February 28, 2007

I Really Hope Lastings Starts

I hope that Lastings Milledge will start in right field for the Mets this year. I realize I may be in the minority, but I have always believed in youth over experience, except for when the playoffs roll around.

Really right now it's Shawn Green vs. Lastings Milledge for the corner outfielder spot, with Dave Newhan, Ben Johnson and Endy Chavez as dark horses.
I honestly believe that Milledge could put up not just identical, but even better stats than Shawn Green would; about 25 HR, 80 RBI and a .275 average and 20 steals, all the while developing as a young player and perhaps raising his trade stock with guys like Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez surging through the system, although that may be a bit preliminary. Another possibility is that it seems as though Milledge would be more durable at his young age than an aging Green, therefore limiting the use of the fourth outfielders such as Newhan or Chavez.
Now I know what your argument will be to this.
"Well, Milledge is a cancer in the clubhouse". Although this may be true, and I'm denying it's credibility, I honestly believe that Milledge grew on the Mets towards the end of his stint with the Mets last year; a prime example, the high-five incident where all the Mets left him hanging, but joked about it afterward. Milledge also brings a certain something, a certain electricity that Shawn Green does not possess. Now I'm not beating on Shawn Green, I like him, but I think that Milledge is a highly-touted prospect still and should be utilized. The high-five situation when he high-fived the fans after a game-tying home run against the Giants may have been seen as "unprofessional", but it energized Shea at the same time, and brought the fans closer to the game than they normally would.
What I'm trying to say is that Milledge could be a positive influence for the Mets in 2007, and I really hope that Willie Randolph sees that and names Lastings the starter in 2007.

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