Friday, August 21, 2009

The Readers Strike Back

TW writes: The way a team gets people interested in watching them in times like these is to play your kids, ready or not. I know that starts arbitration clocks and what not but this is a franchise that shouldn't worry about spending money, considering most of the guys they bring up will be traded before their arbitration comes up.

As far as Francouer, he has reverted to career totals, more RBI, more strikeouts. His leadership and defensive skills are apparent and batting in seventh in a healthy order he will be fine for us. Or would you rather have to sign a pitcher, a left fielder a first baseman AND a right fielder? Even if times were good, financially, that would be a tall order. Lackey, a top tier left fielder and hope Murphy matures into a .280avg/.450 slu hitter by march or Ike Davis kills it in spring and totally blows projections aside. Let's not rid ourselves of another piece because you don't believe in intangibles.

You know who believes in intangibles? Tim McCarver.

Intangibles, by their very definition, do not exist. An intangible is something that cannot be quantified. That's like saying I bring intangibles to the basketball court when we play instead of talent or hustle. In the end, it's better to have talent and hustle.

EVERYBODY has intangibles, when you get right down to it. But people put so much stock in their own perception of intangibles that they are shocked when someone sees things differently. You talk of Francouer's "leadership skills" being "apparent." Based on what? Has this team suddenly risen from the depths of its misery and made a headlong charge at the Phillies? Are they running faster and jumping higher? Do they appear to be any more of a professional baseball team then they did the day Frenchy graced us with his presence?

No, Francouer is being hailed as a leader because he's a white guy who smiles when he talks to the media. Every single "leader" in baseball has those two attributes except for Derek Jeter - and he's still half-white. Seriously, name me all the black and Latino "leaders" in baseball. You can probably count them on one hand - because influential baseball writers are almost invariably middle-aged white guys who tend to see leadership reflecting in a person that looks more like themselves.

The part that I didn't get to, but which you brought up for me, is the idea of "playing the kids" instead of Sheffield. I wanted to write about that as well, because in most situations it does make more sense to play the kids instead. The problem is, the Mets don't have any kids to play. Buffalo and Binghamton are the two worst minor league teams in baseball, so they're not exactly teeming with young talent. Here are the active outfielders on those two rosters today:

Chip Ambres
Jason Dubois
Nick Evans
Jesus Feliciano
Josh Petersen
Emanuel Garcia
Caleb Stewart
DJ Wabick

Which of those guys is going to attract more interest than Gary Sheffield?


TW said...

Your first error and as always you have many—you should rename this blog Productive Outs and Jack Flynn's Flights of Fancy—is that you say there is no such thing as intangibles and then announce the existence of intangibles in everyone.

Intangibles is a colloquial term that you know good and well is used to describe any number of things that make a team or player better or worse, like knowing and identifying how to run the bases correctly, for example. In this case 'intangibles' stands for baseball acumen, and you know this, but you'd rather try and disprove me then actually agree.

Yes, he's likable and he happens to be white. He also doesn't walk out of the locker room without saying a word, and he shoots straight. That's not being white, that's taking some responsibility for his position in this mess, and he has little or nothing to do with this mess!! Leaders do things like that. And don't you think an intangible such as a positive attitude works well, here, the media capital of the world?

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

I've had more fun watching Sullivan play his ass off then watching Sheffield limp. Yes, the cupboard is bare, but why hold onto the likes of Redding or Livan if you can bring up a Holt or Stoner. Bring up the kid Malo who played well in ST. Bring up Thole, Davis, who cares, we suck and Sheffield isn't bringing people to the stadium!

I don't mind that the Mets pulled Sheffield back, he has played well. The Mets got an offer, they didn't like it, they pulled him back. No problem with that. But if he wants to get all pissy about it, then fuck it,, let him walk. I'd rather see Feliciano, hitting .304 or Petersen, hitting .326 out there playing for a job. Don't they deserve the opportunity after good seasons? What interest is there in Sheffield? We can't even trade him now, he's playing out the string. All he is, now, is a dark cloud waiting to rain in the clubhouse.

TW said...

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