Monday, December 13, 2010
Just what the heck is wrong with New York baseball fans?
I'm sitting here listening about how terrible the 2011 season is going to be for the Yankees if they don't get Cliff Lee because of how improved the Red Sox are and I have to wonder... with the possible exception of Andy Pettite, isn't this the same team that the Yankee fans expected to storm through the AL into the World Series before a hot Texas team cooled those plans?
I mean, let's see... They have a $25 Million dollar 1st baseman who is pretty much considered a top 5 first baseman (both in hitting and fielding). You have an MVP candidate at 2nd base who took a fairly strong career and made it even beter with a monster season. You have a guy playing shortstop that, despite his age, is still one of the smartest guys on the field and is more likely to raise his game back up then allow it to stay to the depths it was stuck in during the 2010 season. You have a $30 million 3rd baseman who really is likely to give you a 30 homerun, 110 RBI season and that's considered a DROP in production. You have an ace starting pitcher who has been a mixture of solid and dominating in the two years he's been here. You have a young, talented and soild #2 pitcher who will likely improve upon his impressive 2010. You have an, admittedly old, closer who defies all logic and shuts down other team's bats 99.9% of the time. I haven't even started on your very talented, if slightly uneven, outfield who's regular season stats have been pretty damn good.
In other words, why do the Yankees have to worry so much for? I'm not saying they are a lock to make the playoffs in 2011, but the team, just as presently constituted is as strong as most of the league and you know... you just KNOW they will find a way to add a pitcher. I think Pettite will be back and I could see the Yanks winding up with someone like Matt Garza, James Shields or a Wandy Rodriguez.
My gut is that Lee will remain in Texas. I think he's just trying to use the Yankees to get as much as he can there. In fact, I'll go as far as to say I don't think he ever wanted to go to New York. That doesn't matter though. The Yankees are a solid team who, frankly, still have a leg up on most of the AL. A.J. Burnett is not as bad as Yankee fans seem to think he is, and can easily be a #4 guy and contibutor. The offense is more than fine as long as Swisher continues to perform as he has (and there is no reason to think he won't) and A-Rod, Cano and Teixeria do what is expected of them (and there is not reason to think they won't).
As for the Mets... I'm SO SICK of the whining going on here. Everyone... and I mean EVERYONE wanted Omar and Jerry gone. Well they ARE gone and so is the way they did things. The new mangement group is looking to steamline the entire organization and with the lack of real talent on the free agent market this year, I'm GLAD to see them playing it smart and not grabbing someone for the sake of making a splash.
This organization needed a change and we're getting it. As fans, we have to be patient and let this season play out to get some money off the books and be able to make some moves to contruct this team with some real solid pitching and a view for longer term success as well as short term.
Listen. I know I'm in the minority, but I expect the Mets to be competitive next season. Yes, the loss of Johan Santana until June will hurt, but I have faith in the tandum of Pelfrey, Dickey and Neise to be decent. I'm also looking at an offesne that will have a full season of Carlos Beltran in a contract year, a bounce back season from Jason Bay (who I expect to come back to his normal numbers in a big way) and the solid performances of David Wright, Jose Reyes (also in a contract year), Ike Davis and Angel Pagan. If they can keep themselves at .500 until Santana comes back I can see this team being in the wild card mix. Do I thnk they could win the division? No, not at all unless one of the Roys misses a chunk of the season for the Phillies, but to automatically think the Mets are a 4th or 5th place team is ridiculous.
I expect the Mets to sign someone like Brandon Webb or Chris Young to an incentive laden contract and who knows... maybe they'll catch lightning in a bottle. The thing is, look at the big picture here folks. The Mets STILL will be in the top 5 or 6 in payroll in 2011 and odds are will spend a little more for the 2012 season. This is NOT going to be the Oakland A's East. The Mets aren't going to be a Moneyball team. Just shut up and let the new front office crew have some time to reshape this franchise like we've all been begging for the last three years.