How Do I Forget 2009 When The Mets Won’t Let Me?

There are a lot of conclusions that can be made from this season so far. It is apparent, at least to me, that the team that we know so well and love so hard lack the grit, the guts, the determination, the heart, and even in many minds, the resources to put a winning team on the field. You already know the reasons why the Amazins are strategically where they are. The entire league is familiar with their struggles on the field and within the organization so when it’s time to make a deal, more likely than not, they’ll be over a barrel as the word ‘desperation’ comes to mind. A team in a market this size and with this much prominence could find themselves rebuilding. And now, as if Met fans have not suffered enough, they have to face the added humiliation of having the worst start in 18 years with a loss to the Rockies Wednesday night, 6-5 in 10 innings. This was via a walk off homerun by Jenrry Mejia to Chris Iannetta, bringing the Mets to a 2-6 record.

Why? The blogosphere is full of answers. One answer that stands out in front is simple, basic arrogance. You got an organization that believes that they can fix gashes with band-aids and spit. Somewhere they got the impression that holes in the wall are fix-able with some well applied duct tape and bubble gum. They virtually ignored the fact that the past few seasons have been less than ideal and they would need to make radical changes to contend even beyond 2010. We can talk about the Wilpons’ money matters or if they are the GM in truth as opposed to Minaya being that in theory. Are any of these good enough reasons for the disgraceful drama being played out before our very eyes?

I would never advocate rebuilding in a city this size with a market this large. Maybe I’m dead wrong but I can’t think of even one scenario that I see rebuilding in this market as a good idea. Never. However, there needs to be a renovation. You don’t have to knock the whole house down to remodel it. The base of the structure remains the same but you just change the internals. You leave up the load bearing walls and change the paint, the furniture, the fixtures, etc., and even do some landscaping outside and soon you’ll have a whole new house. What self respecting home owner would pay exorbitantly for sub-standard resources when you know it won’t stand up when it counts? You pay Ollie 36 million for 3 years just because he has the stuff (can’t use or tap into it) to be a #2 pitcher? That proposed Maine for Corey Hart deal looks kind of good to me now. At least, he’s batting .316. We could’ve used him for bench depth if nothing else or to spell Frenchy once in a while. He can hit and that’s helpful based on the batting deficiency we’re seeing. Besides, then Maine would be someone else’s problem. Now who would take him after that performance on Tuesday? If they wanted to make those drastic (but sorely needed) moves in the rotation for example, could they do anything that would help?

For example, if Maine and Perez were pulled from the rotation, who would replace them? Takahashi? Nieve? Mejia? Misch? Gee? Do they make us contenders instantly? It appears that the Mets are on a 17 game straight stretch now so they don’t have the flexibility to skip starters who may not be cutting the mustard. Adjusting the lineup will not do enough to fix what is clearly wrong. I can’t wait until April 30th for a change. I tried, but what we see is too much of a reminder of what we have lived through the past few years. There is a growing sentiment that the Mets cannot compete with this combination of players and with the current organizational structure. Riding the season out is not acceptable as that will give us four disappointing seasons and a fractured fan base. The bubble gum and duct tape experiment has failed miserably. Waiting for the whole month or longer is foolhardy as the psyche of the Mets has been pummeled and it’s difficult to see a comeback from what has ailed these men for nearly four years. What makes them more fit and capable of handling this disappointment in 2010 than in 2007 or 2008 or 2009? Perhaps we see things differently than the Flushing figureheads do. Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya have made public statements that suggest they can keep going with what they have and things will turn around and start resembling what’s been projected for years. Jerry added his version of the company line.

“We’re gonna keep pushing,” he said.  “I think you will see us as a team to be reckoned with.”

We have been fighting and pushing as fans too. We’ve been sold a bill of goods as a fan base. We’ve waited patiently for a team to allow us to walk the streets with pride with our heads held high. We’re tired of being laughingstocks and the butt of sports journalists’ jokes when they talk about New York baseball or the NL East or the highest payrolls in the league. When is enough enough? When the season’s totally out of reach? This is a continuation of the 70-92 season and that cannot stand. Not again. Jason Bay is even pointing to the offense. Guess he’s not accustomed to this kind of power outage. He might have to. 

“It’s not easy. It’s not the ideal scenario.  Not shirking responsibilities, over the last few games, regardless of what the score’s been early, we should still be a better offensive ballclub than we have been.”

Amen to that. I would love to say goodbye to 2009 but the Amazins won’t let me. It’s last year all over again but this time without injury excuses. So now what?