Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Speechless and numb

On Sunday, Angel Pagan hit a triple. The crowd at Citi Field cheered proudly and loudly, on this last day of the Mets' regular season. When the game was over, the Mets faithful actually gave the team a standing ovation as they walked off the field.

That's the nature of the Mets fan. As much as we've been punched in the face, and as much as we've acted out because of that (remember all the booing last year?), at the end of the day - quite literally at the end of the season - we cheer.

Well, if I was at that game, I would not have done any cheering.

The New York Mets are a monumental disgrace, from top to bottom - from the front office, to management, to coaching, to on-field performance.

Not since 2004 have the Mets had a completely meaningless September. And this year, for the first time since 2004, I found myself, well, not caring. Days even went by in which I didn't even think about the Mets - days in which I forgot to check whether they won or lost. I never would have thought that was possible at the start of this year - a year built on so much promise.

The Mets were bad from 2002-2004, for sure, but there were no expectations those years. This year Sports Illustrated picked the Mets to win the World Series. We had just come off two seasons in a row of brutal collapses. You know the story.

Yes, there were inexplicable and outrageous - both in quality and quantity - injuries. Surely that had a lot to do with why the Mets only won 70 games this year. But the Mets were perfectly healthy in April, and went 13-15. Unacceptable. The Mets led the league in getting thrown out at home plate. Unacceptable. The Mets committed mental gaffes and errors on the field that would make little leaguers ashamed. Unacceptable. The Mets went 20-48 over their last 68 games. I know the team was crushed by injuries to start players, but 20-48? Sorry. Unacceptable.

But more importantly here - management showed an amazing lack of foresight this season. I mean, an AMAZING lack of foresight. I was okay with Minaya not making any roster moves in late May and early June when the injuries started to pile up. I figured the Mets could get along until the All-Star break with what they had. Hell, for a while, they were getting by alright. Delgado and Reyes were supposed to come back by the break, right? Right. Minaya did not make any moves then because he counted on those guys coming back on time. And we know what happened after that. Beltran got injured too. And he was the only Met to return of the big three (Delgado, Reyes, Beltran), and he didn't come back until mid-September. UNACCEPTABLE. Minaya made decisions not to make moves in May and June, counting on his stars to return. This is how badly the Mets are fucked up in the areas of management, training, and medicine. They are completely and utterly dysfunctional. Management did jack shit with this team, and basically just watched it go into the shitter.

For all of this - the horrible record down the stretch of the season, the errors on the field that would embarrass little leaguers, the lack of foresight by the general manager - you would think management would be punished, as in - FIRED. No. Instead, they're rewarded. As we learned from yesterday's press conference with Wilpon and Minaya, both Minaya and Manuel will be back next season. No major changes have been made. More of the same old shit that has gotten the Mets to where they are in the first place.

Fuck you, Jeff and Fred Wilpon. Fuck you. You have no respect for your fan base - in particular for the fans that bleed blue and orange - the diehards.

But I realize I am stuck with you assholes. Because, let's face it, you're not going to be selling the team any time soon. And I'm not going anywhere either. I'll be rooting for the Mets until the day I die. So, I can only hope that you shape the fuck up.

But I have no reason to be hopeful in the short term.

This team is in desperate need of a major overhaul. The only players I care to hang on to are David Wright, Johan Santana, and K-Rod. But, again, it looks as though we are in for more of the same.

At the end of 2007 and 2008, I was crushed. Devastated. Extremely sad. This year I'm just angry, and disgusted, but in a deeper sense - just numb. What makes me even more batty is that I don't really believe that the front office is as angry as I am. They probably made a profit this year, amazingly enough. So what the fuck should they care for? Maybe that's what has to happen. Maybe Citi Field needs to turn into Grant's Tomb in order for these dolts to get the message.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Mets 10-Game Report: Volume 13

Welcome to Volume 13 of the Mets 10-Game Report.  It's almost over, Mets fans.  There are only 31 games left.  

