By Joyce Mandelkern
Ok, I'm done drinking the Kool-Aid. I'm no longer buying what they're selling. I was a good little fan and I made it to the All Star break with the hope that come the second half of the season things could and would turn around. Of course this turnaround hinged on getting back injured players. They kept promising me if I could just hang with them until the break, there would be light at the end of the tunnel. Now I'm no dummy and I knew that even if we got some guys back, they might not be able to produce the way they needed to, but still I hoped we could make some sort of run in what is a down season for the NL east.
The All Star break was a much needed mental break for me. I felt a sense of renewal while waiting for last night's game to start. Then Omar's conference call went and ruined it all. I needed to hear his injury update like I need a hole in my head. The injury report put me in an immediate funk and virtually ruined the second half for me before it even started. I think the news that threw me the most was that Beltran had made absolutely no progress. Silly me had expected him after the break. And no matter how Omar spins things, as far as I'm concerned, there was no good news on any of the other players, except perhaps John Maine. Big deal. He should really give our lineup a little offensive boost. I kid, of course. Who really knows when we will see any of these guys? I can't believe a word they tell us anyway. Is it me, or does anyone else listen to Omar and try to figure out what it is that he is NOT saying instead of trying to make sense of what he is saying?
I feel like I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place on many levels. I want to believe. I really do. Anything is possible. Runs happen. I just don't see it happening with the pieces we have, or should I say the pieces we have missing. I look at the other teams' lineups every night and it seems formidable to me. I look at it and think there isn't any easy out to be had. I look at our lineup and think how lucky the other team is to be playing us. As soon as we let up one run, I assume the game is over. If we happen to score three runs, we've used up our run allotment for the week and probably still don't win. I'm lacking confidence in us. I lack confidence in our ability to get clutch hits and clutch outs, to play when we have a lead and to come from behind, to make the easy defensive play and to make the tough one when necessary. Bottom line, I now lack confidence in the entire Mets organization from top to bottom.
I don't see them making a trade or picking up salary. We are not only one player away anyway, and a trade out of desperation would probably haunt us for years. Our whole situation is bleak because of our putrid farm system. I was very concerned before the season started about left field, first base, second base, and catcher. Surprise, surprise - these will still be my concerns going into next season and I have no clue how they plan on addressing these issues. Certainly not through our farm system. And I have no reason to believe that the Mets will be in a better financial situation next year. And have you looked at the free agents available for 2010? My gut is telling me that the Mets front office is willing to quietly ride out this season, blame it all on injuries, and hope that their loyal fan base forgives and forgets as we have so many times, for so many years. It may even have worked if it had not been for the last two seasons, but we are not a tolerant bunch. Fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, shame on us, fool us three times and ... well, you guys can fill in the blank.