FLUSHING, NY – The Dodgers are in town, which mean New Ebbets Field has a home team. And no, there was no truth the rumor that they brought their white uniforms to wear just in case.
But there they were in Queens – the best team in baseball – crushing the Mets on Tuesday, and then walking on Oliver Perez’s wild side last night.
The Mets 5-4 win notwithstanding, it’s clear that the Dodgers are a superior team and many of the Mets problems turned into LA fortune. A few passes by Omar Minaya made the Dodgers into the team they are today.
And you can start with Perez. Although he won the game with two runs over five innings, the enigmatic starter walked seven Dodgers and was in trouble all night. And this was his first start since May 2nd, because Perez couldn’t find the strike zone back in April either. His 2-2 record comes with an 8.78 ERA, something hard to get excited about.
Instead of Perez, the Mets could have had Randy Wolf – tonight’s starter for the Dodgers. Although he not an ace, wouldn’t you rather have his 3-3 record with 3.59 ERA? And he has started a league high 18 games so far, which would have solidified a very shaky Mets staff killed by injury.
Besides Wolf would have come with a much lower price tag and the Mets would have been able to invest the difference – about $7 million – on say a left fielder.
But they could have had a great leftfielder if Minaya shipped Luis Castillo to LA for Juan Pierre and then signed Orlando Hudson. Sure Castillo is having a decent year, but Pierre would have been the Mets everyday left fielder – and then moved to center when Carlos Beltran went on the DL – while Hudson would have provided the Mets with an upgrade at second.
Just look at the numbers. Pierre is hitting .328, while Hudson has a .285 average with 5 homers and 43 RBI. Don’t you think the Mets could have used that?
And they could have used the Dodger manager as well. If the Wilpons had some forward thinking after the collapse of 2007, they would have fired Willie Randolph and hired Joe Torre, who would have provided the team with a very credible field boss. Not only would the Mets have a winner, they would have stolen back some thunder from the Yankees as well.
Remember Randolph oversaw the greatest collapse in history. So if he lost his job no one would have said boo.
Plus you would think the team wouldn’t have tanked a month of the season in 2008 trying to get Randolph fired, which would have probably meant the Mets in the playoffs last year – and maybe no Phillies World Championship. Sure the Mets would not have Gary Sheffield right now, but does that really matter?
Yet, the Mets are stuck with bad decisions and that means an under .500 record, while the Dodgers are the best team in baseball, even without Manny Ramirez for 50 games. Torre seems very content on the West Coast, while Hudson and Wolf probably aren’t having any second thoughts signing in LA.
But, hey, the Mets do have Ebbets Field, and that has to count for something.