Richard Herr - So Whaddya Think 3


Nice Young Gentlemen

“So Whaddya think?”
“Whaddya mean, what do I think?”
“Whaddya think the Mets need to do to score more runs?”
“They gotta get more guys who don’t have such good manners.”
“Good manners?”
“Yeah, it all starts with the thing on the scouting report that’s called ‘intangibles.’”
“Intangibles? That’s something you don’t know about. How can you grade guys on that?”
“You just hit the bullseye. They can’t grade them, so what they do is sit prospects down and have a nice little chat with them to see what they’re like.”
“What’re they looking for?”
“It’s more like what are they not looking for. They’re not looking for troublemakers. They’re not looking for guys who are going to be a problem in the clubhouse. But they take a wrong turn doing that. They focus on looking for Nice Young Gentlemen. You know, the kind of guy you’d like your daughter to bring home. Someone you can feel sure of taking to the Kiwanis dinner.”
“That don’t sound bad.”
“Certainly looks good as an escort for your daughter. But is this the kind of guy you want holding down the middle of your batting order?”
“Why not?”
“Because these guy’s manners are too good. They hold doors open to let other people enter first. They say ‘Excuse me.’  Do you expect this kind of guy to stare down the opposing pitcher and pop a hundred-mile-an-hour pitch out of the park?”
“It’s happened.”
“Very seldom. But the corporate boys in the front offices of the clubs don’t want to take a chance on anyone that could have bad intangibles. That’s why Reggie Jackson didn’t get drafted by the Mets. Instead they took some guy who disappeared so fast the only thing he’s worth nowadays is about a hundred bucks as a Jeopardy question.”
“So what’s wrong with guys who don’t make any trouble?”
“They can be fine. David Wright Is a nice young gentleman, for example. However I gotta I give him and Terry all sorts of creds for making that clubhouse a place that Cespedes and Colon wanted to come back despite being offered more money.”
“You still haven’t told me what’s wrong.”
“What tosses the fat on the fire is that Sandy’s front office believes in Sabermetrics and the on-base-percentage.”
“So they say you gotta look for the one good pitch you can hit in an at-bat.”
“So you get these nice young gentlemen up at the plate, who’re supposed to take every pitch except the one they deem proper to hit.”
“Is there an echo in here? So anyway the Young Gentleman has a count of two strikes on him, and the pitcher lays one right down the middle of the plate, and the batter reverts to form and says, ‘After you,’ to the pitch while pointing the way into the catcher’s mitt. Then this guy in a blue suit behind the catcher tells the Nice Young Gentleman that he has a reservation for a seat in the dugout. Or in the manager’s doghouse, take your pick.”
“So what fixes it?”
“What fixes it is you draft the guys whose intangibles don’t look like they came straight out of a finishing school. You get someone who’s a little more volatile. You make sure your team has a few more guys like Reggie Jackson. Remember, he labeled himself ‘the straw that stirs the drink.’ People like that will take the Nice Young Gentlemen on your team--I might talk about someone like Lucas Duda, or anybody else who’s prone to take third strikes--and get them to dare the pitcher to throw the pitch, any pitch, and they’re going to chew it up and spit it back out to distance of about five hundred feet.”
“You think that would work?”
“I know that will work. However what is not working so well is my throat which feels terribly parched.” 

Whenever Richard Herr isn’t solving all the Mets’ problems, he spends his time writing humorous science fiction novels.

You can see his books at https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Herr/e/B00J5XBKX4.


Reese Kaplan said...

Well, they have been making strides in that direction by inviting non choir-boy types to join the team such as Bartolo Colon, Jose Reyes, Jeurys Familia, etc. In the past they ran screaming away from anyone with a pulse, let alone a personality. Remember the banishment of Justin Turner? How'd that work out?

Thomas Brennan said...

Nice Soup Campbell, Nice Brandon Nimmo, Nice Gavin Cecchi, Nice (and dull) Lucas Duda. Guys go to movies to see Jason Statham, not Jeb Bush. I loved Keith Hernandez when he played. Fiery. It is why fans still love Jose....animated, entertaining.

I've done articles in the past on Duda being a prime example of a guy who takes far too many favorable count pitches, leading to boring mediocrity. You are onto something, buddy. Give me Albert Belle and Eddie Murray anytime.

Eddie Corona said...

but I agree... we need assassins... I dont think the whole clubhouse have be choir boys... Darryl, Nails, Keith Doc... none of these guys were nice guys... but they were assassins... So a few Not so Nice guys are ok by me...

Richard Herr said...

The more I think about it, the more this article is a 20/20 hindsight on Jason Bay. (A really nice guy!) He didn't have that take-charge attitude that could have gotten himself around Citi Field, v1.

Thomas Brennan said...

Richard, Jason Bay got the bucks, but it was the owners' fault he was signed to play in the Grand Canyon...the fences turned bad boys into wimpy nice guys, always having to explain their failures (which, had the park not robbed a guy like Bay of 10-12 homers, might have been happy talks of success).

Eddie, bad boys do well frequently. I remember a fight of the Islanders vs the Bruins in the 1980's, when the Isles were cooking. Garry Howatt really wailing on Wayne Cashman...Howatt was a real scrapper.

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