Mets Lifer took to the street to ask some every day, non-blogging New York Mets fans about their answers to a few pointed questions. Of course, Bryan and I felt the need to chime in, but you’ll find many of the answers to be pretty in line with each other and a few that stand out as unique.
Let’s introduce you to our five fans on the street. There’s Tom (who’s in the unenviable position of not only being a lifelong Mets fan, but a New York Jets season ticket holder), Gus (talented musician and 20-something Mets Lifer), KK (a newlywed Mets fan whose husband is unfortunately a Yankees fan), Bob (Jersey-based Mets Lifer who has possibly the best hair of any Mets fan), and Desiree (hardcore Mets fan and professional photographer).
Roll the questions:
In Three Words or Less, Describe Your Feelings about This Mets Season?
Is It Better, Worse or Indifferent That at Least You Won’t Have To Endure a Mets' Collapse This September?
Gus: As much as the past two Septembers have driven me insane, I have to say that it feels great to route for a winner. I’d go for a 2008 collapse over what we’ve gone through this year. Kind of feels like we're just skipping right over 2009...at least football starts soon.
KK: Better to know that we are not even close this year. Two years of collapsing was exhausting.
Bob: Better, as with all of the injuries the pressure and expectation is off and they are now not expected to win.
Bryan: No question this is better. I’ve written on this blog before about heartbreaking losses vs. blowout defeats and I’d much rather prefer a blowout. The same applies in this case for the season and for one very simple reason: I sleep much better. When your team loses in such crushing fashion as our beloved Mets have, it takes a very long time to get over that sick feeling.
Dave: To me this is worse. A collapse is painful, but there’s interesting baseball games to be played, some excitement in a pennant race and the hope that you’ll pull it out at the end. This season is just pure disappointing and often times the games are unwatchable. I’ve lost interest in the team when the lineup is filled with C-list players and you have to endure Tim Redding or Livan Hernandez as your starter. In a perfect world I choose neither.
In Your Opinion, What, If Any, Is the Bright Spot for the Mets This Season?
Gus: There are a few positives that I see coming out of this disastrous Mets' season. First, David Wright comes out of this mess a much better leader and player. He will perform in future Septembers and will be a legitimate MVP candidate next year (top three). Second, Minaya gets fired, which I think is a great thing. Lastly, the abysmal season propels the organization to make a blockbuster trade in the offseason or at least a series of trades that add up to W’s.
KK: Picking up Jeff Franceour. That’s it.
Bob: Bright spot would be trading Church for Francoeur. While Francoeur has had a tough year this season, he is young still and very capable of having a 25-plus HR/90-plus RBI in the future. Don't know if I could say that of Church. Looking to next year an outfield of Pagan, Beltran, and Francoeur sounds very, very right.
Desiree: The acquisition of Jeff Franceour. Period.
Dave: KK and Bryan hit it spot on. Franceour was both the most surprising move of the season and the smartest. You got a young guy with energy for a decent outfielder in Church. I remember seeing the trade on my phone and thinking "huh?" It was an unlikely deal, but it's already paid dividends. I think Gus makes a good point about David Wright. This could be the year similar to what Michael Jordan went through when he lost Scottie Pippen for an entire season and had to carry the load. Made Jordan a better leader, while being surrounded by mediocre talent. Let's hope it has the safe result with David Wright.
Who Should be Fired? Jerry Manuel? Omar Minaya? Both? Neither?
Gus: Minaya has been average at best and I believe it's time that we part ways with him at the end of the year. I'd like to see us sign the assistant who put together the Franceour–Church deal. As for Manuel, not sure any Manager could have succeeded this year, but I think we need a Joan Rivers (facelift). Give me Bobby V.
KK: Omar Minaya should be fired. Jerry needs someone to light a fire under his butt!
Bob: Neither of them, as no one could have predicted the injuries to Reyes, Delgado, (although I felt they should have traded him in the offseason), Beltran, Putz, Maine, and now Wright.
Desiree: In a word, both.
Bryan: Omar has to go. Period. And I’m sorry to say, but I want Manuel to go as well. Nice guy, funny, and honest—maybe too honest—but I need a change. And John Ricco does nothing for me either. Is he qualified? Maybe. But as a Mets fan who has been through hell the last few years, I want to hit the "refresh" button.
Dave: I say clean house. I like Jerry a lot, but I’m not sure he is a top tier type of manager and baseball mind. Omar is definitely gone. His ship is sinking faster than El Duque's career.
Should the Mets Break up the Core of Wright/Reyes/Beltran?
Gus: I think that the core must be broken up. Beltran’s soft, but is one of the top three center fielders in the game. Wright is the heart and soul of the organization and the only untouchable we have on the team. So...Deal Reyes! He’s still young at 26, but he hasn’t matured or markedly improved and has a history of leg injuries. I’d like to see him dealt for a stud pitcher or really young and talented position player...not sure what his value is anymore, but give me Ellsbury whose the same age but possesses more of that spark we need as a team...or Kazmir and Crawford.
KK: Yes, they should break up the core...but keep David Wright.
Bob: They shouldn’t break up the core. Wright and Reyes are the face of the franchise and the three of them are among the greatest players at their position now in the NL.
Desiree: I believe that if any of them should go, it should be David Wright. Beltran is a much better player in clutch situations and finding a replacement shortstop that could match Jose Reyes would be very difficult. By bringing on Jeff Francoeur, the Mets have found the possible leadership person they have been looking for, a role David Wright has not been able to fill.
Bryan: Well, I didn’t feel this way even after two-straight September collapses, but I do think we need to consider a change now. First, I would explore a Beltran deal, but you have to get him to waive his no trade clause, which would be no easy task. Plus, there are serious questions about his knees so I’m not sure you can get good value in return.
Dave: I say keep the core unless a team makes an offer you can't refuse (i.e. Reyes for Bucholtz and Ellsbury, which is crazy ridiculous if the BoSox offer that). Here’s why you keep the core. What better players are you going to get at each position? Beltran is possibly the best CF in baseball when you combine his hitting and fielding. I’ll give you Grady Sizemore if you want, but Beltran is definitely top three. There aren’t any third basemen lying around that the Mets could pick up and you can’t trade Wright who is the franchise. The fans would revolt (except for Desiree). Lastly, who’s going to replace Reyes at shortstop? Where can you find a legit leadoff hitter, with a very good glove, and exceptional speed? They're hard to find.
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