Monday, August 07, 2006

THE WRIGHT THING TO DO (AKA, I HART OMAR)

The Mets again extended their lead to 13 games through a vulgar, muscle-flexing display for a divisional rival. Can't speak for the Phils, but I'm impressed. A game that saw Jose "El Rapido" Reyes join the Grand Slam parade. A game that saw this whole John Maine Thing officially reach "weird" status (2.08/1.00; 31/13 K/BB in 39 IP). A game that I missed on television, but I'll nevertheless guess saw Joe Morgan say a series of things so pompous, so unsubstantiated, so idiotic, that viewers were tempted to forget what a great player he was when he participated in, rather than called, the games. A game that pushed the Met's lead over the Cards for NL dominance to 6 games.

None of which compares to the really good news:

David "Derek Who?" Wright will be a Met for at least 6 years. He really is The Prince of New York. Omar completed his most excellent week, penciling in Young Mr. Wright for six years at $55 M, with the option for an extemely expensive seventh year.

We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. All I know, fellow Met fans, is that we get 4-5 years, minimum, to watch the Dynamic Duo do their thing on the left side o' the infield. Wooo-hooo! The price may seem high for two very young players, but (a) the Mets can afford it and (b) these guys look well on their way to stardom. Especially Wright. The list of guys who hit .300 with 27 HRs and 100 RBIs (not to mention fine peripherals) at 22 is a small one. Small, but strong, like Mel Ott, who failed to make the list at 22, but was a member at 20. Other names you may know who qualified? Ohh, fellas like Williams, DiMaggio, Foxx, Vlad, A-Rod. Wright's easily on pace to do it again at 23. This is a great deal.

It reminds me of what John Hart did in Cleveland in the early-mid 90's as guys like Thome, Manny & Belle came into their own as young sluggers. Thome, for instance, stayed with the Tribe through 2002, when he hit 52 homers . . . and earned $8M. He crossed the $3M threshold in 1998, the season after the Indians' 2nd WS appearence in three years. And Thome himself? He'd already hit .300 twice, hit 30+ HRs twice (including 40 in '97), driven in 100 twice, topped .400 in OBP three years running, etc. He was a bargain and it helped Cleveland remain competitive.

Manny? Even more ridiculous! In 1995, when the Tribe won 100 out of 144 games played, Manny put up the first of many 300/30/100 seasons (with his standard rock-solid peripherals) and earned $150,000. He ended staying with the Indians through 2000, never earning over $4.25 M a year, despite driving in 165 one season, hitting .328+ twice, all that Manny stuff we love. Then he went to the Sox, signing for the GDP of a mid-sized Central Asian Republic.

Albert Belle? With the Tribe through 1996. Never earned over $5.7 M per.

And the point of all this? I'm not completely sure, but I think I'm trying to show that signing young, top talent to long term deals before they reach superstardom is the way to go, the way both to keep your young studs and avoid paying them A-Rod money too soon. They either fall apart -- and then you're screwed anyway, regardless of what they earn -- or they emerge and eventually require $22 M/yr to "feed their families," "earn respect," "keep up with the Rodriguezes," whatever.

But that's then, this is now (S.E. Hinton allusion). In the meantime, the Mets got em, and they ain't going nowhere. Niiiiiice.
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Note: Cross-posted on The Baseball Crank.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Mike - excellent as always. . Linked to you in the "Cafe" this AM.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Ed-

Thanks. I've been meaning to update my links for a while now(you can see at a quick glance that I'm not as diligent as I should be).

Blue & Orange Cafe's been on the short list. I plan to add you whenever I do the bigger update (today or tomorrow).

9:35 AM  
Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

Mike - many thanks
Ed

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

Mike -

Fantastic comparison to the mid-90s Indians. I am still shocked they did not win a World Series.

I don't think the Mets will suffer the same fate.

There is nothing not to love about what Omar has done over the past few days.

1:34 PM  
Blogger ajsmith said...

I'm confused, lost, a wee bit embarrassed. I feel I must be in the wrong place. Suddenly, without warning... without precedent... without a clue as to how it happened... I find myself rooting for a well-run baseball team.

Who are these guys?

AND WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE DO WITH MY METS!?!?

What the hell. Keep 'em. I like this team a whole helluva lot better anyways.

And just for the record... my playoff rotation - in order - is Pedro and Maine and two days of rain.

But if it only rains once, I want El Duque over Glavine hands down.

2:02 AM  

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