</p><p><em style="text-align: justify;"><img src="http://blog.nj.com/mets_main/2009/06/large_new-york-mets-3-fernando-martinez-603.jpg" border="0" width="225" height="152" style="border: 2px solid black; float: left; margin: 2px;">Side Session is JD's daily musings on yesterday's headlines and current events. Don't forget to follow <a href="https://twitter.com/JDSussman/" target="_blank">JD </a>& <a href="http://twitter.com/bullpenbanter" target="_blank">Bullpen Banter</a> on Twitter and join our staff in our new <a href="http://bullpenbanter.com/index.php?option=com_discussions&view=index&Itemid=14" target="_blank">forum</a>.</em></p>
<p>Well, the Mets have cut ties with Fernando Martinez and the Astros, with the first wavier priority, immediately snatched up the corner outfielder. The decision has me just slightly miffed and dare I say emotional, but my feelings are not due my aversion to an unnecessary waste of resources or to a fleeting hope that Martinez becomes the player so many projected him to be. Rather, for me thoughts of Martinez transcends typical baseball discourse.</p>
<p>After writing for the past few years, I've become large desensitized to the Mets idiocy. I wish I could remain both objective and passionate like Howard Megdal, but that hasn't been my course. Don't get me wrong, Martinez is one of the few players to whom I have an emotional tie. His signing in 2005 has always been the date that I point back to as the time when my obsessive fandom transformed into something far more mature. For a reason I cannot discern, I've always followed prospects. In the winter of 2001-2002, I was probably the lone bar mizvah boy to draft Mark Prior and stash him on the bench of my non-keeper fantasy baseball league in hopes of fast rise to the major leagues. But, it was Fernando's signing that got me started reading sabrmetric books and websites. On the surface, the connection between prospects and sabrmetrics is attenuated at best, but consider the definition of the term. Bill James coined sabermetrics to mean "the search for objective knowledge about baseball." At the time of his signing, Fernando Martinez, dubbed the Teenage Hitting Machine, was an apparition. At 16 what could I really know about him or, in true, myself? His signing turned me onto sabrmetrics because the discipline allowed me - at a time before the current golden age of abundant prospect video - to formulate objective opinions about the minor leaguers I so closely followed.</p>
<p>Alas, the Teenage Hitting Machine is no more. Martinez, once the long time gem of the Mets' farm system, is now 23 with arthritic knees. Finally, he has lost its luster. Martinez was far from a flawless gem. His plate discipline was always a glaring issue and his power never developed in game as many believed it would.</p>
<p>Excuses the cliché, but, the Astros may have found a diamond in the rough. You see, while Martinez has failed to live up to lofty expectations he has two great assets a remaining. A beautiful swing and an option. For no reason I can discern, the Mets waived Martinez prior to using up his last option. The Astros can give Martinez a shot to make the major league team in spring training and if he fails to do so, they use that option to send him to back to Buffalo. For a team that will be competing for last place in the NL East, the Mets shouldn't be hurting for room on their 40-man Roster. Sure, Martinez isn't the player Mets fans hoped he could be. But, the Mets unwisely cut ties with an option in hand.</p>
<p>Martinez's career isn't just special to me on a personal level, but it also has clear metaphorical value to me as a Met's fan. His signing harkens back to a time of great optimism for the Mets. Yet, his fall from grace has seemingly echoed the similar path of the Mets. Small aliments became great obstacles, great obstacles became chronic ones and Martinez, like the Mets, has quickly become irrelevant. If only it was so easy for the fan base could cut bait so easily. No, the Flushing Faithful, even the most jaded and cynical, will stand by and watch the death spiral the organization has embarked on. The final chapters are yet to be written but the end is coming. The pressures of baseball's largest market will soon engulf the Wilpons and organization will be sold.</p>
<p>Forever the optimist, I will continue to hold out hope for Martinez and the Mets while cherishing the memories of a greater time. In reality, the outlook is grim and hope alone is far from enough to cure either the Mets' or Fernando's the monumental defects.</p>
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Side Session is JD's daily musings on yesterday's headlines and current events. Don't forget to follow JD & Bullpen Banter on Twitter and join our staff in our new forum.
Well, the Mets have cut ties with Fernando Martinez and the Astros, with the first wavier priority, immediately snatched up the corner outfielder. The decision has me just slightly miffed and dare I say emotional, but my feelings are not due my aversion to an unnecessary waste of resources or to a fleeting hope that Martinez becomes the player so many projected him to be. Rather, for me thoughts of Martinez transcends typical baseball discourse.
After writing for the past few years, I've become large desensitized to the Mets idiocy. I wish I could remain both objective and passionate...