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Monday, March 17, 2014

Megdal: An ex-Met on his old team’s propensity to smear

On Friday morning, Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner, late of the New York Mets, offered up a defense of current Mets shortstop (and frequent media target, thanks to leaks by his own team) Ruben Tejada.

“I think the issue is that nobody takes responsibility for what they say,” Turner told me as we chatted in front of his spring training locker. “You’ve seen that with Tejada over the last few weeks. It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

Turner had an interesting perspective on this, given the circumstances surrounding his departure from the Mets. He played three seasons in New York, and was widely expected to return for a fourth in 2014. He played all four infield positions, and the Mets are not swimming in infield options beyond David Wright and Daniel Murphy. Moreover, his hustle and enthusiasm for the game had earned him the support of manager Terry Collins and others in the front office.

So it was puzzling when the Mets not only non-tendered Turner in December, but a “Mets official” leaked to Adam Rubin that the reason the Mets had gotten tired of Turner not running hard. It was the kind of story easily dismissed by anyone who’d watched the Mets play, and SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt, for one, took to Twitter to do just that.

“Obviously, I got a lot of support from a lot of our writers over there,” Turner said. “Kevin just chose to do it a little more publicly, which, it was nice to read. I appreciate that from Kevin, and he pays attention, he does a really good job at what he does. And that’s obviously why he’s moving up the ladder at a crazy rate right now.”

Repoz Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:34 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4672864)
Weirdly, this kinda smells like Alderson somehow thinking that no one will question what he says. A bit of an ego there.
   2. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4672882)
Unnamed sources with the Mets have responded that Justin Turner routinely forgot to put the new coversheet on his TPS reports.
   3. attaboy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:03 PM (#4672885)
At this point, Tejada is a lost cause. His fielding is as bad or worse than his hitting, which is nonexistent. Just use Flores and accept the bad defense and at least get some hitting. Only other option is to sign Drew. I liked Tejada but he clearly has lost his confidence. Send him down until he regains it and move on in the meantime. Hey! How about moving Wright to SS?
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4672889)
"It’s all ‘a source said that they’re not happy with him.’ It’s like, you know what? If you’re gonna come out and gonna attack a guy’s character, and his work ethic, be man enough to put your name on it. Don’t say, ‘This is off the record’, and then off the record means they’re gonna write it anyway.”

Chinamen are inscrutable.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4672900)
At this point, Tejada is a lost cause. His fielding is as bad or worse than his hitting, which is nonexistent. Just use Flores and accept the bad defense and at least get some hitting. Only other option is to sign Drew.

If you're trying to develop young pitching, aren't they better off finding some good glove, no bat guy stuck in AA/AAA somewhere, rather than putting a potential butcher at SS?
   6. attaboy Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:04 PM (#4672953)
If you're trying to develop young pitching, aren't they better off finding some good glove, no bat guy stuck in AA/AAA somewhere, rather than putting a potential butcher at SS?

That's fine. I guess my point was lost. Tejada is a lost cause until he regains his confidence. He isn't hitting and his fielding has been horrendous. They need to do something...anything other than putting him back out there until he regains it.
   7. eddieot Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:17 PM (#4672964)
If you're trying to develop young pitching, aren't they better off finding some good glove, no bat guy stuck in AA/AAA somewhere, rather than putting a potential butcher at SS?

Thank you! I have no idea what Alderson is doing here. Given the offense, the only chance at be relevant after August 1 is to shore up the best defense he can and let these pitchers pitch. Instead he's leaning toward EY Jr. in CF and going with Tejada at SS.
   8. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4672967)
Is the idea of Tejada being a butcher at SS coming out of spring training errors?
   9. Lassus Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4672974)
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 03:34 PM (#4672978)
Is the idea of Tejada being a butcher at SS coming out of spring training errors?

I was thinking of Flores as the potential butcher.
   11. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4673021)
he's leaning toward EY Jr. in CF


Negative--EY Jr. in left, Chris Young in CF.
   12. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4673028)
Tejada is a 24 year kid who has 2,000 innings as a roughly league average defensive shortstop, who cares about a handful of spring training games? The best players in baseball can look like crap for weeks on end during a good season, and the worst can look like Babe Ruth. Look up Didi Gregorious last year, look at his first 3 weeks, then the rest of the season. Three weeks at MVP level, followed by the rest of nearly a full season of replacement level.

Ruben is a perfectly cromulent shortstop, he'll probably put up 1 WAR for $1M. You can build a pretty good team with more than a couple cheap 1 WAR starters. Obviously the fewer the better so you don't need MVP level seasons from your best players to win 90 games, but someone like Tejada is much better than carrying a 1 WAR vet costing $15M a year or a sub replacement level position player on a bad year without a decent backup.

It seems like Ruben has some good upside. He's coming off a disastrous season, he's young. If he hits only as well as he did before last year you have a cheap league average shortstop. Clearly the Mets would be better off with decent depth in case Tejada really does stink this year.

But I wouldn't overspend on Steven Drew on a long-term deal or trade a bunch of prospects for Nick Franklin either. Clearly either would be nice additions, especially when you consider platooning advantages that shortstop and second base with Dana Murphy. But why shoot your wad improving middle infield when this team still has other significant needs, isn't close to contender level and probably can't be until its best pitcher is back at full strength next year.

