Being so caught up in the Mets-Marlins and Cub-Brewers games, I didn’t even bother to notice that the Phillies also won yesterday, pushing the Mets back to finishing three games behind in the National League East. It basically would have taken four more wins during the season to take the division, but still only one more win to force a one game playoff with the Brewers for the Wild Card, and two more wins to have clinched it. Three more wins, and we would have gone head to head with the Phillies for the division title, and had we lost that, we still would have taken the Wild Card.
If only the Mets had brought in Daniel Murphy from third base after leading off the ninth with a triple earlier last week. If only the Mets had not blown seven saves for Johan Santana throughout the year, and only blew, let’s say, three. If only this and if only that.
How long could this team come go on coming so close without winning before they give up or lose all of the “talent” they currently possess? We saw it with the Braves and the Yankees, how they put together one championship team after another, year after year in the 90’s, and now neither of them are in contention anymore. Eventually the talent gets too old or moves on, and the team is suddenly no longer built the way it once was, when it was predicted by everyone in the sport to win it all. It’s inevitable that the same will happen to the Mets, only we have to hope that they manage to squeeze out at least one World Series victory before that day comes.
The Mets need an overhaul. They need a whole new bullpen, except for Joe Smith. Ayala has to go. Heilman has to go. Schoeneweiss has to go. And on and on and on. They need a second baseman, a left-fielder (unless Murphy proves he is ready for the job full-time) and possibly a catcher. And regardless of what the reports say or how anyone feels, they need a new manager as well. Obviously Willie Randolph was not the problem because the Mets found themselves in the exact same position, ironically playing the exact same team, on the last day of 2008 that they did in 2007. To say that last year they underachieved and this year they overachieved is crap. They so underachieved this year as well, it’s just that compared to the way they started the year, they ended on a much better note than anyone thought they were going to. Mets fans are getting tired of standing by their team and accepting mediocrity. It’s not that we’ll ever stop supporting them; it’s not that we’ll ever lose pride. But for crying out loud, let’s go already!
Yesterday was quite a disappointment for Mets fans in every aspect. Not only were our hopes of October baseball put to rest, but so was our beloved Shea Stadium. It would have been nice to go out with a bang, but that wasn’t to be. The ceremonies were absolutely incredible to watch on tv, I can only imagine what it was like in person. Although, if you didn’t have a front row seat, it may have actually been better watching from home. SNY did an outstanding job of covering the celebration all day. Tears filled my eyes several different times while watching the closing ceremonies, but especially when Piazza and Seaver closed the gates in center field at the very end. It really hit me hard, where I didn’t think it would. I never imagined I would get that emotional over a buillding. But it’s not the structure going down that breaks my heart. It’s the memories it holds, that will be hard to recall without having the place to go back to.