Alderson Goes Full Costanza, Buys At The Trade Deadline

I think it’s fair to say that the Mets organization is approaching George Costanza territory. Almost every decision ever made by this franchise has been wrong. Ultimately that has led to a life full of misery for every single fan. So what is Sandy Alderson doing? He’s going full blown Costanza mode and doing the opposite. The Mets suck. They have no chance of making the playoffs this year. Teams like that sell at the trade deadline. But not Maverick. He’s buying baby!

The Mets came out of nowhere yesterday to trade for the Marlins closer AJ Ramos. They gave up two decent prospects. The Mets sent the Marlins their 9th ranked prospect, pitcher Merandy Gonzalez (because who needs young pitching depth) and 22nd ranked prospect OF Ricardo Cespedes (who I assume will turn out to be better than our current Cespedes because #MetsLuck).

All joking aside, I understand why Sandy would make a trade to improve the bullpen. He’s already looking to next season, and AJ Ramos is an incredible addition to the roster and under control for one more year. A reliever on a one year contract is Sandy’s favorite thing in the world. He LOVES it.

The move is also savvy as hell because Sandy basically eliminated the primary competition for Addison Reed on the trade deadline bullpen market. He knew that most of the teams competing for a playoff spot were calling the Marlins for Ramos and the Mets for Reed. So he decided to snag Ramos. Brilliant. Now most teams will be forced to call the Mets for Reed assuming they all can get over the frightening possibility that Terry Collins has destroyed Addison’s arm over the past two seasons.

There’s one thing that’s bothering me about the fan reaction to the trade. I’ve seen so many fans and bloggers tweet some variation of the following:

“Wow we got Ramos! Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins, and Drew Smith in the 2018 bullpen should be a big improvement.”

Ummmm first of all it’s insane to factor Drew Smith (the minor league pitcher we just acquired for Lucas Duda) into the 2018 bullpen blueprint. He’s 23 years old and pitching in Double-A. Pump the breaks on the Drew Smith 2018 Opening Day bullpen predictions. Second of all, Familia, Ramos, and Blevins don’t represent an improvement. Addison Reed will be gone. Ramos will replace Reed. That’s not a net improvement. So while I appreciate Sandy being proactive and starting to address the 2018 bullpen, I’m not patting him on the back until he actually improves the pen by adding new talent.

The bottom line is the trade deadline clock continues to wind down and Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, and Addison Reed are all still here. Wake up Maverick! Drop the Costanza act. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Mets Trade Future MVP Lucas Duda

The Mets officially kicked off their trade deadline sell off by sending Lucas Duda to the Tampa Bay Rays. In exchange for Duda the Rays sent the Mets the 30th ranked prospect in their farm system (per MLB Pipeline), pitcher Drew Smith. The experts certainly weren’t kidding when they said the return for Duda would be limited. Jesus Christ.

This kid Smith is 23 years old, can throw 96-98 MPH, and has pitched at Triple-A this season. I was hoping to get a couple of prospects in return for Duda, but I can understand why his value is limited. He’s an impending free agent, there were only two teams reportedly competing for his services (Rays and Yankees), and also the supply of power hitters is at an all-time high thanks to the new juiced up baseballs. So I suppose this is the best we could do for ol’ Lucas.

I love how every conversation about Duda ignites a goddamn fiery debate amongst Mets fans. Half the fan base says he sucks and half the fans love him and spend their days defending him on Twitter. You know what I think of him? He was fine. He was aight. I liked when he would go on one of his signature home run hot streaks. But I’m not crying and losing sleep over his departure.

You know when I will lose sleep? I’ll lose sleep the second he signs with a new team in the offseason and transforms into an MVP candidate. You know that’s coming. If you’re a Mets fan you know how it works at this point. Mets dump underappreciated long-time player who wants to stay with the team. Then the player becomes an MVP candidate. The transformation is not based on anything logical. We’ve all watched Duda for years now. We’ve all looked at his stats a million times. We know what he is. In his career he’s been an above average hitting major league first baseman with some pop, decent OBP skills, and an average glove at best. But we also know what those stats mean once a player leaves the Mets. Zilch.

Justin Turner is still leading the league in hitting this year with his .365 average. Daniel Murphy still hanging around right behind Turner with his .340 average. How is this possible? It’s just God’s anti-Mets voodoo magic. I can’t wait to see if the streak continues and Duda magically goes from decent player to megastar the second he sheds the cursed orange and blue jersey. Remember his back woes? They’ll “magically” disappear now that he’s escaped the wrath of Ray Ramirez.

