Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Lonely Ones

So, the Mets finally found a surefire way to not lose tonight: By getting rained out.

This works out fairly well for me, since I have tickets to Wednesday night's game, the second of the Futile Three September games I lucked into this season. Last time, I got to see Matt Harvey pitch admirably well, but just well enough to lose 2-0 in his next-to-last start of the season. He was scheduled for tonight, but with the rainout, and the Mets opting not to play a Doubleheader Wednesday, I'll now get to see Harvey in his final start of the season take on My Man Cole Hamels, instead of the less-than-scintillating Jeremy Hefner. My expectation is that  Harvey will once again pitch well enough. The hope is that it's not just well enough to lose because the lousy Mets can't score any runs. With the Lefty Hamels on the mound, I suppose I'll be treated to a lineup that features Jason Bay, Scott Hairston and Andres Torres, and probably not Josh Thole, fortunately. I'll also probably see Lucas Duda at first base, since as we know, it makes the most sense to platoon the lefty power bat out with another lefty bat that's not quite as good.

When you've been as bad as the Mets have, I don't think I can be blamed for being a little cynical.

Since we're on the topic of Lucas Duda and Ike Davis, a little news item popped up on WFAN earlier today, hot off the ESPN.com press, worth bringing up. It seems that the Mets are considering trading Ike Davis, because of his unwillingness to take coaching advice and also because the team feels he spends too much time cavorting around town after games.

My first reaction was something to the effect of, "Really? Really? I thought this shit was done with once Omar Minaya was fired." It seems like there's always some mysterious anonymous source in the Mets organization who just loves to stir things up for whatever reason. I really thought the Mets were beyond this sort of behavior, but it seems I'm wrong. They always have to grab a headline for the wrong reason. I mean, sure. Ike Davis. A nice, clean cut Jewish boy coming to the Big City and doing well. Well liked by fans, generally well-spoken and well presented, and, most importantly, EXACTLY THE KIND OF PLAYER THE METS NEED THE MOST! A corner infielder who doesn't necessarily hit .300, but can blast Home Runs at any given time! Think about it. After the miserable start he had this season, after missing a majority of last season, Ike Davis is probably going to end up with 30 HRs and 90 RBIs, both figures good enough to lead a team that's starved for a power threat that drives in lots of runs. So, yeah, screw him. Let's trade him because he's staying out late and likes to do things his own way. It seems to me that however he's living his life, it's been working out for him just fine. Terry Collins and Ike Davis have every right to be incredulous about this. It's truly shameful that the Mets just can't help continuing to perpetuate the stink.

I get the playing Lucas Duda over Davis, at least for now, because the Mets, I think, know what they have in Ike Davis, but not in Duda. Duda has all the makings of a brainless masher, not quite the threat Davis has shown he is, but not worthless either. Nonetheless, I know from having watched both of them plenty over the past 2 years that Ike Davis can be a cornerstone on the Mets going forward, and I don't think Lucas Duda can be. Perhaps Duda's natural position is First Base, but he's nowhere near as good a defender as Davis is, and he hasn't proven himself to be a consistent offensive threat the way Davis has. Davis might not be able to carry the team the way someone like Carlos Delgado used to, but given some time to develop, he might be able to post Delgado-like numbers. That's not outlandish. I would think it would take beyond a career year for Duda to develop such pop. So, of course, the Mets clearly want to paint Ike Davis as some sort of malcontent, because this is the only way they can justify shoving him out the door to give the job to the less-talented, less-marketable Duda. I'm sure there is some AL team that would love to have Duda as their DH. In fact, just about any player that shows a modicum of Major League ability is marketable. Hell, multiple GMs took a chance on Lastings Milledge, even gave up serviceable players for him. If the Mets don't feel like they have room for both Davis and Duda, I'd think Duda would be the obvious one to go. Trading Ike Davis at this point, when he clearly has a good jumping off point for some solid seasons to come, would be at best quite stupid. This is why the classless rumor-mongers that exist in the Mets organization have to leak these rumors to stir up negative sentiment.

Listen. The negativity surrounding the Mets is already bad enough. We don't need to needlessly add to this at the expense of one of the brightest stars on their mostly miserable team.

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