Thursday, August 18, 2011
Episodes of great amounts of the bloodshed took place, one hundred and eighty-eight years ago, on the East Sea Coast of the Colony of Demerara. On August 18, 1823, oppressed people of African origins enslaved on forty plantations situated on the East Sea Coast between the Demerara and Mahaica Rivers were allowed to take up arms in an effort to secure their freedom by means of self-emancipation. It is accepted that some twelve thousand Africans enslaved upon the plantations between and including plantations Plaisance and Dochfour participated in this Struggle.
The evidence shows the following alarming features;
The slaves on the plantations on the East Sea Coast of Demerara heard bits of information relative to the amelioration of slavery in the West Indies. Apparently, they concluded the British Government in Europe had declared them a free people. However, the colonial authorities in the United colony of Demerary and Essequebo were withholding their freedom. Therefore, on Sunday, August 17, 1823 the enslaved people made final preparations to strike blows in the bid to obtain their liberty by militant action designed to achieve freedom by means of self-emancipation.
The rebellion was betrayed. A slave on 'Le Reduit' plantation, Joseph Simpson, informed Mr. Simpson, at approximately 6 a.m. on the morning of Monday, August 18, 1823, that an uprising had been finalized on Sunday, August 17, 1823 at Bethel chapel. The revolt was scheduled to begin on the evening of Monday, August 18, 1823. the slave-owner, immediately begun the journey to share the information with the Governor. While on his way to Georgetown, Mr. Simpson alerted several estates on the route to Georgetown. It was yet another episode which became the distinct pattern of betrayal in which narrow-minded Africans were counter productive regrading their own self interest above and beyond that of the majority of the enslaved Africans simply because of the patronage they received from their oppressors. The Europeans on the other hand seemed hellbent on shedding the blood of as great a number of Africans as humanly possible.
Thus, before the slaves struck the first blow, Major-General John Murray, Lieutenant Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the united colony of Demerara and Essequebo was made aware of pertinent information in more than enough time respecting the imminent threat of the rebellion. Therefore, Major-General John Murray, was in the position to prevent the outrageous loss of life, which resulted from the failed attempt at self-emancipation.
The Europeans were interested in preserving their way of life by any and/or every means possible. The Europeans intended to stem and reverse the tide of public opinion against the sugar planters in Britain by showing Africans as savages only fit for subserviency and forced labor to ensure a privileged life of Europeans.
Hundreds of Africans were massacred at Plantation Bachelor's Adventure. Some estimates determine the number to be as high as 500. Colonial records showed Major-General John Murray, stated 150 Africans were killed at Plantation Bachelor's Adventure. Regardless of the figure stated in the colonial records; the undeniable truth remains’ defenseless Africans were brutally murdered on the command of Colonel Leahy. The Africans were unceremoniously buried in mass graves. Some accept and believe that episode transpired at Plantation Paradise.
The evidence further demonstrates the Africans were by far more humane than the Europeans. It is said that Africans never intended to kill the Europeans who were adjudged to be merciful to their plight. These were primarily the missionaries, the females and children.
Wednesday, August 20, 1823
Hundreds of Africans were massacred at Plantation Bachelor's Adventure. Some estimates determine the number to be as low as 200 while others place it as high as 500. Colonial records show Governor Murray stated 150 Africans were killed at Plantation Bachelor's Adventure. Regardless of the given figures. The undeniable truth remains’ defenseless Africans were brutally murdered on the command of Colonel Leahy. The Africans were unceremoniously buried in mass graves. Some accept and believe that episode transpired at Plantation Paradise.
Friday, August 22, 1823
Beard (plantation Clonbrook), the father of Telemachus, January, Edward, Prince and Primo were executed by firing squad
Tuesday, August 26, 1823
Natty, alias Natt (Plantation Enterprise) and Louis (Plantation Plaisance)
Caleb and Sloane of Plantation Nabaclis, were shot. They were decapitated by Joseph. The chief driver of the Plantation Nabaclis, and their heads were affixed to poles in the front of the estate. Joseph was arrested and confined as a ringleader.
