Game One (Extra) Recap: Malaise Forever?

They’re back…

New job duties and the ever-challenging role of raising a teenager have made me somewhat less Met-obsessed these past few months. Those factors, along with the sudden return of winter to these parts, kept me in a definite non-baseball mood for most of yesterday. I dutifully tuned in, somewhat disgruntled that instead of SNY, I will be forced to endure the crew at ESPN, although I do like Jessica Mendoza. By the way, whatever happened to Jeanne Zelasko?

I did expect the Mets to come out smoking after being forced to watch the Royals pennant raising celebration. Silly me. Instead, they sleepwalked through the first eight innings before erupting late and then falling victim to KC’s super bullpen in the 9th. You can read Dave’s recap for more details. My main concern is that after a very somnambulant spring, they looked sluggish and especially in the case of Yoenis Cespedes, downright disinterested in playing baseball.

And no, this isn’t a premature “Panic City” piece. This is a history lesson. As my bio states, I have been a Mets fan since the days of the Nixon Administration. I have seen a lot of bad baseball, punctuated by brief bursts of elation. It’s the coming down from the peak that has me concerned. I clearly remember my father’s comments about how bland and boring the mid-70’s Mets were. The post ’86 editions played like all they had to do was toss their gloves out on the field and they would win (they didn’t). The events of 9/11 made the ’01 Mets a little hard to gauge, but they didn’t play well before that terrible day. The collapses of ’07 and ’08 are still fresh in almost everyone’s minds. Could we be heading for another disappointment this year?

The record indicates that we could be.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. argonbunnies April 4, 2016 at 3:24 pm
    I feel like, over the last 20 or so years, when the Mets have been the underdogs, or otherwise fighting some sort of adversity (as opposed to just being bad), they’ve tended to press, try to do too much, choke at the plate in big spots, etc. Given that history, I’ve been itching for some “we’re better than you” swagger in hopes that it would translate to confidence and better performance in key ABs.

    Perhaps the Mets don’t know how to do “confidence” plus “hunger & fire”, though. Perhaps it’s one or the other. I guess we’ll see…

    May 2007 is one of the darkest months in recent Mets history for me. It’s when Jose Valentin got hurt, and Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado stopped caring about defense. That April, it looked like the 2006 success would kick off a dynasty. A month later, the problems that would eventually keep the Mets out of the playoffs for another 8 years were well underway.

  2. Murder Slim April 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm
    They played a poor game but they really will be fine. I wonder if Uncle Terry threw his toys out of his pram and at the players after the game… he should have done. Regardless, the Mets weak schedule in the first month will ease them into the season nicely.
  3. david April 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm
    It’s one game so chillax everyone.

    Sure they looked flat but its a long season and the Royals are great at taking advantage of mistakes. Mets should consider it a lesson and have a great pitching match up for game 2. A split on the road against the defending champs will be fine. One area I was impressed with was TC’s use of the bench in the 9th.

    Finally, while everyone’s having a go at DW I thought TDA’s at bats – except in the 9th – were poor. And the passed ball just highlighted the difference btw him and Sal Perez’s defensive abilities. I predict Plawecki gets at least 200 ABs this season. I’d like to see him and TDA form a Billy Smith / Chico Resch killer tandem this season.

  4. Gregg from Hoboken April 4, 2016 at 8:22 pm
    They got outplayed last night and the Royals picked up right where they left off. Our weaknesses had been discerned and they got exploited. Hopefully it was a snap-to of an attention-getter for most of the parties involved. They certainly weren’t helped by Gerry Davis’ work behind the plate.

    Most of what hung them out was correctable — with the one troubling caveat being DW’s arm. The one throw he lollypopped as we saw late last year. The other he just didn’t seem to get enough mustard on. Was it tied into his back? I’ve got to believe the arc on his throws is. That’s going to be an ongoing problem.

    I hope the Mets took note of how the Royals took advantage of the shift. Best moment at the plate for me last night was Lagares trying to drop one down….and Duda taking one the other way. More of that, gents.

  5. DaveSchneck April 4, 2016 at 9:00 pm
    Well, that first game was a lemon until very late. Hopefully the next 161 will provide some more excitement. Like Dan, be it the weather or whatnot, I was flat myself, and the Mets flatter. Hey, they can’t win every opening day.