Houston, Hello

So I did guest spot on a radio show the other day.

As part as the publicity around the MBTNbook, I’ve done a few of these in recent months, and while I still blurt out way too many “umms” and “yaknows” it feels like I’ve actually gotten better as I’ve gone along. My gameplan for these interviews has generally been to go up there with the idea of simply putting it in play: I might drive the right question to the gap and maybe leg out the extra base, but I’m mainly up there trying not to whiff.

At the risk of taking this tortured analogy any further, it was a rough first inning in Houston. I ably handled an introduction glitch before Richard Justiceof KGOW 1560 The Game (and the Houston Chronicle) surprised me with a first-pitch curve.

“What’s wrong with the Mets?” he asked.

If you listen in I mumbled something about an inconsistent offense and pitching issues that staffs typically encounter in April, but I’m not sure that’s it at all, necessarily. I mean, not all of it. The fact is this has been a remarkably average team over the last year (68-68 since last May 30, says this guy) and I’d argue that stretch of averageness actually proceeds it, goes back to September of 2006 and foretold the lethargic offense that more than anything else cost the Mets a chance to play in another World Series that year. And that resembles 2005, results-wise at least, when the Mets rested at .500 at more points than in any other year in team history but somehow looked better doing so.

So maybe that’s it. Being an OK team in a pretty good era is pretty much what they are under Willie and Omar. And while they’re capable of more the record shows early 2006 was the exception and not the rule. Their particular problems haven’t been quite the same every year, much less every night, beyond injuries and age.

When Justice got to the part about whether Randolph should be fired I pleaded pateience. Until Memorial Day, at least.

Anyway, in the interest of being better prepared next time, I put it to you readers: Tell me how you’d answer: What’s wrong with the Mets? Use the comments below.


Thanks to David Moore and Crooked Number for still more help with the web page, which continues to be a masterpiece in the making. You might notice that names on the player pages now read in in proper order. Mookie Wilson > Wilson, Mookie, don’t you think?


Moises Alou is rumored to rejoin the team in time for tonight’s opener in Phoenix but until I see18 in left field I’m not holding my breath. Not clear at this point whether Brian Schneider gets DL’ed or whatever. Not that I’m interested in starting a reputation for the guy or anything but Schneider’s had three separate injuries already and his next extra-base hit will be his first. Fitting right in.


Cool new book review published by Baseball America (pictured above) and featured, quiz-style, in the latest issue of Mets Inside Pitch.

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One comment

  1. Jon Springer says:

    Submitted by l_confra on Fri, 05/02/2008 – 3:24pm.
    I’ll let someone else crunch the numbers, but it seems like the biggest problem is the Mets don’t play well enough at home.

    The reason for this? As a NY fan living near Boston, I see games at primarily Shea and Fenway. When I’m at Shea, I feel like I’m a mile away from the game, and its almost like watching on TV, except I can’t see so well. Even in the worst seats at Fenway, I get more of a feel for being at the park, and its easier to get behind the team.

    With the crowd more supportive of the Metsies we could do a lot better at home, and if you look back at the last couple of seasons winning 50 or more games at home would have put us at the top of the division.

    Hopefully Citi will be a more Fenwayesque venue, and the crowds will be more supportive.

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