Is the Mets Season Over? Kyle’s Stream of Consciousness
NOTE: this is a post by Kyle Schnitzer. Please address your comments to him.
If I were Terry Collins last night …
Imagine if you could be New York Mets manager Terry Collins for one day. You get to manage one game and participate in one press conference afterward. What would you say after last night’s game?
Being in attendance for last night’s game, I returned to a place I hate: Citi Field. Growing up, I used to think Shea Stadium was a piece of trash. But it was the Mets’ piece of trash, a part of me. Citi Field reminds me of an amusement park. There’s so much to do in the stadium, which is where the problem is.
At Shea, you never left your seat. Those with the best view were the smokers on the railing. But now, Citi Field has all these sites and features and too many food choices. When you’re watching on TV, it always looks like no one is at the stadium. Truth is, this stadium is the reason why people aren’t in their seats. I, on the other hand, returned to the amusement park to be lost by the drama of the game.
My hope was to get a Mike Stanton autograph. Long story short, I failed. Florida Marlins closer Leo Nunez threw a Sharpie back into the stands and the fan behind me dropped it, leaving a nice blue stain on my 1986 David Wright retro jersey. When that happened, I knew this game was going to be rough.
But wait, where is Daniel Murphy? Only the hottest hitter on the Mets, why is he out of the lineup? Oh it’s because Scott Hairston needed to get a start. Terry Collins has a soft spot for Hairston. I mean, he did hit 2 homeruns on Sunday. But you replace Murphy with Scott Hairston?
Ah — the Mets are starting Chris Capuano, who pitched a wonderful game. The second batter of the game, Omar Infante, launches a home run into the left field seats. Nothing new here, I expected the worst. But there was some hope, the Mets were facing the 22-year-old left-hander Brad Hand. In his last start, Hand surrendered 6 walks. But last night, with the Mets’ luck, he walks 1. He leaves the game with a no-decision.
Fast-forward to the top of the 9th inning; instead of using Pedro Beato to blow the game (fitting since Izzy and Parnell did it back to back nights, why not let the other closer make it a tri-fecta?), Terry Collins brings in Jason Isringhausen. We all want to see Izzy get his 300th save in a Mets uniform. But you’re telling me a guy who throws in the high 80s is going to close out your games to “groom” Parnell and Beato?
Well, Parnell doesn’t need to be groomed, Beato does. Parnell has been groomed for this gig the last 3 years, yet he’s never been given a real chance. The grooming process is bogus. This isn’t the Westminister Dog Show; it’s the 9th inning.
If I were Terry Collins last night, I’d have brought in Tim Byrdak to start the inning. Remember last week when he shut down Jay Bruce twice in two days? Logan Morrison isn’t a speck of what Jay Bruce is right now. Instead, Izzy pitches and walks Morrison to start the inning. Mike Stanton pops up, 1 out. I can see the finish line.
But the aging Mike Cameron makes an appearance in the box score; he gets a single (I thought it was a mirage). Then catcher John Buck gets plunked. Next, Bryan Petersen hits a weak ground ball to Justin Turner. Defending Turner, he had to charge the ball. But what he did after that had my section screaming, with parents holding their kids’ ears.
Turner fields the ball and freezes. He falls into John Buck’s trap. It should have been a tag on Buck and an easy toss to first base to end the inning. But instead he hesitated, threw the ball into the baseline wall, and the Marlins take the lead.
Why is Justin Turner still starting at second base? Since when has he done anything remotely memorable besides the occasional bloop single to right because he’s late on the ball? I would have preferred Murphy right there since we’ve become accustomed to seeing Murphy make the bone headed play; it would have been expected and accepted. Game over, the Mets never had a chance.
So if I were Terry Collins right there, I would have gone crazy in the dugout. How long has it been since the Mets have had a fired-up manager? Sure, Collins gets ejected once a month. But is it too much to ask to throw a Gatorade cooler and show a little Ozzie Guillen passion?
As we exited Citi Field, I looked around. The fans weren’t even angry. Losing in such a sloppy way has become a habit for the Mets. The fans know how to handle it and just move on.
Last night made me realize that the Mets season is over. And I’m happy it’s over now. There’s no way I can take another dragged out drama.