Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Lost In Translation

Carlos Delgado, during last year's contentious free agent negotiations, called Mets' special assistant Tony Bernazard "the highest-paid translator on the planet".

Well now that the Mets have worked out an agreement to trade for Delgado (pending physicals), maybe Bernazard can translate this one for me.

OK, so you have the Florida Marlins, who can't get a new stadium deal, and can't pay for Delgado's or anybody else's contract for that matter, so they make a decision to unload everybody that's expensive.

Now along come the Mets, who not only give up two highly touted prospects (First baseman Mike Jacobs and pitcher Yusmeiro Petit) for him, but they get the Marlins to fork over $7 million to help pay for the contract.

So let's count the things that make no sense, shall we? The Marlins, who are hemorraging money, and have driven down the price of everybody on their team with their "we're looking at other cities because we have no money" announcement, give up a boat load of cash in order to rid themselves of Delgado's contract. The Mets, who have already been skewered in the past by trading a top flight pitching prospect to get a washed up middle reliever, choose the $7 million dollars over keeping either Jacobs or Petit to get a guy who didn't choose the Mets when he had the chance.

And that's key here...because the Mets have had a history of bringing in players, be it through trade or free agency, that have been horrible fits for New York. Bobby Bonilla was one. Robby Alomar was another. I remember thinking what a great deal the Mets pulled off for Alomar when I heard quotes from him on WFAN. Not once during Alomar's initial comments after becoming a Met included one statement about playing for the Mets, or what he was looking forward to. Every single thing out of Alomar's mouth was about Cleveland...how they lied to him...how he wanted to stay...and so on. That was the first sign that Robby Alomar wasn't going to work. This is going to be key as the first quotes eminates from Delgado's mouth about this whole thing...about last year's negotiations, about everything.

Now it's not all bad. After all, Delgado is the big stick that the Mets lineup so desperately needs. And if Mike Jacobs turns out to be Kevin Maas, and Petit turns out to be Floyd Youmans, then the deal is a steal. Not to mention that the acquisition of Delgado might be the clincher in convincing Billy Wagner that New York is indeed the place to sign. But there is a disastrous scenario. Delgado, in light of his initial trepidation about New York, his anthem flap of a few years ago, combined with the fact that the expectations now will be nothing less than a World Championship make him a higher than normal risk for a mental meltdown. You thought Beltran heard boos when he didn't get off to a hot start? That will seem like yodels in a canyon compare to what Delgado will hear if he starts off hitting .250 with 2 HR's in April. And if you combine a Delgado slow start with production from Jacobs and Petit, not to mention Billy Wagner in Philadelphia, Shea could be one difficult place to play (not to mention a difficult place for Mets fans to watch a game),

And here is the key: if it is a difficult season for Delgado, here is one fact that will loom:

Because he is a veteran player traded during a multiyear contract, Delgado would have the right to file a trade demand during the 15 days following next year's World Series.
Think of the ramifications if Delgado bombs, leaves, and Yusmeiro Petit leads the Las Vegas Marlins to a third World Series title before the Mets win their third.

Then again, perish that thought.

17 comments:

Travolta said...

Metstradamus,

I have been planning on posting a little note on this site for a long time. I am a faithful reader of all the big Mets blogs... mostly I read yours and Metsblog.com... but sometimes a little Chuck'n'Duck or Archie Bunker's Army.

You have a good blog, and I always enjoy reading the things you have to see. Its good to find Mets talk with a level of sophistication.

I just have to drop my little two cents about this Delgado business. I have been a Mets fan since I was old enough to know what baseball was. I come from a New York family with a long heritage of rooting for New York's National League teams. I was raised on my grandfather's stories of skipping school to go to the pologrounds.

If there is one thing I know about myself and about Mets fans in general, we tend to be slightly cynical in our views. I guess its par for the course because sticking with this team takes a certain ability to stare naked reality in the eye.

That being said, I think that everyone on all the blog sites needs to relax about this trade. It is a really, really good move. Petit is completely unproven and stunk in AAA. Jacobs, as has been repeteatedyl mentioned by everyone, has not had 100 major league ABs. Delgado is a superstar. I agree that it is a gamble to bring him to Shea... then again it is a gamble to bring anyone to Shea. It would have also been a gamble to keep Petit and/or Jacobs and just hope they become stars.

If I were a betting man, and I am not, I would without hesitation chose Delgado. EVERYONE NEEDS TO LIGHTEN UP. THE BEST THING THAT COULD POSSIBLY HAPPEN TO A METS FAN ON THE DAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING IS TO WAKE UP AND READ THAT CARLOS DELGADO HAS BEEN OBTAINED THROUGH A TRADE FOR UNPROVEN YOUNG PLAYERS.

