Sunday, June 7, 2009
I had my annual"quarter pole Met Epiphany" last night while watching John Maine get lit up like a candlestick against the worst team in baseball. I'm not surprised either. It is about this time that I usually begin to seriously panic about the state of my baseball team and consequently look for easy and quick fixes. My campaign last year was all about firing Willie Randolph. I got my wish and almost got my intended result. This year, however, my campaign has nothing to do with the manager. This year it's more about addition than subtraction.....
At this point,does anything make more sense for the Mets than trading for Nick Johnson? I really can't think of anything. If you needed a clue how much offensive trouble this team is in, last night was a big one. Usual human t-ball stand John Lannan pitched a complete game four hitter in Washington. Lannan is a guy who the Mets have repeatedly feasted on during his short career. Coming into last night, the Long Island native had a career era over five against his hometown club. He gave up five runs in five innings on May 25th at Citi Field...He looked like Sandy Kofax yesterday.
But last night was not the only reason to look towards offensive help. It's only the tip of the iceberg. At best, the Mets will return to Citi Field this week losers of four of six to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals. Two teams that are certainly not the Dodgers and Red Sox, not by any stretch. Despite Ryan Church's return to the team today (which I think will help, provided Jerry Manuel stops acting like a 12-year old girl and stop holding his gigantic grudge against Church) I think this team lacks punch anywhere in the lineup. Wright and Beltran are fantastic players, but there is no way that they can carry this team by themselves. The glue that held the lineup together was Carlos Delgado. I think it's extremely possible that Carlos Delgado could have played his last game in a Met uniform. This is precisely why Nick Johnson makes sense.
The Nationals first baseman would almost completely fill the void left by Delgado. He is hitting .332 with 5 home runs, 30 rbis, 10 doubles and 65 hits. And again, he is doing this on the worst team in baseball. I am a major proponent of the theory that players who put up good numbers on awful teams will put up even better numbers on good teams. Johnson would also add defense. Despite his portly stature, Johnson is surprisingly limber when fielding his position. The play he made early in the game last night would have never been made by Delgado and is rarely made by Fernado Tatis. The acquisition of Johnson would also help out with Fernando Tatis. Tatis is a player who is much better over the long haul coming off the bench. Remember, Fernando is 34 and is way past his every day player days.
As recently as May 27th, Nationals acting General Manager Mike Rizzo admitted that Johnson is on the trading block. Rotoworld reported that the Nats have been heavily scouting the Mets minor league system. If I'm Omar Minaya, I get on the phone immiatly. This situation is a GM's dream. I hardly think the Nationals will want a whole lot. After all, their the Nationals for a reason. Nothing could make more sense.
- Jordan Lauterbach