The problem that I had with Brian Schneider in 2008 and 2009 was that he was an automatic out. Now, I’m starting to long for the days of Schneider hitting .218. After watching Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco over the last three weeks, I’m wishing we had a .218 hitter behind the plate.
After writing this site for a few years now and reading a lot of mainstream media and blogs about the Mets, I find that it’s easy to focus on the negative aspects of the team. It’s especially easy coming off a disastrous 2009 season opening Citi Field with a “thud”. As a matter of fact, the whole organization was dismal. So much so, that Jeff Wilpon had to tour the minor league cities apologizing for the ugly teams they fielded.
With that being said, I’d like to focus on some positive stories going into 2010. It’s not all bad when you have the highest payroll in the league. You always have a chance even if the people running the organization are subpar, as is the case with the Mets. Money can overcome a lot of obstacles. I feel really bad for the Pirates and Royals fans that know they have no shot before the season even starts. Although things don’t look great for the Mets yet, we do have a shot.
Here are my five positive story lines for the season.
Now that I’ve written about what the Mets should do at first base next season, I thought it was time to move on to catcher. The 2009 season was filled with dichotomy at catcher, Brian Schneider was a complete bust in his walk year and Omir Santos emerged as a viable everyday player. Then September rolled around and we got a look at a good-looking young player in Josh Thole. There certainly is hope for the future at the catcher position.
I want to start by writing that Schneider has absolutely no shame to be cashing the paychecks that the Wilpons gave him this season. He seems like a good guy but for him to accept $4.9 million for the performance he put up this season is criminal. It goes without saying that there isn’t even the slimmest of chances that he’ll be back next season at 33 years-old and coming off a season in which he hit .218 with 3 HR’s and 24 RBI’s in 170 AB’s. That line is disgusting… It’s even painful to write it! When you talk about the problems with the Mets poor performance this season, you can blame it on injuries but don’t forget to point the finger squarely at Schneider.Enough about Schneider, he’s done here.
The 2009 version of the New York Mets will finally disappear into oblivion this weekend. And I can’t wait for them to go away. There’s a chance for the team to wind up losing 94 games this season, the most losses since the Art Howe-era 2003 team that finished with 95 losses. In case you’re wondering, you can find a complete list of the Mets season records here. In a dreadful season, it’s worth taking a look at some past horrible seasons.
Sure, the Mets announced that they’re lowering ticket prices for next season. But don’t mistake that move as benevolence on the part of Mets ownership based on the torturous team they subjected us to this season. Reducing tickets prices is actually a calculated move to fill more seats for more games to meet revenue goals. The team likely didn’t meet their revenue goals for Pity (Citi) Field this season. So they used mathematical projections to determine the most likely pricing scheme to deliver their goals based on price/attendance correlation. Thanks Mr. Wilpon.
The Mets got their brains beat in on national TV by the underachieving Cubs today. The biggest culprit was Bobby Parnell getting ripped in his third consecutive start. Today he gave up 8 runs in 4.2 innings. He’s not fooling anyone with his weak slider that only appears to break about half of the time he throws it.
The Mets managed 9 hits but only two were for extra bases. Those were only doubles by Jeff Francoeur and Brian Schneider. Although Schneider had a 2 for 4 day and raised his season average to .188.
The game was over in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Cubs scored 6 including a grand slam by Jake Fox. All of the runs were on Parnell.
We did get our first look at Lance Broadway today. He was acquired from the White Sox in the Ramon Castro deal. He gave up 2 runs in 3 innings of mop-up duty to finish off the blowout game.
The Mets have lost the first two games of the series in Chicago. They try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon.
Joe Janish at Mets Today writes about Jeff Wilpon’s trek across New York state apologizing for the pathetic teams that the organization is fielding, the journey started in Buffalo and should end in Flushing
Surprisingly, it was the Mets offense that came up big today with 16 hits and 2 walks including two home runs. Luis Castillo led the charge going 3 for 4 with 3 runs scored. Gary Sheffield was supposed to have the day off, but played and had a terrific offensive game going 2 for 5 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored. The big difference in the game was in the seventh inning Brian Schneider hit a solo homer off the porch in right. Then Fernando Tatis hit a pinch hit solo homer to left, both homers were off former Met David Weathers.
Mike Pelfrey rebounded to have a nice start going 7 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. Pelfrey gave up all 3 runs in the fifth inning and still appears to get out of sorts with runners on base. He balked again today in the fifth. Jerry Manuel let him work his way out of trouble to the tune of 115 pitches in the game.
Sean Green was horrible in the eighth inning giving up 3 straight hits without getting an out. All of the runners would come around to score in the frame. Francisco Rodriguez was shaky again in the ninth giving up a run on 1 hit and 1 walk. But he got the job done.
The Mets take two out of three from the Reds heading into the All-Star break.
The story of this game was some really bad pitching by the Mets that allowed the Rays to win the series at Citi Field. Mike Pelfrey got bombed for 4 runs on 5 straight hits in the fifth inning. Bobby Parnell got rocked again in the seventh inning, giving up 4 runs without getting an out. B.J. Upton absolutely clubbed a ball into the second deck in left field off Parnell. What a shot that was! Then Sean Green reverted to his bad form by giving up 2 runs on 3 hits in the eighth without getting an out. It was a really ugly pitching performance.
The Mets offense put up 6 runs, which should be enough to win the game. They had 10 hits including a 3-run homer by Brian Schneider in the sixth, his second 3-run homer of the series. David Wright was 3 for 5 and made it through a game without striking out.
The Rays take two of the three games as the Mets welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to Citi Field for four games starting tomorrow night.