This Week in Mets' Overreaction (Part Deux)

In case you miss the idea behind this series:

As someone who was born and raised in Vietnam for 18 years before coming to the U.S. for college, I have encountered quite a fair share of culture differences during my two years here. For example, in Vietnam, there's hardly any scene of a couple holding hands in public, whereas making out in front of a crowd is nothing to be ashamed of here in America. But while I can understand differences like this, there are some that I just cannot make any sense of. One of them is a horrendous lack of patience among the average Americans. Now, I don't want to over-generalize here, I'm sure many of you who happen to be reading this are calm and collected folks by nature, but the vast majority of Americans whom I've encountered during my two years in the U.S. are severely lacking in this regard.

It seems to me as if Americans who were born into a well-to-do family (that's the case for most college students here) with everything readily available at their disposal are often unable, or reluctant to accept the reality that there will be bumps on the road ahead. As I've noticed in many of the American students here, whenever something goes wrong, the very first thing they do is to complain about it. And instead of carefully breaking down exactly why it has gone wrong, they opt to go for the shortest possible solution, which most of the time does not work.

Same goes for sports fans and writers. When their team struggles, they immediately call for the manager's head without knowing whether or not he is the main reason for failure. If a player slumps, he is always subjected to boos instead of encouragement. While I fully understand the pressure to perform under the limelight of professional sports, athletes are just human beings after all. As fans, shouldn't we be patient with them and give them every chance to succeed? If they fail to live up to our expectations then that's a different story, but initially let just all be patient. And for a team of young players who aren't exactly favorites in a star-studded division this year, the Mets should be given a pass, at least in 2012, for their inevitable struggles.

So from a foreigner's perspective, I would like to begin what I hope will eventually be a weekly series here on AmazinAvenue named "This Week in Mets' Overreaction" (to go along with This Week in SNY and This Week in Mets Quotes, among others), depending on the feedback and criticism from other readers. Without further ado, here comes the first installment.

The nine recs received in the first installment a couple weeks ago was more than enough to motivate me to continue this series. Unfortunately, I was so severely bogged down by college finals during the past week that the second part of this series had to be delayed; my apologies to those who were eagerly waiting. Now that finals are behind me, and as I'm waiting to board a 26-hour flight from JFK airport to my home country Vietnam, here comes the much anticipated (!?) "This Week in Mets' Overreaction" - episode 2.

As you've probably have known, our beloved sinkerballer and 2010 Opening Day Starter™ Mike Pelfrey recently underwent Tommy John surgery and will miss the rest of the season, leaving one spot of the Mets' rotation vacated. Chris Schwinden was called up from Triple-A Buffalo to fill in for Big Pelf at the back end of the Mets' starting five. That didn't turn out really well:




























In defense of Schwinden, his two rough outings were both on the road, as he had to pitch in the thin air of Denver and then was met by a scorching hot no-name Astros lineup in Houston. Having said that, when a pitcher gave up a homerun in every two inning and posted three times as many walks as strikeouts, something is definitely wrong. Apparently the Mets brass was thinking along the same line as they decided to option Schwinden back to Buffalo following his second start. The fifth spot in the rotation, they decided, now belonged to Miguel Batista.

Really? Miguel Batista?

I cannot stress enough how disappointed I was with this move by the Mets. While I can certainly feel for Terry Collins' disappointment following a sweep at the hands of the lowly Astros, this was undoubtedly a knee-jerk decision. Was Schwinden bad? Yes. But does Batista figure to be any better? Not really. But the most important thing is that Batista is 41 years old. 41! He's a washed-up veteran pitcher whose stuff doesn't belong to a major league team, let alone starting for one. I understand that you always try to win as many games as possible here in the early stages of the season, but does Batista really give the Mets a better chance to win than, say, Jeremy Hefner, or even Schwinden himself? Despite a good start to the season, the Mets are a young team who aren't exactly playoff contenders. These young players tend to struggle early on in their career, the point is to give them every chance to adjust and "figure it out", just like the Mets are doing with Ike Davis. They are not doing the same thing with Schwinden, the same pitcher who posted a 17/6 K/BB in 21 innings across four starts for the Mets last September.

For his part, Batista posted a pedestrian 5.1 IP, 8H, 4R, 1HR, 2BB, 1K line in Philadelphia yesterday, which, aside from the ugly 1/2 K/BB ratio, was really not that bad for a fifth starter. But you can't tell from the boxscore that even his outs mostly came off hard-hit balls. What's even more concerning long term is that despite Batista's performance, the Mets still managed to pull off a win. Managers in most cases are often very result-oriented, and Terry Collins has done nothing to show otherwise. This means Batista is almost certain to get another start or two.

You don't root against your team's players. But I really hope Batista falters in his next start(s) and finally get cut or demoted, so the Mets' pitching staff will look something like this:

SP: Santana, Dickey, Niese, Gee, Schwinden/Hefner

RP: Francisco, Rauch, Ramirez, Parnell, Byrdak, Acosta, Carrasco

All in all, whether Batista or Hefner or Schwinden starting for the Mets is not that big of a deal, since they most likely are just holding the fort for the rehabbing Chris Young and/or the eventual Matt Harvey call-up. The point of this post is mainly to emphasize the fact that for a team currently on full youth movement like the Mets, the decision to tab a 41-year-old as the starter over two other 20-something guys is just completely baffling. Overreaction at its finest.

Back to Vietnam I go! See you all next week!

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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