How bad do the New York Mets suck? Well, it's mid-January and the New York Jets are in the NFL Playoffs, and yet the Metsies are fighting their former Shea Stadium roommates for the most ink in the Big Apple tabloids (and it ain't because they're going to San Diego to help the Jets crack heads—see below).
This week Mets All-Star centerfielder Carlos Beltran had surgery on his knee, and seemingly before the last suture was sewn, the team's front office was criticizing their star for having the procedure without consulting them. Only now Beltran claims that the Mets signed off on the operation the day before, and have already paid the surgeon who performed the procedure. Throw one of your best players under the bus? Yup, sounds like the Mets, as you'll see with our timeline of the team's worst fails of the past decade (we considered doing their worst fails of all time until we realized Halley's Comet is gonna swing back around in 51 years, and we ain't missing that again)...
October 21, 2000: Timo Perez's Jog-Off
• Damn, the decade began promisingly for the Mets. A year after making the National League Championship Series, the Metropolitans went one step further in 2000, reaching the World Series and facing the Yankees. Even the first five innings of Game 1 of the Series were kind to the National League New Yorkers, as they battled the Yanks to a scoreless tie. And things looked even better when Todd Zeile ripped a double to right with speedy Mets rookie Timo Perez on first. Only problem was, Timo thought the double was a homer, and jogged from first, pumping his fist in celebration. By the time he actually started running, the relay throws were in motion, and he was nailed at the plate on a ball he should have easily scored on. The Mets would go on to lose in extra innings (needless to say, Perez's run would've come in handy), and the Yanks took the Series four games to five.
June 15, 2002: Shawn Estes Lets Roger Clemens Off the Hook
• Two years after Roger Clemens beaned Mets star catcher Mike Piazza during a regular season matchup and chucked a shard of a broken bat at him in a World Series game, the Metsies finally had their opportunity for revenge: Clemens pitching against them at Shea Stadium where, under NL rules, he'd be forced to bat for himself instead of tossing brushback pitches and hiding behind the Designated Hitter. What did recently acquired Mets pitcher Shawn Estes do? Sent Clemens a real message by
bucklingtickling his knees with a brushforward pitch that sailed behind the Yankees flamethrower without hitting its mark. Sure, Estes clubbed a homer off the Rocket later in the game, but he missed a gift-wrapped opportunity to put Clemens on his (abcessed) ass.
July 30, 2004: Jim Duquette Trades Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano
• Let's say you're the new general manager for a major league club. You helm an aging team with a couple of future stars who aren't quite ready for prime time, and approaching the trade deadline, your squad is four games under .500, 7 games out of the division lead, and 7.5 back of the wild card, with a measly eight teams to jump to get there. What to do? If you're former Mets GM Jim Duquette, you trade the jewel of your farm system for an injury-prone
has-beennever-really-was starting pitcher in an attempt to "go for it." Said starter makes three appearances for your club, while the prospect you dealt away becomes an All-Star, and part of one of the most improbable World Series runs in history. Sadly, Mets fans might actually be nostalgic for the Duquette Era, considering the current mess in the front office.
August 11, 2005: Carlos Beltran: "I got it!" Mike Cameron: "Me too!"
• You know what's a great idea? Signing two Gold Glove-caliber centerfielders! Because if they can both cover a ton of ground, then together they can cover two tons of ground! Thing is, you might want to dispense with the third outfielder altogether, and give them half of the field each, lest they, you know, run the eff into each other covering their respective tons. Cameron suffered multiple facial fractures and a concussion; Beltran had "just" a sore shoulder and a facial laceration. To anyone who saw it live, it's still amazing that the play didn't end one of their careers.
September 30, 2007: The Collapse I
• No team had ever been up seven games with three weeks to play and lost their division, but that's probably just because the Mets had only had one previous crack at it. Proving that the second time's the charm (the '86 squad took the East Division by 21.5 games), New York showed the baseball world that no level of failure was beyond the franchise, going 1-6 against sub-.500 teams in the season-ending homestand, and choking away both the division and the wild card with a 13-4 loss to the Florida Marlins. In that game, Mets starter Tom Glavine gave up seven runs, five hits, and two walks, hit a batter and committed a throwing error, all while recording just one out in the top of the first inning (first baseman Carlos Delgado would fracture his hand in the bottom of the frame). At least it couldn't get any worse...
June 18, 2008: The Midnight Fire of Willie Randolph
• Because everybody likes to get an assurance that they won't be fired, fly across the country, win a game, and then get the axe in the middle of the night. But at least Mets GM Omar Minaya flew across the country so he could deliver the news to Randolph face-to-face. No, literally, that's really the least he did.
September 28, 2008: The Collapse II
• Yeah, what we said in a previous entry about "it couldn't get any worse"? It did. This time with just a 3.5 game with 17 to play, the Mets went 7-10, losing both the division and wild card. And to top it off, management scheduled Shea Stadium's farewell ceremony for after the game (over confident Mets personnel? Never that!), leaving fans to sit through a "celebration" after the team had choked away its postseason for the second consecutive year.
May 19, 2009: "When You're Sliding Into Third, Avoid It Like a Turd"
• Little known, surprising fact. On May 18 of last year, the Mets were actually tied for first place in the division. Ryan Church helped put a swift end to that, failing to tag third on a Angel Pagan triple in extra innings of a tilt with the Dodgers, thereby making the third out on what should have been the go-ahead run. Can't really blame Ryan for the injuries that plagued the team like a swarm of locusts in '09, but savvy Mets fans knew his baserunning gaffe was a sign of things to come (wait, did somebody really say "savvy Mets fans"?).
June 12, 2009: Luis Castillo Drops the Ball
• If only they had Mike Cameron playing right field!
July 27, 2009: Omar Minaya Tries to Throw Writer Under the Bus, Ends Up There Himself
• A suggestion for NBC's new round of prime time dramas: "Omar Minaya, Passive Aggressive General Manager." Passively stupid, aggressively retarded.
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