Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Curse of Carlos Delgado Lives

The Mets have been hit by the injury-bug and some other bugs that are residing in the tummies of Mets. With Ramon Martinez out with a dislocated pinky, and he was replacing another dude who was already out with an injury (Cora although he was ready to play tonight), and THEY were there to replace the gap from Jose Reyes who is now supposed to be reactivated in a few days.

WHEW.

But I don't blame the trainers. I don't blame the trainers for this injury-prone mess.  I don't blame the water for Carlos Beltran shitting himself, I don't blame the food for John Maine puking, I don't blame David Wright for getting Alzheimers and forgetting how to hit lesser pitching.

I blame Carlos Delgado. He can't defend himself. So I'll go ahead and bash him all I want.

Some fans may point to the Carlos Delgado trade in the 2005-going-into-2006 offseason as the turning point of making this team go from "good" to "great."

Personally, I think it's when the Mets became a "win now" team. And I also believe Carlos Delgado was never meant to be on this team. IF he was going to be a Met, he should have signed as a free agent. I will never forget when he said, "I want to play for the team I have a better chance of winning something with."

He had a better chance of winning something with the Mets in the 2005 offseason. He knows it, we know it, Omar Minaya knew it. Of course he was going to jump at the chance to trade for him, no matter if the centerpiece in that deal (Mike Jacobs) was a complete stud in 2005.

But starting with Carlos Delgado's hip injury and subsequent surgery, he has now left a hole so large that it will be tough to replace. The home run power is down. Much like Mark Teixeira on the Yankees, he will now see meatballs now that A-R*D is back on the team. Carlos Beltran nor David Wright will EVER see a pitch they can hit. Not that they can anyway with Beltran shitting himself and Wright shitting all over anything else that matters.

The saying on this generation's Mets is - As Jose Reyes goes, so do the Mets. But I disagree.

When Carlos Delgado was on, so was the team. This was evident in 2006 when the team went on an improbable run. This was completely the case in 2007 when Delgado forgot how to hit (or as rumor has it, dogged it because he didn't like his manager. Hey, that bleeds, so I like it too). It was so in 2008 after said manager left and all of a sudden - wow! Delgado was Yankee Killer #1.

When Delgado had a good game, he couldn't wait to talk about it. When he had a shitty game - where was Delgado? Oh yeah - Billy Wagner was calling him out on the carpet for disappearing.

And with him gone, they will flounder. This is evident today, when the Mets can't even beat the Pirates with Johan Santana on the mound. Sure, Zach Duke started. But why do other teams step it up when facing our ace?

I've taken Delgado to task on this site but by the same token I loved to watch him rake. Bar none, this dude is one of the best hitters of this generation of mashers. For a gal who loves pitching duels more than anything, this says a lot.

It also says a lot about the focus of this team. Instead of playing up the strengths of this team in pitching, they build around a guy who can fall apart at a moment's notice.

During the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast against the Giants a few weeks ago (Where I famously yelled at Phillips to shut the fuck up already), Jerry Manuel was asked about his thoughts on losing Delgado, at least till the end of July (which I think means more like - mid-to-late August). Manuel said that Delgado is and was the "leader" of the team.

Well, if that's the thinking of the manager, that's truly pathetic. Because Delgado is no leader. Leading is by doing by example. EVERYTHING I said above is not leader material. They stay after games to talk to the press regardless of their performance. They do not make light of muffing a simple play against Larry Jones against the Braves in one of his last games. No leaders are horrified when something like that happens.

In 2007, and I know I beat this to death, Delgado said that the Mets got "bored." Or "complacent." And it really showed in his daily play. His numbers went down significantly and unless he was injured, there was no good reason unless the fact was he just didn't want to play. Period.

I will say it again, Carlos Delgado should never have BEEN on this team. Tony Bernazard played the "Latin card" with Delgado and left such a bad taste, he signed with the Marlins. I remember saying on Take the 7 Train back around the trade that I didn't like the trade to bring him here initially -- if Delgado thought he had a better chance of "winning" with the Marlins, we should have just left him there or let them trade him someplace else. He had the choice to the come to the Mets. Then he got traded. And the Mets went on a roll like none other.

But someone that strong also had the power to bring the team down with him.

I mean, was his sole reason for coming to the Mets was to misguide the team leadership and make young players like David Wright wait to take the reigns of the team? It will be David Wright's team someday, make no mistake. But as long as Delgado was around, we knew that wasn't going to happen.

I know, players get hurt. And kicking a man while he is out on the DL and has absolutely nothing to do with how horrible the team is gelling right now is not something I take pride in doing.

But I wonder how this team would have done without Carlos Delgado in the last few years. Maybe they would have had a wild card and a good run and had a lot more depth in the minors.
We'd have never heard of the collapse(s) of 2007 (and 2008).

Today is June 2, and they've lost the first two games of the month of June. We cannot afford to have a June swoon in 2009.

And if this team does not do anything they are capable of this year, I will blame Carlos Delgado. I don't care if this team is shitting all over themselves in the outfield, I don't care that David Wright continually strikes out with the bases loaded, I don't care how many late inning leads J.J. Sisk gives up after last night.

Blame the guy who can't defend himself. Blame Carlos Delgado.

6 comments:

CharlieH said...

I've got a sneaking suspicion we've seen the last of him in a Met uni.

A Phanatic said...

Bastardo, Coop, Bastardo!

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