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Somewhere on the rundown of Cubs' skippers, my favorite, Don Zimmer, needs a mention.
Grew up a Mets' fan in NY in the late 70s & 80s. Rock Raines as one of the best of that era comes to mind very quickly. He'd beat you with the legs, the glove, the bat. I can accept the love for DH Edgar, but not without someone like Raines ahead of him. Way ahead.
That said, I echo the sentiments above about transparency, and understand the difficult PED-linked decisions on your plate.
Love the graphic!
Thumbs up! I grew up listening to Bob Murphy & Lindsey Nelson, and appreciate Scully greatly. I don't know if the new broadcasters, even the best of them, have Scully's devotion to detail.
Wow, some timing, Craig! Your article was on my mind bottom of the seventh and onward. Do you think Howie Rose and Gary Cohen are celebrating big, partying hard, getting silly wasted tonight? I am on the west coast, so the night is still young, and I'm definitely on the way.
Zack Wheeler will hurl one in 2017, but it won't come easy. Wheeler fans 14 Cubs, and survives four errors from an aging Daniel Murphy, who was unsure whether he was manning first or second that afternoon. No Willie Montanez or Doug Flynn that Murph! .
Fifty years ago today, per a note on MLB.com, the new Metropolitans of New York traded for Marv Eugene Thornberry. I wasn't around back then, but I can testify that I have no regrets in that I was made a Mets fan and not a Bronx fan, despite everything ...
Jesus Christ Allin? Wow. ool. I guess.
Maddon may be my favorite manager around today. I give him credit for trying always to maximize his talent, which offensively doesn't match up to the Yankees and which doesn't warrant the easy-same-order every day approach most managers take to avoid criticism. I do wonder if he'd be able to do all this in NY, where every little thing goes under the microscope. In Tampa he has a lot of players who are okay but, essentially not everyday guys, so I think he is doing the right thing no doubt.
Thanks for the article. You've clarified thing!
I recall that Selig stepped in and ordered Wilpon to reduce debt a year or two after Doubleday departed, as the team debt rose quickly as soon as FW became sole owner. I'm just wondering if there is a pattern of financial mismanagement there that goes beyond the whole Maddoff fiasco.
Good stuff, Jay! One of my favorite articles every year.
Here's a thumbs up for: Eight Men Out; The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings (Richard Pryor, Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones); The Winning Team (Ronald Reagan as Glover Cleveland Alexander and Doris Day is his wife); & Major League.
Field of Dreams is my least favorite movie. he Natural almost as bad. Both terrible films. The others on the list are solid choices. Glad to see Sandlot get some love.
Prefer Bingo Long to Brewsters Millions. And Pride of the Yankees over Damn Yankees, for sure.
Maybe, Torre should know about poor defensive catchers.
No doubt the best of the Posada write ups that have surfaced since he announced his retirement!
Milwaukee to the AL. Ha!
A few other items:
Trash the half-witted rule that awards WS home field advantage to the winner of the All Star exhibition. It may be the most inane rule in pro sports.
Use influence to make sure the game recognizes the scouts in Cooperstown.
Abandon idea of 1-game play offs. Force a shorter season, or sprinkle a few doubleheaders into the schedule to fit another round of playoffs (at least 3 games).
Although I didn't think he would surpass standard, I thought Mattingly's case would have improved more significantly given the revised methodology.
Agee with the comments above on including all candidates. It's appreciated.
I am no Valentine lover, but this seems an unfair summary of Valentine's managerial record and talent, and one that completely ignores his work in Japan.
Awesome! As a Mets' fan, i've always gotten a kick out of Mookie & Keith joining in singing Put Down the Duckie.
Re. CF -- In this context, I would hesitate to trust any of the current defensive stats to decide something as close as Ellsbury-Kemp, unless you are perhaps measuring at least three years of production. Sometimes they differ too widely from year to year for the same player.
Gene Mauch Expos, Angels
Paul Richards, Angels
Bobby Valentine, Rangers & Mets?
Chuck Tanner, Pirates
Red Schoendiesnt, Cardinals
Branch Rickey, Cardinals
Miller Huggins, Yankees, Cardinals
Bill Terry, Giants
The 2000 Mets' outfield Valentine cobbled together by World Series time comes to mind as weaker than many other Series teams. Jay Payton flanked by Benny Agbayanni, Timo Perez, & tiny bit of Bubba Trammell.
Wasn't '64 the year he pitched his no-hitter vs the Mets on Father's Day?
La Russa with Eck?
Thumbs up! Excellent piece.
