The R.A. Dickey Trade, Part II—As A Means To Bash The Mets

R.A. Dickey was found money for the Mets. Rather than spend it immediately, they invested it wisely in blue chip stocks to secure their future. It was the smart move. But as a means to bash the Mets, it’s a handy weapon. There’s a movement to lump the decision to cut ties with Jose Reyes (batting champion) after 2011, and Dickey (Cy Young Award) as additions to the prototypical “long list of Mets’ mistakes” as if they just dumped Tom Seaver in a front office fit of pique; to cast it as more of the same from the Mets, a franchise whose main function is to torment their fans by testing their loyalty, seeing how much abuse they’ll take.

It suits the storyline, but comes nowhere close to suiting reality. The sports media has transformed from analyzing and assessing to validating fan anger or writing controversial columns to accumulate webhits and attention.

The truth about Dickey is that while he won the Cy Young Award, he is not in a class with prior winners of that same award. Therefore, he should not be treated as such just because he won the award. Looking at the winners in the American and National Leagues in the past five years alone and you see something akin to Sesame Street’s “Which of these doesn’t belong?”

2012: R.A. Dickey, David Price

2011: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander

2010: Roy Halladay, Felix Hernandez

2009: Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke

2008: Lincecum, Cliff Lee

Barring financial constraints and extenuating circumstances, would any of these pitchers have been on the market immediately following the season in which they won the award? I’m not talking about the next summer when the pitcher is a pending free agent or a year later when he’s making it clear he wants a contract extension or wants out. I’m talking about a month later.

Because Dickey is such a unique story throwing a trick pitch; is 38-years-old with a Mets team whose 2013 is unlikely to be much different with or without him, he can’t be placed into a category as a Cy Young Award winner who must not be traded. Unlike Verlander, Lincecum and the others, Dickey was an iffy proposition to be a significant contributor to a potential Mets’ renaissance in 2014 and beyond.

Ignoring irrelevant media and fan responses to this trade, the facts are that the Mets organization was barren at catcher and now, in sending Dickey to the Blue Jays, has a soon-to-be 24-year-old, power hitting catcher who can throw in Travis d’Arnaud. They acquired a 20-year-old, flamethrowing righty pitcher in Noah Syndergaard, a competent veteran catcher John Buck, and a 17-year-old throw-in, outfielder Wuilmer Becerra. They received all of this in exchange for Dickey, whom they got for nothing and whose rise is unlike anything anyone’s ever seen in a non-fiction setting; who, at 38-years-old, wanted another $25 million+ to sign a contract extension to forego free agency after 2013; and whose value was never, ever going to be higher for a team that, tacitly or not, knows their time to try and contend is in 2014 and not 2013. They also sent Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to the Blue Jays, neither of whom the Mets would need with the acquisitions of Buck and d’Arnaud and who the Blue Jays required to catch Dickey’s knuckleball.

The most fascinating aspects have nothing to do with the deal itself, but the negative reactions to it and that Mets GM Sandy Alderson got the okay from ownership to pull the trigger. Fans are taking their cue from critics and the media and expressing anger at losing their Cy Young Award winner and eloquent, likable spokesman, Dickey. Objectively, however, the return on this trade was beyond anything the club could’ve expected in a best case scenario.

It’s a subtle and Executive of the Year level accomplishment that Alderson was able to impress upon the Wilpons that the short-term pain wouldn’t be any worse than the vitriol they already engender for reasons real and exaggerated, and that the long-term gains were beyond measure. A key part of being a GM, especially when working for an embattled ownership group so cognizant of public perception as the Wilpons, is to dissuade them from short-term maneuvers for short-term gain when the long-term is where their focus should be. Somehow, Alderson managed it and it’s in the best interests of the club and the fans.

***

Below are video clips and analysis of d’Arnaud and Syndergaard.

