This was post on my fantasy baseball website and I think it deserves a place here:
There are many reasons for this, mostly, with having Avi most nights, I just don’t have the time to watch as many games as I used to. I also have less time to think about what I just watched, analyze it, and write about it.
Like I said, there are many reasons for my silence, most of which revolve around the state of the Mets.
2006 is a distant memory. 2006 when the Mets could do no wrong, when trailing by 3 later in the game, I was fully confident that they would, if not come back to win, at least make it close and worth watching.
Last night, trailing by 4 in the 8th (it would have been 2 if Matt Wise had not given up a bomb to Mark f-ing Kotsay) SNY ran a poll to see who thought the Mets could come back. 92% of respondents thought the game was over.
That speaks volumes about where this team and it’s fans are mentally.
I am bored with the Mets. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being asleep, and 10 being as excited as I have ever been (say like the day Santana was traded, man do I miss Carlos Gomez) this past weekends sweep of the (last place) Yankees was about a 2.
I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this team would come off of those two games, and fall flat on their faces in Atlanta, facing Tom Glavine and his 84 MPH fastball, and a guy that I seriously have never heard of.
This teams mediocrity is more than just a few uneven weeks of play. This team has look, acted, played and talked like this going back to last May. It has been a year.
There was a disastrous road trip to Colorado and Houston before the all-star break last year, that culminated with Reyes getting benched for lack of hustle, that kicked off the last 160 games or so of crap-tastic play.
There is no one reason for how poorly this team has played, and as complicated as the roots of this disaster are, the solutions are going to be just as complicated and painful, if not more.
The offense has been inconsistent for more than a year. Rick Down was fired before the all-star break last year as a scape goat for the offense.
It is not the results that are inconsistent. It is baseball, guys are going to make outs, I am completely prepared for that to happen, and happen a lot. It will happen to start an inning, it will happen with runners on base. I am completely ok with that.
When I say they are inconsistent, I mean there is no cohesion among the players when it comes to approach.
I realize that each player is different, and each player may or may not swing at a first pitch fastball.
But for years, the Yankees and Redsox have been known to, whether correctly or incorrectly, work the counts of the starting pitchers, exercising patience, driving up pitch counts, and getting the mediocre middle relief that is the Achilles heal of all teams.
This may just be B.S. talk from Yankees broadcasters, and analysts.
But I watch basically every Mets game, I think I know a few things about baseball and I can honestly say, for the past year-plus, I have no idea what the Mets approach is.
I have no idea, at-bat to at-bat, inning to inning, or game to game, what the Mets players, as a whole, are looking for.
I try to watch each batter, against each pitcher, whether they are right handed or left handed, a hard thrower or “crafty” (read:Tom f-ing Glavine), for instance, when David Wright faces a lefty, in general, he looks for a fastball early in the count, on the inside part of the plate to pull. David is a patient hitter that typically works the count, and will hit with two-strikes. But against lefties, he will swing first pitch on a fastball, if he can pull it.
And that, is the extent of the information I have been able to glean from this team, over the past year-plus.
Jose Reyes is lost, and watching him at-bat to at-bat, I have no clue what he is looking to do with the ball. I can honestly say, I cannot remember the last time I saw him get a base hit on a ground ball. This is the guy who is generally regarded as either THE fastest, or one of the fastest players in the game.
Outside of Ryan Church (who I just traded for, and is now out with a concussion because he slid too late last night trying to break up a double play that ended the game), who has a fairly consistent approach every time, Lefty or Righty, Church is looking for a fastball, thigh high that he can hit from gap to gap, which he has done on a consistent basis all year long.
I find it hard to believe that if Church is getting enough pitches to hit, that he is driving the ball consistently, Beltran who hits in front of him, or Wright to hits in front of Beltran are not seeing similar pitches and just not executing.
I don’t know that a change in hitting coach could correct this, but it may be necessary.
Terry’s Solution for the offensive woes:
make some changes to the lineup, and personnel.
Beltran (who is not hitting for power anyways, and clearly needs more protection in the lineup, as he is drawing walks at a tremendous rate)
——Make a trade for Delgado, the man has got to go.
in my opinion, trading Beltran is not out of the question. I am sick and tired of his inconsistent offensive production, his always injured body, and his lack of vocal leadership.
Yes he plays great defense. I get that, but so does Carlos Gomez, wait, shit we traded him for Santana.
The Starting Pitching has been consistently slightly above mediocre. John Maine has turned it on (at least until yesterday) Santana has been consistently good, not great. Perez has been average and infuriating, Pelfrey has been Ok, and the fifth spot has not been terrible.
The problem for the starters is (and this translates into a huge problem for the bull-pen) they simply throw too many pitches early in the game.
John Maine could not get out of the 4th inning yesterday, Johan Santana has struggled to get into the 7th, Perez is lucky to get through 6 on any given night. Pelfrey is the same as Perez.
What this translates into is an over used, over exposed, weak bull-pen.
I don’t know what can be done to reduce pitch counts. But the one question I have been waiting to hear be asked is this, what exactly is Rick Peterson’s job if it is not to get better performances out of his starters?
Rick Peterson (whom I like, a lot) is touted as a master of pitching. He talks like a Buddhist Monk, he has diagrams, and metaphors for everything, and yet….Perez has improved only marginally, Maine has leveled off, Pelfrey has taken too long to realize that if he simply throws his sinker for strikes, he is not that different than Brandon Webb (you know, the guy who has won every game he has pitched this year).
