Games 78 through 81 - Mets
Mets 9, Pirates 8 (10)
Phillies 7, Mets 2
Phillies 4, Mets 1
Phillies 2, Mets 0
39-42 at the halfway point. Ugh.
That the Mets have sunk to their worst mid-season record since . . . close your eyes and shudder when I say it . . . 2003 . . . is bad. That they are only four games better than that collection of no-talent assclowns is just frightening. This is where we are? Really?
Reading the post I pieced together at the All-Star Break in 2003, it doesn't feel fair to make such comparisons between these two ballclubs. That was six years ago but feels like eons longer. Somehow in 2009 I'm writing about similarities to that putrid squad and not the '86 or '00 teams? How is that possible?
Here's how. Through 81 games . . .
Carlos Delgado: 26 games
Jose Reyes: 36 games
Carlos Beltran: 62 games
John Maine: 11 starts
Oliver Perez: 5 (horrible, awful) starts
J.J. Putz: 29 games, 5.22 ERA (pitching hurt or hurt from pitching like crap?)
Sean Green: 5.00 ERA & Bobby Parnell: 4.88 ERA (Marion Barry wasn't set up as badly as the '09 Mets)
Tim Redding: 9 starts, 6.99 ERA
Daniel Murphy: 76 games, .665 OPS (ah, Gilded Boy)
Fernando Tatis: 58 games, .707 OPS (mighty big swing for .707)
Alex Cora: 54 games, .684 OPS (better than his OPS, but still)
Fernando Martinez: 29 games, .517 OPS (making Alex Escobar feel better)
Jeremy Reed: 65 games, .652 OPS (not numbers you want from a corner outfielder)
Ramon Martinez: 12 games, .396 OPS (I thought you got .400 for signing your name?)
Argenis Reyes: 6 games, .237 OPS (not numbers you want from a middle reliever)
Luis Castillo: 70 games, .701 OPS (.878 in April, .610 in June)
David "Golden Boy" Wright: 80 games, .884 OPS, 84 K's (high BA keeping the heat off his K total, though his average did drop 40 points in the last three weeks)
And then there's the defense. 55 errors (the '99 Mets had 68 all year, remember), including some of the most wretched we've seen in years. Not just embarrassing, but outcome-changing, momentum-shifting, game-losing errors. Lots of them. Egads.
So here's what we know. As of today the Mets have $69,643,682 worth of ballplayers on the disabled list. 69 million dollars in 2009 salary sitting on the shelf. More than the entire payroll of nine MLB teams. With the Mets paying Sheffield just the minimum, I'm reasonably sure (I don't feel like doing more math) it's more salary on the DL than on the active roster. Crippling.
I'm not sure any manager could do significantly better than Jerry Manuel in this predicament. Maybe Jack McKeon. Maybe John McGraw. Maybe Morris Buttermaker. Maybe nobody.
. . . which speaks to . . .
Organizational Depth. We've talked about this before; there is none with the New York Mets. Zero. Less than zero. Omar Minaya put all his money on concentrated OJ, and when the orange crop report came out, he (along with Mortimer & Randolph Wilpon) lost his shirt. This team was clearly not built to withstand injuries. Whether this was the right approach or not is a debate whose ultimate answer may determine whether Mr. Minaya has gainful employment in 2010.
The consequences, however, are more severe for those of us still dwelling in Mets Township. (Where real estate has rarely been cheaper!) We're left to watch -- and yes, we'll watch -- half a season of this tripe.
Yeah, they're only 4.5 out. Yeah, the Phillies stink and are ripe for someone to smack that smarmy smirk off their mugs. (The 22-1 beating they put on Cincy last night notwithstanding.) Division sucks. If we can get a few guys back . . . yeah, yeah, yeah.
75-87, fourth place. "The Lost Season."
Jerry is fired.
Omar is fired.
Yankee fans snicker. (And somehow work "26 championships" into the conversation, insecure douchebuckles that they are.)
And I owe Rob lots of beer.
Are you ready for some football?
Dodgers come to town tonight. You know what that means . . . bad news for the Dodgers. Let's Go Mets. Hey, it's half-hearted, but it's better than nothing.