Game 52 Recap: What Do You Get When You Add David Wright…
…and a degenerative spinal disease?
Answer: six more weeks of Ruben Tejada!
Like a stain on a favorite shirt that just won’t come out, Ruben Tejada is back in the Met lineup again. Batting second and playing third base for the fourth straight day, Tejada went 3 for 5, with a double. Since being inserted in Wright’s spot on the field and in the order, the suddenly-slugging Panamanian is 8 of 17 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. This performance has earned him praise from his lame-duck manager and has no doubt eased the pressure on GM Sandy Alderson to make any kind of trade in the likely event ( we will know more later today, apparently) that Wright is out for a considerable stretch. For the record, I didn’t expect any trades and while names like Ben Zobrist and Martin Prado are intriguing, our ballyhooed GM’s track record doesn’t leave much hope that such a move would have ever been made anyway.
That means if/when Tejada suddenly reverts to Eric Campbell status, (c’mon we’ve seen this movie before) we are still likely to be forced to watch him for a long stretch of the summer. I hope I am wrong and I will never root for any Met to fail, but I just don’t think it is realistic to expect a sudden turning of the page on Tejada’s game.
As for the game itself, the big story was Jacob deGrom: 8IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 8K. The Mets pummeled the offseason transaction champion Padres 7-0. You may remember the Mets holding that crown after the 1991 and 2001 seasons, only to lay an egg when they started throwing pitches in anger. It looks like the Padres are heading down a similar path. Speaking of high expectations, the Washington Nationals’ anticipated runaway with the NL East divisional crown may have a wait a little while longer to get started, as this win by the Mets pulled them into a virtual tie for the Nats for the divisional lead. At this point, the Mets starting pitching does appear as good as advertised and should keep them at least in contention for a good finish.I am not a fan of Terry Collins, but if he manages to somehow get this lineup into an October playoff game, he deserves serious consideration for Manager of the Year.
I still think they will need another bat. I just don’t think that bat is Tejada.
I feel like Cappy has gone the way of Janish this year and it is all negativity regardless of whether the Mets – and the players currently comprising the Mets – are performing well.
Look, I was the first guy last year to say that Tejada should have been sitting in the second half of the season when it was clear the Mets were going nowhere and we should have seen more of Flores in order to determine whether Flores was a viable SS option for this year. I did not understand why Collins continually ran Tejada out there when he had shown over and over and over again his limitations as a player, and further I did not understand why Alderson & Co did not insist that Collins play Flores rather than Tejada.
It wasn’t that I was certain Flores was better than Tejada; it was rather just that we needed to see Flores in order to KNOW whether he was better than Tejada.
That being said, isn’t it possible that Tejada has finally gotten the memo this year and now understands that playing time must be earned? Put a different way, isn’t it possible that Tejada is now finally becoming the player that he has the potential to be because he is forced to earn his keep rather than being given a starting job? Collins earlier this week basically said “Look, he was given the SS job three years in a row and pissed the bed so it’s tough to believe in Tejada.”
It would have been nice to see an article that said: “Tejada has really stepped up, and maybe in his age 25 season – he won’t turn 26 until the end of October – he has finally matured and will be the player the Mets once thought he could be? Or maybe this is just fleeting success?”
Instead this article basically says:
“Tejada stinks, and we know that, and it would be good to get someone who doesn’t stink to play 3B. But Alderson also stinks so we won’t be getting anyone.”
As JoePDX said, it seems like Cappy has fallen down the excessive negativity well that often plagues Janish.
Point being I have no problem with the writers viewpoint and appreciate it for what it is, while this blog has been lacking in content I still think it fills that niche in the mets world and I enjoy coming here for that different take.
As he eloquently pointed out, you can go many other places to read positive posts about the Mets — starting with the official orange-and-blue pom-pom wavers.
When you want to read the alternative take, come on by — we’ll be here to provide the reality. MetsToday: the “fair and balanced” viewpoint of Flushing futility.
But this blog is not correctly described as “reality and truth (Jon C) or “fair and balanced” (Janish) but rather just as consistently overly pessimistic and negative.
If I hadn’t watched any Mets games this year, and hadn’t been made aware of the standings or stats by reading the newspaper or been able to read anything on the Internet other than MetsToday, I would swear the Mets were on track for a 100 loss season.
