An MMO Fan Shot by Dave (FalseHustle)
I’m not going to do any research on the subject, but I’m confident in proclaiming that most of us around these MMO parts projected the Mets to be a 75-80 win team in 2014. Sure, there were some optimists who claimed .500 was within reach, and those blind loyalists who thought that it would only take a coin flip falling the right way for the Mets to land at 90 wins and a wild-card berth, and then, obviously, a World Series championship, because anything can happen in these short playoff series and the Mets pitching staff is solid, and… But really, most of us understood that the team we are trotting out this year is at best marginally better than the squad that took the field last year. So why, day in and day out, do we act so surprised that they are playing like the 70-80 win team 95% of us predicted they would be?
The losses come horribly. Some of these losses have occurred in the most “Mets” way possible. The bullpen has imploded each and every game. Terry Collins has made multiple tactical blunders. We have had injuries to major players. We have made fielding errors, flailed at pitches out of the zone, looked mismatched in general. But that’s just the Mets, right?! This is what the Mets do. We love the Mets, but we make fun of them all the time. We make fun of our AAAA starting players, our “fat” shortstop, our clueless manager, our double-talking GM and our greedy owners. We commiserate about the product on the field and commiserate about what must be done behind the scenes to improve the team we can’t help but suffer along with. Maybe it distracts us from the product that we are forced to stomach each and every night, but I believe we complain because it’s the only form of catharsis available to us.
But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that this team is truly any worse than we all knew they were going to be. When we were all making our predictions before the season, what did we collectively believe a 75-win team looked like? A 75-win team trots out players who have no business in a major league uniform, just like the Mets do. They scrape the bottom of the barrel for free agents and pick up players off the scrap heap to keep the team afloat, just like the Mets do. They make numerous fielding and batting mistakes, just like the Mets do. They might have a manager who seems completely oblivious to in-game strategy, bungling pitcher/batter matchups and making bizarre roster moves based more on loyalty to veterans than to rookies in an ill-fated attempt to hang onto his job for just one more season, just like the Mets do.
After every game, I come to this site to see what like-minded fans think about the latest Mets’ debacle. And after reading the post-game comments, I’m often baffled. Not at the fact that we, as fans, are fed up. We hate that our team loses so embarrassingly so often, and can’t seem to get their act together, and we hate the ineptitude at seemingly every level, rightly questioning the motivation behind certain moves and the purported “plan” that was supposed to lift us into contention by 2014. I’m baffled because everyone seems so surprised that the Mets are playing the way they do. Why are we surprised when the bullpen blows it? We never thought the bullpen was any good! Why do we moan and cry that Ike Davis and Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada and EYJ can’t seem to, as they say, hit the broadside of a barn? We never thought any of them were going to be worth anything! Why are we surprised when Terry bungles simple in-game transitions, when for multiple seasons we have seen him do the same thing day in and day out?
I just don’t get why we are so shocked that the Mets are playing poorly. I’m not saying to stop rooting for your team to win; of course that’s impossible. I don’t think we should forgive the Mets’ front-office transgressions either- I think they’ve lied to us to protect themselves, but have done so in such a transparent and smug manner that we can’t help but feel personally betrayed by their every word. I just think that we need to temper our continued anger at the day in/day out ineptitude of a team that none of us thought would go far.
They won’t lose 100 games, like some posters here now seem to think. But they sure as hell aren’t going to win 90 games. Can we at least set that one to rest? Can we stop “cleverly” joking, “Hey Sandy, only 90 to go! Har har har”? The guy got caught saying something stupid while trying to placate his clueless bosses. Because he hasn’t fully delivered on his plans to extricate the Mets from their financial and competitive morass, we think he’s an idiot who is actually trying to make the team worse. There’s no way Sandy (or, for that matter, David or Terry) thinks the Mets are winning 90 games (well, maybe Terry does; the guy truly is a mystery to me). Furthermore, deep in our hearts, I don’t believe even one of us here on MMO thought the Mets would win 90.
I’m just trying to understand the lack of perspective. I get the emotion- I have literally broken a chair and punched a hole through a wall after particularly tough Mets’ losses. But I suppose I just can’t completely divorce my emotion from the logic of the situation. This is exactly the sort of team I knew the Mets would field this year, and it’s exactly the sort of team you knew the Mets would field. Going into each game with that knowledge makes it easier to roll your eyes at the on-field blunders and stay calm when the Mets “unexpectedly” blow another lead or forget to bowl over a catcher or walk in a run or whatever stupid Mets-esque thing they did that day.
Nobody likes watching their team play the way the Mets have, and we have every right to get on them for it. But can’t we just go into each game knowing that while sometimes things will fall our way, more often than not we are going to play the way Vegas and many of our smart readers think we will play? We shouldn’t be surprised that they lost all three to the Nationals, and we shouldn’t be surprised if we lose two out of three to the Reds. This is who the Mets are. And to quote Dennis Green (if you’ve read this far, you knew it was coming), “they are who we thought they were!”
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This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave (FalseHustle). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.