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New York Mets: How They Are Similar to the New York Giants Right Now

The New York Giants have made an improbable run toward the playoffs this season. When they got into the playoffs, they extended that momentum even further into a Super Bowl bid. It wasn’t easy, though. They began the season picked by almost every expert to finish last or near to last in their division.

Another team (the Philadelphia Eagles) in their division had made a flurry of offseason moves, including signing the Giants’ biggest free-agent Steve Smith and grabbed the attention span of football fans everywhere.

Still, another team in their division (the Dallas Cowboys), who were the defending division winners the previous season, were returning with a renewed focus and energy to make good on their previous success.

As for the Giants, themselves, they had lost key free agents and were wondering how and where the replacements would come from. There were questions of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place throughout the organization. They spent money on role players as opposed to the big names.

Then, when they began to practice, that’s when everything really turned for the worse. Their top cornerback Terrell Thomas went down with a season-ending injury. That was followed by a string of several other injuries to the roster. The Giants were a team in despair—injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only had two things going for them. One was a coach the players would run through a wall for in Tom Coughlin. Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise Eli Manning.

Then, something miraculous happened. They found their stride. The rest has brought them to where they are today—two weeks away from playing in their fifth Super Bowl.

You may be asking yourself  “That’s great for them, but this is a Mets’ site so what does this has to do with the Mets?”

The answer to that is very simple: with just weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Mets are in a very similar place at this point of the offseason as the Giants were just before their season began.

Think about the staggering similarities. The Mets lost their key free agent. Everyone has spent the offseason pining over the departure of Jose Reyes.  Whether it was the right move by the Mets or not will be determined by hindsight. For now, let’s all agree that it has the potential to hurt them this year if no one steps up to fill the void.

Next, the Mets are picked to be last or next to last in the division for this upcoming season. Here’s why:

The Miami Marlins made a series of splashes (pardon the pun) in the offseason that have put them in the headlines and become the media darlings. One such move includes signing the Mets big free-agent Jose Reyes.

Another team, the Philadelphia Phillies, are the defending division champions and have an equally strong team returning with a renewed focus and determination to make good on their previous success. That’s not even mentioning the Washington Nationals’ or the Atlanta Braves’ offseason stories into the mix.

As for the Mets, themselves, they are a team entering the season replacing their roster losses with role players as opposed to big names. They are wondering where the production will come from to adequately replace the voids left behind.

They have a question of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place within their clubhouse. There are questions of health across the board for this roster as well. In particular, Johan Santana and Ike Davis seem to have their names mentioned often in that discussion over the past few months. They are a team in despair; injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only have two things keeping them afloat from last season. One is a manager the players would run through a wall for in Terry Collins (funny how he has the same initials as Tom Coughlin, isn’t it?). Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise David Wright.

Much like the Giants, something magical could happen in the season for the Mets too. Everything fell into place for the underestimated and overlooked Giants team. The Mets are underestimated and overlooked too. Why can’t they find their stride.

After all, the games are won on the field, not on paper. If that were not true, the Giants would never be where they are right now, and the Mets can draw motivation and solace from that fact.

They have to play the games. They have to perform to their capabilities and see where it takes them.

If they leave it all out on the field, they will have made another miraculous New York storied season by this time next year.


(For more on the New York Giants, please visit Big Giants Boom. For more on the New York Mets, please visit Mack’s Mets.)

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New York Mets’ Jose Reyes Is MLB’s Closest Comparison to LeBron James

The New York Mets have a tremendous talent who is playing in what may be his final home stand as a Mets player. His name is Jose Reyes. Every baseball fan is beginning to salivate over the potential of a healthy Reyes being added to their team. And why shouldn’t they?

Jose Reyes is the most dynamic single player in the game today. He is the prototype of a leadoff hitter. He has speed. He has power to hit in the gap. He creates runs where there is nothing to create. He changes the game when he is base. The opposing pitcher is distracted by his speed and hurries his pitches. Reyes is a different breed of player in the league.

