First and foremost, I would like to take this time and apologize to the blog and my fellow authors for my "stint on the DL" if you will. It turns out raising a 1 1/2 year old is a lot of work. Combine that with a job that demands pretty much 60 hours a week because your salary and full time school...you will have one hell of a time finding time to do anything. I found a new job (thank god) that is much better organized and should allow for more time to contribute. Im off the DL finally and ready to take some hacks. Thanks to MLB.Tv, I was able to catch or listen to most of the Mets games this year and boy what a year it has been so far.
First of all, if anyone told us on March 1st that at the end of July we would be 5 games out of the second wild card, everyone in the Mets universe would have signed up for it (myself very much included). While the Mets have lost 9 out of 10 games and the seemingly unbeatable Nationals next on the docket, I think we need to remember the type of resolve these guys have displayed at various tipping points so far this season. With Terry Collins at the helm, we can be assured any opponent will get a hard fought 27 outs . No matter how bad the Mets are going, David seems to find a way to lead by example and set the tone for the offense. Locking up David long term should be the top or among the top priorities this off season. He is putting together a career year and is the face of this franchise. He bleeds blue and orange, that needs to be rewarded.
One thing that I have thoroughly enjoyed is this teams ability to have good at bats at the plate. In my opinion, the perfect example of the grittiness that this team displays at the dish is Ruben Tejada;s at bat versus Papelbon. He fouled off some really nasty pitches from Pap and as a result, we all know what happened. This team may not have the big bopper to get that 3 run home run (except if you call Valdespin off the bench) but they grind out at bats and you cannot really ask for anything more. That being said, even the most prolific offenses cannot overcome a horrific bullpen, it will eventually catch up to you and I think more than anything that is whats going on with the Mets. The Mets have the worst bullpen in the majors and yet they are just one game under .500 and 3rd place in the NL east. Before you say the Mets suck, just think about where the Phillies and Cubs are in respect to .500 as they own the second and third worst bullpens in the Majors. The Mets for the first time all season are below .500 by a game, the fact that they are not completely buried is a testament to how hard this team has played this year.
I know the Met fan base is clamoring for Sandy Alderson to make some move to improve the ball club. I really dont see him doing anything major come the trade deadline. Thats not to say Sandy is not trying his best to make something happen but he should not barter the teams future for the sake of making a move. Promoting Matt Harvey was not in his plans but neither were a bullpen this horrific and losing Mike Pelfrey along with Dillon Gee for the year. Promoting Matt Harvey was the last thing Sandy wanted to do at this point in the season and it says to me that the trade market is way too expensive to obtain even a fringe starter let alone a reliever. Make no mistake, Sandy has one of the toughest gig's in baseball right now. Even though we may go through the deadline without doing anything, Sandy im sure is weighing a commitment to rebuilding an organization to contend for many years to come, much like the GM from the Nationals who is adamant about shutting down Strausberg.
This has been an equally frustrating and exciting season. Like Terry said before, this is a young team and there will be some inconsistencies, however there are some moves that should be taken into serious consideration from a "fans" standpoint. I think the Jason Bay era should come to a close even if it means eating most of his contract. He is getting paid 16 million dollars to occupy a bench spot, heck he cant even hit lefties at this point as a redeeming quality. The Mets should find a way to get Valdespin some playing time. Yes, he is cocky but at least he can back it up with clutch at bat's, cutting bait with Jason will free up a spot for more playing time. The Mets should also look into recalling Rob Johnson in favor of Nickeas. I know Mike wasn't expected to be Mike Piazza behind the plate but hell, R.A. Dickey with less than half the at bats that Mike has is hitting for a higher average. As much as it pains me to say this but perhaps giving Acosta another shot might be worth exploring also as he seems to have gotten his act together in AAA.
All things considered, Mets fans really shouldn't be as down in the dumps as they are. We had the first no no in Mets history, a dramatic walk off hit by David Wright (that's reminiscent of my favorite Wright moment of all time when he hit a long fly ball over the head of Johnny Damon off Mariano in the 2006 subway series) and a story like R.A. Dickey who has captivated the nation while bringing a whole lot of good press to a franchise that has lacked in good press for a few years. Yes, losses like yesterday hurt but if the Mets have shown anything this season, its an ability to fight. A lot of young guys are stepping up and others are coming out of the woods like Ike Davis. While there are a lot of good teams ahead of us in the wild card hunt, the Mets are only 5 games back, within striking distance if you think about it. I truly believe the Mets have a few pushes left in them and one could start tonight. At the very end, im sure we can all agree that the franchise is heading in the right direction and brighter days are ahead. #LGM