Opinion: Worrying about Curtis Granderson

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Curtis Granderson struck out three times Monday night. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats and now batting .121 for the season.

He’s been brutal, there is no way around it. He has shown zero power and is costing the team on all sides of the ball, including their wallet.

“I just need to get results,” Granderson told reporters this past weekend. “I’ve just got to go ahead and put the bat on the ball, put it in play, and hopefully some good things will happen.”

He’s right. Putting the ball in play would be a good start. So far, he has a .163 batting average on balls in play, all while swinging at more pitches than he usually does, but making significantly less contact. Pitchers are barely throwing him strikes, yet he just keeps swinging.


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He’s getting crushed with boos at Citi Field, where fans have been quick to label him “the next Jason Bay,” which is exactly what Mets ownership was afraid of. Bay’s contract made people leery of the long-term, free-agent contract for guys entering the back-nine of their career. They signed Granderson, though. I assume he isn’t helping to ease those fears.

The Mets didn’t overpay when giving him four years and $60 million. It was fair, given the market, their needs, his ability and paying around $7 million for a win. Money is one thing, production is something else. Right now, the Mets need his production. It’s that simple.

Granderson is a smart guy with a lot of confidence. He played for the Yankees. He knows how this city operates. He knows what fans and media are capable of. He’s played in a pitcher’s park before in Detroit. He is equipped with tools to deal with these early struggles.

In 2011, the best year of his career to date, he also had a stretch of 20 games when he hit just .100. It happens. It’s not his first. Hopefully, it will be his last.




187 comments
Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

Jason Bay never came back from his injury the same person. It is unclear how he would have been w/o it. Another problem there is that he was all the team really did at the time. The team didn't just get Grandy -- they got Colon, for instance. It would help though if the team got another bat.  Grandy also was a bit cheaper than Bay and this a few years later & for someone who is a NYC guy.  As to it being April, it might be good to give him a day off.

lindro88
lindro88

Mike Piazza was boo'd.  He got off to a slow start and amazingly he was boo'd.  Carlos Beltran, arguably the best every day outfielder in Mets history, and the best FA signing we have ever had was also boo'd during his poor first season.  I don't see how it helps.  People like to say, "I paid alot of money for these tickets and I have the right to boo if I want to"  That is true, but what good is coming from it.  Granderson has only been here a few weeks.  He's not an over the hill all star.  This is not he NFL, where players start to decline at an early age.  Grandy has looked as bad as a player can look, and if it continues for another month, I can see where it will be hard for people to be encouraging.  At this point, it just seems counter productive.  The team plays so much better on the road for a reason.  The atmosphere at Citi Field is toxic.  The crowd is alway waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I think it effects these guys.  Maybe it shouldn't since they are professional athletes, but they are also normal people, and no one likes to have 20 thousand people booing as they walk back to the dugout.  Grandy is going to get a big hit sooner or later, and hopefully it will set him off on a good run. Until that happens, I would give him a break.  

chasesimms
chasesimms

Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran come to mind immediately of course.  But what other big signings/trades have worked out the for Mets in recent history?  

Its amazing to me that no matter who is running this team, we keep getting players who's best years are behind them as best, and at worst end up being complete busts.

Obviously its only April, and its way to early to judge the Granderson situation.  However, based on the history of these types of signings for the Mets, its easy to understand why a lot of fans are thinking Jason Bay.


metjetnet
metjetnet

Just one more example of our 50-year history of Other People's All-Stars... and the undeniable & unshakable belief that Shea/Sub-Prime Field sat/sit upon an ancient Indian burial ground, rather like Poltergeist.

No matter the career All Star games played or sure-fire the HOF credentials, it has been ever written that the most brilliant of baseball stars will spend their Senior Years in a Mets uniform, and that any & all vestiges of their former skills & glory will have exited their bodies and their souls immediately upon signing pen to paper in the Mets offices. From Warren Spahn to Willie Mays through Carlos Baerga to Roberto Alomar to Jason Bay to that Yankee guy in RF, the story is written. Swapping out any name for any other is futile (leave poor Nelson Cruz alone -- he escaped the curse, thankfully, leave him be... or it would have been him going through all this). Youth only escapes this curse (but it has its own curse, of course).

freddy berowski
freddy berowski

Hindsight being what it is... And I know there was no way to know what he'd have to settle for at the time, but Nelson Cruz's .290/.372/.522 slash line with 4 hrs and 16 RBI, looks pretty good on a one year deal with the O's right now...

qualcomm
qualcomm

Livefyre is just as terrible as i thought it would be.  I wish there was a way to get alerted if people comment on a post... it's impossible to generate an ongoing discussion.

qualcomm
qualcomm

How on earth is he the next Jason Bay?  I've heard the same thing, but it's asinine. He's a complementary piece, not our "four hitter" or anything.  The fact "we" boo this man at the park after THREE  WEEKS of baseball really gets me crazy... why???  He's not doing it on purpose and how is that helping him?  It's misplaced anger.

