Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Metsblog’s interview with Omar Minaya

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Since I am not going to finish writing about the Mets’ postseason plans for the bullpen today, go read Metsblog.com’s interview with Mets General Manager Omar Minaya.  It’s a very good read, I came away from this thinking higher of Omar than I might have before in a lot of areas.  It’s good stuff and it should be appointment reading for all Mets fans desperate for news while the Phillies continue to play ball long past the Mets. 

I will say, I like how Matt Cerrone asked good questions for the most part, things that are on Mets’ fans minds, and while I think the grittiness quotient Mets fans are looking for is silly, Omar basically says “Hey, that’s silly” to answer the question.  But if you want to hear more about the Mets’ future plans for the bullpen, Daniel Murphy, and if you want to read Omar Minaya basically trash Luis Castillo, go read that interview.

The Mets Offseason – The Rotation

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Third in a series about how the Mets will reassemble a team for 2009

The Mets rotation in 2009 will likely feature some big changes when compared to previous years.  Pedro Martinez and Oliver Perez are both free agents and unlikely to be back.  Mike Pelfrey, for the first time, would appear to have a guaranteed spot in the rotation heading into next year.  John Maine will hopefully be recovered from whatever injury issues have ailed him over the past year by spring training.  And of course, the ace himself, Johan Santana, figures to play a prominent role on next year’s staff.

Between Ollie and Petey, I think Pedro is the most likely to return.  Ollie will likely command more than this team has shown they are willing to spend on a mid-level rotation filler.  With Ollie likely to break the $12 million threshold, he will likely be priced out of the Mets’ reach.  Pedro, on the other hand, may be a vailable for a discount in light of how the last three seasons have gone.  Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think either of these guys are coming back.  But if I had to guess on one or the other, I’d bet on Pedro.

So how will the team fill the two spots?  Well, first, they should think of it as more like three spots; it would likely behoove the team to bring six starters to spring training, with two guys competing with maybe Jon Niese for one rotation spot.  In this day and age, you really can’t have too nany starting pitchers, especially with the way injuries break.  It would probably be in the team’s best interests to spend some mone on a decent #2/3 starter, hedging their bets that Maine will be able to return at full health, and signing 2 other starters who maybe have been down on their luck of late and hope that playing in a pitcher’s park behind a good defense will help them bounce back.  Low guarantees, even minor league deals, for pitchers who have been good in the past but had a down 2008 would be a good way to fill out a rotation, and whomever doesn’t win out here can be thrown into the bullpen.  Believe it or not, a Carl Pavano type here may not be a bad idea; low risk, potentially high reward.

There is another possible starting pitcher solution that can be found right on the 25 man roster, a pitcher who isn’t currently a starter – Aaron Heilman.  It’s true, Heilman did not have much success as a reliever in 2008, but sometimes good pitchers have bad years.  Trading Heilman now will mean that the Mets are unlikely to get good value for him – they are probably stuck with him, and they have a rotation opening for him, so he could be a good person to compete for a rotation spot.

As far as free agent pitchers, several names have been linked to the Mets.  One of the more surprising names, to me, has been CC Sabathia.  Considering the dollars he will command, the dollars this team has already committed to one ace, and considering that he is more of a luxury than anything else, I am not sure this one makes sense.  Would it be nice to throw out a rotation with Santana and Sabathia in the 1-2 spots?  Absolutely.  Is it realistic to expect this?  Not at all.

I do think that looking at a Derek Lowe-type here would be a good idea, even if the team doesn’t like his groundball tendencies.  He is more consistant than an Oliver Perez, and he should command similar dollars, and is more likely to keep the ball in the park.  AJ Burnett will be available, but I think signing Burnett would be a huge mistake; he’s rarely healthy, and this year, even when he was healthy, he wasn’t particularly good.  For the money he wants, he won’t be remotely close to worth it.  Let him sign with the Yankees.

There are no easy answers here, but I’d like to see the team splurge a little on a good #2/3 type, and try to spend a bit more money on a #5-6 type than by scouring for Nelson Figueroas who have little upside and who weren’t good pitchers in their prime.  Keep an eye out for trade talks here, as that is how Omar has built his rotation for the most part since taking over the Mets (Pedro Martinez is the only Mets starter acquired by free agency since Minaya arrived in New York).  With two spots to fill and few internal options, watching how the Mets build this area of the team is something to watch this offseason.

