As the Wilpons continue to deal with a massive lawsuit set against them for knowingly being involved in the Ponzi scheme arranged by Bernie Madoff, the Mets are actually playing some decent baseball.  They actually sit just one game under the .500 mark as they open a subway series tonight against the Yankees.  (Did you notice that I didn’t use the term “Crosstown Rivals” when mentioning the Yankees?  Come on now.  The Mets are clearly not the product that the Yankees are, and as much as I hate to admit it, they are not even in the same universe.)

This backdrop aside, you might be lead to believe that this small measure of success would lend to a slight bump in fan attendance at Citifield.  However, the truth of the matter is that the opposite has actually occurred.  Newsday reports that fan attendance has actually dropped by 3,031 per game.  This was according to statistics taken from baseball-reference.com.

Empty Seats Citifield  - Be Gone With Wilpon

Empty seats at Citifield certainly depicts how Met fans feel about the state of their team

According to the article, Mets executives blame this on bad weather recently, as well as the fact that attendance typically picks up after the school year has ended.  They also “claim” that the total ticket sales for this time of year are actually the same as they were last year.  Yawn.

One thing is certain.  Despite the fact that the Mets have exceeded expectations thus far, the Met fan base does not really buy into what is going on.  After all, why should they?  When you look at the Met lineup, you see guys named Pridie, Turner, Tejada and Murphy getting regular at bats.  That is not going to excite anyone.  The fact is, the star power the Mets offer is either injured (David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana), under producing (Jason Bay – again) or headed out of town very, very soon (Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and possibly Frankie Rodriguez).  The future, like the Wilpon’s bank account, is certainly bleak.

When this is taken into account, how can the Met front office realistically be surprised by the dip in attendance?  If they are hanging their hat on the idea that these AAA players will continue to overachieve, then they are less intelligent than even I thought that they were.   Truthfully, that is tough to do.

I personally tip my hat to all the Met fans who are fed up with the direction of this team due to its misfit owners.  As a matter of fact, I think that I’ll actually raise a drink to all Met fans later this evening.  It is about time that we Met fans show the Wilpons that enough is enough.

Holy Pipes Batman!

March 4, 2010

We have obviously reached the point in modern-day sports that we know what we see.  So when a guy shows up to camp looking like Superman after looking like Robin for the past 2 years, we understand the story.

When I first saw David Wright’s physique this spring, I did a double-take.  Then after I let it sink in for several minutes, it became very easy to understand.  Wright is under a ton of pressure to boost his power this year after an embarrassing campaign (for his standards) in 2009.  If he were a 2nd place hitter, those 10 home runs would have looked fine to go along with all of his other production.  However, Wright has built a reputation that depicts him as a middle of the order hitter with 25-plus home run power.

David Wright circa 2009

David Wright 2010 spring training. That was tough to notice a difference, right?

Don’t get me wrong, if this means that Wright will hit 25- 30 homers this year, then I do not care what steroid mixture he is taking.  I am a Met fan, and I want them to win.  After all, Wright would not be the only major league player taking the juice this season, or any season for that matter.  Make no mistake.  Steroids are rampant throughout not only baseball, but all sports.  It is impossible to identify new compounds as they are produced because the experts do not know what to look for if they have yet to see it.  This is the reason that steroids will remain prevalent in both amateur and professional sports.

Therefore, all I have to say is this.  Keep shooting whatever it is you are shooting, David.  Hit those home runs and make all Met fans happy.  I will be the first one cheering when that first ball is hit into the stands at cavernous Citifield.

First of all, let me state that I am happy to be back from the infirmary for the past several days.  That cold kicked my ass more than the Marlins and Nationals did to the Mets down the stretch of 2007 and 2008.  It isn’t as if I have missed that much.

Oh, with the exception of this.  Wow! I could elaborate further, but I think you know where I would take this.  I think my efforts would be better served if I were to continue my tour around the horn and touch on left field instead.

Jason BayI know that you are looking for me to list a bunch of negative statistics and opinions here, frequent reader.  I do have a tendency to at least balance my review of anything related to the Mets with some negative spin.  I think finding much in the way of negative text would be a tough task here.  I state this while making one valid point.  Jason Bay is a very good player.  However, he is not a superstar.  I doubt that this will actually raise much of a controversy here, but let me break it down for you.

In the only happy move of the off-season, the Mets bring back one of their own to patrol left field

First off, it is great to bring back a former Met farm-hand.  I am not sure why the Mets ever got rid of him, but that is ancient history.   From the minute he arrived as an everyday player for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2004, he has produced at a high level, with the possible exception of his one down year in 2007.  One down year can be accepted, however, when sandwiched between groups of highly productive ones.  This is a guy who has hit at least 30 home runs and driven in over 100 runs in four of his six full big league seasons.   That is very respectable to say the least.  He is also a lifetime .280 hitter and carries a lifetime slugging percentage of a tick under .520.  He does strikeout a ton, reaching the dubious plateau of 162 last season.  You will take that with career highs of 36 HR and 119 RBI as the entree.  He also sports a solid lifetime on-base percentage  of .376, so he is not afraid to take a walk either.

He will have his work cut out for him at Citifield, however.  This is the case with anyone not named Ryan Howard and Albert Pujols.  You have all read about his tendency to pull the ball, which is advantageous in hitting in this ballpark due to the quick drop-off in distance down the line in left field.  This should definitely help Bay hit more home runs during his home plate appearances.  Even taking this into account, this is the polar opposite to hitting in his old ballpark, Fenway Park.

Home Runs will be much harder to come by for Bay at Citifield than they were at Fenway Park.

His lack of protection could also be a factor, as it projects today that either Daniel Murphy or Jeff Francouer will bat behind him for the unforeseeable future.

As far as his defense is concerned, let’s not overstate things, alright?  He is very simply…average.  Average speed, average range, average vision while reading the ball off of the bat, average first step and average arm.  No worse and no better.  Regardless of what you may have read to date, this is what he is as a defender.  Enough said.

Jason will play 150 plus games in left field barring injury in 2010. That is all anyone can ask from any player.  If he doesn’t catch the Met injury bug, he will provide what most Mets could not last season.  Durability.  Hooray!