Olerud42
Olerud42

Gotta stick with him / play him for now. Assuming his career isn't over, he just has to play through it. Pick a spot in the lineup, make it his, and that's it. Revisit the issue in June, if it is still an issue. 

Sean Andrew Ingram
Sean Andrew Ingram

Look, it happens. What will piss me off is if the Wilpons and Sandy use this as an excuse to not spend money on F.A.'s to improve the team the next couple of years. 

Take the Nats, they overpaid to bring in Jason Werth in as a F.A. when they still sucked and he hasn't put up anything near what he did in Philly. But Washington kept on adding players to their young homegrown talent, not letting his salary and basically being a bust stop them from adding players. 

Now I don't think Granderson is gonna be a bust in the mold of Jason Bay, he was an EXTREME case of a player losing 100% of his talent. But I also don't think Granderson is gonna go back to hitting over 30 homers either. He is a hot and cold type of player, always has been...unfortunately for him and us is that he started the season extremely cold. 


Russ Sullivan
Russ Sullivan

Stadium is to big for him to hit the long ball. Should have never been signed here. And he's just a few years to late. But that's how the mets do things

Linda Berry
Linda Berry

With support like this....he won't. It is April. He changed leagues and is still adapting.....give him a chance. He could help the Mets. Lord, I wish he had gone to the Cubs...where he would be encouraged.

John Kranzley
John Kranzley

Granderson sucks. End of story.

His final line this year will be .218 with 19 hrs.

Awful signing.

steve333
steve333

The NY Mets

Where careers come to die

Haig Mathosian
Haig Mathosian

I hope he comes around, but until then I'll call him Granderscam.

I still think the Yankees put him up to it........to sabotage the Mets

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

The main reason for Grandy's struggles?  What makes it so hard to play in Queens?  Because every position player that comes here has the perception of being paid to be the savior.  Grandy, and Bay before him, and to some degree Beltran before him were all brought here to be the MAIN power source for this team.  it's a set up for disaster.  Then add to that we fans aren't easy on under performing, highly paid, athletes.  



Dana Smith
Dana Smith

His swing is long and he is constantly trying to pull the ball. He needs to simplify things up there. Putting him in the 2nd spot isn't going to solve his problem. He has had plenty of pitches to hit, he is missing them. We all knew he was a flawed player, but had the pop. Curtis is not a 2 hitter, or a cleanup hitter. He should be hitting 6th, behind Chris Young and Lucas Duda.

ctsteve
ctsteve

Solution--let's bring back grand slam-slugging Ike Davis.  Just kidding.  Hopefully Granderson will come around soon.  He did help win Sunday's game.  Anyway, why pick on Grandy when most of the Mets lineup  hovers around the Mendoza Line more than a hummingbird at a nectar feeder.  They may need to get back to youth T-ball training.

David Jay
David Jay

Our poor little weak players can't handle being booed? Then get'em outta here and bring in some guys with thicker skins. Oh wait, we have one but we're too busy neutering him over dopey twitter pics and tweets.

I have a novel way for the booing to stop- Grandy can actually get a hit every now and then. I know, that's crazy talk nowadays

Kenneth Meltsner
Kenneth Meltsner

The booing of Granderson seems more directed to Sandy Alderson than Curtis himself. Jason Bay, Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo were emblematic of the Minaya era. Alderson has had several lesser failures and a massive case of paralysis-by-analysis. By every account Granderson is an honorable fellow with a good heart (as was Bay, to be honest). You can quibble that a $60M commitment for a guy who strikes out this much was a careless move--especially when the team clearly had more pressing needs. Most players go through highs and lows. What's troubling is the magnitude of those lows. We have seen more than out share of 0-25's these past few years. And one-time solid players hitting .160 in early June. Let's give the guy another few weeks.

Chapter 7
Chapter 7

Agreed that the booing needs to stop. I remember Beltran getting booed opening day of his 2nd year here. Makes me embarrassed to be a mets fan.

The team is playing OK, let him work it out without any more pressure. If it carries on well into may, he's gotta sit against lefties.

Jay Cross
Jay Cross

I'm not worried about Granderson at all. It's a bad few weeks. He's coming off a lost season and adjusting to a new league. He has a track record. He is not Jason Bay. Eventually, he will hit.

It was sickening to hear all the fans booing him at Sunday's game. I called a few of them out on it. How stupid can you be to boo your own players? Do you think they're actively trying to struggle and that your chastising is going to make them perform better? Idiots. 