Next:  The Bullpen

Carlos Beltran

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Since I don’t have anything new to post today, I thought I’d share with you something written about a month ago by the great Joe Posnanski.  Here is a nice little piece of business about Carlos Beltran, who has just been this underrated force on the Mets the past two years.  His 2006 was better, but his 2007 and 2008 seasons were great too, and nothing I can write sums up his greatness as good as what Joe Posnanski does here.  So go read that and I’ll have something tomorrow.  Deal?

The silver lining

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

At this point, Mets fans have to be losing their mind – and rightfully so.  Another multiple game lead in September has been blown.  Once again, the Mets are struggling against 4th and 5th place teams when they can least afford to do so.  Once again, the bullpen looks ugly, and once again, the starting rotation appears to be running out of gas, with the added wrinkle that the team isn’t hitting on top of everything else.  On top of all of this, the amazing story of Fernando Tatis came to a sudden, sad end last night.  Yes, it is looking all too familiar like 2007, and that is something no Mets fan is particularly eager to live through.

I do think, however, that there is a silver lining to 2008.  There are a few, actually, and I am going to list them all here.  I know no Mets fan is looking for optimism today, but here are a few reasons why some optimism may be warranted:

The Mets have 12 games to right themselves this year instead of 2

Last year, when the Mets blew their 7 game lead, they had only two days left in the season to right the ship.  In fact, they won on Saturday before being bombed by the Marlins on Sunday in a game no Mets fan will soon forget.  That isn’t a whole lot of time to recover from.  This year, they have 12 games to make up a half-game in the standings…that’s doable, right?  Certainly, this lead is far from insurmountable, and eventually, they should play better against second division teams like the Nats and Braves.  There is more of a sense of urgency this year, because they have now what they didn’t have after they blew the division last year; time.

The Wild Card is in play

At this point, the Mets have a comfortable enough lead on the Astros, Marlins, and Cardinals, to where it would take a superhuman effort from one of those three teams to get back in the race.  The Astros probably shot their wad getting back into the race to begin with, and the Marlins and Cardinals have been playing over their head since the season started; one would have to think that, barring a big 12 game run, that these teams will probably not win the wild card.  That leaves the Brewers…in fact, let’s give them their own section…

The Brewers are playing worse baseball than even the Mets

It’s usually a good thing when the Mets’ primary competition for the wild card is the one team playing worse than them, right?  I mean, even CC Sabathia is no longer immune to the Brewers’ woes; factor in that the Cubs are playing this week to clinch at home, and the Brewers are in deep trouble.  This is a team in disarray; they’ve lost 12 of their last 15, they just changed managers with 13 games to go, they have seen their wild card lead completely evaporate, to where they are currently trailing in the standings…I mean, as bad as Mets fans have had it, Brewers fans have had it even worse.

They have an exceedingly competent manager

This is something they didn’t have last year.  Now, I wish they didn’t rely on Luis Ayala so much as their closer, and I wish they would give more of a chance to Al Reyes and Bobby Parnell, but I think overall, Manuel has a better grasp on what is working and what isn’t in the bullpen.  Any managerial decisions that are debatable are probably nitpicks at best (although they might have been able to force extras if they had used Endy to pinch run last night instead of Ramon Martinez).  I also think Manuel has a better read on the clubhouse than Willie Randolph ever did; he is quick to nip things in the bud.  I feel better with Manuel managing this team in this situation than I would have felt with Willie in the same predicament.  Maybe it’s misplaced, but I think we’re in better shape in the dugout.

We’ve got Johan now

Last year, our “ace” was Tom Glavine.  He really wasn’t anything more than a guy who gave the Mets innings; Maine and Ollie were probably better pitchers.  This year?  We have a real ace.  And we got three more starts out of him, including the last regular season game at Shea.  If I had to bet my life on “sports events I cannot guarantee,” I would bet that the Mets win all three of those starts.  Really, we can’t expect Mike Pelfrey, Ollie Perez, Brandon Knight, Jon Niese, and Pedro Martinez to get us at least another 3-4 wins between the five of them in the other 9 games?  Finish 7-5, and the Mets are 90-62; that forces the Phillies to finish 6-5 or better to tie or win the division, or it forces the Brewers to finish 7-4 or better to tie or win the wild card.  This isn’t impossible.

