Friday, November 30, 2007

In Omar, I've Lost Trust

The sun was shining when I woke up this morning.

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.

What?

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.

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.
And I'm beginning to think the Mets are done as well.

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.

He's 29!

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.)

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

A terrible trade. The office must have thought he was bad news. Willie definitely didn't like him. What a drag, I was looking forward to an outfield under 30.

Last years collapse still stings and I'm not looking forward to next year.

Jeez...

Tim said...

Omar has made bad moves in the past. Heath Bell, Matt Lindstrom, et al. But for him to trade Milledge, who was once untouchable, in a deal not involving a starter (be it Haren or Blanton) convinces me that those teams with which he's talking have no interest in Milledge for any number of reasons. And if Gomez is the outfielder they want, that's the outfielder they'll get. People are convinced for whatever reason that every rumor they've ever heard from Gammons or Rosenthal is true and that we could have had Manny or Zito or Blanton or Oswalt right now and the only reason we didn't get them was Omar's reluctance to give up Milledge. I don't believe it and still don't.

Anonymous said...

An incomplete list

Brian Bannister
Heath Bell
Guillermo Mota
Scott Schoenweiss
Billy Owens
Matt Lindstrom
Jeff Connine
Jose Lima
Alay Soler
Dae Sung Koo
Doug Meinkewicz
Anderson Hernandez
Miguel Cairo

and of course, his two worst moves

Carlos Delgado
Carlos Beltran ($119/7 is not acceptable for .280/25/90 on average)

Do us all a favor Omar and just kill yourself

Ian said...

I'm looking into my own crystal ball. I see myself in the future... I'm happily whiling away the hours I used to waste watching baseball, taking up new hobbies, learning foreign languages, volunteering at the soup kitchen, running through fields of clover. Every once in a while I see a blue and orange cap and feel a mysterious twinge, but it passes and I stroll into the sunset, whistling.

Anonymous said...

Milledge's stock went way down after the last two seasons despite the fact that he SEEMED to be in the middle of every inspired win last year (and there were not many). Look at the stats and they don't lie. LM will probably turn out to be average and injury prone given his last couple of years, and in many minds he is no longer a propsect. He's played in the bigs for a full year. If that's the best we could get for him, so be it. We don't know alot of what goes on behind closed doors. Let me correct that, we don't know ANYTHING that goes on behind closed doors. (I just hope I'm right).

Metstradamus said...

I knew Marty Noble reads this blog! I knew it!!!

Houston Mets Fan said...

Omar Must Go!

he gave away our 2007 season by giving away Heath Bell, Royce Ring, Chad Bradford, and Brian Bannistar...how would you like them on your 07 team instead of Mota, Schoenweis, etc... These moves cost us 07...the Milledge Move is the start of the 2008 screw up...he probably cost us any chance at a number 1 starter!

Omar Must GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the wiz said...

Has it occurred to you that Milledge was a lot more hype than substance from day one ? The Mets are notrious for hyping their prospects to the moon ( see Bill Pulsifer) and generally watching them fail to pan out. Good riddance to Milledge.

Church had 43 doubles last season, crushes right handed pitching, and is a huge upgrade over Green.

Kindly let me know when Milledge becomes a quality everyday player.

fan since 62 said...

You guys crack me up no one makes perfect trades or signs the perfect player every time, true politics has some influence in trades but the failure or success is up to the players involved. With these exorbitant salaries to few players have good work ethics, heck they don't even have to try and they still get a few hundred grand ,who in the real world can get away with that. It seems once they get their money there goes their game of course ther eare exceptions but they are few

Metstradamus said...

Wiz,

I counter with this: If the Mets are notorious for hyping their prospects (and I'm not disagreeing with you on that), then wouldn't you think that the organization would be smart enough to capitalize on that hype by trading him at his peak? If he was all hype, then why didn't the Mets pull the trigger on any number of deals that they could have had in the years since Milledge was drafted?

