“See the man with the stage fright,
Just standin’ up there to give it all his might.
And he got caught in the spotlight,
But when we get to the end
He wants to start all over again.”
– Robbie Robertson
What exactly do the Mets still need to do to have a legit chance at winning this season. Yes that’s right I said, this season, as in 2015. There has been much speculation lately that the Mets organization is about to fold up their tent on the 2015 season. This despite the fact that we haven’t even reached the half-way point in 2015 yet, and we are only like a half-game out of first place. For the life of me, I cannot understand this malaise that the front office is exhibiting, and why Alderson is incapable of improving what has been a woefully inept offense.
And it’s not like this just happened. The offense has been totally worthless since Alderson took the job as Mets savior five long years ago. C’mon Sandy! It’s great that you restocked the minor league system with lot’s of fresh faces and talented players. Thing is only a very small percentage of minor league players will ever sniff the major leagues. Most of the players in the bottom half of the minors will never even get to AAA.
So my question is this. Why aren’t we trading from our surplus of minor league talent in order to acquire a couple of bats that will turn our big league line-up from a joke to a contender. When a team is as close as the Mets are to taking a quantum leap, it is not the time to sit on your hands and do nothing, right?
Wrong. It has been said by insiders like Kevin Kernan that 2016 will be the window that the Mets front office is targeting to make a push for the playoffs. You know what I say to that? Bullshit! There is no reason to piss away the 2015 season when our team has almost as good a chance as any to bring home a pennant. Why does this Mets front office seem so quick to flush an entire year down the toilet with their lethargy?
I believe there’s three main reasons for this, and of course this is nothing that hasn’t been said before. The first reason is simple. The ownership simply doesn’t care. The owners obviously are okay with putting out a lousy product.
Reason number two, money, and the Wilpon’s desire not to part with any. You can’t bring in Major League talent for minor league money. They can say all they want about their financial problems being in the rear-view mirror, but their actions scream otherwise.
The third reason is one that is still developing, but I thought I would throw it out there anyway. I was talking to our fearless leader Joe D today and he said something that struck me as very insightful. We were talking about this inability of the front office to make a deal to help the major league roster. It was then that the word “fear” came up.
Fear of doing something that might make you look bad. Might tarnish one’s legacy. Fear of pulling the trigger. Fear of trading the wrong prospect. Fear of making a bad trade. Fear of failure. Swapping stars for prospects is one thing. The tough part is trading for stars when the team is ready.
Alderson had made his reputation long before he came to New York. He will most likely be retiring after this stint as Mets savior, and the last thing he wants to do is put himself in a position of ridicule. He is so frightened of making a bad trade that he has frozen, and can’t make any move at all. It’s like he’s in sleep paralysis only he’s wide awake. This my friends is a classic example of “stage fright.”
I can’t help but sing the chorus of that great song by The Band, “Stage Fright” whenever I think of Sandy with his hand too frozen to even reach for the trigger. Just like Theo Epstein right? Or Jeff Luhnow of the Houston Astros, A.J. Preller of San Diego, or Ben Cherington of the Red Sox. These are the new breed of General Manager in baseball. The new mavericks. These are the types of front office executives that are forward thinking, aggressive, and not afraid to make moves and take chances. And that is the type of leadership the Mets front office lacks and sorely needs.
Unfortunately the people who care about the state of things, namely us the fans, are powerless to do anything except a full-scale boycott, and that is nearly impossible to mobilize. The idea of smoking out the Wilpons by shutting down their cash flow until they are forced to sell, is more or less a pipe dream. And Alderson’s position as a figurehead means that the front office paralysis will undoubtedly continue ad nauseum.
And who are the victims? You, me and all other Mets fans. There are the older Mets fans who wonder if they will ever see a Mets World Champion team again in their lifetimes. And then there are the young fans, who have only known losing. It’s very sad and makes it so agonizing to root for this team.
Just when you think you might be going somewhere you realize you aren’t, because your feet are glued to the stage. See the man with the stage fright…