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It’s apparently time to declare the Mets dead

Apr 20, 2011, 9:47 AM EDT

Houston Astros v New York Mets Getty Images

The Mets are off to their worst start ever and, no, it hasn’t been pretty.  But I am crazy to think that the multiple obituaries in this morning’s papers are premature?  Joel Sherman is calling for the fire sale. Tim Smith describes the apocalypse.

No, I don’t think it was reasonable to expect the Mets to challenge the Phillies this year, but I still believe that it’s a team that could play .500 ball or maybe a shade better if they get the breaks.  If that was the doomsayers’ expectation, they shouldn’t be declaring the Mets dead right now because while 5-12 is bad, it’s not the sort of start that forecloses an 80-85 win season. If, rather, they predicted better, such a prediction was unreasonable in the first place. But hey, it’s New York and the Mets have played awful baseball, so you have to expect this sort of thing.

It’s the next phase that interests me the most. The phase in which a general manager with a demonstrated track record of not panicking, not bowing to media pressure, understanding sample sizes and, most importantly, understanding the market for high priced, soon-to-be-free-agent veterans (i.e. low) resists the increasing calls for a fire sale.

Think that will play well in the tabloids and on talk radio?

  1. BC - Apr 20, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    My standing prediction is 78 wins. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to see them go as low as 70.
    I say it’s duck season, and I say, fire!

    • raysfan1 - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Wabbit season!

      • Rob Hoffmann - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        ELMER SEASON!

    • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      For your friends’ sake, I hope that “C” doesn’t stand for “Cheney.”

      • BC - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        I own a .38, but nope I’m not a Cheney.

      • jwbiii - Apr 20, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        You go fowling with a .38? Yikes! Makes note: Say nothing antagonistic to BC :)

  2. Panda Claus - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    The O’s started 2-16 last year, don’t tell me about the season being over at 5-12. The Mets haven’t hit rock bottom yet, but they can see it from where they’re standing.

    • BC - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      Face it. We stink on ice. Thank God for NASCAR.

  3. xnumberoneson - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    This is nothing new from the New York media scum, who are always looking for new reasons to kill the Mets even when they don’t have to look very far. The other day Francessa knocked David Wright for being unclutch after he hit a ball to the warning track at Citi Canyon to end the game.

    As for Alderson’s reaction – he has acknowledged that fan pressure played a role in releasing Luis Castillo, DFAd Blaine boyer after 6.2 IP and then gave up on his 2B of choice after only 42 plate appearances. So it’s not entirely clear that he won’t bow to media pressure or that he is a firm believer in the small sample size argument. (Though some have argued that you didn’t need a statistically significant sample to know Brad Emaus didn’t belong in the majors.)

    I fully expect Beltran to be traded because you get absolutely nothing in return for him if he leaves as a free agent. K-Rod has that awful vesting option, but might fetch something in a trade if he gets into July without a ton of opportunities to finish games. Trading those two wouldn’t constitute a fire sale. How they handle Jose Reyes will be a clear indicator of the direction of the franchise. And it they trade Wright…well then it’s a full-fledged fire sale. The media has a love-hate relationship with Wright because he is “the face” of a bad franchise. But if you trade him, then you’re basically telling the fans “see you in 2014!”

    • BC - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      They’re gonna stink it up until 2014 anyway. Better to unload Reyes and Wright (and Beltran if you can) now and get something for them.

  4. missthemexpos - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Time for Jason Bay to come to the rescue!

  5. bigharold - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    The real issue is the Madoff case against the Wilpon’s. The perception is that the owners won’t have the resources anytime soon to address the Mets needs. Moreover, that the Wilpon’s are consumed with fighting the case and can’t devote the proper attention to the running the Mets, (although some might say that would be a good thing).

    Whether the Mets decide to unload everything early might tell you a lot about how things are going for the Mets. If they start throwing contracts overboard it’s a clear sign, to me at least, that they are in deep trouble, even more than is speculated. Their in “the end is near” kind of trouble.

    The funny thing is that right now the Mets are 1/2 game worse than the Red Sox but yet you aren’t getting the same reaction from the Boston media or fans. Sure the Nation is squirming a bit but they and the local media are confident that the RS will turn things around and compete this year. Clearly, the RS are percived to have much better talent. Of course nobody is threatening to sue their owners into destitution.

    Too bad, .. it’s no fun at all giving Met fans a hard time this season. No sport in it at all.

    • kast2l - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:06 PM

      to add on to what you were saying there was an article on here stating how cheap the tickets are being sold via stubhub. So if I’m the mets I would trade some Krod, reyes, and beltran to try to get 1 near ready prospect in return whether he’s a 100 prospect, someone you can put in the lineup this year. Someone mentioned building around wright, I say build around Ike Davis along with wright…Plus anything going on with Mejia?

    • sayheykidwschamp - Apr 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Are the Wilpon’s getting personal loans to pay for payroll yet, like McCourt just did? Otherwise, they are not as bad as the Dodgers….yet. But both teams will only recover once they get new owners.

  6. bennyblanco1 - Apr 20, 2011 at 10:13 AM

    I dont believe Alderson will rush to react. They are playing terrible right now, no question. But BC is right, 78 wins is not impossible.

    I think Alderson will trade Reyes and Beltran, probably not getting much back for Beltran, but a few prospects for Reyes. Someone will need a closer near the trade deadline and K-Rod will be traded as well. The rest of the team most likely sticks around.

    If he trades Wright, i think Alderson risks losing many of the diehard Met fans. He should be a career Met. I hope anyway.

  7. heffmessina - Apr 20, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    You could argue that getting rid of Emaus when he barely got a chance was way too reactionary. Am I crazy to think that Bay’s return is going to be a turning point? This isn’t a 90 or 100 loss team.

  8. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 20, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    It is a fun idea to think of the Mets holding a fire sale on April 20, but who would be buying? Most GMs have enough perspective to know that they can’t properly evaluate their team base on 2+ weeks of the season. So the contenders don’t know if they are contenders, and even if they did, they don’t really know where their holes are.

    If we take current stats as gospel, St. Louis’ biggest need is a first-baseman who can hit for either average or power, or at least get on base once in a while.

  9. mrznyc - Apr 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    No one in their right mind is buying this time of year. At the All-Star break the Mets have to trade Reyes because they have no money to sign him. End of story on Reyes. As for the comparison to the Red Sox because of similar records: At which position would you rather have the Met player over the Sox player? There is no comparison. The team is terrible. Watch them if you can and you can come to no other conclusion. RA Dickey is a servicable and likeable # 5 pitcher on any other team, K Rod is genuine big league closer and that is it, there is no one else. The rest of the everyday players range for good to AA. We all just have to sit and wait for the Bernie mess to sort itself out and go from there.

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