Friday, May 15, 2009

Rangers Skate Offs and Minutiae

If you like baseball - and if you like cool sports blogs - chances are you already know about the blog: Mets Walk Offs And Minutiae. (And yes - I spelled "minutiae" correctly - and yes - I know what it means).

The reason I'm bringing it up today (especially after telling Nugman this is a NY Rangers Only blog and to quit the Yankee's talk) is that there was a recent post there that mentioned our New York Rangers in a very interesting way. Basically, the story finds eerie similarities between certain Mets and certain Rangers. I'll show them one by one below in bold blue - followed by my comments on each:

- Johan Santana is Henrik Lundqvist (winning with no offense)

No argument here. Both are their respective team's brightest stars. Both are all about shutting down the opposition. Both often seem to be holding down the fort all by themselves. Both routinely turn in stellar efforts that are agonizingly wasted by their teammates inability to put any points on the board.

- David Wright is Chris Drury (struggling captain)

Well, yeah and nope, actually. We do have two underachieving captains. Two guys who seem to have all the tools but inexplicably are underperforming. And two guys who seem to say all the right things. And we have two men for whom the captain's "C" feels a bit uncomfortable. But with Drury I get the feeling that he's very good - just not as good as the Rangers (and their checkbook) thought he was. With Wright - I still feel he can be that very special player - but his own head gets in the way. With Drury I don't think it's mental.

- Jose Reyes is Nikolai Zherdev (flashy, disappears at end of season)

Is Reyes as enigmatic as Russian Forward Nik Z? Interesting. Because sometime Reyes seems like the best lead off man in baseball. When he's hot and on his game the Mets are unstoppable. But then there are games, innings, baserunning opportunities where Jose seems to disappear. And we can say the same for Zherdev (not the baserunning - but you get what I mean).

On the other hand - if Reyes really did get secretly benched this week for losing focus and letting his emotions get the better of his actions in the game - well, you could argue that it's really Sean Avery who is Reyes - the talented emotional sparkplug who can make your team much better - or ruin everything all by himself.

- Carlos Delgado is Markus Naslund (old guy who gets good wood on it every once in a while)

I can see this one. And if his hip gets worse and Carlos retires than it will be right on the money. Both are aging former superstars. In both cases we wonder how much is left in the tank. For Naslund - it's now officially empty. Hopefully Carlos has a few more miles to go.

- Mike Pelfrey is Steve Valiquette (the tall backup to the ace)

I'm not feeling this one at all. It's not like Steve V. has to go out there every 5th day. Of course with Hank the 2nd most used goalie this past season - we should have used Vali more.

- Luis Castillo is Wade Redden (too high-priced for what he can do)

Yes. This one is right on. Rapidly fading former superstar signed to a horrendous long term high priced contract that cripples his teams ability to get the other talent they desperately need. (Maybe we can trade one for the other?)

- Dan Murphy is Ryan Callahan/Brandon Dubinsky (young, up-and-comer, still learning)

I like this one too. A whole lot of promise from a young player performing with ability beyond his years. A guy from the farm system who is fitting in just fine and becoming an offensive force.

And that's all they had. I can't think of others. Maybe last year's Ranger: Brendan Shanahan and this year's Met: Gary Sheffield - aging former superstars on their last legs.

The Rangers could use an Carlos Beltran - a great two-way player in his prime. And the Mets could use a Sean Avery - a gritty hustler who fires up everyone around him and provides some much-needed edge to the team.

If you have any others - let us know. And thanks again to Mets Walk Offs And Minutiae for the idea, for letting us play along, and for a great Mets Blog every day.

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