At the All-Star break, the New York Mets sported a 46-45 record and sat a lofty 7.5 games behind the wild card leading Atlanta Braves. The lead was not insurmountable by any means, but the Mets needed to come firing out of the gate to start the second half in order to keep themselves in the thick of playoff contention.
A week later, the Mets find themselves at 47-48 and 9.5 games behind Atlanta. They've dropped three of four games since the break, and the clock appears as if it's about to strike midnight on any miraculous Mets surge in 2011.
You can bet that in the coming weeks Sandy Alderson will trade Carlos Beltran, symbolizing the waiving of the proverbial white flag on the 2011 season. When he does, Citi Field will turn into a ghost town, and the Mets will once again be relegated to the middle pages of the sports section.
However, this season isn't like every other lost Mets campaign. Not every position is occupied by over-priced veterans with little to no impact on the club's future (Just one position). One look around the diamond and you'll quickly realize that this year's club possesses a plethora of integral pieces in terms of this club's future.
There's still reason to show up at Citi Field throughout the dog days of summer, regardless of how far the Mets fall out of contention.
Here are three reasons why.