There are only five games left for the Mets—thank God. Once the 162nd game is played, we can then turn our attention to brighter and happier pastimes, such as starting petitions to get Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel fired, drinking so much tequila that we forget this season (or decade) ever happened and forming an angry mob while chasing the Mets out of town after Sunday’s game with pitchforks and torches.
Over the weekend, when the Mets took on the Marlins, there was a lot of talk about the team playing the role of spoiler by the SNY announcers. None of the talk came from the team itself. The SNY guys all felt the Mets should be chomping at the bit to knock Florida out of the wild card race after what the Fish did to the Metsies at the end of the last two seasons. They were practically begging the team to show some type of spark and wanted payback for the previous seasons’ endings.
But the players themselves didn’t really care about that, and a few ideas were thrown out there on the reasons why. The Mets actually did win the series and pretty much ended Florida’s hopes of catching up to the Rockies (or Braves) in the race. They were pretty blasé about the whole thing, though. Here are my theories.
The season has been such a disaster and total nightmare that the players are so beaten down at this point that they just want the season to end. We all want the season to end, too, but this was their opportunity to play with some passion for a change and stick it to a team that hates them. And they actually accomplished that, but they still didn’t care.
The Mets of the last four years or so think they’re better than they are. They act like they’re an upper echelon team that has accomplished something, when in fact they’ve authored three straight catastrophes in a row along with a disappointing end to 2006.
They think the role of spoiler is beneath them. That’s for bad teams. Well, the Mets are a bad team, regardless of all the injuries. They’ve won one division title in this era and celebrated on the field like they won the World Series. With the exception of the easy playoff win vs. the Dodgers, it’s been one horror show after another for this team since they ran around the field at Shea smoking cigars and thinking they were the greatest thing since sliced cheese (ok, now I want a sandwich). The celebration was way over the top considering they had a lot more work to do.
Another reason there wasn’t a peep about spoiling the Marlins season is that this team has no passion. When they suffer through a losing streak they feel like they’ll win “some other time” so there’s no reason to worry or take losing personally. They’re milquetoast instead of hard-ass. They not only go through the motions playing out the string, but they often go through the motions at the beginning of the season and in the middle.
They certainly would deny that, but that’s how they come across.
Of course, the Mets are so sloppy and mentally deficient ,that they don’t possess the ability to just “turn it on” at will and beat teams. Playing hard should not be an option, but a minimum requirement. It looks like Omar and Jerry will be back next year, and most of the same players probably will be too, but the Mets need to look in the mirror and stop thinking of themselves as being better than they are. They haven’t earned the self image that they carry.