Doug’s Dugout: They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
In Doug’s Dugout today we holler, “ROAD TRIP,” debate buyer vs. seller, and utter other meanderings:
When John Belushi, aka “Bluto,” in Animal House announced to his brethren at the Delta Tau Chi Fraternity at fictional Faber College, “Road trip,” it was to escape, for a short while, the specter of triple-double or double-triple, secret probation.
It really didn’t help the lads much with the subterranean culm of 0.0. But it sure was a blast.
Perhaps David Wright did the same when the media exited after the recent abysmal 0-6 home stand. He did utter, “I just want to get out of here,” to the assemblage. As the buses rolled out of Citi Field, en route to the airport and flight to Phoenix, a handful of fans were spotted pushing it along to facilitate the exit (not really, but what Met fan didn’t want this wretched group that has only two wins since the all-star break, out of Dodge, a sap?).
Point is, the perfect panacea for a homely home stand is to pack your bags and regroup under the shade of a different tree. It didn’t hurt the Mets that Matt Harvey came aboard. That extra start for Buffalo – the one in which he was shelled, must’ve been the difference – it’s not rocket science boys, the man can throw 95 mph and not kill any idle mascots.
I haven’t seen such a smashing debut since Dave Schneck hit a three-run homer at cavernous Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego in July of 1972! Seriously, Harvey’s 11 K’s in 5 1/3 innings, 3 hits and 0 runs, was very impressive (and two knocks-he leads Jason Bay already!). Maybe it breathed a saving breath into a floundering team.
Seems to me, in recent years, Chase Field (or The BOB) has been the anti-Turner Field. The Mets get well there, and the win halted a six-game slide, but the question is, can they sustain it?
Mets fans don’t enjoy getting hit over the head without retribution. If you are going to beat me at least untie my hands. With Sandy Alderson at the helm, it seems like he waits until the bludgeoning is over to react. However, if it’s true-and the laws of supply and demand capitulate here, that the asking price for a mediocre relief pitcher was one of our minor-league prizes, then he should be commended for not making a panic move.
However, sometimes that’s a smoke screen for not making a move, “They wanted too much,” etc. Fact is, the Mets bullpen has cost them a boatload of games this year. The bullpen that Alderson poured all his resources into, and it’s has failed miserably. He waited way too long to shore it up. It’s been leaking since May.
Sometimes you have to make a pre-emptive move, not allow the market to set itself. The Mets went from 6-games over .500 and in contention, to a sub-.500 team in an eye blink, or faster than Bay’s skills erode.
But be patient fans (we have) the right-handed power solution in our midst, and when he starts hitting….
Speaking of movies, in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They,” about the contestants in a marathon dance contest longing to be put out of their misery, Bay could play the lead. If I see him take another strike-one fastball down Broadway, ground out to short, or mutter returning to the bench, I’m going to request to be put out of MY misery (and Joe D. can have the honors!).
It was far less painful watching a 42-year old Willie Mays fall down in centerfield in the 1973 World Series, than watching Bay’s feeble at-bats. He is cannibalizing the AB’s of future outfielders, not to mention the demoralizing damage he does to Mets’ fans psyche. ENOUGH!
If I was Alderson, I would make a phone call to Doug Melvin in Brewer land and see what the price to acquire Zach Greinke is. Or see if you can pry away Justin Upton from the D-Backs. If you do make a move, make it for the long-term and right reasons. A band aid won’t do. But a young pitching star to add to Harvey, Niese, and Zach Wheeler would be a building block move.
Moreover, the Mets haven’t had a young outfielder with Upton’s athleticism since Darryl Strawberry. Give them J. Familia, or J. Mejia, or Matt Van Decker. Maybe they will bite.
That would amp up the fan base and result in some juice for the upcoming Dog Days.
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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