New Yorkers. We can’t help ourselves, really. We leave home without umbrellas, even when the weathercasters are talking about arcs. (Hey, the brothers on the corner selling $5 ‘brellas will always be there.) We always think there’ll be a cab. (At least white New Yorkers do.) And there’s no restaurant so exclusive we can’t walk in a charm our way to a table.
And, of course, there’ll be a Subway Series.
Well, let me be the first to disembark the D Train. D for Delusional.
Maybe there’s a switch that will automatically inject Pedro Martinez’s arm with juice (not that kind!) and pulls the rest of the Mets from their funk. Maybe there’s a pill that’ll ease the pain in Randy Johnon’s back, revive Mike Mussina and stifle the petty pettiness that suddenly has a place on the Yankee roster. Maybe, but probably not.
The Yankees still have the most murderous lineup in the game, and should be the AL favorites to at least bat their way into the World Series. But the Mets? They’re spiraloing towards oblivion.
Two successive beat-downs in Atlanta are just the latest indication that Met fans are fixin’ for a fall. Pedro’s been abysmal with a staggering 11.81 era in his last three starts, including last night’s 13-1 spanking in ATL, the Mets’ 10th loss in 13 games. Moreover, the team isn’t hitting. Willie Randolph, who should have some experience at cruising into the postseason after years with the Yankees, has not been able to find the right strategy for keeping his team’s heads in the game.
What should he do? One, end any more speculation about the postseason pitching rotation today by naming El Duque (who starts tonight in ATL) the Game 1 starter. Two, start his postseason lineup tonight and before the game, tell them their postseason starts now.
There is no magic button – no Staples Easy button – that can be tapped at the end of the national anthem prior to opening round of the playoffs. There is no switch. The Mets were the best team in baseball and deservedly were the first team to clinch a postseason invite. But now, that an an Starbucks card will only get you coffee. The Mets have about a week to regain their mojo or it could be a scary October.