Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Readers Strike Back: Jeff Francouer and Remuneration

TW writes: Again, I ask since you ole'd right around it during your attack, should we non-tender (Jeff Francouer) and worry about 4 positions instead of 3 next year, when, we all know the Wilpon's are going to reign (sic) in the dollars spent?

The only reason I do not think the Mets should non-tender Jeff Francouer is that I don't think there is another better alternative, given the precarious financial situation. You correctly point out that the Mets already have to improve in an least three positions (although I'm willing to give Daniel Murphy another shot at first base next season) and that the Wilpons are extremely unlikely to spend $140 million again in 2010.

Francouer has done better than I expected in New York - although five walks in 153 plate apearances is simply disgraceful. He's no special leader, either, or did he suddenly the discover the Fountain of Leadership when boarding the Delta Shuttle from Atlanta to New York? The Mets aren't going to be a good team next season anyway, so having Francouer in the lineup won't keep them out of the playoffs. They can bat him sixth, watch him put up another .270/.300/.400 campaign and hopefully non-tender him after next season.

TW writes: By the way, this is twice you used my material for your purposes, a third time will require payment.

Good luck collecting on that!


TW said...

At least stop calling it 'Readers Strike Back' seeing as though I'm the only reader.

I'm not sure why I read, only to have my faulty grammar pointed out to the world. So I don't pour over my words fifteen times just to prove you're wrong. Call the grammar police! Or, do what any self-respecting journalist would do, and cover the quote. What is this? The New York Post?

Jack Flynn said...

Eventually, some other reader will strike back, and then the name will be appropriate.

James Allen said...

Ah, intangibles.

The reason trying to talk about intangibles in a useful way is fruitless is threefold:

1) People can't specifically agree on what exactly intangibles are.

2) If even you could establish an "intangible," it can't be quantified.

3) Even if you somehow magically quantified an "intangible" there is no way to establish how much that "quantity of intangible" has on team performance. And if you really want to buy into the notion of intangibles, then you have to add up the intangibles of all 25 players (why just cherry pick the one player you like?) I mean what if some of the players have negative intangibles?

All this kind of talk then leads to post hoc selective thinking which can lead to chicken or egg arguments. To give a local example: Derek Jeter, is his "leadership" ability what lead them to 4 championships in his first five seasons, or is the fact that the Yankees won four World Series in his first five years the reason he acquired a leadership mantle of extreme proportions? And since they haven't won in the last 8 seasons, is his clubhouse magic diminished? This is all fun stuff to talk about all over a beer, but in the practical world it's pretty much useless. I mean you can talk about "good clubhouse guys" and "clubhouse cancers" but those are PR concerns more than anything else.

I will of course concede that since the game is not played by robots (thank goodness) that there is a human factor that results in quirkiness here and there, but when it comes down to acquiring talent, I'll put my money down on proven ability (as opposed to reputation).