December 01, 2007

LMillz was overhyped

I am most likely the only Mets blogger in the universe who is "OK" with this trade. Lastings Milledge, to me, was entirely overhyped, and now we're seeing the sobering conclusion to the saga that was LMillz in Queens. And this Met fan is happy.

Everyone seems to be calling for Omar's head as if he had a better deal elsewhere, but decided not to take it. Obviously if Omar thought, or even caught a scent of a better trade elsewhere, he would have held onto Lastings and pursued this better option. Milledge's status dropped considerably when teams saw what he could do with an everyday starting position.

The kid can't hit a breaking ball for the life of him, and takes the most roundabout angles on the easiest fly balls ever. To me, Lastings' climax as a player was two years ago, as a much hyped up minor leaguer, when it was discussed that he could be traded for Manny Ramirez. Since then, it's been pretty downhill. After those botched pop flies at Fenway Park and the high-fiving (which I commended when it happened) down the right field line at Shea, it seemed the kid was doomed as a Met. The fans went back and forth on whether or not his attitude was mature enough to handle the New York stage.

When he finally had a chance to break out and shine, he looked nonchalant running to balls that got past him, and just unmotivated. The lack of hustle on his part was extremely frustrating to me, as someone who supported him through all his early problems. With his ego at full blast, it seemed he could take on the world, but when his skills were put to the test on the field, he did not impress me in the least bit. Fans were once weary of this brash young player, and now seem entirely up in arms that he won't be patrolling Shea, and eventually Citi Field, for years to come.

With Brian Schneider being announced as our starting catcher, and Ryan Church as our starting right fielder next year, we seemingly picked up 2/9 of our starting team, for a player that may or may not pan out. Schneider has great defensive skills, which is what some wild things like Oliver Perez need behind the plate. Church, 29 years old, seems to be a newer, younger Shawn Green. There are no overpowering numbers at the plate, just a decent hitting, decent fielding outfielder who is capable of doing what he is paid to do.

Goodbye Lastings, I'm sure you will be haunting Omar and Mets fans for years to come, but right now, good riddance.

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Harenow said...

When Gary Sheffield was 22, he had the same number of at bats as Milledge. He hit .194, slugged .320 (!), and hardly drew a walk.

When Torii Hunter was 23, he had 200 more at bats than Milledge, batted .250 and had a slugging percentage of .340 (!), and also hardly walked.

I can go on.

Milledge, batting in the eighth spot in the batting order, therefore seeing lots of junk, getting 180 sporadic at bats, pressing way too hard to get some extra playing time, still led the Mets in batting average with runners in scoring position, and hit a Jeter-like .400 with runners in scoring position and two outs. He finsihed with a respectable on-base percentage of .342, and not just for a rookie: it was higher than the league average.

The runners in scoring position stats are not a statistical fluke. The kid is FEARLESS. Just watch him in his 90 at bats against the Mets next year, and every year for at least the next 5 years.

After the most painful, gut-wrenching collapse in the history of organized sports, when the Mets looked positively SCARED out there for three straight weeks... do we really need another choir boy in Ryan Church (and I mean that literally: he is so deeply religious that in 2005 he channeled Ann Coulter in saying Jews were "doomed" for not believing in Christ).

Apparently the Wilpons are apparently no fans of hip hop.

Risky trades based on non-baseball considerations! It's enough to make a fan want to crawl away and die.


Anonymous said...

i just cant wait to see these guys at work. ive always been a big fan of ryan church and have long liked schneider...i think it was the right move to make because as omar said he checked with the other clubs to make sure it wasnt gonna effect anythinbg