Too Little, Too Late?

I came into my apartment building around 8:30 to go upstairs to my apartment and catch the rest of the Mets game after missing the first few innings. My doorman, who is a fair-weather fan, to put it mildly, looks at me sadly and says, "Too little, too late."

The Mets were leading the the hapless Milwaukee Brewers 5-1, and Pedro Astacio was proving again to be one of the lone smart free agent pick-ups Steve Phillips made this winter. The Mets bats came to life with Mike Piazza hitting anotehr home run, and Ty Wigginton continuing to spark life into the Mets line-up, both with his bat and his glove, saving Robbie Alomar from a very embarrasing error by staying alert and diving to catch a ball that Alomar bobbled like a hot potato. The play was reminisecent of Pete Rose's snare of Bob Boone's bobbled ball in the 1980 World Series clinching game for the Phillies.

Problem is, this doesn't happen on a consistent basis. The Mets can rough up a veteran pitcher one night and then make a rookie pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate. Every time it looks like they are going to fulfill the promise of a $102 million payroll, they go on to get swept by a good team like the Arizona Diamondbacks. It will get harder, not easier. After they hopefully batter the Brewers in their three-game set, they play the St. Louis Cardinals, who while struggling to cope with the loss of teammmate Darryl Kile, have been using the game of baseball as a catharsis of sorts, winning games. It's something this Mets team could watch, and learn from. They go on to have the Padres (a very bad team) and the Dodgers (a very good team) come to Shea. They then go on a road trip to San Francisco, who is in the wild card hunt, and then go to dear old Mike Hampton's new home, Colorado, for a three game series.

Speaking of Hampton, I know it's been talked to death already, but since he moved his kids back to Texas, what excuse does he have now for bolting to Colorado? The clean, crisp mountain air? Oh yes, that's the same air that enables the hitters to pound whatever he throws several bleacher rows deep. Just a thought.

So the likelihood of the Mets sparking a long winning streak off of the Brewers is not present, given the way they have been playing. There's a chance that they might pull off a September tease, but given Aramando Benitiez's history of choking in big moments, I don't think we'll see the Mets in the postseason. So I'm inclined to agree with my doorman that it's "Too Little, Too Late" even though the calendar says there's plenty of time for the Mets to make up ground in the wild card race. Unlike my doorman though, I won't start rooting for the Yankees. You might see me quietly cheering the Cardinals on, though.

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