Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mets finally overcoming bad spring training decisions

The Mets made a lot of terrible decisions in spring training, and it's taken well into May to finally undo them.

The Post's Joel Sherman writes that "the organization recognizes now that it was wrong to hand starting spots to John Maine and Oliver Perez in spring without a fight."

But the dysfunction goes beyond the rotation. This is the same organization that gave the starting first base job to Mike Jacobs, even though Ike Davis and Chris Carter were having much better springs. And the starting centerfielder on Opening Day was Gary Matthews Jr.

Most, if not all of these decisions have to do with money. The Mets make a bad signing, then make matters worse by not only refusing to eat the salary, but keeping the bad player in the lineup because they are paying him all that money.

Fortunately, things are starting to change, but they won't really change until the Mets actually start cutting their losses by eating salary. Starting with Gary Matthews Jr. And probably continuing with John Maine.

I can see not dropping Oliver Perez, because that is a lot of money to eat, and Perez is unpredictable enough and has enough upside for him to suddenly find his form with another team. I'm already resigned to that happening once his contract is up.

But I'm sick of constant rumors about trading Luis Castillo, which only show how desperate the Mets are to shed his contract.

Even if the Mets somehow found a taker for Castillo, who will actually play second? Alex Cora showed last year he's not a starting player. Ruben Tejada is playing short in AAA. Please don't tell me that the plan is to stick Daniel Murphy there and hope for the best.

It makes you wonder if the Mets are so eager to trade Castillo not to improve the team, but to save money.

In 2006, well before Madoff, and when the Mets were a strong contender, they were still willing to hurt the team by keeping Kaz Matsui on the roster and giving him 30 starts. Matsui hit .200 with an OPS of .505 before the Mets finally got rid of him in June once they had Jose Valentin.

The Mets are having a fantastic week, and overall I'm very happy about it, but I can't forget that the mess they were in before things started going so well was of their own making.


urinalfresh23 said...

Are the mighty Mets "zero"ed in right now, or what? Smart pitching, stellar defense (at least two Web gem catches by Angel Pagan), and timely hitting, all against the first-place team - who could ask for anything more? Keep rolling Mets!

Uncle Mike said...

You COULD ask for them to earn the title of "mighty." You don't earn that by playing great for 2 weeks at a time and playing like garbage the rest of the time. Mighty teams are frequently playing great but are also good enough to keep it up enough to get to October, and then win there.

The Yankees have proven their might, and so have the Phillies. The Mets have proven nothing, especially with half their crowds this past week openly rooting against them -- something that just doesn't happen at either Yankee Stadium (old or new) or Citizens Bank Park.

In other words, the majority of Met fans do not seem to be convinced of this team's ability to win big games, not convinced enough to come out and pack the joint so that opposing fans can't. Which means, I suppose, that they're smarter than I usually give them credit for. Enjoying these brief moments of flair is one thing; counting on them all season long is another.

urinalfresh23 said...

I COULD ask the same of you, Mikey. When was the last time your team EARNED their trophy? Never. All 27 were bought and paid for with dirty money. So let's not be talking about "earning" anything.

Do you know what an oxymoron is? I KNOW you know what a moron is, you see one every time you look in the mirror. I'll give you a few examples:

Yankee greats
Yankee pride
Yankee championships
Yankee wins

I could go on...... HA HA HA HA HA

Uncle Mike said...

Yes, you COULD go on, but that would make you "go to 11" on the fool scale.

Let me remind you that for last 30 years or so, the Mets have had either the highest or second-highest payroll in the National League. Sometimes it was the Dodgers, this season it's the Phillies, who have a higher payroll. But whining about payroll and "dirty money" when your drug-addicted, egomaniacal, shoulda-been-on-the-no-fly-list Orange & Blue had the highest payroll in NL history in 1986 makes you look like a buffoon of the lowest order. So does the fact that, for all their spending, the Mets haven't won a World Series since.

A World Championship is earned. It is won. It is earned by finishing first in your division, then winning the Division Series and League Championship Series, then beating the champions of the other league 4 times out of a possible 7. And considering the last time YOUR team did that, they got the gift of all time? (According to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe, the odds that the Mets would have come back like that were 320-1.) It is YOUR team that could be said to have "not earned" a World Championship.

I could go on, but the 27 World Championships my team has won speak better than either of us ever could.

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