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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Everything Ends

You’ve probably heard this before, but baseball is designed to break your heart.

Twenty-nine of 30 fanbases are destined to have their teams’ seasons end other than the way they’d wanted — with a victory that doesn’t mean anything or a loss that means everything. If you’re one of the unlucky 29, there comes an afternoon or evening when your fervent hopes, pinch-me dreams and wild imaginings are all snuffed out over three or four fatal hours, replaced with months of winter and silence.

For a long time in 2022, we were among the dreamers — cheering on a team built to win and able to live up to its blueprint, with that intangible more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts something that says, “Psst, you’re gonna want to keep your October calendar free. Because this could be the year.”

Until the night that the verdict was delivered that it wasn’t.

I was there for that night, also known as Game 3 of the Wild Card Series. I was at Citi Field up in 527 with my wife and kid, and at least I can report that it was a beautiful evening, not at all the chilly ordeal I’d braced and dressed for, with a searchlight of a full moon in the sky and Jupiter riding shotgun. Unlike Game 1, we had good neighbors — knowledgeable about the game, passionate about the Mets, and philosophical and mournful instead of vengeful and irrational once things spun out of control. My favorite neighbor was in the row below me, a kid about seven or eight in a pint-sized ALONSO 20 jersey. He was still waving his THESE METS towel and chirping Let’s Go Mets!, enthusiasm not at all diminished, with two out in the ninth and the Mets down by six. Nobody gave him so much as a side eye even as the rest of us huddled in our own misery — his optimism was so simple and unassailable that I think it made more than a few of us wonder when, exactly, we’d set that aside in our own lives.

Ah, the game. Sigh.

Look, I was 500 feet from home plate. I can’t tell you anything about Joe Musgrove‘s stuff or location or the Mets’ obviously futile approach to countering it — all I know is Mets kept coming to the plate and leaving in consternation and/or dejection. What was apparent even from 500 feet away, though, was that the Padres flat-out beat the Mets. They pitched better, they played sterling defense, they took advantage of their offensive chances. That’ll do it.

I also can’t tell you anything about Musgrove’s shiny ears or the rest of that whole contretemps. (I’d gone to the bathroom and was nonplussed to emerge and discover a gaggle of players and umps at the mound.) As the umpires were examining Musgrove’s various body parts, our section started tilting phone screens for neighbors to see and then passing them around, showing charts of spin rates and discussions of Vaseline and Red Hot and pitchers’ baseline sweatiness and opinions from Jerry Blevins and Andrew McCutchen and video clips and freeze frames from the broadcast — an impromptu amateur digital investigation. (I’m just happy that in the end the consensus was that Musgrove was innocent, because an alternate conclusion would have been a huge mess and we’d all just be more unhappy.)

It was interesting being part of a baseball hive mind, but my memory flashed back to a very different game, one from May 1996 and the pre-cellphone era. Emily and I were in the Shea stands for an epic brawl between the Mets and Cubs on the day the Mets were lauding John Franco for his recently achieved 300th career save. Back then the Mets maintained a stuffy wanna-be patrician reserve about fights, refusing to acknowledge they were happening and afterwards not imparting  information such as who’d been ejected. This became important when the Mets took a two-run lead to the ninth but didn’t bring in the closer they’d just honored, sending those of us who had transistor radios or AM/FM Walkmen to WFAN to figure out what on earth had happened. Which enough of us did so that eventually everyone in our precinct of the stands had been informed that yes, John Franco had been ejected on John Franco Day. (The Mets blew the lead but won on a Rico Brogna walkoff homer. Good times.)

Anyway, to return to more recent history, the Mets lost one and then won one and then their opponents played better and so they lost a rubber game. There’s nothing earth-shaking about that — I could have just described several chunks of any season, even a 101-win one. But because this particular rubber game came in October, people will try and tell you it means everything. They’ll turn it into a referendum on the entire season, or say risible stuff about 26 guys wanting it more than 26 other guys, or opine about who was battle-tested or possessed the will to win. And it will all be nonsense. The Mets lost a rubber game in an exhibition series. It’s disappointing and I’m sad about it, but fundamentally that’s all that happened and all this other … stuff encrusting that fact is more than a little ridiculous. The postseason is a series of coin flips that we spin into Just So stories, and the more baseball I watch, the more resistant I am to the whole narrative industrial complex that surrounds the games.

