(Long Island, N.Y.) It came as no surprise in last Thursday’s newspapers when they told all of us that the New York Mets had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. No, we didn’t need to wait until mid-September to hear that. If you had your ears – and mind – open wide enough, you knew that was going to be the case back in April.
Sure, you die-hard fans held out some sense of false hope that this mix of youngsters and a few veterans would scrap their way into the wild card race and pull it out with a miracle finish. But unfortunately miracles and magic have already ran their course with this organization a long time ago.
When the Mets broke spring training and headed north, there were a few things to hold onto. Would Chris Young stay healthy and give them some much-needed innings from a veteran? How about seeing a few meaningful starts from the returning Johan Santana? Jose Reyes staying healthy all summer long and re-signing with the team? Is this finally the year that David Wright becomes the leader of the team he is billed as the centerpiece of? Can Josh Thole and Ike Davis become even somewhat reminiscent of Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez? Was Jason Bay’s first year here a fluke?
Needless to say, you scored 100 percent if you answered ‘no’ to all of the above. At this stage of the game, the new set of questions is much longer and probably much harder to guess. They are looking to read like:
- Will Santana ever be the pitcher he was and is getting paid to be?
- Is Jose Reyes worth offering a top-dollar, expensive contract to with his injury history?
- Is Wright an untouchable, and if so, why?
- Will Thole and Davis even remind us of Paul Lo Duca and Todd Ziele?
We didn’t bother addressing the Young and Bay remarks because the glass will never be half-full with them.
So as a Met fan, you have a team that will not publicly admit to a full rebuilding program. They cannot afford even a mediocre free agent but are afraid to tell their ever-dwindling fan base that they should only expect to see kids and reclamation projects taking the field at Citi Field for years to come.
The one slimmer of hope is gone with Fred Wilpon turning down David Einhorn’s $200 million for a percentage of the team. If there ever was a franchise that needed a Care package containing the type of lettuce you don’t use on your lunch, it’s this one. But the stubborn old man has no intention of giving up control of the team, for worse and not better for all involved.
The players have been a kind and loyal bunch by saying that the potential sale of part of the team has no bearing on them, but it surely does. Their own contracts will be affected and the financial ability of the Wilpons to put a quality contending team on the field, as well.
So don’t hang your heads that they won’t be a part of the postseason, Met fans. You could have saved yourself six months of waiting if you came to the same conclusion earlier.