But I'm going to give the Mets some credit here, not only for going for the gusto, but for setting a limit. Yeah, the Red Sox were getting hosed on the original deal...fine. But it's not up to the Mets to make life fair for everyone...just for themselves. Omar Minaya wants to bring top tier talent to Shea, but while letting everyone know that there is a limit. The Mets organization is using (gasp!) good judgement. Money? They'll front it. Prospects? They're willing to give them up. Not both. And good for them. Whether you want Manny or not, you have to give the Mets a lot of credit for not only being willing to go get him, but willing to walk away with a clear conscience if the deal doesn't work for them.
I wish the Mets lineup had as much guts as the Mets organization.
I wish the Mets lineup had any guts at all.
It's not comforting to know that Mike Cameron is freaked out by a date on a calendar. What will he do when September comes and he faces, in the perspective of baseball, real pressure. Mike's response to trade rumors:
It would be easy to say that Cameron's performance took a sharp downturn with each passing trade rumor...since the original Gary Sheffield rumor, Cammy is hitting .218. But really, there have been trade rumors involving Cameron all year long. The difference is, when the rumors heat up, Cameron wilts. It's just the way he reacted to Beltran. When he thought there was no chance in hades that Beltran was coming here, he offered to move to right field. When Beltran did sign, Cameron waffled a bit. Yeah, he eventually moved, but he proved then that when it comes time to face the music, he reacts differently. Which is fine, but not the kind of intestinal fortitude that it necessarily takes to play in New York.
Unfortunately, the rest of the team is following suit. Do you really think it's a coincidence that the Mets fall south as the trading deadline approaches? Think about it. Jose Reyes, who has no chance of getting dealt, has a 13 game hitting streak. David Wright, who has no chance of getting traded, recently concluded a 15 game hitting streak. Cameron? Four hits in his last 24 at bats. Cliff Floyd? Yeah, he's been traded a bunch near the deadline so you know he's traumatized, but he's four for his last 25.
Then there's Carlos Beltran.
What exactly happened to the player who shone the brightest individually on baseball's grandest stage in 2004? Somehow, he became the same player who went back to Houston as a visiting player in front of an energized Astros crowd against him, and responded by getting one hit.
Adversity? There's Carlos Beltran, cowering in the corner like a scare-dy cat.
I hate the Yankees. Hate 'em long, hate 'em hard. So it pains me to use this as a reference. But do you see how they respond to pressure? Never mind their championship seasons...just look at today. They had a two run deficit against an elite closer. What did they do? Scratch and claw their way back to win the game.
The Mets were down 2-0 against an elite closer tonight as well. What did they do? They went down 1-2-3 in about 90 seconds. They didn't even make it interesting.
What did I expect? They made Ezequiel Astacio look like Christy Mathewson. Wandy Rodriguez mind as well have been Steve Carlton. But hey, the Mets aren't familiar with those, right? Familiarality didn't help them against Andy Pettite tonight, did it? It isn't going to help them against Roy Oswalt, will it? (Unless Oswalt decides to unleash the beast known as Cliff Floyd by drilling him in the chops, forcing him to unleash a can of whoop-ass in front of 50,000 Astros fans on Oswalt...that might be the best thing to happen to the Mets. So Roy Oswalt better ask himself a question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk??)
And therein lies the difference. The Yankees give their fans results. The Mets give their fans excuses. Unacceptable. This is proof that Omar Minaya's job is even tougher than advertised. He's got to find a way to make this club better, and in turn change the culture from a team that finds excuses to lose, to a team that refuses to lose. And he has less than sixteen hours to do it. Bless his heart, he's trying.
But is this 2005 team worth the effort...worth the big acquisition...worth pillaging the farm for?
Sorry, I say no.