It’s after midnight and I’m tired and sad. I’ll leave the elegies and the lyrical flights of fancy for another day — our calendars are suddenly clear, after all. But I do want to leave you with two thoughts.

First of all, don’t let losing an exhibition series sour you on a 101-win campaign that was marvelous fun for six months. I guarantee you there will be multiple sleepless nights when I’ll realize I’m fuming about Trent Grisham running down Mark Canha‘s line drive, or about having to remember that Trent Grisham existed in the first place. But that won’t stop me from also remembering Brandon Nimmo robbing Justin Turner, or the Mets’ ninth-inning ambush of the Cardinals, or the furious comeback against the Phillies, or Canha saving us twice in Philadelphia the day we discovered Nate Fisher was on the roster, or Francisco Lindor walking off the Giants, or Eduardo Escobar singlehandedly beating the Marlins, or that goofball combined no-hitter, or Nick Plummer‘s first big-league hit, or Brett Baty‘s first swing, or Francisco Alvarez unloading for his first Citi Field homer, or the day Adonis Medina faced down the Dodgers, or the crazy walkoff on Keith Hernandez Day (at least he couldn’t be ejected), or Escobar and J.D. Davis combining for an unlikely game-saving play at Wrigley, or a dozen Luis Guillorme plays that looked like special effects, or Jeff McNeil beaming with a batting title secured. Or so many other wonderful moments from 2022 that you shouldn’t forget. (Here’s a wonderful Twitter thread to bookmark, for starters.)

Second, don’t let disappointment keep you away from these last couple of weeks of baseball. We’ve already seen an astonishing Mariners comeback, a marathon win for the Guardians and the last bow for two generational St. Louis Cardinals, and we’re just three games in. Yes, these series are exhibitions, and it’s unfortunate that they turn regular seasons into footnotes instead of the other way around — but hey, I never said they weren’t fun exhibitions. Before you know it, we’ll be down to two teams and four to seven baseball games and then one team and no games at all. The lights will be off and the talk will be about player options and salaries and budgets and competitive balance taxes, and it will all be boring and it will feel like winter is never, ever going to go away.

It will — I promise — but not for a while. So stockpile all the baseball you can, even if the team we love to distraction and delirium and occasional dismay won’t be a part of what’s left.

50 comments to Everything Ends

  • Eric

    “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”
    – Bart Giamatti

    • Dave R.

      @Eric: I love that quote. It’s really beautiful. I love the final paragraph of that essay, too: “Of course, there are those who learn after the first few times. They grow out of sports. And there are others who were born with the wisdom to know that nothing lasts. These are the truly tough among us, the ones who can live without illusion, or without even the hope of illusion. I am not that grown-up or up-to-date. I am a simpler creature, tied to more primitive patterns and cycles. I need to think something lasts forever, and it might as well be that state of being that is a game; it might as well be that, in a green field, in the sun.”

    • Jacobs27

      Thank you both for sharing. Glad to have discovered this essay!

      • Eric

        You’re welcome. Bart Giamatti’s “It [baseball] is designed to break your heart” isn’t obscure, but neither is the reference universally obvious for baseball fans like say, the James Earl Jones’s Field of Dreams speech.

