GAME TIME 6:10 PM CDTThis morning, I sort of looked at the way that the position players stack up for next year, and sort of qualitatively concluded that things don't look quite as horrible, and actually a bit more hopeful, than a defeatist would have you believe. Before today's game, I've decided to take a look at the rotation.
Wainwright, obviously, looks like an encouraging rotation fixture for next year. Looper looks like a reasonable, cheap back of the rotation filler--he has at least provided a reasonable stability over the course of the season this year. I'm sure that Mulder will get another try in 2008, and there are at least some signs that he'll be in better shape and form next season. I would assume that a fourth spot will just be held by a placeholder until Carp is finally back around the all-star break (let's hope, at least). Perhaps this will be a time to let Blake Hawksworth have a try at things, or perhaps the puppy kicker will get another try. Just so long as it's someone who won't be completely horrible until Carp gets back, it doesn't really matter to me.
So, that leaves us with little Tony. I'm not really interested in getting into the endless, and pointless flame war with it's over the top commentary about how big Tony feels about the future of Reyes. He's had his shot this season, and he's been horrible. One could argue that Wainwright has been jerked around every bit as much as Reyes (the spring training non-competition last year, the strange assignment to the bullpen, the moving him around in the 'pen, blah), only that he's performed well enough to stick around, while Anthony has not. If any of the moves that Wainwright had made did not work out, then there would have been every bit as much gnashing and wailing about the way that Tony had mishandled Waino. The thing is, all of the moves worked out, and Wainwright ahs stepped up and performed in every instance. The only complaining was about why he wasn't in the rotation instead of Sidney Ponson.
All I'm really trying to say is that even if Tony's treatment of Wainwright isn't what you would want, in the end, the ultimate responsibility for Reyes' poor performance this season lies with Reyes. He has not gotten that little extra bit out of himself when in a jam this season in the way that Wainwright has. He does, however, still have every bit as much potential as he did on opening day. So, whether you think that Anthony is a maniac, maniac on the mound, or whether you wish to exhort all of us to obey the simple command to don't stop believing in Reyes, I think we can all agree that seeing him succeed tonight and through the rest of the 2007 season would bode very, very well for the 2008 team's chances.