Wednesday, August 27, 1823
Murphy (Plantation Foulis) and Harry (Plantation Good Hope)
Thursday, August 28, 1823
Damas (Plantation Plaisance); Daniel and Philip (Plantation Foulis) and Evan (Plantation Good Hope)
Saturday, September 6, 1823
Attilla (Plantation Plaisance), Quintus(Plantation Beterverwagting),
Friday, September 12, 1823
Lindor and Pickle (Plantation La Bonne Intention)
Tuesday, September 16, 1823
Quamina was trapped by a search party led by Captain M'Turk. Quamina shot and killed by an indigenous Guyanese named Cattow alias Skillikelly. Quamina was struck in the temple, side and arm.
The role of the indigenous people was overlooked. Michael M'Turk employed as many as forty native Guianese in the pursuit of Africans. In fact it is a consensus that a Native American Cattow shot and killed Quamina on September 16, 1823.
Africans were most cruelly murdered. Their bodies were dismembered. Their heads affixed to poles and prominently displayed along the plantations. The soldiers performed the gruesome tasks of decapitation. However, on numerous occasions, drivers of the plantations performed the decapitations of their Africans.
It is simply an easy task to sit back in this era the age of information and render judgement upon the known efforts of our representative of prior centuries and millenniums. You and I have the advantage of accessing the published data respecting the episodes of their experiences. However, neither you nor I can be absolutely sure of their accuracy. The simple fact remains you and I were not eyewitnesses of the events. The major ingredients, the experiences of the slaves, from their point of views are not absolutely available to us. The slaves had very limited choices of escaping their daily experiences of oppression. The options which were and/or are available to people of the twentieth and twentieth-first centuries were not available to the Africans enslaved on the plantations from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century inclusive. However, the pattern of indoctrination and responses remain a common factor in the results of efforts in reaction to oppression. In the majority of the episodes in which Africans and an indentured labourer attempted to reverse the adverse conditions of their existence they were betrayed by individuals clinging to scraps off the table of the oppressors. That scenario remains a common enemy of freedom loving people everywhere and in every epoch in the annals of the human experience. Consequently, the best solution to such a problem is the philosophy of scorched earth as practiced by the Kenyan nationalist in their struggle for self-determination in the opening years of the last half of the twentieth century. Successful revolutions are predicated on completely overturning systems of repressions. Whenever, and wherever, the oppressed people seeking their freedom do not practice total purges of their repression; they are just as guilty as the oppressors themselves. The very idea of saving the lives of the women and children of the oppressor is putrid to me. It is totally contrary to intelligent behavior. In the medical profession if the practitioners diagnose and treat the symptoms they really accomplish nothing for the condition would not have been eradicated. The entire condition needs to be purged to achieve the desired effect.
As a descendant of enslaved people of the plantations located on the east sea coast of demerara it is my conviction that the Demerara slave revolt was an exercise which could have been avoided had the colonials being a more civilized person bent on avoiding the wanton shedding of African blood. However, the aftermath of the episode showed the British public that the Africans desired freedom against all odds. Thus, the demerara slave revolt was one of the chapters written in blood in the struggle for self-determination and self-emancipation which resulted in political independence being achieved on May 26, 1966. Every protest was a blow struck by the masses against the oppressors for the right of self - determination. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the masses of the present day Guyanese society to recognize that fact as the reality of their existence with the political confines of their nation. The people of Guyana must not continue to allow chapters of our struggles for freedom to be defined by the oppressors of our people regardless of the ethnicity of the repressive force and/or the claims made by the governmental administrations and political platforms.
