This is an unprecedented moment for the Pioneer Pride blog – for the first time ever I’m bringing you 2 entries in 2 days! If Yankees radio announcer John Sterling was in my living room now, he would most certainly bellow (while experiencing a near orgasm), “Ooooooohhhhh Ryan has just posted two blog entries in two days!! He went back-to-back, BELLY-TO-BELLY!!!!”
This entry was somewhat difficult to write, because as a Mets fan I never want to give up hope before a season, no matter how dire the circumstances. But for the first time in my life as a Mets fan, I’m ready to fully embrace the “R” word that no New York sports fan EVER wants to utter – rebuilding. To be clear, I’m not talking about a half ass “we traded two elite pitching prospects for a good, but not great pitcher in Ubaldo Jimenez because we fooled ourselves into thinking we had a shot at the AL Central division title” kind of rebuilding. I’m talking about an all-out “let’s beef up the farm system that Omar Minaya raped and clean house if we have to” type of rebuilding.
Please allow me to explain myself. I’m just…I’m just tired of finishing behind the Phillies, every single freaking year. It’s worn me down. For the past three seasons, the Mets have been marinating in this mediocre stew that has inevitably led to final win totals of 70, 79, and 77 wins, respectively. It’s been the same ‘ol story every year – the Mets will overachieve until the All-Star break and therefore suck us into unrealistically believing they have a shot making the playoffs. Then by late July, the team starts to predictability fade, only to finish well out of contention for the wildcard.
I’m sick of this cruel false sense of hope, every single year, which is why I’m embracing the “R" word.
So what kind of rebuilding scale am I talking about? Let’s put it this way – I will support GM Sandy Alderson if he trades any starter for a good return of prospects. Keith Law, the former Toronto Blue Jays assistant GM who now writes for ESPN Insider, doesn’t have one single Met ranked in his top 50 players age 25 and under. With the exception of some high risk, high ceiling pitching prospects like Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jeurys Familia, it’s a weak farm system, especially for position players.
So if Alderson has an opportunity to flip Daniel Murphy for a couple of decent prospects, I support that. What about Jon Niese or Pelfrey for a positional prospect or two? Sure, why not. Maybe the Player Formerly Known as Jason Bay will experience a resurgence with the new Citi Field dimensions, and subsequently get unloaded to dump that ridiculous contract. Go for it, Sandy. Hell at this point, I would support the Mets if they acquired a very good haul of prospects by trading …. (gulp) …. David Wright. Yes, you read that correctly. I would support the Mets if they trade … (sorry, this is difficult to even type) … David Wright for the right package of prospects, even though Wright is a fan favorite and on the short list of my man-crushes (although Eli is a close second). I’ve reached that level as a suffering Met fan.
Besides, I’m thinking long term. If they suck the next couple of seasons, I’m fine with that. As long as Sandy is building a contender. In a couple of years, when my wife (a Yankee fan) and I start a family, I need a Mets team that can match the sustained success of the Yankees. If the Mets are still stuck in this mediocre stew, come 2016, then it will be an easy decision for our children. A 90-95 win Yankee team that makes the playoffs most years? Or a mediocre, strapped for cash Mets squad that can barely win half their games? That’s a pretty easy decision for a child. And I need a fighting chance to brainwash my child into loving the Amazins some day.
Let the rebuilding begin. Lets. Go. METS!