Look, few prospects end up as advertised, I understand that...especially in New York where the tabloids only contribute to the hype, good and bad. But the Mets need to realize that and get maximum value for their "hype". Scott Kazmir? He could have bombed in Tampa Bay, and he could still end up with a career ending arm injury, or get hit by a truck tomorrow. Does that make the trade for Victor Zambrano any less abominable? The answer, Wiz, is a thousand emphatic no's. If the Mets really wanted to trade Kazmir, they could have gotten a hell of a lot more than Victor Zambrano. And in my opinion, they could have gotten more than Brian Schneider and Ryan Church for Milledge, especially when their need is pitching, pitching, pitching. So agreed, Milledge may not be as good as advertised...and nothing is a sure thing. But the Mets should then recognize the hype for what it is and trade him at the peak of value, like when the name Manny Ramirez was being talked about...and not when his value is at its lowest (Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.) Think about it: If the Mets were stock traders with their philosophy, they'd be less Google and more Ground Round (which is to say they'd go broke.)

Metstradamus said...

Fan since 62,

So you're saying you...like the trade?

Don't like the trade?

What are you saying, exactly? You lost me.

Skedeebs said...

Here's a Nats fan entering the conversation.

We don't know what to think of Omar Minaya. When he was the Expos' GM he traded Grady Sizemore and other valuable prospects for fat-bag Bartolo Colon. Granted, Montreal was contending, and was going to be contracted. We could be upset, but his gutting of the team helped diminish them to the point in Canada that they had to come to us in DC.

We are thrilled by this trade. In our blogs over the last two years, many have hoped for Milledge. Schneider seems to be a good handler of pitchers, although the numbers don't bear that out. On top of that, we have been confused why the Nats didn't give Church more playing time. He seeed to be better than others we put out in the outfield, but ouor front office never seemed convinced.

We don't have to worry about that anymore. We can try Jesus Flores at catcher full time, since his numbers as a Rule 5 draftee were essentially the same as Schneider's (thanks, Mets). By getting Milledge, we don't have to wonder about Church, and can give up on failed experiments like Nook Logan (oy- he sucks).

Who knows how this turns out? Today, though, I am psyched.

Metstradamus said...

Skedeebs,

Thanks for stopping by. If I were you I'd be psyched too.

As for Omar, he came into this offseason with a target on his back. He made some great signings to put the club back on the map headed into '05, turned Kris Benson into John Maine and Orlando Hernandez in '06, among other good trades, and in '07 was very suspect...although a lot of the trades he made were ones that nobody gave a second thought to when they were made (Heath Bell, Brian Bannister), but are now complaining about now that Bannister won 10+ games and Bell all of a sudden found himself in San Diego (which if anything is a damnation of coaching more than a bad trade).

But after "The Collapse", the pressure has built on Omar to address the biggest needs, which is to get an ace, and to shore up the bullpen. They've improved the bullpen already by getting rid of Mota (sad that that's all it takes). But otherwise, he hasn't really impressed anyone. If this is it, then the offseason is a big failure. I refuse to believe this is it, but with every other GM in the league knowing how desperate Omar might be, then it gets tougher for him to make a deal.

Even Milledge for Joe Blanton would have been met with "well, it stinks that Milledge couldn't get Haren, but Milledge's value has dropped so we'll move on with Joe Blanton." I just can't believe that his value has dropped to the point of Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.

You guys made out like bandits.

MP said...

In all fairness, Milledge was not a "top prospect" anymore. According to all the buzz, this trade was made because the A's didn't want him and neither did the O's (in a possible Ramon Hernandez deal)

Church's OPS+ last year 114
Milledge's OPS+ last year 105

Church's career OPS is 70 points higher than Milledge (.810 to .740)

He's going to hit - Milledge might turn out to be a good player, but it's almost certain from what we saw in two seasons that he's not going to be great, and he's not a top prospect by any means.

katherine said...

