Jason Bay is being paid $66 million by the New York Mets to suck. Judging by the boos at Citi Field, he is earning every penny of it. But what are they booing exactly? Is it the lack of home runs by Bay after smashing 36 longballs for Boston in 2009? Is it the failure to drive in runs after recording four 100 RBI seasons in the five seasons prior to becoming a Met? Or is it just that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo are no longer around, so someone’s gotta get the boo treatment.
Well, my fellow Mets fans, I think it’s a combination of all those things. Jason Bay has been a disappointment. He’s barely been worth $66, let alone $66 million. So feel free to boo him if you choose to do so. If you still don’t see why he should be booed, let me throw some numbers at you about Jason Bay that you might not have known.
There have been 96 everyday players (non-pitchers) in history to strike out at least 125 times as members of the Mets. Of those 96, only one of them has not registered at least 500 career at-bats for the Mets. That player is Jason Bay (127 Ks in 482 at-bats).
This year, Jason Bay has a slugging percentage of .291 in 134 at-bats. To put that into perspective, Jason Isringhausen has a .299 slugging percentage in 97 career at-bats for the Mets. Sticking on the Jason vs. Jason theme, Bay has 10 RBI this season in those 134 at-bats. In 37 fewer career at-bats, Izzy has 11 RBI.
Jason Bay has 38 extra-base hits in his Mets career (482 at-bats), which means he collects an extra-base hit every 12.7 at-bats. Here are former Mets with similar numbers:
- Victor Diaz: 39 XBH in 350 at-bats.
- Tsuyoshi Shinjo: 38 XBH, 514 at-bats.
- Luis Lopez: 37 XBH, 548 at-bats.
- Desi Relaford: 35 XBH, 301 at-bats.
- Marlon Anderson: 33 XBH, 446 at-bats.
- Dave Gallagher: 33 XBH, 376 at-bats.
- Eric Valent: 33 XBH, 313 at-bats.
- Marv Throneberry: 31 XBH, 371 at-bats.
- Tim Bogar: 30 XBH, 491 at-bats.
- Chico Walker: 30 XBH, 440 at-bats.
None of those hitters would be considered a great, or even good hitter. Similarly, none of those hitters ever earned anything near $66 million or a comparable amount for the era in which they played.
Let’s face it. Power hitters are going to suffer when they sign with or are traded to the Mets. Citi Field is the park where home runs go to die. However, the dimensions of the park should not do anything to a player’s extra base-hit total or strikeout total. Apparently, Jason Bay never got that memo.
So if you still don’t think Jason Bay should be booed at Citi Field, perhaps the reasons listed above might cause you to rethink your booing strategy. $66 million bought the Mets a plate at Jason Bay’s all-you-can-K buffet. All you have to do is buy a ticket for far less than that to let Bay know that he hasn’t been worth the price of a Happy Meal.