Garcia Gone Wild
Being a Met fan is definitely a high and low experience. This year has been the epitome a roller coaster ride. As of now Met fans have delusions, including myself, of the Mets making the playoffs. The Mets are currently three games out of the NL East lead and six games out of the wildcard. The Braves are 16 - 5 in their last twenty one games and have put themselves into a tie for first place. I do not expect them to continue winning at a .762 winning percentage, but if they do that in another 20 games, the Mets can easily be 10 games off the NL East lead with their current win one lose one pattern. Whatever team is going to take this division can take it by a 20 game hot streak. The Braves hit one to get back into contention in the East, and if they keep it up, they can put everyone away. The Mets face a huge series this weekend with the Braves and it is really the litmus test for whether or not the Mets should go buy or be content with what they have. With a sweep, the Mets can be put far enough behind that Duquette would rather not waste Wiggie or any prospects at this point. I am conflicted. I want the team to be upgraded, but is it really worth it? Should they be happy with the progress after a near 100 loss season in 2003? The Mets have more issues than one missing starter and one missing bullpen arm. They have starters that continually will not go deep into games, which will wear down even the best bullpens, they are near tops in the league in errors, they are they are near tops in the league with strikeouts, near the tops in age, etc. Part of me wants to go for it this year and part of me wants to be satisfied with the improvement they have made this year and not to rock the boat. Everyone has good chemistry so why not take a shot with what they currently have? Duquette did his minor tweaking without giving anything up and that may be enough. This weekend against the Braves is going to go a long way to helping most people decide, but there is a lot of baseball left and whether the Mets bullpen and aging veterans can hang in it until late September remains to be seen. Is it better the let Wiggie go for a chance this year when the Mets may be just smoke and mirrors and playing over their heads? Or is it better to keep Wiggie for 2005 knowing he can be insurance for Wright and Reyes and still get into plenty of games. You know Piazza will need rest at first, Reyes will still be favoring his hammy, and Wright will be wet behind the ears and will most likely need a break too. Is his value better in 2005 on the club than to not have him in 2004 with a pitcher the Mets may not need? We have all seen two distinct Mets teams, the question is which one is real. The Mets have proved to be resilient which has been one of their trademarks this year. However, let's say that the Mets pick up Benson and Scott Sullivan, who is on the payroll for 2.1 million in 2005, they are clearly better. But you are stuck with Sullivan for 2005 when there are other people that are better upgrades that you can pick up in the off-season. Sullivan is not bad, but he has really not been that great. He keeps his ERA in the mid 3's, but what is the worth in terms of a trade? Chances are he'll come here and get overused like everyone else and get tired. He is not exactly young either. In getting Benson, you just add another starter that may pitch brilliantly and lose the game because of errors, faulty pen, or lack of run support. On the flip side with Benson, you can either resign him or offer him arbitration so he may still have some value to you after the ’04 season. The bottom line is that the Mets have a lot of holes and defense is a huge one. The Mets are not a team than can afford to give up that many errors like the Yankees do because they are not able to cover them up by hitting four homeruns nightly. They are more than two pieces away right now. Should the Mets be fortunate to be where they are right now and look towards the future which was the plan all along or take a shot when you are three games out on July 21st? Are there moves that Duquette can make without giving up a player who may be very useful to a better Mets team in 2005? That is what Duquette has to deal with and that is the question on most of our minds. Whatever the decision, it has to be noted that the Mets are one game under .500. In many other years a team that is one game under .500 would not be buying, but in the NL east, six games over .500 may win it.