By Mike Steffanos
The New York Post's Mike Vaccaro wasted no time in piling it on after the disheartening Opening Day loss to the fish:
In so many ways, Pelfrey's quagmire reflected something the Mets are going to encounter time and again this season. They have good players; other teams have better players, and more of them. They have tried to eliminate the slapstick from their workaday existence, have injected more professionalism, and that will put them in position to win more games than normal.
It's just that actually winning them isn't quite that simple.
All I can say to this is that, in so many ways, Vaccaro's spin on this loss reflects something that Mets fans are going to encounter time and again this season. Anything that fits into an endlessly depressing narrative on this club will be emphasized; whatever doesn't will be discarded.
Look, the Mets roster isn't going to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents, but the idea that the team they are fielding is the Little Engine That Only Wishes It Could is silly.
Put this in another way: there are teams in baseball right now with more roster questions than the Mets that will win their share of games and contend. I guarantee you that there is at least one team out there with less talented players than the Flushing nine that will be in the wildcard race well into September. The idea that this team can't be the Mets is based more on our recent disappointments than anything else.
None of us is foolish enough to believe that this is a great team, but if they indeed do eliminate the slapstick and put forth a professional effort, they will win more than their share and be fun to watch.
I can only hope that this scenario Vaccaro describes is the reality right through game 162. They better not try to use their roster as an excuse to not contend, and I don't think that would be something Terry Collins would even consider, anyway.
I'm pretty sure of one thing. If the Mets do manage to play a little over .500 and contend for that wildcard spot, guys like Vaccaro will surely move the goalposts back a little on you and try to convince you that they somehow should have done more.
The only way to ever change this incessant negativity is for the team to play hard and smart and show that they can overcome the slips and bumps that a 162 game season tosses at them. Still, you get the idea that even if they do pretty well, they'll still always be one bad loss away from buzzards circling overhead.