Help Mets Find Diamond in the Rough

As we know, part of Sandy Alderson’s “Moneyball” approach is to find value where others aren’t looking. Toward that end, I have a great idea …

You might know that the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement limits the amount of money teams can spend on international players. So, every dollar needs to be stretched as far as it can go.

Everyone knows there’s plenty of talent in the Dominican Republic and throughout the Caribbean islands. But what about elsewhere in the world? How about Europe? How about Ireland?

Yes, Ireland. Baseball is relatively new there, but its popularity is growing by leaps and bounds. Ireland has a national team that competes in international tournaments — and they’re doing pretty well for a country that started playing baseball only ten years ago.

However, there aren’t many baseball fields in Ireland — and there are no actual ballparks nor baseball-only facilities anywhere in the country. As a result, training and development occurs on open fields that are so bad they’re deemed unsuitable for rugby and soccer.

Here’s where you come in; there is a fund raising effort to build Ireland’s first-ever baseball park. A real diamond, with a real pitcher’s mound, a home plate in the ground, real dugouts, real stands, batting cages, bullpens — the whole works. You know, the kind of facility you see in every major metropolis and two-bit town across the United States. Once this ballpark gets built in Ireland, it will provide a place to play games and practice, and, more importantly motivate youngsters to play baseball. With more kids playing baseball, the better the chance of legitimate professional baseball talent developing. Since Ireland is hardly a harbinger for baseball prospects, the Mets can swoop in and pluck the cream of the crop for a song.

Put more simply, it works like this: you donate a dollar, the ballpark gets built, ballplayers are developed, the Mets sign the next Patsy Donovan or Jack Doyle. Simple, right?

Help the Mets tomorrow by building a ballpark in Ireland today – donate now.

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. Dan B February 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm
    That looks like a deep centerfield. Did Fred Wilpon design it?
    • Dan42 February 28, 2013 at 8:19 am
      That left center corner should get some interesting bounces. But I don’t see any provision for fan seating. Did I miss something?
  2. david February 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    Forget about Ireland, AUSTRALIA is where the action is. Look at the number of Aussies in MLB and you can see the trend is UP. I have played and coached here for 10 years and you will not find a country more receptive to baseball.