Monday, June 22, 2009


Well, it's official. With the news that Carlos Beltran is now on the disabled list, joining his friends Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado, the offense will be more of a 19th century offense. It was a simpler time where home runs came at a premium due to the fact that everyone was smaller and, as seen from the photo above, there were no walls.

Citi Field has walls but you have to take the 7 Train to Main Street to get to them.

The Mets, with their 16 home runs in Monday's lineup, have become the 1885 New York Giants. That team's entire roster had 16 home runs all season. Six came from their catcher, Buck Ewing, which puts him on par with our current slugger Brian Schneider. You see, old time baseball depended more on base hits, speed, and fundamentals ... which makes you wonder how the '885 Giants went 85-27 with a second baseman whose OPS was .399 (and you thought Wilson Valdez had no stick.)

Of course, the '885 Giants also had Mickey Welch and Tim Keefe, who threw 492 and 400 innings that season. So let's just say if Bobby Parnell continues to slide, then Johan Santana and Livan Hernandez had better not make any plans on their off days.

We now know this 19th Century blueprint to be the plan all along, as rather than add bats, the Mets are getting rid of bats at the rate of lightning. Wily Mo Pena? Javier Valentin? Bobby Kielty? Who needs 'em anyway! The Bisons can go 24-43 without those guys just as easily as they did with them. No, the Mets want to party like it's 1885 and grow handlebar mustaches and have their baseball cards sponsored by Allen & Ginter cigarettes.

And at this point, why not? Omar Minaya has had plenty of chances to go get the likes of Adam Dunn or Aubrey Huff to play in their outfield. But at this point, why trade for Dunn? So that his protection in the lineup can be Luis Castillo? It's like being protected by the immortal Dude Esterbrook.

(Editor's note: We interrupt this blog so that the blogger can pat himself on the back for working in a Dude Esterbrook reference. I trust this will not be the last time that "Dude" will appear in this space.)

And with other GM's sure to ask for the world knowing that Omar Minaya is desperate to upgrade the club with major league pieces, why bother now? Why dip in to the lower levels of the minors to come up with the Reese Havens' and the Ike Davis' of the world to trade for Dunn?

Oh that's right, because the Bisons are 24-43 and the Binghamton Mets are 26-42 ... that's why.

I've said it before: if the Mets can't get through this stretch of tough games with or without their guns then it's a lost season anyway. There's no guarantee trading for Adam Dunn tomorrow is going to fill all these holes and cure everything that ails them in the next two weeks. The opportunity to trade for a big bopper is gone with Beltran now. The window has closed and that bird has flown so far away that he's circling Canada with the rest of the geese. It's over. The next opportunity to make a trade that will bring a big piece in without destroying what's left of the farm system will come after Beltran and Reyes, and maybe Delgado come back. Then you trade from strength and give up less to get what you need. So for now, the best course of action is to return to a simpler time and try to take down a fighter jet with a rock.

And who's to say it can't happen? Who's to say that Daniel Murphy isn't going to get hot? He hit one of those futuristic 20th Century crazes known as the home run on Monday so who knows? And who's to say that Fernando Martinez isn't going to have a much better second stint in New York than first stint? With the pressure off now that the focus will be much more on who isn't there than who is there, why can't Martinez go under the radar a bit and start contributing? The Mets got themselves a big win on Monday with the 19th Century lineup, why can't they tread water with it for now? Heck, every time I predict doom anyway it never happens so why not?

And why can't Elmer Dessens be a beacon of light to a depleted bullpen?

Okay, that last sentence was proof positive that you can pull a hamstring simply by being overly optimistic. I hope your retinas weren't strained reading that.

But seriously, what more can the Mets do at this point except roll the dice and see if they can roll a seven? If their 19th Century singles offense can keep going as it did on Monday, great. If not, then there will be plenty of blame heaped on Omar's doorstep as something probably should have been done long ago anyway.

(Editor's note: It figures I would pick Dude Esterbrook out of the air. As it turns out, and I swear I didn't realize this until halfway through this blog post, that Esterbrook threw himself off a train on his way to a mental hospital and killed himself at the age of 43. Fitting because while Dude also played for the defunct New York Metropolitans in addition to the Giants, the current incarnation of the New York Metropolitans is slowly driving me to a similar fate.)

(Editor's Update: Want proof of my impending insanity? Jose Reyes was in a car accident on Monday. Seriously. The good news is he's fine, and there's no truth to the rumor that Cecil Wiggins was driving the fire truck that rear ended the car carrying Reyes and Ray Ramirez.)


Schneck said...

Am I the only one that has mixed feelings about last night's victory against the Cards? Great game for the alternate squad but is Omar going to use this to justify not making any moves?

Metstradamus said...

Schneck, you're probably right on that. And that worries me. I wrote about it before ... they'll either deal out of panic or they aren't going to deal when they're in a strong position. My guess is on the latter with Omar. If it was Duquette or Phillips, they already would have traded the farm for John Jaha. That's the other extreme.

Schneck said...

...not a good extreme but I do really like saying 'Jaha'.

kjs said...

How can you comment on Dude Esterbrook without getting Julio Franco's first-hand take on his approach first? Awful lazy journalism, Metstra!*

*I'm going tonight. The Upper Promenade OF seats are just $15 tonight---not bad for a AA lineup. I won't get upset, even if Parnell is brought in during the 5th inning of a 2-2 game. No sir. The wave will not peeve me, even if Sean Green is trying to concentrate on Puljols with the bases loaded and the Mets holding a 3-run lead, no sir. I will eat good food at Mama Corona's while the other 39,789 fans are lined up by Shake Shack for a McDonald's-sized burger, sit back, relax...try not to choke, yes sir...

Krup said...

anybody interested in two $60 tickets for this Thursday's 1:10 PM Mets-Cardinals game, Field Level, Sec. 129, Row 23, Seats 17 & 18?
looks like i'm gonna have to work.

Unser said...

What a post - the year's best. Dude Esterbrook?

I can't believe Omar would be fooled by a few wins here and there. But really, what's available right now? What can Omar really do at this point?

What a weird season.

Francis said...

Yeah, kjm...

... but Shake Shack is life-affirming-ly good.