The Dude is starting at first base. Willie Harris is playing left field because he is 7-for-14 lifetime against Jair Jurrjens, which would seem like a bad reason if Jason Bay appeared likely to ever get a hit again.
Bay responded to his last benching with, well, more of the same. His OPS is now .576, below Rey Ordonez’s career mark of .600 — which actually works pretty well as a Mendoza Line for that stat. The Ordonez Line.
Anyway, Chris pointed out via email a couple days ago that in the first part of 2008, Carlos Delgado looked nearly as bad as Bay does now. Obviously the situations were different for a variety of reasons, but then as now, the Mets kept trotting a once-mighty slugger out in the middle of their order despite how awful he looked, and then as now Mets fans were calling for his head. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Delgado went off one day in Yankee Stadium and launched into a three-month tear that nearly carried the Mets to the playoffs.
Obviously no one knows what comes next for Bay, but it’s important to remember that we’ve seen miserably slumping, old-looking, lost-seeming players come out of it before. Bay was never quite the hitter Delgado was in his prime, but then Bay’s a lot younger now than Delgado was in 2008. So maybe that’s a reason for optimism.