Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Come To Me, Superman! I Defy You!

As it is, and barring a 2004-like disaster, this has been a nice season for the Mets. There's been more excitement, more aggressiveness, tremendous starting pitching, and more importantly, there will be meaningful games in September. But Like Lee Iacocca in the new Chrysler commercials: "There's still something missing."

The Mets are missing Superman.

The Mets are missing that one driving force to put it all together...that one player who is going to put the Mets on his back and have that monster month to carry the team to the playoffs.

Now you all might be thinking that I'm going to say that the man in question is Carlos Beltran. And you would be right...if you based it on expectations that are directly proportional to the size of a contract. But I feel that anything achieved by Carlos Beltran is a bonus...despite the size of his contract, I go on what I've seen this year and I think that Beltran isn't going to get much better this season. And that may be because of all the calamities suffered, but I don't think that he's mentally ready to come to the ballpark and know that he's going to lead the team to victory that day.

Maybe you're thinking that it's going to be David Wright. And you would be correct...if you based it on the amount of potential being achieved here in the present. David Wright is a player...a player's player, if you will (I don't know what it means but it sounds good.) To ask him to put a team on his back at this early stage of his career to me is unfair.

Perhaps you're thinking Pedro Martinez. A great choice...if he played every day.

No, Superman needs to be out there every inning of every game from here on out. Superman needs to know that he's Superman. Superman needs to be a bad ass. Superman needs to grab General Zod by the fingers and throw him into the pit...night after night.

Cliff Floyd needs to be Superman.

Cliff's numbers haven't been bad in August...he's hit .306 with an OBP of .392 during the month. But it's been a quiet .306, hasn't it? It certainly hasn't resonated like the .323 average in June when he hit 9 HR's and drove in 20 runs and regularly heard chants of "MVP" at Shea Stadium. It hasn't even been April, when Floyd hit 6 dingers and drove in 21 runs and was making defensive play after defensive play in key spots. No, Cliff needs to make noise. He needs to put this team on his back like Strawberry did in the mid to late 80's...he needs to get it to the point where Shea patrons make it a point to not buy that ice cream and knish (they still serve the round knishes? I liked those) while Floyd is striding to the plate.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not down on Cliff Floyd...not one bit. Let me put it this way: most people probably would say that Beltran needs to be the one to carry the Mets on his back because he hasn't been hitting...certainly not hitting for power...and because he has the ability to do it. Not only does Cliff Floyd have the ability to do it, he has done it. But now, with September just a Neil Allen warm-up pitch away, Floyd needs to do it like never before...not this season, and not even in his career. By far, this will be the most important month Cliff Floyd has ever played in as a regular, and his numbers need to be directly proportional to the size of this importance.

And he needs to do it every day. Including Monday, the Mets have three days off left the rest of the way. Floyd would be playing tomorrow on two days rest. Willie Randolph has done a great job of keeping Floyd rested and ready by giving him strategic off-days. The time for that is over. The time for resting Floyd against lefties (.238 but 9 HR's this season) is over. The time for holding back is done. Superman needs to face whatever kryptonite he has and vanquish it.

And Cliff Floyd has what nobody else in the Mets lineup has.


Remember when reporters asked Floyd what he attributed his hot start to? He said that the trade rumors involving Sammy Sosa (boy would that have been a disaster) brought him to the point where he used the fury of his swing to give himself big numbers.

Fury. Cliff Floyd needs to find it again.

And there's something different about using fury from the cleanup slot in the order than anywhere else...even three or five. Three hole hitters are generally your best pure hitters. Five hole hitters can be scary on a good team. But a clean-up hitter has the ability and potential to put the fear of any god you may pray to into you...even on bad teams. The 2005 Mets aren't a bad team. They even have a chance to be great. But they need Superman to be in the building. They need to have the London Symphony Orchestra play the Superman theme every time Floyd hits one out, and that needs to be often.

But most of all, they need Floyd to accept that responsibility. They need him to make a trip to the fortress of solitude just as Clark Kent did during the sequel and regain the super human powers he discarded for Lois Lane. Floyd needs to forget about the "I just want to help the team and be one of 25 contributors" PC tag that has become commonplace. Cliff needs to embrace the hero role and announce it to the world. How about a "get on my back, boys" from Clifford Cornelius Floyd.

Maybe someone in the room should have the nerve to call him Cornelius. Then you'll see some fury.

As long as it works...as long as Superman is in the building.

Come to us Superman. Accept the challenge. I defy you.

I beg you.


erik love said...

Met$tra, To me, the Superman has to be Jose Reyes. Jose has to get on base like a mad man, he has to break Roger Cedeno's Stolen base record and he has to hit nearly 10 more Double's 4 more Triple's and 4 more Homerun's. Cliff is a bad ass but a hot Reyes put's the fear of God into Manager's and Pitcher's. Jose need's to be Superman

Hey dude, how do you get a poll up on your site? I need one

Metstradamus said...

Go to www.pollhost.com and signup. It's easy to create a poll...They'll run you through it. After you create the poll, copy the html codes into your template. Voila! Poll.

erik love said...

Thanks, Now update the hate list!

Metstradamus said...

I did...what are YOU looking at?

Anonymous said...

howabout beltran becoming superman? is that even remotely possible?

Metstradamus said...

Yes, but honestly, as I've said...I don't expect it. He's been a disappointment, and I don't think right now he's mentally capable of handling the responsibility (that's not a concussion joke, that's a reference to his dogmeat performance against Houston in front of a hostile crowd.) He's mentally soft.