When he hits the open market, teams will begin fighting over him. He is easily the most-coveted free agent coming into the market.There will be several major names available, but few teams will be able to afford them. Reyes is the one player every team is willing to take a chance on. He is the most obvious choice for any team to want to add.

This sounds oddly familiar. The NBA had a similar scenario just a year ago. LeBron James decided to leave the team that drafted him, the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he had great success in turning a franchise around in order to test free agency. Sound familiar now?

The Mets signed Reyes as a teenager. They brought him up when they were struggling. He, along with a few others, led them to the NLCS just a few years ago. He has had success here. Now, he is curious about his worth on the free-agent market. LeBron James turned his experience into a mockery and a nationally-televised event for advertisers and ESPN to benefit from.

While I doubt that will happen with Reyes, still, there are a lot of similarities between the two. Both have had several teams trying to court them. LeBron James had President Obama trying to convince him to consider the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks, the Nets, the Bulls, the Lakers, the Celtics and the Cavs were all rumored to have interest and players courting James.

Jose Reyes has had former teammate Carlos Beltran speaking up for him to come to San Francisco, Ryan Braun has suggested he’d love to have Reyes in Milwaukee. Red Sox players have spoken up for him. Alex Rodriguez stated that Reyes is the best player in baseball this past summer. They are all lining up to make their pitch for their respective teams.

Both James and Reyes were and are considered the single game-changing free agent at the time of them entering free agency. Both were homegrown talents looking for greener grass somewhere else. Just like the Cavs were in the final running for LeBron, the Mets will be in the final running for Reyes.

After all, it’s hard to let go of what you already know. Change is hard. Reyes is settled in and happy in New York. The trouble is when all the other teams get involved in offering him a deal, his free agency will explode into a media storm.

Imagine this: the Phillies (who will be thinking of parting with Rollins), the Yankees (who may be thinking of Reyes more to hurt the Red Sox), the Red Sox (who have platooned shortstops for years to no avail), the Angels (who need speed since they lost Chone Figgins), the Brewers, the Dodgers, the Nationals, the Rays, etc all get involved in the sweepstakes for Jose Reyes.

Then Reyes has to choose not just location, but money. Let’s say the Mets offer him $50 million and two years less than the Phillies or Yankees, don’t blame him for taking it.  No one in their right mind would turn that difference down. Who would turn down that much money to take a hometown discount? No one.

The Mets will need to make a longer and more expensive offer than they want to if they decide they need him. Otherwise, get used to seeing him somewhere they don’t want him to be. That’s what the Cleveland fans had to face when LeBron James landed in Miami with two other All-Stars (Wade and Bosch). A team that stood in their way when James was with Cleveland, now James is with the enemy.

Mets fans will not be happy with the end result. The buildup of bidding in the market will push Reyes out of the Mets’ reach. This is not a scenario fans or the Mets really want, but it may be a reality. The Mets claim they need a closer next year. They will need to sign at least one starting pitcher and two others for the bullpen. They will need an outfielder too.

There are too many holes to fill to spend that much on Reyes. They already have a fortune locked in to Johan Santana, Jason Bay and David Wright. If they add more to it for Reyes, they will be way over their self-imposed cap maximum of $120 million after signing everyone else.

Logically speaking, Reyes will have to accept a much more disappointing offer from them than he expects if he wants to stay. Like LeBron, the temptation may be too great for him not to leave.

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New York Mets Must Forget About Trading for Albert Pujols: Three Reasons Why

There is a media circus brewing in baseball. It has just begun and will continue to build and grow into an unstoppable force in the months of the season to come. I am not talking about the Mets finances. Not immediately anyway.

I am referring to the possibility that perennial all-star Albert Pujols will not be re-signed by the St Louis Cardinals next offseason and could very well be on the trading block this season. Let me repeat that: Albert Pujols could be traded this season.

Try to wrap your mind around that for a second and ponder the likelihood of such an outstanding player in the history of Major League baseball playing somewhere other than St Louis. Don’t ponder it too much, though, Mets fans. Our Mets will not be in the running for him.

