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Right. And I’ll Stop Blogging About Baseball.

[ 22 ] March 24, 2011 |

Sarah Palin:  “I’m through whining about a liberal press…[proceeds to whine about liberal press].”   Sure.

In related news, since the Mets seem to be going with Brad Eamus at 2B I was dead wrong when I said that the estatic reaction to the release of Luis Castillo showed that Mets fans had almost as little understanding of sunk costs as Jeff Wilpon.   While I never thought that the Mets would be dumb enough to actually play inexplicable fan favorite, medicore 1B, atrocious corner OF and Hustling White Guy (TM) Daniel Murphy at 2B (in the sense that he’d wear a glove and stand near second base), I am beaten-down enough to think that the Mets were going to plug in a minor league veteran type with as little future and even less present value than Castillo.    But even though he might prove to be more Dave Silverstri than Dan Uggla, Eamus has enough upside to be worth a flyer — shows that the new regime (including Collins) might know what it’s doing.

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  1. c u n d gulag says:

    Scott,
    Maybe the favoritism towards Murphy has to do with this being NY, and there are tons of both Met and Yankee fans who are Irish and looking to root for one of their own. And sure now, just look at the lad’s fine surname. With a middle name of ‘Thomas,’ don’t you know…

    Outside of that, he’s an underdog, so he’s not tough to root for.
    He’s a decent stick, and he really hustles, but he’s an absolute lock-sure candidate for a CSI investigation on any fly ball hit near him – though it would be the quickest CSI determination as to cause of death of all time.
    If he hit like Greg Luzinski, you might be able to live with his glove, or lack thereof, in LF.
    But when you hit more like Steve Sax with a bit more pop, but without the speed, 2nd seemed like a nice place to see if he could play. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out.
    He only had 2 decent minor league seasons, and maybe they brought him up too fast. But, he’s about to turn 26, and looks like a bust right now.
    I hate the Mets, but I like this kid for some reason and wish he could find a spot somewhere on some team. But, I don’t think he’s got close to enough pop to be a DH in the AL, and I’m not sure he’s a good candidate for sitting on the bench as a pinch hitter anywhere.
    It’s a shame.
    Nice kid.
    Hustles.
    I wish I had a dollar for every time that was a players epitaph.

  2. DB says:

    Going with Emaus was the best option, and one that gives me hope for this front office. If you go with Murphy or Turner, you end up either losing Emaus back to Toronto or keeping him as a not very versatile bench piece. As it stands, you give him a shot to start, keep Murphy as the versatile LHB off the bench who can adequately (hopefully) fill in at several positions, and send Turner to Buffalo. If Emaus is terrible, can him and bring Turner up.

    Above all, keep hoping Reese Havens can stay healthy for more than a week.

  3. Joe says:

    “inexplicable fan favorite”

    Yeah, a likable looking guy who seems to be hard worker and gutsy little player who you wish would do good even if he doesn’t. Why oh why would anyone root for him? It’s not like no one also is rooting for David Wright or such. They are? Sorry.

    I’m unsure why you find such a need to denigrate the guy. It’s not like the team gave up someone to keep Murphy in the past. They played him in the outfield. They eventually paid too much for Bay. He isn’t the reason they got rid of Castillo. And, as to “estatic reaction,” what Met fan is “estatic” any more these days?

    Castillo was overpaid, over the hill and a depressing symbol of the mediocrity a team with Pelfry as a #1 will be. Him going will mean little to the team’s overall success. The one or two more games he might have won for them during his part time work at 2nd really shouldn’t matter to fans. As Bill Murray said in Meatballs, it doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t.

    • Bill Murray says:

      It Just Doesn’t Matter

    • rea says:

      So let me get this straight.

      Keeping Castillo would have enabled them to win a couple of games they’d otherwise lose.

      They are going to pay Castillo, whether they kept him or not.

      He wasn’t blocking anyone on whom they are relying in the long run.

      So, why did they get rid of him again? For the satisfaction?

      • John F says:

        Keeping Castillo would have enabled them to win a couple of games they’d otherwise lose.

        wrong, Castillo is sub-replacement level at this point, cutting him wasn’t going to cost them a game, and if Emaus doesn’t suck likely means they pick up a game or two.

        So, why did they get rid of him again? For the satisfaction?

        HE CAN’T PLAY ANYMORE

    • Thlayli says:

      Yeah, a likable looking guy who seems to be hard worker and gutsy little player who you wish would do good even if he doesn’t. Why oh why would anyone root for him?

      Because it’s not enough to “work hard” and “hustle”. Either you can play the game at a major-league level or you can’t.