Travis d’Arnaud

His bat wiggle and leg lift are, to a gentler degree, reminiscent of Gary Sheffield. The leg lift is fine as long as he gets his foot down in time—it’s a timing mechanism. There will be slumps due to the moving parts; specifically he will have stretches where he’s behind a good fastball because he’s not getting his foot down in time, but it’s not a giant hitch to be exploited and will be counteracted by his short arms and short swing. For a power hitter, he doesn’t strike out an inordinate amount of the time. At worst, he’ll hit 15 homers and bat .275 in the big leagues, but is more likely to be a 20-25 homer man with a .280 BA, a .350 OBP, and an .820+ OPS.

Considering that the Mets catchers last season (mostly Thole and Nickeas) had a .218/.281/.286 slash line with 5 homers and threw out 24% of stealing baserunners, it won’t take much to top what the Mets had before. The righty-swinging d’Arnaud could bat lefty and surpass that offensive production; he threw out 30% of basestealers in Triple A.

The Mets will keep him in the minors for the first few weeks of 2012 to keep his arbitration clock from ticking, but don’t be surprised to see them sign him long term shortly after he arrives in the majors as the Rays did with Evan Longoria.

***

Noah Syndergaard

Syndergaard is big (6’5”, 200 pounds) and has the strikeout-accumulating combination of a power fastball, a sharp overhand yellowhammer curve, a changeup, and that he’s sneaky fast.

Syndergaard already has a mid-90s fastball, but his short and quick pre-stretch (when he brings his arm down after taking the ball out of his glove) and that he hides the ball behind his body as he accelerates will confuse the hitter and make his velocity appear to be closer to 100+ mph.

In general, a pitcher will take a longer time to deliver and the ball will be visible when collapses his back leg to generate power. In Syndergaard’s case, it isn’t. He lifts his leg, separates his hands and ZOOM!!! the ball’s on the way. Because of that rapid fire delivery, the fastball explodes on the hitter, hence the term “sneaky fast.” If he rips off a curve or changeup, it’s very difficult to adjust.

He’s only 20 and spent 2012 in A ball, but it’s not unreasonable to think he could be in New York and pitching for the Mets by late 2014.

***

The way to judge a trade isn’t after the fact. The way to judge a trade is to determine if it made sense at the time it was consummated. For the Mets, with Dickey, it did. Any criticism is self-serving and misinformed. They did the right thing and got a lot for a pitcher from whom they expected nothing when the prior regime signed him as an, “Oh, yeah. Him.” It worked out and they took maximum advantage of Dickey’s rise. Anything else would’ve been foolish and the Mets’ future is brighter because of that luck and this ruthless intelligence.

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  1. #1 by Stu B on December 18, 2012 - 1:56 pm

    “The righty-swinging D’Arnaud could bat lefty…”

    Huh? That would be a neat trick, unless he’s a switch-hitter. What did you mean by saying that?

  2. #2 by Stu B on December 18, 2012 - 1:58 pm

    OK, I get it. Had to think for a minute, lol!

    • #3 by admin on December 18, 2012 - 4:24 pm

      It means Thole and Nickeas are awful. Haha.

  3. #4 by Greg on December 18, 2012 - 10:49 pm

    The Mets got Dickey for nothing and I think it’s pretty likely they’ll get nothing for him in return. d’Arnaud’s strike outs to walks ratio will only get worse against NL pitchers and the worst case scenario you ascribe is likely a best case scenario. Who knows how many base runners he throws out with a bum knee? As for the low minors prospects, so few of those guys ever see the major leagues. And John Buck is almost as bad a hitter as Thole, except twice a month he hits a home run.
    Meanwhile, the Blue Jays got a Cy Young Award winner. Trick pitch or not. Dickey was the real deal for 616 innings in New York, and it’s obvious to anyone this is yet another dump-salary-because-of-Bernie-Madoff deal.

    • #5 by admin on December 18, 2012 - 11:02 pm

      How you could make a statement that “it’s pretty likely that they’ll get nothing for him in return” is beyond me when inside baseball people are saying that d’Arnaud is, at worst, an above-average big league catcher.
      By your logic, there’s no point to doing any deals at all.
      To call this a “salary dump” is ridiculous when they made Dickey a legitimate offer and just signed David Wright to the biggest contract in the organization’s history. They traded Dickey to maximize his current value and did just that, nothing more.

