Monday, May 19, 2003

Games 40 Through 44 - Mets

Rockies 6, Mets 5
San Francisco Giants 11, Mets 3
Giants 7, Mets 5
Mets 5, Giants 1
Mets 5, Giants 1
Record: 19-25

What a weekend. I spent Wednesday through Sunday in Manhattan, yet it was as little exposure to Mets games as I have had all season. I caught the last few innings of the Rockies series finale in a bar on the Lower East Side. As bro-in-law Patrick and I discussed, we knew from the outset the Mets would lose after that disaster the night before. And Art Howe should have used his "real" relievers that night because to rest them on Wednesday was to give Colorado the series. And that he did.

Between a full schedule of events, way too much booze, and apathy creeping upon my '03 season like the Red Sox creeping into AL East prominence, I pretty much waved off the Giants series, especially after the first two games. Alas, just when it was time to flush the fools from Flushing Meadows, they rattle off a pair of impressive 5-1 wins. Just when Mike Piazza's popped groin is now looking serious enough to keep him out at least until the All-Star break, just when Mo Vaughn looks to be done for the year, just when you have a lineup that features the names Raul Gonzalez, Jason Phillips, Vance Wilson, and Joe McEwing instead of Jeromy Burnitz, Vaughn, Piazza, and Rey Sanchez . . . that's when the Mets play well and finally get out of last place. [The Marlins are in a fierce, Tigerish tailspin.]

And so I get back to my comfortable spot just off the bandwagon but keeping one eye on it as it rolls along. The cynicism is still rampant, but there's one thing to consider before dropping this bunch in favor of reading dull NFL training camp headlines. This is now a vastly different team than the one that started this miserable 2003 campaign. And yes, the roster is now filled with guys supposedly not as good as the players they are replacing, but management has seemed to be wrong about pretty much every assessment of talent thus far, so perhaps they were ignorant of what this squad of youth can do. At least we don't have to endure six months of what we saw in April. This is a new group of faces, decidely younger and quicker. They can't help but field better than their predecessors. And as much as the Mets have lost some firepower at the plate, this club wasn't hitting worth a damn so far, so there's a chance for improvement there, too. I know, I know, I have no logical basis for this optimism, but at this point change is good, and as a Mr. Springsteen once said, "At the end of every hard-earned day people find some reason to believe."

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