Thursday, June 30, 2016
I see I missed very little.
I'll try to sum up my thoughts right now in brief, but I, like most Mets fans, don't feel very good right now. Yes, it still feels like 2015 and the Mets could snap themselves back into place and into contention, but as it sits right now, I don't know where the savior is going to come from. The Mets could at least rely on whacking around some lousy teams for a while last year to keep them afloat, but this year, they've struggled against Atlanta, they're behind the Fucking Marlins in the standings altogether (and I assure you nothing would be more galling to me than getting assed out by the fake team) and they just got their doors blown off by the Nationals.
And, if all that weren't bad enough, here come God's Gift to Baseball, 2016, the Chicago Cubs, the team that's been annihilating everyone in their path for months, and, I'm quite certain, itching to stick it to the Mets after what happened last October. I'd been toying with going to Friday night's game, but I kind of have the feeling I may want to skip this one. Maybe tonight will dictate my behavior.
Regardless, the problems with the Mets right now just feel more insurmountable than they do last year. When the offensive issues hit, the Mets tried to weather it as long as they could and then made some moves. This year, it seemed like it wouldn't be the same case, considering Cespedes was here, and Neil Walker would be an adequate enough replacement for Murphy, and sure, Walker and Cespedes and Cabrera have all played well enough. But that hasn't solved the problem. Again, the Mets came into a season with a team predicated on starting players performing to their expected levels. Not everyone has done that, and nor could they have been expected to. Larger issues, the Michael Conforto dilemma, Lucas Duda missing extended time, Kevin Plawecki's failure to ascend to name a few, magnify the offensive issues. The pitching, so talented and yet so fragile, has looked alternately amazing and miserable. And now there's bone chips or bone spurs or whatever in two of their elbows and while everyone insists everything's fine, the results seem to indicate otherwise.
But more than anything, the killer instinct isn't there. I know it's one of those weird intangible buzzwords that people like to talk about but there's something to it. How many times late last season were the Mets dead in the water only to rally and kick the other team in the teeth? Hell, they did it to Washington so many times they basically ran half their bullpen out of town. That's not happening now. Now, when they get behind it seems like the game's over, and that's really a horrible way to feel about a team.
By the end of 2008, I'd become convinced that the Mets of that era were simply good enough to contend, but not a championship team, and that 2006 was the anomaly. When they fell into the abyss in 2009, I was proven right, although I can't say I'm at all proud of that. I'm not going to go and say that what happened last year was the anomaly for this era of the Mets. If it was, that would be an embarrassment, because this thing should be shaping up to be the Golden Age of the Mets. This could still happen. Teams overachieve, as the Mets probably did in 2015, and then regress the following season after the league catches up before launching to the next level the following year. Then again, teams overachieve and then take it one step further the following year, too.
Point is, it's too soon to say that 2015 was a fluke, especially since the 2016 season is barely half over. But it doesn't look especially encouraging right now, and I'm not sure I can see where the fix for this team is coming from, and maybe that's what's most frustrating about this season to this point. They've proven, at times, that they're as good as they looked last season. But they haven't sustained that level and right now they're not even approaching it. People are already dropping out on this team and when you have a fan base that's as fragile as this one, it's not especially surprising.