Friday, May 13, 2011

On David Wright, Jose Reyes and Ownership

As a life long fan of the NYMets (I just turned 50) and one who has experienced more sorrow than joy over this long period, it is frustrating to see two players the Mets have developed become somewhat of a centerpiece for what is wrong with baseball today.

I think free agency has become a problem that is tearing away at the team philosophy of the sport of baseball.

I don't think players should be the "property" of teams as they were for decades before the advent of free agency, but what free agency has developed into is hurting the game.

The monies that are being paid in today's game (and in all the major sports) are so high up in the stratosphere that GMs and owners seem only to worry about how to cut their overall overhead than build a team of players who gel together and win.

David Wright is a great PR plus for the Mets. Homegrown, polite, empathetic to the fans' needs and a nice guy are some of the qualities he shows that connect with fans, both young and old.
But his play on the field is nothing more than average. He has an average arm, makes too many throwing errors and strikes out way too often compared to the first couple of years he played with the Mets.

Jose Reyes is the centerpiece of this team on the field. As Jose goes at the plate, so go the Mets. He is exciting, exuberant, and passionate about the sport. I don't know any fan who doesn't enjoy watching him play-whether they root for the Mets or not.

And Jose has repeatedly said he wants to stay with the only team he has known. I believe him and I think so do the fans of this team.

Wright is signed for a couple of more years (including the option) and Reyes is playing out the option year of his contract.

It would be a huge mistake not to make a more than a serious attempt to re-sign Reyes to a contract that will keep him in a Met's uniform well into his thirties.

When GM Sandy Alderson says that he has a philosophy of not signing guys who are in their late twenties to long term contacts, he is merely covering himself should the Mets not re-sign him or worse, trade him before the July 31st non-waiver trading deadline.

I am still on the side that feels David Wright should be traded and traded soon. He can still get the Mets some quality minor leaquers and his trade can help continue to build the Mets minor league system.

But I know or at least feel strongly that trading David is not going to happen; Re-signing Jose is also not going to happen. It isn't going to happen because the Wilpons are terrible owners.

The Wilpons are broke and in this day and age, having a lot of money is paramount to being able to play the free agency game that exists today.

The Wilpons are stubborn and refuse to admit their financial shortcomings so they are unable to play the free agency game. They would rather lose one of the most exciting players to grace the fields of major league ballparks, than let go of their majority hold on this team.

This is why I don't believe that they would suggest to their GM to move Wright. They need a well-liked player to appease the many fans who will be acrimonious in the decision to let Reyes go.

If the owners trade Wright and then let Reyes leave, the Mets home attendance will look more and more like the home field of the Florida Marlins.

All of this because of how free agency has spiraled out of control.

I hope I am wrong.

But I fear I am not.

Let's Go Mets!!