baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Was Wrong About Gary Sheffield

I need to admit I was very wrong about the Mets' decision to acquire Gary Sheffield. I was wrong in thinking he was done, and I was wrong about his effect on the clubhouse. He seems to have become an ideal veteran teammate, if he wasn't all along.

The reports of his outspokenness convinced me he was trouble, and the stories of his immaturity early in his career colored my opinion about him. I don't know how long he can continue his hot hitting, but I am not worried about him hurting the team's chemistry. Now that Daniel Murphy is playing first base, I'm not concerned with Sheffield taking away playing time from him. Now that Ryan Church is on the DL, Sheffield can't take away his at bats either.

Delgado's injury opened the door for Sheffield to become an every day player again, and so far so great. The trick from now on will be to give Sheffield enough rest to remain sharp. He is older, and does seem to need periodic rest, which Jerry Manuel seems to recognize.

I still say that the best thing the Mets can do is to trade Jose Reyes (plus Toronto's choice of Redding or Oliver Perez plus half his salary) for Roy Halliday (and Marco Scutaro). The one thing the Mets need more than anything is another ace, one that is a proven winner with a tough mentality and someone to lift his teammates to a higher level of production. I believe that Roy Halliday is that pitcher. Clearly, the Mets have shown that they can win without Jose Reyes. They are a more fundamentally sound team and a grittier team without him. Once Alex Cora returns, I would feel comfortable with Cora and Scutaro sharing the shortstop position.

They don't need to upgrade on Tim Redding with another fifth starter, as some baseball writers are suggesting. They need to upgrade on Oliver Perez as their number two starter, with a second ace. Since they can't photocopy Johan Santana, trading for Roy Halliday is the next best thing.

And I'm really pleased Omar Minaya traded Castro instead of demoting Omir Santos. That bodes well. Santos is clearly at his best right now, and sending him down would make absolutely no sense. Between him and Brian Schneider, the Mets have two starting catchers who work well with their pitchers. They still have Robinson Cancel for depth in Buffalo, so catching becomes a relative strong point for the first time in several years.

Caroms Off the Wall

I want to see more of Wilson Valdez, the new shortstop who sounds like an oil spill. He already showed some good instinct when he decoyed a baserunner into hesitating at second on a hit and run base hit, and not scoring.

© Judy Kamilhor 2009


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