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For the Mets, being “just good enough” isn’t good enough

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Robinson Cano #24 and J.D. Davis #28 of the New York Mets celebrate after scoring in the sixth against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 04: Robinson Cano #24 and J.D. Davis #28 of the New York Mets celebrate after scoring in the sixth against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 04, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Once again, the 2019 New York Mets have been just good enough to keep the fans interested. This isn’t good enough anymore.

The 2019 New York Mets season had a chance to become a special year. Just as we all believed their playoff hopes were dead, the team went on an amazing run to begin the second half of the season. They didn’t sell at the trade deadline, instead opting to add Marcus Stroman in a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

For a good part of August, the Mets were back in the playoff race. They continued to win games with regularity. Often, those victories included some triumphant comebacks. The season looked like it made its 180-degree turn practically overnight.

Eventually, the team had to play playoff teams again. They were swept by the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs at home. More losses sprinkled in, including the disastrous one against the Washington Nationals sandwiched between two wins, stole any hope of contending.

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Right as football is returning, the Mets are exiting from contention.

When Mets fans get pessimistic (is there any other version?) something you’ll often hear is how this organization only cares about doing the bare minimum. Examples of this include recent offseason additions of guys like Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier, and Jason Vargas.

During the Brodie Van Wagenen Era, it has been more about gambling on big names but not filling out the roster more appropriately. Still, the theme of not going the distance to make this team as good as it can be lives on.

This year, the Mets are headed toward a year of being just good enough. Their second-half run gave fans hope in August, surely leading to more ticket sales for the remainder of the season. Unlike 2017 and 2018 where there was no doubt by the end of June this team was going nowhere, this year’s squad managed to pull many back in.

Being “just good enough” works in some industries. In sports, it wears on supporters of the product.

In the 2010s, the Mets won 70-79 games each year except for the two postseason campaigns. Although 2019 may have a slightly different ending, it looks like it will—at best—conclude with a win total in the low 80s.

For management, this may be good enough. They packed the stadium in August and can spin that they won more games than the previous two seasons. The phrase “headed in the right direction” is bound to come out of someone’s mouth after game 162.

Next. The rise of J.D. Davis

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The thing about heading in the right direction is that it does not guarantee you reach your destination. The Mets did plenty in 2015 and 2016 to give fans hope for brighter days ahead to complete the decade. In the three years since, the Flushing faithful have been left with results that aren’t good enough.

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