Accepting Mets Fate, and How To Move On

Doug GausepohlCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009

NEW YORK - JULY 15:  'Mr. Met' the New York Mets mascot poses during the MLB All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade on July 15, 2008 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

With Jose Reyes, J.J. Putz, and Carlos Delgado out until August, it seems like the Mets will need a miracle in order to get ahead of the Phillies in the standings anytime soon.

But who says we need that miracle?

In my mind, the only day being in first really matters is the last day of the season, as us Mets fans have learned quite often the past couple seasons.  The key is to keep ground, and not let the Phillies get too far ahead. 

But how do we do that? 

It starts with today, and Jerry Manuel needs to look his players in the eyes, and say either "You're my starting catcher, first baseman, etc," or "you're not my starter, but this is what I need you to do."  Roles must be established for this to work.

Those starters should be:

C - Santos

1B - Murphy

2B - Castillo

SS - Cora

3B - Wright

LF - Sheffield

CF - Beltran

RF - Church (eligible to come back on Sunday)

For now.

And to be honest, I'm really not that concerned about the bullpen.  Putz has been the weakest link in that bullpen so far (let's be honest), and I'm sure someone like Eddie Kunz could come up and do the job no worse than Putz was doing it before. 

Next, you need to find some replacements for the missing pieces. 

Our outfield has enough backup (Jeremy Reed, Fernando Martinez, Tatis, etc.) but our infield needs a little pop. 

Mark DeRosa is first on the list, because he can play anywhere on the field, and absolutely rake while he's at it.  A pipe dream would be Adrian Gonzalez, but he'd cost way too much and would create a huge traffic jam when Delgado returns. 

So we can settle for DeRosa at shortstop, can't we?  Cora comes off the bench, where he's better suited.

Next, Oliver Perez needs to be fixed, because Tim Redding can not pitch for this team anymore.  It'll probably be another month for Perez, so that means maybe another six starts for Redding...ugh.

If we can piece together a team that can stay, let's say, five games behind the Phillies through mid-August, and everyone (Putz, Delgado, Reyes, even Wagner) comes back, we can definitely make a run with about 45 games left to go, seven of which would be against the Phils. 

So it makes no sense to go for the Phillies throat in June, especially fielding the team we are now.  Let's hide in the grass, and pounce when they least expect it.




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