05.19.09

Neyer : ’09 Mets Are “Just A Little Bit Offensive”

Posted in Baseball, Sports TV at 7:52 pm by

(noted columnist/author Rob Neyer, satisfied after waiting all spring to use that Tim Redding line)

Metsblog’s Matthew Cerrone reports SS Jose Reyes returns to the Mets lineup tonight, but with 1B Jeremy Reed’s on-the-job-training likely to continue, the club’s lack of depth receives further scrutiny from ESPN’s Rob Neyer (above) who says of Monday’s 5-error abortion, “I don’t know that I’ve seen a good team make more obvious misakes in the late stages of a close game.”

You know what’s worse, though? When Tim Redding is your fifth starter. Because you know what that means, don’t you? It means that Livan Hernandez is your fourth starter. I happened to be at the ballpark in San Francisco last Friday night, and I just sat there in the first inning, dumbfounded, as Hernandez gave up hit after hit after hit. I can’t say that I exactly felt sorry for Hernandez — after all, nobody forced him to take the Mets’ money this spring — but I couldn’t quite help myself.

More, though, I felt sorry for Mets fans who have to put up with a pitcher like Livan Hernandez every five days (particularly if he really is the club’s fourth starter, and really will pitch every five days). Frankly, there’s simply no excuse for a team with a new ballpark and a $150 million payroll to trot Hernandez out there regularly, and wind up with Jeremy Reed at first base in a close game, and Angel Pagan in left field at the same moment, and … well, you get the idea. I can’t feel sorry for the Mets, and I can’t feel too sorry for their fans. Not with that payroll. As a guy who just likes to watch good baseball, though, I find this odd collection of talent just a little bit offensive.

Replies David Roth, “for a guy without a rooting interest in yesterday’s debacle — or without a Wally Matthewsian gig ripping the team in print several times a week, Neyer sure seems to take the lineup the Mets ran out there personally.”  Very true,  though I have to wonder if the spectre of Bernie Madoff isn’t looming over Omar Minaya’s inability to assemble a deeper bench or to field a team in Buffalo that’s either a) competitve or b) features a semi-competent veteran or two. Injuries are gonna happen, but the Mets didn’t seem to possess a much of a contingency plan whether for those of a legit nature (Delgado) or bogus (Oliver Perez).

4 Responses to “Neyer : ’09 Mets Are “Just A Little Bit Offensive””

  1. Rog says:

    I hope this guy never takes a gander at the Nationals’ roster. He might hurl his own feces at their dugout. Neyer, dude, it’s this type of stuff that affords you the opportunity to whine about dumb stuff and ignore things like a collapsing economy and the coming apocalypse in 2012. Take it in stride, dummy.

  2. GC says:

    Except Neyer’s being paid to write about baseball. Were he to compose a new entry today entirely consisting of real-life, serious issues, he could well anticipate readers wondering why ESPN.com was the forum of choice.

    I don’t really get the Nats analogy, either, Rog. If they’re guilty of masquarading as a major league ballclub, at least they’re not doing so with the highest payroll in the National League. I’m sure there are frustrated Nationals fans, but even their most optimistic booster wasn’t predicting a playoff berth during spring training.

  3. David Roth says:

    I’m repeating myself from the email I sent to GC on this, but I think that while Neyer’s pissy tone (while funny) is maybe a bit much, he’s pretty spot-on on the merits, here. I know no one anticipated Nick Evans’ complete breakdown this year, but it’s not difficult to see Minaya’s small-to-medium moves reflected in the Mets’ current lineup of aging, defensively defective backups. No one knew Heath Bell — traded for two guys who washed out of the organization in a year — would turn into Trevor Hoffman, but Minaya’s lazy and reliably wrong prospect-challenge deals have robbed the Mets of every low-priced minor league backup who could conceivably be helping out right now. Anderson Hernandez or Jeff Keppinger over Ramon Martinez isn’t a choice at all; neither is Matt Lindstrom or Henry Owens (who’s hurt) over Sean Green or whoever’s filling the Casey Fossum designated-hump role. And the Mets’ triple-A roster — an assortment of in-their-30s four-A dudes that has gone 10-27 so far — is really embarrassing. I know money’s tight, but there is something offensive about spending that much money on a team that’s half-competent just below the surface. I’d rather have the Nats’ triple-A team than the Mets’. And I’d rather have the Newark Bears’ roster than either of them. Really, Bears, Keith Foulke AND Armando Benitez? Is that necessary?

  4. GC says:

    the Bears currently lineup looks a lot like the Long Island Ducks of yore. Even stranger, they lost two players with considerable pedigrees when P.J. Rose bolted after one game and Tim Raines Jr. sought his release to pursue alleged overseas opportunities. Extra special note – Rock Raines Sr. is the current Newark manager.

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