Thursday, April 23, 2009

Unlucky Sevens

Four games, four starting pitching performances ranging from respectable to "oh my god he's got a gun." The author of the respectable pitching performance? He chose to give a giant "up yours" sign to his hometown team after they designated him and is now a free agent.

The Mets? They're left with four starting pitchers with ERA's over seven.

It's a jackpot of failure.

The latest member of Sevendust joined the club today after a brutal outing in which he is starting to make us realize why the Twins would flat out release an Opening Day starter (You'll remember he started well last season too). He is Livan Hernandez, who is quickly turning into as good an idea as New Coke was. More accurately, he's that bottle of Coke that's been in your fridge for 12 years, and instead of just walking to the corner store and buying yourself a new bottle, you decide "eh, what can it hurt?" So you drink it, and it tastes good going down. But then three hours later you're puking your guts out screaming "Why! Why didn't I just spend the buck fifty for a new bottle of Coca Cola???"

Yeah, it's April. Feel free to beat that drum set, for it's a catchy tune. But pretty soon the Mets are going to have to think about other options. Those options could include Cliff Lee, who the Indians may try to "sell high" on at some point. (Some may say that could make the rotation too lefthanded, but the alternative is to have a rotation that's too ... well, it's awful.) Other than that? Your guess is as good as mine. Now that Nelson Figueroa's gone, the next couple of options seem to be Jon Niese and/or Dillon Gee. (Good thing Omar Minaya stockpiled on the Freddy Garcias of the world, no?) If this keeps going with Sevendust in the middle to back of the rotation, all options have to be on the table.


Oh and by the way, one of the defenses for bringing Gary Sheffield on board was that he was a "take no s**t" guy ... a guy who "doesn't back down", as was quoted here. Funny then that when he had a chance to put that attitude to good use and run down Albert Pujols in the fourth inning, he became a nice guy and pulled up. I'm not talking about running into him at full speed and pulling a Sean Avery on him, but just running the bases as normal and not going through great pains to pull up.

Now I don't bring this up to pile on Sheffield, but to bring up a common thread that drives me crazy with this team (that and complaining about the starting pitching and Oliver Perez gets old after four or so of my paragraphs.) The Mets are too damn nice. Why, for example, is it a big deal when Sean Green knocks Pujols off the plate? Because it is a big deal. The Mets never do it. So when Green does the right thing and brush Pujols back, it gets noticed by Gary Cohen and Ron Darling as a big event.

What's wrong with that picture?

And how about this: If Carlos Beltran didn't want to slide on Tuesday night, why was choice two trying to score standing up? How about bowling Yadier Molina over? Why is that not an option? Is it because it wasn't a throw from the outfield? Is it because Molina is his buddy? Or is it because of the common thread that this team is just too ... damn ... nice?

Think about it, what kind of statement would it have made if Beltran would have knocked over Molina ... and let's assume the worst case scenario that night which would have been that Molina holds on to the ball, Beltran's still out, and Daniel Murphy still does his Foster Brooks impression in the outfield, fine. I'm willing to bet Bobby Bonilla's salary that the Mets don't come out so flat on Wednesday night. Sure, Beltran would have gotten some bad press for being a dirty player on a dirty play for a few days, even though clearly he's not a dirty player, and last I checked running over the catcher was a clean baseball play. And the Mets would have been scrutinized for a little bit. But the rewards would have outweighed the peripherals, guaranteed.

Instead, Beltran goes in standing, Sheffield pulls up, and the Mets prove the saying that nice guys get swept.


Coop said...

*SIGH* I'm ready to start blogging on the real team to follow in NY, and that's the Rangers. Mets Sabbatical in April, anyone?

Unser said...

I totally, totally agree on the nice guy comment. We need a nasty SOB on this team in the worst way. When was the last time a Met even got angry at an opposing player? I'm not talking about a brawl, just a shout?

I cannot figure this team out. Lots of talent, great stats, no heart, no grit and no ability to rise to the occasion.

And good point on the Beltran play. Wigginton would have bowled Molina over like there was no tomorrow.

Pitching - I really don't see any outside solution. Who's going to trade blue chip starters before June 15? Not seeing that. Give Figgy credit - he's had enough of the Heath Bell treatment.

Metstradamus said...

Unser, I give Figgy loads of credit. If Pelfrey was placed on the DL, and Figgy came up and gave them 2 or 3 starts instead of one, he probably would have been the one to be sent down anyway. But what if all Figueroa's starts were of the quality variety, and they needed someone to replace any of the other three jokers? Then it would have been a tough decision to make. At that point, you probably could have put one of them on the DL or something. Now, you don't have that option. All because of Casey Fossum. Casey Fossum!!!I hope Figueroa lands somewhere and does really well. I really do. Logic says he'll go to the Angels, but he'll probably land in the N.L. and kill us. Washington? Anyone?

Hazeleyes said...

Figgy will probably end up somewhere and turn in a nice steady performance while the Mets rotation continues to be a bit of a mess all season. I am not one of those people to sing the "well it's only April" tune. Last year they were out by one game at the end. Had they snapped to early and won another 2 or 3 more games in April or May they would have won the division. They way this club folds like a cheap suit in September, April and May can make or break them.

I have no idea why they play like their EKGs are on flatline. On paper it adds up to a nice ballclub. What is missing? Heart, maybe. But there is something else wrong here. Guess if I knew what it was I would have Omar's job. (which would be Baby Wilpon's worst nightmare, believe me.)

Well at least they can't blame Willie for it anymore.

Terry Gilmore said...

This exact post has been THE major issue with this team for the last few years.

I saw this in a game in LA a few years ago.

Mets were getting their asses kicked, Hong Chi Kuo hits a bomb off Maine, flips his bat, and no one did an effing thing.

I love this team, but man there are times that I hate this team.

The Metmaster said...

Metstra, you're the one who is too nice. Here are the words I'd use to describe the Mets since 1986:
Wimps, pussies, gutless, yellow, spineless, chicken, lily-livered, creampuffs, pushovers, timid, faint-hearted, unmanly, weak-kneed, wussy, meek, and for you English majors...craven and pusillanimous.

Guys like Dykstra, Backman, Knight and Hernandez were mean SOBs who gave no quarter when they played and were hated by other teams for it. Those guys fed off that hatred. Now the Mets are hated because they are perceived as overpaid crybabies, and they could not care less. Wouldn't you love to see Backman on that coaching staff?