New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday: Bay, Parnell, Santana

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     Hello everyone, and welcome on back to another edition of Stir-Up Sunday. While we may forget where we go, what we eat, and the things we do today on this particular September 11th, no one will ever forget their location on this date 10 years ago. Thousands of innocent lives were stolen away, and the city hit one of its all-time lowest and saddest points. However, we stood by one another as a nation, and have done our best to overcome the horrific crime committed by al-Qaeda a decade ago. One of the biggest contributors towards the recovery process was the return of baseball to the Big Apple, and Mike Piazza’s historic home run at Shea Stadium 10 days after the attack has become one of the most significant and uplifting moments in Major League Baseball history, as well as New York history. Though baseball shouldn’t be the first thing on anyone’s mind on this day, here are the news nuggets surrounding the team from this past week.

     Will you look at that! Jason Bay’s started to hit again! Over the last 12 games, Bay sports a .405/.422/.738 slash line, with 3 home runs over that 42 AB span. And that’s fantastic, no question about it! With the salary he’s making, he’d better continue to hit. But, I feel like I’ve seen this before this year. No scratch that, I know I have. Every time Bay goes on a little bit of a hot streak, everyone goes crazy. The papers, the blogs, even the SNY announcers all say the same thing, "FINALLY Jason Bay is starting to hit!" And while it’s true, every time Bay’s begun a hot streak, a much longer cold one has always followed. In 15 games from July 28th to August 13th, Bay hit .386/.453/.632 only to follow it up with a 2 for 45 spell. 2 for 45! A .044 batting average! That’s not all. Jason in 13 games between June 21st and July 5th posted a slash of .353/.431/.627 only to hit .107 over his next 16 games. I know it’s nice that Bay’s hitting at the moment, but until he shows me he can sustain this type of success for longer than a handful of weeks, I am not sold on the notion that all his hitting woes are behind him. Not by a long shot.

     We’ll now go from the really hot to the really cold, and arguably no one on the team has been colder than "closer" Bobby Parnell. Though it was not entirely his fault in yesterday’s matinee against the Cubs (the defense has been deplorable as of late) Parnell still ended up blowing his fifth save in 10 chances. That’s right. He has just a 50% success rate when it comes to nailing down a save. You know, like flipping a coin. Yikes! I understand why Terry Collins continues to run Parnell out there, but when is enough enough? I think it would be nice to see the Mets finish at .500. It would be a nice starting point with the new management aboard and all. But I also get that at this junction in the season we have to take inventory as to what we have heading into 2012. With Parnell unable to handle these low pressure games – I say low pressure only because the Mets are not competing for a spot in the playoffs – how can one expect him to handle the closer duties in a game where we are? When is it OK to pull the plug on the Parnell-as-the-closer experiment?

     And finally, let’s move onto another decision the Mets need to probably pull the plug on. I am talking about whether or not to have Johan Santana make an appearance in the big leagues for the Mets this year. Every day seemingly there’s a ridiculously contrasting report coming from one place or another: "Johan aiming to pitch a few inning for the Mets in 2011" or "Johan Santana unlikely to appear for the Mets this year." When is enough enough? What if Santana rushes things in his rehab in order to appear in the bigs in 2011, and ends up making his issues worse? Is seeing him pitch to big leaguers really worth it? I may have thought this way not too long ago, but the more I think about it, the more I think he should just not appear this year. Why risk it? There are a lot of hopes and money riding on Johan in 2012 (not unlike 2011) so let’s just make sure he’ll be 100% come spring training OK?

     Well, what do you have to say my fellow fans? Are you excited or apprehensive when it comes to Jason Bay’s recent hot streak? Should the Mets continue to send Bobby Parnell out to close? And would it be better if Johan Santana does not appear in a big league game for the Mets this season? Comment your thoughts and opinions below my friends. Thanks for dropping in, and above all, never ever forget what transpired 10 years ago on this date.

Never forget 9/11