Mets First Half: il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo
Mets First Half Analysis: The Good The Bad, and The Ugly
I’m a game or two late on this, but herewith my synopsis of the first half of the Mets’ 2008 season. Individual analyses will come over the All-Star break, when news tends to be slow and we as rabid Mets fans will be chomping at the bit for any kind of information NOT related to the last season in Yankee Stadium.
The Good (il buono)
Tough to find the good here. Ryan Church had a remarkable start to the season, then was felled by a concussion. Billy Wagner is having an outstanding season statistically, but has already blown five saves. David Wright is on pace to drive in almost 130 runs, but is not hitting nearly as well as we expected (amazing, isn’t it?). The overall “good” is that this season is not yet lost, and is looking like it could possibly be a repeat of 1973, when the Mets won the NL East with an 82-80 record.
The Bad (il brutto)
Carlos Delgado is having the worst season of his career, and on most nights drags the team down — at the plate, in the field, on the basepaths, and with his attitude. Aaron Heilman has been terrible when summoned into games with runners on base. Johan Santana has a .500 record. John Maine and Oliver Perez have been wildly inconsistent. Moises Alou and Orlando Hernandez have been MIA most of the season (as in, Missing In Action and/or in Miami — no one’s certain). Pedro Martinez has been awful. The fifth starter has been a revolving door of ineptitude.The defense has made 57 errors. The pitching staff is leading the league in hit batsmen and is third in wild pitches.
The Ugly (il cattivo)
In classic Robert Irsay fashion, the Mets fired Willie Randolph just before 3 am EST to keep the news out of the New York tabloids. Eventually, we found out the firing was the culmination of a two-year project by pit bull Tony Bernazard, who undermined the former manager at every turn. The Mets’ front office has shown weak leadership, poor planning, and little class in personnel decisions and public displays. The farm system other than Fernando Martinez is devoid of anything resembling a bonafide prospect. With Randolph gone, GM Omar Minaya is next on the chopping block. The Mets as an organization appears to be going backward, yet ticket prices went up 25% and promise to increase again with the move into Citi Field. Need I go on?
Despite all the turmoil and an under-.500 record, the Mets by some small miracle find themselves in the thick of the pennant race. No matter how poorly they play, they remain in the fight while the rest of the NL East swims just above or below mediocrity. If the Mets can simply stay around .500 through the next two months, there’s a very real possibility they can take the division by stealing a page from the 2007 Phillies’ play book and getting hot in September.