Manager Buck Showalter instituted a winning program in 2010. There wasn’t a “rebuilding.” There wasn’t any talk about payroll flexibility nor fiscal responsibility. There wasn’t an expectation of losing seasons while they got their s*it together. There wasn’t any yakkety-yak about building from within nor over-hype of prospects to placate the fan base. Rather, Buck Showalter joined Baltimore and changed the focus of the organization. It was not unlike Vince Lombardi’s influence on the Green Bay Packers way back when — winning was the goal, and winning isn’t an outcome, it’s a process, it’s a habit. Yes, the Orioles had one rough year in 2011 while making the conversion from whatever was happening before to winning. Now, though, they’re a juggernaut, despite a cast of characters that changes every year, every month, and every week. Parts are interchangeable because everyone knows the goal, knows what they need to do, and are put into situations in which they can succeed. Pitchers make pitches, fielders execute, batters put the ball in play. It’s baseball at its simplest, much like we witnessed in Atlanta during the Bobby Cox years.
Don’t you want to see that kind of culture-change take hold in Queens?
Fans of a certain age will remember “Generation K” – the highly-touted trio of pitching prospects that was supposed to lead the mid-90s Mets into a new golden age. For various reasons, Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson never lived up to those lofty expectations (though Isringhausen did become an all-star closer after leaving the Mets.)
At Mets Today, Joe Janish answers to question of whether it’s fair to expect the current generation of Mets pitching prospects – Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia – to have a bigger impact when they arrive in the major leagues.
Janish points out:
at the time Paul Wilson,Jason Isringhausen, and Bill Pulsipher appeared on that SI cover in 1996, all three were much, much further along in their development than Wheeler, Harvey, et al. Pulsipher and Isringhausen, in fact, had already experienced half a season in MLB, and Wilson reached — and pitched effectively through 10 games — AAA.
as recently as 2006 / 2007, many, many people believed that when Citi Field opened, the Mets starting outfield would consist of Fernando Martinez, Lastings Milledge, and Carlos Gomez. And those were outfielders, who are less susceptible to having their futures curtailed by arm injuries
I’d guess that one out of the four young pitchers becomes a borderline star, one has a decent but unspectacular career and the other two get cups of coffee with one or more teams before winding up in independent baseball. I just couldn’t tell you which is which. 🙂
In any event, I agree with Janish that fans shouldn’t pin all their hopes on these four pitchers just yet.