I know it is too much to ask for, but I would like some direction from the Mets’ organization. I know they are under the misguided impression they have to put on a competitive face to sell tickets in September, but we all know that part of the season has been over since the West Coast trip after the All-Star break.
The Wilpons won’t fire Manuel and Minaya now – they probably will keep Omar because of his contract – because there’s no sense paying two people to do the same job.
But, I would like them to tell us what direction the team is heading. Is it rebuilding, which seems to be obvious or are they delusional like Manuel and think there’s still a season?
The public will come out and support this team next year if they are honest with us. But, if they keep leading us on is when we’ll turn on them and leave Citi Field empty.
They feat they can’t be open because they think they are in competition with the Yankees for the city, but they really aren’t. Yankees fans are Yankees fans and Mets fans are Mets fans. There might be some “baseball” fans who follow both teams, but each team generally has its own fan base.
The Yankees fan base has no doubt the direction of its team. The Mets should feel the the same. We’re not stupid. Tell us you’re rebuilding and be done with it.
We are willing to give the benefit of doubt if you’re honest with us.
The Mets will try to win their first road series tonight since a three-game sweep of Cleveland in mid-June. They are 10-20 on the road since then, a stat that pretty much says it all about their slide from contention.
Game #121 at Astros
They’ve only won two road series this season, both in interleague play.
Here’s another one: they are hitting a major-league worst .214 since the All-Star break. For good measure, they haven’t scored more than three runs in six straight games.
The frustrating thing is their weakness going into the season – their starting pitching – has been lights out lately. Definitely good enough to contend if they had any offense.
Tonight it will be Pat Misch going for the Mets.
The Mets activated Rod Barajas this afternoon and he’ll be in the lineup tonight. Jerry Manuel said the Mets are still in the race and Barajas is likely to get more playing time than Josh Thole.
The catching situation typifies the dysfunctional nature of the Mets. They are carrying three catchers, which makes no sense in the National League. And, making it worse is they continue to play shorthanded because Oliver Perez is useless.
There’s no way Jerry Manuel will survive after this season. Whoever replaces him will have to be marketed to a disgruntled and discouraged fan base.
The one guy who will work and won’t break the bank, and who has won at his level, but hasn’t managed on the major league level is Wally Backman.
The Mets need to market fire and intensity, something that has been lacking, and Backman meets that description. Because of his background and ties to the 1986 championship team, Backman is somebody the team can market and the public will buy.
The downside is his lack of major league experience, but the Mets have to weigh this against the public relations upside.
Jerry Manuel said today he hopes the Mets can get on a run and sneak back into contention. He really doesn’t have much more than hope because the Mets are becoming more and more irrelevant for this season.
Game #120 at Astros
They started sputtering before the All-Star break, but were within serious striking distance when Carlos Beltran was activated at the break.
They’ve been 11-20 since to deepen their hole by seven games to 11 behind Atlanta.
I posted a few things to look forward to down the stretch, but another one is the fallout from the Francisco Rodriguez incident.
The Major League Baseball Players Association, not surprisingly, has already filed a grievance against the Mets on behalf of Rodriguez for placing him on the disqualified list and attempt to convert his contract to a non-guaranteed deal.
Remember, the union’s concern isn’t about right or wrong – as evidenced by its head-in-the-sand stance on steroids – but simply getting every last nickel for the players.