- So whatcha, whatcha, whatcha want?
There's no excuse for the Mets----who fancy themselves as contenders (and they are in the parity-laden National League)----to go into Arizona and absorb a 13-2 beating by a team that's waiting for a lost season to mercifully end.
That said, there's a big picture here and that big picture often depends on perception.
Mets fans are angry now, but the anger is different from the hapless resignation that permeated the club fan base before the season started; and the hit squads that were out to get anyone and everyone somehow involved with the Mets have been quieted by the combination of the club's solid----though sporadic and inconsistent----good play and that the farm system is producing youngsters that will clearly be part of the Mets future.
I'll say right now, on July 20th, that barring another late-season collapse, if the Mets end the season with a win total in the mid-80s and miss the playoffs in favor of a team other than the Phillies, their fans will be quietly satisfied that the entire house didn't come crashing down. Of course, if that happens, I think it likely that there will be a new manager be it Bob Melvin, Eric Wedge, Fredi Gonzalez or someone else; but the team will be in solid position with expiring contracts after 2011 to bring in what they need for 2011----pitching.
Could the same thing be said for teams that were the darlings of the "experts" before the season started?
Look at the Diamondbacks. They're in absolute turmoil with an interim GM; an interim manager; a poorly constructed team; and few answers on the horizon.
What about the Mariners? GM Jack Zduriencik has been stripped of the "genius" title; the team is terrible on the field and they have few players that other teams would actually want. This to me is the definition of a bad club----even the Pirates have a bunch of players that teams would want; but the Mariners? Who do they have? The few that are desirable----Felix Hernandez and Franklin Gutierrez---aren't getting moved; and the others who might have some use are either too pricey (Ichiro Suzuki; Chone Figgins); or are having such terrible years, they can get them and try to straighten them out (Ryan Rowland-Smith).
Are the Orioles as bad as their record? No. No one is this bad (except maybe the Pirates). The Orioles are a case of a bunch of young players who've taken steps back (Adam Jones), or failed to take the step forward; they've had free agent acquisitions that made sense and haven't worked. If and when Buck Showalter takes over as manager, he'll get credit for the team turning around in 2011 (possibly to a .500 record), but in reality, it's a natural progression of events. Everything that went wrong in 2010 can't go wrong again.
There are many teams who had high expectations coming into the season; expectations that aren't being achieved. Teams like the Twins have a chance to right the ship, but after going for it this year with Orlando Hudson and Jim Thome; and keeping Joe Mauer with the long-term contract extension (and watching him struggle----for him), they're straddling the line they straddle every year----the same line that has kept them in contention regardless of big name player departures; the line that was based on sound fundamentals and playing the "Twins way" leading to wins.
Looking at their rosters in the past two seasons, there was no reason to expect the Twins to get themselves to within one game of the playoffs in 2008, and into the playoffs in 2009; but there they were. Now, they had very high expectations despite the loss of Joe Nathan and they're on shaky ground. So if the Twins wind up with the same record as they had in 2008-2009 and, say, lose out to the White Sox or Tigers in the AL Central race, will it be considered the same heroic effort on their part as it was in past years? Or will it be a disappointment?
The Phillies are an interesting case in point. Many thought they'd win 100 games. That won't happen. They're still in contention for a playoff spot in part because of the aforementioned National League and that they have players who will not quit; I don't count them out; but they're exhibiting the same lethargy that's befallen many a team that was expected to repeatedly dominate. Injuries and those flaws have put them in their current predicament.
You see it in various forms with the up-and-down seasons from the Dodgers (club turmoil); the Marlins (possible overestimation of talent and a deviation from what's made them good); and the Athletics (the continued feeding and circular nature of the Moneyball myth).
Then you have the teams from whom not much was expected aside from possible incremental improvement. The Padres are rolling toward the playoffs and instead of trading Adrian Gonzalez, they're looking to add; and the Reds are battling for a playoff spot.
In reality, there are situations where misjudgment is due to the media and the panic that's become prevalent on a daily basis because of the accessibility and speed of information and its accompanying reaction. It's the job of the true analysts----someone who has an understanding of the game----who have to sift through what's on the surface and what's underneath.
Losing perspective based on a short-term burst of crash is the enemy of accuracy.
- Viewer Mail 7.20.2010:
Cuttin' off Ollie!
J.D. Drew themed pj's!
What a post! A lil somethin' for everyone today. I dig it.
Sometimes I dunno what comes over me. If only I could gather and sell it....or repeat it.
This is my third time trying to leave a comment. What's up? Anyhow, I agree with Jeff. A bravuro performance today in this post! I don't follow the Mets and hardly know who Perez is, but after reading your post even I want him gone.
Other people told me they were having issues logging on, that it was registered as an "unsafe site"; it's only unsafe for those who aren't on their game when coming after me.
