Saturday was one of the uglier days in the tenure of Terry Collins, now in his third and quite possibly final season as manager of the New York Mets.(1)
Now that Fred Wilpon's odd declaration of financial health is over, the Mets can concentrate on a spring training as wide-open, in personnel terms, as any they've had in years. Multiple jobs are likely to be won or lost on the strength of spring training performances.
It is hardly news anymore when a caller on the air at WFAN expresses disappointment over the state of the New York Mets.
Wednesday night's 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox was uncomfortably close, but still a win. The Yankees will take it; the victory allowed them to stay even with the Baltimore Orioles, while both teams moved three games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Duda already tried, and failed, to be the team's right fielder earlier this year. In part because of Duda, the Mets' defense this year was terrible, and was as reponsible as the (awful) bullpen for squandering strong first-half performances from R.A. Dickey, David Wright and Johan Santana and then causing a team in contention in June to fall completely out of it by July.
The great Lucas Duda experiment is over.(2)
The New York Yankees have lost five of six games, following a 4-2 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday night. Worse still, they lost Alex Rodriguez to a broken hand. The injury is expected to keep Rodriguez out around six weeks, or until roughly the middle of September.
Jeremy Lin was "absolutely" returning to the New York Knicks to start. His contract offer from the Houston Rockets, for three years, $19.5 million plus a fourth-year team option, was one the Knicks would easily match. And Jason Kidd was someone the Knicks were eager to sign and hold up to the limelight—as a mentor to Lin.
David Wright has been making his teammates look good all season.
Thursday night, for example, he had four R.B.I. and a game-winning hit in a 6-5 win over the Phillies, thereby getting Lucas Duda off the hook for atrocious fielding.
When the New York Mets installed Lucas Duda as the team's regular right fielder, he had had played just 67 games at the position as a professional. His lack of experience there was compounded by his slow movements and lack of apparent outfield instincts. Whether he could play the demanding defensive position, or be relegated, once and for all, to a career of first base and designated hitter, was very much in doubt.
Then in Game 36 David Wright and Davis collided tracking an infield fly. Davis sustained an injury that was repeatedly misdiagnosed by Mets doctors, ultimately costing him his entire season.
Lucas Duda, the starting right fielder for the 2012 New York Mets, is set to carry on a proud tradition of lean-year Mets idols.
A laconic 6'4" offensive brute who doesn't reliably catch the ball, Duda brings to mind such Met outfielders as Ron Swoboda, who was a Shea favorite long before he participated in the 1969 miracle season, and Dave Kingman, another slugger with a suspect glove, who made the identical defensive switch that Duda is making for the Mets now, back in 1976.