Jason, Grew up in NY, and I also was apprehensive about moving to California for the same 4pm start time for Mets' you mention. Not so! I love it! MLB.tv has made it easier lately (I moved in the late 90's). But, generally, the 4pm start -- if you can organize your schedule around that sart time, as I do for most of summer -- is great. By 7:30 keith and gary are off and I still have a good chunk of the evening left, perhaps time even to catch a Giants or Angels game. Also, on most days, 4-7pm, the girlfriend is barely around:-) It's great.
Jason ~ I appreciate your mentioning Autism Awareness Month.
If I'm not mistaken, LaRussa's club still has a hole at 3B, the same hole since he decided to teach Rolen a lesson. Maybe the hitting coach can play center next year.
Riggleman doesn't know what he's talking about. Like hockey? Obviously, he's unaware of what really goes on in hockey. Indeed, that might do one good thing for Riggleman: it might increase the Nats' attendance while Stras is out of action. He'd have a boxing match within a ball game.
Baker & LaRussa should have been hit harder as well. 6 or 7 games each? After all, aren't the managers supposed to be part of the solution in brawls? It's hard to take MLB's punishment system serious. It continues to be a joke, generally.
That said, I loved the brawl, and do enjoy watching two managers show their competitiveness out there. Loved the old clip of Baker (with Giants) yelling at LaRussa across dugouts: "Do whatever you f--k want to do."
Always look forward to your Hall pieces. Although I didn't always instinctively think Hall when thinking of Dawson, it irked me that Rice entered. I'll take Dawson over Rice. I grew up in the 80's & saw more of the National, so I may have some bias on that front, I admit The Rice entry bugs me more than the Hawk's. I suppose this is the slippery slope.
Right on re. the Rock!
Steven: You captured things well, highlighting -- fairly -- Steinbrenner's deficiencies as a baseball man. The so-called football mentality does work well in baseball. GS excelled was at the business end of things: his 10-year deal with MSG; YES's development.
The success of the Torre years kept him from his worst instincts. If the Mets had won the 2000 WS, it's likely Torre would have found his way west by 2001, and Cashman would be the GM of the Royals -- or Pirates, or some such team -- today. Showalter deserved the '96 season, at least. His firing mirrored Howser's after Howser won 103 games. I'm not sure what important lessons George learned while on suspension for the Winfield fiasco.
Best -- smartest -- GMs he employed? Gabe Paul & Gene Michael, architects of his two great runs. They may be the only two good GMs he hired, save Cashman. Both got the hell out of the GM chair soon after Steinbrenner was once again fully in charge.
If teams are being investigated, shouldn't we know which teams, the details as to why they're under scrutiny, & who exactly has responsibility for the so-called investigation? The lack of transparency seems to be in no one's long-term interest.
Weiner's statement that some teams are trying harder than others is completely subjective, especially if the standards he is using to judge are the union's, which is not clear one way or the other.
Any chance the owners drop compensation for FAs in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations?
The history of the Wilpons suggests they may not understand -- or accept -- the concept of sunk costs. That's hard to believe considering Fred Wilpon has been a successful business man his whole life, but there's plenty of evidence.
Release Perez makes solid sense at this point if they can't convince him (and his agent Boras) to accept a demotion to Buffalo.
The Mets are not close to playoff-caliber. Washington has better overall talent at this point. They'd be hurting themselves if they approached this season with a playoff rationale. Throwing any type of cash to Washburn, or other similar veterans, should be discounted.
That said, the organization is challenged because they lack depth in starters, which makes Manuel's decision to keep Mejia ridiculous. Mejia is the Met's little vesion of Strasburg -- at least their only current chance of developing a 1 or 2. Instead, he's been used for six weeks in the bigs and produced replacement reliever results.
It's possible we may see the right thing happening with Perez but under a new regime, yet soon enough. The Wilpons are totally reactive when it comes to personnel moves. They needed to make changes in the FO and in the dugout this past winter at the latest. I think we'll see both Minaya and Manuel gone after the early June draft.
Ike Davis played a pretty good RF in the Arizona Fall League last year. He has the arm for a corner OF spot. I would think that Beltran's bat replacing Frenchy makes the most sense, even if it means Beltran at frist & Davis in right.
I can see Willie Randolph replacing Ken Macha soon, perhaps before the All-Star break.
Jay ~ Re. some of the commentary above on Rice and BJ's decade-plus old Hall metrics ~
There's no doubt that his standards, monitor, etc. can serve, at best,as guiding tools only. Your point about their undervaluing OBP is on the money, of course.