  • ManchesterMet

    And so the curtain falls on another season in Queens, and for those hardy few of us who watch the Mets from afar, at stupid o’clock in the morning, the nights are returned to their normal purpose. I wish it wasn’t so – I have loved this season, and loved the guys who have made it so very loveable. Pete, Jake, Mad Max, Luis, Edwin, Francisco, Jeff, Brandon, Mark, Eduardo, Starling, Seth, Trevor(s), – the player list could go on. But also Gary, Keith, Ron, and Jason and Greg, and all those otehr Mets fans who bleed blue and orange and who deserve the memories of the good times.
    Thank you for being there, and for being part of the journey. I wish the nights were still there for watching the Kings of Queens, but, for this year, it is not to be.
    But just wait for next year – next year will be the one, because hope always triumphs over experience. Always.

  • Curt Emanuel

    Musgrove worried me last night. I know next to nothing about that team but when I looked at pitching stats it seemed as if SD was doing the same thing we started out with – hold back their #2 starter for the opener of the LDS, only to be unpackaged in the event of an elimination game. But he didn’t 1-hitter worry me.

    The Mets are a great reason to take the “Hope for best, prepare for the worst” saying to heart. I have done that for most of my adult life, in a lot of ways ever since the summer of 1977. This year I felt more hope than I had since 2006-7. Even 2015 felt like a team on a strange run that I enjoyed and appreciated but didn’t quite believe. The first half of last season always felt like smoke and mirrors.

    Not this team, this year. This was a team without an obvious flaw, just lesser strengths. Sure, not a great power-hitting team and the relief pitching was more in the competent than standout category despite Diaz. But the first 4 months of the season saw all the players, Escobar excepted, having solid but not out-of-their mind seasons. We were missing the best pitcher on the planet and still leading by a chunk. And while I don’t keep track, it seemed like, unlike most seasons, this Mets team won games they should have lost more than they lost games they should have won.

    Fortunately we had September to bring me back to reality. I went into the playoffs hoping but not expecting – again, I’m trained – to regain midseason form. In the end I’m disappointed but not surprised, a state of mind I have had more seasons than not since 1986.

  • Dave R.

    The sadness is that I’ve rarely loved a Mets team as much as I loved this one. Just a great group of players that was exciting all year long. And this was the team that finally made my wife a Mets fan, even though she’s been watching me watch them for over 20 years. This particular group of players will never be together again, and that’s a little hard to take right now.

  • Matt

    I awoke and found myself still in the anger stage of grieving. It’s true, they merely lost a rubber game. It happens to the best teams multiple times a season. But the only reason they were in a position to have their season ended by a simple rubber game is because of their lackluster September and the utter debacle that was last weekend. I’d like to believe the cream would have risen to the top given a 5-game series, but we’ll never know, because the bums choked and backed their way into a coin toss series.

    FWIW, none of DeGrom, Scherzer and Bassitt looked right either last weekend or this weekend. Friday and Sunday and the half of Saturday looked like the Atlanta series all over again, with the offense doing nothing and the pitching unable to hold the line. So maybe they were all out of gas and the team lacked the horses to get anywhere good anyway.

    I don’t have a lot of experience with 100-win teams, but I thought they were supposed to feel a lot tougher to take down. I’ll be back when I move on to acceptance.

    • Eric

      “I don’t have a lot of experience with 100-win teams, but I thought they were supposed to feel a lot tougher to take down.”

      This is why our anxiety waiting for the other shoe to drop is going to be up next year. This year, the Mets seemed to be proving all season they were a legitimate contender, until the end when they failed like a pretender. Next year, the Mets can play sound contender-level baseball for 5 months and be in 1st place going into the last weekend of the season, yet our memory of this season’s pathetic end will inform our dread of the other shoe dropping, no matter how late, no matter how much the team has shown to the good. The whole time we’ll be looking for the signs of a coming collapse or choke that we imagine we overlooked this season.

  • eric1973

    This was a very enjoyable team, and a very enjoyable season. And each of the guys were very likeable. Hopefully, the new team next year will carry over in that regard. And Buck did change the culture.

    Buck was very likeable, for the first 5 months of the season. But then, as things got dicey, he became sort of prickly toward the media, would always answer ‘NO,’ and then challenge all the questions, in effect, clamming up. I can now see how he can slowly but surely wear out his welcome, leaving the ultimate prize for the next guy.

