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Monday, February 25, 2008

N.Y. Post: LASTINGS MILLEDGE STARTING TO ‘FIT IN’ WITH NATIONALS (RR)

We disapprove of the content, language and message of this statement, which does not represent the views of the Washington Nationals.

Life is much different here than with the Mets.

“These guys believe in me and they figure I can get the job done,” Milledge said.

Did the Mets believe in him?

“No,” Milledge said. “Because I’m inexperienced, they like experienced guys, especially Willie (Randolph). Here it’s good to have people really believe in you. I really didn’t get any love over there. Which is fine, they’re a big market and they are not going to wait around on young guys.

“The Mets have to win now,” he said. “They haven’t won a World Championship in (22) years.”

But who’s counting? Clearly, there is no love lost between Milledge and the Mets.

“I’m looking forward to playing New York, I can tell you that right now,” said the former first-rounder. “I’ll be ready. It’s a business, I’m not mad at all that the Mets got rid of me, but I am going to have a little chip on my shoulder when I play New York, that’s just how it is.”

Repoz Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:02 PM | 122 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, nationals

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   1. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:32 PM (#2699136)
*swoon*
   2. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:36 PM (#2699141)
I feel sick.
   3. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:39 PM (#2699146)
This is kind of awesome:
Added Milledge with a laugh: "I don't blame the Mets for getting rid of me and trying to get the team better because when I'm playing video games I don't wait on young guys either, I get rid of them and get veterans."
   4. formerly dp Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:42 PM (#2699149)
Lastings has an absurd amount of talent. The thing the Mets didn't think about was what he'll be like at 25. Showing the skill he did at 21, 22, he'll be a monster by the time he hits his peak. He'll outplay Church by a wide margin this year (hitting, baserunning, defense). And I think Milledge has a great attitude- he's got an ego, but you would too if you had that kind of talent. He's testing his limits as a player and learning the game. Santana was a great move, but Omar's not off the hook for thinking Schnieder is worth a ####. Omar's a real moron sometimes when it comes to evaluating and valuing talent. Who trades a young stud OF for a defensive specialist catcher and borderline regular corner OF...?
   5. Chris Needham Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:43 PM (#2699151)
You won't feel sick when Brian Schneider loops that opposite-field single just over the shortstop's head every 4.5 times he comes to the plate.
   6. HowardMegdal Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:45 PM (#2699152)
I am sure that, periodically, the fact that the Mets could have gotten Santana and kept Milledge will upset me. Reading this piece is one of those times.

Did anyone see the program on SNY "Best Finishes of 2007"? This had to be done humorously, right?
   7. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:51 PM (#2699158)
I think you can tell a lot by what players/managers say in their responses. Lastings is a very bright guy.

I'll never understand what Willie was thinking when he kept on penciling in Green and others when he had Milledge as an option. Was he trying to teach a lesson, help Milledge mature? Argh.
   8. Chris Needham Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:52 PM (#2699159)
I wonder if, had the Mets kept Milledge, the Twins would've insisted on him in the deal. While they ultimately settled without him, that doesn't mean they would have had he been a viable option.
   9. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2699163)
Yeah, I've thought the same thing. But if the Twins had insisted on Milledge, then the Mets could have kept Guerra (rumored to be the final concession on Omar's side to make the deal happen). That would have made me very happy too.
   10. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:06 PM (#2699178)
Does it make me a bad Mets fan that I hope that Milledge becomes the Pat Burrell-style Met-killer of the next decade? If so, I'll settle for him peppering the dugout wall just to the left and right of Randolph's head with line drives every time he comes up.
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:15 PM (#2699187)
Did anyone see the program on SNY "Best Finishes of 2007"? This had to be done humorously, right?
Or in the sprit of excellent sportsmanship, I suppose. I'd guess the Phils never thought they'd be honored on SNY.
   12. Spencer Benedict Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:17 PM (#2699189)
And I think Milledge has a great attitude- he's got an ego, but you would too if you had that kind of talent.

I loved it when Milledge high fived the fans at Shea. I have never spoken with a fan who disagreed with me. It was the media and insiders who took issue with the fraternization with the plebians.
   13. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#2699197)
If someday in 2040, Omar writes a book about his GM years, and he spills that it was Randolph who forced the Milledge trade, I will never forgive Willie.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:33 PM (#2699207)
I got BaseballAmerica's prospects book and noticed that according to them, the Mets gave up their #2, #3 and #4 prospects to get Santana (plus Humber). With all the talk around here I figured that it was practically the second coming of the Bobby Abreu trade.

And one of their scouts (Chris Kline) said Guerra was the #10 prospect in all of baseball. He'd hardly ever been discussed around here.
   15. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:38 PM (#2699220)
The thing to remember, Crispix, is that the Mets system pre-trade was generally thought to rank in the bottom third among MLB teams, both in terms of depth and high-ceiling guys at the top, so the rankings you mention should be considered in that context. Guerra was certainly one of their few high-ceiling guys, but he's so young, TINSTAAPP, etc.
   16. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 03:39 PM (#2699222)
it was practically the second coming of the Bobby Abreu trade.

Nah, it wasn't that lopsided, but it was still a great trade. Abreu was gotten for nothing, but Abreu was at the time something like top 50 or top 100. Santana can be argued in the top 10. To get that without giving up Fernando was amazing.