Also, this deal has nothing in common with the Kasmir-Zambrano trade except that the other team is in Florida.

This has been a rant, but I have been saving it up. I will conclude by saying that the only two choices to bolster the lineup with Manny and Delgado. Delgado is clearly the better choice.

Metstradamus said...

Travolta,

Thanks for the kind words. You're certainly right about the "cynical" part. I hope you're right about the rest.

I just think that players produce more when they are happy. Too many times players who want to be here are sent away while others who obviously don't want to be here are dragged here kicking and screaming. To me, given the choice between bringing in a free agent who wants to be here, and bringing in another player of comparable ability at the cost of good prospects, I choose the former.

As I've said, a lot depends on how Delgado approaches everything regarding his past negotiations with the Mets, and is willing to put it all behind him. The Mets obviously are willing to do so.

You certainly can't fault Omar for making this deal...it's certainly a long way from the days of acquiring Shane Spencer instead of Vladimir Guerrero. And there is risk with every deal...as you've said. The risk just always seems so much greater when you're talking about Queens, with everything that comes with being the Mets, between star crossed history, and yes having a certain other team playing in another borough. That's where the cynical part comes in.

But like I said...I hope you're right and not me. And thank you for being a supporter of this here little site.

erik love said...

Metstra, don't you think Delgado is one of those guys that can hit anywhere?

He seems like a guy that can wake up in the mornining and rake....

Atleast now we don't have to watch him pound on Kris Benson anymore...

Metstradamus said...

Only if Benson goes to Arizona for Vazquez.

Florida is also a hard place to hit dingers and he hit 30 in '05 so it probably isn't going to be too much of an issue.

As I've said...I hope I'm wrong. I'll go so far as to say I probably am wrong. And if I'm wrong, you know I'll admit it. But if my worst fears are confirmed, then how many more years will it be before the Mets beat the Braves?

I will say this: the player who benefits the MOST from this: Carlos Beltran. The pressure is off somewhat for him to produce. He might get a second free pass if he starts slow...especially if Delgado starts slow.

Metstradamus said...

I should have said "EXCEPT" if Benson goes to Arizona for Vazquez.

Anonymous said...

So I guess the dreams of getting a real first baseman and a righty power hitting bat in the lineup are gone because Omar from Queens decides to go latin once again...I am Puerto Rican, but I do not have any respect for a man who decides not to stand and respect the flag that represents a country that allows him to make millions of dollars...This is a team that needs an identity and a leader...Delgado is not the answer...

Hey Omar...screw Wagner, go after Jose Lima...he is latin also and goes with your plan...

Mario

mr. met said...

Delgado is not anti-American.

When "God Bless America" is played during major league baseball games in some U.S. cities, the staunchly anti-war Blue Jays first baseman refuses to stand outside the dugout.

"I never stay outside for `God Bless America,'" Delgado said. "I actually don't think people have noticed it. I don't (stand) because I don't believe it's right, I don't believe in the war."

Delgado was the first high-profile athlete to speak out against the U.S. Navy's six-decade presence in Vieques, where it used the lush green hillsides and pristine beaches as the prime testing facility for the weapons of the entire Atlantic Fleet.

The Jays slugger had heard some of the island's 9,300 residents complaining about how uranium-depleted shells used in the tests were causing abnormally high rates of cancer and other serious illnesses. By the time the Navy finally did pull out of Vieques on May 1, 2003, it left behind a community terrified by health concerns, dealing with unemployment close to 50 per cent and facing unresolved development and cleanup issues.

Small wonder that Puerto Rican native Delgado shows little patience today for the flag-waving, pro-military pageantry seen at major league games since the Sept. 11 terror attacks and U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Delgado was already "anti-war" before being involved in Vieques and now has some choice opinions about U.S. foreign policy and the Iraq conflict.

"It's a very terrible thing that happened on Sept. 11," Delgado said. "It's (also) a terrible thing that happened in Afghanistan and Iraq. I just feel so sad for the families that lost relatives and loved ones in the war.

"But I think it's the stupidest war ever," he said. "Who are you fighting against? You're just getting ambushed now. We have more people dead now, after the war, than during the war. You've been looking for weapons of mass destruction. Where are they at? You've been looking for over a year. Can't find them. I don't support that. I don't support what they do. I think it's just stupid."


He has something that he wants to stand for and that is way of protesting. It's more of an anti-government thing. We could debate all day if it is good or bad, but he said he would stand if asked. He's not looking to make waves.

Travolta said...

