Chuck 'n' Duck

"I'm a very optimistic person. When you're optimistic, the good opportunities, good fortune, good everything will come with it." - Jae Seo Chuck 'n' Duck: the New York Mets from an Eternal Optimist's P.O.V.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The White Flag

Over the next few weeks there will come the inevitable articles telling Willie Randolph, Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon what to do with this team. Trade for Alfonso Soriano, they will say. Hand Mike Piazza and Braden Looper their walking papers, they will offer. The Mets will never make the playoffs without a true run producer like Manny Ramirez, they will declare. Offer Billy Wagner fifty million dollars or whatever it takes to get a reliable closer to the Mets, they will plead.

And when that time comes, I'm sure the desire and optimism I feel every offseason will return. To look towards the future, to attempt to help and rebuild this team, that's where I find my unbridled passion always lies. It's almost as though I'm a Yankee fan trapped in a Mets fan body -- there is no regular season, only the postseason for me, and if that string of 162 games doesn't lead you to October baseball, then it leads you to an offseason where you find the necessary parts to try again.

But right now, I don't feel that aforementioned desire. I'm not frustrated. I'm not angry. I'm not sympathetic (maybe, perhaps for Pedro and Glavine, both veteran guys who don't deserve this, regardless of the money they're being paid). I feel an eerily calm emptiness. All I ask for is Willie to let this unattainable dream go as well.

I've no desire to watch the Mets play out a string of meaningless baseball pretending that they have a chance to be contenders. To be forced into a brand of mediocre baseball -- one that does not maximize their strenghts -- with a record that they should absolutely be better than. I'm sick of watching Carlos Beltran hit third in the hopes he'll break out and deliver this team to a postseason. I'm sick of David Wright losing out on RBI opportunities while wasting away in the five spot so that he can protect a player he's better than. I'm sick of Danny Graves, Gerald Williams, Jose Offerman and Mike DiFelice taking roster spots, innings, at-bats and valuable game experience away from people that stand a chance to actually help this ballclub past this season. I'm sick of the fact that Tim Hamulack allowed eight runs in sixty-two innings in the minors this year and has pitched one-third of an inning in the big leagues since. And I'm absolutely sick of Braden Looper "closing" out games for the Mets.

Big things need to change for the Mets, and there's no better time than right now to do it, with no chance at postseason play.

SS - Reyes
CF - Beltran
3B - Wright
LF - Floyd
C - Castro
1B - Jacobs
RF - Diaz
2B - Matsui

That's the lineup. Hit Beltran second and Wright third. If every team in baseball walks Cliff Floyd then so be it -- his OBP will be through the roof and it'll give a hance for Jacobs and Diaz to drive in some runs and get some more confidence. Put Roberto Hernandez or Juan Padilla or Aaron Heilman (hey, Willie, remember him?!) in the closer's role. But knock off this "Quest for the Playoffs" crap. It's time to stop running this team like the Yankees team it isn't, and start running it as the Mets team it is.

Because, folks, the Mets aren't in it anymore. Lambast me if you will, call me a fairweather fan if you must, but it's the truth. For those of you still in it, I wish the best of luck to you all, and if Willie sticks with how he's run this team up until now and the Mets somehow miraculously turn it around then I will sheepishly come back, hat in hand, and offer up all the acclaim in the world to you and your unwavering perseverance. I wish you the absolute best.

But right now, once again Bobby Cox, you've killed my F'N season. See you in November.