In life, everybody has “those moments.”
You know, moments like:
“I think I’m ready to move out of my parents’ attic”…
“I’m never going to make assistant manager here, so I’m applying at Wendy’s”…
And who can forget, “My girlfriend is nothing more than a godless sperm bank whose legs spread easier than cream cheese.”
These are moments of acceptance and growth — chances to build upon your failures and graduate to higher levels of adulthood. Last night, I had one of these moments, when I came to terms with the bipolar and irrational 2008 New York Mets.
Am I giving up on the season? Not at all. I am giving up on this current version of the Mets, in hopes that a few significant moves can help them erase a 7.5 game deficit. Are these moves realistic? Maybe. Some might be considered a little far-fetched, but then again, so were the Mets’ chances of landing Johan Santana, so nothing is completely out of scope for these free-spending, underperforming Amazins.
- Trade Carlos Delgado, Aaron Heilman and ________ to Cincinnati for Adam Dunn
I know, I know…I started off with a move that’s a bit of a reach. But hear me out. Delgado’s expiring contract means he’s a relatively low risk maneuver for the Reds. The Mets would have to eat a good chunk of his 2008 paycheck, in addition to assuming all of Dunn’s money as well. Like Delgado, Heilman has shown some signs of life lately, and is relatively inexpensive, which makes him a decent throw in. Dunn’s youth, bat and decent outfield glove make him an ideal pick up for a team that is already too much in debt to be a major player this coming winter.
- Demote Mike Pelfrey
This one is a no-brainer. Pelfrey was rushed to the big leagues, and has shown that he simply doesn’t have enough command of his (admittedly good) stuff to compete at this level. Sending him out there to learn through continued failure is doing nothing but preparing him for a career in real estate before he’s 26. Claudio Vargas is more than able to do this job. Let Ken Oberkfell’s staff work with Pelf to try and command his current arsenal, and maybe learn a new pitch as well…before he becomes a complete loss.
- Trade Carlos Beltran
Unlike most Mets’ fans these days, I remain a big supporter of Senor Poutyface. He’s currently on pace to have a decidedly mediocre season - nowhere near the level of his excellent (fluke?) 2006 campaign. Right now, I don’t know of too many teams that would want to take a chance on Carlos, but I think it’s becoming clear that he isn’t the catalyst we need. Besides, the center field market is notoriously weak this summer, which could work out in the Mets’ favor. Too many called third strikes…too many GIDPs…too much of not enough. Gold glove center fielders should still carry some value…and though Minaya hasn’t exactly instilled much confidence this year, he’s shown he’s still capable of pulling some rabbits out of his hat.
- Find another home for Moises Alou
Okay, fans. I get it. No one is more productive when in the lineup than Moises. Hell, he returned from the DL last night and sparkplugged the offense on his first pitch. He made sick contact in his second plate appearance, too. Then he took a fastball in the ****, and all I could think about was him having another bruise, bump, pull, strain or seizure. This team needs consistency above all else, and it’s worth losing his bat to gain some day-to-day stability. Besides, if #1 goes through, we won’t need him as much. Roll the dice, people…
- Two catchers at a time, please
If we’re going to keep Casanova for his bat, then promote him to Schneider’s backup, and try and move Ramon Castro, who is simply not feeling it this year. Ramon will be picked up right away, because backup catchers have better job security than school teachers in Alabama. Having three catchers on a 25-man roster means that the bench is slower than evolution. No good for late inning rallies.
- Promote from within
Val Pascucci is ready. Chris Aguila is ready. Willie Collazo is close. Mike Carp is closer. Why in the blue hell are we continuing to employ guys like Fernando Tatis, or (the recently DFA’d after six lousy games) Abraham Nunez? Pascucci and Aguila are young but experienced, late-20s power guys, at positions where we need real backup, not an out of position Marlon Anderson. Carp is still in AA, but honestly, he’s shown his hand, and made quick improvements in all areas. I dream of a team where Reyes and Wright are the wily old team veterans, leading a youth movement into Citi Field. Besides, if this team is going to be a .500 squad all year, I’d rather see it happen with a group of young ‘uns making a name for themselves, than a group of has-beens tarnishing the logo.
Yeah, there’s a ton more to do. But I think these moves are mostly realistic, and would give the team a fresh look without sacrificing too much in the way of talent. Sure, I’m gonna get laughed at, scoffed at and generally abused in the comments section. I’ve been down this road before, and took my lumps from the B&C faithful in stride.
However, this isn’t offseason pipe dreaming — this is a very real look at moves that could help a team in dire need of a boost, either for now, or for ‘09. We can continue to blame Willie, blame Omar, blame al Qaeda — it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that the current mix in Queens simply isn’t working, and something dramatic needs to happen before this hole is insurmountable by the All-Star Break.
Your comments are welcome and necessary, Mets fans. Let’s hash this out together before our next big “moment” is “Thank God it’s only two months till football season.”