It Will Take 5 Years Until We Are Competitive

An article by posted on May 22, 2010

How would we feel if we were told this by the Mets front office?

It’s become very evident over the last several seasons our loyalty has been tested. This team and management has displayed a total lack of direction and focus. We fans have sat on the sidelines and continually pointed fingers and placed blame at everyone and everything.

We have no swagger. We don’t play with confidence. We have no starting pitching. We have no relief pitching. We’re too young. We’re too old. Our new stadium is too big. We have too many injuries so it must be the trainer’s fault. We don’t hit with runners in scoring position. Rick Peterson must be the one to blame. No, wait, it’s Hojo’s fault. We spent too much on Castillo. We didn’t offer enough to Roy Halladay. David Wright needs to step up and become team leader. Carlos Beltran needs to play with more emotion. Jose Reyes doesn’t have the ‘baseball smarts.’ Gary Sheffield is too old. F-Mart is too young. It’s Fred’s fault! It’s Jeff’s fault!! It’s Omar’s fault!!!

Didn’t it seem like just yesterday it was all Willie Randolph’s fault? I thought once we fired him things would improve. Didn’t happen. Aaron Heilman was the root of all evil in Mets Nation. Once we send him packing everything will improve. Hmm, that didn’t happen either.

The Wilpon’s doled out big money to some of the top free agents in the game. Big stars like Delgado, Beltran, Pedro, Johan, Wagner, K-Rod and Bay were eager to come to the Mets. Surely these veteran stars combined with up and coming youngsters like Wright and Reyes would bring many post-seasons to Queens. 

We were sure that our trip to the post-season in 2006 was only the beginning. Little did we know it was really the end.

Like many of you, I am a total loss at what to do. Or even what to suggest. Nothing seems to work out. When our pitching does well, we don’t score. (case in point: Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Yankees.) When our hitting erupts, our pitching falters. (case in point: last Sunday we score 8 runs but lose 10-8) It’s only May and we are already 7 behind the Phillies. That’s the same Phillies club that has played many games without MVP Jimmy Rollins.

Lets face facts. Our huge off-season acquisition is not yet paying dividends. Jason Bay was given $66 million. And why not? In 2009, he hit 36 HR’s with 119 RBI’s. We are one-fourth through this season and Bay is on pace to hit 4 HR’s with 64 RBI’s.

We seem to be putting band-aids on bullet holes. In only 14 years we have employed 5 different managers and 5 different GM’s (probably soon to be 6). And in spite of the revolving door, we have managed just one pennant. By comparison, over that same time frame, our cross-town rivals have employed only 2 managers and 2 GM’s. They have 5 championships and 7 pennants.

I’m beginning to wonder if it’s perhaps time to tear everything down and start over. But we have to ask ourselves are we willing to wait. From 1977-1979, the Mets lost 98, 96 and 99 games respectively and finished last each season. New management came in and brought with them a new GM named Frank Cashen. The entire organization from top to bottom was in turmoil. We had a farm system in disarray (sound familiar?),  a dwindling fan base (sound familiar?) and the Yankees owned New York (sound familiar?)  The new owners offered nothing more then a slogan (The Magic is Back) and Cashen offered nothing more then a promise. He boldly stated that it will take 5 years for the Mets to become competitive. For the following 3 years (skipping the strike shortened season of 81), the Mets lost 95, 97 and 94 games. It took 3+ years to see some light at the end of the tunnel when Darryl and Keith arrived within weeks of each other in 1983.

Are we willing to wait? Are we willing to lose the short term for possible long term gains? How would we feel if the Mets GM, whoever it may be, said that we will not be legitimate contenders until 2016? Are we willing to concede the next 5 years and sit idly by listening to the trash-talking Phillies? Are we okay with battling the Nats for 4th place for the next half-decade?

I am wondering what the future holds. How much longer will the Wilpon’s continue to throw money at players without getting results? How long will they continue to deal with decreasing attendance? I would rather not wait, but at this point, I’m not sure what else would help.

About the Author ()

A Mets fan since 1973, Rob was born in the shadow of Yankee Stadium. Luckily, his parents moved to Queens at a young age so he was not scarred by pinstripes. Currently living in Las Vegas, he writes crime fiction and mysteries.

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