I eagerly await his first hot streak, which I am confident is just around the corner. 

chasesimms
chasesimms

@freddy berowski Yeah, this team desperately needs a hitter who makes pitchers and opposing managers a little nervous. 



qualcomm
qualcomm

@Sean Andrew Ingram Spot on... he's George Foster.  An aging six hitter they brought in to be a four.  No way he's Jason Bay x2.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@C.K. Dexter Haven Exactly.  Instead of buying/ developing true centerpieces, they spend less on a complementary part and try to pass him off as something he isn't. It's like ordering a plate of fries at a diner for dinner because you can't afford a burger.  You almost start to resent the fries for being fries. 

Olerud42
Olerud42

@SuperDuper  That's not really what he meant. Cerrone's point is that on the FA market, 1 WAR costs about 7 million. If you project that Granderson is going to be worth roughly 2 WAR per year, then his contract to be fair market value should be about 14 million per year. Paying more than that is overpaying for WAR, and paying less than that is getting a good deal on WAR.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Dana Smith I agree up to the "behind Chris Young and Lucas Duda" part.  Young is a 7th hitter and I have no idea what Duda is, but I know he isn't a four or five.  We don't have a four or five hitter, so I guess you might have a point by default, but really both those hitters are worse than Granderson.  

Olerud42
Olerud42

@ctsteve  It's a lot easier to swallow a player making close to minimum wage not putting up numbers than a guy who you just gave 60 million dollars to. 

Greg Baker
Greg Baker

@David Jay having you star player remove a twitter photo that features him giving the middle finger is not neutering him. Thousands of kids follow him. It was not the place for him to do that. 


It was completely appropriate for the mets to ask him to take down that image. It was a smart move for Harvey to take down his twitter account. Even if he wants to be one of the bro's, his fame should give him pause.


I am all for raunchy humor. I am not even close to offended by that tweet. But if I was a parent whose 13 year old kid looks up to Harvey, I would have been very disappointing with that image.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@David Jay The neutering of Harvey is the worst thing i've seen from ownership in a long time; especially since it exposes Jay too much.  The only player we can relate to is constantly publicly disciplined for engaging with us by a hilariously antiquated PR rep who's strings are pulled by guys who can't relate to any of us. 

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Kenneth Meltsner"paralysis-by-analysis" - good call right there. That's been the team's mantra for years; they're afraid to pull the trigger and when they timidly do, it's always aimed at easy prey with the thought that nobody will notice their squirrel in hand isn't a bear.

gold
gold

@Kenneth Meltsner  I agree. I would boo Alderson. Granderson at 33 is on the backend of his career. He was always a huge strike-out guy, and a had fairly low BA. Much of his "power" came from playing in the Bronx. The $60 mil could have been put to much better use. Even if he hits .220 this year, how do you deal with the next 3 years as he loses more of his skills? 

dabo
dabo

@Kenneth Meltsner  The booing is directed clearly at Curtis.  He stinks this year to date and "the real NY fans" are letting him know about it.  

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Jay Cross I agree 100%.  I've never booed a player in my life. Why would I?  I'm going to spend all that money to sit and yell at grown men for not being in a hot streak?  Are they not hitting on purpose and this yelling is some magic elixir that helps them focus?  Who needs to go drive to a ballpark and wallow in that sort of negativity?

It's funny how they take so much of what we enjoy out of the park (banners as an example), but then allow people to harass players under this 'it's your right to boo" concept. What about if I don't want to drop a bill to hear that garbage?  This "right to boo" stuff has gone too far. 

D
D

@Jay Cross  I hope you're right, but uhhh, didn't Jason Bay have a track record too? If I remember correctly, before signing Bay they did an extensive study on his HR's to see how many woulda been out of Citi, and those results were favorable.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Olerud42 @qualcomm haha right? Really though, they need to stop marketing these side dishes as if they're serving steak.

People get crazy when you've been eating light preparing for a big meal and the waiter plops down a plate filled with less food than you were expecting, a tiny steak they insist isn't a tiny steak and all of it  cooked in a way you don't like. 

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Olerud42 @steve333 Doesn't it seem like part of it is the vocal minority of this fanbase being too heavy on guys too quick?  I know it's misplaced anger toward the owners, but still there has to be a way to get the drunk fat Fs at the stadium to relax. 

The worst experience I ever had at a ballpark was last year sitting in left and listening to people just torture Lucas Duda to the point of him needing to go walk to center between at bats. It's clusters of fat losers who leave their cubical for Citi Field, stagger in to blow of steam and gang up to torture guys they're jealous of.   I'm tired of it.