I think Sam is dead on in the analysis. We paid a pound of flesh, but we got a true franchise cornerstone in return.
   17. Law Boy Posted: February 25, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2699349)
I wonder if, had the Mets kept Milledge, the Twins would've insisted on him in the deal.


It was reported by several media outlets in NYC that Minaya only traded Milledge after he determined that neither the Twins nor the A's (Haren) had any interest in him.
   18. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 07:20 PM (#2699442)
It was reported by several media outlets in NYC that Minaya only traded Milledge after he determined that neither the Twins nor the A's (Haren) had any interest in him.

This is true. That's what is befuddling to me. There is a huge gap between what the average BTFers thinks of Milledge and what MLB GMs think of Milledge. I think Minaya got "market value" for Milledge. I just think he made a mistake selling when he did. He should have just held on to Milledge.
   19. Chris Needham Posted: February 25, 2008 at 07:29 PM (#2699455)
It was reported by several media outlets in NYC that Minaya only traded Milledge after he determined that neither the Twins nor the A's (Haren) had any interest in him.

Reported by them from sources with the Twins and A's? or by someone connected to a backpedaling Omar?

It's tough to figure out those sorts of things, even when you DO see things specifically reported with and without the affiliation of sources.
   20. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: February 25, 2008 at 07:31 PM (#2699458)
This is true. That's what is befuddling to me. There is a huge gap between what the average BTFers thinks of Milledge and what MLB GMs think of Milledge. I think Minaya got "market value" for Milledge. I just think he made a mistake selling when he did. He should have just held on to Milledge.

I don't know. I can't imagine the Twins and A's weren't interested in Milledge. I wonder what Minaya wanted and how quickly he gave up on dealing Milledge to them. The trade to the Nats still strikes me as a panic move. If the A's were already in talks with the D-Backs about Haren, it's understandable they'd put Minaya on hold. So...yeah, I agree 100% that Minaya decided he wanted to trade Milledge and then panicked when the two teams he thought would be champing at the bit to get him hesitated. (The Twins had just picked up or were about to pick up Young and were probably deep into talks with the Sawx and Yanks, and, as I mentioned, the A's had something going on with Arizona so neither team at the time was ready to move on a Milledge trade.) I think his worry about the catching position also played a part in the trade. This is all 100% speculation coming out my arse, though. It's just fun to speculate.
   21. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#2699465)
This is true. That's what is befuddling to me. There is a huge gap between what the average BTFers thinks of Milledge and what MLB GMs think of Milledge. I think Minaya got "market value" for Milledge. I just think he made a mistake selling when he did. He should have just held on to Milledge.

What pissed me off (and still does) is that Omar held on despite mounting pressure from all sides. During both 2006 and 2007, everyone kept pressing Omar to deal Milledge for pitching help. This belief was not only present in the media and public perception, but even here at BTF, where Mets Primates had to keep fending off the "Milledge would get you that solid starter that the Mets need" and the "Milledge is overrated" arguments that raged here for two years.

Like a father fending off suitors for his beautiful daughter, for 2+ years, Omar held strong. I was impressed.

Then in a decision that will befuddle us all, Omar inexplicably relented on his jewel when the town drunk proposed. Argh, kill me now.
   22. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 07:41 PM (#2699477)
This is true. That's what is befuddling to me. There is a huge gap between what the average BTFers thinks of Milledge and what MLB GMs think of Milledge. I think Minaya got "market value" for Milledge.


At the time of the Kazmir trade and after it, various NYC media outlets also reported about Kazmir's purported chemistry issues. Both metaphorical and literal "chemistry" issues.
   23. Esoteric Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2699513)
#22 - rfloh:

Are you saying that Kazmir was a rumored juicer? Or are we talking about recreational drugs?
   24. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:13 PM (#2699518)
Are you saying that Kazmir was a rumored juicer? Or are we talking about recreational drugs?

Huh. I'm surrounded by Met fans and I never heard this. However, if I hear the Al Leiter hates Kazmir's stereo story one more time I think I will be poisoned forever against humanity. And also stereos.
   25. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:16 PM (#2699523)
Are you saying that Kazmir was a rumored juicer? Or are we talking about recreational drugs?


Recreational.
   26. Law Boy Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:23 PM (#2699528)
Reported by them from sources with the Twins and A's? or by someone connected to a backpedaling Omar?


They were NY sources, so I guess you can attribute it to the latter, but I don't see why he would have pulled the trigger on the Milledge deal prematurely if he thought it could impede his pursuit of Santana or Haren.
   27. heals9 Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:29 PM (#2699538)
Guys, I love you, I really do. Even Sam M., who can't sem to make up his mind on whether I'm a negative Met-hater or a Wilpon ass-kisser. I love Howard, who is as classy an individual as I have ever worked with, but you're all bonkers when it comes to Milledge. If he's as good a player as Jay Payton, the Nats should be happy.
   28. Bourbon Samurai is disturbed by bagel developments Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:45 PM (#2699562)
What pissed me off (and still does) is that Omar held on despite mounting pressure from all sides. During both 2006 and 2007, everyone kept pressing Omar to deal Milledge for pitching help. This belief was not only present in the media and public perception, but even here at BTF, where Mets Primates had to keep fending off the "Milledge would get you that solid starter that the Mets need" and the "Milledge is overrated" arguments that raged here for two years.

Like a father fending off suitors for his beautiful daughter, for 2+ years, Omar held strong. I was impressed.

