The New York Mets have kicked off the second half of the season in incredibly disappointing fashion. Since the All-Star break the Metropolitans lost eight of nine entering this week, and are free falling out of playoff contention.
For fans, it's a real tease to see your team in contention for 86 games, only to watch them enter a downward spiral. But there is very little GM Sandy Alderson should do to stop the bleeding. The best thing for this franchise would be to stay put before next week's trade deadline.
For the first half of the season, the Mets were a team playing at a level greater than the sum of their parts. Most fans knew what they were seeing was unlikely to last over the entire 162 game schedule. But part of being is fan is hoping your team can defy the odds.
Unfortunately, it's that much more painful when reality sets in. There's no complicated formula to fixing these Mets, they are just playing more like the flawed team many expected prior to the season.
To add insult to injury, Johan Santana was added to the fifteen-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle. Santana joins fellow starter Dillon Gee, whose season is in jeopardy following a blood clot in his right shoulder. Frankly, it seems like Santana's restructured shoulder could use a breather; the lefty is 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA in eight outings since throwing a career high 134 pitches in his no-hitter.
Meantime, the Mets bullpen continues to be atrocious. New York's bullpen has a Major League worst 4.95 ERA, nearly a run and a half above baseball's average of 3.66 ERA.
A roster tweak, such as bringing in a seventh inning reliever or a right-handed bench bat, would not make this team a championship contender. There are too many major pieces that need to be added to justify a deadline move.
Fans will recall that just before the trading deadline in 2004, when the Mets were six games back of the division, GM Jim Duquette traded Scott Kazmir, Jose Bautista and four other players for starting pitchers Kris Benson and Victor Zambrano. New York never sniffed the playoffs and traded away part of their future. That's the last type of move Alderson needs to make this season.
The Mets have many quality farm players, especially pitchers, and to trade part of their future to make a run now would be a big mistake. Studs like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jeurys Familia, and Jenrry Mejia could all help this roster take the next step to title contention over the next season or two. Moving any of them to benefit a flawed team would be incredibly short sighted.
The New York Mets 2012 season has already been more exciting than any fan could have expected back in March. The Madoff burden is gone, the team spent half the season in the playoff race, and fans are once again proud to wear their orange and blue.
Rather than trying to save this season at the expense of the future, let's hope 2012 winds up like 1984 or 1997; the beginning of another winning era.
Pete is a lifelong Montauk resident and former sports talk host at 88.7FM WEER. He can be reached via email at Peterfmundo@gmail.com.