March 17, 2005

Amazin’ Subjugation

The bullheaded refusal by Phillies fans to admit the Mets will be good this year has become a joke, brought on by the shock and jealousy that Carlos Beltran, the best free agent, and Pedro Martinez, the best free agent pitcher, will be playing in Queens.

This is the first of a two-part series on why the Mets are the real deal. Mike Berquist, writing for "A Citizen’s Blog," will offer a counter-perspective later this afternoon.

Remember what you were like in seventh grade, when you wanted the cute girl in gym class to notice you? What did you do? Think hard. I know what I did. I shoved her and called her names. Man I was smooth.

In baseball, they don't get much prettier than the sissies in the Big Apple, and there's nothing anguished pundits of second-tier teams love to do more than smack the Yankees around like school girls.

Now we've come to 2005, when the other NY team, the Mets, are the big spendors, courting slightly less pretty, nonetheless superstar players Carlos Beltran and pitcher Pedro Martinez. Together, teamed with improvements across the board, I maintain they'll lead a 1-2 punch that should be enough to get the Mets back to the postseason.

Before I get to the good stuff - predictions based on recycled stats nobody understands - for newcomers to BPF, I'm speaking as a Phillies fan that believes his own team is underestimated. I still argue the home team will finish below the Mets and Braves and out of the playoff picture (thus opening a whole new can of worms on the Marlins. Save your hatemail for when I can start a new thread.)

In addition, news that Met pitcher Steve Trachsel will be sidelined six months or more changes my opinion a little. The frontrunners to replace him are Matt Ginter, Jae Seo, and Aaron Heilman. It's not going the be the world's best No. 5 starter, but I still have the Mets penciled second in the East and as the NL Wild Card. My prediction for the NL East is thus

1. *Braves
2. Mets
3. Phillies
4. Marlins
5. Nationals

*(default ranking)

And they will finish something like this:

1. Braves -- GB
2. Mets 5 GB
3. Phillies 7 GB
4. Marlins 11 GB
5. Nationals 16 GB

The great debate on the NL East has occupied many a lunch break by bloggers, but it's melted into same tired song and dance in regards to the Mets. Counting them "out," and counting the Braves and Marlins "in," has become as much of a cliché as calling Kris Benson the most overrated and overpaid pitcher in baseball.

Enough already. I'd love to see the Mets fail as much the next WIP caller or Reading Eagle subscriber, but the tired charade is starting to sound like a Modell's sporting goods ad piercing holes into my brain:

Upset your team didn't get the best free agent on the market? Don't wallow in self-pity any longer! Join the legions of fans and get "I Hate the Mets: 2005 Edition." Inside, you'll find dozens of new favorites, as you continue to dodge reality and refuse to admit the Mets are better than you'd like!

Need a quick comeback to put amazn_mook_10 in his place? Try these instant Kris Benson classics on for size!

"Benson! Ha! What an overpaid jerk!"

or …

"Benson! Ha! That sex-crazed wife is sure to ruin that clubhouse!"

Now that's solid. Want more? THERE'S MORE! Need a zinger with a capital "Z"? Then you need "Zambrano!" He led the American League in walks last year, and only pitched there for half a season. It's AMAZING!

Where the Mets will finish
It's as tough a prediction as any in baseball, deciding how the Mets will do. The entire NL East is a tough call this year. Surely, the Mets are the most improved in the division with the duel additions of Beltran and Pedro. And like the Phils and chucklin' Charlie, they enter the season with a new skipper, Willie Randolph.

As managers go, the brightest minds in baseball can't forcast the outcomes. However for players, stats and trends often can. The problem the Mets have in shedding doubt is they play in the media capital of baseball, where holes can become craters. Even my grandmother knows Mike Piazza can't catch anymore. Even my grandmother knows there are question marks in middle relief. But ask a baseball guy to name the biggest hole on the Royals, it might take a while (perhaps because every player on the field and in the dugout might fit that bill.)

In Queens, I say the big holes will be filled by even bigger strengths. For that, I'll have part II of "Amazing Subjugation," tomorrow.

That should give me enough time to look over Mike's stat-based Met predictions and manipulate them to fill out the rest of my little pro-Met article.


At 1:20 PM, Blogger el123chico said...

the mets stink. pedro will get hurt. beltran will sleep with anna benson. and piazza's legs might break off at the knees.

At 11:35 PM, Blogger Brian said...

we'll all sleep with anna benson.


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