Then in a decision that will befuddle us all, Omar inexplicably relented on his jewel when the town drunk proposed. Argh, kill me now.


Now I am imagining a production of The Taming of the Shrew with Milledge as Katherine and Jim Bowden as Petruchio. Good times.
   29. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2699568)
If he's as good a player as Jay Payton, the Nats should be happy.


And Milledge is comparable to Payton, how? They're African-American outfielders who once played for the Mets?

Milledge has outperformed Payton at the same ages and levels.

Milledge was performing credibly in MLB at age 22, OPS+ 105. At age 22, Payton played well at AA in the Eastern league, OPS 929, relative to a league average of 704, but was mediocre at AAA in the International, OPS 678, relative to a league average 719.

It took Payton till age 29 to get a MLB OPS+ above 100, though he came close at age 27.
   30. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 08:56 PM (#2699576)
Here we go again...
On top of rfloh's solid points, Payton *was* a top prospect. Injuries derailed him. Milledge has not had any debilitating injuries yet.
   31. 1k5v3L Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#2699589)
If he's as good a player as Jay Payton, the Nats should be happy.
What, no love for Benny Agbayani?
   32. heals9 Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:12 PM (#2699594)
And Milledge is comparable to Payton, how? They're African-American outfielders who once played for the Mets?

The comparison is based on the fact that both were highly touted OF prospects. Teir skin color is irrelevant.

Oh, and Payton actually once played CF for a full season for a team that won a pennant. Milledge is just a guy who has some nice minor league stats, who may or may not be better than Jacque Jones.
   33. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:18 PM (#2699599)
Milledge was performing credibly in MLB at age 22, OPS+ 105.

in 206 plate appearances

list of all MLBers at age 22 with OPS+ between 100 & 110, PA between 180 and 270:

1 Mike Anderson 110 215
2 Larry Gilbert 110 261
3 Howard Wakefield 110 220
4 Tony Gwynn 107 209
5 Gabby Hartnett 107 263
6 Charlie Moore 106 262
7 Ken O'Dea 106 231
8 Lastings Milledge 105 206
9 Val Picinich 105 241
10 Roger Cedeno 104 227
11 Brian McRae 103 182
12 Jack Shepard 102 265
13 Wayne Belardi 102 180


the closest actual comp in terms of avg/obp/slg is Hartnett; I think it's safe to say the Nats would be overjoyed if Milledge hit anywhere near Gabby

on the other hand, the next best comp is Mike Anderson; I don't think Wash would be too thrilled if Milledge's career path followed his
   34. Shooty is obsessed with the latest hoodie Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:18 PM (#2699600)
Oh, and Payton actually once played CF for a full season for a team that won a pennant. Milledge is just a guy who has some nice minor league stats, who may or may not be better than Jacque Jones.

Man, I don't see this at all. Milledge looks like he'll be closer to Amos Otis than Jay Payton to me, and I'm no Mets fan. You can even throw out the stats if you want. Milledge just LOOKS better to me as a baseball player. That he's got the statistical pedigree to back up my half assed subjective opinion is even better. I wish he were still with the Mets so I'd get to see him play more, though.
   35. Spencer Benedict Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#2699601)
Milledge was performing credibly in MLB at age 22, OPS+ 105. At age 22, Payton played well at AA in the Eastern league, OPS 929, relative to a league average of 704, but was mediocre at AAA in the International, OPS 678, relative to a league average 719.

IIRC, Payton had a couple of major injuries that derailed his career before he came to the majors. I think those IL stats may have been post-injury.
   36. 1k5v3L Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#2699602)
Roger Cedeno sighting! Is he still on the Mets payroll?
   37. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:22 PM (#2699604)
but you're all bonkers when it comes to Milledge.
This may be why we're all so "bonkers":
Pecota:
2008- 23- .290/.359/.480
2009- 24- .289/.364/.483
2010- 25- .288/.363/.489

I think the forecast is off in that it doesn't see a performance spike until he's 26. But a corner OF with good d and a .360/.480 line for the league minimum is pretty valuable. And Milledge is a CF. The Mets could take the $10-15 million it takes to buy that performance and sink it into a catcher. A .400/.550 season from Milledge in the next 3 years wouldn't shock me. He's a smart and talented player who is really dedicated to learning the game. Unless you buy all the crap about his attitude, I don't understand how you couldn't be excited about him...
   38. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:23 PM (#2699605)
Roger Cedeno sighting! Is he still on the Mets payroll?

Maybe, I think Cedeno is off the Mets payroll the same time Ortiz is off Arizona's.
   39. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:25 PM (#2699607)
Oh, and Payton actually once played CF for a full season for a team that won a pennant. Milledge is just a guy who has some nice minor league stats, who may or may not be better than Jacque Jones.


Yeah, and Milledge was 22 last year, 23 in 2008. Was Payton playing CF for a full season for a team that won a pennant at age 22 or 23?
   40. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:27 PM (#2699608)
Milledge just LOOKS better to me as a baseball player.

His bat really does explode through the zone. His swing just screams energy. He generates a lot of power without being particularly big- if he does add strength, it'll be scary. But it's the .380+ OB% that has always impressed me- this isn't a guy who relies on his ability to pound the ball. Last year, this is where he showed the greatest maturity- he was learning what to do and what not to do, and really seemed to recognize his mistakes.
   41. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:30 PM (#2699610)
in 206 plate appearances


Yes, there is also his minor league record. At 21, 828 OPS in AAA in the INT, relative to a league average of 715. At 21, Payton was in A-, beating up on kids younger than him.
   42. CrosbyBird Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#2699612)
A .400/.550 season from Milledge in the next 3 years wouldn't shock me.

