We keep hearing the word “plan” tossed around this winter. Nobody knows what the plan is, as it seems to change from day-to-day and week-to-week. As legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks would say, this Mets off-season has looked a lot like “two monkeys trying to hump a football.”
The only “plan,” as I see it, is to keep the Mets fans thinking there is a plan so that they continue to buy tickets and merchandise. However, there are no plans to build a winning team with bottom of the barrel players. Telling the fan base they are using “moneyball” tactics to find undervalued players has been nothing but a well-developed con.
What the Mets call undervalued players, everyone else calls crap. There is a reason why these players are still available in January and February. Are we to believe that every other team ignored these players, with all the advanced statistics out there today? Give me a break already.
The truth is, moneyball doesn’t exist anymore. We are seeing the players and agents getting wiser and demanding more money for their “undervalued” skills. If you can tell me what is undervalued about a career .235 hitter, then please do. I would love to hear all about it.
The funny thing is, the portion of the fan base that loves the Chris Young signing for his power and defense are the same fans that spoke against the Mets pursuing Justin Upton by marginalizing his power numbers as a result of hitting in Arizona last year. Yet all of Young’s big power years came when he played in Arizona.
So the Mets sign Chris Young and his career averages are a about 18 homeruns per year and a batting average of .235, to go along with solid defense. I’m pretty sure Matt den Dekker could put up similar offensive numbers, play better defense, and do it for about $7 million less…moneyball, huh?
Undervalued players are becoming more and more overvalued due to supply and demand, yet they continue to toss around sensationalized words like “moneyball” to keep the fan base at ease with them signing crappy players because they refuse to spend money.
Why do they do it? To keep us buying tickets and merchandise, that’s why.
Can you win without spending boat loads of money?
Sure you can. But that’s if your core of players is solid, and everything still has to come together. Let’s not forget, we were told this was supposed to be the winter of the big free agency shopping spree.
At this point, the only way the Mets can become competitive would be for them to mortgage the future by trading away the majority of their top tier prospects for impact players. The problem is that is a risky proposition—very risky.
What if they do that, and still don’t win? Then they are worse off than when they started, so I doubt the Mets are going to do that.
Is there a difference between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets at this point?
There is, actually.
The Royals organization doesn’t mess around with the fan-bases’ heads and get them to believe that spending is in the future…or winning is on the way. They set clear expectations, so the fan base has no reason to be outraged.
People question why Mets’ fans feel entitled to something? As if we are crazy to think the way we do.
Well, had the organization not set such high expectations, I don’t think there would be as much of a buzz as there is right now. For three long and agonizing years, the organization said that 2014 would be the year that everything gets turned around. And now, it seems like that is not going to happen.
To be honest, I think there was a plan. I think this team believed that Ike Davis and Lucas Duda were going to turn into legit core players on the team, and then they were only going to have to add a couple of small pieces this winter in order to get competitive again.
Unfortunately, the plan backfired. Davis and Duda can be packaged together and probably only gain a couple of marginal prospects in return, and Matt Harvey’s injury was the proverbial cherry on the top of their plan backfiring.
Rather than the organization step to the plate and let us know that things are not working out as planned, they continue to spoon feed us manure.
Even though fans will look at this plan as a failure, Sandy Alderson will ultimately get his contract extended, as he is the perfect GM for the Wilpon’s new strategy. Alderson will not swayed by public opinion or what fans think. He was brought in to save the Wilpon’s money, not build a winning team. They wanted a guy that would not cave to the fans’ outcries of spending money.
Before Alderson, Omar Minaya brought us wins, but the Wilpon’s thought he spent foolishly and burdened the organization with bad contracts. Now they have switched to the opposite direction and have a GM in place that seems perfectly happy spending little money. We probably need to be somewhere in-between.
The past few years Mets fans have been able to joke and say things like “we’re thankful we aren’t Pirates fans.” It’s sure getting harder and harder to find things to be thankful for as Mets fans these days, isn’t it?