Ghost of the New York Mets
The ghost exists.
Close your eyes, and you'll see him, flying up and down, left and right, through the glistening, freshly painted hallways of Citi Field and onto the crisp green grass. He laughs a lot -- not in wicked tones, per se, so much as a sadistic,
When Shea Stadium was demolished last winter, there was hope -- faith, even -- among Mets fans that the phantom would be crushed along with it; that the blue-and-orange clouds of dust and debris would fill the wicked wretch's pores and chop off its tongue. Yes, the Metropolitans had spent most of their 4 1/2 decades living under his reign -- drafting
To the dismay of New Yorkers, the ghost who supposedly vanished is bigger and badder than ever before.
Most alarming, the ghost has found a way to take a clubhouse that has long been -- if nothing else -- lively and transform it into a visit to the Mahopac Public Library. (Writer's note: I grew up going there. Very nice facility -- but extremely subdued.) To be a Met these days is to live in fear of failure; to talk and talk about the renewal of a ballclub, but to be mentally crippled by the knowledge that, come season's end, you will, somehow, blow it.
Nine years ago, the Mets reached the World Series with a significantly less-talented cast than their modern brethren. Their starting outfield -- perhaps the worst in the history of the Fall Classic -- was
Yet those Mets played with heart, spunk and tenacity. After every win, someone would inevitably blast
When the Yankees suffer through a conga line of injuries, the organization never offers up the maladies as an excuse. The Mets, on the other hand, all but seek out injuries to cite to the media. If only we had Delgado. If only we had Reyes.
If only ...
The future has been written for the 2009 New York Mets, and it is not good. They are modern day Jobs, all of them. Only in this run, there is no reprieve. A team with baseball's second-highest payroll will win, oh, 85 games and finish 10 games behind Philadelphia. They will add someone --