M-E-T-S, Mets, Mets, Mess
If you are wondering why the Mets are what they are and where they are, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this team out. However, let it be known that I don’t find them disappointing. I find them predictable. Last September, they ended their season a battered, defeated club. The teams they put on the field were no better than the Cyclones. But, most of us passed that off to injuries. We couldn’t wait for the off season to see the major improvements management would make. We needed a catcher, first baseman, a change at second and our short stop to be healthy. We’d settle for Pagan in left, Beltran in center and Frenchy in right. We had one star pitcher who seemed to have lost a bit off his speed just before he was shut down for the season last year. Then, we had Pelfry, Maine, Niese, Figuroa and that guy with the three year $36 million contract with the 12.something e.r.a. named Perez. We had F-Rod, the premier closer who, like Santana seemed to lose a bit off the fast ball along with having difficulty finding the strike zone. But, many fans attributed that to the overall malaise afflicting what was left of the team.
Winter came and went and we acquired no pitching. Right before the trading deadline we did sign our newest left fielder, Jason Bell. Unless this guy can pitch, this signing was inane. After all, how can management hope to start a season praying that the five starters will all pitch the best they’ve ever pitched in their lives? That had to be what management was counting on when they failed to add a number two starter to their roster. Do fans think starting the year with a hurt Beltran, Pagan in left and Gary Matthews, Jr. in center would have been any different with Jason Bell in left?
Let us say generously that each of the four starters behind Santana will have a 6.50 e.r.a. That means the Mets must score a minimum of seven runs per game to even be in contention. As the team is constituted, is there a prayer that they can score that many runs per game? The only way they can do that is to hit against their own pitching. And, what good is it to have the league’s number one closer if we can never get to him?
It’s apparent that the team is pressing at the plate which is anticipated but counter productive. Their collective r.b.i. totals with men on base is the worst in the league which, when paired with their lousy pitching makes watching them torture. As last season ended, we thanked the baseball gods to whom we prayed multiple times to invoke the mercy rule, to no avail. But, the grace saving situation last year was that fans could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The DL was the boggy man and hope for this season was flourishing as those injured were bound to return.
What ownership failed to recognize was that as the Mets and their fans waited patiently for their players on last year’s DL to heal during that long off-season, their rivals were dealing to improve their teams. Looking at the big picture, the Mets failed where their rivals succeeded.
What should the Mets do now? They should do something I never thought I would say, sign Pedro. For one million plus incentives, how wrong can you go? Send Mejia down where he belongs. He might have the goods but he lacks maturity that only can be gotten serving a stint in the minors. If management wants to develop him as a starter, now is the time. Bring up Ike. This is a no brainer. He can’t do worse than Jacobs or Tajada. At least Davis would be a good reason for fans to tune in. Now, there is none because even the diehard fans know the Mets are not coming back from a multi-run deficit
Letters in the first inning, their current m.o.
Getting rid of Jerry and Omar would give fans a rejuvenated hope that team productivity would improve under new management. Getting rid of ownership, especially now that the value of the team is diminishing in direct ratio to their losses, is unlikely. Praying the Wilpons will sell half of their stock in the team to someone with vision and deep pockets seems to be the only prayer a Mets’ fan has to hold onto. And, while we are compiling a wish list, how about the Wilpons paying for a new hair piece for Bobby O?
Instead of starting off this season as a strong contender, the Mets are a depressing continuum of their last campaign. At least last season, half of their schedule expired before the injuries hit the fans and we knew how bad the Mets were. This season it has happened after a hand full of games with only one injury. Beltran, the injured, may be good but his return can not be likened to the Messiah. With the reactivation of Beltran, the Mets will still lack a first baseman, a catcher, a second baseman and four starting pitchers. I may be going out on a limb, but this is not a sure-fire combination for winning the NL east. If ownership and management didn’t see this coming, they must be the only ones who didn’t.