19
Jun
08

Ten Reasons the Mets will Finish 10 Games Under .500


Today we bring you a guest column from generally angry commenter Shatraw, who offers his insights into what is ailing his beloved Mets (until he jumps onto the Rays bandwagon.)

_________________

The inevitable came to pass in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, June 17th, when Omar Minaya snuck into Willie Randolph’s hotel room and left the severed heads of Rick Peterson and Tom Nieto in his bed, scrawling the word’s “YOU’RE FIRED” in blood on the wall over his bed. There is no debate about whether the firing was warranted and going into the theatrics surrounding the situation is just beating a dead horse. The real question now is: “can the Met’s get their act together and finish off 2008 in the hunt for a playoff spot?”

Hah hah hah.

Here are the 10 reasons the Mets will finish 10 games under .500. If each one of these factors only adds one loss to their chances of finishing .500, the Mets should consider themselves lucky.

PROBLEM: Oliver Perez will walk 100+ batters

Free Parking Perez has walked 48 men in only 72.1 IP. Remember last year when he went 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA and 174K, walking “only” a total of 79?

The honeymoon is over. His ERA is flirting with 5. He gives his team almost no chance to win 1 out of 3 times he’s on the mound.

CAN IT BE FIXED? Well, since he walked 8 in 5IP on May 23rd in Colorado, he’s only walked 4, 2, 2 and 3. So no, probably not.

PROBLEM: Jose Reyes turned into a sniveling prick

Everyone knows that watching Reyes play at the height of his game is possibly the most exciting sight in baseball. But that’s if he feels like it.

Reyes seems more petulant by the hour, climaxing last night in Jerry Manuel’s first game as manager. Reyes pulling up lame at first, whined into the bench. When Manuel emerged from the dugout and told him to take the night off, Reyes chucked his helmet and sulked off the field.

It’s just the latest in Jose’s trend toward little-bitchery. Reyes can regularly be seen booting routine groundballs, not laying out for tougher plays and scuffling to first on grounders.

CAN IT BE FIXED? I don’t know what his deal is, but they have to make Reyes care again. Send him to a Tony Robbins brainwashing if it’s necessary.

PROBLEM: The Wilpons are reverting back into the Wilpons

After a couple of relatively sane seasons from ownership, the Wilpons are up to their nasty old tricks again. Now that their team is sputtering, it’s back to a steady flow of media leaks, petty in-fighting and backstabbing in an organization famous for such hijinks. That’s always good for team morale.

I’m starting to suspect that Mets ownership is intentionally tanking this season. Omar Minaya has that look in his eye, like his time is about to come. And it probably will after this season.

CAN IT BE FIXED? Not really. Unless the Wilpons charter a fateful helicopter tour with the always hilarious Dolans, curing NY sports of insanity at its uppermost levels. Oh wait, forgot about Hank Steinbrenner. Damn.

PROBLEM: Both Carlos’s (Carlii?) suck and neither one of them cares

Everyone in baseball knows it’s time to close the book on Carlos Delgado. Hell, even he knows and reflects as much in his uninspired play. Fist-pumping after an inning-ending double play does not count as caring. That’s more of an instinctive reaction to something cool. (He needs to be designated for assignment as soon as they have someone/anyone to play first on a regular basis)

Then there is Carlos Beltran. I don’t know what this guy’s deal is, other than he loves Jesus, has a giant mole on his face and gets hot just enough times a year to make his season stats seem “good.” He has about as little personality as is humanly possible. Then again, maybe that’s what you need to play in NYC.

CAN IT BE FIXED? The Immortal Gammons suggested the Mets clean out the farm and send Beltran to the Blue Jays for A.J. Brunette and Alex Rios. That made my baseball boner move a little bit. Otherwise, I don’t know. Pray with Beltran for hits before each game, I guess. And someone uncover the lost secrets of Delgado’s Pitcher Journal, for heaven’s sake!

PROBLEM: The bullpen… if that’s what you can call it

These guys are about as consistent with their performance as a 15 year old boy and his hot teacher in the parking lot outside of a Dairy Queen.

