200 Miles From the Citi

August 26, 2009 12:35 AM


It's absolutely ridiculous that the Mets have lost another player to a season-ending injury. It's absolutely ridiculous that it's another one of their stars. It's ridiculous when you look at the Mets starting lineup from Opening Day and everything that's happened since (which we'll do tomorrow).

But the injuries have directed attention away from a simple fact: The 2009 Mets were going nowhere.

And the injuries probably saved Omar Minaya's job.

Johan Santana was about the only thing worth watching on the Mets for the season's final month. Now he's just the latest of what has become an almost laughable string of Mets injuries.

There's probably plenty of blame to be put on the Mets' medical staff, since there have been so many injuries and they have lasted so long, but I want to focus instead on the way this team was playing before all the injuries.

Yes, the Mets were in contention before everyone started heading to the DL. They were in first place for a bit, even when people started getting hurt the Mets were within a couple of games of first, right in the thick of things.

But I've never seen a more uninspired bunch. And that was going on all season long.

After the way the 2008 season ended, with the Mets being denied a post-season appearance in the final game in their home ballpark (not just of the season, but of all-time), coupled with the fact that it was the second year in a row that they had met that type of fate, I wanted the Mets to come out this year guns-a-blazing and never look back.

Instead, they played 9-12 ball in April, the low-light of which was the tremendously lackadaisacal effort they put forth in what was supposed to be an exciting opening of their new home ballpark. If ever there was a night that indicated that this team was not built to win a big game, that was it.

But the Mets never got a chance to show how poorly built they were, because they didn't have their best lineup in the game for much of the season. And yes, that was an excuse for how poorly they played, but it was also a mask for how poorly they would have played.

Some key parts will change in 2010 due to expiring contracts and personnel moves, but two pretty important pieces will be the exact same. Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel are supposedly safe. And I haven't seen anything from those two spots that shows me that 2010 will be any different from the way 2009 started out, no matter who's in the lineup.

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