There are web sites with the 10 worst Mets trades, the 15 worst Mets trades.
Plenty of space for new ones in the vast reaches of the Web.
We think of the talent this franchise has let get away – Nolan Ryan. Amos Otis. Roger McDowell and Lenny Dykstra.
In their sketchy past, the Mets have gotten expensive and over-the-hill talent like George Foster, Jason Bay and Bobby Bonilla, to say nothing of Juan Samuel for McDowell and Dykstra.
We won’t know where this trade fits until the Mets, maybe, who knows, happen to have a lead in the ninth inning and Edwin Diaz remains the excellent save guy he was in Seattle.
I don’t expect much from Robinson Canó. He is 36 years old, comes with a five-year contract for $100-million.
“And I’ll give you one guess who Canó’s agent is, or was,” a Mets fan in my neighborhood texted me. (Same guy who, in 1989, called home from college and all he could rasp was, “It stinks. It just stinks.” I didn’t have to ask, “Who is this?” or what it was about – the Samuel trade, of course.)
Cano’s previous agent, Brodie Van Wagenen is now the general manager of the Mets. What ever happened to the great Jeff Sessions move of recusing himself?
As for Canó, he was an engaging young guy with the Yankees – named for Jackie Robinson by his dad, alert eyes, nice personality. But he missed 80 games with the Mariners last year after testing positive, which throws his power numbers under huge suspicion.
“But Cano might have something left,” wrote Tyler Kepner in the Times on Monday, adding: “He batted .317 in 41 games after returning from his suspension, and hitting is just what he does.”
Tyler is not a pushover, and neither is he overly droll. This is his judgment, and I am noting it, with great respect.
Plus, it’s nice to know the Mets have $100-million to spend on a 36-year-old post-suspension hitter. Maybe the Madoff Years are over.
But there is something else about acquiring Canó. Last year the Mets brought up Jeff McNeil, a late-blooming second baseman who had learned traditional baseball skills in the minors and proceeded to hit .329 in 225 at-bats with the Mets – with seven steals and three homers.
“And he’s a good defensive second baseman,” says a friend of mine who played two years at that position in the minors.
McNeil will be 27 next April. Oh, he is making around the major-league minimum salary. Did I mention that?
By making these moves, the Mets are showing they are mired in the generation of the launch arc – the identical swing in the same damn groove that sends most hitters back to the dugout regularly, with blank looks that say, Well, I did what they want. I took my hacks.
Right. Jacob DeGrom merely won a Cy Young Award by tricking the launch-arc pigeons, pitching up, up, up, inning after inning.
* * *
The Mets roster will continue to change. Jay Bruce was a mensch, a gamer, in his two stints with the Mets. Thanks, man.
As for the young talent, think Nolan Ryan.
Meanwhile, Wilmer Flores has been released. That is baseball, defensible. Wilmer does not have enough power to make up for defensive mediocrity, nor does he have what the broadcasters like to call “foot speed.” Who didn’t cringe when that indecisive third-base coach meditated in real time over whether to send Wilmer? Don’t Do It! we screamed.
Wilmer is a sweet guy, you can see that from the top row. He cried the first time they tried to trade him, now part of Mets lore.
Let’s pause for a chorus of: Don’t Cry for Me, Wilmer Flores.
The moral to the release of Wilmer is: don’t get too attached to charismatic Mets icons wearing No. 4.
Forget about old Dodgers Charlie Neal and Duke Snider in the first two years. Later icons, Ron Swoboda and Rusty Staub and Lenny Dykstra, all beloved, all wearing No. 4, were sent away.
The Mets would have traded Mel Ott (No. 4) of the New York Giants.
The Mets would have traded Lou Gehrig (No. 4) of the New York Yankees.
Wilmer should look at it that way.
Now they are spending $100-million for Robinson Canó, age 36.
As we say in New York, Oy!
12/3/2018 09:29:51 pm
This is brilliant, but in an intrusive way. I’d rather believe the hype and hope and not think about your incisive analysis, George. Cano can only achieve his long past if he repudiates his more recent past, and that’s unlikely. Mets history thus repeats itself, over and over and over.
12/4/2018 02:35:58 am
Can we be hopeful until Spring, George? Can we enjoy a fantasy this holiday season? Do we have a choice?
12/4/2018 06:52:13 am
It's early up here in Vermont and the cold and snow is returning, after a three day hiatus, so it's always good to talk baseball. Can't argue with the worst trades in Mets' history and we may be league leaders in this regard. My father, not a baseball fan, was shocked when the Mets let Amos Otis go for Joe Foy marking that trade a bomb from the get go.
12/4/2018 08:57:56 am
12/4/2018 09:06:15 am
Marty. Another Oy! GV
12/4/2018 09:07:16 am
This just in: friend of mine was writing his Robinson Canó rant but the Autocorrect on his laptop turned the name into Robinson Cannot.
12/4/2018 01:08:23 pm
We used to think that third base was jinxed for the Mets (the Glider excepted of course). Then David Wright broke that curse.
12/4/2018 02:02:40 pm
Oy. Just oy.
12/4/2018 05:03:53 pm
Thanks to all., Tis the season....for hope....what else do Mets fans have to do?
12/4/2018 09:24:01 pm
I have Rusty Staub’s recipe for red snapper that he created for his first NYC restaurant when a Met. No one else has it. As winter grows cold I’ll share it here. It’s been our favorite for decades. There can be joy and hope in Metville.
12/6/2018 11:12:53 pm
12/13/2018 03:19:26 am
"Ala Tom Terrific, Syndergaard is young enough to be traded now, resigned later, and be let go again," says my facetious NYM-fan father. There may be no joy in Metsville, but there always is a good laugh.
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.