So the unthinkable has happened, David Wright is on the DL. Word since Wednesday is that he was having an issue with his hamstring, and it went out on him late Friday night trying to leg out an infield hit.
This has been a long-established pattern with Collins. He talks endlessly about how guys are tired, or how relievers are overworked, and acts as if he’s helpless to do anything about it. He played with fire with David Wright and we all got burned. Shame on him and shame on Sandy, who calls the shots.
I’m with you on this, I would not have played Wright Friday. Collins comes up small here. But the organization overall just sat out the trading deadline because they thought finishing strong was more important than adding talent to the system that could have assisted the team in the future. And Terry has an expiring contract. None of that helped either. It’s pretty obvious Collins will do anything to stay and is terrified that if we lose too many games the rest of the way he will be let go. Again, not a defense of his role here, as it was not the last week of the season either. I just want to set the tone for people who think that if Terry ever got fired we would see significant changes.
There’s an idea that how the team finishes is of some importance and I just don’t see it. Except, of course, for Terry — and I think that’s been the problem with a lame duck manager. If the GM is thinking long-term, it doesn’t help if the manager is desperately trying to squeeze out a win against Kansas City in early August for some kind of imaginary “stretch run.” His job security has been predicated on “finishing strong.” What did we expect him to do?
Let’s look at how the injury was handled by the front office. With a clear opportunity to promote Wilmer Flores and see what he can do, they passed and called up Mike Baxter. Buckle up, folks, here comes a steady diet of Justin Turner!
In the process, they will bore fans into stupification. Three years deep into this thing, and these guys are still far too willing to wave the white flag. It sucks. Mike Baxter is awful, I’m sorry, but he can’t play. Same with Turner.
To follow the logic, on Thursday, Ricciardi, DePodesta, and Alderson sat out the trade deadline as they decided it was paramount we finish the year strong. The future is now! On Friday we did not promote our most major league ready hitting prospect, whose best position is said to be third base, because that does not fit with our longer-term goals. Instead we will go with Turner.
Thursday it’s about finishing strong, Friday it’s not.
We have a bipolar strategy, and that is just as bothersome to me as a bungled decision by the manager. And we have owners who have been putting short-term dollars, however small, ahead of smart business practice for a long time. Friday was a home game, after all.
Somewhat lost in this season has been the terrific year that David Wright has given the Mets. When you look at his numbers relative to current baseball standards — where offensive production is in sharp decline — he’s been extraordinary. Matt Myers wrote a solid piece a few weeks back declaring 2013 as Wright’s best season ever. Worth reading. Money quote:
“But the biggest reason Wright’s not getting the attention he deserves is the decline in run scoring across the National League since he debuted. As a result, his raw numbers, such as batting average and slugging, are down relative to his early peak from 2006 through 2008, but his performance relative to the rest of the league is better.”
Yes, Wright is a great player, having another fantastic season. He can field the position too. And when you look at 2006 through 2008, remember where he played then. Citi Field was not designed with David in mind. In 2009 and 2010 it was patently unfair.
But let’s be honest, another reason he does not get the attention he deserves is he plays on a crappy team in front of small crowds. That’s just the nature of the beast. Hardcore Mets fans, we know what we have. As much as we will miss watching him play, it will now have to wait. We can deal with that, too.
I think the owners and management mistake our loyalty for stupidity.
We know it’s never been about 2013.
It’s one bad thing after another with these guys. The six-man rotation, the four-man bench (which almost bit us big time on Friday if Young doesn’t hit that homer to end the game). I’ve been ignoring the talk about moving Wheeler to the pen because, Jesus, how monumentally stupid would that be? But that’s Terry, he’s capable of coming up with wildly dumb ideas at any moment. He scares me. Then Sandy has to — hopefully — pick up the phone and say, “Um, no, not that.”
You started up top by calling Wright’s injury “unthinkable.” And that’s not entirely correct. I thought of it, so did you — we just quickly tried to banish the vision from our minds. Going into this season, feeling glum, I low-balled my prediction and went with 67 wins. That dark view looked depressingly solid for a long stretch, until about four weeks ago. Part of my thought process was, “Things go wrong, guys get hurt, and we still don’t have the depth. What if we lose Wright for any amount of time?” I’m afraid we’re going to discover the answer to that. At the same time, Wright’s injury presents a golden opportunity to management for bold, creative, entertaining solutions. What we get instead is an organization that turns to past failures to get us out of this mess . . . the snake swallows its own tail.