A couple of great reads came today courtesy of Ian O’Connor of ESPN New York, and the Post’s Joel Sherman. While I can’t express their thoughts any better, I can agree with and confirm them. O’Connor is fed up with the mixed messages the Mets are famous for, and is coming around to the realization that this organization needs real, significant change.
“Of course, the bad karma gripping the Mets involves far more than this latest confrontation on K-Rod’s resumé, a resumé that lists as references Tony Bernazard, Randy Niemann, and Brian Bruney … Truth is, the Mets need a new and dynamic force in the worst way, something stronger than an adviser who can knock down Omar Minaya’s bad ideas. Torre? Bobby Valentine? Cliff Lee? Billy Beane? The Mets desperately need a grand slam between now and Opening Day, 2011, and surprise, surprise: The number of grand slams they’ve hit this year matches the amount of consideration Manuel would’ve given to benching a freed K-Rod. None.”
Sherman goes one better in capturing the mood of at least one member of this God forsaken fan base:
“This is not a team owned by a faceless corporation. This is family ownership. It is your family, Jeff. And at some point, you can’t shield yourself with spokespeople and excuses and sparse words parsed by your p.r. apparatus. Jeff, you need to go face the media today and explain why it is that the franchise you run seems to have a sickness about it in which the team cannot help but crawl into the fetal position annually and the personnel you hire so often finds a way to humiliate you, your dad and the organization you own. This cannot be Omar Minaya’s job today or Jerry Manuel or a spokesman. Your fans are angry, dispirited.”
There was a time when anger would be the prevailing emotion on a day like Thursday for me, when I had the opportunity to be not only present for the game, but quite possibly be in the same building as Frankie Rodriguez while only one of us was a free man. But Thursday, even though Johan Santana pitched a 4-0 shutout win, I felt a lot of that loss of spirit. Consider that while I stayed until the end, I only sat in my seat from innings 2-5. That’s not like me. It’s not like me to just be entering the park at first pitch and not already be in my seat. It’s not like me to be more concerned with making sure I get a Shake Shack burger than sitting in my seat for the entire game.
I became what I dispise.
I stayed until the end, but my heart wasn’t in it. I can’t ever remember a time where I ever felt that way … not even in 1993 when I rooted for a 54 win team. I can remember being in the stands during a 1992 game, late in the year when the season was lost, just hoping for one great moment to buoy my spirits. Bango, Bobby Bonilla hit a walk-off dinger off Rob Dibble and I felt exhilaration. Yes Bobby Bonilla, at one time, made me happy.
Thursday? Yeah, I cheered when Johan got the double play to end the game. But it was almost like going through the motions, relying on rote and muscle memory of many years of raising a fist in glory. Jose Reyes says it’s hard to concentrate on every play, I found it hard to concentrate on a Johan Santana shutout. That speaks volumes about where I’ve gone in my mind, and it sure as hell speaks volumes about where Jose Reyes has allowed his mind to go. But what does it say about this organization? What does it say when a player whose trademark is energy, and a fan whose trademark is passion, both find it hard to have that energy or passion while in the ballpark?
A good part of the spirit has gone away because of resignation. I would love to go on here and say that if the Mets want to make a statement and change the culture, they’ll consider suspending Frankie for the remainder of the season. But even if the facts and evidence warrant it, I already know they aren’t going to do it. Just like they aren’t going to release Oliver Perez. Just like when Omar Minaya said “we’re not going to sit back” … and they did. Just like they didn’t fire Minaya and Snoop Manuel after last season. And on … and on … and on. Nothing is going to change because the people that run this franchise have given out no indication that they’ll ever do anything, or at least not anything significant. It’s not in their DNA.
And with all the reports about how the Mets don’t want to spend any more money than the money they’ve wasted already, next season seems kinda pointless too. October 4th is going to come and I could write about what I think the Mets should do, and I already know they’re not going to do any of it. Cliff Lee ain’t walkin’ through that door. Adam Dunn ain’t walkin’ through that door. Joe Torre ain’t walkin’ through that door. None of it is going to happen because the New York Mets aren’t interested in competing. They aren’t interested in making things right. The only thing they care about is that even in my dispirited state on Thursday, I spent $40 on food. That’s it.
The only thing I disagree with Sherman is that we need to hear from Jeff Wilpon. That he needs to address the masses. Only problem with that to me is that it’s going to sound a lot like “Apology Day”, which I really don’t feel like hearing. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my walk of life, it’s the old cliché: Actions speak louder than words. I don’t want to hear anybody’s words. I’m tired of words. Action works so much better in this case. I don’t want to hear “We’re going to do whatever we can to … ” I just want it done. Put it in a press release if you have to (but no news conferences, they don’t usually go so well), but it needs to be an action and not a word.
Other than that, I’m in full agreement.
(Editor’s note: When Jonathan Broxton blew a three run lead to the Phillies, the blogger in question threw objects at the television. It might mean the malaise will be a short one. It definitely means six more weeks of baseball.)