Photo: David Wright wipes his brow
Michael Baron , Contributor
I took this picture of David Wright last weekend in San Diego. I find myself looking at it constantly – for whatever reason, it displays everything about the Mets as of late to me:
My feelings about what this photo means take it out of context for sure. It was taken moments before Wright took the field in the bottom of the first inning last Friday night. But when I look at this, it just makes me think about what has been going on with this team over the last month.
I just find this post All-Star Break swoon so hard to fathom. The fact the Mets have two wins at Citi Field in the last 35 days is mind boggling. I know what the expectations were going into the season and this was to essentially be an audit season for the front office. But they played well enough for those expectations to change, and I thought that was a good thing for us and the team. They are a completely different team in a matter of a month. The offense has become uninspiring, the pitching has completely tanked for the most part, and they just don’t play with that all-around energy anymore – that is the most disappointing part of it all. Yeah, the starting pitching has suffered some major blows, the flaws on the roster have been exposed, and there are only so many two out rallies and overachievements the team can have before it all evens out. But that doesn’t make it all ok either, especially since they were tracking towards playoff contention in the second half. But none of that excuses the quality of play since the break. It just doesn’t.
In June, I wrote about how much fun this club is to watch, and it had been a long time since that was the case. But they are now equally as difficult to watch now. No matter what negativity they were faced with, whether it was an injury or even a deficit in-game, they always seemed to have an answer, and those are important intangibles for winning teams. But they’ve beaten themselves in so many of these games lately and the finger-pointing in the clubhouse has been so striking considering how positive the clubhouse was earlier this year. Though I guess it’s only natural for the clubhouse to crack when losing becomes the disease it has become for this team.
I understand where this franchise is and what the goal is going forward, and maybe it was unrealistic of me to expect the team to contend for a playoff spot in the end. But the fun is lost now – they’ve beaten themselves, and no acquisition in the world at the trade deadline could have saved them from that. They could remain relevant if they can find that spark that made them a fascination in the first half, even if they don’t make the playoffs. But that feeling seems so distant now, doesn’t it?
I’m just frustrated, and I know I’m rambling about what many predicted would happen anyway. But I take no comfort in that. Losing sucks in a big way, and I really am tired of it, as I know you are.