Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Future

I have found an innate difference between Mets fans and Yankee fans.

Yankee fans, generally, get more excited about which big free agents are coming to the Bronx during the off season.

Mets fans, who have been burned plenty via free agency, get more excited over the farm system.

It's slightly ironic when you think about it. The very fact that Yankee fans are in the position to realistically dream about being able to attract free agents is because of the fact that their farm system produced the players that it did. But the Yankees have a good record over the last 30 years with free agents...Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, Gary Sheffield, and even Jason Giambi.

The Mets, meanwhile, long ago tried to construct an entire team via free agency, and 1993 didn't work out so well, did it?

And after Pedro Martinez and Robin Ventura, who as a Met free agent, has had a major positive impact with the organization...ever?

So Mets eyes, generally, look towards the farm...regardless of what happened with Generation K...regardless that after Darryl Strawberry and David Wright, the Mets haven't developed many stud position players...or any stud position players that have stuck with the club.

Which brings me to Tuesday night's walk-off hero in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Marlins, Mike Jacobs.

Jacobs is going to be an interesting case in 2006. He's shown he can hit. He's shown he can play first base. He has caught plenty in the minors. He certainly deserves a chance to show he can contribute in a major role. But will he?

If Omar Minaya, in an effort to completely revamp the lineup next season, goes out and gets a first baseman AND a catcher, then where does that leave Jacobs? And how nervous will the Mets fan base be...with free agents everywhere and Jacobs on the bench or in the minors? And will they demand Minaya's head on a platter if it doesn't work out?

For me, there's definitely a place for Jacobs on the club in 2006, and in a major role, along with other youngsters such as Wright, Jose Reyes, and Anderson Hernandez. Where? I'm not telling. And this is where I tease my upcoming "plan to save the Mets" for next season, which some may feel inappropriate for me to post until the Mets are eliminated this season, so let the chance to berate me and my plan be incentive to keep visiting.

But as for right now, Jacobs has certainly proven that he belongs.

18 comments:

Tommy Calzone said...

Couldn't agree more!

That being said I am scared sh!tless about what Omar & Willie want for next season.

I'd rather watch Jacobs mature and make growing mistakes then see some monster trade or FA signing that will be average at best. Same goes for Hernandez.

I am still not sold on Victor Diaz so if they wanna bring in Manny and or a catcher, fine. But leave the infield alone. Let them grow up together.

jdon said...

there is no big bopper first baseman they can get--Overbay is a softie and so is Casey. They need to get Manny and possibly another bat at 2B or RF. Diaz appears productive but he also appears to strike out all the time. Keep Jacobs. He is young, cheap, has pop, and will improve. Jacobs would probably hit more HRs than either Casey or Overbay over a full season. Unless you can get a big bopper.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your ideas on how the 2006 Mets should be constructed....as far as the Lundmark jersey...at least he is on the team...I got Mike York with his #18 to find out he is would wear #16 because of a trade or signing they made and then they traded him to Edmonton...so bite me...

Mario

Metstradamus said...

Mario,

Mine is autographed so bite me.

Anonymous said...

I bought mine...you just happened to get lucky and win a freaking raffle....so what....it cost you nothing...so BITE ME!!!!!!!!!!!

mr. met said...

I have an unsigned Glavine jersey. Everyone can bit me.

Metstradamus said...

Leave it to Mr. Met to provide much needed perspective. Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked...Glavine is not a real Met...so he does not matter....bite me again

Kyle in Newport News said...

Re: that poll about whether finishing over .500 means anything.

numbers that start with .5 are prettier than those that start with .4, but what I'd really like is to see the Mets finish ahead of the Nats. They were the best team in the NL East at the All-Star Break, after all. And, of course, they're evil...

Metstradamus said...

Last time I checked Mario, you're in California eating tofu and cous cous to bite me.

Metstradamus said...

Kyle, I'd settle for them finishing ahead of the REDS at this point.

Metstradamus said...

Mario,

Bite me.

(No reason)

Jaap said...

Metsra, I have to say sadly, that I disagree with you majorly on this.

Dont' forget, or underestimate, the future and what Pedro and Carlos meant to this franchise in the future.

It's all good and well to have a prosperous farm system, but they are, other than the exceptional, merely fantasies, ideals, hopes, they aren't proven.

You pay shitloads, like the Yankees do, for names, but hopefully, names that perform when it counts.

