As we mourners steel ourselves for the final viewing of the greatest dramatic arc in the history of television (9 o'clock on HBO), the temptation to bury the 2005 Mets, or at least take out a pre-need on their behalf, hovers yet again in our souls. Sunday afternoon's loss to the Nationals, while a smidge less lethal in its execution than Saturday night's win, was in fact a loss. If five seasons of watching Six Feet Under has taught me anything, it's that the best way to deal with loss is to confront it immediately without repressing the facts or your feelings.
In the interest, then, of healthy grieving:
• Benson had nothing except good graces to sit in the dugout and watch three relievers labor effectively to clean up after him, barn door wide open.
• Almost every attempt at a rally — save for the transcendent moment when Shea Stadium became Jacobs' field — fizzled embarrassingly.
• In the seventh, Cliff had probably the worst at-bat of the season, his or anybody's, against Joey Eischen when he lunged toward, flailed at and avoided contact with three decidedly outside pitches.
• Florida, Philadelphia and Houston each won…natch.
• All the ground we made up less than 24 hours ago has been shoveled right back on us in last place.
• Distant roads are callin'. Seven games in Arizona and San Francisco aren't seven games in Atlanta and St. Louis, but the Mets have treated every road trip as if the home team is a division champ. No time left for that.
• Seven games in Atlanta and St. Louis are, by the way, just around the corner.
• Cameron is done. Piazza is out. Castro is exhausted. There is no first baseman per se. Floyd is trying to do too much. Beltran, no matter how valiant his return, has to be considered a question mark. Diaz is a terrific designated hitter who looks worse in right than he did when the season started. Trachsel has no slot and little patience, though you can't blame him for either situation. The pen is the pen is the pen. That's a story as old as Robert Moses.
To distill Jewish Heritage Day to its essence, oy.
This, like all those other instances when we were tempted, is no time to bury the Mets. But will it ever be time to declare they are truly alive and well and likely to go out on top the way my favorite show has?