Omar, Please, Get These Guys Outta Here!
It never fails with the Mets. Just as I had given up on the season after that debacle of a game against the Rockies Wednesday night (followed by the K-Rod meltdown), which if won would now have the team on a 4-game win streak, Johan and the Dickster hurl incredible gems to pull me back in. But how can you have time to enjoy R.A.’s almost no-hitter last night when you wake up on Saturday morning and at 7 AM read this in the New York Post.
First Jeff Francoeur, who is basically Ron Swoboda with a better arm and less plate discipline, starts pouting and asking for a trade if he doesn’t play everyday. Now Luis Castillo–LUIS CASTILLO–is asking to be moved because he doesn’t want to be a backup player. Are the people on this team and in this organization trying to play “Can You Top This?” when it comes to what is more infuriating? I’m sure that like me, you’ve been pissed off at many of the Mets’ antics this year and over the last four seasons, but when I read this piece this morning I choked on my breakfast bun. These guys have become totally delusional about their own abilities and their importance to a team. I guess when you look at your inflated paycheck every couple of weeks, the number staring back at you tells you how great you are and how you can’t play second fiddle to anyone. It’s just totally beyond the pale at this point.
Frenchy, look in the mirror and you know what you will see? The definition of a platoon player and not even a platoon player on a pennant contender. You want to know what it takes to be a team player? Check out video on the 1969 Mets and you’ll see platoons at four–FOUR–positions that year: First base, second base, third base, right field and even Jerry Grote didn’t catch against some righthanded pitchers. Luis, I understand that it’s difficult to accept reaching a point in a career where you’ve lost many steps and can’t really hit anymore and I sympathize. But baseball history is filled with great players who accepted their decline in ability with grace and were quite valuable in a supporting role (although where you have value in coming off the bench beats me). Actually, you’re probably being very perceptive here. You KNOW you have no value as a backup so you either have to start and play most days or nothing.
Omar, please go for the nothing. Please beg Jeffy to eat the money and cut this guy NOW so we can–dare I say it?–take a bit of advantage of this sudden momentum after the Johan/Dickster gems. And while you’re at it, please find a way to move Francoeur for any kind of prospect. Look, if Beltran sticks around for next year, Frenchy isn’t going to be on the team anyway so might as well cut the cord and get David Wright used to not having him around as a good clubhouse guy and golfing buddy. And while you’re at it, let’s find any way possible to get rid of Ollie and K-Rod while Met fans may still retain some semblance of sanity.
About the Author: Stephen Hanks
Stephen Hanks (Tom Terrific) is a magazine editor and writer based in Brooklyn, NY, who has been the publisher and editorial director of publications ranging in subjects from sports to health to archaeology. Hanks began his career at the late, great SPORT Magazine in 1977 and in 1983, he co-founded NEW YORK SPORTS Magazine (which ceased publication in 1985). He has written and edited coffee table books on baseball history, penned unauthorized biographies of Bo Jackson and Wayne Gretzky, and in 1990 authored "The Game That Changed Pro Football," an oral history of the 1969 New York Jets Super Bowl Season. Stephen has also played baseball for 45 years and currently plays in an Over-40 hardball league based in Northern New Jersey. Even though he grew up near Yankee Stadium, he loathes the team from the Bronx and has been a die-hard Mets fan since attending his first game at the Polo Grounds in 1963.
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