Let's play spurious-claims-that-raise-Eric-Simon's-blood-pressure bingo:
1. Glorifying David Eckstein
David Eckstein is one player whose contribution far exceeded his talent. A walk-on in college and a 19th-round draft pick, he still managed to make the postseason in 4 of his 10 major league seasons, played on two championship teams and was the most valuable player of the 2006 World Series.
2. Ripping on Carlos Beltran
On the other end of the spectrum one might find Carlos Beltran, a four-time All-Star with the Mets. While he recovered from knee surgery last year, they won 48 of their first 88 games, and were only four games out of the National League East lead at the All-Star break. Then Beltran rejoined the team. The Mets went 31-43 (.419) the rest of the way and finished 18 games out of first place.
On the other hand, the Mets went 42-36 (.538) with Ruben Tejada, the team's highest winning percentage among position players with extended time on the field. Ike Davis had the best winning percentage at .503 (74-73); only David Wright was on the field for more Mets victories (75).
4. Contradicting your rookies-over-veteran calculus in the very next paragraph
Baseball insiders cite factors like cohesion, rhythm and percentages to defend the idea of sticking with tried-and-true players. They argue, with some justification, that baseball involves failure and that players need time to work through it.
5. Mentioning Derek Jeter's rings
The Yankees' Derek Jeter, who has won five championships, is coming off the worst offensive season of his 16-year career.
No matter where Gardner bats, he should play; the Yankees were 93-57 (.620) with him in the lineup, and 2-10 without him. They seemed to get along just fine (21-4) without Alex Rodriguez. In the games Jeter played, the Yankees were 92-65.
7. Whatever this is
On-base percentage was not valued in the 1940s and '50s, and that is the point.
Seriously, New York Times, you were one mention each of Bobby Bonilla's deferred money, Bernie Madoff, Doc Gooden's drug abuse, and the 2007 Phillies from causing a massive run of blue and orange on your offices. This looks like a parody article we would have put on grission.com.
My advice to the Times would be to pull the article now before the Sunday papers hit newsstands and replace it with one of Jayson Blair's greatest hits.
[Note by Sam Page, 03/26/11 8:01 PM EDT ] joma16 adds in the comments:
Here are a few Mets players and how they performed during the second half (or until they were traded/released)
Jeff Francoeur: .194/.268/.306, 123 PA
Alex Cora: .095/.136/.143, 22 PA
Ruben Tejada: .210/.310/.298, 147 PA
Rod Barajas: .105/.150/.263, 20 PA
Henry Blanco: .125/.167/.143, 60 PA
Luis Castillo: .226/.322/.255, 125 PA
Mike Hessman: .127/.262/.255, 65 PA
Jesus Feliciano: .170/.250/.208, 61 PA
Fernando Martinez: .167/.273/.167, 22 PA
Lucas Duda: .202/.261/.417, 92 PA
Luis Hernandez: .250/.298/.409, 47 PA
Joaquin Arias: .200/.250/.233, 33 PA
Carlos "Unclutch Loser" Beltran hit .255/.341/.427 with a 109 OPS+. Yep totally his fault it wasn't that they gave 817 plate appearances to 12 terrible baseball players. #blamebeltran