Forgive me if I'm waxing too metaphorical for a mid-April baseball game...but here I go.
The Mets' present (and recent past) can be summed up in David Wright's final two at-bats Sunday night - a game in which the Cardinals came from behind to beat the Mets, 5-3, with the help of two home runs.
In the fifth inning, men on first and second, Mets up three, David Wright takes strike three. (Let's leave aside the fact that the Adam Wainwright curveball that got him looking was near identical to the hook that ended the Mets' 2006 season.)
In the eighth, tie game now, Wright can't catch up to a fastball and goes down swinging again.
After both at-bats, Wright flings his bat towards the dugout, followed by his helmet...the second time with a little more force than the first.
Clearly he's frustrated.
I've never been fooled by a Wainwright fastball, but I know how he feels. I'm more frustrated with this team more now than I've ever been.
And though I don't advocate the childish tossing of equipment in a professional ballplayer's tantrum, I'm happy Wright is doing it. I want him to be frustrated. Because I don't think there's going to be a solution until we admit there's a problem. And there's a big problem here.
And sometimes I fear David Wright is the only one who sees it.
Maybe it's just that he's the face of the franchise, so I put it on his shoulders - but I don't really see a similar frustration level out of other players. They look like people just going through the motions.
I get a sense that Jose Reyes is personally frustrated. I get a sense that Jerry Manuel is scared for his job and panicky. I get a sense that Jeff Francoeur just doesn't care all that much.
From David Wright, I get a sense that he knows something is terribly wrong, and there's only so much he can do, and he's not doing enough as it is.
I hate hate hate calling for people's jobs. I wouldn't want to show up for work and know that there are people out there that want me to go. But the education field is a bit different than Major League Baseball. The Mets need someone in the dugout they can respond to. They need someone to get it through their heads that baserunning gaffes are not OK in the majors.
The Mets need to make tons of changes. Designating Mike Jacobs for assignment (with the immediate replacement being Tobi Stoner, but Ike Davis likely before the week is up) is just the tip of the iceberg. Major management overhaul and more personnel changes are needed. They need to shake things up.
It's especially frustrating for me to watch a Mets game and not feel excited.
I've never felt like this before the past couple of years, and it's scary. I used to live or die by a win or a loss. It's a weird feeling to be relieved when the Cardinals come back from down 3-0 to take a 5-3 lead and validate your feelings that your club is not going to hold its lead. That you breathe a sigh of relief when John Maine has more than 100 pitches in the fifth inning because you knew he was the worst person to have on the mound the night after a 20-inning game depleted the bullpen and you just wanted to be right. To feel bad when the Nationals lose because they're not moving farther ahead of your team in the standings.
To not care about your team the way it is currently constituted.
It's a frustrating feeling.
If I was David Wright, I'd be throwing my bat and helmet too.