Willie Wears Welcome, Regular Rooters Realize Rudolph Revoltin'
The Washington Nationals ruminate over how easy it is to beat the Mets.
Even in good times, the climate we Mets fans operate in is best described as hysterical, not in the ha-ha way but in the pull the children in-doors, out-of-proportion with reality way. Right now, after another demoralizing loss against the last place gNats, Mets skipper Willie Randolph best travel only at night and avoid open roads, because the bloggers are headed to the barricades with torches. It has gotten so bad that my suggestion of the ritual sacrifice of Rick Down has not been taken up by any serious observer. The trigger for the recent organization of internet posses targeting Willie for dismissal, as could have been predicted, is the usage of one Aaron "Poopeyface" Heilman, he of game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. In the eyes of Metsfan observers who have yet to claw said eyes out, having received a passable start from retread Claudio Vargas, Randolph maliciously squandered this gift by bringing in shell-shocked Errant Hellman to put the game out of the reach of the Mets awful-fence. Added to the fun, the Mets showed neither fire nor discipline in the proper measure. Under Willie's watch, older player Moises Alou (with the games he has missed in his career, it is arguable to call Alou a "veteran") made the decision to take his hot, healthy bat out of the line-up over a strike call. Is this the discipline and experience Omar Minaya had in mind when he infused the roster with the elderly? Instead of building on Maine's Message and Vargas' Valour, Willie blew it out his ass. And Mets fans have had enough.
Let's look at how a successful team manages its games with Nationals. The first place Marlins (payroll $20 million) have treated the Nats like a cellar dwelling resource, a bottom-dwelling bank, beating them 8 out of 9 times. Take 8 games off of the Marlins 23-17 record and see where they are in the standings. How have the Mets handled Warden Acta and the D.C. Offenders? A less dominating 5 and 3. Emotionally, having suffered a couple of blowouts at the Nats' hands, the team doesn't view the Nats with any swagger whatsoever--it's the Nats chanting in the dugout--and in most matchups so far, doesn't look superior to the Washington club. To win the NL East, the Mets need to beat teams like this soundly. Instead they find ways to lose.
What the Mets are missing. (note energy and fun, note high-five, note player available in trade for Lastings Milledge at one point)
Labels: fire rick down