I have just finished reading Steve Gilbert’s latest edition of MAILBAG.
It is full of ideas for trading Eric Byrnes. How quickly you forget
what he did for you in 2006 and 2007. Yes, it is unfortunate he was out
for most of 2008 with an injury, but even before then a lot of you
thought he was not worth the money.
You want to run out of town one of the most exciting players
your franchise has ever had. A team leader who helped you get to the
playoffs in 07, and without whom, your vaunted youth movement did not
do so well. (Hello, Chris Young!) It is clear to me that the
Diamondbacks are all about saving money rather than putting the real
goods on the field. How reflective of the rest of this screwed up
society in which people are urged to get those promotions and raises
then are thrown away as too expensive because they took the rewards
they were offered!
If you want to say that baseball is a “what have you done
for me lately” game and all Byrnes has done lately is rehab, let me
turn the tables on you. What Mark Reynolds has done most recently is
set a major league record in strike outs while leading the majors in
errors (11 more than the second place guy). Yet I know of only one
other person besides me who would send Reynolds beck to the minors for
a year and let Tracy play third.
Conor Jackson, an excellent hitter, had a position at first
base. BoMel’s handing him left field because of the way he played and
GM Byrnes saying that Eric shouldn’t expect to get playing time because
of his incumbency is a bunch of BULL. Jackson is at best an adequate
left fielder. He’s no Byrnes. Byrnesie is not the most elegant fielder
but he gets to stuff the slower Jackson and the unsure Young don’t get
And quit the suggestions that the D’Backs should offer Adam
Dunn a deal. Dunn is a born DH who should be in the American League.
But most importantly, there is little plate discipline on
the D’Backs. I’ve already laid out the strikeout totals in other
posts. The batting averages are awful. I cannot get excited about guys
who hit homers but cannot break .250. A healthy Eric Byrnes, and I’m
expecting a healthy Eric Byrnes in ’09, can hit at least .280-and he
knows I think he’s capable of more than that-while striking out less
than 100 times. And I would rather have a team full of guys like that
than a bunch of .230-.240 hitters that are striking out, the most
useless thing you can do, when they aren’t hitting it over the fence.
As you saw last year, that kind of lineup doesn’t make the playoffs.
If this team is to have any chance, it needs to have Byrnes
AND Jackson on the field simultaneously. Together with Steven Drew, who
hit .291 last year, they could form the nucleus of the lineup.
Stop being bedazzled by homer totals and demoralized by
contract numbers. Geez, you’d think Byrnesie was pulling down A-Rod
money the way you people act! And the game is still baseball, not
accounting. Maybe you all shouldn’t have parked the Brinks truck in
Chris Young’s driveway when he had barely a year in the majors under
his belt. Let a guy get some more experience and show what he’s capable
of before you part with the big bucks.