By Mike Steffanos
Joel Sherman has a column in the Post about Mike Pelfrey where he discusses the danger of rushing pitching prospects. I found it somewhat condescending towards the hardcore fans, those of us most interested in prospects like Pefrey. Sherman was saying the Mets should be lowering expectations about Pelfrey so that unsophisticated rubes like you and I won't be clamoring for the team to rush him to the bigs.
Well, first of all I don't believe there to be any feeling among the hard-core fandom that pays attention to prospects and spring training that Pelfrey should pitch for the Mets this season. We understand that he needs to develop a major-league caliber breaking pitch outside of the glaring spotlight of New York. He needs to spend some time in the minor leagues, where the emphasis is more on nurturing a talent than on winning and losing. We're excited about him, but we're sophisticated enough to know we won't be watching him at Shea in 2006.
Secondly, even if all of the tri-state area screams for Pelfrey on a daily basis, that shouldn't effect the decision of the Mets' player development people. It's their job to decide when a player is ready. They did a good job with David Wright two years ago, ignoring the growing pressure to bring him up until they felt he was ready. I'm sure they are more than capable of doing the same with Pelfrey. Just as I feel fairly confident that Mets fans don't need Sherman to protect us from ourselves, I feel equally certain that the Mets player development folks don't need Sherman to tell them what to do, either.
Sherman also invokes the names of Generation K, Doc Gooden and Phil Humber. I'd point out to Sherman that Humber hurt his arm in St. Lucie and Binghamton -- not Flushing. Generation K was about shockingly bad luck as much as anything. As for Gooden, I'm old enough to remember the rise and fall of Doc. Sherman is correct when he says Gooden pitched too many innings at too young of an age, but that wasn't about being rushed to the bigs as much as being overused when he got there.
Look, I know Sherman means well here, I just get tired sometimes of the patronizing attitude of many media types towards the hard-core fan. We're more sophisticated than you think we are, gentlemen.
Bergen Record: Boone on Reyes
I mentioned last night in passing what Brett Boone had to say about Reyes' love for the game affecting his decision to retire. Steve Popper has the quote from Boone:
I look at a young kid in this Reyes ... and this kid is running around like he's my son, just bouncing off walls and I'm looking at him. We've been standing around for four hours doing these drills that we have to do and he just caught a ball, his hat is flying off and he stared at me with that smile on his face.
And that's what I remembered, you know, being a kid and he's got so much love now for this game and it's right here, it's on his sleeve. I know what he's feeling. He can't wait to go to the ballpark and go to work again and that's awesome. That's how you need to be successful in this game, you've got to have that. And when you don't have that you're wasting everybody's time.
ESPN Deportes: Pedro won't pitch in WBC
As I'm sure most of you already know, Enrique Rojas was first to report that Pedro won't be on the Dominican roster for the WBC.
NY Times: Two young arms
Ben Shpigel has a good story on Mike Pelfrey and Phil Humber.
Bryan Hoch reports on a funny prank Willie Randolph and the team pulled on Lastings Milledge.