If you're trying to figure out if Tuesday was a good day in Met-land or not, rest assured it was fine.
It started with the trade of Marlon Byrd and John Buck to Pittsburgh. In return, the Mets got halfway decent low level second base prospect Dilson Herrera (I was going to make a joke about how he was "low level" because he was 5' 10", but then I realized that I'm 5' 10" so I'm going to shut up about that … and what's with the Mets acquiring short guys named Herrera late in the season?) and a player to be named later who, if you believe the chatter, might turn out to be halfway decent as well. If you don't believe me, believe somebody who actually pays attention to these things: Pat Lackey of Pirates blog Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke:
Herrera's nothing to sneeze at. He's a young 19 (meaning that he won't turn 20 until next March) and he's having a pretty strong season with West Virginia in his first year of full-season ball, hitting .265/.330/.421. There's been some talk of him as a shortstop in the past, but he's only ever played second for the Pirates and I think his slight build (he's listed as 5'10"/150) will probably keep him there. He's a nice, solid middle infield prospect and a good return for two rental players (both Buck and Byrd will be free agents), but he's not a top-tier prospect (Pirates Prospects has him smack in the middle of their Top 20 list), either.
Here's my guess: If you're complaining about the Mets not getting enough for Byrd and Buck, you're probably the same person who complained when they signed Byrd in the first place, and I can't help you. Yeah, I thought Byrd should have been dealt earlier, but if Dilson Herrera was the best they could do, and they could only make that deal this month, then this was the way to go. But it's also a lesson in taking things that people say too seriously. All that "we're keeping Byrd because we want to compete" nonsense … don't believe everything you hear, even if it's from the horse's mouth. And certainly don't make a mountain out of every molehill soundbite. (And related to that: remember that the only reason Sandy Alderson lies to you is because he cares … Like he's going to tell you if he's trying to trade somebody.)
And speaking of making a mountain out of a molehill and taking things too seriously, how about Byrd being traded on his t-shirt night? That's hilarious! Do the Mets look ridiculous? No more ridiculous than the Phillies when they fired Charlie Manuel on the same day he was going to be honored for winning 1,000 games as manager of the club. And dare I say … less ridiculous. So Marlon Byrd t-shirts? Sure, let's celebrate how the Mets picked him up off the scrap heap and turned him and Buck … two players that have been around only five months and who are free agents at the end of the year … into a 19 year old second baseman with some upside. What, you wanted Wil Myers?
(And some research has shown that yes … they still gave the shirts to the fans who paid for the special t-shirt package.)
Downside? Sure. Everyone's frustrated. as if a 58-71 record wasn't frustrating enough.
Terry Collins: "This is not about me. This will never be about me." His job now to "keep spirits up."
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) August 27, 2013
Keep spirits up? I'd say that strippers and ice cream would do the trick. Separately, of course. Because what would be the point of combining strippers and … ice … cream … you know what, they don't have to be mutually exclusive. And another way to keep spirits up is to continue to get good starting pitching, and Jon Niese sure as hell delivered on Tuesday … shutting out the Phillies on three hits, driving in three runs on a double, and scoring a run after running through a stop sign as the Mets won 5-0. So I guess the team isn't that depressed.
One more note that means nothing: The Jake and the Never Land Musical Pirate Ship from Fisher Price is named Bucky. So if anyone was born to be a Pirate, it's John Buck.