Found a Match!

There I was, sitting in front of the TV this weekend watching the games I promised myself I was going to avoid. The baseball season was over for Mets fans, after all … why put myself through more agony by viewing the Phillies, the Dodgers, Cubs, and a bunch of teams that play an altered version of baseball fight their way toward the World Series?

But I couldn’t avoid it (I hate football and there’s nothing else on). And this is among what I witnessed:

Manny Ramirez put the Dodgers on his back, and carry them through the NLDS (with a little support from Casey Blake) …

Jason Bay supplying the power for the Boston Red Sox …

Chad Bradford coming in to the late innings to help seal the deal for the Rays …

Mark Kotsay and Junior Griffey go a combined 4-for-12 for their respective clubs …

Mark Teixeira hitting like a man possessed …

Joe Blanton making a quality start …

Scott Eyre getting roughed up …

Greg Maddux hurling a scoreless inning for the Dodgers … (who knew he was on LA?)

I’m watching all these men in the postseason and thinking, the Mets could’ve used this guy, and that guy, and that other guy …. and I know none of them were with their current team at the start of the season. No, they were all acquired in trades made in July and August — the same time the Mets were desperate to acquire one or two final pieces to the playoff puzzle. Back then, I’d heard some buzz that the Mets had a shot at Bay and Ramirez, but even if those claims were false, I was hoping they’d pick up a reliever like Bradford for their toasted bullpen. Why, again, didn’t Omar Minaya make any moves at the deadline? Oh, that’s right … he said he “couldn’t find a match”.

Well, it’s a few months late, but I found one!

match.jpg

Maybe Omar can use this to pull off a deal at the winter meetings …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Andrew Vazzano October 6, 2008 at 9:42 am
    As long as that “deal” is Manny Ramirez.
  2. joe October 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm
    Hmmm … nobody wanted to “rent” Manny for two months and then “let him walk away in the winter”. There were also people saying that Manny would be a “cancer in the clubhouse”. And the crazy thing is, the Mets could’ve had him (or Bay) for nothing.

    By the way, anyone else find it funny that Omar “couldn’t find a match” when Chad Bradford was traded for nobody? ChadBrad was acquired for a player to be named later — you mean the Mets had NO ONE who fit that description?

  3. RockStar78 October 7, 2008 at 7:18 am
    Joe, in regards to Chad Bradford, I think American League teams had a shot at him first, so the Mets didn’t get a chance. If no AL team claimed him, then he would have fell to the NL. But there was no way a quality reliever like that would go unclaimed. As for Manny and Bay, you’re right, Omar could’ve pulled the trigger, but he is in love with his prospects, particularly Fernando Martinez. This kid better turn out to be the real deal and not another Alex Escobar.
  4. joe October 7, 2008 at 11:04 am
    RockStar, you’re right about ChadBrad re: the waiver thing. But if he was waived a week after the deadline, then the O’s must have had him available at and before the deadline. The fact he slipped all the way to the Rays, who I believe were last in the waiver rank at the time, says there wasn’t much interest in him — so his trade price was likely low.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that someone in the Mets’ hierarchy was too proud to bring back Bradford, because it would be like admitting they made a mistake in letting him get away.

    Proof in the pudding will come this winter: Bradford is a FA, and there’s no way anyone can tell me he wouldn’t be helpful to the 2009 bullpen.

    From the rumors I heard, F-Mart would not have been necessary for the Mets to pick up the few extra parts they needed. The holdups supposedly were on Niese, Parnell, Evans, Murphy, Kunz.

  5. RockStar78 October 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm
    Isn’t Bradford a free agent after next season? I seem to remember him and Schoeneweis getting near identical contracts.

    Either way, hopefully Omar realizes that Schoeneweis can better help this team by selling pretzels and ice cream during the games instead of actually participating in them.

  6. joe October 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm
    RockStar, you’re right … I stand corrected. The Rays have ChadBrad for 2009 at $3.5M. Sounds like a bargain, doesn’t it?
  7. sincekindergarten October 7, 2008 at 4:23 pm
    RockStar, I’d be a tad hesitant (sp?) to blame Schoeneweis for the bullpen mess. Let’s remember something–he was actually being cheered at Shea this year, after coming in and getting the job done. I actually saw one of the instances on SNY. (I thought it was a Sign of the End Times, too.)

    It’s also been established, as fact, that Schoe’s fourth child was born prematurely sometime near the end of the season, and said preemie child was still in a neonatal ICU when the season ended. (BTW, how is the child now?) I can only speak for myself here, but if it was my child in that N-NICU, I’d be pretty expletive-deleted useless to anyone, much less my boss.

  8. sincekindergarten October 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm
    The only word in the last line that was supposed to be in italics was “anyone.” 😮 Sorry!
  9. joe October 7, 2008 at 10:19 pm
    SK, I would have to agree with your assessment re: Scho’s issues at home. As fans we’d like to believe that pro ballplayers are superhuman, and can somehow completely disassociate themselves from their lives off the field.

    To borrow a quote from one of my old semipro coaches, who was trying to play down opponents who had recently played MLB: “he puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you”. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you make millions of dollars a year, and play baseball in front of 50 million TV viewers — you’re still human, and affected by the same things as an “average joe”.

    That said, I’d have to believe that Scott’s newborn had to be somewhere on his mind, and I’m not going to fault him if it was.

    Now, as for April to August, I don’t have an excuse for him. Whereas Scho’s ERA was sparkling most of the year, it was pointed out many times here that he was atrocious when it came to inherited runners. Was that his fault, or the fault of the manager who continually put him (and other relievers) into these situations?

    I still stand by my theory that this bullpen was completely mismanaged, and the fact that the personnel is getting the blame is at least partly erroneous.

  10. RockStar78 October 8, 2008 at 8:11 am
    I never liked the Schoeneweis signing to begin with (career 5.01 ERA coming in), and in 2007, he was flat out horrible. This year, as Joe pointed out, the ERA was good, but he never got the big outs when the team needed him. That ERA was compiled by pitching a lot of mop up innings, and in innings when he got 3 outs, but let 3 inherited runners to score. Figure if he came in to a game with the bases loaded and nobody out and gave up a bases clearing double, and then retired the next three, his ERA is 0.00 for that inning. I hope Omar can work out a trade for him this offseason. As for his personal life, hope everything works out and I am not blaming him for game 162, just his entire tenure as a Met overall.