Monday, July 25, 2011

Arsenal and the Mets: Waiting for the Changes

Carlos Beltran may not be a Met for much longer
It's been a pretty suprising season so far for the much maligned New York Mets.  With the Maddoff scandal hanging over the heads of the Wilpons and little money to spend heading in to the season Mets fans braced themselves for six months of misery.  Adding to these less than stellar expectations were injuries to star pitcher Johan Santana and unexpected stints on the DL for David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay and Jose Reyes.  With all the casualties, the Mets have at times fielded a lineup that resembled their AAA franchise, Buffalo Bison including Justin Turner, Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda, Jason Pridie and Dillon Gee.

While not running away with the division by any means, the 2011 New York Mets have been a gritty, tough bunch that have been a lot of fun to watch.  In fact, this team that was expected to be terrible plays harder and with more pride than the 2007-2008 Mets teams that were expected to win. 

Josey Reyes is putting up MVP numbers and Carlos Beltran has quietly been going about his business and getting some major hits.  On the pitching side, Jonathan Niese and Dillon Geen have stepped in to the roles of dependable starters after supposed "ace" Mike Pelfrey has proven that he's simply not that good.

With the trading deadline approaching and the Mets not really in the playoff picture, it's inevitable that some players won't be on the roster come next week.  While early talk was of Reyes being the big chip in the trade market, Mets fans made their voices heard loud and clear and hopefully management has listened.  The player most likely to go is Beltran.  While he never quite lived up to the expectations he came with and will forever be remembered for his strikeout with the bases loaded to end game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, Beltran handled himself like a pro and will definitely be missed.  Hopefully the Mets will get some real prospects in return as the team's record with trades is less than stellar. 

While there may be some other moves, true Mets fans expect David Wright and Jose Reyes to still be Mets come August 1st.  Let the rebuilding begin.


Of course it's not about the money
More troubling to me is the uncertainty and changes taking place at Arsenal.  One of the biggest and most successful clubs in all of English football yet this off season has brought nothing by negative stories.  From Clichy heading to money bags Man City and taking a swipe at Arsenal in the process, to Nasri snubbing Arsenal and seemingly holding out for the highest bidder and of course the neverending Barcelona lovefest with Cesc Fabregas its been nothing but negativity and who's leaving.

While I may be accused of believing in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus, the total disrespect and lack of gratitude being shown to Arsenal Football Club and Arsene Wenger by players he made in to stars is horrible.  I understand players have a short playing career and need to look out for their best interests, but the greed and disloyalty being displayed is disgusting.  Arsenal is one of the most valuable sports teams in the world and these ungrateful mercenaries are treating it like it's a pub team.

Arsene who? Show me the money.
Meanwhile, fans are grumbling about the lack of quality players coming in and doubt is starting to creep in.  The mighty Arsenal is being subjected to abuse by the "mean girls" of the EPL (ManUre, Sheik City and Chel$ki) as well as the "well respected" British press.

Despite all this, I still believe in Arsene Wenger and I hope that he gets to have the last laugh at all his detractors this season.

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