Aaron Heilman oscillates wildly between throwing unhittable, filth McNasty stuff and batting practice. Duaner Sanchez is slowly piecing his game back together after missing more than a season. Pedro Feliciano and Joe Smith are losing their magic in the only situations they are required to pitch in. Then again, those two are the most mismanaged out of the whole bullpen. And apparently Scott Schoenweiss still plays baseball!

Whoops, can’t forget to mention Billy Wagner, the man who can neither put up OR shut up. You can already DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTE 3 loses in the last week to him.

CAN IT BE FIXED? Willie never had a very good touch with his bullpen, hence its streaky nature throughout his tenure. Now it’s up to Jerry Manuel. This bullpen can be effective if managed correctly… by another AL guy managing an NL team.

PROBLEM: David Wright’s impenetrable veneer is starting to crack

Well, it finally happened. After a full year of sucking butt and lazing around, the Mets have started breaking down the ever-sunny David Wright. He still says the professional, correct things to the media, but you can see it in his face. You can see it in his posture on the field. You can see it after he makes an out.

David is the right situation away from totally snapping.

He might just go off and strangle an ump. It’s hard to say. But that dude is wound really tight right now.

CAN IT BE FIXED? I sure hope so. David Wright is a warrior and goes out to play everyday. (Take note, Carlos’s.) He was definitely affected by the whole Willie saga, so hopefully he can clear his head with Manuel at the helm.

PROBLEM: Seriously, have you seen that bench?

Due to the expected number of injuries when fielding an $138 million “team” that can be classified in some positions as “old as shit”, you’re going to have to get into your bench. That’s bad news when all your bench players are career bench-warmers at the end of their bench-warming careers.

Marlon Anderson, the sun has set. Damion Easley, you make us all miss Jose Valentin. Fernando Tatis, you used to love steroids and haven’t had a hit in like 4000 AB.

Endy Chavez, I’ll give you a pass because you have good speed and are a great OF. Not a starting OF, but good on the D, y’know?

The real issue is that we just see these guys way too much, since Luis Castillo needs 3 days off a week, Moises Alou is a mummy and Ryan Church broke his brain.

Did I mention that having Raul Casanova on a major league roster for that long led me to look up mail-bomb-making on the internet? It’s amazing what you can find on this thing!

CAN IT BE FIXED? Yeah, with some decent throw-ins on trades that will never happen. Because there sure ain’t shit in the minors worth calling up.

PROBLEM: Father Time haunts Shea Stadium

Honestly, how many games can we really expect from Moises Alou? 50?

Oh, here’s a good one: how many starts will El Duque make this year? Anyone want to take my over/under bet of 7? (I got under!)

Pedro, it’s not that I don’t love you, because I do. But I wouldn’t rely on you to come over and feed my dogs while I’m on vacation, much less make 20 starts. (Which reminds me, I’m going away this weekend, so give me a call, Ped-ro.)

Luis Castillo must have given Omar the BJ of a lifetime for that contract at your age with a BUM FUCKING KNEE. Oh, and hip. And groin. And whatever else makes you feel like not playing that day. Good OBP, though. It’ll make the next 3.5 years fly by I’m sure.

CAN IT BE FIXED? You know how sometimes, you think “that guy totally has one good season left in him!” Four guys on the same team don’t have that season in the same year. And that’s what they need to avoid catastrophe.

PROBLEM: Mets fans are douchebags – I know because I am one

Been to Shea Stadium lately? Well, don’t go if you don’t want the kids to hear some creative derision of their heroes. Not to mention colorful new curse words!

Seriously, Mets fans are impossible to please. There is no better example of this then booing Carlos Delgado all year, then calling him back out for a curtain call on a particularly potent night with the bat. But when Carlos wouldn’t come out, we booed him more!

That place is rough, I tells ya. Frankly, I’m surprised Aaron Heilman still lives after giving up so many ill-timed dingers to the opposing batters.

CAN IT BE FIXED? Hah. No, and why should it? I mean, the team is shitty right now. They deserve to be booed. But the fact that they’re professional athletes aside, it’s probably not a great motivator for success.

PROBLEM: Omar Minaya boned this team out of contention

Look, not everything Omar did up until this year was bad. But boy oh boy, was he living in denial going into 2008. Trading for Johan Santana was pretty much a necessity, given the status of the rotation. But there goes the farm! Trading Lastings Milledge for Ryan Church and Brian Schneider looks good so far, getting good D behind the plate from Schneider and a career year that was interrupted by repeated head trauma from Church.

