Saturday, May 17, 2008

How's it Going at the 1/4 Mark? NL East

We're about 25% of the way through the regular season, so it's about time to stop and take stock of what's going on, division by division. Let's take a look at the surprises and disappointments, and try to determine what's just a fluke and what's going to last.
Boy, there's a huge ruckus coming out of New York about the Mets, with silver-tongued Billy Wagner feeding the fire. Wagner recently called out and cursed out his teammates for not speaking to reporters. Wagner then backtracked, saying he was criticizing the media, not his teammates, which is about as transparent a lie as you'll come across. The Mets called a big team meeting today to discuss Wagner's comments and the state of the team. Manager Willie Randolph is now perceived to be on the "hot seat," with somebody trying to shake the team out of its malaise.
Oh, and by the way -- the Mets are 21-19. They're 1.5 games out in the division, in 3rd place behind Florida and Philadelphia. Now, to you and I, 21-19 and 1.5 out probably doesn't sound like a good reason to start pushing the panic button and burning people in effigy. But then, you and I don't live in New York (at least, I don't). The fans and the media are still smarting over last season's collapse, and I think we're seeing a delayed reaction of anger and resentment. After the Santana trade, the Mets were supposed to dominate the NL East, and since they haven't yet met that standard, they're already getting roasted.
Is there cause for concern in Queens? Of course. The Mets have been disappointing, even if it's only a relative disappointment judged as such just six weeks into the season.