Wednesday, August 31, 2005

On the Brink
By Ben Valentine

To be fair, it’s just the end of August. Two years ago at this same time the Montreal Expos were near the top of the wild card standings. A lot can happen in a month.

Still there is a possibility the Mets could be in first place in the NL Wild Card standings on September 1st.

It probably shouldn’t be a big deal, but this team hasn’t really sniffed the postseason since 2000. (Their late 2001 run is debatable) Normally I would try to hold my optimism, since I feel it can lead to the inevitable jinx. But I haven’t had much to get excited about in Flushing for five years now.

I admit, I didn’t believe in this team. I still think it has flaws. But what has changed is that I see the flaws of their competition and honestly believe the Mets are the best out of that bunch. I haven’t respected the Phillies for two years because of their pitching. The Nationals and their negative run differential can pack their bags and head to the cellar of the NL East. The Astros had their run. The Marlins are good, but much like the Mets have potential holes in their offense and relief core. (Todd Jones in a big game?)

Like I said, the Mets have their flaws. Cliff Floyd is streaky. Carlos Beltran seems to have three games of solid play followed by a week or two of complete ineptitude. Jose Reyes still doesn’t walk enough. Jae Seo will probably pitch more like he did tonight than he did the last three weeks. Tom Glavine will realize this isn’t 1999 eventually. And the Mets really do seem intent on dealing Steve Trachsel for some odd reason.

But as Mets radio commentator Howie Rose said during the game tonight, “why not the Mets?” Why can’t Beltran have a hot month? Why can’t Cliff Floyd get back on a hot streak? Why can’t David Wright continue to smoke the baseball? Why can’t the pitchers pitch to a 3.00 era the rest of the way?

Okay, there are lots of reasons. But as I type this, the Mets sit a half game out of a playoff spot after a thrilling win they had no business getting. They’ve owned the Phillies this year (9 out of 13) and have winning records against the Nationals and Marlins. Oh yeah and Pedro goes tomorrow.

So tonight I think all of Metdom with Mr. Rose in asking “Why not the Mets?”
It is fun to think it.

AND THE OTHER TEAM:

The Yankees had Mark Bellhorn in the lineup tonight. Upon seeing this, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind.

1. Are the Yankees intent on bringing in ANYONE who was on that Red Sox team last year? Are the Bellhorns and the Alan Embrees of the world going to teach this current group of “non winning” Yankees like A-Rod and Sheffield what “heart and grit” really are?

2. I remember back in June and July when Yankee fans laughed at the thought of dealing Robinson Cano for the likes of Jason Schmidt, Mike Cameron or even Barry Zito. Now Cano has a sub .300 OBP to go along with his awful defense. He looks a lot more like Devi Cruz than Alfonso Soriano. People say the Mets over hype their prospects. Truth is, New York over hypes anyone who has a good month. And they turn on anyone who has a down month. I love this city but sometimes the media is nothing more than a circus.

3. Who’s the next castaway the Yankees are going to pick up? There should be a pool on this somewhere. And if in that pool someone had Mike Remlinger, they’d have a decent shot at winning it. I mean on September 1st, we might be treated to a Yankee roster that sports Hideo Nomo, Wayne Franklin, Pete Munro, Tim Redding, Darrell May and Sean Henn. That’s to go along with the bonafide stars of Al Leiter, Aaron Small, Shawn Chacon and Felix Rodriguiez (you know the one that lost the World Series for the Giants back in 2001).

Seriously, this really could be a fun September.

2 Comments:

Blogger RotoAuthority said...

Dude, WORD about Cano. He so obviously sucks, never showing any ability to get on base. And stupid Yankee fans barked about his supposed power because he had a nice flukey burst. And now he hasn't homered since July 23rd. A great candidate for the Yanks to sell high and get a difference maker in there. Yankee fans are just desperate to produce a prospect.

11:42 PM  
Anonymous Cody Boettger said...

Rather disputable.

7:32 AM  

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