It’s a pretty special day today. It’s Christmas Eve, the most wonderful time of the year, as it says in the song. For Mets fans, the most wonderful time was October 5 through November 1. That’s when the team breezed through the NL playoffs and came up just a few innings short in the World Series. That’s the fifth Pennant in club history. They now have an opportunity cash in and take hold of the NL for a long time to come. From over here, it looks like they won’t seize that opportunity – just like the last time they won the Pennant.
In the winter of 2001, fresh off a semi-exciting Subway Series loss, the Mets could have signed a young, slugging shortstop named Alex Rodriguez. They were scared off by his contract demands for peripheral stuff – autograph rooms, tents in the parking lot or some such — but supposedly, the money was agreeable. GM Steve Phillips opined at the time that he didn’t feel comfortable turning the Mets into a “twenty-four-plus-one” kind of club. Instead, Rodriguez signed a ridiculous contract with Texas and we know the rest: we see it uptown every day. Instead, the Mets looked to repeat by standing pat. Instead, they finished third in the NL East at 82-80.
Right now, the Mets could be in talks to retain the services of Yoenis Cespedes. They could be, but they won’t be. Instead, they’ve signed the definition of a fourth outfielder, Alejandro De Aza to platoon with Juan Lagares and solve the outfield problem. Right. We all know this solves nothing. You think this doesn’t look like A-Rod all over again? It’s clear now that the budget constraints on the team are all too real and any “official” proclamations to the contrary are just so much Queens smog. It’s a shame: we coulda been a contender.
In any case, Merry Christmas one and all!
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