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Suck It, Bright Side

If you're one of the many folks calling for Willie Randolph's head, it looks like you can keep your pitchforks out for little while longer. Randolph met yesterday with Omar Minaya, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, ostensibly to discuss the manager's comments from the other day during which he implied that certain negative analyses of his managing might have been racially motivated. Since when has shoddy bullpen management been strictly the domain of white skippers? For his part, Minaya claims that the Mets never intended to fire Randolph during the meeting, though I can't help but be amused picturing Willie Randolph as Albert Brooks's character in Defending Your Life, complete with white robe and self-deprecating Jewiness.

It's gotten to the point where I can't even bear to watch Mets games anymore. I just ordered my folks an HDTV, and when I told my dad the good news all he could say was, "Maybe by the time it arrives the Mets will stop stinking." Don't hold your breath. I still contend that the Mets are hitting into some bad luck, but I can only pitch that tent in so many places before their luck turns around or I inevitably hit pavement. Carlos Beltran can pound liner after liner into an infielder's mitt, but no table of stats is going to plate more runs or win more ballgames.

I honestly can't remember the last time I was so frustrated with a Mets team. I guess it was the early aughts when we were misled into believing that Mo Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz would bring a modern-day Murderer's Row in Queens. Back then, Steve Phillips sold us a rotten bill of goods, and a lot of us bought into it because we didn't know any better. Has Omar Minaya done the same thing a half-dozen years later? I'm not so sure. These Mets have their flaws -- perhaps the most glaring is the lack of any viable contingency plans for injuries incurred to starters, especially those with vast histories of unhealth -- but this team has a lot more young talent (actual talent!) than the 2002 club. That team relied on thirty-somethings like Burnitz, Vaughn, Roberto Alomar et al; this one can still count several twenty-somethings among its nucleus. That should be enough to send the analogy to a grinding halt.

Pedro Martinez may be a week away from returning, and I had really hoped that Mike Pelfrey would have shown more consistency to this point to make the decision to send Claudio Vargas back to New Orleans an easy one. Yet, as much as I champion Pelfrey as a future star, he simply hasn't been putting the Mets in a position to win many ballgames of late, and Vargas -- aside from the start in Atlanta -- generally has. I still think Pelfrey should be the one to stay, but I can't say it's obviously the best decision for the short-term benefit of this team. Most decisions should be weighted for short- and long-term profitability (production-wise), but we'll have to see where the Mets go with this one.

Nick Evans had a nice debut in Colorado and he almost hit one out of the park last night, but the Mets are going to have a tough time scoring runs with he and Endy Chavez manning the corner outfield spots. I suspect that Ryan Church will be back any day now, but the Mets are really giving it up in the corners without him.

Johan Santana goes at it on Tuesday against Andrew Miller. Miller has been terrific over his last four starts, and the Mets have been dreadful for a week now.