You're better off not knowing Oliver Perez, Jane. Trust me. It'd be better for everyone involved---including Perez----if he wasn't so talented; then it could be chalked up to a lack of ability, but he's lefty and has dominating stuff when he's right. I still think there will be one year that he puts it all together; it won't be as a Met though.
Another compliment on yesterday's posting? I can try to retrace my steps and re-do whatever it was that I did right, but it'd probably lead me to walking off a roof; or into a train; or a bus; or down a well...haphazard anarchy backed up by caffeine is the way to go.
Joe writes RE his J.D. Drew pajamas:
I only get to wear my Drew pajamas like five times a week though. Always some mysterious hole or fray I have to take care of the other two days.
I gather taping "RED SOX" or BOS-TON" across the front of the Joe Mauer pajamas doesn't have the same effect.
I have this girl from the Coors Light ads to occupy my mind; Joe has J.D. Drew. To each his own. And am I the only one who's aggravated that that girl would be with that guy? Even in a commercial?
Anonymous writes RE Jayson Werth :
Werth has had ONE injury to speak of (anything else was muscles & over fast) that happened when he was w/the Dodgers. Interestingly it was caused by AJ Burnett who hit & broke his left wrist with a pitch. Dodger doctors misdiagnosed and, therefore, mistreated underlying ligament damage. Due only to his own tenacity Werth found his own doctor at the Mayo Clinic who fixed it. He has never had "rage issues". He's had ONE incident & that fan was a moron. To make any more of that is - well - just New York of you. And he is not now, nor has he ever done anything with Jenn Utley. Jenn is good friends with Julia Werth, Jayson's wife. The two couples are friends. The rumor was posted only on the internet by someone not even pretending about lying to start whatever trouble they could. Hard to believe anyone w/an IQ above 40 would believe it.
Well "Anonymous", you bring up a fair point regarding Werth's injuries. The wrist issue was a result of a hit-by-pitch and the Dodgers misdiagnosing it; he's been predominately healthy aside from an oblique problem; perhaps he's found his groove as a durable, everyday player in that respect and will stay on the field.
Aside from that, I don't know where you're getting your information regarding what I said, but it certainly wasn't here where you read the words "rage issues"; nor was I the one who suggested anything was going on between Werth and Chase Utley's wife. How do you know of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the rumor? Is it absurd to think that an affair between players and a teammates' wife could occur? It's happened before and will happen again...and again....and again. In the same sense, I don't see how you could know that the fan with whom Werth had a confrontation is a "moron".
Werth has been known to be curt with reporters. If someone is asking me stupid questions about my beard or some other silliness, I would be irritable as well; but his snide comments during the Ryan Madson interview last week were not in Werth's realm. Why did Werth feel the need to interject other than to be a jerk? Madson allowed a homer and was answering questions about the homer; where did Werth come in?
New York of me? I haven't said word one about the Phillies in a partisan nature all year long. I made my call of the Phillies stumbling this year in my book and have no intention of discussing said predictions until the season is over. If I have anything to say regarding the Werth-Jennifer Utley rumors, it would only be in a baseball sense. Off the field, it's none of my business.
If it's true, I don't know what the club could do about it; it's a personal matter and while the team was winning early in the year, it was wise to let it slide and hope for the best; now, it's an issue and it's public, they're slumping; they have to get Werth out of there because it's going to explode. Period.
How you would know about the personal lives of the Phillies players and their wives is a mystery to me, just like you are since you refuse to leave a name.
The Brooklyn Trolley Blogger writes RE Jack Zduriencik and the Mariners:
(Mariners) What makes his resume even worse is ownership having been agreeable with payroll. They really are a good ownership group but can't seem to make a good hire. Why more people aren't screaming about the bad job he's doing? I say it's Seattle itself. The divorce capital and depression rate there has that part of the country un-plugged. No one talks about Seattle. To most of this country Seattle is like the 4th Marx Brother... at least since Sweet Lou last managed there.
Ollie? Ugh. Good grief!
They've supported the team in Seattle remarkably well since the playoff run in 1995 that saved baseball for the city.
I do think that ownership has stepped in and interfered with the GMs they've hired. Did Bill Bavasi really want Ichiro at the cost of the player dictating who his manager would be as seemed to occur when Mike Hargrove resigned days before Ichiro's contract extension was announced? Did Zduriencik really want to bring Ken Griffey Jr. back?
Amid all of that, the absence of criticism stems from a selfish, agenda-driven attempt by the stat-obsessed to protect one of their "own". Zduriencik runs the club the way they want to see a club run and it remains to be seen whether or not it's going to work; but because they're invested so heavily----theoretically and financially (stat-based books bring in a lot of money)----they're going to avoid commenting on his mistakes as they would if they were made by the likes of Bavasi, Omar Minaya or Dayton Moore.
If they were honest about it, I wouldn't have such an issue or squawk as loudly as I do, but they're sort of skating over it and hoping no one notices or comments and that only makes me scream louder.