By Jeff Freier on July 20th, 2009 11:05 AM
I’m pretty sure I never even heard of Fernando Nieve before the season started, but when he grabbed his leg crossing first base last night, I thought, “Oh no, what are the Mets going to do without Fernando Nieve?!” Never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) did I think Gary Sheffield would be on the team, either, but he leads the Mets in home runs, and now even he’s out with a leg “cramp.” The Mets already have nine players on the disabled list, and here come some more.
Things have been bleak for a while for the Mets, but somewhere in the back of your mind you want to buy into the “Just hang in there until Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and John Maine get back” party line, and hope they have another miracle in them. You dig out an old Ron Santo baseball card, kidnap your neighbor’s black cat and have it walk in front of the card, and pray for a 1969-like comeback. You channel the ’86 Mets by going out and getting completely hammered and doing a huge amount of drugs and punch someone in the face while calling him Eric Davis. You fly in Jon Matlack and Benny Agbayani to watch the games with you. But nothing works. And on top of that, you hear the seven words no Met fan wants to hear: “Tim Redding is coming into the game” (well, except for maybe “Steve Phillips is announcing the Mets game”).
What do the Mets do now? They can’t have a fire sale because the only tradeable players they have are all injured. Does anybody want Brian Schneider? Luis Castillo? Livan Hernandez? What would you get back for them? A bag of balls? And not even new balls at that. Do they even have enough players to field a team this week? They’re barely surviving, let alone competing. It looks like the only time the team has a chance to win is when Johan Santana pitches. The Mets are now the underdog going into their three-game series with Washington. The Nationals look like a powerhouse compared to the Mets these days.
The injuries are turning into a cruel joke. The team can’t pitch, can’t hit and can’t field. They’re nine games out of first place. Bernie Madoff stole all of Fred Wilpon‘s money. Somehow I just get the feeling this isn’t the Mets year.
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