell and Larkin. I always reassess when the new ballot comes, but at this juncture, I feel pretty good about my votes on those four.
-Come 2013, Do you think Mike Piazza is worthy of being a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer?
He’s a close call. Probably yes, but again, I’ll assess him when we get there.
-You predicted in the preseason that the Mets would win 75 games, what is it, in your opinion, that makes the 2011 ballclub four games worse than that of last year?
I thought the Mets had major questions about their pitching, and I also anticipated a dropoff after making trades on July 31.
-With the Mets just barely above .500, a weak wild card contender right now, do you believe the Mets will sell off pieces or stay pat and try for a run at the wild card?
As of now, I’d have to say they’d at least trade K-Rod. Beltran is a tougher call. He always could go in August, if not July.
-What is your take on the Jose Reyes situation? Do you think he will remain a Met past 2011? Do you think Alderson’s supposed “substantial offer” will be enough to retain the speedster?
No, I don’t. I don’t think he’ll be a Met next season. I think serious questions remain about the Mets’ finances.
-What is your opinion of some of the Mets prospects? Which seem to have the highest ceilings? Who do you think is most likely to make a major league impact in 2012? (Harvey, Familia, Flores, Mejia, Nieuwenhuis, Havens etc.)
Of the names you mentioned, I’d say that Harvey is most likely to make an impact in ’12. Mejia is obviously off the radar for now. Nieuwenhuis is highly regarded by some scouts and could contribute. Havens obviously has dealt with health issues. Familia and Flores are still young, and as we know, Flores’ future position is in doubt.
Highest ceiling? Tough question. I’ll go with Familia.
-Based on the age of their current MLB players, financial situations and farm systems, what is your opinion of the Mets and Yankees futures five to ten years down the road?
The Mets are in very good hands at the baseball operations level with Sandy Alderson, but obviously, their ownership situation is tenuous. So their future is in doubt.
The Yankees are in better shape long term because they have stable ownership and a good farm system already in place.
Is there the possibility of a cross-town trade between the Mets and Yankees be it Beltran or K-Rod or anyone else? If so what is the likeliness of a deal actually coming to fruition?
Anything’s possible, but at this point, the Yankees don’t have a real need for either guy and don’t like K-Rod very much.
-Who do you think will win the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game?
I’d rather repeatedly jam an ice pick into my right eyeball than even think about the Home Run Derby. What an awful event.
The AL will beat the NL, 6-3. Alex Rodriguez will homer to right-centerfield and win the game’s MVP award.
Thank you very much for your time Ken. To read some of Ken’s exceptional work, you can visit his Newsday blog Here. You can also follow him on twitter at Ken Davidoff.