The failure of every government to recognize the struggles of our ancestors is not at all surprising. The colonials were not interested in neither preserving heritage nor presenting our people as intelligent human beings. In the eyes of the colonials the representatives of the masses of the Guyanese people were necessary as a supply of labour for the maintenance of their privileged life in Europe and in the colonies. The PPP and the PNC are also just as fraudulent. They are into promoting the imagery that they are the champions of our freedoms in fact the exact opposite is the truth. The PPP and the PNC are just as exploiters of our people as any of the governors and colonial administration ever were throughout the annals of the people who were enslaved, apprenticed and indentured in the various political boundaries which is known in this era as Guyana. If you are oppressed by people who have physical characteristics which are similar to yours and your representatives were oppressed by people who don't look like you - the common threads of suffering remains ever present. Oppression is oppression regardless of the ethnicity of the oppressors and/or the exploited. There is no such thing as friendly fire. The end result remains the same
On August 1, 1834, African people enslaved in the colony of British Guiana became legally known as Apprentice labourers. During the period August 3 - August 12, 1834; Apprenticed Labourers on the East Sea Coast of the County of Essequebo staged an exercise of civil disobedience and nonviolent protest regarding conditions of labour.
The trials of all the prisoners were finally completed on September 30, 1834; on the last day two more sentences of transportation were handed down against Bob of Plantation Lima and William the boatman who was attached to Mr. Goring - both men being given 14 years transportation. At the end of the trial 36 sentences had been handed down: Damon to death; Frederick to transportation for life; Fothergill, Bob and William to transportation for 14 years each; Adonis and Chance, one month and 200 lashes; Abraham, Little Peter, Frederick a.k.a. Cudjoe, Christian and Hendrick a.k.a. Hendy, one month and 150 lashes; Big Peter, 50 lashes; Billy, Peter (Coffee Grove), Will and Joe, one month and 100 lashes. Prince, Bob, (Coffee Grove), Lawrence and Sam, one month, 50 lashes.
Jan Swart, Mark and Bean were adjudged not guiltily. The cases against John Lewis and Peter of Hampton Court were thrown out: there was no evidence against John Lewis, while it was pointed out that. Peter was named wrongly for one Pitt. Those who had given King's evidence - Jacky and Nathaniel of La Belle Alliance, and Jacobus and Johnathon of Richmond, were presumably granted the pardon they had sought to obtain by their treacherous action. (Payne, 1999: 262)
On August 1, 1838, African people were declared totally and fully emancipated people. They became peasants. They purchased numerous abandoned plantations. An insignificant amount of our representatives was enfranchised prior to 1953.
If you didn’t know now you know the names of a number of our heroes and the real martyrs of the Demerara slave Revolt of August 1823. it is asinine for African people to believe and/or accept Reverend John Smith was a martyr of our people. Reverend Smith is a European. Thus, his interests and his sympathies were with Europeans. I am that positive Reverend John Smith was a calming influence on the slaves' appetite for freedom. The slaves show too much restraint against their oppressors. Thus, it is clear their docility was due in part to the brainwashing they received from the missionaries.
Certainly, the enslaved people are heroes of the guyanese people. it is high time their efforts be celebarted in the districts in which they participated in all phases of life. long live peoples' power long live our martyrs long live our heroes....
Monday, August 1, 2011
EDWARD MILTON AGOSTINI, M.A. (Economics);
Monetary Economist, Public Servant (Government of Guyana);
Deputy. Secretary, Treasury;
Chairman, Guyana National Co-operative Bank,
Guyana Co-operative Insurance Service;
Director, Small Industries Corporation;
Member, Board of Governors, University of Guyana.
BORN: Guyana, Feb. 3, 1936, son of William and Gladys Agostini (both deceased).
EDUCATED: Guyana; London University, B.Sc. (Economics) 1966; Yale University M.A. (Economics) 1972.
MARRIED: July 12, 1961, Norma; 2 sons, 1 daughter.
CAREER: Formerly: Economist, Ministry of Economic Development;
Principal Assistant. Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development
AFFILIATIONS: Lions International; Society. For Advancement of Management. (U.S.A.).
