In a recent ESPN NY article, David Wright speaks about how his life and career have changed since 2006, the year we all thought the Mets would be celebrating their third World Series Championship.
“The ’06 playoffs were the best time I’ve had playing baseball,” said Wright, who is hitting .295 with 21 homers and 86 RBIs this season. “The energy and excitement of playing baseball here in New York kind of stands alone.
“It is tough to imagine that until you really experience it. You turn the intensity up 100 times. It seems like every pitch is do or die. It is true. Any one pitch can send you home pretty quickly, like we learned. I love the fact that everyone is hanging on every pitch. The fans are into it from, literally, hours before the game. You turn the intensity and the energy up 100 times for what it normally is.”
Well, David, 2006 was the best time for most of us younger Mets fans too. All season, we “ran roughshod” as Gary Cohen would say over the entire National League. Looking back, I remember that 9-1 roadtrip where we scored in the first inning in (nearly?) every game, concluding with domination of the Phillies.
Since then, the Mets have been incredibly inconsistent. They have had hot streaks and cold streaks, and unfortunately more of the latter. They have been ravaged by injury, by lack of depth, by lack of talent and by poor contracts, among other things.
“We haven’t been able to consistently be that team,” Wright said. “I thought we created a lot to build on in ’06, but it seems like we have taken some steps back, off of that year. It is frustrating being able to experience that, but not being able to experience that on a consistent basis.”
We all thought that the team would only get better David. In 1986, the Mets won the World Series, and most fans felt as though it was the start of a dynasty that would last a while. 20 years later, we lost in Game 7 of the NLCS, and felt that we’d be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
Well, it’s been 4 seasons since, and we haven’t reached the playoffs once. Our window of opportunity is starting to close. Wright and Reyes are in their prime, but won’t be young forever. Johan and Beltran are passing through their prime. We can’t wait forever…or our possible dynasty will be just a flicker in the night, and nothing more. We’ll have had one great year with a terrible ending, and followed it up with two collapses, a year of epic fails, and a year of mediocrity. The Mets need to right themselves, before it’s too late.