It’s that time of year again: mid-September when you feel the first hint of chill in the air and you realize that baseball season is almost over. Yes, we’ve got umpteen rounds of play-offs, championship series and a World Series, but baseball is a summer game after all. That means short sleeves for fans and players alike. Watching October into November baseball is no fun at all when the fans look like football spectators and the players’ hands are frozen.
Once again the Mets are out of the money–literally as well as figuratively. My fondest wish is for the Wilpons to sell the club and be done with it. The Madoff bankruptcy trustee is on the verge of taking their wallets, their previously announced deal with a partner has collapsed and their baseball club needs a major overhaul. This last can not be done on the cheap, at least not in New York, but it has to be done now.
The Mets are not without talent. They’ve got a number of young players who are definitely worth watching–Ruben Tejada, who now has a bat to go along with that super glove, Justin Turner, a scrapper in the Wally Backman mode who’s a fiend for hitting with men in scoring position, and Lucas Duda, a longball hitter who nevertheless needs work on whatever glove he wears. Add them to the injured talent–Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy–and there’s definitely something to look forward to next season.
But the pitching, with the exception of R.A. Dickey and Chris Capuano, has been from hunger. It’s about time the Mets woke up and realized that Mike Pelfrey can not handle pitching in New York–trade him, please. The bullpen has all but collapsed during the second half, and it’s crazy to think Bobby Parnell can be a reliable closer, at least at this stage of his career. On top of that who knows what kind of pitcher Johann Santana will be when he returns? And the catching is problematical–Josh Thole really hasn’t developed to the extent the Mets thought he would and Ronny Paulino has been injured. Mike Nickeas, while an excellent defensive player, really hasn’t demonstrated that he can hit consistently.
All this on top of the eternal questions: Can the Mets re-sign Jose Reyes, and if they do, can he stay healthy? Will Jason Bay ever return to his Red Sox form? Is David Wright merely a good player and not the superstar we thought he was? What’s with Angel Pagan, whose head isn’t always in the game?
Who cares if “All My Children” and “General Hospital” are going off the air? We’ve got our own soap opera in Queens.