Most Mets fans want to see the team finish strong and end up with a record over .500 for the year. All things being equal, I would like to see that, too. But I would gladly finish under .500 if the Mets instead tried any or all of the suggestions below. I realize these run the gamut from “insignificant” to “counter-productive” to “not bloody likely” but I still like them. So, here are the top 10 things I’d like to see the Mets try.
10. Release Jason Bay
We have a better chance of seeing gas selling for less than a dollar than we do of Bay rebounding to 2009 levels. Give up the ghost, accept reality and DFA him already.
9. Call up Matt Den Dekker and have him play CF every day.
He’s not on the 40-man, doesn’t have to be added this winter and he’s hitting .204 in Triple-A. He also has a .253 BABIP in Buffalo, a .190 ISO and is supposed to be a top-notch defender in center field. Play him every day, tell him it’s okay if he goes 0-30 as long as he catches every ball that lands fair and see what we have.
8. Institute a 6-man rotation
Stop worrying about how extra innings are going to affect the old pitchers coming off shoulder surgery and reinstall Jeremy Hefner into the rotation. Wasn’t it just last week when everyone was saying how Jonathon Niese pitched better with extra rest? Here’s how you get that for him.
7. Mandate each reliever pitch a full inning
Now that Tim Brydak’s on the shelf, require each relief pitcher to finish what he’s started. No mid-inning pitching changes, no endless chasing of the platoon advantage for certain pitchers and no removing a guy who’s pitching great to get a different reliever who may or may not have it into the game. You might want to reconsider having Garrett Olson on the staff now, too.
6. Start Mike Baxter every remaining game
Call me crazy but I want the guy with the .429 OBP playing every day and batting near the top of the order. I realize he’s not this good but let’s see what he can do facing a LHP. I bet it’s better than what Bay has done.
5. Give everyone the green light on 3-0 counts
The idea of taking pitches is to wait for one that you can drive for an extra-base hit. So why should batters look at a cripple fastball down the middle on this count? Sit dead-red and look for a double or home run. Or take the curve and take a walk.
4. Promote Dan Warthen
The man is a genius and his talents are being wasted in the dugout. Everyone raves about what a great communicator he is. Give him a desk, let him call up season ticket holders and make sure that they renew and upgrade their plans. Put those communication talents to where they can do the most good – making money for the Wilpons.
3. Give Daniel Murphy a few starts at third base
Terry Collins deserves credit for committing to the Murphy at second base plan. But I like the fact that he has played him some at first base to get Ike Davis out of the lineup against LHP. This reminds teams that Murphy is pretty good defensively over there. Now let’s see him get a few starts at third base giving David Wright some time off down the stretch. I’m a big Murphy fan but his best value to the club may be as a trade chit. And it’s good to remind clubs that third base is his preferred position.
2. Trade for Wil Myers
The Royals like young, toolsy guys. Surely we could put a package together to get a RH-hitting OF who could bat in the middle of the order.
1. Hold early ST camp for LHB
Forget about insisting that Ruben Tejada needs to come to camp early and pouting when he doesn’t. The Mets should extend invitations to Baxter, Davis, Den Dekker, Duda, Murphy, Nieuwenhuis, Thole and Valdespin to come to camp early. At the same time, have Carson, Cohoon, Edgin, Gorski, Hampson, Kolarek, Nitkowski, Olson and any LHP on an NRI come in and pitch to these guys every day. Invite Niese and Santana, too.