That would absolutely shock me. I don't see anything in his makeup that leads me to believe he'll sniff a .400 OBP or a .550 SLG.

And I was a huge Milledge booster. I see him as a Shannon Stewart type player.
   43. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#2699613)
He generates a lot of power without being particularly big- if he does add strength, it'll be scary.

Milledge is a pretty big guy. He looks like he'S 6 feet and around 210 pounds. If he gets much bigger than that, he probably won't be able to stick in CF.
   44. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:38 PM (#2699618)
Milledge just LOOKS better to me as a baseball player.

His bat really does explode through the zone. His swing just screams energy. He generates a lot of power without being particularly big- if he does add strength, it'll be scary. But it's the .380+ OB% that has always impressed me- this isn't a guy who relies on his ability to pound the ball. Last year, this is where he showed the greatest maturity- he was learning what to do and what not to do, and really seemed to recognize his mistakes.


This thread depresses the heck out of me, but this is true. Milledge *looks* like a prototype outfielder. He swings hard, his motions are smooth, it all comes naturally to him. Once he starts laying off that outside slider, which all young players eventually learn, he's going to be tough to pitch to. He and Felix Pie - they just look like 5 tool players.
   45. heals9 Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#2699619)
This may be why we're all so "bonkers":

Pecota:
2008- 23- .290/.359/.480
2009- 24- .289/.364/.483
2010- 25- .288/.363/.489


Bill Pecota was a lousy player, who gives a crap what he thinks.

Milledge isn't that good of a defensive player either, but I'm score that someone on BTF has a tricorder that says different. The guy that drafted him wasn't even inetrested in obtaining him, and his club is desperate for talent.
   46. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#2699624)
A .400/.550 would shock the heck out of me, especially in the next three years. Andruw Jones and Carlos Beltran have one combined season of a .950 OPS or higher. Especially if the New RFK is a pitcher's park.

The Mets made a bad trade. No doubt. They didn't give up Willie Mays though.
   47. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:48 PM (#2699625)
And I was a huge Milledge booster. I see him as a Shannon Stewart type player.

Very subjectively, he hits for a lot more power than Stewart did. I followed Stewart very closely when he was coming up. Stewart didn't hit for any kind of power until he was 26. SS was a master at hitting singles- from 1999-2004 his BA ranged from .294-.322, which is pretty consistent. His power numbers jumped around, and early in his career he had more speed than Milledge, but I think Lastings will hit a lot more HRs. Now that I'm looking it up, their raw minor league numbers are pretty close, but Stewart was older than Milledge pretty much every step of the way- 21 at AA, 22 at AAA for 2 stints. I think Stewart would've been a different player had they hit him #3 from the start of his career, but as a leadoff/speed guy he developed different. I'd bet on a .900 OPS season from Milledge at some point, and I never would have predicted that for Stewart...

Russlan, B-Ref has Milledge at 6'1, 185. I think it depends where he pushes his game. He likes CF, but if the Mets had used him in a corner I could've see him sacrificing a bit of mobility for some power. Also, he likes to steal despite not being particularly adept at it. At age 20, he was 29-18, at 21 he was 13-10, and he's 4-4 with the Mets. On one CS last year he failed to reach the bag with his slide.
   48. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:53 PM (#2699631)
A .400/.550 would shock the heck out of me, especially in the next three years.

By 30, I think he'll put up one season like that. He won't do it every year, obviously, but I could see him doing it once. I think his intelligence as a hitter, combined with how young he's playing regularly at the ML level, will be what does it. But I've rarely been right about anyone...
   49. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:54 PM (#2699632)
They didn't give up Willie Mays though.


That's Fernando. But Milledge could have been Bobby Bonilla to Fernando's Bonds. I'm telling ya, this trade is gonna bite us in the arse. Two years from now, you'll be as bitter as me about this.
   50. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 09:57 PM (#2699633)
Russlan, B-Ref has Milledge at 6'1, 185. I think it depends where he pushes his game.

It also has David Wells at 225 pounds and Schilling at 215.

Milledge worked out prior to the 2007 season and there was a lot of comments about how he gained 15-20 pounds. Milo is a big guy and he'll likely get even bigger as he fills out during his mid-20s.
   51. HowardMegdal Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:07 PM (#2699646)
Guys, I love you, I really do. Even Sam M., who can't sem to make up his mind on whether I'm a negative Met-hater or a Wilpon ass-kisser. I love Howard, who is as classy an individual as I have ever worked with, but you're all bonkers when it comes to Milledge. If he's as good a player as Jay Payton, the Nats should be happy.

Well, if Mark thinks I'm a classy individual, how much can we trust his judgement?

I am on record that Milledge will put up a 115-120 OPS+ with better than average center field defense in 2008. Where he goes from there will be interesting, to say the least- but that player alone is worth a tremendous amount, even if he doesn't grow from there. I am refraining from predicting a specific line, because I simply don't know how Washington's new park will play.

Whether I am bonkers for thinking this remains to be seen.