  4. #6 by Greg on December 19, 2012 - 2:59 am

    It was bad news for the Mets when Dickey won the Cy Young Award because doing so pushed his market value above what ownership could spend. For proof, watch to see if the organization spends more than $10 million between now and spring training. They had enough money to sign one guy and correctly signed the face of the organization in David Wright.
    Inside baseball people are just like anyone else; guessers. They are notorious for falling in love with tools like size, speed, throwing arm, etc…, and missing important things like whether or not the player can be successful in the major leagues. d’Arnaud strikes out three times for every walk and historically players with that little plate discipline either never reach the majors or fare poorly when they do. Big catchers tend to have slow arms unless they have good footwork, and unfortunately this one has suffered a knee injury.
    Conversely, inside baseball people turn up a refined nose to mutts like knuckle ballers and gritty middle infielders who don’t steal a lot of bases. In this case, the two strikes of salary and mutt velocity and Dickey is called out.
    The Mets end of this deal looks like a pig in a prom dress to me.

    • #7 by admin on December 19, 2012 - 4:53 am

      I’m not sure where you’re getting your facts. The money they spend from now until spring training has nothing to do with their reluctance to sign Dickey to an extension. He wanted a total value contract and was perfectly willing to pitch 2013 under the terms of the contract he was already working under. The new deal wouldn’t have kicked in until 2014 when they’re going to have both Jason Bay and Johan Santana off the books and will be able to spend some money to get better.
      Because inside baseball people are “guessers” that places your analysis in line with theirs? Based on what? This is the most random of logic. Where does he strike out 3X per walk when his career MiLB BB/K rate is 140/359?
      I don’t buy into these silly pigeonholed, all-encompassing statements meant to be disguised as analysis. Is d’Arnaud 6’6″? No. He’s 6’2″. Joe Mauer is 6’5″. Critics questioned his defense when he was drafted without ever having seen him because he was so big and he’s been a defensive standout. d’Arnaud is slightly taller than Buster Posey. Were the same silly things said about Posey to discredit him? Matt Wieters is 6’5″. What about him?
      d’Arnaud suffered a knee injury that the Mets reviewed and determined not to be an issue. I’m not sure why you’re searching for methods to “prove” a point that has no factual foundation; to make matters worse, you’re doing it poorly and reaching for things that are unconnected to any argument other than “I think this because of, um…welll…I dunno.” Because X did or didn’t make it because of size, BB/K rate or whatever doesn’t mean anything when comparing him to Y. Legitimate analysis is based on the individual.
      I think the Phillies who drafted d’Arnaud in the 1st round; the Blue Jays who insisted on receiving him when trading Roy Halladay; and the Mets, whose evaluators are experienced and respected and demanded on him in this trade know more about how to judge him and his future than you do.

  5. #8 by Greg on December 19, 2012 - 12:29 pm

    I didn’t just pull the strikeouts to walks ratio out of the clear blue sky. It’s a standard evaluation. Plus, you include his career stats which are still pretty ugly at 2.5 to 1, and include hitting in the low minors. Do you think he’ll hit better in the major leagues?

    Interesting logic as well, your assuming I took a snapshot case study of two or three past players to prove some random argument, holding it up as faulty, then doing the same yourself to prove your point.

    None of those players had knee problems before they arrived in the major leagues.

    The money the Mets spend between now and spring training has everything to do with why they didn’t extend Dickey. The Mets aren’t going to have money for a few years. This year is a sample case to prove my argument.

    I don’t recall ever saying “um… welll…I dunno”. I spelled out my reasons pretty clearly, and I didn’t have to insult you in the process. Sometimes it doesn’t take a battery of evaluations.

    You’re right about one thing. We’re all guessing. This guy could be great. I can’t see into the future. I’m basing my opinion upon a metric with a historic precedent. That’s all.

