I started a post about Carlos Delgado and politics, but I think that the last post was pretty good, so I’m just gonna lay some “Sam from Queens” type thoughts (uninformed, yet adamant, opinions on how the club should be run) on you, just so no one develops too high of a standard. Here goes:
The HELL David Wright should bat second. Probably, Willie Randolph had better things to do in the off-season (family or some crap), so he can be forgiven for not having gone to Mets.com on a regular basis to see if there were any trade rumors to take his mind off of the deadening madness that is life- however, if he had, he would have been regularly reminded that Paul Lo Duca led the team in batting average (Pedro Feliciano led it in ERA). The main thing about the Mets number 2 hitter is not so much their production, as how good a job they do of giving Jose Reyes a chance to steal- everyone knows this. David Wright is an RBI guy who can hit for power; Lo Duca is a contact hitter, generally one of the best in the game, who rarely strikes out. Part of why Lo Duca excelled last season was his patience at the plate, his willingness to take pitches, to go to 0-2, in order to give Reyes as many opportunities to swipe a bag as possible. Essentially, this involves balancing TWO tasks at the same time (hitting the ball and looking after Reyes) - this is not something that I imagine Wright being capable off. I see Wright as a simple man, with simple tastes, whose brain has about enough room for one concept at any given moment- when that concept is “hit the ball hard” things seem to work out. Last season Lo Duca was able to successfully juggle a gambling problem, a messy divorce, and hit .318. A lot of the criticism about Lo Duca is that he is not fast enough to be an ideal number 2 hitter, and this is clearly true. However, given the power behind him in the line-up (Beltran, Delgado, and Wright) speed is less important for him than it would be for other number 2 hitters. Honestly, if they are that keen on having someone faster than Lo Duca hit second, I think the clear choice is actually Beltran. Beltran can hit for average and has good speed, and, I think most importantly, probably has the maturity and concentration to bat with Reyes on first, at least more successfully than David Wright. If you did that, you could put Wright in the number 3 spot, and bury Lo Duca (and his team leading batting average) somewhere in the dole drums at the end of the line-up with Green, Valentine and the pitcher.
Oh, and here’s a solution for the outfield problem: take Shawn Green out back of the stadium and shoot him. Promote Lastings Mildedge to take his job. Use Chavez extremely liberally, either in place of Alou, or Mildege, or as a late defensive replacement. Any slack could be taken up by the couple of back up outfielders that they are carrying anyway.
Willie Randolph: Thanks Sam, those are both extremely valid suggestions, really I don’t know why we don’t listen to the advice of embittered sub-sub-librarians more often.