That Nagging Feeling

It’s only late January, it’s already late January. Are you feeling as if K-Rod and the guy whose name is profane in Yiddish maybe aren’t the pieces that make us complete? Maybe eight-ten more saves and a few fewer blown games won’t get us over the hump?

Now, hold on just a minute, you say. We’ve added Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, Alex Cora, Rob Mackowiak, and, um, er some other guys this winter. Heck, we might even sign Randy Wolf–a mediocre innings-eater if ever there was one. What’s the matter? Still not smelling success with this crew?

Well, look, it’s inevitable–probably–that we’re going to add Ollie P. or Ben Sheets, and then that, surely, will get us to the promised land. Yeah, I’m thinking what you’re thinking: somehow, it still doesn’t feel as if we have what we need. Perez the Unpredictable and/or Sheets–not another incantation of Pedro or El Duque. God, no more injury-laden stars of yesteryear!

Maybe there’s another way to look at this. Maybe this really just wasn’t a great free agent market with the exception of guys like Sabathia and Teixeira, who, it just so happens, were signed by a certain unmentionable ball club. Was Derek Lowe the guy we had to get? Well, that creep opted for the Dark Side, too. Who needs ’em!

To be fair, this is a good Mets team going into ’09. These are not your 1967, 1978, 1993, or 2003 NY Mets. We are coming off of four consecutive winning seasons. And don’t ruin it by bringing up those collapses. We are a solid team, but we need a little oomph. We all want the playoffs this year, but none of us have this as the true goal–our third championship. Funny, Aaron Heilman was quoted in a Seattle paper saying words to the effect that NY baseball is so intense that fans don’t consider the season a success unless you win a championship every year.  An exaggeration, yes, but not a huge one.

So what is the front office doing besides reminding us that pitching can be everything? I agree for the most part, but right now I just don’t see a championship pitching staff on the mound or a Murderers Row in the field. There is a one-man Murderers Row out there, and I imagine 99% of us would take him in a heart beat over Ollie P. A man of 37 vs. 27? Yeah, but this is the aging gracefully (maybe perfectly) guy against the guy who’s just aging. He’s a native son to boot, and I imagine would be every bit as thrilled to end his career playing in his city as we would be to watch him. The critical mass has been building, including fans, Mets players, and the Mets manager! C’mon front office his antics and less-than-Gold Glove performances will be far outweighed by the sempiternal crack of his bat. Get this man! Nagging feeling no more.