About last night …. enough is enough.

OK, I understand about the injuries. The Mets are a hurting group and won’t be whole again this season. We probably won’t see Jose Reyes or Carlos Beltran until spring training. The next time we see Carlos Delgado at Citi Field will likely be in a road uniform.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.

MANUEL: Went to the whip last night.

Lack of all their parts has cost the Mets a considerable number of their 60 losses, but also damaging has been their often uninspired, lazy, sloppy brand of baseball. Sloppy was on full display in last night’s loss at Arizona.

Manager Jerry Manuel simply told reporters last night, “we were a bad team,” and privately lashed out at several players. Daniel Murphy failed to cover first base on what could have been a double play; instead Anderson Hernandez threw to an empty base. (Not too bright, either.) Angel Pagan didn’t think on two costly outfield plays, one a careless dive and the other an errant throw. Both led to runs.

And, Mike Pelfrey continued to languish in mediocrity. Pelfrey, who had been expected to make significant strides this season, is floating through this season in Oliver Perez-like fashion.

OK, the Mets aren’t whole, but that’s no excuse for playing lazy-thinking and lazy-hustling baseball. Physical errors are part of the game, but errors caused by a lack of concentration or preparation are never acceptable. Never.

Here’s the deal. Before every pitch, a defensive player must ask himself what he would do if the ball were hit to him. He should have a plan. Hustle is admirable, but misplaced hustle, as in Pagan’s dive, is not smart baseball. And, Pagan has made more than his fair share of poor-thinking plays on the bases.

Injuries are one thing, but there have been numerous instances of undermanned and under talented teams winning – and that includes the World Series – by playing fundamentally sound. Not doing so is the first indication a team is packing in a season. It is a sign of quitting, and that’s a reflection on a manager, and Manuel can’t be happy about that prospect.

Believe me, everything will be open to evaluation after the season and that includes the manager. Manuel will be judged more on if he still has the ear and backing of the players than a won-loss record that at this rate will be lucky to be .500.

After chewing on his players, Manuel also blamed fatigue, but that’s his responsibility. David Wright gets only his second rest of the season tonight, but there have been other opportunities to give him a blow. There is simply no reason why fatigue should be an issue if the players are utilized properly. Conversely, there’s no reason why Francisco Rodriguez’s slide can be attributed to rust. Giving regular and consistent workloads to a player is also the responsibility of the manager and coaching staff.

When the story of this season is written, four sentences from Manuel last night will neatly summarize what has been the storyline to too many games this season: “A very poor game. A poor effort on our part. Despite maybe not having what we’d like to have, still it’s the major leagues. We have to perform better than that.”

Says it all, really.

It is true, true character is more revealed in times of adversity than prosperity. And, with the season dwindling away, the Mets still have a chance to salvage something. Their pride and self-respect, or at least a fraction of what is left. The season won’t just be neatly packaged by the injuries, but by the effort in the remaining 50 games.

Those 50 games will also go a long way toward the off-season evaluation process and the quest for jobs next spring.

8 thoughts on “About last night …. enough is enough.

  1. John -Thanks for another excellent commentary about the Mets. If I were grading it – an A+.

  2. This is like deja vu. I think you wrote similar pieces in 07 and 08.

    I’ve watched the whole season fall apart with injuries. They happen and the Mets have had their incredible share.

    This uninspired play is nothing new for the team.

    Willie got canned for it. Manuel was the bench coach at the time and they couldn’t motivate them. This is just the seal on the indictment that Manuel is not the manager for this team either.

    There have been many calls I’ve read for Valentine to come back, but, I don’t think he’s the answer either.

    The Mets need to do something drastic. They need to trade one of their core. Let the rest know ANYONE is expendable when they’re not playing at the major league expectations of their contracts.

    Who the core player is would be subject to a healthy debate.

    As I see it, they need to get rid of Omar and Manuel and a CORE player. Rizzo may be a numbers guy but he’s still attached to this regime.

    Time to clean house and start over. Their are many talented GM candidates and farm director candidates.

    Look around the league with how many mid market teams are in the hunt. Fielding a team that competes.

    With a 140 million plus payroll shouldn’t that be the absolute minimum expected from this team?

  3. “Here’s the deal. Before every pitch, a defensive player must ask himself what he would do if the ball were hit to him. He should have a plan. Hustle is admirable, but misplaced hustle, as in Pagan’s dive, is not smart baseball.”

    That’s Baseball 101 isn’t it? Now who is to blame for that? The guy who acquired them (Minaya?,) or the guy that is supposed to make sure they don’t make such mistakes, (Manuel?) Blame IMO falls on both men and because of that they both need to be fired along with the coaching staff.

  4. Of course a $140 million team should compete.
    the problem is that the team on the field is not a $140 million team.
    There is at least $30 m on the DL between Carlos y Carlos and Jose.
    Add in Putz, and Wagner, that’s another $20 million.
    Another $30 m is going to Johan, who we can’t complain about, and LOLlie, who we can.
    You’ve got backups to backups playing.
    And guys like Sheffield and Francouer playing.

    This is not the $140 m roster we are seeing now.

    Not even close.

  5. And not for nothing, but you are seeing right now what this team looks like without 2 of the core pieces.
    Do we really want to trade one of them?
    Both Jose and Carlos have injury concerns, so you would get back pennies on the dollar in a trade.
    That leaves Wright. No chance he gets dealt.
    The issue is, and has been, Minaya’s inability to supply good complementary pieces to support the “core”.

  6. (5) Ed: None of the core , including Wright IMO, have any trade value. So to consider dealing any of them would be foolish. Be that as it may, you can’t say that you can’t trade any of the core because of the way they are playing now without all of the core there. How could you say it anyway if you have no idea of who the Mets would get back in a trade assuming those guys had regular trade value.

  7. Let me rephrase….they don’t have the trade value that they should have because of the injuries.

  8. Ed (4) Agreed, this year the core is not there but what about August and Sept last year and the year before. You can’t judge a body of work on one season. Looked at over 3 seasons a pattern emerges. The last 2 seasons the full core was there for a majority of the season.

    No one ever knows what considering who to trade what the return will be. As evidenced by the Mets sometimes what you get from the trade is not what it was billed to be. It’s a risk to be sure.

    As I said in my post, if you were trading a core player you could make arguments for and against any of them being shipped out.

    Bottom line for me is you can’t just judge by this season you need to consider the prior seasons also.