Top 10 Disappointments From The Mets 2012 Season

On Monday, me and John Delcos brought you the Top 10 Positives from the Mets 2012 season, and as promised here are our Top 10 Disappointments from the 2012 season in no particular order…

Doing Nothing At Trade Deadline

Kevin Burkhardt said the players looked at the front office’s inaction at the trade deadline as a “kick in the teeth”. The team had begun to slide after losing their closer, their ace and a very effective Dillon Gee as they headed into the break. Up until deadline day, including the day before, Alderson kept telling the media that the Mets were buyers although nothing was done in June or July. On the day of the deadline, Alderson showed up to Citi Field with Jersey Shore’s Snooki. While Snooki took pictures with the players at one end of the dugout before the game, Sandy Alderson was at the other end announcing that the Mets were not buyers because of their poor recent performance. “How can I justify being a buyer in light of how poorly this team is playing?” When reporters quickly caught up with Terry Collins and told him the news, his response was “You’re kidding me right?” – Joe D.

The Poison Bullpen

After spending nearly all of their available resources and making the bullpen their number one priority last Winter, the results are in and the much ballyhooed bullpen overhaul proved to be a colossal failure. The Mets’ pen ranked last in the majors in just about every statistical measure, and their 4.75 ERA was the worst mark in the last two decades for the Mets. The sad part is that the biggest failure, Frank Francisco, will be back at a cost of $6.5 million in 2013. That’s a lot of cash for a team that will only have about $5 million to spend after raises this offseason. – Joe D.

Losing Back-to-Back Series to the Cubs

On June 3, Jon Niese beat the Cardinals to lift the Mets to a season-high eight games over .500. With the Mets playing well and a growing sense of optimism, the Mets couldn’t build on that and at the end of the first half lost consecutive series to the Cubs. To be a contender, a team must beat up on the weak, and that’s the Cubs. Instead of closing the first half on an up note, the Mets lost two of three at home to Chicago in the first-half finale and closed with a sour taste. They would never recover, and lost 11 of 12 coming out of the break and the season was over. – John D.

Excruciating Loss To The Nationals

There was no shortage of disappointing losses this summer, the most gut-wrenching coming July 17 at Washington, 5-4, in 10 innings. Down 2-0 entering the eight, the Mets took the lead on Jordany Valdespin’s three-run pinch homer only to see Bobby Parnell cough up the lead in the bottom of the inning. The Mets regained the lead, 4-3 in the tenth, but Bryce Harper tied it with a triple off Tim Byrdak and scored the game-winning run on Pedro Beato’s wild pitch. Only the Mets. – John D.

The Rotation Disintegrates

The rotation was loaded with questions going into the season, but they quickly lost Mike Pelfrey, who was having a good start reminiscent of how he pitched in 2010. Then Dillon Gee complained of numbness and artery damage was discovered in his shoulder. Finally, Johan Santana went on the DL in July with a sprained ankle, and finally was shut down in late August with a back injury. If not for R.A. Dickey’s remarkable season and Niese taking a step, they would have finished 20-plus games under .500. – John D.

Did They Quit On Terry Collins?

The players denied they quit on manager Terry Collins, but the mere fact he alluded to it gave us that perception. And, perception has a way of becoming reality. There was a disturbing lack of fundamentals in the second half, too many wasted at-bats and absolutely no clutch hitting. The starting pitching, bolstered by innings from Matt Harvey and Chris Young, didn’t pitch poorly, but the bullpen was atrocious. Quit is a strong word, but they couldn’t have played worse if they tried. – John D.

Jason Bay Continues His Slide

In his three seasons with the Mets, Jason Bay has hit 26 homers with 124 RBI. The Mets were hoping he’d average that when they signed him to a four-year, $66-million contract. This year he hit .165 with eight homers, 20 RBI. Miguel Cabrera had months like that this summer. He also contributed a .237 on-base percentage and a .299 slugging percentage. Next season will be Bay’s last with the Mets. Even if he were to have a monster year, the Mets will say good-bye. – John D.

Duda Takes Giant Step Backwards

Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins can continue to rave about Lucas Duda all they want, but the truth is that nobody regressed more in 2012 than Duda. As he enters next season at 27, he has a lot to prove after falling from a slash of .292/.370/.492 in 2011 to a slash of .239/.329/.339 this season. He struck out in more than 25% of his at-bats and as Keith Hernandez pointed out several times in September, Duda had not changed his stance or approach at the plate one bit after he returned from a stint in the minors. But Duda is very cheap and under team control for five more years and the Mets have no other options, so the praise for Duda will continue, but it’s best that you temper your expectations and not buy into the hype. – Joe D.