    • #9 by admin on December 19, 2012 - 1:59 pm

      You’re clinging to this knee problem as if he blew out his entire knee when he didn’t even need surgery and nobody seems all that concerned about it other than those looking for a reason to discredit him. You didn’t take a “snapshot.” You made an all-encompassing statement about big catchers and their “footwork” as if you’re just digging for stuff like a pretty girl who has a mole on her cheek, therefore she’s not as pretty as she’d be without it, while I mentioned two catchers who happened to be bigger than d’Arnaud and another that’s about the same size and haven’t had a problem.
      I didn’t insult you, I just don’t think you have a basis for what you’re saying. And you’re not making evaluations, you’re tossing randomness.
      The money absolutely has nothing to do with not extending Dickey. They valued him at a certain level to them and weighed that value against what they could get for him on the market. In addition to the prospects, they’re getting a guaranteed 12 big league years of d’Arnaud and Syndergaard for a team that should be contending by the time both are acclimated to the big leagues vs 3 years of Dickey while they’re still rebuilding. The trade was a no-brainer and they had to do it.

  6. #10 by Greg on December 20, 2012 - 3:40 am

    I’m an open minded person. You say baseball insiders are high on Travis d’Arnaud, so I checked out your claim.

    You say no one is concerned about d’Arnauld’s knee, but Keith Law says he’s averaging 88 games a season throughout his professional career due to injuries ranging from a broken finger to a partially torn PCL to a bulging disc in his back. Law says he’s a player for whom health is a relevant concern.

    You argue my assessment he won’t be a good defender, but Jim Fregosi Jr, who scouted him for the Phillies prior to drafting him, rates him a possible 20 homer guy who will be average defensively. According to Sal Fasano, a former major league catcher and d’Arnaud’s manager in 2011, “…we all know he can hit. Everybody (with Toronto) was always worried about his defense”. I wonder if Sal Fasano considers himself guilty of ‘tossing randomness’?

    I’ve heard of all these guys so maybe they’re not ‘inside’ enough. At any rate, after reading roughly half a dozen reports, I learned the insider most high on Travis d’Arnauld is current Mets GM Sandy Alderson, and even he made a point to safety net his praise. “Understand he’s only a prospect.”

    By the way, Joe Mauer was robbed blind last year by base stealers. Buster Posey was rated as average defensively, some said below average. Of your list, only Wieters is a consensus good defender.

    Yes, technically they traded 3 years of contract control for 12, but calling it a guaranteed 12 is gilding the lilly. They only have this control if these players actually attain the major leagues. Syndergaard’s numbers look pretty good, better to me than d’Arnaud, but it’s a long road to New York from A ball. I lived in an A ball town for ten years and only saw two players make it all the way to the majors, just one of which was ever a full time player. Fifteen years ago, Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson, and Bill Pulsipher were going to be the young guns leading the Mets out of the basement.

    Guaranteed? Hardly.

    The trade was a no-brainer because they didn’t trust Dickey’s pitching style enough to pay him long term. So, instead of just losing him when his contract ended, they traded him for the best and cheapest they could get while they felt his market value was as high as it would ever be. That’s a salary dump. Even you said they wanted long term contract control, a concern mainly exhibited by small market teams.

    I don’t remember the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers ever saying something like that out loud.

    After all this, how can you say I don’t have a basis for what I say while keeping a straight face?