As much as I hate the Yankees, they have a better chance than us to make the playoffs.

Would I still love the Mets if they went out this winter and bought EVERYTHING like the Yankees almost did?

Only if they won.

If they won with vets they paid a trillion dollars for or if they won with unproven nobodies who suddenly took the stage without anyone's permission...

in summary, it isn't the meat, it's the gravy.

http://archiebunkersarmy.blogspot.com/2005/09/win-when-it-doesnt-count.html

Metstradamus said...

Jaap,

What it ultimately comes down to is this:

There is a way to incoporate both courses of thought with the Mets. Certainly there is excitement when the Mets sign a free agent...but they also don't have the luxury of patience. That's the nature of the game. Fans are always more patient with the home grown stars (unless your name is Jefferies.) And when times are tough, there's always a calling for the farm guys.

The Mets have found many ways to screw up...they could screw up a free lunch sometimes. But I think for the most part they've screwed up by sacrificing youth and by signing free agents. I think not all but a good amount of Met fans are very leery about older free agents for that reason.

I do agree though that winning is winning, no matter how old the player who dons the uniform. And if the Mets are going to take the next step next year, they're certainly going to need to go the free agent route.

Anonymous said...

THE LUCK FACTOR

As Al Gore said after the 2000 election debacle: "You win some and you lose some and then there is this third little category that no one ever talks about"...

The third category is luck and luck does have a track record.

You can fly Jaap all the way out from the UK and throw him into a Braves uni and he will turn into Francour (however the hell you spell it) instantly or throw him in the SKANKEE pinstripes and he will give Jeter a run for his money.

But you could bring back The Babe or Ted Williams and sign them as free agents and throw them into a mets uni and they will turn into Mo Vaughn or Roberto Alomar or even Carlos Bootran... (The standing boovations are probably driving him nuts.)

Something about free agents signing with the Orange and Blue...

The Mets have been very unlucky with Free Agent signings..

Maybe its the curse of the prospects. We've had the curse of the Bambino, curse of the Billy Goat. And now, the curse of the Prospects.

We have to develop an organizational philosophy like Oakland from Single A all the way up to the show. Mold our prospects so that they play our Brand of baseball built around speed, pitching, and defense. If we can do that, we will win consistantly with a much smaller budget.

And that, boys n girls, will make the Wilpons cream in their pants.

Anonymous said...

they also have a bad track record of signing guy on the wrong side of 30

Metstradamus said...

There absolutely should be an organizational philosophy.

But that doesn't mean they should have to win on a small budget. Like Jaap says, prospects are great but that can't be all. Oakland has done it out of necessity...so has Atlanta to a point. The Mets should do it because it's a good idea, and enhance the organizational philosphy with smart trades and free agent signings. Of course it's easier to be smart when your prospects afford you that luxury of not acting out of desperation.

And they need to be lucky too.

Jaap said...

Well, if it matters at all, I think the Mets are on the right course.

They've got some very good young players through the farm system, like Wright and Reyes and hell, maybe even Jacobs. They've got a good young free agent signing in Beltran to build around.

After this season, they'll be rid of Piazza, probably Cameron and hopefully Floyd (because you can be sure Cliffy will never have such an injury-free season again the rest of his career) and eventually, all the "old Mets", the guys who carried us through several years of painful mediocrity, will be replaced by "new Mets" some of whom will be farm system products and some of whom will be free agents.

I don't think it's luck so much as it is making the right, baseball-intelligent choices as to whom you sign as a free agent -- something we all know the Mets have been tragically incapable of in the past.

The free agents need not be big-name, big-money signings, they need to be parts of the whole, additions which fit properly into the new Met philosophy which, despite the results of this season, appears to be a successful one.

We do need to win "now" so to speak as no one wants to endure another season juggling with .500.

But it can be done without the desperate signings of the Saberhagens and Bonillas (to name a few). It can be done with careful consideration of what's needed versus what's available and with the foresight in knowing where they need to make up for areas which the farm system cannot provide for.

If you can do that whilst simultaneously developing your farm system, well, not an easy thing, but if you do it, you've got the hallmark of a successful organisation -- something that the Mets haven't been able to boast about in 20 years.

I think Omar's the guy to do it and despite this season's results, I have faith that at the end of the day, the Mets will be right where we'd always hope to find them.