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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Vaccaro: Blame these Mets losses on the fools who left cupboard bare

Why does hate got to be so sad?

And so they run out a lineup night after night that looks paltry compared to just about everyone they play. It’s the Marlins who are supposed to be the joke of the NL East, operated by con men; look at that roster and then look at the Mets’. And ask yourself: Who’s fooling whom?

Here’s the thing, though: The Mets do have just enough starting pitching to keep themselves in a lot of games. They have just enough professionals who seem to relish the underdog challenge that this big-market overdog needlessly inflicts on them. And they were 15-11 at the start of May. Easy to root for, despite their flaws. Easier to feel good about.

Except the Cabinet of Stupid couldn’t leave that alone, so it famously dispatched the Loyalty Oath letter, and followed that up with another, and another, and still can’t believe why anybody thought it was a bad idea. Honestly, there’s no correlation between the Oath and the fact that the team has gone 1-6 since hitting the “send” button.

Unless you believe in karma.

So the Mets return home now, 16-17, which is still a remarkable record given the schedule and the talent in the room, and even if a lot of Mets fans are weary of Terry Collins, it’s hard to blame the man for much of this. You can’t turn “Afternoon Delight” into “Layla” no matter how good a singer you are, after all.

And if your backup is the Cabinet of Stupid?

Well, then. Good luck to you.

Repoz Posted: May 08, 2014 at 10:12 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4703207)
operated by con men

Ummm ... everybody knows it's better to be the con man than the mark.

And Layla ain't a singer's song. The lyrics aren't particularly better than afternoon delight and the topic is essentially the same.

Layla starts out OK:

What'll you do when you get lonely
And nobody's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.


Then everything's a cliche except for the use of the not very musical "consolation"

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.

Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say I'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain.


Afternoon Delight on the other hand has a strained fishing analogy and the perhaps too direct "the thought of rubbing you is getting so exciting."


   2. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:47 AM (#4703208)
Wilmer Flores got called up. He's been playing SS in the minors and the Mets, a team desperate for offense, will look to see if his defense is better than Tejada's offense.

Met pitchers still gave not gotten a hit this season.
   3. PreservedFish Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:30 AM (#4703219)
You can’t turn “Afternoon Delight” into “Layla” no matter how good a singer you are, after all.


Yeah, weird analogy.

The line "skyrockets in flight" always reminded me of the amazing scene in Ulysses where Leopold Bloom masturbates on the beach:

And then a rocket sprang and bang shot blind and O! then the Roman candle burst and it was like a sigh of O! and everyone cried O!O! in raptures and it gushed out of it a stream of rain gold hair threads and they shed and ah! they were all greeny dewy stars falling with golden, O so lively! O so soft, sweet, soft!
   4. Benji Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:31 AM (#4703223)
If Flores went out to the field in a suit of armor and without a glove his defense would be superior to Tejada's offense. But Flores should have been playing first base these last few years.
   5. Lassus Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:49 AM (#4703230)
Replacing Tejada, yes , that will solve the worst team offense to open a season in 100 years, surely.
   6. JE (Jason) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:08 AM (#4703231)
Rumor has it Ike Davis is available.
   7. Swoboda is freedom Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:09 AM (#4703234)
Rumor has it Ike Davis is available.

While his bat is better than Tejada, I don't think his glove can carry shortstop.
   8. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:20 AM (#4703235)
Particularly since he wears it on his throwing hand.
   9. Chris Fluit Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4703242)
What on earth is the Loyalty Oath letter? And why would that cause the Mets to go 1-6 in their last 7 games as opposed to, say, their lack of talented players?
   10. Mike Emeigh Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:44 AM (#4703250)
What on earth is the Loyalty Oath letter?


This.

-- MWE
   11. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:37 AM (#4703284)
Wilmer Flores got called up. He's been playing SS in the minors and the Mets, a team desperate for offense, will look to see if his defense is better than Tejada's offense.
Flores's bat really woke up in the past week-- he started off the season not hitting, but since coming back from a finger injury, he's 11 for 22, with 4 HR and 2 2B. He heads east with a .307/.360/.500 line, right about the same as what he did last year, but he's striking out and walking a little more this year. This site has a nice summary of his season so far, including an evaluation of his defense. There will be some cringe-worthy moments out there, but Flores is apparently the mirror image of Tejada in terms of his work ethic and engagement with the game. So hopefully he'll get better as the trial goes on. If Tejada or Quintanilla were giving them solidly above-average defense out there, the drop-off would seem more pronounced. Apparently both are out of options, so Tejada will stick around as the backup.
   12. SoCalDemon Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4703319)
Re #5: The Mets have an 81 OPS+. Bad, sure, but the Marlins had a 73 OPS+ just last year; a bunch of teams in the last hundred years have been worse. However, the Mets pitchers are 0-58 so far this season (overall .000/.094/.000 line), which is pretty amazing. The hitters actually have a 90 OPS+, which isn't really that dreadful at all (its not good by a long shot, but not dreadful). But wow, even for pitchers, that is an amazing, team-wide effort.
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:21 AM (#4703329)
Bad, sure, but the Marlins had a 73 OPS+ just last year;


