Sunday, October 3, 2010

The End of a Season... and, We Hope, an Era

*sigh*... I guess I should write a few words on the end of the Mets' 2010 season. Well, it wasn't good. Record-wise, the team improved over last year, but really, it felt like more of the same old crap. There was a brief, shining stretch in June when things seemed to finally come together and the Mets actually reached first place for a day or two... but that quickly fell apart. The dead weight that the team has been carrying has never felt heavier. All sorts of off-field bullshit turned Citi Field into a circus and management continued to be more clueless than we thought. There were some bright spots, like the return of David Wright (too many strikeouts notwithstanding), the rise of Ike Davis, the emergence of Angel Pagan, the coming-of-age of Mike Pelfrey and the surprise awesomeness of R.A. Dickey. On the rare occasion that Jose Reyes was healthy, he seemed like his old self. Also, the overdue addition of more Mets-related stuff at Citi Field was nice (and the food options were still top-notch). These good things just weren't nearly enough to overcome the bad stuff.

And so, after today's fitting final loss (Ollie hits a batter and walks three to surrender the go-ahead run in the 14th inning... gimme a goddamn break), the season is mercifully over. Looks pretty certain that Jerry and Omar will be fired soon... maybe tomorrow. From there... who knows. Gotta hope that the team will finally bite the bullet and dump the dead weight. Hopefully they can manage to avoid paying K-Rod next year -- f’ing jackass. Probably makes sense to hold on to Beltran -- figure we'd have to pay most of his salary to unload him, so we might as well pay him to play for us. Gotta pray that Jason Bay rebounds next year, Reyes can stay healthy, Johan comes back soon, and the kids continue to grow, etc. Beyond that... I dunno. All I really want is for the Mets to field a team that is fun and exciting to watch, and if we creep back into contention, all the better. (Bringing back Bobby V would be a big step in the right direction....)

My personal record at Citi Field was actually not too shabby -- I attended 18 games and the Mets won 11 of them. Granted, there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about, regardless of the game result... but there were still a few standout moments: My triumphant return to Opening Day after getting getting shafted out of tix last year. Big Pelf shutting down the Phillies to complete an improbable three-game shutout sweep. A big six-run 8th inning comeback vs. the Nats. A 10th inning walk-off homer by Henry Blanco vs. the Giants. I got to hang out in the Acela Club on a nasty September night. And how about the fact that I won the Mets Speed Text Challenge not once, but TWICE! Christos Steakhouse, here I come!

(For the record, the worst game I attended this year was a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of the Diamondbacks, highlighted by one of Ollie's most dismal appearances. And it was made even worse by the fact that the game followed the Mets Hall of Fame induction of '86 heroes Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Davey Johnson and Frank Cashen. Oy.)

So, what will 2011 bring for the New York Mets? Beats the hell of out me. Youth? Promise? Stability? Fire? Basic fundamentals? Some combination of these things would be nice. As usual, the groundwork is there -- I'd build my team around Wright and Reyes every time -- now let's see if the youngsters can flourish and management can do what they need to do and put together a team that we can be proud of. It’s becoming increasingly more difficult, but I still believe. LET'S GO METS in 2011!

Oh, and here’s hoping for a Rays-Reds World Series! (Or, really, anything but the Yanks and Phils.)

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