The Mets, those gritty, sloppy, hard-nosed, injury prone, bounce-back, frustrating, annoying, nail-biting, hair-pulling, so close to greatness but always give you a kick-in-the-groin when you least expect it Mets, just finished a 2-4 stand vs the rival Phillies and the cross-town rival Yankees. They took one from the Phils at Home, and one from the Yanks. They lost two games with Santana on the mound, they lost a slugfest (yes, the Mets were in a slugfest, it was in Yankee stadium) off a routine pop-up off Castillo’s glove. They saw K-rod’s first blown save, and Fernando Nieve make a great spot start performance. They added Maine to their DL count, and the Phillies stretch their lead count.
And it’s only Mid-June. We hear at Kiners Korner ask what’s next? Before we do that, we decided to look back at the Weak that Was.
Q1: The Mets were one play away (again) from a 3-3 stretch. How much does the Luis Castillo play hurt the team and the psyche of the fans?
Nik Kolidas: Tremendously in that the outlook changes dramatically based on being 3 games out or 4 games out. The Phillies games hurt more because they reestablished the feeling that they can always come back on us.
Anthony Agnese: I think the team moves on a lot faster than the fans do. The players have to get ready to play a game the next day so I think they forget about it and move on rather quickly. The fans don’t forget it though and after missing the playoffs over the past 2 years by 1 game I think that one hurt as bad as any have over the past 3 years.
Emily Doran: As brutal as it was to watch, I think the majority of fans are not too fazed by this. Build up and let downs are part of being a Mets fan. We’ve had our fair share of disappointment….so I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker for Mets fans.
Gene Anthony: It probably hurt the fans more than the players. I think the players can relate to what happened much more than the fans can. In fact, some speculate that something that horrific can rally a team around the player. The Mets won the next day, while I am sure most Met fans could barely watch.
Q2: If you’re at the game Friday, and assuming Castillo neither does anything spectacular to help the team win or lose, how do you greet him? Boo for the error, or a reassuring cheer?
Nik Kolidas: Neither, I’m really indifferent toward the guy.
Anthony Agnese: I would cheer him because of the way he reacted to the mistake. I don’t believe in booing players unless they show a lack of effort and that wasn’t the case with Castillo.
Emily Doran: I’m not a big boo-er, but he’d get a boo from me, why not? However, after this weekend, it’s time for everyone to move on and leave the guy alone. Especially since we saw how the booing affected him last year, we can’t afford to get in his head this year too.
Gene Anthony: I don’t do anything. I wouldn’t boo and I wouldn’t cheer. The play, for me, would have been an easier pill to swallow if he used two hands. At the same time, I am not ready to crucify him.
Q3: The daily news ranked Friday’s loss as the third worst regular season loss in Mets history. Do you agree with that, or over-doing it to the fact the loss is so fresh?
Nik Kolidas: No way.. it’s just a bad loss against a team not in our division. How does that rank with Terry Pendleton in 1987 or the multiple Benitez and Franco meltdowns of the late 90’s and early 2000’s? It’s not in the same league…
Anthony Agnese: Overdoing it big time. There were games last year that the bullpen blew that hurt more then that one did.
Emily Doran: I think it might be over-doing it, but ask me again at the end of the season.
Gene Anthony: Given that the last two seasons came down to final game losses, it just goes to show how much the Daily News knows!! It’s June, it sucked, maybe the worst of this year for sure, but not of all time.
Q4: How concearned are you about Santana’s blow out loss? A one game blowup during a rough stretch for the ace, or are you expecting more to come?
Nik Kolidas: I expect several more uneven starts before he goes on his usual 2nd half rampage. Hopefully he’s not hurt.
Anthony Agnese: I’m a tad concerned because of the fact that he’s been getting roughed up a bit over the past month but I’m not going to panic quite yet. Santana is a great pitcher and a competitor so I am not expecting another outing like that for a long time. Pitching in that ballpark against that lineup without your best stuff is not a good recipe for success.
