Another Mets Conundrum: Cautious To A Fault

An article by posted on June 16, 2014

I can’t vouch for the veracity of this, but on Sunday night I heard that the Mets have played 22 different series so far this season, and somehow they’ve managed to avoid facing the opposing team’s ace pitcher in 16 of those series. If that’s true, I guess things could be somewhat worse than they are right now. But who knows?

It does appear we’ll miss Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright as we get set to play a three game series tonight in St. Louis. He’s going to have his turn skipped due to a bout of tendinitis.

“We’re not going to get Wainwright, although Martinez isn’t a party,” Terry Collins said, referring to tonight’s starter Carlos Martinez who’ll be making his second career start. The 22-year old righty was ranked the 31st best prospect by Baseball America for 2014.

The Mets took two games against the Padres this weekend and improved their record to 30-38, eight games under .500.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

I read that Sandy Alderson met with season ticket holders on Friday and touched on a few things while fielding a few questions from what I’m told was a very serious and concerned group.

Among them were two questions regarding payroll. The first question was dodged by the Mets GM, who said he would not answer questions about increasing payroll until after the season. “That’s something we deal with when this season is over.”

The second question was about increasing payroll if the Mets were in the hunt for a wild card. “If we’re in a position that we’re competing,” Alderson said, “that we’re vying for a wild-card spot or a division championship on July 31, I think we have the capacity to make a move.”

He thinks?

Are you familiar with the old adage; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is too weak? In the Mets’ case it’s the wallet that is too weak. And that’s unfortunate.

“I really do believe that we are close. So let’s focus on what we have between now and the trade deadline. Let’s see where we are.”

Close to what? The post season? Really? Okay, let’s roll with that…

Newsday’s David Lennon wrote recently that when it comes to the trade deadline, the Mets have become adept at a vicious cycle of trading away its most talented players, conserving dollars, collecting prospects and sitting home in October.

One thing that has yet to be proven by this front office is their willingness to trade for very productive major league players – rather than the usual – trading them away.

Let’s assume Alderson is right. Let’s assume the Mets are right there – “close” as the GM attests – to a post season berth. Let’s further assume that the Mets still have the same problems on offense. Does Alderson have the wherewithal to trade the one surplus the team seemingly has, it’s young pitching?

When Alderson was asked about trading pitching for what the Mets lack – namely power bats – he responded:

“One of the problems of trading pitching, regardless of how much you have, is that you can never have enough,” Alderson said. “There are a couple of things that make me cautious. You’re never quite sure who is going to succeed and who’s not, who’s going to get injured and who’s not. To some extent, there’s safety in numbers.”

Sounds like a very gun-shy approach. It seems that the Mets are now cautious to a fault. They lack confidence in their own ability to determine which pitchers they should move and which should be off limits, and in the meantime David Wright continues to get older.

Where is the decisiveness one looks for in leadership?

I’m not asking that the front office be fearless, I know better than to expect that from this bunch. But what is the benefit of arguably having four general managers steering the ship if we are to perpetually remain adrift?

If four years is not enough time to at the bare minimum chart a course to a winning season, how many more years do you require?

Perhaps the best moment of the Q&A session came when one ticket holder asked for assurance that the team will hang onto Daniel Murphy. To which the response was more dodging.

“At this point, do what I do: Ignore Twitter and try to ignore the blogosphere and have a beer when you go home tonight.”

If this Q&A was conducted between another GM and another group of season ticket holders from some other team, I gotta admit I’d be rolling on the floor laughing… But it’s not.

Fred, Jeff… You want to weigh in here?

Note from Joe D:

It feels good to be back even if it’s only on a limited basis. I want to thank all of you for your thoughts, prayers and well wishes over the past week and a half. I have no doubt that it gave me the emotional boost I needed to pull through. It’s going to take a few weeks for me to ease back into the type of pace you’re accustomed to from me. But as you all saw, MMO has a superb team of writers who rose to the occasion and showcased their own unique talents. I’d like to thank both them and you for keeping MMO going while I was out and while I’m still on the mend. Words alone do not suffice. Thank you all so much.

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About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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