Where’s The Thump In Bay’s Bat?
Jason Bay is a guess hitter because he has been streaky his entire career. So far, his short tenure with the Mets has been one wrong answer after another.
Take the seventh inning of Sunday’s fifth straight Mets loss – Please. With the annoying Marlins about to break out a four-pack of brooms, the Mets rallied from a 7-0 deficit to draw within one crooked number, thanks to a huge Alex Cora two-run double (more and more I am admitting that giving this guy $2 mill to play a back-up and inspiration role was not a lapse in judgment by Omar Minaya) to make it 7-6.
Up steps Mr. Bay.
Whom in the audience didn’t clamor for the first big-hit from the man with one skinny long ball on his compact Mets resume’? The situation longed for a blast, although a bloop works too, but sometimes leaders make a statement.
Instead Mets fans were treated to another Baybreeze (not a vodka libation, either).
A two-run blast puts Bay’s team over the hump (for good, but only your hairdresser knows for sure). Whiff, Bay goes down swinging. Bartender!
Maybe the gale force winds from Citi Field were to blame in South Florida (who but Al Roker isn’t already tired of that drivel?). A chance to pick up the club when one of it’s starters gets injured (Jon Niese), and put the kibosh on a division rival sweeping them out of the building.
Unfortunately, and again, none of the above.
Just some more misery for the $66 million dollar man. If Minaya was in the market for another singles hitter this winter, he would have extended Luis Castillo (again). Bay was brought to provide an upgrade on a lineup stricken by a power outage last season.
We were sold a bill of goods that his pull swing would not be affected by the dimensions and the wind tunnel named Citi Field. Then why has he been 0-for-the-road this season in the power department?
(One dinger every six or seven weeks puts him in a hotly contended race with the maligned second-baseman, but it’s comforting to know that the prized free-agent will not lead the club’s rear in four-baggers this year).
Past the mid-point of May, he has only been part of the problem, not the solution. Moreover, you can extol his quiet leadership abilities till the next sighting of Haley’s Comet, the man has been an offensive (think gym locker room) rolling blackout.
With all the teams’ problems; Carlos Beltran healing methodically, the starters a shambles after Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey, and the tepid play of Jose’ Reyes and David Wright, a homer filled month by Bay would have cured some ills.
What we have heard from the announcers and read is he’s a gamer and not someone to worry about. Well, when are we allowed to start worrying? I proclaim that bill past due with interest.
The team needs him to be a thumper and not to reach base in stages. Moreover, who was asking he carry the team on his broad Canadian shoulders? Not many.
(The goal to keep the pressure at a bare minimum, but have been reminded countless times he aptly replaced Manny Ramirez in the Bean CrockPot.)
Just follow your career trend and do some healthy raking for the good. Instead, he can’t put the puck into an empty net.
Nevertheless, he shakes everyone’s hand at center ice after the battle. That’s commendable, but the fans’ wouldn’t mind a surly slugger taking out his aggressions on opposing pitchers occasionally.
On Sunday, a two-run homerun in the 7th would have been delicious with the Mets mounting one last monumental charge. What we got was one more Baybreeze for the road.
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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