And for the record, Jay Payton never topped 100 OPS+ anywhere besides Colorado.
   52. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:09 PM (#2699649)
It also has David Wells at 225 pounds and Schilling at 215.

I forgot the "FWIW"...

Milledge worked out prior to the 2007 season and there was a lot of comments about how he gained 15-20 pounds.

I though it was the lack of crazy dreds everywhere that just made him *look* bigger...

Milo is a big guy and he'll likely get even bigger as he fills out during his mid-20s.

Agreed. Which is why I can see a significant power increase, and along with it a jump in walks. Stewart seemed to get by on skilled hitting- putting it where the fielders weren't- more than bat speed and power. He took full advantage of the turf at Skydome to skid balls down the line. I saw him place 3 grounders perfectly between short and 3B one game, and they looked like all the same hit. Milledge, the ball hops off his bat more, and he seems to have better plate coverage as a result of his quick bat. Of course, I could be full of ####, but that's how it looks to my very unskilled eyes...
   53. CrosbyBird Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:13 PM (#2699652)
By 30, I think he'll put up one season like that.

By 30? I think his age 28-30 seasons are going to be for a different team.
   54. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:21 PM (#2699661)
By 30? I think his age 28-30 seasons are going to be for a different team.

I don't know who he'll be playing for. But DC will have the cash to pay him if he wants to stay. And if I'm DC, I market the hell out of him and Flores as underdog Met castoffs that they're building an upstart franchise around.
   55. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:24 PM (#2699664)
But Milledge could have been Bobby Bonilla to Fernando's Bonds. I'm telling ya, this trade is gonna bite us in the arse. Two years from now, you'll be as bitter as me about this.

I don't know if you're going to win over a lot of Mets fans to the pro-Milledge side with the "We gave up the next Bobby Bonilla!" approach.
   56. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:33 PM (#2699668)
I don't know if you're going to win over a lot of Mets fans to the pro-Milledge side with the "We gave up the next Bobby Bonilla!" approach.

The Bonilla saga remains one of the most unfair narratives in Mets history. Bonilla was very good for the Mets - if we had 3 more like him, we would have remained contenders rather than sink into the abyss.

With Santana/Wright/Reyes/Pedro/Beltran/Fernando carrying the load for the next few years, we simply need a strong supporting cast. Milledge and Flores level talent is what we'll be pining for in 2009.
   57. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:34 PM (#2699669)
That's Fernando. But Milledge could have been Bobby Bonilla to Fernando's Bonds. I'm telling ya, this trade is gonna bite us in the arse. Two years from now, you'll be as bitter as me about this.

You kill me, Rask.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:36 PM (#2699671)
The guy that drafted him wasn't even inetrested in obtaining him, and his club is desperate for talent.
1) Steve Phillips, the guy who actually did draft Lastings Milledge, didn't think Milledge was quite ready to join the Baseball Tonight crew, on account of his having a baseball playing career to attend to.

2) The guy you're apparently referring to, as your lone actual argument in favor of your idiosyncratic judgment of Milledge, is noted talent evaluator Jim Duquette.

But the tricorder joke was funny. Because that's something that's on Star Trek! boo-yeah!
   59. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#2699672)
Apparently the Mets shopped El Duque around with the hope so that they could sign Kyle Lohse. Pretty interesting. Are 125-150 IP of 105-115 ERA+ pitching more valuable than 180-190 IP of 95-100 ERA+ pitching. On a team like the Mets without much depth in the minors, I'd say the latter.
   60. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:37 PM (#2699674)
Milledge and Flores level talent is what we'll be pining for in 2009.

Instead of pining for Flores you should just try to convince yourself and others that he is the second coming of Vance Wilson or Mike Kinkade. You'll be happier living in that world.
   61. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:38 PM (#2699675)
Yeah, it was the decision to sign Coleman that really screwed the team up. Bonilla was just fine. But those were some dark-ass days for us Met fans. Unfortunately, Omar hasn't learned anything from those days- both Bonilla and Coleman were "get the guys that beat you" acquisitions, just like a certain good-glove, no hit catcher that is the background subject of this thread...
   62. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:40 PM (#2699676)
That's Fernando. But Milledge could have been Bobby Bonilla to Fernando's Bonds. I'm telling ya, this trade is gonna bite us in the arse. Two years from now, you'll be as bitter as me about this.

You kill me, Rask.


Russlan, you and I were the only ones screaming when Flores was heisted away. And even then you didn't wring your wrists in grief enough. It takes a while for Mets fans to realize what we've lost.
   63. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:44 PM (#2699681)
Instead of pining for Flores you should just try to convince yourself and others that he is the second coming of Vance Wilson or Mike Kinkade. You'll be happier living in that world.

Nah, Bowden will pay for his sins. Dukes is going to sink that franchise with bad karma for the next decade.
   64. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:50 PM (#2699686)
Unfortunately, Omar hasn't learned anything from those days- both Bonilla and Coleman were "get the guys that beat you" acquisitions, just like a certain good-glove, no hit catcher that is the background subject of this thread

I can understand not liking every move that Minaya makes. I do. But let's not forget that he has also made a lot of good moves as well, many we thought to be bad at best, idiotic at worst.

