There will be a twinge of sadness in the air for the New York Mets this afternoon at Citi Field, as the final day of the season means dreams and hopes long forgotten.
It means the expectations of spring have died, that there is no more time, that precious little – if anything – can be salvaged, and soon the plush green of the outfield will be covered by bitter snow.
Once again, the goal of this game – to compete in October – will go unfulfilled for the Mets as they succumbed to injuries, thin talent and long stretches of mediocrity to limp through a fifth straight losing season.
Yes, there will be sadness today at Citi Field, but also moments of reflection and perhaps optimism.
Today also includes the honoring of Mike Piazza, who will be inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Hall of Famers Tom Seaver and Gary Carter. Someday, Piazza could graduate from the Mets’ Hall of Fame by the Jackie Robinson Rotunda to the Hall in Cooperstown. It would be fitting for the greatest hitting catcher in baseball history, and one of the central figures when the franchise last saw October.
The Mets will celebrate Piazza’s career with the Mets, the team he said he would like to honor by having the interlocking “NY’’ on the cap in his Hall of Fame plaque, that is if enough voters can see their way through the PED accusations and accompanying stigma.
There will be speakers lauding Piazza’s brilliant career today against the backdrop of photos of him in action. When it is over, there will be another long deserved standing ovation before attention is turned to the Mets, who will try to avoid sliding into the offseason with a four-game losing streak.
Despite another disappointing season, which saw the promise of Matt Harvey shut down with an elbow injury that could prevent him from pitching before 2015, the Mets are expected to announce the extension of manager Terry Collins’ contract.
Extensions are given with the promise of better days to come, and for the Mets, with the contract of Johan Santana off the books, that should mean money spent on talented players.
Those players might not have the career of a Piazza, but there’s always hope, which is the essence of baseball, even after another long season.
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