Sure, every sports journalist and blogger in the tri-state area has spent time discussing what the Mets should do at shortstop.  But to put the FINAL WORD on the discussion (I just love it when people write that they're putting out the Final Word on anything.  What chutzpah!), let's see what the DiJest has to offer.

The first thing you need to know is that in the entire baseball universe there are only four, count 'em, players worthy of being considered the Mets shortstop in 2014.  You could stretch it to five if you want to include Jimmy Rollins, but I don't.  Rollins is old, pricey, not all that good, has a low on-base percentage, and has a No-Trade clause that he says he is not waiving.  He ain't coming here and we don't want him if he does.  I'm also totally dismissive of Wilmer Flores.  They told him years ago he could never play shortstop at the major league level and I believe them.  No backsies.

The fact that there are only four candidates should astound one considering that each major league team has a shortstop and a backup.  At AAA they have at least two shortstops.  So eliminating the Mets from the discussion (and the one about whether they're really a major league team in the first place) I'd say there are 29 times 4 = (carry the 3, how does that work again?  where's my friggen calculator?) 116 possible shortstops to consider.  But using the Aldersonian tunnel vision system, the same one that says that Ike Davis may ONLY be traded for a top pitching prospect, there are only four guys:  Ruben Tejada, Didi Gregorius,  Stephen Drew, and Nick Franklin.   So let's pick these guys apart and see why each is the right guy and how each is not.

Ruben Tejada, aka The Incumbent

1- He's here already and has a low salary.   The low salary part is critical to allow the GM to spend his savings elsewhere on brilliant purchases like Chris Young.  (That's sarcasm there)
2- He can't get any worse.   This is the reasoning that brought us additional years of Jason Bay, Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez, and others.  It's hard to imagine him being worse but, yes, he could get worse.
3- He's young.    He is that.   Can't take that away from him until he gets older.
4- He was acceptable in 2012.  He did hit .289 with even one HR that year and was a decent fielder.  This is a valid reason although it would be nice to have more than one good year on one's resume.

1- He was horrible in 2013.  Not just horrible like with the Rey Ordonez hitting....  No he was horrible with the Rey Ordonez hitting combined with uninterested fielding.  He was a two way threat hurting his team at the bat and in the field.  Just what you want from your shortstop, right?
2- He has NO power and doesn't walk enough.  I think we've seen enough of Ruben to know that he is not a "breakout" candidate.  Yes, he could improve to stomachable (is that a word?) but he'll never be an above average hitting shortstop.
3- His conditioning and work ethic.  All indications are that he has the work ethic somewhere between that of Al Bundy (Married With Children) and Alan Harper (2-1/2 Men).  Sounds like he was the guy who would sneak off campus at the health spa in Michigan to scarf down a Domino's pizza.

Stephen Drew, aka The FREE Agent

1- He's like a million percent better than Ruben Tejada at things common to baseball.  He outhits Ruben and is a superior fielder.
2- He would not cost anything in terms of current players or prospects.  Yes, the Mets would forfeit a 3rd round pick if they were to sign him but the Mets can barely get a major league player out of their 1st round picks.
3- He could bat leadoff for the team which kills a few birds at once including perhaps Manager Colllins' EY-Jr fetish.

1- Scott Boras.  This is Drew's agent and a man known to get his clients oodles of money, numerous years, and advantageous options.  We all know how the Wilpon/Alderson Regime loves to spend money.  When they open up their wallet the moths fly out.
1A- Still money.  Boras may be angling for $13 or $14 or more million per year for this player.  And if that's the situation then it would be just too much of an overpay.
1B- Still money, in a way.  Boras has been reportedly been asking for an "opt-out" after year 1 of whatever deal Drew signs.  To that I say (and I think Sandy does too) "Opt-this sucka."

Nick Franklin, aka The available hitter who maybe can't play short

1- This is a young player who profiles as a better than average hitting middle infielder.  And unlike with Ruben he figures to hit some home runs.
2- The Seattle team that is looking to trade him would like to receive some major league ready starting pitching.  Holy S--t!  That's the one (and only) thing the Mets have.  Even with the Niese injury the Mets have people like Montero, Mejia, and de Grom that might fill the bill for the Mariners.
1- There is serious doubt that Franklin, who played a lot of SS in the minors, has the arm and/or the range to play that position in the majors.  Now I'll admit to being a hypocrite on this subject.  I laugh off the idea of Wilmer Flores playing SS for the Mets (or any major league team) but still entertain the possibility of Franklin doing so.  Jhonny Peralta and Jed Lowrie are crappy fielding shortstops but hit so well that they can be accepted in the field, flaws and all.
2- Other teams are interested in Franklin and some of those look at him as a 2bman.  The Mets love to analyze, re-analyze, scrutinize and dither.  Sooner or later you'll see some other team trade for Franklin while the Mets will say they had almost finished determining whether they wanted him.

Didi Gregorious aka The Slick Glove

1- He is an available shortstop who is an elite fielder.  With Andrelton Simmons in the National League no one else is going to win a Gold Glove for the next decade but if there was a runner-up trophy then Gregorius would definitely be in the running. The Mets had a defensive player like this once.  You may remember him.  Buddy Harrelson.
2- The name DiDi.   Come on people.  Wouldn't a city that embraced a Mookie just go ga-ga over Didi?  When big Lucas is at first the DPs could go from Murph to Didi to Duda.  It's Kismet.

1- He may not hit.  He did a decent job against right handed pitching in his debut in Arizona but the book on him is that he may not be much more of a bat than Ruben Tejada.  
2- There are other teams looking for shortstops right now and that team in the Bronx may be already looking for King Derek's successor.  I never like the Mets' odds in any competitive auction.

So now you know everything there is to know about the shortstop position for the NY Metropolitans.  Heaven help us.


On Saturday night I had a chance to watch a few innings of the major league opening series from Australia.  Actually it took me that long to figure out that the Mets were not one of the two teams on the field so I bailed.

But not before getting off a couple of Twitter Tweets.  And since some of the Di-Jest's readers don't follow me at @dr4sight I thought I'd show you those two tweets that I shot off before the opening pitch.

It's nice that they are doing the national anthems in English rather than in Australian.  


There's so much foul territory at the Cricket Ground that Ike would die of exhaustion before he would be able to reach the dugout railing.