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At Least He Leads the Team in Something

“I’m more frustrated than anybody.”
Jason Bay, July 17, 2011 [1]

I swear this is getting to be like George Fostermania: not George Foster [2], but an incredible simulation.

Except left fielder Jason Bay seems to try real hard. And left fielder George Foster was — in the traditional definition of productive as we understood it via home runs and RBI circa 1983 — actually fairly productive in his second Met season. He hit 28 home runs and drove in 90 runs that year. His Wins Above Replacement was nothing special, but I don’t recall it being mentioned on Kiner’s Korner back then, so I’m giving George a pass on that stat.

Saturday marked 162 Mets games played for Bay. He came through his virtual first full season at .250 BA/.337 OBP/.374 SLG. Bay’s WAR added up to 2.0, which as I understand it, is borderline between a bench player and a nondescript starter.

You can get Jason Bay numbers for a lot cheaper than you’re getting Jason Bay. Though to be fair, he has 19 steals in 20 attempts…and that’s not even counting all the megastar money he’s made off with since signing in December 2009.

Jason Bay played his 163rd Mets game Sunday. It didn’t enhance his value by any metric imaginable. He grounded out with two on in the first. He grounded out with a runner on in the third. He flied out with nobody on in the sixth. He walked in the eighth when everybody was else was walking (but he was the lead out on a double play that immediately followed). And he fouled out in the ninth with a runner on.

Oh, and he couldn’t catch a fly ball hit right at him, which led to a three-run inning that put the game pretty much out of reach [3].


Jason Bay, reminding Mets fans of George Foster and basketball fans of the Charlotte Hornets logo.


So it wasn’t a good “first” season or equivalent thereof for Jason Bay as a Met. And the “second” season isn’t off to a roaring start. And the Mets owe him compensation too daunting to contemplate on a Sunday night.

But he does hustle. He usually fields. Nobody’s more frustrated than he is. And you keep thinking he’s gotta start hitting and not stop.

He’s gotta, doesn’t he?