Amidst heavy financial burdens, trade rumors, the aftermath of a messy divorce, and an impressive, yet flawed hit streak, there is actually baseball being played in Queens this weekend between the Mets and the Dodgers.
Much like the Mets, the Dodgers are an under-achieving team in flux at the moment. They have a new manager, are struggling to play .500 baseball, and are faced with the possibility of MLB seizing control of the organization at the end of May when owner Frank McCourt fails to submit the payroll. Although the Mets’ financial situation may not be as desperate as the Dodgers’ at the moment, these two franchises seem to be mirroring each other from the left to right coast.
Despite the off-field issues of each franchise, the attention of both teams fan bases, baseball wise, lie in two individual stories. For Met fans, the electrifying play of Jose Reyes is one of the few highlights of the young season thus far. However, his play has been overshadowed by his looming trade prospects. For Dodger fans, Andre Ethier’s 30 game hit streak has enamored despite the team’s lackluster play as of late. In the eyes of many fans outside of L.A., Ethier’s feat up to this point may not seem as arduous considering he took a day off on Thursday, something Joe DiMaggio never did during his 56 game hit streak.
These issues, the trade possibilities, and the hit streak, in my opinion, are all unfortunate distractions to the games at hand. If traded, will the Mets receive a player in return who will be of the same caliber as Jose Reyes in the future? If Andre Ethier is lucky enough (yes, a lot of luck is involved) to put together a hit streak of 57 games, should it be celebrated as the new standard? Will the financial problems of the Wilpon’s and Frank McCourt own the Mets and Dodgers, respectively, 2 years from now?
As a fan of the Mets, I’m much more intrigued by Jason Pridie earning himself a spot on the bench when Angel Pagan returns to the lineup. I get more excited when I see Daniel Murphy range up the middle to save a base hit. I become giddy with joy when Ike Davis blasts one off the Pepsi Porch. I get a feeling of nostalgia when a nearly fossilized Jason Isringhausen gets three big outs in the 8th. You get the picture.
If Jose Reyes is eventually traded, then it is what it is. If Ethier breaks the hit streak record, good for him. When the Wilpon’s and McCourt are out of the picture, we’ll all say “Don’t let the door hit you…” But for now, summer is right around the corner, and I’m really just interested about whats going on on the field.