Previous Results:
Volume 11: Games 100-110: Record: 2-8
Volume 12: Games 110-120: Record: 5-5

And the latest:
Volume 13:
Games 121-130
Record: 2-8

vs ATL L 3-2
vs PHI W 4-2
vs PHI L 4-1
vs PHI L 9-7
vs PHI L 6-2
at FLA L 2-1
at FLA L 5-3
at FLA W 10-3
at CHI L 5-2
at CHI L 11-4

Runs Scored: 36
Runs Allowed: 50
Team BA: .279
Team BA w. RISP: .258
Team BA w. RISP & 2 outs: .260
HRs: 5
Team ERA: 5.12
Starter ERA: 5.86
Bullpen ERA: 4.09
Team BAA: .277
HRs Allowed: 11
Errors: 6
Fielding DP: 10
SB: 7

Analysis: My theory with the 10-Game Report is that, basically, 6-4 and better is a win, 4-6 and worse is a loss, and 5-5 is a tie.  That puts the Mets' record this season at 3-8-2.  That's pretty damn awful.  

But look - Mike Pelfrey is now the on paper ace of this staff.  Fernando Tatis is starting at 3rd base.  Luis Castillo has been the team's MVP.  Delgado, Reyes, and Beltran aren't back yet, and probably won't be back.  

What a crazy season.  

There's no feeling anymore.  As a fan, I'm simply numb.  It's liberating, in a way.  Last season at this time I was a nervous wreck - hanging on every pitch - crazy.  This year?  The other day I actually made it through a day having forgotten that there was a game. By the time I remembered, the game was over, and I was merely slightly amused to see that the Mets had lost a game to the Fish.  

Is there anything left to root for now?  For me there are two things.  One is watching the September call-ups.  The other is watching David Wright, for whom my awe and respect just continues to grow.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Mets 10-Game Report: Volume 12

Welcome to Volume 12 of the Mets 10-Game Report.  I apologize for being tardy with this volume.  You know, it's just a little hard to be motivated when it comes to this current Mets team. 

Previous Results:
Volume 11: Games 100-110: Record: 2-8

And the latest:
Volume 12:
Games 110-120
Record: 5-5

@ SDG W 5-1
@ ARI L 7-4
@ ARI L 6-2
@ ARI W 6-4
vs SFO W 3-0
vs SFO L 5-4
vs SFO W 3-2
vs SFO L 10-1
vs ATL W 9-4
vs ATL L 15-2

Runs Scored: 44

Runs Allowed: 54

Team BA: .272

Team BA w. RISP: .267

Team BA w. RISP & 2 outs: .227

HRs: 3

Team ERA: 5.18

Starter ERA: 5.92

Bullpen ERA: 4.93

Team BAA: .313

HRs Allowed: 7

Errors: 6


Fielding DP: 6

SB: 3

Analysis: In 1973, the Mets were 61-71 at the end of August.  They made it to a seventh game of the World Series.  Granted, the competition that year was quite bad.  But miracles can happen.  And that's all that needs to be said.  

That, and, oh, David Wright getting hit in the head.  Unbelievable.  David - next time you get chin music, you better charge the mound.  

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Mets 10-Game Report: Volume 11

Welcome to Volume 11 of the Mets 10-Game Report.  After making a brief cameo appearance, Hope has officially left the building.  

Previous Results:

And the latest:
Volume 11:
Games 101-110
Record: 2-8

vs COL L 4-2
vs ARI L 3-2
vs ARI W 9-6
vs ARI L 5-2
vs ARI L 6-5
vs STL L 12-7
vs STL W 9-0
@ SDG L 8-3
@ SDG L 6-2
@ SDG L 3-1

Runs Scored: 42

Runs Allowed: 53

Team BA: .262

Team BA w. RISP: .277

Team BA w. RISP & 2 outs: .035 (Not kidding.  1 for 28)


Team ERA: 5.11

Starter ERA: 6.11

Bullpen ERA: 4.25

Team BAA: .274

HRs Allowed: 13

Errors: 4

GIDP: 12

Fielding DP: 7

SB: 7

Volume 11 MVPs:
Starter: Johan only pitched once in this volume due to the double-header against Colorado, but I still think he's the only SP who deserves this. 
Reliever: I hear that Billy Wagner threw a scoreless inning for AAA Buffalo.  
Hitter: Jeff Francoeur has looked impressive at the plate in a Mets uniform.

