You Were Expecting More From The 2013 Mets?

For what the Mets lack in on-field success in recent years, they make up for in agendas and alibis. The alibis are coming from the team itself; the agendas from the fans and media. The media loves to roast the Mets for their play and personnel moves (perfectly fair) and for their business dealings such as entering into an innocuous agreement with Amway (unfair and self-serving). The fans either wallow in self-pity, hope the team loses so Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins will be fired, or have secondary benefit from the self-flagellation of being a Mets fan as if punishment in this life of baseball fandom will lead to paradise in the next. Opposing fans who need to worry about their own issues point to the Mets as everything they perceive as “wrong.”

If there’s some paradise a pious Mets fan is looking for, the only virgin they’re likely to run into in a sports-related heaven is Tim Tebow and he’s probably no fun to hang out with; the only Kingdom they have to look forward to is in a storybook.

The key question is this: What were you expecting?

They’re in year three of an acknowledged rebuild.

They have a starting rotation of Matt Harvey, Jon Niese and a mix-and-match array of journeymen.

They have one outfielder (who’s actually a first baseman) in Lucas Duda who can hit and has a 25-30 foot radius of balls he’ll catch, block, kick or swallow.

They have one high potential reliever in Bobby Parnell, two decent veterans Scott Atchison and LaTroy Hawkins and more bad journeymen.

One of their main power hitters, Ike Davis, takes the first two months of every season apparently contemplating the mysteries of life in a “what does it all mean?” hypnotic state as he counts the seams of the next low, outside curveball he’ll swing and miss at while batting .150.

They have the foundation for a decent middle infield with Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy, a star at third base in David Wright, and a catcher in John Buck who’s hitting like Johnny Bench when he’s closer to Barry Foote.

Their top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade, is out with a broken foot and has had his Flushing debut stalled probably until September; their top pitching prospect, Zack Wheeler, acquired for Carlos Beltran, is embarrassing himself with a little league-level whine about not liking it in Las Vegas and is throwing a tantrum hoping to be sent to a more preferable location.

These are the facts.

What gives you the impression that Wally Backman, John McGraw or Connie Mack as manager; Dave Duncan, Rick Peterson, Leo Mazzone or Mel Harder as pitching coach; and Branch Rickey as GM would make any difference whatsoever with this group?

Judging by the lack of moves they made last winter and the removal of the last pieces of the Omar Minaya regime (Jason Bay was dumped and Johan Santana’s Mets career is over with his injury), did you truly in your heart of hearts expect a shocking Athletics/Orioles 2012-style rise for the Mets in 2013?

This team is playing up to its potential and that potential is currently not good. No amount of screaming, yelling and pronouncements of what would “fix” them or what “I’d do” is going to change it especially if your prescriptions are buried in the simplicity of faux expertise and blatant idiocy that’s ten times worse than anything Alderson’s done or will do. The organization has all but said they’re playing for 2014 and beyond when they’re supposedly going to have some money to spend and the prospects they’ve been acquiring and cultivating since Alderson took over will begin to bear fruit.

These are your 2013 Mets. This is it. Deal with it. Or get into therapy. Or just shut up.

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  1. #1 by Andee on May 2, 2013 - 5:29 am

    About Wheeler, he followed up his “whine” with his best PCL performance yet. Maybe he needed to vent a little bit; who can blame him when he’s been ordered to ply his trade in the city where pitchers go to die? I don’t care if he complains that his eyelashes hurt and his shoelaces are too orange and the guacamole he had on his burrito had too much lime juice in it, if he can pitch like that afterwards. Let’s face it, Vegas is a shitty, shitty place to pitch, he’s not the only one who’s complained about it by a long shot. There’s a reason the Dodgers and Blue Jays avoided sending most of their top pitching prospects there.

    • #2 by admin on May 2, 2013 - 12:19 pm

      Be that as it may, he can’t be complaining as if it’s the fault of the ballpark for whatever goes wrong. That’s not going to get the organization to say, “This kid’s ready.” In fact, it’s the opposite and Terry Collins basically said it the other day. If he can’t handle Vegas, how’s he gonna deal with Philadelphia, Colorado and Yankee Stadium? They’re not the most pleasant pitcher’s parks either, but they’re not going to alter the venue for him. In the long run, a small amount of adversity and improvisation will help him.

      • #3 by Andee on May 3, 2013 - 3:39 am

        There’s basically no such thing as a low-scoring game in Vegas. It almost never happens. The entire PCL magnifies offense, but even in that hitter-happy league, Vegas is off the charts. The infield is extra hard and balls take weird bounces. The entire stadium slants downhill from home plate. It’s 323 down the LF line and 325 down the RF line, whereas CF is almost 100 feet deeper than that. Then there are issues with the altitude and the wind, which means the ball doesn’t go where you’ve always trained it to go. It’s basically like pitching in a giant pachinko machine. And they haven’t even gotten into the hot part of the year yet, where game time temperatures of 110+ are routine.

        If you look back through ten years of data from starting pitchers claiming Cashman as their home park, you will find almost no success stories. Edwin Jackson was mulched so badly there for two years that the Dodgers wound up giving him away for almost nothing. It’s not like pitching in CBP or Yankee Stadium at all. Coors maybe, because it’s a weird place to pitch, but at least the Rockies’ AAA park is Colorado Springs, which replicates conditions similar to that of the parent club. But pitching in Citi, or almost any MLB park, will be nothing at all like Cashman. It’s about the worst affiliate they could have gotten stuck with if they’re building around young pitching. And Terry Collins should try taking the mound there himself before snotting off about how easy it is.

      • #4 by admin on May 3, 2013 - 2:29 pm

        I understand all of that. Regarding a pitcher like Jackson, that was a long time ago and teams should’ve been more cognizant of the difference between Las Vegas and other parks. Given that it was Ned Colletti who made that trade, I doubt it would’ve mattered where Jackson was pitching.
        Collins didn’t say Las Vegas was easy. He said that that’s where Wheeler is pitching and he has to figure it out down there without complaining that he wants to go somewhere else to pitch. Collins was with the Dodgers organization when their Triple A team was located in Las Vegas. He knows the deal.

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