200 Miles From the Citi

May 24, 2010 6:22 AM

Give Bay A Break


I know this sounds funny coming from me - A guy who has buried, resurrected, and buried the Mets again multiple times over these first 45 games.

But 45 games does not a season make.

This weekend was a big weekend for people to take shots at Jason Bay and his lone home run through 40+ games.

And I'm here to tell them to lay off - and I promise you I started writing this before Bay homered twice on Sunday night against the Yankees.

Here's what people have been arguing all weekend - Jason Bay, through 44 games a year ago, had 13 homers.  This year - 1.

I'll take this a step further - by the end of May 2009, Bay had hit 15 homers.  This year, obviously, he will have much less.

So Bay had 13 homers through 44 games.  He finished with 36.  I'm here to tell you his 3 homers now, through 45 games, will still get him somewhere near that number in 2010.

A few points here:

1)  This is the way Bay hits.  If he was a consistent hitter, 13 homers in 44 games, 15 homers in 2 months, would equate to around 50 homers, or at least 45, over a full season.  That's not the way he plays.  He started off awfully hot a year ago - can someone please mention only 3 players in the majors right now have 13 home runs?

Bay started off this year very cold.  He ended last year pretty cold - why isn't anyone talking about the 21 homers he hit over the final four months of last season?  He'll do about the same this year.

2)  The Mets are dumb if they think Bay will hit 36 homers for them.  I said it was unrealistic to expect that.  I think others said it too.  So why make a big deal here with 1 homer in the first two months or so?  It'll even out and he'll end up with 25+ homers this year.

I guess everything is under the microscope because of the way the Mets have been losing and their offense has been struggling.  But Bay has gotten his average up over .300, and it finally looks like he's something close to comfortable at the plate.  He's starting to drive in runs.  And thanks to David Wright's strikeout troubles, Bay's nearly strikeout-a-game rate has gone totally unnoticed.  He's fine defensively, too, but doesn't get nearly enough credit for that.

Sure, it's been a cold start to the year.  Just like when Jason Bay hit one home run all of last July.  And 3 homers in 39 games over one similar stretch.  None of those games were in Citi Field.  Let's revisit this conversation in September.

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