Thursday, August 11, 2016

Good Grief

I know that the Mets got their asses handed to them by an awful team for three consecutive days. I also know that for as much as we want to sugarcoat things, the 2016 season is probably in the toilet. With the Mets now caught up in a giant mess of teams and games in the standings, there really isn't much positive to say about what to expect over the final 6 or so weeks of the season. Terry Collins can throw one of his apoplectic shit fits, fans can call for his head (and the "BACKMAN BABY!!!" morons have crawled out of their caves once again—I thought we were done with these closeted Yankee fans) and, well, the rest of us more sensible types can go back to that same level of low-lying depression that seemed to infect us between 2009 and 2014.

What I really get concerned about is what the reaction here ends up being going forward. As I mentioned, I keep likening the 2016 Mets to the 2001 Mets, and really, that's what this season has unraveled into. But the larger issue is that the 2001 Mets begat the 2002 Mets, which were assembled mostly by several reactionary and ill-advised trades and signings that looked good on paper but never gelled, ultimately imploding upon itself in an embarrassing season that set the Mets back 3 years. It was 2005 before they sniffed .500 again and another year before they were a contender with teeth.

And that's just a primary example of how hard it's been, historically, for the Mets to sustain their own success. This is a franchise that has gone to the Postseason in back-to-back seasons once in 55 years. Every time the Mets find some form of greatness, for some reason the following year the air comes out of the sails, whether it's due to injuries, inconsistency, complacency or a lack of desire to improve. I don't know if the Mets, as composed on Opening Day, would have fallen into this pit just as much, but what I can say is that I know they wouldn't have gotten swept, and really embarrassed at home by teams like Arizona, or the Colorados, and they probably wouldn't have gone back to being 4-15 against Washington.

But is that just me trying to draw an excuse for all of this? The 2016 Mets pinned their hopes on several question marks, among them David Wright's ability to play out a full season, Lucas Duda's ability to find more offensive consistency and the continued health and strong performance of the starting pitching. These are three failures that the Mets have only partially been able to recover from, and only because even while injured, both Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz can still pitch reasonably well. Everything else has just been a disaster, and it seems like it's come to a head here. It may be too late; the Mets seem to be well on their way to another 8-20 August death spiral, but what I'm worried about is that this is just the beginning of yet another descent into laughingstockdom.

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