Everyone in Metsland seems upset that David Wright was the victim of voter fraud in San Francisco and that R.A. Dickey was the victim of Tony LaRussa arrogance/stupidity. Me, I do not care too much about either of those things. Rather what has me upset is the opening line of a column published by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman Monday night. Here’s what Heyman wrote:
”Some Mets officials may suspect their team may have overachieved to go 46-40 in the first half.
Ugly sentence aside, if some Mets officials think that, I want to know who they are. I want to know who is on the payroll, seemingly watched a bunch of games and thinks this team is not as good as its record. And once I know who they are, I want to start a petition to have them fired.
The Mets are a flawed team with some excellent parts. The flaws are their weakness against LHP and the bullpen. The excellent parts are the starting rotation and a lineup that punishes RHP. Since there are more RHP than LHP and starters pitch more innings than relievers – this is a good team.
Let’s list some things this year’s team has overcome.
Starting center fielder injured on Opening Day
Season-ending injury to their fourth starter after three games
Starting left fielder has missed 64 games
Starting shortstop has missed 45 games
Starting catcher out 24 days
Played fourth-string shortstop due to injuries to both backups while starter out.
Have used 22 different pitchers by the All-Star break
Opening Day cleanup hitter had a .501 OPS after the club’s 55th game
Had a negative run differential through June 12th
Closer out 18 days and counting
This is not a team that has had everything go right. It’s a team with talent – perhaps not distributed as evenly as we’d prefer – and some depth but one that needs some tweaking. After 86 games, anyone who thinks this team is succeeding with smoke and mirrors is, for lack of a better word, uninformed.
Sandy Alderson is in a tough spot. This is not a team likely to win its division, much less the World Series. But with two Wild Card spots available, this is definitely a squad that can make the playoffs. And the cold reality is that making the playoffs would be a financial boon to the owners. And while it’s been months since anyone’s said the words “Bernie Madoff” the Mets are still carrying a bunch of debt. So, it would be very nice from a bottom line perspective to make the playoffs and have some unexpected home games in October.
But he cannot trade his top prospects and the second-tier ones may not be enough to get anyone worthwhile. Can Alderson pick up salary (and pick up the *right* salary) to add the necessary pieces?
Alderson has enjoyed a lengthy honeymoon in New York but now it is time for him to step up and produce a key piece for the team’s playoff push. With his offseason bullpen acquisitions being at best mixed, Alderson could use a nice acquisition nearly as much as the Mets if he wants to stay in the good graces of the fans.
The 2012 Mets have exceeded expectations but they have not overachieved as some may believe. You need to look no further than their Pythagorean Record, which is just one game off their actual mark, for proof of that statement. Healthy seasons from their top players and better than expected depth have been key reasons for the team’s success.
With slightly more than half of the season in the books, it is obvious what the team needs to improve going forward. And now it’s up to Alderson to address those needs. It’s your move, Sandy.