    The team did blow it in September. The way we played the first 5 months, and the EASY schedule we had in September, we should have easily won 105.

    With regard to Musgrove, Buck was holding some baseballs in his hand earlier in the game. So I think he thought he had a legitimate gripe there, just didn’t pan out.

    Next step is to root against the Yankees and the Braves, and then we’ll take it from there.

    • Guy K

      “Next step is to root against the Yankees and the Braves, and then we’ll take it from there.”

      Root against the Braves? No, that means rooting FOR the Phillies. I can’t do that, and I’m sure neither can a lot of folks on this forum. Jason urges us to enjoy the rest of the post-season, but the only Divisional Series I’ll have the stomach to watch will be Mariners-Astros.

      • Seth

        Have to root for the Phillies. Cannot root for twerpy little Travis d’Arnblow and his sad band of tomahawk choppers. Can never root for that team that begins with B.

  • Lenny65

    It was all over after Atlanta. That was the big test, and the Mets failed. Let’s be honest, they weren’t the same team after the Dodgers series. The pitching faltered, the bats went cold, and they just never woke up. Sure, for five months it was a terrific year, but the season kept going and the Mets didn’t. There’s no one scapegoat to blame, as everyone came up short when it mattered. It’s a real bummer and it’s gonna take some time to get over it.

  • Seth

    Baseball WILL break your heart, but not this kind of baseball. Hard fought contests between two excellent teams, with one team coming up just short, will break your heart. This was… something else. This was a team that we thought was good enough to go all the way, a team that had some element of magic that made you think anything was possible, that this year was “different.” This was a collapse that doesn’t just break your heart, it makes you seethe with anger and disappointment. That’s the stage of grief I’m in.

  • Rudin1113

    The season was a lie. The microcosm is one of those deGrom starts where he clocks in at 101 MPH in the first inning, compelling the increasingly insufferable booth into using schoolgirl crush superlatives, only to see him fizzle out in the sixth inning. Think about it—they played six crucial games over the last two weekends and were thoroughly outplayed (and worse, under-prepared) in five of them. That is not a small sample base. In retrospect, maybe we should’ve seen this coming. After all, in his long career, Buck-managed teams have won a total of one post-season series (two wild-card crapshoots notwithstanding). And judging by the tightness of the team, the folksy demeanor he affects in post-game press conferences and mid-inning conversations with Buster Olney clearly did not translate to the clubhouse. Sorry for the venting, but I actually feel worse this morning than I felt last night. Losing the LCS (or even the LDS) to the Dodgers would have been disappointing, but acceptable. I like to think there would have been tough, competitive games along the lines of 1999 or 2006. But this is not acceptable. I feel used and abused.

    • Lenny65

      Honestly, I kind of agree. We were all waiting for them to shake off the September fog they were in, and come out blazing vs. Atlanta, but instead they just rather meekly died. Not being able to get into gear for that series was a bad, bad omen. The big stars are the main scapegoats here, too. Scherzer, deGrom, Alonso, Lindor (among others) all failed when the going got tough.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Plenty of blame to go around for Braves and Padres series (and yes, Buck very much included) but it should have never come to this. Again, I blame mainly Eppler for the Sept. fade when the first round bye was likely. Here are what his “big” deadline pickups did this weekend: Naquin not even on roster; Vogie zilch; Ruf zilch (only hit he’s ever gotten it seems is HBP); Givens blew us out of even a comeback last night. Deadline blown so badly had to call up unready Vientos and Alvarez–and way too late at that. Starters Megill and Peterson sent to pen where they had no experience. Catching so weak had to start Nido with his 600 OPS every game. Guy with broken finger has to play RF and did nothing (miraculously never had to make a key throw). And half the best players now get to walk while Braves sign young and vets to longterm deals.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Now the question becomes “Who to root for the rest of the way?”

    Obviously, The Padres. I mean, I hate them (until Friday I had no opinion of them whatsoever), but at least if they take it all we can say, “Well they were a Team of Destiny” or some shit like that. But my heart won’t be in it, and I doubt if it will happen anyway.

