Unless the Mets discover a sense of pride and their offense this weekend, it is conceivable the Philadelphia Phillies will celebrate winning the NL East in front of their eyes. In 2007 and 2008 the Mets collapsed and were eliminated on the final day of the season. Last year was lost from June on.
This year, from their dugout, the Mets can watch their rivals celebrate success, something they haven’t been able to do since 2006.
And, even if the Phillies don’t bring back slugging outfielder Jayson Werth, the Phillies should remain far superior to the Mets.
They are better at starting pitching and in their bullpen, dwarf the Mets in power, and when it is all on the line, they aren’t afraid to make the big deal. Last year they brought in Cliff Lee; this year it was Roy Oswalt. And, of course, let’s not forget Roy Halladay while the Mets let the pitching market dwindle.
Both teams have had their share of injuries, but the Phillies acted through trade and a deeper minor league system to tread water when Ryan Howard and Chase Utley went down. The Mets forced the issue with Carlos Beltran last year which could conceivably cost them his services for the first half of this season. They also pushed the envelope with Jose Reyes when they should have disabled him around the All-Star break.
The Phillies have more pitching, more power, a front office willing and capable of making the big deal, and an overflowing ballpark that has them printing money to patch whatever holes.
This could be the third straight season the Phillies reach the World Series; the Mets have done it four times in their history.
The Phillies seem to do whatever it takes to improve. The Braves got better this year. The Marlins can’t be dismissed. The Mets? Well, they have $130 million earmarked to bring back the same group of dysfunctional players next year.
The Mets players might not think of that this weekend when they watch the Phillies celebrate. Maybe the Wilpons and management will.