Last Mets post, I promise
Faith and Fear in Flushing captures thing perfectly:
I never liked this team. Early on, when they were ahead of last year’s pace, I was vaguely embarrassed by this. Like a lot of us, I found myself groping for explanations, and worrying about why they left me cold. Was this the ugly side of raised expectations? Of the first stages of hegemony? Was this how being a Yankee fan began? What wasn’t to like?
But I struggled to warm to them during the spring, and when they stumbled through the summer I stopped fighting it. I let a bit of hard-earned cynicism take over, dissecting fandom like social scientists examine human attachment. I told myself that when they made the playoffs, I’d find myself liking them just fine. But then the second half of September came, with the second horrible body blow administered by the Phillies, the inept handling of the pitching staff, the idiotic displays of temper, and the repeated assheaded baseball. And finally, those horrifying quotes by Delgado and Glavine and Pedro, the astonishing admissions that yeah, the team was bored and complacent. That right there was the end of the pretending that I would change my mind.
Minaya never replenished the bullpen after letting Bradford and Oliver go, and Sanchez didn’t get healthy. All the people he expected to help (Burgos, Joe Smith, Adkins, Mota) were awful. He traded Heath Bell and Brian Bannister (a potential fifth starter), which didn’t help. This failure by Minaya also forced Randolph to move Jorge Sosa (his fifth starter) to the bullpen, leaving the Mets vulnerable every fifth day. After a few starts by Brian Lawrence led to losses, they got help from Pelfrey, but then Randolph decided, even after Duque went down, to go with a six man rotation. This meant bringing Lawrence back in mid-September (a loss), and starting Philip Humber (another loss when Humber and bullpen couldn’t hold a 5-0 lead in the 3rd inning) in his first career start, with five games to go and a two game lead (no young starter had ever, in 100 years, had a debut that late in the season of a close race, according to Elias). The six man rotation, especially Humber’s start, were inexcusable examples of Randolph assuming he had the division won and could rest Pedro’s admittedly still recovering arm. I’m sorry, but Pedro needed to make those starts, especially the Humber start. They came up one game short. The players are another story. Hernandez referred to ‘hubris’ and ‘pride goeth before the fall’. He was referring to the Mets’ comments this week (although he may have been thinking of Bush as well). The past three weeks have been the worst sports’ fan experience of my life. My only comfort is that my team didn’t blow a 3-0 lead in a playoff series to their archrivals.
This brings me to a newfound revelation: I am fucking pissed off at this team. Now, I’ve been sad for a Mets team, I’ve been disappointed, and I’ve been angered at our situation. This is the first time I’ve actually been angry at the team itself. The last time I was this angry at a team, I changed loyalties. Obviously, that isn’t going to happen this time, but I imagine there are others who feel as I do, and I think management will have one hell of time getting us to think kindly of them ever again.
Omar, this is worse than any other disappointment in Mets history. I hope you realize this.