The Mets scored nine runs Thursday afternoon. Really? They scored nine runs one night after leaving everybody on in San Francisco but Tony Bennett. Thursday they had one fewer baserunner than they did Wednesday but crossed the plate seven more times despite hitting one less homer — or zero. And they won both games. REALLY!?!
Ronny Cedeño drove in five runs. Really? The guy who nobody remembers is on the 25-man roster…and that includes his blood relatives. He hit a ball that clanged off Melky Cabrera’s glove, or as the Giants’ official scorer calls that sort of defensive lapse, a double. REALLY!?!
The Mets won this series. Really? The Mets, who only fly to California after the All-Star break for funerals, and then only for their own. They took three of four from the first-place Giants and are 4-1 since losing 14 of 16. And Terry Collins attributes the turnaround to having had “a meeting” in Arizona…like it was the most effective meeting since the Constitutional Convention. REALLY!?!
The big story to come out of the last game at Phone Company Park wasn’t Cedeño’s sudden liberation from the witness protection program or Chris Young pitching seven innings when his outings are normally as short as any of our Olympic gymnasts, but a t-shirt — Jordany Valdespin’s t-shirt. Really? The Mets have a policy against their baseball players, who wear baseball jerseys as part of their jobs, wearing t-shirts as they walk into the clubhouse…where they’ll take off whatever they’re wearing and put on those jerseys in about five seconds. All Mets are instead supposed to wear a shirt with a collar because each of them is expected to emulate Herbert Hoover because being a Mets fan doesn’t already conjure associations with the word “depression”. REALLY!?!
Valdespin left his shirt in his locker Wednesday only to find it cut up and written on by his anonymous veteran teammates. Really? Those are the veterans who are supposed to be older and wiser, not kindergarten bullies gone wild with scissors and magic markers after one too many Oreos. This behavior was condoned by their teacher/manager on Thursday because it was Valdespin who made “an error in judgment,” according to him. This is the kind of error that Terry Collins worries about, not the one he makes every time he spells “Bay” correctly on his lineup card. REALLY!?!
Met veterans reportedly don’t like Valdespin’s supposed “brashness” and “cockiness” because he’s a rookie. Really? Of course that could be a problem in a sport that hinges on competition. The last thing you want is a teammate who acts as if he expects to succeed in any situation…and then often succeeds in the most pressure-packed of situations. Between cultivating young men who will preach unquestioning adherence to rules rooted in ancient dogma that can appear bizarre to the outside world and this obsession with collars, the Mets almost seem less interested in building a winner than they are in running a seminary.