The list of players who have not improved under Peterson is a hell of a lot longer than the list of gems that he has molded into Major League success storys.
And I haven’t even mentioned the names in the Bullpen.
Aaron Heilman is a mess, and needs to go.
Matt Wise is a joke, and needs to go.
I realize that Willie has to go to these guys, as they are the tools that Omar has put in his tool box, much like going to Gillermo Mota, again and again, and again last year.
So it is time to change the Tools he has to use.
The Mets have a decent Bullpen (especially with Sosa gone)
Duaner Sanchez (who still looks like he is recovering and getting his feet under him)
and Scott Schowenweis have been fairly productive, I don’t expect the Bull-pen to lock down every lead, or keep every game in reach, but it would be nice to feel confident that down two in the 6th, with the starter out of the game because he threw 120 pitches in 5 innings, the game will stay in reach.
Heilman is gone tomorrow, get a serviceable arm in return (we got Sanchez for Jae Fucking Seo a few years ago, Omar, if you are the genius people believe you to be, and not the bumbling moron who lucked his way into most of the successful moves that have been made that I think you are, get it done)
Matt Wise is gone tomorrow, I don’t care what you get in return, this was a stupid signing when it happened. And he is ugly.
I don’t know that a change in pitching coach will make much of a difference, much like HoJo and the bats, consistent performance would make Peterson look a hell of a lot better.
And now, on to Mr. Randolph.
For those of you who do not pay way too much attention to the Mets as I do, Willie had some awesomely stupid comments this weekend about how the Media is the reason he is portrayed like a bumbling moron who has no control over his team.
Let me take this opportunity to say, and I mean this very seriously: Willie, the reason you are portrayed as a bumbling moron who has no control over your team is because you are a bumbling moron who has no control over your team. Period.
It’s not Racism as you would proclaim, Marvin the Fucking Martian could do a better job managing this team. And I don’t know what color his skin is, nor do I care.
The players are not listening, you don’t have the balls, or the authority to sit David Wright’s ass on the bench when he fails to run out a pop fly to right, that is eventually dropped and could have tied the game, or Luis Castillo, who was also jogging, and should have parked his ass right next to Wright’s had been running hard from first.
Reyes tuned you out last summer, and look how well he has performed in the last year.
Delgado could care less about what you have to say, or how you stick by your guys, he is long gone by the time the media is allowed in the club house.
You tell Wagner to keep it “in-house” when he speaks up about the lack of accountability in the club house with the media, then your turn around and blast your employer in the media, blame our treatment on racism, and scapegoat the journalist when he prints what you said, by saying “we were just chitchatting, and it was toung in cheek”.
I am sure you are a nice guy, and you truly care about winning.
That being said. Pack your bags dude.
You are not Joe Girardi who is struggling in his first season, with an injured lineup, and a mediocre pitching staff that was over-hyped and over-rated coming into the season.
The Yankees are what I thought they were, average. Which is in no way the fault of Girardi.
Cashman gambled that Hughes and Kennedy were going to be good enough, and that Andy Pettite and Mike Mussina were not crap, they are.
He was wrong, and unlike the Red Sox who have the offense to compete with crappy end of the rotation pitching, The Yanks boast no such offensive production.
The Yanks are also in a much improved division. The Rays are not better by accident. Their management has done one hell of a job putting together a tough, exciting, talented team.
The Jays have one of the better Starting Rotations in the game, The Orioles are improving with young players.
And the Sox are the best team in the AL.
The Yankees are, a middle of the road, highly paid, old team that will have a lot of old, highly paid players come off the books this offseason, and are not going to compete for the division this season, with or with Alex and Jorge.
The Mets however, Willie, are the most talented team in their division.
They have the best pitcher in the NL not named Brandon Webb, they have last seasons real MVP in David Wright, and a resurgent Billy Wagner.
There are no excuses for how poorly the Mets have played.
I don’t mean wins and losses. I mean the WAY they play.
In ’06 they played with passion and excitement. They were the best defensive team in the NL.
They did the little things that clubs have to do, to rise about the mediocre competition in the NL East.
Willie’s “we’ll get them tomorrow, it’s just one game” attitude has worn out.
This team suffered the worst regular season collapse in the history of baseball last year (Sorry Yanks you still hold the title for worst choke job in sports history).
If one lesson should have been learned last year, it is that every game, the Big ones against the Yankees, and the get-away-day blow out losses to the Reds when you trotted out the B-squad cause Alou, Delgado, Castillo, Schneider, and Beltran needed to rest, All Matter.
When you lose the division by one game, they all matter.
I find it most interesting, that the two players who have played consistent, and hard all year, Church and Schnieder, have spent the least amout of time with Willie, as if the more time you spend under his tutelage, the lazier, the less interested in playing hard you become.
I could not believe my eyes when David Wright casually jogged around first on that pop up against the Nats, that isnt the David Wright I used to know.
He did that, because in Willies club house, that type of behavior is ok.
That is not OK.
I have never heard Willie take responsibility for the focus of his team the way Girardi did following this weekends sweep. Willie always has someone else to blame, or some circumstance that explains away the poor play of his team.
And so, Terry’s Solution:
Pack your bags Willie, 2006 was awesome, thanks for the memories.
Make Jerry Manuel the manager for the rest of the season, as we saw Sunday night, he isn’t scared to get run out of a game in defense of one of his players, even if that player (Delgado) is too disinterested to argue for himself.
I have more to say, but my hands hurt.