Though rumors and reports have stated that he would be a good fit here and the Mets should be interested (and why wouldn’t they be?), still, it is improbable that such a blessing is bestowed upon the Citi Field faithful. Forget the fact that he may be a free agent.

Everyone is talking about teams getting in on bidding for him. If that happens, the Cardinals lose out to the Yankees or Dodgers and have nothing to show for it. The Cardinals would not allow him to hit free agency if the contract negotiations break down. They would be seeking to trade him in the season to get something in return for him.

Trading is their only option if they are unable to sign him. If that becomes the case, almost every team will salivate at the opportunity. There are so many reasons for the Mets to want to try to trade for him, but I can think of three reasons that tell me why they shouldn’t.

First, the trade market will cause the Mets farm system to be tapped out for a player of his value. Imagine a horse race. The horses begin at the very start to jockey for position. The winner is the one who gets the position by throwing caution to the wind. That’s the way it is when it comes to trades in sports.

Teams are already lining up to petition the Cardinals in regard to what they need to offer to take Pujols off of the Cardinals’ hands. The flame of possible trade destinations will be built to massive size from one team after another piling on prospect after prospect.

By the time any trade is even an option, the winning team will be giving up so many players that it will empty the pantry for years to come. Can the Mets endure that and expect to make other deals for pitching too? Not really.

Which brings me to my second reason. It has already been discussed here, that the Mets Minor League system is not strong enough to draw from for big deals. If the Mets were to do that, they would need much more than a Jenrry Mejia or Wilmer Flores. It will take a player like a David Wright or a Jose Reyes to be included in the deal.

How disastrous would it be if the Mets were to say goodbye to an icon such as one of those in exchange for a player that is so good, but brings up so many bad memories of his dominance over your own team?

Recalling extra-inning grand slams and countless key home runs on the road would drive the average person mad. To think that the person that did that damage is now on your team and you had to give up a player as endearing to the masses as one of those, fans would riot.

Especially if it were David Wright involved. But on pure talent, one Pujols is worth two or three David Wrights. Don’t get me wrong, I love David Wright, but even he would be the first to tell you that he is no Albert Pujols. No one in the league, apart from possibly Alex Rodriguez, matches up.

Yet, it is that type of deal that would be necessary to land him here. The Mets would have to include him or Reyes (maybe both) and a few other players. Possibly a Mike Pelfrey and a couple of top-tier prospects. Is that worth it, to mortgage the future on one player?


To read the rest of this article, please click here. To read all things New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

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New York Mets: It’s Time To Honor The 1986 Team Properly

This is a special season for the New York Mets franchise.

It was 25 years ago this October that they last won the World Series. Since that time, fans have endured too many hardships to review here.

There has also been too many media reflections on the ’86 Mets and their spectacular run that season.

One of my personal favorites is “The Bad Guys Won” by Jeff Pearlman, but there are many, many other great publications to celebrate their feat.

The Mets, however, have not properly celebrated that team.

Sure, they brought a few players around when they closed out Shea Stadium. They also have utilized the services of several of the players. We’ve seen the organization parade that team in various coaching capacities and pep talks in Port St. Lucie. They even have a few key players from that team in the booth.

Last season, the team heard the outcry of the fanbase and created a Mets Museum. Several of the great Mets from that era have their faces engraved on a plaque there.

All of that is well and good, but there is one major honor that the team has not offered to its most cherished athletes.

That honor is retiring a jersey number.

How many times do Mets fans and media members see the numbers 16, 17 and 18, and manage to think of Paul LoDuca (No. 16 from 2006-2007), Fernando Tatis (No. 17 from 2008-2010) and Moises Alou (No. 18 from 2007-2008)?

The answer is never.

They think of three Mets greats: Dwight Gooden, Keith Hernandez and Darryl Strawberry.

It is time to show the respect that is due to these greats by giving them the greatest honor a sports franchise can give—it is time to retire these three numbers.

Here’s a few reasons why for each of them.

First: Dwight Gooden.

