Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quality Time With Pine

How does one bench someone who doesn't get paid to think so he can clear his head?

If he doesn't get paid to think, what exactly is in his head to clear?

It's a riddle that I think only one of those five-year-old prodigies that can solve a Rubik's Cube in like, three seconds can figure that one out.
"If you want to be an ass, I can be an ass too. -Carlos Delgado 5/26/2008
"Your ass is on the bench." -Willie Randolph, symbolically 5/27/2008
I like my managers vindictive ... and it's good to see a little vindictiveness from Willie for the whole Jon Heyman debacle before Monday night's game. I don't think it was the non-commit answer that Delgado gave originally, but the "that's not a good answer to ask in front of everybody" Delgado came up with that had to get Willie's goat. If it was just the former, then both Carloses would have gotten the message Tuesday night (although maybe not, since I think the Mets next option at outfielder would have been either Dave Gallagher or Jeff McKnight).

I mean, let me get this straight: it would have been all right to ask Carlos Delgado if he thought Willie should still be the manager if no cameras were around? Why? So he can be one of those "anonymous sources"? Yeah, that would have been a great sign that Randolph had the room under control.

Instead, Randolph sends a message to Carlos Delgado. But don't ask Willie what the message is. It might not be a good question to ask in front of people.

Was it too little too late to get the room back under control? And did the Delgado message inspire the Mets to play better tonight for their second win in a week and a half? I'm guessing that Delgado's .300-ish OBP on the bench might have had a little more to do with it.

Oh, and some guy named Santana too. He's pretty good.

(Editor's note: Be prepared for this blogger to use any and all excuses to pull out the "If you want to be an ass ..." quote. It really should be the slogan for this season. Think about it: "The 2008 Mets: If you want to be an ass, we have a seating plan for you ... and your ass!" Gold, baby!)

15 comments:

Toasty Joe said...

Admit it: you just wanted a reason to type "Jeff McKnight." I see right through you.

katherine said...

I make a major distinction between Carlos D and Carlos B. Beltran is streaky and has ups and downs at the plate, but seems to save a run every game with a great play in the outfield. He is not a fiery Rah-Rah-Lets-Go-Get-em type guy whether he is in a hot streak or not. He's sensitive and shy and we have to just accept that. But he's very valuable to the team. Sadly, Delgado is just at the end of his career. I have been hoping this was a slump he would break out of, but it has been 14 months now and I just think they have to make plans for the team based on the assumption that he is no longer an effective hitter.

So, Metstradamus, your interpretation of "If you want to be an ass, I can be an ass too." is that Carlos didn't want to answer the question publicly? That's interesting. I was really perplexed by it and wondered if it was, like, a spanish proverb that didn't translate well. Or a veiled threat, the sort of aggressive thing LoDuca would say.

tim said...

It's one of the few things Willie has done right since he got the job. Delgado's OBP on the bench should at least be .500. He should never see a lefty again and while on the subject of Delgado, many members of the press, especially outside of New York have been quick to mention what an incredible and magnanimous human being Delgado is. If this is the case if this guy should be up for the Nobel Peace Prize why does he choose to embarass a veteran reporter, asking a completely valid question, in front of the very cameras he wants to avoid?

The real question is how long will it take for David Newhan to become a reference?

Unser said...

I think Delgado got a call from Gary Carter on Sunday night. . .

I'm probably in the minority here but I think Beltran said all the right things. I also think, at year's end, he'll have his 30-35 homers and 100 RBIs.

Reyes - is he trying out a new glove or something? Also, here's another minority opinion - Reyes cares about winning and he hustles. You can criticize him for being immature, sensitive, overly aggressive and for making poor baserunning decisions, but he hustles. Anyone advocating trading Reyes, who's still only 24 yrs old, is nuts.

Deb said...

I think addition by subtraction in the case of Delgado would probably do as much as anything to turn this team around 180 degrees. Sometimes, the big fell swoop is exactly what's needed. Let's see if Willie makes CDone ride the pine again tonight.

Mutts are Losers said...

