Steven Matz pitches a gem, Curtis Granderson hits a clutch pinch hit game-tying two run homer in the top of the 9th inning, and then the Mets bullpen blows the game. Oh and Yoenis Cespedes injured his leg on the final play of the game. A bullpen implosion combined with an injury to a key player is the least shocking outcome imaginable. It has been the theme of the 2017 season. The Nationals are going to bury the Mets over the next few days. The Mets haven’t done one thing this year that would lead me to believe they can compete with an actual contending team.
Sunday’s game marked the midpoint of the 2017 season. After 81 games I can say that I am suffering from the worst case of fan fatigue that I’ve dealt with in my time as a Mets fan. It became obvious early in the season that 2017 wasn’t going to be fun, but there have been a number of factors that have made this year particularly brutal.
Same Old Story: First and foremost, this season we’ve seen the exact same groundhog day bullshit that Mets fans have been dealing with forever. Ray Ramirez claims another injury victim every other day. The injuries have been both random and attributable to Wilpon-related ineptitude. Mike Barwis has these guys training like professional weight lifters in the offseason and as a result many of the players have been straining muscles. Same story, different season.
The Wilpons didn’t let Sandy Alderson spend a little extra cash to add necessary reinforcements to the bullpen and rotation in the offseason and the team has suffered as a result.
We’ve seen our mascot flip off fans, Asdrubal Cabrera demand a trade because the Mets failed to notify him about a position switch, and our top prospect Amed Rosario continues to waste away in Triple-A while horrendous Jose Reyes is still allowed to start day after day.
The list of embarrassing stories linked to the Mets’ franchise this year has been lengthy, and at this point I’m numb to it.
Success In The Bronx: The second factor that’s killing me is the instant turnaround of the Yankees organization. The Mets were great in 2006. Then they floundered for the better part of 7 years. The length of a “rebuild” can vary. I’ve seen franchises turn things around in a few years. I’ve also seen teams take closer to a decade to return to a place of respectability. Some organizations stink forever. In the Bronx it took 10 minutes.
We heard the word rebuild thrown around by Brian Cashman and Co. last year. I blinked and now the Yankees have the best player in baseball. Aaron Judge is like a player that scientists created by extracting a partial DNA sequence from Giancarlo Stanton and then filling in the gaps with Babe Ruth DNA. The Yankees are rebuilding and who shows up? Only the biggest freak in the history of professional baseball. The Yankees have instant stars in Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and now Clint Frazier has been called up. There’s obviously a pretty good chance that the league will figure out Judge at some point, and he’ll have to adjust. But right now it looks like the freak is going to hit 50 homers. Each and every long ball he hits raises my blood pressure to unsafe levels.
Goddamn Daniel Murphy And The Nationals: The number one factor that is absolutely killing me is the success of Daniel Murphy. Oh what’s that? You think I should get over it? Screw you. I will never ever ever ever ever ever ever get over the fact that the Mets made it to the World Series thanks to their young arms and the bat of Daniel Murphy and then they told their playoff hero to get lost. I will never forget that Daniel Murphy was a decent player for the Mets, went to our top division rival, and transformed into an MVP.
I don’t think Murph has hit below .330 since he’s joined the Nationals. He’s a batting champion contender once again. He’s an All-Star again. His success and the Nationals success coupled with the deterioration of the Mets young pitching staff is plaguing my nightmares. The Mets had a World Series roster, and they unnecessarily tinkered with it. They changed the damn formula. They let their star bat depart for nothing. The only way I can forgive the Mets for that sin is if this team wins a World Series in the near future.
And if Murph winds up hoisting a World Series Championship trophy in a Nationals uniform or Judge propels the Yankees to a championship in the first year of their stupid rebuild I may lose faith in baseball forever. Those two specific scenarios would wound me so deeply that it’d take years for me to fully recover.
Bottom Line: The 2017 Mets are toast. They should start trading the impending free agents immediately. That would be the smart move, but we all know the Wilpons won’t allow the team to go into a proper sell mode. They’ll half ass it, trade one guy like Jay Bruce, and then call up Tim Tebow to sell tickets in September and continue to embarrass the loyal fan base.
Obviously I’m not “giving up.” Will I keep blogging and watching? Of course. But am I optimistic? No. It kills me that this team is buried in the standings in July. But like all die hard fans I will always tune in to watch. No matter how much the Wilpons infuriate me or how hard it is to watch our rivals succeed, I’ll never quit watching this stupid team. It’s my stupid team.