Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

New look lineup, same old Mets

Day one of the New York Mets’ revamped roster didn’t go so well.

Mets' leadoff hitter de jour, seen here in a photo from Saturday's game, had two of the team's five hits Tuesday night. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Mets’ leadoff hitter de jour, seen here in a photo from Saturday’s game, had two of the team’s five hits Tuesday night. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

It started off well enough with two first inning runs, but the Mets couldn’t take a commanding lead against rookie St. Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Michael Wacha. They got just three more hits all night.

Daniel Murphy, playing his first game at first base this year, made a costly error and Jeremy Hefner made some pitches that were a little too easy to hit, and that was the ballgame.

But for good measure, Kirk Nieuwenhuis botched a catch of a ball hit to right field, Greg Burke gave up too many hits, Josh Edgin walked the first batter he faced to force in a run and David Aardsma showed signs he could give up just as many home runs as the recently demoted Robert Carson, if allowed the opportunity.

Meanwhile, Wacha – who was taken seven picks after Gavin Cecchini in last year’s draft – earned his first major league win. (Cecchini is hanging out in extended spring training, waiting for the Brooklyn Cyclones to begin their season next week.)

And in Las Vegas, Ike Davis is 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout in his first three plate appearances.

It feels like this season is just another step backwards in the process of re-making the Mets. Davis, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee have all been disappointments to one degree or another. Daniel Murphy is one of the few who had been having a good year, but it’s clear now that he doesn’t factor into the team’s plans. If he did, why move Murphy from second base  just to be a placeholder with Davis in the minor leagues?

At least Jordany Valdespin made it through a whole game without doing anything infuriating, and he even contributed two of the team’s five hits.

Hooray for little things, I guess.

15 thoughts on “New look lineup, same old Mets

  1. 0-19 with runners in scoring position

    7 unearned runs.

    What’s next? Losing a no-hitter 4-0 a la Andy Hawkins? Giving up 32 runs? At this point, just about everything is on the table.


  2. Moving Daniel Murphy over to first base is just so dumb. He’s been playing well at second base, and his true value is that he’s a second baseman who can hit. At first, he’s a below-average defender and a below-average run-producer. Leave it to the Mets to find a way to reduce his usefulness. Why not move Duda over to first base? He’s slow as hell in the OF, and its time to see if he can ever be useful at another position.


      1. Collins is afraid of hurting of hurting the feelings of a guy with a higher bowling average? Hey, Davis is a professional athlete. And, in this line of work, eventually someone will come along who’s better than you and who will take your job. The rare few can make it through a long career before they deteriorate while those at the other end of the spectrum have a cup of coffee before someone takes their job. Relatively speaking, Davis, at this point in time, is closer to the latter group.

        Like Jason Bay, Davis is a good guy who’s busting it but who’s not getting it done. Maybe that’s why there’s this thing about hurt feelings.

        But now, it’s time to get back to reality. Look at Davis’ minor league numbers. Does anything really jump off the page and say “long-term major leaguer?” He can draw a walk and hit for some power and is a good glove at first base. But he strikes out too much and, considering the competition he was playing against, doesn’t hit for average. The half season at Binghamton was pretty good but nothing else stands out.

        Unless the Mets were willing to accept something like 20/80/.260 (generous on the .260 part) with 140 K at first base for 10-15 years, Davis was never destined to be a long-termer anyway.


      2. I wonder if the continued blind devotion to Ike Davis is a sign of delusional thinking or simply a lack of alternatives.


  3. A little of both, I suppose, Paul.

    Right now, I think the Mets are in denial. Like Bay, Davis is a good guy who’s busting it but not getting it done. And you feel for a guy like that. I mean, if Robbie Cano suddenly started hitting .220, there’d be a fair amount of backlash saying stuff like, “He never ran stuff out anyway and there were plenty of times he never hustled.” And, so, there wouldn’t be the sympathy that there is for Davis.

    Eventually, reality will set in. Maybe he’ll find what’s missing out there in Area 51. But, my guess, as he’s never been a big time hitter anyway, he might get back to “serviceable.” And then, realizing that Davis won’t be the Mets firstbaseman for the next ten years, they’ll go shopping for one.


  4. Always with the negative waves, Moriarty. Are there no Mets fans left who remember why we came? I quote the great Roger Angell:
    “Suddenly the Met fans made sense to me. What we were witnessing was precisely the opposite of the kind of rooting that goes on across the river. This was the losing cheer, the gallant yell for the good try–in contrast to the genteel sounds coming out of Yankee Stadium. This was a new recognition that perfection is admirable but a trifle inhuman, that a stumbling kind of semi-success can be so much more warming. Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that there is more Met than Yankee in every one of us.” All the sweeter in that Dick Young hated us. That Dick Young couldn’t sleep nights for his hatred of Mets and Mets fans, I dunno, it makes it all worth it to me. He’s roasting on some spit in hell, now, and that at least some of us are still not troubled at rooting for a losing team still pains him more. That makes me smile. I will endure any ineptitude and any losing streak (even one of many years) and come back rooting all the harder for I, sir, am a Mets fan. And there are no greater fans on Earth. That said, I really do see light at the end of the tunnel. The Mets are developing truly promising arms in the lower minors and that’s how you build champions. Harvey, Wheeler, Monterro, Mazzoni, Akeel Morris, Gabriel Ynoa, Juan Urbina. Wait and see. A World’s Championship is just ahead. I’d say 2016, 2017 at the latest. If that’s too long to wait, well, then, you might not truly be a Mets fan.


