Let’s Go Met!
Evan Pritchard for Amazine
New center fielder Angel Pagan points to a bright Mets future ahead…. or is that a freight train? Only time will tell.
Since I last posted an article at Amazine, things have become a little bit shaky for the once unshakable New York Mets. Bernie Madoff has put the Wilpons in the same ethical dilemma as he did Eli Weisel; how do you recover from an ethical dilemma caused by hanging out with Mr. Wrong without doing more unethical things? In the case of the Mets, you borrow $25 million smackers from the charitable foundation known formerly as MLB, but now to be known as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help to Lost Causes” Holy Mother Church of Baseball. Not to be confused with the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parrish, South Ozone Park, Queens, to which most of the Mets will be visiting for spiritual crisis counselling this season.
Glimpsing myopically into the fog of what might be the 2011 season, we see only shadows. Who’s on second? Who is in right? Who is catching? Can anybody here pitch that ball? Is there relief in sight? (Not unless you gotta believe in Taylor Buchholz, a guy with two consecutive H’s in his name or Henrri Mejia, with two Rs.)
Will Reyes disappear to free agency one month after ace starter Johann Santana makes his big comeback? Will Pelfrey continue his up-down pattern with a lousy year after a great one? Will third base be occupied by the David Wright who can’t hit at Citifield, or by the David Wright who can? Will Ike Davis turn out to be presidential material or an also ran? Will Jonathan Niese turn out to nice or is he a false hope? Will Beltran be able to run down the caroms of right field at Citifield? Will his knee hold up? Will his other knee give out? Does he still remember how to belt a line drive? Will Oliver Perez suddenly snap out of his amnesia, find out who he is and earn his dough? Will Jason Bay ever relive his glory day with the Red Sox when he hit two dingers and went 7-17 in the ALDS in 2008? Or was his concussion the writing on the wall none of us want to read?
If you are reading this article to find out who will be at second base this year, sorry to disappoint you. I haven’t the foggiest idea. Castillo can only resurrect from the dead on so many Easters. Ruben Tejada can’t hit, Daniel Murphy can hit but can do little else. Brad Emaus is barely a Met yet. It doesn’t seem like the Mets really have a second baseman. Does that answer your question? In fact, I would offer to play second, but two questions cloud my career; can I hit a major league curve ball? and where’s my x*%# glove?
Catching is another question mark. Enter Josh Thole to answer it, maybe. Joshua was born on October 28th, 1986. That date should send many Mets fans on a sentimental journey back to better days. That was the morning we woke up to find ourselves World Champions, and we weren’t dreaming. That dream has not recurred since! This, however is not sufficient reason to pin all our hopes on Thole. He only played 73 games last year with only 202 at bats with 3 home runs, a .277 batting average. His walk to strikeout ratio is about even with 24 walks to 25 whiffs, and his stealing stats are %100; 1 for 1. However, he is untested, and last season he finished with a 10 for 50 (.200) streak, and that included a walk off homer to mitigate his collapse at the end of the season. That streak lowered his batting average from .303 to .277; will he continue with the .303 or the .200? We don’t know. His throw-em-out-at-second percentage is very high, however, 11 caught stealing out of 25, for a .440 percentage. That puts him in a tie with Johnny Bench’s lifetime stats if he can keep it up. Johnny only hit .267 which Thole can do. All he has to do is hit hundreds of homers in the post season like JB. As backup I like Omir Santos over Raul Chavez who is 37 years old. We should trade that other guy for some corked bats.
Other question marks surround names like Pedro Beato, Chris Capuano, Chris Young…like who the *%# are these people? Then there is R A Dickey. Was last year’s stellar effort a fluke? Well, of course it was, but can he have a similar fluke year this year too? He is a man not unaccustomed to flukiness.
The only Met who seems like a solid Citi-zen this year is Mr. Pagan (pronounced Pay-GAN, not like one of those tree-hugging eco-terrorists!) in center field. And yet management has never shown a lot of respect for Pagan before. Will they hold him back or give his so much playing time he wilts in the heat of summer? According to David Fletcher, who sits next to me on the schoolbus and feeds me insider information that makes this blog the most explosive in the majors, the only Met we can really be sure about is Angel Pagan.
For this reason, I say, at this time in history, LET’S GO MET!
The Angel from Puerto Rico batted .290 last year, with 11 home runs. He had 69 RBI’s and 7 triples, with 31 doubles, and 80 runs scored. He is a well rounded player with lots of hustle and team spirit, with 37 bases stolen out of 46 attempts, but he had 97 strikeouts to 44 bases on balls last year, and that will have to change if he’s going to be the new Willie Mays and replace Beltran and the spirit of Duke Snyder, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle, and perpetuate this city’s love affair with Center Field! If Pagan can hit 20 more homers, 20 more RBI’s, score 20 more runs, and raise his average by 20 points, I feel sure he can singlehandedly carry this team into the post-season.
No pressure though!