It is easy to look at the direction of the organization and fall in love with the front office and everything they have accomplished. However, it is also important to look at what could be improved. The last couple of seasons has shown an attachment to certain players, and has perhaps held the Mets back at times.
Sometimes the Mets loyalty can be seen as patience. Sometimes it can be patience. Most of the time it is unexplained and does not help the team much.
For the past two seasons the Mets have kept Ike Davis in the Major Leagues through prolonged slumps. Last season he was allowed to work out of it in the big leagues, this season he was finally sent to AAA. Both seasons he was kept in the middle of the lineup when he was playing. Ike was not only affecting the Mets in his at-bats, he was giving teams no reason to pitch to whoever was hitting before him. Terry Collins insisted Ike would break out of his slump and kept playing him, pointing his loyalty towards the individual and not the team.
The Mets have had similar attitudes towards John Buck and Omar Quintanilla this season. Buck’s hot April carried him through May and June. In July the Mets finally started playing Anthony Recker more often and the production from both catchers improved. Now Omar Quintanilla is returning to form as the backup shortstop he has always been. The Mets said they do not plan on calling up Ruben Tejada, hitting .317 in AAA. For some reason they are content with Quintanilla’s struggles and a short bench without a real backup shortstop.
The Mets seem to love to play guys until they simply cannot play anymore. It is almost as if they are more afraid of hurting feelings than losing games.
Even the non-trades of Scott Hairston and Marlon Byrd carry the loyalty too far. They both had bounce-back seasons with the Mets, but they also both were meant to be single-year players. The Mets rightly let Hairston walk but they also did not get anything of value for him, even if it was a mediocre prospect. Now they will go down the same path with Marlon Byrd and would rather have a few more home runs this year than add a piece who could contribute in the future.
I love the Mets current front office with Sandy Alderson and co. I do not love their insistence on sticking with the same players until I can no longer bear to watch. When the team has options they should learn to take advantage.