    • #11 by admin on December 20, 2012 - 5:01 am

      I couldn’t care less what Keith Law thinks about anything.
      You’re picking and choosing critics and credits to suit your argument, and that’s fine. But to harp on d’Arnaud’s perceived flaws is silly when the Mets over the past decade have trotted out Josh Thole, Rod Barajas, Brian Schneider, Paul LoDuca, and Mike Piazza. I’m not looking for Yadier Molina behind the plate, I just want competence. He’ll be a better defender than Thole and the organization was so woefully inadequate at catcher that anything would’ve been better than what they had, but they went and got pretty much the best catching prospect in the game for Dickey who, moving forward, was unlikely to be as good as he was in 2012.
      Coming at me with a Generation K reference is indicative of not having read me for very long considering that when the Yankees (another team you reference for reasons I’m unsure of) constantly trot out their young pitchers Jose Campos, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain as the foundation for a bright and inexpensive future, I tell people the stories of those three pitchers from the Mets and why nothing is guaranteed.
      I’m not digging through other people’s scouting reports regarding d’Arnaud. I watched clips of him offensively and see, at worst, a 15-18 homer man with a .275 BA and .340 OBP, which is perfectly acceptable and great considering he’s replacing the awful Thole; the market was barren of big league free agent/tradable catchers; and the Mets are in year 3 of a 5 year rebuild.
      They did not dump Dickey to save salary regardless of what you say. You contradict yourself completely by making an accurate statement regarding why the Mets traded him because of age/lack of trust and then call it a salary dump. Which is it? The Red Sox in August openly dumped salary and an MVP-level talent Adrian Gonzalez in order to get both Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford off the books, so you can’t say there are no salary dumps in Boston. And the Dodgers and Yankees? Are they in the Mets’ position where they’re rebuilding? No. So it’s a totally inadequate analogy.
      I’m not being snarky when I ask what your point is. Should they have not made this deal? A deal that has been widely credited across the board for maximizing a pitcher in Dickey who was a foundling and was more valuable to them as a trade chip independent of salary than he would be had they kept him? Of course not. This was the right move on all levels no matter what happens.

  7. #12 by Greg on December 20, 2012 - 4:00 am

    I just noticed you received snarky comments from a guy named Greg after your previous article.

    Check the email address…

    Not me.

    I hope your objections to my comments are not being prejudiced by snipe shots someone else took.

  8. #13 by Greg on December 20, 2012 - 11:21 pm

    It doesn’t matter what you think about Keith Law. What he says is true. He’s been injury prone. There was no rebuttal against the Phillies scout who drafted him, nor his coach in the minors, both of which say he isn’t a particularly special defensive catcher, so I’m going to say you passively concede the point I made in my first statement. You say you’ll accept competent. I say we call the big catcher theory a dead horse. You disagree, and I don’t, and I’m not changing my view. The Mets therefore, traded a Cy Young Award winner for a potentially competent catcher, who may or may not be an above average hitter.

    You say you aren’t digging through other people’s scouting reports, yet you feel he’s “pretty much the best catching prospect in the game”, based upon “clips of him offensively”, you have viewed. Since, as you surmised, I have not read many of your previous articles, a fact irrelevant to the argument, I don’t know why to accept your assessment. Are you a scout, or do you have some other recognized commodity qualifying your judgment to be the singular litmus test? Did those clips include at bats against major league pitching? Have you seen all the other catchers hit?

    While we’re on the subject, how do you know Dickey will not repeat or even improve upon last season? He’s moving to Toronto where he’ll conceivably start a few games indoors, and not have the wind to contend with. Reports I’ve read say this is so helpful, the Blue Jays are considering closing the roof for his starts, even in good weather.

    First you said insiders all agreed, now you say you don’t read reports and it’s your esteemed opinion based upon viewing films of d’Arnaud. No offense Mr admin, but any first year journalism student knows you need either a source, or a validated expert opinion. Since your qualifications as expert have not been produced, and reports from other experts are unknown to you, I can’t see a reason to agree with your argument.

    As for the Red Sox salary dump, and that’s exactly what it was, all I said was that I’d never heard the three teams I mentioned ever admit in any way either directly or indirectly they’d dumped salary. Saying you traded a veteran player for prospects because, among many reasons, you could control their contracts for 12 years instead 3, is the language of a salary dump.

    I contradicted myself in no way. It was a salary dump. A value returned salary dump, but a salary dump. The amount of value returned is still up for debate, as we have proven. I take the stand the value returned does not equal the value lost, and the Mets knew this when they did it. There’s nothing wrong with that provided there were business reasons, or you think the player is a bad human being, but you can’t tell your fan base that. So you say you had potent baseball reasons for doing it, for example, you’re building for the future and harvesting other teams for blue chip talent.