Josh Eppard
Josh Eppard

Certainly not over the long haul but that 1st year was pretty scary. 15 HR or something. Clearly he went on to have amazing years and I think was injured that first yr too but....just praying Granderson finds his stroke and gets to relax a bit.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Olerud42 @ctsteve I don't know why anyone cares... it's not our money.  The only reason I care is I'd rather they spend a limited budget on better players.  I'd rather have Cano at 2nd than Colon, Granderson and Young combined. 

gold
gold

@D @Jay Cross  Bay was much younger so that signing made much more sense

dannym28
dannym28

@D @Jay Cross  not as long as grandersons. Bays was a fantastic 2009 and other good/average years

Jay Cross
Jay Cross

@D @Jay Cross  Bay did have a track record, absolutely. But should we assume any free agent we sign is going to self-destruct the moment they put on our uniform? Bay's downfall was a baffling fluke, not something to base future decisions on.

Building a team is about process and probability. You make the best decision you can with the information available at the time, and trust that the cumulative effects of following the right process will outweigh any individual mistakes. Bay is one such mistake.

There was no team building process when he was signed, there seems to be one now. It's just taking time to pan out. 

metjetnet
metjetnet

@qualcomm @Olerud42 Qual, you're new here, I see... This is the Mets Way, grasshopper. It Has Always Been... and It Will Always Be.

Has been ever thus, since the winter of '61/'62, from Hobie Landreth on down. 

I sat surrounded by the student body of Monroe HS in the Bronx in the RF stands in the Polo Grounds, directly behind young Ed Kranepool's pinstriped #7 during the first weekend after he signed, thrown right into RF. Despite the ongoing chants of "Let's Go, Mon-Roe!!" emanating from the stands, and the stunning PR campaign around our very 1st homegrown STAR in the making, Slow Eddie was no one's Frank Robinson. He was barely anyone's Jim Hickman. From then to now, each player walking (limping?) through those clubhouse doors was going to be our Savior, because the PR dept. said so.

Jay Horowitz is beloved & revered for being so gosh-darned cute. But he is simply today's incarnation in a long, storied line of Purveyors of Evil working in the Mets PR dept.

qualcomm
qualcomm

@Olerud42 @steve333 To me this is 100% the reason they're terrible at home... the drunk vocal minority, egged on by the media, who go there to yell at players.  They're the only ones in their seats paying attention; everyone else is on line to eat/texting/ walking in circles around the park. The atmosphere is terrible, the constant obnoxious gimmicky audio makes everyone edgy and it just stinks in general.

I love Citi as a park, but it's like watching a terrible TV show... a really expensive project put together by those who have no idea what people actually want. I don't go anymore because of the experience.  I can't imagine how it's fun to play there... 

Anyone else have the following experience?  You start off by paying $20 to park in a lot for absolutely no reason, so you're already muttering about payroll before you park. Then you go in and hear the marketing of stuff blasting at you before you even reach the platform.

When you go in -- bam!-- Dodger stuff everywhere! Up the elevators you go to begin your orbit around the stadium; who even knows where your ticket is, right?  You cruse past the closed food places and rotate to gaze at the ton of empty seats you can't sit in because it's better the corps who buy season tickets see empty seats than the players have anyone to play in front of. Finally, you find a spot where people aren't too drunk and watch a team of complementary parts try in vain to produce an offense without a four or five hitter.  You wonder to yourself why the team hates entertaining players. 

Once that's done, you walk through the too dark parking lot and try not to click the remote from too far away (there's always someone looking to get into it) and drive home realizing you spent at minimum $50 bucks for that. 

Olerud42
Olerud42

@gold @D @Jay Cross  Bay was definitely a sensible signing at the time. I don't think anyone expected him to lose his baseball powers overnight. 

Olerud42
Olerud42

@p8erbaghad  That's really not true. When he was in his prime years he averaged about 4 WAR per year.  4 WAR today on the FA market goes for about 28 million / year or a total contract value of $112. That's almost double what he actually got. Nobody's expecting him to perform that way though.

Jay Cross
Jay Cross

@p8erbaghad  It's more about the fit between ballpark size and his skills than sheer age. At least, that's my best guess of how Sandy looked at it. These guys understand the aging curve of ballplayers -- doubt they expected him to perform at age 27 today. 

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

@Jay Cross @p8erbaghad @D If only he was 27 but the fact is they brought in a 33 year-old expecting him to produce like a 27 year-old....for the next 3-4 years.

Jay Cross
Jay Cross

@p8erbaghad @Jay Cross @D  My guess is they saw the type of player he was in Detroit (lots of doubles and triples into the gaps) and brought him here to be a slasher in our highly similar ballpark. 

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

@Jay Cross @D In that case, what kind of a team are you trying to build when you bring in a low average/low OBP/high K/all or nothing guy to Citi Field?