baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Assessment

Every year around Memorial Day, I take stock of the Mets. This year's version is the streakiest, hardest to predict group I can remember. I haven't done the research, but I'm guessing that not too many teams win 10 of 11 games in the same season that they go 6-16 on the road.

Beating the previous year's two World Series teams five times in a row should indicate a very good team, right? So how did they lose 8 of 9 and 7 of 8 in two separate horrible streaks? Obviously, the home vs. road record is seriously strange (19-9 at home, 7-16 on the road), and indicates that there is potential for a better record if they can correct whatever is wrong on the road.

Some improvements I would like to see:

Release Oliver Perez, or find a clever way to suspend him or put him on the mentally disabled list.

Replace Gary Matthews, Jr. with Jesus Feliciano as the backup CF, or sign Willy Taveras or Jonathan Van Every to be the backup CF until/if/when Beltran returns.

Bring up Dillon Gee to take the 5th starter spot, and let Jonathon Niese earn his way back into the rotation by dominating in Buffalo.

Put Fernando Nieve back in the bullpen, and use him no more than once every three days until he regains some effectiveness. If he doesn't, please release him, too. His getting off to a great start actually hurt the team, since it led to his overuse and now-total ineffectiveness. Bring up Bobby Parnell if Nieve pitches his way off the team.

Start Chris Carter once in a while, at least to keep him from going postal, and to give the team a spark.

Try Jeff Francoeur in CF a few times in laughers to see if he is capable of providing assistance for Angel Pagan until/if/when Beltran returns. The only reason Gary Matthews, Jr. is on the team (I hope) is that he is the only player on the current roster who can play CF besides Pagan. Please change that as soon as possible, one way or another.

Stop wasting relief pitchers by getting them warmed up and sitting them down over and over. Stop wasting relief pitchers by using them to pitch to one batter. Pedro Feliciano is one of the team's best pitchers; there is no reason to take him out after one batter. Please stop doing this!

Consider platooning Alex Cora and Luis Castillo, at least until Castillo's foot gets better. The man can barely walk, for the baseball gods' sake.

Consider replacing Fernando Tatis with Mike Hessman, who is absolutely tearing up Triple A. Like Chris Carter, Hessman will never be better than he is right now, so why not see what he can do in the major leagues as a pinch hitter.

Get Wally Backman warming up in the managerial bullpen. Let's see how he does in Brooklyn this year, and then next year, he's the guy I want in the dugout. Bobby Valentine should be offered the GM job in the offseason, or even the team president position. Jeff Wilpon must be pushed aside somehow.

All in all, the Mets are better than I expected, but still maddeningly inconsistent. The best news is that the culture of handing jobs to higher paid guys regardless of performance seems to be ending. Having his job on the line is helping Jerry Manuel make better decisions, especially in the starting rotation. You have to pay the guys either way, so why not play the best players and see what happens.

Caroms Off the Wall:

Maybe the Mets need to hire a road manager, pitching coach, and hitting coach. Or perhaps a chaperone. What are these guys doing before and after games?

© Judy Kamilhor 2010


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