June 16, 2008

A Season Gone Horribly Wrong...

After last season, Mets' fans couldn't be blamed if we were skiddish, angry, disappointed...add any adjective that equates to "loss" and, well, you'd be right. Two years in a row seeing our dreams dashed was a lot to put up with, but even that would have been okay...IF the 2008 season, the last in our beloved (and reviled) Shea Stadium played out in better fashion then its' two predecessors. Sadly, with more than a third of the season complete, that looks to be as impossible as Josh Hamilton coming back from rehab and looking like a triple-crown player...okay, scratch that one...it's as impossible as Ryan Ludwick reaching near Pujols-like status as a slugger...again, not the best example...it's as impossible as the Giants winning the 2008 Super Bowl! Not a great example? Okay- it's as impossible to think that this Mets' team is going to win a World Series, or, heck, even make the playoffs, as it would be to see the Islanders make it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009!! THERE- finally, a good analogy...and NOT one that I'm happy about, either...

I don't want to say "what else can go wrong" as "Mr. Murphy" just might be listening, and might add something else to that crazy "law" of his. Instead, let's look at the three main areas that haven't exactly gone "right" for us so far:

1.) Willie Randolph's job is twisting in the wind.
Not to be a hypocrite, I've said many, many times during the past 3 years that a.) Willie Randolph is a great person, a charitable man, a proud graduate of Tilden High, and my favorite Yankee of all time, and b.) he is the wrong man for the job of Mets' manager. Neither of those things have changed. However, keeping Willie hanging in the wind while the Mets decide what to do about his job status is more than I can bare watching. Yes, our site has posted many complaints against the job Willie has done as a manager, but we've always greatly respected the man that Willie is. He's being treated in a fashion that no one deserves when their livelyhood is on the line, and if it came to a choice as to keep Willie for the rest of season or continue to watch his job status twist in the wind for the next few weeks, I'd opt for keeping Willie until the end of the season; that's the least they can do after giving Art Howe until the end of his final season, even when he didn't want to stay anymore. Willie's been a far better manager and New Yorker than Howe ever was, and deserves at least the same treatment that Howe received.

2.) The team's reliance upon older players.
Granted, if Pedro's return to health hadn't been interrupted during the second game of the season, this entire post might have been rendered moot. Unfortunately, it did happen (and Jon and I were there), as did Moises Alou's coming apart at the seams on 3 occasions (so far), Luis Castillo and Carlos Delgado aging 10 years practically overnight, in addition to injuries to Jose Valentin, Orlando Hernandez and Marlon Anderson. I understand why Omar has assembled the team he has, in the way that he has, but he also has to take the blame for his reliance on older players. As I said in a post a few days ago, I still believe that Omar deserves a chance to reassemble this roster, and I hope he gets the chance to do so. I also hope that our roster next season will feature the names "Carp," "Murphy," "Davis," "Havens," "Kunz" and "Niese." I'd rather go through a season of rebuilding and focusing on what Omar originally promised, a team built on pitching, defense and youth, then have another season of older parts jammed in for a one-season run, which so far has fallen short twice.

3.) Injuries - need we say more?
From Ryan Church and Moises Alou, to Orlando Hernandez and Pedro Martinez in the rotation, this season has been all about injuries. On a team where a.) older players are the norm, and b.) injuries are not exactly handled all that well (both as it pertains to media communication and, more importantly, how players injuries are actually handled), this season has been a complete disaster. In Alou's (first) absence, journeyman Angel Pagan becomes a more than able replacement, only to disappear with an injury, his current status barely known (I think I saw his face on a milk carton, but I'm not sure); Ryan Church proves to be one of Minaya's best acquistions, and then he's asked to travel across the country while battling his second concussion in less than 3 months- needless to say, if we're lucky, he'll be off the DL by early next week- whether he's the same player again remains to be seen; first baseman Carlos Delgado can't move on fastballs the way he used to, certainly not against lefties, and on a game by game basis, we can't tell which Delgado will show up- he has no single injury pressing at the moment, but his hips have proven to be a problem in the past and we're not entirely sure that he's ever completely recovered yet; centerfielder Carlos Beltran probably needs 15 days off so that his knees can catch up to the rest of his body, but that's not going to happen with the manager's job on the line, nor would Beltran agree to sit out any length of time, so we have to be content with Beltran at around 85% functionality; finally, in Pedro and O-Hern's absence, we tried out the likes of Nelson Figueroa, Claudio Vargas and Mike Pelfrey in their stead- Figs was a great early season story, but he's gone back to AAA- Vargas has become a long reliever, and Pelf is still in the rotation, although he could really use another season of development at the AAA level.

