Friday, March 20, 2009

MLB Preview 2009: New York Mets

2008 Finish: 89-73, 2nd place in NL Eastern Division

SO LONG: OF Moises Alou (retired), P Luis Ayala, P Ambiorix Burgos (good riddance), OF Endy Chavez, 2B Damion Easley (too old), P Aaron Heilman (too ineffective), P Orlando Hernadez (too old), P Pedro Martinez (too hurt), OF Trot Nixon (too ex-Red Sox), P Ricardo Rincon, P Matt Wise

WELCOME: SS Alex Cora, P Elmer Dessens, P Casey Fossum (why?), P Freddy Garcia, P Sean Green, P Livan Hernandez (10 years too late), P J.J. Putz, P Tim Redding, OF Jeremy Reed, P Francisco Rodriguez, P Ron Villone

1. Luis Castillo 2B
2. Carlos Beltran CF
3. Jose Reyes SS
4. David Wright 3B
5. Carlos Delgado 1B
6. Ryan Church RF
7. Daniel Murphy LF
8. Barry Lyons C

Starting Rotation: Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez, Tim Redding
Setup: J.J. Putz
Closer: Francisco Rodriguez

Here is how everyone else's Mets' preview reads: The Mets, who choked away the last two seasons, bolstered their bullpen with the acquisition of K-Rod and Putz. The offense is still stacked with Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, etc, but the starting rotation is questionable after Santana.

Blah, blah, blah.

Here is what you need to know about the Mets:

They have no direction. The front office has no clue what they are doing and they think they still need to compete with the Yankees. Don't get me wrong, I like Jerry Manuel, but time and my patience is running out on Omar Minaya.

The Mets have once again turned into the stereotypical large market club. They go through phases like that. The last six years however, they haven't hesistated to throw around the dollars. But the problem with the Mets is the market has changed. Acquiring big names rarely solves problems. Continuously throwing money at free agents went out of style around the same time as Limp Bizkit.

So they had a bullpen problem for the last two years. Everyone knows big name closers are not the answer. Especially when the save is the most overrated stat in baseball and you break the bank signing the MLB record holder for saves in a season. I'll give them credit on the JJ Putz trade. They dumped Heilmann and Joe Smith for Putz and Sean Green. Heilmann never fit in anyway. He is a four-inning starter. Now he is the Cubs' problem.

I'll give Mets credit for another thing, they are starting to play a few rookies, particularly LF'er Daniel Murphy. A few other rookies are beginning to permeate the pitching staff, to include Jon Niese, who is having a solid spring.

So what do I predict for the Mets this year? They will definitely be competitive. They may even win the World Series. If that happens, of course, I will deny saying anything bad about them. But for now, I have to complain. I'm a Mets fan, it's my job.

Preseason Awards:

Mr. Sexy Time:
 David Wright. Does it get any easier than this pick? Yes, the Mets are chock full of good players, but some are on the downside of their careers (Delgado), some have peaked (Beltran), and some will only maintain (Reyes). Wright will win an MVP before all is said and done. Probably this year.

The Please Go Away Award: Luis Castillo. Castillo was good on the Marlins back in the early 21st century. In those yesteryears he could run, field, hit, and get on base. Now he is a punch-n-judy slap hitter with bad knees and little ability above that of the small bus kid Little League coaches put in right field (wait, that was me).

The Coolest Name in Baseball Award: Mets 3rd base coach Razor Shines. His name is Razor Shines. It doesn't get funkier than that.

Further Reading: