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Molina’s Rejection of Mets Makes One Wonder



By Jed Weisberger ~ January 21st, 2010. Filed under: New York Mets.

Doesn’t what happened with the Mets and catcher Bengie Molina remind you of your high-school prom?

You know how it is. You pursue the girl you want to ask.  Everyone feels the two of you are a perfect match.  However, you don’t handle the “chase’’ the right way and the girl doesn’t want to take a chance.

Certainly sounds like what went down with the Mets and Molina, who took less money to re-sign with the San Francisco Giants earlier this week.

The Molina brothers – Bengie, Jose and Yadier – are good players. The Mets certainly could have gotten a boost from Bengie’s game, but it’s obvious he didn’t want to make Citi Field his baseball home.

In no way, however, is the failure to sign Molina a backbreaker for the Mets.  His presence would have been nice, but Omir (Pito) Santos and Henry Blanco could certainly keep the seat warm for Josh Thole, who ought to be ready by the end of 2010.

Santos, a determined player from Caguas, P.R., was basically discounted by many during the pursuit of Molina.  Even after he hit .260 (73-for-281) in 96 games with the Mets in 2009. In addition, he only made three errors and allowed just three passed balls in 91 appearances behind the plate.

This where the Mets and Yankees farm systems are a contrast in depth, as the Yankees system is loaded with catching prospects.  Jesus Montero and Austin Romine are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll begin hearing about J.R.Murphy and Gary Sanchez in due time.

Santos, like P.J. Pilittere, another solid catcher, were thwarted by the depth at their position in the Yankees system and, in Santos’ case, found chances in Baltimore and with the Mets, and made the most of them.

With the Mets, aside from Thole, the only real catching prospect is Francisco Pena, the son of Tony Pena, who played at Class A Advanced St.Lucie last season, hitting .224 (88-for-392) in 100 games.  He is 20 and is gradually getting his game together.  Nobody else in the system really stood out behind the plate in 2009.

Thole has made excellent progress and, as pointed out on several occasions, is the type of player who constantly works to improve his game.

What bothers me the most about Molina spurning the Mets is not what they are left with, because they can win with Santos, Blanco and Thole. It’s their announced pursuit of the player and the fact, even with more money and apparently a second-year vesting option offered, it was not enough to lure Molina away from San Francisco.

Perhaps Santos and Blanco will, as expected, hold serve behind the plate for the Mets and Thole will turn out to be a star. If everything goes right, the pursuit of Molina will quickly be forgotten.

If you happen to be a Mets fan, however, this botched process does kind of get under your skin, just like the girl you wanted to ask to the prom, but didn’t do enough to close the deal.

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Jed spent 35 years in the newspaper business working as both a writer and editor, in both sports and news under tight deadline pressure. As both sports editor at the Indiana (Pa.) Gazette and a copy editor/columnist at The Times of Trenton, he made daily decisions on overall coverage and designed and produced thousands of pages and special sections. Since accepting a buyout from The Times, he has concentrated on broadening his writing and editing horizons to the medical, academic and business fields. Anyone is welcome to Google Jed to see the different places in print, on the Web and in front of the camera his professional expertise has spread to.

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2 Responses to Molina’s Rejection of Mets Makes One Wonder

  1. HawkMets

    Or Maybe he just really didn’t want to leave SF unless he was getting a big payday. Many people would consider another job if the anticipated pay was going to be significantly greater but then decide to stay put when they find out they aren’t going to hit the jackpot. As frustrated fans, we often read too much into every situation. Let’s just move on.

  2. Edgy DC

    That may be your prom, but it’s not mine.

    “Everyone feels the two of you are a perfect match.”

    I don’t know who “everyone” is, but most people I spoke to didn’t think so at all, and they were apoplectic at the thought of Molina getting more than one year.

    “However, you don’t handle the “chase’’ the right way and the girl doesn’t want to take a chance.”

    The Mets handled it great. They didn’t give up more than they were willing, and they have other options in place.

    “Certainly sounds like what went down with the Mets and Molina, who took less money to re-sign with the San Francisco Giants earlier this week.”

    Caveat emptor.

    “The Molina brothers – Bengie, Jose and Yadier – are good players.”

    Benjie Molina is an over-rated player. He doesn’t walk and is as slow as anybody in the league, making him a rally-killing double-play threat. And he’s old. His brothers are irrelevant to the potential signign.

    “The Mets certainly could have gotten a boost from Bengie’s game, but it’s obvious he didn’t want to make Citi Field his baseball home.”

    It’s obvious that he couldn’t squeeze more money out of the Mets and they told him to follow his bliss elsewhere.

    “This where the Mets and Yankees farm systems are a contrast in depth, as the Yankees system is loaded with catching prospects.”

    What do the Yankees have to do with anything?

    “With the Mets, aside from Thole, the only real catching prospect is Francisco Pena, the son of Tony Pena…”

    Is this column really just about pimping the Yankees? At any rate, wrong. Nelfi Zapata and Dock Doyle will see the bigs as well.

    “What bothers me the most about Molina spurning the Mets is not what they are left with, because they can win with Santos, Blanco and Thole.”

    Good.

    “It’s their announced pursuit of the player and the fact, even with more money and apparently a second-year vesting option offered, it was not enough to lure Molina away from San Francisco.”

    Why? If they can do as well without him, why not find a better place to put your dollars?

    “Perhaps Santos and Blanco will, as expected, hold serve behind the plate for the Mets and Thole will turn out to be a star. If everything goes right, the pursuit of Molina will quickly be forgotten.”

    Everything doesn’t have to go right for it to be the right decision. Simply more has to go right than wrong. One huge thing that could go wrong that you overlook is Molina himself.

    “If you happen to be a Mets fan, however, this botched process does kind of get under your skin…”

    I celebrate the lack of Molina. He’d the enemy and I treat him with supiscion at best, derision at worst.

    “…just like the girl you wanted to ask to the prom, but didn’t do enough to close the deal.”

    You poor dude. My girl said yes.

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