    For me it comes down to rooting for various teams to lose. The Dodgers, Yankees, The F’n Braves, The Phillies and their fans. I kinda like the story The Team From Cleveland With the Stupid New Name is building.

    So, OK, Let’s Go Guardians!

    • Seth

      The Padres suck and lucked out by running into a zombified team like the Mets. Observe the Mariners for a team that has the talent to be an upstart surprise.

  • Julio

    Thank you for your passion as a Mets fan! We’ve endured a lot, I was only a year and a half old in 1986. However I obviously want to experience as an aware being lol our Mets winning one and preferably soon.

  • Guy K

    Can we dispense forever with the notion that the Mets ever have any kind of homefield advantage in the post-season?

    The last four times they have lost an elimination game at home:

    2022: 0 runs, 1 hit
    2016: 0 runs, 4 hits
    2015: 2 runs, 4 hits (in 12 innings)
    2006: 1 run, 4 hits

    Oh, and the last home elimination game before THAT was Game 5 of the 2000 World Series, in which the Mets went scoreless over their last 7 innings.

    So, that adds up to a total of 3 runs in their last 46 innings in home elimination games.

    The road teams in these wild card games this weekend went 3-6. But the Mets have made a particular art of timid offensive showings in do-or-die home games this century.

    • DAK442

      Well, this game wasn’t even close to a sellout, so that minimized the home field advantage. Uncle Steve needs to fire his ticketing department. I went online at 9:59 AM the day tix went on sale for this series, and picked Game 3. Was told the best seats available under $600 or so were nosebleeds in Section 513; against my better judgment I bought them. Saturday afternoon my wife goes on the Mets site, then goes off on me: “Why did you buy shitty upper deck seats for $200? There are field levels seats for way less!” and sure enough, plenty of field seats were available for $126 and less. They must have held them back or some such nonsense dreamed up by an algorithm nerd. Well, hahah, they beat me! Except, I think I’m done. At least for postseason games. $400+ for tickets, $50 to park… for a desultory one-hit affair? It’ll be TV for me from now on. Yep, I’m still in the Anger stage.

      Also, they need to stop giving out those stupid towels. Nobody is clapping or yelling, they’re just waving orange rags around.

  • Bob

    “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.”
    – Bart Giamatti

    First of all-THANK YOU to Greg & Jason for your great recaps every day during this season.
    You guys made my AM Mets updates great-
    I’ve seen too many of these late season Met crashes (no point listing them all), but that’s Mets baseball.
    So-THANKS again to all you folks for helping me keep what’s left of my sanity.

  • Lenny65

    No one wants to hear it, but nevertheless: Jerry Seinfeld was not wrong about that whole Timmy Trumpet thing. It came across as gloating, and not “we dare you to beat us” 1986 Mets gloating, but more like “premature celebratory” gloating. The entrance music stuff is cute and all, but making a whole huge thing out of it was a bad, bad idea. Does anyone remember when Schwarber hit that HR for the Cubs in a division series game and the Cubs encased the ball in glass like it was a venerated object? Then, they came out for the NLCS and got their asses kicked. Same difference with TT. The Mets went in the tank immediately after that. It was bad, bad mojo.

    • Guy K

      “It was bad, bad mojo.”

      See, also: Baja Men.

      • Lenny65

        I forgot all about that, as I’ve tried to blot the end of the 2000 from my memory, to the best of my abilities. Anyone who thinks this is as bad as it gets obviously missed 2000, as well as a whole bunch of other stuff, too. I mean yeah, this was a massive, massive disappointment, but the day after the 2000 WS ended was just inky black darkness, just staring helplessly into the abyss. I still haven’t totally gotten over it, either.

        Pre-game, post-game, cool. But staging things like TT DURING a game is asking to be noticed by the baseball gods of wrath. And you simply don’t cross them.

