Let's run down what the New York Mets accomplished today.
1. They didn't commit a shocking mental or physical error.
2. Daniel Murphy gritted his way through one very good at-bat.
3. Johan Santana was terrific in a terrifying hitter's park.
But the first is damning with faint praise, the second was immediately rewarded with a double-play ball from an exhausted, lost David Wright and the third was an utterly wasted effort. It was a day in which the 3-4-5 hitters went 0 for 11 with six Ks and no Met had an extra-base hit — and, incredibly, it was the best showing of a lost weekend of horrifying baseball.
And so we've come to this: See this towel? There it goes. Thrown in. Done.
Oh, I'll be a faithful watcher and chronicler of Met games for the rest of 2009. It's long past too late to stop doing that — if I made it through 2003 and 2004, I can get through the rest of 2009. Hell, on October 6th I know I'll catch myself wishing I could watch David Wright strike out and Fernando Tatis hit into a double play, sick as that sounds. I don't have a choice about these things. I'm a Mets fan; I watch the Mets and celebrate the Mets and fume about the Mets and suffer with the Mets. It's what I do and what I'll continue to do.
But I no longer believe in the Mets. Their 2009 incarnation is done. Giant fork in the back. Over. Eliminated, with the math a technicality.
I know, they're four games back at the halfway point of the season. I know, they're missing blah and blah and blah and blah and blah. I know, the NL East is so pathetically bad that the proper course of action would be to bust the division down to AAA level and take another wild card from the other two divisions. I know all this.
But none of that matters. Ask yourself this: Is there anything about this team that makes you believe in anything except their capability to lose another game in a fashion somewhere between listless and excruciating? The ability to lose in some newly appalling manner is the 2009 Mets' only transcendent quality. In every other way they are drearily consistent: offensively inept, defensively sloppy, fundamentally unsound, mentally ill-prepared, poorly constructed and badly led.
I'm not done watching them. But I am done being deluded by them and disappointed by them. The towel is thrown in. Garbage time has begun.