RECREATIONS: Indoor games, cricket, reading.
ADDRESS: (office) Min. of Finance, Main & Urquhart St., Georgetown, (home) “252 Cedar Court, Lamaha Gardens., Georgetown, Guyana.
It appears during the year 1935; W. E. Agostini served as a Member of Local Authorities of the Golden Grove and Nabaclis Village District. Research has shown that W. E. Agostini replaced Nathaniel Maison as a village councillor on February 6, 1935.
The Member of Local Authorities of the Golden Grove and Nabaclis Village District for the year (January - December 1935)
CHAIRMAN: : D. A. Bacchus
COUNCILLORS: Carlton Paton Browne Melbourne, J. R. Simon, J. C. M. Sealey, N. Maison (resigned February 6, 1935), W. E. Agostini (February 6, 1935), Victor Henry Walcott, B. Kingston, Bhupsingh, Donald Ashley Bevel Trotman, Leopold Duncan Sarrabo.
Agostini is simply another of the names of people who have disappeared from the Golden Grove and Nabaclis Village District, and Guyana as a whole. People with German and Dutch names and African names have disappeared from the community. It would be interesting to list the surnames of people known to reside in the area of interest in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries which have disappeared from Golden Grove and Nabaclis and Guyana. It is known numerous persons of Portuguese heritage have migrated to the vicinity of Toronto in Ontario in Canada.
What surnames are you aware of have disappeared from Guyana?
It is clear to me. Is it clear to you? Elected officials are similar to dictators and sovereigns rulers of dynastic monarchies. Politicians and Elected Officials are the most part personalities and iconographic characters. They promote themselves as members of the ruling. Politicians and Elected Officials are members of the privileged class. Although they were birthed by the underprivileged working class; they consider themselves and expect to be considered and preferred over, above and beyond the welfare of the masses. Clearly, Politicians, Elected Officials and members of the ruling class prefer their deeds and utterances to be above reproach of their constituencies and/or the electorate. They expect all the trappings and patronages historically afforded to sovereigns as known in the recorded history of civilizations dating back to the Nile valley higher culture. The Elected officials are concerned and committed to the following;
1. Their personal welfare,
2. The welfare of their loved ones
3. Patronage and special interests of those supported their occupancy of offices.
4. Their preferred ideologies,
5. Their personal and political legacy.
Rarely, do the representatives perpetuate, accentuate and advocate the needs of their constituency. Obviously national and/or community development are spearheaded by those who are considered unsung heroes. Certainly, history has revealed that ordinary people, and primarily unknown people have made tremendous sacrifices thereby contributing to the development of humanity as you and I have come to understand it during the course of several millenniums.
The shenanigans of the Democrats and Republicans currently being played out in the legislative bodies in Washington, D.C. are prime examples of the foolishness of elected officials placing themselves above and beyond the needs of the American people. Their haggling is reminiscent of fishmongers at Bourda Market in the late 1960s. Obama is the spokesperson of the position the democrats embrace. He is eloquent. That’s the best thing Obama has going for himself and the Democrats. If this debt ceiling argument is not settled before it is past due, the American people need to make a note of it and recall the episode when they are faced with the ballots in November 2012. People need to deliver their nations from their primary adversaries - their elected officials.
In the majority of the so-called developing nations on earth the politicians are opportunistic. They simply prey upon the masses while extending patronage to a selected minority of the populace. I believe it is accurate to conclude politicians are by nature, parasitic. They are corrupt. They are so vain. They believe, think and accept the national identity is reflects their personification. In simple words, everything is about them. More over the fortunes of the nations are linked to their impress.
I believe in the concept of social reformation as articulated by the honorable African teacher George Granville Monah James in his conclusion of the earth shattering text, Stolen Legacy, published in 1954.
