The once venerable ship known as the New York Mets has hit a figurative iceberg this season, making ready to sink like a stone to the bottom of the Major League waters it has navigated tenuously all season. If you will bear with this extended metaphor for a bit, you will come to understand that I foretold of this sinking of the ship early in the season, but those supposedly water-tight doors took a while to give way. Now, the fall to the bottom of the sea seems inevitable.
Jerry Probably Wishes that Finger Was Loaded
At the helm is Captain Jerry Manuel, who looks no more confident than Captain E.J. Smith did when he stared over the starboard side of his ship (captured forever by an amateur photographer) and was probably wondering, “Why don’t we have more lifeboats?” Manuel may have well done the same thing in spring training, staring at his porous lineup and rickety vessel, thinking he was never going to make the crossing of the season’s waters intact.
Captain Smith Looking for Lifeboats
Like Smith, who was prodded by his superior Bruce Ismay into pushing his ship beyond its capabilities, Omar Minaya seems to have done the same thing here. He spent little capital in getting the team seaworthy and brought in guys like R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi without ever going for a front-end starter. He knew Frankie Rodriguez was as combustible as the Titanic‘s engines, with all that coal causing a big fire down below, making the steel soft and perfectly ripe for that iceberg.
Now that the Mets have hit the inevitability of the iceberg known as the West Coast road trip, we see the sinking ship for what it really is: the pitchers can’t swim, the bullpen can’t find the binoculars in the crow’s nest, and the hitters are struggling with the ropes on the lifeboats. Manuel may be running to the rail and thinking, “Man overboard,” but has to be reminded that like Captain Smith, he has to go down with the ship.
All of my fellow Mets fans have to face the facts here — this vessel was never unsinkable and never pronounced to be. In fact, it was so obvious in spring training that it seemed like putting out to sea in a submarine with screen doors. Still, we were wooed by the surge at the end of April, convinced by the trickery of knuckleballer Dickey, and believed that some sort of second coming of Jerry Koosman could be found in Takahashi. However, there just are not enough water-tight doors to keep this ship afloat.
Since the return of golden boy Carlos Beltran, the Mets are 2-8, with Beltran hitting an abysmal .188. The rest of the team is not doing much better, so they would do well to jump into the lifeboats. But if they can only manage to handle the oars as well as they do bats, they probably wouldn’t do enough to get away from the wake of the stinking ship – oh, I meant sinking ship.
Mets fans have to look at the reality of 2010 as it is: another lost season. Put on the life vests, get into the lifeboats, and row fast as you can toward the H.M.S. Carpathia of 2011. As with the survivors of the Titanic, that is the only hope we have and we will have to make the best of it.
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