The New York Mets, as currently constituted, are going nowhere in 2009.
It's not just Oliver Perez, though his performance to this point hasn't helped.
It's not the fact that they walked in the winning run in the tenth inning against the Phillies on Saturday, though that makes my blood boil.
It's not that they seem to lack fire...though that's taking away from my enthusiasm.
It's a combination of all of those things, certainly, but mostly it's the fact that the Mets just aren't good enough right now to do anything this year.
I said it on Opening Night at Citi Field, when the Mets were cheered by the crowd that night...I said, "If it wasn't for the new ballpark, I bet this same group would be getting booed right now." Because while optimism usually reins during the home opener celebration, I think the fans are starting at the setting "fed up", instead of working their way in that direction. I'm as optimistic as they come, and I feel like there's a dark cloud (baseball-related, that is - which I'm starting to learn to ignore...more on that another day) following me around.
Maybe the Mets will turn out to be the best of what has so far been an unimpressive National League East...but that's not saying much. If the Mets are going to do anything in October, they need to make a change...and it has to come before the trade deadline in July.
I think Omar Minaya did a great job with the bullpen this offseason. But I don't know anyone who cares about the Mets who wasn't thinking that the rotation needed work. I never wanted Derek Lowe, but he was available, and so was a player like Brad Penny who was worth a flyer, among others. I wanted to believe that Oliver Perez would show up come the big games...but it doesn't get any bigger than a Saturday in early May when the manager says you have to prove yourself. And he flopped in that game. So Minaya failed the team there...and perhaps his hands were tied financially - but the money that went to Perez could have gone elsewhere.
And now the good work that went into building up the bullpen might have to be turned around to deal for the types of starting pitchers that could have been had in free agency. So a strength could be turned into a weakness in order to turn a weakness into a strength.
And it didn't have to be that way.
But if it doesn't happen....2009 is looking like a disappointment.