I wrote about this club back in late July when the season wasn't even a week old and forecasted that they were just a mediocre team. I knew then that this wouldn't be a great season, but I never thought I was overrating them to such a degree. I didn't know back then that Marcus Stroman was going to opt out, and that Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha were going to be so very bad. I had some hope that Steven Matz would take a little step forward, but instead, he took a huge step backward and then got hurt.
If you had told me back when I wrote that late July post that Robinson Cano would have an OPS of 1.088 this far at this point of the season and that Dom Smith would be right up there with him, I would have figured the Mets would at least still be in contention at this point. And that would be even before you told me about Brandon Nimmo having another quintessential Nimmo season and Michael Conforto taking a huge step forward. Eventually, however. You'd have to break the news to me about Pete Alonso, Amed Rosario, and Wilson Ramos. At that point, I wouldn't be quite so optimistic, but even if you told me about all of it I wouldn't have foreseen this disaster.
A lot of different things have contributed to the overall lack of success this year, but it just shouldn't be this bad. There's enough talent left on this team for them at least to hang around .500 and compete for one of the 8,000 available spots that the expanded playoffs have opened up. Unfortunately, this club has followed in the tradition of previous Mets teams that have disappointed and then just seem to give up on trying. I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago comparing my feelings about this Mets team to a relationship gone bad, but now this one has gone from bad to toxic. I came home today to find the bunny boiling on the stove. It's all over but the restraining order now.
I really have nothing else to say about the 2020 New York Mets. The best thing that can happen to this season now is for it to be buried along with memories of the Wilpons once they pass the keys along to Steve Cohen. My last two posts before today were about looking ahead to the future, and that's where my head is at now with this club. This has been a tough year in a lot of ways, and I don't want the collapse of another Mets season to take me down with it. There is little reason to stare too hard at the tattered, shabby remains of this season any longer. It's time to look ahead.
Going forward on this blog, I'm really going to try to stick to that. The observations I will choose to write about after today will be focused on what they mean for the future. I refuse to spend time whining about the current situation, although I do reserve the right to make fun of it.
My friend Mack Ade at Mack's Mets wrote an open letter to Steve Cohen a couple of days ago, offering some good suggestions for what the new Mets owner might want to do once he takes over. It was an excellent piece, and I agree with what Mack wrote. I was thinking about point 6 in particular in the light of yet another failure of a season:
You are quickly going to find that the press that are assigned to cover your team are not your best friend. Call it the New York way. Whatever it is, they will turn on you in a heartbeat if you lose a three game series to the Braves.
I'm sure Cohen will be looking to change a lot of things quickly once the team is his. I have no doubt that the self-made multi-billionaire will implement a far better management structure once Jeff Wilpon has packed up his crayons and moved out. Still, whenever anything goes wrong with this club, he can expect the local and national press to trot out the "same old Mets" criticism. It's been fueled by inexplicably dismal seasons like this one and years of incompetent leadership at the top. It's going to take a lot of good, hard work to change that.
If I was allowed to be a fly on the wall, I'd love to see what changes Cohen would choose to implement right at the start to turn this thing around. There are the obvious things that we'll all be able to see, such as whether he chooses to retain GM Brodie Van Wagenen or put his own guy in. There's so much that we won't be able to see, like what systems get implemented to ensure accountability in the organization, and people hired to fill important jobs that don't get a lot of publicity. Good organizations do a lot of the little things well. No one has accused the Mets of that in many years.
Despite everything, there is a temptation for me to feel some sympathy for the Wilpons at this juncture. Between COVID-19 and this disaster of a season, it seems as if it's ending about as badly for them as it possibly could. But then I think about what they've put the fans through and I get over that feeling pretty quick. I'm confident that I do my job much better than the Wilpons have done theirs in running the Mets, and no one is ever going to hand me a couple of billion dollars. Just try not to invest that money in any pyramid schemes, gentlemen.
I had my last doctor's appointment today before my scheduled back surgery on Friday. I had blood tests and a COVID test today, as long as they come back clean I should be good to go. It seems weird to be looking forward to surgery, but that's the only route back to normal.
I should be able to post tomorrow. Friday, too, unless I'm just too out of it. Beyond that, I'll have a solid week at home with plenty of time to write. I am looking forward to focusing the writing on looking ahead. With that, I'll check out for now. Please stay safe, be well, and take care.
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