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Not Quitting on the Season

Mike SteffanosTuesday, September 27, 2005
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 3 - Marlins 2
Mets 5 - Marlins 4
Marlins 2 - Mets 1
Mets 5 - Nationals 2
Mets 5 - Nationals 2
Mets 6 - Nationals 5
Mets 6 - Phillies 5

I went away for a week and came back to a different team. And yes, I do realize that the pressure is certainly off of this team, and when it still mattered for the season we didn't see anything like this. I won't try to pretend that this past week is the equivalent of a true play-off run, but I also can't agree with those of you who believe it means nada.

After their disastrous early September collapse, I half expected to see this team do what so many other Met teams have done and just mail in the last half of the month. I've always felt that a part of the general Met malaise is related to this attitude. To me, it's not about cosmetics such as a .500 record or not finishing last. I believe that a respect for the game demands that you play out the season, especially when you are playing games against teams that are still in the race. (And wasn't it sweet to deliver a nice groin kick to the Marlins and Phillies playoff hopes?) I think maybe this team finally gets it, which does give me some hope for next year. And for those of you eager to fire Willie, you have to at least respect his role in righting the ship.

I'm going to resist the urge at this point to talk a lot about what the team should do this off-season. Discussions like that belong to the hot stove months. But after looking at the potential free agents at first base I'd love to see this kid Jacobs get a real shot. Just something about him -- I've seen plenty of flash in the pan types in my years of watching this team, but I just believe there's something real here. Besides the sweet swing and surprisingly decent defense he has a little of that swagger. And it's not like he came out of nowhere this year. He had a big season 2 years ago, also.

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