Whoa, Metstradamus, I almost had a heart attack when I got home from work and saw your post. I thought, "Oh, no we traded Lastings for a back up catcher!! But I have been pondering everything. Can we think about this logically? Here is the sequence of events:

A. We were hoping that Omar would trade Lastings for a really good pitcher.
B. Omar acknowledges he is trying to acquire a pitcher
C. Omar trades Lastings for another outfielder plus a catcher.

The only possible logical explanations are:

1. Omar is secretly working for another team, and turned down an offer to trade Lastings for Haren or even Blanton.

OR

2. No teams with good pitchers to trade wanted Lastings.

Assuming number 2 is correct, then our options would be to trade Lastings now for the best deal we could get, or hold on to him and hope he improves.
Your advice to trade over-hyped players at the zenith of their over-hypedness is good, but the problem is that the Mets officials must believe their own hype, and by the time they figure it out, so has everyone else.

Why not hold on to him, though? That's the thing that worries me (especially the fact that the Nats fans are happy about the trade). Maybe he would have been like Jose R and really blossomed. On the other hand maybe he is on "the list" or something bad is known about him. But how can we as fans come to terms with a trade made for secret reasons, if that is the case?

MP said...

And one more thing...the lowest VORP Church has ever put up in the majors is 15.3 in 2005

Milledge had a VORP of -3.8 in 2006 which means he had negative value over a replacement...

Church's best season in AAA was leaps and bounds better than Milledge's best season in AAA...see the pattern?

If someone isn't poor like me and has a baseball prospectus subscription they can update the numbers for 2007

All in all, it's not the greatest trade, but it gives us a solid catching platoon and an above-average bat either off the bench or in RF

Church hit RHP at a .287/.360/.506 clip last year compared to Milledge's .250/.309/.395

Church isn't a slouch, we should know he usually hits against the Mets.

It's not even CLOSE to the Kazmir deal...that's not a fair comparison in any sense

Farid said...

As an ardent Nationals' fan and blogger, I think this was a good trade from our perspective, but it's not a "steal" as many feel.

Now, when you add in Flores who we got from the Mets for nothing and throw him into the mix, then yes, it's a steal.

Schneider is a leader and was a good hitter until last year; he may bounce back. I love Church and think he can easily hit .275-23-88 for the Mets next year. He's a good guy too.

Anonymous said...

The over the top hyperbole and venom on this board is getting ridiculous. And making it somewhat of a joke.

Just kill yourself, Omar? He turned Kris Benson and the shredding strings in his arm into John Maine and El Duque and the Mets are nowhere the last 2 years without them. He turned the near disaster of the Dirty Sanchez taxicab crash into Oliver Perez. We're nowhere without Perez last year. We wouldn't have gotten to game 7 of the NLCS in '06 without him. Or Maine. Two very good young pitchers in the middle of our rotation for a long while.

Beltran was the right guy to spend money for - the right kind of player (all around game), the right position, the right age. He's not the best player in baseball, but he's up there. If you call that a bad move, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Brian Bannister didn't cost us the '07 season. Let's see how his career turns out. Let's see what his era is next year. Trading him for an early 20s flamethrower is not the worst idea in the world. Some trades don't work out. Burgos' injury sucks, but Bannister isn't our '07 savior. Get over yourself.

Heath Bell was given chances. He didn't pitch well. Some guys need a change of scenery to have success. Some guys need to get out of NY to have success.

Matt Lindstrom deal I didn't like. But who knows how Lindstrom does in NY. The 8 fans watching the games in Miami is not the same deal as pitching for the Mets. But I would like that one back.

Look, I'm not thrilled with what we got for Milledge, although I think Ryan Church is a nice player and fills a need as a lefty OF bat. I always thought the Nats should have played him more. And I hope there is a Haren or Bedard (or dare I say Santana) coming our way, but I imagine those teams don't want Milledge and Omar knows it. Now if we get a Bedard or Haren and Gomez is gone in return, then man oh man I hope Fernando Martinez turns out to be great. But after Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette, I'm not throwing Omar under the bus yet.

