We knew the West Coast road trip would be rough.
Beltran was returning to the lineup and would need time to adjust. Castillo too. Reyes is banged up. And Pelfrey had been wobbly before the All-Star Break.
So here we are on July 23rd. The Mets have lost 7 of their last 8 games, 10 of their last 12. In fact, they have won only five games all month.
The Mets have scored 15 runs this road trip. Their opponents, all denizens of the depths of their divisions: 36 runs.
This morning, we are in third place, 7.5 games back. The Phillies just leapt ahead of us into second. Yes, those Phillies, who are all banged up and looking for answers (sound familiar?). They didn't wallow in their injury woes as some other blue and orange teams did in past years. They just found a way to win.
Blame the owners. Blame the manager. Blame the GM. Daily news writer Bill Price prefers to blame The Curse of Shea Stadium. Read on after the jump and you will agree with him:
The Curse of Shea Stadium
Want to know what's really wrong with the Mets? It's not the hitting,
or the pitching, or the managing (OK, it's the managing), but they
can't help it, they are cursed.
At least that is what my daughter, who has the same name of the Mets'
former home, tells me. Of course, she's upset - as am I - about Shea
Stadium being gone, and while there may not actually be a curse of Shea
Stadium hurting the Mets, the switch from one stadium to the next has
had a horrible effect on the Mets, both on and off the field.
If you ask me, all the Mets' problems go back to the 2008 offseason.
Following their second straight collapse, the Mets should've cleaned
house. Instead, they re-signed Carlos Delgado and Ollie Perez and
decided to let Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya stick around. They could've
traded David Wright or Jose Reyes after the 2008 season and nobody
would've ripped them. It was clear then that this core can't get it
done, yet, they brought everyone back.
Why, because it was much cheaper to keep current guys around then go
shopping on the free-agent market, and there really was no risk, because
they were moving into a new stadium, and they would sell tickets no
matter who they put on the field. They were so cocky and so confident
people would walk over each for tickets that they didn't even put
tickets for the whole season on sale right away. Remember that you had
to wait until May to buy tickets for June -September?
Of course, not only was the 2009 season a complete disaster, it
turned out the new park wasn't that great, either, turning the Mets'
best hitter into a shell of himself.
Which leads us to today, where the same group of players - with the
exception of Jason Bay, who is fitting right in - is tanking another
season under the same guidance of the same manager and the same GM.
Yet it appears nothing will change this season, which is ridiculous.
Let's say the Mets go 1-3 this weekend or - and it's possible - 0-4,
how they heck do the Wilpons bring everyone back home next Tuesday
without expecting a small riot or a big no show?
Is it Manuel's fault? Not totally, but he has botched the Beltran
return, first saying Pagan will platoon, then giving him the job. He is
botching the catching situation, and let's not forget the Jose Reyes
batting 3rd experiment earlier in the season. And let's not forget, he
was Willie's bench coach, so he has been a voice in the dugout for year
after losing year.
And, as we all know you can't fire the players, and someone has to
If he makes it back to Queens, it tells you the Wilpons are willing
to risk tanking another season, hoping against hope he actually wins
something with this team. It's amazing how much time Manuel bought
himslef with a nice 3-month run in 2008 after taking over for Willie.
Now, Minaya, who must go too, has stuck him was some real stinkers
(Ollie Perez, Luis Castillo), but this team is showing no pulse, as as
Bobby Ojeda pointed out in his early-morning rant, that falls on the
Anyway, Manuel and Minaya and Perez and some others should've went
out with Shea Stadium back in 2008, but unlike Shea, they are still
around. And not even a pretty, brand-spanking new Field can't disquise
just how ugly it is and will be next week.