Something Is Wrong . . . When the Return of Chris Young Fills Mets Fans with Dread

Good news! Chris Young, one of the Mets big free-agent acquisitions of the winter, is close to making his return to the big club. Chris has recovered, rehabbed, and is set to be activated on April 18th against the Braves.

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At the time of this writing, after just 10 games (not including last night’s game), the Mets are 4-6. While the starting pitching has been good, the offense has struggled.

Actually, “struggle” implies putting up a fight, so the connotation is all wrong.

More like: “rolled over in a ditch and drowned in a two-inch puddle of vomit.”

The numbers are offensive all right:

  • Mets slash line: .204/.270/.331/.601
  • Opp. slash line: .258/.324/.414/.738

A few quick facts:

  • The Mets have 3 hitters above .250 
  • Curtis Granderson is hitting .135
  • Travis d’Arnaud is at .129
  • Ruben Tejada, .212
  • Friday night’s clean-up hitter, .167

And on and on it goes.

So one would think that the arrival of Chris Young should be greeted with good cheer and light hearts. Yet if you cast your eyes around the blogosphere and print media, the overall tone from Mets observers is one of dread. A superficial glance at Sports Spyder reveals these articles, which do not begin to account for all the fretful tweets, comments, phone calls, and remarks by Mets announcers:

In essence, how will Mets management handle the “problem” of a crowded outfield? Bubbling below the surface is the nagging fear that the club will bench Juan Lagares. Or, if not that exactly, just generally bungle and mishandle the situation, and screw over its most popular outfielder in the process.

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(This is, by the way, before they call up Bobby Abreu to really make it interesting. And at that point, poor Terry Collins’ head will explode. Decisions, decisions.)

The normal Mets fan does some quick figuring. Let’s see, Curtis Granderson, $60 million. He’s gonna play. Sandy has “promised” — his word — Chris Young regular playing time. Terry seems to really value the speed of Eric Young. Uh-oh.

The crazy thing is, the return of Chris Young should absolutely be a plus for the NY Mets. It’s a good thing. Yet Mets fans have no faith in management making the right decisions. Ya gotta believe? No, we collectively don’t. Sorry, Sandy. Oops, Terry. Not anymore.

This condition is sometimes couched in terms that disrespect the “typical Mets fan.” We are too defeated, too negative, too programmed to expect the worst. As if this is our fault.

0917s5-collins40pThe truth is, we are right to wring our hands with worry. Look at the ridiculous, embarrassing, utterly doofus first base situation. Proof positive that this management group can’t make a decision, any decision. The Mets have had all three first basemen in the organization for a combined total of 19 years.

I repeat: 19 years!

Mets, thy name is Ditherment!

Even so, the spin is that it’s still a “competition.” These guys are 27, 28, and 29 years old.

It is insane. There’s no other word for it. But, okay, “incompetent” will also suffice.

So, yes, Mets fans know better. We’ve seen this movie before. It has a scary ending.

The anxiety associated with the impending arrival of Chris Young underscores that the average Mets fan no longer has faith in management’s ability to manage.

Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson, Dan Warthen, Dave Hudgens. Many of us don’t believe in these guys. We don’t trust their judgment. All they’ve ever done is lose.

You’ve heard of managers being fired for losing the clubhouse. Well, these guys have lost the fanbase. Look at the stands. The empty seats are far more eloquent than any written word. With this organization, that stuff earns extensions.

The return of Chris Young should not be a problem.

Actually, it’s a piece of cake.

Ready?

The starting outfield: LF Chris Young, CF Juan Lagares, RF Curtis Granderson.

End of story.

But if you want more: Super sub, Eric Young, starting an estimated 4 games a week (he can play 2B, too), and a really useful weapon on the bench.

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It’s easy. Yet many of us wait and wonder, thinking the same thing:

How are these guys going to screw it up this time?

Endnote: We are going to see this same problem — a failure of management to organize the roster for maximum value — to make deals, swap players, pick up and discard — at the starting pitching position.

It’s only a matter of time before we start reading about a 6-man rotation.

 

 

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9 comments

  1. blastingzone says:

    I cant wait to see how the mets work out the starting rotation when Syndergaard
    and Montero are ready? Syndergaard and Montero are not going into the bull pen
    and I doubt Colon, Gee, Niese, Wheeler, or Mejia are so how does a 7 man rotation sound? Can you say trading deadline!

  2. “We’ve seen this movie before. It has a scary ending.”
    Actually, the scariest thing about this situation is that it apparently has no ending at all. At this point, any ending would be preferable to the status quo.

  3. Michael Geus says:

    I agree with you there is an easy answer, moving Young Jr. to a utility role. It is hard to feel confident they see it this way, but I will hold my fire until I see for sure.

    They surprised me when they picked Meija, hopefully they surprise me again.

    • To me, the worst and most likely decision will be Terry’s daily confusion, uncertainty, and weird reasoning. He’s likely, in my view, to keep seeking reasons to get EY on the field and reasons for taking JL off it.

      But, yes, these things do have a way of working themselves out.

      And I don’t mind if Lagares sits a little bit, here and there. I just don’t want to see his game picked apart by crows, turned into a platoon guy, etc.

      I guess this piece is about the fact that many of us are bracing for the worst. Politically, however, I don’t think TC can do it out of the gate, because Lagares has performed flawlessly so far. (That glove and an .800 OPS is pretty perfect, though I’ve maintained that at .725 he’s still an asset, and a regular.)

  4. Reese Kaplan says:

    Let’s see…

    You have Eric Young, Jr. hitting below the Mendoza line and an OBP of .283. That’s the guy Terry Collins insists is good leadoff material.

    You have Juan Lagares hitting .318 with a .340 OBP and leading the team in RBIs, and playing Gold Glove defense.

    To a rational, thinking person there isn’t even a debate. If time is going to be split then it should be the lefty/righty thing Collins adores so much between Young and Young, but Lagares needs to play. If he stumbles and falls below .240, then and only then I’d consider benching him since you only get that out of a good year from Young. The team owners or GM need to sit Terry down and tell him he is senile if he thinks the better play is to bench Lagares in order to keep Eric Young in the lineup.

    • James Preller says:

      Just a couple of minor things:

      1) The stats are still meaningless; if they were reversed, I’d still feel the same way. It’s very early. 2) TC doesn’t make those decisions, IMO; and Sandy is the guy who brought in CY and promised him time and a shot at CF.

  5. Ken H. says:

    Since Eric Young is about to be relegated to 4th outfielder duty, maybe we can get him to make some of Fatolo Colon’s starts. Couldn’t be any worse, and will probably come cheaper…

  6. […] the hand-wringing over the return of Chris Young was so great that I wrote about it, “Something Is Wrong . . . When the Return of Chris Young Fills Fans with Dread.” Fans were waiting in the weeds to hate this guy, largely because of what he meant to our […]

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