   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4673034)
Tejada is a 24 year kid who has 2,000 innings as a roughly league average defensive shortstop, who cares about a handful of spring training games?

Well, sometimes players really are mentally screwed up.
   14. Mark S. is bored Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:30 PM (#4673044)
Tejada is a 24 year kid who has 2,000 innings as a roughly league average defensive shortstop, who cares about a handful of spring training games?

Well, sometimes players really are mentally screwed up.
And looking at a handful of spring training games won't tell you that.
   15. Captain Supporter Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4673050)
And looking at a handful of spring training games won't tell you that.


The arrogance of posters here is quite astounding. How the hell do you know if it will tell you that or not?

   16. Nasty Nate Posted: March 17, 2014 at 05:56 PM (#4673056)
The arrogance of posters here is quite astounding. How the hell do you know if it will tell you that or not?


Wait, are you saying that it's arrogant to think you can tell if a player is mentally screwed up by watching him for a few spring training games?

Or are you saying it's arrogant to doubt one's ability to tell if a player is mentally screwed up by watching a few spring training games?
   17. haven Posted: March 17, 2014 at 07:32 PM (#4673103)
i'm not sure what is being argued.....

turner is slightly above replacement level. tejada regressed offensively and defensively last season and has looked completely out of sorts this spring. does anyone not agree on that at least?

i get turner supporting a fellow player. perfectly fine and makes sense. what i don't understand is anyone affiliated with the mets anonymously trashing any player. what purpose does it serve exactly? just move on from turner. teams move on from players like turner all the time. and just move on from tejada when you can........ once again, happens all the time.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 17, 2014 at 08:06 PM (#4673108)
And looking at a handful of spring training games won't tell you that.

But watching him every day in practice and games should. I can usually tell if someone at work is totally out of it.
   19. Dudefella Posted: March 17, 2014 at 08:18 PM (#4673112)
Megdal: An ex-Met on his old team’s propensity to schmear


Sounds kosher to me.
   20. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 17, 2014 at 10:34 PM (#4673145)
But watching him every day in practice and games should. I can usually tell if someone at work is totally out of it.


Maybe but the doubters on this thread aren't there every day.
   21. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4673154)

To be fair, Alderson has publicly expressed his disdain for Tejada in the past year, especially on WFAN.

Why he still didn't obtain a replacement is a different question. that does not appear to be of Alderson's choosing. Collins is not as appalled, but he also has to live with putting the guy in the lineup.

   22. formerly dp Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4673192)
I am generally in agreement with Mark here, but Tejada has looked absolutely lost out there. There are still 2 weeks left in spring training to make a final decision, so I'm not sure why they'd need to make a decision now. But if Tejada's going like this mid-April, desperation will have to start to creep in. It is, though, highly unlikely that Tejada's ability has simply disappeared.
If you're trying to develop young pitching, aren't they better off finding some good glove, no bat guy stuck in AA/AAA somewhere, rather than putting a potential butcher at SS?
Outside of Wheeler and the guys in the 'pen, who are the young pitchers the Mets are trying to develop this year? The rotation right now is Colon, Wheeler, Gee, Lannan, and Dice-K. Throw a glove guy out there (do they even have one of those right now?) when Wheeler pitches and see if Flores can hack it. I am of the opinion that Montero and Mejia should starting for the Mets sooner rather than later, but it appears that's not the plan-- Mejia will be in the bullpen and eased into the rotation later, and the plan for Montero might be the same. At that point-- and the season is long-- they can transition to a defense-first SS, if Flores is sucking as bad as he might.
   23. formerly dp Posted: March 18, 2014 at 08:38 AM (#4673197)
And does anyone have an opinion on the decision to let Turner walk? Sort of boring utility infielder, but has hit OK in that role given his versatility. If Flores can't even fake SS, he's not taking Turner's spot, and the Mets will still need to carry a guy specifically to back up Tejada or whoever ends up as the starter.
   24. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4673205)
Megdal: An ex-Met on his old team’s propensity to schmear

Sounds kosher to me.


As the ribbies say, it depends on who you ask. I'll reserve judgement until I hear from someone inside baseball, such as J.J. Putz, Feh Vincent, or Kevin Mensch.
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4673207)
Only other option is to sign Drew.


Could also make a trade. Didi Gregorius and Nick Franklin are supposedly available, or you could really pull out all the stops and try to pry Arismendy Alcantara away from the Cubs.
   26. formerly dp Posted: March 18, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4673226)
We've been over this before, but Franklin has questions about his ability to handle SS, and I don't think they want to pay too steep a price for a guy who might not be the answer there.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4673316)
Sure, and that's reasonable. But there are no defensive questions about the other two.
   28. JJ1986 Posted: March 18, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4673326)
I would love Alcantara, but I think the Cubs are probably going to wait before making any moves with their infielders. They'd definitely demand more than he was worth to move Arismendy now.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 18, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4673384)
I think you might be able to get them interested in Mejia+, given their rotation needs.

That'd be opening up one hole to fill another, of course.

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