Without young, athletic players able to step in to replace injured vets, we've seen the likes of Robinson Cancel (his hit on Sunday notwithstanding) and Raul Casanova become parts of our bench, as well as youngster Nick Evans (who still needs seasoning in the minors), and none of them have been the RX for what ails us. Hope has arrived for next season in the form of draft picks Reese Havens and Ike Davis, as well as the rejuvinated Mike Carp, but next season is a long, long, LONG way away with nearly one-hundred games left to play this season.

I barely watched the games this weekend, not just because it was Father's Day, but because truly they have not exactly been a "joy" to watch. There was a difference this weekend, perhaps a small ray of hope; a classic-style win on Friday, a well-pitched victory by Pedro in game 2 on Sunday, and, although we lost in game one, for a change, we rallied back and actually scored a bunch of runs in the 8th and 9th innings, falling one run short in an 8-7 loss. Granted, while the Rangers have an amazing offense, their pitching leaves a lot to be desired, but they are still a tough team and taking 2 of 3 was the least we could have hoped for.

Facing the Angels for three games with the team at a crossroads might just be the right challenge to see what mettle this team has; I will be at the game on Wednesday, my last live game until coming to see Shea in September, and a game in which I get to see Oliver Perez yet again. I am praying we take another 2 of 3 and storm into Colorado on a high note- in this, the worst season under Omar's guidance so far, one is scared to hope for too much, as in a sweep- and that is truly sad, coming on the heals of two seasons where hope was the main ingredient for our fans.

So far, 2008 is, indeed, a season gone horribly wrong...it's still not too late to get that bad taste out of our mouths...I pray this happens very, very soon - for all of our sakes!!!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, thanks, guys, for reminding me of all the crap we've dealt with so far this season...

All kidding aside, if I was asked by the Wilpons whether or not I'd rather contend this season by trading away the few prospects we have for more old players, or see our own prospects get a chance with the big league club, I'd much rather have a shot at seeing our minor leaguers get playing time. We can't keep running on the fuel of old-timers...

MetsMineForLife said...

I agree- I'd rather see some of our youngsters get more of a chance. Come July, if we are out of contention and it's not looking good, I'd say bring up Carp, Martinez, Niese, Kunz and a few others - maybe Havens and Davis - just to give them a taste of things to come and show us that we indeed, do have a future- I hope!

I Hate the Yanks!!! said...

Well, at least we are now the number one media story in new york, which is probably what the Wilpons wanted all along!

Is the season over yet? said...

Just 3 things wrong...

Bad manager
Old players
Major injuries

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the show?!

MadMikeMaz said...

The Wilpons have as much credibility right now as Hulk Hogan and family do!

Either fire Willie or let him finish out the year- I agree he's not the manager we should have but he deserves better!!!

Anonymous said...

I am taking the rest of the month off and won't watch anymore...I might not even read your blog until then - don't be mad, cause I'm sure you can understand, but right now this team is just so depressing that they're not worth watching. At least in another few weeks, I'll know whether they stand a chance or will be so far back that it's over and can then reset my expectations...

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

I understand, but the team still needs our support. Perhaps if the blog didn't exist, I might stop watching for a month, too...but at least I can vent here on a daily basis. hey- if it makes you feel better, you can always email us your opinion and as long as you've got an interesting point of view and the language is clean, it'll probably be posted.

Bring Back Cleon said...

THe sad thing is, outside of Church, Santana, Wright, Martinez and Wagner, there's very little worth rooting for on this team and they certainly don't play all out like the 2000 team did which certainly didn't have half the talent that this team does. Valentine would get far more out of this team- so tell him to stop eating sushi and start eating NY Pizza as our new manager!!!!

ProFanMack said...

No one would be less a fan if they had to stop watching for a while...I didn't watch this weekend either, and don't feel like I missed anything.

I love the Angels- I am from Los Angeles and grew up with them and rooted until I moved to NY in '84, when it was impossible NOT to root for the Mets. This should be a good series, anyway, and if the Angels spank us, Willie or at least some of the coaches will be gone.

PetersonMustGO said...

Let's just get it out of the way...Dan Wathan gets promoted, and Rick Peterson is sent packing. Willie inherited him, and he was one of the reasons why the mgmt said it was okay to trade kazmir...what happened to heilman, perez and pelfrey? 3 great arms who impersonate frankenstein's monster instead of sandy koufax! Just do it already, give willie until the all-star break and see what Wathan can do with this team!

baseball dvds said...

I am afraid that this statement is not correct"
Great blog! nice insights on the Mets but personally, I don't think the Mets have that strong of a rotation. Even if Pelfrey has a breakout year, there are still too many question marks in the Mets rotation.

I would love to switch links with you and I have already put ur link in my blog! just link it to.'elaborate this.Thank you.
baseball dvds.