I’m imagining Duda transforming like the Beast at the end of the Disney movie. The second he pops on a new uniform sparks start flying all around him. He inexplicably floats into the air and then is slowly lowered back to the ground. By the time he lands his back injuries are healed, and he’s developed extra power, elite contact skills, and a Gold Glove.

P.S. – The Mets didn’t pick up one dollar of Duda’s remaining salary in an attempt to try and improve the return they received from the Rays. Shock of the century.

Judge Cranks Homers As Harvey’s Arm Muscles Melt

I watched the home run derby, and as a baseball fan I loved it. Who doesn’t like watching sluggers mash homers? As a Mets fan however, the derby has me depressed. Yankees freak slugger Aaron Judge was crowned the winner. There wasn’t a single young Mets slugger involved in the derby (because other than Conforto they don’t exist). Michael Conforto may be an All-Star, but knowing Terry Collins he’ll have him sitting on the bench collecting dust when we kick off the second half.

Meanwhile Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Miguel Sano, Cody Bellinger and the other young sluggers that competed in the derby absolutely tore the cover off these juiced up baseballs. Leave it to the New York Mets to build a franchise around young pitching right before MLB secretly alters the baseballs with the intention of ushering in a new long ball era. MLB is about to launch a reboot of the 90’s steroid era (hopefully without the steroids) and the Mets have a bunch of injury prone pitchers in their mid to late 20s primed to get lit up.

Speaking of injury prone pitchers, Newsday reported that Matt Harvey’s arm muscles are disintegrating.

“Only after Matt Harvey went on the disabled list did doctors discover that the muscles behind his right shoulder were roughly half the size of those on his left.” WHAT?!?!?!?

That sounds like a joke that I would write to exaggerate the incompetence of the Mets medical staff. But that’s not a joke. It’s happening in real life. The muscles in Harvey’s shoulder are literally wasting away and our medical “professionals” didn’t even notice!!! I’m no doctor, but I kind of assumed that the Mets would be extra cautious with Harvey considering he was coming off major surgery. I figured they’d conduct MRIs more frequently or occasionally use their eyes to look at his arm to see if one shoulder is HALF THE SIZE OF THE OTHER.

Oh well. That’s life as a Mets fan. If Harvey is smart he’ll get through next season as quickly as possible and sign a short term deal with some other team. He needs to get his arm the hell away from Ray Ramirez and Jeff Wilpon before it’s an actual puddle of soup on the floor.

Other Stray Pessimistic All-Star/Mets Notes:

  • Watching Aaron Judge makes me miss Noah Syndergaard. I want our enormous star pitcher back. He was the most exciting player in New York. Now the media would probably award that distinction to Judge, but I’d like to see what Thor has to say about that. I want to see Thor and Judge matchup. Based on his lat recovery timeline it doesn’t sound like that’ll happen in 2017. Oh and speaking of Thor, I saw that Dan Warthen said he might consider using Syndergaard out of the bullpen if he returns this season. That’s the least intelligent thought I’ve ever heard. I guess Warthen has atrophy of the brain.
  • I miss the energetic, healthy, and inspired Yoenis Cespedes. I wish he was competing in the home run derby. It’s pretty obvious that he’s slumping right now, and there’s no way his legs are 100% healthy. I’m having a tough time staying motivated as a fan so I can only imagine how difficult it is for Yo and the rest of these guys to stay motivated and focused in the clubhouse. I hope his reoccurring leg injuries are temporary issues and not a case of METS disease starting to take root deep inside him. The media is already starting to print articles questioning Cespedes’ work ethic and motivation.
  • Jay Bruce deserves to be an All-Star. I’m having a hard time imagining a scenario where the Mets re-sign Bruce in the offseason primarily because Conforto needs to play a corner outfield spot everyday and also money (duh). But I’m not having a hard time imagining a scenario where Bruce is traded at the deadline, finishes this season with career highs in all major offensive categories, and then goes on to sign with a rival and put up three straight 40 home run seasons. There have been plenty of articles printed showing that Bruce has embraced the new “fly ball” approach that has contributed to the increase in homers across the sport. It’s the same approach that Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy embraced, and we’ve all seen how they have transformed from mediocre Mets to MVPs. It’s the Kevin Long philosophy. I can easily see Jay Bruce joining the club of former Mets that catapulted their careers to the next level (in a different uniform).
  • I keep reading articles that say the Mets shouldn’t expect to receive a significant return in trades for any of their impending free agents. If the Mets can’t get a good return for Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, and Lucas Duda then the league must be colluding against them. I understand supply and demand, and I understand that the trade market may be flooded with teams looking to sell. But the Mets should be able to score some nice chips for Reed and Bruce. Reed’s been one of the best relievers in the sport over the last two seasons. Teams should be lining up for him. Sandy blew the offseason. He better not screw up the trade deadline sell off. And the cheap ass Wilpons better eat some damn salary so we can score better prospects in the deadline trades.

