Monday, November 18, 2013

Not So Long Ago, In A Stadium Not Far Away, Mets Are Looking For Droids, Not Ball Players

“I really don't see how that is going to help! Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances! 
                                                                ~C-3PO From Star Wars~

Sandy Alderson has been flip-flopping on what the Mets are capable of spending and what they actually will spend. The one thing that has been clear is what he expects from his players.

Elvis doesn’t want his players to think, react, nor show instinct; what he is looking for is a bunch of droids that buy into OBP (On Base Percentage) over all other aspects of the game. Don’t get me wrong, OBP is important, but if I have a runner on second with one out, I want the batter to be smart yes, but aggressive also. A walk in that situation does nothing; a single in that situation will plate a run.

This all goes back to the Money Ball mentality, where it has been documented that Billy Beane wanted Art Howe to stand on the top step and do nothing. All decisions were to be made by the front office, not the field manager.

It has been written that although Alderson liked Marlon Byrd, he couldn’t wait to get rid of him, and had no intention of trying to sign him as a free agent this off-season. Byrd said he loved his short stay in NY, and would have been open to returning, but the Phillies swooped in and gobbled him up for $8M/year for the next two years.

Byrd fell into disfavor with Alderson because he was coaching/mentoring the young players. He told them to be aggressive with runners on. Alderson doesn’t subscribe to this baseball philosophy, but I’ve never seen a runner score from 2nd on a walk.

OBP is an important stat, but only important if it does not remove all instinct from a player. Certain situations you look to get on at any cost, but with runners on base, it is more important to drive them in than to reach base.
Every good team needs veteran leadership like what Byrd provided. I don’t think it would have been wise to bring Byrd back, especially after seeing the cash Philadelphia signed him to, but they do need players who will take younger ones under their wing.

From recent articles and blogs, Alderson is portrayed as someone who doesn’t want any instinctual players, just those who buy into his system with blind faith.

If that is the case, the Mets can field a team of R2-D2’s and C-3PO’s…after all, playing the way Alderson demands is something that can easily be filled by a droid, not a ball player.

“I really don't see how that is going to help! Surrender is a perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances! 

Let’s hope the Mets don’t surrender this season.

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