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Leadership Personified, Ichiro, Contradictions, and the Wave

By Mike Silva ~ July 3rd, 2009. Filed under: Morning Digest.

- I often discuss my thoughts on leadership and get criticized by our stat loving readers. I believe leadership comes in different forms and, for a team to win, they must have variations of it throughout the clubhouse. In the past, the Mets had very little off the field leadership to complement their dubious clubhouse version. This week you saw two great examples of leadership by example. First, David Wright turning down his day off in Milwaukee was the right thing to do. Even though he didn’t do much during the game, the lineup would have been embarrassing without his name in it. Yesterday, K-Rod knew his ninth inning performance was unacceptable. After the Mets score, he goes out and grinds through the Pirates lineup 1-2-3. This while his pitch count reached career highs. That is leadership personified.

- CC Sabathia was punished for keeping his balls up at Yankee Stadium. The Ichiro hit was a perfect example of a ball carrying. I thought it was a simple fly ball, but it kept drifting away from Melky Cabrera. By the way, Ichiro didn’t bust it out of the box, I thought this doesn’t happen with Japanese players. Must be the negative American influence.

- Great point by Paul O’Neill during last night’s telecast. Ichiro is already in the Japanese Hall of Fame and very well could end up in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Barring injury, he will have 2,0000 hits by the end of this season. If he plays another five years until 40, with an average of 200 hits a year, he could get to 3,000. That sounds unrealistic, but he has yet to have a sub 200 hit season. Even if he retired at the end of this year with 2,000 hits I believe he should make it for his accomplishments.

- Jerry Manuel’s honeymoon with the media ended earlier this year. Now the worm has turned and they are hammering away. Bob Raissman points out the recent contradictions that have been spewed during Manuel’s post game press conferences. I said the other day that Jerry made a big mistake accentuating how undermanned this team was. It sends the wrong message to the players. During a time where it would be easy to give up, Jerry gave them ample reason to do just that. The bigger point of Raissman’s story is the possibility of management changing Jerry’s tune. This organization continues to amaze me with their corporate politics. It’s aggravating, divisive, and, quite simply, incompetent. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is the baseball version of bureaucracy getting in the way of achieving a goal. Message to Jeff and company: you can’t BS fans to show up to the ballpark.

- You got the feeling that Russell Branyan’s homer was all his frustration of striking out this series balled into one.

- Teixeira makes his first error of the season. Could it have been the pressure of the midnight All Star voting?

- Ed Price had this to add: Mets came back from 5 down to win — first time since May 15 they won a game in which they trailed by more than 1 run.

- The ultimate insult thrown around by Yankees fans last night: the wave at Yankee Stadium reminded them of one at Shea.

- The antithesis of what K-Rod accomplished was what you saw from Tim Redding. It was a non competitive effort that, quite simply, was unacceptable. Oliver Perez is pitching for Buffalo tonight and, barring a huge setback, should be ready to rejoin the rotation. I said last week that Perez can’t do any worse than Redding. There is at least a future with Perez, there is none with Redding.

- Hat tip to Pat Misch and Elmer Dessens for stabilizing the game at 5-0. They were the two unsung components of the win.

- The Yankees signed 3 international players.

- Another inning and you were going to see Livan Hernandez pinch hit, Johan Santana play the outfield, and possibly Fernando Nieve in relief. That would have been interesting.

- Catch the show on demand as we celebrated the long 4th of July weekend remembering classic games. Hear John Strubel discuss his project about the Mets wild July 4th, 1985 contest against the Braves. Frank Russo reminisced about Dave Righetti’s no hitter. He also gave us some tidbits from the rumor mill as we are just three and a half weeks away from the trading deadline.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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8 Responses to Leadership Personified, Ichiro, Contradictions, and the Wave

  1. James K.

    The leadership discussion has nothing to do with stats Mike, you’re creating a straw man. It has to do with the fact that, like it or not, you have no clue what the leadership/clubhouse dynamic is for the Mets, just as John Franco doesn’t.

    Also, if not for Luis Castillo snagging Brandon Moss’s screamer in the 9th, the Mets and Frankie would have lost. Did leadership guide that ball into Castillo’s mitt? These types of discussions are lazy, and are simply talk radio fodder for people too ignorant to discuss the game using facts and objectivity.

  2. Mike Silva

    James. You are correct with what you say. The baseball season is a grind and players, although it’s an individual game, need to be on the same page. Read Pat Riley’s “The Winner Within”. It’s not a basketball book, but more about the team concept. What K-Rod and Wright did goes very far, in my opinion, to this team continuing to believe. If they stop – they are done.

    As for Franco, he said things that I can’t dispute, I just wonder how he knows so much. He admitted he talks to some players (Delgado, Church) and he is buddies with Jeff Wilpon. I think there was some factual points he made via inside information.

  3. James K.

    Fine Mike, but if the Mets make the playoffs I don’t want to see you going on and on about how it’s because of “leadership” and “grit” and “edge.”

    I understand this site is a talk-radio oriented site, and therefore more pre-disposed to such discussion, but c’mon man enough. You don’t know anything about the dynamic of the Mets clubhouse or leadership, so stop pretending that you do.

  4. James K.

    My last comment was less than eloquent, let me do better.

    Intangible qualities (leadership, etc.) exist in sports. We can’t quantify them or compare them across players, that’s why they’re called intangibles. I make fun of the excess citation of intangibles by mainstream media and bloggers like yourself, but that’s not because I deny their existence, it’s because tons of people in the specific context of the Mets use them to excuse phenomenon that have explanations if properly (and easily) researched.

    h/t Sam Page

  5. Mike

    I’ve been saying this a couple years now: Ichiro’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame (although not after this season, because he’ll need 10 years of playing time to qualify). There should be no debate. Even if he retires after next year, he’ll have over 2,200 hits, 10 consecutive seasons of 200+ hits (most likely), plenty of stolen bases, plenty of runs scored, a ROY, an MVP, and the single season hits record. Just as importantly, he’s the first great Japanese offensive player. The next generation of baseball will see plenty of successful Japanese offensive players, and Ichiro will be viewed as the pioneer.

  6. Mike Silva

    Even if, for some reason, he didn’t get 10 years. I think he still deserves a shot. But you hit the nail on the head.

    Imagine if he played in NY? He would be immortalized – to quote Francesa. (Sorry James K had to do it)

  7. Mike Silva

    I never said I have “inside knowledge” about the leadership qualities of the Mets clubhouse. I know that what Frankie and Wright did are examples of what leaders on teams do. I also try to talk to beat writers on the show, like Rubin, Hubbach, Abraham, Caldera, Kernan, etc. who have covered teams for years to put together an educated opinion. Franco didn’t just talk out of speculation, his comments were too descriptive IMO.

  8. James K.

    Recommendation Mike: stop valuing the nonsensical opinions of Francesca, Beningo, Roberts, Hubbuch, and Kernan (instead of the opinions of Neyer, Law, Davidoff, etc. which you never post about or cite).

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