What does one do when the New York Metropolitans just got done getting slapped around by the Brew Crew and then is stuck watching a Yankees-Rays game on a Monday evening?
Go through all of the MLB rosters and search for former Mets and see where everybody is, of course, and then make a team out of it.
This exercise does have its purpose.
Are the 2008 Mets better than the 2006 and 2007 versions?
Did the trade of those fine prospects work out?
What about the prospects the Mets got back after dealing a veteran?
The criterion was that the players had to be on a 40-man roster or disabled list as of this past weekend. Free agents or players mulling retirement were not considered.
The players did not have to suit up for the Mets at any point. As long as they were Met property at some point, there are eligible.
The team is assembled for 2008 only. Guys like Carlos Gomez and Phil Humber, whose best years may be well ahead of them are not on there.
Players were kept at their position as indicated by MLB.com with the exception of the shortstop position, which had no former Mets listed (at least to this writer’s knowledge).
More thought was given to finding the best offensive player at each position rather than trying to construct a logical lineup or consider where offense could be sacrificed for defense.
And without further adieu, the 2008 former Mets…
C – Johnny Estrada
IF/Utility – Marco Scutaro
IF/Utility – Jeff Keppinger
OF – Gary Matthews, Jr.
The starting position players:
C – Paul LoDuca
1B – Mike Jacobs
2B – Kaz Matsui
SS – Ruben Gotay (listed as 2B)
3B – Melvin Mora
LF – Jay Payton
CF – Mike Cameron
RF – Cliff Floyd/Xavier Nady (platoon)
The starting rotation:
LHP - Scott Kazmir
RHP - A.J. Burnett
LHP - Tom Glavine
LHP - Mike Hampton
RHP - Brian Bannister
Setup Man – Heath Bell
Righty Specialist – Chad Bradford
Closer – Jason Isringhausen
Middle Relief – Matt Lindstrom
Middle Relief – Dan Wheeler
Long Man – Darren Oliver
Lefty Specialist – Royce Ring
There you have it folks, the 2008 former Mets.
The real 2008 Mets have a much stronger starting lineup, offensively and defensively than the formers.
The bench is fairly comparable, possibly with the formers having the edge considering that one of Nady or Floyd would be on the bench also (of course one could be in left and one in right, with Payton on the bench).
The starting rotation for the formers features four guys who are dealing with, or probably will deal with, injuries throughout the year in Kazmir, Burnett, Glavine, and Hampton.
Bannister, aside from the injury that ended his Met tenure, has been healthy and effective for Kansas City. If all five were healthy, it would be solid.
The bullpen for the formers is not overwhelming, but not horrible either.
Heilman at his best, Sosa at his best, and a healthy Sanchez are a better setup crew than the formers. Bradford is more reliable at this point in his career than Joe Smith, but health is always a question for Bradford.
Ring is not nearly as good as Feliciano, but what should the Mets have expected in return for an ineffective, over-the-hill Robert Alomar.
Closers are closers. Can’t live with ‘em, wish we could do without ‘em.