The Mets just ended the unofficial first half of the season out on the west coast, winning 3 of 4 games against the Dodgers, then dropping 2 of 3 against the World Champion San Francisco Giants. Games on the West Coast are tough for me to cover, because I can’t stay awake past the third inning of the night games. So, instead we have a special 3 Up & 3 Down, which looks at the season so far.
1) Terry Collins: A lot of people were against the hiring of Terry Collins. Some people thought Terry was brought in just to keep the seat warm until Wally Backman was ready. Terry has proven a lot of people wrong. Under Collins, and G.M. Sandy Alderson, the Mets have brought accountability back into the organization. Either you perform to your capabilities, or you don’t play. Terry has also proven to be tireless, and extremely upbeat. Even when the Mets were struggling at the start of the season, Terry remained positive. Terry is getting the absolute most out of an injury riddled lineup. Seriously, who would have thought after both Wright & Davis got injured that the Mets would be at one game over .500 at the break?
2) Who Are These Kids: The kids, I’ll call them Terry’s kids, have been getting the job done! I was watching Sunday night’s game on ESPN and couldn’t believe that Daniel Murphy was like the infield leader, the vet so to speak in the infield. Lucas Duda at first, Justin Turner at second, and Ruben Tejada at short. Who would have thought this would be the Mets starting infield? But these young kids, (and we’ll throw Dillon Gee in here too), are getting the job done! Why? Because nobody told them they aren’t supposed to be good. For the first time in quite a few years, the Mets are fielding a very likable ballclub. The type of team, I’m willing to invest 3 hours a night into. All these guys deserve nothing but the best. They’ve been great!
3) Carlos Beltran: Carlos Beltran has been pretty much missing in action the past two years, but this season he has been completely solid. In spring training Beltran was nothing but classy when he volotarily announced he would move over to right field. But, both on the field and off, Beltran has been a quiet leader. Beltran has been out there playing on a daily basis because he knows his team needs him in the lineup. I don’t know what the future is going to hold for Beltran, but I think he was one of the most underrated Mets of all time.
1) Injuries, Injuries, Injuries: Sometimes in baseball, it only takes one play to change a season. For the Mets, that play happened on the pitching mound at Coors Field when Wright and Davis collided. In the collision Davis somehow injured his ankle, and has been out ever since. We found out soon thereafter that David Wright had a broken back. Wright is expected to be back sometime soon after the all star break. It’s being reported that Davis is getting better too. But besides these two guys, Chris Young, who was great in a brief stint is done for the season,and Jose Reyes is currently on DL (goodbye Carl Crawford money). Just imagine if everyone was healthy at the same time.
2) Who Made This Schedule: The Mets are in a stretch of games here, where with the exception of the Dodgers, they are playing all first place teams. It was three in Texas against the reigning A.L. Champs, the three in Detroit against the Central leading Tigers. A quick three games at home against the greatest team ever in the history of the world (sarcasm intentional). After playing the hapless Dodgers, the Mets then played the World Champion Giants. But, after the break it stays tough. The Phillies are here, followed by the NL Central leading Cardinals. Thats 18 of 23 games, against first place teams. Wow!
3) Silly Reporting: Ever read your local sports section and wonder what the sports columnist in thinking? I understand these guys are on deadlines, and have to have stories (we here at MMO are the same way), but some of this stuff is nonsense. First we had these silly stories about K-Rod willing to be traded to the Yankees. What player in baseball wouldn’t want to be traded to Yankees? One of the jokers in the NY Daily News wrote a piece stating the time was now to make a deal. Only one problem… what do the Yankees have to give back in return, and who closes games for the Mets? Or how about when they say “sources close to the team”? Who are these sources? The guys who put fresh toilet paper in the executive washroom? We all know the Mets have cash issues, but unless somebody can be quoted directly, I give very little credibility to those reports.
All in all, its been a great first half. Lets hope the Mets can do even better in the second half. To quote Tug McGraw “Ya Gotta Believe!”