Can The Mets Hold Down The Fort Until More Troops Arrive?

An article by posted on July 3, 2009

To begin, let me first commend the Mets on the remarkable fight and resiliency they displayed yesterday at PNC Park where they beat the Pirates 9-8 in ten innings. I thought they showed remarkable courage and fight under some intense adversity.

These days, the Mets are not only faced with the challenge of battling the opposing team, but also must contend with the ghosts of two collapses, a media that loves to pour on the heat, and a fan base that has become far too impatient and angry. That’s a lot of things they have to overcome each time they take the field, and yet they manage to do it with a team comprised mostly of backups, aging veterans, and players that were called up from the minors long before they were major league ready.

And despite these overwhelming odds, the Mets find themselves just one game out of first place as they begin a crucial three game series against their latest arch rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies.

Don’t expect the Mets to get much brotherly love in this city, unless we can get as many Mets fans to attend these games, as there were Phillies fans the last time these two teams met at Citi Field. The Phillies took two of three back then.

As much as I love the incredible toughness this team has shown, I have doubts as to whether they can continue to stay afloat in this race without some help. The brave souls who defended the Alamo showed amazing toughness and heart too, but that wasn’t enough for them to hold down the fort. By the time the reinforcements showed up, it was unfortunately too late.

I find that the Mets are in that same situation, and it’s not just the Phillies that worry me, it’s the suddenly resurgent Braves and the always pesky Marlins that the Mets must overcome as well.

The Mets need some help now. That silly, and in my opinion ignorant, argument that one trade isn’t going to help the Mets does not hold water with me.

The addition of a big bat in this lineup would make a big difference. It made a difference for the Dodgers(Ramirez) last year, it made a difference for the Astros in 2004 (Beltran), and it made a difference for the Mets when they traded for Donn Clendenon who helped them win the division and then hit three big homers in four games in the 1969 World Series.

One bat will also allow the rest of the team to breathe easier, especially David Wright who has taken the world upon his shoulders at 26-years old.

Andrew Marchand of 1050 ESPN writes,

An MLB executive familiar with the Mets’ thinking tells me that the Mets have no plans to make any major trades right now. They feel as if they will improve themselves before the July 31st trading deadline more than anyone in baseball. By then, the Mets think that Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, John Maine and Oliver Perez could be back. In August, Carlos Delgado could return.

The Mets might actually believe that all these players will return sometime this month, but what if they’re wrong? It’s no secret they the Mets have a terrible track record when it comes to forecasting an injured players return.from the disabled list.

Would it be that terrible to go out and get a guy like outfielder Alex Rios who is on the block and seems to be perfectly suited for a park like CitiField?

The Blue Jays are strapped for cash and at the same time the team wants to make an offer to their ace pitcher Roy Halladay who wants to finish his career in Toronto. Rios has a huge contract that they need to unload, and it’s for that reason that he wouldn’t cost much in the way of prospects or players in return.

In his last three full seasons, Rios has hit .296 with 56 homers, 245 RBI, 64 stolen bases, 273 runs scored, 123 doubles, and 21 triples.

Currently he is batting .260 with 19 doubles, 9 homers, 37 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases. He is just 28 years old.

How can anyone say that this one bat would not make a difference?

Plus, he wouldn’t be a rental player as he is signed through 2014 at an average of $12 million dollars annually. He will only be 33 in the final year of that contract, and there is an option for 2015. 

He can play rightfield, and also plays a solid centerfield and can give Beltran’s knee a rest when needed to keep him fresh for the stretch run. 

Alex Rios’ career numbers are actually quite similar to Beltran’s numbers before he was traded to the Astros.

When Carlos Beltran does come back, we can simply slide Rios over to leftfield so that we can use Sheffield off the bench or platoon him with Ryan Church in right field.

All I’m trying to impress on you is to forget that notion that one trade is not going to help. One player has made the difference plenty of times in baseball, and this could be another one of those times.

Let’s not gamble on the unpredictable returns of Reyes, Beltran and Delgado, and hope we are still in what has now become a four team race in the NL East.

Let’s do the right thing and give these fightin’ Mets a chance now… while they still have an opportunity to take this division in July.

We have fought too hard, and endured too much to just leave our play-off hopes to the slim chance that more reinforcements will arrive in time.

Hey Omar… Remember the Alamo!

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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