What exactly is so bad about the Mets this year?
-Their record is 29-24 (likely 29-25 as they are currently losing 7-1 in the 6th inning).
-They are tied for 1st place in the NL East with the Nationals.
-They are one game back in the wild card (assuming the season ended tomorrow Nationals won the tiebreaker for the division).
-They have lost Wheeler, Wright, TDA, Parnell, Mejia, Edgin, Blevins, and Black (the latter five being relievers that could, in and of themselves, have constituted a pretty good bullpen) for either the entire 2015 season or an extended portion of time.
-They have brought up top prospect Syndergaard and he has pitched fairly well.
-Looking ahead, it is quite possible that by mid-2016 their rotation could be Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz, and Wheeler, which would be five relatively young pitchers who all throw hard and have the potential to be above-average starters.
-The Mets have someone in Duda who has basically been a star at 1B over the past 1.5 years, an up and coming catcher in TDA, and – when he plays – a very solid 3B in Wright. Admittedly, the middle infield is something of a mess because Murphy can’t field, and right now my favorite player Flores can’t hit (and is always suspect defensively) but they do have Herrera in the wings at 2B and perhaps Reynolds at SS.
So what exactly is the matter?
You read this blog and it’s like GKR are idiots and know nothing; renown surgeons Altchek / Andrews know nothing; Alderson and his lieutenants of D3Po, Riccardi, and Ricco are clowns; and Collins, Warthen, and the rest of the Mets coaches are fools (although you might on to something when it comes to Collins, of whom I am not a fan. That being said, I do not advocate for him to be fired because I am not sure his successor will be any better, and you know what they say about the devil you know. What the Mets should have done is get Joe Maddon last winter, but unfortunately that didn’t happen).
So again – what exactly is so wrong?
I reiterate that if you read this blog and were not aware of the standings, you would think the Mets are on track for a 100 loss season!
Characterizing the posts on here as “reality and truth” or “fair and balanced” is nothing close to accurate.
-Lagares is a solid CF on a playoff-bound team. He’s a star with the glove, and usually adequately offensively.
-Neither Granderson and Cuddyer have performed at the level expected when they were signed as free agents, but the good news is that Nimmo and Conforto are likely viewed as the mid-year 2016 (Cuddyer during YR 2 of a 2 year contract?) or 2017 (Granderson during YR 3 of a 4 year contract?) successors to those players. Is it a guarantee that Nimmo or Conforto make The Show and, if they do make The Show, produce at levels exceeding those of Granderson and Conforto? Of course, no guarantee. But I think Alderson & Co. envision these guys as the successors to those players, and I see that as a distinct possibility.
If Granderson and Cuddyer piss the bed and Nimmo and Conforto also flop, the Mets could possibly use minor league pitching in a trade for an OF as the 2016 rotation should be solid as discussion above.
Who expected either Granderson or Cuddyer to perform at a higher level than they have? No one in MLB. No one who studies sabermetrics. Not even the Mets front office. Granderson in particular was a pure ticket-sales signing.
“Hoping” someone performs at a level that he did in the past is much different from “expecting.” The Mets have been operating on hopes and wishes since at least the early 2000s.
Look, I hope hes turned it around as well and I am rooting for him. I hope he can keep it going. The reality is that there are no facts to support that in his history. All we have is this tiny 20 AB sample size where hes been great for a few days, and thats not really big enough to be indicative of anything. So writing the “we’ve seen this before” story is perfectly justified based on his performance the past few years, much more so than the “has he finally turned it around” story based on 20 ABs.
I agree with some of what you said about this season, but you can write a laundry list of negatives as well. We’ve also seen this before from the mets, where they have a good start before the all start break and then plummet in the standings. Its not hard to evaluate this start and see that we’ve beaten up on bad teams (thank the NL east for our great early win streak) and struggled against the better teams. Its just a matter of your perspective. I don’t think you can say that either one is right or wrong.
You call it “negativity,” I call it “reality.”
The extra-large dose of reality you get here doesn’t even come close to making the Mets blogosphere as a whole “fair and balanced,” but we’re doing our best!
