I mean - how many of us have been? As I've mentioned, I've been hitting the gym more, eating better, going to bed earlier and in general not caring whether the Mets win or lose. I know, at this point in this Lost Season (which I have taken to calling 2009), we should just be enjoying baseball for what it is. But then, I have been paying more attention to preseason hockey and football. What the hell is that about?
Then again, I followed the Mets out west in August. That should tell you how I spend my summers. Somehow, I think going up to the mountains or trips to Europe should be on my agenda next year.
Anyhow, I wanted to address an issue that I feel is, well, not being fully addressed by anyone at all. And that is...Carlos Delgado.
Let me make my position fully clear on this: when we have that flatbed truck backing up in the Bullpen Gate at CitiField, let it be known that I want Carlos Delgado to get on that truck first.
Why is that? Yes, I know it's clear that we really missed his bat this year. I mean, really really REALLY missed it. I was against exercising his option last offseason (I wanted Teixeira - not that he would have signed, but still...), and the Mets currently have zero obligation to him, much like Pedro this year.
And I really no longer want him on this team. And why is that, Coop, you may ask. The answer is very simple.
Carlos Delgado is a succubus.
Before I get into my reasons why, I wanted to bring up another topic. People have also asked me if I'd rather have Daniel Murphy starting at 1B next year. And I guess my answer would be not really. I don't think he's that much of a defensive liability but let my feelings be known that while I think Daniel Murphy is a solid player, I'd rather see Omar try to trade him to an AL team where he could work on his bat and not have to worry about his bungling of plays.
The other night, and admittedly I did not see this play, the Mets were up by a run in the 9th against the Braves and K-Rod comes in. Okay, how many people knew it would only be a matter of time before we saw K-Rod fucking implode? Of course, I am a little cheesed off, of course, because I went all the way to San Diego to see K-Rod not be able to record one freaking out when he's basically paid to get three outs. Of course, K-Rod not only allowed that game to be tied but he gave up a walk-off grand slam to a guy who'd never done it before.
My point? Well, Frankie thought it was good enough to throw Daniel Murphy under the bus when apparently he misjudged a liner down the first base line, th0ught it was foul, but ended up being a lead-off double. "He should have gotten that," says K-Rod. How about YOU get three outs and worry about that, Frankie.
I agree - Daniel Murphy should not be our starting first baseman this year and MAYBE he should be given a chance after he's learned to play the position. On the flip side, I ask this - would Carlos Delgado have dove? I doubt it. He may have been a little more schooled to stop it than Murphy, but the reality is, we would have seen another Dorn'd play there by Delgado.
Others think Daniel Murphy has gotten it easy, that people give him the benefit of the doubt, etc etc. I couldn't disagree more. Santana threw him under the bus for muffing a play that ultimately meant the game in April (when the Mets couldn't buy a fucking hit that day), and no one says jack about the fact that Murphy has not been playing his given position (3B - which will be occupied for some time, I understand). I find it ironic that some Mets fans want him gone, when if we look back we always root for the underdog on the field and at the position -- look at Ty Wigginton and Xavier Nady (super-duper-subs who play hard and always give you a good at-bat) or even Joe McEwing (who sucked ass, but Mets fans still loved him). I think it's a little self-serving to throw him under the bus when he's essentially the last Met standing. And don't get me started on giving David Wright a free pass. If there is ANYONE we should be worried about in 2010...it's Davey himself.
My whole diatribe about Murphy in a column devoted to Delgado is this -- I wonder if Carlos Delgado would have gotten that ball either. Would anyone have said anything to him about that?
Which brings me back to Delgado and why he is enemy #1, as far as I'm concerned.
Carlos Delgado, if you want to wax intellectual about it, has been a succubus since 2005. How so? He was on the Marlins in 2005. Yeah, exactly. Remember that -- he was being courted by the Mets and the Fish that offseason as a free agent, and well, Tony Bernazard basically screwed that whole thing up. But remember Delgado's reason (besides the fact that Tony B insulted him or something) for signing with the Fish? "I have a better chance of reaching the postseason." Well, 20/20 hindsight, I am pretty sure with his bat protecting young David Wright in the lineup and Carlos Beltran who had a lackluster first year with the team, along with a solid Pedro Martinez in 2005, perhaps the Mets could have reached the postseason. Because we all know that the Marlins did not.
Then he comes via trade that offseason. That automatically changed the face of the organization. We went from maybe a Wild Card contender to a freaking powerhouse in 2006. I will admit, Delgado's bat helped a LOT. On the flip side, I often wonder if the Mets kept Mike Jacobs and had made a legit run for the Wild Card, things might have been different. We might be looking at a really good team each year that gives us a surprise.
All 2006 did was set us up for disappointment, as we see now.
However, you'd think 2007 -- one hit away from getting into the World Series, would have been enough incentive for this sorry-ass team to win a few games here and there. No, that was not the case as we see now. In fact, Carlos Delgado was quoted as saying (I'm paraphrasing here) something along the lines that -- sometimes, we are just so good, that we get bored and complacent sometimes. (Granted, it wasn't just him -- Tom Glavine said something similar as well).
Bored and complacent. In a year where his power numbers declined incredibly and if he had come through when the team needed him most. After all, Delgado was heralded for his clubhouse leadership qualities, yet, we saw him ducking out of the clubhouse after games and not being available to the press. Nothing like leading by example there, 'Los.
There were also rumors that Delgado and Willie Randolph did not get along. I'm not sure if I buy that, but could Delgado have tanked on purpose? I doubt it, but it was interesting that around the same time Delgado started putting up his power numbers again in 2008, it was shortly after Randolph was let go.
2007 did not have to happen. There were several games (besides the very last one that stands out in most Mets fans minds) that they could have won throughout the season and did not. My philosophy is that no one would DARE call Delgado out in that clubhouse, simply because veterans were favored and it was assumed he'll snap out of it. Eventually. Still waiting...
As for 2008, there was a push at the middle towards the end of the season. Injuries did get the best of the team -- not to mention the bullpen -- but again, Delgado was still on somewhat of a decline at the beginning of that season. If he was tanking to get Randolph fired because they did not get along, well, shame on him. Again, I don't buy this was the case, but it's a team sport. And from my perspective, Carlos Delgado was simply into padding his numbers for the Hall of Fame and not caring about how the team did. See-- either way, he gets paid. I call bullshit.
The reason I am calling him and Delgado is getting my venom is that the SECOND he came on this team, the dynamic shifted dramatically. Simply, if he had come to the team in 2005, we'd probably be looking at an incredibly different dynamic, a better one. The trade of Carlos Delgado set the trend of Omar Minaya thinking he can catch lightning in a bottle by trading some prospects for a Proven Veteran and plugging in holes that way while the Reinforce-Mets coming up in the minors mature.
And yes, I am simply mad that Delgado got injured, we missed his bat and it changed the dynamic of the 2009 team to a team that had something to prove to a team getting decimated slowly, one-by-one, step-by-step. Therefore, I submit that Carlos Delgado, since talking to the Mets, has sucked the life out of the team. Do we really need someone like that back in 2010?
I am ready to move on from that and start afresh in 2010 with Beltran, Reyes, Wright and Santana. Notice I did not include Daniel Murphy. I'd like to see him succeed, but perhaps on my adopted AL team, the California Angels.