Let’s not praise OR bury him!

Remember the good old days, Jason?  When fans were just happy you weren't pushing around old guys?  (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Remember the good old days, Jason? When fans were just happy you weren't pushing around old guys? (Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.)

Let’s not dwell on the Sox losing the series in Oakland or the idea that Papi’s slow start to begin the second half is going to be the cause of another round of “Papi is toast” stories from the laziness that is most Boston sports writers.  Let’s dwell on someone else’s pain for a change.  Have you been following the season Jason Bay is having this year?

I like Bay.  Hell, I even like his nickname.  (“JayBay” fits him, doesn’t it?)  While I didn’t want the Sox giving him some crazy multi-year, high numbered contract, I was a little bummed to see him go to the Mets.  (Better the Mets than the Yankees I thought at the time.  Man, was I wrong.)  I liked Bay when he was in Pittsburgh and when he was traded to the Sox I was amazed that Theo had been able to make the trade not only for a decent player but for someone the fans would have a hard time disliking, even though he was replacing a Red Sox great.  Dude wasn’t going to win a Gold Glove playing at Fenway but he had a strong bat, a good personality to deal with the fans and the media, and darn it people just liked him.

So what the hell has happened in New York?

Been a bit of a fan of the Mets for a while and from that fondness for the team I’ve made some friends who also happen to be Mets fans.  To say that they write not nice things about JayBay would be understating it greatly.  Where Red Sox fans (and Pirates fans) always looked to Bay with  hope (if he was up we always felt he had a great chance of getting on base), it’s the complete opposite with the Mets fans.  A Twitter account called “MetsFail” tweeted this last night:

Jason Bay is so lost, he should fly home on Oceanic Airlines flight 815

(For those of you not familiar with the reference, it’s about the television show “Lost” not any real airplane tragedy.)

There are sarcastic tweets about being surprised that JayBay struck out (he has 87 strike outs in 92 games) and folks question the decision of the Mets to give him $66 million over 4 years on a daily basis.  What the Red Sox knew was that Bay could be a good, solid player for them but he wasn’t going to be a superstar or the guy who tipped the scales for Boston.  New York felt differently so while on paper Bay’s season isn’t horrid, it certainly isn’t close to being the production that the Mets expected.

Much like our Big Papi, Bay is struggling in the month of July.  While Boston writers will start with their talk of David Ortiz being too old and out of shape and “done” the New York press gets to moan about that contract Omar Minaya gave Bay.  The Mets were expecting home runs out of Bay and he hasn’t come through.  He’s hit six so far this season.   I can’t blame Mets fans for being disappointed in that kind of production from the guy who was supposed to bolster their offense.

My friend Caryn over at Metsgrrl tweeted this last night (she’s on a road trip and witnessed it in person):

Dbacks fan yells “thank you for leaving Boston” at Bay.


So, sure the Red Sox are struggling and the view into October looks dim, but things could always be worse! (For perspective, the Mets are 6.5 games out of first place in the NL East and are in second place.  The Sox are 7 games out of first place in the AL East and are in third place.)

John Lackey gets to pitch against a guy with a much worse ERA than his…it’s a 10:10pm ET start that has the possibility to last a very long time.  Stock up on the Red Bull!

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