Thursday, June 24, 2010

Six Months In A Leaky Boat



I've got a bad habit of going to songs and song lyrics to try to make sense of it all when it comes to the Mets, but I think a song about a nervous breakdown is a pretty apt metaphor for looking at the life of the Met fan the last few years. Plus the baseball season is six months, so there's that.

Truth be told, it's not all doom and gloom here at the new TGME HQ (I moved). Even though I watched the Mets lose two games this past weekend, they still had a 7-2 road trip. If the losses had come in two consecutive games to, say, the Reds, it would hardly have mattered. Instead, the Mets lost two to the Yankees and all of a sudden it became imperative to come out and stomp the Tigers, to prove this team wouldn't undo all the progress they'd made.

Well, stomp they have. Most teams don't score nineteen runs in a series, much less in the first two games of the series, but the Mets have managed that feat in cavernous Citi Field. Add to that the fact that they seem to have their very own 2005 Aaron Small in R.A. Dickey and you would think there isn't anything at all to be worried about, much less have a nervous breakdown over.

And yet...

Every positive thing that happens with this team can instantly be set back by boneheaded moves from the front office. Actually, boneheaded doesn't quite grasp it. I've probably linked to this David Roth piece, in which he agonizes over how completely inexplicable the Mets' decision making process appears to be, before. I could point at that piece almost every day when I think about this team. For instance we've been treated to Jennry Mejia finally, FINALLY, being sent down to Binghamton. Presumably this is because Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel no longer see trotting out a buzzed-about prospect the only avenue to saving their respective jobs. Not that Mejia's ability would have saved anyone if this team were 30-41, but that makes sense because he's 20 and has barely pitched above A ball. Of course, the mystery remains what he was doing on the team until the middle of June considering that he wasn't the team's primary set up man, but good luck getting an answer to that question.

Also good luck to figuring out why there's any talk at all of Angel Pagan being the odd man out when Carlos Beltran comes back from the depths of the ocean. In what world am I living in when a team sees the need to keep Jeff Francoeur's one-dimensional ass in the line-up over a prototypical two-hitter that's finally living up to his immense talent? Because when I look out the window, the sky is blue, 9/11 still happened and it doesn't rain donuts. If Jerry Manuel wants to explain to me that in his universe, taking at-bats away from Angel Pagan keeps us from some terrible Homefront future, I'm all ears, but I'm also going to start putting lithium in his water.

Are we even going to go into the Johan Santana sexual assault thing? No, no we will not.

In the end, my big fear regarding this team is that the Braves are exactly as good as they're playing, the Phillies are better than their record indicates and that the Mets aren't quite this good. It's impressive that a team still missing it's All-Star centerfielder and getting basically no help from its big power bat acquisition is eleven games over .500 and half a game out of first place. I just don't know that it's sustainable.

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