It is high time. The vast majority of earth’s seven billion people take the necessary time out to research the known struggles of the underprivileged working class and aboriginal people of every nation on earth during the last five millenniums and take the necessary steps to ensure improved conditions of life is accessible to themselves and their off springs. I articulate the ancient Kemtian philosophy of the greatest good of man.
I suppose that the best average age range for people to be married is between their twentieth -fifth and twentieth - ninth birthday.
It seems to me. The majority of mothers of the past and prior to the 1960s were concerned and committed to witnessing the weddings and early years of the marriages of all of their daughters.
I suppose mothers preferred their daughters being married and reproducing before their twentieth-ninth birthday. The mothers insisted their daughters be married. They were not that committed to the career aspirations of their daughters. The preferred orientation was marriage and family was over above and beyond that of career pursuits.
It seems to me. During the twentieth century in civilized communities in the Americas teenage pregnancies were common place in the societies.
It is therefore, not at all difficult to imagine that in prior centuries teenage mothers were not at all unusual in Eastern, western and indigenous societies.
Teenaged pregnancies and mothers became somewhat of a travesty in civilized societies. And that's just another rather unfortunate stereotype females face in this age of information. It is high time. Our people reject such notions as horrific and/or denigrating.
Abolition of Slavery and Apprenticeship in the British Empire, 1834-1838: Emancipation, 173 Years Later
Abolition of Slavery and Apprenticeship in the British Empire, 1834-1838: Emancipation, 173 Years Later . . .
Resistance of one or another type, visibility, and magnitude marked slavery elsewhere. But everywhere slaves who took the insurrectionary road had to display extraordinary heroism in the face of difficulties-— extraordinary even by revolutionary standards.
As the odds and circumstances become clearer, there is less difficulty in understanding the apparent infrequency of slave revolts throughout history and less difficulty in appreciating the extent of the rebels' courage and resourcefulness and the magnitude of their impact on world history.
The greatest slave revolts in the Western Hemisphere, except for the world-shaking revolution in Saint-Domingue, took place in Guiana and Jamaica. Guiana (the territories of Essequibo, Berbice, and Demerara) provided a theater of war between the British and the Dutch, who alternated control, and it offered an extensive hinterland for maroon colonies and guerrilla warfare.
Guiana boasted a slave-free ratio of more than ten-to-one. Taken together, the territories averaged about one significant revolt, not to mention serious conspiracies, during every two years from 1731 to 1823—that is, from the revolt in Berbice in 1731 to the massive revolt in Demerara in 1823. The record is the more striking in view of the relative quiet of the years 1752—1762 during which a firm Dutch-Indian alliance kept the slaves and maroons in check. Berbice exploded, however, during the 1760s, with revolts in 1762, 1763—1764, and 1767.
Essequibo remained stable after the unsuccessful revolts of 1731 and 1741 and the aborted revolt of 1744, and the center of resistance shifted to Demerara in the late 1760s. The principal revolts occurred there during the 1770s: two in 1772; another in 1773; and two others in 1774—1775, which amounted virtually to full-scale civil war between the black slaves and maroons on one side and the whites and Indians on the other. Another serious revolt broke out in 1803, and twenty years later the colony went up in flames. The revolts of 1794—1795 took place against the radical backdrop of the French Revolution, the fall of the Netherlands and proclamation of the Batavian Republic, and the division of the white colonists themselves along political lines, with one party's raising the Tricolor and proclaiming the Rights of Man. Apparently, the slaves were supposed to be too stupid or too cowed to make that message their own.
