Doug’s Dugout: Pray For Moving Day
In Doug’s Dugout today we discuss, Anger,the disliked trio of Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, and Carlos Beltran, and Packing Materials.
If you are an avid Mets fan you should be angry today. Seething actually. Angry your GM, Omar Minaya waved the White Flag at the trading deadline; a team with numerous holes couldn’t fill any of them?
(Maybe he was in a cave and didn’t see what the rest of his division rivals did at the deadline.)
Angry that your club was shellacked by one of the worse teams in baseball, Arizona, 14-1 on Sunday. Angered and upset that the D-Backs took 5-6 from a team that’s clock is about to strike midnight.
And angry that once double digits over .500, are now at .500, and sinking fast into Flushing Bay like a dead body with a cinder block attached to it’s leg.
Finally, if your frustration meter wasn’t pinned this weekend, last night should’ve done the trick. Against nemesis’, Atlanta, in their little shop of horrors, with no time to spare and the season on the line, the Mets had the audacity to come out flat.
And fall behind in the very first frame and then proceed to curl up in the fetal position and lose 4-1. Sometimes a game’s pivotal moment comes early in the contest. On a night their manager, Jerry Manuel threw down the gauntlet to his fading team that they needed to play flawless baseball they failed to execute a routine double play.
The extra out is often received with gratitude by good teams and the Braves obliged, adding two runs on a Rick Ankiel single. The same player acquired at the deadline from KC paid immediate dividends for the shrewd Braves.
Funny how the Braves rarely make a mistake on trades, whether they are moving someone or bringing them into the fold. On the other end of the spectrum there are the Mets. Who seem to sign more Jason Bay’s than R.A. Dickey’s, and a knuckle-baller pitches on borrowed time.
How is that the bankrupt Texas Rangers, or the Dodgers, whose owner has frozen assets due to a nasty divorce, can practically remake their teams and the Mets cannot pull the trigger on one transaction? How do the Yankees consistently add talent but never give up their blue chippers?
Maybe other teams know they will be rebuffed by Brian Cashman. However, when Omar is on the other end of the line, rival GM’s look to fleece him for Ike Davis and Jon Niese. I guess if you are the talent purveyor who once traded Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, and Grady Sizemore for an obese Bartolo Colon, they feel you are a sap for life.
Suddenly, a 1-0 game became expanded to 3-0 when Castillo, who has become a liability in all facets of the game, but we must play him because we must pay him, could not make a routine turn. However, with nearly three hours of ballgame left, the Mets shrunk like an over-Martinized suit at the local cleaners.
I’ve seen more fight from toddlers at daycare refusing to lay down on their cots for 45 minutes. The Mets have no problem laying down.
So, Mets fans should be angry that their team is gutless. Watching Jose Reyes single and go into his handshake gyrations with the overfed first base coach, although trailing on the board to their arch rivals, said it all. The Mets are a Broadway Play that should close after one performance.
It’s hard to root for a team that shows little moxie, or a player that has plenty of moxie but little production. (I’m looking at you Jeff Franceour). Which brings me to my next point about Castillo, Beltran, and Perez. Three players with a negative aura around them and a personal agenda to match. Isn’t it ironic and coincidental that when the second half began the tiresome trio was back in the picture, and the losses began to mount.
You can blame management for wanting to get their money’s worth even if it costs the team in the standings. Most respectably run franchises own up to their mistakes and close the books. They don’t clog up a roster spot or run out a second baseman who can’t run anymore. Or hit or has less range than most American Idol contestants.
The problem is the parsimonious Mets owe them boatloads of money and damn the chemistry. How long would George Steinbrenner have put up with the Ollie’s Follies? About two seconds. “Hey, he’s gonna get his money anyway, at least get his sickening presence out of my clubhouse.”
The only solution is to root for five more loses on this road trip and then fumigate the front office. It’s time to call Terminex already. Start dumping bad contracts and live to fight another season.
When Omar sat on his hands at the trade deadline he sent a clear message that the fans were on Revis Island without Darrell. Talent wise the Mets are inferior to the rising Nationals and the next stop is the basement.
Instead of buying a player or two, Omar was spotted at Staples with a cart full of bubble wrap and packing tape. He was off to the grocery store to sift through the discarded boxes. It’s time to pack and no one likes to move.
I’ll help you Omar. I’ll even pay for the rental van. Maybe that will get my mind off what an awful team you have constructed.
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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