As I write this, we’re less than 48 hours away from the final out of the 2017 New York Mets season… and already, manager Terry Collins has been kicked upstairs, pitching coach Dan Warthen and trainer Ray Ramirez have been relieved of their duties, and coaches Dick Scott, Ricky Bones and Tom Goodwin have been encouraged to seek other employment.
A 70-92 record and the worst team ERA since 1962 will bring changes, and they’re already starting to happen.
I said my goodbye to this year’s Mets team last week at Citi Field. My friend Vinny pointed out tickets would probably be really cheap for a midweek season finale between two teams that had been out of the running since Memorial Day, and he was right – I got a pair of seats 13 rows behind the third base dugout for about what it would have cost to go to a Brooklyn Cyclones game.
The crowd was a little bit better than I expected, though the announced figure of 28,817 must have included a number of people who came dressed as their seats. The Mets won for us in their last home game of the season, but it felt like a contest that could have been played in Port St. Lucie.
For posterity, I will note that the Mets’ starting outfield was Brandon Nimmo, Juan Lagares and Travis Taijeron, with Nori Aoki coming in on a double switch midgame. Their starting infield was Kevin Plawecki (at first base), Jose Reyes (at second), Matt Reynolds (at shortstop) and Asdrubal Cabrera (at third.) Travis d’Arnaud caught, and Robert Gsellman pitched what might have been his finest game of the season.
I’m still not sure where Nori Aoki came from or why the Mets got him (and I’m too lazy to go look), but he became my favorite September Met when I heard his walkup music: Ray Parker Jr.‘s Ghostbusters theme.
We cheered for Dominic Smith when he hit a pinch-hit home run, and we saw fans cheer a 2-for-5 night from Jose Reyes like it was still 2011. We did not get a chance to give Terry Collins a hand for his seven years, 543 wins and his 2015 National League title with the Mets.
Although I’m sure the decision had already been made regarding Collins’ future with the club, Mets officials planned to wait until the day after the season ended to make the announcement and Collins pre-empted them by resigning on Sunday. It would have been nice to give Terry his moment. He deserved it.
We had fun. The Mets were running a fan appreciation sale with 30 percent discounts on most merchandise (35% for season ticket holders) and I took advantage to pick up a few more Oyo minifigures for my collection. I got to eat another pastrami sandwich (which I highly recommend if you have the chance to get it the next time you go to Citi Field — I just don’t know if they’re available outside of the clubs.) The game ended quickly enough for me to get home shortly after midnight.
We’ll be back soon enough in 2018 – whether it’s on March 29 or someday later in the spring, I couldn’t tell you just now, but it will happen.
And yet, I didn’t find myself missing the Mets last night. After I checked on my garden, I ended up flipping between The Big Bang Theory on CBS, Star Wars on TNT, and FOX’s new X-Men universe show The Gifted.
Here’s hoping that next year’s team will be harder to let go.