So as I promised, there’s some bid-ness I need to take care of before getting down to the nitty gritty stuff of the season…like my obsession with one Oliver Perez or Oh Pea as many of you have taken to calling him on account of yours truly. I will get to that tomorrow. Today’s theme is something that I tried to post on Ed’s BOG the other day, and **surprise surprise**, the PC ate it. Drat. It was a good one. But thankfully I remember most of the commentary, so I thought – why not use it as a topic for my blog? Mad props go to Ed though, since this is a response to his posting on Tuesday. But now the thoughts are a Coop Original.
So from my perspective, there are three keys to this season being a runaway success on a par with 2006. Here’s a hint: it has nothing to do with pitching. Believe it or not, I am fine with the pitching staff as is. Don’t get me wrong, I was totally drinking the Zito kool-aid during hot stove, as many on The Metropolitans can attest (Hi Benny!). Put the big Dice-K cherry on top, and I thought the Mets might make out well in the off season. Alas, Dice-K went to not-the-Yankees and Zito…well you know he was drinking his own Kool Aid or smoking wacky tabacky too with the sweet moolah he made off with or thought he deserved. If you remember correctly, the last two years, everyone had question marks on their pitching but somehow the Mets made it through two over .500 seasons with such starters as Kaz Yeesh-ii, Alay Soler, Lima Time and Jeremy-Jeremi-Jeromy-Jeremei oh forget it Gonzalez. And they still had winning records. Pitching does not concern me.
Three things or rather players do and I believe they are the keys to a successful season. The three keys are: Shawn “String Bean” Green, David “Sugar Pants” Wright and Jose “The Mack Daddy” Valentin.
OK I think we pretty much know that Green is WAY over his prime. His offense is questionable, his fielding sucks, and overall, we cannot really count on him to drive in the RISP or pretty much get on base anytime but sporadically. OK, some of you may think I am being harsh, but I am not. I will get into this more tomorrow in my Oh Pea post, but I was truly against the Xavier Nady trade, and I still am to a certain extent. I feel without the knee jerk reaction trade, we would have been a better team defensively and offensively in the later parts of the season and we would not have Shawn Green. Of course, 20/20 hindsight is a bitch. We can wax intellectual over what would have been with X Nady instead of String bean, but the fact is…Shawn Green blows. But to have Lastings Milledge start over a “proven veteran” on Willie’s Watch? Oh hush yo mouth!! I want Stings in there as badly as anybody else. Without a strong start or maybe more apt term consistent start from String Bean Green, the bottom of the order will truly suffer without a ZING from a young Stings.
Next is Sugar Pants aka David Wright. OK so we saw SP take a beating after the HR Derby and all over, we heard the rumblings of – is it the HR Derby curse? Will he return to his form? Where’s his next public appearance? Well, I think Ryan Howard can attest, there is no HR Derby curse, but SP’s second half taper-off did concern me. Sure, he might have been tired but I have another explanation. He’s starting to believe his own hype. Think of how many night show appearances, TV interviews, magazine articles he did after his performance in the All-Star game. Don’t get me wrong, I think he can still put up MVP numbers like last year, but he needs to set limits. I mean, I’d rather him have a consistently good year, then mash in the post-season. A-Fraud gets a lot of flak for not performing in the post-season, not that it’s not deserved ($26 mm per year anyone?). But I think it’s only a matter of time before someone points that out about SP. Just sayin…
Lastly, another key is YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHH…Jose Valentin. I admit, I was one of the people on the cut the bastard train regarding him last year, but I have to say, the man, the myth and the Stache have grown on me. After all, he singlehandedly won the NL East clincher for us. Well that and an unusual stellar performance from Steve Trashball. I digress. I was totally one of the choir who was singing to get him the hell out of town before 2007 when the opportunity came to get somebody – anybody – at second base. Lo and behold, Omar extends him. Why – so our slogan can be “40 is the next 30?” I’m still not sold on him. My anecdote behind him is this – during Game 5 of the NLCS, he struck out looking in a critical at-bat (and don’t get me started on Game 7. I still have nightmares about that). He made a face like it was the umpire’s fault. WRONG! I remember what Mike from the Metropolitans said about – dude, not cool. It wasn’t cool and it still isn’t. Jose has got to step up and be the mack daddy he was last year. Otherwise, his extension is just piss in the wind.
So that’s the big three for more in 2007. I think everyone else will pretty much fall into place in the Coop Crystal Ball. We’ll get what we expect out of Beltran, Jo-Z Reyes will put up MVP numbers all season and Delgado can still mash. But without production from Green, Wright and valentine, coupled without a quick start to the new season, the Mets can bend over and kiss their collective ass good-bye.
Oh yeah...And Oliver Perez will be the CY winner in the NL. THE END.
TOMORROW’S POST: The most anticipated Coop posting yet…her strange obsession with Oliver Perez.