Sunday, September 30, 2007


There are countless observations to be made and questions to be answered stemming from what is now officially the worst collapse in regular season baseball history, but maybe the most important one is also one of the simplest:


Before I try to figure out what kind of half-life the aftermath of this disaster will have, I want to share a few observations I had made during and immediately after the final implosion. I did happen to be at Shea as part of the "sold out" crowd of around 45,000 strong, but I was gone as soon as the 5th inning came to an end, so I will have no insight into the very bitter end at the scene of the crime, but as for everything else:

-"Sold out" This was not a joke on my part. As you pulled into the parking lots every booth had a "Game is Sold Out" sign. All that the signs meant to me was that 3/4 of all the people like me who had tickets to this game in advance would not show up, and devoted fans scurried to buy the remaining tickets as soon as it looked like this game would mean something. From the looks of the crowd I feel like I was very close.

-"Bullpen Willie?" No one sitting around me could understand it, no one could explain it, but there it was. Tom Glavine was clearly having a melt down and yet hit after hit there was no action in the Mets bullpen for what seemed like an eternity. Sosa was finally brought in and was able to limit the damage to two more runs, and then went on to strike out the side the next inning. Of course you would then lift your long man after 1 2/3 innings work since you just HAVE to pinch hit Sandy Alomar Jr. in that spot. Really Willie? But it's OK, you still have El Duque, right? Wrong. Now you can't blame Randolph for pinch hitting for Hernandez with the bases loaded the very next inning but you can blame him for putting himself in a position where he would end up burning his two best long men in the span of just two innings. Then again who needs long men when your starter gives you 1/3 quality innings.

-"Pop the Clutch" Face it Met fans, there is not a single clutch offensive player on this team and you know it. There were eight men left on base after the first three innings, and the biggest threat the Mets ever had was Lo Duca's Willie Mays Hayes check swing ground out with the bases loaded. After that they never threatened again.

-"Media Blackout" One of the most inexcusable aspects of yesterday's debacle was the fact that SNY, the network that prides itself of being the source for ALL New York sports did not have a single minute of post game/season/collapse coverage and instead went right on with their regular programming. Yes I know the game was on CW11 but SNY produces those games as well, but even if they didn't how could any "All NY Sports" network not cover one of the biggest NY sports stories of all time? **Correction** Thanks to Neil Best's Watchdog I now know that SNY finally DID air a post game interview with Willie Randolph, albeit over an hour after the game had ended. Thanks Neil!

-"Seeya Next Year" What the Mets were lacking on their TV network they made up for on their website, only not in a positive way. Before the body was even cold on '07 already had a banner up thanking the 3,850,000 fans for setting an attendance record for the second straight year, which is certainly an appropriate gesture only it serves to drive home just how high expectations had been all along. What wasn't such an appropriate gesture however was that directly below the thank you was a link to make 2008 ticket deposits. 2008???? I know I was the guy in the back of the room shouting "TOO SOON!!!" I will also add that while the Mets have offered information on how to take more of your money, there is not a single piece of information on the entire website on how/when playoff ticket money will be refunded.

So what now? The construction site beyond left field is the only reminder needed of just how little time the Mets have to fix this thing and get back on track. The Mets have just one season on the field and two winters spent on the phones to turn this year's disaster into a team worthy of stepping onto the grandest stage in the team's history. If they are to fall short and allow the bad karma of this melt down to carry over to their new home they risk alienating their fan base and returning to the laughing stock of the league. Do I think it will happen, no. But this year has certainly made it a possibility when over the last several years it had been unthinkable.

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