    • #14 by admin on December 21, 2012 - 4:56 am

      I’m still not sure what you’re hoping to prove. I have neither the need nor the desire to get into a back and forth regarding my qualifications with you. I’m not trying to convince you of anything to have a “Eureka!!!” moment and agree with me. You, like Law, are regurgitating stuff you’ve heard from other places without knowing the first thing about d’Arnaud.
      The “how do you know?” argument is beyond weak and the last respite of one who has nothing else to say.
      “How do we know” that d’Arnaud won’t turn into Mike Piazza or Jeff Clement?
      “How do we know” that Dickey won’t revert to what he was with the Rangers, Mariners, and Twins?
      “How do we know” blah, blah, and blah?
      Your statement of “value lost” is absurd. As I’ve said in several postings, the Cy Young Award is just that: an award. It doesn’t signify the future and Dickey, at 38 and having come basically out of nowhere to harness the knuckleball, is not Steve Carlton, Tom Seaver, Roger Clemens, Justin Verlander or Tim Lincecum with an array of other weapons and the ability to find several ways to beat his opponent if the knuckleball isn’t working. He has that one pitch and until he repeats 2012, he’s going to be a question mark.
      So because the Mets admit it’s a salary dump (which they didn’t do, but never mind) that makes it somehow different to what the Red Sox did? When both clubs are in entirely different situations? That makes zero sense other than in your desperate attempts to connect those dots and prove a nonexistent point.
      The fact that you haven’t read my prior stuff is perfectly relevant to the argument because it’s led to you making inaccurate assumptions and questioning my qualifications to make assessments in this case—neither of which is a concern to me. If you disagree with my argument, that’s fine. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about, to be blunt, and you’re just repeating what you heard elsewhere and using other people’s opinions to bolster a case that won’t be proven or known until after the fact.
      As for the passive aggressive “no offense Mr. Admin,” garbage, if you’re going to comment here, I suggest you take a step back from that stuff.

  9. #15 by Greg on December 24, 2012 - 9:05 am

    Relax, pal. You’re taking this way too personally. All I did was ask for your qualifications, since you have no other argument than watching a few clips. You say you’re the best writer I’ve never heard of. I’m not gullible, and the internet is defined by it’s design as a free speech podium. So I asked for informed debate or credentials of expertise.
    I’m 51 years old and I’ve seen a few “clips” in my time. I’ve also seen many, many, major league games in person. I’ve seen a thousand times that on television. I’ve seen hundreds of minor league games in person, in places like El Paso, Texas, Evansville, Indiana, and wherever the hell it is the Potomac Cannons play in northern Virginia. Tom Seaver looked great against the Astros at Riverfront when he beat Don Sutton in 1981. I was at the game. Seaver even hit a home run. It doesn’t mean he was a home run hitter or that Don Sutton lost every time he faced Seaver. That game was just a snapshot of their careers.
    Seeing a few clips of d’Arnauld means nothing. I’d be willing to bet they were a collection of his better at bats. A snapshot. Maybe a veteran scout can tell something from that. Maybe not.
    You had the opportunity to sell me a reason for coming back here for baseball information and instead you got defensive, gave no credentials, and insulted me for bringing an informed argument opposing yours. For the record, I started with impressions based upon 40 years of watching the game and studying the numbers, then used your arguments about baseball insiders against you until you admitted formulating an opinion strictly from a few videos. Trust me Paul, I’ve seen a few trades. I’ve seen a few ‘hot prospects’. I was very excited to see David Clyde pitch when I was a kid. I quit formulating opinions based upon insiders and journalists a long time ago.
    No sale Paul.
    If I’m proven wrong about this trade, I’ll look you up and pay my tribute, otherwise I’m a dissatisfied customer looking for the door.

