Reese Kaplan -- A Mid Year Editorial Reflection


Unlike the off-season when hope springs eternal or the post-season when people are focused on the best of the best showing what they can do, the tail end of July often brings out the worst of baseball fans.  Debates nowadays concern things like mortgaging the future, replenishing the farm system, devaluing someone on an expiring contract and inflating the security of people who have years of team control left via the collective bargaining agreement.  No matter what is done there are some people who will condemn it, others who will celebrate it and others who have already given up on baseball and are looking for who to draft on their fantasy football teams.

Can we all just take a collective breath, step back and get nostalgic for a moment?  Do you remember the days when you were first learning how to swing a bat, how to catch a ball, how to steal a base and how to hit the cutoff man who, in turn, can nail the runner at the plate?

Do you remember the sickly sweet smell of the flat pink piece of bubble gum in the package, and the joy that came from reading the stats on the back of the card?  How about those little cartoons with trivia about the player?  Do you remember those checklist cards that let you track who you had and who you still needed to complete your set?  Do you remember the rookie cards highlighting fresh faces that may or may not help your team compete now and in the future?  Do you remember back when it was more important to get the cards of your favorite players on your favorite team rather than the prospective value they will have if you preserve them in a plastic sleeve so that 30 years into the future you can brag that you have a Johnny Knucklehead rookie card in mint condition?  

Frankly, I remember playing games with the baseball cards, flipping them, trading them and even (horror of horrors) putting them into the spokes of a bicycle wheel to simulate the sound of a motorcycle.  

I’m not here to debate the merits and deficiencies of the Player’s Union or the greed of the owners.  I do know, however, that ever since the Curt Flood and Andy Messersmith milestones in baseball, the fans subtly shifted from rooting for players to rooting for laundry.  The fungible nature of players as resources means you no longer feel the same kinship to the individual player.  You remain loyal to your team and become hypercritical of what they do with their roster when it seems they are putting profits ahead of winning.  Edwin Jackson has been on 14 different teams (thus far!) and former Met Octavio Dotel played on 13.  It didn’t used to be this way.

So let’s step back before this afternoon’s trading deadline, forget about the merits of what package Noah Syndergaard or Zack Wheeler or Edwin Diaz might net, what salary relief a Todd Frazier or Wilson Ramos transaction could bring, and instead just enjoy the fact that the Mets have won 6 of their last 7 games without Yoenis Cespedes, without Jed Lowrie, without Brandon Nimmo, without Dom Smith and with a clearly diminished Robinson Cano and Jeurys Familia.  Celebrate the fact that an All-Star pitcher was just added to the roster.  Whatever happens, happens.  We have no control over it.  The person the Wilpons entrusted to make the deals is the only one who does and nothing we say here is going to move the needle at all. 


Mack Ade said...

Today is the last day of the tradng period.

Any predictions?

Reese Kaplan said...

Anxiety, disappointment and media ridicule. On other words, they will do nothing.

Rustyjr said...

Frazier, & Lagares will be traded for major major league bullpen help & Wheeler gets dealt for high end prospects

Gary Seagren said...

Look they hired BVW because he sold them on the "rebuild AND still contend" idea but if that's true then don't trade any of our starters and let them finish hopefully strong and maybe just maybe we play meaningful games in Sept. and then build on that this off season. Now Diaz HAS to improve doesn't he? Anyway with Cano a very expensive sunk cost at this point the question becomes how much worse does he have to be to at least move him down in the order? The thought of what to do with him for 4 more years makes me ill but it is what it is. The fact that he has had 2 good games in four months is staggering and were stuck with him, thank you Brodie ,and you can throw Lowrie into that as well as they were his clients and I wonder just how happy the Wilponzies are about all of that. Lets remember they were the only, as far as I know, owners who got screwed the Madoff mess and their in charge of making these decisions well the only thing I can say is "Lets Go Mets"

Viper said...

I think the "Agent" probably asked for so much that no trade will be made.

But then, if you are getting only a marginal prospect for Wheeler, you might as well just ride it out and take the draft pick if he is not re-signed. Same for Frazier.

Reese Kaplan said...

No draft picks without QOs and that's an $18 million gamble you might lose like with Neil Walker.

Mack Ade said...

Current 5 man rotation since the all-star break: 1.52-ERA

Tony said...

That ERA is very good, if they keep it up it can lead to a possible wild card, who knows?

Anonymous said...

Listen girls, it is 1969 all over again. Grab your Slinky and "My Favorite Martian" coloring book. It's time be be wowed one mo' time!

Anonymous said...

If you are old enough to remember the 1969 Mets run to the Championship, staying positive and believing in something other than yourself can be a good, healthy, and fun place to be on a hot summer's day.

You Gotta' Believe!

Mack's Mets © 2012