Right after the end of last night's All-Star Game, The New York Mets traded "slugging" relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers for cash and two players to be named later. It could have been two turtle doves and a partridge in a pair tree as far as Mets fans are concerned; good-bye and good riddance to TKO Rod. Let's hope he took all his baggage with him on the way out the door.
The importance of the K-Rod trade is not just the fact that the team cut out a toxic element in the clubhouse, or saved lots of money on the payroll; it also says something about where GM Sandy Alderson thinks his 46-45 team is headed in the NL East: nowhere! That bodes well for impending trades of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes by the July 31 trading deadline.
Now yes, by all accounts, K-Rod was trying to be a model citizen this year, and Beltran has never looked so thrilled to be in Flushing as he has in 2011. Also, even though now injured, Reyes was a lightning rod and had the team and its fans channeling Tug McGraw's "You Gotta Believe" as they made their way to Citi Field. I'd hate to see his beaming smile gone from the Mets dugout, but that appears more likely now.
Alas Mets fans, reality has reared its ugly head. No matter how much little General Terry Collins has sparked this team, and no matter how well the AAA boys of Turner, Pridie, Evans, and company have played, the truth is it is going to be another "wait until next year" for the boys in blue and orange.
Sad for the team and sad for the fans, but this trade signals that mentality. Maybe now we can just sit back and enjoy the show, but there should be no illusions of a run for the wild card or even more bizarre delusions of catching the Phillies. This trade put an end to all that.
Good bye to K-Rod and the 2011 season. Ah, just another day in the never ending Mets mess.
Photo Credit: AP