Willie Harris Wants Beltran Defeated in Playoffs

Would you ever have thought that Willie Harris and Mike Pelfrey would emerge as leaders in the Mets clubhouse?

After Carlos Beltran‘s departure to join the San Francisco Giants, and before Mike Pelfrey’s Wednesday start against the Reds, Willie Harris rallied the troops.

Harris said to anyone in earshot while in the training room,

“Lets make the playoffs and let’s beat Carlos Beltran in the playoffs.”

When asked about his comments, Harris told the NY Post,

“I mean, how cool would that be?” Harris said after the Mets beat the Reds 8-2 at Great American Ball Park. “We trade our best hitter and then we send him home in the playoffs.”

Pelfrey, who seemed to have toned down his criticism of the Mets front office from earlier this week (read comments here)

“Obviously we’re a better team with Carlos Beltran,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that Lucas Duda or Willie Harris or Scott Hairston on the bench can’t step up. [The trade] is unfortunate, but we’re all professionals and we’re going to continue to go out there and play and go out there and win.”

As you know, Pelfrey responded to Harris’ remarks with one of his best starts of 2011, pitching a complete game while allowing only 2 earned runs and 7 hits.

The Mets are 3-0 since Beltran’s departure, have won five straight, and are now a season-high four games over .500, creeping closer to Harris’ request.

What do you think? Will Pelfrey and Harris emerge as team leaders for the Mets?

Further, do you think the Mets have a real shot at the postseason, without Beltran? And can they beat the Giants if they make it into the playoffs?

A Mets fan since she was born. The next year the Mets won the ’86 World Series, forever cementing her allegiance. Jessica is a marketing coordinator for a high end digital communications firm in New York. She is interested in traveling to cities and baseball parks across the country while sporting orange and blue wherever she goes.
  1. Florian July 30, 2011 at 11:40 am
    Can motivation and good management tactics, combined with solid basic gameplay alone be sufficient to propel a team to the playoffs?
    I know that from soccer, good team-play can make a club play much better than you would expect on paper, even reach championship. It happens sometimes.
    I always wondered how important that team factor is in baseball. Can the strength of individual players depend on the rest of the team. One bad pitcher, for example, can lose a game (or win), but obviously executing a good defense, e.g. a double-play, you need people to efficiently work together and sort of blindly understand each other, no?
    • Joe Janish July 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm
      Florian, yes and no. A baseball team can and will perform to its peak potential when it is able to execute consistently, play unselfishly, and work together in a “system”. However, to win at any level, a team’s success is also reliant on its pitching. A pitching staff with average skills CAN be good enough for an above-average offensive team if it follows and can execute a well-put-together team-wide defensive plan. Though, you see “systems” that succeed more often at the high school and college levels; in MLB it’s more about skill vs. skill. The few teams that have employed winning systems recently include the Braves and Twins, among others.

      Motivating 25 skilled millionaires to selflessly “buy in” to a system can be a challenge, particularly when an organization doesn’t have a history of continuity in management and success over several years.

  2. Joe July 30, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    I don’t really care what Harris says. Really, who cares? As to Pelfrey, that’s a nice sentiment. Quite on message. The complete game he pitched helped there.

    I don’t think the Mets have a “real shot” — the margin of error is too small for one thing — even if it’s not impossible. And, it’s not really a great idea to even think about such things.

    Just keep on playing well and enjoy what you got. Don’t concede or anything, fine, and look at each game or series as winnable. But, a little humility please. Playoff? Don’t talk to me about playoffs.

  3. SiddFinch July 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm
    Their performance during the upcoming homestand, particularly the Braves series next weekend, will go a long way towards answering the question of the legitimacy of their playoff aspirations.