HM SchumanContributor IJuly 18, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 26:  Luis Castillo #1 of the New York Mets catches a pop up to end the seventh inning against the New York Yankees on June 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Mets 9-1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

FROM MITCH ON THE METS RADIO BROADCAST, July 11, 2009 WXLM 104.7, on the web at

30 games ago, I told you that these last 30 games might well decide the Mets season. Well, it seems that it has and the news is not good. The Mets have gone 10-20 and when you look at this team right now, it’s hard to imagine them winning as many as 10 in their NEXT 30.

The collapse of course is totally due to injuries but it is a collapse nonetheless and it has been deep and widespread. Every area of their game has suffered. They don’t hit and they don’t pitch and they don’t field. Oh, they also stink at running the bases. Did I forget anything?

So, on July 11th, is the season over? In a word, yes. I’m sure management knows this. Mets fans need to accept it because now is the time to be thinking about next year. Any talk of trading away any future value (like Fernando Martinez for one) to help the 2009 Mets is just silly. It would be one thing if their walking wounded were all coming back next week, but with Reyes, Beltran, Delgado and Maine not expected to be back until the end of the month at best, it’s time to think about next year.

I think that the Mets took a small step in that direction last night by trading Ryan Church to the Atlanta Braves for Jeff Francoeur. I think as the Mets saw Church play everyday, they decided that he is just not an everyday player. He has looked fairly hopeless against left handed pitching hitting only .167 against them. With Francouer, it’s the right handed pitchers that hold the advantage as he is only hitting .228 against them, but still, that is 60 points better than Church against lefties. Also, the Mets shed 5 years of age with Francouer who is only 25 and therefore has more upside. On the other hand, Francouer’s career is on a major downward slide. In 2006 and 2007, he looked like a superstar hitting 29 home runs with 103 RBI’s in ‘06 and 19 home runs and 105 RBI’s in ‘07. However, last year Francouer went in the tank hitting only 11 home runs with 71 RBI’s. This year he had just 5 dingers with 35 ribby’s, slightly better than Church, and about average for the Mets’ sorry offense. Finally, though Church was a very good outfielder, Francouer is a Gold Glover with a fantastic arm. Those skills will come in handy in the expansive Citi Field outfield. Both players are signed through 2011 and the Braves sent some money to the Mets to equalize their salaries.

As for the rest of this season, it is time for the Mets to make some decisions about what next year’s team will look like. I for one, have seen enough of Luis Castillo. It’s time to eat that contract. One of the Mets problems next year is that it is assumed that Carlos Delgado will be gone,leaving Daniel Murphy as the first baseman. The problem is that Murphy has just not shown that he is a major league first baseman calibre hitter. I’d like to see the Mets try Murphy at second base where he’d be an offensive weapon rather than a liability. He was a 3rd baseman inthe minors, but the Mets did try him in the Arizona fall league at 2nd base and the results were reportedly not that good. Now’s a good time to find out. And maybe it’s time to bring up Jonathan Neise from Buffalo to see if he really is a major league pitcher. I don’t think he is, but now is as good a time as any to find out.

Sure the Mets are 6.5 back and in 4th place with only miles of bad road ahead of them, but for the 2010 season, we are tied for first in our division with only 162 to play. Let’s work on that.

Now back to sports talk with Bill and Mike.