As we all know, it became official on Sunday afternoon that the Mets will not be playing baseball this month. Come Monday morning, I was unable to follow my daily morning ritual of turning on SportsCenter before I head to work. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it – and for once, it wasn’t just because the show is mostly loud noises.
Instead, I watched an episode of “Saved By The Bell”, specifically the one where Zack and the gang spend their last day of the summer working at the Malibu Sands beach resort under the watchful eye of the guy who ended up doing the voice of Pumbaa the Warthog on “The Lion King”. This is also the episode where Zack feels compelled to end his romance with Pumbaa’s daughter, Stacy (played by Leah Remini), since she would be leaving California at the end of the summer to go back to school in New York. At the end of the episode, a heartbroken Zack Morris sits on the beach at night, but is comforted by his friends who lend their support (by the way, how far did Slater get with Denise Richards in this episode? Seeing as he JUST found out that she had a big crush on him AND the fact that he’s going back to LA in the morning, shouldn’t he be with her instead of hanging out with Zack on the beach? I’m just sayin’).
But in reality, it’s hard to feel badly for Zack for the following reasons:
- The writing is terrible and evokes no emotion whatsoever.
- Stacy really wasn’t that much of a catch.
- You just KNOW that as soon as he returns to Bayside – especially as a senior – he’ll be hitting on (and getting) pretty much any girl he chooses. He’ll be fine.
And it’s that last point that Mets fans need to remember. We’ll be fine. Come November, we can dream about the bevvy of free agents and trade possibilities. It’s a virtual harem of talent for those willing to dig deep or be creative.
I won’t get into too many specifics here. That’s for another time. But there are certain things that I would like the team to do before the free agency period begins.
- Exercise the $7.5 million option on Moises Alou. No one can or should expect him to play 150 games any more. Hell, if you get 120, be thrilled. But on the days in which he can play, you know you’re getting a quality hitter. For a one-year option, the man is worth the gamble.
- Release Guillermo Mota. He had one more year remaining on his contract at $3.2 million. Although I expect him to be better next year, his performance throughout the season has made the idea of keeping him a PR problem. Too many fans have become jaded by him. Unfortunately, he has zero trade value.
- Let Paul Lo Duca and Tom Glavine go to free agency. I never was much of a Lo Duca fan. While his admirers called him a “leader” and “fiery”, I saw a below-average hitter and fielder who continuously talked like he was top-dog. A leader has to perform. As for Glavine, his time simply ran out. With Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez already on the books for 2008, another aging pitcher who can’t throw seven innings is no way to keep your bullpen rested.
So much as it seems appropriate to sulk alone on a nighttime beach, free agency is right around the corner. Do not feel badly, Mets fans. For you are Zack Morris. You have the ability to bounce back and marry Kelly Kapowski. If anything, feel badly for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are Screech Powers, for whom the best he will ever be able to do is Tori Spelling.
Oh, and it would also help if you didn’t visit Times Square. Because there, you find this: