I know what your thinking..The Mets are well on their way to making the 2012 season nothing more than an afterthought. The fact is your probably right, and that’s exactly what needs to happen if the organization is to find its way back to the promise land sooner than later. With the semi-successful first half, many Mets fans (myself included) allowed themselves to buy into the possibility that this team could make the post-season. Having lost 11 of their last 12 games, the 41-24 record needed the rest of the way to reach the 88 win mark likely necessary to clinch one of the wild cards spots, which by the way equates to a .631 winning percentage over that time, seems pretty far fetched.
Again, I know what your thinking. What die hard Mets fan would ever wish an all out collapse on their team. The answer is..this one! Bear in mind that I really have no issue with the Mets management. I think Terry Collins deserves an extension, and with the exception of some of his bullpen acquisitions, I think Sandy Alderson has earned his pay check to date as well. So why is it that I feel the Mets need to fail miserably the rest of the way? I want this front office to know, unequivocally, that the roster they have now won’t land the organization in the playoffs anytime soon.
Taking a look at the current roster, any honest Mets fan will struggle to find more than five or six players who’ll find themselves here long term. With a failed experiment in right field, and a project that remains in the works at second base, only Wright, Tejada, Davis, Dickey and Niese should find themselves untouchable as the front office pieces together the 2013 team. For many, the immediate response will be the include Daniel Murphy on that list, but as someone who doesn’t view him as the second coming of Christ, I envision him as an extremely solid bench player if the Mets can’t find a worthwhile taker on the trade market. After that, there are no sure bets for the future.
My point is, the 2012 season was suppose to be about building for the future. Develop the youngsters, work them through the system and make sure they’re ready to play when their time comes. The first of those so called saviors will arrive on Thursday, when Matt Harvey toes the rubber in Arizona. Behind him will be Zack Wheeler and Matt Den Dekker, who will likely find their way to the big league roster next season. From there it remains anyone’s guess. The sample sizes on Jordany Valdespin and even Kirk Nieuwenhuis remain far too small to decide if they’re part of the team’s future. Whether Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia end up in the rotation or the bullpen will ultimately decide the direction of the pitching staff. All of these things still need to work themselves out before the Mets can legitimately be considered a contender in the NL East.
My guess is that seems harsh for many of you, however I implore your to remember that this process was not supposed to culminate until 2014 when the team would not only find their best prospects at the major league level, but also be able to rid itself of its most bloated contracts. That not only puts the organization’s best talent at its highest level, but it will also provide (hopefully) the front office with the financial freedom to fill in the holes as necessary, to build a championship baseball team and prove once and for all that the miserable second half, the one I am advocating, won’t be for naught.
Again, as I stated before, failure this season is imperative to that goal. Should the Mets find their way into the playoffs, change will be resisted. The front office will look to make additions as opposed to weeding out those who simply don’t possess the talents necessary to take the Mets to prime time. Simply put, they’d be forced to mortgage the future, for the present. A business plan that has failed plenty in Queens over the past decade. Even a mediocre run the rest of the way in 2012, leading to a .500 finish, will prevent the sweeping changes needed to this roster.
The Mets may be in disarray now, but at the sake of sounding cliche, fans must remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day. In order to field a perennial contender on the mid-market budget the Wilpons appear prepared to provide, the minor league system will be team’s most valuable asset. From there, responsible and creative spending will be needed to fill in the gaps. Those times are still more than a year in the making, but if we are to arrive there on time, failure is a requirement now. Its my belief that even in spite of this extended timeline, the organization remains headed in the right direction. That will require fans to remain patient, remain loyal and ultimately remember that we’re all on the same team, even if things don’t move as quickly as we’d like. Sandy Alderson has a plan, and just like Omar, we owe it to him to see it through. When everything is in place, when Sandy’s team is finally on the field, only then can we cast judgement. Until then, unfortunately..its a waiting game.
Follow me on Twitter at @RobPatterson83