Trade Post-Mortem: Examining Trades of the Past (2nd in a Series)

On July 30, 2004 the Mets made two trades that would greatly impact the team both in the short and potentially long-term. Both trades involved young pitchers – one left the Mets and one came to the Mets. The one that left is Scott Kazmir – and I think we all know the details of that trade. The other pitcher, the one that came to the Mets, was Kris Benson.

Benson was acquired along with Jeff Keppinger from the Pirates for Ty Wigginton, Jose Bautista, and Matt Peterson. Benson never really blossomed into anything with the Mets, going 14-12 over a year and a half that was plagued by injury and controversy (who can forget Anna in the Christmas outfit). Keppinger never really found his place with the Mets, only appearing in 33 games for them in 2004 before being traded to Kansas City.

The players the Mets gave up didn’t really amount to much either. Wigginton is on his 3rd team and has become a serviceable utility player. Bautista is still in Pittsburgh, which in itself says a lot. Peterson has never moved past AA.

So it seems that this trade was a lot of nothing – and just looking at it by itself I would agree. However if you look at the “trade tree” – the deals that were made with these players down the line – the impact is a lot greater.

After Benson failed with the Mets, he was subsequently traded to Baltimore for a promising young fireballer Jorge Julio. To complete the deal the Orioles also threw in a young minor leaguer named John Maine. Julio was traded just a few months later for El Duque.

So on the day the Mets traded away Scott Kazmir, they also began the process where they would eventually acquire one of the current cornerstones of their staff.

Heritage Night Nit-Picking

Morning following an off-day means it’s time to talk about non game related issues. Todays topic, the Mets Heritage Theme Nights.

I think it’s great that the Mets want to be a part of the commmunity and honoring the different groups that make up that community is a great gesture (not to mention some great PR). However looking over the official schedule on the Mets site there are some things that just don’t make sense.

Why do the Mets have their “Discover Queens” night as a heritage night? Yeah, I know, there are a lot of Queens-Americans out there that really look forward to honoring their heritage (and if someone can enlighten me to exactly what that is please do so).

On May 12th they had Asian Night. OK, no problem with that at all, there are thousands of people of Asian heritage in the New York area. But wait a second – on July 11th there will be Korean Night. Then on July 23rd there will be Chinese Night. Finally on September 12th there is Taiwan Night. Now I know it’s been quite a few years since I took a geography class, but aren’t all those countries in Aisa?

OK, so yes I am not-picking, but if the Mets are going to have a catch-all night to honor those from countries in Aisa that don’t get their own night, well be consistent. Where is the European heritage night? What about African or Australian nights?

Next, on Thursday May 29th, the Mets are having Israel 60th Anniversary Celebration night. First of all, this is a celebration for an event, not technically a celebration about one’s heritage. More importantly though, why are the Mets celebrating another nation’s anniversary? And if Israel, then why not other countries? 2006 was the 90th Anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland that laid the groundwork for Irish independence – the Mets didn’t celebrate that. Or what about 2005 which marked the 15th Anniversary of the Reunification of Germany – again nothing. There are over 200 countries on the planet, that’s all I am saying.

Finally, Sunday, August 24th is Jewish Heritage Day. Don’t necessarily have a problem with honoring religious groups as long as you don’t single out just one. Where is the Catholic Heritage Day? What about Baptists? Lutherans? Any Protestants? Or how about a Muslim Heritage Day?

As I said at the start, I think working with and honoring the community as a whole is great. But when you start to play favorites or honoring some and ignoring others you are doing a disservice to that community.

Over-Reyes A Yankee?

Joel Sherman in the Post throws it out there that in 2011 the Yankees will need a SS, and maybe a certain SS from New York makes sense.
Over-reyes has been built up to be a superstar. He’s not. Sure he hit hit .300 in 2006….but maybe these numbers are the “real” Reyes:

2008: .267

2007: .280

2005: .273

2003: .269 in AAA in 42 games

Maybe he’s just going to be a .280 hitter with some speed. He has a .331 OBP for his career. Jeter is .388 in 15 seasons. Jimmy Rollins is .332. Rafael Furcal is .352

Is he “good” – sure. Superstar, no. Overrated – you tell me.

No Nay Never

Lester’s no-hitter with the Red Sox last night is certainly a great feel-good story, but I can’t help but get frustarted and angry when I see another team get yet another no-hitter. In 46 years seasons Mets pitchers have yet to throw a no-hitter. For a team that a) has had a pretty good history in developing young arms, and b) plays in a pitchers park, this is amazing.

It gets worse. Seven pitchers who threw for the Mets had no-hitters after the Mets traded them away: of course Nolan Ryan (7), but also Tom Seaver (a year and a day after the Monday Massacre), Mike Scott (to clinch the NL West in 1986), Dwight Gooden (with the Yankees), David Cone (perfect with the Yankees), and Hideo Nomo (who threw one before and after being with the Mets). Ok, so Nomo was never really a Met – but that still leaves six that have tossed a no-no.

And as long as we’re feeling frustrated, throughout their history Mets picthers have tossed 30 one-hitters – including 5 from Tom Seaver (one a perfect game through 8.2), 3 from David Cone, and 2 each from Gary Gentry, Jon Matlack, and Terry Leach.

The Mets lack of success in tossing a no-hitter was probably best expressed by Mets play-by-play man Gary Cohen. During a John Maine start in 2007, Ron Darling said that he had “no-hit stuff.” Cohen replied by saying, “no he doesn’t, he’s a Met.”

Lester No Hitter

So much negativity in the air…let’s celebrate someone instead. Some day it will be a Met.