Doesn’t Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS seem like it took place a decade ago? The Mets were THAT CLOSE to a World Series berth and potential championship after a magical season in which they dominated the NL the entire year.
Ever since Yadier Molina homered off Aaron Heilman and Carlos Beltran took strike 3 to end the series, it’s been a painful, downhill slide, with no end in sight. When you fall off of a cliff, you have to hit rock bottom at some point, right? But every time you think it can’t get any worse, or it can’t get more painful, it does.
– A monumental 2007 collapse topped off with a “gem” by Tom Glavine. Enough said about that season.
– A wacky 2008 which saw the Mets fire their manager in the middle of the night on the West Coast, rebound under Jerry Manuel to take over first place, only to finish off the season with yet another late-September collapse.
– The optimism surrounding a fresh start in a new ballpark for 2009 evaporating almost immediately. It started with complaints about Citi Field – everything ranging from a lack of Mets presence to overpriced seats to obstructed views. It then continued with injury after injury, loss after loss, with a Luis Castillo dropped pop-up in between. Oh, and if an abysmal season wasn’t enough, the cherry on top: a Yankees-Phillies World Series. C’mon, really? You can’t make this stuff up.
Mets fans were ready to turn the page on ’09 in July, so with the Winter Meetings and Hot Stove, we clung to some hopes (or dreams) that Omar & the Wilpons would do something major – something to improve the club and give fans reason to be excited for 2010. We should have known better.
Roy Halladay? Nope – and worse, he goes to the Phillies! John Lackey? No thanks Mets, I’ll go to Boston. Free agents are going off the board left and right, and what do the Mets have to show for themselves? 2 backup catchers and a backup middle infielder. Nice!
Truth be told, the Mets need several pieces to become a true contender. I actually don’t want to see Omar and the Mets overpay for Matt Holliday or Jason Bay just to make a splash. I’m concerned that they’ll do just that – or give 3 years to Bengie Molina, or give Jason Marquis or Joel Piniero an Oliver Perez-like contract which they’ll be stuck with.
I don’t know what the answers are. But the most frustrating thing in all of this is that I have no confidence that the Mets’ management has a clue as to what the answers are, or that they even have a plan. The Wilpons gave us a nice ballpark, but they don’t know a thing about running a baseball team. Signing Omar Minaya to a 3 year extension BEFORE last season is proof enough of that. Minaya doesn’t know how to put together a major league club, farm system, or talk to the media. The only thing he does know how to do is overpay for free agents that other teams have no interest in (Perez, Castillo).
So what do we have to look forward to? It’s hard to argue with the Daily News’ recent cover – the Mets are Scrooged.