Will The Nationals Drive A Dagger Into The Mets’ Heart? Yes. Duh.

Steven Matz pitches a gem, Curtis Granderson hits a clutch pinch hit game-tying two run homer in the top of the 9th inning, and then the Mets bullpen blows the game. Oh and Yoenis Cespedes injured his leg on the final play of the game. A bullpen implosion combined with an injury to a key player is the least shocking outcome imaginable. It has been the theme of the 2017 season. The Nationals are going to bury the Mets over the next few days. The Mets haven’t done one thing this year that would lead me to believe they can compete with an actual contending team.

Sunday’s game marked the midpoint of the 2017 season. After 81 games I can say that I am suffering from the worst case of fan fatigue that I’ve dealt with in my time as a Mets fan. It became obvious early in the season that 2017 wasn’t going to be fun, but there have been a number of factors that have made this year particularly brutal.

Same Old Story: First and foremost, this season we’ve seen the exact same groundhog day bullshit that Mets fans have been dealing with forever. Ray Ramirez claims another injury victim every other day. The injuries have been both random and attributable to Wilpon-related ineptitude. Mike Barwis has these guys training like professional weight lifters in the offseason and as a result many of the players have been straining muscles. Same story, different season.

Terry Collins still can’t manage for shit. He’s killed half of the relievers. He spent a large part of the season trying to bench our only All-Star Michael Conforto. He’s garbage.

The Wilpons didn’t let Sandy Alderson spend a little extra cash to add necessary reinforcements to the bullpen and rotation in the offseason and the team has suffered as a result.

We’ve seen our mascot flip off fans, Asdrubal Cabrera demand a trade because the Mets failed to notify him about a position switch, and our top prospect Amed Rosario continues to waste away in Triple-A while horrendous Jose Reyes is still allowed to start day after day.

The list of embarrassing stories linked to the Mets’ franchise this year has been lengthy, and at this point I’m numb to it.

Success In The Bronx: The second factor that’s killing me is the instant turnaround of the Yankees organization. The Mets were great in 2006. Then they floundered for the better part of 7 years. The length of a “rebuild” can vary. I’ve seen franchises turn things around in a few years. I’ve also seen teams take closer to a decade to return to a place of respectability. Some organizations stink forever. In the Bronx it took 10 minutes.

We heard the word rebuild thrown around by Brian Cashman and Co. last year. I blinked and now the Yankees have the best player in baseball. Aaron Judge is like a player that scientists created by extracting a partial DNA sequence from Giancarlo Stanton and then filling in the gaps with Babe Ruth DNA. The Yankees are rebuilding and who shows up? Only the biggest freak in the history of professional baseball. The Yankees have instant stars in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and now Clint Frazier has been called up. There’s obviously a pretty good chance that the league will figure out Judge at some point, and he’ll have to adjust. But right now it looks like the freak is going to hit 50 homers. Each and every long ball he hits raises my blood pressure to unsafe levels.

Goddamn Daniel Murphy And The Nationals: The number one factor that is absolutely killing me is the success of Daniel Murphy. Oh what’s that? You think I should get over it? Screw you. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever get over the fact that the Mets made it to the World Series thanks to their young arms and the bat of Daniel Murphy and then they told their playoff hero to get lost. I will never forget that Daniel Murphy was a decent player for the Mets, went to our top division rival, and transformed into an MVP.

I don’t think Murph has hit below .330 since he’s joined the Nationals. He’s a batting champion contender once again. He’s an All-Star again. His success and the Nationals success coupled with the deterioration of the Mets young pitching staff is plaguing my nightmares. The Mets had a World Series roster, and they unnecessarily tinkered with it. They changed the damn formula. They let their star bat depart for nothing. The only way I can forgive the Mets for that sin is if this team wins a World Series in the near future.

And if Murph winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.

Bottom Line: The 2017 Mets are toast. They should start trading the impending free agents immediately. That would be the smart move, but we all know the Wilpons won’t allow the team to go into a proper sell mode. They’ll half ass it, trade one guy like Jay Bruce, and then call up Tim Tebow to sell tickets in September and continue to embarrass the loyal fan base.

Obviously I’m not “giving up.” Will I keep blogging and watching? Of course. But am I optimistic? No. It kills me that this team is buried in the standings in July. But like all die hard fans I will always tune in to watch. No matter how much the Wilpons infuriate me or how hard it is to watch our rivals succeed, I’ll never quit watching this stupid team. It’s my stupid team.