    1. Stubby,

      I’ve been a Mets fan since I saw my first game in ’65. And the days of the lovable losers is long gone. That Marvelous Marv/Choo Choo Coleman stuff is a thing of the past. Not sure when Angell wrote that, but it was either long ago or he’s waxing philosophical and it’s a winsome look back at the Mets’ comedic past.

      And, do you know what Ike Davis hit in the second half last year? .255. And his best month was August when he hit .287. Most major league hitters would give anything to have .255/.346/.552? I’d say they were setting their sights too low. The game isn’t just home runs.

      And how dare you mention the other Davis in the same breath as Ike? Chris hit .337/.397/.609 in the time he spent in AAA, which is the equivalent of about a season and a half of full-time play over the space of four seasons. And now, with Baltimore, he’s finally getting his shot and is cashing in. Ike had less than half a pretty good season at AA and hit squatola in low-A and hi-A though, in fairness, .288 in the Florida State League isn’t half bad.


      1. Chris Davis sucks. Ike Davis is a Met! I rest my case.

        Yes, Angell wrote that back near the beginning. The lovable losers tag was a media misinterpretation. It’s about cheering for the everyman–cheering for yourself–instead of for the perfect specimen. It was about rooting for John Henry instead of rooting for the machine. I would suggest that, if you’ve lost that feeling, then the fault lies not with the Mets, but within yourself.


      2. Stubby,

        I suggest you take off those blinders. And, forgive me, but anyone who starts off his argument with “Chris Davis sucks. Ike Davis is a Met!” and then rests his case is just a few cards short of a full deck as neither part of that statement is factual.

        In good conscience, you can’t honestly say that Chris Davis sucks. Yes, it took him a while, but he’s finally cashing in, currently leading the majors in slugging while hitting .338. And, sorry to say, but Ike Davis isn’t a Met. What’s that on the front of his uniform now? “51?” And that “LV” on his hat isn’t “NY.”

        And, that “everyman” thing and even the “lovable losers” thing is a thing of the past. That act is 51 years old and you can’t sell it anymore. That “everyman” team used to have one of the highest payrolls in baseball. A team with a bunch of working stiffs, so to speak, would be more like the A’s or Rays, not closer to the Yankees or Dodgers. The act has long gone stale and unsellable. It’s time for a new act, one where the team actually tries to win games instead of pity.


  5. PS–How can you so quickly forget Ike’s second half last year? Seriously. The man was so on fire the second half that his season totals are ones most major leaguers would give anything to have. You can’t hit like that as a fluke. Not like that. Its in him. And I still like Ike. He’s surely no worse than Ed Kranepool and probably a far sight better. And we won a title with Krane. So don’t be so quick to toss Ike on the scrapheap. 30 home run hitting ballplayers don’t grow on trees (especially players who can do most of that in half a season). How many chances did Chris Davis get? Plenty. And its finally paying off for him and the O’s. Ike’s still only 26, you know. Chris is 27. Don’t bail on Ike or you will regret it.


  6. Markruck,

    Its pretty clear to me that you don’t get it. And perhaps you never got it. It isn’t about THEM–it never was and its not today; its about US. Winning and losing doesn’t define a team, but it does define a fan. The Red Sox didn’t win a championship for 96 years, but their fans didn’t ever get down on them. The Cubs haven’t won anything in an even longer stretch, but they still pack Wrigley. If you want to join the generation of instant gratification, there are plenty of teams for that. If you want to root for your players when they’re good and turn away when they’re not, you can be a Marlins fan. Mets fans are not supposed to be like that. For the record, Chris Davis DOES suck. He always has. I can honestly say that in perfectly good conscience. He can’t hit a lick in June, July and August. How is that any different from Ike not hitting in April, May and June? Ike is one of ours. Mets fans–real Mets fans–stand by him.

    The lovable losers thing is such a red herring. You sound as though you believe Mets fans rooted then for the Mets BECAUSE they lost. No. We stood behind them in spite of the losses because they were our Mets. You don’t turn your back on your wife or child because they have a bad day (or week or month or even decade). You love them all the more and root all the harder for them to get past whatever transitory issues or problems may be at hand. As that early Banner Day winner proclaimed, “To err is human, to forgive is a Met fan”.

    I’m not unrealistic, I don’t have “blinders” on. I was the one voice last year telling others to rein in their exuberance over a good start–that it wasn’t going to last and the only question was whether the Mets would finish last or next to last. I know its highly unlikely they’ll do any better this year and, in all likelihood, they’ll do worse. But that just makes me root for them more.

