I Guess The Mets Plan Is Lose The Battle and Win The War

It was a rough weekend for the NY Mets. The bats and pitching arms have gone stale, the petulant utility player affectionately known by Mets fans as JV1, who it seems the front office, manager and players have run out of patience with while waiting for him to act like a big boy, reached out to the Pittsburgh Pirates for help in the form of a baseball thrown at him in anger over his “look at me, I’m El Hombre” slow dance after hitting a home run with the Mets down 7 runs. Then there was Banner Day in which only 99 banners were on display.

The Mets front office has a plan and contending in 2013 for the NL is not part of it. But we knew that coming into the season, right? So why is everyone up in arms about the abysmal play of this Mets team? Many Mets fans had the Mets pegged for a 90+ loss team and that is what they are right now. So why is everyone so upset about the recent awful play of this team?

We knew the outfield wasn’t Major League quality, we knew that back end of the rotation was weak. What we didn’t know was that Ike Davis would be this bad and Lucas Duda would morph into a little leaguer at the plate taking the walk is as good as a hit advice to new heights and that Daniel Murphy would be better with a glove than a bat.  We did know one thing, Sandy Alderson has a plan, what we didn’t know was part of the plan was do nothing in 2013.

Part of the problem is there is no worry on any offensive player on this team that there is someone within the organization to take their place. Last year when Ike Davis was slumping so bad it was a miracle he wasn’t shunned to Buffalo.  The reason Ike wasn’t sent away to Triple A wasn’t that the team wanted to show confidence in Davis it was a someone in the Mets front office told me “what’s the alternative” ? This season Ike is being Ike, looking awful at the plate, and again the question is “what do you about a problem named Ike Davis”? There is none that is if you feel Lucas Duda should be moved to first base and Jordany Valdespin goes to left field is a solid solution and either send Davis to Vegas (ooh that rhymes) or trade him. A trip to Triple A could happened this time as that scenario I laid out is a real option, as for trading him, quite frankly what team would want him?

The point is as much as Sandy Alderson is sticking to his plan it would behoove the GM to do something of a personnel move dealing with the offense just to send the fan base a signal that he is still interested in running this team and that he is as fed up with the suckitude of play as the fan base is.   

Right now there are four players who should be untouchable in any trade talks, D-Wright, Matt Harvey, Bobby Parnell and John Buck. Anyone else should be put on the market and moved for the right price. But again what kind of return would you get for an Ike, Duda, Murphy or even Tejada? At least with a broken down car you can strip it for parts, not so for broken down baseball players.

On the Jordany Valdespin hit by pitch on Saturday I’ve heard or read everyone from Terry Collins to Mets players to Jay Horwitz , well maybe not Jay, chastised for allowing Valdespin to get plunked and not rushing to his aid. The one guy who hasn’t been called on out on this and is the number one culprit in all this muck and mire is Jordany Valdespin. JV1 as the kids like to call him, has been spoken too, punished, had his clothing ripped to shreds and been call out by teammates mangers coaches and front office folks as a first class horse’s ass to no avail. People associated with the Mets that I’ve talked to who have a good word for everyone associated with the team make that face like a stink bomb went off when you ask about Jordany Valdespin.  So if you want to blame Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson or the Mets players about leaving Valdespin out to dry, you’re blame and anger is misdirected.

Here’s the problem with having Banner Day in 2013, no one cares. Banner Day in 1964 was great because the team still had the new team smell to it, as the Mets were Casey’s Amazin’ Mets our lovable losers. In 2014 there is no such thing as a loveable loser in fact even after you win the next question you get after handed the trophy is, “Can you repeat”? The fan mindset is totally different than in the past. Fans don’t care how hard you try, how much your hurt, or if you’re going through some kind of personal problem all fans care about is entertain me and goddamnit WIN!

This past week while at a Mets blogger event at Citi Field I brought up the 1973 Pennant winners and how this is the 40th anniversary of the Mets team that went on a tear and had to pass five teams just to win the division and then go on to beat one the iconic teams in baseball history in The Big Red Machine, so would there be a day at Citi Field to honor them?   The answer I received on why there will not be day for the team is that the cost to run that event is prohibited and who would show up for it? After my blood pressure subsided and we discussed the pros and cons of the Mets having a day for the ’73 NL Champs, it made sense to me. The 55 year old Mets fan would love to see George Theodore , Ron Hodges and Harry Parker , the 30 year old Mets fan doesn’t care. So why go to all the time and expense to throw a party and have no one come.  

I didn’t go to Banner Day.  I don’t think it’s a crime. I spent the day watching my daughter play soccer and returning a bunch of tuxedos for my son and his friends that they dropped off after their high school prom while they took off to a day of amusement park fun with their girlfriends. Then I dropped my daughter off at the mall with her friends because teen age girls love to shop. Then I was able to spend a great afternoon just me and my wife because now that our kids are older and don’t need to be with mommy and daddy, mommy and daddy can go off and do what they want to do, like eat at restaurant with cloth napkins and no coloring books at the table and catch a movie that isn’t animated. Life is good. So I’m sorry I wasn’t there to carry a banner professing my love for the NY Mets but even so, I know how much I love the Mets and the Mets know how much I love the team, so as I said Life is good.

 

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Hey Jordany, Smarten Up!

