Friday, July 26, 2013

ReplaceMets Better Than the Real Mets.....Arsenal and the Silly Season

Realistic Mets fans knew that the team wasn't going to be good this season. Then came April and May and not only were the Mets not good....they were embarrassingly terrible. No one could hit, no one could field and the bullpen couldn't be trusted with a lead.

Then something happened. Ruben Tejada, Lucas Duda and Jon Niese all ended up on the disabled list. Around the same time, the Mets finally did the smart thing and send Ike Davis to Las Vegas.

This led to an onslaught of new faces on the Mets and a new energy level. Omar Quintanilla stepped in for Tejada and has been brilliant in the field. While his batting average isn't too impressive, he seems to get his hits when they're needed. The fact that Tejada makes Quintanilla seem like an All Star only proves how ridiculous it was for the Mets to not resign their former franchise shortstop, Jose Reyes. That's another story, but for now no Mets fan misses Tejada and Quintanilla has earned the respect of all with his hustle and solid play.

As for that outfield the Mets were going to run with this season.....Collin Cowgill is gone, Mike Baxter is MIA, Kirk Nieuwenhuis has been mediocre and Lucas Duda is mercifully on the disabled list. I hate to say it, but I am convinced that Lucas Duda is not a Major League caliber baseball player. He can't play defense, he has no speed or mobility and aside from an occasional long ball he can't hit.

Marlon Byrd has been a gift from the Gods for the Mets. He was perceived by most of baseball as damaged goods. He was released by the Red Sox last August and then was suspended for 50 games for PEDS. I'm not sure what happened over the winter but Byrd has been transformed in to a home run hitting, hustling, team player. Where the Mets would be without him is hard to imagine.

Then there's Juan Lagares, Andrew Brown and Eric Young. Young was cast off by the Rockies and has slotted in to the Mets' leadoff and center field spots immediately. Brown is another Rockies castoff and while not the most talented player out there....he's come through in a number of spots for the Mets. As for Lagares, he may be one of the Mets' outfielders of the future. The kid has been phenomenal and was even named National League Player of the Week last week.

Josh Satin has stood in for Lucas Duda and Ike Davis and has been better than the both of them combined.

On the pitching side....the Mets may just be blessed with some youthful arms that could gel and become a dominant staff. Matt Harvey is already an ace in just half a season, Wheeler is already up and learning at the Major League level and Jenrry Mejia looked great in a spot start against the Nats.

Carlos Torres and David Aardsma have come from out of nowhere and have given the Mets solid pitching out of the pen for the first time in years.

The Mets still aren't that good....but with these replaceMets, they're getting closer than they were with the "real" Mets.


As for Arsenal....the silly season is upon us and Arsenal have been linked with practically every player in world football (just joking, but almost). I'm at the point where I'll believe it when I see it. I just hope that Wenger follows through on what he stated and signs players that will help get Arsenal back in the title race.

Meanwhile Arsenal are running around Asia and dressing up as samurais and sushi chefs. It looks like the players are bonding and playing well on their pre-season tour. Next up is the Emirates Cup and then the season kicks off in mid August.

On a side note, I am blown away by the length of the break for European football. Here in the states, baseball, football, basketball and hockey all have long seasons, but they also have long off seasons of 4-6 months. Meanwhile Arsenal finished their season in mid May and are already back getting ready for the new season just two months later. What does this show? It shows that real men play football.