Things I Wish Would Go Away Already
Willie Harris had an uncanny ability to make the spectacular play against the Mets, and now as a Met, he’s killing the team from the inside. Hey, lets not place all of the team’s woes on pitchers dropping like flies, the revolving door at second base, and a lack of clutch hitting by the usual suspects, but Harris has been a one man rally killer.
Sandy Alderson has shown that with his sub-500 team, he will make some changes. How about focusing the attention on one of the worse benches ever assembled? Now that Daniel Murphy has cooled off, maybe his return to the pine will yield more than splinters. He has shown a proclivity for a timely hit in the pinch.
On Sunday, Terry Collins had the luxury of inserting Carlos Beltran into a pivotal moment of the loss against the Dodgers. Beltran failed to come through, but the fans don’t have a gripe with his performance this season. He’s healthy and not experienced or proficient as a pinch-hitter.
Unfortunately, the professional pinch-hitters on the team are not doing the job. In fact, once a slam-dunk recipient of the “Gary Matthews Award for Futility,” thought to be going (going gone goodbye) to Scott Hairston, Harris has now drawn into serious contention to be handed his walking papers.
It isn’t going to be Jason Pridie. Not with the way he has patrolled center field and shown a lively stick. He is loving his time in the big leagues and that is translating into competent play. As for the other two Mets backup outfielders, if management could replace them both they probably would.
Speaking of the bench from hunger, how can a conversation not include Chin-Lin Hu? I have never seen a more overmatched player in the majors. Except for a lone sac fly, I can’t recall him making contact let alone make a bid for a base hit.
I might insert Al Leiter to pinch hit for him. Remember Mr. Koo? The little lefty reliever showed more pop and if Hu reaches the Mendoza line, he should get a new contract. At least his name has brought the old bit by Abbott and Costello back into the mainstream (Who’s on First-not Hu, that’s for sure).
Its hard to have all your hitters firing on all cylinders at the same time but when David Wright and Jason Bay slump in unison the team has no shot. Wright took a 3-1 fastball right down the middle and Bay whiffed when the Mets tried to mount an attack in the 9th inning Sunday.
After Jose Reyes’s fourth triple of the home stand there was a glimmer of hope until Wright and Bay doused the flame. Just once I’d like to see Bay contribute to a comeback win. Even his outs are going to the right of second base, as he hardly pulls the ball anymore.
You can bet if someone want to take him off the Mets hand they’d drive him to the airport in a limo stocked with cold brews.
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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