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Mets collapses of 2007-2008 revisited: What future teams can learn

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NEW YORK - MAY 14: Tom Glavine #47 of the New York Mets walks to the dugout against the Chicago Cubs on May 14, 2007 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 14: Tom Glavine #47 of the New York Mets walks to the dugout against the Chicago Cubs on May 14, 2007 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK – JULY 24: Oliver Perez #46 of the New York Mets reacts after getting into a bases loaded jam in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies on July 24, 2008 at Shea Stadium in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

A look back at the New York Mets’ consecutive collapses in 2007 and 2008. What can the current Mets team learn from this?

The New York Mets have had some bad seasons. The 1962 squad still has the most losses in a single-season. However, those dreadful years aren’t always the worst.

Sometimes, it’s the ones that slip away which can grind at fans most. Recently, it’s the collapses of 2007 and 2008 that still eat away at many of us.

A Retrospective of 2007-08

Shea Stadium set to a cloudy backdrop and extreme tension as Mets fans dreamt of a postseason berth, righting the wrongs of the season prior and extending the life of Shea Stadium. It was not only the last regular season game at the Mets only true home, up until that point, but it was another chance to win a playoff spot.

At 89-72 the Mets and the Brewers were fighting to land in the NL wild-card position. The Mets were playing the same Marlins team that eliminated them on the last day of the season prior and the Brewers were up against the Cubs. Thus tensions were high and in some ways detracted from the sentimentality of the day.

A tight game early on was broken up by the Marlins coming to a 2-0 lead in the start of the sixth. In response, Carlos Beltran lifted a home run to even the score at 2-2 in the bottom of that inning. However, the Mets never could gain that lead again as back-to-back solo blasts by Wes Helms and Dan Uggla sealed the Mets fate.

The solemn feeling triggered at the final out was quite surreal. An overwhelming sense of melancholy inundated every fan, at the ballpark and at home. Their team was eliminated twice on the last day of the season for two consecutive years, by the same opponent. This coupled with the fact that the only building any of them has called home was now being eradicated.

These two years of despair followed a great and exciting run to the fringes of the 2006 World Series. A Yadier Molina home run and a called strike three to Carlos Beltran ruined any aspirations in that season. The following day, after that playoff defeat, New York City was a grim portrait, only a few signs providing the Mets with support were still lingering in the windows of Manhattan buildings.

In truth, Mets fans vibrant hopes were smashed by the sudden drop in Wainwright’s curveball. The last view Mets fans had of their beloved Shea Stadium was the exit of two legends Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver. They bid farewell and exited Center Field. A  farewell to the 2008 season, that championship window, and Shea Stadium.

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