      A fan culture that fetishizes “hard work” and “hustle” to the exclusion of talent is a fan culture that’s going to have a long wait between wins. Cf: England national soccer team.

    • djw says:

      Yeah, a likable looking guy who seems to be hard worker and gutsy little player who you wish would do good even if he doesn’t. Why oh why would anyone root for him? It’s not like no one also is rooting for David Wright or such. They are? Sorry.

      I’ve got no issue with crappy players as fan favorites, as long as we keep this practice in place. Example: for years, the Sonics 12th man was a large, affable white guy with no demonstrable skills whatsoever named Steve Scheffler. Anticipating and following his appearances in the last five minute of blowouts made those otherwise pointless minutes a bit more interesting for the casual fan, he signed tons of autographs and seemed like a nice guy, and it was all good.

      But there’s no similar role in baseball. Even the last guy on the bench or the mop-up guy in the bullpen is involved in low leverage situation, not no leverage situations. Lovable losers are actual losers. Because wanting players on the team who aren’t good causes a certain cognitive dissonance, we start to see terrible arguments for why these players are better than your lying eyes and/or stat lines suggest. If you’re not careful, you get Willie Bloomquist “the ignitor” eating up a roster spot and not trivial playing time for seven damn years. As Bloomquist showed in 2002, any crappy player can luck into a high batting average for a short period of time, thus creating an illusion of ability that can be used to justify future success. Rooting against Bloomquist’s fluky success in his initial call-up would have been strongly in the rational M’s fan’s interest.

      • JRoth says:

        But Murphy specifically isn’t in that category at all – the guy’s a career .330 wOBA batter. The average MLB PH wOBAs somewhere south of .315. And UZR says he’s above average at 1B.

        So if he spells Davis a dozen times a year at 1B, pinch hits a few times a week, and only plays OF very occasionally, he gives you a lot more value off the bench that a good glove, no-bat C or SS. Just make sure you’re also carrying a credible defensive IF and CF bencher, and you’re good.

        It’s almost as if, because you (and Scott) dislike the scrappy white guy trope, you’re perfectly happy – eager, even – to throw away a useful ballplayer. But that couldn’t be, could it?

        • djw says:

          Fair enough; I don’t follow the mets, I was responding to the sentiment expressed in the comment.

          • JRoth says:

            It did occur to me that you’re not a Met fan. OTOH, it’s all the more evidence that lazy categorization (6-2/215 Murphy is “scrappy”, basically because he’s white) leads to even lazier arguments (only someone in the throes of ethnocentric backlash could find value in scrappy Murphy).

        • Chuchundra says:

          He’s also a decent third baseman, so he can spell Wright as well.

          I don’t think his second base play is as bad as people have made it out to be. I mean, he is still technically in the running for the starting 2B job. Even if you don’t want him as your starter in that role, he can still play there, either as an emergency fill in or as a starter when you’ve got a fly ball pitcher on the mound.

          With his bat and his versatility and his willingness to do what’s asked of him, he’s a valuable Major League asset.

        • Scott Lemieux says:

          I’ve never said that Murphy isn’t a useful bench player. I’ve criticized people who have, say, taken the idea of Murphy as a starting 2B seriously.

  4. wengler says:

    I’d rather read posts on the 1994 Expos than any on the contemporary Mets.

    There is just too much fail there to ever be successfully contained in one post.

    How many Mets players this year are going to get paid less than Bobby Bonilla?

    • c u n d gulag says:

      And Bonilla just started earning an additional $1 million a year for (10-20?) from the contract he signed 20 years ago.
      It’s LOL funny, unless you’re a Mets fan.

  5. Meowser says:

    While I think the “hustling white guy” meme holds some water, I honestly think Mets fans like Danny for his bat. Given that the last two years, with all the injuries and Jason Bay doing an Alomar-esque swan dive off the table, they’ve been so badly run-constipated that getting a decent bat in the lineup surely has legitimate appeal.

    As for his shitty glove, well…I remember when the Mets signed Todd Zeile to play first base, and Zeile, several years earlier, once had FOUR errors in one game. At first base. And they somehow managed to win a pennant with him at first, go fig.

    But I do agree with letting Emaus have the job until he doesn’t have it. Murphy is probably more valuable as bench depth than anything else right now.

    • JRoth says:

      Well right. The guy actually has MLB-level skill at one of the more important of the 5 tools. Fangraphs says his bat was worth 6 runs above replacement in just 150 PAs in ’08 – that’s not nothing. Nor is being worth 1 WAR in each of his first 2 ML seasons. Mind, it’s not enough to merit starting (not with that glove), but we’re not talking about some .300 wOBA scrapper with a dirty uniform.

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