A lot of people disagreed with me on twitter about this. And I really don’t care. Michael Conforto needs to be sent down. He is lost. His swing is different. His timing is terrible. He is behind on almost everything. He needs to be out of the fishbowl, and in a more stress-free environment where he has more time to dedicate to fixing himself. MLB life is very demanding and structured. Between travel, media obligations, NYC traffic, and other distractions, MLB players and coaches don’t have enough time to devote on fixing big issues. Conforto is a big issue. So either send him down, or ruin him by trying to fight through bad habits that are being developed. Many people gave me different reasons for why I’m wrong. So here’s what I think about that…
- He was an all-star last year – JD Drew, Michael Borne, Milton Bradley, Marlon Byrd, Chone Figgins, JJ Hardy, Ryan Ludwick, Scott Podsednick, Junior Spivey, Jonny Venters, Rickie Weekes, Ty Wigginton, Chris Young. Just a handful of the dozens of 1-time all stars. So go ahead and tell me how awesome Michael Conforto is because he made an All Star team. Who gives a fuck? Making an All Star team once is not an accomplishment. You haven’t proven yourself by making it there once. You aren’t owed anything because of it. Some guys make it just because league rules require at least one player from every team.
- You might piss him off – He doesn’t even have 3 years service time. If you make him mad, where is he going? If he ever wants to get paid, he’s going to have to perform. Maybe he should be pissed off at his own play, rather than possibly being demoted.
- Who will play the outfield if you demote him? – I don’t know but I’m sure whoever it is can’t do much worse than Conforto is right now. Does it really matter?. The season, barring some unforeseen run, is going down the shitter. He is too important to the future to worry about who is going to play in his place for a few weeks during a lost season.
- The coaches in the big leagues are better and he won’t benefit from being sent down – Not necessarily right or wrong. But many organizations employ their minor league coaches based on their ability to instruct and develop. Plus major league coaches have too many other things and players to worry about to just devote so much time to one player. Know why Wally Backman was managing teams for 7 years but never got a chance at the big club? Because the hierarchy respected his ability to develop guys, and they trusted his judgment on their talent. What they didn’t like was his in game style and temperament. Hence why he never got the big job. But he served a purpose, which is why he hung around for a decent amount of time. The minor league coaches are where they are for a reason. Guys get sent down all the time, and they come back fine. So coaching isn’t a valid excuse to keep him up.
So send him down. It’s not a punishment. It’s for the good of everyone involved. Unless you’re all cool with him being Jeff Francouer.