Indifference Plaguing the Mediocre Mets
Somebody once asked me “What do you think of Flushing, Queens?” and quickly responded with “Sounds like a great idea”
I laughed at the time, and thinking about it now, the state of the team who calls Flushing home isn’t in the best of places.
While Flushing is hardly one of the finer areas New York has to offer, the atmosphere inside Flushing’s favorite big blue eyesore has become toxic.
Things are an absolute mess in Queens, as the 2008 Mets are looking far too much like the 2007 crew which orchestrated what can only be described as “the collapse”.
After 39 games, roughly a fourth of the season, this team lacks a pulse.
Going into this past homestand, having 7 games at hand with the last place Reds and last place Nationals, the Mets had an opportunity- AT HOME- to take care of business heading into the overhyped and overrated Subway Series.
A 3-4 record later, this team is spinning out of control, and the breaking point may have come, as closer Billy Wagner, who did not appear in the Thursday afternoon debacle of a loss to Washington, was being interviewed and had the following to say:
“”Someone tell me why the (expletive) you’re talking to the closer. I didn’t even play. They’re over there, not being interviewed. … I got it. They’re gone. (Expletive) shocker.”
Unlike Paul Lo Duca, who last season made similar remarks while choosing to include race in his rant, Wagner simply stated the obvious, that this ball club lacks any sort of accountability.
Billy is known for being outspoken, and occasionally says things he probably shoudn’t have, however he could not be more on the money right here.
This Mets team has played with no heart, no passion and has never held itself accountable.
We can start with the manager, Willie Randolph.
Message to Willie- that warm feeling under your rear end is in fact the proverbial “hot seat” warming up more and more as these losses mount.
Today was arguably the lowest of lows, as the offense flat out didn’t show up, and there were not one, not two but three costly mistakes made which came back to cost the Mets chances to score runs.
Whether it was David Wright and Luis Castillo not running out a fly ball, Jose Reyes cluelessly trying to take an extra base on a sacrifice bunt, or Carlos Beltran- supposedly- being instructed to run on contact as Carlos Delgado lined out into a double play with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th-, the Mets seem to be spiraling out of control both on the field and off of it.
Today was yet another microcosm of the bigger problem, which is the constant indifference this ballclub has showed since the middle of last season.
Where do we point the fingers?
First and foremost, Randolph needs to held responsible for failing to get whatever message he’s trying to send to his players.
Maybe they’ve stopped listening to him, but as the manager, you need to be responsible for getting the most out of your players. The manager needs to know how to handle a bullpen and when to take out a struggling relief pitcher.
Willie Randolph, for all right buttons he seemed to push back in 2006, his words seem to be falling on deaf ears, and the results aren’t showing.
For all the money being put into this team, a 20-19 record is unacceptable, and the only way I believe this team responds is by somebody taking the fall.
And as has been said countless times, you can’t fire the players, so the logical next step is to fire the manager.
You heard it from here, on Thursday evening- the 15th of May after only 39 games- the New York Mets and Willie Randolph need to part ways.
Billy Wagner placed a much needed magnified glass over the problem, which simply put is the apathetic attitude this team is plagued by game in, game out.
Placing blame player to player is too difficult, as its easier to go through who has shown some signs of life this year, as it’s as a much shorter list: Wagner has been relatively lights out, Ryan Church and Brian Schnieder have validated the Lastings Milledge trade and Moises Alou has picked up right where he left off at the end of last season.
The laundry list of issues can start with the brothers Carlos, as both Beltran and Delgado haven’t provided the middle of the order with any production.
Jose Reyes is hitting under .260, and continues to lack plate discipline. He has turned into an offensive enigma.
David Wright, despite the fans believing he can do no wrong, is hitting something around .160 with runners in scoring position, meaning the 32 RBI’s he has should be closer to 50.
Johan Santana, for all the money the Mets have paid and the prospects they sent to Minnesota in exchange for him, has been average, maybe slightly better at best.
At 4-2 with an ERA of 3.10, his numbers aren’t a good indicator of his mediocrity.
His velocity has consistently been in the high 80’s, while he’s usually good for no more than 6, MAYBE 7 innings.
The home runs ball continues to be his worst enemy, but allowing 10 hits to the Reds last weekend (although he did win) could be a warning sign as to how vulnerable he can be without his best stuff.
Oliver Perez is consistent at being inconsistent, giving you two bad starts for every good start.
Aaron Heilman has been flat out dreadful, and needs to be banished to a mop-up role until he can find himself.
The funny thing is, while the fans love to boo a guy like Aaron Heilman, you better believe he goes home at night and cares an awful lot more than a Carlos Beltran.
Can we blame management?
We sure can, but they don’t deserve nearly as much of the blame, as Omar Minaya’s two biggest offseason moves (Santana from the Twins and the Church/Schenider for Milledge trade) can be deemed successful…or at least successful enough.
Ownership has repeatedly stated to wait until more games have been played to gauge the heartbeat of a team that to this point hasn’t shown one, so at somepoint the Wilpon’s will need to figure out who’s the first scapegoat for this disaster.
As a fan, this is frustrating, and is demoralizing because it seems that everybody connected to the ballclub with the exception of the players themselves cares about whats going on, however the only ones capable of doing something about it are the guys who play inbetween the white lines.
Until that happens, expect the carelessness to continue, and the longer they continue not to care, the more and more the fans should consider following suit.
There is still plenty of time left in this young season for all of this to be turned around, but as April has turned into May and May will soon turn into June, something needs to happen before heads start to roll.
Willie Randolph, you’re on notice.
No comments yet.