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Far too many Mets seasons end like this: Not with a bang after the postseason, but with the whimpering of the cancellation of the regular season.
The Mets’ 5-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday raised the curtain on yet another disappointing campaign in which they fell from a faulty first-place finish in early July to a 77-85 race in early October.
There was nothing to play for Sunday, and it showed; Noah Syndergaard was lit for two home runs in the first inning, and Trevor Williams followed with three runs of his own. The Mets offensive could only bring up three hits.
For the 13th time since 2006, the final game of the season has been reduced to a meaningless matchup – and Mets fans are more than tired of playing meaningless baseball this time of year.
Now the Mets have reached the point where, as the late A. Bartlett Giamatti described, baseball “stops and leaves you alone to face the case.” And what an uncertain offseason is the Amazin currently facing.
Today, Wechsel lingers with a breath of autumn air over Flushing – and it starts in the front office.
Management or the lack of it haunted the Mets from start to finish. They don’t have a general manager or a president for baseball operations.
Job one for Mets owner Steve Cohen and team president Sandy Alderson is to bring in a knowledgeable front office to not only find out who will control the Mets on the field in 2022, but also to make some tough decisions about the squad itself meet. The situation calls for one of the best minds in baseball: Theo Epstein or Billy Beane come to mind.
Your manager Luis Rojas is in the hottest seats for having made too many questionable decisions that cost the Mets games and earned the wrath of the frustrated professional baseball fan base.
Was the last time we saw Michael Conforto, Marcus Stroman, Javier Baez and / or Noah Syndergaard in Mets uniforms? They are all free agents now, and the Mets must decide whether to negotiate new contracts, renew qualifying offers, or let them go.
Unlike in recent years, Mets fans don’t have to worry about a property that is run on a tight budget. Cohen is the richest owner in baseball, and if he can’t re-sign all of them, he’ll use his resources to help the new front office build a competitor through the free agency and commercial market in 2022.
So many Mets underperformed in 2021: Conforto, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith had the worst seasons of their careers. Will the new front office trust these three key players to turn things around, or is it time to look elsewhere?
Francisco Lindor struggled in the first half of his Mets career but bounced back sharply in the second half. A big 2022 is ahead of the all-star shortstop. And will his presence convince the Mets to give his friend Javier Baez a contract worth staying in Queens?
The Mets front office must also renew the contracts of those Mets that were successful in 2021. Giving Pete Alonso a major contract extension is a breeze; A revision of the Jacob deGrom contract with regard to an opt-out clause after 2022 is also a must.
A team that was in first place for three months before falling apart doesn’t need a complete overhaul. The Mets are getting closer, but they need a better supporting cast to become a permanent contender.
Cohen’s first year as a Mets owner was disappointing but not a complete failure. Now he has a chance to build on the good, eradicate the bad, and turn the fate of the franchise for the better – and fans are excited to see how he does it.