By Mike Steffanos
If nothing else, the Mets decision to call up Mike Pelfrey to pitch one of the games against the Marlins at Shea tomorrow has generated a level and buzz and excitement far beyond what reaching down to the system for an emergency starter should generate. Certainly, there is a much more positive vibe surrounding Pelfrey's start tomorrow than Jose Lima's tonight, yet if history teaches us anything, it's that Lima probably has a better chance of pitching a good game than Pelfrey does. That's why teams, especially those in the playoff hunt, will take a flyer on a substandard veteran pitcher rather than hand the ball to a kid with better talent.
Before you start composing those angry emails and comments, understand that I am not advocating Jose Lima over Mike Pelfrey, and I dread tonight's start as much as any of you. It's just that the odds of finding lightning in a bottle with an experienced pitcher like Lima is much higher than with a kid, in particular one who is in his first year of pro ball. That's why we had to endure Kaz Ishii last year, even if it doesn't quite explain why we had to have him around for so long. If the Mets did not have a double-digit lead, they might have decided to go in a different direction.
Of course, as it becomes more and more difficult to make a fair trade in-season, actions like bringing up Pelfrey might become a lot more common for most major league teams. It's why I pay so much attention to the player development side of things for the Mets, and why I hope that as they years go by they find a way to get more talent into the system, rather than trading it away looking for that elusive quick fix that typified the Steve Phillips regime.
As quoted in the Bergen Record by J.P. Pelzman, Omar Minaya had this to say about reaching down for Pelfrey:
We're going to give him an opportunity to get exposed to the major leagues, get him exposed to major league hitters, to major league life, and then we'll evaluate [whether he stays with the Mets] based on how he pitches and other things that may come along.
His first outing [in spring training] was against the Puerto Rican national team. All those things were done to prepare him for an opportunity to pitch in the major leagues. I think he is as prepared as he can be.
I worried about Omar Minaya coming in, as his track record of trading talent for veterans in Montreal was not good. To a point I bought his explanation that he had a mandate to try to rescue the franchise by gambling everything for a playoff run, but I didn't trust him. I know that there are fans that believe in player development that believe that Minaya gutted the franchise's future in obtaining Delgado and Lo Duca, but I thought they were reasonable deals. The only one that seemed to lack logic was the Benson trade, which seemed to be more about subtracting salary (and cleavage) than obtaining talent. That trade now hinges on John Maine, who in fairness showed me something last time out that allows me to see the potential, if not convincing me he can help the team now.
There is some controversy this year over the quality of players the Mets drafted this year which calls into question the quality of their amateur scouting. While it is only fair to give any draft a few years, this is a legitimate question that begs scrutiny as time goes on, as the Mets overhauled their amateur scouting this year because last year's draft beyond Pelfrey was supposed to have gone badly. We'll watch how this plays out. What I do like, however, is the commitment to developing players once they do come into the system, which used to be a weakness of this organization and is now becoming a strength.
Bergen Record: The sky is falling
I point to this, not because I find it excellent journalistically, but because it begs the question is Bob Klapisch the sportswriter equivalent of Cliff Floyd? Willie likes to poke a little fun at Cliff's penchant for milking the drama, but he has nothing on Klap. Despite that, and the obvious Yankees bias, I always enjoy reading him. I could poke fun all I want, but it's the reason I'm writing a blog for free and he's making mucho dinero...
McAfee SiteAdvisor: Downloading more than a screensaver
I received this e-mail today and found it very interesting:
We just posted a survey that ranks the entire 1,224 man MLB roster by how dangerous their screensaver searches are.
Your readers might not know how often screensavers bundle adware and spyware, so this might be a fun way to help them surf more safely.
I know there are a lot of you out there that are into screensavers, and you might want to take a look at this to understand the chance that you are taking accepting gifs from strangers.
Faith and Fear in Flushing: Flashback Friday
It's Jason's turn to contribute to FAFIF's weekly feature, and he tosses a gem with a deeply personal, honest and absorbing look back to that magic season of 1986.