Sunday, August 01, 2004

Rick Peterson - The Driving Force Behind the Trades 

Two Journal News articles reveal that Mets pitching coach/guru Rick Peterson had his fingerprints all over Black Friday and was particularly forceful in wanting to deal Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano. The first article rivals that of MSG's Bill Daughtry as perhaps the most ignorant commentary on this trade to date (thanks Matt for pointing that out). This article states,

Peterson is the key to this deal, the man who will get Duquette celebrated or fired. He watched hours of tape on Benson and Zambrano and is convinced he can fix their mechanical issues.
Identifying pitchers who are undervalued is one thing, but trading away your top pitching prospect - perhaps the top left handed pitching prospect in the minors - for an undervalued, underachieving, flawed player is something else. In the second Journal News article, Peter Abraham states that,

Peterson put his reputation on the line by strongly advising the Mets to acquire the inconsistent Zambrano from Tampa Bay for Class AA left-hander Scott Kazmir. But to him, the risk was negligible.
Peterson thinks the risk was negligible because,

Of the prospects lost, only Kazmir is significant, and Rick Peterson is convinced his across-the-body delivery will lead to elbow problems.
First of all, it's laughable to say that the only significant prospect lost was Kazmir. Second of all, if Rick Peterson is such a great pitching coach and if he spotted a flaw in Kazmir's delivery, isn't it up to him to correct the flaw? This is not a mid 30s veteran pitcher set in his ways after all, this is a 20 year old kid. But hey, I guess it's easier to deal the kid, trash his reputation, and have all the rags tow the company line in helping you do it. It's also funny to point out that while many of us fans listened in horror as we heard the news of Black Friday, Rick Peterson, "stood up and clapped when [he] heard the news that we got him [Zambrano]."

But us fans needn't worry, because, according to The Journal News,

It's a gamble but a good one. It all starts with pitching, and the Mets now have the kind of rotation that wins championships.
Riiiiight, sure we do, it really looked like it last night. As for Scott Kazmir, how is he handling the situation of being told by Mets brass that he is untouchable then being traded and having his durability, talent, character, and work ethic called into question? Revenge was on the kid's mind:

That's my goal now. . . They'll be sorry they did this.

Some of us are already sorry.

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