The Eddie Kranepool Society

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Adam Rubin has a great Q & A in his mailbag today about the inner workings of the Kazmir deal. In fact Ijsut finished reading his new book Pedro, Carlos and Omar The Story of a Season in the Big apple and the Pursuit of Baseball's Top Latino Stars and it covers this and much more of the fall and rise of the Mets. Well worth buying.

{Adam, I think you do a very good job covering the Mets. My question to you is: Who really made the Kazmir trade? Was it forced on Jim Duquette by Jeff Wilpon because of Wilpon's belief in Rick Peterson? And in your mind, how are Fred and Jeff Wilpon really thought of by current GM Omar Minaya and the last two GMs (Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette) in terms of working for them? Thanks for your time. Mohammed Mohammed, Wow, that�s a lot to tackle. I�d first point you to this previous entry, which has an excerpt from my book and attempts to partly explain it.

This is going to be too simplistic, but I�d say it was a perfect storm type of thing - a lot of factors. The superscouts, Bill Livesey and Al Goldis, having a lot of influence. Livesey�s personal relationship with Victor Zambrano from Tampa Bay leading to an overvaluation of him. The Mets getting irrationally spooked by Kazmir�s off-the-field behavior. Ownership, which shouldn�t be making actual baseball decisions, too involved - and going for it because they were six games behind the Braves entering a three-game series in Atlanta. Not seeing major red flags with Zambrano before the trade and doing medical due diligence.

Zambrano had been backed off starts and his velocity was down even before the trade because of supposed elbow �soreness.� As I understand, Mets doctors never did an independent medical evaluation. They relied on the word of D-Rays doctors, who had supposedly only taken an X-Ray, which wouldn�t reveal what an MRI would.

Also, the Mets didn�t really let it be known they would entertain trading Kazmir, who seemed untouchable. Other GMs said after that trade that they would have offered more had they known the Mets would deal Kazmir.

Also, Jim Duquette was named GM because established GMs like Gerry Hunsicker and Pat Gillick wanted no part of the place, wary of how much autonomy they actually would have. Duquette was the GM, so it�s his trade, but I�ve always felt he was more following orders than executing his own plan.

I can keep going...even if Rick Peterson gets too much flak, they were probably overly reliant on his data that suggest the typical high school pitcher needs 500 innings in the minors and struggles his first year. Then there�s Al Leiter and John Franco and Frank Sinatra and Eminem�

That said, I think all three GMs respect the Wilpons, and had reasonably positive relationships, especially with Fred - who�s not in the office with them}

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