Sunday, May 25, 2008

Now Wille Really Loves Young Players

The monkeys were among those who complained when David Wright was called up and batted seventh. We wondered aloud if it was best for Lastings Milledge to start his career batting eighth and then wondered why he wasn't playing instead of Shawn Green. When reporters questioned him after the game about how he seemed to prefer veterans Willie's answer was always the same "I love young players." His actions though mostly said otherwise.

After yesterday, the monkeys can say for sure that Randolph loves one particular young player. Nick Evans had a remarkable debut with 3 doubles and 2 RBI that Willie hopes provides a stay of execution. There was an energy and excitement that had abandoned this team since the Bronx. Carlos Delgado smiled in the post game interview declaring "It ain't this f-en easy."

Sometimes youth can give a jolt. A couple of years ago Robinson Cano and Chien Ming Wang turned the energy in the Yankees clubhouse around. Now it's only one game so no need to go too crazy, but who wasn't starting to wonder what Mike Carp, Dan Murphy and when he recovers from his injury, Fernando Martinez might be able to provide later in the year?


Ramon Castro added 3 hits yesterday. Brian Schneider is in a slump. The monkeys suggested a platoon when Castro returned from the DL (see the post "Don't Be An Ogre, Willie. Platoon Shrek"). We know Schneider calls a great game, but this team needs offense.


Just wanted to clarify that the monkeys have been notified that some of those "other" votes for Willie Randolph's replacement were specifically for Wally Backman. Wally was the type of "scrappy" player that the Mets seem to lack. The memory of his style of play had the Mets seeking David Eckstein this off season.

Backman famously called out Darryl Strawberry saying he didn't know anyone who got sick 25 times a year. Strawberry responded with "I'll bust that little redneck in the face."

The only issue with Backman is the baggage he brings to the publicity sensitive Wilpons. On November 1, 2004, Backman was hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks to be their new mananger. However, only a day later, reports surfaced that Backman had serious legal and financial problems. He had also been arrested in 1999 for DUI in Washington as documented on HBO Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. A year later, he was arrested in connection with an altercation in his home in Prineville, Oregon. In addition, Backman declared bankruptcy to avoid paying over 20 creditors, including the IRS.The Diamondbacks initially stood by him, but fired him on November 5.

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