Friday Q&A, pt. 1: Baseball stuff

There were a ton of questions about Wright and Dickey, so let this stand in for all of them. I don’t know that it necessarily comes down to one or the other and obviously any extensions depend on the deals — both players could easily be seeking more than the Mets should reasonably pay for their services, regardless of how awesome they are.

I think Wright is more important to the Mets’ success in the short and long terms than Dickey is, which is not to diminish Dickey’s excellence so much as to trumpet Wright’s. I don’t think enough Mets fans recognize and appreciate how great a baseball player David Wright is. Even in his down years he’s still very valuable, and in years like this one he’s among the tops in the Majors. He’s the best position player in franchise history, by all accounts he keeps himself in great shape and is a great teammate, and he seems like a generally excellent dude.

A few people noted that because the Mets don’t appear primed to contend in 2013, they should trade Wright now and rebuild for the future. And, again, if someone wants to give the Mets some crazy package of talented young players for Wright, then sure, peace out. But it’s downright silly to just say, “trade him for prospects” and assume one of the prospects will grow up to be even half as good as Wright. Wright’s certainly not a Hall of Famer yet, but he’s on that trajectory. Did you know he’s second only to Miguel Cabrera in career WAR among position players under 30? Guys as good as Wright don’t come around very often. That’s why the Mets have never had a better position player in their 50-year history.

Time can catch up with players pretty quickly, but I don’t see why anyone would expect Wright to stop being awesome before the Mets can cobble together a contending team — especially since Wright makes them all that more likely to contend. Plus, figuring the money allotted to Wright could then be redirected elsewhere later assumes that a free agent of Wright’s caliber at a position the Mets need will hit the open market — far from a guarantee.

Dickey’s status is less clear, and the case for trying to trade him this offseason, I think, is a bit stronger. (Depends on the deal, again.) Obviously it’s not a possibility I’d like to consider right now, but he’ll be 38 in a couple of weeks, he’s coming off an extraordinary season, and there’s an extremely inexpensive option on his contract for 2013. Knuckleballers don’t age like most pitchers, of course, but Dickey is not like most knuckleballers. And though starting pitching depth can be fleeting, the Mets appear to have way more on the mound than they do at the plate.

But the Mets’ best chance to contend in 2013 requires Dickey fronting their starting rotation, and since I’ve seen baseball before and I’m not willing to count a team out six months before the season even starts, I’ll hope they make a go of it with both Wright and Dickey.

I suspect there’s some lingering animosity among Mets fans over the pond-scum stuff from the late 80s, but I’m all for the Cardinals provided they are led straight to the monkey by Carlos Beltran. Yesterday’s poll here pretty accurately reflects my rooting interests on the National League side, actually: Beltran, the Reds, the Nats, then a big break, then the Giants and Braves. As an added bonus to any Beltran glory, the Cardinals defeating the Braves in the play-in game might help expose how silly the play-in game is, since the Braves proved six games better than the Cardinals over a 162-game regular season.

In the AL, I’m first and foremost for the YOLOrioles because I know enough long-suffering Baltimore fans to sympathize and want something good for them. The A’s and Tigers are cool, too.

Bryce Harper and Tim Bogar.

I’ll go with my birthday, Jan. 22.

No, but it’s close. As fun as the public shaving was, the highlight still has to be the day I spent with Ralph Kiner doing the Kiner’s Korner Revisited videos a couple years ago.

None, unfortunately. Keith’s mustache powers are non-transferable, and the mustache is lifeless and limp without Keith’s lip. The two share a synergistic relationship.

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