NY Mets Problems Run A Bit Deeper Than Obtaining A Reliever

Sorry for the hockey interuption. This young manin the picture is Rick Nash he is a good solid hockey player. When Nash woke up this morning he was a Columbus Blue Jacket and now he is a New York Ranger. Many NY Ranger fans are doing the happy dance when this was announced. Nash coming to the Rangers had a price, three very good Rangers are now Blue Jackets. Thank you to Brandon Dubinsky for 8 teriffic years as a Ranger same to Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon  all the best   

All I asked for was a summer of competitive baseball, why is that so difficult? The Mets are in the midst of another second half free fall as they have won just one game in their last ten. The last three seasons after the break have been disasters for the Metropolitans:

2011 31-40

2010 31-43

2009 28-47

During this recent run of losing baseball, I’ve thought about a question I posed to R.A. Dickey back in the winter of 2010, about the time Terry Collins was named manager, I asked Dickey what happened in the second half of the season that led to slide he said after a long pause, “lack of preparation” I asked by whom, the coaches or players and Dickey replied “both”. Last year’s collapse and now this latest second half losing streak does not in my view, fall under the lack of preparation or commitment , it seems like it’s more like a lack of major league readiness and an overachieving first half.

We have gone over the faults of the bullpen ad nauseum  and yes those sixteen blown saves and twenty loses are the biggest kick in the nuts this season but there are still many holes on this team that need addressing and no mid-season deal can cure them.

The Mets outfield is a mess. There is not one solid “every day I can count on you” player that plays in this outfield. Scott Hairston is very good vs. lefties and as a pinch hitter but Hairston is what he is, a bench player and when bench players start to get regular work, you get to see why they are bench players. I really like Kirk Nieuwenhuis and I want him to be a Met for a long time. He plays terrific defense and he has that “baseball makeup” that scouts love. He also has a lot of holes in his swing and is quite perplexed by the breaking ball to the point where he is putting up Kingman-esque strike out rates. Lucas Duda plays right field like the displaced first baseman that his is. It’s hard to get on him for the awful reads he gets on fly balls as he was put there for his bat, and that bat has gone limp. In Duda’s last 18 games he has 1 HR and 2 RBI. That is not the production you need from your corner outfielder. What more can you say about Jason Bay? At the end of this season Bay his agent and Sandy Alderson need to sit down and figure out an exit strategy for Bay. It would be best for both parties to part ways. Andres Torres does nothing useful and I’m guessing he is just here until Mike Baxter gets healthy and is re-activated. Torres should not be taking playing time from anyone.  Is Jordany Valdespin an outfielder? An infielder?  A bench player? Late for dinner? See a pattern here?

The catching situation is a mess as well (file this under lather, rinse, repeat) not just for the big league team but throughout the organization as well (we’re counting on you Kevin Plawecki )

David Wright has been an MVP quality player and after a disastrous start to the, Ike Davis has found a pulse but you still have to question if Ike is the guy to man first base in the seasons ahead. Ruben Tejada looks set at shortstop for the next ten years and Daniel Murphy at second base……………………..there’s a big question. #ImWith28 has busted out of his slump and is producing now but he could bring back value if Alderson touted him as a 3rd baseman as 3rd basemen will be demand this winter.

Lots of work is to be done to get this Mets team up and running as a true contender. A reliever at the deadline is not the answer.  

 

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Maybe I’ll Tip My Broadway Hat To Jose Reyes

This magnificent looking young man for you non-Puckheads, is Brian Boyle of the NY Rangers. The Ottawa Senators have tried to intimidate this young man by having a filthy goon named Matt Carkner jump him like he was strolling through Central Park in the 1970’s at 2 AM. So what did that attack do? It just made Boyle get stronger as he played like a hockey player possesed last night, banging any Senator he could get his shoulders into, winning face offs  and scoring the game winning goal.  Also the greatest goaltender on planet Earth, King Henrik Lundqvist I (and only) was in stealth goalie mode which is why the Broadway Blueshirts are up 2 game to 1 in this series and Boyle get to wear the coveteted Broadway Hat. 

I have to admit, I didn’t watch much of last night’s Mets-Braves game as it conflicted with Game 3 of Rangers-Senators, a pivotal game in the series after the Rangers losing in OT in Game 2 to allow the Sens to even the series at 1 apiece.  

I did see the start of the Mets game as they started a half hour earlier than the Rangers and luckily FiOS has SNY on Ch. 76 and MSG on 77 so I could click back and forth during commercials and longer during between periods intermission and as much as I know it’s real, real early in the season, it just seems this Mets team has a more confident look than we have seen in a while.  Good solid starting pitching will do that along with a so far so good back end of the bullpen and David Wright on fire.  

As Mets fans we are programed to expect the worst and hope for the best, but so far there really isn’t anything to bitch and moan about so as any good Mets fan will do, some of you folks have gone and found something to shake your fist at.

Seems the Mets will honor Jose Reyes will a short video tribute when he arrives with the rest of his school of Fish next week at Citi Field. I have absolutely no problem with the club honoring the ex-Met in this manner. What I can’t believe is there are some of the congregations that do and for the life of me I don’t know why.

Last year the cry from the stands was “Don’t Trade Reyes” in fact an over the top self-promoting t-shirt maker, made a small fortune off the Reyes  fanatics  by selling shirts with the slogan and parading around Citi Field like a court jester, all in the name of saving shortstop Reyes.  When the season ended, and it ended on a sour note of Reyes ruining for Mets fans (the couple of thousand of us that showed up for the last game of 2011 at Citi Field) his final day by bunting for a hit to secure his batting title and retreating to the clubhouse for the remainder of the game.  

As much as I was a fan of Reyes’ I was in no hurry to bring him back at a big price or multi years. I’ve always felt the as go Reyes, so goes the Mets, was overhyped tripe. Was he an offensive catalyst? Sure , but you what makes the Mets go, just what we’re seeing now, solid pitching.  

The way Sandy Alderson handled Reyes during his free agent tour was text book baseball management, f out of the Branch Rickey GM Handbook, as The Mahatma told Ralph Kiner when he asked for a raise,  “we finished last with you, we can finish last without you”, words that the 89 year old Kiner still bristles at.

Look, Reyes was the best all-around shortstop the Mets ever had, his departure was good for him and the Mets. The club by holding a short video tribute for Reyes is just a thank you for the years he gave the team and a very classy thing to do.

Stop getting all  pissy Mets fans and enjoy the present. It looks like we have a team that is well worth your while to root for and come out and support. By the way, we have Johan Santana on the bump tonight; see I knew that would make you smile.

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