Monday, October 26, 2009

Most Conflicting World Series for a Mets Fan Ever

In a year when pain, injuries and exceptionally long stretches of disappointment are the norm, why should it be any surprise to Mets fans that the two teams that we loathe find themselves in the World Series.

The scrappy, nagging, pain in the neck, little brother complex Phillies have shown exceptional clutch and gotten great pitching to make their way to a second straight World Series. The bloated payroll, band box playing, A-Rod renaissance Yankees are finally back in the championship round after what seems like a long drought for the perennial contender.

And now as a Mets Lifer you must choose. Who do you root for?

It's like choosing between the Dallas Cowboys or the Philadelphia Eagles, watching The View or Glee, rooting for Lex Luthor or Charles Manson, eating brussel sprouts or lima beans; there is no good choice. Just pure evil.

Since death is not an option, a Mets fan must choose who will have their rooting interest. Never before have I been asked so many times who I'm rooting for in a World Series than this one. Even before the teams became official everybody and their mother wanted to know which team I'd be cheering for.

And so here's my decision. I'm pulling for the Yankees.

It hurts to even type that, but let me explain why. I'm traditionally a National League guy when it comes to the World Series, but the thought of the Phillies winning back to back titles is just too much to bear. If the Phils had lost last year, they'd have my backing 100%, but I can't take another 365 days of Phils as world champs.

Besides, if the Yankees win, so what? With a payroll the size of a NATO country they're expected to win. They have 5 potential hall of famers, the best hitter in the game, the best starting pitcher in the game (after Santana), the best closer in the game, and an All Star at pretty much every position. So what's there to really brag about if you win?

Some Yankee fans like to think that this is a scrappy, pull up by your bootstraps type of team, which just makes me chuckle inside. Their three free agent signings this offseason was larger than the entire payroll of the Florida Marlins. Not winning the World Series with this Yankees pitching staff and lineup would be a colossal failure in the hearts and minds of Yankee fans.

Even though I have to face Yankee fans more often than Phillies' fans, it won't bother me that they'll have "bragging rights" for another year. Pretty much everybody has bragging rights over the Mets.

And so the boys in pinstripes will have my rooting interest (as if they care), but part of me will also smile if they do end up losing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baseball Playoffs Remind of the Mets

Playoff baseball is the pinnacle of the Major League season. The best of both leagues face off in a true test of baseball superiority.

But everywhere I turn during these playoffs I'm reminded of the Mets. How can this be you ask? Well let's see.

I've seen base running errors that prevent teams from scoring potential winning runs (Gardner). I've seen multiple infield errors that you don't even see from Little Leaguers (Angels). I've seen managers do nothing while their bullpens self-destruct (Torre). I've seen 2 out bottom of the ninth comebacks when a team is up by 2 or more runs (Rockies/Dodgers). I've seen ordinarily clutch hitters crumble under the spotlight of game deciding situations (everybody not named A-Rod, Jeter or on the Phillies).

I watch these games and can commiserate with the fans of the blundered teams that are out there. Sure they've made it to the big stage and can be considered at the top of the sport, but it seems they've made it this far only to fall.

At least the Mets provide humiliation and disgrace during the regular season when the entire world isn't watching. So instead we'll be forced to watch our nemesis (Phillies) and our other nemesis (Yankees) fight for the title of baseball champions.

A long winter lies ahead.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Bid for Bobby V

Brad Bortone over at Bugs and Cranks has put together a very compelling list of reasons why Bobby Valentine should return to the New York Mets.

Besides it being the right move, the list contains enough bargaining chips to make Scott Boras blush.

Reason #4 is my fave as it involves Jerry Manuel, a not often played 20-year old, and a tire iron.

Check out the list for yourself over at Bugs and Cranks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Phillies Are Unavoidable

And so I've been sucked into postseason baseball.

I had valiant plans to avoid it completely and just wallow in my disgust of the Mets while focusing my attention on both college and pro football. But what can I say. I'm a baseball fan and the intrigue of the playoffs is honestly the first real baseball I've watched in quite some time.

Now I find myself basically rooting for anyone not named Phillies or Yankees, but this has yet to give me any joy. In fact I've found myself admiring what the Phillies are doing. Being down by 3 runs with 2 outs in the ninth and then coming back to win is something all Mets fans are familiar with. That's because we've been on the other end of those victories for the last three seasons.

But it's undeniable that this Phillies team is full of gamers, and something that Mets management would be wise to take notice of. Howard, Utley, Victorino, and Werth are all guys who thrive in the clutch.

I hate that.

Name a Mets player you have total confidence in when the game is on the line? Ok, I'll give you Santana, but after that it's a crap shoot. KRod? Wright? Beltran? Forget it.