For example, prior to the 2006 season I thought Omar made a mistake not signing Jeff Weaver when it was clear he'd be getting a one or two year deal. I thought trading Seo for Sanchez was a bad mistake. In general, Omar has done a good job and I think the "he hasn't learned anything..." comment is much too harsh.
   65. 1k5v3L Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:51 PM (#2699687)
Are 125-150 IP of 105-115 ERA+ pitching more valuable than 180-190 IP of 95-100 ERA+ pitching

More like 12.5-15.0 IP...
[looks around, waits for the latest Dial bet]
   66. 1k5v3L Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:52 PM (#2699690)
I thought Omar made a mistake not signing Jeff Weaver when it was clear he'd be getting a one or two year deal
I think you were the only one
   67. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:55 PM (#2699695)
Not protecting Flores while protecting Ben Johnson drove me crazy.

But Omar does have Maine and Ollie to balance Milledge and Flores. Selling high on Seo.
   68. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 10:58 PM (#2699700)
I'm referring specifically to getting Schnieder. I don't understand, still, why anyone would trade for this guy. The only thing I can think of is that based on the way he threw out Met runners in September, Omar actually thought he was worth a ####. He's a net negative for a team. I'd rather have Kevin Cash or any random good-glove catcher.

FWIW, the only reason I wasn't screaming about losing Flores at the time was b/c I didn't think Washington would hold him the whole year. But he actually was pretty good when he played, and the Nats were hopeless from the start. As late as May I assumed they could get someone like Ryan Church to just let the Nats keep him.
   69. rlc Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:07 PM (#2699708)
2) The guy you're apparently referring to, as your lone actual argument in favor of your idiosyncratic judgment of Milledge, is noted talent evaluator Jim Duquette.

What club would Duquette have acquired him for - his country club?
   70. Raskolnikov Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:10 PM (#2699712)
He's a net negative for a team. I'd rather have Kevin Cash or any random good-glove catcher.

Schneider's alright. PECOTA has him as around 4 VORP. Add in his defense, and he should be a solid C.

As for Duque-Lohse, I'd rather keep Duque. It's the sentimental side of me that wants to see Duque pitch in a clutch spot for the Mets in October.
   71. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:11 PM (#2699713)
Whoops, he resigned before the offseason started. Who was heals referring to, then?
   72. CrosbyBird Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:13 PM (#2699715)
Look, I still hate the Milledge trade, but:

Schneider is not as bad as a lot of people are making him out to be. Especially if he's in a platoon with Castro.
   73. Chris Needham Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:17 PM (#2699719)
"Dukes is going to sink that franchise with bad karma for the next decade."

Close!

Should be: Minaya sunk that franchise with incompetence for the better part of a decade.
   74. rfloh Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:19 PM (#2699721)
Schneider's alright. PECOTA has him as around 4 VORP.


So, he is 4 runs better than a replacement catcher, offensively? So, his D has to be about Adam Everett or Pedro Feliz level then.
   75. rlc Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:20 PM (#2699723)
Who was heals referring to, then?

Dan Duquette? If s/he thinks Bill Pecota is working for Baseball Prospectus...
   76. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:25 PM (#2699725)
Schneider is not as bad as a lot of people are making him out to be. Especially if he's in a platoon with Castro.

He actually put up a higher OBP than McCann last year. Obviously, it was something of a disappointing year for McCann and McCann also hit for way more power, but the idea that Schneider is a completely useless player is overly negative.

Schneider BABIP was .255 last season. He is usually around .280. If he can get a little boost in batting average, a .330-.340 OBP is possible.
   77. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:28 PM (#2699727)
His projection is .242/.319/.345. That's not a guy you trade for, especially to make him your regular catcher. I'm not drinking the kool-aid with y'all on this one- he was worthless with the Nats, and he'll be worthless with the Mets. C'mon- every time you looked at the Nats lineup at the start of the night and it had Brian Schneider in it, didn't you think "sweet, easy out, I'm glad the Nats can't find a real catcher"? He might be a really nice guy, but he's an out factory. Better options exist. Hell, the Jays got Rod Barrajas without giving up a future all-star in the process, and there won't be much of a difference between those two with the bat.
   78. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:38 PM (#2699735)
The Mets did get Ryan Church as well, he of the .887 OPS againsts RHP the last twos season in 500+ plate appearances, who is under the Mets control for 4 more years.

Again, this was a bad, bad trade. I just don't think it is as bad as some are making it out to be.
   79. HowardMegdal Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:51 PM (#2699741)
I wish the Mets had a platoon partner for Church, and that they would platoon Schneider with Castro. But failure to do so shouldn't kill the team. This isn't Mota-use level of tragedy as is.
   80. heals9 Posted: February 25, 2008 at 11:55 PM (#2699745)
1) Steve Phillips, the guy who actually did draft Lastings Milledge, didn't think Milledge was quite ready to join the Baseball Tonight crew, on account of his having a baseball playing career to attend to.


SP was the GM at he time, yes, but he had as much to do with the draft as you or I did.

2) The guy you're apparently referring to, as your lone actual argument in favor of your idiosyncratic judgment of Milledge, is noted talent evaluator Jim Duquette.


No, I'm actually referring to someone else, a former Mets scouting director, who is now the Asst GM of another club. He also happened to be the guy that drafted Kazmir, Jacobs, Bannister, etc.


But the tricorder joke was funny. Because that's something that's on Star Trek! boo-yeah!


