The Mets never built off their near miss in 2006, when Carlos Beltran rested his bat on his shoulders as Cardinals closer Adam Wainwright floated a curveball over the middle of the plate for a called strike three, sending the Cardinals to the World Series.
In 2007 and 2008, the final two seasons of Shea Stadium, the Mets were alive in the playoff race until the 162nd game of the season. However, on both occasions, the team failed to come through and ultimately missed the playoffs.
These two seasons were major setbacks, setbacks that marked consecutive seasons without playoff appearances. This is not what the fans wanted to see going into the new stadium. Sadly, 2009 was a season marked with injuries and disappointments, and the team dipped out of contention shortly after the all-star break.
2010 was a promising year because of the acquisition of talented outfielder Jason Bay, as well as the return of all of the injured players from 2009. Jose Reyes made his return to the lineup, and Carlos Beltran also was inserted back into the lineup after the all-star break after missing half of the season due to offseason surgery.
Now, shortly after the all-star break, the Mets are yet again falling out of contention. However, this time there really are no excuses. Injuries are a non-factor and the team really has simply disappointed everyone since the all-star break. The return of glory for the Atlanta Braves has damaged the Mets’ chances, as the Braves are sitting pretty atop the NL East with the Philadelphia Phillies not too far behind them in their rear-view mirror. With their loss last night, the Mets are now 7.5 games out of first place in the NL East.
There are many things the Mets should do to fix their lingering problems, but the bottom line is that the Mets are looking at missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. This does not bode well for the fan base, who is already writing off the team and attendance numbers are down significantly.
The fans are not happy, and the owners need to do something about it in a hurry. Excuses are not an option, especially the often-used excuse that the Mets are broke because of Bernie Madoff. They lost a huge chunk of money from him, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been spending their money elsewhere. The team still ranks among the top in payroll and could use smarter tactics in order to build a balanced team, rather than spend large sums of money on washed up veterans who only look good on the team because of their name.
Will the Wilpons fire their coaching staff? I would think it would be best that they at least fire the manager and allow the next manager to decide whether he wants to keep his coaching staff or not. Jerry Manuel has been criticized day in and day out for his questionable on-field decisions, as well as his pathetic responses to questions in post-game press conferences. Additionally, he fails to find consistency in his lineups and often times he will shake up his lineup without reason.
Whether they shake up the core of players, coaching staff, or front office, something will need to happen this 0ffseason in order for this team to have any shot at staying in contention next year. The Wilpons need to find an answer.