It couldn't actually happen. The Mets would get their act together come playoff time, right? Other teams blow seven-game leads with 17 to play, not these Mets. In your face, Jimmy Rollins.
But here we are, the day after the final chapter in the debacle known as the 2007 season, and now Mets fans as well as the angry mob known as New York sports writers are trying to make sense of it all.
Among the choice words:
General manager Omar Minaya called it "a setback" but pointed out that his team "won 88 games," as if that constituted improvement. Carlos Beltran characterized the team's dismal final 17 games as "a slump." David Wright said it was "a bump in the road."Most ominously, Wright said the team doesn't need a major overhaul, "just a few minor tweaks here and there." And all the Titanic needed was a patch--Wallace Matthews, Newsday
The Mets have the moves in the dugout, but maybe their focus should have been, say, on attention to detail on the basepaths rather than choreography. They seemed bored with their competition at points during the season, and it showed with inattentive play--Adam Rubin, Daily News.
It’s never been more appropriate for a team to play in a city called Flushing--Mark Hale, New York Post.
The Mets had installed extra seating behind home plate for the playoffs, and [manager Willie] Randolph had done a book deal in anticipation of a hearty October run. But in the end Sunday, Shea looked like a place where tumbleweed goes to die--Ian O'Connor, Bergen Record
But enough about what happened on the field. What happened in the stands also mattered. After all, 3.8 million tickets were sold this year. That had to count for something, as Kevin Manahan deftly pointed out in the Star-Ledger.
"Time to go, folks!" one usher yelled. "The season is over. Move it! Now!"
And then they came upon weepy 11-year-old Michael Gambro in Section 41, on the first-base side, tears trickling down the side of his freckled nose.
In the last game of the season yesterday, with a postseason berth on the line, Gambro -- wearing a Jose Reyes shirt and a blue-and-orange No. 1 finger -- had watched his sleepwalking heroes lose, 8-1, to the Florida Marlins. And now, with mom's arm around him, the weight of the worst September collapse in baseball history was breaking his heart... Yes, the season was over, but The Last Fan wasn't ready to go.
"Ma'am," an usher said to Sue Gambro, "you and the boy have to ..." He noticed the tears. "Never mind," he said. "You take all the time you need."
I know exactly how he feels.