(Anthony Young, bitterly disappointed at being dragged into this)
Tim Redding has thrown 4 scoreless innings thus far tonight against the Washington Nationals, and while we patiently wait for the Mets starter to turn into, well, Tim Redding, Sports Illustrated‘s Jeff Pearlman surveys a disabled list full of Amazins and declares, “when the Yankees suffer through a conga line of injuries, the organization never offers up the maladies as an excuse. The Mets, on the other hand, all but seek out injuries to cite to the media. If only we had Delgado. If only we had Reyes.” (link courtesy Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
To the dismay of New Yorkers, the ghost who supposedly vanished with the demolition of Shea Stadium is bigger and badder than ever before. Carlos Delgado’s hip? The ghost. Jose Reyes‘ right hamstring? The ghost. Oliver Perez’s body swap with Anthony Young? The ghost. J.J. Putz’s emergence as, well, a putz (albeit, an injured one)? The ghost. David Wright‘s amazing — and puzzling — Sean Burroughs impersonation? The ghost. The team’s blah 28-24 record? The ghost.
Most alarming, the ghost has found a way to take a clubhouse that has long been — if nothing else — lively and transform it into a visit to the Mahopac Public Library. (Writer’s note: I grew up going there. Very nice facility — but extremely subdued.) To be a Met these days is to live in fear of failure; to talk and talk about the renewal of a ballclub, but to be mentally crippled by the knowledge that, come season’s end, you will, somehow, blow it.
These Mets lay down — for everyone. They play with little gusto, and less aggressiveness. They rarely hit in the clutch, and make lackluster opposing pitchers appear to be the second coming of Steve Carlton.
I’m a big fan of Pearlman’s work but consider his comparison of Oliver Perez to Anthony Young grossly unfair. To Young. A.Y. might’ve lost 16 games in 1993, but he compiled a 3.77 ERA that season, which would presumably put him in line for a salary of $10 or more in the modern era. Young made all of 3 appearances for the Mets’ Triple-A squad that season, and unlike Perez’ recent spell in Buffalo, performed capably (1-1, 16 IP, 2 earned runs, 8 K’s).