I'm wondering if anyone ever reads this sentence.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Welcome to 2004

Picture, if you will, a time not too long ago.

"Lord of the Rings" was honored by the Academy. John Kerry-mania was sweeping the nation (kinda). Jerry Orbach and Ronald Reagan shuffled off this mortal coil. The pilot episode of "Lost" (a show I've still never seen a single goddamned episode of) premiered on ABC. George W. Bush muttered the immortal words "I hear there's rumors on the, ah, 'internets'" and lamented the apparent inability of certain American gynecologists to "practice their, uh, their love with women all across this country."

In other words, not too much was happening (um, except for that whole tsunami thing. That wasn't good).

Of course you know I'm speaking of 2004.

But let's flash back more specifically to July 1, 2004 - exactly five years ago to this day.

A certain unnamed baseball team (let's call them the "New York M's".... no, that's too obvious. The "N.Y. Mets") was:

(i) 38-39;
(ii) 3 games out of first place; and
(iii) stuck behind the Phillies and the Marlins, and hovering above the Braves and the Expos in the standings.

(I shit you not. Don't believe me? Take a look).

Sure, they were reasonably close to first place, but they were irrelevant. They knew it. We knew it. The rest of the NL East knew it. (In fact, the only ones who didn't know it were the front office nitwits who, thirty days later, thought it would be a swell idea to trade one of the best starting pitching prospects the team ever developed for a sack of horse manure because he enjoyed hip-hop music. But that's a story for another time). It was a thoroughly depressing time, to be sure, but also a fairly stress-free one. No pennant races, no nail-biters, no "meaningful games in September." You'd head out to Shea, down a few beers, watch Kaz Matsui wave lamely at a few pitches, see Jason Phillips run the bases about as fast as Nell Carter on quaaludes, go home, and count down the days until the Giants opened training camp. No fuss, no muss.

It is now July 1, 2009. These same "N.Y. Mets" are:

(i) 37-39;
(ii) 3 games out of first place; and
(iii) stuck behind the Phillies and the Marlins, and hovering above the Braves and the Expos Nationals.

Sure, they are reasonably close to first place, but they are irrelevant. They know it. We know it. The rest of the NL East knows it.

And you know what? I'm starting to get comfortable with this. No stress. No looming collapse. Just bad baseball with a pre-determined outcome day in and day out, as I count down the days until the Giants open training camp.

Oh yeah, it's 2004 all over again. And I'm ok with it.

Until I realize that this means we're going to hire Willie Randolph next year.

15 Comments:

Blogger Rob Daly said...

2004 Payroll: 100,629,303
2009 Payroll: 135,773,988

11:12 AM

 
Blogger Coop said...

Not so fast there cowboy (meaning: Rob Daly) - the current LINE UP we are throwing out there (translation: one superstar, one pitching ace every five days and a bunch of AAA and AAAA scrubs who have no business being on a major league lineup, let alone playing everyday...I digress...) - is about $60mm. Sure, we are still paying for the guys, but let's be real. If we were paying $135mm for this team we are throwing out NOW, that would be unacceptable. That's why I have no problem with them losing. I mean, it's the D Team!

11:38 AM

 
Blogger Coop said...

BTW I wasn't calling you out Rob - just sayin' :))

Great job, as usual, Toasty. You the mack.

11:39 AM

 
Blogger Toasty Senior said...

Comfortable with it for now...yeah, OK. But here's what I predict. They'll remain in striking distance; some first stringers/stars will return; they'll make a run; our hopes will rise and then ....

9:10 AM

 
Blogger rutabaga said...

What's Toasty Senior smoking?

11:55 AM

 
Blogger Coop said...

Toasty - I think I found the new name of your site - "You-Know-Who Big" - the new Subway commercial with CC and Johan

7:57 PM

 
OpenID cerrellout said...

TO MATT CERRONE OF METSBLOG:

Im so sick of these pepsi / verizon / whoever else cerrone is blowing these days / logos plastered all over the place. remember when he partnered with SNY and he was all “uuuhhhh i promise this is still matt cerrones metsblog and it wont turn into a big ad-infested waste site”? matt cerrone is a sellout. you had a good thing going, matt… now we have to look at a pepsi logo every time you put a game preview up? A pepsi logo thats bigger than the mets logo???

its like watching soccer on ESPN… taco bell logos all over the place, you cant even see the ball. Anywhere but the states, you have a screen with nothing on it but the action… once in a while they show the score, never a useless logo… its tacky, its bad design, and its shows that you could give a frick less about what you’re doing. SURE GUYS, THROW LOGOS ALL OVER, WHERE THEY HAVE NO PURPOSE BUT TO CLUTTER THE PAGE AND BRAINWASH MY READERS.

pathetic.

5:56 PM

 
Blogger Toasty Joe said...

Um, you do know he doesn't have anything to do with this site, right?

Having said that, nice tirade. Impressive.

6:00 PM

 
Blogger Dominick said...

It sucks that you guys never win. Two of my best friends in this world are Mets fans and the lack of success is like a slow cancer. I really mean when I say if the Yanks can't win it, I want you guys to grab the title. It just kills me.

And then across the river, I just sit back and watch shipbuilders throw ridiculous amounts of money at whatever problems we have. And I gotta say, it, it's not so bad. I really can live with it.

Although so far, Kazmir at best has been a 1st-half talent who's injury prone.

Those injuries are just destroying you guys this year. Meh.

10:17 AM

 
Blogger Rickey Henderson said...

Mmmm, that's some good crazy from cerellout...

2:03 PM

 
Blogger Tom said...

PAAAAAAATHETIC. The Mets are pathetic. I just don't know what to do anymore. Let's assume that Reyes comes back healthy. We have potentially two of the top 15 players in the game in their PRIMES and we are SQUANDERING IT!!! We also have Santana as the #1 and a good closer in K-Rod. It's the rest of the f&*^&%^&ing roster that is killing us.

It's so tough rooting for this when our crosstown bank-rolling, money-printing AL brethren are in the World Series.

Ugh, also check out some great stuff from my client, Steiner sports, in the Mets Memorabilia section. Thanks!

I need the offseason to cool down and hope the Giants get back on track!

2:23 PM

 
Blogger Dominick said...

My Scott Kazmir observation looking pretty good as of two nights ago. Air-mail.

Much success in Queens next year Toaster.

2:25 PM

 
Blogger KennethEdelstein said...

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10:52 PM

 
Blogger Deb said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:20 PM

 
Blogger Deb said...

Sorry I don't have any neat oriental characters to use here, but, frankly, Toasty, I just don't get how any sane and passionate Mets fan can actually sit back, let alone pretend to sit back, and watch this disgrace of a team day in and day out, and be at peace with it.

This organization is a mess, from the top down. From an owner who is still living in the 1950s, and who pretty much has shown little or no acumen for running a major league baseball franchise, to a GM who frankly embarrasses the organization, the fans, and all of New York everytime he opens his yap, to a manager who babbles incoherently, to a poorly put together roster, combined with a payroll in the upper 15% or so of MLB, frankly, this is a disgrace.

And for any Mets fan to find any of this nonsense even remotely acceptable, it's, well, troubling. :)

1:23 PM

 

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