At the same time, is it possible that we are now at a point where more advanced, complex metrics, such as JAWS, might overvalue OBP, & thus show undue bias towards someone like Edgar Martinez? I'm not suggesting that's happening. I have no idea. Only asking if it's possible that the emphasis on OBP is masking over deficiencies in other parts of a player's game.
Okay, guilty as charged on being prejudice. I think the majority of relievers have no business being in the Hall, just as I have serious doubts about Edgar & any other full-time DH.
Great point about Alomar and the first-year ballot. Nothing outrageous there.
An example of what gets me frustrated is Edgar Martinez garnering 36% in his first year, while Tim Raines barely gets to 30% in his fourth year. Raines failed to crack 20% on his first ballot, I believe.
Crazy stuff! No disrespect to Martinez, but he wasn't 1/2 the player compared to Raines. It's hard to not show some frustration towards the voters when considering outcomes like this.
The process itself can use updating. Fifteen years of eligibility might have made sense in the late 1930s when they had to deal with the pre-1901 backlog. Slicing it to about ten years now seems reasonable. And let's consider consider killing the Veterans Committee, although its current form is not nearly as harmful as previous versions.
If that means that a Blyleven wouldn't make it, so be it. Tough call, but I'd rather err on the side of trying to keep the standards very high. Ten years should be enough time to analyze, ponder, brood, and campaign.
The problem with players like Rice and Tony Perez entering on their 15th try is the slippery slope theory. Excellent players Perez & Rice. My dad is huge Perez fan, in fact. I grew up hearing how clutch he was again and again and again. still, I don't think the Hall would really miss either player.
Perhaps process reform is something for the new Selig Super Task Force to tackle? Patience? Yes, we'll need plenty. After all, is there an organization slower to embrace change than MLB? I'm exaggerating, but not by too much ...
About starting your best on short rest, with underdog New York leading 3 games to 2, Yogi Berra & pitching coach Rube Walker chose to start Tom Seaver & Jon Matlack on three days rest in games 6 & 7 against Oakland in 1973, instead of throwing George Stone (12-3 2.80 ERA) in game six & a more-rested Seaver in game seven.
It didn't work out; there would be no '69-style miracle in '73. The Jackson-led A's hit well that weekend.
Berra has been criticized forever for that call -- at least amongst Mets' fans. But, looking back on it, I think I would have done as Yogi did, & taken my chances with the two horses on short rest.
Will, You name a few teams as having focused on health. What are they doing today that's so different? And how come my Mets haven't heard about this "focus"?:-)
Cool article. Thanks. Goldman for Flushing GM!
To this Mets' fan, this piece highlights well the foolishness and paranoia of Mets' leadership. And for a few seconds I thought Ike was in the White House, the VP was the original -- and only -- Dick, and a smiling Ronnie Reagan was testifying before McCarthy, quoting Thomas Jefferson.
By the by, Wilpon's creepy smile and coolness in the second conference was odd and off-putting, I thought. Anyway, what kind of managers require two press conferences to make one change in their executive team?
Where have you gone Frank Cashen?
Shawn -- Your articles on the business side are always interesting. You didn't include PED testing as a top issue in future negotiations. Do you see that pretty much settled now? I can envision tension on issues such as whether to use blood tests, with the union resisting that one, obviously.
Last question: Are the rules governing international scouting/recruitment under the collective bargaining umbrella?
All great thorough points/analysis, Meddler.
Joe, I don\'t see a need to replace Church with Abreu. Isn\'t that a downgrade? Defensively, Beltran and Church can support Murphy/Evans/Tatis in left.
Re. the bullpen, you are right about how they should be careful to throw money and long-term contracts at it, but isn\'t that what you\'re doing by signing Wood (huge health risk!) and Cruz (three years sounds like Schoenweis\'s deal)?
Lowe is perfect; I hope they sign him. Offensively, they need one more righty, run-prioducing bat. I\'d add Juan Rivera, planning on getting him about 400 ABs between left and right. If healthy, I\'d use Tatis out there too, but I\'d try to use Tatis in the infield too, at least more than they did last year. Rivera is not a sexy sign, but I don\'t want to invest too many years at this point.
I\'d consider trading either Murphy or Evans in the right deal that nets a good starter, someone who averages 6+ innings per game. On the rooks, I\'m one of the few who thinks Evans will be the better player long-term. Regardless, Nick Evans can start at AAA if he\'s squeezed from the roster, knowing we can call him to back up first or an OF corner.
F-Mart, a lefty, may be ready in 2010. Only if he\'s ready then, do I consider giving up on Church & trading him. Church brings top-rate defense to RF. I see the possibility of a major restructuring of the outfield in 2010, not now.