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Have Fun Now, But 2011 Should Be a Priority

By Mike Silva ~ July 10th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The Mets may have lost out on Cliff Lee, but all hope is not lost. Although many have been down on the team’s farm system it has been the homegrown kids that have helped put them in the hunt for the NL East. Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, and Jonathon Niese all have been pleasant surprises. There are others – like Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jenrry Mejia, Wilmer Flores, and possibly Fernando Martinez- that could help in the next few years. That is why the Mets can look at what starters are left (i.e. Ted Lilly), but I wouldn’t make a panic move and overpay for someone like Roy Oswalt because they are set up well for 2011.

Howard Megdal coined the phrase “Project 2011″ earlier this year and I think it’s even more appropriate now. Even acquiring a pitcher like Cliff Lee wouldn’t guarantee the Mets anything. They still have a shaky bullpen, unknown performance from Carlos Beltran, and a manager that treats games like a chemistry experiment. In other words there are things that need to be vetted out before you go “all in” and trade the future for the present. If they could have acquired Lee for a lesser package, fine, but not one that required Ike Davis, cost controlled young starter, for a ten week rental.

The question is will that make the fans happy? Could they be satisfied “competing” this year (which I predicted would be the case in April) and waiting for next season where they may have a better chance at winning a title? There will be free agent pitchers available (Arroyo, Lilly, Vazquez) and by then they should know how much Beltran has left. They could also address the option on Jerry Manuel’s contract, preferably moving on from him and bringing in a more competent field manager. Jerry has done great work managing the personalities on this roster, but just can’t be trusted between the lines. Obviously the reports of their financial issues are concerning, but as I pointed out in a post earlier in the week, their behavior doesn’t appear to be that of a team cutting payroll.

I think there is finally hope for this team. They seem to be embracing a balance of development and free agency. The proof will be in how they treat the offseason, but I expect them to spend money wisely and complement a solid core. The question is will you accept a fun 2010 and a focus on 2011? Keep the prospects and take your chances with the current squad except for a minor move here or there? I am curious, vote and tell me below.

3 Responses to Have Fun Now, But 2011 Should Be a Priority

  1. Bobbyca7

    I try not to get too revved up over a manager’s in-game moves, rationalizing that, as Mets’ fans, we’re always going to go crazy over certain moves no matter the manager. But Manuel’s in-game “creativity” — or lack thereof — is close to unprecendented in the annals of bad Mets managers (and we’ve had a few of those!).

    Last night was sickening to watch, although not surprising. Jose Reyes is asked to sacrafice (here Braves have an out on us at the expense of our most dynamic player). Manuel bats Reyes second (as if hitting third wan’t disastrous enough), which means in Jerry World that Reyes will sacrifice in the freakin’ first inning no matter what. Why? Well, because that’s what two-hole hitters do. Don’t you know anything! Earl Weaver & Davey Johnson must be turning over in their graves. Oh, wait, niether is dead. Well, I hope they weren’t watching yesterday.

    Then in the sixth inning we have the young Hanson on the ropes & a bit tired. 1st & 2nd, no outs, and a rookie coming to the plate, but a rookie who knows how to handle the bat, who knows the strike zone better than our regular six to eight place hitters.

    Mr Thole, hitting over .500, granted over a very small sample, is asked to sacrifice with our ice cold seventh and eight hitters coming up. As if our earlier gift to the opposition was not enough. Jerry, the man is so not selfish!

    The once-again-freezingly-cold Frenchy, our 7 hitter, and Tejada, our #8, are right hand hitters, and follow Mr Thole, who I’m guessing was looking forward to getting a good pitch to rip versus Hanson, the third time he’d be facing him. Oh, did I mention Mr Thole is a lefty? Mr Thole is told to give away one of our precious outs, as if we had 50 of them. You only get 27 of them, Jerry. Count ‘em.

    For the love of the sacrifice, Jerry, put Ghandi down for about an hour and read Earl Weaver on baseball strategy! I promise it will be a peaceful-enough read! Or sit down with Bobby Valentine for 10 minutes. Please?

    Last night, Mr Cox was probably thanking the baseball gods for placing Mr Manuel in the NL East. I was at the game & I thought I caught Mr Wright shaking his head when Mr Thole bunted. Maybe not, but I wouldn’t blame him.

    Oh, almost forgot, Jerry’s new bat, Nick Evans, kills lefties; after being completely mismanaged (ignored) by Manuel last year, Evans is having himself a solid, run-producing, comeback season in Binghampton.

    Yesterday, again in the sixth, I believe, Jerry decided to play the percentages and had the singles-splasher Jesus Feliciano bat for right-handed Tejada (keep in mind the lefty Thole’s AB was scarificed earlier in the inning). Okay, Feliciano approaches the plate with two runners in scoring position & two outs. Playing the percetages here makes solid sense. Good move, Jerry. Go for it.

    Then Mr Cox brings in a lefty, which prompted Jerry to change his mind and NOT play the percentages, leaving Feliciano to face a lefty with the men on base, even though Mr Evans was at the bat rack at the ready. If Evans had been walked intentionally, so be it, you’d likely force another pitching change in that scenario.

    Jerry’s late maneuvers that inning meant he would turn to lefty-killer Evans versus a righty pitcher leading off the following inning, no rbi situation, a situation ideal for a weak slap hitter like Feliciano perhaps.

    Perhaps Jerry was envisioning a homer from old Nick against a very tough, veteran reliever. Dream on Why exactly did we call up Mr Evans? I don’t want to hear Jerry’s answer. To the mainstream press: please stop humoring this man just because we’ve won a couple of games this half.

  2. mikie

    Perfect comment. Glad i missed the game on t.v. because I’d hate to have to buy a new flatscreen.
    I’m teaching my six year old the game and it so hard with his calls.
    It seems like he makes constant mistakes, then rides their coat tails when they hit a steak and all is forgiven.
    But remember it’s not forgotten at the end of the season

  3. Bobbyca7

    Using Mets’ games as a training tool for your 6-yr old? I don’t know, dude, that’s quite ambitious.:-) Mets’ baseball can be torture!

    I tried to educate my girlfriend on the game during Mets’ telecasts & gave up, but I guess that’s a whole other thing.

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