Well, you guys do so sound like Vulcans,
   81. BTF's left-wing cheering section (formerly_dp) Posted: February 26, 2008 at 12:02 AM (#2699749)
Shannon Stewart, if he could play RF, would be a nice addition. Reed Johnson will be available if the Jays keep Stewart, and he mashes LHP.
   82. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 26, 2008 at 12:31 AM (#2699757)
No, I'm actually referring to someone else, a former Mets scouting director, who is now the Asst GM of another club. He also happened to be the guy that drafted Kazmir, Jacobs, Bannister, etc.
Ok, so I guess you mean Gary LaRocque?

He was hired by the Cardinals on January 9th. Milledge was traded on November 30th.
   83. HowardMegdal Posted: February 26, 2008 at 12:43 AM (#2699761)
Mark, I'm curious what your expectations are for Milledge in 2008, stat-wise. And I'm prepared to bet you a Nathan's hot dog at a Cyclones game on it!
   84. billyshears Posted: February 26, 2008 at 01:42 AM (#2699778)
The next time I try to irrationally #### on the position of people trying to have a reasonable discussion because it's easier than constructing an actual argument, I'm going to make a tricorder joke.
   85. heals9 Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:13 AM (#2699787)
Ok, so I guess you mean Gary LaRocque?

He was hired by the Cardinals on January 9th. Milledge was traded on November 30th.


No, i do not mean GLR...
   86. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:22 AM (#2699790)
Guys, I love you, I really do. Even Sam M., who can't sem to make up his mind on whether I'm a negative Met-hater or a Wilpon ass-kisser. I love Howard, who is as classy an individual as I have ever worked with, but you're all bonkers when it comes to Milledge. If he's as good a player as Jay Payton, the Nats should be happy.

Love you too, Heals. Even though your comparison of Lastings Milledge to Jay Payton had been thoroughly debunked within two posts, and yet you still haven't acknowledged the force or implications of the fact that by age 22, Milledge has shown the ability to hold his own offensively and do things in the major leagues that Jay Payton couldn't do until he was much, much older. Your answer (# 32):

The comparison is based on the fact that both were highly touted OF prospects. Teir skin color is irrelevant.

Oh, and Payton actually once played CF for a full season for a team that won a pennant. Milledge is just a guy who has some nice minor league stats, who may or may not be better than Jacque Jones.


Convincing stuff, that. Someone tells you that Milledge had accomplished more in the majors than Payton at the same age, and been better in the minors, and you come back with the fact that Payton played for a pennant-winning team and that Milledge only has "some nice minor league stats." Sigh.

Anyway, the shame of this article is all in Milledge's quotes about Randolph, and the Mets' unwillingness to play and give a real opportunity to a young player:

Did the Mets believe in him?

“No,” Milledge said. “Because I’m inexperienced, they like experienced guys, especially Willie (Randolph). Here it’s good to have people really believe in you. I really didn’t get any love over there. Which is fine, they’re a big market and they are not going to wait around on young guys.


This is ultimately the road to oblivion. Or it's the road to a $200M payroll. Either way, it makes me sad to know it's going to take a player who is a star from Day One at the major league level to ever get a real chance again to make it from signing day to the ASG in a Mets uniform. This is the Mets' reality, at least for the foreseeable future. They'll get traded away. Maybe sometimes I'll be OK about the trade (Santana). Maybe other times, I'll think it's a lunatic waste of talent (Milledge). But it's what's going to keep happening.
   87. formerly dp Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:30 AM (#2699795)
Sam (#86)-
Agreed 100% WRT Randolph's attitude.

Fantasize with me for one second-
The Mets keep Milledge and Estrada. Or sign random backup catcher ____. Recognizing their need for a corner OF who can hit RHP, they sign Barry Bonds. Milledge plays 120 games backing up Bonds and Alou. Beltran of course is tired as hell from running all over the damn OF, and needs to be Endied once a week at least. But they get a .450 OB% out of the deal and get to keep Milledge.
   88. heals9 Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#2699797)
Mark, I'm curious what your expectations are for Milledge in 2008, stat-wise. And I'm prepared to bet you a Nathan's hot dog at a Cyclones game on it!


I'm going to say .285, 18, 70.
   89. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:44 AM (#2699807)
Recognizing their need for a corner OF who can hit RHP, they sign Barry Bonds.

Ugh. Moises Alou hits RHP just fine. And if they were going to keep Milledge, then for goodness sake, play the kid and give him the real chance you give an elite prospect. That means playing him against all but the very toughest RHPs, and letting him learn -- and yes, sometimes struggle. Patience with a young guy means you live with that. Let Endy soak up the ABs against the best RHs in the league, and take up the games Alou can't play. Leave Bonds out of it.

Hell, the case for signing Bonds is a hell of a lot stronger once they traded Milledge than it would have been had they kept him . . . .
   90. Raskolnikov Posted: February 26, 2008 at 02:50 AM (#2699811)
It's not impossible that Willie can figure it out eventually - that if one shows patience, young players can reward an organization. I am skeptical, but it's not impossible. And although I don't know, I have faith that Willie is the only barrier against the Mets adopting a "developing from within" approach. Once he is gone, the pipeline can flourish again.
   91. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:00 AM (#2699821)
And although I don't know, I have faith that Willie is the only barrier against the Mets adopting a "developing from within" approach.

