Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Isn't a Baseball Season 162 Games?

If you've ever played basketball or if you are a basketball fan you know how a game can come down to the final shot. You make it you win. You miss it you lose. But the thing is every coach, player and true fan knows that you didn't lose the game because of that final shot. You lost the game because you shot 60% from the free throw line, or you had 10 turnovers, or you were down 15 in the first half and lucky enough to still be in it come the 4th quarter.

Sure you had a shot to win it, but it's the sum total of your efforts in the entire game that causes you to win or lose. Somehow, this concept is getting lost on Mets fans.

I've heard dozens of Mets fan talk to me about this year's debacle. The majority are demanding a major overhaul of the team and that drastic changes need to be made. Some are blaming Omar. Some are blaming the bullpen. Some are blaming the lack of clutch hitting. But the focus is all on the last week of the season.

I hate to break this to you, but baseball is a 162 game season. Sure there's a ton of focus on games down the stretch, but honestly a win in April is worth just as much as a win September. There's too much focus on the final week of the season. It was a horrible week and the Mets played poorly, but what if that week was in May? Would we still be talking about it?

If the Mets swapped the last week of the season for a week in June do you know what would have happened? The Mets would have still missed the playoffs. An extra win in July, August, April, May or whenever would have gotten the Mets in the playoffs so don't focus on the last week of the season.

You have to look at the issues effecting the team for the entire course of the season. Issue numero uno is the bullpen. I think we all know that. Issue number two is second base. The revolving door at second base and the proof that Luis Castillo does not have knees is a big problem. Issue number three, left field. Alou killed us. Angel Pagan was one of those unforeseeable successes that quickly got dashed by an improbable injury. Murphy and Evans performed admirably, but are we ready to put them in as every day players?

Beltran, Wright, Delgado & Reyes had fantastic years at the plate. I fully expect Delgado to decline this next year because he's getting older, but there isn't a dire need to revamp this entire squad. I can live with it if you don't sign Delgado and go get a really good, young first baseman, but it's not a necessity.

People talk about the leadership of Cliff Floyd and how the Mets are missing that type of presence. How many years did we win with Cliff Floyd? And the year we made it to the playoffs with Floyd he didn't even play half the games because he was injured. So don't talk to me about how invaluable Cliff Floyd was. The Rays are doing great, but don't try and sell me the fact that it's because of Cliff Floyd's clubhouse presence that they were able to turn the corner. Please, spare me.

Could the Mets use a solid, scrappy veteran? Absolutely. Do they need to overhaul the entire team to do so? Absolutely not.

It's a 162 game season folks. The Mets were under .500 when Willie was fired. If they played 2 games above .500 during that stretch we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

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