But the issues he failed to address have really bitten him in the ass.

  1. He stood by the manager that oversaw the single worst collapse in baseball – possibly SPORTS – history. Dummy, you shoulda fired Willie then.

  2. The bench is craptacular.

  3. The bullpen is craptacular.

  4. Moises Alou – starting LF! Hah. Maybe once a month.

Oh, and then Omar gave Luis Castillo a contract that has been called everything from “insane” to “unbelievably insane” for no particular reason. This assures that the Mets will be stuck with an injury-prone, untradeable, light-hitting 2B for the next 3 years. Goody!

Probably better to count on Delgado for one last hurrah, though. Seeing as how his numbers have declined every year for the last 3 years.

You know, Willie wasn’t a great manager. He was barely even a good manager. He was a good guy who had rising talent to hoist him up for 3.5 seasons before coming back to earth and leaving him in the lurch.

But upon closer inspection, Minaya didn’t help him out any.

CAN IT BE FIXED? Minaya, thinking like a fan, sees Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Santana, Wagner and Maine and figures those guys alone will make the team .500. The rest of his gambles will take care of the rest.

Boy, did that not work out.

Minaya, in all likelihood, is operating in his last season as the Mets GM. His only chance of survival? Fix all of the above problems, because with the exception of the fans being fans, they’re all your fault.

Here’s my advice, Omar: trade and trade big. Bring in someone quick that turns the tide for the Amazin’s. Or get ready to be Seattle’s new GM.


20 Responses to “Ten Reasons the Mets will Finish 10 Games Under .500”


  1. 1 the roomate
    June 19, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Well put Shatraw, and much more constructive than my ‘in a perfect world’ comment that was riddled with ridiculousness and inaccuracies.

    The breaking point for me that showed that mets fans are a fairweather bunch and the team had little-to-no heart was last year, I went to a must-win game for the Mets in a make-up 1-game series against the Cardinals at the tail end of their collapse. Pedro vs. Joel Pinero and La Russa had one of his classic: I’m throwing-this-game-away-and-playing-our-scrubbiest-scrubs lineups, te Mets the best they had. There was a threat of rain, but not too bad, and once again, this was a must-win for the mets, they needed some support.

    About 15-20,000 people showed up, everyone was super pissed as if the season was shot already, and Joel Pinero(!!!) 3-hit the Mets through 8 and they lost 3-0. The hitters were either wildly impatient or watching fat strike 3’s go by, and it was just sad. There was little support from the fans, some douchenozzle’s even booed the “heeeeeeeeeeeee struck him out” guy, which is shea blasphomy equivelant to punching the cowbell man(youppi quickly put them in their place), and this was in the heat of the pennant race. I think they were within a game or two of first.

    It was sad.

  2. 2 myummers
    June 19, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    shatraw obviously didn’t watch last night’s game. manuel’s 2nd game at the helm and you could already notice a couple of differences in the team. 1- they had their first late inning comeback in about 2 years, 2- reyes actually played 9+ innings. played, not just farted his way through them.

    also manuel got on endy chavez for an ill-timed sac bunt. this after getting on reyes the night before, pulling him, and using the “hamstring” excuse.

    had it been willie with either case, he would’ve been like “uh, hey, uh, not sure about that fellas, play play play.” willie was a pussy and never did shit. never. never argued, never got on one of his players. good riddance. it may not have been 100% fair, but there was no way the mets were ever going to WIN, and by that i mean even GO to the world series, with willie at the helm.

  3. 3 the roomate
    June 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    The Mets were damn lucky to tie that game. Only D.Wright could’ve gotten a hit off of K-Rod in that spot and it was nice to see Damion Easley back to his old tricks: Super-clutch late-inning heroics.

  4. June 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    Fire Omar Minaya. I’ve been saying it for decades. Fernando Tatis?!? The Luis Castillo debacle is even more insane when considering Orlando Hudson’s claim that he would’ve taken a below-market contract to play for the Mets after his contract expires this season.

    Fire Omar.

