Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Failing The Crash Test

People have wondered why, with the Phillies still within sight of the Mets in the N.L. East with plenty of time to go in the season, I can't just enjoy the ride.

It's because the Mets clubhouse shop doesn't sell Brooklyn Dodgers throwback edition crash helmets.

Believe me, there's nothing I want more than to be positive, and look at the glass as being half full (of good strong Vodka of course.) But if you still think this season can be salvaged, and you're entitled to think that way, ask yourself: What have you seen from this team, not the struggles of the Phillies or the Marlins' bullpen or the Braves, but from the New York Mets, that tell you that this is a team that has a legitimate shot at winning this division? Where's the evidence on the field?

Because here's reality: The fourth inning on Tuesday, where Johan Santana walked the pitcher, Fernando Martinez dug up a divot in center field the size of Bobby Bonilla's severance paycheck while letting an easy fly ball drop, Dan Warthen gets kicked out of the game for jawing with Jim Wolf, and Ryan Braun's two run double turned into a three-run double when Omir Santos couldn't catch a relay throw, and turned into a four-run double when Johan Santana threw a ball to Grayslake, IL, would have been the most disgusting inning of the season for most teams.

For the Mets, it barely cracks the top ten.

Yet, it might be the inning that drives the final stake in the heart of the season.

Nah, that's not true.

Tomorrow, when Yovani Gallardo pitches to a lineup that isn't going to have David Wright and Gary Sheffield ... that'll be the last straw. But what difference does it make at this point? The lineup that did have Wright and Sheffield couldn't beat Mike Burns.

Mike Burns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No wonder Wright looked like he was about to cry in the post-game interview.

The next question that you have to ask yourself is whether you believe Omar Minaya can fix this. And think of this: What exactly has Minaya done in-season to significantly help the club?

His biggest splash came when he traded Xavier Nady for Oliver Perez and Roberto Hernandez. And that was out of desperation. He also traded for Luis Castillo. That's it.

At this point, any moves Minaya can make would be putting duct tape on a life raft. The ship be sinking, folks. Minaya had a chance to address this in the offseason, when instead of gathering all of baseball's "change of scenery" guys or "low-risk/high reward" guys, maybe he could have gotten some true major leagues here. In fact, Minaya's chance to address this came on Day One of his tenure here, when he could have done more to build a real farm system instead of stocking Norfolk, New Orleans, and Buffalo with the likes of Elmer Dessens, Casey Fossum, Jose Lima, Brian Lawrence, Jose Offerman, Gerald Williams, Julio Franco, Chan Ho Park, Freddy Garcia, Dae Sung Koo, Ken Takahashi, Miguel Cairo, Brian Daubach, Kaz Ishii, Eli Marrero, Ricky Ledee, Moises Alou, Chip Ambres, Emil Brown, Wily Mo Pena, Bobby Kielty, Raul Casanova, Ramon Martinez, Brandon Knight, Brady Clark, Trot Nixon, Andy Phillips, Abraham Nunez, Tony Armas, Chris Aguila ...

But now? There's nothing Minaya can do except wait for the injured to come back, and there are no guarantees there. There's nothing Snoop can do. Oh he's trying. He had a "family talk" with the Mets after the loss. But Ozzie Guillen once said that good teams win games, while bad teams have meetings. The Mets are a bad team, plain and simple. And all the jargon and gangsta-speak and Dennis Greene impersonations and saying you need players one night and saying "my team is on the field" the next night does nothing but rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. The ride is over. The ship has hit the iceberg. And all that's left to do is watch the carnage while floating away in the life raft. Don't worry, you'll hit shore on or around October 3rd.

Want positive? The Cyclones are 9-2.


Tina said...

You may be going just a little bit overboard on Minaya - the injury list is one no team would be surviving. It's a particular Mets talent, though, to be sucking with this much comedic flair.

I am getting very tired of Snoop's act, I gotta say.

MetFanMac said...

I would say that I've given up on the Mets' 2009 season except I already said that on June 13th (https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=12468344&postID=1110812857392559735), and have had numerous opportunities to reiterate it since then.

tommy_calzone said...


Overboard? Not quite.

All of our minor league teams are under .500 as well.

Omar has been captain of this ship for 5 years now. He had his opportunities.

Look at all the young up & coming stars around the league that Omar passed on in drafts.
Pedroia anyone?

He could have dealt Milledge for Manny in 06 and put us over the top but he didn't.

He waits too long to do everything.

He waited on the pitching this past offseason until Boras backed him into a corner with Ollie & Lowe.

We could have gotten Abreu (not that I wanted him) & Orlando Hudson for less than 10 mil total this year and we'd be in much better shape.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.

