Thursday, July 29, 2004

Game 100 - Mets
Expos-ing the Mets for What They Really Are
Expos 7, Mets 4
Record: 48-52

The Mets did well to come back from a 3-0 deficit, taking the lead on a series of hitless RBI's (two walks and an HBP).  They were patient at the plate, and produced four runs on just six hits.  It didn't work out, but it wasn't terrible.

Uh oh.  You see what that is?  That's the phasing in of Taking More from Less, the dead season practice of settling for the little things.  Are we really there yet?  Well, six games back from the Braves, albeit the surging, kicked-into-overdrive Braves, with 62 to play shouldn't evoke such a sad display, but the current mood surrounding the New York Mets is one much further into a lost season than the numbers show.  After a handful of Whitney-proclaimed "go-time" stretches (hey if the media can overstate the importance of minor events, so can I) in which they stayed just above sea level, one sunk stint and it's death knell time?  Really?

As you can see, I'm back and forth on this.  The standings and schedule ahead lead me one way, the general malaise about the Mets take me back the other way.  I want to believe, but I've not been shown nearly the evidence to convince me.  I'm Mulder & Scully melded into one, except the aliens I'm investigating all have green cards and falsified birth certificates.  There's nothing you can put a finger on to declare the 2004 campaign a bust, but there are a pocketful of little things to keep the confidence way down.

Like losing to the Expos, for instance.  Again.  Like Tony Batista filing a league request to play the Mets 140 times a season.  Like Scott Erickson getting designated for assignment.  And here's where I pull the rug out from underneath you: I actually have a problem with Erickson's demotion/dumping.  Sure, I've griped since Day1 of the Scott Erickson Blip.  But after you sign a guy, let him rehab an injury, work out the kinks in AAA, and throw a fine game his first time out, you only give him one bad start and get rid of him?  Yes, his bad start was of the Little Big Horn caliber, but just one?  G.M. Jim Duquette explained that Erickson was "on a short leash," but that just makes it seem like a colossal waste of time and money, organizationally speaking.  It's no great shakes to have wasted a pair of starts on him, but he took a roster spot in Norfolk for a month or more, and what's another start or two to see if he really has anything left?  Hell, be stubborn and stick by your decision, at least.  Don't concede to a moron like me!

Oh, and Shane Spencer got arrested in Florida.  Again.  You know, usually it's the megastars who get away with multiple scrapes with the law, and it becomes that moral dilemma where you make exceptions for the studs that you might not for the scrubs.  At least the Mets can't be accused of such inconsistency.  Spencer's had about as good a year as can be expected, but his SportsCenter Fantasy is still a pinch-hit home run.  He was only in the Sunshine State because he's on the DL for a heel he cut on a piece of glass . . . in a bar.

Boys, give me something to bright-side it about -- I'm about out of material!

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