I know it’s easy to be negative after all that happened in 2007.  I am often very guilty of this myself.  It’s easy to see the reminders of 2007, especially when they have manifested themselves so much.  But this isn’t over.  This year, we have time to right the ship.  The Brewers’ fade has opened a door for the Mets, and the Phillies are just as capable of a fold this year as the Mets were last year; in fact, they already blew a 7.5 game lead against the Mets this season.  Twelve games to make up a half game is far from impossible.  We can do this.  We just have to keep the faith and not let us get down after all that has happened.  Chin up, Mets fans; it’s not over yet.

Overhaul Time

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

My Wish List for the 2009 Mets:

-David Wright
-Ryan Church
-Mike Pelfrey
-Damion Easley
-John Maine
-Billy Wagner
-Scott Schoenweis
-Brian Schneider
-Ramon Castro

Anyone else currently on the roster should be traded for players who are 1) average-above average at their positions, and 2) gritty/tough players

I know this is all pure nonsense and that it’ll never happen, but right now, the above players seem to be the ones who have that extra something special that is reminiscent of the early 90’s Braves and late 90’s Yankees.

Yes, I realize that this means getting rid of Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Johan Santana. I’m okay with all of that. Really, I am. All three are great players who could fetch some real talent in return, guys who have maybe a little less talent but a lot more grit.

I’m all for a complete over-haul of the team and the minor league system. Watching the Rays pound the Red Sox earlier this week, and seeing how fun that team is to watch, I felt very jealous.

Go ahead and tell me how wrong I am.

ESPN and NY Media can follow Willie Out

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I just don’t know where this team is going.  I have no issue with firing Willie.  Manuel…eh.  I dunno.  This team is expected to win, and there’s still over half a season left I don’t get just inserting an interim manager in. 

I am more disgusted by the media handling of this, the media that has been ripping Willie and calling for his firing, and now that it happens, the Mets are classless organization.  I honestly don’t know if I can follow this team other than watching home games anymore this season.  For 3 weeks Buster Onley writes column after column, “not if but when will the fire Randolph.”  So they do, and now because the allowed him to manage one game of a west coast road trip, they’ve embarrassed him?  I didn’t realise plane rides where so horrible.  I didn’t realise, knowing he was on outs, letting him talk to his players on that flight and when they got in,, probably saying goodbye to them, it was a dastardly act.

It’s complete and utter BS the way this is being covered.  Should Omar now be on the hot seat?  Hell yes.  But I am so disgusted by fans and media, who now LOVE Willie.  Get out.  All of them.  I’m sorry this isn’t a classy team like the Yankees who have never made a manager a scape goat or treated him like less of a man….OH WAIT, THEY DID 8 months ago and for the better part of the previous seasons!!!

Every single one of you bandwagon fans for bought your #57 jerseys in the offseason…Go away.  Buster Onley?  Tell us more about Vanderbilt and shut up.  Yankee fans who are mocking the Mets “dysfunction,” handle your own issues.  All the NY writers and radio hosts who spent the past 4 weeks begging for Willie to be fired and now are appalled at the way it was done, go cover the Yankee and Knicks and report how great their front offices are.

Look, there is no doubt this who Omar/Bernazard stuff is bad.  I have from early last year been wary of it.  But for the love of the Mets stop acting like it’s the reason the Mets aren’t very good this year.  No clutch hitting, no power, no left feilder.  THAT’S WHY THEY ARE THE WAY THEY ARE.  It doesn’t matter what race or colour the GM or Manager are.  What matters is, the Mets front office wasn’t prepared to deal with injuries to older players that they knew were coming.  It was Willie sticking to the Clueless Joe Torre, “Stay with the vets, they’ll come through” schtick.  It wasn’t Jose Reyes clapping when he hit a double or celebrating on the top step of the dugout.  It wasn’t Carlos Delgado not taking a pointless curtain call. 

What was it?  It was the lack of a power/authority figure to take a stand, one way or another, and not give the ol’ tired, “That’s the way he plays the game.  I may not always approve, but that’s (insert player name here).”

Why would any player feel accountable when the manager basically said, “I’m better than that, but I won’t enforce my feelings because I want people to like me” or whatever Willie’s rationalization is.

I supported Willie coming back in 2008.  That was a mistake.  I don’t know if I support Omar, but I’m leaning towards the “not supporting him” side of things.  He’s got one more go round with me.  Find a legit manager and a legit staff.,,if they don’t get it done, then it’s Omar’s turn.

