It was shining because the first thing that I saw was that Billy Beane had officially put Dan Haren on the trade market. Oh glory. And here we are in Queens with all of these trade chips to get him. We've got Carlos Gomez, we've got Mike Pelfrey, we've got Phil Humber, we've got Kevin Mulvey, and we've got the guy that Billy Beane has been salivating over for many a fortnight...Lastings Milledge.
We don't have Lastings Milledge?
The Washington Nationals have completed a trade sending veteran catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church to the New York Mets for promising outfielder Lastings Milledge on Friday.And I'm beginning to think the Mets are done as well.
Both the Mets and the Nationals scheduled conference calls at 3 p.m. today to announce the deal. Schneider, in a telephone interview, said he spoke with Mets General Manager Omar Minaya, who confirmed the trade.
"It's done," Schneider said.
Remember the good old days when Lastings Milledge could have brought back Manny Ramirez? I remember those days. Those were fun days. The Mets were on the upswing after the brutal Art Howe era, and Metropolitan prospects were the bee's knees. Oh, it was fun. But oh no, the Mets couldn't get a Hall of Famer for Milledge, because Lastings Milledge was going to have so much upside. There's no way the future of the franchise could so callously be cast aside. Who knows, a deal even better than Manny Ramirez could come along someday. Maybe for a younger big bat. Maybe for an arm!
Oooh! Maybe for Brian Schneider and Ryan Church!!!
Now you all should know me well enough by now to know that I'm not into absolutes such as "biggest this", "worst that", or "most vomit ever expunged in one sitting". I'm not going to say things like that for the pure sake of saying them. So I'm not going to compare this trade to the infamous Scott Kazmir trade.
"People always like to say, 'What if?' But the positive that's come out of this is what we learned from our mistake. We have moved on." -Jeff Wilpon, on the Scott Kazmir trade.Really? A 22-year-old outfielder with upside through the roof for a .235 hitting catcher and a journeyman outfielder? That's what you've learned from the Scott Kazmir trade? This was a bad trade when I thought Ryan Church was 25.
And I've aged about ten years in the last four hours.
(Editor's note: Do any of you find it ironic that the Mets basically gave the Nationals Jesus Flores via the Rule V draft, and now that he may be ready to start, we let them do it by trading for Schneider?)
And here's the kick in the head out of all of this: People are going to respond to this blog, and other Met blogs and say something along the lines of "Milledge was a dog, he didn't run hard after that Dontrelle Willis hit in the corner during the last game of the season." To those people I say, don't even bother. Because guess who was benched last season for not running out a ground ball?
For those who said Ryan Church, collect your door prize.
So now, in addition to Johan Santana being pretty much out the window because Omar is at least smart enough not to put Jose Reyes in that deal, now Dan Haren is out the window. If Billy Beane was cooling a bit on Lastings Milledge, you think he's going to take a package that includes Ryan Church and Johnny Estrada? But never fear, because Omar is probably going to sign Livan Hernandez and tell us he's every bit as good as Santana, Haren, and Joe Blanton. Great. Let's reunite the rest of the 2004 Expos that went 67-95, shall we? Tomo Ohka doing anything these days? Carl Everett is with a Long Island Duck last I checked. Maybe Carlos Gomez can get you Jose Vidro and his bad knees. Can a Fernando Martinez for Jon Rauch and Shawn Hill deal be far behind?
And I haven't even mentioned the part of the deal that points out that Lastings Milledge is going to face the Mets 19 times a season for the next 20 years??? A top prospect traded in his own division??? To a team that had a comparable if not better record than the Mets over the last 90 games of the 2007 season??? To a team who's future might be 2008 while the Mets' future may be 2006? Who does this??!!?!?!??!!?
The Mets, of course.
I'm going to ask you all this: Would you be surprised in the least if say...six months, a year, two years down the road you started hearing that Milledge was traded because there were whispers in the clubhouse that certain veterans wanted him gone? Would you? Because I wouldn't. After all the little lateness and rap music incidents I'm not saying that it's going to happen, or that I know anything you don't. But I wouldn't be surprised to the point where if I was offered an even money bet on that I might take it. And if that happens? Then guess what: This franchise would officially be back where it started back in 2004 with Art Howe as the manager, and the inmates running the asylum. And isn't that what the Mets were trying to avoid by getting rid of the clubhouse lawyers like Al Leiter and John Franco anyway?
I'm not stupid. I know Milledge's value isn't what it used to be, fair or unfair. But a defensive catcher? A 29-year-old mediocre outfielder? For a top prospect? This is the best you could do? Are we that afraid of talent?
(Editor's note: Omar Minaya is currently on the Mike and Puppy show saying that "sometimes the fans don't understand, I go back to the time I made the Kris Benson trade and no one knew who John Maine was." All right, here's the difference: For as baffled as I was at the Benson trade...and don't tell me that didn't have something to do with an off-field incident too...at least a prospect came back for an older player. And I doubt that even Omar Minaya knew that John Maine was going to become the pitcher he did in such a short amount of time. This time, the young prospect is leaving the house and not coming to the house. So that's like comparing apples to oranges...or Anna Benson's cantaloupes.)
The sun is no longer shining. Night has fallen. And Lastings Milledge is on the Acela to Washington. How ironic the Mets get a guy named Church...because it's going to take a Hail Mary to get that ace pitcher now.
(And no, Livan Hernandez doesn't count.)