In 1823 the slaves rose on the East Coast of Demerara. Before the revolt ran its course thousands from at least thirty-seven plantations had taken part, two thousand in one major battle. The rebels demanded emancipation and, apparently with an eye on future labor conditions, a shorter work-week on the plantations. They believed that the "Good King" of England had freed them and that the planters were holding them illegally. Under the leadership of Jack Gladstone, a Christian cooper, and a group of drivers, craftsmen, and even house slaves, they attempted to prevail by nonviolent tactics suggestive of a general strike. Rather than kill the whites, they imprisoned them, executing only two who refused to lay down arms. The white captives subsequently testified to having been treated humanely. This moderation availed the blacks nothing: They were put down in blood. But the revolt stirred English opinion and strengthened the resolve of the emancipationist party to be done with the tyrannical regime in the colonies. Eugene D. Genovese (1979: 33-35)
I find it very upsetting whenever I realize descendants of autochthonous who were hunted, trapped, captured, kidnapped and cargoed across the Atlantic Ocean and enslaved in the English colonies in the Americas state that their ancestors were liberated on August 1, 1834. The simple fact of the matter remains the slaves were not freed until August 1, 1838 following the abolition of the system of apprenticed labor. The British lawmakers ratified Bills in their parliament abolishing slavery, compensating the slave owners for the loss of their property and transformed slavery to a system of apprenticed labour. Thus, the system known as apprenticeship was in all reality a modified form of slavery. It granted partial freedom to the slaves. The slaves were still bounded to the slave owners and to the estates and the primarily production of sugar, Cotton, coffee, cocoa, and ground provision thereon in the colony of British Guiana. August 1, 1838 marks the beginnings of unconditional freedom of Africans in the British Empire. The slave at last was legally freed. The former slave was now considered a peasant and subject of the British Empire.
During the period July 31, 1834 - August 1, 1838 our ancestors were not free. They existed during that four-year period in a fashion similar to a prisoner out on parole in present times and in the recent past in the USA. The British lawmakers catered to special interests - the plantocracy, primarily those in the West Indies. The major focus of the British lawmakers was sugar production and a consistent supply of cheap and reliable labor to ensure plantocracy was appeased and/or satisfied. Therefore, the system of indentured labor was established to replace that of slavery. Germans, Portuguese, Chinese, Africans, East Indians, and Africans birthed in the English-speaking Caribbean basin were sought and they provided the additional source of labor in the colony of British Guiana.
The celebrations in the town of Georgetown, in the colony of British Guiana on August 1, 1838 were “top down” affairs. The colonial establishment set the tone. The governor and members of his administration were the primary dignitaries. The ministers of religion were the focal points in the rural districts. It is likely such a pattern was continued whenever there was a celebration of some memorable event. It is clear that the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of emancipation were first major display of the academic talent of Africans in the colony of British Guiana. The jubilee of emancipation as the celebrations was labeled took place on August 1, 1888. Thomas R. F. Elliott was the secretary and main organizer of the celebrations. It seems to me celebrations were held in every district. Tappin Johnson Elliott was the primary mover and shaper of the celebrations in Golden Grove and Nabaclis districts. I do not know whether copies of the program have been preserved. It is obvious that researchers ought to exhaust every avenue to ascertain the program of celebrations held in their district can be accessed. I believe they maybe found in the church records.
The centenary celebrations of the emancipation of slavery in British Guiana were held on August 1, 1938. I am not aware of any major notation being made in the colony of British Guiana on August 1, 1934.
I communicated my understanding of the celebrations of emancipation in the Colony of British Guiana to ACDA. However, they continue to ignore the facts. They insist in promoting misinformation and misconceptions. I challenge the ACDA to acquire the services of Guyanese historians. They must access copies of the newspapers printed in the colony of British Guiana during the first week of August in 1888, 1938 and 1934. Then they would notice the obvious. I hope such actions would permit the ACDA to change its top down articulation of our history.
I would be remiss if I did not champion two causes very dear to me. I am referring to the massacre and burial of 300 -500 slaves in a mass grave at Plantation Paradise on the East Coast of Demerara in mid August 1823. In the spring of 1834 militant African females demonstrated at Plantation John and Cove showing that resistance to oppression is not exclusively a characteristic of males. Africans in the colonies of Berbice, Demerary and Essequebo made several efforts of effect their emancipation by taking up arms against their oppressors. Our representatives were not simply sitting around with an air of content. They were neither dependant on praying to neither God of the Europeans nor dependant on the goodwill of the Europeans to achieve their ultimate goal, self-determination. Our representatives were militant people. They were intelligent. They stood and died for whatever they believed was best solution to their problems.
