The Mets went into the All-Star break by winning eight out of 10 on their long homestand, pushing ahead of the Phillies and Marlins into third place in the National League East. Aside from the much-needed wins, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had to be thrilled from the contributions of three players on whom he has bet a lot of chips: catcher Travis d’Arnaud, centerfielder Chris Young and first baseman Lucas Duda.
Young and d’Arnaud were complete busts the first three months of the season while Duda was continuing his career as the poor man’s Adam Dunn/Dave Kingman by belting home runs but striking out all too often. As the calendar turned to July, however, both Young and d’Arnaud were getting big hits while Duda proved that he could be a contact hitter.
Mets fans have not had much to cheer about in recent years, and it’s fairly safe to say that even the most optimistic can’t picture the boys in Flushing competing for a post-season berth this year.
What can you say about the Mets between 1979 and 1982? Not much. Maybe that they avoided losing 100 games a year — though the only time they didn’t come close was 1981, when a strike canceled nearly a third of the season. But a couple signs of the future appeared: Fred Wilpon as part owner, in 1980, and Mookie Wilson as a promising rookie, in 1981.
Despite some fine individual performances from the likes of Tom Seaver and Dave Kingman, the mid- and late-1970s were not glory days for the Mets.
After the ever-so-close 1973 World Series, the Mets took a dive into fifth place in ’74. Although they improved a bit in the next two seasons, and individual players posted some records, the mid- and late-’70s were not kind to the Mets. One low point was June 15, 1977, when they traded away two of their best stars in what became known as the Midnight Massacre.
Another season over, another unwanted chance for Mets fans to say next year will be better. Given the way this year went, that’s almost inevitable. How many more bad breaks can a team get?
There’s nothing like a sports team to bring people together, and through good years and bad, the Mets have done just that. When you root for the home team here, there’s no question that it’s the Mets.
Newly appointed Associate Vice President Kathleen Meehan will oversee “day to day” operation of the Athletic Department.