I just looked through some notes of mine from the start of the season, and found this article previewing the NL East by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Here is an excerpt of how he felt about the Mets heading into 2009:
Two years, two chokes. The Mets have gotten good at this. And, sure, the bullpen was a big issue, so seeing J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez in the eighth and ninth innings will help make Citi Field a far friendlier place in its freshman year. Still, this team gives off the feeling of one that needs to be blown up and started over instead of rejiggering things and hoping the memories of September collapses wane. Those linger. You don’t get rid of ugly artwork by painting over it. You discard the thing. And no one with the Mets seems to have gotten the message that there is trash in dire need of disposal.
Of course, we didn’t expect Putz to miss most of the season. And let’s face it, K-Rod has been awesome sometimes and like Armando Benitez at times as well. Injuries, of course, were an X-factor that no one could have predicted, but still, the Mets didn’t exactly play great baseball when everyone was healthy. Certainly nobody could have also predicted the utter lack of power in the lineup. What they could have seen coming were the lack of fundamentals, and the lack of any kind of bench whatsoever once key players went down. Those are things that fall squarely on the shoulders of guys named Jerry and Omar.
Still, blowing up the entire team seems far-fetched and crazy, especially in a major market that demands and deserves to see marquee players. But the thing is, we also deserve quality baseball, and haven’t exactly received that end of the bargain. And even if this team (amazingly) finishes second in the NL in batting, they still are last in home runs and near the bottom in RBI.
So while Passan’s idea may have been crazy, you can’t say he was totally wrong. And now looking ahead to 2010, there are so many question marks, and a window of opportunity with the current core of players that is rapidly starting to shut. I don’t have the answers, and I’m not sure anyone does. But we deserve some form of change for the better.