The date was Sunday, October 3. The Mets suffered a heartbreaking, but yet typical loss, losing 2-1 to the Nats in 14 innings. Thus the curtain came down on 2010 and we ended the season 79-83.
Within hours of the 2010 season ending, we had already given up on 2011. Normally winter is a time for fans to regroup, refocus and ‘wait till next year.’ But when 2010 ended, we were already saying ‘wait till a few years.’
The calm demeanor of Jerry Manuel was replaced with the no-nonsense approach of Terry Collins. Much disliked big spending Omar Minaya was replaced with the spendthrift analytical Sandy Alderson. But still the negativity stayed.
When Mike Pelfrey finally took the mound on Opening Day only one thing was sure: That we had no hope for 2011. Our SP would not be competitive, our bullpen was a joke and the health of our biggest stars was uncertain.
Here we are at the All-Star Break. Our Opening Day starter, our “ace”, has a total of 5 wins through 3 ½ months. Our “true” ace has not pitched all season. Our premier offensive threat has been on the DL since mid-May. Our supposed big HR hitter, Jason Bay, has just 6 and has not even reached 30 RBI’s yet. Young sensation Ike Davis hasn’t played since May 10. Jose Reyes was having an MVP-type season until the arrival of the ghost of hamstrings past.
Yes, a lost season indeed. The talk of rebuilding has not let up since Opening Day. It seems a foregone conclusion the Mets may very well be sellers at the trading deadline. It’s very likely that Beltran, K-Rod, Reyes and even possibly Pelfrey may be on borrowed time. We all accept that and have come to live with that fact. My question is ‘Why?’
In spite of the turmoil in the front office, the nagging injuries, the recurring injuries, the lack of a legitimate HR threat, this team has remained competitive. We have played decent solid baseball. Terry Collins has won over his harshest critics, myself included.
We are 46-45, just 7 ½ out of the wildcard. Will we catch the Phillies? No, not a chance. Will we turn it up and sneak into the wildcard? Probably not. But anything is possible. Unless I missed something, the season IS 162 games, not 91.
Whereas the pessimism has remained and the talk of a lost season has not ceased, I see an opportunity. We do have a chance, an outside shot, to still do something amazin’. If any team in Baseball is capable of a miracle, it is our Mets.
I see the following: I see a team that is still in contention, that is competitive. And soon (hopefully) we’ll be getting back Wright, possible MVP Reyes and former Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana. If Jason Bay continues to improve and Beltran stays the course, why are we even considering becoming sellers?
“Ya Gotta Believe’ is our mantra. But is it just something we regurgitate or is it something we really do believe? I still believe.
The Mets are 46-45, 3rd place, just 7 ½ out of the wildcard. It was July 10th of another year. On this date, the Mets defeated Houston, 1-0, when Jon Matlack tossed a 1 hit shut out defeating Jerry Reuss. With Matlack’s victory, the Mets were now 10 games UNDER 500, sitting in last place in the NLE, 12 games out of first. And 1973 seemed to turn out pretty good. I’m sure as hell glad the pessimism and defeatist attitude we display today was not present in 1973.