I'm not called the "Disgruntled Mets" fan for no reason. I describe myself as a self-hating fan that wishes he had no morals so he could switch allegiances to a team that did not aggravate him so much. But alas, after 20-plus years of aggravation, I'm still here.
In my first attempt at offseason blogging, I found myself unsuccessfully trying to think of things to write about. My writing style is more about gut reactions to things that are happening on the field rather than reporting on the day-to-day news about transactions and signings.
The offseason was pretty uneventful up until a few weeks ago, when the New York Mets landed their version of the "Big Fish" in Jason Bay. Bay may have been the smallest big fish out there this season, but there's no doubt he'll be an upgrade in left field.
The main problem I had with the Bay signing was that he was not a starting pitcher.
The Mets have a gaping hole that makes up the last four spots in their rotation. Johan Santana is the only guarantee they have. They have what amounts to three No. 3/4 starters vying for the No. 2 spot in the rotation, and a huge question mark at the No. 5 spot.
The Mets have let opportunities pass in the starting pitching market this offseason. John Lackey was the guy to go out and get, and they missed their chance. Whether or not Lackey wanted to play for the Mets, a big money offer would have changed his mind.
Lackey is not the only guy I feel like the Mets could have made a play for, and I still think Joel Pinero is a viable option. They just need to make it happen.
The Bengie Molina saga has been slightly dumbfounding. This guy has been close to becoming a Met for the past month. What's the hold up? Pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. It'd be nice to know who your starting catcher will be by then. Nothing can come easy with this team...nothing.
So that's what the big news around the Mets had been so far this offseason. Nothing terribly exciting. Nothing to get the fans pumped going into 2010. Then last night happened.
I first found the news on Metsblog.com . Carlos Beltran had what was being called "unauthorized surgery" and would be away from baseball activities for 12 weeks.
Just what we all wanted to hear, huh?
Coming off a season where the Mets suffered every kind of injury short of the bubonic plague, something this big this early really takes the wind out of the sails.
I'm not sure where I stand on this situation right now, and I'll try and develop a concrete opinion once more facts come out.
My initial reaction was shock and disappointment in Beltran. I couldn't figure out why he'd have his surgery now instead of last summer, while the Mets were playing meaningless baseball. It turns out that the team doctors suggested Beltran avoid surgery and just take time off for rehab. Then after the season ended, with Beltran again exploring surgery as an option, Mets doctors again advised against surgery.
Beltran had spent time without pain, but began to have knee problems again once he picked up the intensity of his workout while getting ready for Spring Training. He consulted his personal doctor, who consulted the team doctor (although not a team official), and they decided to go ahead with the surgery.
While I do disagree with the timing, it's much better now than in April or May. In an ideal situation, Carlos will spend some time in Extended Spring Training and come back to the team in May at 100 percent.
The problem is, nothing injury related with this team goes as well as possible. In fact, the exact opposite of "as well as possible" usually happens. I have visions of playing the entire 2010 season without Carlos Beltran, and these visions do not make me happy.
Whatever your opinion on Beltran and his injury, you cannot deny that the team's success hinges on how fast he can return. His production in the lineup was possibly the hardest to replace last season. The team was able to compete to some degree while dealing with the loss of the other injured stars, but when Beltran went down, the Mets went down.
I hope the Mets don't take any crazy action in dealing with this situation. Going too far could alienate one of the best players to ever wear a Mets uniform. Who knows where that could lead?
I wish Carlos a speedy recovery, as I'm sure Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya do. A slow start for this team could spell the end of their time with the Mets.
I'm happy to say I'll be participating in a podcast with fellow Baseball Bloggers Alliance member Steve Keane of Kranepool Society . You can find the podcast at Pro Baseball Central . The show starts at 9PM ET.
Looking forward to a new season's worth of blogging.
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