The Mets need gamers, but that's not an easy commodity to find.

So I find myself unable to avoid the Phillies. I'm watching their games on TV. Rooting against them. Hoping for Lidge to crumble on the world stage. But it's not happening.

In fact, I'm out in California on business and guess who's staying at my hotel. Yup, the fighting Phils are arriving this evening.

I'll be the guy with a basket of bitterness waiting to yell at Pedro.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Mets and Holliday and Halladay

The playoffs have only just begun, but those who follow the Mets are already dreaming of what changes can be made to the ball club to better themselves for next year.

The two names you will hear most this offseason is Holliday and Halladay. Besides being a pronunciation nightmare, these two players are the dream of Mets fans and management and the media loves to buzz about these two high price talents.

It's highly unlikely that the Mets will be able to get either or both of these guys. But since conjecture is an accepted art form in the blogosphere, let's say the Mets are able to get both Holliday and Halladay. Would that be enough to set the Mets on the right path in 2010?

It would absolutely help with their need for a #2 starter. Roy Halladay and Johan Santana would be potentially the best starting pitching tandem since Johnson & Schilling. Holliday would help with an extra bat in the lineup and give some protection to Wright and Beltran.

But is it enough? It might be. The Mets would need to make some minor moves to get some backup infielders. And of course you have the debate about what to do at first base, but I think it might be enough to help the Mets get back on course.

I would still sign Delgado to a one year incentive laden contract, which would allow we to have Murphy and Pagan come off the bench or start once a week. But what this gives you is an interesting lineup of Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Beltran, Holliday, Delgado, Franceour, "Catcher."

That to me is a very interesting lineup to watch if everyone is healthy and returns back to normal (ahem, David Wright). Then your starting rotation would be Santana, Halladay and 3 other goons. But the good part is you've now pushed Perez/Maine/Pelfrey down in the pecking order to only be a #4 or #5 starter.

Ah, to dream. That's what the off season is all about. Instead we'll probably end up with Adam LaRoche and Randy Wolf.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Obituary of the 2009 Mets

On October 4th, 2009 the New York Mets laid to rest a season of turmoils. With 70 wins to their name the Mets leave behind a disappointed fan base, an injury-laden roster, the knowledge that their management team is seriously lacking, and an off season of innumerable questions.

The starting rotation on the final day of the 2009 season included such stellar arms as Pat Misch, Tim Redding, Nelson Figeuroa, Bobby Parnell, and Mike Pelfrey. When reviewing that list 70 wins doesn't seem so bad.

But the 2009 Mets would not have us dwell on the past, but look to the future. The problem is that future is considerably hazy. Will Manuel be back? Will Omar survive? Will Reyes return to being the Reyes of years past? Will the Mets trade for a middle of the road bat and give up considerable talent to get him? Which player will the Mets overpay for this off season?  Will David Wright get his groove back?

The questions seem to go on forever. What is the long term strategy for this team? Should the Mets build around pitching? Should the Mets get a power bat? Should Daniel Murphy be the every day first baseman? Should the Mets resign Delgado? Should the Mets get a left fielder or a first baseman? Should the priority be a #2 starter? Are the Mets willing to go into spring training with Perez & Pelfrey as their #2 & #3 starters?

So many questions, so few answers. In fact by April a number of these will still be unanswered. But that is the way of the Mets.

Will 2009 be an anomaly and the Mets will return to winning baseball in 2010? Or will 2009 be the beginning of another rebuilding process?

There are no answers at this point, but the next 5 months will be sure to add more questions to the mix.

It's time for a break from baseball. Mets fans have deserved that much. And so we lay to rest the 2009 Mets and pray that time truly does heal all wounds. We all know how much this team needs that.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fixing the Mets: Priorities

As I was ready to write another well thought out, stimulating post about fixing the Mets, I saw a little blip on my RSS feed. Turns out Brad Bortone over at Bugs and Cranks returned to the blogosphere after what sounds like a seriously frightening ordeal with a fever his daughter had (as a parent who has seen the thermometer hit 105 on his kids, there's nothing like it and Brad, I'm happy to hear all is back to normal).

Brad in his post addresses the need for the Mets to prioritize. A simple and elementary part of any business is knowing what tasks you need to put more focus on than others, and is ultimately a key indicator of your business's success. After reading Brad's post, I'm sure you'll agree that the Mets prioritization skills are seriously lacking.

In fact, I don't think they exist.

It is a great post that you should absolutely read if you want some sound, rational thinking about how to approach the Mets. (yes Brad, I called you sound & rational) I would however add one more item to his list of priorities: a better investment in their minor league system or player development.