I really have a lot of doubt about that. It is very difficult for me to believe that Omar Minaya would hire a manager whose philosophy is so anathema to Minaya's own that he has to completely change the organizational M.O. for as long as Randolph is around, and then can shift back if/when Randolph is gone. Moreover, I can't believe that if he came to realize (after hiring Randolph) that there was such a disconnect, that he is so milquetoast that he would just shrug his shoulders and start trading away talent he believes in for the sake of reshaping the major league roster to Willie Randolph's tastes. Instead, he'd call his manager in and tell him to get his ass with the program and play some kids and bench some Shawn Green types. IF that is what Omar Minaya wanted.

Instead, I don't think Minaya really disagrees. At least not in the context of the young talent he has thus far provided for Randolph, anyway. He has decided that the talent is not good enough to force the issue, or that Randolph has been right. And he has traded away talent before it can force him to force Randolph's hand. And right now, there is no pipeline. There's barely a pipe.
   92. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:16 AM (#2699837)
No, i do not mean GLR...
Jack Bowen, national amateur crosschecker for the Pittsburgh Pirates? His job ain't major league acquisitions, and he ain't an assistant GM.
I'm going to say .285, 18, 70.
So, while Milledge will be lucky to become Jay Payton, you project him, at 23, to have a season that Payton only topped once in his career, and in Colorado?
   93. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:16 AM (#2699838)
Sam, we've had this discussion before but I think you overstate the case. For one thing, Willie has been more than willing to use young pitchers in important spots. Joe Smith, Brian Bannsiter, and Mike Pelfrey are examples of this. He also made Anderson Hernandez the everyday secondbaseman out of spring training in 2006.

Maybe Willie did not like Milledge's game for some reason; it seems that he isn't the only one. I don't think there's much evidence that Willie has a dislike for young unproven players.
   94. HowardMegdal Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:23 AM (#2699845)
I'm going to say .285, 18, 70.

Depending on how the new Washington stadium plays, we might well be saying the same thing. But again, once adjusted for league and park, Milledge will be at 115-120 OPS+, above average defense in CF.
   95. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:33 AM (#2699852)
I don't think there's much evidence that Willie has a dislike for young unproven players.

The way he talked about John Maine all season last year with something barely short of disdain in his voice and in his quotes. "He really hasn't proved anything yet. Until he sustains it I don't put much stock in a few good starts. Blah blah frigging blah." I don't need Sparkey Anderson talking up every rookie as if he's the next Joe DiMaggio, but a little positive reinforcement and praise when a young player does well? Would that actually KILL you, Willie???

Yes, they gave Joe Smith a roster spot and ultimately innings. But when he went south, it didn't take long for Randolph to lose faith -- whereas you couldn't blow Guillermo Mota out of the 7th and 8th inning (much less out of the pen itself) with a damned howitzer. Proven veteran v. rookie.

And in the case of the starting pitchings, a lot of them got chances only after the Jose Limas of the world.

What do the Mets do when a young player shows well, but with some real imperfections in his game (say, Mr. Gotay, hitting well but playing poor defense)? They trade for Luis Castillo . . . then sign him to a long-term deal. That's a reasonable call in that case, but as part of a broader pattern that includes what happened to Milledge, and trading away the rest of the farm for Santana, I see a system that shows no inclination whatever to turn jobs over to young players produced by the system, and a manager who is a very large part of that.
   96. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:43 AM (#2699857)
And in the case of the starting pitchings, a lot of them got chances only after the Jose Limas of the world.

Bannister won a spot in the rotation in spring training as did Pelfrey in 2006 and 2007 respectively with other veterans competing. I don't think that's really a fair comment.

John Maine: That's just how Willie is. He also started John Maine in Game 1 of the NLDS.

The only guy who probably didn't get as much of a chance as he should have is Milledge. The rest of the young guys had their flaws.

I don't agree with you, especially regarding pitchers, but will admit that it possible that a pattern is emerging. In each individual case, there's a good argument to go with the veteran position player. That said, eventually, one would like them take a chance on a young player.
   97. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 03:56 AM (#2699863)
John Maine: That's just how Willie is. He also started John Maine in Game 1 of the NLDS.

Yeah, and even after John Maine pitched well in the 2006 post-season, Wille Randolph STILL talked about him in 2007 like he was a scrub who hadn't done crap. That is the attitude he manifests towards young players, and it is exactly that climate that leads Milledge to say the things he's said about the way young players are treated and not given a chance with the Mets. That, and the fact that they are traded away before they ever get a real chance to win and keep a long-term job.
   98. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 26, 2008 at 04:02 AM (#2699868)
That, and the fact that they are traded away before they ever get a real chance to win and keep a long-term job.

Sam, Willie is hard on young players because he thinks "tough love" is the best way to get them to develop. He does this with Reyes all the time. Is that the best way? Is it better than being Mr. Nice Guy? I don't know. Maine seems to be quite capable of handling Willie's tough love.
   99. Sam M. Posted: February 26, 2008 at 04:24 AM (#2699878)
Sam, Willie is hard on young players because he thinks "tough love" is the best way to get them to develop. He does this with Reyes all the time. Is that the best way? Is it better than being Mr. Nice Guy? I don't know. Maine seems to be quite capable of handling Willie's tough love.

And it seemed to work SO well for Jose Reyes last year. And for Lastings Milledge, too. And it just fed the media beasts who flogged the two of them (especially Milledge, of course).
   100. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 26, 2008 at 04:26 AM (#2699879)
And it seemed to work SO well for Jose Reyes last year.

It sure seemed to work in 2006.
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