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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Why should Mets fans care about third place?

If someone had told me on Opening Day that in late August, the Mets  would be two games behind the Phillies and a game and a half ahead of the Marlins, I would have looked forward to the Mets playing meaningful games in September. Unfortunately, this three-team battle is not for first place, but for third place. But according to the New York Post, the Mets want to finish third "with the idea of creating a more positive perception of the Mets heading to the offseason." Even for the Mets, this is nonsense.

Heading into Tuesday night's game, the Mets are 59-69, 18 1/2 games behind the Nationals and 13 1/2 games behind the second-place Braves. The Mets are 13-29 since the All-Star break. If they continue at a similar pace and go 13-31 in their remaining 34 games, they will finish with 90 losses.

If the Mets go 72-90, it will be small consolation if the Phillies and Marlins do even worse. Last year, the Mets were 77-85. In 2010, the Mets were 79-83. The Mets will have to go 18-16 the rest of the way just to match 2011's record. Otherwise, it will be the second straight season that the Mets failed to match the previous season's lousy record.

As the Mets prepare to do battle with the Phillies and Marlins for the extremely mythical third-place trophy, let's not forget that the other two teams already wrote off the season when they were major sellers before the trade deadline.
  
But while the Marlins may be headed back to cut-rate franchise status, the Phillies continue to have a large payroll and the will to spend to contend. The Phillies remain a major-market team.

The Mets, meanwhile, appear to have no plans to increase their mid-market payroll.

If the Mets want to create a more positive perception in the offseason, they re-sign David Wright and R.A. Dickey and find a way to upgrade their hapless outfield. 

"We're Number Three" isn't going to cut it.

1 comment:

urinalfresh23 said...

The Mets know they are not going to get past the Nats or Braves this year, so the best they can hope for is third place. What was said the other day was stated awkwardly, but what the Mets should be focused on is working on the fundamentals and getting next year's team some experience this year so they will be ready next year.

Even before the season started, I said if they can at least finish at .500 then they will have had a good season. It's unprecedented that a team will slash their payroll by $40 million and finish at or near .500.

Finishing in third place is better than finishing in fourth or fifth.