The View From My Couch: Collins Talks Leadoff, Sandy Talks Flores at SS, and Fred Gets His New Loan

surgeryI had a minor surgical procedure and missed a few days on planet earth. I’m fine, thanks. Since then I’ve been scouring the internet, trying to figure out what happened with the Mets. At first I thought it was me, but it sure seems like the answer is: Not much. So, I will be honest, nothing earthshaking today. A few minor items did peak my interest so here is my take on them.

– Darryl Strawberry defended Alex Rodriquez, using the always popular, “all the other kids are doing it” defense. I couldn’t care less about A-Rod, but after all these years it would’ve been nice to see Strawberry realize the error of that logic. Oh well.

– Adam Rubin found time in between MacArthur Generals basketball games to get Terry Collins input on the leadoff batter dilemma. It seems Collins likes EY Jr. best in that spot. The thing about batting leadoff is you can’t do it from the bench. Also, you have to write somebody into that spot. More and more, I’m thinking Juan Lagares is not starting the season in center.

– In a bizarre and disturbing interview, Sandy Alderson mentioned that Wilmer Flores could still see time at shortstop. I haven’t seen enough of Wilmer to personally pass judgement on the idea, but the comparison that Sandy Alderson uses is frightening. Here is the quote, thanks to Anthony DiComo:

“Is he definitely not a shortstop? I try not to say anybody’s definitely not something. We tried Duda in left field. There’s no reason why we can’t try other players at positions where at first blush you’d say, “No, that’s not possible.”

Lucas Duda was an unmitigated disaster in the outfield. Tell me, Sandy, at which blush did that change?

– There was some complaining on the Internet, especially in the Twitterverse, that Josh Lewin Jeff-Wilponmight not be back in the radio booth. Supposedly, Jeff is behind it. Look, I like to get on Jeff as much as the next guy, but not over Josh Lewin. I heard him some and he was fine, but let Jeff do what he wants here, anything to keep him busy. Sorry, Josh, it’s not personal, it’s business.

– If anyone was rooting that the impending spring 2014 loan was going to be a financial tipping point for the Wilpons, they can sit back down. The loan, for $250 million, has been refinanced over seven years. Nothing surprising here, I’ve been saying they would be able to do this for over a year now.

That’s all for today, but I will keep looking.


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  1. I can’t fathom how in the world Terry Collins remains employed. There is such backwards logic trying to put Young into the leadoff spot.

    It is almost if Collins looks at baseball ref dot com, clicks on Eric Young, and doesn’t realize, that is EY Jrs Dad!

  2. I’m so glad you wrote about this, Mike. Terry’s answer was of course troubling, at best. He scares the crap out of me, that guy, I just don’t trust him to make the right decisions. We’re going to let Eric Young disrupt the development of Juan Lagares? And that’s the plan they’ve come up with over the winter?

    Gil Hodges once famously said: “There are only two kinds of managers. Winning managers and ex-managers.”

    At the time, however, Sandy Alderson was not running an organization.

  3. I’ll give you a positive take on Flores. The Mets need a backup shortstop. In the past couple of years, they’ve gone without one; Justin Turner has been the guy. So they run the same ineffectual SS out there all season long, and basically run the guy into the ground. So if Wilmer can achieve a Turner-like level of competency, then maybe he becomes the super-sub that many of us thought Murphy should be. I’d love for them to get Flores on this MLB roster. He can play every infield position, all badly, but whatever!

    And, also: I come from a world where I praised a manager for having the balls to play Kevin Mitchell at SS, once upon a time.

    That said: I trust that even Sandy knows that Flores can’t play SS for any stretch of time; he’d be exposed. These guys doubt he can play 2B and say he’s too slow for the outfield. So, yes, it’s all baffling. What I sincerely hope is that they aren’t confusing Wilmer himself. One day it’s how he’s got to learn how to play 1B (19 games there, career), the next is that he’s got to show he can play SS, and meanwhile he’s yet to demonstrate that he can play 2B. I hate to see them set up these young players for failure. Just as I deplore Terry’s idiotic “mix and match” bullshit, which is based on his moods and small sample sizes. I hate platooning young players, because you devalue them before they even get started.

    This is the stuff that scares me about this team.

    • Michael Geus says:

      I’m not concerned about Flores at SS. I haven’t even seen it yet. But using Duda as an example of this type of thinking working is very scary. Duda was not just bad, he was atrocious.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        Hiding a plodding player in either left or right field would be far easier to do if the center and opposing corner could cover significant ground.

        Problem is the Mets did not have a good outfielder of any kind really until Lagares last year. Byrd did okay in RF, but overall if you get 2/3rds of the equation correct, it helps.

      • Sandy said — out loud, amazingly — that this was the first winter that Flores had any kind of structured workout program. Not an aside: He’s been with the Mets organization since he was signed at age 16. Also, in terms of where guys can and can’t play, also not an aside: He’s been with the Mets organization since he was signed at age 16. As for Duda, he’s been with the Mets for longer than that. Shouldn’t we know where a guy is capable of playing? Shouldn’t an organization has an inkling as to future team needs? It all sounds dysfunctional. Or, at best, not optimal.

        • Alan K. says:

          Duda turns 28 on Monday, quickly closing in on “now or never” time. What’s crazy is despite the Mets not knowing what to do with him, they had to pay him over $1.6M to avoid arbitration. The Mets apparently have this mindset where they offer arbitration to underperforming players because they don’t want to lose them for nothing. They settle with them because they’re afraid an arbitrator might make them pay more. And if Duda doesn’t win the 1B job, they’re going to give him paying time in the OF (which he clearly cannot play) because they don’t want to spend money cutting him. You were right the first time Jimmy, it’s dysfunctional.

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