He is third all time among Mets pitchers for starts (303, behind Seaver and Koosman), his 157 wins as a Met rank him second behind Tom Seaver and he has amassed 1,875 strikeouts.

That is also good enough to be ranked second, again, behind Seaver.


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For more on the New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

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New York Mets Must Consider Fernando Martinez: Trade Bait or Just a Bust?

The New York Mets have several outfield options right now. Among them, they have Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay and Angel Pagan most likely as the Opening Day starters. Also, they can add Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and, on occasion, Nick Evans to the outfield mix too. This is another reason they were able to cut Chris Carter earlier this offseason.

One name I did not mention yet is Fernando Martinez. He is an interesting character because he has not come anywhere close to his potential as of yet, but he still has potential. He has had injuries end his season twice.

Also, during his stints in Queens, he has been ineffective at the plate. The Mets are deep in the outfield position, therefore, he may have trouble finding a spot in the majors this spring.

The Mets are not deep in pitching however. Johan Santana will not be back until near the All-Star break. They cut ties with the struggling and unhealthy John Maine. Mike Pelfrey had been inconsistent.

R.A. Dickey has yet to prove that he is not a one-hit wonder. Oliver Perez can’t even succeed in the Mexican League. They have lost Pedro Feliciano and Hisonari Takahashi to free agency.

Recent reports have suggested that the Mets will be trying to make trades for more depth in the rotation and possibly the bullpen as well. This makes more sense for a cash-strapped team like the Mets. Several names have been rumored as being considered.

Some of the more realistic rumors under consideration so far this offseason involve Chris Young, Jeff Francis, Matt Garza and Tom Gorzelanny. Young and Francis are both free agents and have questions surrounding them. The Mets don’t seem to be too high on either option as they both are coming off of injuries and bad seasons.

Garza may be hard to acquire from Tampa Bay if the Mets are not willing to part with a highly ranked prospect (Mejia, Flores, etc.). The Mets could afford a pitcher like Gorzelanny (7-9, 4.09 ERA). He will only make $800K next year without arbitration.

Even with arbitration doubling his salary, the Mets could afford a pitcher with his high strikeout potential in the rotation in pitcher-friendly Citi Field. The Cubs would most likely ask for a prospect and a major-league-ready player. In other words, a player like the aforementioned Fernando Martinez.

According to Baseball America, Martinez is still among the top 10 prospects in the system. Why shouldn’t he be? He is still young (only 22) and if he puts his game together, he could be a five-tool player. He came into the organization with great hype. He still could live up to it.

Those are reasons to trade him just as much as they are reasons to keep him. Any team that would be willing to trade a pitcher to the Mets will want someone of value in a package in return. Martinez should be part of a deal. The Mets may not be willing to give one of the premiere prospects up unless they get a Zack Greinke type of pitcher in return.


To read the rest of this article, please click here. To read up on all things New York Mets, please visit Mets Gazette.

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New York Mets Have Options With Carlos Beltran

The New York Mets are exploring their options this week. The Mets, like all the other teams in the MLB, are at the winter meetings. The winter meetings are all about rumors and making deals. In other words, fact and fiction both coexist in harmony for one week.

Actually they do go hand in hand all offseason, but for one week, they are the driving force behind bid deals. As for the rumors from the Mets camp, they are running rampant these days. When he was first hired, Mets GM Sandy Alderson alluded that there is no one safe on the roster.

Since then, we have heard rumor after rumor about one big name after another. Last week was dominated by Jose Reyes rumors. Yesterday, and I imagine today too, will be consumed by rumors of Carlos Beltran being on the move.

First, multiple sources have stated that the Boston Red Sox are discussing him internally. The rumors were initially disregarded as just rumors. However, as the day began to unfold, it was confirmed that the Red Sox were indeed at least discussing it. Next came an article from the New York Daily News online regarding Beltran and the Oakland A’s.

The logic does not really make much sense to me for either one; however, I can see why he is a tradeable commodity. He has potential to still be effective if healthy and he is capable of being a leader. He has a good disposition with the media for the most part and he is the type of player owners and coaches want to have and players want to play with.

