It seems like for the past, I dunno, five eon’s, we’ve been discussing whether or not the New York Mets were going to sign free agent outfielder, former Atlanta Brave, Michael Bourn. Some of us thought it was all a ruse to begin with, that the Mets were playing with our fragile hopes and dreams just to keep the team relevant and to keep selling tickets. Some of us thought it would be a great signing considering the outfield was as bleak as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s post Governorship acting career. While some of us saw an aging player whose career relied on speed and who struck out more times than your average 15 year old high school nerd.
So of course we find out that Bourn was signed by the Cleveland Indians to a 4 year deal at $48 million with a vesting 5th year if he gets 550 at-bats, totaling the deal to 5 years and $60 million. Somewhere Jason Bay was gritting his teeth and giving himself a self-induced concussion upon hearing the news. I was never on the lets sign Bourn boat to start with and the least of which had to do with losing the draft pick. First off, why sign a player whose game is all about speed, to a long term contract and roll the dice that he stays healthy. No I’m not talking about Jose Reyes because Reyes was and is about 100 times more talented a player than Bourn.
Sure both are leadoff hitters, but Michael Bourn is a leadoff hitter by default – only for his speed. He struck out 155 times last year. Reyes did just about that over a three season span. Both of their on-base-percentages are relatively similar – something that should wake Reyes up I would think, but Reyes is just a better all-around player than Bourn ever has been. So what was so incredibly desirable about Bourn to Mets fans?
Yes, I know we’re probably going to see more faces in the outfield than Lindsay Lohan has DUI’s so a little certainty would be nice but at what risk? Are we ready to bring in yet ANOTHER player closer to the back end of their career to plug a hole only to lament the decision in year 3 when we’re paying a guy 12 million “who tries hard” and that’s about it?
I get it. It would be nice to have a warm body out there with some pedigree that didn’t require a background check with the Department of Homeland Security. Guess what –been there, done that and I’m sick of the Mets being burned in the process. Michael Bourn wasn’t the key player to take us to the next level. He’s just a name and Mets fans need to stop this love affair with names. The “next” star, if that comes from any of the young talent the Mets currently have, will not be a household name or a name the rest of us baseball wonks know of easily. It will be another Edgardo Alfonso. It will be another Todd Hundley. It will be another Jon Niese. It won’t be a Michael Bourn.
Sorry Mets fans…no white smoke this time.