The Mets tanked in '07 and I'm not happy about the lack of hustle and bad baseball down the stretch, but reading our whiny fans tantrums the last couple of months is pretty sad. The Mets will have a nice team in '08 - a contending team. We don't get that all the time. I'm not sure how many of you will deserve them.

Metman said...

This is the best and most honest Mets blog that I've come across on the internet...This Milledge trade is worse than the Kazmir trade cuz Zambrano was (at the time) a solid #3 or #4 starter who was under 30 yrs. old and under contract for a few years (not unlike Blanton). Church and Schneider are a couple of journeyman who are only gonna fill up spots that should go to more talented players like Andruw Jones or Ramon Hernandez. The Mets should have at least traded Milledge for Brad Lidge...

MP said...

Yeah...trade Milledge for a closer who hasn't been the same in 2 seasons since he gave up a 800 foot HR in the playoffs...Just what we needed, another arm in the back end of the bullpen that's going to implode im big spots...Look at the numbers - It's not nearly as bad as people are making it out to be...

katherine said...

anonymous, 9:38 pm:
Sometimes I just need to have a Whiny Fan Tantrum - I feel SO GOOD afterwards.
I'm new to the blogosphere so maybe I'm wrong about this, but I thought that was what blogs were for.

Metstradamus said...

"Why not hold on to him, though? That's the thing that worries me (especially the fact that the Nats fans are happy about the trade). Maybe he would have been like Jose R and really blossomed. On the other hand maybe he is on "the list" or something bad is known about him. But how can we as fans come to terms with a trade made for secret reasons, if that is the case?"

Katherine, good call. This would have been the option I'd have gone for.

Metstradamus said...

Anonymous: 9:38,

Bannister got a lot of his victories last season over bad teams too, so I agree with you.

And I didn't mind the Lindstrom trade either. Yeah, he throws hard but he was all over the place as a Met prospect. And they got younger in that deal. That Lindstrom stuck it to the Mets late last season, well, that's just the way it goes here in New York so I can't get on Omar for that one either.

I hope you're right that another trade is coming and that this is all some sort of grand plan. But if teams think of the rest of the Mets' prospects as they obviously thought of Milledge, then what's Plan C?

Metstradamus said...

Metman,

Omar had a chance to sign Ramon Hernandez as a free agent for the '06 season, but instead traded Gaby Hernandez (a halfway decent prospect) for Paul Lo Duca. That should tell you something about what Omar thinks of Ramon Hernandez. I wouldn't want to trade for him after that.

And as for Andruw Jones, aside from the fact that he's a Brave, he couldn't even put together a good season let alone a great season in '07 when it was his walk year. I'll pass.

MP said...

Gomez is supposedly the only grade-A prospect left in other teams' eyes...which is why Minnesota wants Reyes in a Santana deal...

Beane is supposedly high on Church and Estrada because they are good OPS guys...I'd imagine it would take the two of them plus Gomez and another pitching prospect (Beane's high on Pelfrey)for Haren, and the same package minus Gomez for Blanton...

Metstradamus said...

MP,

Valid on all fronts. I'm 37 years old, so I'm old school in a lot of my baseball thinking. That is to say: While older guys are slow to master such tasks as computers, and programming the VCR, my achilles heel is sabermetrics.

But you just proved why old guys like me need sabermetrics: to make me feel at least a little bit better about life when things look bleak. I'm still down on this trade, and I fear that by trading Milledge the Mets have lit a fire under him. And the ages scare me. But at least you've given me pause for thought by bustin' out the VORP...thanks.

And no, this isn't Kazmir. I still wish the Mets would stop holding on to these guys until the worst possible moment.

