Why do sports pundits persist in recommending that rebuilding franchises trade their best
players? Thus Brian Costa in "Why Dickey Should Be Traded" (Wall Street Journal, Nov 9,
2012, p. A21) ). The theory is that the aging star will bring in hot-shot prospects that will dramatically help the team's prospects in the long range.
Unfortunately, it is logic of this sort that impelled the Mets to part
with Tom Seaver, the best player in their history, back in 1977. In
exchange for Seaver -- who had several great years left in him, and even
a threw a no-hitter in a Cincinnati uniform -- the Mets got a mediocre
pitcher, a good-field-no-hit second baseman, and two can't-miss
outfielders. Steve Henderson, the more ballyhooed of the two, had what would charitably be called a
disappointing career. The other outfielder is the answer to a trivia
question. All right, don't scarch your head. Dan Norman.
The Mets should sign Dickey not only because he had a great season but because he is a reason that fans come to the park and buy tickets. He is a Met, a crucial part of the team's identity. It interests me that he is also notably intelligent, a published author, but the germane fact is that he may well continue to pitch at this year's sensational level. While it is true that he is 38, the knuckle-ball as he throws it causes less arm weariness, and is less likely to lead to a severe shoulder, elbow, or wrist injury, than the standard pitcher's repetoire.
On the week when the Mets parted ways with Jason Bay, undoubtedly the biggest bust in a history of bad free-agent signings, two things occur to me:
-- Will columnist Jason Gay either leave the Journal or change his name to, for example, David Bright?
-- If we made a team of over-the-hill players that donned Mets' uniforms and stopped performing (.e.g. Jason Bay, Mo Vaughan, Roberto Alomar), added players acquired in one-sided deals (Jim Fregosi, Juan Samuel) or other dumb moves (George Foster), how would it fare against a team made up of players the Mets dispensed with (Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Lenny Dysktra, Kevin Mitchell, David Cone)?
The long season's over, and then came the chill. They played the World Series and nobody noticed. -- DL