Sunday, December 11, 2011

Joey's Letter To Sandy Claus

Dear Sandy Claus,

You may not know me, but I know you.  I know you're the guy who spreads holiday cheer at Citi Field by giving Mets fans what they ask for when they write you a letter, so here's mine.

My name is Joey Beartran.  I've been a Mets fan all my life, from the time I was born at Shea Stadium in 2004 to Jose Reyes' final game as a Met.  In the time I've been a fan, I've seen Art Howe do nothing but make excuses for his latest loss.  I've also seen Willie Randolph take his team to within one long hit of a World Series berth and I had one eye open when he was unceremoniously axed in Anaheim.  Jerry Manuel?  I saw him do something a real gangsta would never do - laugh at every question in the post-game interview, even after gut-wrenching losses.

Last year, I met Terry Collins in person and realized he's barely taller than I am.  I also saw a man who resembled you, but his name was Sandy Alderson.  Still, he was a very nice man to talk to and I think you should hire him as one of your helpers.

Anyway, I have some things I've been wishing for.  They're things that all Mets fans would probably want as well, so I hope you read my letter and can give us what we want for the holidays.  Here goes.

I'd like Johan Santana to pitch an entire season for the Mets.  Ever since his Herculean effort in the next-to-last game at Shea Stadium in 2008, Johan has missed the entire last month of the season in every year.  Last year, he didn't pitch at all for the Mets.  I go to many Mets games and I'd like to come to the ballpark with reasonable expectations that the Mets are going to win.  Johan used to give me that feeling.  Please give me that feeling again in 2012.

Speaking of Johan, I'd also like the Mets not to say that a player is day-to-day and then have him miss two and a half months.  When David Wright was placed on the disabled list in mid-May, he was supposed to resume baseball activities in a week and a half.  Two and a half weeks later, he was told he had to stay away from baseball for another three weeks.  It took over a month from that point for Wright to return to the Mets' lineup, finally playing again in late July.  I don't even want to get into Ike Davis, whose injury caused him to be originally listed as day-to-day when his proper status should have been season-to-season.  Let's stop with those incorrect injury assessments, okay?

I'd like Jason Bay to regain his power stroke.  After hitting 36 homers and driving in 119 runs for the Red Sox in 2009, I expected him to do the same when the Mets signed him during that offseason.  In the two years since his signing, Bay's cumulative power numbers (18 HR, 104 RBI) are still short of his numbers compiled during his final season in Boston.  The fences have been moved in at Citi Field for 2012.  Let's hope Jason Bay has noticed this.

Speaking of the walls being moved in, how about sending out a memo to the rest of the team as well?  Since the Mets moved in to Citi Field three years ago, only David Wright has surpassed 20 HR in a single season (29 HR in 2010).  You can even take that a step further.  In that 2010 season, Ike Davis finished second to Wright in home runs with 19.  No other Met has hit more than 15 HR in a single season since they moved to New Ebbets Field.  (Daniel Murphy hit a team-leading 12 HR in 2009 and Carlos Beltran led the team with 15 HR in 2011.)  In 1998, Sammy Sosa hit 20 HR in the month of June alone.  Only one Met has reached that total in an entire year since Citi Field opened its doors.  Let's make it two in 2012 (but three or four would be better).

I'd like some Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.  That's not meant to be taken literally.  I meant that figuratively.  I want the Mets to show some fight in them for a change.  If a player gets knocked down by an opposing pitcher, I want a Mets pitcher to knock down an opposing hitter.  Bob Gibson did it.  Don Drysdale did it.  Both pitchers are now in the Hall of Fame.  The Mets only have one Hall of Fame pitcher, and I'm sure no one wanted to face Tom Seaver either, especially after an opposing pitcher knocked down one of his teammates.  No one is afraid of the Mets.  Make them afraid.  Make them very afraid.

I need R.A. Dickey to get some run support in 2012.  Dickey led the team in 2011 with his 3.28 ERA.  But keeping opponents' runs to a minimum didn't help his won-loss record, as R.A. went 8-13 last year.  From May 20 to the end of the season, Dickey sported an excellent 2.69 ERA.  Surely he must have had a winning record over those final 24 starts.  Unfortunately, he did not, as he went 7-8 with nine no-decisions during that stretch.  (And don't call me Shirley.)  Dickey allowed two earned runs or less in 15 of those 24 starts, but was only credited with a win in five of those starts.  Let's get R.A. the help he needs by crossing the plate a little more in his starts.

I'd like Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler to be the real deal in the minors.  The last time the Mets had several highly touted pitching prospects in the minor leagues at the same time, Generation K was born.  How did that go for the Mets?  In less time than it takes to not make Jose Reyes a formal contract offer, Generation K turned into Generation KO, as injuries and poor performances knocked out Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher and Jason Isringhausen before the Mets became legitimate contenders.  Don't rush Harvey and Wheeler to the majors until they're fully ready.  Jenrry Mejia was rushed to the majors in 2010 and what did that do for him?  You guessed it.  Injuries and poor performances.  It happened a generation ago.  Don't let it happen again with Harvey and Wheeler.  They're not to be promoted until they're ready to face major league hitters.  Period.

Last but not least, I'd like a box of chocolates.  It doesn't have to be a $106 million box of chocolates.  I'm just really hungry and want a box of chocolates.  And if it's not too much trouble, perhaps you can bring me a new Mets hoodie as well.  I've had this one since I was born and it's getting a little old.  Thanks so much.

Love and best wishes for the 2012 season,
Joey Beartran

P.S.  My Studious Metsimus colleague would also like Jonathon Niese not to be traded.  He has some weird obsession with him, one I can't explain, but who am I to argue with him?  Thanks, Sandy Claus!  Hope you read my letter!


Rich S said...

Davis listed as season-to-season? HAHA! Well done, Joey. I must be on the naughty list, because I wanted Furcal (a man can dream) and he just re-signed with St. Louis. I hope Sandy Claus is nicer to you and your list.

Joey Beartran said...

Thanks, Rich. I wanted Furcal too. But I wanted the 2006 version (.300, 15 HR, 63 RBI, 37 SB, 113 runs scored). I don't think Sandy Claus can get me that model.