Mets Win On K-Rod Bobblehead Day

I suppose if you'd looked at the promotional scheme for the season back in April or even May you might have imagined that even something as exciting K-Rod Bobblehead Day would have taken a back seat to the heat of the pennant race and that maybe K-Rod's 30th save of the season would be the cause for great relief or celebration. Hell, K-Rod probably thought as much himself.

Instead, as we know, a simply meaningless early September game pairing easily the two most disappointing teams in the National League and perhaps in ALL of baseball.

Why isn't this guy a Mets target?

Watching the Cubs is like holding up a mirror to the Mets but for the fact that they didn't lose half their team to injuries this season. And of course, the Cubs are already talking about having someone like Chone Figgins on their radar to sign in the offseason. Who have the Mets got on their radar? Re-signing Carlos Delgado to a long-term contract?

Ok, the Mets won yesterday, whoop. They beat their ugly cousins from the Windy City in a completely meaningless game. (Ok, the Cubs aren't quite mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet but they are most certainly just as terminal as the Mets.)

Mr Inconsistency, in his first start since his much-mocked lap-running around the Coors Field car park, had his head together for a change which meant his stuff as well, demonstrating that sharp slider everyone loves when watching him, to compliment his fastball and pitching 8 solid innings of 5-hit ball. I mean, if we hadn't already been fooled by this guy a dozen times this season it might be cause for hope for an otherwise hopeless 2010 pitching staff but we've been dreaming about this guy before and this is no different. Let him do it in every start the rest of the season and I'll take a little notice. Otherwise, this is just a blip, a temporary salve.


Same with Mr Can't Hit The Inside Pitches Murphy. Yeah, he drove in all four of the Mets runs yesterday, even a hit a homer and a triple for good measure. Does this make him next season's starting first baseman? Barely keeping his head above .250 all season? Our 2010 first baseman batting clean up? Pshaw.

I don't mean to belittle an event as rare as a Met victory or a sterling pitching performance from our number two starter (or is he now our number one starter with Johan gone?) or a surprising outburst from our former left field clown turned competently fielding first baseman, but it's really hard to get excited about this.

I'm still thinking about Chone Figgins, who can play second base or third base or any outfield position, switch hits, hits for average and plays with speed and is a great potential lead-off hitter. I'm still wondering why there's no speculation about the Mets signing this free agent, why they aren't already bandying about absurdist Yankee-like numbers to make sure he's a Met next season.

What? Jose Reyes is the 2010 lead off hitter for the Mets? G'won. I've wanted to see this guy traded for the last two seasons while he could still fetch something good (like, remember the days back when the allegedly untradable Lastings Milledge could have helped fetch a high-class starter?)

Do we really want another season of high-strung hammies wreaking havoc on the 2010 season? Bonehead running or fielding and a lack of baseball discipline getting in the way of the team's successes next season? His market value is still probably reasonably high, a package deal could fetch something valuable in return if we had a competent GM. But rest assured there will be no Chase for Chone and if his hammies haven't turned to wet linguine by then, Old Crazy Eyes will be back at short, leading off for the Mets next season. And look on the bright side - the fact that he choked in the 2007 and 2008 races in September won't matter because in 2010, the chances of the Mets being in the race by the All Star break are pretty much nil anyway.

Hey, good news! Brian Schneider had two whole hits yesterday which allowed him to inch ever-closer to the .200 batting average he's sought to reach most of the season. Better to give him a chance and playing time than the best hope the Mets have for a future catcher in the system, innit?

Angel Pagan, although hitting over .300 as the lead-off hitter is still a defensive liability in center.

I try to imagine the 2010 Mets and can't help but wonder how much longer Beltran, who is due to return for the Marlins in two days, can patrol centerfield. He's ageing fast, he's always been fragile and while he's a great fielder, surely it's nearly time to reduce his load and swing him over to left field.

Unfortunately, a quick glance at this off-season's potential free agents reveals no clear power-hitting replacement. In fact, when you look at that list, it's clear the Mets are not going to be able to buy their way into contention next season. What's also clear is that they will need a manager who can preach speed, manufacturing runs and great defence. The 2010 Mets, like the 2009 Mets, are not likely to be a power team, rather a team that could have used someone cagey, like Billy Martin, managing them. (Remember "Billy Ball"?) Billy Martin is dead of course but I still can't really say Jerry Manuel will do.

Jerry's avoided alot of criticism because he's managing what is in essence a Triple AAA team against Major League competition. That and his notoriously interesting press room banter.

Is he worth another punt? I'd certainly love to see Bobby V back as the Mets manager. I mean if you look at those 2000 Mets he managed to the World Series you'll see that the 2010 Mets, potentially anyway, could be alot better.

Sure, there's no Mike Piazza to hit 38 homers and .324 but surely even Beltran is an upgrade in centerfield over Jay Payton. And Wright is better than Robin Ventura at third. In theory, Murph could be as good or nearly so as was Todd Zeile at first base. Reyes, if he's healthy but even if he's not, Anderson Hernandez is an upgrade over Mike Bordick. (and you could do up the entire roster like that...)

And the pitching staff? Even a return of this year's starters and bullpen (with a few tweeks, of course) are just as good as the 2000 Mets.

So there's no reason why it couldn't be done.

Jesus, did I really just say that?

Must be time for some more coffee.

Next up - let's knock the Marlins out of their last dying chances for a 2009 post season. A small comeuppance, eh?

Murph Drives In Enough Runs To Beat Cubs


jdon said...

Do you think Jerry keeps a copy of "Managing for Dummies" in his hip pocket during games? How else do you explain a .250 hitter with 50 RBIs batting cleanup? When a guy with close to 70 RBIS gets to stand on deck as the game ends. Ah well, it worked out TODAY. But Jerry is all about lefty-righty, for pitchers and hitters. If Jerry had four lefty hitters available and Brian Schneider was the best of them, he would have Schneider hit cleanup. Yes, he is definitely the manager to lead this team to a playoff.

Pelfrey is crazy. i think they must have Prozaced him yesterday

jdon said...

I cannot understand why baseball did not schedule the Mets Marlins for Labor Day. Have holidays become meaningless in baseball? Paydays only. Both teams were off last Monday so there is no impediment ot sheduling such as one of them played 20 days in a row or whatever the rule is. What a disgrace.

Jaap said...

I think Jerry's got an Asspocket full of whiskey (ever heard that album by RL Burnside?) to get through a season watching minor league players stack his allegedly major league team. no idea why Murph bats clean up. It worked once this season, a loooooong time ago and he can't seem to stop doing it despite all the times in between it hasn't. Then again, with zero power hitters on the roster, what difference does it really matter who bats clean up on the Mets? It's a sad state of affairs, no doubt. But at least the Jets are coming to distract us!

jdon said...

True. But if baseball, like all sports, is about matchups, do you want to match jerry up with any manager in baseball? Do you want to match the F.O. up with one that signed Rafael Ibanez and traded for Cliff Lee? Because they had a farm system and you didn't? How about the way our F.O. handles injury info compared to other teams? Omar doesn't even match up with the Marlins, for crying out loud. Omar might give Jim Bowden a run for his money....oh, that's right, the last place washington whatshisnames fired Jim Bowden, didn't they?

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