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NY Mets: Searching for the identity of the 2021 team

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets is carted off the field after injuring his knee crashing into the wall making a diving catch hit by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets is carted off the field after injuring his knee crashing into the wall making a diving catch hit by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 26: Manager Luis Rojas #19 of the New York Mets looks on before a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on August 26, 2021, in New York City. The Giants defeated the Mets 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 26: Manager Luis Rojas #19 of the New York Mets looks on before a game against the San Francisco Giants at Citi Field on August 26, 2021, in New York City. The Giants defeated the Mets 3-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The New York Mets enter the final stretch of the 2021 regular season on a whimper. Once considered to be the favorites in the NL East, the Mets now find themselves with just a 3% chance to crack the postseason field. It would take a miracle to push the franchise toward its goal.

There are several factors involved in this roller coaster ride of a season. This begs an interesting line of questions: What is the identity of the 2021 New York team? And: What are the defining traits of the club?

The Options

The first challenge in providing an answer is sifting through the sea of possible answers. One that quickly comes to mind is underperformance. Key stars like Francisco Lindor and Michael Conforto have failed drastically in meeting preseason expectations. Supporting players such as James McCann, Jeff McNeil, Carlos Carrasco, and Dom Smith have also fallen short of their projections.

Another is poor decision-making. Rookie manager Luis Rojas has spent the latter half of the season facing scrutiny for his decisions in key moments. It seems increasingly likely that New York will be back in the market for a manager this offseason.

Additionally, new owner Steve Cohen has drawn criticism for the fan-like moves made during his tenure. The team made a major splash with the Lindor trade, but also passed on several other players. New York also made headlines for adding Javier Baez at the trade deadline. However, the lack of a postseason push, combined with a failure to address other needs has drawn the ire of the NYC fans and media.

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