(In Today's Mint Condition post, the role of Jordan will be played by HBO's John Oliver.)
Jeurys Familia is one of the best closers in the NL. He has given the Mets 27 saves, and has given the Mets definite security in the ninth inning.
Which is why it confuses the living HELL out of me that the Mets just traded for another closer.
Tyler Clippard, who has given the Athletics a not-perfect-but-still-modest 17 saves, has just been traded to the New York Mets, in exchange for minor league prospect and RHP Casey Meisner.
I'll give you a little backstory on Clippard. Tyler Clippard came up in the Yankees organization, and was used as a middle-reliever during his lone season as a Yankee, in 2007. The following year he was traded to the Nationals, in exchange for Jonathan Albaladejo. I repeat: the Yankees traded Clippard away for absolutely nothing.
In Washington, Clippard made the most of his middle-relief job, making TWO All-Star teams. Hell, in 2012 he was so entrusted that he was given the ninth-inning job, in the place of ailing Drew Storen.
So he's capable of closing games, as evident by the 17 games he's closed for Oakland this year. And, in this respect, Clippard has taken a step forward from relief work to full-on closing games. Which is why it seems like an absolute slap in the face that the Mets have traded for Clippard to work as a middle reliever again. It's like saying to Peyton Manning, "ooh, sorry, but the only place we can fit you is at defensive end."
Plus, if the Mets needed help in the bullpen, there are plenty of other middle-relievers they could have chosen, and by middle relievers, I mean 'people who are currently being employed as middle-relievers.' For instance, they could have gone to the same Oakland well and picked Ryan Cook, another perennial All Star. They could have picked the shambling corpse of Joe Nathan out of Detroit. Hell, I'd even be okay with them trading for Jason Motte before he has a chance to become the Cubs closer. Rob the Chicago fans of their joy, it's not like it's the first time (don't hate me, hate this character I'm writing in, Cubs fans.)
The absolute worst part of this trade is what it does to Oakland. Prior to this season, the Athletics' closer has been Sean Doolittle. However, since Sean Doolittle is a big scary closer with a beard, you may not be surprised to find out that he's currently on the disabled list. As a matter of fact, Sean Doolittle is out for the rest of the season. This was the whole impetus of making Tyler Clippard the closer in the first place.
Now that Clippard is no longer with the team...the Athletics have approximately ZERO relievers with consistent ninth-inning experience. The only two people who have closed games for the A's this season, other than Tyler Clippard, are Jesse Chavez and Drew Pomeranz. Right now, neither of those people are classified as closers. They're not even classified as relievers- they're both currently in the starting rotation.
So, let's recap. So far this season, the person entrusted to close games is injured, the backup closer has just been traded, and ABSOLUTELY NOBODY ELSE has ANY EXPERIENCE closing games. It would not shock me if, during the ninth inning at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, they just put an announcement on the PA system, saying "OH, UH, BY THE WAY, DOES ANYBODY IN ATTENDANCE KNOW HOW TO THROW 100 MILES PER HOUR?"
But honestly, not all of the blame goes to Oakland here. The Mets saw a hole in their roster that needed to be filled by a reliever. So what do they do? They go and sign a reliever that is literally the only closer in the village in Oakland, leaving the A's with absolutely no options in the ninth. This was Sandy Alderson's CHOICE. Sandy Alderson WANTED THIS.
Now, I'm not too familiar with philosophy, but if I recall correctly, I think the famous Greek philosopher Plato would call this choice, uhm...a "dick move", if you will.
He also would be rooting for the A's. Because the Greek Philosopher Plato can root for whoever he goddamn wants to.
I'll end with this thought. If Sandy Alderson, GM of the New York Mets, thinks the move that will improve his team the most is taking a closer from another team and paying him to work the eighth inning, even when it has already been established that pitching IS NOT THE METS' PROBLEM... you don't get to ask yourself, come September 30th, why the Mets didn't make the playoffs. The answer has been given.
And it involves Tyler Clippard, and the Greek Philosopher Plato.