By Jason Wirchin
For those of you who read my Shea Goodbye article, you probably noticed the sentimental approach I took in describing the stadium’s historic tenure in New York. I was more reflective than disheartened, and felt as if a proper sendoff was in place. After all, even though Shea was closing, the Mets were in the playoff hunt and I, along with millions of other fans, was in a generally good mood. Maybe we thought this year would be different. Maybe after 2007’s bitter collapse, the team could muster one more miracle to keep Shea open for just a little bit longer. We wanted October. We wanted it badly. Funny how we all got excited only to be disappointed…again!
As another Mets-less postseason surges ahead, the best we can do is sit back and sulk. With a bunch of low-market clubs vying for a championship, we might as well shut off our TVs and save some electricity. That’s about the only good that can come out of these playoffs. Seriously, were you really tempted to see nine innings of classic Red Sox – Angels baseball? How about that sleep-inducing matchup between the Rays and White Sox? Even better, who wasn’t yawning in excitement when they heard about the Cubs and Dodgers?! As if things couldn’t have gotten any worse, just thinking about that Brewers – Phillies series makes an orgo midterm sound like fun! Eye openers? More like eye closers! Try to enjoy a single pitch of these games and you’ll reach REM faster than if you were to swig a bottle of NyQuil.
Such is the fate of modern Mets fans. We’re left with the remnants of a wasted season and cannot help but wonder, “Why?” See, we never know what to expect because we never have anything to expect. Following The Collapse of last year, our hopes for a better tomorrow were in limbo. Not surprisingly, this year’s team dragged us on a loopy roller coaster ride, only to send us crashing at the end. They brought us sheer joy and much needed optimism, but they plagued us with utter confusion and downright anger.
Why even stick with these losers? Why bother? It’s what Mets fans…do…that’s why. Sure it would be easy to have your team make the playoffs every year and win all the time (cough, Yankees fans, cough). But that’s just the thing – it’s easy. Sometimes the best decisions are the hardest decisions. Tell this to anyone who bleeds orange and blue and they’re bound to say, “I hate it when you’re right.”
Nevertheless, we should not allow the 2008 “Dud Squad” to move into Citi Field scot-free. Remember, they did hold a 3.5 game lead in the division with 17 games to play. And every fool in that horrendous bullpen couldn’t hit the side of a barn even if it killed him. These were the Mets of a babyish Reyes, an un-clutch Wright, two petty Pedros, and a general manager with the wits of a Jell-O mold. They died the way they played – immaturely, inconsistently, and in no way a reflection of solid baseball. So, with the final words on the final season at Shea Stadium, here’s a little ditty you may recognize:
Meet the Mess, Meet the Mess,
Teams come to the park to defeat the Mets,
Bring your catcalls, bring your spite,
Guaranteed to have a miserable night,
Because these ‘08 Mets stink as you can see,
Half of the team is on AARP,
Alou is a bum, Castillo’s a joke,
I’ve seen better hands on a snake,
So to Omar, Fred and Jeff Wilpon, hiring Jerry Manuel was a mistake!
Enjoy the winter, folks! We’ll see you at spring training!