Yes it was an ugly loss last night but not ugly enough to throw up your hands just yet Mets fans.  I will say though, it would be a huge boost to the Mets and the fan base if they take the next two from the Fish. Some more about last night:

Hats off to Jeremy Hefner as he continued with the parade of solid starting pitching the Mets have gotten so far this week. Hefner showed nice command of his fastball and slider, keeping the ball down in the zone as well. He threw a lot of pitches in the 2nd and 3rd innings (49 total) but all he gave up was solo home run to Greg Dobbs.

Jordany Valdespin will drive us crazy all year. As good an offensive player as he is JV1 has absolutely no baseball instincts.  The 3rd inning brought it all into perspective. From be too far off the bag at 1st on Daniel Murphy’s soft liner to short that the throw to pick him at first base caught his bicep to then getting picked off at first with David Wright up and before a pitch could be thrown to Wright. MY GOD!

SNY cameras caught a great scene in the dugout after JV1 got picked off. He retreated to the corner of the dugout both to stay out of ear shot of Terry Collins and because is arm was hurting. That didn’t stop John Buck from coming over to him to give some “advice”. The funniest part of the exchange was Buck cornered Valdespin so there was no place for him to go until Buck was done “talking” to him.

I don’t know what you expect from Lucas Duda in left field. He’s not an outfielder; he’s a first baseman/DH and at some point Sandy Alderson is going to have a make a decision on what to do with Duda.

Don’t panic about Ike

As you know I’m not a fan of Ruben Tejada and with the scuttlebutt that it was thisclose as to who went to Vegas him or Omar Ouintanilla, I agree with what Bobby Ojeda said on the post-game show  as much as you can play your way on to a team, you can play your way off a team. The only way Tejada keeps his job is with his bat and his glove and range at short are subpar.

Not a great night for Greg Burke, Scott Rice and LaTroy Hawkins to say the least.  

Got to take the next two from the Fish. Got to

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PITCH AND CATCH

So Jose Reyes is nominated for the Hank Aaron Award which honors the best offensive player in both leagues. To vote for Reyes go here and remember if Reyes wins it means more leverage in his contract talk with the Mets. You’ve been warned!

MLB Trade Rumors has a list of players slated for free agency due to injury or plain old ineffectiveness. Two names on the list have future Mets written all over them, RHP Jonathan (Guns Of) Broxton  and RHP Joel Zumaya.

Toby Hyde has a detailed look at the Catcher position in the Mets farm system and as you can see, it’s slim pickins’ not only at the minor league level but with the big team as well. Josh Thole may be pretty good with a bat but his quite inadequate behind the plate. Ronnie Paulino I think looks better defensively than he really is because of how bad Thole is. So what to do? Trying to find a good receiving backstop is very tough and trading for one will be difficult, a guy like Chris Iannetta would look nice in a Mets retro 50th Anniversary uniform but are the Rockies willing to deal him away? Hell I’d even go for Braves backup David Ross at this point. Omar Santos anyone?

The more I watch these post season games the more I side with letting Jose Reyes go elsewhere and invest in pitching, pitching and even more pitching.

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ALMOST HALL OF FAMOUS

 

I guess congratulations are in order to Andre Dawson for his election into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Hawk was a solid baseball player and from what you read, was a very nice guy and it seems as long as you’re a very nice guy to the media, you eventually get in the Hall. That would explain why Albert Belle is no longer on the ballot. Belle was an unbelievable offensive player putting up big numbers and one of the great run producers of his time, but the guy made Ron Artest look stable. It’s not just that Belle was a nasty sumnabitch, I honestly think the reporters covering the teams he played for and the out of town media we’re scared shit of him. The only way for payback is to not just keep in out of the HOF but knock him off the ballot altogether.

The only segment of baseball fans that doesn’t have bad feeling for Robbie Alomar not getting in the HOF, are Mets fans. During the reign of the Alomar disaster in Queens, I was dining in one of my favorite spots, the RF food pavilion at Shea Stadum, when I encounter a guy wearing an ALOMAR 12 uni top. When I mentioned that he was one brave Mets fan to wear that jersey, he told me his was a cousin of Alomar’s. We spoke for while and I ask Robbie’s cuz, “what’s the problem with your cousin” he told me the whole family was stumped. He said Alomar was so happy to be in NYC as there was a lot of family there to keep him happy but the cuz then said “he feels like he can’t do it anymore”  The problem that Mets fan had with Alomar was he was coming here off a strong year in Cleveland .336/.415/.541/.956 20HR 100 RBI 30SB so when the deal was made to come to the Mets, we were farting through silk WHAT AN ACQUISTION!!! But what followed was one of the classic crash and burns of a player in baseball history. All said in done, Alomar should have gone in as a first ballot HOF’er his Mets years aside, he is one of the greatest 2nd basemen of all time.

Supposedly 5 voters sent back blank ballots, two of which are Jay Mariotti and Lisa Olson of AOL. Mind-boggling!.  I know it’s in vogue to call Mariotti a douche bag but a few years ago, Mariotti did a radio show on the defunct One On One Radio Network (620 AM here in NYC) along with Jim Lytke of the AP. It was one of the better sports radio shows I’ve listened to. Mariotti was not the dickhead he has evolved into today. As for Olson, she has always sent in a blank ballot since becoming eligible to vote. I don’t know what to say about that but why even be a member of the BBWA?   The Hall of Fame would be better off letting bloggers pick the Hall members; at least we’d take it seriously.

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