Thursday, June 01, 2006

Making a Lastings impression

Watching the Mets this week, I cannot think of another prospect who has received as much hype as Lastings Milledge. The Big Apple media treated him like a visiting dignitary upon his ascension from Triple A.

The team has considered him un-tradeable for a while now. The Red Sox wanted him in a potential package for Manny Ramirez last winter. The Mets said no thanks. So we assume he will be that good.

Two thoughts on his rise:

1) It's impressive that the Mets actually hung onto some homegrown talent. This is a team that has a history of devouring its young.

As far back as '87, there was the bone-headed deal that brought in Frank Viola for a while in exchange for every pitcher under 25. More recently, that fucktard Steve Phillips dealt Scott Kazmir in exchange for Victor Zambrano in the most ridiculous and unneeded trade in team history.

So Omar Minaya gets a high-five for sticking with the kid.

2) Getting back to my original pernt, I think the last Mets prospect to garner this much attention was Gregg Jefferies, who had nearly impossible expectations thrust upon him.

Jefferies hit .321 with 6 home runs in 29 games in New York in 1988, and I think everyone just assumed he would become the city's next five-tool superstar. When he hit only .251 his next season -- officially, his rookie season came in '89 -- I don't know if he ever recovered from the constant mental beating he absorbed.

In 14 career seasons, Jefferies hit .289, 126 HR and 663 RBI -- this was the pre-roid era, so cut the cat some slack. In his years as a full-time starter, his average stats were .292, 11 HR and 55 RBI per season.

He had himself a nice little career. Some yahoo even threw him a Hall-of-Fame-vote bone last season. But he was a solid, not special, starter for a decade in the major leagues. But from a Mets perspective, he's viewed as an unmitigated failure.

So let's give Milledge some realistic expectations, take a dose of reality ourselves, and not coronate him the next Howard Johnson just yet.



At 8:38 PM, Blogger SJPSandman said...

The "fucktard" that dealt Scott Kazmir was not Steve Phillips, though he is a "fucktard" for a miriad of other reasons. But, no, the person responsible for trading the man who promises to be one of the top pitchers in baseball over the next 10 years was one Mr. Danforth Duquette, may he rest in pieces.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Joependleton said...

You beat me to this one, Sandman.

However, the prevailing thought in and around Shea these days is that a certain Yankee TV man/politician/former Met lefty who wore No. 22 was a driving force behind that trade. Supposedly a young Scott Kazmir snubbed a young Al Leiter in spring training that year and Leiter never forgot it.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger SJPSandman said...

Yeah, Joe, I heard the same thing

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Pete said...

Oops, I meant Duquette. Thanks for the catch. ... Interesting thought on Leiter. You never know, maybe Kazmir ripped on Bruce, and Leiter had him traded.

At 10:51 PM, Blogger SJPSandman said...

Check that, my bad, it wqas JIM Duquette that was the former Mets GM that dealt KAzmir. Dan Duquette did an equally shitty job as Gm of the Red Sox before Theo took over


Post a Comment

<< Home