Saturday, August 20, 2016

Toe Tag

I didn't see any of Friday night's game, and this sort of thing seems to be happening more and more as the Mets spiral into irrelevance. The game was totally forgettable, to the point where all I know about the game was that Steven Matz couldn't start, Seth Lugo started instead, and although he pitched well, nobody else on the Mets did and the end result was a listless 8-1 loss that put the Mets deeper into the hole.

I received an e-mail during the afternoon from the fellow that is kind of the ringleader of the e-mail string I belong to, wondering why nobody had anything to say about the Mets since May. The truth is, there just hasn't been much to talk about. I've had a hard time figuring out things to write about the Mets for several weeks, to the point where I'm now consistently a day or two behind when it comes to writing about games (is that cheating? Does anyone really care?).

There are seasons not like this where the Mets have had no expectations and you have to watch a lot of really bad baseball over the course of the year. Pick a year from 2009 to 2014 and you'll get what I mean. But if there's a plan in place at work and there's signs of life, as there were in 2013 and 2014, there's at least something interesting to write about.

The problem with the Mets in 2016 is that the expectations were high at the start of the season, but the way the year has played out has just been so demoralizing and frustrating that there's not much to say. I mean, I know a lot of fans of other teams like to point and laugh and say that last year was a fluke, but the Mets are better than that. The fact that they've had the volume of injuries that they've had to deal with and still manage to hover around .500 does say something about the future of the team. The pitching, by and large, hasn't been the issue. The talent is still there. But it's hard for the pitchers to win games when they get no run support, and it's tough to score runs when your offense is either injured or regressed. Curtis Granderson is a shell of what he was last year, to the point where I wonder what he has left. Michael Conforto just fell into so many bad habits, and was probably mishandled, that what he needs more than anything else is for this year to end and to come back next year with a clean mind.

What the Mets need more than anything else for next season isn't a series of reactionary trades to rebuild a slumping offense. That would be tantamount to undoing everything that was done to get to this year. I think what they need more than anything else is a Sports Psychiatrist. I'm sure that would help Conforto and it would definitely help guys like Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, and probably other guys who get into bad habits and start pressing too much. The Mets never had a stretch where they could just relax and get on a roll like they did last year. But to call last year an outlier isn't giving this team enough credit for the talent they have. Then again, nobody wants to give the Mets any kind of credit anyway, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the #LOLMets-ers and the BACKMAN BABY morons are crawling back out of the woodwork now that times have gotten tough.

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