The Padres have a 71 OPS+ this year. The Mets have outscored them by 39 runs, in three fewer games.

   14. Conor Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4703333)
Assuming Flores can't really stick at SS (which seems like a safe bet, but you never know) I think the way this works out the best for the Mets is Flores comes up and proves he can hit at the big league level and they can trade him to a team that can play him at a position he has a better chance of handling.
   15. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4703344)
Assuming Flores can't really stick at SS (which seems like a safe bet, but you never know)
If Murph wasn't his double play partner, I'd be a little more optimistic about his chances. But Murph still has his struggles out there, so neither one can really be much of an anchor for the other-- could easily see their struggles out there being mutually reinforcing. If Flores hits enough, though, they have to consider shifting him back to 1B, or giving him an OF trial. This team needs bats badly, and finding a trading partner willing to give one up in return for Flores might prove difficult.
   16. thetailor Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4703399)
This article circles around the topic... the anger that fans should feel. That Loyalty Oath letter was a ####### disgrace.

Matt Harvey was with the Mets this week rehabbing before the public eye, so it was a good time to remember that the men who own the Mets vowed in the spring of 2013 that this was going to be the year they blew the dust off their wallets and jumped back into the game, act like they own a team based in New York City, not Oklahoma City.

And, you know: act like True New Yorkers.

Then Harvey got hurt last year and you could almost hear the audible sighs of relief coming from the suits in the corporate suites: surely, nobody would hold us to that promise now – even if, when Fred Wilpon made that sacred pledge, Harvey was just a pitcher with a world of potential, not the Dark Knight of Gotham he became.


This is the best two paragraphs I've seen on the topic, ever. The entire 2011-2013 period was based on a promise that they would put money into the team and compete in 2014. When Harvey got hurt, they just had another excuse to go another year doing something that they shouldn't be doing in the first place. Wright was lied to to sign the team-friendly extension, the fans were lied to, and now the fans are being subjected to a moral judgment - that if they don't support the team, they aren't True New Yorkers. #### the Wilpons. They are literally the worst.
   17. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4703454)
Yeah, this team is really depressing.

Anyway, whatever Wilmer does out there, for a time it will certainly be more interesting than watching Tejada out there. He should go take a few steroids and come back as Miguel Tejada.
   18. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:07 PM (#4703460)
Wright was lied to to sign the team-friendly extension, the fans were lied to, and now the fans are being subjected to a moral judgment - that if they don't support the team, they aren't True New Yorkers.
Other than Drew, I'm not sure where they should have spent money this offseason. They could have made a Toronto-style deal and sold the farm for some overpriced vets, but I don't think anyone wanted to see them do that. They nabbed Granderson at $15 M/year, and Colon at $10 M/year and C. Young for whatever he cost. They had a bad week, but they have a shaky pen, and a poor offense, so they're going to be losing a lot of close games this year. Incidentally, their record right now is right in line with their Pythag.
   19. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:11 PM (#4703464)
Vaccaro: Blame these Mets losses on the fools who left cupboard bare

I blame Glenn Hubbard.
   20. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4703476)
Add your name to the list!

The Mets are a gift. A gift! They've become the A-Rod of baseball teams.
   21. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4703484)
The gift that keeps on giving you a purple nurple.
   22. Conor Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:36 PM (#4703492)
Other than Drew, I'm not sure where they should have spent money this offseason. They could have made a Toronto-style deal and sold the farm for some overpriced vets, but I don't think anyone wanted to see them do that. They nabbed Granderson at $15 M/year, and Colon at $10 M/year and C. Young for whatever he cost. They had a bad week, but they have a shaky pen, and a poor offense, so they're going to be losing a lot of close games this year. Incidentally, their record right now is right in line with their Pythag.


