Injuries Are Not The Only Thing Wrong With This Club
Ryan Church will never be more than a marginal player for the following reasons: His swing is too long; it starts in Flushing and ends in Corona. Number Two: He has a low baseball IQ. Case in point, during a tilt of the Subway Series, and a runner in scoring position with one out, he attempts to bunt. With a short porch at the end of a jet stream staring him in the grill.
That’s right, sacrifice an out, and leave it up to the next guy. Maybe that is why you won’t see him and Jerry Manuel having breakfast on the road together. Finally, he has the propensity of committing the bonehead play, ie., dropping a fly ball or sidestepping a bag. His career has already peaked and the Mets would dump him in a New York minute if only they could receive that coveted bag of balls in exchange.
The point here, my friends, is the Mets are not only battling injuries that have crippled the offense, but the supporting cast has hardly put forth the performances to warrant Academy Award nominations. However, they do rank high on the blooper reels (see Church and Luis Castillo).
Church’s production has been anemic this year along with catcher Brien Schneider’s.
Moreover, why does Schneider always get a pass when the woes of the offense are probed? Maybe because he was hired to handle a young pitching staff and be a stellar defender, but can’t outhit Alyssa Milano. His receiving skills may be the most overrated aspect of his putrid game. Call him “Teflon” Brian.
You include the offensively challenged “Schneid” to a lineup that has Church, a couple of banjo hitters (Cora and Castillo) and the pitcher, thus the automatic out wheel is spinning off it’s axis.
(I’d add Daniel Murphy to the burgeoning list of incompetence but patience is a virtue with young players. Nevertheless, the shaky first baseman is bucking for a seat on the Number 7 Out-Express).
Basically, there are two and a half guys hitting on this ballclub: David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Castillo (1/2 and ever so softly).
Gary Sheffield just has to flash his AARP card and he’s exonerated (but he does provide the long ball). Alex Cora a fill-in, Fernando Tatis resting on his laurels of Comeback Player of the Year honors (but now eligible for Un-Comeback Player of the Year), and Omir Santos, playing with the house’s money.
Fernando Martinez needs to be sent down-he’s overmatched, and there you have your 2009 NY Mets.
I don’t have the energy to delve into the rising pitching woes. All I can add is this: Johan Santana is our last line of defense from the Washington Nationals.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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