As the Rain Clears, the Clouds Stay Over the New York Mets

Vinny MadioCorrespondent IMay 3, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 26:  Oliver Perez #46 of the New York Mets reacts in the dugout after he was taken out of their game against the Washington Nationals in the fifth inning on April 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The New York Mets had their series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies rained out on Sunday.  That was probably the best news for a team who is win-less in all seven series finales this season.  This also was good news because the bullpen was over worked Saturday due to the erratic pitching of Oliver Perez.

Having Sunday off was the only good news, the bad news, well where do we begin?  First has to be with the $36 million man, Ollie Perez, who continues to regress back into the form that even made the Pittsburgh Pirates get rid of him. 

The Pirates, who haven't had a winning season since 1992, gave up on a young promising lefty who just could not find consistency.

He was traded to the Mets in 2006, where he wasn't very good in the regular season, but had a heck of a post season for the Mets that year. 

In 2007, Oliver Perez seemed to turn a corner, going 15-10 with an ERA in the mid three's. Last year, he was 10-7, and his ERA rose above four, making many Met fans wonder if he was a one-hit wonder.

Well, after the Mets gave Perez $36 million for three years this past off season, we have found out that Perez is exactly what the Pirates thought he was, an inconsistent lefty who will hurt you a lot more often then he wins you games. In five starts this season, he is 1-2 with about a 10 ERA. 

Ten ERA? That is just not what the Mets needed from the guy who was supposed to be coming into his own.  Now the Mets are left wondering whether to throw him into the bullpen or hope that he accepts a minor league assignment to work on his mechanics.

The worst thing the Mets could do is throw him into the revamped bullpen. Other than Sean Green, the bullpen has been fantastic, and does not need a visit from Oliver Perez anytime soon.

Tim Redding and Jon Neise are two guys the Mets could think of bringing up, along with Dan Gee and Nelson Figerora, as long as Perez accepts the minor league assignment. 

I would love to see Neise come up and see if he can build on his outings from last year, but due to Redding winning ten games last year, maybe he would be the first one to call.  Over the season you will most likely see all four pitchers start a few games for the Mets.

The other cloud over the Mets is Carlos Delgado. This was supposed to be the year Delgado would be loved by Met fans. He would start off hot and go right through to September and be one of the leaders on the team. 

Now it seems like he is destined for multiple trips to the disabled list this season due to an ailing hip.

If Delgado does move to the disabled list, look for Willy Mo Pena to be called up to take his roster spot. Pena, who has all the antics of a Manny Ramirez but the bat of a Luis Castillo, is not the answer. Pena is currently playing first base in the Mets minor league in Buffalo. 

With the addition of Sheffield and now Willy Mo Pena, you have to wonder about the reason why is not Nick Evans being given the shot.

Sheffield will pop a few here and there, but his average will be low and he is horrible in the field. His position spot should have been given to Nick Evans from the beginning, but the Mets needed to try and add a veteran bat to the mix.

Sheffield has yet to spark any of the current Mets players and should be evaluated by the Mets brass to see if he is really needed.

But if Delgado is going to the disabled list, why is Pena being called up to take his spot.  Evans has shown he can play a decent first base, while Pena has never played an inning in the bigs at that position. Also, Evans had a dominant spring training and started to show some pop in his bat, while Pena was eventually cut by the lowly Washington Nationals.

You have to wonder what Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel are thinking not giving Nick Evans the spot he earned in spring training. Giving it to a over-the-hill designated hitter in Gary Sheffield, and now most likely giving a roster spot to Willy Mo Pena, who has 15 home runs in the past two seasons.

Honestly, if Minaya and Manuel think this is the right move, then maybe you have to wonder what the Wilpons are thinking letting these two guys run their franchise.

The last cloud hanging over this team is what Omar Minaya addressed this week.  The lack of edge, lack of meanness and the lack of toughness this team plays without night after night.

You have heard quotes from Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez saying, they would be munching at the bit, when the Phillies, Braves and all the top teams would come into Shea or they would go on the road to face off with them. They couldn't wait for the first pitch, and their chance to win the series against their rivals.

These Mets go night after night with the same attitude. There is always tomorrow, there are always more at bats the next day to break out of a slump.

While that may be true, you have to start wondering when a team who has choked the past two seasons away might start taking April and May games a little bit more seriously, so when September comes around, they have a bigger lead and lesser chance to blow it.

I, like every Met fan, love David Wright. He is the poster boy for the Mets Franchise and should be for years to come. But he has to start taking the lead, and taking the charge for this team. He has to go out there and start producing every year in clutch and non clutch situations like Derek Jeter does for the Yankees every year. 

It is time for Wright to become the captain of the Mets. I don't mean by the Mets announcing it, or Wright wearing a C on his jersey to show it. I mean by going up to the plate and getting a big hit, and show some emotion doing it.

Go up their against Brad Lidge and the Phillies and beat them in a close game and show them that you loved doing it.

Make them want to hate you, make them want to plunk you next time up.  It is time David Wright earns the respect that Jeter earned in Boston, the respect that every time he goes up to bat, the Boston fans let him have it, they try to boo him out of the stadium. 

It never works and he routinely gets on base, but that just makes those Boston fans hate him even more. That's what David Wright needs, he needs to show Philly fans and Atlanta fans that he means business. 

This current Met team has no identity, maybe David Wright will be the one to change that, because if he doesn't, then something else on this team will have to change.

The manager and some of the core players will have to be shown the door at the new Citi Field.


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