Monday, June 9, 2008

How Fickle Are We?

Four days ago, the Mets were on a roll. They had won 7 out of 9 games - some in thrilling come from behind fashion - and they were 2 losses back of the Phillies. The Mets were sizzling, they had heart. The Mets were back! Then the sky fell. Schoeneweis had a bad inning Thursday night, threw a bad pitch, and the Mets lost by a run. On Friday, David Wright hit a rocket that would've been out of any other ballpark in baseball, a miraculous catch was made and the Mets lost by a run. Oliver Perez pitched well on Saturday, but Feliciano didn't and the Mets lost by a run. Billy Wagner struck Tony Clark out on Sunday with an unhittable fastball on the inside black, and the Mets w- oops, Laz Diaz forgot to call that pitch a strike, the next pitch landed 20 feet over the wall beyond Beltran's outstretched glove and the Mets lost again. Did I mention that the Phillies happened to win 4 in a row?

Now, everything the Mets did right during the previous 9 games has been forgotten. They had heart then, but are now bums who don't give a shit. I won't sit here and try to deny that this team is underachieving. I won't sit here and say that I'm not shaken by what's going on. But this is far from a season ending catastrophe. The Mets are 6 games back in the loss column with 100 games to play. It sure seems like there's lots of season left. There are reasons for hope and reasons for despair. There are reasons to smile and reasons to want to slam your head through a wall.

The problem here, is that this team and season are being viewed like 162 mini championship games. These games aren't all life altering, they're not all Division deciders. However, due to how the Mets finished last year and the expectations after landing Santana, every loss is a disaster - no matter what has transpired around the team the day or week before. No one wants to mention that the Mets played the entire weekend without 2 of their best hitters (Ryan Church and Moises Alou). No one wants to bring up the fact that with a couple of breaks either way, the Mets could've won 2 or all of these games against San Diego. All they want to talk about is that the team has no heart, the season is over. They want to know the best way to smuggle dynamite into Shea so we can destory the Stadium early - since the team obviously has no shot to come back from 6 games in the loss column with 100 games to play. Just like the Phillies had no shot to come back from being 7 games down in the loss column with 17 to play. There's no shot.

Mets fans have been changing their minds more often lately than a high school girl who's pondering whether or not she should give up her virginity. And they've been crying and moaning like little spoiled Yankee fans, who sit at stadiums in pink hats and pink shirts in seats that are paid for by a corporation, or by daddy. They've been making delcarations and then taking them back ever since December:


In December, the Mets fans said that our farm system was barren, we couldn't possibly land Johan. In January, we were going to blow the extension and lose him. In February, we were going to the World Series. Johan was the savior. In April, Johan gave up too many homers. In early May, he gave up 2 runs to the Braves and was labeled a choker. In late May, he dominated the Dodgers for his 7th win and was dazzling. He was about to start dismantling the NL singlehandedly. He gave up 1 earned run this weekend, and he's a chocker again. Right?


He's a bum, let's boo him on Opening Day. It's mid-April and he's turning it around, but let's not anoint him yet. By early May, the cheers had returned. In early June he had a few bad outings. He's a bum again. Huge bum. Waste of life.


In April, he's simply over-rated. What a joke, he's the 4th best SS in OUR DIVISION FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! In early June - Wow, have you seen Reyes lately? He's on pace for career highs in homers and RBI's, and his average is close to .300. How can we let Hanley get voted to the All Star Game over Jose? Let's do something!!

.......What's the point here?

Mets fans need to stop all the knee-jerking. In the case of a few, let them keep having the knee-jerk reactions. Hopefully, they'll kick themselves in the face and shut up. Maybe this team just needs to get Church and Alou back before they turn it on. Maybe a team with a front four of Johan, Pedro, Maine and Perez is too good to keep losing so often. Maybe Pedro will get hurt and Perez will continue to change arm angles and alternate between great and awful. Maybe the ground will melt and Shea Stadium will sink into the abyss before tomorrow night's game against the Diamondbacks.

The Mets have shown the ability to come from behind late, look like worldbeaters.
The Mets have shown the ability to play like absolute trash.

I refuse to believe this is a .500 team - there's simply too much talent here. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, and maybe I won't. But the fans need to relax. Put the pitchfork down, open a beer and watch the season evolve. We know the Mets are capable of anything, so why write them off so early?

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