One of the reasons I started blogging about the Mets is that I thought what passed for “wisdom” or “knowledge” from mainstream media writers was essentially garbage. There were many Mets columnists whose work in the papers made me cringe. Wallace Matthews, Mike Lupica and Mark Hale are three that jump immediately to mind.

Another was Kevin Kernan. At times it seemed like Kernan was trying to be like the L.A. writers who bitch and moan about EVERYTHING. Other times he was imploring the Mets to trade for any veteran who was rumored to be available. It got to the point that I stopped reading anything that had his byline on it because there was a near certainty that I would want the three minutes I spent reading his column back to do something more productive.

But like a beaten dog who just won’t run away for good, I ended my Kernan boycott. And his column in today’s New York Post was actually pretty good. Now, I don’t necessarily agree with his premise that the Mets are in full-blown fire sale mode, but it’s not necessary to agree with someone to recognize that they have produced good content.

So, what makes for good sports content? I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that question. My take is the best columns are when the writer has a point of view on what’s best for the team and then backs it up with facts and supports his case. To me, the worst columns are when the writer has a point of view on what’s best for him and goes from there.

Those columns about trading for every available veteran – those fall in the latter category. The columnist can write about trading for the veteran, can write about the veteran when the deal is made and then he can praise/blame said veteran for whatever ends up happening. The story is not about if Player X fits well on the team – it’s about how the writer can get three columns out of this and fill in the blanks from his “veteran player column” template.

In today’s column, Kernan examines the company line that the Francisco Rodriguez deal has no bearing on potentially trading Carlos Beltran or any other veteran and calls BS on it. Kernan writes:

“Make no mistake, the Mets are rebuilding this team in every way. It’s something that has to be done. They just can’t tell us about it, and they can’t let all the other teams know that this is a fire-sale season.”

Kernan says that the talk about the Mets using the next two-to-three weeks to evaluate where they are at in the Wild Card race is a smokescreen. I like it because he has made a stand. He wrote something that a month from now we can easily go back and check to see if he was right.

If the Mets don’t make up any ground (or fall further behind) in the Wild Card race by the end of July, we all expect that Beltran will be dealt to the highest bidder. But what if the Mets cut the deficit from 7.5 to 3.5 games – what do they do then? Kernan’s laid his cards on the table – he expects deals to happen.

I know that I will feel cheated if the Mets are still in the race – and I consider 4.0 games back still in the race with two months to play – and they have a fire sale. I want to believe that my GM feels the same way. But Sandy Alderson was brought here to make the tough decisions and this very well could be one of them.

As a fan, I don’t like Kernan’s column. As a writer, I appreciate that he took a stand and declared that the Mets are not being honest about their intentions. You don’t have to agree with his conclusion to recognize that Kernan did not take the easy way out here.

A killjoy might say this column is nothing more than the writer looking for something negative to say. Alderson is getting positive press for the Rodriguez deal and here’s a way to knock him down a peg. But I don’t get that impression at all. Instead, it feels like this is Kernan’s true feelings on the subject.

So, do you agree with Kernan that the Mets are in fire-sale mode right now and the next few weeks do not matter?

5 comments on “Is Kernan right that Mets are in full fire-sale mode?

  • Mack Ade

    In my experience, Kevin always researches everything before going to print.

    The Mets beat reporters are basically a closed click that doesn’t even acknowledge you’re in the room. Bloggers are considered radioactive.

    Kevin was the one exception. He always took the time to have a conversatio with me, be it in the press room or on the field.

    IMO, the selling of K-Rod was sealed when Scott Boras became his agent. No one wants to hear it right now, but the white flag has been out since the day they released Ollie.

    • Brian Joura

      Thanks Mack! It’s great to get some first-hand knowledge of Kernan. I’m glad he was not like the others and was open to you as “just” a blogger.

  • Charlie Hangley

    It’s funny. My first — always visceral — reaction to columns like Kernan’s are “There’s another Yankee-lovin’ member of the MSM.”

  • Dan Stack

    I truly believe Sandy is in a wait and see mode. There are so many variables in play here.

  • Metsense

    The K-Rod trade was a prudent and wise baseball move. His salary was crippling for the franchise. He was a very good closer, just not at that projected price. They also have 2 young pitchers that might step in. Just look to Washington, Phillie and Atlanta and they all are doing it with young talent in the closer role, so why not the Mets. I agree with Dan Stack that Sandy is in a wait and see mode.

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