Former pickle factory worker, postal clerk and poet Charles Bukowski once remarked:

”The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”

I think it takes some confidence to start a blog, put your real name on your opinions, allow others to share their thoughts on your ramblings and do it year after year for no money. Perhaps this makes me stupid.

For what it’s worth, this stupidity of mine comes with a heaping dose of doubts. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if these doubts are a redeeming feature or something which makes a bad situation even worse.

It always bothers me when a TV show is not true to its characters or consistent to their stories. You can’t tell us in episode 11 that the protagonist is an only child and then in episode 15 introduce his sister. Of course you can do this, but you lose my ability to invest in your show. My opinion is that the blogger equivalent of this is people who write with no self-accountability, the ones overflowing with confidence and then no need, no desire or curiosity to ever go back and see, you know, if they were wrong.

Actually, it’s completely unfair to credit this phenomenon to blogging. My first introduction to this came from the mainstream media – and I’m sure it didn’t originate there, either. Regardless, I write a couple hundred opinion pieces each year and I am completely confident when I write them and become filled with doubts after they have been published.

What if Lucas Duda doesn’t hit?
What if Josh Thole’s defense really is a detriment?
What if Jon Rauch is worth $3.5 million?

And so it goes. These doubts cause me to revisit pieces and write updates. I mentioned time and time again about Rauch being a mistake at that price in the offseason. So of course he changes his mix of pitches and busts out of the gate with 11 scoreless appearances after having no streak longer than five scoreless a season ago.

I already wrote about Rauch’s strong start to 2012. Now I want to revisit another piece. On February 13th, I wrote an article about using hindsight to redo the Mets’ offseason. Is there a word or phrase for using hindsight on hindsight? I’m sure the Germans have something. Anyway, my opinions on that piece hold up well now that the first month of the season is in the books.

My regret is that I didn’t take them further.

If we (I include you, dear reader) were Marty McFly and Doc and could travel back to the end of the 2011 season, what would we tell Sandy Alderson? We could tell him Johan Santana pitched on Opening Day and generally looked great through most of April. We could inform him that Ruben Tejada did an admirable job replacing Jose Reyes. We could tell him Mike Pelfrey got hurt after three starts and is done for the year.

But I hope we would tell him that spending the majority of his money on the bullpen was a mistake. Despite Rauch’s strong start, the combined efforts from he and bullpen mates Frank Francisco and Ramon Ramirez have been less than desirable. There’s still plenty of time for them to turn things around and I expect that the trio will end up with better rate starts than they currently possess. That still doesn’t mean it wasn’t a mistake to use all of the offseason cash on relievers.

We should definitely tell Alderson that Kirk Nieuwenhuis has more than held his own in the majors, both in center field and at the plate. What if we – now I am including Alderson – had the confidence to open with Nieuwenhuis as our center fielder? How would that have changed our offseason? Angel Pagan still needs to be moved but we no longer need a CF back in return. What kind of prospect could we have gotten, instead? Or which cromulent SP could the Mets have acquired to embiggen their rotation options?

Last July I advised the Mets to cut Jason Bay and move on. Of course doubts reared their ugly head as Bay finished the year on an up note. But if we had the confidence to trade or cut Bay before 2012 began, the Mets could have moved Duda to LF and used the money that they spent on the bullpen to bring in – wait for it – Carlos Beltran to play RF.

Beltran is showing early that 2011 was no fluke. He even looks better in the field this year in the early going. Imagine Beltran and our cromulent SP – let’s call him Jason Hammel, a guy I’ve always liked, one who was traded in the offseason and one that comes with a Pagan-sized contract – instead of Francisco, Rauch and Ramirez.

Of course the big flaw here is that the team would have no closer. In order to have no doubts about this you really would have needed Steve McQueen-sized confidence to have opened the year with Bobby Parnell as your closer. Alas, no guts, no glory – as Parnell has been great so far while the Francisco-Ramirez-Rauch troika has been something less than that.

Let’s end this baseball look at doubts, confidence and time travel with another quote from our pal Bukowski.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”

6 comments on “Would Bobby Parnell have been perfect laughter?

  • Mack Ade


    Who would be stupid enough to start a blog and write for free??? Amazing… 🙂

    I have this feeling that the Mets aren’t going to need a closer for close to 2/3s of the games remaining…

    Two months ago, I said that Jon Rauch will finish 2012 as the Mets closer.

    A month ago, I would have guessed that Jeurys Familia would end the 2012 season as the Mets closer.

    Now… my guess would be either Elvin Ramirez or Jenrry Mejia

    Or Alay Soler 🙂


    • Brian Joura

      All I know is Elvin Ramirez has a 1.38 ERA with 16 Ks in 13 IP. You were the only one I know of singing his praises before the year started. I think it would be quite the feather in your cap if he ended up being a contributor for the 2012 club.

      • Mack Ade


        And following him… Jack Leathersich or Domingo Tapia

  • NormE

    Your regular readers know that you are not stupid, even if you do blog!
    However, I find fault in your saying that the Mets should’ve dropped Bay
    and signed Beltran. It sounds good, but wasn’t going to happen because
    of the budget restrictions ownership had put in place.

    • Brian Joura

      Thanks NormE!

      I agree it wasn’t going to happen. However, Francisco-Ramirez-Rauch combine for $11.65 million this year and Andres Torres pulls down another $2.7 million. Beltran is making $13 million. The numbers are close enough that they could have made it work – if Alderson was as big of a Beltran fan as me.

  • Rob

    Loved your first quote, but we all fit into it at times in our life, even daily. Again great quote….

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