There's nothing cute about the Mets getting pounded by the New York Yankees, the cross-town American League team whose management felt it necessary to install a field level moat to keep its regular fans away from the swells paying a couple of grand for the lame "Legends Club" seats in the $1.5 billion Vegas attraction that replaced the real American field of dreams on River Avenue in the Bronx.
Sure, the Mets play in a smaller, more fan-friendly ballpark in Corona and clearly their management feel more comfy in second team status - yet their lack of ambition as a franchise is showing; this is a team of Triple-A talent, journeymen, and 40-plus types on their last big league rosters. Yes, they're "hanging close" in the under-achieving triumvirate of the NL East with the Phils and Marlins - but that's because the Phils and Marlins aren't the Dodgers or Red Sox.
Blame the injuries if you will - two of this year's projected starting five are out, as are sparkplug Jose Reyes, cool centerfielder Carlos Beltran, and twilight slugger Carlos Delgado. David Wright is the one prime-time regular still in action, hitting for a high average with almost no power and a strikeout ration that should give him the nickname "Bonds." Filling in are a bunch of jumped up Mets like Santos and Murphy, and the elderly Gary Sheffield.
Even in their nice new park (despoiled by embarassingly and exclusionary "private" clubs built on the public dime that I'm formally urging Assemblyman Richard Brodsky to investigate) the Mets seem like a smaller, shrinking baseball team. The one exception: super-closer Frankie "K-Rod" Rodriquez, an upfront, in-your-face New York star whose temperament and talent are built for this city.
Pity he doesn't have the mangement or teammates to push his amazing closing talent to the post-season stage.