    At least Rick Peterson is gone. The guy had no effect on his pitching staff whatsoever, outside of owning a half-mullet.

  5. 5 shatraw
    June 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    i will grant you that manuel is a big X factor. i didn’t really talk about him in this piece. i also didn’t talk about their now 4-23 record when trailing after 6 innings, oliver perez’s splits when pitching to schneider vs. anyone else, or mike pelfrey.

    they said on SNY last night that Dan Warthen is going to let pelfrey play with his curve, which they forbid him to throw the last year and half. so that should be interesting. pelfrey is definitely showing signs of improvement by throwing basically one pitch really well. if he proves to have an effective curve, that makes his fastball and mediocre slider even better.

    lastly, i did not watch the end of last nights game. i am ashamed. it was typical “get a lead, let it slip away, oh no now we’re into the closer” type game for the mets. so i turned it off after the top of the 8th because i was sleepy. i’m a horse’s ass.

  6. 6 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    RE: Oliver Perez – His career numbers are better in the second half (his ERA by more than half a run). So are his WHIP and is his OAV. What is Perez’ best month? Try July, where he houses a career 3.20 ERA, so he’s got some of his best baseball yet to come. Maybe Perez blows because of a strained relationship with newly fired Rick Peterson, so a change could be the shot in the arm Perez needs to start throwing more strikes. Also, it’s kinda unfair to say he’ll throw 100+ BB, when he hasn’t done it ONCE in his career (though he has certainly thrown more than he should at this point). Look, I hate Perez and can’t wait to see him go, but AS A METS FAN, I gotta believe.

  7. 7 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    RE: Reyes – He lays out for tough plays (I don’t know what mets games you’re watching), and the attitude probably spawned from lack of any emotion, good or bad, from Willie Randolph. Yes, Reyes tested the waters Tuesday night, but later admitted “I wanted to play, but (Jerry Manual) was just watching out for me, I understand what I did wrong and I apologized.” Doesn’t sound like a little bitch to me! How did he react to the discipline? Only 3-for-5 with a steal and three runs scored, including the game tying run. Also, I’m not trying to play up the race card here, but Manuel can speak Spanish with Reyes, and I don’t see how that could be anything but a positive in the eyes of the, still young, 25 year old.

  8. 8 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    RE: Carlos’ …Or Carlae: I can’t really argue too much. Yes, Delgado is done. But again, July August and September are his 4th, 1st and 2nd best hitting months for his career, and he hits 20 points higher after the All-Star break. Beltran will put up the numbers, don’t worry. My biggest gripe with him is putting up the numbers when it counts, not just hitting 2 hr’s in a 12-2 romp. Maybe Manuel can tap into something Willie couldn’t, and their passion will wake up. A few wins like last night’s, getting to within 2 games of the Phillies, and they could feel like they’re playing for something… Aside from average, though, they each have 10 HR’s and haven’t been injured, and they generally play better in the heat, so AS A METS FAN, I gotta believe.

  9. 9 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    RE: The Bullpen – Heilman has given up 1 run in his last 8 outings. Feliciano has only given up 8 runs in 28 innings, and Smith and Shoeneweis have been better than they were last year, especially Shoeneweis. Sanchez still has to regain his form, true, but now that Willie won’t strut him out 3 days in a row… AND before Wagner blew those 3 games, no one gave him any credit for only giving up 1 run in 25 innings! Oh, and since his mini-meltdown, he’s saved 3 straight…

  10. 10 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    RE: Wright – I don’t know how any Met fan would ever include him as a reason the Mets will finish 10 under .500. I’m shocked, traw. Hey, maybe if he got a day off, he wouldn’t be so tightly wound. D-Wright is still the only player left this year who has played in every inning of every game. It makes sense that he’d be a little on edge. Will this cause the Mets to finish 10 games under .500? I doubt it, and if it came down to it, there is no one I would want up more that David with the game on the line (see: last night touching the unhittable K-Rod). Also, your manager gets fired and your 5.5 games back, I can cut him some slack if he wants to jones (he does the most talking out of anyone in the clubhouse, and it’s good to see his human side sometimes, and not his PR/all the answers side).

