So today is the final installment of Coop's Keys to the Season. I hope you have all found it as informative and eye-opening as I have. Oh let's face it - I've pulled most of this out of my ass.
In class today, we will discuss the Lastings "Stings" Milledge and Paul LoDuca replacements, Brian Schneider and Ryan Church.
What's to say about those who have left us behind? Stings had untapped potential that we still have yet to see (and we may very well see him become a superstar on a fourth place team), and BloDuca was hardly an offensive / defensive juggernaut but simply was a fan-favorite and overall good clubhouse guy (although his "they all speak English" statement seems to have left a bad taste in others mouths). What does that mean to us? Absolutely nothing!
I take that back - most of you know I was on record on being very very against the Stings trade. And LoDuca, well, I liked him but it was time for him to go bye-bye.
But again I will just bring up how pissed off I was at the Stings trade. But isn't it funny how a trade for the BPiB washes all that away? But I digress. Will Ryan Church and Brian Schneider be an upgrade over those they have replaced.
Most of you know, that I know shit about stats. But I sort of understand the concept of Value over Replacement Player. And someone crunched the numbers for me at the time of the trade. One Ryan Church does not a Lastings Milledge make. At age 29, Ryan Church is in his fifth full year in the majors, with a lifetime .271 BA. While technically, he could have room for improvement, 2007 was the first year he played more than 102 games. Also, his stats suggests a mild decline.
Now, I'm not saying that's going to be the case. But we traded a pretty exciting and young player on his upside for an older player (not TOO old) who has a few years under his belt and has played *blah* baseball.
I think honestly the crown jewel, if you will, in that trade was Schneider. I remember talking with SNK over this at dinner one night (yes, chicks talk baseball in the offseason at dinner...that's why we blog :P ). I was kinda disappointed about Stings. But then she brought up an interesting fact - "Coop, when was the last time we had a good defensive catcher."
Then I started to think. Who was it? Who was the last catcher who could call a good game? Throw a runner out at second? I mean, Mike Piazza will probably go into the Hall as a Met...but not known for his catching prowess. Paul LoDuca? Poor Man's Piazza, 'nuff said. But we have to wrack our brains for a GOOD catcher. Gary Carter? That was in the '80s. I remember someone saying Charlie O'Brien. He doesn't count. Wasn't he on the Worst Team Money Could Buy? Plus, get a load of that mullet. I digress.
The point is...with all this talk about losing Stings, about gaining Ryan Church, no one has said dick about Schneider. We didn't get him for his lifetime .252 average. With this awesome pitching staff, we need someone to call a good game. Apparently, Schneider has a great reputation amongst pitchers and his staff.
That's all well and good. But where the hell has he been this pre-season? Zoe and I were in Florida for three friggin days, and didn't see him play once. ONCE.
The point is...how can he handle a pitching staff when he's not fucking playing?
The sad part is, as great as getting Johan will be, the trade left us tapped with fewer resources. Not to mention, Omar's bonefuckingheaded move of letting the "catcher of the future" Jesus Flores go via Rule V...to the Nats. Who have our catcher...and who should be our starting left fielder since Old Man Alou can't walk to the 7-goddamn-Eleven without stubbing his toe and being out for three weeks.
SIGH. The drama of being a Mets fan.
Oh yeah, so what was my point? That if Ryan Church and Brian Schneider don't perform, expect to hear the wrath of not only The Coop but of every single fan who was against the trade from the get-go. Brian Schneider won't be able to handle a pitching staff if he's constantly hurt. Oh and Ramon Castro, his back up? He's hurt too. And Ryan Church isn't going to make any fans being boring.
Other than that, things are GREAT!
Back with Coop's Crystal Ball segment in a few days. Later.