Still Believin’

The story as I remember it, goes something like this: the 1973 Mets were struggling, they weren’t playing up to their potential, when general manager M. Donald Grant called a team meeting. At the end of the meeting Grant told the Mets “I believe in you guys”, at which point pitcher Tug McGraw yelled out “YA GOTTA BELIEVE!”. We all pretty much know what happened in 1973. The Mets went on to win the NL East, they beat a much better Cincinnati Reds ballclub in the NLCS, only to lose the World Series to the Oakland A’s. In 1974 we believed even more ( Ya gotta Believe More in ’74). Whether McGraw thought the speech was a bunch of nonsense is unknown, but a rallying cry was born.

There is still a lot of baseball left in this 2009 baseball season. The Mets still have eight more head-to-head matchups against the Phillies, its far, far from over. A key point we need to keep in mind here is that the Phillies have not exactly run off with the division. Remember the Phillies are the World Champions, the self proclaimed team to beat. This division is still very wide open. Heck, if you listen to the way some folks carry on about Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn, you could still almost believe the Nats have a shot. Right now the Marlins, Braves and Mets can all catch the Phils with a good week of baseball.

This past weekend’s series against the Phillies was important. Not only for the Mets, but for the Phillies too. Imagine if the Mets had swept the series, the Phillies would be a game behind the Replace Mets. They’d be screaming for Charlie Manuel’s job. The Phillies, the basically healthy Phillies, swept the the Replace Mets. They still only lead the Mets by 4 games.

It would be great to take 4 of the next 6 this week heading into the All Star Break. A huge test is Wednesday night when the Mets could really use a quality start from Ollie Perez. It’s time for Ollie to come up big and help this team out in the second half with some solid performances.

The Mets also need to regain some confidence. Having a manager who says we need to play .500 baseball until everyone comes back, does not instill confidence. These are professional ball players. They know how to play the game, they just need a shot in the arm. Maybe a decent start form OP would be the shot they need.

If there were such a thing as a New York Sports Fan Dictionary, and if we were to look up the word “loyal”, the first definition would be our brothers, the New York Jets fans (for the record, I’m a GIANTS fan). The second definition would be Mets fans. I’m just as tired as you guys about this team’s struggles, the injuries, the bad fielding, and the oh-fer weekends. But it’s not too late, and it can still all change. Things can only be so bad, for so long. This week at Citi I believe it all changes… the Mets luck will change.

Ya Gotta Believe man, Ya Gotta Believe.