Let us begin by looking at a recent game. Remember, this is not to depress or peeve anyone. It's simply a visual reminder of my point. For your additional viewing pleasure I've added an interactive schedule. I'd like to say enjoy, but remember IT WILL GET BETTER! Look at the photo above ...and remember those days. Let's demand at least some semblance of those glory hours.
METS : 2 Runs; 7 Hits: 1 Error Pitcher: John Niese 3rd Year Leftie Record: 65-67
Braves: 9 Runs 12 Hits 1 Error Pitcher: Mike Minor Rookie Leftie Record: 77-55
Presently losing 0-2 in the second inning at the time of this writing .Here are records and standings in an interactive form. Mets are losing again. http://es.pn/b8wYYW ©2010 ESPN Internet Ventures.
The Mets were the first professional team I can remember following. There was no logical reason for that to happen. All my friends and family were Yankee or Knicks fans. To build upon that, my first love was always basketball, with football a close second. It stands to reason I should have followed the Knicks or Nets or Giants or Jets first. But that was not the case.
I came of age during the Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Wally Backman, Keith Hernandez and Davey Johnson era. I was in college arguing with the locals as the Mets dueled with the Astros in the NLCS and sent them home 4-2.It was epic.
During the World Series I am ashamed to say, as Ray Knight came to bat and my hopes seemed all but dashed, I turned off the television and went to bed despondent. I subsequently missed one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. Ray Knight and Mookie Wilson came through and I unaware until the next morning, moped alone in silence. I have never turned off the television or left a pivotal game since that time...I never will.
The seventh game was a foregone conclusion and I went to NY from my college town and celebrated until I was literally sick
We never made it back to the Series that decade. I still feel we choked in 1988, regardless of the David Cone story that he "ghost wrote". LA Dodgers however claimed it gave them the impetus to win. I
n any case, following the 1980s I must admit, we had some lean years. I believe this was mostly because of Managers Dallas Green and Art Howe. And yes we even made it back to the "Show" in 2000 losing (I say choking.. but hey..) to the Yankees.
I will only casually mention the breaking up my 1980's team. That of course includes the firing of Davey Johnson. I'm also not going to do more than gloss over the fact that Doc and Darryl had some issues and were let go. They eventually joined the Yankees and, Oh Yeah, broke my heart. These things happen and not my point. Also, just a side note. I still think the trade of Kevin Mitchell for Kevin McReynolds in 1987 was the beginning of the end for the "Bad Guys", but let's move along shall we?
My point is, I never really knew the Mets during a prolonged down period. This time now, is about as long as it has been for me. I' m sure we actually got it right after the Art Howe *slight shudder* debacle, when we hired Willie Randolph. That was at the end 2004 season for 2005. Things looked really good and I knew we were headed back to being more than just competitive. We were going to be the "Bad Guys" of baseball once again. Well, with Willie, CONTROLLED "Bad Guys". That, for me ,would be fine.
Willie began to work his magic and we were on our way. We were 83-79 his first year. We won the NL East the following year and were nipped in the NLCS. We fell back to earth in 2007 with an 88-74 record and missed the playoffs. We started slowly in 2008, but we seemed to begin to turn a corner, when Willie was literally fired in the middle of the night ,by Omar Minaya, after a road win.
We haven't made the playoffs since 2006. I will not take the time to blame Omar or his manager Jerry Manuel. Please don't bother to point out Willie had a 34-35 record while Jerry had a 55-38 closing record in 2008. I'm aware. Remember, I noted earlier that the team had finally turned the corner. I additionally contend, that if Willie had the reins "we" would have made the playoffs then ...and now.
With all this said, please follow me. I and anyone who came of age with me is not a long suffering Mets fan. We don't understand what in the world is happening. We see the miscues and errors in the field. The batters taking huge cuts and swinging at first pitches. We remember the Phillies spouting how they were the "Beasts of the East" and then proved it by whipping the Mets in 2008-09 . We, as stated, don't understand this and need some changes.
Beg Willie's forgiveness. Get Bobby Valentine back in the fold. Get a new GM or keep Omar and direct and control him. I refuse to become a long suffering Mets fan. The groundswell is building and when it unleashes your revenue will dip so low your new stadium will become an Albatross instead of the jewel you want it to be. Make smart decisions and return us to where we belong. The most feared team in the East and contenders for the Series.
Eventually we'll want more.
For now...That'll do.
NOTE : I'm aware there are many, many more Mets from those 1980's teams worth mentioning.
NOTE : David Cones's ghost written column's results http://bit.ly/bzdDiu
NOTE : The Bad guys won http://bit.ly/brLEUf HarperCollins.
Disclaimer-I am not advertising the book. This is a reference regarding the use of the term "Bad Guys" and to give reference on those "Guys"
NOTE : I am aware the Mets choked in 2007 allowing the Phillies to come from 7 back in 17 games. I think that if nothing else this illustrates something Willie knew and we as fans eventually discovered. That was the lack of self directed discipline and killer instinct in these Mets. Willie brought a tough hand to these Mets and it seems it was needed.