An MMO Fan Shot by Marc Epstein (Mystere2417)
I was born and raised a New York Mets fan.
I came into this world one week before the birth of the franchise. My father was a New York Giants fan, and like many New Yorkers, he embraced the Amazin’s when they came to town as lovable losers and passed the orange and blue fan legacy on to his only son.
Lindsey Nelson, Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy are familiar voices in the soundtrack of my youth. Shea was my shingled shrine and Kiner’s Korner was this kid’s “klubhouse.”
As a boy, I mimicked Tug McGraw’s glove thigh-tap and cried when “The Franchise” was traded in the Midnight Massacre. Yet, I continued to root for the Mets throughout the lean late ‘70s and early ‘80s years that followed. I had a Lee Mazzilli poster, I imitated Willie Montanez’s windmill batting routine, and in college, I drove down from Boston just to attend Tom Terrific’s triumphant return home on Opening Day in 1983.
I persevered, and I was finally rewarded with a magical 1986 World Championship. I convinced myself that all the losing eventually tilted karma our way, and being the underdog made winning that much sweeter.
Since then, I’ve attended many memorable Mets moments: the first Subway Series Mets win at Yankee Stadium, the 1999 Wild Card-tying finale after an 11-year postseason absence, the 9/11 game that rallied the nation, the Ryan curse-breaking Johan Santana no-hitter, the 2013 All-Star Game hosted at Citi Field, and the 2000, 2006 and 2015 postseasons.
Yet, despite some significantly joyful moments, being disappointed and embarrassed by the Mets organization is an unfortunate byproduct of Mets fandom that the franchise simply cannot shake. Maybe I’m just tired of being disappointed year after year and decade after decade. Call me selfish, but I want to root for a winner. We had one in 2015, but it turned out to be all too fleeting. Now we have the New York Mess.
The 2018 Mets are an epic disappointment.
It is embarrassing to watch a second straight season when many of our top players hobble through games when they aren’t otherwise on the DL. I’m tired of watching our second stringers go through the motions with little enthusiasm, even less talent and seeming indifferent to the outcome of the games.
Three seasons removed from the 2015 World Series, we have a new manager, new coaching staff, new training staff, and we suck. We’ve gone from the penthouse to the outhouse, and someone has to be held accountable for that. Throughout the history of the franchise, the Mets have had a problem with the timely application of accountability. That’s the problem, and that’s what has to change.
The easy target is ownership, where the buck literally stops. The Wilpons have not exactly endeared themselves to New Yorkers. The media and the fans complain that Fred and Jeff are arrogant, indifferent, tone deaf and frugal because they don’t act like big market owners and match the payroll and thirst for winning of the Evil Empire across town.
But to be fair and honest, money is not the problem. The problem is that it takes forever for anyone to be taken to task and held accountable. From M. Donald Grant to Terry Collins, this has always been a franchise issue. And the Mets will never sustain success without it. That’s how business thrives and how life works — accountability. And the Mets don’t have it.
Despite the greatness of Jacob deGrom and the emergence of several other key contributors, every component of this team is broken or broken down in some way.
The offense is historically pathetic, defense only exists on the left side of the infield, the team lacks speed, our fastest runners never learned how to steal a base, and no one knows how to bunt, hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield to move a runner on second base to third base, or loft a sacrifice fly to the outfield. We incredibly have one player with plate discipline, intangibles are obsolete, and the bullpen is an abyss.
I hate to say this because it’s not entirely fair, but it has been long enough to say that any GM, manager and coach should get fired for this abomination.
Cleaning management’s house won’t fix the problems that are causing us to go through this agony, though. It won’t make the Wilpons open the vault for Manny Machado. It won’t help Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard get healthier any quicker. It won’t cure Jay Bruce from the nagging injuries that have sapped his power and mobility. It won’t fix the timing of Michael Conforto’s swing, the accuracy of Wilmer Flores’s throws, or the bend on Jerry Blevins’ curve ball.
But before we can begin to fix the problem, we have to first identify the problem. When will someone be held accountable? Only after that happens can we finally move forward in our quest to be true contenders
This was a Fan Shot by Marc Epstein (Mystere2417). Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to GetMetsmerized@aol.com or use this Contact Form. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.