Maybe if the backdrop of this offseason was, say, a three game sweep at the hands of the Rockies instead of choking away everything, there wouldn't be such angst. Unfortunately, Minaya doesn't have the luxury of getting one wrong. Unfair? Probably. But with the Mets at a crossroads, Minaya isn't under the radar. The spotlight is shining on him and he's gotta deliver. This in itself isn't going to get it done.

There's nothing left to do except to check back after the winter meetings.

Metstradamus said...

"Beane is supposedly high on Church and Estrada because they are good OPS guys...I'd imagine it would take the two of them plus Gomez and another pitching prospect (Beane's high on Pelfrey)for Haren, and the same package minus Gomez for Blanton..."

If that gets it done, I'll feel a lot better about today.

Fredstradamus said...

I'm still mulling the merits of this deal. I feel that Millege was more sizzle than steak, but I also feel such sizzle deserved to see more in return.

On the Zambrano/Kasmir thing ... remember: we traded a kid who someone thought might develop an elbow problem because of his mechanics for a guy with actual elbow problems.

I need more time to think about this trade ... I live really close to Kentucky now, and that slows down the synapses considerably.

MrMet said...

What Omar did do with this trade is give the lineup perfect balance. Both these hitters suffered terribly in RFK. There road numbers are far superior to their numbers at RFK. The Met defense is improved greatly. This is a "now" trade. MrMet

Anonymous said...

Church is an anti-Semite. This trade makes no sense.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/20/AR2005092002093.html

kjs said...

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washingtonpost.com
Nats' Church Apologizes for Remarks About Jews

By Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 21, 2005; E06

The Washington Nationals suspended a volunteer chaplain and distributed an apology from outfielder Ryan Church yesterday, two days after Church was quoted in a front-page Post article as suggesting that Jews are headed for eternal damnation.

Tony Tavares, the team's president, issued a statement saying the quotations in the article "do not, in any manner, reflect the views or opinions of the Washington Nationals franchise."

Tavares acted following complaints from Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, leader of an Orthodox Jewish congregation in Washington, who said it appeared that "the locker room of the Nationals is being used to preach hatred" and urged the club to distance itself from Church's remarks.

Tavares said he was conducting an investigation that might lead to the permanent removal of chaplain Jon Moeller, an FBI agent who volunteers for Baseball Chapel, the Pennsylvania-based evangelical Christian group that provides unpaid ministers for many major and minor league teams. "I don't dispute his right to teach his Christian beliefs. It's just the way this was done, turning this into some public pulpit . . . that's what troubles me," Tavares said.

An article in Sunday's paper about Baseball Chapel quoted Church as saying that he had turned to Moeller for advice about his former girlfriend, who was Jewish. "I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word," Church said.

In a written statement yesterday distributed by the team, Church said: "Those who know me on a personal level understand that I am not the type of person who would call into question the religious beliefs of others. I sincerely regret if the quote attributed to me in Sunday's Washington Post article offended anyone."

A spokeswoman for the team, Chartese Burnett, said Church would not have any additional comment.

Moeller did not respond to e-mails and telephone calls, and neither did officials of Baseball Chapel. But some evangelical Christian leaders defended Moeller, saying he had simply reiterated the traditional Christian doctrine that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

"Just how many ways can you interpret the words of Jesus in John 14:5-6, 'I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me,' " said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. "The worst this chaplain could be convicted of is ascribing to orthodox Christian historic faith, which is what I would think you would want from a Christian chaplain."

The Rev. Christopher M. Leighton, a Presbyterian minister who is executive director of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore, said that while the "dominant tradition" in Christianity has emphasized the exclusivity of salvation, Roman Catholics and many Protestant denominations have moved toward the view that God has a "continuing covenant" with the Jews.

"It's a real shame that this challenge had to be mounted by a rabbi. This is the work that really belonged to other Christians, to say this is an unacceptable understanding of our faith," he said.

Tavares said that the choice of chaplain was made by the players, and that the Nationals would be glad to make similar provisions for Catholics, Jews, Muslims and others who work for the club.