  • Frank

    When the day comes, and it will, that there’s another parade up the canyon of heroes, our hearts will be full and our heartbreaks will be soothed. And somewhere Frank Edwin McGraw will be smiling.

  • Dr. Lou Verardo

    Jason, thank you for this post. I am sad about our season ending, but I haven’t had this much fun as a Mets fan in years (and I was in the upper deck of Shea three games before we clinched the pennant in 1969). The guys on this team played as a unit, they hung out on the dugout top step talking to each other about the game in progress, they picked up each other each at-bat: in short, These Mets were terrific ballplayers who made every game thrilling and gave us fans 100% of their effort. When you figure that the team sustained multiple injuries throughout the season but kept on grinding, and repeatedly won games in oftentimes spectacular fashion: what more can we ask them to do?
    I have an account with TOPPS, and I collected as many of their TOPPS Now cards involving the Mets as I could this season. I know that I will pull those cards out over the winter and be able to relive some really special moments for the team. I am very grateful for that, and I am so very appreciative of all the players whose performance made those moments special. Everyone on the roster, starting with our manager, Buck Showalter, should reflect on how much joy and pride you gave to the fanbase during this 2022 season. Like Buck says, none of you need to apologize for winning 102 games this year; you played hurt at times, even tired, but you always played with heart.
    Thanks very much, guys.

  • eric1973

    “Mets announcer Gary Cohen said Showalter is “completely within his rights to ask the umpires to check a pitcher for foreign substances,” but “considering the circumstances, 4-0, sixth inning, season on the line, it smacked of desperation and was fairly embarrassing.” The live commentary was met with boos from Mets fans at the stadium.”

    Gary Cohen is an idiot.

    • Seth

      Why? Gary is 100% correct.

    • Lenny65

      I was embarrassed too. It only fired them up even more.

    • Eric

      Was Cohen aware of the shiny ear and spin-rate-jump evidence that Musgrove’s dominating performance was fishy? The Mets coaches may have spotted something on Musgrove’s used balls, too, a la Mike Scott, 1986 NLCS.

      The Mets looked desperate because they were desperate, on the verge of elimination. Given the actually desperate situation and the compelling evidence, it would have been as or more embarrassing for Showalter to let it slide.

  • Eric

    The final elimination game left no doubt. After winning wildcard game 2 like a contender — much like the Mets’ other wins since winning the Dodgers series — the Jekyll and Hyde yo-yo swung back harder than ever. Starter failed early. Line-up failed worse. Not a main culprit, but relievers gave up tack-on runs. Meanwhile, the Padres did exactly everything on pitching, defense, and offense to close out the Mets that we looked for the Mets to do in game 3.

    Beating the Padres would have softened the Braves sweep. Whereas failing the back-up path to the division series stands up the failure of the Braves series.

    I want to mark the Mets losing 3 of 4 to the Braves and 2 of 2 to the Yankees in August, after beating them 4 of 5 and 2 of 2, as early signs of the team slipping. But the Mets won plenty in August around those 2 series. The clearest before/after deviation is the win over the Nationals on September 2nd — the last game the Mets appeared reliable — and loss to the Nationals on September 3rd.

    If Eppler had made bigger splashes at the trade deadline, would that have changed the ending?

    In the end, the Mets had bigger problems than the trade deadline shortfall. In the end, the Mets’ primary advantage, the starting pitchers, failed. The line-up mainstays suffered RISP LOB and cold bats in the Braves and Padres series and September losses to bad teams.

    Meanwhile, the maligned bullpen held up and I can’t think of line-up additions that obviously would have compensated for the mainstay bats running hot and cold.

    Maybe adding players who could play the field in addition to DH would have allowed Showalter to rest the mainstays more after the trade deadline, and maybe more rest down the stretch would have boosted the offense. Marte’s September 6th injury took away the already limited line-up flexibility.

    It’s likely though that the unrelenting Braves chase-down would have dissuaded rest for the mainstays regardless.

