His column was a response to my recent series of, perhaps occasionally over the top, that I wrote in late August. Mookie makes 3 fair points (#s 1, 2, and 4) in his post and one so stupid that I nearly had to reevaluate the merits of free speech (the regrettable #3).
First the fair:
1) Jose Reyes has not taken a step backward:
I probably would have been wiser to say that Jose Reyes has failed to take a step forward. I was not considering Reyes's 2006 in it's totality. I was using his post-May stats, in which he OPSed over .900 for 4 months, as a baseline for this season. On that basis, Reyes's 2007 is a mild disappointment. In your heart of hearts, you expected more from Reyes this year. Admit it.
2) Carlos Beltran is not having an average season:
I believe that I most recently described Beltran's season as "up-and-down". I have not described it as "average" for almost a month, when it was genuinely average. I think the difference is more than semantic. I will spell it out though. Beltran's ups this season have outweighed his downs.
For the first time, I would say that the balance sheet on the Beltran contract is in the black ink. (God, I know nothing about finance. I hope that sentence makes sense. I'm starting to think it doesn't. Readers, feel free to trash me in the comments section if it doesn't. But if you do, know that you are being a nitpicky Ned, because you know exactly what I meant.)
4) Pedro (is still good)
Agreed...probably. My counter would be that it was only one start and Pedro was far from lights out. Two of his four Ks were against a particularly bad hitting pitcher. His ability to go deep into games is still in question.
However, I was impressed with his ability to hit spots. His pitches still have enough life to make him effective without throwing gas.
I still am not sold that he is more than a 3rd starter on a good staff, which leads me to this gem...
3) The rotation is the best in the NL...and perhaps the best in the MLB.
Perhaps the best in the MLB? Support this claim. I dare you. I double dare you mother fucker. (Two unrelated Jules Winfield references, from the same scene in one post. If one were so inclined, he could probably throw at least one appropriate "Pulp Fiction" quote into every conversation). Imagine your favorite Mets starter. Got him? Well he would be the Red Sox 5th man. Tell me which one is getting the start over Beckett, Matsuzaka, Schilling, or Wakefield. I know it's early, but I would strongly consider starting Buchholz over any of them. So there you have it. Your ace might be pitching long relief in Boston right now.
Other teams with better rotations:
Take this statement back. Every ill-conceived word of it. Honestly, you're better than that. A little.