Blog Entry

Mets Fail Yet Again!

Posted on: September 29, 2008 10:48 am
 
As a wise man once said, it is déjà vu all over again. But I was still in unbelief as a fan filled with hope that this would be ‘the year’. “How could this be happening again?”  I asked myself.  Almost a year after a gut wrenching collapse of a divisional lead, the Mets are sent packing home before thousands of their own fans at Shea, and millions such as myself watching the game on TV and on the internet. And once again, it is at the hands of the Florida Marlins. This was supposed to have been a game which would have either sent the Mets to a “Play-In” game against the Brewers, or sole possession of the National League wild card.

Once again, Mets fans are left with a long off season of disappointment, anger, shock, as well as increased cynicism. Myriad questions have begun to be asked about the future of Omar Minaya, the Mets General Manager. Should he be fired, or retained. The core players of the team, Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Carlos Beltran, have yet to get the Mets to at least a World Series berth. It all seemed like a beautiful plan just a few short years ago. Fred Wilpon hired Omar Minaya as ‘his last buck’ in his hope of turning the Mets from failure into a World Series champion.  He would tap into the vast talent pool of Caribbean baseball talent, while persuading Beltran, Pedro Martinez, Billy Wagner and other veteran stars to come to Shea and make the Mets a relevant team in baseball once again.

2006 looked like ‘the year’, and then it ended as quickly and painfully as an Adam Wainwright fastball to Carlos Beltran. The lesser St. Louis Cardinals shocked the Mets in the NLCS, and  went on to win the world series against Detroit.  In 2007, From the Phillies camp in Spring Training, Jimmy Rollins took on the role of ‘club prophet’ and declared Philadelphia as ‘the team to beat’.  I as well as others disdained The Phillies shortstop’s prediction as pure nonsense. The Phillies always had talent, but could never put the pieces together. How wrong I was, along with others. It was our Mets who were filled with complacency, and it was they who were watching the Phils go to the Post Season, with Rollins and his teammates gloating,” We told you so”. What was once a 7 game lead in the National league East by the Mets melted away in just a few days.  We as Mets fans were stunned in disbelief.

We waited the days from October frost to the January thaw mending our emotional wounds. We wanted redemption from our Mets. We wanted to silence the media critics, late night comedians, and opposing teams who seemingly delighted in the teams prior two seasons ending with disappointing conclusions.  I was shocked to hear that Johann Santana, one of the premier pitchers of his generation was signed on to give the mets the fearless ace they needed. Surely, 2008 would be “the year”.

2008 started uneven, and then it became rocky. Willie Randolph's tenure as Mets manager ended in dismissal and controversy. It fell upon the shoulders of veteran coach Jerry Manuel to guide this team back from the abyss. It seemed to work. Manuel loosened the team, got it to come together and actually cut the Phillies lead in the National League East. The Mets got back into first place in the division. It was a back and forth tussle with the hated Phillies, but injuries and a very faulty bullpen laid the Mets bare to déjà vu.  The Phils regained the lead never to relinquish it. And once again, on the final weekend of the season, the boisterous Marlins, who delighted  in declaring that they wanted to upset the Mets plans, again, Ended the 2008 season, again. And there was not only Marlin Pitcher Scott Olsen, saying “I told you so”, but Jimmy Rollins, ninety miles south saying, “I told you so...Again”.

Amongst Mets Fans throughout the world, I like to believe that I am in the optimist group. I have only lived thus far through 1 world championship, 2 National League Championships, and a couple of Wild-Card winners. Since October, 1986, there has been a generation or two of Mets fans born into this world. They have felt much of the sting of disappointing finishes and gut wrenching endings. The sense of anger and cynicism among this generation of younger fans is at an all time high. They feel like the child who is about to be given a birthday present from a parent, only to have it snatched away at the very last moment. It is becoming very hard to tell this group of fans to “believe”.

I have seen some very poor Mets teams, but I knew that there was no hope for such poor teams. I wonder right now, what is more disheartening, bad teams, or teams on the brink of excellence and not getting there? As a little child, I remember seeing the Cubs and Red Sox take their fans through despair and anguish. It was those two teams along with their fans, who were at the butt end of jokes by sports-journalists and talk show comedians. I have to admit, that I laughed along with them. Black cats, Billie Goats, the curse of the “bambino”, and late leads squandered due to a home run by a second tier infielder such as Bucky Dent was something reserved for Cubs and Red Sox Fans.