Help! I just saw this old skeleton on the subway! It was wearing a mets hat, holding a 1986 world championship banner and had on a "Charles in Charge" tshirt.

Guess that's one met fan who partied too hard in the 80's!

Metstradamus said...

How did you know, Toasty? You must have those same longings from time to time.

Kat, It wasn't an interpretation. If you watch the tape of the that pregame interview, it came after the "if you want to be an ass..." comment. When Heyman pressed him, Carlos actually said "that's not a good question to ask in front of everybody".

Anonymous said...

Better that than the skeleton on the Broad Street Line with his 1980 banner...

katherine said...

Oh, I am sorry to be so poorly informed, Metstradamus. But I still think that is a very weird choice of words and agree with you that it must become the catch phrase of 2008.

To "Mutts are Losers" : you saw that old Mets fan on the subway?
Was it the weekend of the Yankee series? That might have been me! Except I have no idea what Charles in Charge means.

Metstradamus said...

You shouldn't apologize. It wasn't talked about a lot in the papers ... and I only saw the clip on SNY, and Heyman discussed it on Mike and Dog.

I'm wondering if Delgado and Heyman have a relationship, meaning: Does Delgado feed Heyman quotes that are only intended for him? Some athletes do that, they get prickly when you throw a camera in their face while they're talking to their favorite beat guy, since there are things they don't want to say on camera that they'll tell a certain beat guy. They won't do it necessarily anonymously, they just have a relationship with that beat guy and give him the good stuff.

Why else would Delgado say something like that to Heyman? If he's got a relationship with him, it would explain a little bit. But going on record with something like that, even to one guy, is going to blow up anyway ... so I can't imagine that Delgado would ever say anything about Willie unless it was anonymous. Now, forget it ... if an anonymous source ever did surface in that lockerroom, the first suspect would be Carlos at this point.

Ed in Westchester said...

I'm just thinking that maybe Willie realized that Delgado needs to sit against lefties. Hence, he gave him a day off.
It may have had nothing to do with the Heyman comment.

Wasn't part of the meeting to discuss ways the team can do better. Sitting Delgado against lefties would have come up in that regard.

Terry Gilmore said...

Completely agree with the last comment.

As much as I loath Willie as the manager of this team, I think dumping Carlos D., and replacing him with basically anybody (Scott Hatteberg), don't the Nats have an extra first basemen, Adam LaRoche, any chance the Rockies would be willing to let go of Helton or Adkins to make room for Stewart, I would even look into getting Richie Sexton from the Mariners...Anyone but Delgado, would be an instant upgrade both on the field and in the locker room. This team looked as good as it has all year last night with Delgado on the bench, coincedence?

Metstradamus said...

Ed,

Good point. But then why wouldn't Willie just say "hey, we're sitting him against a good lefty"? Tonight's a lefty too (Olson), so maybe he sits tonight too.

Willie's in a tough spot. If he says "Delgado is going to clear his head", you have the likes of me thinking it's an eye for an eye. If he says "we're sitting him against lefties", then everyone gets worked up because Delgado is a platoon player now and reporters will want to ask him about it. So perhaps Willie's actually finding the excuse to keep the reporters off his back. But to me there's no shame in saying that Delgado is sitting against a tough lefty or two ... it happens all the time. But telling us he has to clear his head leaves some room for specluation. Maybe "clearing his head" is a euphemism for "giving his non-loyal butt something to thing about".

Keep in mind that I'm a conspiracy theorist at heart so really ... what the hell do I know. And this is NYC where every small quote is going to be diced up and refried anyway (mmm, food!) But this is certainly a coincidence. I mean, Willie needs an organizational meeting to realize that Delgado needs to sit against lefties every once in a while? If that's the case, maybe he should have been let go.

But again, I read too much into everything ... because it's fun and I have too much time on my hands.

Mutts are Losers said...

Katherine,

Charles in Charge was popular the last time the Mutts won a championship.

Anonymous said...

This commenter clearly has a crush on Scott Baio's ball sack after all these years.