Mets to Contend in 2014? Who Told You That?!

We are truly amazed at the number of Mets fans who actually believe the hype coming from “official” sources and naive blog authors who continually predict that the Mets will be contenders beginning in 2014. In reality, there’s absolutely nothing you can point to to arrive at that conclusion.

metsliesThere are so many holes in this team, combined with the Mets recent history of minor-league player development and the bold-faced lies told by ownership regarding the team’s financial condition, that you’d have to crazy enough to believe Lance Armstrong never did PEDs to believe the Mets have any kind of shot in the near future.

If I were to tell you back in 2000 that the Mets would go 13 years and counting before appearing in another World Series, would I have been “negative” or “realistic”? Well make sure you’re sitting for this one: We’re here to tell you that the Mets are a decade AT LEAST from contending if things stay as they are.

And by the way, we said “contending”, not winning. I’m talking about just putting a winning team on the field, similar to let’s say today’s Tampa Bay Rays. The truth of the matter is, other than Matt Harvey, the Mets really have nothing worthwhile. So let’s start debunking a few myths that everyone in the media is lying about:

  • Lucas Duda has improved over last year, but there’s still no way this guy’s a major league hitter – and certainly not a major league fielder. Simply put, his bat does not justify his shortcomings on defense. And even with his improved OBP and better “eye at the plate”, his still only hitting .250 with 10 rbis that not one of them made a difference in any game so far. Good to mediocre pitchers will get him out everytime. Any contending team no doubt has no one named Lucas Duda on their roster. He’s bad, he’s not hitting 40 homers and driving in 100 runs. Let’s just stop this nonsense of Duda being a part of a contending team in 2014 – it’s not happening. In fact, as expected, the entire outfield has no reason to ever set foot on a major league baseball diamond.
  • Jordany Valdespin is sadly the best outfielder the Mets have and he deserves to start rather than come off the bench. But he’s still bad and a borderline major league talent. They say if you want to look thin, hang out with fat people. So if you want to look like you’re a real major league hitter, play for the Mets. There’s no way Valdespin starts on ANY contending major league team, so let’s stop with the “Valdespin being the solution” spin. If you honestly believe the Mets are contending in 2014 with Valdespin starting, Mante T’eo wants you for a girlfriend.
  • We know he’s a fan favorite and does all the right things, but can we all just admit that the Mets will be looking at David Wright’s contract like an albatross on their necks in the upcoming years? If by some miracle everyone at AAA Las Vegas works out and develops as promised, and the Wilponzi’s somehow get out of the financial mess they’re in, and the rest of the NL East falters while things fall in place for the Mets to make some noise, Wright’s going to be at least 3 years older with 3 more years obviously added to his already tiring body. How does this help the Mets contend? The David Wright deal is the biggest “catch-22″ in the Mets history: a good Wright helps a bad team, but if the team gets good, Wright will be bad.
  • The Mets strongpoint – starting pitching depth – is a complete mirage. They have no one other than Harvey. We all like Jonathan Niese, but in reality he’s a solid #3 starter. Sure Gee, Hefner, Marcum, etc. can handle themselves against the Marlins, but who can explain Laffey starting for a soon-to-be contender? The Mets want you to believe their minor league pitching talent is stacked, but as we all know from the history of the Mets player development system since Dwight Gooden, I’m not convinced – especially when your “can’t miss” star with “better stuff than Harvey” who the team traded their best centerfielder of all time for is getting racked constantly by minor league hitters in the Pacific Coast League. And the “stud” the team got for a reigning Cy Young award winner can’t throw strikes. And people with a straight face say things will get better in 2014. Really?
  • How many times do we have to give the closers job to Bobby Parnell? Granted right now, he’s the best in the bullpen and he might actually be improving (despite blowing 40% of his save ops), but don’t tell us he’s capable of closing for a contender. The entire bullpen is a disgrace and can’t be trusted to hold a lead or keep a game close against any good ballclub. How is this situation going to magically work out in just a year when a) no one’s out there to sign and b) the Mets won’t spend any money correctly anyway? Anyone who tells you there’s hope for the Mets pitching staff is blatantly lying to you. 2014? Are you serious?
  • We talked about this in a previous post, but it’s worth repeating here as well: Travis d’Arnaud is not Mike Piazza. He’s just not. What he is is an all-around solid hitter who may or may not be a good game-caller. Plus he’s injury prone. Plus he strikes out a lot. Plus catchers need time to develop in the first place. Do you really think this is all going to come together in 2014? In time, d’Arnaud may be a difference maker, but we’re years away from that in the most optimistic of scenarios – just in time for David Wright to become last year’s Jason Bay.
  • Terry Collins is not the manager to take the team to the next level. In fact, he’s just the opposite. Terry Collins is in an enviable situation – it doesn’t matter what the guy does because he was hired as a place-holder until the team gets better! If he wins, management is ecstatic. If he loses, management is tolerant. How would you like to be in that situation at your job? That’s right, no one expects Collins to be a Bobby Valentine type strategist. No one even expects him to have a baseball mind to play chess with opposing managers. Collins’ job is simple: damage control and to do what management tells him to do and take all the abuse regardless of results, a job that’s he’s done quite well with I must say. He says all the right things and doesn’t inject the negative nonsense that was so prevalent in the Jerry Manuel days.  So fans… yes, we know Collin’s is a bad manager, but it doesn’t matter. If the Mets brass REALLY thought they’d be contending in the near future, Collins would be gone faster than a chicken wing at Mo Vaughn’s buffet table. Don’t complain about his batting order lineup, his misuse of the bullpen, his crazy switches, or his lack of fundamental baseball. It doesn’t matter – the Mets are bad and aren’t going to win as constructed anyway.

So lets recap. To legitimately contend, the Mets need an entire new outfield, a healthy and young 3rd baseman, a new first-baseman that doesn’t look like a trainwreck every 3 months to start the season, a solid catcher, maybe a better all-around second-baseman, a slick fielding shortstop, at least 3 new starting pitchers, an entire bullpen, a proven closer, a strategic manager, and owners who will spend money wisely and a GM to co-ordinate the entire process. Sure, I can see that all falling into place in the next couple of years, don’t you? Stop letting everyone lie to you about this – this team is obviously NOT going in the right direction!!! Someone has to say it!

Look, we’re Mets fans, and we really want things to turn around and the Mets to be good again. When the Mets are good, they’re memorable-good. Some of the greatest moments and memories in all of sports history belong to the Mets. Be we all have to be grounded too and tell things like they are. I just can’t stand it when I hear people with authority and those in the media try to spin things towards unrealistic hopes to sell tickets and advertising.

Former owner Nelson Doubleday once said when asked about the Mets future with the Wilpon’s as owners “Good luck, you’ll need it” and he bolted. Was he being negative or realistic? What if I told you that contending is IMPOSSIBLE with this team as long as the present day owners fail to sell the team to a group that doesn’t tolerate incompetence? Yes, it’s going to be that long. Forget 2014 but your kids may have a chance with this team in the future… maybe.

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