Those are all good reasons to have a team interested in trading for him, but it begs the question: Aren’t those good enough reasons to keep him? I understand that his $18.5 million contract is something the Mets would like to have off of the books. I also understand they would like to have something in return for him before he dives into free agency next year.


To read the rest of this article, please visit Mets Gazette here.

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The Pros and Cons of Kim Ng: Do the New York Mets Need a Woman’s Touch?

The New York Mets are in the beginning stages of a complete renovation. Don’t mind the appearance. This may look like a professional baseball team in shambles right now, but…yeah, actually it is.

However, the road flares and the hard hats may not be in use for long. It all depends on who draws up the blueprints for the remodeling effort.

There have been a few names in the rumor mill out there under “serious” consideration for the recently vacated GM position in the Mets organization. Names like Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Allard Baird, Josh Byrnes, and Pat Gillick have all been rumored to be in the mix this past week, though Gillick has recently dropped out of the running.

Out of the names of those in the process, one intriguing name has mysteriously been missing: Kim Ng. This name is intriguing for several reasons, both good and bad. First, the most obvious reason of all is Kim Ng is female. There has never been a female general manager in MLB history. She was actually the first assistant GM in MLB history and the youngest at the time at the age of 29.

Teams have passed on her for the GM position over her career (Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers) despite her experience (more than 13 years) as an assistant GM and in other administrative positions for the A.L. and teams like the Yankees, White Sox, and Dodgers.

Second, her experience is primarily all in big cities (New York, Chicago, and L.A.), the three biggest markets in baseball, in fact. If there was anyone who knows how to conduct business despite media uproar and eccentric personalities (i.e. the K-Rods and Manny Ramirez of the league) causing distractions, it would be her. She has had experience in salary arbitration cases, waivers, trades, and free agency by working in the offices of the A.L. for several years.

Third, she is from the NY/NJ area (Ridgewood, NJ). That native upbringing speaks of her knowledge of the community at large that she would be representing. She worked in the area already with the Yankees, so she knows and understands the New York area and fans.

Finally, on the plus side, she has an outsider’s perspective on the team (as do almost all of the candidates) despite being originally from the area. She can be objective in free-agent signings and trade negotiations as she most likely would not have a personal agenda or any ties to the current roster.

There is, however, one point that could swing to either side of the pendulum. In 2003, she was involved in a controversy with the Mets. Bill Singer, a special assistant to the GM at the time in the organization, made derogatory comments about her ethnicity (Chinese). The reason that could weigh for or against her is simple; it could appear to some that the Mets are trying to make further amends for one of their representatives scorning her.


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The Obvious Sometimes Eludes New York Mets Manager Jerry Manuel

I have long believed a manager and his coaches know their players better than any fan second-guessing lineups and decisions.

One of the things that boggles my mind about the Mets coaching staff is their seeming inability to see what every fan sees.

Ask any Mets fan if David Wright should bat cleanup in the lineup and I’ll guarantee you most will say no. Wright seems to tighten up when batting fourth. He also seems to go into slumps and strikeout more from the four hole.

So why does Jerry Manuel insist on hitting him cleanup? Why can’t they see what all
Mets fans are seeing?

The same thing happened with the whole Jose Reyes batting third episode. Here you have the most electrifying lead off hitter in the game and because Manuel doesn’t like the lower-than-should-be on-base percentage, he wants to fit a square peg in a round hole.

A deaf man could hear the less than enthusiastic embrace Reyes had of the idea.

Yet Manuel went ahead with the idea and disrupted the whole team only to revert back to what everyone knew was the right answer. Do you think Manuel hurt his credibility in the clubhouse on that one?

The first tenet of management in any profession is to never put a person in a position to fail.

Manuel is a dead man walking and I don’t want to pile on but I cannot understand how the obvious escapes the Mets coaching staff. Does anyone believe Joaquian Arias or Luis
Hernandez are playing because of their skill or because their name is not Luis Castillo?

I know Ruben Tejada was not hitting but if he is remotely in the plans for 2011, why take at bats away from him now when he can get more looks at how pitchers operate in the Major Leagues.

