New York Mets: A Thank You And Goodbye To James Loney
Bill Streicher, USATSI


The time has come for the New York Mets to stop playing first baseman James Loney

Dear James,

Thank you. Thank you for being a serviceable fill-in to Lucas Duda, albeit for a small stretch, this 2016 baseball season. 

While the Metsies sputtered throughout late-May, June, and July to the tune of a sub-.500 record, you were their rock at first base while they lost, then won, and then lost again. 

For a handful of weeks, you consistently made contact, consistently found holes in the defense, and consistently got on base.

Through your first 27 games, you gave the Mets a .294 batting average, 10 RBI, a few homers, and an astounding lack of speed, challenging only Rene Rivera and Travis d’Arnaud for the title as “Slowest Player in Flushing.”


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Though, don’t be down, you know what they say. What you lack in speed you gain in smarts, and, well, you’re pretty smart … I guess. How else could I explain the wizardry you performed in duping the Mets into signing a washed up mid-30s player rotting on the San Diego Padres Triple-A squad? 


It was a trick even Gandalf the White would applaud. 

Don’t forget, you are unique too, James. It’s not often a player grasps the major league landscape and its fans with sweet scoops on errant throws rather than a flashy, productive at-bat. Yet, somehow, someway, you’ve made a living off of it.

I get it. I do. At the ripe old age of 32-years old, you’re way past your prime. The days of (impressive) 12 home run seasons, barely-positive WARs, and diving stops as a sure-handed first baseman are over.

These days it appears as if you dive in slow-motion, with your gut hitting the ground seconds after the ball reaches the glove of Terry Collins’ right-fielder-on-duty. Much to my dismay, this real-time special effect isn’t an issue with the television, but an issue with the Mets starting first baseman … You.

This brings me to my main point. You’re not baseball’s Brett Favre. You’re not built to last. Whatever ability you had left — which I assure you was quite limited — has all but vanished.

In the month of August, you, an everyday player, recorded the very same amount of walks and extra-base hits as your heavyset 43-year-old pitching teammate, Bartolo Colon

Thanks for the effort but, now, it’s time to take a hike. 

Sincerely,

A Mets Fan

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