Sunday, July 06, 2003

Mets 83-Game Review- Cue "Taps"

Day is done,
Gone the sun,
From the fields, from the hills, from the sky,
All is well,
God is nigh,
So good night.

Well, I don’t know about that “all is well” part, but the Mets’ day is surely done. Just over halfway into the season, their postseason ambitions have been shelved. And so the real fun begins here at Misery Loves Company; for while my counterpart will continue down the path of stress, worry, hope, fear, and the alcoholic binges all of these induce, I have been relegated to the role of court jester. There will be no late-season dramatics in this 50% of the postings. Not the triumvirate of Roger Angell, David Halberstam, and Jim Rome . . . gotcha, I was trying to type John Feinstein to complete this sportswriting trio but my newborn baby spit up on the keys, causing the obvious typo. Anyway, not even the most worthy of baseball journalists could evoke any true drama from what’s left of the eroded Mets’ season, so I won’t try. Of course, Fox TV would jazz it up with all of the quick-cut graphics, pseudo-emotional synthesizer, and melodramatic wordplay they usually reserve for brilliant reality television show promos. I can see it now . . .

Up next . . . the showdown you’ve been waiting for . . . these two teams simply do not like each other . . . it started a few years ago with the league change . . . you likely recall that epic 7-2 game in 2001 . . . but when Jeromy Burnitz was traded for Glendon Rusch, you just knew it would come to this . . . Mets versus Brewers . . . this time it’s personal . . . [air clip of Bernie Brewer fighting Mr. Met atop the dugout]

So, there won’t be a climactic run in the works – well, let’s just say that if there is, I am selling this chronicle of the greatest comeback ever to the highest bidder. There will, however, be mini-dramas, ones which answer pressing questions such as:

1. Where will that relief pitcher who wears #49 (you know, the Crying-a-Lot 49?) end up?
2. How many more times will Tony Clark do something to warrant inclusion on this site?
3. How many more doubleheaders can the Mets lose?
4. Will my brother-in-law get me the green Mets cap on Irish Night?
5. If a tree falls on this column but there’s nobody there to read it, am I actually writing it?

With such exciting topics so readily at hand, look for thrill-a-minute commentary by yours truly. My team has made things rather difficult for me. While the Red Sox portion of the program will likely produce true fodder for discussion, this half will read like a USA Today article. Not that you need important topics to warrant online discussion – just check out the Sports Guy these days and his running commentary on hot topics like the NBA, pro wrestling, and Rocky IV. I will do my part to keep this Mets log rolling along as if they truly were in the thick of it. This may mean blatantly altering their scores and recaps to do so, but I am not above New York Times-style reporting if it means entertaining you. And by “you” I mean me.

By the numbers:

Record: 36-47
Standing: Fifth place, NL East – 16 games behind friggin’ Atlanta/Tenth place, Wild Card, 11.5 games behind Philadelphia
Offensive Stats: They are all offensive, and I don’t feel like spending time digging up stats to prove the Mets suck; this is a given.


Al Leiter has been disappointing; Rey Sanchez is a placeholder, and not a very good one; Pedro Astacio was lousy until he helped the Mets by getting hurt; the middle relief has been shaky at times.


The slew of rookie starters has been fairly miserable; Roger Cedeno, despite improving as the season wore on, has looked absolutely lost most of the time; Tsuyoshi Shinjo left his bat in San Francisco; Art Howe has been inconsistent enough to be questioned consistently.


Mo Vaughn was putrid until being put out of his misery; Robby Alomar was horrid until being traded; the defense has been near worst in the NL; the closer has made me break things and must pay for his actions.

Rather Aromatic . . . Relatively Speaking

Ty Wigginton has been the only guy not to live up to the preseason naysaying; Jose Reyes is a sparkplug; Jeromy Burnitz has been fairly impressive; Cliff Floyd has battled like a champ and deserves better; Jae Weong Seo has looked great at times; Steve Trachsel has, too, but fewer times; Jason Phillips and Vance Wilson seem like solid players for the future; when Mike Piazza was healthy, he was good ol’ Mike Piazza.

You know, upon reflection, there were just as many guys working their butts off and playing up to the best of their ability as there were mammoth (Mo is short for Mammoth) disappointments. But it didn’t add up right, and the hole the bad guys dug was greater than the sum of all the good guys. Or something like that.

Looking Ahead

Thank goodness for 162 opportunities (79 left) to find some happiness in this season. A few wins here and there, a few nice plays, a few long homers, a few big saves (once that current guy leaves) . . . there is potential for joy in Metville. You just have to know where to look and be content with less. But hell, I went to college in Williamsburg – this I can do.

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