If Lucas Duda is going to be in the picture in 2011, why waste at bats on Chris Carter or Jesus Feliciano? I don’t want to be cruel or rude to these players because everyone deserves a chance, but the team needs to start looking ahead.

Heck, it was obvious to everyone the Mets were toast after the disastrous west coast fling following the All-Star break. The Mets are not the Rockies or Phillies, so most Mets fans knew the fight in the team was gone.

If most Mets fans knew the team’s chances were dead why didn’t the front office see it?

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Desperate Teams Like New York Mets Require Desperate Measures

The New York Mets have good news and bad news right now. As the season is winding down, they are finally at the .500 mark and for those keeping track at home, 13 games out of the division. That’s not the news I refer to.

They have multiple injuries on their roster (see Jason Bay, Jenrry Mejia, Johan Santana, and several others) and even in the farm system (Reese Havens) too. That’s not the news either. They have had more drama this season (see the veteran’s hospital incident and K-Rod) than a daytime soap opera. That’s not even the news I am speaking of at this current time.

I am an optimistic person at heart, despite recent articles, so I will start with the bad and work my way to the good. The bad news is that the Mets are a desperate team. They are desperate for a few reasons. One, they are desperate for new leadership and direction from that leadership. The current regime has not been the answer.

Earlier this season, ownership gave GM Omar Minaya a pat on the back and said his job is safe. Now there are so many stories floating around about a new general manager taking over, so that once rock-steady secure position has been shaken to its core. It may be a foregone conclusion that the once securely employed Omar Minaya will be gone at the end of the season.

If the rumors and the speculation are all true, then Jerry Manuel’s job will not be safe. In fact, he will be the first on the chopping block, I’m sure. Why would a new GM keep the old manager? He wouldn’t, not in this case anyway. Those rare exceptions are reserved for winning managers.

These players need a rude awakening. They need motivation. If they see the organization is serious about performance on the field, they may play harder and perform better. Who knows?

The next thing they are desperate for is to relieve themselves of the burden and weight of so many massively large contracts they bear. They have realized this. They have tried this past July to shop Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez.

They only managed to trade off Jeff Francoeur in August and Rod Barajas prior to that, but neither one had a large contract. They were inviting to other teams since they came cheap.

No team the Mets shopped Ollie and Luis to were desperate enough. It seems the Mets are stuck with those contracts. That’s the bad news. Now that this is out of the way, allow me to present the good news.

The Mets are NOT the only desperate team in the league. They may be next to broke or financially strapped next season, but that does not mean they can’t make moves, if they are wise.

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Making the Case for Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels for the New York Mets Job

All indications are that Omar Minaya will not be running the show next year. So, under hopes that he won’t be, the obvious question then becomes, who should replace him?

Here is the run-down of a potential candidate, Jon Daniels.

Who is he?

Jon Daniels became the youngest GM in baseball history in 2005, when at age 28 he became GM of the Texas Rangers. A graduate of Cornell University, Daniels quickly worked his way up through the Rangers organization. He was hired by then GM, Jon Hart as assistant director of baseball operations. He was then promoted to assistant GM in 2004, and eventually became GM in 2005 upon Hart’s resignation.

What’s His Track Record? Good/Bad Decisions?

In his time in Texas, Daniels has slowly but surely transformed the Rangers from the laughing stock they were to the division champion they will soon become. There were some questionable moves made along the way though.

First, Daniels traded away Alfonso Soriano for Brad Wilkerson. Soriano went on to have a 40-40 season the year after, but this move provided financial flexibility. I also think that Soriano has long been an overrated, pain in the you know what. He’s always been an awful fielder and a free swinger to his own detriment. He’s really worth fractions of what he makes.

Daniels’ most questionable move was trading away Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez to San Diego for Adam Eaton and Akinori Otsuka. Eaton was injury prone to say the least, and we all know about how good Adrian Gonzalez has turned out to be.

However, all the while, Daniels was improving the farm system and freeing up financial flexibility…

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