Mets Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009 at 11:19 am and is filed under Baseball, Mets Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

85133723JM004_FLORIDA_MARLIIt’s still only April, but the Mets are cracking under the pressure. They’re already a nervous wreck. Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver nicknamed pitcher Don Stanhouse “Full Pack” because the hurler caused the Baltimore skipper to smoke a full pack of cigarettes every time he took the mound. Every player on the Mets (except Johan Santana, of course) fits that description. Epitomizing the weight of the world that sits on the Mets’ shoulders and nervous-wreckedness (is that a word?) is face-of-the-franchise David Wright.

While the third baseman is making Met fans want to smoke Camel Light after Camel Light every game with his fielding and hitting, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sitting in the dugout dragging on three cigs at once and sweating more than me trying to come up with a Dennis Miller-like analogy for someone who sweats a lot. “Nervous? Me? What gave you that idea?” In between Gold Glove plays at third, he commits egregious errors, and when he’s not hitting into double plays to end a rally, he’s striking out to end a rally, striking out in the bottom of the ninth or just plain striking out (27 K’s in 21 games). What happened? When did he turn into A-Rod? His average with runners in scoring postition was actually good for most of his career until last season: .281 in ’04, .298 in ’05, .365 in ’06, .310 in ’07, but .243 in ’08 and .226 this year. Nobody cares about helping his team more than Wright, but maybe there’s something to be said for the obliviousness of a Manny Ramirez. If Wright doesn’t doesn’t start to calm down, he’s going to hyperventilate at the plate and need to ask for a time out so he can breath into a brown paper bag.

The team’s new and improved bullpen is feeling nostalgic for seasons past and has now lost the last two games 2008-style, and the offense has the exact same problem with hitting in the clutch as last season, which makes for a Molotov cocktail of a combination. Santana walks off the mound with the lead, and the ‘pen blows the game. We’ve all seen that movie before. Santana is pretty much the only Met with enough toughness and spine to overcome the cloud that hangs over this team. If the other 24 players had his competitive fire, it would be a different andMarlins Mets Baseball more successful team. Even Jerry Manuel is freaking out. Dragging Omir Santos in from the bullpen to pinch hit for Ramon Castro because he has a shorter swing is overthinking things way too much. Castro already had two hits off of fireballing Josh Johnson, while Santos wasn’t even close to being ready to hit, squatting out in the ‘pen. Which all brings us to the Mets’ big problem.

Omar Minaya fixed the bullpen (well, we think), but the team’s troubles go deeper than that. They have a roster full of headcases, who lack mental toughness and play the game scared. The Mets needed more than a bullpen upgrade, they needed a change in culture. When the opposition takes a lead, the Mets lay down and die. They don’t have any fight in them. Where’s the digging down deep to overcome adversity? They have pitching problems, hitting problems, fielding problems, base-running problems and maybe the biggest of all is a character and toughness problem. And that wasn’t fixed in the off-season. Can anybody spare a smoke?

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