I have to admit I missed the first part of his diatribe during Sunday night's loss to Matt Cain and the Giants, but basically it ended something like this (paraphrasing):
"If the Mets lose again this season, they have to think about breaking up the core. I believe David Wright is part of the solution, and I believe Jose Reyes is part of the solution. If I were the GM of the Mets, I'd take a look at the $17 million contract of Carlos Beltran."Okay, for those of you who became fans in 2006, let me give you a lesson in recent history. You see, Steve Phillips was the GM of the Mets. And while he was the GM of the Mets, he allegedly offered Jose Reyes to Cleveland for Robby Alomar, and also allegedly offered David Wright to Toronto for Jose Cruz Jr. So of course he would think about trading Beltran. He couldn't trade the other two when he had the chance.
But yeah, Phillips would trade Beltran for Mo Vaughn because his 1.066 OPS is "part of the problem". But why? (Again, paraphrasing from Sunday Night Baseball):
"I just think this team needs more grit."YES! GRIT! I have Carlos Beltran, I'll trade it for five of what you call ... Eckstein. Yes, let's do that.
If somebody can come up with a good reason to dip into the core, I'm all ears. I've heard multiple people tell me that maybe the solution is to trade Reyes. I'm not ready to agree with that, but I've heard semi-decent reasons ... at least better reasons than "this team needs more grit." Beltran may have his issues, but lack of grit isn't one of them. I take you back to a September night in Houston where Carlos Beltran risked life and limb to save a meaningless game by crashing into the wall and leading with his knees. Prudent? Probably not. But gritty? If David Eckstein had done it he would have been nominated for seventeen ESPY's.
Let's review, trading stars for the intangible idea of "grit" for the sole reason of being gritty without a real, honest plan (like trading a sulking Nomar for defense in the form of Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz, because I know someone will bring that up) is ... stupid. You get grit to complement your stars, not instead of them.
Grit without great is bread crust. I can't live on bread crust.
But the worst part of all of this is not that Phillips suggested this ... and not that he suggested this for dopey reasons. No, the worst part is that Joe Morgan subsequently disagreed with Phillips about Beltran, and I was rooting for Morgan. I was on the same side as Joe Morgan in an argument ... and I'm not sure that's a shame I can ever recover from. My IQ fell so far south at that point that I wanted to slit my own wrists but was so incapacitated that I tried to do it with my cell phone.
But then Morgan said that when a pitcher doesn't strike out batters, a lot of contact is made. Then I felt much better.
I'll never forgive you for this, Steve Phillips.