Emily Doran: I have to admit I’m a little nervous. After the game, he insisted he was feeling fine…only to be revealed later that he’s got all these pesky little problems. We know too well how a “sore back, but nothing major” can turn into “DL” very fast with this team.
Gene Anthony: Santana was a bloop away from getting out of the second. The Mets loaded the bases, down four, and couldn’t plate a single run. This may be more about Santana trying to pitch no-hitters, and hitting a rough patch, than “what we should expect”.
Q5:How do you feel about Jerry’s managing of this series?
Nik Kolidas: You can’t argue with overall results as the team is above 500 with half the guys not here, but on a game by game basis there is a lot to question. I’d rather have Bobby V, but I’m happy he’s not Randolph or Art Howe. You can say my happiness with his work is also… just over .500
Anthony Agnese: I didn’t agree with the move to bring in Switzer to pitch to Matsui in the first game. I think with the success Green has been having lately you could have used Feliciano in that spot, Green in the 7th, Parnell in the 8th, and obviously K Rod in the 9th. But other then that I was fine with how he managed.
Emily Doran: I feel that Jerry always makes some questionable moves, but it’s hard to knock him considering the team he’s playing with. I still think that all things considered, they’re playing well. Not great, but well.
Gene Anthony: Jerry did a good job. The players didn’t execute. In my opinion, Beltran’s missed ball in center and Castillo’s was the difference between taking the series and losing the series. Look, Jerry is not the problem . In fact, I am surprised the Mets are still in it given their injuries. No excuses, but take away other team’s lead off and clean up hitters and a 3 or 4 starter and see how well they do.
Q6: Thoughts on Bruney vs krod? And on a side note, do you feel there’s a double standard to defending K-rod’s antics if you’re the type to get upset over reyes’s enthusiastic actions?
Nik Kolidas: I loved it. I don’t get upset over Reyes and in fact, I’d love to see even more of it.
Anthony Agnese: I think a guy with very little success in the big leagues should keep his mouth shut. K Rod has a ring and the record for single season saves and a guy who can’t even stay healthy is trying to insult him? I found it ridiculous especially since they have a guy on there team who many think is over the top with his celebrations as well in Joba Chamberlain. As far as the Reyes thing goes, yes I do feel there is a double standard but I have no problem with either player’s celebrations.
Emily Doran: I love it! And I’ve never been one to get upset over Reyes’ enthusiasm. If you play well, I think you’ve got the right to celebrate, no matter who you are.
Gene Anthony: Don’t talk crap to the media and then try and smooth things over face-to-face pre-game. These are competitive “kids” and I personally like the fire. As far as antics, people want fire and passion, although only on their terms. I could care less who jumps around and fist pumps. If the players of the 1950’s would have thought of it, they would have done it. I love the old timers that talk about the newer antics and baseball traditions, yet they were getting pickled until five in the morning, playing drunk. Is it more disrespectful to the game to have a personalized handshake or is it more disrespectful to play drunk?
Q7: Obviously the Mets miss Delgado and Reyes, but do you miss Oliver Perez after this past week knowing his history vs these two?
Nik Kolidas: I have no idea what the hell is going on with Ollie, but yes I miss the guy. I’m also extremely disappointed in him.
Anthony Agnese: Ollie is usually very good against the Phillies and Yankees so I do have to admit it would have been nice to have him out there pitching against the heavy lefty hitting Phillies. However, I do not miss him when we’re playing the Nationals and Pirates.
Emily Doran: I’m afraid history means nothing when it comes to Ollie, so no – didn’t miss him.
Gene Anthony: I like what the starters, for the most part, are doing now. Perez is too unpredictable, which could spiral a team into a long losing streak. He was a bullpen burner. So, no – I don’t miss him right now. I’d love for him to pull a Trachel and pitch his ass off when he returns, but who knows.
Q8: What’s worse? Dropping a pop-up or missing third base?
