Centennial, CO—I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve been both enjoying “the ride” and running out of things to bitch about. Let’s face it, and this was Short Matt‘s fear all along. I’m a “One-Trick Pony” How long can one crazed yet passionate Met fan rail against his team’s ownership and its General Manager before folks begin tuning you out?
The Mets’ ascent to the top of the NL East standings has been surprising, but not shocking given their starting pitching. The truly shocking part is how aggressively Real Sandy Alderson has acted since he shot down the Carlos Gomez trade with Milwaukee. The old “saw” about the best trades being the ones that you don’t make? The failed Gomez trade succeeded in moving the previously inert and teflon GM to an unfamiliar place. A place with pressure, scrutiny and expectation.
It got personal. The Baseball world knew the Wilpons were broke/crooked/dishonest (they all fit) What no one outside of New York knew or understood, was just how utterly incompetent and cruelly dispassionate Alderson was. When the national media finally started to dig and debunk, it found a couple of startling things.
They found and actually reported that the Gomez deal was quashed by Sandy. And that it was not quashed because of Mets’ Doctors objections to Gomez’s health records. (the Mets’ official position) It was quashed only when the Brewers refused to cover some of the cost associated with Gomez’s contract. Sandy was none too pleased when these reports started flooding the airwaves. This made him look like a hack without a clue (my prevailing opinion still) and revealing the Mets and him as “pikers” unworthy and incapable of running an MLB team in the world’s biggest market.
Sandy’s smug back was against the wall. And news outlets from Fox Sports, to CBS Sports, to the MLB Network to the 700 Club were watching his next move with increasing scrutiny. So after a couple of useful bats were acquired from Atlanta, the time for Sandy to show some chops and complete a solid in-season roster upgrade was now. Getting Tyler Clippard to help the back end of the Mets bullpen was frankly a stroke of genius, or good fortune or timing, but nevertheless was brilliant. Particularly when defrocked closer Jenry Mejia failed 4 additional drug tests for PEDs while on suspension for failing 4 drug tests for PEDs.
With the airing of at least 5 years of grievances, it was time. And finally, after arrogantly dismissing pleas of Mets fans, the clouds parted, and in came Yoenis Cespedes. A bona fide slugger with lineup presence and freakish athleticism, the suberb Cuban arrived to enormous expectations and so far has not disappointed. This was Keith Hernandez arriving in 1983. Gary Carter before the ’85 season. Credibility in spades to go along with the starting pitching. Suddenly the Mets were relevant and more importantly, in first place. This Mets team may stumble a bit on the way to a possible division title, but they have a shot. Finally, this front office and jackass ownership group has given its team a chance to compete. A chance to win. That’s all we ever wanted.