I was vacationing in the Catskills last week, and I’m not sure if I missed anything.

I know that the “meaty” portion of the Inter-League schedule began with a dreadful, boring three-gamer with the Angels at Citi – and what the hell is a Tyler Chatwood, anyway? Dropping two-of-three to an Anaheim squad which is the Webster’s definition of “mediocre” did not send me off to the mountains brimming with confidence about this year’s Amazin’ edition.

Luckily, form held in the next three contests against the not-so-swingin’ A’s. Granted, this crew had a different, more professional look after a player mutiny cashiered former skipper Bob Geren. Geren was succeeded by would-be Mets’ handler Bob Melvin, who has turned things around a bit with a little lineup tinkering, but other than the good ol’ green-and-gold togs, this Oakland team bears little resemblance to the dynastic teams of the early-70’s or late-80’s. To wit: losing the second game on a walk-off Hit-By-Pitch – although that might have been payback from the Baseball Gods from the Balk-Off travesty in Atlanta the week before. The Mets then went down to Texas where they trembled before the massed might of the Rangers’ power attack on Friday night (6/24), then made the Rangers bleed to death with a thousand razor nicks the next two days to come away with a most unlikely and encouraging series win.

I’m not entirely sure I should be encouraged.

Before the final game in Texas, I was speaking with a cousin of mine – a Yankee fan – who I hadn’t talked to in awhile and asked me what I thought of the Mets this year. My honest-to-God answer was “I have no idea.” This is a team missing three key components, yet they are still at .500 This is a team without a true thumper in the middle of the lineup, yet they managed to put 23 runs on the board in three games in Texas – without the benefit of a single homerun. This is a team that gives away a win on a balk, then wins a game on a soft HBP with the bases loaded. I did a little quick and dirty math and discovered that, of the Mets’ 26 series this year, they’ve won 12, lost 12 and split two. That’s .500, alright. There is really no way to pigeon-hole these Mets. Unfortunately, this could hamstring Sandy Alderson as we make our way toward the trading deadline, but I’m sure he’ll find a way to make it work, as he is The Smartest Man In The Room.

If the confounding play of these confounding Mets doesn’t drive him balmy first…

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