Mets don’t deserve to be in a playoff race


In the immortal words of Jim Mora, “Playoffs?! Don’t talk about playoffs! Are you kidding me? Playoffs?! I’m just hoping we can win a game, another game!”

That is the best quote for this New York Mets team because this is getting ugly. Week after week and series after series, we have waited. After every win we’ve asked, “Is this the start of a hot streak?”

Sure enough, the very next game, we’ve been given the answer in the form of a resounding “No.” By now we’ve all heard the stat. The Mets haven’t won two games in a row since the first week of July. What’s worse is that would-be huge wins turn into losses in the blink of an eye.

Losses like Wednesday night’s game to the Diamondbacks and two weeks ago to the St. Louis Cardinals really have had an extra sting. It’s almost as if the baseball gods talk to each other during Mets games: “We agree they will lose this one, but how can we make it heartbreaking?”

That in and of itself is the story of the 2016 New York Mets. They are a team that has found ways to lose time and time again. Has any other team loaded the bases with no one out only to not score a run more often than the Mets?

When it hasn’t been that, it’s been the manager finding the reliever that is most likely to implode on a nightly basis or the lineup that makes the least sense.

This season has been exhausting, and the fact that the Mets are only 2 games out of a wild card spot speaks more of the mediocrity of the National League this year than it does, the quality of the Mets. This team does not deserve to be in the playoff conversation.

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The Mets have been a bad team since May, now eight games under .500 since that point (42-50). A team like that in any other year would be buried in a playoff chase.

What has been so frustrating this year is that if the Mets had even one run in them where they could win, say, 7 out of 10, they’d probably be in a playoff spot.

But that hasn’t happened, and it doesn’t look likely to happen. Watching the Mets this year has been like watching an honors student become a burn-out; just so much wasted potential and so many bad decisions.

Of course no conversation about the 2016 Mets can be had without the mention of injuries. There have been too many to list but the Mets still had enough to be a good team in the mediocre National League.

The bigger culprit has been the poor performances up and down the lineup. Travis d’Arnaud has complimented his putrid defense with an even uglier offensive output this year.

He hasn’t been helped by batting 8th in the lineup the majority of this season but he’s made Mets fans reminisce to the days where he was forever on the DL and represented hope.

Curtis Granderson has looked diminished this year. At this rate, he will be a fourth outfielder heading into 2017. At least, he should be. Of course, that will never happen as long as Terry Collins is still around. Terry loves his veterans, no matter how washed up they seem.

And yes, Terry and his staff deserve a lot of the blame for this year’s performance. Contrary to what some fans believe, he has added anywhere between 5-10 losses to this team with his mishandling of lineups and the bullpen.

I can hear the apologists already. “It’s not Terry’s fault that the players aren’t performing,” they’ll say. Where does it say that a manager can’t be judged unless he has all-star caliber production out of every position? Terry has made horrible judgment calls this year from lineups to the bullpen, to even when to challenge or not.

“The players like Terry, they play hard for him!” That can’t be true. If they like playing for him so much than why do they seem so lifeless? They can’t all like him because it is evident he plays favorites. He allows players to convince his management of the team i.e. Matt Harvey in the ninth in game 5 of the World Series. That’s what his players probably like.

Just two weeks ago, Terry let Jeurys Familia talk him into letting him pitch against the Rockies after blowing what could have been the biggest win of the season the night before. He was supposed to originally be unavailable but he convinced Terry to put him in. We know how that turned out.

Terry has mismanaged so many players, usually the young ones. Michael Conforto hasn’t been the same since facing Madison Bumgarner on May 1st. While it’s unlikely that facing him put him into a 3 ½ month slump, it’s not impossible. What was the reasoning from the manager that day?

All last season and into 2016, the Mets had shielded Conforto from facing left-handed starters, and then suddenly he gets a start facing arguably the best left-handed pitcher in the league. And now, Conforto rots away on the bench most games, in favor of Ty Kelly? Oh and he’ll bat second!

Next: TJ Rivera gets the call

There has been so much wrong with the Mets this season, it’s hard to even imagine them as a playoff team this year. The team looks lifeless, and in sports you don’t fire the players, you fire the coach.

It may not be fair to some, but in the long run, the Mets will be better off if Terry Collins is relieved of his duties, along with the rest of the coaching staff.

Dan Warthen has not taught any of his pitchers how to hold base runners on first and Kevin Long hasn’t imparted on Mets hitters, the art of changing your approach according to the in-game situation.

Meanwhile Terry Collins has had the team below .500 far more times than he has had it above that mark over the past six seasons. Based on the team’s play, it may happen sooner rather than later. Maybe it will light a fire under some of the players, and maybe it won’t. They have to try!

It’s still not too late to salvage the season. The Mets are only 3 games out of a playoff spot. Playoffs?!