Monday, May 13, 2013

Don't Get Too Excited...

I know the first, last and only reason the Mets brought Rick Ankiel on board is to try to jump start the 3-run-a-game offense and give the Mets a viable Major League Outfielder.

This might be a reasonably good idea if it were 3 years ago.

That Rick Ankiel might be viewed as, now, one of the better Outfielders on the Mets roster is a real indictment on just how bad things are right now, because last week, Rick Ankiel got released by the Astros. Not the Cardinals, not the Brewers, not the Rangers, the Houston Freaking Astros. The team with the worst, stripped down roster in the game, whose management basically decided the best thing for them to do was throw in the towel for the immediate few seasons while they build their entire organization back up from complete and utter ashes. Rick Ankiel was one of the few veterans that the Astros brought in this offseason. Now, think about this logically. If you were a veteran Major League ballplayer with, say 7-8 years experience and and a moderate level of success, why would you even think of signing with the Houston Astros, knowing full well that you're signing on to a shipwreck? The answer is, you don't. You sign with the Houston Astros because none of the other teams in the league are interested in signing you. That's why the Astros had Rick Ankiel and Carlos Pena on their Opening Day roster. Neither of those players, on their own volition, would probably have signed with the Astros if a more attractive situation presented itself.

Now, Ankiel started off with a bang, hitting a 3-run Home Run on Opening Day, aiding the Astros to a blowout win. Since that point, they've lost at a frequency that would make the Mets' heads spin. Currently, they're 10-29, or, approximately 5 games worse than the Mets. Ankiel basically performed up to the level of the team. In 25 games with the Astros, he managed to hit .194, albeit with 5 Home Runs. He also walked 3 times, had 12 hits and struck out 35 times in 62 at bats. Rather than keep him around in some kind of mentorship role while their youngsters fumphered around, the Astros just cut him. It wasn't worth their while anymore.

So, what happens when you get cut by the Astros? Well, the Mets pick you up, of course! The only team possible that might be more hard up for Outfielders and marginal Major League Talent. This is just another sign of how bad things have become for the Mets. And, yes, this was what we were expecting this season, but at this point, the team has just become Matt Harvey, David Wright, John Buck, Bobby Parnell and that's pretty much it. Ike Davis has turned into Dave Kingman of lesser acclaim, Lucas Duda is full of hot air and Daniel Murphy just vacillates between Jeff Cirillo and Josh Thole. Nobody else seems to be of particular value to anyone, and the alarming rate at which the team has gone through relievers and outfielders is an example. I missed all of the weekend's games against the Pirates, but I saw the end of tonight's game and I suppose it may as well have been an amalgam of all three games rolled into a few mostly unwatchable innings. In the words of Mike Francesa, "NNNNNNEEEEYY STINK!!!"

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