Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bill of Goods

I don't want to piss on the Colin McHugh parade, but when you go up against the Triple A lineup that the Colorados put out this afternoon, it's not so difficult to have a historical Major League Debut. I wouldn't go crazy comparing McHugh to anybody spectacular. Let's see what he does after a couple of times around the league. There's a reason nobody had heard of McHugh until about 2 days ago, and it's because he's not Nolan Ryan. He's not Tom Seaver. I don't even think he's Matt Harvey right now. He had an excellent start today. I get it, I understand it. But I'm tired of being sold this bill of goods. There's probably only one team that McHugh might have pitched better against, and that's the team he was playing for. The team that managed 6 runs in 4 games against the worst pitching staff in the league, a staff so bad that they pull their starters after 3 innings and just let relievers try to figure it out. A team that came into Citi Field on Monday with a record of 46-73 and left 4 victories richer.

The Mets were flawed to begin with, and their solid first half was something that surprised and tantalized everyone, but it's ancient history now. It's safe to say that every ounce of good vibes the Mets had generated earlier this season has been erased. Right now, the Mets look about as miserable as they did in 2009, and maybe that's being kind, because they're generating the kind of results that look like something out of 1993 with a roster that's a little bit 1982, a little bit 2003, a lot miserable.

I'm being awfully cynical, but how can you not be when we keep getting told about the prospects and the pieces of the future that are here now? I said it yesterday and I'll say it again; who on this team would you want to have back next season? At this point, you could count them on one hand. Wright, Ike, Tejada, Dickey, Harvey, Niese...And who else exactly? The rest can be fed to the wolves. I can't even dump on the Jason Bays anymore because it's too easy. How about Josh Thole? Has he had 2 hits in the last month? I was skeptical about him last season because his defense had gotten sloppy and he spent the entire season hitting about .240 with no power. This season? Same thing. Not an everyday Catcher. Stop telling me he is. Jordany Valdespin? Infectious, Jose Reyes-like energy? Got a few long hits at opportune moments? Can't field any position adequately? Misplays routine fly balls? Runs into outs with frightening abandon? Swings for the fences every time up? Lacks a general sense of logic and basic Baseball discipline? Not an every day player. Barely passable as a reserve. Bobby Parnell? Electric Fastball? Consistency of Oliver Perez? Not a future closer.

More than half the team looks like it's going through the motions. Players like Torres, Murphy, Baxter and Hairston aren't every day players. Murphy's close, but he can't go through these 2-for-20 streaks that he's always going through. The stink that this team is generating isn't the same kind of stink we've endured in 2009, because that was because of injuries, or 2007, because that was complacency. This is the stink of suckitude, and it's gotten so bad that it's dragging down the good players on the team. David Wright was hitting everything in sight in the first half. Now, teams are just pitching around him, and when they're not, he's gotten back into that old habit of killing himself trying to carry the team on his back. He's just not the kind of player who can do that. But since nobody else around him seems to be able to hit, or in many cases pitch, here he is again, pressing. Can you blame him for grousing about being tired of losing? Aren't we all tired of losing?

Terry Collins is just as culpable for this mess as anyone. If we're all going to heap praise on him for the job he did keeping this team together, keep them fighting and scrapping for every win they got in the first half, then he deserves blame for letting it all crumble in the face of adversity. He mismanaged the bullpen because he couldn't trust anyone, and then he started getting stuck in situations where he had to go to the bullpen and it was damned if you do, damned if you don't. The personnel he's given isn't his fault, but when I routinely have to question removing the starting pitcher, and immediately being proven right because the bullpen immediately fucks it all up, something's wrong. Terry Collins said he wouldn't tolerate exactly the kind of play he's now tolerating out of his team. So...which is it? Or has he just lost the clubhouse? If that's the case, then, hey, we may as well have just kept Jerry Manuel around chortling in the locker room.

I've been told, and believe myself, that the only way to change a lousy team is if they are completely humiliated. That's beginning to happen to the Mets right now, in the midst of this 10-32 12-30, 2 wins at home since the All Star Break stretch. Everyone watching certainly knows this, and I certainly hope people in the organization get it as well. Sandy Alderson even said as much, but does he have the leeway he's supposed to have from the wonderful owners? The hot word is that the team payroll isn't expected to increase much, and most of it is still going to be tied up in 5 or 6 players. So, what sort of freedom do the Mets have to bring in someone who can make a difference? How can they bring in real, actual Major League talent to bolster this roster? There's not much tradeable in the Minors, I don't believe (still), so will the Wilpons actually let Alderson spend some money this offseason? How long do we have to keep asking this question? It's getting  a little tired. If the great owners don't have the money to field a competitive team, then do us all a favor and get lost. Go away. Sell the team to someone who, hopefully, cares about building a winner. Because there's only so many times you can sell the same rotten stew to a long-since disenchanted fan base.

Phew. This rant might not be quite as impactful as the one Mike Francesa unleashed on the Mets earlier today, but it comes from the same place. He's tired of watching this, and he's not even a Mets fan. How do you think the Mets fans feel?

1 comment:

David Salmanson said...

And worst (or best of all from my perspective) they are now behind the Phillies.