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Lenstradamus Called It Last October...They Should've Listened.

A funny story before I get into this. A short time after the Mets got Johan, I had a column ready to roll, singing the praises of the Mets and all but having them headed for the Show. I stopped just cause I'm a notorious procrastinator and I never came back to it. Looking at how they've started this year, I'm glad I didn't. Conversely, a year ago after the worst collapse in sports history, I wrote a column while righteously pissed saying they should've canned Randolph. There was just way too much that jumped out at me then, that I felt could become a bigger problem now if they went unchecked. They should've listened. I'm not one to say 'I told you so', but damnit, they should've listened. To Omar Minaya and the Wilpons, I should've printed a copy of my 'Open Letter To Willie Randolph' and sent it to them. Maybe if they acted then, they wouldn't be reading the stuff they're reading now questioning the team's lackluster effort given against the dregs of the Senior Circuit. For those of you uninitiated, let's recap shall we?

Last October, maybe a little earlier than I should've done so, I wrote a scathing 'Open Letter' to Willie, all but calling for a pack of wolves to hunt him down and tear him from limb to limb. I'll grant you the fact that I was very much heated, considering my favorite baseball team managed to work its way past the 1964 Phils as the new poster child for 'late season collapsitis' or 'Self-Heimlichitis'. Either way you slice it, I said a lot of things back then. Which unlike Billy Wags who is seeming to enjoy taking more shots at his teammates this year than he is saving games this year. I basically stated in no uncertain terms after last season, I didn't believe Willie was it. That his inability to keep last year from happening, should've doomed him. Jade called me irrational (among other things) for saying so and eh, I didn't respond. Now mind you, this is before Omar Minaya went out and corrected what was perceived to be the three areas where the Mets lacked quality and or depth. They got a good catcher (Schneider), an outfielder who may just be an All-Star in the Boogie Down in two months (and the congregation said...CHURCH) and oh yeah...we got the best damn starter money could buy in Johan to remedy the biggest problem the Mets had last year at the top of their rotation. Every publication you could think of, all but had the pennant ready to hand to the Metropolitans come October. All they had to do was duplicate what they did through August and that'd be it.

But nobody counted on the Rattlesnakes out West doing what they're doing. Nobody counted on the Florida F'N Marlins leading the East and most importantly, the team that should be well out in front, being 2 games back a mere percentage point ahead of the Bravos. I tried to forewarn Mets fans last October, I saw it then and knew it wouldn't improve. I tried to warn em', but Lenstradamus was ignored. The Mets were made fools of earlier this week by the Nationals. THE F'N NATIONALS WHO CAN BARELY SELL OUT THEIR NEW STADIUM AND HAVEN'T BEEN SPIT SINCE...EVER. Still, now they're starting to cry for Willie's head if things don't improve. When a manager can't tell it's time to yank a pitcher who's clearly not on his game in a MUST WIN situation, he doesn't have what it takes to lead a team to that next level. Now I'll be the first to admit, I had a similar grievance with Coughlin that was proven dead wrong when he got to be the very first to outcoach Ole Cutoff Sweatshirt in February's Super Bowl. I don't see this going down this time out. With Coughlin, it was a 'he needs to lighten up' deal and he did just that as the players reacted accordingly. They developed a bond for the man who coaches them and it got them to perform well beyond what they were supposed to do. That's what a good coach slash manager should be able to do. Turn an average team into a really good one that defies all reason and or logic by doing the unthinkable.

In this case, the Mets should be pulling away from the pack right now. The Marlins should be exposed as not quite ready for prime time players. The Phillies should be exposed as what the Rocks told us they were a year ago. A team fortunate enough to be right behind an imploding team that's not as good as everyone believed they are. Instead, they're in a tie for second just a game above the Mendoza Line as I write this. They're a team that's got the most talent in the division and yet, they're wandering about as if they don't get it. They're the biggest dog in the yard that's acting like a friggin' poodle. Or one of those 'special mutts' that prances about the Garden every February. So now, since Omar and the Wilpons failed to act on my request a few months earlier, Torre's in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and Girardi's presently playing Billy Martin to what's about to become Hank's "King George". (Seriously, I believe he's going to end up canning Girardi if things don't turn around quickly for the Yanks. Some of his blurbs have been interesting to hear, but he clearly doesn't have a firm grip on reality.) There's nobody out there at the moment who could get this thing right and simply put, I'm not trying to see this year written off before the All-Star Break. But I said it before and I'll say it again...


Only this time, it feels a bit better not being the only one who's saying it.
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