"But one of the cautions I intend to give anyone who comes in here is, these are private services and should be kept private," he said. "I'm not trying to change anyone's religion or beliefs. I just cannot provide a public pulpit."
© 2005 The Washington Post Company
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MP said...

Metstradamus - Sabermetrics has a way of doing that...they don't always pan out, but I'll take them over speculation and gut all the time...BTW you're blog is right up there with my favorites...hopefully I'll be able to get mine back up and running once this "first year of law school" nonsense comes to a close...keep up the good work - the blogosphere needs more intelligent voices like yours.

Anonymous said...

I only Fault Omar for not selling LMil..sooner, but there were 1,000 met fans that have omar nutz for that one. so he gambled thinking he'd sell Lmill at a higher value and got burned

G.W. Bush said...

This is an excellent trade for the Mets.

Anytime that you can trade a trouble-making, rapping Negro like Lastings Milledge for two moral White men like Ryan "The Jews are Doomed to Hell" Church and Brian Schneider, you have done God's work.

Our Lord and Savior, Baby Jesus, is smiling on the Mets today.

With this trade, the Mets have gotten on God's good side and will certainly be rewarded next season, just like the Christian Rockies were last year.

In God, the Mets trust

Mr. Gee said...

So, it's the morning after. Anyone feeling better?

No? Not surprising.As far as I can tell, nobody is going to feel good about Minaya's OFFseason until he actually fixes our problem -- pitching.

Until then, I'm not one to wring my hands about could-have-beens. I like a defensive catcher who can platoon with Castro, and I think Church is a solid right-fielder.

I won't hate Minaya or doubt him. As long as he fixes our pitching. Sooner rather than later.

katherine said...

I woke up this morning laughing about fredstradamus's kentucky-slowed synapses...

Demitri said...

Funny- I woke up this morning hoping that it was all a bad dream.

I opened my Philadelphia Inquirer (Now that it is safe to do so without any Phillies coverage, or "review of the season stuff", and I read:

"Baseball Notable: Mets send Milledge to Nats for Church and Schneider."

Amazing that had room for that with all the obsessive Donovan McNabb deathwatch stuff.

I was hoping that when I woke up, that the trade would have included a pitcher, maybe even Chad Cordero, but no.

kjs said...

REMEMBER: Minaya is a "born-again" phreak. A guy like Church turns him on and on and on and on. With the Mets selling out their core with an elitist stadium and a GM who is so insane he's praying for an Apocalypse from a myth wrote by a madman on an island, is it time to give up baseball? Church better not be on the roster on 3/31/07.

---kjs c.1970
Masochistic Survivor of Ryan, Otis, Singleton, Kazmir, Seaver, and other inane trades.

gbaked said...

in an attempt to be positive... (Because I LOVED LMillz)

Getting Schneider gives us a very good catching situation. Him and Castro complement each other (At least thats what a poster on metsblog was saying... i havnt looked up the stats) and when he is in the game, we will have one of the best up the middle defenses in the game. Also, having 3 catchers is not a bad thing. Estrada will be traded before all is said and done. Some team always needs a catcher, and at the very least he will be traded for a bullpen arm during spring training.

Ugh.. I cant write any more positive stuff... thinking about this is pissing me off... I am sure there are other reasons this trade doesnt suck... but I dont care. I hate it and now I really hope Gomez isnt traded because I love the idea of our young guys coming up thought he system. I would almost (almost) rather lose with our own guys, then with with others...

MetFanMac said...

Right now this doesn't seem nowhere near as bad as the Kazmir trade, but... top-level prospect for two hitters (including a THIRD catcher) when the Mets need pitching, pitching, PITCHING??

I really REALLY hope this doesn't end up too badly.

Anonymous said...

