As a follow up, if you will, to the post "The Cost of Second Place", I decided to take a quick peek at the standings. The Metropolitans are in 11th place from the bottom. Or as I like to think of it, only a few more losses till 10th place. From that vantage point, the Mets will be able to be players in the FA market without repercussion, for the first time in a while.
This gets back to something else: what does winning really buy the Mets right now? Well aside from $$$ for the Wilpons, this get into something that Bill Simmons, of Grantland/ESPN fame, writes about often. You don't want to be in the middle- ever. In his opinion, which is pretty well backed up, you never want to be mediocre. You're better off being either A) Good/Great or B) Bad/Terrible/Tanking. Now don't get me wrong- I'm a life long Mets fan, descended from Mets fans. We had season tickets in the late 80s/early-mid 90s. I was in the stands in the NLCS in 1986....and in 1988. I love the Mets. But its not in their interests, baseball wise, to win games right now.
While this is partly a tangent on my many TRAID Byrd rants (which, so long as I'm not provoked, are done) it does beget the question: what does the Mets record look like at the end of game 162?
After the Twins, the Mets opponents have a current combined record of 555-556, or almost dead-nuts .500 teams. A true mixed bag of good teams (ATL, DET, CLE, CIN) and awful (Philly, SF, MIL) and of course we have 3 games vs Miami that we'll lose because, well we lose to MIA.
The current holder of the "10th place from the bottom" spot is San Diego. I didn't calculate the remaining schedule but lets just say: they play the Dodgers, Arizona and Pirates 6 times EACH over the remainder of the schedule. I don't think they are going to get on a major hot streak.
The Angels, 8th from the bottom, play in the AL West and are likely to be murdered with their schedule (which includes lots of games vs Texas and Oakland).
Oddly it looks like Philadelphia, with a relatively easy schedule, has the best chance to go on a hot streak.
There's about 40 games left to the year. We aren't making a play for a Wild Card or a Division. We're a rebuilding club with lots of young guys who could be special someday. But lets just stop kidding ourselves here. We're better off losing games and giving ABs to young guys and hope for the best. It means letting Flores play the rest of the year at 3B. It means trading Buck for whatever we can get via the waver wire and giving his ABs to TDA. It means maybe even shopping Byrd and giving those ABs to MDD, Kirk or Brown. It means shutting Mejia down and shutting Harvey and Wheeler down when they hit their innings max. You save it for the future because, there are no moral victories in baseball. Just champions and non-champions.
And before you flip out remember, you want to be a player in the FA market this offseason. Because you know the talent you have coming up and what you've got right now. You know there is money coming off the ledger (even if the Wilpons are still probably broke) to get upgrades. Getting to the 10th spot in the draft helps us not only to get another talented player (and of course the pool money), it protects us in FA. But being mediocre doesn't help you this year. And it only further wastes the years of talent ahead for Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, and most important: David Wright.