Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 24, 2005
BASEBALL: Decision Time

I was down this road last week, but I thought it would be worth revisiting in more detail today. The Mets through 72 games now stand 35-37. Does that mean that this team is going to finish around .500, let alone contend? Hardly, given recent history:

YearThru 72After
199139-3338-51
199236-3737-53
200237-3538-51
200333-3933-56
200436-3635-55
200535-37
Avg36-3636-53

The "average" does not include 2005. Clearly, this Mets team the past three years, like the early-90s Mets, has shown the ability to hang around for about half a season and then run off the rails. Now, with the NL East as close as it is, it would be silly to run up the white flag today. But Mets management needs to be preparing in every way for the possibility that, by the time mid/late July rolls around, they will be dealing from the position of a team rebuilding for 2006-07, rather than contending. That means putting people like Floyd and Cameron and Glavine on the table.

Specifically, a final decision will have to be made on the Mets' scheduled off-day of Monday, July 18. Counting the just-completed series in which the Mets took 2 out of 3 from Philadelphia, the Mets are in a stretch where they play 17 of 23 games between June 21 and July 17 against their own division, culminating with a 4-game set at Shea against the Braves. To my mind, they need to win at least 11 of those in-division games, while at least splitting the other 6, if they are going to be anything like serious contenders the rest of the way; otherwise, they are just treading water. Of course, if - like last season - the team suddenly runs off the rails the last 10 days of July, they should reconsider any effort to make trades to help in 2005. But by preparing themselves mentally and emotionally now to play for the bigger game later, Mets management can help avoid a repeat of last season's futile panic deals near the deadline.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:56 AM | Baseball 2005 | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

If you look at their roster, you are always left asking "how did they get this far?" -- Most of the stars are seriously underproducing. That said, if the stars start getting their act together, and they can trade for some pitching talent, there's a chance they go somewhere. Sucks being in the NL East, though. I don't see the Nats or Phils going anywhere.

Posted by: Garth at June 24, 2005 12:45 PM

Keep in mind that in the second half, for the last decade or so, the Braves would go on one of their remarkable 35-8 or so streaks, sending teams like the Mets, Phillies, Marlins, etc., into losing tailspins (since they play the Braves a lot). With the current crop of Braves being made up of about 50% rookies who started the season in the minors, that sort of streak doesn't look very likely, so the Mets & others may not face too many sweeps in late August.

Posted by: RW at June 24, 2005 12:50 PM

I wholeheartedly agree with the premise of being prepared to be sellers, but I'm not so sure that I want to trade Cliff Floyd. The Mets aren't building for 3-5 years down the road. They should want to win in 2006. Floyd is arguably our best hitter this year and he's signed for next year at a reasonable price. I don't think the Mets can replace or improve their 2006 LF production by trading Floyd. As it stands, they need to add offense at 1B and get a C.

I'd certainly listen to offers, but I'd have to be blown away to trade Floyd. I'd definitely trade Cameron and Glavine.

Posted by: Jerry at June 24, 2005 1:39 PM

Everybody except Wright and Reyes and Pedro and Beltran should be on the table; Piazza could be a DH for a bit, Cammy and Floyd could bring in young pitching and a big 1st baseman who can hit. Finally, looper is awful- every game he's out there is a circus. Witness last night with the Yankees, as he tried to blow Pedro's gem. I say ditch him and teach Heilman or one of the other young guys.

Posted by: George K at June 25, 2005 12:02 PM
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