As a third straight season of gut wrenching endings concludes, however, I have to admit, that I find myself looking back to 1986, when the Mets were filled with swagger, Pitching, Power, and grit. They knew they would win, and they did.  It seemed like 1986 was the last year in which this team, and it’s fans knew that nothing was “impossible”.

Maybe it’s just my imagination after another frustrating season of great hopes and last game letdowns. But I now ask myself, have the New York Mets now become the new Cubs or Red Sox of this era?  The Sox have won two world championships over the last five seasons, while the Cubs are on their way to a second straight postseason. Now, it seems, strange things, sad things, and incredibly inexplicable things happen to the Mets. For me, I feel like taking a break from all things sports right now. I know ESPN will be churning out moments of Mets missteps, while Conan O’Brien and other late night comedians will find the amazins as  new joke fodder for their TV shows .

I hope the Wilpon Braintrust can figure out a way to break past not only the problem of pitching relief, but the wounded collective soul of this team and fandom have suffered since the ball went past Buckner’s legs
Category: MLB
Comments

Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: October 4, 2008 8:38 am
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

Omar Minaya received a three-year extension through 2012, with team options for 2013 and 2014. - Great move by the Wilpons for once! Minaya has brought this team back from the depth of years of losing!

“We felt he’s the right person to lead our baseball operations effort today and through the extension period here,” Wilpon said. “Listen, we failed this year and we want to get the redemption that we need and move forward. We thought Omar and his staff is the best group to put us in that position. We obviously were not a very good team when Omar came aboard. He’s turned this thing around, and we think he deserves another chance to keep getting us to where we want to be."




Since: Sep 28, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2008 11:51 pm
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

I agree. Omar got what amounts to a pat on the back and an "atta boy there buddy"

Give him a 1 year contract, tell him to make the team better, that's his job.

H




Since: Feb 9, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2008 1:22 pm
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

The Wilpon Braintrust had a chance to solve the problem, but instead of firing Omar Minaya, they gave him an extension. This was Omar's team once he fired Willie Randolph. Now his team has choked for a second straight year, and he gets an extension? Maybe I'm bitter (and a Braves fan), but Omar's done in my book. Maybe I should add him to my recent blog of worst execs/owners...

And I refuse to write "HAHAHAHAHA! METS CHOKED AGAIN!!!" Oops...

- Your Resident Braves Fan, Eagle



Since: Sep 28, 2007
Posted on: September 30, 2008 12:04 am
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

I'll go with the curse of Kazmir.

It just sounds kinda cool...like some old gypsy woman cast the curse on the Mets.

lol

H




Since: Jan 20, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2008 9:37 pm
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

At least your team was in it, and had a chance, until the end. The Tigers, with all the expectations for them, stunk it up from day 1.




Since: Jul 3, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2008 5:52 pm
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

I think it may be a curse but who cursed us? oliver perez and xavier nady deal? i dont think the trade was big enough for a curse though



Since: Sep 28, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2008 1:12 pm
 

Mets Fail Yet Again!

Fantastic post, well written. I couldn't have written it any better or more from the heart.

Only thing, wasn't it a curveball from Wainwright? I remember watching, standing in front of the TV, and MY knees actually buckled as it dropped in for a strike. BAM! Not even the effort of foulding it off, trying to get a piece. It was a nasty pitch, but I think the story of the last 2 years of Mets teams could be summed up in that one pitch:

Talent is there.

Situation is right.

Suddenly, someone makes the pitch/play/hit/pitching performance of a lifetime and the Mets are on the losing end.

Endy Chavez's catch? I thought it was THE moment to turn it around.....nope.

7 game lead with 17 to play? I started e-mailing my Philly friends with the daily magic number to clinch the division. I stopped after a few days when I couldn't send them a new number after a few days in a row.

All those bad losses, late inning "oops" games by the bullpen, only to have them win in dramatic fashion the next day. Frustrate me, then give me back some hope.

I completely agree. When the Mets were bad, I rooted for them, but expected little, so I was never really disappointed.

These last 3 years? I've expected much more and been let down, over and over.

Losing late when the game is in hand? Not tacking on runs to make a victory easier? Emotional roller coaster.

I'm a fan, I'd imagine it takes much more out of the players. But still......

Thanks for reading.

H



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com