There will be no fair coverage of this.  ESPN clearly forgets how inept at times Steve Phillips was and now his opinion on executive and player decisions are looked at with a rose coloured pair of glasses never seen before.  The NY press just wants a story.  They used Willie’s frustrations to make him appear to blame race on his situation and now they’re gonna martyr him. 

For the team itself, it’s time to move past it.  Just play baseball.  Hopefully the SNY team cares enough about the team and the REAL fans to call a baseball game in the same light hearted and insightful way they have been doing and Bill Webb won’t have to be on his toes to make sure he cuts to the dugout every time Willie pumped his fist.

Sadly, I don’t live in the NY area anymore, so for at least a few series, as long as I can only get the road teams feed which undoubtedly rake the Mets over the coals, I will have to stick to box scores.

Don’t get me wrong, I HATE homers with a passion; but this hypo and hyper-critical analysis of the AWFUL WILPONS AND OMAR is not something I care about right now.  If my team wins, I’m happy.  Willie Randolph seems like an honestly good human being.  That doesn’t mean he deserved one more day as Mets manager.  What if they had lost Monday night?  Would all this garbage have happened?  Who knows.  As long as it gives people at the NY papers, WFAN and ESPN a few days/weeks of material, I highly doubt it would have mattered.

 So long pseduo-Mets fans.  For those of you who are staying with this team, you don’t have to like the way the handled this change and a free to voice your opinions.  This has been mine.

Do I Hate the Yankees… or the Mets?

Monday, June 16th, 2008

So why exactly do I hate the Yankees?

There was a time, long ago, when I rooted for the Yankees.  I remember it well, actually.

It was the fall of 1996.  I was a senior in high school and a lot of my closest friends were Yankee fans.  Back then, it didn’t matter so much that we rooted for opposite teams, because the Mets were perennially bad and the Yankees weren’t quite so hated yet. I remember sitting in my best friend’s house with a group of guys, watching the final game of the World Series.  I remember the fat guy who played third base (his name is escaping me right now) catching the final out in foul territory.  I remember jumping out of my seat with the rest of the gathered crowd and cheering.  I remember high-fiveing the guys around me and being happy that they won.  Yup, I was happy.

So why did I cheer then, but have, in the intervening years, come to “hate” the Yankees?  What has elicited such nasty feelings of ire whenever I see them on TV?  What makes me root for any team they play, and cheer when one of their players gets hurt?  (When Jeter got hurt on Opening Day a couple years back, I hung his picture and the headline on my desk at work.)

I’ve had a hard time rationalizing this lately.  So I came up with a list of reasons why I think my hatred of the Yankees began. Here goes:

  1. They outspend everyone
  2. Their players act like it’s a job, not a game
  3. They went nuts with the free agents and trades
  4. The way they treated their manager

All of these are logical points.  They’re all true and no Yankee fan can dispute them.  I’m trying to avoid such arguments as “because they’re jerks” or “Jeter is over-rated” because I want to be fair.  You may see where I’m going with this.

EVERY ONE OF THESE POINTS CAN BE APPLIED TO THE 2008 NEW YORK METS.  And that makes me sick.

1. They outspend everyone: They have the highest payroll in the National League. They currently are spending $138 million, almost $20 million more than the Cubs and Dodgers, who are second and third in the NL.  The Cubs currently have the best record in baseball, and the Dodgers are second in the NL West. Meanwhile, the Mets are paying their “slugging” cleanup hitter with 8 home runs $18.6 million, their offensively-challenged first baseman $16 million, and their oft-injured left-fielder (15 games in 2008) $7.5 million.  Additionally, Luis Castillo is at $6.25 million but should be more in the $2-2.5 million range; Scott Schoeneweis is at $3.6 million but should be in the minor leagues; and Orlando Hernandez, who will not pitch in 2008, is at $7 million.  This sort of spending is not just exorbitant—it’s illogical.

2. They players act like it’s a job, not a game: And they’re right.  Baseball is their job.  But we all have heard the annoyed fans cry a thousand times about how they’d gladly switch occupations with any player on the team, and that’s just the flat out truth.  Sure, their days are tough; traveling from coast to coast like the Mets have had to do this last three weeks would be rough on anyone.  But anytime that Carlos Beltran wants to come and teach my senior English class about existentialism and then come home and grade 140 essays about Hamlet’s procrastination, write lesson plans, grade tests, call parents, attend faculty/department/staff/adviser/board/and Middlestates meetings, I’d gladly switch and play center field for a day.  The point is, Reyes used to look like he was having fun.  David Wright used to smile when he played.  Now, it looks like they’re both tired and ready for the off-season after the first at-bat of every game.

