Let’s can all the happy talk that says, “Jason Bay is a really nice guy.”
Instead, let’s consider the New York Mets’ slugless slugger from the perspective of the box score. It shows that Jason has been naughty, not nice.
In fact, the statistics clearly indicate that Jason Bay needs a one-way ticket to Buffalo. There, he can be assigned to play left field for the Bisons, the New York Mets‘ AAA farm team.
It may sound absurd to suggest sending a $66 million player down to the minor leagues, but it would be more absurd to keep him in the Mets lineup. Here are seven reasons why.
With over a third of the season gone, Jason Bay is batting .207 with two home runs and 11 RBI. Projections indicate he will end the year with a .207 average, five home runs and 27 RBI.
Those are not the numbers you’d expect from a player who’s being paid over $18 million this year to be the team’s power hitter.
Again, you can look at the numbers. Bay is hitting .158 with runners in scoring position. His favorite response to an opportunity to drive in a run is the strikeout.
They don’t keep official stats on rallies killed, but if they did, Jason Bay would be leading the league in this category.
To his credit, Mets manager Terry Collins has been benching Bay on occasion. When he has, Bay’s replacements have delivered game-winning performances at the plate.
These are games that most likely would’ve been lost if K-Bay had been in the batting order.
Watch closely. Bay looks like a lost little boy when he’s up at the plate. Clearly, major league pitching is perplexing and overpowering him.
Perhaps a few months of swinging against minor-league arms will help him get his groove back.
Terry Collins has done an incredible job maintaining the morale of a team beset with an unprecedented number of injuries and a fiscally incompetent owner.
But morale is a fragile commodity that easily crumbles when one player is given special treatment. Anyone but Bay would have been sent down to the minors weeks ago. Yet he’s still here, stinking up the show while pocketing millions. It’s not fair to the other players, and they know it, even though they might not say it.
With two other power hitters out injured, Jason Bay has the perfect opportunity to step up into a leadership position by picking up the slack, but he appears uninspired.
Contrast that with how veterans Carlos Beltran and José Reyes have responded, and you can see what separates the pros from the boys.
The Mets have lost a lot of close ballgames this year. Imagine what their record could be if their power hitter had come through with a couple of home runs or an RBI here and there to flip those scores in the Mets’ favor.
Instead, every time he steps up to the plate, Jason Bay is a reminder of the Mets’ lack of power, their financial problems and their owner’s incompetence.
That’s no way to sell tickets at Citi Field—and it might be the biggest reason why Bay should become a Buffalo Bison, the sooner the better.