I came across an interesting read last week by Kevin Kernan of the NY Post. Kernan begins by pondering what the Mets will do in the draft now that they will have a top first round pick. He even wonders if there’s any chance that super prospect Bryce Harper falls into the Mets lap because teams will be reluctant to the Scott Boras client the $25 million dollar it might take to sign him.
Wouldn’t that be cool? However, it’s pretty unlikely and the Mets might be one of those teams to spend that kind of cash anyway even if he were to fall down to number six spot.
Kernan then shifts gears and wonders if the Mets problems will simply disappear once they are healthy.
Mets management believes the team’s problems are because of a slew of injuries. To an extent, that’s true, but there is no guarantee the injuries the Mets have suffered this year will all go away next season. There is no guarantee some of the same problems that plagued the Mets this year will not make a return engagement next season.
He goes on to state the obvious and surmises that the Mets are still short a cleanup hitter. The best part of the article for me was when he asked Jerry Manuel this question:
Why would a top-notch free-agent power bat would come to spacious Citi Field, a place where home runs go to die?
Here is Jerry Manuel’s response:
“I think you come here to win,” Manuel said. “That’s the key. Your power will keep defenses from playing you different. Even though if you hit a double and you have speed in front of you, you’re getting those power numbers and RBIs and those types of things. They know it’s big, but at the same time if you put together a group of players with the chance to win on this stage, and you got a good team. Again, you might not have the number of home runs, but you might have more RBIs than you had and that’s as critical as hitting it out of the ballpark.”
I think Kernan raises a valid question, and despite Manuel’s best efforts, he didn’t really answer the question and did a good job of ducking it.
After two straight collapses and a season that went up in smoke in June, why would anyone still consider the Mets to be a viable post season contender? It seems that they have yet to prove that they are even capable of fielding a .500 team. The only month we have to judge the Mets by when they were at full strength, was April and they finished that month 9-12.
Somehow, the Mets have to find a way to get a legitimate power bat in the middle of their lineup.
They cannot cross their fingers and hope and pray that somehow David Wright will re-emerge as a 30 HR hitter. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. The Mets have no interest in helping the face of their franchise by lowering the fences as other franchises have done to accommodate their stars.
We can hope for the Mets to open their wallets and sign Jason Bay or Matt Holliday all we want, but it won’t matter if they have no desire to play in Flushing. It reminds me of when top free agents would simply use us for more bargaining leverage for a bigger contract, but ultimately sign elsewhere.
The Mets currently have no real appeal to a hitter. Wright has been chirping about the park all season long, and just this weekend the look of disgust on his face said it all, when he got into a homerun trot only to see his clout drop into the centerfielders glove.
The Wilpons wanted a pitchers park, but only seem committed to having just one top of the rotation guy at a time. Past world series winners built on pitching would feature two 20-game winners and a couple of 15-game winners, something that the Mets couldn’t muster even if the planets aligned for them.
So I ask all of you the same question…
Why would a premier hitter sign a free agent deal to play for the New York Mets?