Thursday, August 24, 2017

Could Be Worse

[Dr. Frankenstein and Igor are digging up a body from a graveyard]
Dr. Frankenstein: What a filthy job.
Igor: Could be worse.
Dr. Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
[it starts to pour]
-- Young Frankenstein
Two years ago the Mets were in the World Series and last year, despite an up and down season, they  made it to the post-season again before losing to the Giants in the Wild Card game.  Expectations were high for this year, but we should have known better.

Devastating injuries to virtually the entire pitching staff -- what was supposed to be the core of the Met resurgence -- put an early end to any hope of another playoff run.  The Met's captain, David Wright, trying to launch a comeback from a series of debilitating injuries never came back.  Yoenis Cespedes, the powerful hitter around whom the Mets' offense was built also got hurt, and has not been the same since his return.  The rest of the lineup, even when healthy, has been anemic, with the major exception of Michael Conforto, the young outfielder who has had a fabulous breakout year that included being selected to the All Star team. 

The Mets are more than 20 games back in their division, and playing pretty uninspired ball.  The owners have unloaded several veteran players whose contracts are up at the end of the year to save some cash (e.g., Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Addison Reed) -- much needed cash given the continued impact of their financial losses in the Madoff scandal.  Pitchers, like Steven Matz, who appeared to be healthy, turn out not to be, resulting in season-ending surgery and raising fears that the fragility of the pitching staff will ruin next year too.

There isn't much joy in Mudville.  There are not many reasons to pay attention as the season winds down -- except to watch a couple of exciting youngsters (shortstop Amed Rosario and first basemen Dominic Smith) and the aforementioned Conforto.

Conforto is batting .279 with  27 HR, 20 doubles, and 68 RBI in 109 games.  Those will be his final stats for the year.  Today his season ended when he appeared to dislocate his shoulder on a swing during a game against the Diamondbacks.

Could be worse.  Could be raining.


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