So opening day saw Mike Pelfrey last four and a third, Reyes, Wright and Ike Davis go 0 for 11 and the Mets lineup bang out fewer hits than the post-"Turning Japanese" Vapors on their way to the first of what might be many lackluster losses.
Tonight they'll turn to Jonathan Niese whose 9-10 record and 4.20 ERA in 2010 redefined bland for a generation that never saw Ron Hodges play. Oh yeah and the Yankees are already 2-0 so Mets fans should be able to safely curl up with the adjective "Long-Suffering" again in 2011 and perhaps well into the forseeable future.
Meanwhile back at the Keystone Light can strewn hellhole I call a home I owe you the finale of my "Most Hated Mets" column...and one Hot Pocket belch later here it is:
6. George Foster ('82-'85)- After once being called upon to pinch-hit for an aging Willie Mays, Foster established himself in Cincinnati as a bonafide star in the late '70s. From 1976-81 he made 5 All Star teams, finished in the Top 6 in the MVP voting 4 times and after becoming the first player in 25 years to hit 50 HRs in 1977 caused me to throw out a shoulder in my haste to open the new package of Strat-o-Matic cards in the spring of '78. Unfortunately he was a past his prime slugger at 33 by the time he reached the Mets. Proof being his first year in the Big Apple when he slugged an anemic .367 which was surpassed by middle infielders Joel Youngblood, Wally Backman, Ron Gardenhire and even the virtually impotent Tom Veryzer (career SLG .294). Even more frustrating was his complete surrender in the face of right-handed breaking balls that left his chances against the likes of San Fran's Mike Krukow about as good as finding an Asian kid in Special Ed. Still considering he only cost the Mets Alex Trevino, a dimunitive catcher who actually reminded one of the sadly flailing Robert Deniro in Bang the Drum Slowly, it wasn't such a terrible run after all.
5. Steve Trachsel ('01-'06)- If Mike Hargrove was "The Human Rain Delay" this guy should've been dubbed "The Lost Weekend" (Ray Milland's finest role outside The Man with Two Heads, check it out). Fact is I've passed stones in the time he took between pitches and when he came to the Mets fresh off a combined 16-33 record the two years prior it made things in Flushing even more unwatchable than they already were. For better, or possibly worse from a fan's perspective, "Stevie Slow" turned out to be a quality innings eater for New York even churning out two 15+ win seasons during his stay. And more amazingly the Mets actually sold high dumping Trachsel in 2007 off a 15-8 campaign for RHP Rocky Cherry a name which now replaces 1960's folksinger Dusty Snatch atop the list of ill-advised female porn star names. His comps at Baseball Reference include Mike Morgan and Mike Moore who until seeing their individual statistical pages I was sure were the same guy throughout the late 80's/early 90's.
4. Dave Kingman ('75-'77, '81-'83)- The freest swinger this side of a 70's Key Party, "Kong" went deep more often than Wilt Chamberlain at The Bunny Ranch with the Mets even leading the league in HRs in 1982 with 37. Alas, he was the biggest one-trick pony since Clara Peller uttered "Where's the beef" either going yard or going nowhere in putting up sub-.300 OBPs throughout most of his tenure. After his 37 HR performance in '82 he slipped to a .183/.265/.383 line in '83 before being shipped off to Oakland where he infamously caused Susan B. Anthony to turn over in her grave (not to mention unleash a worthless coin upon us) when he protested women in the lockerrom by sending a female reporter a dead rat through the mail. And I'm the one who can't get a date?!?
3. Bobby Bonilla ('92-'95)- Most of the guys on this list were Good Guys in bad situations...Bobby Bo, not so much. Possesing all the charm of a Koran burning protest Bonilla fought with everyone in his path including the clubhouse attendant in Pittsburgh, reporters Art McFarland and Bob Klapisch in New York and even a scorekeeper who he called mid-game from a clubhouse phone to protest an error. It wasn't that he didn't produce for the Mets, posting a slugging percentage over .500 from '93 to '95, it that's people expected a much bigger bang for the buck. A buck that the Wilpon's will be paying off in $1.2 million increments every year until 2035...and they thought Bernie Madoff sucked them dry...
2. Kevin McReynolds ('87-'91, '94)- In his initial 5 year run at Shea K-Mac was good for approximately 25 HRs and 90 RBIs annually so it wasn't lack of production that earned him the scorn of Mets faithful. Instead it was the fact that McReynolds played the game with all the unbridled enthusiasm of a Steven Wright routine. Look up "zeal" in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of everyone else in the world but him. He brought to the game all the passion of Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley's marital bed and all the energy of a Cowboy Junkies/Crash Test Dummies double bill...alright perhaps I've over-referenced, but to call him indifferent would make George W. Bush's response to Katrina victims look heroic (for Republicans feel free to substitute Bill Clinton and Rwanda here-we are an apolitical site). Ultimately McReynolds came to epitomize the Mets teams for which he toiled. A group good, but forever just short of great who seemed to care a lot less about missing out on the big prize than their diehard fans.
1. Doug Sisk ('82-'87)- Truly a tragic case. Search the web and you can't find a bad word about Sisk from anyone who's actually met him. He currently works as a sports director for the Boys & Girls Club of Pierce County, Washington and frankly, except for a blip in 1985, his numbers range from adequate to impressive. Still there's just something about this guy that draws the ire of every Met fan even 20 years removed from him last taking the hill. My theory is that he burned too bright too fast teasing Met backers in 1983-84 by pitching over 180 innings at the age of 25-26 and posting an impressive sub-2.20 ERA while saving 26 games. Ultimately, though, a chronic lack of control would leave the Flushing Faithful with bluer balls than a Smurf in the Polar Bear Club. Leadoff walks, bases loaded walks, walking the pitcher Dougie did it all. Even in his best years he walked nearly twice as many batters as he struck out. This wasn't a problem when hitters were swinging at his natual sinker around their shoe tops and banging into double plays, but when the book on Sisk became, "Don't Swing", he was forced to elevate his pitches and bad things followed. By 1990 Sisk had become the face of the Mets inability to capitalize on their 1986 World Title. The vitriol got so bad that he was shipped to Baltimore for a bag of balls and a cracked Louisville Slugger that went by the name of Greg Talmantez (out of organized ball by 1992). In the end Sisk walked away with $1.4 million in earnings, a World Series ring and probably the ability to curse anyone in Pierce County Washington under the table from experience if he so chooses.
I'm sure there are plenty of truly awful, nasty Mets we forgot so feel free to share your least favorites in the comments section. And as we see on our 13-inch black and white it's time to celebrate as the Mets pull one out in extras. Woo-freakin'-hoo!
See the previous post-"Bad Stuff 'Bout Da Mets"-for #s 7-11 of this list. Hate on!
As the late, great Harry Caray once (or six times) put it, "Andre Dawson at the plate, he's hitting .268 with...whoa look at the cans on that one!" RIP good sir.