"You know, a song is like a kid. You bring it up. And sometimes something you thought was going to be fantastic, by the time it's finished, is a bit of a disappointment." -- Phil Collins
Selecting the most disappointing Met from the 2010 season is a lot like choosing the worst national baseball broadcaster. There are so many qualified candidates, so many breathtakingly awful performances which, in many cases, fall well short of even the gloomiest forecasts. Ultimately, disappointment is a function of expectation and result. The wider the gap between the two, the greater the disappointment.
While a lot of Mets played poorly this season or otherwise fell short of the performance expected of them, the greatest disparity between "could" and "did" belongs to Jason Bay. Bay was coming off a season in which he hit .267/.384/.537 for the Red Sox, sporting a lofty .397 wOBA and accumulating 5.0 fWAR and 5.2 rWAR. Bay signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Mets on 1/5/10, and despite moving from a good hitter's park to a cruddy one, Bay was being counted on for middle-of-the-order production. The best laid schemes, et cetera.
In 401 plate appearances this season, Bay managed to hit just .259/.347/.402 with a .336 wOBA and 1.4 fWAR (1.1 rWAR). He played his last game of the season on 7/25, two days after suffering a concussion on a running catch that propelled him into the left field fence at Dodger Stadium. The prognosis was a few days without baseball activity and that Bay would miss maybe a week of playing time. Bay was placed on the disabled list on 7/26 and remained there through the duration of the season while the Mets went 29-34 to finish in fourth place in the NL East.
More after the jump.
Looking back, though Bay struggled for most of the four months he played, he actually performed respectably from April to June before falling off precipitously in July.
Those first three months weren't great, mind you, but they were good enough that if Bay could have sustained even a similar level of performance through the second half of the season that he probably wouldn't have run away with this award as he did. The outlook for 2011 is one of tempered optimism. At the least, we expect Bay to be healthy again. At the most, we expect him to hit the way he did with the Sox in 2009, albeit with some natural park-adjusted regression. Despite the hefty salary, Bay is an easy guy to root for, but injuries and high expectations form the fuzzy math of crushing disappointment, and such was the story of Jason Bay's 2010 season.
Here is how everyone voted.
|Alex||Jason Bay||Oliver Perez||David Wright|
|Eno||Jason Bay||Jeff Francoeur||John Maine|
|Eric||Jason Bay||Jose Reyes||Carlos Beltran|
|James||Francisco Rodriguez||Jason Bay||Luis Castillo|
|Joe||Carlos Beltran||Jason Bay||Jenrry Mejia|
|Mark||Oliver Perez||Jason Bay||Jeff Francoeur|
|Matthew||Jason Bay||Francisco Rodriguez||Daniel Murphy|
|Rob||Jason Bay||Oliver Perez||Jeff Francoeur|
|Sam||Jason Bay||Jeff Francoeur||David Wright|
And here is the final vote tally.