Nik Kolidas: Ryan Church
Anthony Agnese: Missing 3rd base, no question.
Emily Doran: Definitely the pop-up. You have a looong time to line yourself up under that ball.
Gene Anthony: Missing third, but Luis’ dropped fly ball was in the bottom of the 9th which makes it ten times worse.
Q9: After Castillo’s error Jerry did not use Castillo’s name in his post game presser, referring to him as “that player” like he did with Church. Does that make you reconsider whether Jerry truly has a problem with Ryan Church? Or do you think Castillo’s in the doghouse too?
Nik Kolidas: I think the doghouse is real and it’s got a revolving door with Manuel. I have a feeling there’s more to these stories. Remember Ryan Church said a ton of off color and derogatory stuff before he came to NY and maybe Jerry overheard some stuff he didn’t like. Just speculating.
Anthony Agnese: I think the whole Church thing is overblown to be honest. I believe Jerry when he says he doesn’t have a problem with Church, especially considering Church doesn’t even think Jerry has a problem with him.
Emily Doran: This is a tough one, I’m not sure. He could also just avoid using player’s names to spare them additional direct insult, who knows. But I personally don’t believe Church, or Castillo, are necessarily in the doghouse.
Gene Anthony: If my job depended on a subordinate and that person f#*ked up a routine play, or missed third, at the major league level, he’d be lucky that I didn’t call him by his name because it would be proceeded by “that dipsh*t ____” Regarding Church, I just don’t think he is responding to Jerry’s challenge of him.
Q10: How concerned are you about the overall team right now? I should remind you the team is a game and a half behind the giants for the Wild Card, and 4 Games back of the Phillies as of this post.
Nik Kolidas: My concern is 100% physical and I’m very concerned about that. I’ll feel the same about this team as I did in April when I see Delgado at first, Reyes at short, Maine & Perez in the rotation & Putz in the pen.
Anthony Agnese: I’m too concerned, we’re hanging on right now and could have very easily went 4-2 against 2 of the best teams in baseball. I do think we will eventually need to deal for a bat but overall I think we’re ok for now.
Emily Doran: I’m conservatively concerned, but certainly haven’t written them off yet. The Mets always surprise us, good or bad. And as we know, it can all come down to one game. I’d like to revisit this question after the All-Star break, though.
Gene Anthony: As I mentioned above, I am surprised that they are still in it. I can’t remember, in the last ten years, losing this many players and still being above .500. Consider the recent teams that have late season surges (Houston, Colorado, St. Louis, Philly) and some of the things they overcame early in the season. This is a crazy statement, but it is almost better to be sitting like this than in first since if forces management to address some team “concerns”. The Mets need an outfielder (I argue Ichiro) and they could use a dependable starter (not Penny).
So it seems the Kiner’s Korner team feels the Mets will whether the storm. I have mixed feelings on this team. On the one hand, I am happy, and believe it or not, quite proud as a fan to see the resilience they’ve shown in hanging in with all the injuries. If the Mets can hold ground till the deadline, when players like Jermaine Dye, Mark Derosa, Matt Holliday might be available, as well as pitchers like Erik Bedard and Cliff Lee, then i like the chances. In the end, playing the underdog could give them the edge they missed the last two seasons, where they spent most of the year in first place and went into a tail spin at the end.
Oftentimes it’s better being the hunter than the hunted.
However, they’re extremely thin and the secondary players, with the exception of Santos and Gary Sheffield, have not stepped up. If the Mets suffer another significant injury to a core player or pitcher prior to the return of Reyes and Delgado, I don’t think even with a significant trade they’ll be able to keep up.
My biggest hope for this fanbase is if the Mets are not destined to make the playoffs, that they’re out by late August, Early September. I do not think this fan base can handle another final week crush job, and I fear the Mets may make too drastic moves to compensate.
But that is October talk. For now, I’m going to enjoy the ride. Cause we are Mets fans, and that means only one thing:
Posted by Robert Z