Despite the fact that the New York Mets boast the worst batting average in MLB, fans need to think about the big picture at hand.
By Armando Perez
The New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday afternoon (and evening) in 18 innings, 3-1. The Mets went a dismal 1-26 with runners in scoring position, which is nothing new to this team.
Coming into Sunday’s game, New York was hitting .234 with RISP (9th-worst in Major League Baseball). They are now hitting .227 in such situations.
The Amazin’s now have a record of 48-44 and are two games behind the Washington Nationals for the division lead. They are 4 games over .500 despite having the worst batting average (.230) in MLB.
To say this organization has struggled offensively over the past few years is an understatement of epic proportions. Yet, they haven’t been able to sign big time free agents worth long term deals because financially they have been a mess since the Bernie Madoff fiasco.
In 2000, the Mets owed Bobby Bonilla $5.9 million, he had just completed a season in which he produced only four home runs and 18 RBI, so both he and the team wanted to end the relationship.
The 36-year old Bonilla came up with the greatest contract plan in the history of sports. He and his agents asked the Mets to pay him nothing for 11 years, and then to pay him $1.19 million a year between 2011 and 2035.
The Mets owed him $5.9 million, yet they agreed to pay him $30 million.
5. Hire a Trainer for Bobby Bonilla
Why should Bonilla just relax and get paid $1.9 million dollars to do nothing? That is reminiscent of Kobe Bryant. (The Lakers signed Bryant to a 2 year $48 million dollar contract he has played 41 games in two years.)
The Mets are struggling so badly offensively that employing him to suit up and be a pinch hitter might prove beneficial. The team is hitting .230, he can’t do any worse. I am obviously kidding, but make him a scout, a bat boy, something to earn that money.
4. Be Sellers, not Buyers
Curtis Granderson is 34-years old and is making $16 million per year. He will not be a part of the Mets long term success. If the Mets can package him for a young prospect I would do it in a heartbeat.
3. Don’t mortgage the future for a mediocre present
When my friends first started dating someone we would go out to a club or bar and they would be talking to a woman who was not their girlfriend, I would utter this phrase constantly to them: “Don’t mortgage the future for a mediocre present.”
They had a quality woman, why ruin it?
The Mets are in the same situation right now. Last week Hall of Famer John Smoltz said the Mets’ group of young starting pitchers is “way better” than the 1990s Braves rotation that featured Smoltz and fellow Hall of Famers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. That is high praise and yet to be proven, but, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and injured 25-year-old Zack Wheeler can all be 20 game winners.
Stay the course and don’t trade any of these players right now.
2. David Wright effect
The Mets have had a good season up until this point without David Wright. He is arguably their best offensive player and he has only played in eight games. I’m not saying that Wright is the “cure all” for what woes the Mets, but his bat and professionalism would help this team.
1. Believe it or not, the Mets are building the right way
Over the past two years there have been 15 games where a team has stuck out 14 or more times and won. So what does that mean? It means that offensive is no longer what wins in major league baseball.
In 2000 there were 22 teams that finished the season batting over .265. This year there are only 4 teams batting over .265:
- Detroit Tigers – .279
- Kansas City Royals -.274
- San Francisco Giants -.272
- Colorado Rockies – .272
MLB has banned over 50 supplements directly attributing to offensive decline. Because the schedule is so brutal (162 games), players can’t recover as quickly and their lack of production at the plate has proven this.
Pitching wins and this is why Sandy Alderson laid out these well-crafted plans.. They have young arms with an array of talent. Stay the course, enjoy the rest of the season.
Mets fans, your team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2006 and you haven’t had a winning record since 2008. Enjoy the rest of the season and and understand the potential that looms.
If they don’t panic and keep their arms, they could be what the Braves were under Smoltz over the next 15 years. From 1991-2005 the Braves won 13 division titles. Mets fans would sign up for half of that.
NEXT: Refsnyder’s Demotion Makes Little Sense
Photo by apardavila