It's baffling that a team like Florida can just churn out talented players from their farm systems or via trade that ultimately turn out to be solid contributors. Even Atlanta, during their 100 year reign in the NL East was able to still draft, develop and trade for guys like McCann, Franceour and this Hanson kid. Outside of Reyes & Wright who's the last major league contributor that stayed on the Mets? Strawberry? Does Greg Jeffries count?

But what all this ultimately leads to is a need for a change at the top of the organization. Nothing will be done if nothing is changed at the top.

Please check out Brad's post and chime in with your thoughts over at Bugs and Cranks. Even if the Mets heed to one of these suggestions, we'd be in a better place come next April.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Almost The Mets Worst September

What was the Mets record in September 2009? Wanna take a guess. It's 8-20. Eight wins. Twenty losses. Add that up and you have the worst team in baseball during the month of September, and this was the worst record the Mets have had in September since they went 7-19 in 2003.

A fellow Mets Lifer, Tom, had this to say when he brought this staggering stat to my attention:
8 and 20, dude. Including a last week sweep by the powerhouse Nationals. That’s miserable baseball – I don’t care how many injuries they have, the only explanation for that is the players on this team mailed it in once they were out of it and team management couldn’t motivate them. I was in Manuel’s corner last month. No more.

I couldn't agree with him more and this just reinforces my post from yesterday regard the Mets need to clean house with their coaching staff.

Getting swept by the Nationals is unacceptable at any point during the year, but just adds salt to the already gangrenous wound that is the 2009 Mets.

Agent: Jose Reyes expected back by spring is reporting that Jose Reyes is expected back by spring

Evidently Reyes' agent stepped in to squash all the hub-bub about Reyes not being ready to play for the 2010 season. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be ready for opening day or that we won't see some setbacks, but for now the news is good that we can expect to see Jose Reyes play next year.

Although we were expecting to see him play in July, August, September, etc. How'd that work out?

Reyes Done for 2010?

I nearly drove off the road this morning when I heard ESPN’s update that Jose Reyes not only tore his hamstring running yesterday, but that it will require surgery and he could miss all of next season. I started to laugh like a mental patient, like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear. I mean, are you kidding me? Out for next season? Now to be fair, Craig Carton on WFAN “heard” from someone that Jose’s surgery will be for his injury that has kept him out since May 20 and not for this new injury.

Which is really the Mets’ way isn’t it? Is he hurt? Is he not that hurt? He’s day-to-day, then week-to-week, done for the year and now maybe for next year. You cannot make this stuff up. May I ask why this guy is even trying to run in the first place? What’s the point? If I were running this team (and I wish that I was) I would have chained Reyes to a fence for the next 6 months and let him heal for spring training. But no, this stupid organization has him running with 4 games left and a 100 games out of first place. Hello? Is there anybody who has any kind of clue?

If I’m Jose, I can’t wait to get the heck out of Queens. The way he’s been handled, and frankly, pressured by management through their leaks to the media that Jose is dogging it, I wouldn’t be surprised, nor could I blame him, if he wanted out. Seriously. Would you want to play for this organization? In fact, I believe this season has been so gigantically dysfunctional, that it’s going to be very difficult for them to bring any player to this mess of a franchise.

Is this not the most inept franchise in all of sports? Think about this for a moment. Jose Reyes goes down in May with a minor tweak in his calf and is supposed to miss one game. ONE STINKIN’ GAME! And now he may be out for the 2010 season? Heads have to roll over this. GMs, managers, coaches, doctors, trainers everyone needs to go. In fact, I wish the Wilpons would just sell this team. They have done nothing but make a mockery of their organization and I implore Matt Cerrone, with his large readership, to begin a petition on behalf of the fans to force the Wilpons to sell this team. I cannot take it any longer. It’s one thing to consistently blow cheese on the field, but it’s another to be so utterly clueless about running a baseball operation. “A Comedy of Errors” is the NY Mets and the Wilpons are authoring that narrative in truly mind numbing fashion.

Mets Will Forfeit Final Series of Season

The New York Mets have an off day today. Getting swept by the Nationals takes a lot out of you, plus that 3 hour bus ride home is a real drain so rest up fellas.

But once the team arrives back in New York, the Mets will more than likely forfeit the final series of the season. There are several reasons for this. First so no one else gets injured. Second, the games are completely meaningless. Third, to save unsuspecting fans from having to pay $18 to park their car and watch putrid baseball. Fourth, to save themselves the embarrassment. Fifth, because this season just can't end fast enough.

What will be played in Queens this weekend is not baseball. It's disgrace.

Save us all from any more disappointment and suffering and just end the season today. Call up the entire Brooklyn Cyclones to play if the Astros really feel like going through the motions.

Bring on the off season where there's at least false hope of better things to come.