Once upon a time, the loss of starters like Andres Torres, and what we should have reasonably expected from Jason Bay, Mike Pelfry, and now Ruben Tejada, might have escalated into near calamitous events for a team existing under an ever darkening cloud hovered over Flushing. I’m making a slight reference to a different day with different players, managers, a different General Manager, and a few more nuances at work of course. We can agree though, the culture in those days was more akin to a feeding frenzy. Fans and Media alike were just waiting for the next drop of Met Orange to hit the water, because they were almost sure it would.
Whether you wanted to see Mr. Wilpon ruined or reborn on somewhat firmer ground, is not a matter today. At this point, the since closed Madoff Matter gave us all resolution. That in itself got this year started off on a bright note. Then the regular season started. And for the first time since 1971, the Mets sported an all home grown line-up. I think that helped get this still young season off on a good note as well. While players are players no matter where they come from, symbolically, Mets Fans care about that. It brought us back to a time when Gil Hodges was still calling shots at Shea. And low and behold, we find so many of them to our liking.
The Mets have done more to stay above .500 this season, than they’ve done to play themselves below that level like in seasons gone by. Yet they’ve done it with horrific defense at times, and Sandy Alderson’s harrowing reconstructed bullpen. No one is really complaining about either yet – much. There are grumblings, but nothing with teeth or venom like in the past. Instead, I generally hear Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins receiving much of the credit for the team seemingly turning a corner. On the Terry Collins part, that is very accurate.
I thank Sandy Alderson well for the purge he undertook. The process was swift, effective, and may yet still prove productive. See Zach Wheeler. In that, Sandy deserves much credit. But until Sandy’s own seed planting program starts to grow, this is still largely Omar Minaya’s team; Phase II that is. And that goes largely under spoken.
Had Omar Minaya Tweeted jokes of the kind Sandy Alderson did en route to Spring Training, the Media would have demanded Omar be burned at the stake in a Friday 5:15 p.m. Times Square extravaganza, so everyone could attend. After 2006, the sharks began to circle and the Media played Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel like fiddles. There in lie two more dynamics at work that have given our present day a different feel. Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins both are the alpha-males, so to say, when it comes to Q and A. There is no doubt who controls the line of questioning. Therefore, they kind of control perception right now. That wasn’t so under Omar Minaya and Willie, then to Jerry.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to ponder whether that black cloud over Flushing is finally lifting. But I thought it too premature. There is however, an undeniable breeze of fresh air blowing through Flushing. But I will only allow myself to say the feeding frenzy has stopped; nothing more. Sandy Alderson won’t be chumming the waters off Flushing Bay like Omar did on occasion and thus, the Media is a little more docile these days, and far more forgiving of a young team that was, before last night’s game, teetering two games over .500, than at times over recent years when the Mets were in similar situations with what everyone believed were vastly superior players, not to mention more expensive one’s too.
I guess what they say is true – More money, More problems. The Mets are free of that now. As far as that dark cloud over Flushing? There’s signs it wants to break up. But it’s still there – hovering.
Check your footwear. Check the fit. My kicks feel just fine. How about yours? My point? The proverbial other shoe isn’t about to fall off the Mets season. As Mets Fans, I think I can speak for most when I say we are far from that sense for a change. But if Omar was still here and left to continue his plan, then the team, and the season, heading into a series with the Phillies would be hanging on by a shoe lace, with or without Terry Collins as his manager. Wouldn’t it? Never mind that Jordany Valdespin; another Minaya signee; won the game for the Metropolitans last night.
That’s perception at work, and what people who bring you Popular Opinion do. This wasn’t an “I wish Omar was still here” or a vote against Sandy Alderson. In both cases, the opposite is true. I just merely want to keep things accurate, and perhaps get the Media to help lift that cloud over Flushing they helped to extraordinarily, or should I say, extraneously, create. They can’t just absolve themselves from the way they delivered the news. I’m not saying they were inaccurate, or unprofessional in any manner. But they were alpha in their relationship with Omar and his field managers. They are having a far more difficult time manipulating the current GM and his manager. Has that also added to the nice breeze blowing through Flushing?
That’s just my perception. And by the way, Bobby Parnell is the only one pulling his weight out of Sandy’s bullpen so far.
Where is the revisionist history?