Morning Grind: Mets Future Shock, 50 Games Or Less

Good Morning, Met fans.

Quite frankly, there are a lot of things to be excited about. Being a Met fan is not one of them. The direction of this team leaves a lot to be desired. I am going to say something that I never ever thought I would say. Please understand my emphatic emphasis on the words “never ever”.

Mets Future Shock

Quite honestly, it’s my humble opinion that our beloved Mets, aside from the huge payroll, are no different right now than teams such as the Pirates, Tigers, and the Royals. Potential, no real consistency, and an obvious small market mentality. They may have an ace or a young bat but no clear identity or blueprint for success. I can’t even compare them to the Brewers or the Cubs because they have legitimate stars and leadership on their team. It doesn’t always translate into wins but it’s in the clubhouses and on the field. I find it virtually impossible for this team to achieve lasting success until they actually have a real core of leadership on and off the field. Our current leadership yells at columnists when asked questions they don’t agree with, or tear off their shirts and challenges teenagers to brawls, sulks when they are reprimanded, punch out family members, or forget how to field the most routine plays. I’m not a fan of the current core. On the record, we can do much much better. In this market, that’s inexcusable.

What does the future hold for this team? Joel Sherman of the NY Daily News dropped an article that I believe we may gain perspective from. Here’s the link that sheds some interesting light on the team’s prospects for the future beyond 2011.

I’ve posted on this recently but there are a few significant points that bear repeating.

1) We’ll have 9 players signed on for 2011 at a little over $118M. Three of their top guys in Pelf, Dickey, and Pagan are up for arbitration. Hard to deny them after the help they’ve given this team. Beltran, Castillo, Perez, K-Rod, and Jay Bay make more than the Marlins entire payroll and chances are they aren’t going anywhere.

2) Big questions about our rotation exist. As much as I like Johan, Pelf, Dickey, and Niese, this is not a championship rotation. Niese and Pelf have shown some consistency but then you see lapses (and usually big ones at bad times) that question their ability to take the next step. Mejia, Misch, or Takahashi don’t make this rotation stronger or better, unfortunately. Will Cliff Lee come over to the Mets? We would have to pay him something, right? Or is he going to offer some innings pro bono?

3) If the Mets have to get into a bidding war for Jose Reyes, who clearly will want to be at the top of the SS market, they will be in for a huge shock. But most fans won’t be shocked, we know the team won’t pay but so much. (DW and his contract is not far behind him either. How much would you play for an upper echelon complimentary player anyways?)

4) The youth movement is upon us. Are the players that are in our minors good enough to take this team to the next level? We can’t rely on Pagan, Niese, Pelf, Thole, Mejia, or Parnell to carry this team. So who then? Pick a prospect. Please.  Encourage me.

5) In a market the size of New York, it’s hard to not look for superstars on our teams. it’s practically expected. Well, in this case, it is sorely needed. Forget the big names. We need the big players who play big in big spots. They don’t cower from the spotlight or hide when it’s time to do interviews but they consistently step up when it’s needed the most. This team needs superstars. The 2007 D-Backs and the 2005 Chi-Sox have done much with complementary players but the truth is their pitching was above standard and it carried them to a division title and a WS, respectively. This team can’t hope for that kind of success. (Also see: 2003 Florida Marlins)  We need names but we need results more. Clearly, superstar players can bring that but would they play in Flushing?

50 Games Or Less

I’m still getting emails from fans that think the Mets can still make the playoffs. They just can’t tell me how. If you are one of these believers, please comment under this post with a scenario that supports this. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you really have a strong enough constitution to take another four years like the four we just had? Could that really happen in Flushing? What’s key in turning this ship around?

Met fans, you are intelligent, insightful, faithful, and by golly, people like you. Have a great day!