Thursday, September 18, 2008

(He's Got A) Ticket To Ride...

....and we don't care....that's right, folks, we just don't care, as the old but classic Beatles song goes.

Last night, methinks Aaron Heilman purchased himself a one-way ticket to ride out of New York, doing his usual lousy job out of the bullpen. Fortunately, the offense, for once, was awake, and the Mets were able to outlast the Nationals to capture a much-needed win. As the Phillies continue their winning ways, having now won six games in a row, you just have to wonder, if you're a Mets fan, when, if ever, it's going to stop.

Despite my personal dislike for Mike Francesa's on air personality, I was listening to him yesterday afternoon, like I always do, since I put WFAN on in the morning, and it stays on all day. Anyway, as much as I dislike him, he did say a few things about the Mets that I totally agree with. The first being that you have to construct your lineup, at this point, with Reyes one, Beltran two, and Wright three. I've always felt that Beltran is a two hitter; his mental makeup and execution have shown that, over the years, and that Wright, despite his recent struggles, is still the best overall hitter on the team, so he belongs in the three hole.

He also said that if the Mets tank again this year, they need to "re-examine" their core. And I could not agree more. The core of this team has had three years to prove its mettle, and has thus far come up way short, despite the raw talent contained in the bunch. You just have to wonder if these guys are capable of putting the petal to the metal when the chips are down. If they aren't, then it's time to rethink the construction of the team core, and that includes the guys making the decisions.

It might be time to clean house, and start anew.

We'll have to see.

In the meantime, the blog name stays as altered.


Coop said...

I don't think that should be TOO drastic. Sure, our core came up short (like waaaay) short in 2007, but this year I felt has been more Carlos Delgado's finding his bat than anything else. Beltran is a good "key" player - he's not a super duper star that you build a team around. Wright and Reyes on the other hand, we have to remember just how young they actually are. Wright will be 26 this year, and Reyes just turned 25. I don't think that it's too bad to wait a few years to turn the team around that way, to build around them. But as you suggest which I agree with, they have proven to not put the pedal to the metal -- as we so eloquently say here once a week, we root for a bunch of pussies. but i don't think this year's version is actually AFRAID to win.

Deb said...

Well, Coop.... it's in their hands now.

If they win 2 of 3 this weekend against the Braves, I'll feel a lot more confident.

And for the record, I would keep Wright, Reyes and Beltran, but not Delgado, no matter WHAT he does for the rest of the year, for many reasons. But, unfortunately, I do think the Mets will exercise his option.

And yes, dear -- they ARE a bunch of pussies.

francescaantidote said...

You seem to be almost serious about this.

In a year where they have been grossly mismanaged, both by Willie and Omar, have had a historically awful bullpen, and have been afflicted with injuries to their starting and backup left fielder, their right-fielder, their #2 starter, their ace reliever, and their 2 "2nd basemen", all of whom lost significant time, this core, with the help of a top-flight (starting) pitching staff, delivered the Mets into contention. Considering that our offense for the first half of the year consisted of three bats (Reyes/Wright/Beltran), with Delgado, Tatis, and Murphy providing help later, the fact that we are even close to a division title is amazing. When you take into account that their defense ranges from excellent (Reyes) to spectacular (Beltran) you get a core of young players that is impossible to replace. (Even Delgado's performance will be difficult to duplicate next season--so much so that Delgado himself won't be able to do it.) There is a reason why we are near the top of the NL in runs scored and why our 3-5 hitters each have 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs.

Having this kind of core is a rare blessing in baseball. It is the sort of things that makes you into a perennial contender--which, in case you have not noticed, is what we are, and what a considerable majority of baseball teams are most emphatically not.

Wright and Beltran hit like monsters last September, and Beltran is doing it again this September. Reyes laid an egg last Year but is maintaining his level of play this year--his current "September woes" are mostly bad luck. Wright has been awful the 2nd week of September, but put up an OPS above 2.000 for the first week. I don't see a bunch of chokers who can't get it done. I see 90% luck and normal performance variation, 10% bad play getting in the head of Wright this year and Reyes last year.

Mike Fransesca is the only human being around whose influence requires a medically prescribed antidote. (Although the idea of batting Beltran 2nd is so sane and reasonable that I can't believe he said it.)

Deb said...

Actually, I AM deadly serious about this. This team does not play like a team; it does not execute; it does not seem to have a real identity; it does not seem to be able to close the door and finish the job.

Every team has injuries; that's part of baseball. And while I do agree that we are fortunate to have some of the players we do, I think it's time for the Mets to rethink their overall philosophy of how to build a team (if they even HAVE one, lol), who should be doing the building, and who should be managing what has been built.