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Articles Focused on the New York Mets. Opinions on the players, the rivalries, the standings and anything else that comes to mind.

Monday, September 7, 2009

It was a bad year for the Backstop too; Oh The Irony of it All

The Backstop Back At Ya: I have not made an entry in a few months. Life went and happened on me. Other projects had temporarily made this page secondary. Then I looked up and saw the M.A.S.H. unit both literally and figuratively, that the season had become and... Well let me put it this way. I said from the beginning that I was a "Glass Mostly Full" type of Mets fan. More over, I have not given up on this season. You read correctly. We are not mathematically eliminated, so I still believe. You don't get the title of "The Miracle Mets" and the "Amazin' Mets" without a few amazing and/or miracle moments and seasons on your resume. I am well aware that this post may open a series of events that finds me strapped to a table for brain experiments. So let me make it clear. I am a fan of my team in good times and bad. More importantly, I am willing to go down with the ship as it sinks into the stinky drink. I do not advise this practice as it may lead to a positive outlook on life, and who really needs that?
For the Sake of Argument, Let's Assume The Season Is Over:
I would like to note a few things about the 2009 season that may give promise to future years.
-Dan Murphy; Keep a few things in mind before you consider him a disappointment.
For all intensive purposes this was his first year in the bigs. With very few exceptions, most of baseball's very good first basemen were Daniel Murphy before they went on to become MarK Texiera, Nick Johnson, Derek Lee, Joey Votto, and Paul Konerko just to name a few. *Disclaimer: Many people will read this statement and think I am prospecting Mr. Murphy to be comparable to the above mentioned players. I am not. All I am saying is that he has put a full year of playing time under his belt. With that comes seasoning. He is a year better. He has showed signs of remarkable plate discipline. He has come through big several times. Three days ago, in a Mets victory, he had all of the Rbi's. All those RBi's came in clutch situations. Ultimately, next season he will be a year better, and assuming they make upgrades in Left Field, Catcher, and the Rotation I would learn to live with him at first base next year. We might even be mild to moderately surprised by what he is capable of. Yes, Yes I know people are saying that I am entirely overlooking his defense. All I can say to that is that errors are much easier to remember than good plays. I remember both. Lets not forget that we all had ourselves convinced through an entire off season plus one day against the Cubs, that since Roger Cedeno was so bad in the corner outfield positions, that it would be a good idea to let him play Center where he can get "A Better Read On The Ball Off The Bat." And we all bought it. So lets just see what happens.
-There are few people in the baseball business who's opinion I respect more than ESPN's Peter Gammons. I heard him on the radio earlier in the season saying that he can not think of a team that has ever had to undertake the injuries that the Mets have and still been able to win. As much as we would like to blame Jerry and Omar and Jeff and Fred and Elvis, there is not a team in the game with the back-ups sufficient to overcome the injuries that we have suffered this season. Don't make me write the list. It is too painful. I do think that a Bizarro World point to ponder is the fact that in 2009 a)The Mets bullpen has been successful. (Especially compared to recent years) And the one guy that has been consistently healthy and productive this whole season is Luis Castillo. If I had predicted that in the spring I would have been banned from the Internet. It does sort of give me an idea how backwards this season has been. Just a thought. All due respect to Mr. Castillo, but maybe he played well enough to get traded. Then we could consider pursuing, who I said in an earlier blog, Orlando Hunson who is both a free agent and has always wanted to play for the Mets. I know. The Money. Well we can only hope that whatever the exact dollar amount that Bernie Maddoff made off with, Uncle Fred and cousin Jeff understand that they own a controlling share in a big market team. If they want to draw more than flies and ire next year, they will realize that a league minimum savior is not going to fall from the sky.
-My Catcher, I am so proud of this even though he has only played one game. More than 2 years ago on Kyle D's Site I predicted that Josh Thole was going to be the Mets catcher of the future. I said he would likely debut in September of 2009. Well I was right about those two things. I also said that he has a chance to be the Mets version of Joe Mauer. Well that obviously has not happened yet but just in case I am right about that too I wanted to document it again. The kid looks very special to me. I love his knowledge of the strike zone. I was impressed with what I saw with him behind the plate. Note that my knee-caps and ankles have earned me the title of Backstop. I have a fondness for those who play my position. Wishful Thinking? After one 2-4 game. Absolutely, but the Mets catcher position is the most coveted position that we have. Let me dream.
-Anybody that suggests that they should trade Jose Reyes is mentally ill and should not waste their time on baseball. They would be better suited giving last rights to healthy people. I have maintained all along that the Mets offense goes directly through Reyes. He is the most exciting player I have ever seen. I hope he comes back healthy, and as himself. I do not align myself with those who consider him a "Show-Boat." All I see is a young man who loves to play baseball. I will be damned if I am going to allow the Florida Marlins or World champion Phillies (yes it hurt to write that) dictate my player's behavior. Jose, Come back healthy and enjoy the game. There is not a person reading this that would not trade a body part to be in your positon.
-Beltran/Santana/A 2 Legged Oliver Perez/A full season of Jeff Francoeur/Putz (Pronunciation Pending) and many others are on the menu for 2010. For now I am just going to enjoy every game for what it is worth. Because I will miss it in the Winter.
-When the time becomes appropriate, we will start to theorize on how to build this team for next year... But not yet.
Get Back to You At the Next Stop.
The Backstop

P.S. Those who say that the Mets Minor League system is barren of talent should look at some of the numbers themselves and not take the word of pampas afternoon radio talk show hosts who route for the Yankees and do not even know where the Double A team plays. Start with Ike Davis. He is a favorite.

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