3. They went nuts with free agents and trades: What drove me crazy about he Yankees was that they kept adding players that they didn’t need to their team.  They had a great core group of guys that were either home-grown or acquired as parts to fill in rather than superstars to dominate.  While Paul O’Neal and Scott Brosius weren’t original Yankees, they weren’t leaders of other teams brought over to stand like Nelson Muntz over Millhouse.  When the Yankees added Roger Clemens, I could live with that, even though they got rid of a guy who probably bled blue and white (David Wells).  But then it was Giambi, and Mussina, and … well, you know the list.

So now let’s look at what the Mets have done.  First there was Mike Piazza, but that was okay because he was the only real superstar they “bought.”  The other guys on the teams around him were all either home-grown or acquired in a way that wasn’t unfair. And when they tried to surround Piazza with “bought” talent (Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Jeromy Burnitz, Mike Hampton, etc), the teams imploded.  I thought they would have learned their lesson.  The payroll had skyrocketed to $117 million, and when Omar Minaya took over, he said he wanted to build a franchise like the Braves and keep it perpetually stocked to replace talent from within while supporting with talent from without.  But when Piazza was on his way out, in came Pedro and Beltran.  I justified this when it happened because again, they were guys who would be leaders and stand alone atop the leadership and accountability chain.  Plus, they were free agents and the Mets didn’t have to give anything up to acquire them.  But wait: then can Delgado and LoDuca and Castillo and now Santana and… will Mark Texieria play first base next year?  The point is, the Mets are doing exactly what the Yankees did after the 2001 World Series.   Where is Minaya’s plan to build a strong system?  The Mets are generally ranked among the three worst minor league systems in the whole of MLB; that doesn’t sound like a well-established plan to me.

4. The way they treated their manager: After they were eliminated from the playoffs last season, the Yankees basically said to Joe Torre: “We don’t care what you’ve done for us of the past dozen years; we’re going to leave you hanging for a while and let the press eat you alive and tear your life apart.”  I’ve made no secret of the fact that I never thought Joe Torre was a great manger, but the simple fact that the was around for so long should have at the very least warranted a more respectful and more private determination of his fate.  And when he walked away for their half-assed offer, I applauded him more than I ever had before.

So what exactly is happening to Willie Randolph right now?  He’s being left out to dry.  Every day some newspaper writes an article about “is this Willie’s last day?” or “will Omar/Wilpon fire Willie today?”  It’s gotten to be such a joke.  I’m not a fan of Willie Randolph at all.  Personally, I thought he should have been fired two years ago.  But to leave a guy who has been nothing but classy to face these ridiculous media whores ever day, to refuse to either support or fire the guy, that’s just wrong.  What is Omar thinking here?  Why doesn’t he just fire him or say that Willie is the manager for the duration???  Doing either one would have allowed this team to move on and try to put the distractions aside.  Instead, we’re faced every single day with the same old story.  This is a very classless move on the part of the Wilpons and Omar Minaya.

So ultimately, what conclusions can we draw from this?  I don’t know.  I either don’t know why I hate the Yankees, or I don’t know why I’m a Mets fan.  Both answers are painful, and both will cause me to lose a lot of sleep in the next few days, I’m sure.

Willie Randolph

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

If you have been reading MiracleMets.net anytime in the past year, you know that I’m not a big fan of Willie Randolph, the strategic manager.  I just don’t like his style; he seems a little TOO “by the book,” too willing to do what every other manager does, when most traditional manager strategies have proven to be self-defeating.  In particular, strategies such as batting Jose Reyes leadoff during periods where he isn’t getting on base, because he is fast, or batting Castillo second because “he is a traditional #2 type hitter,” despite not being a particularly great hitter at this juncture, are just two of the reasons why I do not think very much of his in-game decisions.  I mean, if he’s just going to do what any other manager would do in the same situation, what sort of advantage is he in the clubhouse?

