Let’s face it. The Mets 2009 season was the most disappointing performance in the history of their franchise. That’s right. Since their inception in 1963, never have I seen the Mets have so much promise and break the hearts of their fans so quickly- and this is coming from someone who watched the final game of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, only to find himself having to buy a new remote after chucking it at the TV in anger. We all know that a 72-90 season is not what any team wants, let alone a team with such talent.
I can admit that even deeming last season disappointing is a gross understatement. I landed on disappointing after watching last year’s finale, but during the whole season I couldn’t help but think that the Mets were an atrocious, underachieving, and fundamentally unsound bunch of misfits. And if you are like every other Mets fan, you probably stopped watching the team in June, frustrated with their blatant lack of chemistry, drive, and overall skill. It pains me to say this, especially as a die-hard fan since birth.
Granted, I want to blame the Mets’ lackluster play on their relentless string of injuries. I really do. But it is hard to be optimistic for my team when David Wright hits 10 homeruns. He wasn’t injured. Luis Castillo couldn’t even catch a simple fly ball against our cross-town rivals and he is supposed to be our staple middle infielder. He wasn’t injured either. See the trend happening?
So anyone who asks me to predict how the Mets will do this season needs to understand that I am just like everyone else. Bitter. Frustrated. Hopeless. And believe me, I did have high hopes for this season. But that was before we stood idly while the already stacked Phillies picked up Roy Halladay, one of the best pitchers of the last decade. That was before we didn’t aggressively go after John Lackey, Johnny Damon, Orlando Hudson, or any other player that could fill our glaring holes.
Instead, we end up signing Gary Matthews Jr. and Kelvim Escobar. Matthews Jr. is good at defense, but he is clearly a bench player, batting only .250 and 50 RBIs. Escobar has a career 4.15 ERA. Yeah, they’re the answer to our problems. That trend of heartbreak is looking like it is not going to change.
Now I know we did snag one top prize in Jason Bay. And he will help a lot. Last season with the Red Sox, he slugged 39 homeruns and 119 RBIs, and has improved every year since he entered the league in 2005. But he is just one player. We tried to rely on one player in Wright last year and failed miserably.
So I have no choice but to predict that the Mets will finish a solid fourth place in the NL East for a second straight year. The Nationals…well they’re the same Nationals with two back to back 100+ loss seasons. But the Marlins are younger, the Braves are up-and-coming, and the Phillies are just better. Looks like I am going to need to buy a new remote again.