The past four years have been very harrowing for all Mets fans; throughout this painful stretch I personally have been feeling a sort of deja vu. It took me a while to figure out why, but now I know. The 2006-2010 Mets are reminding me of the 1988-1992 Mets.
Scary isn’t it?
The 1988 Mets where dominant, the NL east race was over mid-summer, and they had the perfect mix of grizzled veterans (Keith, Carter, Ojeda), and young studs (Doc, Straw, Cone); they where easily the pick to win the World Series that year, and were certainly picked to obliterate the Dodgers in the NLCS. Light hitting catcher Mike Scioscia had other plans. He hit a stunning 9th inning HR off a dominating Doc Gooden in game four at Shea, to erase a potential 3 games to 1 lead for the Mets…and all but lock up the NL crown. The Dodgers went on to stun the A’s, etc, etc, etc.
The team never recovered! While the older vets began to decline, management tried to plug holes with high profile free agents and blockbuster trades; Juan Samuel and Frank Viola in 89; Vince Coleman and John Franco in 91, and Bret Saberhagen and Bobby Bonilla in 92. The team was worse every year, culminating in a 90 loss season in 1992. The organization collapsed and didn’t recover until Mike Pizza graced us in the late 90’s.
Flash forward 2006. The Mets dominated all summer long! Led my grizzled veterans (Lo Duca, Delgado, Glavine, Pedro) and young studs (Wright, Reyes, Maine, Beltran); they where locks to win the NL East crown, especially after dominating the Dodgers in the NLDS. They where certain locks to crush the woeful Cardinals who barely got into the playoffs with an 83-78 record. However, light hitting catcher Yadier Molina had different plans. His shocking HR off Aaron Heilman at Shea shocked the Mets in game 7 of the NLCS, and sent them packing. The Cardinals went on to beat the Tigers, etc etc etc.
The team never recovered. While the older vets began to decline, management tried to plug holes with high profile free agents and blockbuster trades; Moises Alou in 2007; Johan Santana in 2008; Krod and JJ Putz in 2009; and Jason Bay in 2010. The team has not been producing!
I can’t help but feel that history is repeating itself. I know the Mets are not that far out this year, but do we really feel that they have the personnel to compete for the NL East let alone the NL crown this year? Remember when Davey Johnson was fired in 1990, they made a run under Bud Harrelson…it was a mirage! This team has way too many question marks! Too many holes! Johan doesn’t look like his normal self; Jason Bay and Reyes are struggling mightily; The manager makes some head-scratching moves daily! I can’t help but fear that we are on an elevator to hell…..going down!……Again!
I love this team and want it to succeed more than anything in the world, but I honestly feel that we aren’t heading in the right direction. The Mets as an organization needs to stop using this “WIN NOW” philosophy, and we as fans should understand (I think most would). This has killed us in the past and will kill us today. I say, lets rebuild like the Yankees did in the 90’s….from the inside up. Once we rebuild our homegrown core, we can add quality free agents to fill out the team.
Right now, much like 1989, it appears we have no organizational philosophy, and I don’t want to hear about someone throwing firecrackers into a pack of reports ever again!