In Doug’s Dugout today, we broach the second half, Tony LaRussa, and other observations.
As the Mets embark on the second half sprint towards the post-season (who would’ve predicted that?) the benchmark is Ten. That is, ten games above .500. If the team can improve their 6 games above .500 mark, and make another strong a push upward, they could zero in on 90-plus victories.
That will put them in the Wild Card hunt, if not the division. Who would’ve thunk it?
81 wins seemed like pie in the sky in March, but now it would be a letdown. The Mets could conceivably have their cake and eat it too-meaningful games in September with sweet payoff.
Heck, that is more than the Phillies might be able to say. However, expect a run or two from a talented, albeit battered collections of All-Stars. Finally, they are getting their forces (Howard & Halliday) back on the battlefield, but the war could be over already.
Nevertheless, with Philadelphia in quicksand, the Nats adamant about shutting down Stephen Strasburg after 160 innings pitched, the Braves always unpredictable, and the Marlins underachieving, the Mets could sneak into the post-season.
What has to happen? They need someone to fill Dillon Gee’s shoes. And while Miguel Batista is a candidate for Gee’s next start, he’s not a viable long-term option. With their reluctance to part with prospects, and the Buffalo Shuttle a thriving enterprise. it could be Matt Harvey time.
What else? They need R.A. Dickey to forget all the hoopla surrounding his extraordinary first half success, and keep grinding out unhittable knuckleballs and wins. They need another right handed bat.
They need continued contributions of all of Terry Collins’ minions. They need another reliable reliever and can find him on Houston Street. Make that Huston Street.
However, if I hear the name Jason Bay, as a batman candidate, I will weep in my Wheaties. The man’s reflexes are shot. He can’t hit the fastball and he can’t judge a line drive (granted he plays all out, but he is not getting a jump on the ball, and the end result is multiple concussions).
You can’t blame Sandy Alderson that he’s (still) hoping and praying that the 22nd highest paid player in MLB produces something in exchange for hardcore cash. Bay is as cooked as that Thanksgiving bird that sits on the dining room table every fourth Thursday in November.
Ike Davis can’t slip back into the abyss. Kirk Nieuwhenhuis has to stop his slide into the abyss. And, the team needs Daniel Murphy’s bat. Although, there has been plenty of clamoring for Mr. Valdespin.
David Wright must be rock, and lead his team to the promised land. There could be a MVP Trophy waiting at the end of the rainbow.
Furthermore, the Mets must continue that never say die attitude that is accentuated by leading both leagues in 2-outs runs scored. Collins will make sure no one gets complacent.
One word about LaRussa: Killjoy! C’mon (as Warner Wolf says) give us a break. He has the best story-Dickey’s climb to stardom at 38, at his disposal and blows it, like a clueless editor who allows the lead to get buried on a front page story.
Listen, the buzz about Dickey was palpable. The fans and even the opposition wanted him in the leadoff spot.
Leave it to LaRussa, the man who (believes he) invented the sport to screw up an exhibition game (that’s what it is-and always will be, regardless of the moronic edict by Bud Selig, the man who always watches out for the fans’ best interests, to award home field advantage to the winner).
How about the team with the best record in baseball gaining the home field because they earned it. Too radical? But, I digress.
To compound matters he neglects to install Wright into the DH slot. Guess he felt that the Giants’ fans were correct in stuffing the ballot box like the aforementioned Turkey Day bird. Maybe he’s a huge Carlos Gonzalez fan.
LaRussa is a snook. Even in retirement he’s an overbearing, megalomaniac, who should be feeding pigeons in the park somewhere.
Finally, shame on you Reggie Jackson!