    Best analogy I got. One of my family members is bedridden right now, has been for months. Fractured bones in the back. Not paralyzed, but bedridden all the same. Requires 24/7 care, help with everything. Most of it’s on me. Nurses and aides will come and go–a half hour here and there. I’m here 24/7. I will support and care for them and believe they will be up and around again until one or the other of us dies. I will work for that and believe in that and, if its possible to will someone well, I will invest that kind of belief and energy. That’s a Mets fan. Most people would have shuttled that person off to a nursing home long ago. Those are the other fans. I would much rather be a Mets fan.


    1. Stubby,

      I will never NOT be a Mets fan. But I won’t live a lie.

      People rooted and still root for the Mets because they’re not the Yankees. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for General Motors. And I don’t care how far down the toilet either GM or the Yankees go, I’ll never root for either.

      As far as the Red Sox and Cubs, have you looked at Wrigley recently? Plenty of empty seats. And the Red Sox fans became snobby when they first tasted victory for the first time in a couple hundred years. Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for old money. Rooting for the Red Sox is like rooting for the arrogant nouveau riche. Can’t stand either. The Cubs could end up like that if they figure out how to win. We’ll see.

      So, your clean conscience says Chris Davis sucks because he can’t hit in June, July and August. Well, if Ike Davis can’t hit for half the year or longer either and has a higher bowling average, then, by your definition, he sucks too. If he doesn’t, then you’re turning a blind eye. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M DISOWNING DAVIS. He can’t hit, so he got sent to his room without dessert. Unfortunately, for now, his room is in Vegas. So, if Chris Davis and his .338 average sucks, please explain why Ike doesn’t. Because he’s part of the family? Hell, I rooted for Jason Bay, too. Man, he tried. But, being honest, the Mets never should have signed him because his game didn’t fit with Citi Field and he was never as good as he was made out to be. But when he was with the Mets, I wanted him to do well. But, in the end, and for any number of reasons, including the concussions, the record book will say he sucked. I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

      The “lovable losers” thing isn’t a red herring. That’s how people identified with the Mets in the early days. I was there. They were the mangy mutt at the dog pound that everyone feels sorry for. But what the three or four or five-year old does that provides entertainment and makes people laugh and moan and even make you hide your head in shame doesn’t work at age 51. If the Mets put out a roster of cast-offs like Throneberry, Coleman, Luplow and Buchek now, true Mets fans wouldn’t disown them, but they’re also smart enough to know–and especially after knowing what victory is like–that this mob isn’t going anywhere. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much what this Mets team is now. They won’t go 40-120 or 51-111 like the first two Mets teams. But figure on around 70-92.

      And you were the one voice who told us to rein in our exuberance? Well, whoop-de-do for you! If any Mets fan said the Mets were going to win the division last year, they would have been classified as nuts. I said they’d win 70. The good start brought home a few more wins than that. The second half, to me, showed the true ability of the team. But I didn’t run away, play opportunist and root for a winner. I rooted, I hoped and I was a realist. The Mets will break your heart. But I’m not asking for a divorce anytime soon. They had a loser GM who botched nearly everything he touched and decimated the minor league system and current ownership should be taken out behind the barn and shot. The difference between you and me is that I know that. If they were family, I wouldn’t talk to any one of them. But the guys in uniform? They have my full support. But I’m honest enough to tell them and myself that they’re not going anywhere anytime soon and I’m not sending them off to a nursing home or funeral parlor.


      1. You must have missed it last year. After that good start, nearly EVERY Mets fan on the web was talking about winning the division or, at least, winning the wildcard. So I guess they’re all nuts. Which is fine, if that’s what it means to be a Mets fan.

        Did you “believe” in ’73? Don’t give me some analytical bs about how bad all the NL East teams were that year. What was in your heart?


      2. Stubby,

        I must have missed it last year? Mets fans are lots of things, but one thing they’re not is stupid. And, any Mets fan with a brain last year knew that first half was an aberration. And other Mets fans who saw the unexpected start and thought that would translate into a division championship or at least a wild card was delusional. One look at the roster at the beginning of the year would tell you that they weren’t a championship caliber team. And I got the same look this year. And, lo and behold…

        So, beware when someone brings “every” or “everyone” in to back his own argument. Usually, it’s baseless.

        About ’73: Save the condescending “analytical BS” talk, please. If you wish to do your thinking entirely below your waist, that’s your business. The Mets weren’t that good in ’73. And neither was the rest of the Eastern Division. And in a short series, anything can happen. That’s why the Mets won the league and then went to seven games against the mighty A’s. It’s also why they beat the mighty Orioles in ’69. My guess is, if the Mets played the Orioles a hundred times in ’69, the Baltimore squad likely would have won 60. But I’m glad the Mets had the five-game sequence they did as they could easily have gone down 4-1.

        BUT… The only year I truly believed was ’69. There was a certain magic that year where everyone seemed to step up at the right time, even the lightweights. Even ’86, at least the post-season part, I always wondered when the gravy train would run off the rails. And THAT’S part of being a Mets’ fan, too. Yankee fans are confident. Mets fan always wonder when the other shoe will drop. And it damn near did, in those two game sixes.


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