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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

An off-day Mets IQ test question


what's the next number in the series?

the numbers you are looking at are mike piazza's OPS from 2000-2004. seven games into the 2005 season, mikey's OPS is 0.611. a favorite axiom in the financial world is "the trend is your friend." well, this trend is no friend to mikey. father time is the enemy, and it's especially cruel to 36 year old major league catchers.

while piazza is surely free-falling down the slippery slope at a steady pace, it's really shocking how many mets fans live in denial and still think he can miraculously turn back the clock 5 years. this rapid decline is no recent freaky phenoma, folks, so let's get real. god willing, mikey will stay healthy this year, be able to squat behind the plate for 100-110 games and DH in a bunch more, downing enough magical flaxseed oil elixir to send him off respectively. sure, it's possible to end on a nice note and reverse the OPS trend, finishing above .806.

send him off? what's that? yes, mets fans. this will be, for better or worse, the final hurrah for mike piazza, the god, the man, the myth, the met, the professional baseball player. how do i know for sure? how do i know freddie wilpon won't extend him 2 years/$18M to stay a marquee attraction on the NEW mets? how do i know mikey piazza won't jump to the AL to be a 30 hr DH for 3 or 4 more years? because i live on planet earth in a dimension called "reality." so does piazza. he'll bow out gracefully on his own terms, and go lead a spectacular life off the field.

for this season though, how about we end this charade and move mikey out of the cleanup spot? if freddie weren't the devil, piazza would've moved into a more natural and appropriate "supporting" role after the subway series when we signed AROD to be the new centerpiece foundation player of the franchise. that wasn't meant to be as freddie was more concerned about keeping the value of the mets down so he could pull a fast one with a quickie buyout of partner, nelson doubleday.

anyway, the point is mike piazza has been unfairly kept in the spotlight as the centerpiece stud in the lineup since 2001. to have him there eons later in 2005 is beyond ridiculous. i'm not saying piazza can't be a dangerous hitter anymore and strike fear in a pitcher. the moments are just getting much further apart and we have other players who can do the job better batting cleanup, so try it.

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