As the 2009 season slowly reaches its end, a lot has been said that this team lacks something. While im sure this will get debated with many theories, I would like to include mine. The Mets have had stretches of being successful in certain periods of almost every decade since their beginning. In each of those stretches, they have had Allstar and HOF players but what I would like to say they all had in common was an anchor at the catcher position. The position of catcher is arguably the most important one on the field as he controls everything from the pitches thrown to the positioning of the defense. My theory on what the Mets have been lacking is a true presence at the catcher position. Dont believe me…Here are a few examples
Paul Loduca was a Met catcher from 2006-2007. In that time the Mets won the NL east division championship in 2006(their first in 18 years) and finished 97-65 that year. The Mets only spent 1 day out of first place that year and had the best record in the National League. Paul finished that year hitting .318 and an obp of .358. Next year the Mets started off very strong in 2007 and spent most of the year in 1st place but faltered in September.
Mike Piazza was a Met catcher from 1998-2005. In that time, the Mets missed the playoffs by one game in 1998 but Piazza helped the Mets to two consecutive playoff appearances for the only time in Mets history in 1999 and 2000(The latter resulting in their first pennant since 1986). Mike â€œThe Monsterâ€ Piazza lead the team in almost every offensive category in 2000.
Gary Carter was a Met catcher from 1985-1989. In that time, Carter helped the Mets have two playoff appearances and a World Series Championship in 1986. With the Mets, Carter enjoyed consistent production with 32 home runs and 100 RBI in 1985; and 24 home runs and 105 RBI in 1986.
Jerry Grote was a Met catcher from 1966 to 1976. Jerry was part of the Mets 2 World Series appearances during that time, of those the Mets won one in 1969..
The Mets have had not had a presence from the catcher position for quite some time now. Whether it is the fiery attitude or the clutch bat, the Mets have not had â€œthat guyâ€ behind the plate. Brian Schneider has been serviceable but does not have the offensive ability or the personality to compare with all the catchers of the Mets past that have made them successful. There was a trade proposal during the trade deadline for Victor Martinez. While I applaud Omar for holding off and not trading our only two real pitching prospects for him, a guy like Victor Maritnez would give the Mets an identity that they have been lacking the last two years from the catcher position. The Mets will go into 2010 with an opening for a catcher position as we can all most likely agree that Omir Santos will be backup. Who will it be and do you think it will be the missing piece?