MMO Fair or Foul – Episode 1 – Satish vs. XtreemIcon

An article by posted on August 10, 2011

Today, we begin what we hope to be a regular segment on MetsMerizedOnline.com. A segment we’ve decided to name “MMO: Fair or Foul”

Each new segment will showcase two of MMO’s very own writers up against one another. Don’t worry, if you the avid MMO reader want to get involved, you’ll get an opportunity as well (see very end for details)!

Each contributor will receive 5 questions, which they are then asked to answer in detail. From there, their responses will be sent to their opposition for a chance at rebuttal. I will then choose 3 of the questions that they most differ on.

After you’ve read all points of view, it is your job as the reader to vote “Who was Fair?” and “Who was Foul?”

The contributor with the most “fair” votes in the comments section will earn the right to defend their spot at the top of MMO’s Debate Mountain next time.

Please feel free to contribute anything to the conversation in the comments section, but please be aware that we’d like to get each reader to vote so that we can declare a winner. Your vote for who is “fair” can be based on whatever criteria you’d like. Is a well worded argument that you don’t necessarily agree with worth your vote? Or will you vote with the contributor that shares many of the same views as yourself?

For the first installment, we have MMO Staff members Satish Ram and XtreemIcon! I’d like to thank them both for their willingness to participate!

Question #1 – The Mets have at least 3 players who could be the starting 2B next year in Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy. Assuming no other minor leaguers are ready, who gets the starting job  and why? (This question was posed prior to the Murphy injury)

XtreemIcon Answer:
This all depends on Reyes, because the decision becomes easier if Tejada is the new SS.  I like Murphy over Turner in any and all scenarios.  He’s a far better hitter and Turner’s not exactly winning any gold gloves himself.  Murphy’s defense is better than he’s given credit for, and with his offense, you can live with his defense (much like you can live with Tejada’s offense because of his defense).

If Reyes is back, I leave it up to an open ST competition between Murphy and Tejada to see where both are at and give Turner some starts in LF and also at 1B to see how much else he can do.  We know what he is at 2B and at 3B.  I’m fine with either Murphy or Tejada starting, because in my scenario, both are given an opportunity to win it.  In any event, I think the Mets are going to have a real good bench next season.

Satish Response:
Murphy’s a far better hitter – there’s no question and Turner isn’t a wiz on defense. I like Murphy defensively only at first base, and we know that he’s not playing there next year. I feel Murphy’s best suited to fill in wherever we need him and if he develops more power, he’ll be a LH Mark DeRosa type of player. I can’t put up with Tejada’s offense because of his defense – because I feel he should stick it in AAA a little. He’s young and has time to develop; I do believe in his potential.

Satish Answer:
The way I see it, Tejada turns 22 at the end of this season and there’s no harm in keeping him in AAA to continue working on his offensive skills. Murphy has a great bat, but doesn’t have the best baseball instincts or glove – so by default, I’d have to give it to Justin Turner.

Although Turner isn’t a wiz on the field himself, he provides marginally acceptable and respectable numbers at 2B offensively. In addition, when it comes down to it, Daniel Murphy’s value as a super-utility/usable bat off the bench hinders his chance to be the starting 2B in my eyes

XtreemIcon Response:
While Turner provides “marginally acceptable and respectable numbers at 2B offensively” Murphy would be in the top 3 offensive 2B in the league. There was a point before Ike went down when Murphy was a full time 2B, when he was “qualified” (by MLB terms) at the position, where he was the only 2B in the league to rank in the top five in all of the following categories: BA, OBP, SLG, wOBA and wRC.

Something to please all fans. Phillips wasn’t top five. Weeks wasn’t top five. Only Murphy. I think the difference in their offense is far greater than the gap between the two defensively.  I think Murphy is the better overall player.

Question #2 - The Mets projected payroll next year is significantly lower with the loss of Beltran and K-Rod. Other than signing Reyes (or letting him walk), what is 1 move you feel the Mets have to make this winter?

XtreemIcon Answer:
I feel the Mets HAVE to sign Chris Young back.  Coming off another injury, his contract might even be more friendly then the $1.1 million and he’s got tremendous talent and was built for Citi Field.  There are far sexier moves and probably more impactful moves, but who might be available via trade or via declined option is just speculation.  I know Young is out there and I know what he can do.  That’s just one thing, though. 