And now we're gonna fault a guy for his political beliefs? He's a baseball player. His political beliefs are completely outside of the realm of acceptable complaining.

Anonymous said...

Also, let's be clear. God Bless America is NOT THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. There is NO requirement to stand during a patriotic song that is not the anthem itself (whether there is a requirement to stand DURING the anthem is a different question.)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Met...

Unless you are Puerto Rican, you don't understand what really happened in Vieques. Besides, there were people there like my parents who were completely against the Navy for being there. As far as his political views, I do not respect a man who can not or chooses not to stand for "God Bless America" I am pretty sure you would have that same opinion if you knew 15 people who died in the towers that fateful day. I guess maybe that song means more to me than a lot of things. For your information, I do not like what is going on either in Iraq, but I will stand up and sing the song.

Travolta....I am not bashing a baseball player for his political views...I said that I do not respect him...that is a big difference. The fact remains that I would rather have gotten a first baseman who is a right handed power hitter, who has hit 40 homers two years in a row and is currently a free agent. His name is Paul Konerko..a better player for the money who is about to turn 30 years old in March..especially since Thome was traded to the White Sox...

Lets see...Delgado or Konerko...?

Konerko in a landslide...

Mario

MikeinSpain said...

Delgado's way better than Konerko. And will end up being cheaper. No contest, really.

As for not respecting Delgado for silently protesting the foreign policy of the U.S. government, I can only say that I, personally, find that ridiculous.

There are all kinds of political protests full of vitriolic name-calling and violence. All Delgado did was not stand up during a song. If he felt, as Mario apparently felt, that the song had become politicized, perhaps that's the root of the problem. At the time it was "unpatriotic" to protest the war. Now Congress is pulling for a withdrawal of troops. The fact that Carlos took a public position, without calling the U.S. capitalist oil-hungry thugs, which is precisely what half the world was saying as well as many anti-war Americans (including many celebrities), shows integrity. Not disrespect. I'm not commenting on who's wrong and who's right, but please don't say he was disrespecting the country.

In fact, didn't Carlos feel disrespected when the Mets tried addressing him in Spanish? Sounds pretty well-immersed in American life to me!

MikeinSpain said...

On a side note, doesn't God Bless America kind of suck, musically speaking? I mean, the Star Spangled Banner's a nice tune. I'll grant you it's no O'Canada (especially when sung by John Amaranto) but it's got something. GBA, however, just blows.

MikeinSpain said...

On a side note, doesn't God Bless America kind of suck, musically speaking? I mean, the Star Spangled Banner's a nice tune. I'll grant you it's no O'Canada (especially when sung by John Amaranto) but it's got something. GBA, however, just blows.

Anonymous said...

Mario,

all indications are that Konerko was NEVER coming here--not sure why, but that seems to be the way it is. I think he's staying in Chicago--they'd certainly be nuts--and ripped to shreds by the fans & press--if they let him go.

As for a righty thumper, he plays third base.

michael

Andrew said...

Folk have a right to not stand during god Bless America. As an atheist and a Mets fan, I'm made very uncomfortable by their playing of the song. I sit.

Mario - if you have no problem with people being offended or made uncomfortable by that song, but expect everyone to stand during it, you are a hypocrite. My uncle was a Brooklyn fireman who worked some crazy hours at Ground Zero, but I don't know fifteen people that died in the tower. Does this somehow preclude me from having my own morals with regard to the song?

No. And it doesn't preclude Delgado either. Look at where he comes from. PR isn't the world center of fucking prosperity. America is. Maybe he, like many others, feels that America is blessed enough as it is, and maybe we should stop hogging all the god-blessing for ourselves, eh?

You can't say nothin' until I see you leading a song of "god bless Indonesia". Tsunamis are more dangerous than terrorists.

jabair said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jabair said...

well said andrew...

the thing that has bothered me ever since 9/11 is how the republicans have tightly wound themselves with the red, white, and blue...

theyve fused patriotism and republicanism together and if you dont agree with the republicans, then youre unpatriotic...

same thing with this whole "support the troops" deal... there is a big difference between supporting the troops and not supporting the dumb hick son of a bitch who sent them into harms way by lying to us...

these republicans have politicised 9/11 and god bless america... thats why i do not support playing of god bless america @ ball games... not because i dont believe america oughta be blessed, but because of the sinister motives behind playing that song...

also, mario... i know 2 people who survived 9/11 by being late to work that morning... does that somehow make me or my opinion less superior to you...

it drives me nuts when people use the 9/11 victims blood to embolden their stance and shut down any debate...

im sick and tired of "i knew X amount of people who died on 9/11 so shut your pie hole" crowd.