That being said, I am not on the ever-growing bandwagon looking to chase Willie out of town mid-season, and there are two reasons for that.  One, the Wilpons gave him a vote of confidence last year.  They told the man that he was going to keep his job in 2008.  I am a believer that unless there is some sort of dynamic candidate waiting in the wings, what’s the point of changing managers in-season?  Who are they going to replace him with?  Howard Johnson?  Jerry Manuel?  They have already made a committment to Willie for 2008, and I feel that when a team makes that committment, they need to honor that.  Willie makes mistakes, and they drive me crazy, but making a change in-season with a lack of available alternatives means that they will probably wind up hiring somebody who would make the same mistakes anyway.  What’s the point?

Secondly, there is another aspect of managing that is overlooked, and may ultimately be as important than on-field decisions – handling the media.  Willie does this quite well, with the latest example being his appearance on Mike and the Mad Dog today.  This is how a manager needs to handle tough questions; he needs to be firm, stand his ground, and explain what he does.  I may not agree with his processes, but at least he’s willing to stand up for them.  He also stands up for his players very well, and knows who he can throw under the bus and who he needs to handle more delicately.  Generally speaking, I don’t think it takes a special personality to PLAY in New York, but I do think it takes a special personality to MANAGE in New York, and Willie Randolph has that ability.  That said, I’m sure plenty of other managers also possess this ability, and this alone should not be enough for him to have kept his job last year.

So where does that leave the Mets?  Despite the praises above, I do not think Willie Randolph is the man who should be managing the Mets.  His tactical decisions are highly suspect; he seemingly has no clue how to manage the bullpen (and in fairness, Rick Peterson deserves a lot of blame here too, because he’s the pitching coach and he should be able to advise Willie who is best used in certain situations).  he tends to run into outs more often than not, and I’m not sure he knows how to best use the energy Jose Reyes brings to the table.  But these things were all true and were all apparent at the end of 2007, and ownership declined to make a change; isn’t it better to be ahead of the curve than behind?  The Red Sox knew after two years that Grady Little was not going to manage their team to their first championship since 1918, and I think most Mets fans knew the same of Willie after two, but the team committed to him anyway.  They had their chance to make a change, and decided to stand pat; with Willie still not understanding that Aaron Heilman doesn’t pitch well with runners on base, or how to use Jose Reyes most effectively, the team continues to struggle.

Thinking about this…the Mets need a manager who isn’t afraid to manage differently than the rest of the league, a guy who defends his players, and a manager who can handle the New York media.  Am I crazy, or did I just describe Bobby Valentine?  I know there’s no chance of it happening…hell, it’s no less crazy than the idea that the Mets would hire Wally Backman, though, and that idea has taken steam in the blogosphere.  Sadly (well, happily for him), Bobby V. has found fame and fortune managing in Japan, and holds enough bitterness to where I can’t imagine he and the Wilpons could work out their issues to bring him back to the States with the Mets.  I suppose I also described Davey Johnson as well, but he has been out of the managing game for so long, he would probably be a mistake at this point, no matter how much I’d love to see him back in blue and orange.

So that is where the Mets are today.  I think Willie Randolph is a good man. I really do.  I like how he backs up his players in the media, and I think that the argument that he doesn’t argue with umpires enough is completely overblown.  But strategically speaking, he’s not the right man to be managing this Mets team, or perhaps any major league team.  Yet, I don’t think the Mets should fire him, either; firing the manager won’t make these guys play any better, and considering that the current coaching staff would largely be left intact, the same group that is advising Willie on some of these particularly bad roster and bullpen moves, the net result is nil.  I’m not thrilled that I’m defending Willie Randolph to remain as manager, but that is the situation we are left in, because ownership chose to be reactive instead of proactive.  Don’t blame Willie Randolph for not managing this team well; he’s managing this team exactly as he did in 2007.  Blame ownership for not understanding that a move needed to be made sooner and putting themselves in a bad situation.

I Wish I Weren’t a Mets Fan

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

So let’s get real. Today’s 12-1 bludgeoning of the Dodgers notwithstanding, this Mets team stinks. How many leads have dissipated over the past month? How many runners have been left on base? How few comebacks have there been? I can’t seem to remember any exciting, come from behind walk-off wins. Why? Because this team stinks. Let’s look around the field and I’ll show you.

