May 07, 2008

Tin Man Asks- "Where's The Mets' Heart?"

By Jack "the hack" Mason

[Editor's Note: The following is a "rant" from a fellow Mets' fan and regular reader of this blog.)

Okay, now the realization sets David, I am a transplanted New Yorker living in Los Angeles, and also like David, I attended the Mets-Dodgers game last night...but I think that David still remains more of an "optimist" about this team and their management then I do - and here's some of the reasons, and why this Mets' team (and organization) reminds me of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz."

In "Wizard" the Tin Man has no heart...the Lion, no courage...the Scarecrow, no brains...and Dorothy can't go home...

In " N.Y. Mets - 2008" the Mets players seem to lack heart - they can never fire up a big rally and score bunches of runs, as there's always someone ready to break OUR hearts and be the next "rally-killer"...they have no courage - otherwise, Omar would insist that Heilman gets a chance to start, a trade would be made to strengthen their bench, and some minor leaguers - a la Eddie Kunz or Jon Niese - would have been brought up already - it can't hurt!...Willie has no brains, as he can't create a batting order that serves as a "sparkplug", he can't handle a bullpen, he makes bonehead manuveurs (Figueroa is pitching well - skip his turn! Pagan is hot- sit him out 2 games! Alou comes back- sit him out his second game! Need I go on??...) and he has a divide in his clubhouse, a clubhouse that hasn't been "right" since strike 3 to Carlos Beltran in the last game of the 2006 play-offs...and, it seems, these Mets just can't score runs the way we thought they could, and therefore, like Dorothy, sadly, they can't "go home"...

It's sad to think, on May 7th, that this team is not only the team I (and you, I bet) thought we had coming out of the spring; not only that, as presently constituted, the right side of the infield is a black hole, with Delgado and Castillo acting far older than their "listed" ages...Beltran isn't Beltran- maybe he's channeling Del Unser- as a hitter, not as a fielder - (and by the way- I will NEVER get over Marty Noble at saying that Unser was a better fielder then Beltran- I was a season ticket holder during the "Unser years" and there's no way he's even in the same sentence - but I digress) - Pelfrey can't throw anything other than his predictable fastball, which itself hasn't looked as dominating as it has in recent years; the bench looks like it's inhabitants have all decided they've run out of energy at the same time; the minor leagues are offering little to no support via replacement players; the starters are looking at WAY too many called third strikes- particularly last night, it seemed; their pitching coach, Rick Peterson, has yet to straighten out ANYONE long term- see, Perez, Oliver, Pelfrey, Mike, Sosa, Jorge and Heilman, Aaron - and if anyone thinks that Matt Wise is the savior of our bullpen, come on - get a grip!! does HoJo have a job still? I love him as a former player and sparkplug, but as a hitting coach....hmmmm....not so much...they fired a professional hitting coach, who had done a good job, in Rick Down, for a hitting coach, Rickey Henderson, who'd rather play cards, and replaced Hendu with a hitting coach who hasn't helped since last June - forget the sentiment, it's time to replace him, seems like every single game we have a chance to win, and lacking that killer instinct or leadership, we lose games we should win whether it's the Pirates, the Dodgers or the Marlins...and to think, Mike Jacobs has practically half as many homers as our entire team does right now!!!!

Where does this team go from here? There's no flying house or ruby slippers to bring us to either "Oz" or home! The "wizard behind the curtain" isn't fixing anything any time soon! The manager doesn't know what he doesn't know, and while a great guy isn't half the manager that Bobby V is (and Bobby - here's a plea - PLEASE COME BACK TO US!!!!!!!!!!!!! FORGET JAPAN- NEW YORK HAS GREAT SUSHI NOW TOO, SO I HEAR...) and this team, as presently constituted, just doesn't have that "it" factor that all great teams have...the Red Sox turned it on when they needed to...our football Giants came up biggest in their biggest games...we just don't have that fire, that spark, and it's not coming from the players, and it's not coming from the manager, nor upstairs, and as much as Willie wants answers, he's sure as hell NOT going to find them in blaming the FANS for their booing...and that booing won't stop until the fans at least see that their beloved players are at least giving it their all!!!!

The question I ask myself this morning, after being surrounded by a sea of Dodger blue last night, on the heals of the anniversary of the Bums leaving my hometown of Brooklyn some 50 years ago, is this:

" when will these Mets ever love us as much as we love them?"

(Thanks to Jonathan, John, David and their readers for tolerating my little "rant" back to today's regularly scheduled blog!)

Oh- one last thing - to the "neanderthal" who sat next to me last night at the game, hit me in the glasses when he thought a Mets' batter struck out but actually walked, and who asked me, after I told him the basketball game was 70-70 "so who's winning" - I say to you this morning- PLEASE keep rooting for the Dodgers!!!!

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