Thursday, May 29, 2008
Everybody in New York keeps on searching for the reason why the New York Mets have not been the same team since midway through the 2007 season. Many blame Jose Reyes lack of production and say he is the driving force of the offense and without him they don't run. Many blame Willy for have an apparent lackadaisical attitude in the clubhouse. Some blame Omar Minaya for putting together an aging club that lacks leadership or a team with a significant cultural divide. I'm here to say they are all wrong, there's one difference between the Dominant Mets of 06 and the first half of 07 and the Struggling Mets since, one single organizational mistake. They released the ageless wonder Julio Franco.
On July 12th last season the Mets finally decided to designate Julio Franco for assignment, that night they went on to win and push their record to 49-39 and sat at the top of the standings. The remainder of the season the Mets only played four games over five hundred and of course collapsed down the stretch.
Record With Julio Franco (06-Jul 07): 146-104
Record Without Julio Franco (Jul 07-Now): 64-61
Another alarming fact is the dip in production of Jose Reyes since the departure of Julio Franco. On July 12th Jose Reyes was hitting .310 with an On Base % of 390 and looked like the potential MVP of the National League. Without Franco around Reyes played so poorly that at the end of the year his average dropped 30 points to .280 and his On Base Percentage dropped 36 points to .354. These numbers from your leadoff hitter and the spark plug of your team is not going to get it done and they have continued into this season.
06 Reyes Stats with Franco: .300 BA .354 OBP .487 SLG .841 OPS
07 Reyes Stats with Franco: .310 BA .390 OBP .452 SLG .842 OPS
07 Reyes Stats w/o Franco: .251 BA .316 OBP .402 SLG .718 OPS
08 Reyes Stats w/o Franco: .279 BA .338 OBP .486 SLG .823 OPS
It's evident that despite no longer being good at baseball Julio Franco had a significant positive impact on the New York Mets or... when he left the New York Mets he used the same voodoo magic he used to keep him in major league baseball for 97 years to curse the Mets. To make young Jose Reyes struggle. To make the Mets collapse. It's the Voodoo Curse of Julio Franco which has brought the Mets down.