Volume 11 "Just Shoot Me in the Face!":
Starter: Mike Pelfrey has been so inconsistent this year - so disappointingly inconsistent.  He's still young, and maybe next year will be the year he REALLY puts it together.  I mean, Johan Santana didn't become Johan Santana until his late 20s.  But nonetheless, it has been very frustrating watching Mike take one step forward and then one or two steps back all season.  
Reliever: K-Rod, you picked a bad time to go bad.  
Hitter: Remember when for the last two months of last season, Daniel Murphy looked like one of the most talented hitters in the league?

Analysis: Losing 3 out of 4 at home to the lowly D-Backs proved that that 5 game winning streak really was just a fluke.  The Mets need a miracle to make the playoffs.  Hell, they may need a miracle just to finish ahead of the Nationals.  Check this out.  This was the Mets opening day lineup:

Reyes, SS
Castillo, 2B
Wright, 3B
Delgado, 1B
Beltran, CF
Church, RF
Murphy, LF
Schneider, C
Santana, P

Here's the team we fielded last night and have been fielding for most of the season now:

Pagan, CF
Castillo, 2B
Wright, 3B
Murphy, 1B
Francoeur, RF
Sullivan, LF
Santos, C
Hernandez, SS
Santana, P

And that's basically all she wrote, folks.  

Think about just how inept our front office is, though.  We could have made moves in May or early June, but we didn't.  We didn't because we thought we were getting Reyes, Beltran, and Delgado back.  But now we'll be lucky to get even one of these guys back, given the newly discovered extent of their injuries.  Unreal.  

The only thing the Mets have going for them is that they still have plenty of games to play against the teams they are chasing.  But, they basically have to win all of those games.  I continue to believe that anything is possible in the game of baseball, but I'm pretty much looking toward next season now.  

Around the NL East:

Oh, who cares...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quote of the Day

"What I will criticize about management is that they don’t take sufficiently seriously their obligation to serve as the custodians of the Mets’ identity and heritage. It is shameful for an executive of a team to dismiss the idea of an “Old-Timers’ Day” game because it is not sufficiently profitable. We all know that baseball is a business, but management has to know that fans don’t love baseball because it’s a business. We don’t give a flying f— how much money the owners make. The owners have been entrusted with our faith, our personal identities, and our family histories. This game is about our souls and our community, not their bucks. Owning a baseball team is a privilege, a public trust. So if your fans want an “Old Timers’ Day” game or a “Banner Day,” a Mets museum, a visible Mets Hall of Fame, Mets banners, Mets logos, Mets colors, in a stadium that feels like the home of the Mets, if your fans want to stand behind the dugouts and see the players up close in batting practice two hours before the game the way they used to in their old stadium, you give it to them! Do you hear me?! It DOESN’T MATTER whether or not any of these things increase profitability (they do in the long run, but American business doesn’t usually take the long run into account). None of this would cost you more than a backup shortstop. To make Citi Field a true home for the Mets fan is your moral responsibility. You owe us this. And we would appreciate enormously having some sign from you that you understand this obligation."

-Dana Brand

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Mets 10-Game Report: Volume 10

Mets fans, hello.  Welcome to the 10th official installment of the Mets 10-Game Report.  They are giving us hope again.  Keep the whiskey at hand.  

Previous Results:

And the latest:
Volume 10:
Games 91-100
Record: 6-4!

@ ATL L 7-1
@ WAS W 6-2
@ WAS L 4-0
@ WAS L 3-1
@ HOU L 5-4
@ HOU W 10-3
@ HOU W 8-3
vs COL W 7-3
vs COL W 4-0
vs COL W 7-0

Runs Scored: 48

Runs Allowed: 30

Team BA: 91/327 = .278

Team BA w. RISP: 27/74 = .365 (Nice!)