  • Carlos Delgado: Do I really need to justify this? He has all of 25 hits despite the fact that he’s played in all but one game. ‘Nuff said.
  • Luis Castillo: My dislike of Castillo is well-documented on this website, and with good cause. The man just doesn’t hit. Just a couple years ago, he was one of the premier speedsters in the game; now, he hardly gets on base, as his .353 OBP demonstrates. More than that though, the man doesn’t know how to smile. He doesn’t look like he even wants to be on this team. I can deal with a slump, but I won’t root for a guy who doesn’t seem like he cares.
  • Jose Reyes: His 10 steals is indicative of one thing: he’s not getting on base! He has a .324 OPB, which is among the worst of all the NL leadoff hitters. He has 32 hits and just 14 walks, which are numbers that show that maybe we’re all “blinded by speed.”
  • David Wright: His defense has been great (we can attribute his 6 errors to a combination of crappy score-keepers, bad luck, and a less-than-strong arm), but that’s it. He started off hot and has dropped his average pretty consistently every week of the season. His 24 strikeouts are scary considering that he was once among the hardest players to whiff in the game. But what really bothers me about Wright is his hesitation to become the leader. We all know that it’s just a matter of time before he becomes the captain, and it seems like until then he’s planning on keeping quiet. The man needs to step it up and become the clubhouse leader; if he does that, I’ll forgive his declining numbers and write them off as a slump.
  • Carlos Beltran: He’s playing like a nervous rookie. He’s timid, he’s light-hitting, and he’s looking like he’d be sent down to AA if that were an option. But like Wright, I can deal with the poor numbers if he acts like he’s trying, like he cares. I know that we don’t see what happens behind the scenes, but I’ve not read one article, seen one interview, or heard one report about Wright or Beltran getting on teammates for not hustling or trying to get guys pumped up. We’d hear something from some source if any of that were happening.

I love Ryan Church because he looks like he’s having a blast, and that’s the type of player I want to watch. Billy Wager has been lights out, but that doesn’t matter; what matters is that HE CARES. He got angry and had his well-documented tirade about Oliver Perez and the slacker attitude that he has seen in the clubhouse. I LOVE that he cares. Moises Alou and Brian Schneider haven’t played enough to judge them, so I’ll withhold analysis for now.

The point of this is that the guys just don’t look like they are concerned, and that worries me. My brother, a Phillies fan, calls me every time the Phillies have a come-from-behind rally—he seems to call me every damn day! I want that sort of passion on the Mets. I want to be able to have confidence that, when they’re down by a few runs, the game isn’t over yet. I hate believing that they wave the white flag as soon as they fall behind. That’s just not fun to watch at all.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (though I hope I don’t have to): I won’t root for a team that doesn’t care.

F%*# You, Carlos Delgado

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Dear Carlos,

Coming in to today’s game, you were hitting .195.  You had all of two home runs and eleven RBI’s.  You were not contributing offensively at all, and your defense is below average at best.  You are coming off the worst season of your pro-career, and you have publically admitted as much on numerous occasions.  You were benched yesterday. Despite all of this, you are making $16,000,000.

I’m quite sure that if you were to examine your own stats without knowing that they were your own stats, you would surly think that the player should be sent to AAA.  To be among the highest paid players in the game, one would think you should at least be an “average” offensive player.

Carlos Delgado, you are NOT an average player.  The paycheck that you earn and the expectations that are thrust upon you ensure that you have superstar status, even if you no longer have superstar ability.

Today, you hit two home runs.  Today, you looked like you could actually earn your paycheck.  And today, the fans cheered for you like you were a triumphant emperor being carried home after a victory in a bloody foreign war.  And today, you told the fans to kiss your ass.

We wanted a curtain call, and you gave us the finger.  We wanted to cheer for you, and you had sex with our sister.  We wanted nothing short of a few seconds to embrace you, and you completely and utterly ignored us.

Sure, you’ve been booed.  Sure, you’ve been given a hard time. But quite frankly, you don’t even rank on the list of disappointing players who have felt the wrath of Mets fans.  Ask Bobby Bonilla, Vince Coleman, Braden Looper, Roberto Alomar, George Foster, Armando Benetiz, et.  They have a right to be bitter to the Shea fans.  YOU, Carlos, you do not.

So Carlos, today, when you chose to ignore the fans that wanted a curtain call, you may have stuck your foot in the door and served notice that someday very soon you will be on that list above, that list of players who will never be embraced by the fans. And for that, I say:

F%*# You, Carlos Delgado, F%*# You.