By Joyce Mandelkern
Well, people, color me shocked. If someone would've told me that the Mets would be 19 - 9 in May, after having lost their starting first baseman, their starting shortstop, their starting leftfielder, one of their starting pitchers, and their backup shortstop, I would've had them committed. Then add to the mix the fact that our starting centerfielder is gimpy and ill and missed a few games. We have career minor leaguers starting and players playing out of position and we are still playing winning baseball. I have to ask the question, are we still talking about my Metsies? Yes we are. Unbelievably enough we are. And yet, there are those of us who are still complaining. Please - stop. Just stop.
We've wanted to see this team show some toughness. Well, we are seeing just that. It would have been so easy to fold the tents after that lousy half inning of "creative" baseball in Los Angeles. They were swept away in as ugly a baseball series as you will ever see. Lo and behold, they go into Boston, where they have had trouble playing before, and what do they do? They actually take the series. Who are these guys? Then they came home and did exactly what they needed to do and were supposed to do - fatten up on the soft part of the schedule and play well at home. Hopefully, they will continue to do so this week. I like that they are not using injuries or lack of experience as an excuse for losing.
Yet, people still complain. We Met fans want perfection. We want to win every game. Its baseball, folks. You can't win every game. We're doing this with smoke and mirrors. Can't we be thankful that we are doing more than drowning or even more than treading water? Have you guys checked the standings lately? Need I remind you that when you guys whine and complain that you sound more like Yankee fans than Met fans? We're doing fine. It's June 1st. We're more than surviving a rash of what could've been season-destroying injuries. I'm not saying I'm happy with Tim Redding, I'm not. I'm not saying that I'm not getting frustrated with J.J. Putz, I am. I am just trying to look at the big picture and I realize that May could've been so much worse.
I was ready to kill Omar for having us play short. I was yelling about our depleted farm system and what a disadvantage it is to play short in the National League. In hindsight, I probably would've hated it more had he made some dumb panicky move. There are plenty of gm's who would've done this to secure their jobs, if for no other reason. Omar, to his credit, was willing to let this play out and sit tight. Obviously, we don't know whether he got lucky or knew what he was doing, but it is working so far. Other teams would have held us up for a king's ransom, sensing our desperation, had we moved too soon. So, kudos to you Omar. I felt as most of you did on Saturday, that we did not have a shot to win the game with that lineup and Redding pitching. Honestly, though, what was Manuel to do? Wright was in desperate need of a day off. If he had played and struck out 4 times and made an error, we would've been all over him. Shefffield is 40 yrs old and we need to protect him a bit, since he is now our "power" guy. Beltran tried to gut it out (if you'll excuse the pun). One catcher cannot catch 162 games. These are our starters for now. Get used to it. Our starting pitching has kept us winning. If Redding had been decent, maybe we could've pulled it out. And while I'm on the subject of pitching, may I just say with all due respect to Billy Wagner, I don't miss you at all.
So, let's keep the faith people. Let's wrap everyone in bubble wrap, get out the Purell, look for another starting pitcher and hold our collective breath. The month of May could've been a lot worse.