Then a funny thing happened. The Mets were three games back of the Braves right before the All-Star break with a chance to move into first or be tied for first heading into said break. The team was exciting to watch, and reminded me of that stupid 1980 slogan, "The Magic is Back." Remember those feisty Mike Jorgensen-led Mets?
But I digress. This team, led by an overachieving pitching staff of Mike Pelfrey, Johan Santana, RA Dickey and Jon Niese, was right in the mix. But then they lost two of three to Cincinnati and two of three to Atlanta, and were four games back during the midsummer classic. Not bad, huh? Then, starting with a west coast trip, things started to unravel, as the Mets lost 9 of 11, basically free-falling as if they were a collective group jumping out of a plane. Seriously, that's how fast and hard they fell.
Injuries to Johan Santana and Jason Bay, more Mike Pelfrey inconsistency (basically Pelfrey being Pelfrey), K-Rod melting down by attacking his girlfriend's dad in the clubhouse, and Carlos Beltran never quite getting it together upon returining to the team all contributed to this collapse, which, thankfully, was a mid-season collapse this time.
But I admit, for as much of a fan as I am (I live in Wisconsin but have MLB extra innings to watch the Mets), I haven't watched a full game since the beginning of August. I flipped it on the other night and the Mets were finishing up a 9-1 rout of the Pirates, but I could care less. In fact, they have now won three in a row against the Pirates, a team they have absolutely no problem beating up on time after time. But I won't watch tonight. I'm going to New York this weekend and I have no interest in seeing Citi Field for the first time. Seriously.
My apathy is only part of a more widespread problem. Fans just don't care anymore, because the Wilpons aren't doing a single thing to make this team better. I haven't even heard what might happen this offseason, but I hope they are planning to clean house, starting with GM Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel. This team needs an injection of something -- a combination of youth and talent. I don't even care about, as Minaya likes to say, having to "have stars on the roster." I don't care if it takes a few years to develop some young talent. It's better than having a crappy to mediocre brand of baseball on the field year after year.
So what is the Mets' ownership going to do heading into 2011? Hmmmm?