Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gil Hodges, Where Are Ya Buddy?

Gil Hodges once famously walked out to left field to talk to Cleon Jones. It was a move unseen in professional baseball prior to this moment. He also questioned the manhood of several of his players and no one ever questioned him back. To this day, Mr. Ego himself Tom Seaver still has gone on record and said if Gil was the leader of the team in the late 70s when he was traded, he might have stayed a Met till the end.

Where’s Davey Johnson? Johnson was a stats guy before they were in vogue. But for a guy who relied on numbers, he knew his “guys” well. He knew when to start certain players, when to rest them, when he could get the most out of them and when to coast. After two fatigued losses in Games one and two of the 1986 World Series, he told his team to take the day off and don’t worry about getting extra practice in before starting Games 3, 4 and 5 in Fenway, and that made the difference, as Gary Carter would later say. He also knew when to tell the management to “fuck off.” Like when they trashed a plane after a dramatic Game 6 win in Houston, only to have Frank Cashen hand them the bill. Fans likes Davey because, well, he was one of us. He wasn’t a corporate shill, he knew when the say what but had the ability to prepare to ground.

Or better yet, where’s Bobby V? When the team was floundering in the late 90s there, upper management forced his hand – agree to get rid of your coaching staff or you don’t have a job either. Bobby V knew his coaches were replaceable (or so I’d like to think), and although his definitely took the high road in this instance, this stance changed the tune of that team and the teams with lesser talent than we see on display today make it a lot further without a lot of coercing. It set a statement.

You may think this is yet another Willie bashing piece. But it’s not.

It’s about the offense, Stupid!

I didn’t get to see the game today due to the time, but between last night’s game and today’s game, we dropped two for a sweep at our only appearance at Wrigley this year and three in a row starting from Philly on Sunday.

As previously thought, pitching has not been a problem (unless you count the bullpen, but that’s a whole ‘nother story). Johan has been formidable in all his starts and lost a game because the offense decided to take a nap that day. John Maine, whom I predicted to the best pitcher on the staff this year, still has a chance to turn it around, but lost Monday night’s game because the offense fell asleep, and didn’t figure into a decision because the offense decided not to back him up. Then there is Oh Pea, who has been, well Oh Pea. He’s been great. Then slot in Big Pelf and Figgy and these guys have MORE than held up their end of the bargain.

But even on a night when the pitchers put up good numbers and for some strange twist of fate, the offense decides to score some runs, the bullpen might manage a heart attack or two, but the team has been winning the games they are supposed to.

But when does it end? I think today was a good example. Let me give you the scenario. Bases loaded, one out, Carlos Delgado decides not to Delwhiffo, but pops up. All we needed was a sac fly. It’s not that hard dude, especially to a guy not known for his defensive prowess. Oh did I mention he muffed an easy play too?

Laverne Delgado needs to go. Now. Unretire Mex and throw him out there. As Blondie’s Jake says, he’s forgotten more baseball than these p*ssies will ever learn.

But, says WFAN, there’s more. When Moises Alou returns (who is supposed to make it back as early as next week), throw HIM at first base and let Endy and Angel platoon at left.

This thinking is flawed for several reasons. One is that – Moises has never ever ever played first base a day in his life. Furthermore, we are going to depend on Alou for that offense once again…and he’s been known to mash, that was evident when he returned to the line up last year. But what’s gonna happen when he slumps? What’s gonna happen if he doesn’t return to form? And what’s gonna happen if he doesn’t pee on his hands? He’s not going to be much better than what we have now, not without a walker at least.

Now, I could go on a rant about how Baseball Intellectually Challenged Willie (or “BIC Willie” as Blondie’s Jake has started to call him on Brooklyn Met Fan) needs to go but I won’t. Why? Because basically it’s overdone and I’ve stated my peace many times on the topic.

I pin a lot of the blame on Omar Minaya. I have gone on record many times about how Moises Alou was good for the 2007 team. When he went down for the stretch though, it just sucked because of all the injuries we had. He came back, mashed but it was too late. If I’m Omar, I cut the ties immediately and don’t exercise his option. What does he do? Exactly the opposite. Omar has soft spots in his heart, see, for aging veterans who are friends of his. Isn’t Omar friendly with Moises’ pop?

Next is Delgado. Now, I can’t blame Omar for this one. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen the Decline of Delgado. Last year we hoped upon hope it was a fluke. Now I don’t even think I could get my size 7.5 Manolos that I said Carlos was about worth these days. I might be able to get the Star Jones special at Payless for him.

But this I can pin on Omar – thank you SO SO SO much for exposing our weaknesses so early in the season. I really appreciate it. No depth at 1B. And his offense (which is presumably what we got him for) is sucking the life out of the team. Activate Mike Carp now!

But I can pin something on Willie. His insistence upon using a method that clearly does not work. Move Ryan Church back up. Bench Delgado. I don’t care who plays first. Doesn’t Ryan Church have a 1B in his pocket? Use him instead and use and TRUST guys like Pagan and Chavez. His distrust of the youngsters, hm, I wonder if that makes him realize that the youngsters not producing is direct correlation to his distrust. And for the love of Pete, if Delgado HAS to play, it aint gonna kill the fat bastard to move down a few slots in the line up. He’s not hitting much better than Johan Santana is anyway. At least we can almost guarantee Johan will get on base when he plays every fifth day.

This team needs a swift kick in the ass. I’m not talking about another line up change, which did work but may be ineffective now. We need a Wally Backman type, or even Ken Oberkfell to be the manager of this team. A guy who’s cerebral but doesn’t p*ssy foot around.But of course that won’t happen. Omar will immediately promote Jerry Manuel. Which will be more of the same sh*t. I just don’t know what to do with these guys anymore.

This was a giant leap BACKWARDS from the momentum we had in the Philly series. ERASE IT. Move on. Thank you.

Visit Deb's new site at Good Bad Ugly Mets where yours truly will be a guest contributor once a week for the Big Pussy Pick of the Week. This week's pick was Aaron Heilman, and of course I wrote this before i decided to bash Delgado. Maybe next week, one of these days, Delgado will get his due.


Deb said...


We did have some rather ballsy managers in the past, didn't we, Coop?

Too bad Willie isn't one of them *sigh,* because I think that's what this team needs right now, and could have used at the end of last year, which I swear I'm not going to talk about again until I do. LOL

Deb said...

Oh, and btw, go check out my latest, A Letter Home From Carlos.... hee hee hee :) !

Ceetar said...

well, the thing is, it's too early to kill Delgado. But if he continues this another two weeks, then yeah. We have to do something.

I don't know that there was a legitimate option for Minaya to figure out in the off season (Morgan Ensberg? nah..) as a bench player that could contribute long term at 1b.

I agree with Alou, Mainly because if we were going to sign an injury prone left fielder, i'd have kept Floyd, and to do it twice, well..

I've been thinking about it, and as much as I like Endy, I think his resigning was a mistake too. Sure he's a great defensive guy, but you can't reliably pinch hit him late in the game when you'd really like some power. And when you do put him in late, and he comes up in extra innings, he lacks that power to end the game in one swing. This really ties in with Delgado..the Mets don't have enough power.

For much of last summer, we had one of the highest .avg ratings in the game, but with Alou out and Delgado strugging, there was a lot of stranding runners.

Joe D said...

I take it all back! Every single curse I uttered at Bobby V. Willie is driving me crazy. Sometimes I'd rather spend hours screeching my nails across a chalkboard than watching him manage.