Those remarkable people were often undermined by traitors in their midst but as you and I can attest today their contributions need not be totally lost to history. You and I are all living memorials of the struggles, the blood sweat and tears of our ancestors. I am confident I stand on the efforts and contributions of primarily Africans enslaved on the East Coast of Demerara, flavored with East Indian indentured labor and European slave owners. I advocate the need Guyanese primarily Africans to make time to emphasize the efforts made by Africans to affect self-emancipation in Guyana. I believe its incumbent upon the living to make every effort to ensure the participants of the Demerara slave revolt are memorialized and remembered with pomp and pageantry during the third week of August. I consider August as African liberation month. I believe plagues must be erected at Paradise and Cove and John on East Coast Demerara. I would love to participate in a movement which focuses on identifying and memorializing events and participants in the African experience in the Guyanese experience especially prior to 1966. I think, in fact I know it is high time our people begin to honor our representatives ourselves. I am absolutely certain you and I must not be dependant on the Government of Guyana, whoever that maybe to identify and define our heroes for us. Africans must be cognizant that no government neither home nor abroad has stood with and/or for the masses of the people of Africa. Most have oppressed Africans. Certainly, they used Africans as launching pads to accumulate personal wealth and notoriety. Thus I am advocating Non-Governmental organizations beyond borders to cater to our agenda as African people...
- Bryant, Joshua(1824) Account of an insurrection of the Negro slaves in the colony of Demerara, which broke out on the 18th of August, 1823. : Georgetown, Demerara, Printed by A. Stevenson at the Guiana Chronicle Office, 1824
- Genovese, Eugene D. (1979)From Rebellion to Revolution: Afro American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World: Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 1979
- Costa, Emília Viotti da(1997)Crowns of glory, tears of blood : the Demerara Slave Rebellion of 1823. New York : Oxford University Press, 1997.
- Payne, Tommy (2001) 10 days in August 1834 : 10 days that changed the world: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Caribbean Diaspora Press, 2001
I am taken aback my persons claiming to be fans of the New York Mets baseball team. Many of the fans calling the sports talk radio programs in New York City articulate views amounting to the possibility that the 2011 Mets has a great opportunity to make the playoffs this year as the wild card team. I cannot help but wonder what New York Mets fans is the seeing on the field in 2011. Why don’t the fans realize at their best, the 2011 Mets is a mediocre team? Recent history has shown that the most unlikely teams to win Major League Baseball championships possessed outstanding pitching. The 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers, the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals and the 2010 San Francisco Giants teams were rather surprising champions. Their pitching performances were outstanding. The 2011 New York Mets does not have comparable pitching staff. The 2011 Mets does not have a prayer.
More over why the fans seem satisfied with aiming for a wild card spot as the ticket to the post season is beyond my understanding. The Mets would not be expected to win a series much less threaten to win it all. I would rather the Mets retool and improve their chances of winning it all in 2013. That should be the ultimate goal.
The 2011 Mets does not have a pitching staff comparable to the 1984 - 1989, 1973, and 1969 Mets Clubs. If the 2011 Mets pitching staff had, two or three top of the rotation starters; I would argue the 2011 Mets does not have a chance of upsetting more talented teams. I am referring to teams possessing better winning percentage than the Mets.
The 2011 Mets team has a below average pitching staff. Their defense up the middle is poor. It’s almost atrocious. The 2011 Mets does not have an ace starting pitcher. There is no the top of the rotation on the major league club. The 2011 Mets is the weakest Mets club to possess a winning record at the last week of July in the fifty-year history of the franchise.
Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese, and another pitcher of similar quality will not lead a pitching staff to the Major League Baseball championship. Certainly, the starting pitchers are not comparable to Gooden, Darling, Fernandez, Aguilera, and Bob Ojeda is miles above the pitchers available to the Mets club. Even if Johan Santana returns with the qualities of an outstanding ace in 2012; he would be followed by mediocre pitchers in the rotation. Mike Pelfrey, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese, are at best pitchers who could be expected to be competing for the fifth stop in a five-man pitching rotation. Young arms, especially flame-throwing pitchers at 95 miles per hour plus is an absolute necessity to anchor a championship caliber pitching staff. Bobby Parnell, and Pedro Beato, is perhaps decent enough as middle relievers on a major league pitching staff.
The 2011 Mets team lists Ronny Paulino and Josh Thole as their catchers. Justin Turner is the second baseman. Angel Pagan is the Center fielder. Reyes is really outstanding at Short Stop. The 2011 Mets possesses the weakest up the middle defense in thirty -one years. The 2011 Mets infield defense is also in a very sorry state. Daniel Murphy at first base, Justin Turner, Jose Reyes and David Wright at third base, are not reminiscent of John Olerud (first base), Edgardo Alfonzo (Second base), Rey Ordonez (Short Stop), and Robin Ventura (third base) of the 1999 Mets club.The outfield defense is also suspect. Angel Pagan (center field), Jason Bay (left fielder), and Lucas Duda (right fielder), is not in the same class as Dykstra, Wilson and Strawberry of the 1986 Mets Club. Pagan, Bay and Duda are backed up with Willie Harris, Nick Evans, Scott Hairston, and Jason Pridie. The 2011 Mets off the bench does not merit holding the attention of opposing teams.
The 2011 Mets hitters do not strike fear in the hearts of pitchers. The 2011 Mets team does not possess explosive hitters. The majority of the 2011 Mets is just a trifle better than automatic outs. Reyes and Wright are the best hitters on the team.
The line-up chosen from the following Reyes and Wright and Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan, Jason Bay, Justin Turner, Lucas Duda, Willie Harris, Nick Evans, Scott Hairston, Jason Pridie, Ronny Paulino and Josh Thole has more pot holes than those found in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queen’s in New York City. Opposing pitchers do not have to worry about seven stops in the Mets line-up. All of the Mets championship teams comprised a number of outstanding hitters, dynamic pitchers, and much better defenders on the field than the composition of the 2011 New York Mets.
Daniel Murphy may develop into a quality hitter. However, Murphy is a below average defender. The best position for Murphy may very well be Third base. Daniel Murphy is best suited as designated Hitter. He should be on a team in the American League.
The Mets last made the playoffs in 2006. That was the last occasion the Mets was really relevant. The 2011 New York Mets club would not present much of a challenge to the 2006 Mets club. I suggest the Mets General Manager exhaust all avenues and efforts to rid the Mets of the following for 2012 season; Willie Harris, Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy, Nick Evans, Justin Turner, Jason Bay, Ryota Igarashi, Manny Acosta, Mike Pelfrey, Jason Isringhausen, Tim Byrdak, Chris Capuano, D.J. Carrasco, and R.A. Dickey, and few others. A number of them could well be used to obtain young players for their minor league teams and/or perhaps, younger players for the 2012 Mets club. The need is restocking the farm system of New York Mets and getting younger with better arms and talent for the 2012 season.
1986 New York Mets Roster
Pitchers - Rick Aguilera, Bruce Berenyi, Terry Leach, John Mitchell, Randy Myers, Bob Ojeda, Doug Sisk
Catchers - Gary Carter, John Gibbons, Wally Backman, Kevin Elster, Ray Knight, Dave Magadan, Rafael Santana, Tim Teufel
Outfielders - Lenny Dykstra, George Foster, Danny Heep, Stan Jefferson, Lee Mazzilli, Kevin Mitchell, Darryl Strawberry
The Mets have not managed to duplicate the talented team they assembled for the 1986 club . . . that conclusion is beyond doubt. Any questions?