Outfield Of Screams

Everyone including me loves to rail against the obscene lack of production from the bullpen this season, but leave some of your outrage for the Mets outfield – who accounted for the most woeful production in the majors. Jason Bay (.165 AVG), Andres Torres (.230 AVG) and Lucas Duda (.239 AVG) combined for a .280 On-Base and a .649 OPS. Scott Hairston kept things from being even worse, but with a 2-3 year deal in his future at considerably more money, nobody expects that he will be back. This was one of the worst outfields the Mets have put on the field in over a generation. There’s no help on the way from the minors unless you’re interested in watching some K-New and V-Spin reruns. – Joe D.

Catch The Fever?

Another area of concern is behind the plate where starting catcher Josh Thole was expected to have a breakthrough season after a somewhat sold season in 2011. It never happened and what’s worse, Thole regressed so badly that it may have cost him his job and possibly even a spot on the roster. Mets catchers as a whole ranked in the bottom two in every defensive measure, but hardly made up for it with their bats. Thole batted .234, Mike Nickeas batted .174 until they finally shipped him back to the minors, and newcomer Kelly Shoppach was hardly an improvement batting .203 and striking out in an incredible one-third of his at-bats. – Joe D.

Did we miss anything? I think we pretty much covered the entire gamut.

Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, J.P. Ricciardi and Terry Collins are led by Fred and Jeff Wilpon as they board the Bat Copter, destination unknown.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 Disappointments From The Mets 2012 Season

  1. 1) Do nothing. This said it all about ownership. They waited until they could prove they didn’t have to spend money. Jersey shore? really? yuk.

    2) Pen. Perhaps Francisco was the best they could get. But it is not just him. As much as I rail against him. There is worse ( like anyone else we have as closer ). It is not even the rest of the pen who was mediocre. It is the starters. You cannot have starters who only go 6 and then hand it to the pen night after night.

    3) Cubs. Well they quit by then didnt they?

    4) One game to the Nats. I wouldn’t put this on the list. Bad games happen.

    5) Rotation. The beginning of the end. They lost half their starters and ran out of replacements. They also did not have a lineup to compensate as they did in 06. Then they stopped playing.

    6) Did they quit? Yes. As you say all of a sudden they became a different team. The team that did not quit folded.

    7) Bay. I guess you have to put this in but this is a broken record.

    8) Duda. Is this a repeat of Murphy? I hope so. Can Duda keep trying and get better and figure it out? I do not expect much from him next year. In fact he should be in Vegas to work on OF and hitting.

    9) OF. As I have been saying for some time. All we need is a good reliever and average OF. You know people who can hit 260 or so with maybe 15 hr each and field their position. This should not be hard to do and won’t break the bank.

    10) Catcher. I didn’t realize the new guy was that bad a hitter. He does have some pop and from what I saw could catch. Nikeas just hurt the team as he just cannot hit and his defense wasn’t that good.

    In the end we had too many players who just got out. When you have your #5 hitter with a sub 200 avg you have problems. Bay should not be on the roster next year. He just takes a slot that you can use for someone useful Baxter should be back. Although he is a 4th OF he played ok.

    I think with RA, Niese ( who made positive steps including going deeper into games ), Santana ( major question ), Gee, Harvey and Young we have a rotation. Now we need a lineup ( OF’s ), a new closer and Ike to play like he did 2 years ago.

    That would be a team to watch. But the Mets will have to lock up RA and David. We will know by February what kind of team we have. By February I will know if this will be a team I care about.

    By mid year Wheeler may be in queens. They also may bring up Familia to put in the pen so we can have a power arm with some life.

    As much as I don’t like what Sandy has done I would think he would have liked to cut Ollie, Castillo and Bay at one time to get rid of the unproductive players. He probably wanted to get rid of Johan too since he is not the future. This way he can just bring the young guys up and spend a few years sucking while they learn to play.

    I wonder if Valdespin will be in queens. He needs to work on his hitting and since the quickest way to Queens is the OF spend time someplace to learn the position. We have a 2B and his name is Dan.

  2. dave: Thanks for your comment. A clarification on the Washington game. It came in the midst of a losing slide. Yes, one game doesn’t statistically count more than another. But, this was emblematic of the Mets’ problems. Maybe if they would have won they might have stopped the slide. Other than Santana’s no-hitter and Dickey winning is 20th, this is the game that stood out for me this summer.-JD