Friday Q&A, Wednesday edition, pt. 1: Baseball stuff

Via email, Sean writes:

The reference to Wright’s acts of leadership behind the scenes of 2012 was interesting. I completely understand there is a line about what you can discuss in public forums, given your access.

Maybe you can share though how you find that line in your position, when you’re both a fan but it’s also your job and have some privileged access. Must be especially tough to police yourself given all the forums available for people to express any thought these days.

It’s not all that tough, honestly. Though I have a season credential to Mets home games and some level of access, I’m not a beat writer and I don’t typically travel with the team, so I don’t get nearly the type of privileged information those guys might. On the rare occasion I do, it’s tempting to go nuts and plaster it everywhere because EXCLUSIVE TEDQUARTERS EXCLUSIVE.

But I’ve done far too much trolling of vaguely written and anonymously sourced baseball scoopsmanship to do it myself as soon as I stumble on to any sort of inside information. Typically, I use whatever I learn to inform my writing, and a good conversation with someone inside the organization can provide months’ worth of context about roster moves and the like. But I don’t think it adds much to an argument to cite the nebulous authority that some seem to think comes along with credentials, so I do my best to avoid it.

I don’t know that there’s a good comp, for a couple of reasons. It seems like Jack Taylor’s indisputably impressive accomplishment did come in part due to Grinnell’s offensive system, which I don’t know much about. The previous D-3 single-game scoring record was held by another guy on Grinnell, who scored 89 in a game last year and came off the bench for seven last night.

Also, there’s almost no way a basketball player can score 138 points without taking better scoring opportunities away from his teammates. Look at that article: Even Carmelo Anthony appears to be taken aback. That can’t really happen in baseball.

All that said, I’m going with seven home runs. Our Internet is spotty today and I can’t draw up a more direct comp statistically, but it feels like seven home runs in a game at pretty much any level would be as remarkable and improbable as scoring 138 points.

I’ll guess Josh Thole. When we did the Furious Five stuff last year, most of the players had to think a bit to determine their favorite sandwiches. That’s understandable; professional athletes don’t all interact with food in the same way professional sandwich bloggers do. But Thole was on it: Not only could he name a specific sandwich when asked his favorite — a Lobster Roll from Luke’s Lobster — but he said that the first thing he did when he came to New York was get sushi at Tao. So based on that little bit of evidence, I’m going to guess Thole is pretty dedicated to eating well. Lucas Duda is another obvious candidate but that’s purely based on his size.

I don’t know if Sean’s referencing something specific that I haven’t read or some particular item of misinformation. I know much has been made over what Jeff Wilpon said about R.A. Dickey and David Wright yesterday. It seems people are understandably pretty fired up that Wilpon said he’d rather keep Dickey and Wright through 2013 without extensions than trade them, since that’s pretty demonstrably not in the Mets’ best long-term baseball interests. But the counter — and I’m reluctant to even mention it, because I realize I’ll now inevitably be accused of shillery — is that it makes no sense for Jeff Wilpon to say, “Yeah, if we can’t get extensions done, we’re definitely trading them.”

Those of you reading regularly probably know I’m not the type to get too bent out of shape or sanctimonious over things people say. I’d happily abide misinformation from the Mets if I could be confident they were operating optimally and on behalf of becoming the best possible baseball team. For now I can only hope for that, though. The way they handle Dickey and Wright will tell us a lot more about what the Mets are doing than the way they say they’ll handle Dickey and Wright.

Finally, via email, Chris writes:

Have you realized the only year the Giants didn’t win the World Series in the past 3 years was when they had Carlos Beltran? Similarly, the only year the Cardinals haven’t won it in the past two years was with Carlos Beltran!

Typical Beltran. For all his “best postseason OPS in baseball history,” he’s never won the World Series, and that’s obviously his fault.

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