Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Now Or Never for the Mets

The New York Post has an article today about how the Mets, particularly the youngsters on the club, are being called The Bomb Squad right now. Starting tonight, they have 12 games against the Phils and Braves to keep management from blowing up the team and playing for next year. And there's a little renewed vigor on the eve of the most obvious and direct challenge for this club so far this season. Once again they're saying the right things, but that's never been the problem. These guys can talk the talk and get us all believing; they've had the P.R. -- even when they were getting swept by the Expos in P.R. But while they've said the right things, they haven't hit, pitched, or fielded the right things. And this is why I think they are doomed.

They are about to run a gauntlet between two playoff-contending teams, one who hasn't played to their potential but could get healthy on the Mets, one who is mowing down weaker teams like they aren't even there. There is certainly no limit to how many of the dozen games they might drop, but there is likely a ceiling of about eight games they might pull out. And that's probably exactly what it will take to quell the constant rumors of trading away talent and firing Steve Phillips. Good luck, lads. It's like our sergeant told us before one trip into the jungle: "Men . . . twenty-five of you are leaving on a mission. Thirteen of you ain't coming back!"

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