Monday, July 6, 2009

Is the season half full or half empty? The mid-season report

81 games down, 81 games to go. The Mets are 39-42, tied for 3rd place (with Atlanta), 4 games back of the Phillies. 22-17 at "home", and 17-25 on the road. They were 22-19 after 41 games (1/4 of the season).

The team is in a bit of a tailspin right now. A good team would have shown signs of competition in the recent series in Philadelphia. The Mets didn't.

It's easy to blame problems on the injuries. And it's easy to blame the injuries on the WBC and a clueless training staff. But every team suffers injuries (though not at the rate that it's hit the Mets this year), and even the best team must overcome injuries. The roster isn't really a 25 man roster. It may be a 50 man roster, with 25 in uniform and ready to play on any given game. The Mets are showing a lack of depth in their roster. I've used the joke that the organization is only 20 players deep, and 25 of them were on the Opening Day roster. They need depth in order to sustain the injuries. Even after the first couple, the Mets showed a lack of depth.

It's easy to blame problems on bad decisions. Decisions to rest a player for a couple days on the active roster while everyone with a clue knew that the player needed a 2 week vacation (to the DL). The bigger kicker is that most of those players still haven't returned. Decisions to play a player out of position to fill a gap rather than find someone who knows how to play that position. Remember, that's what the AAA team is for. Decisions to play player that just aren't big league ready, mostly because there is no other option.

It's easy to blame problems on the new stadium that we now call home. Its dimensions are supposedly vastly different that it's a place where home runs go to die. But that's just an excuse, and they need to play 81 games on the road, where they've played very poorly this year.

It is what it is. The Mets are a .500 club when healthy, and a few games less than that when not. They've performed poorly, especially in the last 41 games, and it shows. Their confidence has to be shaken. Anyone around the club for the past 4 years has been shaken. The new players and injury replacements are just a band aid on a broken leg. They're in a tailspin, and after the season is over, it's time to rebuild the farm system (depth), get better training and medical opinions (injuries), and bring in a whole new set of baseball minds who can bring in a whole new set of players. Just like we did after spinning down in 2001-2003. Just like we did after spinning down in 1992-1995.