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It's Not Time for the Ledge

Mike SteffanosMonday, April 7, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

With due respect, I hope that the Mets have a little more pluck and resiliency than some of the fans who already seem willing to concede the season to the Braves based on 2 games. While I agree it was an extremely disappointing weekend, I'd be careful not to see a trend for the whole season when you are only a week in.

To put things in perspective, the Orioles are 4-1 and sitting atop the AL east. The Red Sox are dead last. Is anyone willing to give me odds that they will finish the season in those spots?

The White Sox and Royals currently rule the AL central while the Tigers languish at 0-6. The Cardinals are 5-1, while the Rockies are 1-5. You can read too much into too little data. Baseball is a game for fans with long attention spans.

The blasé attitude of last year's club wasn't to be found these past 2 games. At the risk of being simplistic, the other team has good players and they want to win, too. The Mets had a bad couple of days and paid for it with two losses. If they continue to play this poorly against their rivals as the season progresses, that ledge will still be there for all of us.

It's not been a banner week with Pedro going down so soon and two dreary losses in Atlanta, but I'm not ready to switch out of believe mode into fatalism at this point. As stated earlier in the game recap, I do agree this a bottom line season. The 2008 Mets will be judged on their ability to get it done. Forgive me, though, if I believe it's quite a bit premature to pass that judgment.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (7)

The 9th inning yeserday showed me a little something positive. In '06 even the games they lost the Mets always made them interesting. In '07 it seemed every loss the mets went with a whimper to end the game.

It was good to see the mets fight to the finish despite the dissapointing loss and the recurring inability of Beltran to take his bat off his shoulder in the 9th inning.

Thank you for modicum of sanity in an other wise insane Met blogworld. Of course, you can't extract out a season from 2 or 5 games in the first week of the season. It's a long season and you will drive yourself crazy if you distill to every at bat. Just remember, the Braves were 7-1 after the first week of last season. How did that work out for them?

Mike, I totally agree that it is way too early to start writing off any team. While I maintain optimism that this Met team can be very good, I also continue to maintain that Randolph's "attitude" (I'm not sure how to describe it really; chip on one's shoulder, sometimes cocky, maybe even defiant occasionally) at times, holds this team back (as well as his continued lack of strategy; can he not put in a pinch runner for Delgado and Schneider for crying out loud?). He defintely has that Yankee-thing going on that even if they haven't won anything in decades, they should be treated as though they have........to me, that is not a redeeming quality in a fan, player, or manager. Consequently, the Mets can act as though they have actually won something, and that they deserve to win, despite sometimes playing badly, and at times, without emotion. Maybe it's just me, but I get the feeling that the Mets are starting to feel "entitled", and speaking as a middle-aged Met fan, that's as bad as it gets. Hopefully I am wrong about that, and the Mets hold the fort until Alou, El Duque, Pedro and Sanchez get healthy and then they take off. Let's Go Mets!

As disappointing as the two games were (outside of Sanatana's 7ip 1er)it just seems to me there is a lack of fire with this bunch. They did try to come back in Saturday's game, and Texeria snags Schneiders game tying double on Sunday. But they just seem to be in slow motion, no urgencey. I know it's early, but I maintain that this team has the talent and ability to put up better numbers. Sosa Saturday, and Heilman Sunday were to thier credit " just bad pitches". Mets were in both games and should have had better results. Put the peddle to the metal, and go full throttle. Lets Go Mets, bring a championship home for good ol' Shea!

Excuse me, Sonny. Back in the day, we had a team that started out just like this one, And, dagnabbit, they went out and won the World Series, yessiree, they did.

For what it's worth, the 1986 Mets began their season with 2 wins and 3 losses. I remember a few chuckleheads in the media wondering "what's wrong with this team?". This was before we had alternatives to their reactionary pessimism.

Let's not break up the Mets quite yet.

Eric - I thought they did a lot better working the pitchers, too, even if the results weren't there this weekend. Last year they seemed to have a lot of 8 and 9 pitch innings while waiting around for guys to hit 3-run homers. I like the approach a lot better in the early going this year.
kd - The sanity comes in goes, but you're welcome. Good point about the Braves last year.
George - I think you're always going to read stuff into Willie's "attitude" because you don't like him. He's not really warm with the press, but we really don't see him in the locker room with the players. Anyway, this is going to be a year that only winning or losing matters. If they don't win, a lot of you guys who dislike Willie will get the new manager you've been hoping for, and rightfully so. For me, I suspect the manager makes a lot less difference than most fans think.
LJ - I think it always looks like a team is flat when they are not producing offensively. I do agree with you that they're better than they showed over the weekend. I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by Delgado, Church and Schneider in the early going.
Nostra - Let's hope this edition wins 108 like the '86 bunch. I'd even be willing to settle for 105.

Guys, All these responses seem to be right on. How about Reyes? Does anyone see a difference in him? The swagger is gone and so goes the production. This is one thing that's hurting us. Willie doesn't go for the celebrating in fear of pissing off other teams. Sooo what!! Let them get pissy. It forced Jose to back it up and outside of a late season slump he did. Have you looked at him lately? Doesn't look like he even wants to be there. And can you blame him?? Playing for a man who is only building his resume to become the next Yankee manager. If Girardi chokes as I suspect, if he's offered a chance to interview for that job, he'll ask for permission in a N.Y. MINUTE. I'm really sorry to say guys that until he goes, we are in for a lot of heartbreaks. Mike, you know I'm with George. You say that the manager doesn't make much a difference? How about the Mets run after Bobby's famous eyeglass / mustache incident? Sorry, Mike, just like the other day, he needed to light a fire under that team after the trap incident but failed miserably once again. I firmly believe there are times that managers DO need to get themselves tossed and that was one of them. You know Cox would have been gone. So would have pinella, Bobby, Billy, Earl, Leo just to name a few. Willie needs to go and if we end up sacrificing this season to get it done oh well I would hate to see it but he would be gone and Reyes can go back to having fun again. Seeing him the way he is now I'd rather he was on the D.L.!!!!!!!

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