The New York Times’ George Vescey is not amongst those who considered the X-Man surplus to the Mets’ requirements.
Xavier Nady needed very little maintenance and kept opposing pitchers honest by batting just below the potent heart of the Mets™ order. And I don™t buy the revisionist theory that Nady was subpar in right field. The other day I saw him sprawl on the grass, keeping a single in front of him with a deft wrist-exposing swipe at the ball. The Mets parted with him at their own risk.
Now the Mets are more or less committed to using Lastings Milledge, who has talent but lacks experience and maybe maturity, too. The best teams find a way to hide or minimize inexperience, the way the Yankees have avoided depending too much on Melky Cabrera this year. Willie Randolph and his coaches can try to tutor Milledge, but they cannot help much when the kid is on the field.
Does the name Gregg Jefferies strike a familiar chord? In August 1988, the Mets brought up Jefferies (above), who was as much a prospect as Milledge is now. That rollicking team was convinced it could win another World Series, and some of the old hands griped out loud when Jefferies squeezed their mates out of playing time. Milledge is quicker than Jefferies was, in every sense of the word, but one disruption can have a chain reaction.
Not that I’d compare Lasting Milledge to Gary Sheffield’s Little Mustache in terms of expertise or resume, but I find it amusing that the former’s alleged propensity to “disrupt” has the young player already buried with much of the print media, while the latter’s absence will no doubt be cited if the Yankees fall short in their playoff drive.
Though I usually enjoy Vescey’s work, I don’t know how many Mets games he’s watched this year (presumably he was following each and every game on MLB.com whilst covering the World Cup), but calling Nady “low maintenance” is not only damning him with very faint praise, it disregards his performances in right field. That the tandem of Chavez and Milledge can replace Nady’s offensive production seems obvious enough, but Vescey’s eyesight must be far worse than mine if he doesn’t believe the pair are an upgrade defensively.
The Mets signed Jose Reyes to a four year contract extension today. Hopefully, the club will manage to ink David Wright to a similar pact before his development is stunted by the overwhelmingly negative influence of Lasting Milledge’s doo-rags, speeding Hummer and interest in bizarre religious rituals. I know, Milledge was in Norfolk when that shit went down, so to speak, but it only seems fitting to blame him for that, too. No coincidence that Duaner Sanchez’ Highway Adventures coincided with Milledge’s return to the team.