Omar has made all the OBVIOUS GM moves (krod, johan, beltran etc)

Where are the out of the box moves? Where is the depth?

It is his own fault he hitched this train to Delgado again this year, I was crying to dump him over the winter.

Beltran has had many knee issues over the years & Jeremy Reed is his insurance?

We have had the bulk of this team together for 3+ years now and have been lucky with no major injuries and we still haven't won.

I am not surprised injuries will do us in now - it was only a matter of time.

Omar & Jerry should not get a pass based on injuries.

Jerry is just as at fault for everytime someone starts to get going they don't see the lineup for 3 games.

And his nonsense whiney excuses all week - all of a sudden now he wants to call a meeting and tell this team they can win after a week straight of telling the media they cant?

Oh and his laughing after losses chummin it up with the media?

Makes me sick.


For the first time in a long time I didn't even watch the game after the 4th inning last night - I am done.

NEXT regime.......N E X T!

James Allen said...

All I can do anymore is openly laugh when I watch this team. Santos kicking the ball like Landon Donovan and Santana (who walked the opposing pitcher for the fifth time this season; is this where Frankie got it from?) doing a Fed Ex with the ball? The Marx brothers would approve. Martinez slipping and falling? Classic comedy. Willie Mays Hays couldn't do any better. Only, this ain't a movie. It would be nice if in the last reel they could suddenly play good and win the thing on the last day of the season on a bunt and run with a man on second. Or maybe Manual could just try this approach ("You beat The Stomach, David!")

But you called it, M. The minors have been rotten from the get go, and that's Minaya's fault, pure and simple. He's been a scrap heap/former Expos guy from day one, and I'm bloody sick of it. It's not what's happening right now that's really the problem, it's just the end result of horrible planning because, in the off season when he had a chance to really do some sweeping changes to this team, all he did was add Rodriguez and Putz and stop, as if the bullpen were the one and only problem. He didn't address first base, second base, catcher, and, most especially, the corner outfielders. So of course when all the injuries hit, he can shrug his shoulders as if it's beyond his control. Thing is, this team was built wrong from the beginning of the season. This is the result of what the guys at Faith and Fear in Flushing call The Post Yadier-Molina Syndrome. The Mets and Minaya are still trying to win game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. In this past off season, they still thought they were but one small piece away. It was just the pen, right? We can survive with a guy who falls down playing left field, can't we? We can get by with scrap heap pickups like Livan Hernandez and Gary Sheffield, can't we? (And the stupid part is, look how pathetic this team is that those two have had to contribute as much as they have to just get this team to a mediocre level.)

Of course it's too late to do much of anything now. You hope the injured come back and are productive. You hope the rest of the division keeps sucking. And you hope maybe, just maybe, 81-81 will win the division. All these things can happen, I suppose, but the spectacle sure won't be fun to watch.

number15 said...

gary cohen: so the mets go down one-two-three in the (circle top or bottom) of the ___ (insert inning number)

Anonymous said...

this win now mentality we've had the past couple years is burning us and the future doesn't look good.like in all honesty we should just cut and paste what the bosox have done if were out by a lot after or before all star game we should start with some fireselling.the bosox are win now,win tomorrow that whole organization bleeds win ours just makes us cry tears of blood i hope im wrong.

Unser said...

Whilst I endure the implosion of the 2009 New York Mets, I have a request of David Wright . . .

Can you please not slap asses and chit-chat with opposing players at 3rd base while we're getting our heads handed to us?

Thank you.

And to Jack Clark - get over it dude. It was twenty years ago.

The Metmaster said...

Love the Titanic metaphor. By the time the Carpathia (Reyes/Beltran/Delgado/Maine/Putz) arrives, the season will be on the bottom and like the poor bastards in 1912, Met fans will go down with it, "eating sand for supper" in October. Too bad we couldn't catch a glimpse of Omar on the bridge of the nearby SS Californian ignoring the distress rockets coming from the doomed liner.

King Metropolitan said...

Fantastic comment, Metmaster.

All I can is this: I'm embarrassed today, more than this weekend (which is difficult to fathom), to be a Mets fan.

Coop said...

