To put it in perspective:
Had the Mets gone just 8-9 over their last 17 games, the Phillies would have had to go 16-1 to win the division. Instead, the Mets went 5-12 (and I guess the Phillies went 13-4).
Even worse. Even after last Tuesday's dreadful 10-9 loss (in which Tom Glavine gave up only 4 runs in the first inning rather than today's 7 in 1/3 an inning), the Mets were still two full games ahead of the Phillies with 5 to go. They went 1-4 and the Phillies went 4-1.
For a better analysis of what went wrong, check out the great Joe Schick's post. He nailed the Met's issues as far back as March. (Talk about miserable sports weekends; not only did Joe's Mets and Jets lose brutally today, his fantasy team is getting trounced by the only winless team in the league. My kingdm for a quarterback!).
Suffice it to say that Omar Minaya is not the great genius he was made out to be by the adoring press. He gave or traded away an entire middle bullpen, relied on ancient starting pitching, and developed no depth among position players. The aditional sad news is that I don't think the Mets have anyone to write home about in the minors that can help cure what ails them.
The manager is a mediocre, Joe Morganesque conventional-wisdom hacker who relies on hunches rather than statistics and believes in veterans over younger players even if they are way over the hill. And what's with continuing to pitch Mota, "Mr. deer-in-the-headlights", in crucial situations long after it had become apparent to even casual fans like me that this guy is spooked? Also, 21 errors over the last 17 games and numerous boneheaded fielding and baserunning mistakes...who is ultimately responsible?
Finally, what happened to Jose Reyes? He completely folded down the stretch. Very strange indeed.
The good news is that I couldn't care less; while I like to watch well played games, I long since stopped caring what local sports teams do. Second, sports talk radio promises to be absolutely fabulous over the next few days as dopey, suicidal Mets fans start to turn on Omar and Willie and chime in with their helpful suggestions like "we should trade Glavine and Milledge for Peavy" or "how about Delgado for Fielder".
And, as Joe also pointed out, the true executive of the year is Brian Cashman of the Yankees who has drafted aggresively and consolidated enough power over the past few years to be able to resist classic stupid trades of young talent for washed-up veterans. Joba and Hughes are two of the reasons the Bombers are where they are supposed to be; right in the thick of it.