Owners Are Footing The Bill On Bay, While The Team Pays The Price
Something is rotten in Denmark, my fellow furry Mets fans. Suddenly, since the second half bell rang, the Mets hierarchy (i.e. Sandy Alderson) has demoted multiple (young) Mets outfielders with the regularity of a Jason Bay strikeout. What in the heck is going on here?
Allow me to enlighten you: Remember when Alderson and manager Terry Collins proclaimed that salary would not be a factor when he came to divvying-up playing time for the outfielders? Or was I dreaming when that was declared?
Mets’ management’s stance was a noble one and right on the mark. However, they have un-pitched that tent solely with their actions. While sending down Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis has merits, (they have both struggled mightily-but is it their fault this team is overloaded with lefty hitters?) keeping the current left-fielder awash in at-bats is NOT.
How can you justify sending Bay out there day-after-pitiful day and it not be about the $18 million they are gifting him this season? Basically, we were fed some poppycock by Alderson and Collins. Who would you vote to see strike-out on a daily basis: Duda, Nieuwenhuis, or Bay? The answer is the latter, in a landslide.
He’s like that rusting Chevy Impala in the next door neighbors’ yard – A Darn Eyesore.
Moreover, if Bay had given an iota of cover for the young left-handed hitting gunners, maybe they wouldn’t have succumbed to the daily pressures, and not be shot to pieces like an opposing soldier in Call of Duty.
After all, every team in creation has bombarded the Mets with lefty starters (and relievers) and that was supposed to be Bay’s bailiwick, no?
Start a lefty against us and Bay, who once had hit lefties like nobody’s business (sometime after the invention of the telephone, it seems) and you’d see the board light up like a pinball machine.
That was the theory. But Bay has failed miserably for over 2 1/2 years in Blue and Orange. Now we are told it’s coming to a head with the return of Mike Baxter (oh, another lefty!). That Bay’s time as a starter is running out. Maybe.
Here is what Collins said yesterday about Bay:
“You continue to watch him take batting practice and he continues to show you the power is still there,” Collins said. “Now it’s just a matter of making sure mechanically he gets his feet on the ground and he gets his hands in the correct position to attack the baseball.”
Terry, perhaps in year 4 of his downtrodden disastrous Mets tenure he will get his feet on the ground (and I’ve got some beautiful swampland for sale in New Jersey). As Allen Iverson, the 76ers shooting guard once uttered, “Practice? You talking ’bout Practice?”
Bay, 34 in September is shot.
Furthermore, so are the nerves of Mets fans. The numbers don’t lie. Mired in an 0-22 slump going into last night’s game, he was fast approaching the 0-24 career high (or low) mark he established last season.
Who says he hasn’t improved in his Mets career? I must continue because these numbers are astounding.
Bay’s third longest O-fer streak also came last year when he was 0-20. Since he returned from the DL (I’ve lost count) he is 4-35, a .114 batting average. He is the only major league player with 110 or more plate appearances hitting below .160 and less than 10 RBI’s.
Finally, I have saved the best for last: This season he is hitting .159, .238 OB %, .310 slugging (.489 career), with EIGHT RBI, and 5 HR (all but one solo). And the Mets have the audacity to say money is not an issue in reference to playing time?
I guess inflation accounts for the depreciation of $18 million. Please, don’t tell me that’s it raining while you are peeing down my back.
If I was Duda, and now Nieuwenhuis I’d be more than perturbed. I’d be livid that Bay is still taking up precious cargo space in a lifeboat lost at sea.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I’ve said this a few times already. There is no doubt in my mind that the only thing keeping Jason Bay in the lineup is his salary. If this was Scott Hairston he would have been released in a New York minute. Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who were both outperforming Bay have already been ousted.
That malarkey Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins fed us about fielding the team that gives us the best chance to win was just more lip service to separate themselves from Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel. Telling fans what they want to hear is always a good play.
Unfortunately, in two years with Alderson at the helm we’ve seen two things that dictates who gets the most playing time on this team: money and whether they were organizational acquisitions.
D.J. Carrasco was finally released long after he wore out his welcome. Ronny Paulino was an obvious fail from day one, but remained the Mets backup catcher until the bitter end. Even last week they were still trying to force Pedro Beato into a bullpen role without much success.
We have a right hander on the mound in the next two games, and there’s a good chance Bay will get the starts. Why wouldn’t he? That’s been the case all season long on the rare days that Bay hasn’t been in the infirmary.
I’m still convinced that it’s no coincidence that the Mets had a reversal of fortune as soon as Bay was activated from the DL and force fed into a lineup that had been scoring timely runs and winning ball games. It’s if as though a malaise set in since that day and the team forgot to have fun. The hitters are all getting into bad habits again including David Wright as they all try to compensate for the lack of production from middle-of-the-order-hitter Jason Bay. He has had a debilitating effect on the team chemistry.
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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