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Back in the New York Rut

Thanks to the technological marvels of the day, I didn’t go Mets-less during nearly a week in Iceland. Maybe we don’t have flying cars yet, but I did use my phone to sit out in the post-midnight sunshine in rural Iceland listening to the Mets playing baseball on the other side of the world. My childhood self would have wanted that a lot more than a flying car anyway.

Still, I only heard an inning here and an inning there, so I was happy to get to spend the evening with my team tonight — the same team that arrived at Busch Stadium with a lineup Terry Collins [1] had reportedly spent 75 minutes constructing.

Seventy-five minutes, really? That was funny on multiple levels.

First of all, batting order isn’t worth arguing about — an ideal one would be worth about one win over 162 games, meaning Terry would have better off spending 7.5 seconds on the lineup and the other 74 minutes and 52.5 seconds writing “I WILL NOT KID MYSELF THAT ERIC YOUNG JR. IS A STARTING OUTFIELDER” as many times as possible.

Secondly, because 75 minutes was about how long it took me to go from mildly interested in the Mets to disgusted once again.

The details of the evening? They’re hardly worth recording, but OK, here they are for posterity’s sake [2]: Jonathon Niese pitched pretty well, the Mets didn’t hit with runners in scoring position, the Cardinals did, and a mild tragedy of a game curdled into a farce when Lucas Duda [3] failed to cover first and Daniel Murphy [4] then inexplicably gave the Cardinals a fifth out by not tagging a runner at second, a play so boneheaded that Anthony Recker and second-base ump Bob Davidson were left competing to see who could look most startled.

But like I said, the details don’t matter. Here’s what does: The Mets are fucking terrible, and they’re fucking boring.

When will that change? Terry is getting a lot of heat, but I can’t see Wally Backman [5] getting much more out of this roster. Sandy Alderson is taking his share of snark, but the GM has never been given a budget that didn’t turn out to be a bit of Wilpon misdirection. Bud Selig isn’t going to make the Mets’ crippled owners sell, or do anything else that needs doing in baseball. Whoever replaces Selig will be another corporate stooge who listens to owners and not fans, so don’t look for help there.

The best-case scenario? It’s that the Mets’ minor-league hitters arrive before the Wilpons’ payroll restrictions dictate that their solid starters depart, and they sneak into the playoffs one year. It’s not impossible — the Royals are in first place, after all. But everything has to go right for that to happen, and it generally doesn’t.

So in the absence of a baseball miracles, expect more of the same — a Mad Lib in which you can fill in a different name for the pissed-off starting pitcher and identify lunkheaded fielders A, B and C and record six or seven names of guys who didn’t hit when it mattered.

Baseball that’s fucking terrible and fucking boring, in other words. Can’t wait!