Nationals 4 Mets 3
So much for team meetings.
So much for team meetings.
I can never again roll my eyes when Jason Bay walks into the batter’s box. I can never again get angry when he pops up or swings through a hittable fastball or chases a slider in the dirt. Because while I used to think Bay’s tenure with the Mets has been a nightmare for us fans, it finally hit me on Friday (when Bay hit the wall) that it’s probably more of a nightmare for Jason.
Signing somewhere as a Free Agent is a choice. It’s like having a steady job, then accepting another offer from another company. If things don’t go well at your new place, you start to feel regret. Jason Bay is too much of a professional, too much of a class individual and teammate (by all accounts) to show any regret. But deep down, is there a part of him that wishes he stayed in Boston, or signed somewhere else?
There’s no guarantee that he would have continued his 30 HR, 100 RBI ways in another city (From ’05 to ’09 he had at least those totals 3 times), but his drop off the statistical cliff was so dramatic when he came to Queens, at the age of 30, why not factor in his location?
And why not factor in bad luck? I’m not usually the superstitious type, but look at what has happened to Bay over the last 2+ years he’s spent with the Mets.
On Opening Day, 2010, he whistled a drive off the 415 sign of the cavernous right-center field wall. It went as a triple. It would have been a home run in any other ballpark. As the early season went on, long fly balls to left were gobbled up by Citi Field. The frustration was visible in Bay’s face. The dimensions clearly got in his head.
That year, he didn’t hit his first home run until April 27. He didn’t hit his next until a 2-homer game on May 23. He would hit only 3 more the rest of the year – a year that ended for him in July thanks to a concussion he suffered, slamming into the left field wall while attempting to make a catch.
Twenty-nine runs scored in a three-game series against the best pitching in MLB. Did anyone see frogs falling from the sky?
After a tough stretch against the Nationals and Yankees that saw the Mets drop 5 of 6, it’s time to ask the question at the back of every Mets fans mind. Are the Mets contenders this year? Will the Mets play meaningful September baseball for the first time since 2008? Luckily, thanks to sabermetrics, we can analyze some advanced statistics and trends from the season so far to try and get a handle on the 2012 Amazins.
For more information on any of the stats listed below, simply click on the stat name.
Pythagorean W-L – Pythagorean Won-Loss record (PWL) is much simpler than it sounds. It basically figures out
It’s a little-known fact that the Mets have a special wing of their team hall of fame. It’s reserved for players who meet the following criteria:
A player who puts up awesome numbers every year until the exact moment he puts on a Mets uniform.
It’s called the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame. It’s not for every bad trade or free-agent signing. It’s not for a player the Mets acquired who was obviously past his prime. It’s only for the most dramatic examples of a player whose career takes a nose dive as soon as he dons a Mets jersey.
The committee in charge of the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame will keep a close eye on Jason Bay this year. He’s virtually a lock as it is, but if he happens to pull off a miracle season, the committee might change its mind. It will be one of the more intriguing storylines of 2012.
With that said, here are the current members of the Roberto Alomar Wing of the Mets Hall of Fame.
Roberto Alomar – The inaugural member. Alomar was well on his way to a hall of fame career (he would eventually be inducted into Cooperstown in 2011) when he came to the Mets in 2002. He had hit over .300 9 out of his 14 seasons in the majors up until that point. The only time he finished the season with a batting average under .280 was in his rookie season, when he batted .266. In 2001, he hit .336 with 20 HRs, 100 RBIs, and a career-high .956 OPS.
Then he became a Met.
With four days before pitchers and Molinas report to spring training, the #4 question to be answered in Port St. Lucie comes from my wife:
David Wright is supposed to be the “face of the franchise”, but he seems more of a figurehead than a team leader — and besides, we all know the Mets are going to deal him away by the trading deadline. So if not David, who will jockey for power and take over leadership of this club?
With 18 days until pitchers and Molinas report to spring training, let’s focus on question #18 facing the Mets: what batting stance will Jason Bay employ, and will it be conducive to improved performance?
If you remember, Bay’s entrance music should have been the song made famous by Wilson Pickett (or Ted Nugent, depending on your age), as Bay became “The Man of 1,000 Stances”. There was the “worm beater” stance he displayed in early March, followed by the “Jam On It” method used a week later, and then the “hidden dragon, crouching tiger” version sported by St. Paddy’s Day … to describe but a few.
The variations continued during the regular season, as Bay seemed to enter his own personal laboratory every time he came to the plate, experimenting with bat angles, foot placement, and strides like a mad scientist (visions of Gene Wilder as Young Frankenstein come to mind). It’s hard enough to hit the most hellacious stuff on the planet offered by MLB pitchers; it becomes next to impossible when the mind is thinking about hand and foot positioning.
Perhaps related to his inconsistent setup and approach, Bay perpetually looked uncomfortable and lacked confidence through much of 2011 — and his numbers reflected it. So the big question for Bay in 2012 is, will he find a comfortable and effective stance this spring, will he stick with it, and will it help him return to being the feared middle-of-the-order slugger that earned him a $66M payday a few years ago? A positive answer will go a long way toward whether the Mets will be able to
dump him in July score enough runs to stay out of the NL East basement.