Originally written December 26, 2012 on Taking Bad Schotz:
The date is September 30, 2007. You’re sitting in the Mezzanine level of Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, getting ready to watch your beloved Mets take on the Florida Marlins in the final game of the season. Win, and you’re in the playoffs. Lose, and you’re heading home. With seventeen games left to go in the season, my Mets had held a 7-game lead over the 2nd place Phillies. A lead any team should have been able to hold on to. But not the Mets. Over the last three weeks of the season, their starting pitching struggled, their bullpen stumbled and their offensive production plummeted. As I watched every night in dismay, my team’s spot in the playoffs became more and more uncertain. Stumbling into the final game, we still had a chance to make the playoffs. The crowd was rowdy and excited, and still hopeful that they’d be cheering on their team in October, just like they had the year before. Then Tom Glavine gave up seven runs in the top of the first inning, and all that hope evaporated. (yikes) via aboutcancer.com While the anguish felt by the Flushing faithful that night was heart-wrenching, it wasn’t an unfamiliar feeling. It’s something life-long Met fans expect and something younger fans grow more and more used to every season. Year after year, terrible ownership and questionable management along with player performances that fail to meet expectations (Jason Bay, I’m talking to you) have plagued the Mets and have kept them one of the bottom-feeders of the National League. While our cross-town rival Yankees sign free agents every winter who almost always pan out, we met fans watch our signings accomplish little to nothing, usually injuring themselves in the process. All that said, I must give credit where credit is due. The first half of last season far surpassed anything most fans could’ve possibly hoped for. Johan Santana finally delivered us our long overdue no-hitter, and watching R.A. Dickey buckle the knees of the entire league every 5 days made being a Met fan fun for only about the third time in my entire life. But in typical Mets style, they came out of the All-Star break ready to continue their unexpected success, and instead finished off July with a 4-14 record—basically the Mets in a nutshell. Despite the constant heartbreak, there’s reason to look forward to the future. The trade sending R.A. Dickey to Toronto last week brought back a solid core of players including highly-praised catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud. Moreover, the re-signing of David Wright assured that the face of our franchise and the current longest tenured Met on the roster will be calling Citi Field home until 2020. Though they may not seem as formidable on paper as other teams in the league, there’s some reason to believe the pain and distress that typically goes along with being a Mets fan could subside within the next few seasons. -O’Hare
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