    Related to the rest issue, the 27 games over 26 days in August, which the Mets handled well, may have exhausted the line-up mainstays for the stretch run. That excuse doesn’t apply to the pitchers who we counted on to carry the Mets in the post-season, though.

  • Eric

    The damage inflicted by the bottom of the Padres line-up highlighted Canha and Guillorme’s bats going cold. Early on, both bats, especially Canha’s, were instrumental lengthening a line-up that relied on contact over power.

    But both bats went cold. McNeil’s defensive versatility could make up for one but not both cold bats.

    This observation is especially frustrating because Canha and Guillorme emerged early in the season as favorites. I thought their combination of sound to elite defense, patience at bat, and contact skills would be key in a playoff run.

    But their bats went cold, Guillorme got hurt, and Canha’s production dropped off precipitously with more playing time, particularly after Marte’s injury.

  • eric1973

    All good points, Eric.

    After that PitchCom thing where Bassitt couldn’t hear whatever it is they say on those ridiculous little things, virtually all the rest of his pitches were “non-competitive,” as the kids say today.

    The National Broadcasters were brilliant in mentioning that perhaps the fans now need to be quiet so the pitchers can hear these stupid things.

    Instant replay has already halted all cheering at close plays because we know they will be decided by replay, and now you can’t even cheer when your guy is on the mound.

    And remember this about that, folks, Buck had some sort of evidence to do what he did, he didn’t just pull it out of his behind.

  • eric1973

    So now if I’m at the game, I can’t cheer, and the goody two-shoes fans tell me I cannot boo anymore.

    What the f am I supposed to do at the game, just stuff my face and then go to the bathroom?

  • Blair Schirmer

    “and the more baseball I watch, the more resistant I am to the whole narrative industrial complex that surrounds the games.

    —-Bravo. One beauty of baseball is that we get to shape our experience through the creation of stories describing what we just saw, but when stories for the sake of stories overwhelm what is fundamentally a true-talent base subject to enormous randomness, the disease of necessity takes hold and stories are relentlessly manufactured because airtime and column inches demand them.

    Gah. Who can write in this 1.5″ by 3.5″ box? It’s like a prison cell. Change it, please!!

    Fascinating year. The seeds of disaster planted in the offseason bore the regrettable, sour fruit we tasted in Atlanta then just now in Queens. Cohen, desperate for respectability after a humiliating first year, sought to buy his way out by paying the AAV of TWO Cy Young Candidates to a 37-year old suffering a dead arm the previous season. This after looking to buy respectability the year before with the disastrous, obviously foolish trade for Lindor, followed by a silly bidding war against himself to justify that trade. It was horrible to watch, as if he was a Wilpon who had just inherited a working casino.

    So an old, good team, exhausted, unable to rally, collapsed at the finish line. It was a predictable story, and a reasonable one. Next year the Mets who remain will be older still, while the Braves in large will be closer to their collective primes.

    I think it’s $148m for the 9 Mets players under contract. With no one in the minors looking anything like a certainty to warrant starting on the 2023 Mets, does Cohen remain on the free agent treadmill, buy an entire bullpen including closer to keep Drew Smith company, bring back Nimmo, probably the only FA CFer worth signing, add a 4th OFer worth the name, and two good starting pitchers plus Carrasco?

    That costs Cohen around $300 million, and buys only a solid 2nd place projection behind Atlanta. It will also tend make the team worse in 2024 and probably 2025, and even after that if he’s not careful. Based on the deadline in particular, he doesn’t have the FO talent needed to steer himself and the Mets through these cloudy waters.

    Should be an engaging tale, even so.

    • Eric

      If the Guardians make an upset-filled playoff run starring Gimenez and/or Rosario after Lindor came up small in the WC round, that will be quite a story.

      • greensleeves

        Agreed. Gimenez brief tenure with the Mets showcased a most worthy stroke and a some flashy glove leather. Happy to root for the Indians/Guardians
        (what an awful new moniker) and hope these former Mets stick it to the Yanks. Go Tribe!