People who believe in the American way of capitalism are unhappy with MLB’s move to parity and seeing it as an extension of socialism. So what’s “the matter” is that they can see fixable flaws on the Mets that will remain unfixed because mediocrity is enough to compete through the late summer, and the bottom line is revenues. In short, few teams feel the need to be the best they can be — most realize that to make a profit, they need only to “win enough” to keep their fanbase’s hopes alive. And if it appears they can’t, they’re writing off the season quickly and working toward “good enough” the next season, knowing full well that MLB’s profit sharing will help them get through a down year.
THAT’S what’s “so bad” about the Mets and most other teams in MLB.
“like GKR are idiots and know nothing; renown surgeons Altchek / Andrews know nothing; Alderson and his lieutenants of D3Po, Riccardi, and Ricco are clowns; and Collins, Warthen, and the rest of the Mets coaches are fools …”
Now YOU are the one being negative.
Never once on this blog have I ever referred to GKR as “idiots.” They regularly speak to hundreds of thousands of people via TV and with that comes a responsibility. When one of them says something irresponsible, heck yes I’ll call that person out and explain exactly why. It’s similar to people commenting to call me out here, except with GKR we’ll never get a response or explanation.
In a similar vein, Altcheck and Andrews have far more impact in terms of doing damage. And yes, they’re as wrong about some things as they are right about many things. I’ve yet to see any other person publicly question Andrews’ philosophies and recommendations, even though some are NOT based on the science and research he’s supposed to be using to support them. Someone has to speak up — Andrews doesn’t know everything and thinking that he does only stunts movement forward in terms of keeping pitchers healthy.
The Mets front office are not “clowns.” Alderson is a figurehead whose greatest strength is public speaking. As a PR professional I am in awe of his ability to convince a New York fanbase that it’s totally OK and acceptable to operate a NY Major League sports franchise in the same way one in Kansas City or Cincinnati would.
I don’t believe I’ve ever referred to the Mets coaching staff as “fools.” I have absolutely questioned some of their actions, and I’ve definitely criticized Dan Warthen — as well as pointed out that he (and most other MLB pitching coaches) are ignorant about how to keep pitchers healthy. Ignorance and foolishness are not the same.
And by the way, this is a blog, which for me means it should be a discussion rather than a group hug, and it would be pretty boring if all we did was jump up and down and shake blue and orange pom-poms. I bet there isn’t one person who visits the official blog of the Mets for the interaction with the authors (since they rarely interact in the comments). You want news about the Mets, you know where to go. You want stats, you know where to go. You want to feel happy and watch the pom-poms shake, you know where to go. And when you’re in the mood for reality and/or conversation with grounded people, come by here.
Put another way than my lengthy post above, you would think based wholly on reading this blog that the Mets have the Brewers record of 18-36, which is horrendous (the Brewers having lost 2 of every 3 games played this year and on track for a 54-108 season).
I just don’t get all the negativity. The Mets are in the hunt for a playoff spot for the first time in years, and I’m thrilled about it. I wrote on this blog immediately after the late spring training trades that I thought perhaps the MDD for Blevins and Mazzoni and a PTBNL for the Torres with the goofy hat were overpays, but you would have to admit that as of right now that doesn’t appear to be the case (although with regard to the second deal we don’t know who is the PTBNL). But I am readily admitting my initial response may have been a mistake if the performance thus far of Blevins and Alex Torres continues.
I do think if the Mets are still in the hunt in a month or so and the production from the SS or 3B position is poor that Alderson may make a Tulo or Zobrist (AKA Zorilla) type acquisition. But that too is contingent on Tulo remaining healthy and producing better than he has thus far in 2015. Zorilla may be the more likely acquisition due to his ability to play INF and OF and the fact that he is a free agent at the end of the year (which the Wilpons will likely love because unlike Tulo he is under contract for much more money).
I mean, we’re in the hunt. This isn’t the 100 loss teams of Mets lore, or the “Worst Team Money Can Buy” (with that term coined by Klapisch in his book).
So I say:
-Enjoy these Mets chasing the Nats!
-Enjoy these Mets pounding the Phillies into submission!
-Enjoy these Mets fighting with the Marlins and Braves, among others, for the wild card!
Even if the glass is only half full – and I believe it’s more than that – you don’t always have to look at it as half empty guys!!!