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It Getting Late Early Again

Mike SteffanosTuesday, September 23, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 156: Cubs 9 - Mets 5

I debated long and hard whether I would even post today. I have no desire to beat the same old tired talking points to death. I did very little of my usual reading today because I'm tired of reading all of the same things.

I started rooting for the Mets on a black and white tv set when Richard Nixon was president. That was a long time ago. I've lived through more lean years than I care to think about in that time.

The Mets didn't get into sniffing distance of the playoffs very often, but when they did they usually acquitted themselves well, even the times they fell short. Nothing ever left a taste quite like last year, but this team is pretty darned close.

I can't say I'm any less dispirited than some of you, but I'm clinging to whatever optimism I could still produce. I don't waste the effort of getting mad at baseball players much anymore.

If it goes well, there will be October. If not, I think in some respects it will be easier to turn the page this year than last. For a while, this club had some heart, but now seem to be losing that. If they can't get it back, I won't be sorry to see them go.

I hope I am still watching the Mets next week. If not, I'll be checking with my friends at Ticket Solutions for Jets tickets and Giants tickets. Life goes on.

View Jonathon Niese's Full Season Stats

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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 (5)

cmon admit it...I am just as depressed as you are...and this team makes me want to not even participate in caring about the outcome...simply because I just cant emotionally devote that kind of energy and concern when I have real life issues to attend to...when it becomes not fun but suffering it just isnt woth it

They said we will have games that meant something in Sept. Well, the only thing they meant to me so far is another migraine.It didn't seem this bad in the 60's with the Mets, but I was drinking then!If this team was a horse we would shoot it.

I also started out watching the Mets on a black & white TV only the President's name was Kennedy. I am kind of numbed to this year's possible collapse because of what happened last year. And that might not be such a bad thing.

I'm sure I am in the minority but I still see dynasty potential in this team. Last year we were saddled with a clueless manager and this year it is a broken bullpen. I was encouraged by Omar not making a deal at the trade deadline and instead allowing guys like Murphy, Evans and Niese get some playing time. And also his getting Santana without giving up Pelfrey or FMart.

Sure the Phillies can hit but they will never attract a top shelf pitcher to get battered around in their Little League ballpark. Our nucleus is young and strong and Wilpon will spend the money. I still have high hopes for this team.

Dynasty potential? No, but I mostly agree with Mark above. The Mets have the nucleus of an excellent offense, a strong defense and an above average starting rotation. And the Mets are a team of individuals who don't give up; I like that too.

To the extent that the Mets have failed this year it has been on their reliance on very old players, El Duque and Alou, and on Sanchez, Heilman and Wagner. With the exception of Aaron Heilman I think Omar deserves some blame on all these accounts; Hernandez and Alou are both old and frequently injured, Duaner was coming back from a long recovery, and even Wagner, another not-a-youngster, has had arm problems more than once in his career. That all three of the pen dwellers have suffered might be simple bad luck, but essentially Omar was betting all the chips that Heilman would continue to be as effective as he had been in previous years, and it hasn't happened.

I think there is little doubt that Heilman has been pitching with a bad knee for most of the year, by the way. I know people quibbled when Manuel mentioned it a few weeks ago, as though he was dreaming up an excuse for Heilman,but actually it wasn't the first time he had said something about it. After one of the long games in August, the Phillies I think, Jerry said that he didn't give Aaron a second inning because if he did, his knee would swell up and he wouldn't be available for a couple of days. Well, it's hard to pitch well when you can't land properly. Maybe Heilman has to go, but if the knee can be fixed I sure hope he isn't simply given away.

Otherwise, regardless of how the remainder of the season plays out I am proud of these Mets; there's no quit in 'em. The offense went into the tank last September; not so this year.

Into the offeason they'll need pitching, of course, and help in the outfield, behind the plate(Texas has four young major league ready catchers) and second base, if they want to be serious about winning (Brian Roberts, if only in my dreams). It's a do-able list.

Wouldn't it be great if the Phillies blew it and we took it. That would bury 2007 for good. We could really fix this with 5 more wins, one at a time. Lets go Mets. I am still hanging on. The ball hitting the broken bat, like the ball going passed the first basemans glove a long time ago? The luck has shifted and the Mets start getting the good breaks, the bad breaks have run thier season now its our time for the breaks to go our way.Just believe.

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