Satish Response:
I’m probably going to be in the minority of the non-SABR group when I say that I like Chris Young and I loved the signing. But when you say you think they NEED to re-sign him, I have to disagree. He’ll be a 33-year old with decreasing velocity, a history of injury problems, and coming off the same surgery Johan Santana just had done on him. If he comes cheap, it’s nice, but I worry about what he has left.

Signing Young would also push Gee out of the rotation, unless Pelfrey is traded (which I don’t see happening), and that isn’t something I want to do because I feel Gee can be a decent, backend starter. Regardless, with Johan Santana coming back, and Niese/Dickey/Pelfrey being able to provide good starts and then, getting a solid bullpen and new closer seem to be high on the priority list to me.

Satish Answer:
Other than pursuing Reyes, I have a preference to pursuing pitching this offseason – specially the bullpen and a new closer. Izzy is not going to be back next year and it is very possible for us to compete and build up the farm at the same time. With Santana back next year, we need to shore up the bullpen to make sure we can win the games we deserve to win.

There are many quality relievers on the market this offseason: Mike Gonzalez, Zumaya on an incentive based deal, Kerry Wood, Chris Ray, Ryan Madson, Juan Cruz, K-rod, Capps, Bell, Nathan, and Broxton.

XtreemIcon Response:
I don’t think any reliever is worth two draft picks, especially the question marks on this list.  I firmly believe that stuff-wise, Beato and Parnell are just as good, if not better, than just about everyone on this list.  Instead of signing some type-As to be “impact” bullpen guys, I’d prefer to keep the draft picks and sign veterans to school Beato and Parnell. I’d look at a guy like Scott Linebrink.

I like Wood from that list. I’d bring back Izzy if his arm is still attached and let him pitch low-leverage innings. He’s been pretty solid this season. I’d give Okajima a look as a LOOGY.  George Sherrill is having an obscene year against lefties.  I agree the pen needs an upgrade, but I think the two best answers are already in-house.

Question #3 – Do you feel the Mets had a realistic shot at catching Atlanta before they traded Beltran? If so, would you have kept Beltran? If not, would you have dealt anybody else?

XtreemIcon Answer:
No, I feel the Mets were fighting up a hill with much too much of an incline to do any significant damage.  I think Alderson made the right moves in getting a top-notch prospect for Beltran and getting out from under K-Rod’s option.  If Alderson was really “quitting,” he’d have traded Reyes, too, and probably a few pitchers. 

As far as anybody else is concerned, if Capuano or Byrdak or any of the other players we heard rumors about had been traded, it wouldn’t have made a difference to me.  They weren’t going to be part of the future, anyway.

Satish Response:
I can disagree with you in the fact that I believed they had a chance to catch the Braves. Alderson may not be a quitter, but his moves at the deadline went a long way in reaffirming the idea that many fans had in their head – that he was brought in to cut salary and that he didn’t believe in this team.

I like the return he got for Beltran, but he wouldn’t have traded him if he thought this team could compete down the line – so Alderson isn’t a believer right now. One must wonder – if Davis wasn’t injured and the offense looked that much better, how many more games would we have won and would he still have traded Beltran?

Satish Answer:
Here’s the big thing for me. Do I think they had a realistic chance at catching Atlanta? Yes, I do. Do I think that they could’ve won the World Series this year with all the injuries? No, not really. With the end goal being the World Series victory, and Beltran not bringing in any compensation picks, I would’ve had to trade him. With the fact that Alderson had already traded K-rod to begin with to save salary, it was easy to see that Beltran was soon to be going anyway.

To answer the second part regardless – I would’ve traded Angel Pagan a long time ago. In terms of defense and patrolling CF, yes, we need Angel Pagan. But to be honest, he’s an overrated 4th OF that we should’ve sold high on to pick up some pitcher a while back. Captain Kirk can probably handle CF and provide average offensive production – it wouldn’t be that much of a step down.

XtreemIcon Response:
I agree. But I didnt mention Pagan in my list because I was all about trading him during the off season, before he got a chance to destroy his value on the field this season. That ship had sailed. Pagan has no trade value.

Conclusion:
So now it is up to you MMO faithful! Who’s viewpoint do you feel was most fair throughout the course of this conversation, XtreemIcon or Satish Ram?

The voting will close on Friday at 7pm est.

If you would like to participate as either a contributor or with questions for a future MMO Fair or Foul segment, e-mail MMOFairorFoul@gmail.com!

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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