Doug’s Dugout: I Want My Maypo
In Doug’s Dugout today we discuss: being a Mets fan, trades, and other thoughts rattling around in an empty head:
My friends it’s confusing being a Mets fan theses days. On one hand I can understand that GM Sandy Alderson is trying to rebuild the farm system while simultaneously stock a competitive team that the fans can root for.
Moreover, not commit the lions’ share of the payroll to a small handful of players. And, I can understand that the Wilpons’ are tired of being burned by long-term contracts that flame out (latest case in point, Johan Santana-anyone confident out there he will return to Cy Young form in coming years? Meanwhile, the contract has hamstrung Alderson).
To rattle off other failed free-agent signings: How about the player the Mets are still cutting checks for, and years to come-Mr. Personality, Bobby Bonilla. Or the bath the Wilpon’s took on Mo Vaughn (a salary dump trade), Kevin Appier, Pedro Martinez (yes, he did win 15 in year one, but combined 17 the remainding three), and currently Jason Bay, to name a few.
Shall I even mention Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo? Sorry, if I left anyone out.
Nevertheless, that is the risk of delving into the free agent fracas. It’s a high stakes gamble and sometimes hinges on the fragile fulcrum of the pitching elbow.
That said, as Mickey Mantle used to whine, in those infamous 1960′s ads, “I want my Maypo!”
Yes, I am conflicted because I want my darn Maypo. I can’t survive much longer on the bread and water diet Alderson “feeds” me. How can we get aroused about a team that considers $4 million per year for a closer, in this day and age, too cost prohibitive (see Jonathon Broxton, who signed with small market Kansas City-thanks Frenchy)?
If Alderson had his druthers, every player would be inked year-to-year. Not a bad idea, and the personification of pay for performance (Bay would be earning the league minimum). Unfortunately, the owners’ are not as shrewd as the powerful players’ union.
Then again when Sandy does dole out multi-year deals he produces a rock, such as D.J. Carrasco. Not much conversation about him being part of rebuilding the bullpen these days, huh? It is quite evident that when Matt Capps slashes his sticker price to around $3 million for one season he will be wearing the new/old Mets throwback uniform.
There in lies the problem: Who is sashaying to the frig to pop open that bottle of champs, chilling since 1987, to toast Capps coming to New York? I wouldn’t even pour a chocolate milk when that comes to fruition.
So, we sit and wait, and hope next week’s winter meeting brings home a golden goose via an old fashioned trade. Please, don’t hold your breath. Expect the turkey carcass your relatives recently picked clean.
The Mets make a significant trade as often as Tim Tebow completes a pass. But, keep keep praying. The hot stove may as well take place at your local bank branch. Or on a Monopoly Board.
First of all, the roster has no surpluses, or overlaps (unless the team signs Prince Fielder and markets Ike “the Ankle” Davis-as unlikely as Chris Paul playing for the Knicks this year). There are no blue chips down on the farm. Maybe we can offer Mr. Met to serve as a butler to the Philly Phanatic.
If I were you, I would dial down the optimism regarding next week. Heck, Alderson admitted yesterday he has not heard anything about Jose’ Reyes. Sandy, he’s not in the witness protection program. He was spotted the other day in Philadelphia and he was not there to have his picture snapped arm around the Rocky statue.
Like I said, I’m confused.
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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