Reasons To Keep Watching

With the Mets all but mathematically eliminated, players assaulting family members and the manager continuing to say and do incomprehensible things, sensible fans might cease tuning in to games. But I'm not sensible -- I'll watch the Mets no matter how bad they are. Most probably require more prodding than I to watch a ~$135 million team currently three games under .500 and eleven games out of the Wild Card. Here's an attempt, some reasons to watch the final 25 games.

Newer, younger faces

Lucas Duda made his MLB debut last week after mashing 23 homers at Binghamton and Buffalo.

Jenrry Mejia started this past Saturday for the first time in the big leagues.

Nick Evans isn't really new, but he crushed it in the minors this season and has a chance to contribute in the future.

Dillon Gee and his impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio (but hittable stuff?) will start Tuesday in place of injured Johan Santana.

Ruben Tejada and Josh Thole have already been around for a bit, but both have shown flashes, even if Thole has a greater shot at success. Thole and [insert someone here] should be the catching tandem in 2011. Tejada needs some more hitting work in the minors but a spot on the Opening Day roster in 2011 isn't out of the question.

Ike Davis was languishing with a .730 OPS just a few weeks ago. Below average for a second baseman, much less a first baseman. He has picked it up though, and after Sunday's 4-for-6 day he's up to a .782 OPS. Still not fantastic for a first sacker, but he's a rookie who is strong defensively. If he can maintain that level of offensive production, he would instill more confidence that he can become Adam LaRoche with the bat and Casey Kotchman with the glove. In other words, a more than adequate major leaguer.

This is the biggest reason to watch. The crew of veteran players we have complained about all season have almost all been excommunicated. Younger, cheaper and, in many cases, better players will have a month to show their wares.

Superstars finishing strong

This refers mostly to David Wright and Carlos Beltran, but should Jose Reyes return from his oblique injury he's also included. David's power has returned this season, though his control of the strike zone has taken a hit. He's on pace for 27 home runs and an .871 OPS -- if those ended up his final numbers I'd deem the season a success, but not on the level of his elite 2005-2008 seasons. However, he's capable of a monster month (witness the 1.138 OPS in June this season) and a finish like that would put him in the range of his career .900 OPS/.390 wOBA. And preemptively strike against the offseason "Traid David Wrongz" discussions.

Voltron has limped through his return -- the .231/.340/.350 slash line shows that he can still draw a walk but the power isn't there. The community projection of .276/.363/.460 appears to be a tad optimistic, especially the slugging percentage. Perhaps it was a bit much to expect the drivers of his power, his legs, to be ready to go after such a brief rehab stint. He has shown signs of improvement -- over his last 96 plate appearances he has a Pagan-esque .765 OPS, and has been on base eight out of his last 11 PAs. He will undoubtedly be the topic of trade discussions this offseason, even if I think it's a bad idea for reasons both objective and subjective. A strong finish just might assuage the desire to dump him for nothing, a desire that so many in the fan base seem to hold.

The Ollie Experience

The rare Oliver Perez appearance is an exercise in perverse comedy. I secretly root for a blowout, either way, on the off chance that LOLlie might make it into the game. Sunday's 18-5 drubbing of the Cubs was a prime opportunity, but Jerry Manuel denied us the sick pleasure of watching Ollie do his thing at windy Wrigley Field. How many will he walk this inning? How many home runs? Will his fastball crack 87 mph? Answers to these questions and more: Oliver Perez, September 2010.

Gary, Keith and Ron

Best announcing team in baseball. And they seem just as frustrated as us. You'll miss them in the offseason.

Spoiler Alert

The Mets have six games left with the Phillies and three left with the Braves. Depending on which NL East evil you consider to be lesser, this is a chance to watch the Mets do unto their opponents what their opponents had done unto them (Septembers 2007-2008). The Phillies are the greater evil, for me, so I'll be watching with great interest this weekend at Citi Field, and also the weekend of September 24-26 at Citizens Bank Park.

That's about it.

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