While the talking heads continue to speculate about the future teams of Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Isringhausen, it's time for the rest of us to get ready to watch some potentially exciting second-half baseball in Queens.
To do that let's dispose of the myths and fantasy:
- K-Rod's departure officially opens "2011 Dumping Season" in Queens.
UNLIKELY. Barring a free fall in the win/loss column, Sandy Alderson is simply not going to go "1997 Florida Marlins" on the current Mets roster. The Brewers deal cleared as much of K-Rod's bad contract off of the books as was possible.
- A great closer was a luxury a bad team like the Mets couldn't afford.
Last time I checked, baseball was a TEAM sport. K-Rod joins Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez on the list of players who were replaced "by committee." Bobby Parnell and Jason Isringhausen head the list to close games for the Mets, hoping to be as successful as the first-half platoon at second and the cadre of No. 3 starters have been in replacing the other highly-paid former Mets.
- The Mets farm system is so terrible that it's time to trade everything not nailed down.
WRONG. Half of the current non-pitchers on the 40-man roster started their professional careers in the Mets organization. Dillon Gee, Bobby Parnell and Jenrry Mejia were fan favorites in Coney Island. What IS true is while talk on the airwaves continue to bash the talent down on the farm, real fans know better. And for those who can't get to a local minor league park, SNY and MLBTV frequently show baby Mets in action.
- The Mets can't catch the Phillies, or any of the Wild Card contenders.
POSSIBLY TRUE. While you wait, look up how the Phillies finished down the stretch in 1964. If the Mets can continue to chip away and focus on winning series, it could be interesting. Unlike Omar Minaya's BFF (aka—The Shirtless Wonder), Terry Collins clearly made the most of his time evaluating the farm system.
Despite the absence of Reyes, Ike Davis, Johan Santana and David Wright, the first half of the 2011 season has clearly shown that maximum effort can at least compete against superior talent. With Reyes due to return in a few days and Wright beginning his rehab assignment today, nobody needs to tell the former Bisons infielders (Nick Evans, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada and Justin Turner) to make the most of their opportunities right now. At the very least, their combined efforts may lead to a few wins until the regulars return. At the most, their inspired efforts and increased production might keep them in the big leagues and improve the Mets bench down the stretch.
K-Rod now calls Milwaukee home. He'll return to Citi Field with his new team on Friday, August 19th. The Mets have 33 games to play until then, including a seven-game homestand that starts tonight against the Phillies. Only time will tell which of those teams will be playing meaningful games down the stretch of the 2011 season.