In his most forceful comments to date, Mets GM Sandy Alderson, while speaking to season ticket holders yesterday expressed optimism about bringing back David Wright and R.A. Dickey. However, it must be noted optimism and guarantees are two different things.
WRIGHT: Be creative. (AP)
“I fully expect that David Wright and R.A. Dickey will be here not only next year, but long term,” Alderson said. “As you all know, we have options on both those players and it’s not our intention to simply rely on those options and go into next season and deal with their free agency after 2013. We’re going to deal with it up front while we still have a little bit of room to maneuver. But we’re committed to trying to bring those two back. I hope they’ll both be back and I’m excited about the possibilities they will be.”
Sounds warm and fuzzy, now make it happen.
We all know this season turned disappointing after a post-break free fall. The Mets went from being eight games over .500 in the first half to a dozen under recently. There have been reports the Mets won’t be big spenders in the free-agent market and we all know there are precious few chips they have to trade.
On the surface, it appears to be another long, bleak winter. So, do something about it.
Prior to the last home game of the season, it would be great if the Mets announced Wright’s extension, and for the icing, also name him captain. It won’t erase another losing season, but it might provide a glowing optimism for winter.
Ten walk-off losses for a season sounds high, let alone 10 for the first half. That’s the number after Frankie Rodriguez’s latest meltdown yesterday.
“The worst performance I ever had in my life,’’ he called yesterday afternoon’s ninth inning, which for all practical purposes was over before Adam Dunn’s game-tying drive off the wall.
Walking Cristian Guzman on four pitches to open the ninth was as bad a sign as there is.
Rodriguez’s implosion made Stephen Strasburg a footnote and threw away what would have been RA Dickey’s seventh win.
Ten walk-off losses out of 36 is way to high a percentage and is something the Mets must address immediately. For all the talk about the eighth inning, a band-aid needed to be put on the ninth, too.
“We have our issues,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We can’t have an issue at the end of the game.’’
But, they do.
While the Mets’ bullpen is an issue heading into the break, so to is Jose Reyes’ health. Reyes, who has a strained right oblique, won’t play again today at Washington and is now questionable for the Reds series starting tomorrow at Citi Field.
I’ve read in several places where the Mets need a swagger. Sounds nice. Would be a good thing. Where do you get it?
It’s not like there’s a market that sells the stuff. All players have confidence, otherwise they can’t be a professional athlete. But, only a few have that bubbling cockiness, that swagger, that Darryl Strawberry and Ray Knight and Keith Hernandez had with the 86 Mets.
These Mets don’t have an abundance of players with that quality. And, what brings that quality to the surface collectively is winning.
We know the Mets, as a team, don’t have a swagger, and they won’t until they win. It’s great to hear Strawberry talking about the Mets needing a swagger, but it’s all moot until they win.
Joel Pineiro wanted four years and $40 million. He got two years and $16 million, numbers the Mets easily could have matched. But, they didn’t, and I don’t even know how serious they were about getting him.
And, with spring training inside a month away, it doesn’t appear they were that serious about improving their rotation.
Pineiro is a shade over .500 for his career, so it’s not as if they are losing an ace. But, he was coming off a good year and has been consistent, something the rotation could use.
It sounds like the usual group of suspects for the Mets this year. I can hardly contain myself.
It’s been the Mets’ refrain for awhile now: “We’ll be all right once we get our healthy players back.”
REYES: Will we see his speed this summer?
The catch, however, is a complete return to health and production.
Yesterday, Jose Reyes, who tore the hamstring tendon in his right leg last summer, said he expects to be 100 percent by spring training.
“The doctors said I am supposed to be the same Jose Reyes, I should be 100 percent, I should recover my speed,” said Reyes. “I don’t know if I will recover it right away, but I am working for that. When I am healthy, I will be able to do the things I did before.”
He should be 100 percent, he should regain his speed. I’ve heard more forceful statements. “I don’t know if I will recover (my speed) right away.” Sounds ominous.