As a reader, I tend to find it slightly offensive or, at best, inappropriate, when a blogger or reporter writes about what “the fans” think or feel. We are not a monolithic entity, but a sprawling plurality. A chaotic mess of contradictory thoughts and emotions, unified only by our support of the New York Mets.
We root for the same laundry and that is the sum of our GroupThink.
That stated, I do feel that Eric Young has been somewhat undervalued by Mets fans in general. Essentially, there’s two reasons for that:
1) Juan Lagares: “we” want him to play and EY threatens that.
2) Terry Collins: whose uncertain logic represents, in a phrase, “the Mets being the Mets.” The royal “we” doesn’t trust his decision-making ability.
But pushing that stuff aside, I feel it’s made some folks blind to the very real positives that come from having Eric Young on your team. The positives outweigh EY’s equally real flaws; he’s a good guy to have on the club. An asset.
I’m saying: Terry Collins is not completely wrong (for a change).
What do you think, Mike? You read the daily Twitter feed. Is that your sense of things? Some people out there seem to really hate him.
Well, nobody is upset enough on Twitter that they are flipping him off or anything. Well, almost nobody.
When it comes to Young Jr., he is something of a lightening rod. Many fans seem to have a big problem with him, mostly due to that “Lagares factor.” Juan is very popular with fans right now, and his good start accentuated that. EY playing regularly and, therefore, pushing Lagares to the bench was an unpopular idea. In particular EY is unpopular with the sabermatric crowd, who do not greatly value his best attribute, speed.
Conversely, I see a fair amount of fans that love EY. Fans where he is one of their favorite players on the team, if not the favorite one. Speed is fun, and not many players are faster than Eric Young Jr. He also seems like a genuinely good guy, who always plays hard, additional factors that endear him to his fans.
The combination of reactions is interesting to me, as it has me believing EY is always simultaneously under- and over-rated. I love the speed, but not the bat. But he was born to play at Citi Field, if only he took better routes on fly balls. Since he does not, I end up loving him as this team’s super sub, but no more than that.
Yes, and that’s been our point, I think. We agree that Eric Young is a valuable sub, ideal for Citi Field, and that he should get 400 ABs a season, to pick a number.
I’ve long toyed with the idea for a post titled, “Not All OBP Is Created Equal.” I learned that most acutely from watching Lance Johnson, a speedster who was often criticized because he did not walk enough. (BTW, this underscores the reality that OBP is not the new idea that some folks pretend it to be.) The chance of EY getting on base and scoring is much, much greater than it is for, say, Lucas Duda. We can’t look at OBP for all players as if it’s the same value. Yes, the outs are the same, and outs are destruction, the ruination of possibility. But EY gets tremendous production out of a pretty crummy on-base percentage. He comes all the way around the bases.
Because EY is popular with a large segment of fans, I saw a trend where Chris Young was becoming a villain, and the guy hadn’t even played a game yet.
Yes, the hand-wringing over the return of Chris Young was so great that I wrote about it, “Something Is Wrong . . . When the Return of Chris Young Fills Fans with Dread.” Fans were waiting in the weeds to hate this guy, largely because of what he meant to our beloved Lagares.
Of course, Lagares got injured, any potential controversy was put on hold, and a new villain has emerged.
I began this post with the fabulously clever title, “Eric Young Is Not an Axe Murderer.”
So, yes, the fans have gone a bit overboard, as we are wont to do.
Besides, we’ve all played Clue.
We know by now the true identity of the Murderer.
So after a deep breath I intone . . .