Post-Yadier Molina? I call it Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder. I love the Titanic/Carpathia references. I said today on My Summer Family that this season is the season where true Mets fans stick around. But I do take umbrage with a lot of vitriol spewed towards Omar Minaya. the man came on board when the Mets traded their Future Franchise pitcher for a bag of balls and a bag of crap. He came with NOTHING. Perhaps he needed to stock the system with guys like Alex Cora and such because there was nothing here when he arrived. He's gotten us Pelfrey, Niese, Davis, Havens, and others via draft who are clearly not ready for prime time (either is FMart, who is clearly been rushed because even our D guys have been hurt...btw that was an Omar coup too). For every Castillo (eagads) deal we have a Johan or a Carlos Beltran deal. Unfortunately, call it Post traumatic Mets Disorder or Post Yadier Molina one thing is for certain - Carlos Delgado's trade to the Mets doomed this franchise. THAT was when we became a win-now team, not when Beltran or even Pedro was signed. All these things pale in comparison when we opened those lines of communication with the Marlins, and took a bad contract off their hands.

well done Damus - well done

kjs said...

a) I felt a bit of empathy for Manuel last night, as much as I dislike him as a manager. He looked near tears. He's been let down by Minaya and the Wilpons. So have the fans.
b) Of greater concern---Santana has been awful for a while now. He wasw awful last night. Are the Mets hiding another injury?
c) I need a hitman to go after my friends who say trading Reyes, Beltran, and Wright is the answer. Insanity! They need to watch some videos of the Mets from 1974 to 1983 to understand what a bounty we have that is sitting inert...

Anonymous said...

I can't help but to laugh and be reminded of a classic Simpsons episode... Mr Burns owns the mets... Here's your proof...

In his office, Burns gloats that there's no way he could lose his bet. ``Unless, of course, my nine all-stars fall victim to nine separate misfortunes and are unable to play tomorrow. But that will never happen. Three misfortunes, that's possible. Seven misfortunes, there's an outside chance. But nine misfortunes? I'd like to see that!''

James Allen said...

I love that Simpsons episode you refer to. Oddly enough, Darryl Strawberry was the only ringer to make the game.

Well Mr. Burns had done it,
The power plant had won it,
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while...

I gotta tell you, Roger Clemens clucking like a chicken in that episode has only gotten funnier and funnier over the years.

James Allen said...

1-0 Mets.

I suppose one of the beauties of baseball is that there are so many games, that you can easily take individual games, isolate them from the bigger picture, and feel good about them. This was one of those circumstances, thank goodness. Sure some of the same problems are probably going to persist over the rest of the season, but for one afternoon, enough stuff went right. Pelf, twitching and stretching and all that kept his composure (why he was even worrying about Fielder at first I have no idea), the Mets played defense without incident, and the Mets offense scratched out a run off of a guy who was incredibly on. Given the circumstances, you can't ask for much more. (Although Wright striking out 3 more times, for a total of 79, I believe, while still leading the league in BA still perplexes me.)

Dan said...

Last time I checked the Mets are 2.5 games out and you mother f'ers are throwing away the season?


What is wrong with this fan base?

Why does it seem there are thousands of Mets fans who want to say, "Hey, I was off this team way early--like in late May. Ha-ha! I knew before you to give up the ship."

Where's the fun in that?

Enjoy the baseball, everyone. This is the best time of the year. Have you forgotten that...already?

We're 2.5 games out! With nobodies playing ... everyday and all over the field.

Metstradamus said...

Dan, if you believe nothing else I say or write (and something tells me you don't ... and that's okay), believe the following: It gives me zero pleasure to be correct about things like this. Zero. Some people might take a perverse pleasure in being the first one off the ship, I don't. A, because I'm not leaving the ship. I'm not the captain of the ship, but I'm the violinist playing "Nearer My God to Thee". And B, Because at the end of the day, at the end of the season, whether I'm right or wrong I still have to come to work and hear at least five people offer condolences as if I lost a family member. And frankly, I'm getting quite tired of it.

I so want to be wrong. But the onus is not on me or anybody else commenting on this blog to be right. The onus is on this organization to prove us to be wrong. I hope it happens. I have zero faith that it will. It's one thing for this team to go 9-18. It's another to go 9-18 in the manner that they did. Frankly, I could care less that the Phillies are struggling. Because I'm looking at this team and I don't see any sign that they're snapping out of it, between the little league grand slams and walking all the pitchers and all the errors that AA players would handle (and seeing that we have AA players here that would work), I just do not see it.

Yeah, there's a run coming. I'm almost positive. Just as there was a run last year. What did it get the Mets? Another heartbreaking season. And then what will you think of all the games that were just thrown away by carelessness? Doesn't matter who's been healthy or hurt, this team is careless. I mean seriously, how can you expect this fan base to be optimistic and look at the glass half full after what's happened the last two seasons? Or the past month?

Hey, I give you credit. If you can still be positive after seeing what you've seen since October of 2006, you're a better man than me ... and you have a much higher pain tolerance than me. Bless your heart. Seriously. I wish I was younger so I can know what that feels like again. The last thing I want is for you to have your heart broken again.

But if that happens, we'll all be here for you. :)