    • #16 by admin on December 24, 2012 - 9:31 am

      “Relax, pal,” is another example of you trying to exert your will. I’ll let it pass.
      I’m not saying this to be snide or dismissive, but I really couldn’t care less how many games you’ve seen in person; how old you are; what you’ve watched or haven’t watched. That’s not a basis of credibility. Joe Morgan was one of the greatest players of all time and is essentially clueless of explaining the game or understanding the inside nature of numbers and analysis. There’s no connection between watching and knowing. What I’ve seen from you is an argument that hops all over the lot trying to prove the unprovable. Much like the idea that the Mets traded a Cy Young Award winner as if the sheer nature of Dickey winning the award means something, it doesn’t. Steve Stone won a CYA. Mark Davis won a CYA. Eric Gagne won a CYA. Does that place them in the same category with Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver, Greg Maddux? Of course not. It’s silly.
      In that same vein, you reference Keith Law. Here are the facts about Law: he wound up in a baseball front office during the heady days of the Moneyball phenomenon when every club wanted to have a stat guy. He parlayed that into a career in the media as a “scouting expert,” when in reality, he’s doing little more that uttering catchphrases he heard from scouts to make himself sound knowledgable. The truth is, he’s an insecure repeater. Nothing more. Someone being a scout doesn’t automatically imply that he’s or she’s able to recognize talent, tics, flaws, future development or anything else. I don’t pigeonhole. These are individuals and I treat them as such.
      Your Seaver argument is ridiculous to the tune of Prince Fielder somehow managing to steal a base on opening day due to a botched hit and run and being “on pace” to steal 162 bases. Save that for those who don’t know any better. I don’t need to give you my resume, nor do I sit here and announce that I “know” stuff through what I’ve “seen.” If you want that, go to Twitter. Everyone’s a self-proclaimed expert and insider with sources and knowledge based on nothing when a massive percentage of them are repeating things they heard elsewhere to do what you accuse me of doing—selling stuff. I’m not trying to “convince” anyone of anything; I don’t care if you come back here or not to tell me I was “right.” You can read it or not read it. It’s up to you.
      These random examples such as David Clyde are idiotic. With Clyde, his failure wasn’t based on a lack of ability, but by pure immaturity and being shoved into a situation that he clearly wasn’t ready for with the worst father figures an 18-year-old could possibly imagine in Billy Martin and Art Fowler. You toss his name out there as an example when there are sub-factors to why he didn’t make it. It’s a terrible example.
      I’m not being defensive. I just don’t let people tell me what’s what on my site. If you don’t like that, if you don’t feel like you’re in charge when I don’t play your game, you’re free to go elsewhere. Just like your discussion on “free speech,” you have that freedom as well. If you’d like a debate, present an argument. You didn’t. You repeated stuff and are telling me your age and what you’ve seen.
      In fact, you never answered anything I’ve said. You replied with attempts to bully and “who the hell are you?” neither of which I have the time nor the inclination to indulge. If you want to bully and provide phantom “facts,” I’m sure there are plenty of places who will take it or back down. That’s not happening here. Pal.

  10. #17 by Andee on December 26, 2012 - 7:33 am

    David Clyde? Eeeyikes. Anyone who wants to know how not to handle a pitching prospect needs to read Mike Shropshire’s Seasons in Hell (which is also great entertainment, BTW) to find out the gory details of why Clyde flamed out. But in a nutshell, the kid was 18 and spent NO time in the minors. You’re never going to see that ever again.

    And the fate of IPP (Izzy, Pulse, and Paul) is also an object lesson that most organizations have long since taken to heart. These kids had their arms pitched off at ridiculously young ages. Also, there were only three of them. If you have TEN pitchers in your organization of similar caliber (or hell, 12 or 15, why not be greedy), it’s not as painful when a couple of them need surgery. If you look at the rosters this year from Vegas on down, they will all be loaded with pitching talent. (Would that we could say the same for hitting talent, but that’s why you get a D’Arnaud if you can.) A high-level talent like Wheeler needing major surgery would still be painful, but there’s also a much better chance of him making a full recovery because he hasn’t been abused.

    • #18 by admin on December 26, 2012 - 8:22 am

      Leaving Clyde under the care of Martin and Fowler was slightly worse than putting him in the woods and hoping wolves, bigfoot or a yeti came and took him in.

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