I would have liked to see them spend the cash on Abreu. Or at least tried to. For all the talk about flexibility, it allowed them to sign Curtis Granderson to what is probably gonna be a bad contract.

The biggest problem I've had with Sandy, and again, it's always hard to decipher how much is the Wilpons and how much is not, is that they haven't made much of an effort to improve the big league team the last few years; they've basically just been waiting to get the much desire "flexibility". We're going back a few years now, but if they had signed Reyes, he would pretty much have the same amount left on his contract that Granderson does right now; Reyes would help them out a lot more than Granderson will. Abreu plays a position they kinda have filled, but he was relatively young and had star potential and was available for something resembling a bargain.

The Mets will probably have a pretty good rotation the next few years, but I'm not sure where bats are coming from.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: May 09, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4703495)
Other than Drew, I'm not sure where they should have spent money this offseason.


I don't follow the Mets closely, but if they were going to spend money and were planning on maintaining even the low-end of a huge city payroll level, why not Tanaka and Jose Abreu (and Drew)?
   24. CrosbyBird Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4703634)
Tanaka got a terrible contract that I would not have wanted the Mets to match. That player opt-out in the middle is particularly bad. He's pitched very well but it's still early; let's see how he does when there's a lot of video of his MLB pitching to study.

I'd have liked to see them go after Jose Abreu, but it would have given them a serious roster problem. Duda is terrible in the OF and I don't think Davis has even played one game there. Not to mention that 1B really isn't the place to complain about this team.

Prior to this season, I don't think there was much reason to think Stephen Drew was going to be any better than Tejada. I'm not super-high on Tejada but prior to this season I thought he'd be able to put up an 85-90 OPS+ with average SS defense. Nothing spectacular but the average Drew season is pretty similar to that.

The player I would have liked to see them pursue aggressively would have been Cano. I like Murphy but Cano is a superstar.
   25. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4703647)
Tanaka got a terrible contract that I would not have wanted the Mets to match.
This was my thinking at the time. Plus the Mets do not need more starters-- grabbing Colon was necessitated by the Harvey injury, and they probably would have preferred to go one year with him instead of 2.

I'd have liked to see them go after Jose Abreu, but it would have given them a serious roster problem.
Well, they got an Abreau. So that's something. The roster problem was not unsolvable. Duda/Davis aren't good enough that they shouldn't be pushed aside for better players. Dumping a ton of cash into a position where you're already set on the cheap does not seem optimal though.

We're going back a few years now, but if they had signed Reyes, he would pretty much have the same amount left on his contract that Granderson does right now; Reyes would help them out a lot more than Granderson will.
Totally. But I think Jose's leg problems scared them off-- given how stretched they were for cash, I don't think they wanted to tie up so much money in a player whose value could decline so quickly.
   26. Conor Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4703711)
I get that they had some guys at first already, but in the grand scheme of things 6/68 or whatever Abreu signed for is pretty cheap for a 27 year old who had the kind of potential Abrue did. I grant you my argument looks a lot stronger now that he is killing the ball in the majors, but guys at his age witht hat kind of potential don't go for $12 million a season.

Tanaka looks great, but I was fine with the Mets not going for him considering the pitching strength. (and even if they didnt have it they weren't gonna pay that kind of money for him)

I had pretty much given up on Tejada after last season; I thought it was a real failure not improving on SS.
   27. formerly dp Posted: May 09, 2014 at 05:16 PM (#4703717)
I had pretty much given up on Tejada after last season; I thought it was a real failure not improving on SS.
My preference would have been for Drew, given that there are no real SS prospects on the horizon, but I did not hate Tejada as Plan A. The problem for me is that they ended up in a situation where Quintanilla was Plan B again-- and it seems like there should be better fallbacks available. The Flores callup buys them another month or so, but if he's truly terrible out there, who's next in the rotation?
   28. Walt Davis Posted: May 09, 2014 at 07:16 PM (#4703754)
(overall .000/.094/.000 line)

Billy Hamilton: 6 walks in 126 career PA
Mets pitchers 2014: 6 walks in 70 PA
   29. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4703913)
This is the best two paragraphs I've seen on the topic, ever. The entire 2011-2013 period was based on a promise that they would put money into the team and compete in 2014. When Harvey got hurt, they just had another excuse to go another year doing something that they shouldn't be doing in the first place. Wright was lied to to sign the team-friendly extension, the fans were lied to, and now the fans are being subjected to a moral judgment - that if they don't support the team, they aren't True New Yorkers. #### the Wilpons. They are literally the worst.