Team BA w. RISP & 2 outs: 12/34 = .352 (WOW!)

HRs: 6

Team ERA: 86IP, 27ER = 2.82 (That. Is. Awesome.)

Starter ERA: 59.2IP, 21ER = 3.19 

Bullpen ERA: 27IP, 6ER = 2.00

Team BAA: 76/313 = .242

HRs Allowed: 6

Errors: 6

GIDP: 10

Fielding DP: 14

SB: 2

Volume 10 MVPs:
Starter: Livan Hernandez got two wins in this volume with two very nice starts.
Reliever: Pedro Feliciano's arm may fall off by the end of the season, but boy has he been good.
Hitter: Luis Castillo & Jeff Franceour have been tearing the cover off the ball.  

Volume 10 "Just Shoot Me in the Face!":
Starter: Oliver Perez drives me crazy with all of those stupid walks.  To his credit, he hasn't had a true meltdown start yet.  
Reliever: Tim Redding stinks.  
Hitter: Ya know, I actually don't think anyone deserves to be here for this.  

Analysis: After four straight volumes of pure crap, the Mets have finally turned in an over .500 result, posting a solid 6-4 for Volume 10.  And they had to work hard for this one, as they started the volume out 1-4 and came back to win 5 straight.  

They truly hit rock bottom after that Washington series.  And I guess after that, they figured the truly worst was behind them, and perhaps it gave them a sense that they were about to start anew.  Who knows.  It all comes down to pitching though at the end of the day, especially starting pitching, and the Mets have been getting excellent starting pitching.  Santana is back to normal, Big Pelf - dare I say - seems to be back to normal, Livan is good again, Niese has given the team a lift, and Ollie - though he hasn't been great - hasn't been classically horrid Ollie.  

And the offense?  I'm not sure how to explain the offensive surge.  Basically - you have Pagan and Castillo playing extremely well and getting on base.  DW is DW.  Franceour has been scary good, and has provided protection for Daniel Murphy.  So now you have 5 guys in that lineup who really can hold their own.  This takes pressure off a player like Cora who is not really an everyday player.  And look - even bad teams go through hot offensive streaks.  Now, I hope that's not what is going on with the Mets, but I'm not about to declare them new and improved and ready to storm into first place in the WC chase.  Not yet, anyway.  I need to see another 20 games or so of this.  

But there's hope again, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking.  I had resigned myself to the fact that the Mets were not going to do anything but lose.  But now, with this 5 game winning streak and with them only 5 games out of the WC lead, and with Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, Putz, and Wagner all looming and looking to come back sometime next month, there is hope.  

Next up for the Mets: 6 more games on the homestand - 4 vs the D-Backs, and 2 vs the Cardinals.  They must win 4 out of those 6, which would make for a 7-3 homestand, which is excellent.  Then they go on the road to play the Padres for 4 games.  So of the next 10 games, 8 of them will be against teams that are well below .500.  The Mets must take advantage.  I mean, simply put, they can't afford to lose much anymore.

Around the NL:
Phillies: 4-6, 7-3, 5-5, 7-3, 7-3, 5-5, 2-8, 6-4, 8-2, 6-3
Braves: 5-5, 5-5, 4-6, 6-4, 5-5, 5-5, 4-6, 5-5, 6-4, 6-4, 0-1
Marlins: 9-1, 3-7, 4-6, 3-7, 4-6, 6-4, 5-5, 7-3, 5-5, 6-4, 1-0

Well, since that putrid 4-14 stretch that the Phills suffered, they have really turned it on.  So much so we Mets fans have stopped paying attention to the division race and have a hearts set on the WC race now.  Both the Braves and the Marlins have been playing solid baseball as of late, but if the track record of the season as a whole means anything, they should be back to .500 and below soon.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Quote of the Day

"The good thing for Wilpon is his team seems to be oblivious to the chaos in the front office. The Mets posted their fourth straight victory last night. Maybe they should fire Bernazard every night." - Tim Smith, New York Daily News