A lot can be said about the culture of a franchise and what it can do to both the confidence of the players and the fan base. The best example unfortunately comes from the Bronx where we find the Yankees who are almost synonymous with winning. In Queens though, things never seem to go as well. I don’t want to flat out call it a culture of mediocrity, but watching the fan base embrace the notion of “finishing strong” almost makes that point for me. However with that said, there is certainly some value in the way things have played out this season.
The team’s strong first half allowed the fan base to dream for a few months. Was there more talent here than originally thought? Any thing is possible, right? Well, while its fair to say that anything is possible, I think everyone can conclude that this roster doesn’t have the talent necessary to make a legitimate playoff push. That should be important to a fan base which is trying to implore the team’s front office to make moves this off season. The period of evaluation should have come to a close in recent months as the Mets fell flat on their face in the second half of the season. While the future of the pitching staff still looks strong, the farm system finds an absence of quality prospects elsewhere. If this second half has finally solidified that notion for the front office, then I think their is value in what we’ve endured in recent months.
Two months of doldrums, comprised of poor execution on the field and some bad baseball decisions from the dugout, turned talks of a contract extension for Terry Collins into questions about his future employment. Would consecutive second half slides put the Mets’ manager on the proverbial ropes heading into the final season of his current contract? If I had to guess, had the Mets continued down the path they were on in early August, Collins would have found himself on the hot seat this winter. However the team’s recent play, albeit only a week of inspired baseball at this point, probably puts those thoughts to rest. Terminating Collin’s time with the team would add only another hurdle for the franchise to navigate in this rebuild. Fortunately, at least for the time being, that seems to be off the table.
You see depending on your point of view, there is a certain necessity to this team’s second half mediocrity. I, like every one of you, ultimately yearns to see the Mets bring another World Series title to Queens. And while I’m sick of waiting for the turn around, sick of wading through another season with no apparent direction, sick of the lack of transparency from the team’s upper management, I know that there is value in things working themselves out. The way things have gone this year, should highlight failures in the organization’s decision making.
The path the franchise chose in 2012, didn’t work. The reasons for that path, whether it be their ill-fated belief in their home grown players or simple financial restrictions, really aren’t important. What is important is that it hasn’t worked and changes are necessary. Recent quotes from Sandy Alderson indicate that he acknowledges that. Is that just lip service? I hope not, but I have to think that both the front office and the team’s ownership group has to recognize that they again run the risk of further alienating their greatest asset, the fan base, if this path doesn’t change in short order. So while the second half of 2012 hasn’t been fun and won’t inspire any dreams of playoff baseball, it should ignite the wheels of change for the Mets going forward and therein lies the silver lining of the Mets’ second half.
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