David Wright’s WBC performance might be the best publicity the Met franchise has received in years. His key hits have given him the nickname Captain America and he is leading Team USA. They play the tough Dominican Republic tonight, and let’s hope he keeps it going.
While there have been strident debates about Wright in recent years–is he still a serious star, is he clutch, can he succeed without big bats around him–there never has been a doubt about his worth as a person. Off the field–by all accounts–Wright is a generous, charitable, kind, and all around fine person that every Met fan can be proud of.
He does seem like the ideal player to have earned this nickname, and Met fans can–at least for now–have something to be proud of.
Which brings us to Johan Santana. Today is March 14, spring training is a month old, the season starts in less than three weeks, and Johan has basically done nothing. There’s zero chance he is ready for opening day and probably will begin the season on the DL. He last pitched on August 17–that’s seven months ago. What’s he been doing?
His agent mentioned that Johan was “burned out” and Johan himself said that spring training is “for training”–well, yes, but if one arrives to camp in less-than-ideal shape, spring training might not provide enough time for training.
The feeling here, again, is that if Johan indeed did not do all of the necessary work in his usual long offseason to prepare himself to be 100% ready for the start of camp, he should be seriously ashamed of himself.
It seems as though a segment of the fan base wants to give him a pass, and blame Alderson and the Mets for publicly taking him to task.
Yes, Alderson’s comments were ill-advised, regardless of their validity. Surely this again makes the Met front office look inept and will not be something the team uses when trying to attract free agents.
Regardless, as has been pointed out, the years 2011-2013 will see Johan receive about $76 million from the Mets. If he really did come to camp in less than perfect pitching shape and this could have been avoided with more work, then he really is deserving of serious scorn by every Met fan.
Just as Steve McCroskey picked the wrong week to quit cigarettes, alcohol, amphetamines, and sniffing glue, Jordany Valdespin surely picked the RIGHT year to be vying for an outfield spot with the Mets.
Valdy showed some spark and, dare we say, some clutch grit in 2012; no, he won’t keep hitting key PH HRs all the time, but he did show some flashes of power and speed (and some pieces of flair) that recent Met teams have sorely lacked.
Duda is a mess. Not much more needs be said. Captain K and den DeKKKKKKKer indeed have too many Ks in their names and their games. Baxter and Cowgill? Byrd?
It’s a motley crew to be sure, and as someone might have sung once, let’s hope most of them don’t go away mad; let’s hope they just go away.
No, Valdy does not look like a star, but he surely has supreme confidence, does have some power, and at this point, there really is absolutely nothing to lose by letting him start the year in CF for the Mets. Let the K twins work their games out in AAA and let everyone else platoon in LF and RF.
Patrick is one of the wisest Met commenters and spends a lot of time at a competitor site of ours, and he recently had this to say about Wally Backman:
“I’ve never been as big a Backman nut job, but he has proven to me one thing that I do like, he clearly wants this job, and rather than pouting he is biding his time. I think his reaction following 2010 was a touch irrational after his first season back in pro ball in quite some time, but his demeanor and focus in 2011 and 2012 speak volumes to me. It takes a very special lunatic to want to manage this franchise, and I am open to that lunatic’s desire now.”
Seems to me to be a pretty wise bunch of thoughts.
Some say that Backman bunts too much, makes questionable in-game decisions (hmm, sound familiar?) but the feeling here remains that he has the kind of qualities that often make a good manager. He was a player with less-than-magnificent skills who worked so very hard to maximize his abilities, he played with and for some great talents, his players have had good comments about him, and the DBacks are a well-run organization that has made a lot of fine choices.
Collins is the lamest of ducks, as he should be. And Backman deserves the shot at being his replacement.
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