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.
Not 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.
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.
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.
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.
Give Ruben Tejada his outright release today.