01 October 2007


You really got to hand it to the Mets -- always finding new
and interesting ways to lose when it counts the most.

Yesterday, the Mets completed one of the
most stunning collapses in baseball history
with an embarrassing 8-1 loss to Florida.
The season-ending nightmare began almost
immediately, as sugarplum dreams of a
weekend revival quickly dissolved. The “Let’s
Go Mets” chants that rocked the stadium
15 minutes before the game quickly gave
way to cries of despair.

On Sept. 12, the Mets had a seven-game
lead over Philadelphia with 17 games to play.
A confident David Wright said: “You couldn’t
have picked a better time to peak. This is the
best baseball we’ve played all season.”

But then came the tailspin, and no amount
of huffing and puffing, no amount of bravado,
could pull the Mets out of it. On Saturday,
they appeared to keep hope alive with a 13-0
victory. As it turned out, that victory was
simply a last-gasp thank you to Mets fans for
hanging in. Yesterday, there was nothing left
from a team that has now humiliated itself and
its fans.

And with that, the horrible memories of 2004 are washed
away from the minds of Yankees fans throughout the city.
New York has a new definition for the word choke, and it
looks a lot like Tom Glavine and José Reyes.

As the Phillies closed in this month, the Mets
forgot the brand of baseball that had brought
them to the cusp of another division title. If the
biggest culprit was the poor showing by the
pitching staff, which posted a 5.96 earned run
average over the final 17 games, then Reyes’s
noticeable descent ranked second. Over the last
two months, he batted .240 and committed the
sort of mental mistakes that come with a gap in
maturity. The fans, who so often chanted “José,
José, José,” are left wondering what has become
of their favorite player.

“They wanted me to do good, so that’s why they
booed me,” Reyes said.

And all summer long, Eric Alterman has complained about
the lack of Mets coverage in the NY Times compared to
their pinstriped rivals in the Bronx -- despite holding the
division lead for nearly the entire season. Well, with a story
like this one, I think that ratio is due to change -- at least
until the playoffs. Be careful what you wish for, bub.