By Mike Steffanos
The bad news about Moises Alou has been dispensed, and the endless string of handwringing and negativity begins anew. The euphoria over the Santana trade is all but forgotten.
Look, we all knew that Alou was a crapshoot in LF this season. I thought John Delcos had it right in his blog for The Journal News:
Moises Alou in his prime would have been a big loss to the Mets. However, let's not forget the Mets were hoping for 120 games from him. That's tops.
So, to suggest it would be a huge loss to lose a player who in essence is a little more than part time, is taking it over the limit. The Mets will be fine in left field.
John must have missed the memo that decrees that all press coverage of the Mets must be slanted as negatively as possible. It should be full of predictions of impending doom and endless recitations of the current injured list. Everywhere you look the attitude seems to be one unrelenting downer.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm tired of it. I'm not immune to doubts about this club, and I'm certainly not going to put on a pair of rose-colored glasses and ignore it when things go wrong, but I hereby declare this site an official no handwringing zone. Look around the National League and you'll find a lot of fans who only wish they were rooting for a team that had a chance to win it. While we clearly recognize the obstacles in the way we will try to focus on options that can solve the current problems rather than wallowing in self-pity because things aren't going our way right now.
I think the Mets have enough OF options in camp to soldier on without Alou. Apparently Damion Easley is ready to start playing, and if he's come back from his injury he's a solid bat and a decent OF option. Marlon Anderson can do a credible job out there, and hopefully Endy Chavez can come back soon. Trading for Angel Pagan was a good move by Omar this winter, as was signing Brady Clark and Ben Johnson to minor league contracts. None of these guys is going to make the All Star team, but they're all useful players with experience and some skills.
I don't think the Mets are likely to be able to pull off a deal for anyone that great at the moment, but they do have some bullpen depth and a team that suffers an injury might come knocking. That's the kind of deal that can easily happen after the season starts. We'll watch Delgado, of course, and if it becomes clear that the hip is an issue the urgency level can change.
Kenny Lofton is a name that has been mentioned. While he is intriguing, he's a left-handed bat and still seems to want to be a regular. I'm not sure he'd be a good fit when the team's biggest need would seem to be for a right-handed 1B/OF.
I'd like to see Omar resist trading prospects for a Xavier Nady type until all other options have been exhausted. It really is time for him to concentrate on getting this team younger. With Alou on a 1-year contract and a $4 million buyout on Delgado after the season there should be resources and incentive not to gamble quite so heavily on older players.
As far as this year, though, the one thing I'm sure of is that the Mets will deal with their share of adversity. I'm not sure that this is a bad thing.
The 2006 Mets had to deal with so many things. They lost Pedro for most of the season, and he was only one of many starters to go down. I still cringe and whimper if someone sneaks up behind me and yells "Lima Time!" I remember how the team was written off in the playoffs when first Pedro and then El Duque weren't able to pitch. Guys stepped up and they beat LA and went 7 with the Cardinals.
That was a club that knew how to handle misfortune, and if we're lucky they just might rediscover that attitude. Maybe we as Mets fans can, too.