  11. 11 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    RE: The Bench – Personally, I love Endy, and Marlon Anderson despite the subpar year. Tatis and Easley (even AFTER last night’s game winner) have to go, as does every back up catcher that’s played this year (sans Castro). Maybe the real problem is not so much the bench itself, but who put the bench together… Anyways, if there is one thing I will say that the Mets miss in general, it’s the scrappiness that made them so loveable in the past, and nothing says scrappy(or scrippy, take your pick) than our current bench. I’m sure they’ve got a ton of heart left in them, and they’ll come through (hell, without all this past month’s clutch bench hits, the Mets would probably be even further back!)

  12. 12 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    RE: Father Time/Age – To me, age = experience. Alou? Who cares about him, we’ve done fine without him. I never expected anything out of El Duque (nor do I think he’ll pitch in a Mets uniform again). Pedro is hopefully over the injury bug, and aside from that, there aren’t very many age related injuries, or issues. Oh, and yeah, Castillo’s knees blow (as you mentioned, see: omar/4yr. contracts/great.). BUT! ‘rest assured’ old-timers, after this recent road trip, the Mets will not have to travel further than St. Louis for the rest of the season, which means well rested bodies and minds!

  13. 13 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    RE: “Unfixables” – Can’t argue with you on two BIG problems, Traw.

    1) Minaya HAS GOT TO GO! Before it’s too late! I don’t want a similar Colon/Sizemore/Brandon Phillips/Cliff Lee disaster happening to the Mets.

    2) The Wilpons do, and forever will, suck. But thanks for shelling out the ca$h for Johan…

    And as for the fans… well, I think there is still hope for some, but not with this attitude Shatraw! We need to hang out more when you come back so you can stat bleeding blue and orange again.

    It’s the final year of Shea Stadium, and I’d be shocked if the Mets went out as losers. Turn your frown upside down, and just tell yourself you wrote that whole entry a week too late, because the pendulum has started to swing in the opposite direction, and before you know it, the Mets will be UP 10 games OVER .500!

    YA GOTTA BELIEVE!

  14. 14 shatraw
    June 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    well, the reason wright is cracking is everyone else. we’ll see.

    hey, i still root for this team to win.

  15. 15 shatraw
    June 19, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    also, following up half your points with “ya gotta believe” sort of belies your points, youps.

  16. 16 slanch
    June 19, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    also, youppi, weren’t you saying as early as monday that Willie SHOULDN’T be fired, and yet half your points were about how Willie wasn’t able to get through to his players

    isn’t that called managing?

    hence he’s a bad manager!

    you’re completely deluded,

    the only way teh mets are going to teh playoffs is if the phillies all contract bubonic plague

  17. 17 shatraw
    June 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    and slanch, way to make a couple of my jokes funnier.

  18. 18 youppi
    June 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I like Willie! I still do. And I don’t think he should have been fired (at least not yet, nor on the west coast, nor after a win). “Willie not getting through to the players” is the easy answer (for most) as to why he was fired, and if that’s what people believe to be true, then having Manuel in will have a positive effect on the players. I might not agree with it, but if that is what everyone else is arguing, then I’m using that argument to my advantage into why the mets will bounce back. That’s all I was saying. I’m certainly not deluded.

    I followed only two of my points with ‘ya gotta believe’, and then my string of posts with that, only in an attempt to get YOU (traw) to start thinking straight about Los Mets (meaning on the + side of .500). Do I really think Perez will bounce back? meh, but I have to hope, as a mets fan. I would hope you, as a mets fan, might write ’10 reasons the mets will end 10 games ABOVE .500′ and then at least give some good with your bad. How can you root for the team to win, if ultimately you believe they will lose?

  19. 19 shatraw
    June 19, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    i didn’t build that team to lose. some guy who makes more money than i’ll ever see does. as a consumer who chooses the mets brand of baseball, i’m perfectly within reason to express my disappointment with the faltering quality of their product, largely because of shoddy worksmanship, poor middle and upper management and bad customer service.

    of course i want them to win. but i don’t have to be optimistic about the clusterfuck this team is right now.

    as for manuel’s tactics the last few days… who knows. maybe they’ll work. or maybe he’ll do them for a week and turn into hands of mcrandolph. so whatevs.

  20. 20 youppi
    June 24, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    i take back anything i said regarding defending oliver perez.


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