Hello everyone!  Did you think I was dead?

Well, I am still alive, which is more than I can say for the Met franchise.  I am not saying this in response to the Miami Marlins (dreadful uniforms, what the hell were they thinking?) signing Jose Reyes.  No, not at all.

Jose Reyes signing with the Miami Marlins is not the reason that the Mets are an irrelevant franchise.

I consider the Mets fortunate that they were priced out of contention just to be in the bidding for Reyes.  For if the Mets had the cash to throw away on a selfish, injury-prone player, I am sure they would have done so in an instant.  I would imagine that they would have committed themselves to a very long-term, team-destroying deal without batting an eyelash.  Alas, the Mets escape this one without a scratch and I am sure that they don’t even know it.

Why are the Mets dead?  Let me count the ways.

Next season, the Mets will have precisely one healthy player with a solid track record for success in David Wright.  Wright by no means is all that he is cracked up to be, but compared to the rest of the roster for 2012, he is a megastar.

Then we get to the next rung of players.  Those who either have to prove their health or their worth while garnering bloated contracts that have not paid off for the most part or even at all.  I bring to you Johan Santana and (ugh) Jason Bay.  I have to admit, even though Bay was the “Token Move of Appeasement” in 2010, I actually thought that he would work out to some degree.  Yep, dead-wrong.  Bay has been nothing short of one of the worst signings in Met history.  As far as Santana goes, who in the world can predict what decreased level of pitcher he will be moving forward.  This is under the assumption that he can actually pitch without blowing his arm out again after 5 or 6 starts.  In either case, expecting Santana to be anything more than an above average pitcher is nothing short of tomfoolery.

What comes next is either the unproven or pure mediocrity.  There may be some upside with Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada here, but is there anyone else that should excite us for next year?  I think even Mike Pelfrey’s mother isn’t excited about his prospects going forward.

Don’t expect any help from free agency or the farm system either Met fans.  All of our prospects are 2 plus years away (stop me if you haven’t heard this one before), and the Mets may have only about 10 million to invest in about 7 important roster spots.  These include starting pitching, an entire bullpen including a closer, outfield depth, and possibly a second baseman.

Hey other than that, I think we are set for 2012.

Seriously though, is anyone going to pay good money to see this abysmal product next year?  I know some extremely optimistic Met fans who have told me that they have canceled their season tickets for this year, and these were the blind optimists who thought the Wilpons were doing a solid job.

The revolting truth is that it isn’t going to get any better in 2013, nor 2014, nor 2015.  You can see where I am going with this, can’t you?  I urge all Met fans to abstain from purchasing any Met products or tickets until the Wilpons decide to give our fan-base the break we deserve by selling the team.  I think it is quite obvious, even to the passive baseball fan, that they have successfully run this team into the ground.  What more needs to be seen to prove that point?

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.

I Rest My Case

March 18, 2010

As predicted, David Lennon of Newsday tweeted that Alex Cora will fill in for Reyes while he sits on the DL.  I suppose the Mets did not want to catch anyone off guard when they made this decision.

I suppose that I need to look at the bright side here.  Now I can go grab a brew from the fridge whenever Cora steps to the plate.  We can all use a timeout, can’t we?

Moving On…

March 12, 2010

Now that Jose Reyes is out of the picture for the time being, we can now focus on who will likely be playing shortstop for the Mets on a regular basis to start the season.

I am hoping that the Mets actually surprise me here, but I do not have such lofty expectations.  I want to see Ruben Tejada out there on opening day, but I am quite sure that Alex Cora (yawn) will be there instead.

Alex Cora will not kill your team in any way.  He makes decent contact and fields adequately.  That sounds alright doesn’t it?  The problem is this…been there, done that.  Cora is what he is, and that is a utility player.  He is not going to excel at any one area that warrants every day play.

As I previously mentioned, Ruben Tejada has that X-Factor called the unknown.  He is a young player on the rise through the Met farm system.  He is someone that you could hitch that enthusiastic star to this
April.  Sure, we have no idea how this will translate against major league pitching.  This is especially true once teams get video on his swing and begin to make adjustments on how to pitch him.  Yes, he is also just twenty years of age.  However, he is currently enjoying his second spring invite with the big club this March.  He is at that stage of development where everyday at bats are needed.    He is also needed on the opening day roster to serve as Cora’s backup.  Why not give those important at bats to him here?  If he struggles initially, you can spell him with Cora here and there.  If he continues to struggle, you can send him down and play Cora everyday from that point forward until Reyes returns (whenever that is).  I am not sure what the Mets have to lose with this type of plan.

Ultimately aside from a token start here and there, I am quite sure that we will be watching Alex Cora get his four at bats per game while Tejada wastes away on the bench.  Then again, I may be shocked instead.

Bring On the Youth

March 7, 2010

That’s right, I said it.  I am practically excreting optimism right now.  I would love nothing better than to see some new blood come in here and shock the world.  That sort of energy has not been felt in these parts since Jose Reyes and David Wright first hit the scene.  Sure, there have been other flashes.  Mike Jacobs in 2005 to name one.  However as we all know, that was short-lived. 

Wouldn’t it be something to see a couple of the young prospects stick with the team and create some buzz.  Come on.  Is anyone really interested in seeing Rod Barajas or Daniel Murphy?  Murph has some upside perhaps.  However, does that possible upside get anyone fired up?  I’ll tell you what might.  The Mets currently have four prospects in camp that have at least a measure of upside.  Along with that upside lies the possibility of a spark for fan excitement.  The four are obvious to most.  They are Ike Davis, Fernando Martinez, Josh Thole, and Ruben Tejada. 

Now I realize that all of them are ticketed for the minors this season.  I believe this to be true regardless of how they produce this spring.  My thought is, why not throw some prospect logs on the fire and chat it up?  There is nothing wrong with conversation now is there?

Ike Davis has already turned the spotlight on himself with his power and production in the first week.  His monster grand slam the other day was a thing of beauty, and only further validates his ability.  Fernando Martinez hit a pair of home runs yesterday, and has carried over his Carribean League MVP run into spring training.  Josh Thole clearly has ability as a hitter behind the dish.  Ruben Tejada’s minor league stats also show that he has a promising future ahead.  It certainly will be nice to see this kid play in Jose Reyes’ absence this week.  I do not need to see Alex Cora.  He too lulls me to sleep.  Perhaps we might see Tejada as the opening day second baseman next year. 

Could Ruben Tejada be the opening day escond baseman in 2011?

The point is that the Mets have some position players that are actually exciting to follow this spring.  These future players certainly look more promising than some of what we have on the major league roster right now.  I for one will be pulling for them all to show their stuff this spring, even though they inevitably will all be in AAA come April.  That is alright.  It is nice to dream, isn’t it?  Here is to the 2011 New York Mets!