Being a Mets fan as long as I have been, I have seen my share of bad trades and over-hyped prospects (i.e. Generation K, Gregg Jefferies). Though my first reaction to the trade was "What?", I now look at it and say, "What the F*ck?" Omar and the management of the New York Mets have basically lied to us. 2006 was painful; last season was worse and the bottom line is that Omar's (and maybe Willie's) job is on the line right now. I can not fathom why you would not re-sign the Mets heart and soul (LoDuca) and replace him with Brian Schneider. Defense behind the plate was not the problem last season; it was their lack of an ACE pitcher to stop the bleeding and the lack of heart from an offense that was one of the best going into last season. A good team in 2006 took 10 steps back last season. I hope with everything holy and mighty that my New York Rangers make it to June because if Omar can not get a pitcher (Haren or Santana) to compliment Perez, Maine and Pedro, it will be a long farewell season at Shea Stadium....
Beezermess

Anonymous said...

Memo to all mets prospects! - Don't show any emotion, don't talk to the media, model after david wright, don't provide a spark, and always be nice! or else you'll get traded. This team was lethargic last year and lacked any passion now, the 2 guys with some passion are gone in Lo Duca and L Millz

Metman said...

There's alot of buzz going around that Omar is going to make a strong push for Colon and Livan is plan b!!! Are you kidding me, I'd rather have Glavine over those two! If that's true than the 2008 team is weaker than the 2007 team (which was inferior to the 2006 team). BTW, if that's all the Mets add wouldn't their payroll drop to around or just below 100 million dollars? In 2007, they were around 115 million and that was counting Green's entire salary (Arizona was paying the Mets about 3 quarters of Green's salary). It looks like a bunch of teams are gonna cross the 100 mil mark,so the Mets could conceiveably fall out of the top 5 in salary while the Yanks will be well over 200 mil and the Sox around 150 million. That would be an embarassment for the Mets, who are the only team in baseball that can compete with the Yankees in revenue. Just imagine the impact players they could add if they even raised their spending to Boston's level!!! Is their even a remote chance that Nelson Doubleday buys the team back from Freddie Coupon???

The Metmaster said...

Wow. Talk about some heavy shit flying. I'm a Met fan though and through, but I've never seen such whining and hand-wringing before. Charges of anti-semitism, Omar an evangelical zealot, wishing Omar dead, yada, yada, yada. Get over it people. Do you all believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too? Lastings Milledge was not that good. Period. End of story. Clubs pump up their prospects and the Mets are no exception, so you really have to take it all with a grain of salt. (you reading this Yankee fans? Joba has been hyped to be Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, and Sandy Koufax all rolled into one. How many big league innings has he pitched??) I really was not impressed with Milledge. I said it several times last year. This guy will be on the front pages of newspapers more often than the back pages. Think Strawberry. Think Gooden. He's had issues dogging him since high school. So we all figure that the rest of the GM's are all fools and still believe that Milledge is the hot-shit prospect and the key to getting the best pitcher in the game? Do you think they are blind? Do you not think they saw the showboating, or the inappropriate cockiness, or the deficiencies in his game? Yeah Omar screwed the pooch last year. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt that he can either stand pat with the fruits of this dealand plugging two holes in the roster or has been told that Church and/or Schneider might be a better fit to land a big-time pitcher.
As for the LoDuca shitstorm, I liked the guy. But as a fan we only see one dimension of the player. I've read several things that the Mets clubhouse loathed the guy. Management grew tired of him too. The Captain Redass stuff from SI last year went to his head. It's one thing for a guy to be the ass-kicking clubhouse leader (see Thurman Munson, Ray Knight), it's another thing when he becomes an asshole. I think Paulie crossed that line. A change of scenery will do him good and I wish him the best.
So come in off the ledge, take a deep breath, have a cocktail or two. It's early in the game. Let's see how this will all play out. But if the Yankees get Santana I'll see you all on the GW Bridge with my jumping shoes on.

Metman said...