Agree with the latter part but I'm pretty sure that 2015 was the unspoken target date, not this year.
   30. Lassus Posted: May 10, 2014 at 07:35 AM (#4703927)
But I think Jose's leg problems scared them off-- given how stretched they were for cash, I don't think they wanted to tie up so much money in a player whose value could decline so quickly.

No bigger Reyes fan than myself, but I cannot really get down on the Mets for not making that deal, even if I've thought the Granderson deal sucked from the moment the pen hit paper.
   31. formerly dp Posted: May 10, 2014 at 08:20 AM (#4703930)
No bigger Reyes fan than myself, but I cannot really get down on the Mets for not making that deal, even if I've thought the Granderson deal sucked from the moment the pen hit paper.
I'm not just saying this because of last night, but I don't get why Granderson was a better option that Byrd. Byrd took less years, less money, and had been good more recently. I don't think the Mets were signing Granderson for the '16-'17 portion of the deal, and Byrd's a good bet to give them equal production in '14-'15. They had good balance in the lineup with Duda/Davis and Murphy. Defensively, Granderson's done nothing to inspire confidence, and he has one of the least accurate arms in recent memory. Last night, when the lefty intentionally walked Wright to get to Granderson, Hernandez said they signed Granderson to protect Wright, and then brushed away Granderson's career struggles against LHP.
   32. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4703959)
I'm not just saying this because of last night, but I don't get why Granderson was a better option that Byrd. Byrd took less years, less money, and had been good more recently. I don't think the Mets were signing Granderson for the '16-'17 portion of the deal, and Byrd's a good bet to give them equal production in '14-'15. They had good balance in the lineup with Duda/Davis and Murphy. Defensively, Granderson's done nothing to inspire confidence, and he has one of the least accurate arms in recent memory. Last night, when the lefty intentionally walked Wright to get to Granderson, Hernandez said they signed Granderson to protect Wright, and then brushed away Granderson's career struggles against LHP.

I'm not trying to defend the four-year contract, but weren't the Mets more interested in a left-handed bat? (I don't know that I would call Murphy and Duda/Davis "good balance.") Also, didn't they suspect that Byrd was due for serious regression?
   33. Conor Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4703966)
Agree with the latter part but I'm pretty sure that 2015 was the unspoken target date, not this year.


I think part of the issue is it's been a moving target. Sandy definitely on many occasions stated they were looking to this season because that is when the Santana/Bay contracts came off the books But because they did so little to add major league talent to the team between then and now, with the Harvey injury, it became pretty easy to at least unofficially push off the goal for contention to next year. Of course, we could be in the very same spot next winter. The starting pitching should be in good shape (assuming Harvey comes back and no one else gets hurt; so pretty big assumptions) but where is the offense coming from? (And every bullpen Sandy has put together for the team has been uniformly terrible) The Mets basically right now have one solidly above average position player, Wright. And he'll be 32 next season. You hope Lagares and D'Arnaud take a step forward, but even so, you're looking at a first base platoon that you're begging to be average, a massive hole at SS, no LF, and Granderson, who might turn it around but at this point looks like a pretty big bust, in RF.
   34. formerly dp Posted: May 10, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4703978)
I'm not trying to defend the four-year contract, but weren't the Mets more interested in a left-handed bat? (I don't know that I would call Murphy and Duda/Davis "good balance.")
I guess this is part of my point-- if they were prioritizing a left-handed bat, was that necessarily the right decision? If they grabbed Granderson instead of Byrd so that the lineup could go R/L/R/L/L rather than R/L/R/R/L, was that worth the disparity in length and size of their contracts?

Also, didn't they suspect that Byrd was due for serious regression?
It's obvious from the contract Byrd got that most of the league agreed with them on this. But sometimes most of the league is wrong-- we don't know for sure, but my suspicion is that Byrd's trade value was actually higher at the end of August than it was at the end of July, because no one thought he was for real last year. But he kept up the performance across the whole season (outside of March/April, he didn't have an OPS lower than .800 in any month), so it's not like his season-long numbers were inflated by a ridiculous hot streak.

Don't know about everyone else, but I was surprised Byrd didn't get at least $10 M.
   35. JE (Jason) Posted: May 10, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4703998)
Don't know about everyone else, but I was surprised Byrd didn't get at least $10 M.

To me, that's what was disappointing. OTOH, Byrd probably felt that he had earned the right to get at least two years if he stayed in Queens.

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