Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's been fun, Carlos

Today, July 21st, was most likely Carlos Beltran's last home game as a Met. It's sad to me. Carlos was signed after the 2004 season (the last one for Art Howe-UGH), when the Mets needed something, anything, for credibility. His signing was backed up by the signing of Pedro, and the Mets were on their way to respectability.

In Carlos's Met tenure, the Mets went from pathetic, to an over .500 finish in 2005, to a stellar 2006, to a competitive yet frustrating 2007 and 2008. Need proof of his value? Look at 2009 and 2010, when he, for the most part, was not there. Both seasons were disasters. Need more proof? Beltran is a lifetime .282 hitter, with 295 HRs and 292 SBs. Yes, this man is a stud horse. Unfortunately, the ignorant remember him only for his strikeout against Wainwright. Beltran's career dwarfs that moment.

As fans, all we can do is look at who might be coming back. The current thinking is that the Phillies may be willing to part with Dominic Brown. Brown's 2011 stats show a .247 avg with 5 HRs. He has been considered a top prospect. Realistically, if the Phils offer Brown, the Mets have to take it. Carlos is not coming back in 2012, and to steal a top prospect at this point, the Mets should consider themselves fortunate. It's painful, but the right thing to do. I have no comment on helping the Phillies win a WS. I'll puke on that one later.

At least, word today is that they'll keep Izzy. Smart move. Let him do his job on the mound, and off the mound, as he helps groom Parnell. And finally, Johan is set for his first start on 8/21. This may be what they sell to the fans once Beltran is gone. Either way, some breakups are just painful, no matter how much your friends try to distract you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mets lose to "Vivian" Vance Worley

The Mets went into the second half opener perhaps feeling some relief. Out of the generosity of Charlie Manuel, the Mets will not see Lee or Halladay this weekend. Last night, the world-beater, known here as "Vivian" Vance Worley, made the Mets hitters look like Desi Arnez, as the Phils took the series opener, 7-2. Coupled with the Braves win, the Mets find themselves 8.5 out of the WC, and at .500 again.

This leads me to my point. All of this talk of the "17-game season" has to be taking a toll on the Mets. The team must feel incredible pressure to win over the next 2.5 weeks, or the earth will shake, and players will be moved. So far, I like Sandy Alderson. I really do. But why has he been so forthright about this? Yes, I understand transparency. But what about discretion? Why does the world (particularly the players) need to know that he sees the next 17 as make-or-break? Just do it, Sandy. Observe, and react to what you see in the best interests of the club.

As a fan, I'm tired of the July 31 as doomsday rhetoric. Can you imagine how the team feels?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bye Bye K Rod

Last night, Sandy Alderson took a step. He dumped K Rod on the Brewers for 2 players to be named later. The Mets will send about $5MM to the Brew Crew to cover some of K Rod's remaining 2011 salary, and most importantly, the Mets are free of that $17.5MM option for 2012. The moves may be over, but they may not be. Sandy says it depends on how the team performs from now until the deadline, and where the team stands in the wild card chase come July 31. If the Mets fade, Beltran, Byrdak, and others may be moved.

It's not so much about who is here and who isn't on 8/1, since we all know the post season is a pipe dream this year. It's about what the Mets do with the "payroll flexibility" they now have. If they take the money and invest it in the team, meaning they sign Reyes, then all of this adds up to a coherent plan (something Omar could not define, let alone formulate). If they give us a team with a $100MM payroll next year, no Reyes, and they make few acquisitions this off season, then this was nothing more than a salary dump, and the fans will not forgive them.

The misconception is that NY fans are intolerant, and have to have everything now. Not true. If you can present us with a plan, and we see that the plan is leading to something better, we will be very tolerant. What we will not tolerate is giving is a less-than-acceptable product, charging us big-league prices, and trying to sell us a pile of BS. This was the first move. There may be more. It's all ok. But we're watching for the direction this all takes. And we'll vote with our wallets.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sittin on the dock of the J Bay

Yesterday, the Mets were "sitting on the...edge of a sweep", to the most obnoxious group of human beings on the earth, the NYY and their "fans" (in quotes, since most could not tell you who Roy White was, or Roy Smalley). Anyway, J Bay drew a two-out, bases-empty walk off of Rivera. This led to a ninth-inning run, which led to a tenth-inning win, with the J Bay getting the game winner. Avoiding the sweep was huge for the psyche of the Met fan base, though the team remains 6.5 out of the wild card lead.

Man, these Mets are what they are. They are a .500 team, they'll thrill you, they'll anger you, and they'll make you dream of better days ahead. Speaking of, new reports today say that Alderson is so impressed with Jose Reyes, that he may make a "break the bank" off to Jose soon. This is VERY SMART. Reyes is scared to death right now about what his hammy injury (albeit minor) will mean to his value on the market. His health is the question, and any injury to his legs will drop his value to potential suitors. Reyes may be willing to listen this time. As I said when he hurt his leg Saturday (while at Citi with those pests around me), this may be the best thing for the Mets.

Off to CA for 7, and these are important games. Throw in 3 with the Phillies immediately after the break, and the next 10 are rough. It seems as though the season is always "on the line" (Mets went 5-4 against the three AL division leaders in the most recent make-or-break stretch"). But maybe the season isn't really on the line. Maybe, no matter whatthe schedule says, the Mets are a .500 team, and will stay that way. At least, like yesterday, they're an entertaining one.