How come Milledge is perceived as garbage yet Melky Cabrera is gonna be a major component in the Yanks trade for Santana? Milledge has more talent, has always produced more at every level, and is younger than Melky. During his time in the majors, Melky has shown that he is just a mediocre talent. Why has Lastings stock dropped so dramatically since 2005? Since then, his minor league numbers have been awesome, he has displayed a lot of promise by putting up adequate stats in the majors this year for a 22 yr. old kid playing in New York and under a ton of scrutiny, getting shifted around the outfield and having to learn to play right field, never getting consistent playing time and being thrust right into the majors after coming off the DL. BTW, I can't stand the people who try to pretend that he's injury prone like Beltran or the pre-2004 Reyes when his only injury this year was from getting hit in the hand with a ball that would have broken anyone's hand as a result. I blame the Mets front office for causing his value to plummet by allowing the media to treat Lastings as if he were a murderer (the fo almost appeared to encourage them)instead of defending him. Could they have at least kept the tardy stories quiet or publicly condemned the players who were acting like children leaving notes on Lastings locker for the media to see instead of just laughing it off!!!

MP said...

Spending money and comparing payrolls at this point is irrelevant. Why you ask? Because there are no players to go out and sign on the free agent market that are going to make the Mets a better team. What do you want? Omar to overpay for Ron Mahay and Kenny Rogers (I know he signed already)? The only decent FAs out there were playing a position we didn't need to fill (CF) and neither of them (Andruw or Torii)were going to move to RF for the Mets.

The only way to improve this team is through the trade market and as fans we shouldn't go apeshit until the Winter Meetings are over and we can see what is legitimately out there for the taking.

katherine said...

Metman, it didn't seem to me that Willie and Omar encouraged the media in the "Bend Ya Knees" affair. For Lastings to record a song about "Bitches" and "Ho's" while he was on the disabled list in Triple A was all the encouragement they needed.

I heard an interview with Willie about it and he was very cool and downplayed it to the utmost extent. I didn't care so much about the music or the language, I am kind of inured to it, but I really wondered how you juggle being a rap impresario with being a major league rookie.

I am SO ambivalent about his being traded - I wish him well, I guess, but I also hope we don't bitterly rue this day. And if that is a Whiny Fan Tantrum, so be it....

Metman said...

Katherine,I thought he recorded the song during the offseason. I know Milledge probably violated the conduct clause to a certain extent but he apologized and promised not to record any more songs. Church made a dumb remark about the Jewish faith but he apologized and was forgiven so why couldn't Milledge (who is younger)be as well?

Metman said...

MP, the Mets could have signed A-rod for 30 million a yr. and still would have a payroll less than Boston. They could have played him at first and moved Delgado to a team like Oakland for a bag of balls. The Mets would obviously have to eat at least half of Delgado's contract but their payroll would still be less than Boston's even if they did do that...I'd rather have Guillen or even Fukudome over Church. They could also sign some solid relievers but they won't..I'd take a chance on Gagne and over-pay him to set up Wagner. Gagne hadn't pitched anywhere near a full season since 2004 so that's probably why his arm was dead at the end of the season. At his age,Wagner needs someone to fill in for him once in awhile during the season cuz he also had a "dead arm" by the end of the past two seasons...

Bieds said...

This is what I had to say after the season

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp3022MdJFY

And now?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bf6VDK3WLbs

Big Al said...

This has been a terrible off season. Omar is killing us... 2 of your sentences sum it all up -

I've aged about ten years in the last four hours.

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?

Eric said...

hahahaha I would love to talk to whoever made this up, because I would make him eat his words. Has anyone seen how great Ryan Church has been? He leads the mets in home runs, and has been consistently clutch. Milledge was horrible tonight, striking out and committing a costly error. and that whole thing about "we're not getting santana b/c omar won't give up reyes" ... well we all know that we didn't give up our all star shortstop AND have the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Sanatana. all in all, omar made some damn good decisions and the mets have a very bright future