Mets Should Release Ruben Tejada Outright

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It’s time, Sandy Alderson, it’s time.

Time to release Ruben Tejada. Cut him loose. Let him latch on somewhere else, sign a minor league deal, maybe become a utility infielder for some other club.

His time with the Mets is over except for the sad, sorrowful sight of watching him twist in the wind.

I feel for the kid. This entire episode has been badly bungled, worse even than the Ike Davis Affair, which was botched and mishandled all winter. Sandy Alderson, the GM with the Golden Touch, keeps dropping the ball. For someone supposedly so smooth and polished, Alderson has been clumsy and awkward. Hey, it’s hard to look great when you are screwing the pooch.

hangingNot that Ruben was ever any good. Passable, on his best days. When the flares dropped for hits, when the three-hoppers found holes, when the BABIP rose to unsustainable levels. The strangest aspect to his story has been the transformation of how he was portrayed by the team, from “great kid” who “played the game right” to a fat, lazy player who never tried hard enough. (Ruben: Fire your PR Department!)

The other day Sandy Alderson cautioned that we should not put Ruben Tejada “under a microscope.” It was beyond ironic. It actually came off, to me, as callous and cruel. Because more than anyone, Alderson was the man who placed Ruben in this difficult position, bad-mouthed and second-guessed. By the time February rolled around, Ruben Tejeda barely had a chance. After all, he was only Ruben Tejada — but now with more baggage than Liza Minneli’s valet.

And again, to be clear, Ruben was never much good. Second division, at best. Can’t steal a base, can’t pop a homer, hits too many fly balls. The glove was good, the range so-so, the arm okay. There are others, many others, who can give you the same, or better.

It’s time to stop wasting time.

It’s time to look elsewhere.

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Start with Seratelli and Flores. Make a determination on those guys. Maybe in combination there’s something there, as I doubt either could fulfill the full-time role this year. Maybe you make a trade, though I’d pause before swapping out Rafael Montero. Maybe you work it out with Scott Boras, get Drew on a baseball field where he belongs.

But no matter what, there’s no room here for Ruben Tejada. Cut the man down.

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Some sentimentalists might argue that Ruben could be valuable as a utility guy, filling in at SS or 2B. He could, possibly, but not in NY, not under these circumstances. Those guys aren’t hard to come by anyway. We grabbed Seratelli because Kansas City couldn’t use him. Kansas City! There was a time when it was the other way around. When teams like Pittsburgh and KC groveled for the crumbs that fell off our bountiful table. No more. Today we are the team looking for crumbs. It’s okay, that’s life. There are plenty of good-glove middle infielders who can’t hit. At least with Seratelli, we found one who can run a little bit. Some gap power, too. And he’s not fat.

Others might contend that Ruben should do more penance in Vegas — the oddest place on the planet to send sinners for redemption. I say, “Don’t bother, Sandy. Stop wasting time aspiring to mediocrity.”

Give Tovar that time at SS. Trade for somebody. Find another guy, any other guy.

Release Ruben Tejada today. And while you’re at it, stop dicking around with Omar Quintanilla. Move on, work harder — again: work harder! — and demand more.

After 2012, the weakest link was at catcher. We had been playing Mike Nickeas and the Thole kid and all they ever did was make outs. Were we even trying? In response, Sandy went out and grabbed Travis d’Arnaud in a trade. I loved that deal, loved that it demonstrated that the Mets had a clear handle on things. Recognized the flaw, moved to rectify it.

At the end of the 2013 season, it was clear to even Stevie Wonder that the Mets had a gapping hole at short. Yet the club has dawdled, bungled, botched and bad-mouthed. The hole remains. They’ve taken a young kid — a Met, one of our guys, and they did him wrong, put him in this impossible position.

Enough, enough.

I’m sickened by the sight of him twisting in the wind. Cut him down from that tree, Mr. Alderson. We’ve had our entertainment.

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Give Ruben Tejada his outright release today.

 

 

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10 comments

  1. Reality Chuck says:

    Woderful idea. Having only three infielders on the field is the kind of out of the box thinking that wins pannants!

  2. Michael Geus says:

    I keep expecting a move here, a trade, even a minor deal. The shortstop situation has been handled so strangely. Alderson all but said, “over my dead body,” as far as going with Tejada as the starter in 2014. Yet, it is March 13, and no one of any substance has been brought in to challenge him.

    I read article day after day claiming we have so many pitching prospects we will never be able to fit all these awesome guys into our future rotations. Yet, so far, we are not moving any of them, not a one, and we have glaring issues at other positions.

    It doesn’t add up, a trade has to be coming.

  3. Michael Geus says:

    As for Drew, once we signed Colon I never thought the money was available. I still don’t, posturing aside. Sandy can’t spend money he is not given. I like the trade option much more than just throwing money at a guy who is not very special. Others disagree, but none of that matters if the funds are not there.

  4. Reese Kaplan says:

    That is why I think the solution is coming from Arizona or Seattle — minimum wage guys under cost control for several years.

  5. Eraff says:

    There’s No Such thing as a Pitching Prospect…or Pitching Depth. I believe they should sign Drew…keep the “Trade Powder” dry and use it for the FINAL Piece, as/when needed.

    • Michael Geus says:

      The problem with this approach is that it assumes a willingness and ability to spend, both now and in the future. I see no evidence that this is the case.

  6. Eraff says:

    This organization has an terrible history of trashing ballplayers— guys who go whether by FA or Trade, and guys they keep. It’s a tremendous erosion of goodwill and I don’t understand it. Whether it plays to the failures of a player or not, it’s just not necessary. The Mets don’t like Reuben?—just move on.

  7. Raff says:

    Back to the “headline” — This is tongue-In Cheek, yes? Do you really think the Met should just release Tejada? And if so- is it because you feel bad for him, given the way they have personally attacked him, or is it because you feel they would be a better team, given their current roster options at the position? It seems to me, given the Mets’ current roster, that Tejada is the only option who can play a “competent” shortstop, regardless of what we have seen this Spring Training. The Mets throw HUNDRED dollar bills around like they’re Manhole-Covers–See Eraff’s post on his little “interview” with the Port St. Lucie parking attendant geezer who was bemoaning the fact that the Mets discontinued their previous practice of giving a Ham and Cheese Sandwich and Pepsi to the workers, due to Budget Cuts. Is there any chance that the Mets would just cut him and eat the $1.1 million? We’re getting down to short-strokes here. I don’t see a Stephen Drew signing- I don’t believe that he will last until June- and I don’t believe that, if he does, the Mets will sign him (many reasons for my doubt)

    • I am serious and the post explains why. I believe the Mets need to move on from Tejada. That every inning he plays, every AB he gets, moves them farther from addressing the problem. He is not the solution; he is not indispensable; he is easily replaceable. The well has been poisoned.

  8. […] early March, I wrote that we should release Ruben before the season started. Just say goodbye, wish him good luck. Some readers thought I was […]

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