May 21, 2008

Face Facts- We Stink Right Now!

By Jack "the hack" Mason

Okay- let's face facts, Mets' fans- right now, we are exactly what we appear to be - a fourth place team- and a stinky one at that! We win 2 from the Yankees, and all of a sudden we think our poop doesn't smell? Come on- last I looked, they were in last place in their division, playing without A-Rod and Posada. So whom did we really beat? Last night, we played like we perceive the Nats to be - except those same Nats beat us 3 of 4 games last week - and the Braves played like, well, the Braves! Chipper Jones came through, so did McCann, and these are the Braves who are relying on Glavine for a victory?! And a starter making his second major league start? And all we can manage to score are 3 runs over 2 games while giving up 12??? Let me go back to my previous statement- we are a fourth place team!!!

Can things change? Of course. Change doesn't have to be replacing Willie...but it could be. Change doesn't have to be benching some starters, like Castillo, Delgado and Beltran more often...but it could be. Changes don't have to come in the form of a trade of Aaron Heilman...but it could be. I have another idea, though. How about bringing up some young, exciting players from AA - like Daniel Murphy, Mike Carp and Nick Evans??!! They won't be much worse than what we already have, but quite possibly, they might be the talent infusion the team is sorely missing, challenging veterans for starting time, energizing an older team and allowing us to see what this trio could actually achieve in the big leagues! Their trade value might increase; their roster value for us might increase; and we might, MIGHT, just win a few more ballgames when some of the starters are challenged a bit more. And this wouldn't mean we'd have to fire Willie- he'd just have to have a philosophy change and be willing to play these youngsters in lieu of his veterans, something he's been loathe to do during his Mets' tenure. And when you've been schooled under Joe Torre so long, another one who loathes relying on younger players, what else can you expect?

Finally, let's NEVER make this about race- just as it wasn't when Willie was first hired! Of COURSE there's racism out there- it abounds everywhere on the planet! But Herm Edwards wanted out to go to his "dream" job with the Chiefs, and Isiah Thomas, well, other then the fact that he's been proven to be a terrible businessman and less than honest (see: CBA), he left a huge mess behind for Donnie Walsh to clean up, and I won't even get started on the harassment suit! If you're going to cite people and bring race into it, at least make decent references. New York is hard on everyone, especially managers/coaches. Before Tom Coughlin won the Super Bowl last season, everyone I'd spoken to had been calling for his head! David was even willing to lose the rest of the games for the entire season if it meant Coughlin got fired- and he had been a fan of Coughlin's up until the prior season! Winning cures all, and losing, or, more importantly, losing badly, only gets up the ire in New Yorkers everywhere. Before the O'Connor interview, Willie had just been losing - now, amidst his accusations, he's losing badly...and the ball is in his court right now.

My last piece of advise? Don't back-track, don't try to explain or reframe things that were said- simply get your nose to the grindstone and do everything in your power to get the players fired up and run off a string of victories- even 5 right now would be amazing! You can't bat for Reyes, Beltran or Delgado; nor can you pitch for Heilman, Vargas or Perez; what you can do is bring back reality to the team and yourself and re-double your efforts to motivate this team to victory. Do that, and all of the comments of the past few days will be forgotten; fail that, and they will be a sad swansong to your tenure as manager in your hometown...

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Anonymous said...

Great post, Jack. You're right- we stink and unless the players straighten things out, it won't really matter what Willie does or doesn't do. I think he's toast, anyway, but don't see his replacement doing much better unless that fire is lit under Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Castillo, Wright gets more consistent, and Church gets back to health- quickly! Like the idea of bringing up the kids- it can't hurt!!

Anonymous said...

Willie's not going to go, but here's hoping anyway. Even one of those three would be a great way to shake up the team right now. Anything that might light a fire under these overpaid, under-performing players would be welcome!