Growing up just a hop, skip and a jump from Hoboken, NJ (where the first baseball game in U.S. history took place), you can be damn sure that's a big part of the reason I consider myself a bit of a baseball purist. This is why I hate the American League and their piece of garbage DH rule. This is why I would like to bitchslap Barry Bonds and why bat corking is tantamount to felony to me. While I am not as extreme as some (let's get Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame, for God's sake!), it is why today I am so happy to be a fan of a little franchise called the New York Mets.
With the trading deadline just having passed, it is easy for all of us armchair general managers to reflect on what we would have done. The Mets this year let the deadline pass with zero fanfare. Not only did they not make a trade, but they were nearly absent from the preceding rumor mill. Instead, the Mets ballclub has made the decision to pull from the seemingly exceptional talent within their minor league system. And I couldn't be prouder.
Some teams elected to make some big trades, most notably the Yankees acquiring Pudge Rodriguez and the Dodgers acquisition of Manny "Just Being Manny" Ramirez. While both these dudes are phenomenal assets to any team, one has to wonder the real logic within this. Sure, these guys are filling holes within their brand spanking new teams and have already upped the bar for the level of play on each of their teams.
But at what cost? The Dodgers are paying out something like $20 million dollars a year to get Manny on the field. Manny, having a 14 year career already BEHIND him, has what, maybe 4 years left on the playing field? Great, so if 80 million dollars later, the Dodgers haven't won a Series, they are then left with nothing. The clock is ticking on Ramirez. Now I couldn't find exactly what Mets unstoppable rookie Dan Murphy is bringing in, but it can't be more than $322K a year, which is what my beloved D Dubs made his first year. That is literally less than 1/60th of what Ramirez is raking in.
Now let's look at some numbers. While these statistics are going to skew a tiny bit unfairly as Ramirez has played in more games as a Dodger than Dan has as a Met, they are pretty damn close. Little Murphy, after 5 games, is batting .500 for the New York Mets. Manny is batting .458 since joining the Dodgers, with 4 homeruns. Fucking ridiculous stat? Yes. But I will take Murph at 1/60th the cost with a higher batting average any day of the week. And not only that, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Mets will employ the services of the phenom from Jacksonville for the next 15-20 years. Who got the better bargain? Give me a damn break.
Long story made even longer, use your minor league systems. That's what they're there for. Trading be damned, I would rather see a team utilize all their resources and build a club that's going to look damn good for the next 20 years rather than blowing my load on a guy like Manny who will be a distant memory just as a guy like Murphy hits his stride.
Oh, and the Dodgers? 4-3 since Manny joining the team and if they were in the Mets division, they would still be 3 games back and 20 million more in debt. Enjoy your purchase.