  • Joey G

    Why do we invest six months of time, energy and capital every year into an endeavor that we cannot control and can bring us so much pain?

    1) “Tears of Joy!”

    2) “It gets through Buckner, and the Mets win it!”

    3) “What a Grab (by Agee)!

    There is nothing in this world that can top that euphoria, and there is always the hope (in a deck stacked against us) that it can happen again. As that great philosopher Mel Brooks once wrote in the theme to “The Twelve Chairs,” “Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst!” Let’s Go Mets!

  • Eric

    It may takes years before the insider view of the 2022 season becomes available to fans, but I’m curious about the Mets’ assessment of what happened.

    The 77-85 2021 Mets were in first place for much of last season, so we fans were careful about raising our hope this season. For five months, the team convinced us by consistently checking off the boxes, based on the flaws of past disappointing Mets teams, that showed us these Mets were a legitimate contender.

    The Mets suddenly and mysteriously changed for the worse after winning the 1st game against the Nationals after beating the Dodgers. Even so, as late as the final Braves series, the Mets won enough in the face of the unrelenting Braves chase to only need 1 win over the Braves to place a stranglehold on the division.

    They utterly failed in Atlanta like a pretender. The Mets team that pathetically lost the division and the wildcard series wasn’t the same team that earned our hope over the first five months of the season.

    Quite a few World Series champions were wildcards that struggled to reach the playoffs and then flipped a switch in the post-season. The Mets didn’t. The team that the Padres beat was the same team that the Braves beat. I wonder why that is.

  • open the gates

    In the end, it goes back to ol’ Bart – baseball will break your hearts. The only reason the Mets were so disappointing is because they were so good for so long, and got cold at the worst possible moment. I had high hopes because the Mets were a series-winning machine for much of the year, and the postseason is all about winning series. Well, so much for that.

    Having said that, even with the final disappointment, the Mets gave us an incredible year. We shouldn’t flush that down the toilet. 101 wins is still the second-best regular season in franchise history, and saying that it doesn’t matter is thinking like a Yankee fan. Let’s not go there, shall we?

    Finally, yet again, many thanks to Greg and Jason for expressing our thoughts and emotions far better than we could ourselves. It’s been a crazy ride, and you guys have been there for every crest and valley. Thank you.

  • K. Lastima

    The wild card series was lost when they came out for game 1 wearing those stupid black jerseys…bad mojo! I’m really surprised that Uncle Steve would commit such a Wilponesque miscue. First home playoff game in 6 years, the rabid fan base is primed and decked out proudly in BLUE and ORANGE and the team takes the field in BLACK, just plain idiotic. First off-season move for Uncle Steve should be to renounce those horrid black unis once and for all, preferably with a public burning in the Citifield parking lot.

    • Seth

      I hate them too (and even more so now), though I can’t support the idea that a jersey color affects a player’s performance.

  • Jacobs27

    It’s strange to see Wheeler and Syndergaard pitching in the post season for the Phillies. Albeit in a losing effort.

    • Eric

      With the Mets rotation and bullpen in flux, I wonder if Syndergaard finds his way back home this off-season. It’s not like he’s found the grass greener on the other side.

  • Jon

    If Timmy Trumpet had not played at Citi Field, we would have had the exact same season, except for Timmy Trumpet playing at Citi Field.

  • open the gates

    Jon is absolutely right. As any physicist (or philosopher) will tell you, correlation does not prove causation. A baseball team’s losing ways are not caused by having a renowned trumpeter performing live at your stadium. Or by black cats crossing your path. Or by fly balls hitting and killing birds (see: McReynolds, Kevin). Or by various FAFIF hosts attending or not attending home games. Teams lose baseball games when they are outperformed by the teams they are facing. Period. There is no such thing as “bad mojo”. And no, Virginia, there are no baseball gods.

    By the way, if I’m wrong about any of the above, particularly the last point, I am also a diehard Braves fan. Or Yankee fan. Or both.

  • eric1973

    Braves out! Wooo!