1.5.08

April's Ugly, Ugly Finish

You know things are hitting the skids when Billy Wagner is seizing the
reigns as Clubhouse leader by eviscerating Oliver Perez's pathetic
career-worst-tying 1 2/3 -inning outing in which he walked five, gave up two
hits and yielded seven runs, all in the second, although five were unearned.


What's in that drink thar, Ollie, muppet juice?

"Perez has honestly got to step up and know that we've just used every
guy in our bullpen the night before,"
Wagner said. "He can't come out
there and decide that, gee, he hasn't got it today and so be it."


Wagner's remarks raise several issues.

Was Wagner justified in outing Ollie or is this simply a case of throwing a
teammate under the proverbial bus? After all, Wagner himself has had his
fair share of key, monumental failures in his brief tenure as Mets closer,
particularly in clutch games and the saying goes, he who lives in glass
houses should not cast stones.

Perez appear to have been ok with Wagner's outburst but then again, there
really wasn't much he could say in his defence but to hold up his hands,
shrug his shoulders and pretend he couldn't speak English any more.

Did Perez shotput his performance a la postseason Steve Trachsel two years ago?

Well firstly, this was an April-ending game against the Pittsburgh Pirates,
not a playoff game so there really is no comparison to Trachsel's no
mas
embarassment. Secondly, a perhaps most importantly, whilst Perez
has shown promise, it is no secret that he has a disabling inability to
concentrate at times. We've settled on him as a member of the starting
rotation and this is what you get with promise versus performance. Ugly,
ugly outings on occasion that cause you to instantly forget anything good
Perez ever did from the mound.

Another issue of concern to highlight is that Perez was not necessarily the
sole master of his own demise. For the second night in a row a Jose Reyes error prompted a pitching disaster. Well to be fair, his failure to cover the bag in the 2nd inning was just a symptom to the general, overall
malaise, the lacsidaisically hideous outpouring of incompetence from
seemingly every angle and corner, every nook and cranny of the Mets' lineup.

But 3 errors and a .152 batting average over the last 8 games would suggest the slap-happy hand shakes and the toothy, epervescent grin is simply not the answer when it comes to truly solving the puzzle of Reyes' struggles over the last several months of baseball he's played.

I mean, 9 unearned runs in one game by anyone but a team of epileptics is
frankly, disgusting for Major League Baseball. This is nothing new to the
Mets who at times are notoriously short of concentration or mental
alertness. At times, one might suggest, the earmark of a poorly managed
team.

Ah, yes. Manager Willie.



Oblivious Willie does not detect a pattern to this ugliness at all. Of
course not because to detect it would require action and Willie, I believe
it can be established, is a man of quiet leadership rather than of action.
One game is not indicative of an incurable disease but it's easy to recall
the distressing lapses of concentration so endemic of the Mets' gruesome
collapse last season. Yes, let's bring up last season's collapse, that ugly
monster which will grow to Godzillaiac proportion with every such game like
this one. 12-1 to a team of laughingstocks. To a team hailing from the
smoggiest city in America. Not a good omen but not the end of the season.
Reminders of the futility of the Mets' position should be forthcoming when
they face the Arizona Diamondbacks who, thus far anyway, are the premier
favourites for the NL title. A trio of ugly road losses might just cause
some of the cracks in this team to grow bigger.

On the other hand, a successful...hell, even a wishy-washy-win-a-few-lose-a-few sort of performance on this road trip will keep the monsters at bay and give Willie and the Mets hope for another day.

2 comments:

sanchez said...

have you noticed how many Met players have had to step up and say something or demonstrate clubhouse leadership capabilities, etc. all in the absence of Willie's actions? I think you're right - the team's consistently poor play has alot to do with the managerial quality they're getting out of Willie.

Anonymous said...

simple. time to dump willie and bring back the Zen of Bobby V

http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04/28/new-film-shows-the-zen-of-bobby-v/