“But they were just too strong
they’d stick it in your face
and let you smell what they consider wrong”
-Filter, “Hey Man, Nice Shot” from their album “Short Bus”
Today Jon Heyman you published your list of the 8 worst off seasons in MLB and in your opinion the Mets had the worst of all.Â That you graded the other 7 teams strictly on personnel moves (or non-moves) but added the Carlos Beltran knee surgery saga to the Mets reasons for having the worst off season is perhaps the most glaringly unfair aspect of your biased report.
Jon, you are no fool.Â You know that the New York City cow is a big one which provides a lot of milk.Â You should know that considering thatÂ SNY and WFAN are on your long list of employers.Â You also know that in order to get milk from a cow you don’t have to be gentle or kind.Â You certainly weren’t in your appraisal of the Mets off season.
All I ask from you Jon is to apply the same logic to all 8 teams.Â You say the Mets, aside from signing Jason Bay, “mostly imported a collection of back up catchers…comfortable old friends…and question marks.” I consider that a fair statement.
But then you go on to chide them for not adding Joel Pineiro to what you call a “paper thin rotation” and for playing “hardball” with and therefore losing out on Bengie Molina.
Jon, Jon, Jon.Â If the Mets rotation is already “paper thin” in your amateur estimation why add another “question mark” to it?Â To consider Joel Pineiro anything other than a “question mark” is to willfully ignore his 10 year career and focus with laser intensity on his 2009.Â Which Joel Pineiro would the Mets be getting for their $16 million or so investment, the 2009 Pineiro, the 2003 Pineiro, or the Pineiro of 2004-2008 who compiled a 35-47 record with an ERA of 5.34, a WHIP of 1.471 and an ERA+ of 82?Â Seems a legitimate “question” to me especially considering that St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach and graduate of Hogwarts Academy Dave Duncan is not part of the package.
Furthermore Jon, you’ve presumably been observing baseball for long enough to notice the rather steep decline in the performance of catchers at and after their 35th birthdays yet you consider the Mets not signing one of those to a 2-year contract to be unwise?Â This defies logic.
After giving the Mets the # 1 designation in your appraisal of off seasons you move on to # 2, the proud perennial runner-up Chicago Cubs.Â Apparently the worst off season title is as elusive to the Cubs as a World Series title despite their best efforts.Â Was willfully acquiring pitcher Carlos Silva not bad enough for you Jon?Â The Cubs will have to pay Silva $23 million for the next 2 seasons, then $2 million more after 2011 just to make him go away.Â Silva’s career ERA and WHIP of 4.72 and 1.409 respectively don’t sound so bad until you realize his 2 most recent seasons consist of a 5-19 record with an ERA and WHIP of 6.81 and 1.687 respectively.Â And to get this great pitcher the Cubs sent away outfielder Milton Bradley and the $21 million he is owed for the next 2 seasons.Â Now Bradley isn’t going to win any nice guy awards but he’s certainly proven to be capable of providing more offense than Marlon Byrd who the Cubs then had to sign to replace Bradley.Â That sounds like a net on field detriment to me.
How you can consider giving even $1 to Xavier Nady coming off his second Tommy John surgery, which is something unprecedented in major league history for a position player, less wrong than anything the Mets did this off season escapes me.Â Oh and Jon, it wasn’t Rafael Soriano that proved untradeable for the Cubs, it was Alfonso Soriano. But you were half right (as you often are).
The Dodgers lost their one viable veteran starting pitcher in Randy Wolf, and will enter 2010 with the venerable Ronnie Belliard and Jamey Carroll competing for their starting 2B job, which means best friend of the media Orlando Hudson won’t be returning.Â With your love of Hudson made so plain daily Jon how can you not automatically pen the Dodgers in for worst off season?Â That slight to your best friend alone would seem worthy, the loss of Wolf merely icing on the “worst” cake.
Other teams certainly merit consideration.Â It seemed consensus opinion that all the San Francisco Giants needed to do was add a viable middle-of-the-order slugger yet the closest they could come to that was an offer to Adam LaRoche which he spurned for a lot less money and one less year from Arizona.Â Scandalous!Â But not to you Jon.Â The Cleveland Indians?Â Did they do anything?Â Anything at all?Â The Los Angeles Angels?Â I give you credit for at least coming clean and professing your “love” for them in your first sentence of their appraisal.Â But losing John Lackey, replacing him with no one, and losing Chone Figgins and replacing him with the untested Brandon Wood was apparently not enough to quash your undying love.
Did the New York Mets have a good off season?Â Not in my opinion, no.Â Did they have the worst off season in Major League Baseball?Â Absolutely not.Â But good for you Jon, you know where the biggest cow is and how to milk it.