Based on some of the comments, I’m guessing I didn’t clearly explain what I meant to say in my post earlier this morning. What I meant to say is this:
I’m as disappointed as any Mets fan about the way the team is run, but it has nothing to do with the first seven games of this season. These games have been indicative of many of the problems that have troubled the Mets over the past several seasons, but they are only seven games, and so getting riled up only on account of them — if you were more optimistic before the season — is probably silly. The Mets are better than their .286 winning percentage. A .286 winning percentage would make them one of the worst teams of all time, and I don’t think anyone thinks they’re that.
The Mets can’t bring back Nelson Figueroa from the Phillies now, but they can still work to unbury themselves from the mire by revisiting several of the decisions they likely mishandled near the end of Spring Training and in the early parts of this season.
A couple, real quick:
- Start Angel Pagan in center field every day: It sounds as if this is already starting to happen, and based on the overwhelming response to yesterday’s poll, I’m not sure I need bother explaining why it should (also: thanks for reading, Gary Matthews Jr.!). But to put it simply, Pagan is most likely a better defender than Matthews and almost certainly a better hitter, and the team as currently constructed needs all the offense it can get.
Yes, Pagan makes mistakes in the field and on the basepaths, but no matter how frustrating they can be, they are not enough to mitigate what he offers to the club over Matthews.
- Call up Chris Carter to replace Mike Jacobs: This one’s a lot less likely to happen, but I’m sticking with my position on the matter from before the season. Carter’s not off to the best of starts at Triple-A Buffalo, but he’s more likely to get on base than Mike Jacobs and more likely to knock one out than Frank Catalonotto, even if he lacks that elusive Major League experience.
I understand the calls for Ike Davis given Davis’ impressive Spring Training performance and hot start to the year. And I recognize that it seems somewhere between odd and hypocritical for the Mets to be patient with Davis while throwing Jenrry Mejia to the wolves, but the first-base prospect — as impressive as he is — did strike out in more than 25 percent of his plate appearances in Double-A last season while struggling with left-handers. Davis’ time will come, but until he proves he can hit Triple-A pitching (across more than 26 plate appearances), Fernando Tatis and Carter can hold down the fort more aptly than Jacobs until Daniel Murphy returns.
As for the rest? Calls for the heads of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel, while understandable, are unrealistic. Those cases should have been made — and in many cases, were made — long before the season started. If the the powers-that-be felt confident enough in their general manager and manager to endure the offseason and start the year with them, changing their minds now would indicate a near-horrifying lack of confidence in their decision-making ability. I’m not entirely sure how or why that matters outside of the inevitable bad press, but it certainly wouldn’t send the best message to the replacement hires.
As for John Maine? In the absence of Figueroa, Maine should probably get at least a few more opportunities to work out his kinks before he’s dispatched to Triple-A or the bullpen. Yes, he looked shaky all Spring and awful in his first two starts, but two starts are two starts, and among all the legitimate concerns about Maine’s velocity and control, it’s easy to forget that he did pitch effectively in a small sample after returning from injury last season. Sure, he beat himself after last night’s game, but Maine beats himself up after every bad start — resist the urge to resort to armchair psychology.