N.L. East: Will the Mets Ever Get Turned Around?
It’s not easy being a New York Mets fan. For every one of their “Miracle Years” there are about five where they just flat out stink. Stinking in the same city as one of sports greatest franchises just magnifies the problem. You can stink in Kansas City or Houston and nobody notices. You stink in New York and it’s in front of the world.
Nothing the Mets do ever seems to work out for them. They try to compete in the free agent market, the get burned on Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, or Johan Santana. They try to build from within, they end up with Ike Davis types that show promise at first, but then crash and burn. They get a good player, like Jose Reyes, and he gets tired of beating his head against the wall and goes free agent.
The last time the Mets were competitive was 2008. That was the second of back to back collapses, which followed 2006 when Carlos Beltran stood frozen at the plate in the bottom of the ninth of Game Seven with the bases loaded, which sent the St. Louis Cardinals to yet another World Series title and the Mets home to wonder what might have been. Even when the Mets are good, they can break you heart.
When the Mets are in the postseason, magic often happens. There was Ron Swoboda and Al Weiss in 1969. There was Buddy Harrelson vs Pete Rose in 1973. There was the miracle rally in Game Six in 1986 which ended with the “Bill Buckner Play.” There was the 1988 NLCS homer by Mike Scioscia to tie Game Four. There was Todd Pratt’s walk-off homer in 1999 to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS. There was the near-miracle rally from a 3-0 hole against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS that year. The Endy Chavez double-play in Game Seven of the 2006 NLCS was one of the greatest plays in baseball history.
The Mets in the postseason just seems to make it better. Maybe, that’s because it rarely happens. Those years in between are painful to watch. Just when you think the Mets have something, they revert back to their losing ways.
Recently, the Mets looked like contenders when they swept a four game series from the hated New York Yankees. They promptly went to South Florida to face the woeful Miami Marlins with a chance to extend a five game win streak and sniff .500. They lost three in a row to a team with only 13 wins all season. And since then they have once again tanked.
Even when the Mets have a bright spot, like with this season’s young pitching phenom Matt Harvey, it doesn’t seem to last long. Harvey is now having some injury issues and a lack of run support. He has been stuck on five wins since his first five starts.
But what really hurts is watching former players like Angel Pagan and Beltran help other teams win World Series Championships. It makes fans wonder if it’s some kind of curse.
It may be time for the Mets to clean house and start over. That means from the top down. They need a new G.M., new manager, new coaches, and bring up the young players like Zack Wheeler. Trade David Wright for prospects. Trade John Buck for prospects. Start over from scratch.